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.
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.
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, Tamil Guardian goes behind the protest to the individual stories that make up this unyielding movement of Tamil families of the disappeared. Ratheeswaran Ratheeswaran was 27 years old when he was disappeared, last seen with the Sri Lankan military in June 2008.
File photograph: Mothers of the disappeared in Kilinochchi earlier this year The Sri Lankan government has marginalised Tamil women in shaping transitional justice policies and has failed to deliver on promises to the UN Human Rights Council, writes the International Crisis Group (ICG) in a report released earlier today.
Today we mark thirty-four years from the horrors of the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, when Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then UNP government and state forces. Armed with electoral rolls, Sinhala mobs targeted Tamil homes and businesses looting and ransacking property. Driven from their homes, particularly in Colombo, over 3000 Tamils were massacred, whilst thousands more were effectively deported by the state to the North-East. Eye witness reports described mobs chasing Tamils down the street with knives and setting them alight alive. Many hundreds of women were raped. Tamil political prisoners locked up in Welikada jail, deep within the island's south, were also targeted as prison guards allowed Sinhala inmates to slaughter them.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister said Jaffna “holds special significance” for his country, during a visit to the region today.
The Sri Lankan government has done “almost nothing” to hold human rights violators in the military to account said Ben Emmerson, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism on Friday, warning it was laying down conditions that may “reignite conflict”. In a press release at the end of a five-day visit to the island, Mr Emmerson criticised the Sri Lankan government for its failure to implement a UN Human Rights Council resolution that it co-sponsored in 2015 and was quoted by Reuters as saying, 'Sri Lanka could face a range of measures, including a referral to the UN Security Council, if it fails to meet commitments it made under a 2015 UN resolution.'
President Maithripala Sirisena promised families of the disappeared he would issue directives to the National Security Council the following day to release lists of surrendees, detainees, and political prisoners that families were demanding. This assurance was given during a meeting between representatives of families of the disappeared from across all eight districts of the North-East and President Sirisena in Jaffna on Monday. The meeting was arranged as a result of demands by the families at demonstrations on the 100 th day of their Kilinochchi protest on May 30. Also in attendance at the...
The Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) launched “Stories of Mullivaikaal,” the first series in ACPR’s “Stories of Resilience” project at www.storiesofresilience.com . The project will document stories of resilience and agency, highlighting narratives other than victimhood within Tamil community, who have exhibited diverse forms of resilience through various stages of Sri Lanka’s unresolved ethnic conflict. See full press release below: Today the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) launched “Stories of Mullivaikkaal”, the first series in ACPR’s “Stories of Resilience” project...
Thirty-six years ago today, the Jaffna Public Library, a crown jewel among Tamil cultural institutions and one of the largest libraries in South Asia, burned at the hands of Sri Lankan security forces and state-sponsored mobs.