Dhee: Finding Home Through Music

"You're the cuckoo cuckoo Acca!" is a phrase Dhee loves to hear. In the world of music, few artists navigate the complex layers of identity and belonging as gracefully. The Australian Tamil singer has been making waves in Kollywood and beyond with her evocative melodies and heart-rending performances. Speaking to Tamil Guardian, Dhee opens up about her upcoming solo album, her musical journey, and the profound connection to her Eelam roots.

Forests, another frontier of Tamil resistance

The Sri Lankan military has undertaken massive deforestation of parts of the Tamil homeland since the end of the armed conflict. Sharing images from Google Earth on Facebook, Kilinochchi journalist M. Thamilselvan illustrated the loss of forest cover surrounding army camps on the east side of the A9 road between Mankulam and Murikandy in the Mullaitivu district.

Australian mining in Mannar likely to cause severe environmental damage

Environmentalists in Sri Lanka have added to concerns over an Australian mining project being carried out in Mannar, already the subject of local protests and criticism from Australian environmental experts. Australian drilling company Titanium Sands Ltd plans to carry out extensive limonite sand mining on ‘fragile’ Mannar Island, despite the company reportedly not obtaining the relevant permissions and environmental approval. The mining would create great damage throughout the Mannar Island as well as to the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park (officially part of Tamil Nadu), the Sri Lanka-...

The Politics of Free Speech: Muralitharan and the Sri Lankan State

Sri Lanka’s Tamils are rarely given a fair hearing on the world stage. But on the occasions when their voices do gain some momentum, there will always be some among them who use their privilege and status to dismiss and deride their concerns. From denying the racism and oppression rife within Sri Lanka, to undermining the decades-long struggle of the families of the disappeared, no one has been more willing to do that than Muttiah Muralitharan. Writing on the Muralitharan biopic controversy in online Indian magazine The Wire, Tamil Guardian co-editor Abinaya Nathan outlines how appeals for...

'Sacrifices have to be made' - Tamil actor Teejay on turning down role of young Murali

Amidst the uproar over Kollywood star Vijay Sethupathi’s impending appearance as Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, came the news that Eelam Tamil singer and actor Teejay Arunasalam had already declined a major role in the film. The London-based artist who made his Kollywood debut last year, starring in Asuran alongside Dhanush, revealed earlier this week that he had been approached by the makers of the controversial ‘800’ biopic to play the young version of Muralitharan.

Tamils mourn legendary singer S P Balasubrahmanyam

The legendary South Indian musician S P Balasubrahmanyam has passed away aged 74. A prolific playback and concert singer who also made his mark as a music director, actor, dubbing artist and film producer, Balasubrahmanyam also lent his voice to the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle, recording several revolutionary songs in the mid-2000s.

The Art of Survival: Tamils in Transit

Tamils in Germany make up a sizeable number of the Eelam Tamil diaspora as a whole. Overcoming racist refugee settlement policies which have prevented them from living in close proximity to each other and as concentrated as their counterparts in Paris, London or Toronto, German Tamils have just as successfully established communities with thriving cultural and social lives. The Kamadchi Ampal temple in Hamm attracts thousands of Tamils from all over Europe, especially for its thiruvizha – annual summer festival. The larger communities are mostly concentrated in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, with smaller populations scattered across the country’s cities, towns and even villages. One of the smaller outposts, with only around 3000-5000 Tamils, is the country’s capital.

Under cover of curfew, North overrun with Sri Lankan state violence

On Friday night, Sri Lankan army personnel assaulted women and children at the home of a former LTTE cadre, hospitalising an elderly woman. The army had rounded the house in Nagarkovil, Jaffna , in search of the householder Aingaran, purportedly in connection with an attack on a soldier on January 15. In the last four months, several Tamils have been arrested and bailed for the incident, which involved the soldier being confronted by locals for speeding and narrowly missing hitting a child with his motorcycle. Aingaran’s wife said on learning that he was not inside, the army proceeded to assault the women and children that were present. They left, dropping army insignia including a hat with a logo and a mobile phone, only to return in three vehicles bearing groups armed with swords and poles. The returning group smashed two motorcycles parked at the property, as well as furniture and other possessions.

British Tamils mourn popular miruthangam artiste and teacher

Amidst the losses caused by the coronavirus crisis, the passing of much loved miruthangam teacher and artiste Kandiah Anandanadesan on April 16 has shocked and saddened the Tamil community in London. Born in 1961 in Thellipalai, Jaffna, Anandanadesan attended Union College and Mahajana college, and trained in miruthangam under Guru K P Sinnarajah. His father was a teacher at Union College, and his mother one of the first women to teach at Mahajana. Part of an influential generation of Eelam-born artistes and teachers who transported the traditional fine arts and Tamil language education to...

Remembering the 1984 Cheddikulam massacre - 52 Tamil men rounded up

Thirty-five years ago, while many slept and some were already in the fields, the Sri Lankan army declared a sudden curfew in the town of Cheddikulam and surrounding villages on the border of Vavuniya district. As news of the curfew seeped through the town through radio and word of mouth, residents scrambled to their homes or the closest house of someone they knew so as not to be caught outside.