Australian Tamil Congress condemns the destruction of the Mullivaikkal Monument in Jaffna

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The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) strongly condemns the destruction of the Mullivaikkal Monument located in the University of Jaffna campus. This memorial pays tribute to the many thousands of Tamils killed in Mullivaikkal by the Sri Lanka state in 2009, and was demolished by authorities on 8 Jan 2021. This act has drawn criticism from around the globe with politicians from Canada, Tamil Nadu and the United Kingdom speaking out on the issue. Locally hundreds of Tamils have gathered to express their outrage. Students have begun a hunger strike in protest of the state’s denial of their right to memorialisation.

Most recent reports suggest that the Special Task Force notorious for disappearances, indiscriminate killings and torture has been deployed to the University of Jaffna in response to the civilian protests. This act of destruction of a memorial structure is not in isolation. It is a mere extension to the state’s refusal to allow the Tamil people to remember those fallen during the National Heroes’ week in November and as part of a wider plan to remove all monuments across the Tamil homeland that depicts the mass atrocity crimes committed by the state.

The ATC stands in solidarity with the peaceful protestors and support the Tamil people’s right to memorialisation. The ATC is outraged that the Sri Lankan state has undermined the University of Jaffna, seen as a cradle of Tamil history, heritage, culture, higher education, Tamil psyche and political awareness. The ATC further calls on the Australian government to condemn such acts which deny a community’s right to memorialisation, and for it to join the growing calls for justice for Tamil victims and survivors of acts of genocide committed by Sri Lankan state forces.

Australian Tamil Congress