Thileepan's death remembered in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 September 2003, 02:09 GMT]
The commemoration of the death of Lt. Col. Thileepan, a senior leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who fasted unto death in a campaign during September 15-26, 1987, is being observed fervently in all major towns in Jaffna, including in schools and Sri Lankan government offices, despite threats from the Sri Lanka Army, sources said.

On Friday morning, a procession carrying Thileepanís pictures started at the Masippidy junction in the Vadamaradchi division and went through Uduvil to reach Thellipalai, where the National Resurgence Federation took charge of the procession. The procession then went through Alaveddy, Mallakam, Elalai, Chunnakam,. Maruthanamadam and Inuvil, and ended at the Pararajasekara Pillaiyar temple in Inuvil in the evening.

On Saturday morning, the procession departed Inuvil to Kopay. On the processionís route, a large number of people were seen gathered to pay their respects to the late leader who sacrificed his life in the struggle for Tamil peopleís freedom.

In Vadamaradchi, decorated Pandals with pictures of Lt. Col. Thileepan were erected in schools and Sri Lankan government offices, including the divisional secretariats and assistant government agent offices.

Sri Lanka Army officers have warned government officials, however, they cannot observe Thileepanís commoration at government offices, and if such commemoration went ahead, there would be dire consequences.

The SLA officer in charge of Nelliady visited the Nelliady central school and ordered the removal of the Pandal there, warning that he would not allow the commemoration in schools and government offices in Sri Lanka Army controlled areas, sources said.

Despite a directive from the Deputy Inspector General of Sri Lanka Police for the Northern region that the commemoration of Thileepan should not be hindered, SLA personnel as well as Police personnel are harassing people who commemorate Thileepanís death, sources said.

Meanwhile, the LTTE is organizing Thileepan commemoration meetings in the Northeast on September 26, the concluding day of the commemoration that started on September 15. Arrangements are being made for such meetings in the Batticaloa district. In the Batticaloa town and rural hinterlands of the district, red and yellow flags and Thileepanís pictures are seen in large numbers as people pay their respects to the late leader.


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