Velupillai Prabhakaran
Security forces are on the alert in Sri Lanka's north and east, the former war zone, amid calls by some Tamils to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the destruction of the LTTE and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaan. File photo

Sri Lanka: Security forces on alert ahead of LTTE commemoration

Tamil political and rights groups say the events planned are to commemorate the civilian kith and kin of Tamils who got killed in the conflict

Sri Lanka's security forces are on alert in the northern and eastern regions to foil attempts to commemorate the military destruction of the once dreaded LTTE 15 years ago.

Media reports said security forces had information that events had been planned in parts of the sprawling region to honour those who died in the final battles that crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Commemoration events

The three-decade-long armed conflict, which started in 1983, ended when the military killed all the leaders of the LTTE including its founder Velupillai Prabhakaran in May 2009.

Although the military decided against deploying troops in the north and east, the Special Task Force and the police would keep a watch for the various commemoration events until May 20.

Pro-LTTE literature

Security forces said pro-LTTE literature had been distributed at several places. Some had called for a revival of the LTTE, which remains outlawed in most countries including India.

On Tuesday, New Delhi extended the ban on the LTTE, first imposed in 1992, by another five years.

Four arrests

The Sri Lankan Police have warned that anyone trying to honour the LTTE would be arrested.

The police arrested a man and three women in the eastern town of Sampur for violating a court order banning the LTTE commemorations, a media report said on Tuesday.

Main event

Tamil political and rights groups say the events planned are to commemorate the civilian kith and kin of non-combatant Tamils who got killed in the conflict, particularly in the end stages.

In Mullaitivu district, the scene of the final battle where Prabhakaran was killed on May 19, 2009, the main commemorative event is set to take place at a beachfront where the LTTE met its fiery end.

In Tamil heartland

In Tamil-dominated Jaffna, university and civil groups began the ‘Mullivaikkal week’ on May 11. Blood donation campaigns are being held in the memory of those who died.

Hundreds of thousands of people – both combatants and non-combatants – died in the LTTE campaign to carve out an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka from 1983 to 2009.
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