SL Minister - 'Northern PC election an insult to war heroes'

Sri Lanka's Technology and Atomic Energy Minister, Champika Ranawaka, said holding Northern Provincial Council election in the North would be an insult to Sri Lanka's dead soldiers. Speaking at the 4th anniversary of what Tamils mark as genocide, and Sri Lanka celebrated as a victory, Ranawaka said : “If not for the war victory achieved by the government, Tamil and Muslim political leaders who are very vocal today would have met with the same fate as Amirthalingam,” “Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa and Sampanthan are trying to take Sri Lanka to the past again with the help of foreign nations such...

'More than just remembering' - TAG

A witness recalls the horrors of her walk towards the Sri Lankan Army controlled territory on the penultimate day of the conflict, the 17th May. “I walked, following many others, thousands. As I walked I saw the scale of the destruction, there were pools of blood and many wounded or dead. I saw a truck laden with people that had been hit by a shell not long before - the wounds were fresh. There was a mother dead, her baby still alive beside her.” What then followed was months in an IDP camp, months punctured by torture, and upon release, the constant fear of persecution. This, 4 years on from those final days of death and surrender, is the reality of life for many Tamils in Sri Lanka. On this anniversary, we remember those who lost their lives and those who survived them and we ask, what progress has been made in the fight for justice? The answer is sobering – far too little. This in spite of incontrovertible evidence of the crimes perpetrated by the Sri Lankan state against its own citizens, this despite the manifest failings of the Sri Lankan state to provide justice, this despite much international condemnation by states, INGOs, and, especially of late, the international legal community.

Seeking security

Four years have passed since the Tamil nation suffered the zenith of genocide inflicted upon it by the Sri Lankan state, where tens of thousands of Tamils were herded into a tiny of slither of land, only to be massacred with heavy artillery, systematically raped and tortured, deliberately starved, deprived of humanitarian assistance and murdered in cold blood. The evidence - not only indicative of the appalling nature of the crimes, but the intentional and systematic way in which they were perpetrated – is increasing. Yet despite this, and the ample time that has passed, Tamils have not seen a credible, international process towards accountability and justice, or a meaningful attempt to deliver a political solution that ensures their future security. The Tamil nation is instead, more exposed now than ever before – its identity is being destroyed, its claims to nationhood are being dismantled and its homeland erased of its Tamil character.

TNPF members arrested for May 18th remembrance

13:35 BST S. Kajendran and V. Manivannan of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), were arrested this morning along with other party members, according to reports by party president Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam. Tweeting live as events unfolded, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam reported that the group had been arrested by Mannar police for commemorating the Mullivaikkaal massacre. On demanding to know the reason for their arrest, the Mannar Superintendent of Police refused to answer before hanging up, he added. Earlier a monument for the dead at Samanakulam, Vavuniya was destroyed. The monument was...

British Tamils march in remembrance and quest for justice

14:17 BST Thousands of British Tamils are currently marching through London in remembrance of the tens of thousands that perished at the end of the armed conflict in 2009, and demanding an independent, international investigation into what took place. Follow @TamilGuardian for live updates. Meanwhile, reports state that members of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) were arrested in Mannar for organising a remembrance event.

Rajapaksa vows 'no room for separation' on 'Victory Day'

Addressing Sri Lanka on 'Victory Day', Mahinda Rajapaksa celebrated the "great victory of our Motherland", and vowed "there will be no room for separation". "Today we have the fourth opportunity to celebrate with dignity the great victory of our Motherland. Today we also commemorate another great moment in the history of Sri Lanka when our Motherland was united. It is also great the great moment when Sri Lanka was freed from the deadly fear of terror. With great sacrifice of lives by our people, we were able to liberate the largest number of hostages in the world held by the forces of terror...

Remembrance of LTTE will be punished – Army Commander

A senior official of the Sri Lankan Army has said that anyone participating in the commemoration of LTTE soldiers will be jailed . Major General Boniface Perera was responding to a question about reports in some media outlets that relatives of those that died in the last phase of the conflict were planning to organise a commemoration event in Vavuniya. “There is only one military in a country. Any citizen has the right to commemorate their loved ones but no one can commemorate terrorists who were disloyal to the government, “If persons are planning to remember LTTE members it is treason. We...

British Tamils remember Mullivaikkal

Thousands of British Tamils marched across London, convening at Waterloo Place, in remembrance of the victims of the Mullivaikkal massacre. An array of Eelam flags lined the procession, along with a variety of placards and banners demanding justice for the atrocities of May 2009. Participation spanned the generations with elderly marchers bearing large banners and young Tamils leading chants calling for an independent international investigation into the genocide. [ more ]

Sri Lanka celebrates its victory

As Tamils all over the world gathered to mourn their dead, Sri Lanka held its annual ‘Victory Day’ parade, celebrating the defeat of the LTTE. Over 13,000 personnel from the navy, army, air force and Special Task Force took part in the parade, overseen by Mahinda Rajapkse.

Students at Jaffna Uni remember Mullivaikkal

Photograph Uthayan Students and staff at the University of Jaffna remembered those who were slaughtered at the final stages of the armed conflict on Friday, reports Uthayan . Lighting candles of remembrance, the students stood in solemn silence in memory of those who perished.