Jaffna Uni teachers condemn obstruction of Mullivaikkal memorialisation events

Saturday, 18 May 2024 00:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says State and apparatuses are attempting to misrepresent and vilify community-driven memorialisation events
  • Stresses attempts to thwart memorialisation shows there is no space in SL for Tamils to commemorate their war dead
  • Calls on all Sri Lankans to condemn ongoing state repression of memorialisation in North-East

Issuing a statement, the University of Jaffna Teachers’ Association said it is deeply concerned by the moves by the Sri Lankan state and its law-enforcing apparatuses to regulate, suppress and block Mullivaikkal memorialisation events planned to be held this week, to commemorate the war dead. 

The Association underlined the importance of memorialisation as a personal and collective act of resistance and resilience and said they may also help those affected by the war to find healing and peace.

“The Association strongly condemns the arrests of those who, as part of memorialising the experiences of the people in Mullivaikal in 2009, distributed Mullivaikal Kanji in Sampur, Trincomalee. In another incident, the police have tried to prevent the distribution of Mullivaikal Kanji in Batticaloa. There have also been attempts to stop blood donation camps organised in memory of those who died,” they alleged. 

The Association said it appears the state and its apparatuses are engaged in a vicious act of misrepresenting and vilifying these community-driven memorialisation events as efforts to revive the LTTE and terrorism.

“All these attempts to thwart memorialisation send out the message that there is no space in Sri Lanka for the Tamils to commemorate their war dead in a meaningful manner. These heavy-handed acts of the State also underline the ongoing ethnic hostility towards Tamils and re-confirm the community’s long-standing conviction that the legal and judicial systems of the Sri Lankan State will never deliver justice for the decades of ethnic oppression and ethnic violence the community has suffered,” it noted. 

The Association called on the law-enforcing authorities in Sri Lanka to immediately stop their attempts to misrepresent, curtail and criminalise the memorialisation initiatives by the Tamil community.

“We also request the people of Sri Lanka, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, to condemn the ongoing State repression of memorialisation in the North-East of the country and extend their solidarity to the families of those who died during the war and those who are organising memorialisation events this week. The Association also urges the people of the country to unite in calling for justice for the pain and loss the war-affected communities have suffered,” it added.