Jaffna Campus Heroes' Memorial unveiled

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 November 2005, 10:53 GMT]
"People of Jaffna will never forget nor pardon the desecration of the memorials of more than 900 war heroes in the hallowed grounds of Kopay Martyrs Cemetary in 1996 by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers," Professor. C. Mohanadas, the Vice Chancellor of Jaffna Univeristy told TamilNet after addressing the opening ceremony of a Heroes' Memorial constructed within the Jaffna Campus premises, Thursday. "It was an act, unheard of in the civilized world," the Vice Chancellor said.

Kopay Martyr's Cemetary, Reconstructed
A section of the reconstructed Martyrs Cemetary in Kopay in 2003

Jaffna Memorial
A memorial monument for the war-dead heroes was decalared opened in Jaffna University Thursday
Jaffna Memorial
Jaffna Memorial
The memorial for the war-dead Tamil heroes constructed in November 2005.
 Campus Heroes Memorial
Jaffna Memorial
President of Jaffna Students consortium, S Vijayaruban, presided the opening event of the Campus memorial Thursday morning.

Professor of Arts, R Sivachandran, Professor of Management, K Vevarajah, Professor of Agriculture, Rajadurai and Professor of Medicine, Sivapalan, lit the flame of sacrifice.

Former member of International Student Federation S Sivakaran hoisted the Tamileelam National Flag.

Professior Mohanadas then ceremonially opened the memorial by unveiling the name plate.

International Students Union Kugan, and past president of Jaffna Students consortium, Selvakumar, paid floral tribute to the memorial.

"Continued growth and development of Jaffna University is closely tied to the Tamil national struggle. Involvement of student community in our long struggle for freedom has significantly contributed to the strength and success achieved towards our goal. I wholeheartedly endorse the activities of the student group in raising Tamil consciousness among the public and creating awareness of the critical need for community's activism in demanding our rights to self-determination.

"Campus student community should be proud for the involvement in organizing "Tamil resurgence" events which helped to attract international attention to the plight of NorthEast Tamils," said VC Mohandas in his opening speech.

LTTE declared November 27, the remembrance day of Lt. Shankar (Sathianathan), the first LTTE fighter to die, as Maveerar (Heroes) day, to commomerate the LTTE fighters who died in the liberation struggle.

Lt. Shankar died on 27th November 1982. The first Heroes day celebrations were held in 1989.

The Sri Lanka Army gained control of Jaffna in 1995 following the mass exodus of people from Jaffna. The civilians who returned to Jaffna were not allowed to visit the site for more than four years. On the Martyrs Day in 1999, LTTE's Major Jeevan and another cadre were shot and killed by the Sri Lanka Army when they were returning after visiting the Kopay Heroes Cemetary after lighting candles at the site.

Following the destruction of the cemetary in Kopay, Jaffna, the LTTE - war dead cemetaries in Kodikamam in Thenmaradchi and in Ellankulam in Vadamaradchi were bulldozed by the SLA under the Command of Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle.

Tamils, Sinhalese and the international community await for the speech delivered by LTTE leader Pirapaharan on the eve of the Heroes day. The speech customarily contains nuances related the movement's thinking on the liberation struggle.

Ruins from the damaged Heroes cemeteray in Kopay
Ruins from the damaged Heroes Tombs in Koappaay preserved at the site
 Kopay Martyr's Cemetary, Reconstructed
Kopay Martyr's Cemetary was reconstructed in 2002-2003
Resurrected Kopay Heroes Cemetary
Resurrected Kopay Heroes Cemetary
Resurrected Kopay Heroes Cemetary
Resurrected Kopay Heroes Cemetary

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