Malathi - First Woman Martyr
Peter Schalk, 11 October 1996
I saw that all Ilavar in Tamililam commemorated Malati yesterday. I regret that I never came to know her personally, but I have collected some information about her from printed sources.
Malati was the first women to die in battle (in the age of 20) and therefore she is honoured by the Ilavar with the epithet: "The first woman
warrior (porali) that embraced heroic death (viramaranattai) in the India-Tamililam war".
She died on 10 October 1987 in Kopay, Yalppnam, in a confrontation with the IPKF. She was not only the first woman, she was among among the first to die in that war against the IPKF. She was fatally wounded and took cyanide.
Her death story is told by Janani who herself was active on the battle front for six
"We were in our bunkers firing at the (Indian) army. Hundreds of Indian troops had jumped out of their vehicles and were firing as they moved towards us. Mortar shells were exploding everywhere. We knew the army was advancing quickly. Malati was shot in both legs. She couldn't move and she was bleeding profusely. Realising that she was mortally wounded, she swallowed cyanide.
A decision had been made to withdraw because we were heavily out-numbered. Myself and another girl Viji went over to carry Malati. Malati refused to come with us. She begged us to leave her and asked us to withdraw. Nevertheless, we lifted Malati and carried her and when we arrived at a safe place she was dead".
I have seen myself that in the LTTE-office for Great Heroes at Kokkuvil, Yalppnam, there was a big painting of Malati symmetrically placed on the left of a Tiger emblem, and with a big painting of
Cankar placed on the right of that emblem. (I have a photo of this arrangement). The text accompanying the painting of Malati says: "The first woman being a Great Hero (mutal pen mavirar) who attained heroic
death (viraccavaitta) in our Ilam liberation war (vitutalaipporattatta)".
The painting was made in 1989 for the second year's commemoration of her demise (in 1989).
Jaffna observes Malathi 17th
[TamilNet, October 10, 2004]
The 17th death anniversary of 2nd Lieutenant
Malathi was observed throughout Jaffna district Sunday. The
father of 2nd Lt. Malathi garlanded the memorial of her
daughter constructed at the site in Kopay where she died in
the battle with the Indian Army Sunday evening, sources
Ms Kalyani, Vadamaradchchi Sea Tigers Head, Jaffna district
parliamentarian Mr.K.Sivanesan and several others paid
homage to 2nd Lt.Malathi by garlanding the memorial, sources
Thereafter the photograph of 2nd Lt.Malathi was taken in a
procession with school bands in attendance to the premises
of Kopay Kandasamy Temple and kept on a special dais for
paying homage. Large number of students, parents and members
of public attended the event, sources said
TEEDOR Jaffna district head Mr.C.Theva lit the common flame
of sacrifice and the Thamileelam national flag was hoisted
by Ms Kaiyalvilzi, head of the Jaffna district women wing of
the LTTE. The mother of martyr Major Sothia, the first woman
commander of the LTTE lit the flame of sacrifice and
garlanded the photograph of 2nd Lt.Malathi.
Later a meeting was held presided by Ms Vethavali Kandiah.
Several leading personalities and LTTE activists spoke.
Malathy Memorial opened in Kilinochchi, [TamilNet, October 10,
Memorial Statue of 2nd Lt.Malathy was opened in Kilinochchi
commemorating her seventeeth anniversary at 10 am Sunday in a ceremony presided
by Deputy Director in charge of Heroes Cemetary, Thamilarasi, sources from Vanni
said. Mother of three LTTE martyrs, Ms Christinamma Thiyagam and her husband Pon
Thiyagam lit the common ceremoniral flame.
Deputy Head of LTTE's Political Wing, Thangan, hoisted the Tamil Eelam flag.
Colonel Theepan and Special Commander of Malathy Brigade, Vithusha unveiled the
Pedurupillai. a father of LTTE martyr, Director of Sencholai, Sudar Mahal, Head
of Lt.Col.Ponnamman Mining Unit , Navanithy, Administrative Head of Tamil
Rehabilitation Organization, Amitab, Head of Kilinochchi district Women's Wing,
Poovili and Architect of the Memorial Naavannan paid floral tribute to Malathi
Special commander of LTTE Women's Sea Tigers Wing, Viduthalai, residents of
Kilinochchi, LTTE commanders and fighters then paid their tribute. LTTE Head of
Women's Political Wing, Thamilini concluded the event with vote of thanks for