Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil-dominated regions on alert as LTTE commemorations planned

Sri Lanka's minority Tamil-dominated regions on alert as LTTE commemorations planned
Sri Lanka's minority Tamil-dominated regions on alert as LTTE commemorations planned

Colombo, May 15 :Sri Lanka’s security forces were placed on alert in the northern and eastern regions to counter attempts to commemorate LTTE members killed in the group’s bitterly-fought conflict for a separate homeland for the minority Tamils, ahead of the anniversary of the long-drawn battle’s end.
Security forces received information about events being organised throughout the island nation’s Tamil-dominated North and East to commemorate the outlawed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to mark the 15th anniversary of its final battle.
The three-decade-long armed, which started in 1983, was ended by the island nation’s military by killing the leaders of the LTTE in 2009.
Although the military decided against deploying troops, a special task force of the military and the police would keep a close eye on the possible LTTE commemorations from Wednesday to May 20.
Security forces said that the distribution of pro-LTTE literature was seen at several commemorative events. At some events, calls were also made for the revival of the LTTE, which is under proscription internationally, including in India.
Police have said that any group trying to commemorate the LTTE would be arrested.
However, Tamil political and rights groups say the events planned are to commemorate their kith and kin, who died in the long-drawn-out conflict since the mid-1970s.
In Mullaitivu — the scene of the final battle — the main commemorative event is to take place at the beachfront in Vellamullivaikkal.
In Tamil-dominated Jaffna, university and civil groups began the ‘Mullivaikkal week’ on May 11. Blood donation campaigns are being held in the memory of the fallen.
Porridge was distributed to mark the once-a-day serving civilians received when they were trapped in Mullaitivu when the final battles raged between the LTTE and the government troops.
Police arrested four people, including three women, in the eastern town of Sampur for violating a court order banning the LTTE commemorations, it said on Tuesday.
The LTTE ran a parallel administration in parts of the northern and eastern regions until May 2009.
The armed conflict officially came to an end on May 19, 2003, when LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabakaran’s body was found in the lagoon of the northeastern region of Mullaivaikkal. (Agencies)