Tamil farmers in Batticaloa hospitalised after brutal assault and torture

Tamil cattle farmers in Batticaloa, who went in search of their missing cattle were kidnapped, and then brutally beaten by armed Sinhalese men, last Saturday. After attacking the farmers, the Sinhalese men then handed them over to Maha Oya police officials to arrest them and filed a case against them. A few days later, the six farmers who were also subject to police brutality in custody, were released on bail after being produced in court. The shaken farmers, who come from the Mayilathamadu and Maathavanai area, were transferred from the local hospital to the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital due...

Reporters Without Borders calls on Sri Lanka to drop 'Kafkaesque' charges against detained Tamil journalist

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on Sri Lanka's prosecutors to drop the absurd terrorism charges against a Tamil journalist detained under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Murugupillai Kokulathasan, locally known as Kokul, a photographer attached to Batticaloa Press Club was arrested on November 28, 2020, by the Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) over allegations that he had published pictures of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Facebook. "Murugupillai Kokulathasan's arrest and continuing detention on a Kafkaesque terrorism charge clearly...

UK Prime Minister praises Tamils for COVID response in Thai Pongal message

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the British Tamil community and thanked them for their contribution towards the coronavirus pandemic response in the country, in a message to mark Thai Pongal released today. Johnson said he wanted to “thank you for everything you’re doing in our struggle against COVID, because throughout this crisis your values of hard work, discipline and community spirit have really shone brightly”. “From the outright bravery of those Tamil doctors who are right now on the frontline in our NHS, the businesses that have kept on going, the sacrifices you are...

Gotabaya Rajapaksa issues chilling warning to opposition

Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued a chilling warning on Saturday, as he threatened to “bring back” his role as defence secretary and disparagingly spoke of how Sri Lankan security forces killed LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. In response to a critical parliamentary speech by opposition MP Harin Fernando, Rajapaksa warned that he has “two faces”. “I still get monks who tell me. We need the Defence Secretary Gotabaya and not the President Gotabaya. If I get it that way, I can also give it back that way.” During his tenure as defence secretary, Rajapaksa oversaw a military...

‘We must never erase a genocide’ – Canadian Chief Government Whip, Mark Holland

Canada’s Chief Government Whip, Mark Holland, has condemned the destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial in Jaffna as an attempt to erase “erase the memory of thousands of massacred Tamils”. On Twitter he stated: A Mullivaikkal memorial at #JaffnaUniversity was dismantled this weekend. We can never erase the memory of thousands of massacred Tamils from the world, and must never erase a genocide from global history. I condemn the actions taken and stand with the Tamil community. — Mark Holland (@markhollandlib) January 11, 2021 Holland joins a number of prominent Canadian politicians who have...

Ministers need to ‘defend the rights of minorities in Sri Lanka’ - UK Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affair

British Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Stephen Kinnock, has called upon ministers to “defend the rights of minorities in Sri Lanka” as he laid out the Labour party’s new foreign policy agenda yesterday. In this statement, he raises concerns over the treatment of minorities across Asia and called on the British government to impose Magnitsky sanctions against senior Chinese officials due to the continued persecution of Uyghur Muslims. He further called for more robust actions “the appalling treatment of the Rohingya people in Myanmar” and for the defence of minorities in...

Sri Lanka claims the country is ‘economically stable’ as government pleads for debt rollover

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance has praised the Rajapaksa administration for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and building economic stability in the country as government spokesman, Udaya Gammanpila, pleaded with international investors to roll over bonds maturing this year. Gammanpila stated that capital and interest repayments on foreign debt this year alone was $6.86 billion. This follows downgrades from international rating agencies questioning Sri Lanka’s creditworthiness and ability to repay debt. According to official data from August, China owns approximately 10 % of Sri Lanka’s...

EU ‘saddened’ by destruction of Mullivaikal monument but grants Sri Lanka 8.26 billion LKR

Responding to the destruction of the Mullivaikal monumen t at Jaffna university, the EU has responded issuing a statement stating that they were saddened by the destruction of the monument. On Twitter they stated: Saddened by destruction of monument at #Jaffna University. In view of this & other recent developments, EU is ready to step up its engagement with #SriLanka , including through an upcoming high-level meeting, to support inclusiveness, reconciliation & fair treatment of minorities. — EU in Sri Lanka (@EU_in_Sri_Lanka) January 13, 2021 Despite this statement, the EU has...

Former UK Foreign Secretary slams Sri Lanka and warns against global democratic complacency

Writing in the Telegraph , Britain’s former Foreign Secretary, William Hague, warns against global democratic decline and highlights the authoritarian tendencies in Hungary, India, Turkey, and Sri Lanka. In his piece he notes: “In Hungary, the media and judiciary have fallen under the control of ministers; in India, the Modi government is showing autocratic tendencies; in Erdogan’s Turkey, some opposition politicians are in prison; in Sri Lanka, the government is empowering the military and abandoning commitments to justice and human rights”. Hague, writing in response to the siege on Capitol...

Tamil diaspora organisations denounce Mullivaikkal memorial destruction

The original monument when it was unveiled in 2019 Tamil diaspora organisations from across the globe condemned the destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial monument and expressed their solidarity with the protesters at Jaffna University. In a joint statement, the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), Irish Tamils Forum (ITC), Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lankan (SGPJ) and United States Tamil Action Group (USTAG) said; "We fear that this is an attempt by the Sri Lankan ethnocratic state to undermine the University of Jaffna as a cradle of Tamil history...

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