Victims’ families welcome peaceful commemoration after 13 years
Request Government to permit Maaveerar Day in November
BY Dinitha Rathnayake The Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day, in memory of the war deceased, was held at the main grounds of Mullivaikkal yesterday (18).The Mullivaikkal Remembrance Week began on 12 May and concluded on the Tamil national mourning day yesterday.Mullivaikkal, a narrow strip of beach in the Mullaitivu District, between the Nandikadal lagoon and the Ocean on the North-Eastern coast, is where the war ended when the Army militarily defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and its 26-year struggle for a separate Tamil State. Speaking to The Morning, relatives of victims said that this was the first time after 13 years that the said remembrance day was held peacefully. “I think it is a special day where we got together to remember our loved ones. We are happy that it went peacefully and urge the Government to let us commemorate the Maaveerar (war heroes) day in a peaceful manner this November as well. It is our right, so let us do that.”While visiting the area, The Morning observed that shops were closed especially in the Kilinochchi Town area and that several church services took place in churches and Hindu kovils (temples) for the memories of the people who were killed during the last stage of the war. There was also a bigger event with thousands of affected families participating wearing black, along with members of the clergy, university students, the Northern Chief Minister, and Tamil politicians.Kanji (porridge) was served at all Mullivaikkal remembrance week venues in the Tamil homeland, including along Northern roads and after the Mullivaikkal memorial, and across the globe, including in India, the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Norway, this week. This plain and simple food was all that the hundreds of thousands in a precarious situation in bunkers, tents, and on the move could eat in the last few months of the war. A decade later, there are calls to have “Mullivaikkal Kanji” for one meal on 18 May, to remember what happened.