Thousands of Tamil in northern and eastern Sri Lanka have commemorated their relatives who died during and after the country’s civil war, which lasted more than a quarter century.
The main ceremonies were held last Wednesday, Maaveerar Naal (Great Heroes’ Day), as Tamils remembered those who died or went in missing in battle.
The Sri Lankan government has always opposed the remembrance. Under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, brother of the current president, memorial ceremonies were banned as an apology for Tamil independence ideology.
For their part, Tamil com-plain that under the first Rajapaksa the graves of thousands of Tamils were destroyed, whilst war monuments, luxury buildings and other structures were built on top “in an attempt to erase our memory and control us.” “The graves of our children were in a row in the cemetery of Kopai,” some Tamil told Asia-News. “At least 2,000 people were buried there, but in March 2011 soldiers arrived and demolished everything.”