Jaffna shuts down as thousands honour martyr
[TamilNet, Friday, 26 September 2003, 08:19 GMT]
Jaffna came to a standstill Friday as thousands gathered at the Nallur Temple grounds to observe the sixteenth death anniversary of Lt. Col. Thileepan, the LTTE leader who fasted unto death in 1987 when the Indian army was in occupation of Jaffna and most parts of the northeast. Shops, offices and workplaces were closed to mark the final day of the weeklong remembrance.
The LTTE martyr fasted for 12 days urging the Indian government to bring about the following conditions as a basis peace.
The image being placed at the spot where the martyr fasted to death
- Tamil youth detained in prisons or in detention centres under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be released forthwith.
- All Sinhala colonization schemes in Tamil homeland under the guise of rehabilitation should be stopped forthwith
- All rehabilitation works in the northeast should be stopped until an interim administrative council is established.
- Police stations should not be opened in northeast province.
- Arms and ammunition supplied to home guards under the supervision of the Indian Peace Keeping Force should be withdrawn immediately and army camps and police stations established in Tamil villages and schools should be closed down.
Community leaders, priests, and LTTE officials garlanded the LTTE martyr’s image in his memorial column in the morning. An image of Lt. Col. Thileepan was taken in a long procession along the Jaffna-Pt. Pedro Road and was placed in a special tent erected at the spot where the LTTE martyr fasted to death. Officers from the Sri Lanka army’s 51-2 Brigade and members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission were present at the start of the procession.
The head of the LTTE’s political division in Jaffna, Mr. S. Ilamparithi, Prof. K. Sittampalam of the Jaffna University, Rev. C. J Jeyakumar of the Catholic Church and Mr. C. V. K Sivagnanam, former Municipal Commissioner for Jaffna were among those who paid homage to the LTTE martyr.
The Thamil Eelam national flag was raised by Mr. S. Nisanthan, an official of the LTTE political division.
The martyr’s death anniversary was observed in the Thenmaradchi Division of Jaffna at Meesalai Mavadipillaiyar Temple and in the Vadamaradchi Division at the Alvai Muthumariamman Temple. In the islands of Jaffna, the remembrance was held in Velanai.
|Mr. C.V.K Sivagnanam garlanding Lt.Col. Thileepan's photo in the memorial
|Rev. Jeyakumar garlanding the image
|The memorial in Nallur
|Mr. Nisanthan raising the Thamil Eelam flag