Remembering Thileepan's sacrifice 35 years on

Today marks 35 years since the death of Lt Col Thileepan, a political wing leader of the LTTE who fasted to death, in a protest appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on the September 15, 1987, with 100,000 people gathered around the historic Nallur Kandwaswamy Temple in Jaffna. On September 13, 1987, Thileepan put forward five demands to the Indian government following the signing of the Indo-Lanka accord in July 1987: Three decades on, Tamils continue to call for the demands made by Thileepan. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi,...

Shops closed in Puthukkudiyiruppu for Thileepan commemoration

Stores in Puthukkudiyiruppu are closed today to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Lt. Col. Thileepan's hunger strike. Today marks the last day of his fast and of commemoration events, marking his 11 day hunger strike until death, 35 years ago. A vehicle convoy commenced this morning from Jaffna University, whilst in Mullaitivu under the arrangement of Puthukkudiyiruppu Trade Association, all the shops are closed. Thileepan began his hunger strike at Nallur Kandaswamy Temple in protest against the failure of the Indian government to honour the pledges made to the Tamil people. He began...

‘Eela not Sinhala’ - Ponniyin Selvan mired in controversy

Ahead of the debut release of Ponniyin Selvan, the film has garnered controversy over its description of the island of Lanka, with the Hindi translation referring to the land as a Sinhala country. The film is based on a historical fiction novel under the same name, by Kalki Krishnamurthy, set during the Chola dynasty. Throughout the novel, Krishnamurthy referred to the island of Lanka as Eela Naadu. However, the Tamil trailer for the movie refers to the island as Illankai or Lanka. Responding to the controversy, Tamil activists have written to Lyca Productions, which is behind the film, to...

Sri Lanka accuses Hamilton Reserve of exploiting its national crisis

The Sri Lankan government has written to a US judge, requesting the dismissal of a case filed by the Hamilton Reserve Bank against Sri Lanka for defaulting on its debts. The Sri Lankan government described the case as an “apparent attempt to gain leverage over a nation in crisis and jump ahead of other foreign creditors”. Sri Lanka was due to pay 5.875% interest on its international sovereign bond on July 25, 2022 but failed to meet these payments due to its ongoing financial crisis. Hamilton Reserve Bank has demanded the full payment of the $250 million owed, noting that interest amounts to...

'Japan stands by Sri Lanka' as debt negotiations continue

Following a staff-level agreement between Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Japanese ambassador, Hideaki Mizukoshi, affirmed that his country would support Sri Lanka in debt restructuring negotiations with its creditors. The agreement with the IMF would see Sri Lanka secure a loan of $2.9 billion through a 48-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) but remains contingent on debt restructuring agreements with the island's creditors. Sri Lanka is currently seeking to restructure an estimated $30 billion of its foreign debt amidst its worst economic crisis in recent history. "Japan...

Sri Lankan president 'makes comedy out of tragedy' as he calls on Tamil diaspora for list of political prisoners

Leader of Tamil Progressive Alliance and Sri Lankan lawmaker Mano Ganesan slammed Ranil Wickremesinghe over his failure to release Tamil political prisoners and his apparent request to the Tamil diaspora to provide a list of those still imprisoned. In a tweet sent earlier today, Ganesa stated that WIckremesinghe "makes comedy out of tragedy!". "He requests the list of #Tamil_prisoners from the #Tamil_Diaspora! Instead he can instruct Commissioner General of Prisons dept to provide him a complete uptodate detailed list of all remanded under PTA since 1978! " President @RW_UNP makes comedy out...

Sri Lankan police detain nearly 90 protestors in Colombo

Several protestors were injured and nearly 90 people have been arrested in Colombo yesterday, as anti-government protests flared in the Sri Lankan capital. The protest, organised by the Socialist Youth Union, was held to demonstrate against the government's continued use of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Sri Lankan police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protestors.

Relatives weep at Nagarkovil massacre commemoration in Jaffna

Parents of children killed in the 1995 Nagarkovil massacre shed tears, as they laid flowers to commemorate their loved ones at an event to mark the 27 th anniversary of the killings this week. In Jaffna, parents and relatives of those killed laid flowers on a monument at the site of the attack, as they remembered the lives lost in the massacre. On September 22, 1995, a SLAF aircraft bombed the Nagarkovil Maha Vidyalayam schoolyard crammed with 750 children on their lunch break, killing more than 30 – of whom 12 were six or seven-year-olds – and injuring 150 others. The overall death toll from...

Sri Lanka’s president takes a jab at British prime ministers

Sri Lanka’s much criticised president Ranil Wickremesinghe took jabs at current British Prime Minister Liz Truss and her predecessor Boris Johnson in an address to parliament earlier today. Paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth, Wickremesinghe told lawmakers that “two days before her death we saw Her Majesty on television with the outgoing prime minister and incoming prime minister”. “She looked a bit exhausted,” he continued. “But anyway, anyone who spends half a day with outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson and the incoming prime minister Liz Truss would have been exhausted, so that was...

Another Tamil activist arrested in Mullaitivu

Sri Lankan police have arrested yet another Tamil activist this morning, just a day after it detained two others over a protest against the illegal construction of a Buddhist vihara in Mullaitivu. Sinnarajah Logeswaran, a member of the Karaithuraipattu Divisional council in Mullaitivu, was called in for questioning by Sri Lankan police today and subsequently arrested. Logeswaran was one of several protestors earlier this week, who demanded a halt to the construction of the vihara in Kurunthurmalai. Hours after the protest took place, Sri Lankan police arrested former Northern Provincial...

Pages