Northeast celebrates Annai Poopathy anniversary
[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 April 2003, 15:45 GMT]
Fifteenth year anniversary of Annai Poopathy memorial day was celebrated across the Northeast. Special events are being organized in Navalady, Batticaloa, on district basis in Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Mannar, Vanni and Jaffna, sources said. In Nallur, Jaffna the commemoration events started with a symbolic fast.
Determined to protest to the world the injustices that were being meted out to the Tamils by the Indian Peace Keep Forces (IPKF) and to urge the Government of India to call for
- An immediate unconditional ceasefire between the LTTE and the IPKF
- Unconditional talks between the LTTE and the Indian government,
she commenced her fast unto death on 19th March, 1988 at Mahmangam Pillayar temple. She went without any food for thirty days before her death on 19th April, 1988.
Poopathy Kanapathipillai was born in a small ancient Tamil village of Kiran in Batticaloa, as the third daughter to Mr. Annamuthu and his wife Periyapillai. Because of her family's economic situation she was withdrawn from her school and was married at a tender age of only twelve. Twice a mother and widowed all within a short span of life. Poopathy married again to Mr. Kanapathipillai, a widower with two sons and a daughter. Two more sons and two more daughters resulted from this marriage and Poopathy became the mother of ten children.
Poopathy struggled to raise her family in the face of shrinking opportunities for Tamil and Muslim children and mounting Sinahala state oppression. Her 28 year old son was shot dead by the Sri Lankan army and
then her oldest son by the second marriage was randomly shot dead by the Special Task Force of the Sri Lankan government. Another son, arrested during round up operations, was held in Boosa army camp and subjected to severe torture.
As a member of the Navatkerny Mother's Front, she became a vociferous critique of the military operations and widespread violation of human rights by the Sri Lankan armed forces.
"Annai Poopathy has made an indelible mark in the golden history of our struggle. She sacrificed her life for the freedom struggle of her people renouncing her life as a mother, as head of a household and as a woman. Her moral war against the Indian army was an embarrasment India. She did not die as a human being. Her sacrifice symbolized the uprising of Tamil eelam motherhood," said Pirapaharan, in a release about her death.
Poopathy house in Maamangam, Batticaloa
A memorial in front of the house
A rememberence meeting in Batticaloa