Sri Lanka war monuments signal “complete Sinhalese takeover of the Tamil land”

Victory war monuments installed throughout the north and east of Sri Lanka sends a strong message of complete Sinhalese takeover of the Tamil land, says the head of a California based think tank.

Presenting findings about continued militarization and land grabs in Sri Lanka, Anuradha Mittal, head of Oakland Institute, gave details of ongoing militarisation of Sri Lanka’s north at the Second International Conference on Tamil Nationhood and Genocide in Sri Lanka.

Numerous victory memorials, often with plaques in Sinhala and English only, where the language of the majority is Tamil, is a blatant display of Sinhalization of the North and the East, said Anuradha Mittal.

'Strong message'

Her remarks were based on research, including field research in the Northern and the Eastern provinces and continued regular communication with the local communities, especially the internally displaced in the country.

“In Puthumathalan, Mullaitivu, war hero memorial in Kokavil, Victory War Memorial in Kilinochchi, Kilinochchi water tower, the terrorist bulldozer at the Elephant Pass, and the War Hero Memorial close to the Jaffna lagoon, all these monuments at iconic locations send a strong message of the complete Sinhalese takeover of the Tamil land. The Sri Lankan army maintains the monuments visited by Sinhalese tourists and runs the kiosks that sell snacks and soft drinks.”

The conference held in Ottawa had a focus on five themes: Sinhala Buddhist ethno-nationalism and its consequences in Sri Lanka, human rights violations and the search for justice, genocide by any other name, diaspora resources and responsibilities and rebuilding the Tamil nation in today’s geo-political context.☐



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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