‘India’s My Lai’ – Remembering the 1989 Valvettiturai massacre

On this day 32 years ago, up to 64 Tamil civilians were killed by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Valvettithurai in a massacre that was termed “India’s My Lai”. The massacre, which saw dozens killed, came on the background of escalating violence and rights abuses committed by Indian forces across the Tamil homeland. As Tamil militant groups continued hostilities with the IPKF, the Indian forces imposed a curfew on August 2, 1989, following an ambush attack. Indian soldiers then embarked on a systematic killing spree in Valvettithurai. Many in the town were blocked from receiving...

Mullaitivu photographer found dead in home

A Mullaitivu photographer was found dead in his home in Mallavi - Palinagar on Monday. Mallavi police said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Shanmugaratnam Vinothan. Vinothan was 34 years of age and a father of two children.

Sri Lanka terrorism division summons Kilinochchi council chair

Sri Lanka’s terrorism investigation division (TID) has summoned the chair of a Kilinochchi council for investigation. Chair of Karaichi divisional council Velamalikithan Arunasalam was handed the summons letter telling him to appear before the TID in Kilinochchi on August 6. The targeting of Tamil civil society by Sri Lanka’s TID has become more frequent. Last month five Tamils were released after 93 days in detention with the TID conceding that there were no charges to file.

Mannar Professors' Union protests for an end to ‘militarisation of free education’

The Mannar Chancellors’ and Professors’ Union organised a protest in the district earlier today demanding higher wages and an end to militarisation of free education through the Kotelawala National Defence University (KNDU) Bill. The protest march started near the Mannar Zonal Education Office at around 9.00 AM and made its way through the district bazaar street before reaching the district Municipal Council Office and returning to the Education Office. Hundreds of chancellor and professors across Mannar participated in the protest. As a mark of support to the movement, representatives of...

Sri Lankan navy fires at Tamil Nadu fishermen

A Tamil Nadu fisherman has been injured following an attack by the Sri Lankan navy yesterday. The attack took place near Kodiyakarai when the navy opened fire at an unarmed group of fishermen. Kalaichelvan, a native of Nagapattinam, entered the sea on a mechanised boat along with ten other fishermen on July 28. They were fishing around five nautical miles away from the shores of Kodiyakarai when the patrolling Sri Lankan navy spotted them. The fishermen said that the navy began firing at them on the grounds that they had illegally crossed the maritime border between India and Sri Lanka...

US Ambassador Teplitz on Sri Lanka’s human rights commitment

Speaking at a media conference, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina Teplitz, called on the Government of Sri Lanka to abide by its international commitments to human rights and take decisive steps to either repeal or amend its draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act. The statement comes despite Tamil parliamentarians and human rights organisations calling for a full repeal of the measure. Speaking in parliament, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) politician M.A. Sumanthiran highlighted how the PTA enabled for the systemic use of torture and called for its full repeal.

Four Tamil political prisoners acquitted

On Friday, four Tamil political prisoners, arrested under the heavily criticised Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), were released from Anuradhapura Jail after being acquitted by the Vavuniya High Court. The political prisoners released included: Nadesan Dharmarasa from Jaffna, Joseph Sebastian from Vavuniya, Nadarasa Sarveshwaran, from Kilinochchi and Jaffna University professor Kanesasundaram Kannadasan. Nadarasa Sarveshwaran was taken prisoner in 2016 under the draconian PTA. Two years later, in 2018, a case was filed against him in the Vavuniya High Court. He has now been acquitted and...

Scottish woman raped at SL hotel wins lawsuit against tour operator 

A Glasgow woman who was raped and assaulted by a hotel worker at a Sri Lankan hotel, Club Bentota Hotel, in 2010 has won a lawsuit against the tour operator, Kuoni. The judgement was handed down at the UK Supreme Court, 11 years after the lawsuit was filed. Kuoni was ordered to pay the compensation. The woman was attacked by the on-duty hotel employee who lured her into an engineering room after telling her he would show her the back of the reception area at the resort. Following the judgement, she said, the case “was always about trying to force Kuoni to take account of its failings to...

Following severe shortages, Sri Lankan prisoners are to cultivate fertilisers

Sri Lankan prisoners are to be enrolled in a new government scheme aimed at cultivating fertilisers following severe shortages caused by Sri Lanka's import ban on chemical fertilisers this year. The scheme is being introduced by the Minister of Prisons, Prison Management and Prison Rehabilitation, Lohan Ratwatte, on the advice of the President. It will operate at selected prisons, including Batticaloa, Wariyapola, Watareka, Pallekele, Thaldena, Weerawila and Anuradhapura, Prisons Media Spokesperson Chandana Ekanayake stated. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to ban imported chemical...

Jaffna University lecturer finally released a year after acquittal

M.A. Sumanthiran, representing Kannadasan, addressing the media The Vavuniya High Court acquitted and released Jaffna University Fine Arts lecturer and former LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) member, Kanesasundaram Kannadasan, on Thursday, 30 July, over a year after his life sentence was overturned . Kannadasan was charged under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for allegedly recruiting "child soldiers" and facilitating forced abductions. During a trial in 2017, a Vavuniya High Court ruling found him guilty on all charges, and he was issued a life sentence. M.A...

Pages