Tamils in New Zealand observe Remembrance Day

Eelam Tamils in Auckland, New Zealand marked 'Maaverar Thinam 2011' on 27th November, Eelam's Remembrance Day. The event, organised by the Tamil Youth Organisation (NZ), was very well attended, with the venue - Mt Roskill Intermediate Hall - exceeding capacity. As with similar remembrance events held across the world, the commemorations began with the hoisting of Eelam's flag and the New Zealand flag, accompanied by their respective anthems. Following the traditional acts of commemoration,Mr Prabhaharan from Australian Tamil Radio was invited by TYO NZ as a guest speaker who gave the opening...

Tamil prisoners launch hunger strike

At least 65 Tamil prisoners have gone in hunger strike in Anuradhapura after being assaulted by Sinhala prison guards on Sunday, a day that the Tamil nation remembered their fallen heroes. Former Jaffna district parliamentarian MK Sivajilingam told the BBC that most of the victims of the assault were disabled and that the guards went on to destroy a Hindu temple inside the prison. The prisoners are demanding better protection from authorities after the attack, which led to 5 of the injured being admitted to hospital. TamilNet reported that the guards stripped their victims naked and beat them...

Rajapaksa's double standards

Speaking on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestian people, Mahinda Rajapaksa supported the Palestinian peoples' struggle for statehood, highlighting their 'inalienable right' to do so. “On this solemn occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm, on behalf of my government and the people of Sri Lanka, our sincere support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to statehood,” See here for full address.

Dole drops plans for controversial banana plantation

US company Dole, the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer has dropped plans for a vast banana plantation in a Sri Lankan national park. Dole planned to team up with Sri Lankan company Letsgrow Ltd to establish the plantation in Somawathiya National Park. Letsgrow Ltd is owned by cricketers Pramodya Wicramasinghe and Muttiah Muralitharan. The land in question was acquired by the company from the Sri Lankan Army. Dole said in a statement to the BBC it had vacated the site and had ‘ceased all commercial operations’. The national park is inhabited by an endangered subspecies of the Asian...

Prison guards attack Tamil detainees over Heroes’ Day

Tamil prisoners have been attacked by guards in a prison in Anuradhapuram, The Island reports . According to the Commissioner General of Prisons, P.W. Kodippilli, prison officials received information the inmates were planning to commemorate fallen Tamil soldiers on Heroes’ Day. A search operation was launched by guards, which resulted in clashes with the Tamil prisoners. A Sri Lankan NGO has accused prison guards of violently attacking 65 Tamil inmates. Committee member of the WESL (We are Sri Lankans), Udul Premaratne, said drunk officials assaulted the Tamils for 30 minutes, after...

Peiris accuses Western powers of colluding with LTTE

According to reports in the pro-government newspaper, Island, Sri Lanka's External Affairs minister, G.L. Peiris, accused the West of allowing the LTTE to "operate with impunity". Peiris added, that even now the West were "playing ball with the LTTE" and " facilitating LTTE operations ". The External Affairs minister went on to accuse an unnamed UK minister of " receiving a well paid job from an LTTE front organisation ". His comments were made at a conference on reconciliation and the international community, over two years after Sri Lanka proclaimed victory over the LTTE.

'We are Eelam Tamil'

"As youth, we are the future of our nation and in the face of genocide, I am proud to say we stand strong and united." "Our brothers and sisters have shown bravery that is unmatched. Their struggle, their suffering, their strength, is the reason why we are here today. When faced with a choice that we have never had to make, they did not shy away. They sacrificed their today, for our tomorrow; their present for our future. They were not some distant people in an unknown island. They were us. The same blood that stains the soil of our homeland, courses through each one of us. " "That is...

'Not for outsiders to impose their values or their judgments' - Gotabhaya

Addressing delegates in the National Conference on Reconciliation, Sri Lanka's defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said , “ It is evident that cultural norms differ from country to country . People living in the United States of America, or Australia, or Canada, or the United Kingdom, or any other country, have no proper understanding of the ground situation in Sri Lanka nor do they understand our current cultural context . " It is not for outsiders to impose their values or their judgments on Sri Lanka. ” “Sri Lankans who suffered from the war for 30 years and who are now reaping the...

Jaffna uni students mark Remembrance Day, defying military

Posters, honouring the sacrifice of Eelam's heroes and proclaiming the continuation of the struggle for independence, were found across Jaffna University campus on Wednesday. The posters, seen at the student's common room and parking area, had increased in number by the following morning. Students reported that the posters read, “We take a vow that we will travel in the ultimate path of our heroes who sacrificed their life for the truth.” Jaffna university students are understood to have been behind it. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated, "Repression and murders will not wipe out our maaverar from our hearts , nor will it diminish the sacrifice they made for Tamils’ struggle and their goal . This is our clear message from these posters, SL Gov and the international community should understand that.” " No matter how the SL gov continues its repression, our struggle for liberation will not diminish ."

‘Competent authorities’ for takeover appointed

The Sri Lankan government has appointed six “Competent Authorities” that will handle the 37 enterprises that are due to be taken over by the recently passed Assets Acquisition Bill. The District Secretary of Hambantota and the District Secretary of Monaragala are set to oversee the running of two sugar companies, while the District Secretary of Badulla has been appointed as the Competent Authority for Colombo Commercial Company Limited. Working alongside these new committees will be a team of five ministers to “assist” them in the management and administration. There is a further team of six...

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