Fishing boats at the shoreline
Coordinates: 9°49′0″N 80°10′0″E / 9.81667°N 80.16667°E / 9.81667; 80.16667
Country Sri Lanka
Province Northern
District Jaffna
DS Division Vadamarachchi South‐West
  Type Urban Council
  Chairman Nadarajah Anantharaj (TNA)
  Total 4.85 km2 (1.87 sq mi)
Population (2007)
  Total 18,000
  Density 3,711/km2 (9,474/sq mi)
Time zone Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone (UTC+5:30)

Valvettithurai or VVT (Tamil: வல்வெட்டித்துறை Valveṭṭittuṟai; Sinhalese: වල්වෙට්ටිතුරෙයි) is a town of Jaffna District on the northeast coast of the Jaffna Peninsula in Northern Province, Sri Lanka governed by an Urban Council of the same name. The town has a population of 18,000. Valvettithurai was historically known as a seafaring town and its olden shipping trade.

The town is popularly known for being the birthplace of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or the Tamil Tigers, a Tamil nationalist militant group that waged a war for independence in the North and East. Valvettithurai is also the place of birth, of the leaders of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, Kuttimani and Nadarajah Thangathurai.[1]


Valvettithurai in Tamil could mean "The port of the expanse of forest land/scrub jungle" or "The port of the raised stretch of open land".[2] The word Valvettithurai seems to have been derived from the combination of Tamil words Vallai meaning a big forest or a raised stretch of land, Vedi which means expanse or open space, and Thu’rai which refers to seaport.


Valvettithuri is a coastal town bounded by the Indian Ocean to its north. It is situated at the tip of the northern province and is considered as a place of strategic importance due to the presence of the Palk Strait and its close proximity to the coast of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.[1] The northern coast of the island was severely impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami which claimed several thousand lives.

It is also flourished by the Thondamannar lagoon which meets the sea through a long, narrow channel to the west of the town. The lagoon's water is brackish to saline.The lagoon has extensive mudflats, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps, particularly Avicennia. The lagoon attracts a wide variety of water birds including American Flamingoes, ducks, gulls, terns and other shorebirds.

There exists a barrage and bridge on the Highway preventing sea water from entering into the Thondamannar lagoon which is a primary source of drinking water for the locals. Across the bridge, to the west of the town, lie the towns of Paalai and Kankesanturai, much of whose lands have been seized under the Sri Lankan military's High Security Zone(HSZ). To the eastern end of the town, is the town of Paruthithurai or Point Pedro, the northern most point of the island.[3]


The temperature varies from 26-34 °C. The town experiences a moderate climate in September–January. It receives much of its rainfall during the North East monsoon between October to December. Being a coastal town, the weather is also influenced by cyclones and tropical currents.

Climate data for Valvettithurai, Jaffna district
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) 25
Average precipitation mm (inches) 70
Source: Weatherbase[4]


The population is mainly Sri Lankan Tamils of Hindu or Catholic faith. The main industry is farming, fishing and trading. The mouth of the Thondamannar lagoon has the popular Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan called Selva Sannithy. The town had been severely affected by the country's civil war with a number of forced disappearances and attacks against local civilians by the Sri Lankan military. It was the site of two brutal massacres of local Tamil civilians by occupying armies. In 1985 the Sri Lankan military rounded local people up into the library and blew up the building.[5] In 1989 the Indian army rounded up people into the village square and opened fire on them, as well as people in shops and their homes.[6]

The population of the town, as of 2007 stood at 18,000 and bears a high population density of 3711 persons per square km.


Children of Valvettithurai

The Valvai Chithamabara College is the major higher educational institution in Valvettithurai. The town is the home to several primary schools:[7]

No Name of School
1. Thondamannaru Veerakaththippillai Maha Vidyalayam
2. Valvai Sivakuru Vidthyasalai
3. Valvir Mahalir Maha Vidyalayam
4. Valvai Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School
5. Valvai American Mixed School
6. Polikandy Hindu Tamil Mixed School
7. Kamparmalai Vidyalayam
8. Valvetty Hindu Tamil Mixed School

The town also houses a good number of public libraries.[8]

Notable Personalities

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "About Valvettithurai". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  2. "Valveddiththu'rai, Know the Etymology: 35 Place Name of the Day: Wednesday, 18 July 2007". TamilNet. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  3. "Thondamannar sluice gate to be reconstructed". TamilNet. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. "Jaffna, Sri Lanka Travel Weather Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  5. 1985 Valvettiturai massacre
  6. 1989 Valvettiturai massacre
  7. "Schools in Valvettithurai". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  8. "Libraries in Valvettithurai". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  9. "Prabhakaran: The Life and Death of a Tiger". May 19, 2009.
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Coordinates: 9°49′N 80°10′E / 9.817°N 80.167°E / 9.817; 80.167

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