Remembering Maalathy 30 years on

Today marks thirty years since the death of 2nd Lt. Maalathy, the first female fighter from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to die in the Tamil armed struggle against Sri Lankan state oppression. She was killed at the age of 20, on the 10th of October 1987, during a confrontation with the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) in Jaffna. The following account is told by a cadre that was by her side. "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. Maalathy 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 Maalathy. Maalathy refused to come with us. She begged us to leave her and asked us to withdraw. Nevertheless, we lifted Maalathy and carried her and when we arrived at a safe place she was dead." (Women Fighters of Liberation Tigers, Adele Anne Balasingham, 1993)

One Sri Lankan soldier for every two civilians in Mullaitivu – ACPR/PEARL report

File photo: Sri Lankan troops in Mullaitivu in August 2017. There are at least two Sri Lankan soldiers for every civilian living in the Mullaitivu, finds a new report by the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) and People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), detailing the intense militarisation in the northern district.

Remembering Thileepan 30 years on

Today marks 30 years since the death of Lt. Col. Thileepan, a political wing leader of the LTTE who fasted to death on hunger strike, appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on the 15th of September 1987, with 100,000 people gathered around the historic Nallur Kandwaswamy Temple in Jaffna. As he began his strike he put forward 5 demands to the Indian government. Thirty years on, Tamils continue to call for the demands made by Thileepan. See a video of his famous speech below. See an eye witness account of his protest written by...

Sri Lanka continues intimidation of human rights activists – UN report

Photograph: @franceonu A new report by the United Nations names Sri Lanka as a state that continues to intimidate and harass activists who co-operate with the global body on human rights issues. The report stated that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was “disturbed” to hear that civil society members had faced intimidation from Sri Lanka in the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva earlier this year. “He referred the case to the Assistant Secretary-General and stated that he trusted that the President of the Council will give these cases close attention,” it continued. The UN...

Sri Lanka’s CSD attempts to normalise militarisation in Vanni – ACPR report

The Sri Lankan Civil Security Department’s (CSD) activities in the Vanni have embedded and normalised militarisation in the region as well as creating an “economic dependence on the military,” stated a report by the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) today. “The growth of the CSD in the Vanni points to the larger issue of the Sri Lankan military’s failure to transition into a reduced post-war role,” stated a press release. “Instead, the military’s approach to its post-war role has been to embed and normalize the process of militarisation, thereby extending its control and subjugation...

Buddhas on the A9 - Sinhalisation of Vavuniya

The Sri Lankan Army continues in its mission of Sinhalising the Tamil homeland, specifically through the installation of Buddhist shrines within the premises of or in close proximity to Hindu temples in the North-East.

Sri Lanka's ambassador to Brazil flees country over war crimes lawsuits

Updated 1300 GMT Sri Lanka's ambassador to Brazil has fled the country after human rights groups filed lawsuits accusing him of overseeing war crimes on Monday night. Jagath Jayasuriya has now returned to Colombo via Dubai after fleeing Brazil on Sunday. A former military general, Jagath Jayasuriya stands accused of overseeing Sri Lankan units that bombed hospitals, as well as the execution and torture of surrendees and disappeared civilians amongst a litany of human rights abuses against Tamil civilians and militants during the final phase of the island's armed conflict in May 2009. " This...

Behind the protest - Families of the disappeared: Abirami

For months relatives of the forcibly disappeared have been protesting on the streets across the North-East, demanding to know the whereabouts of their loved ones. Despite years, sometimes decades, of various government mechanisms and pledges, their search for answers continues. In this series of interviews conducted since May 2017, Tamil Guardian goes behind the protest to the individual stories that make up this unyielding movement of Tamil families of the disappeared.

The return of Tilak Marapana

Tilak Marapana taking up office as Sri Lanka's new foreign minister this week. Source: MFA The Sri Lankan government named Tilak Marapana as the regime’s new foreign minister this week after his predecessor quit amid allegations of corruption. Mr Marapana is a seasoned Sri Lankan politician, having held ministerial posts himself previously. He takes over from Ravi Karunayake, who was forced to resign after just a few months in office, following persistent allegations of corruption. However, Mr Marapana too is no stranger to controversy. As the newly appointed foreign minister takes office, we look back at his turbulent political career.

Buddhas encroaching Kovils - Sinhalisation of Point Pedro

The building and expansion of two Buddhist shrines in close proximity to Hindu temples in Point Pedro has left locals fearing further Sinhalisation of their area.

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