A preview screening of the BBC World documentary ‘Sri Lanka’s unfinished war’, which outlines several cases of rape and torture against Tamils in the North-East, took place at the Frontline club today. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with the producer of the documentary, Frances Harrison, producer of the No Fire Zone documentaries, Callum Macrae and policy and advocacy manager at Freedom from Torture, Sonya Sceats. The Sri Lankan High Commission to the UK refused an invitation to participate in the discussion. The panel, chaired by a barrister at a London chamber who acted as a rapporteur to investigate the impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice, Sadakat Kadri, discussed various issues and answered questions from the audience. Full discussion can be viewed below. Macrae outlined that the lack of credibility of any investigative initiative set up by the Sri Lanakan government, “The Sri Lankan government has an endless history of commissions that have amounted to nothing. And I think we’re going to see a lot in the run up to the UN sessions in March. I think a spurious reconciliation commission will be offered with the unfortunate help of South Africa, which will be used as an excuse to prevent things form happen. I’m sorry but from what they’ve done in the past, we can guarantee that almost any investigation will be spurious.”
Today the Tamil nation unites in an act of collective remembrance. From gatherings in diaspora locales to silent moments of thought in the occupied homeland, Tamils pause to remember all those who gave their lives in protracted struggle against the genocidal onslaught of the Sinhala state. What began as commemoration of those who fell in a war of liberation is today the defining moment of solidarity in the cause of national resistance. Marking not the finality of death, but the solemnity of sacrifice, the symbolism of this single day, like no other, is a thread that unites the Tamil nation across the world’s borders and reiterates at once its identity and its unyielding defiance in the face of genocide.
Published 11:29 GMT Thousands of Tamils have started streaming through the doors at the ExCel convention centre in London's Docklands, as the UK's Maaveerar Naal remembrance event opened its doors a little while earlier. Follow @TamilGuardian for live twitter updates of the event. Preparations for similar remembrance events are taking place across the world, whilst remembrance events in the North-East continue to be quashed by the Sri Lankan government and military.
In amidst the Sri Lankan government's stifling repression of any acts of remembrance, staff at the Jaffna based newspaper, the Uthayan , planted trees and donating blood today.
The Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, CV Wigneswaran, was blocked from planting trees at the Thanthai Chelva memorial square in Jaffna, in remembrance of Heroes Day. The CM and three of his councillors proceeded to plant trees on the premises of the provincial council’s education ministry. “This is about our emotions and feelings. If the [SL] government didn't allow us to proceed with this, the outcome would be much more drastic,” he said, according to TamilNet . “No government can stop us from planting trees in our private lands. I have planted a tree at my house also. We...
The Indian government is continuing its post-CHOGM boycott grovelling to Sri Lanka, by sending a navy ship to the island on a “goodwill visit”, on the day Tamils mark their fallen. See more here .
After braving the Sri Lankan government's intimidatory measures in the run up to Maaveerar Naal, Eelam Tamils across the North-East, defied government bans to remember those that lost their lives in the struggle against genocide, whilst facing further intimidation and violence. (Pictures: Tamilnet) Families of Maaveerar remember the sacrifice of their loved ones
Days after the camera crews surrounding the British Premier left, yet more land grab continues, with over 25 acres to be given to 22 Sinhala settler families in Kokuthodduvai, Mullaitheevu district, report Uthayan and TamilWin on Monday. Thurairaasa Ravikaran, a Northern Provincial member, said he visited the area after locals compained about trees being cut down and land cleared by people speaking Sinhala. Photograph TamilWin When questioned by Mr Ravikaran, the men reportedly replied that they were working as part of a contract for the Mahavali Development plan, which would resettle 22...
Speaking in Parliament today, TNA MP, Sivagnanam Sritharan, outlined that the majority of the Tamil people in the North-East had voted for the TNA to support the ideals of the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Sritharan further reiterated that the Tamil people had a right to commemorate the Tamil cadres that lost their lives in the ethnic conflict. Asserting that the Tamil people had a right to commemorate the Tamil cadres that lost their lives in the ethnic conflict, Mr Sritharan said, " tomorrow, each Tamil, will think of the Maaveerar from morning till dusk ."
The Sri Lankan born Tamil poet and Norwegian citizen Shanmugampillai Jayapalan, who was arrested by the Terrorist Investigative Department (TID) on Friday, will be deported by Sri Lankan immigration, confirmed the Government Information Department today. Jayapalan was arrested on charges of ‘inciting communal tensions’ whilst visiting his mother’s grave-site . The last few days saw strong campaigns from activists and politicians to secure his release.