Sri Lanka Celebrates Victory Day, Western Envoys Boycott, North Goes Silent - The New Indian Express

Sri Lanka Celebrates Victory Day, Western Envoys Boycott, North Goes Silent

Published: 19th May 2014 08:09 AM

Last Updated: 19th May 2014 08:09 AM

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Sunday celebrated the fifth anniversary of its military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) amidst a boycott by Western Ambassadors and resentment among the Tamils of the North and East over the denial of the right to mourn their  dead.

“We celebrate the victory of peace and not the victory of war,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his oration at Matara in South Lanka. “Civilians in the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern provinces are now enjoying the benefits of peace and harmony thanks to the  Lankan war heroes. But some pro-LTTE elements and Tamil Diaspora are attempting to revamp the remnants of the LTTE. Some are trying to make floral tributes to the brutal terrorist leader Prabhakaran,” Rajapaksa pointed out.

Referring to the absence of  Western envoys, he said: “Some governments are blind, deaf and dumb. They are opposed to our celebrating this victory. But this is something we should celebrate forever.” Western Ambassadors were represented by their deputies or political officers. India  was represented by the Deputy High Commissioner.   

North Silenced

Meanwhile, in the Northern Province ,the armed forces surrounded schools, temples, political party and newspaper offices to prevent people from gathering for any event to commemorate the Tamil war dead. Jaffna University was closed from May 16 to 21. Lanka suspects that all commemorations will be for the LTTE dead. “These blockades have been on for the past three days — the worst three days for us,” said Suresh Premachandran, Tamil National Alliance MP for Jaffna district.

“Tamils go to the Nakuleswarar kovil at Keerimalai to perform ceremonies in honour of the family dead. But this time, the army has prevented them from doing so by imposing a blockade at Tellipalai,” the MP said.

 A senior journalist said that even the blood bank at the Jaffna hospital was closed, apparently because the army feared that people might donate blood in honour of the dead.

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