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SL Police harasses Shivajilingam at 25th Remembrance of Navaali massacre in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2020, 00:05 GMT]
Hundreds of people emotionally marked the 25th remembrance of 147 Tamil men, women and children who perished in SL Air Force bombing and artillery attacks when they had sought refuge at two temples at Navaali in Jaffna on 09th July 1995. On Thursday, the Sinhala police of occupying Colombo was trying to block former TNA parliamentarian and former provincial councillor M.K. Shivajilingam when he went to the remembrance event. On Wednesday, the SL Police was attempting to secure a court order against the participation of the Tamil politician in the remembrance. Mr Shivajilingam, who has been in the forefront championing the right of Eezham Tamils memorialisation events, especially after 2009, was however allowed to take part by the courts. Yet, the SL Police was harassing him at the site, irking the Tamils.

The SL Police, on instructions from Colombo, was arguing that Mr Shivajilingam was “reviving” the LTTE through staging memorialisation events. They also attempted to say that he was violating the COVID-19 measures.

Mr Shivajilingam has been severely ill with hospital admittance for several days. However, the veteran political activist of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation has been championing the cause with renewed energy as the SL Police doubled its harassment against him.

The SL Police also attempted to limit the attendance by arguing that only the priests were allowed to proceed with the event. But, the participants strongly objected the attitude of the SL Police.

On 09th July 1995, thousands of Tamil civilians fled from their villages in Valikaamam division when the Sinhala SL Army supported by the SL Air Force launched a military operation named “Leap Forward”, early in the morning around 5 am.

The SLA launched an indiscriminate artillery attack on residential areas, public buildings and temples in Valikaamam Southwest, Valikaamam West, Valikaamam South and Valikaamam North divisions. The people ran for safety. As the bombing and artillery fire became fierce, they fled from their dwellings by foot, cart and bicycles, leaving their belongings behind. Several civilians, old and young, were injured in the aerial attack and some died on their way.

SL Air Force bombers dropped about thirteen bombs on Navaali St Peters Church and Navaali Muruka-moorthi Koayil killing at least 147 innocent civilians on the spot in the two temples around 5:45 pm that day.

Both the temples were thoroughly destroyed. The people were trapped in debris from the massacre-bombardment. More than four hundred people sustained injuries in the massacre. Several lost their limbs.

Of those slain, 48 were volunteers who were helping the displaced people by providing them water and food.

25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre
25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre
25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre
25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre
25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre
25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre
25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre
25th Remembrance of Navaali Church massacre

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