Tamil Nadu CM condemns Sri Lanka navy involvement in fisherman death

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has condemned an incident involving the Sri Lankan navy which resulted in the drowning of an Indian fisherman. In a statement, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said that fisherman K Muniasamy drowned when his boat capsized after being chased by the Sri Lankan navy. Eight other fishermen had also gone overboard but were rescued. "I have often pointed out to the Centre incidents of the Sri Lankan navy chasing away Indian fishermen, damaging their nets and confiscating their boats while they were fishing in their traditional fishing zone of Palk Straits and pressed...

Militarisation: Soldiers and southern students hold event at Tamil school in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan army continued with its militarisation of Tamil schools in the North-East, by teaming up with university students from Moratuwa and handing out school accessories to Tamil schoolchildren in Jaffna last week. Uniformed Sri Lankan troops accompanied students from the Rio Club of the University of Moratuwa, to the Uduththurai Maha Vidyalaya in Jaffna where the event took place. A military website stated that the ceremony was “facilitated by the 55 Division in close coordination with the Commander 553 Brigade and the Commanding Officer 10th Battalion of Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment...

Sirisena wishes to replicate Duterte's bloody war on drugs

The Philippine president’s campaign against illegal drugs, which has been internationally condemned for its brutality, was praised by the Sri Lankan president yesterday. Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena who is on a state visit to the Philippines this week said, “the war against crime and drugs carried out by you [President Duterte] is an example to the whole world, and personally to me. Drug menace is rampant in my country and I feel that we should follow your footsteps to control this hazard.” Sirisena’s intentions to reinstate the death penalty for drug offences were heavily...

'Pongu Thamil' marked 18 years on at Jaffna Uni

Students and staff at the University of Jaffna today remembered the 18th anniversary of the 'Pongu Thamil' uprising. Gathering by the Pongu Thamil declaration monument on the university campus grounds, students and staff remembered the widespread uprising calling for Tamil self-determination.

Vavuniya villagers protest against lack of permanent hospital doctor

Residents from a border village in Vavuniya, Iranai Iluppaikkulam, protested yesterday against the authorities' failure to ensure a permanent doctor at the local hospital. Demanding that a permanent doctor be appointed, residents protested outside the Primary Medical Health Care Hospital in the village.

British MPs praise Tamils and vow to push for justice in Thai Pongal celebrations

British Tamils at the Houses of Parliament this week, celebrating Thai Pongal Thai Pongal celebrations took place across Britain this week, with parliamentarians and other politicians from across the political spectrum praising the contribution of the British Tamil community and pledging to continue work towards justice in the Tamil homeland. The British Prime Minister Theresa May said she wanted to say “thank you” to Tamils across the UK, adding that “We should all celebrate our Tamil community”. “Time and again - we see the immense contribution our Tamil community makes to the UK through...

Man arrested in Germany over Kadirgamar assassination

A Tamil man has been arrested in Germany over accusations he was involved in the 2005 assassination of Sri Lanka's foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, AP reports. The man, 39-year-old Navanithan G, was also allegedly a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He was arrested on Wednesday in southwestern Germany. According to German prosecutors, Navanithan was part of an LTTE wing which was respondible for Kadirgamar's killing and the attemptied killing of the Eelam People's Democratic Party leader Douglas Devananda. Lakshman Kadirgamar was Minister of Foreign Affairs from...

Senior Buddhist clergy urge govt to seek approval before constitutional changes

Sri Lanka's senior Buddhist clergy, known as the Maha Sangha, have urged the government to make sure it seeks their blessings and approval prior to make any constitutional changes. Despite the UNP led government's repeated assurances to the Buddhist clergy that Buddhism would continue to hold the foremost position in the constitution, clergy members cast doubt over the government's intentions in making any alterations. “The Government promised not to make any amendment, which would abolish the priority given to Buddhism, when the Maha Sangha and civil society groups protested against such...

Sri Lanka’s pledges for justice and reform ‘have fallen by the wayside’ - HRW

The international community must “press the government” in Colombo to ensure action is taken on justice for abuses, said Human Rights Watch (HRW), stating that stalling reforms had been further threatened by political instability on the island. “The many victims of Sri Lanka’s three-decade long civil war have seen their diminishing hopes for justice further delayed by presidential politics,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, commenting on the turmoil that Colombo was plunged into with the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister in October. “The...

Tamil Nadu announces creation of new district

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced his decision at a Tamil Nadu legislative assembly earlier this month to carve the Kallakurichi district out of the Villupuram district, effectively creating the 33rd district of the state. Palaniswami cited that the "far-flung" locations of several of Kallakurichi's villages make it considerably more difficult to properly administer them under one district, with locals reportedly having to travel long distances to access government services. He noted that the idea to split the district had originally come from C V Shanmugam, a law...

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