Hawaii temple joins Thai Poosam celebration

The Kadavul Temple in Hawaii was amongst the thousands of Saivite temples celebrating the festival of Thai Poosam this month. The Kadavul temple is attached to the Kauai Aadheenam or monastery, which traces its guru lineage directly from Jaffna’s well known sage Yogaswami . The guru lineage is named Kailasa Parampara, after the Kailasa mountain range in the Himalayas where the earliest of these yogis is said to have meditated. Kauai is the oldest of Hawaii’s main islands. The Kauai Aadheenam was established in 1973, by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, an American priest initiated by Yogaswami in Jaffna in 1949. In 1986, the World Religious Parliament in New Delhi honored Sivaya Subramuniyaswami as one of the five Hindu spiritual leaders outside India who had most dynamically promoted Hinduism in the previous 25 years. He passed away in 2001 .

Batticaloa children face food crisis

After the worst floods in almost a century, “The average ten-year-old in eastern Sri Lanka has lived through conflict, the tsunami and now risks facing a food crisis in the coming weeks. “Many families in affected areas are facing a nightmare scenario in which both their food source and their livelihoods have been washed away. They need help to survive until the next harvest. It may not have been possible to prevent the floods, but we can avoid a food crisis if help is given to families now. “ It is absolutely essential that the world does not wait until these children are starving to act...

So much for ‘resettlement’ ...

This is what Sri Lanka considers 'resettlement' of displaced Tamils.

India and Jaffna

"As the people of Jaffna seek to resurrect their lives after years of armed conflict, the Government and the people of India remain committed to facilitate development in the region." "There is a special place in this relationship for age-old and time-tested bonds between the Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka and India." - Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha. (See PTI’s report here ). See also Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna’s comments in Jaffna last November. India has already started developing Palaly airport and Kankasanthurai harbour in the Jaffna peninsula to build...

Celebration amid suppression

"RSF finds it highly disturbing that literature is being celebrated in this manner in a land where cartoonists, journalists, writers and dissident voices are so often victimised by the current government." "We believe this is not the right time for prominent international writers like you to give legitimacy to the Sri Lankan government's suppression of free speech." - Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), in a letter to attendees of the forthcoming Galle Literature Festival. It was signed by Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Ken Loach, Antony Loewenstein...

Kittu's death anniversary marked

The 18th anniversary of the deaths of Colonel Kittu (Sathasivam Krishnakumar) and nine other LTTE cadres was marked in several Tamil Diaspora locations last weekend.

Why there is no hope for justice in Sri Lanka

“The failure of [Sri Lanka's] policing system to protect victims and witnesses - and its tendency to undermine rather than reinforce their rights - precludes the development of public trust in law enforcement, the judicial system, and the state.” - Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, political consultant and writer, Asian Human Rights Commission. See her analysis here . See also the report ' A Study of Police Torture in Sri Lanka ' by Morten Koch Andersen and Basil Fernando. " Torture is a way of life at all police stations in Sri Lanka , whether the alleged crimes investigated are those relating to...

Showcasing Tamil Canadian film talent

The work of young Tamil filmmakers in Canada will be screened this weekend at the Canadian Tamil Film Festival ( CTFF ). The Arts and Culture Council of Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance ( CTYA ) will hosting the screening of films on Saturday Jan. 22 (10am-4pm) at the Markham Civic Centre. The award ceremony is on Sunday at 6.15pm, following the screening of ‘1999’ (2-4pm). Register here for the event. “The event will provide the Tamil artists with a venue to broadcast their talents in the film industry and it will also serve as an encouragement to youth with an interest in the film industry,...

Singapore to expand Tamil teaching

Singapore will introduce a new Tamil-language elective next year for high-ability secondary and junior college students who want to go deeper into the language, its literature and culture, the Straits Times reports . The National Elective Tamil Language Programme (NETP) will be similar to the existing Chinese and Malay language electives, but will not be amongst examined options. Presently examined options include Tamil, Higher Tamil and Tamil literature, alongside similar in Chinese and Malay. The NETP will instead be an enrichment programme with modules ranging from classical and...

Terror in Jaffna I: smothering politics and economic revival

The all-pervasive climate of terror being engineered in the Jaffna peninsula is intended to stifle the revival of Tamil political and economic activity there. The brutal killings, abductions, ‘disappearances’ and intimidation are not random or manifestations of ‘lawlessness’, but a deliberate campaign of targeted violence with specific political and economic goals.

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