Tamils unify to mark Thileepan Remembrance, brave Colombo's suppression of memorialisation

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 September 2020, 12:05 GMT]
Colombo's widespread attempts through SL judiciary, Police and military covering all the potential memorial sites and the Maaveerar square within the University of Jaffna, didn't manage to curb Eezham Tamils, their grassroots activists and politicians from marking the collective memorialisation events on Saturday on the occasion of 33rd commemoration of Lt Col Thileepan. Jaffna University students took part in three events in Jaffna, Chaavakachcheari and Vavuniyaa North. All mainstream Tamil parties doing politics on Tamil nationalist platform were brought together by the pressure from Tamil media, grassroots activists and the students who were responding to the suppression coming from Colombo. All Tamil dailies published in the Tamil homeland gave prominence to Thileepan Remembrance and highlighted Colombo's harassment against the collective memorialisation events.

Uthayan, 26 September 2020
Uthayan, 26 September 2020, published from Jaffna
Thinakkural, 26 September 2020
Thinakkural, 26 September 2020, Jaffna Edition

SL Police was giving violent postures against the students in Jaffna and deployed personnel in large numbers blocking students from accessing the premises. However, the students managed to reach Maaveerar Square within the Jaffna campus and proceeded with their tribute.

At the same time, they had dispatched a group of students to accompany the joint fast event at Chaavakachcheari Sivan temple. Another group was sent to Vavuniyaa North to take part in the concluding feast of the disputed heritage hill-top of Vedukku-naa'ri.

Thileepan Remembrance
University students in Jaffna enter the premises and kneel down at Maaveerar Square paying tribute to Lt Col Thileepan
Vedukkunaa'ri - Chaavakachcheari pot
Students of Jaffna University blocked by SL Police. N. Srikantha, a Tamil politician and ex-MP was arguing with the SL Police that they have no jurisdiction to block the presence of the students at the temple
Thileepan Remembrance
Students taking part in the fasting at Chaavakachcheari along with Tamil politicians

The grassroots activists and politicians organised collective events also in other parts of the Tamil homeland in Vanni and the Eastern Province.

The SL Police was using Tamil ‘journalist-spies’ to detect where the collective events were being arranged and chased the activists by obtaining interim orders from various SL courts. However, they were not anticipating the joint fast event to be rapidly mobilised at Chaavakachcheari.

SL military and Police were harassing even the devotees who were going to Chelva-channathi temple in Tho'ndaimaan-aa'ru, Vadamaraadchi in Jaffna for ‘Puraddaathi-Saturday’ religious rites, thinking that they were mobilising to mark collective remembrance for Lt Col Thileepan.

However, Tamil devotees in Vanni were concluding their annual feast at the disputed heritage hill-top Vedukku-naa'ri in Vavuniyaa North coinciding with the conclusion of the fast, sending one of the 108 Pongkal pots to those who were completing their fast.

“The mobilisation successfully demonstrated to everyone the collective will of Tamil people to mark the Remembrance Day as well as their urge to unite the Tamil political parties,” Ms Sashikala Raviraj (ITAK), who formally concluded the fast, told TamilNet. The widow of TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian Maamanithar Nadarasa Raviraj, who was assassinated in Colombo in November 2006, said it was auspicious to conclude the fast with Pongkal rice from Vedukku-naa'ri.

Tamil politicians taking part in the fast at Chaavakachcheari
Tamil politicians taking part in the fast at Chaavakachcheari
Tamil politicians taking part in the fast at Chaavakachcheari
Tamil politicians taking part in the fast at Chaavakachcheari
Tamil politicians taking part in the fast at Chaavakachcheari
Tamil politicians taking part in the fast at Chaavakachcheari
ITAK politician Sashikala Raviraj concluded the fast on Lt Col Thileepan's Remembrance at Chaavakach
ITAK politician Sashikala Raviraj concluded the fast on Lt Col Thileepan's Remembrance at Chaavakachcheari

Kaalaik-kathir, e-paper published from Jaffna
Kaalaik-kathir, e-paper published from Jaffna

Uthayan's Chagncheevi magazine, cover page
Uthayan's Chagncheevi magazine, cover page

Final day of annual feast at Vedukku-naa'ri temple in Vavuniyaa North
One of the 108 cooking Pongkal pots at Vedukkunaa'ri
A deity worshipped by Tamils at the disputed heritage hill-top of Vedukku-naa'ri
One of the Pongkal pots was brought to Chaavakachcheari and served to Tamil politicians and activists who ceremonially ended the fasting

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