Thileepan commemorated in areas under SLA
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 September 2001, 16:43 GMT]
The commemoration of Thileepan, a senior member of the Liberation Tigers who fasted unto death on 26 September 1987, was observed Wednesday in many parts of the northeastern province of Sri Lanka which are under the control of the Sri Lankan army.
Undergraduates of the Jaffna University lit a lamp before a portrait of Thileepan in the morning. Posters commemorating Thileepan were put up in many parts of the Jaffna town. Posters and decorations came up in several parts of the Batticaloa districts too. Some of these were put up near army camps and Police stations. Sri Lankan security forces went on alert Wednesday fearing attacks by the Liberation Tigers.
The Liberation Tigers have, in the past, attacked SLA positions to mark the day. On 26 September 1990 the LTTE captured the SLA garrison in the Dutch Fortress in Jaffna town. The organisation's Jaffna commander entered the fort at 10.48 a.m. -the time of Thileepan death. The Liberation overran the sprawling Kilinochchi SLA garrison in September 1998 to coincide with the Thileepan commemoration week.
The LTTE observes a week of commemoration also because one of their most senior members, Ramalingam Paramatheva, was killed on 22 September 1984 in Batticaloa.
Posters and decorations commemorating the Thileepan came in many parts of Valaichenai and it adjacent villages Wednesday. Traditional Tamil commemorative decorations were put up by the Valaichenai Police camp sentry point. Police and SLA removed most these before noon.
Commemorative posters were also pasted in several suburbs of Vavuniya town such as Maharambaikulam, Srinagar, Thonikkal and Ukkulankulam
Thileepan (Rasaiah Parthipan) who was the LTTE's political wing leader for the Jaffna district went on fast making the following demands from the Indian government. (The Indian army was in de facto control of the peninsula at the time)
1.All Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be released.
2. The colonisation Sinhalese in Tamil areas under the guise of rehabilitation should be stopped.
3. All such rehabilitation should be stopped until an interim government is formed.
4. The Sri Lankan government should stop opening new Police stations and camps in the Northeastern province.
5. The Sri Lankan army and Police should withdraw from schools in Tamil villages and the weapons given by the Sri Lankan government to 'homeguards' should be withdrawn under the supervision of the Indian army.