'I believed in those people, but they did nothing’ - wife of abducted Tamil activist

A Tamil activist who has been searching for her abducted husband for over a decade has spoken on her disappointment with the Sri Lankan government over its lack of progress in investigating enforced disappearances. Vathana Sundararaj’s husband Stephen, a project manager at the Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) who had worked on exposing crimes committed by government-aligned paramilitaries including the EPDP, was abducted in May 2009 in Colombo. Though she had hoped for progress into investigating his disappearance with the change of regime in 2015, little tangible action has...

Ranil patronises Tamils in Kilinochchi

Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, delivered a highly criticised speech to Tamils this week, claiming that the unity government elected in 2015 led to freedom, justice and development, benefitting Tamils in the North and East. Talking to Tamils in Kilinochchi, Wickremesinghe said that since 2015, a number of projects have been established to provide relief to the war torn North and East and implied that an environment of ‘freedom’ had been created. Wickremesinghe urged Tamils to vote for New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate, Sajith Premadasa, who would supposedly allow them to...

Thuyilum illam clearing commences in preparation for Maaveerar Naal

Preparations are underway in the North-East to clear Maaveerar thuyilum illams, LTTE cemeteries, ahead of Maaveerar Naal on November 27. Last week a local farmer lent his tractor to clear the ground at Theravil thuyilum illam in Visuvamadu. However Sri Lankan soldiers stationed nearby collected the details of all who had come out for the clear-up before they could access the cemetery. Meanwhile this weekend, a community clear-up was organised by the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) at Koppay. Although the principal part of the thuyilum illam is occupied by the Sri Lankan army and...

Campaign launched for justice for murdered and disappeared Tamil journalists

A public awareness campaign demanding justice for the Tamil journalists killed, disappeared and attacked in Sri Lanka was initiated by Jaffna journalists to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on Saturday. The Jaffna Press Club inaugurated the campaign with a vigil to their fallen colleagues at the monument to murdered journalists in Jaffna Town. The journalists then went to the home of assassinated journalist Ravivarman and handed leaflets to his family members, before distributing them to the public in areas around the Jaffna district including...

Naseby continues Sri Lanka’s debunked propaganda campaign

File photo. Controversial British politician Lord Naseby continued to push widely debunked casualty figures relating to the final stages of the Sri Lanka military’s offensive in 2009, claiming that less than 6,000 civilians were killed. Naseby, who has been courted by Colombo, and in the past been labelled an “apologist” for the Rajapaksa regime, continued to table questions in Britain’s House of Lords calling for the release of the diplomatic despatches from UK Military Attaché Colonel Anton Gash, from 2009. Sri Lanka Campaign published extracts from the despatches last year and analysed the...

Sinhalisation of the North-East: Kokkilai

US-based advocacy group PEARL (People for Equality and Relief in Lanka) launched the second in their series on Sinhalisation of the North-East last month, examining the state-sponsored demographic changes in the Kokkilai region of Mullaitivu.

Tamils must wait another two years for land returns if Premadasa wins election

Despite over a decade since the end of the armed conflict, Tamils in the North must wait another two years for their land to be returned from military occupation if New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa is elected, claimed a current Sri Lankan government minister. Failing to fulfil previous promises, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne gave these assurances during their recent visit to the North, where thousands of acres of land remains occupied by the Sri Lankan military. “We will hand over the lands to the owners within the...

Batticaloa journalist hospitalised after attack

A Batticaloa based journalist for Vasantham TV was admitted into hospital on Friday, after being attacked by a group of unknown persons. Mohamed Saji of Kattankudy was reportedly on his way to his office on Friday, when he was assaulted. Saji told police that the attackers also warned that Irfan Mohamed, the manager of Vasantham TV, “will also be dealt with” reports Daily News . The attack on the Eastern journalist comes just weeks before the presidential electiosn, and after Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned earlier this year of a resurgence in attacks against Tamil journalists by Sri...

Still no choice

As Sri Lanka gears up for a presidential election in just a few weeks time, Tamils on the island find themselves faced with a familiar decision. Almost five years after an election that was hailed as the dawn of a new era for Sri Lanka, the island has instead seen pledges of reforms broken and the failure to address key issues towards accountability, justice and a lasting peace. With leading candidates choosing to boast their Sinhala nationalist credentials, for Tamils in particular, the future seems bleak.

Two Tamils detained following Sri Lankan archaeology department complaint

Two administrators of a historic Tamil temple in a Vavuniya village were arrested on Friday and have been detained at Vavuniya prison following a complaint lodged at the Omanthai Police Station by the Department of Archaeology, claiming they had dug up underground bricks while cleaning the temple. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Sivasakthy Ananthan slammed the arrest on Saturday following a visit to the prisoners Subramaniam and Akilan, two administrators of the Kaatu Vinayagar temple in the village of Maligai. “The village is one of the oldest in the Vavuniya District and the temple too is...

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