Police in northeastern Sri Lanka’s Mullaithivu district has obtained a court order banning an event to be organised by a Tamil group to commemorate the end of the nation’s brutal civil war six years ago.
Sri Lankan Tamil politician Gajen Ponnambalam in a tweet said that a “Tamil Genocide Remembrance” event organised by his Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) scheduled for May 18 has been banned on the orders of the Mullaithivu magistrate.
Ponnambalam said the police told him that another organisation wants to commemorate the same event in Mullaithivu so it might trigger a clash causing a breach of peace.
On May 18, 2009, government forces emerged victorious in the civil war, ending the LTTE’s over three-decade armed separatist campaign for a homeland for Sri Lankan Tamils.
Tamils claim tens of thousands died in the final battle which the UN had estimated to be around 40,000.
Sri Lanka however has denied the number of deaths claimed by Tamil groups.
Separately, the government is set to celebrate May 18 this year as ‘Armed Forces Day’ with lesser focus on glorifying the military victory, keeping in mind the sensitivities of the Tamil minority.
In a related development, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) says that they would keep up the pressure on President Maithripala Sirisena’s government on the Tamil issue in the island