Photograph Shalin An international investigation into mass atrocities committed against the Tamil people during the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009 is essential said all Tamil parties contesting at this month's general election in the North-East electoral districts on Saturday. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Crusaders For Democracy (CFD) and Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) unanimously agreed that a domestic inquiry in Sri Lanka would give rise to potential bias and impartiality, as those responsible for committing the crimes would have undue influence over the inquiry.
Abductions, torture and sexual abuse of Tamils by Sri Lanka's security forces continue under the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena, according to a new report released on Tuesday, which calls on the UN to refer its reports to the International Criminal Court for further action against those responsible for the crimes. Location of a secret torture camp in Trincomalee - International Truth and Justice Project Sri Lanka report The report, by the International Truth and Justice Project Sri Lanka (ITJP), says 100 so-called "white-van" abductions occurred between 2009 and 2015, one from as recent as this month, and describes torture and sexual violence by military forces and police against Tamils in locations across the North-East and Colombo. ITJP in its report published 41 locations on the island where victims say they were tortured since the end of the armed conflict, revealing the GPS coordinated for the notorious intelligence detention facility in the Trincomalee Naval Dockyard. The locations include 15 military camps, 15 police stations, 10 "Rehabilitation Camps" and Menik Farm internment camp.
Photograph: Tamil Guardian United and coordinated action between the homeland and Tamil diaspora is needed to achieve the Tamil nation’s aspirations of redeveloping the North-East, seeking justice for genocide and finding a political solution based on the Thimphu principles , said the Chief Minister of the Northern Province during a visit to the UK last week. A full English translation of his statement made on Friday can be read here . Addressing a full auditorium at the annual lecture of the International Association of Tamil journalists (IATAJ), CV Wigneswaran said, “Offering the humanitarian support to rebuild our land is a short term goal. For this your support is needed. Ensuring justice for the genocide that was committed is a medium term goal – for this too your support is needed. Finding a political solution based on the Thimbu principles is a long term goal – that too must take place with your support. I end my talk trusting that you will give your understanding and support for all of us to work together with dedication for this.”
Delegations meet at the first phase of the Thimphu peace talks. Tamil delegation seated on the left and the Sri lankan delegation seated on the right. Photograph: Sahajeevana Centre
Statue of Captain Miller in Nelliyadi, Jaffna. 2003. Today - July 5th - Eelam Tamils around the world mark Karumpuli Naal marking the sacrifice of the LTTE's elite women and men, the Black Tigers. It was on this day thirty years ago, in 1987 that the Black Tiger Captain Miller attacked a Sri Lankan Army garrison in Nelliyadi in the Jaffna district, by driving a small truck with explosives into it. Forty Sri Lankan soldiers were killed in the attack. Since then Eelam Tamils around the world have commemorated Karumpuli Naal on this day.
Updated 02:34 BST Witnesses from the No Fire Zone revealed their testimonies at a side event on disappearances in Sri Lanka at the 29th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, on Thursday. A panel discussion on detainees and disappearances in Sri Lanka consisting of the Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee Kirsty Brimelow QC, President of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation and Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger, Human Rights Advocacy activist and the Tamil Guardian's Sutharshan Sukumaran, was chaired by the former All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T) chair Lee Scott.
Shanthi’s Story The following account is based on interviews to Tamils Against Genocide. Personal details of Shanthi (not her real name), place names and dates have been changed to protect her identity. “The smell of blood was so strong, [there were] flies everywhere, there were puddles with bodies lying in them.” This is how Shanthi describes the final two weeks of the war in May 2009. In an interview interspersed with deep sobs, she describes how she, her mother and her 4 year old daughter cowered in makeshift shelters, avoiding the bombs that were falling all around them. On the move constantly, they hid during the shelling and ran to different places in the lulls before new waves of shelling began. There was no food or water. People were injured and dying around her. The picture she paints is of a panicked populace, on the move constantly, strangers joining with other strangers to tend to the wounded, the dying and each other. This is her story.
The first Tamil to die in the liberation struggle was remembered in Jaffna today, on the 41st anniversary of his death. Locals gathered at a statue of Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran in his hometown Urumpirai in Jaffna earlier today, and commemorated his life. TNA NPC Councillors Ananthy Sasitharan, AM Shivajilingam and Pradeshiya Sabha member Sajeevan also attended the event.
The following account is based on interviews to Tamils Against Genocide . Personal details of Kumaran (not his real name), place names and dates have been changed to protect his identity. Illustration Keera Ratnam When Kumaran wakes up in the room he has been given by the Home Office, it takes him a few minutes to adjust to his present surroundings. Sleepless nights, recurrent nightmares and depression help contribute to this disorientation. He feels an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia, of the walls moving in, caging him once again. His room, his present day cage, reminds him of the cell he had been kept prisoner in for two years. It is difficult for him to differentiate between the nightmares of his sleep and his present reality. For Kumaran, life in his room in the UK is one of living torture: uncertainty and threat of deportation mirror the uncertainty and fear which shadowed him when locked away for so many months. For Kumaran the years ahead seem to hold nothing but ceaseless striving: to reconcile the trauma of his past with the relative security of his present.