DMK leader vows to stand by Malaysian Tamils

DMK leader, M.K Stalin, and son of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, has said that he would maintain his support for Malaysian Tamils. M.K. Stalin’s statement was addressed to a group of Malaysian Tamil representatives at Anna Arivalayam on Friday. Read the Daily Mirror reporting here .

EU launches seven new projects to support human rights in Sri Lanka

The European Union (EU) has launched seven new projects to support civil society organisations and human rights in Sri Lanka. The EU will be providing EUR 4 million to seven civil society organisations "who will work jointly with their local partners to promote social rights, women's empowerment, and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. These projects will also help build the capacities of local communities and stakeholders, including the media, lawyers, and women's rights organisations," an EU statement said. The organisations who will receive support are: ACTED, SRI LANKA CENTRE FOR...

Eelam Tamil refugees denied citizenship by India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill

Despite having lived in the country for decades, Eelam Tamils residing in India have been denied citizenship status by the new Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was passed by parliament last week. Hundreds of thousands of Eelam Tamils remain refugees in India despite residing in the country for over three decades. The citizenship bill’s amendment gives Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh yet excludes Eelam Tamils, in the midst of a number of other refugees.

India pledges Rs 300 Million to develop Jaffna airport

India has pledged to grant a sum of 300 million rupees for the expansion of Palaly airport in Jaffna, just weeks after the airport was ceremoniously opened by receiving a flight from Chennai. Tranjith Singh, Indian High commissioner had made this announcement when he met with Prasanna Ratnunga, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industrial Export Investment Promotion and Civil Aviation. The funding will largely focus on the expansion of the passenger terminal at the Palaly Airport, as well as the luggage inspection area. The Sri Lankan military continues to occupy vast areas of lands around the Jaffna...

Sri Lanka’s defence ministry takes over NGO, media and tech institutions

Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued a gazette that the defence ministry which he heads, control over state institutions that govern for non-governmental organisations, as well as the telecommunications and media agencies. According to the gazette, a total of 31 institutions will come under Sri Lanka’s defence ministry. This includes not only the three branches of the military, but also the National Media Centre, Secretariat for Non- Governmental Organisations, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri...

One month of Gotabaya - abductions, assaults and intimidation

Just weeks into his tenure, journalists, activists and human rights defenders are increasingly fearful of Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government following incidents of journalist harassment; intimidation, interrogations and abductions across the island. Colombo has denied reports linked to many of these incidents, with government spokesperson Ramesh Pathirana denying state involvement in any intimidation of media personnel. "There is no reason for the government to carry out such activities,” he said. “These are baseless allegations.” Earlier today Rajapaksa gave assurances of...

Mullivaikkal survivor abused by Middle-East employers pleads to return home

A Tamil woman who survived the Mullivaikkal genocide is pleading to return home, alleging that she has been abused by her employers in Oman. Selvakumar Priyadarshini sought employment in the Gulf state to relieve her family’s extreme poverty. The 36-year-old from Alampil, Mullaitivu, has told her family that she has been subjected to various abuses and harassment since her arrival in September this year and that she needs help to return home. Priyadarshini and her family survived Mullivaikkal but have struggled to rebuild their lives due to the pervasive poverty and lack of economic...

Sri Lankan president promises ‘media freedom’ under his government

Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued a statement on Thursday, claiming that media freedom will not be hindered in any form during his tenure. Rajapaksa, who has a record of violently stifling dissent, addressed heads of local media institutions on Thursday where he said while there was an opportunity for “reasonable criticism”, he expected every media institution to fulfil its obligation towards the country, by “engaging in favourable media reporting” to uphold the country’s reputation. In the statement he called for the media cooperation’s to support his presidential...

Journalist assaulted by SLPP trade union leader

Journalist Maduka Fernando of Lake House Media has reported that he was assaulted by several members of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party’s trade union members. Fernando complained to the police that the assailant is the Chairman of the SLPP trade union, Pragathashili Sangamaya. Fernando went on to name his assaulters, stating that the Chairman was supported by Nuwan Kodikara Chandana Bandara, Gayan Bandara, Hemantha Depp and Chameera Elladeniya. There is reported CCTV footage of the journalist being taken from the office of the Resa Newspaper by a number of persons,...

Indian PM pays tribute to cherished Tamil poet Mahakavi Bharathiyar

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Subramaniya Bharathy on his birthday, 11th December marking the 137th year of his birth. Arguably the most prolific of Tamil poets, Bharathiar is celebrated by Tamils all over the globe for his influence on feminism, social reform, fight for freedom and many other revolutionary causes. Modi praised him as ‘a symbol of patriotism, social reform, poetic genius and indomitable spirit of freedom and fearlessness’ recognising by his better-known name ‘Mahakavi Bharathiar’, or 'great poet Bharathy'. The annual celebration of Bharathiar's birthday...

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