UK Tamil university societies condemn Jaffna student attack

British Tamil students from across the United Kingdom have released a joint statement, denouncing the attack on the secretary of the Jaffna University Student Union. In a statement released on Saturday, student organisations deplored the “brutal act of violence that seeks to terrorise Tamil youth” , after Paramalingam Tharsananth was assaulted by a gang, alleged to have been linked with Sri Lankan army intelligence. The student was due to speak at a remembrance event in Jaffna University, marking three years since the massacre at Mullaivaikkal. Signed by 12 British university Tamil societies and the Tamil Youth Organisation UK, the statement goes on to say, "The attack marks yet another attempt by the Sri Lankan state, through intimidation, aggression and sheer violence, to deny Tamils the very basic of rights – the right to mourn our dead . Justice is paramount. However, reflecting on over sixty years of genocide faced by the Tamil nation, we view this attack as another in that continuum. We note with dismay and abhorrence that it will no doubt be met with injustice and impunity. Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters in the North-East who continue to face this genocide today. " See the full statement and list of signatories below.

Tamil detainees across island join hunger strike

Around 100 jailed Tamil prisoners have joined a hunger strike launched on Thursday, demanding either immediate court action or to be released. The detainees include 50 being held in Vavuniya prison, 20 held in Kalutara prison and 30 in Colombo Remand Prison. They joined another group of 80 prisoners who started their hunger strike earlier this week, with many of the detainees having been held without charge for several years. The group earlier told the BBC that even though the armed conflict was over, "nothing has been done to expedite our legal process". See our earlier post: Tamil detainees...

Tamil parties hold remembrance events in Jaffna

Remembrance event by TNA. Photograph TamilNet The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) held Mullivaikkal remembrance events in Jaffna on Friday, despite the heavy presence of the Sri Lankan military, reports TamilNet. Remembrance event by TNPF. Photograph TamilNet See full TamilNet report with further photographs here .

Prayers in Kilinochchi for Mullivaikkal victims

Photograph TamilNet Mass prayers were held in Kilinochchi at a Sivan temple, Murugan temple and local church on Friday, in memory of those who were killed at Mullivaikkal, reports TamilNet. See here for full TamilNet report. Photograph TamilNet

Events across Tamil Nadu mark Mullivaikkal massacre

Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu Tamils honoured the victims of Mullivaikkal by lighting candles at remembrance events held across Tamil Nadu, including Coimbatore, Hosur, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Saami Malai and Chidambaram. The events, organised by the Tamil Desiya Pothu Udamai Katchi have been taking place over the past two days, with more planned. Tamil Nadu youth and student organisations took part in remembrance events in Chidambaram. Kovai, Tamil Nadu Organisers have announced that further events are taking place in Chennai this weekend. An event will be held in the T.Nagar region of Chennai on Saturday followed by a large event, at Marina Beach on Sunday, where the veteran political activist Pazha Nedumaran, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, Tamil Desiya Pothu Udamai Katchi leader Mani Arasan, director Seeman, Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam leader Kolathur Mani and the leader of the May 17th Movement Thirumurugan will be participating.

Rajapaksa refuses to demilitarise North-East

Mahinda Rajapaksa vehemently rejected calls to demilitarise the North-East whilst addressing Sri Lanka's 'Victory Day' parade at the Galle Face on Saturday. See reports here and here . Citing what he described as the "LTTE diaspora", who "had not given up their separatist ideas", Rajapaksa said, " We cannot jeopardise national security by removing camps .” “ Some are shouting remove military camps from the north and east,” “What the Eelamist terrorists could not do through decades of war, they are now trying to achieve through other means. We will not allow it ." “ We are a nation who sit...

Supreme Court rejects petition against website censor

A three member bench of Sri Lanka's Supreme Court, dismissed a petition against the blocking of five news websites, including Srilanka Mirror, Sri Lanka Guardian, Lanka Way News, Lanka News Web, and Paparasi News. The petition was filed by Sunil Jayasekara and Udaya Kalupathirana of the media rights group, Free Media Movement (FMM). The three-member panel at the Supreme Court consisted of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake, Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and R.K.S. Sureshchandra. See also: Court case against Sri Lanka’s ban on websites (06.12.11) Supreme court sanctions Media Ministry's authoritarianism (03.12.11)

Tamil detainees launch hunger strike

A group of around 80 Tamil detainees have launched a hunger strike in Welikada Prison in Colombo. The group started the hunger strike on Thursday morning, demanding immediate court hearings or release. The hunger strikers have been detained without trial for several years, with some having been in custody for over 5 years.

Jaffna student leader attacked before remembrance event

The secretary of the Jaffna University Student Union has been attacked hours before he was due to address a Mullivaikkal remembrance event in Jaffna, reports Lankasri News. See report on TamilNet here . Paramalingam Tharsananth was assaulted with iron bars by an unknown gang at Kalladdy junction in Jaffna and has since been transferred to Jaffna General Hospital for his injuries. Reports have since emerged of students protesting inside Jaffna University against the attack, alleged to have been carried out by army intelligence and connected to Tharsananth's role in the remembrance event.

Jaffna Uni students protest against attack

Students at Jaffna university staged large scale protest outside the university grounds condemning the attack of the secretary of student union, Paramalingam Tharsananth. See reports here , here and here . Demanding that the university officials act to safeguard the rights of students, the protesters burnt an effigy of the university's vice chancellor, prompting her to call for discussions. According to reports, the situation remains tense, after the protest has resulted in a large deployment of Sri Lankan police officers to the area.