Hartal shuts down North-East as Tamils protest Sri Lankan repression

Hartals are being carried out across the North-East as Tamils continue to protest Sri Lankan court ban against and intimidation from the security forces, preventing them from commemorating those who gave their lives for Tamil rights. Jaffna Chunnakam Central Market Complex, Jaffna Point Petro, Jaffna Manipay, Jaffna Vavuniya Vavuniya Market Complex Kilinochchi Pallai, Kilinochchi More to follow

North-East plans hartal in protest of Thileepan memorial ban

Tamil political parties and civil society actors have planned a hartal across the North-East in protest of a Sri Lankan court ban and intimidation from the security forces, preventing them from commemorating those who gave their lives for Tamil rights.

‘Let the spirit of Thileepan unite Tamils globally’- Tamil diaspora groups

A coalition of Tamil diaspora groups around the world released a joint statement commemorating Thiyagi Thileepan’s sacrifice, calling for action “demanding that the militarised Sri Lankan dictatorship recognise international conventions on the right to remember the dead”. The British Tamils Forum (BTF), Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka (SGPJ), Irish Tamils Forum (ITF) and United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG) statement details Thiyagi Thileepan’s hunger strike and his demands for the self-determination of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka...

Easter Sunday bomber met with intelligence officer before attack claims Sri Lankan former inspector general

Former Inspector General of the Police, Pujith Jayasundara, testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the 2019 April attacks, claimed that the bomber of the Tropical Inn in Dehiwela had met with an intelligence official 45 minutes before he blew himself up. Several Sri Lankan Parliamentarians have claimed that members of National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) who were deemed responsible for the attacks were being paid by Sri Lankan intelligence and had established links with Gotabaya Rajapaksa. An office in Colombo was claimed to be given to the now-banned group by Gotabaya...

Controversial Rajapaksa ally appointed as Sri Lanka’s UN representative

Mohan Peiris, former attorney general and legal advisor to Mahinda Rajapaksa has been appointed as the new permanent representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York. Peiris was congratulated by the UN representative in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer, in a tweet despite Peiris being found on record to have misled the UN Committee against Torture (CAT). Singer’s tweet has been met with backlash from activists critical of Peiris’s record. His appointment is seen as an expansion of the Rajapaksa’s inner circle.

Thileepan commemorated by Tamils across the globe

Events were held by Tamils across the globe to mark the 33rd anniversary of the death of Lt Col Thileepan, a political wing leader of the LTTE who fasted to death in 1987, appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on 15th September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26th September 1987. His death was mourned across the Tamil homeland at the time and continues to be marked by Eelam Tamils around the world. London Tamils in London commemorated Thileepan outside 10 Downing Street and also held...

Jaffna University commemorates Thileepan amidst military intimidation

Students at Jaffna University took a knee to commemorate the death of Lt Col Thileepan this morning, despite intimidation from the Sri Lankan security forces a day earlier. Dozens of students gathered at a memorial at the Jaffna University campus, where they took to their knees and bowed their heads to pay respect to Thileepan’s sacrifice. The LTTE political leader fasted to death in 1987, in an eleven-day hunger strike appealing to the Indian government to heed Tamil demands. The act of commemoration comes just a day after armed Sri Lankan soldiers were deployed to the university on Friday...

Modi tells Rajapaksa that implementation of 13th Amendment is ‘essential’

Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi told Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister that implementation of the 13th Amendment - which devolves power to a merged North-East - was “essential”, as the two leaders met in a virtual summit today. Modi told Mahinda Rajapaksa that Sri Lanka must “work towards realizing the expectations of Tamils for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka by achieving reconciliation nurtured by implementation of the Constitutional provisions”. “He emphasized that implementation of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is essential for carrying...

Visiting Thileepan

We were at home mostly during that time, especially the girls. The Indian Army were present, so it was not safe to wander outside. In order to sabotage the hunger strike, the Indian Army would disperse the crowd gathered around him. There was a lot of talk in the community about rumours to stage a ‘kidnapping’ to ruin his hunger strike. The Indian Army were set on disrupting the non-violent campaign somehow. We visited Thileepan once. It was on his ninth day into the strike, so he was already fairly frail by this time. His bed had been brought out from his tent and into public view as he...

Hunger strikes across Eelam as Tamils defiantly remember Thileepan

A series of protests are currently underway across the North-East today as Tamils across the homeland commemorated the death of LTTE’s Lt Col Thileepan, despite a Sri Lankan court ban and intimidation from the security forces. Politicians, including from the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), joined civil society members and others to commence a fast at the Chavakachcheri Shiva Temple this morning at 10.48 am - the exact time that Thileepan passed away in 1987.