“Possessing memories, designing cemeteries – Part II” by Sinthujan Varatharajah

Ceremonies of possession

The end of the no-prisoner war and the defeat of the LTTE as the largest embodiment of Tamil resistance against an authoritarian and neo-colonial Sri Lanka state left a void in the Tamil territorial and social landscape. The complete destruction and the subsequent absence of Tamil war memorials post-war is in itself not just an act of violence, but also an act of humiliation and subjugation of a people. The contested pieces of land were reclaimed by taking possession of the grief and memory of its people. With the destruction of war memorials, the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan state was bound to be re-established. Tamil war memorials as challenges and contestations to the majority Sinhala state’s narration of the past and readers of the present were successfully erased from the war-torn Tamil homeland and people. With the disappearance of thuyilum illams and other sites of Tamil memories of oppression and resistance, the representations of the past, the narration and visualizing of history, personal and collective, private and public that spell the desire for holding onto the familiarity of landmarks that are disappearing and securities that are unsettled, completely vanished post-war  for Tamils .

Via: http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/2012-01-30-09-31-17/politics-a-economy/321-possessing-memories-designing-cemeteries-ii

source: jdslanka.org

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