19th anniversary of Pongu Tamil commemorated at Jaffna University

Students and staff at the University of Jaffna came together to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the ‘Pongu Tamil’ uprising this week.

Multiple landmines found in Mullaitivu river

Several types of landmines were spotted in the Vattuvakal river bank near the Vattuvakal Bridge in Mullaitivu on Tuesday. Following the discovery, Mullaitivu police were informed and they arrived at the site to inspect and determine the types of landmines that were present. Sri Lankan police are reportedly engaged in the process of obtaining a court order to permit them to dispose the 9 landmines that were recovered. Vattuvakal is the site of the final stages of the 2009 Sri Lankan military offensive that slaughtered tens of thousands of Tamil civilians. To this date, there has been no...

OMP urges government to have 'wide consultations with families of disappeared'

Sri Lanka’s Office on Missing Persons (OMP) said “wide consultations with families of the missing and disappeared” needs to take place before any amendments are made to the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Act No. 14 of 2016 (the Act). The announcement comes after Sri Lankan government has announced it will “review” the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Act, which was brought in by the previous regime as part of its commitments to a UN Human Rights Council resolution on accountability.

Russia to supply Sri Lanka with 'all the weapons they need'

The Russian government will continue to provide arms and ammunition to the Sri Lankan military, despite widespread concerns over rights violations, announced Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov during a visit to Colombo last week. Addressing reporters in Colombo, Lavrov said that “Sri Lanka and Russia work together very closely, especially, the law enforcement and defense ministries”. “We are ready to continue to provide the Sri Lankan forces with all the weapons they need for security,” he added. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Dinesh Gunawardena claimed that “under the leadership...

Buddhist flag hoisted in Jaffna central bus station after being removed 

A Buddhist religious flag was hoisted n front of Jaffna bus station in the centre of the city by a group of unknown persons on Monday evening, despite protests from the local Tamil community. Local shop owners in the town said the Buddhist flag had appeared overnight with a makeshift flagpole, with no signs to indicate why it was there or who had raised it. Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan soldiers are deployed across the heavily militarised North-East. Though local activists from the TNPF removed it the same day, the flag had been reconstructed and hoisted once more by the evening. Many...

HRW - Sri Lanka's human rights in grave peril

Gotabaya addressing military as Defence Secretary In their annual global human rights report, Human Rights Watch (HRW), warns that Sri Lanka is in ‘great peril’ of losing ground since the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and subsequent appointment of several ministers who have credible human rights accusations against them. Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s South Asia director stated on the matter; “There is every reason to fear that any progress Sri Lanka has made in recent years in restoring basic rights and rebuilding democratic institutions will be overturned with a vengeance,” Appointment of War...

Remembering Colonel Kittu

Thursday marked 27 years since the death of Sathasivam Krishnakumar alias Colonel Kittu, and nine other LTTE cadres, who committed suicide after being surrounded by Indian navy warships in 1993.

VVT kite festival parades Tamil culture and resistance

Thousands of people came together to take part and enjoy the Kite Festival that took place on Tuesday in Valvettithurai (VVT), Jaffna. The annual Thai Pongal kite festival, held on January 14, was celebrated by residents and kite enthusiasts at VVT's Uthayasooriyan coast.

British lawmakers join Tamils in celebration of Pongal in Parliament

British parliamentarians from across the political spectrum joined the British Tamil community to celebrate the Tamil harvest festival of Thai Pongal, at events held at the Houses of Parliament this week. Over two days of celebrations, parliamentarians joined local Tamils in traditional celebrations involving musical performances, speeches and generous servings of sweet pongal. Several lawmakers highlighted the invaluable contribution that the Tamil community has made to life in the United Kingdom, as they too dressed in tradiaiotnal Tamil outfits and took part in festivities. “We have come...

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...