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THE STRUGGLE FOR TAMIL EELAM
Maaveerar Naal - மாவீரர் நாள் 1998
Great Heroes' Week and island-wide preparations
P. Karunakharan in the Sinhala Owned The Weekend Express
21 November 1998
Security measures have been tightened around the country, especially in Colombo, anticipating possible LTTE attacks during their self-declared "Great Heroes' Week (Maaveerar Vaaram)" which is commemorated between November 21-27.
Additional roadblocks and check points have suddenly sprung up in the City and soldiers and policemen have intensified their checks in Tamil neighbourhoods. A military official told The Weekend Express that a week before (Prabhakaran's birthday) and the week after are usually crucial.
It is an open secret that traditionally, the LTTE have been marking a week-long observance to commemorate their fallen fighters with some violent attacks on the military detachments and other targets elsewhere in the North-East.
In November 1992 they attacked Mankindimalai army camp at Welioya in the Mullaitivu district. In 1993 they overran the Pooneryn army camp and killed or captured 600 servicemen. In 1994 they assassinated UNP top-runger Gamini Dissanayake and 51 others in a suicide bomb attack and in 1995, two suicide bombers killed 15 people in Colombo in an unsuccessful attack on the army headquarters.
1996 saw attack on bomb Military camp points in Jaffna during Operation Riviresa. The last two years were however incident free due to intensified security in the country.
Sathayanathan alias Shankar was the fast LTTE cadre to be killed by the army while breaking through a cordon in Jaffna. He died on November 27, 1982 in Madras while being treated for gun shot injuries.
The LTTE was reported to have claimed in the Wanni that they have lost 10,975 cadres upto the end of this October which includes 109 male suicide cadres and 37 female suicide cadres. They also claimed that 1887 cadres including 514 female cadres were killed in the 18-month old Operation Jaya Sikurui alone...
LTTE is celebrating this "Great Heroes' Week" on a large scale with a dual strategy - firstly to honour the fallen fighters and secondly to recruit new cadres by drawing the public's attention. They celebrate it as a quasi-religious ceremony - aimed at persuading the public that their heroic deaths will enhance their ideology of Eelam.
The commemoration celebrations conclude with the birthday of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on November 26. Pictures of dead cadres are put up in LTTE-held regions during the celebrations which culminate with the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran delivering an important speech at midnight on November 26. This year Prabhakaran is celebrating his 44th birthday....