Sri Lankan police question Tamil journalists over land grab protest in Batticaloa

Two Tamil journalists were questioned by Sri Lankan police for over two hours today over their coverage of a protest in Batticaloa earlier this month. On October 8, the two Batticaloa based journalists, Punniyamoorthy Sasikaran and V Krisnakumar, attended and covered a demonstration by Tamils who were protesting against the land grabs by Sinhala settlers in Madhavanai and Mayilathamadu. The protesters were marching towards Chenkaldy Central College, where Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremasinghe was attending an event, but were brutally assaulted by Sri Lankan police.

‘We asked Sampanthan to step down, he refused’ – Sumanthiran

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran revealed how he, and others in the party, had called on leader R Sampanthan to step down, but the 90-year old politician refused to do so. Sampanthan has led the TNA since its formation in 2001, but in recent years has fought growing unpopularity, rifts within the coalition, and bouts of ill health.

Every single Tamil will be cut into pieces! Sinhala Buddhist monk threatens a massacre

"Every single Tamil person will be cut into pieces!" exclaims the monk. "They will all be killed! All the Tamils in the south will be cut into pieces and butchered! The Sinhalese will massacre them."

SLPP MP claims Sri Lanka’s defence secretary and army chief threatened him over budget cuts

A parliamentarian with the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) claimed Sri Lanka’s defence secretary and army chief threatened him inside the parliament, after he proposed possible budget cuts to the military. Chaminda Weerakkody claimed that the incident occurred as the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security discussed possible budget cuts to Sri Lanka’s military, given the ongoing economic difficulties the government faces. Despite reported austerity measures Sri Lanka's military budget revealed last November vastly outstrips spending in other sectors. In the 2023 budget the Ranil...

Bullying, sexual assault and suicide – Tamil asylum seekers have some breathing space but face long battle in Diego Garcia

A group of Eelam Tamil asylum seekers being held in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) of Diego Garcia have been granted a small reprieve in their battle against being deported to Sri Lanka, as more details of bullying, sexual assault and suicide attempts continued to emerge. A total of 61 asylum seekers are being held on Diego Garcia and are waging a tedious legal battle to claim asylum. BIOT Commissioner Paul Candler initially decided that the group could be deported to Sri Lanka. Faced with ten of the group challenging the decision in the British Indian Ocean Territory supreme court...

Still no justice for Tamil activists shot dead in Paris

Today marks 27 years since two Tamil activists were shot dead in a Parisian neighbourhood, a murder that shocked the Tamil diaspora worldwide and remains unsolved to this day. Kandiah Gajendran, also known as Gajan, was the editor of Paris based Tamil weekly 'Eelamurasu' and Kandiah Perinpanathan, known as Nathan, was in-charge of LTTE's international finance. The two men aged 30 and 32-years old respectively, were strolling down Boulevard de La Chapelle on the 26th of October 1996 - a neighbourhood which had a long established and thriving Eelam Tamil community.

Paying his dues – Sri Lankan minister boasts of paying Rajapaksa’s wedding bill

A Sri Lankan state minister boasted of paying off a long unpaid wedding bill for Namal Rajapaksa, son of accused war criminal Mahinda Rajapaksa, as a sign of respect and admiration for his father. The bill in question was reportedly for the electricity used at Namala Rajapaksa’s extravagant wedding ceremony and had remained unpaid for four long years. The total came up to over 2.5 million rupees. “I believe it is a duty to pay it off,” said Nishantha. “I did it for him, for Mahinda Rajapaksa.” “He’s the man who won the war,” he added. “I couldn’t bear to see this innocent man being slandered...

Jaffna International Airport to get Rs. 200 million upgrade with more flights from India planned

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Aviation has reportedly approved a Rs. 200 million upgrade for the Jaffna International Airport, as it looks to operate an increasing number of flights to India and the south of the island. Nimal Siripala de Silva visited the airport earlier this month, which remains within a Sri Lankan military-controlled ‘High Security Zone’. International flights from Palaly airport had been functioning until the 1970s. During the early 1990s, the airport and surrounding areas were declared a High Security Zone and all the residents were expelled. According to a report compiled by...

Sri Lanka’s hypocrisy on Gaza needs calling out

The violence in Israel and Palestine over the last month has been horrific. Thousands have already been killed and it shows no signs of abating in the days and weeks to come. For many around the world, Eelam Tamils included, it has been difficult to observe. But what has added to the dismay for Tamils in particular, is the hypocritical response by Sri Lankans across the political spectrum to the violence in Gaza.

Frontline Defenders condemns 'persecution and reprisals' of Tamil protestors in Batticaloa

Frontline Defenders condemned the “persecution and reprisals” by Sri Lankan authorities against Tamil protestors in Madhavanai and Mayilathamadu, Batticaloa, as they continue to demonstrate against land encroachment by Sinhalese settlers. Earlier this month, as the Tamil livestock farmers attempted to march towards Chenkaldy Central College, where Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremasinghe was attending an event, protestors were stopped by Sri Lankan police and were brutally assaulted. Those assaulted by authorities included women, the families of the disappeared, and human rights defenders. “...