Four arrested and lockdown enforced after locals clash with Sri Lankan military

At least four Tamils have been arrested after the Sri Lankan military launched a search operation in Jaffna, following a clash between local Tamils and soldiers in Nagarakovil on Wednesday. As the local community celebrated Thai Pongal, an argument broke out in Vadamarachchi East after a soldier reportedly attempted to stop a Tamil man on a motorcycle. The incident began to escalate, with relatives of the local man gathering around to support him, when a reported physical clash broke out between the soldiers and local Tamils. It is unclear whether anyone was injured in the clash. At...

Korea grants Sri Lanka $10.96 million for tourism development despite human rights abuses

Korea will grant Sri Lanka $10.96 million US dollars for tourism development despite raised concerns over Sri Lanka’s human rights record. This grant was revealed after a meeting between Korea’s ambassador, Heon Lee, and Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Minister of Industry, Export, Investment Promotion, Tourism and Aviation, Prasanna Ranatunga. The Korean government promises to grant $5.6 million for development projects in Etanwala, Matale and a further $5.36 million to develop the Kuchchaveli Tourism Zone. Lee noted during the meeting there has been a decrease in Korean tourism since the Easter...

Sri Lankan security forces intrude Neeraviyadi temple's pongal celebrations

Sri Lankan police and intelligence officers amassed to intimidate locals at the annual Thai Pongal celebration in Mullaitivu’s Neeraviyadi Pillaiyar Temple yesterday.

Chennai Book Fair shows continued demand for literature on Tamil Eelam and LTTE

As the 43rd annual Chennai Book Fair got underway this month, vendors reported that books related to the LTTE and Eelam Tamils were still in high demand, despite opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A number of books emblazoned with the image of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran were evident throughout a number of stalls, whilst vendors continued to have books on the genocide in Sri Lanka and the Tamil Eelam struggle. K Bhoopathi, a publisher at the fair, told the Times of India that he had stocked about 40 to 50 titles equating to nearly 1,000 books on the issue alone. The...

Sri Lanka calls for sharing of UK military intelligence to tackle Tamil diaspora

Sri Lanka’s defence secretary called on the British government to share military intelligence and technology to combat “terrorism”, as he slammed the Tamil diaspora in a meeting with Britain’s High Commissioner on Tuesday. Kamal Gunaratne, who is himself accused of overseeing war crimes, told the UK’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton that his government was seeking “assistance in sharing military intelligence, technology and expertise in combating terrorism”. He went on to slam the Tamil diaspora to the High Commissioner, stating there were “concerted efforts of Tamil diaspora...

Sri Lankan army launches search for ‘those young suspects’ in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan military declared it was launching a search operation in Jaffna this morning, stating it was seeking to arrest a group of “young suspects” in Point Pedro following an alleged clash with soldiers. In an official statement released online, the Sri Lankan military claimed a “clash” occurred “between some youngsters and a group of soldiers on mobile patrol”. The military claimed that soldiers were helping a man “lying on the road, apparently under the influence of liquor” when “curious civilians in the area had begun to gather” leading to a “melee”. It then alleges that a group of...

British Tamil rapper M.I.A receives MBE from Royal Family

British Tamil rapper and activist M.I.A received an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to music from Prince William at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, and highlighted how her mother who fled Sri Lanka as a refugee helped stitch the very medal she received.

Pongalo pongal! Tamil festival celebrated in Eelam

Tamils in Eelam and around the world celebrated the festival of Thai Pongal on Wednesday.

Chinese victim of gang rape by SLPP member still awaits justice

A Chinese woman who came forward as a victim of gang rape that was reportedly led by a Sri Lankan Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) politician is still awaiting justice, more than 10 months after the assault. So far, the woman has filed multiple complaints including with the Asian Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Human Rights Council. Her case has been heard four times at the Galle Magistrate's Court, with a further hearing scheduled for January 22. Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrators, who the victim identified as former Southern Provincial Councillor Pushpakumara, more commonly known as...

UK Prime Minister praises British Tamils in Thai Pongal message

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the contribution made by British Tamils to life in the UK, stating that their “fantastic contribution makes a real difference” in a Thai Pongal message released this morning. “Tradiationally this day of worship celebrates the arrival of the harvest,” said Johnson. “But I also want to celebrate the contribution of Tamils in the UK.” He went on to add, “From building businesses that boost our economy, teaching children in our schools, treating patients in our NHS, caring for the vulnerable in our society, and much, much more. Your fantastic...

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