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HomeNewsSri Lankan forces on high alert ahead of commemoration of LTTE fighters

Sri Lankan forces on high alert ahead of commemoration of LTTE fighters

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Security forces in the northern and eastern regions are on high alert to prevent the commemoration of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) members ahead of the 15th anniversary of the war’s end. Pro-LTTE events are planned despite prohibitions and increased surveillance, and the police have announced that anyone attempting to commemorate the LTTE will be arrested.

The LTTE, which operated a parallel administration in parts of the northern and eastern regions until May 2009, has been proscribed internationally, including in India. Sources from security forces have reported the circulation of pro-LTTE literature at several commemorative events, raising concerns about attempts to revive the organisation.

In Mullaitivu, where the final battle took place, the main commemorative event is planned at Vellamullivaikkal beachfront. In Jaffna, university and civil groups initiated ‘Mullivaikkal week’ on May 11, featuring blood donation campaigns in memory of those who perished. Porridge was distributed to recall the meagre rations civilians received during the battles between the LTTE and government forces.

The police have already arrested four individuals, including three women, in Sampur for defying a court order banning LTTE commemorations. The armed conflict concluded on May 19, 2009, when LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran’s body was found in the Mullaivaikkal lagoon.

The conflict, which began in 1983, ended with the Sri Lankan military defeating the LTTE in 2009. Historical inter-ethnic imbalances between the Sinhalese and Tamil populations, along with discriminatory policies and anti-Tamil riots, contributed to the rise of the LTTE. Initially a non-violent political struggle, it evolved into a violent insurgency by the 1970s.

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