THANJAVUR:The imposing figure of Tamil Paavai (Tamil Woman) with a lamp in her hand, carved from a single stone of 60 tonnes and kept on a 15-foot high pedestal stands at the centre of Mullivaikal Memorial in Vilar near Thanjavur. The Tamil Paavai pays tributes to the 1.4 lakh ethnic Tamils killed in Mullivaikal in Sri Lanka on May 17, 2009 during the final phase of Eelam war. Scenes of the tragedy are etched on a 55-ft long, 10-ft high frieze on the left side of the Tamil Paavai. The 20 martyrs, including Muthukumar, who immolated themselves in Tamil Nadu are depicted in another frieze on the right side of the Paavai.
In a casket on the pedestal stand glass pots, containing the blood-stained earth of Mullivaikal in Eelam. The casket with glass doors also houses the pot of ash of the mortal remains of Parvathi, the mother of LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran.
The memorial for which the foundation stone was laid on June 2, 2010 by the ‘World Tamils Confederation’ was inaugurated on November 6, 2013 and houses two halls and a park, besides the Tamil Paavai statue and the two friezes. In the park, the sculptures of Charles Antony, Balachandran, the sons of V Prabhakaran, find a prominent place.
One of the halls houses the memorial named ‘Maaveerar Mandapam’ houses the portraits of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of Tamil Eelam and heart wrenching photos of the Tamils who were killed in the final phase of the war.
The other hall named Muthamizh Mandapam houses the photos of the Tamil scholars, musicians, artists and those who fought for the expansion of the boundaries of Tamil Nadu in the North and South sides of the State.