Just as Sri Lanka readies to observe ‘Victory Day’ to commemorate the end of its brutal war in 2009, its Navy said it has seized a large stock of pistol ammunition, reportedly belonging to the LTTE, in the country’s Northern Province.
Sri Lankan Navy spokesman, Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya, said based on intelligence reports, Navy officials on Friday found at least one lakh bullets near Mullaitivu, the largest seizure after the end of the bloody war.
The Navy has found the stock at a time when the Sri Lankan government is voicing concern over the possible revival of the LTTE, a claim bolstered by a U.S. State Department report that said that financial networks supporting the LTTE were active all through 2013.
“In this particular case, we have not established any link between the ammunition found and the possible revival of the LTTE,” army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasuriya told The Hindu.
It is that time of the year when Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority prepares for Vesak (in India, Buddha Purnima), falling on May 14. Colombo streets are beginning to sport lanterns in light shades, a common sight this time of the year. It is also that time of the year when the Sri Lankan armed forces celebrates its victory in the war it waged against the rebel Tigers.
The Army is preparing for what it calls ‘Victory Day parade’ to be held in Matara, along the island nation’s southern coast. Simultaneously, some sections residing in the country’s primarily Tamil-speaking north pay tributes to civilians who were killed in Mullivaikkal during the final days of the war.
However, teachers and students of Jaffna University recently held a protest to condemn an anonymous notice pasted around their campus that warned of consequences should any such commemoration be observed on campus. The University too, according to a circular issued by its registrar, is to remain closed after the Vesak break, until May 21, something that students and teachers perceive as a deliberate measure to prevent any remembrance.
When contacted by The Hindu, Jaffna security forces commander Udaya Perera said: “We have issued no instruction to the university regarding closure.”