World Bank approves $100 million loan

The World Bank announced on Tuesday its approval of a credit worth $100 million to fund the transformation of Sri Lanka’s education system. In a statement the World Bank said the Ministry of Education will use the funds to implement its ‘Transforming the School Education System' (TSEP) programme, a scheme that will support ‘several innovative initiatives to enhance learning out comes and improve the orientation of the education system to the economic development and social needs of the country.’ “The program will help the country develop a foundation for the skills needed for the global...

'And still we will go on, as yet more youth come forward' - TYO-UK

Members of the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO-UK) addressed crowds across multiple events held in the UK for Remembrance Day. See here for TYO's 2011 Remembrance Day address. Extracts reproduced below: "From Egypt and Libya, to those being killed on the streets of Syria, the youth have always and will always be the vanguard of any nation's struggle for freedom . Our struggle is no different. From Sivakumar, the Jaffna student who committed suicide to escape torture in police custody in 1974, to Thileepan who fasted unto his death in 1987, to the valiant sacrifice of our heroes. The Tamil youth...

British Tamils commemorate Remembrance Day

Tens of thousands of British Tamils attended Eelam Remembrance Day events held across the capital and the UK, honouring the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for to the struggle for Tamil Eelam - the nation's heroes. In a spectacular display of national pride, venues were decorated lavishly in red and yellow. Bunting was strung along the entrance, with large replicas of the Eelam homeland and flags of red and yellow, Eelam's national colours, welcoming the crowds in. Every event commenced with the hoisting of the British flag and the Tamil Eelam flag. Crowds rose to stand as the Eelam...

Jaffna uni students detail their defiant act of remembrance

Photographs www.pathivu.com Following initial reports of Jaffna uni students lighting of a flare to mark Remembrance Day, further details have emerged of how they defied the Sri Lankan state's systematic clamp down. According to the Tamil news website Pathivu , in a simple but profound act of defiance, students lit candles and oil lamps in their hostels. Others drew maps of Eelam, pictures of the heroes and paid tribute with candles. Sri Lankan military officers on high alert during at this time of year, became agitated on seeing the endless displays of lamps in bedrooms. Students said the officers were seen to be going from one room to the next demanding the lamps be extinguished. Students described how after the flare was set off, military officers rushed into the university, vandalising the students' cars and bikes in rage. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one student said, " we will never forget Maaveerar Naal and no matter what obstacles come our way, we will always remember the fallen and pay due respect to them. They may have silenced the Tamil people on the military front but they can’t silence our thoughts and actions ".

Cross-party group for Tamils marks Remembrance Day - UK

A cross-party group of British MPs sympathetic to the Tamil struggle, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T), marked the Eelam nation's Remembrance Day. In a statement , the APPG-T chair, Conservative MP Lee Scott said, " I join the thousands of British Tamils who are remembering the death of their loved ones today. Today, 27th of November, is an important day in the British Tamil calendar . Remembrance events are taking place in various venues in London. I am very mindful of the long wait of the Tamil community's quest for justice - they cannot wait any longer . In the summer...

Tamils in New Zealand observe Remembrance Day

Eelam Tamils in Auckland, New Zealand marked 'Maaverar Thinam 2011' on 27th November, Eelam's Remembrance Day. The event, organised by the Tamil Youth Organisation (NZ), was very well attended, with the venue - Mt Roskill Intermediate Hall - exceeding capacity. As with similar remembrance events held across the world, the commemorations began with the hoisting of Eelam's flag and the New Zealand flag, accompanied by their respective anthems. Following the traditional acts of commemoration,Mr Prabhaharan from Australian Tamil Radio was invited by TYO NZ as a guest speaker who gave the opening...

Tamil prisoners launch hunger strike

At least 65 Tamil prisoners have gone in hunger strike in Anuradhapura after being assaulted by Sinhala prison guards on Sunday, a day that the Tamil nation remembered their fallen heroes. Former Jaffna district parliamentarian MK Sivajilingam told the BBC that most of the victims of the assault were disabled and that the guards went on to destroy a Hindu temple inside the prison. The prisoners are demanding better protection from authorities after the attack, which led to 5 of the injured being admitted to hospital. TamilNet reported that the guards stripped their victims naked and beat them...

Rajapaksa's double standards

Speaking on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestian people, Mahinda Rajapaksa supported the Palestinian peoples' struggle for statehood, highlighting their 'inalienable right' to do so. “On this solemn occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm, on behalf of my government and the people of Sri Lanka, our sincere support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to statehood,” See here for full address.

Dole drops plans for controversial banana plantation

US company Dole, the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer has dropped plans for a vast banana plantation in a Sri Lankan national park. Dole planned to team up with Sri Lankan company Letsgrow Ltd to establish the plantation in Somawathiya National Park. Letsgrow Ltd is owned by cricketers Pramodya Wicramasinghe and Muttiah Muralitharan. The land in question was acquired by the company from the Sri Lankan Army. Dole said in a statement to the BBC it had vacated the site and had ‘ceased all commercial operations’. The national park is inhabited by an endangered subspecies of the Asian...

Prison guards attack Tamil detainees over Heroes’ Day

Tamil prisoners have been attacked by guards in a prison in Anuradhapuram, The Island reports . According to the Commissioner General of Prisons, P.W. Kodippilli, prison officials received information the inmates were planning to commemorate fallen Tamil soldiers on Heroes’ Day. A search operation was launched by guards, which resulted in clashes with the Tamil prisoners. A Sri Lankan NGO has accused prison guards of violently attacking 65 Tamil inmates. Committee member of the WESL (We are Sri Lankans), Udul Premaratne, said drunk officials assaulted the Tamils for 30 minutes, after...

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