Sri Lanka to rebuild Tamil war memorial after protests

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka’s government said Monday (11) it would rebuild a memorial to Tamil civilians killed in the country’s civil war that was demolished at the weekend.

The destruction of the monument at Jaffna University – depicting arms sticking out of a mound – prompted protests and threats of a general strike in areas where Tamils are a majority.

The government had earlier condemned the structure as a memorial to “terrorists”, saying it glorified Tamil Tiger guerrillas who were crushed in 2009 at the end of a 37-year-long war.

The memorial was erected by students at the university to mark the 10th anniversary of the end of the war, and commemorate the thousands of civilians killed in the final stages.

Opposition legislator Dharmalingam Sithadthan told AFP that the university’s management had ordered its destruction.

“The gates were locked while a bulldozer demolished the memorial inside the university,” Sithadthan said.

“Police were deployed outside for protection.”

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