Families of arrested Tamils in Malaysia receive threats, amidst claims of torture

Tamil activists arrested by Malaysian authorities have complained of mistreatment, torture and intimidation from security forces, which includes forced confessions and threats to their families. A lawyer for one of the arrested men, 57-year-old grocery store owner B Subramaniam, said “during the arrest and subsequent detention for 21 days, he was tortured and forced to say ‘I am an LTTE member’”. “He faced all sorts of threats, including a threat that he would be sent to prison for life if he didn’t do this (what was asked by the police),” lawyer S Selvam added. The kin and friends of...

Tamil journalists face road-blocks and intimidation on Maaveerar Naal

The Sri Lankan army put up road-blocks in Batticaloa to prevent people from going to Vakarai for Maaveerar Naal on Wednesday and intimidated Tamil journalists who were reporting on the commemorations. Journalists reported that they were stopped en route to Vakarai Thuyilum Illam (LTTE cemetery) by a Sri Lankan army road-block and turned away by the troops stationed there. The journalists took a different route but were again stopped by Sri Lankan soldiers who demanded identification from the journalists. After rejecting the group’s government issued media accreditation ID cards, the soldiers...

We cannot let the UNHRC take us for a ride says Sri Lanka’s State Minister

State Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka, told the Sunday Observer, that “as a sovereign state, we cannot let the UNHRC or any other organisation take us for a ride.” Commenting on Resolution 30/1 that Sri Lanka co-sponsored in 2015, Wickramanayaka said: “It is my personal view that the previous government probably did not know that we are a sovereign nation. They would have thought we were a colony. At that particular time they may have thought it was the best thing to do, drawing that line with America that originally sponsored it.” “Now that the US has withdrawn from operations there, they are...

Canada pledges $2 million for de-mining work in the North-East

Canada announced that it will provide $8.3 million to support mine-affected communities, including $2 million to the North-East for de-mining work. File photograph: Tamil women carrying out de-mining work in Thunukkai, March 2010 (Russell Watkins / Department for International Development) In a statement, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and International Development Minister Karina Gould vowed to commit to the Ottawa Convention. “Every year, 7,000 people lose their lives and thousands more are injured in areas contaminated by these weapons around the world, which...

Military bases to remain in North-East says Sri Lankan Defence Secretary

Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary, Kamal Gunaratne, said that military bases in the North-East will remain as they are for "national security" purposes, Colombo Page reports. "The security forces should be in right places to safeguard the country. Military camps will not be removed compromising national security by listening to requests from any parties" Gunaratne told a media conference. It has been over a decade since the armed conflict came to an end, however, the Sri Lankan army, navy, and air force, continue to occupy private land that is owned and was used by Tamil civilians. Tens of...

India offers Sri Lanka $450 million in credit for development and security

India offers Sri Lanka $450 million in credit for development and security despite concerns over the newly appointed President’s human rights record. This announcement follows President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s first foreign visit to India, where this agreement was reached. $400 million is offered in terms of development and infrastructure and a further $50 million for national security. In a statement released by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, he claimed that ‘security and development of our two countries are inseparable’. Speaking to concerns over reconciliation, Modi stated; ‘I am...

Maaveerar Naal marked at destroyed cemetery in Amparai

Hundreds of Tamils gathered at a destroyed LTTE cemetery in Amparai to mark Maaveerar Naal on Weednesday, joining Tamils across the North-East and around the world in remembering those who gave their lives in the Tamil struggle. See footage from the event below.

Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Trincomalee

Tamils in Trincomalee commemorated Maaveerar Naal on Wednesday, alongside the rest of the Tamil nation across the North-East and around the world. See footage from the Sampur Thuyilum Illam - an LTTE cemetery that has been destroyed by the Sri Lankan military - below.

British Tamil students hold Maaveerar Naal tributes 

British Tamil university students commemorated the Tamil fighters that fought and lost their lives in the liberation struggle, this Wednesday across the country. Some universities also held events to educate university students on the history of Maaveerar Naal and the self-determination struggle for Tamil Eelam. Essex University Essex University marked Maaveerar Naal with tributes to fallen cadres and also holding a workshop educating students on the history of Maaveerar Naal; the constitution of the LTTE, their fight for freedom, insight on specialised strategies, sacrifices and examination...

Swiss embassy sets record straight on employee abduction

In an official statement, the Embassy of Switzerland issued a set of clarifications regarding the abduction of a local employee in Colombo. To stop false information circulating, the embassy issued the following clarifications: The Swiss embassy immediately lodged a formal complaint and if fully cooperating with the Sri Lanka authorities in order to support police investigation and initiate an inquiry over the case, while duly considering the health condition of the victim and their relatives. Due to deteriorating health condition, the victim is currently not in a state to testify. It has...

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