Protests continue in Jaffna as outrage over Mullivaikkal monument destruction grows

Updated 23:00 GMT A group of students have embarked on a hunger strike outside the University of Jaffna, demanding that the Mullivaikkal memorial is reconstructed after it was bulldozed by authorities yesterday evening. Braving surveillance by the Sri Lankan police, the students continued their fast in the rain after being refused permission by the police to erect a tent to stage their protest.

Jaffna Uni VC claims demolition of Mullivaikkal memorial ensured protection of older monuments

Jaffna University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sivakolundu Srisatkunarajah claims that the demolition of the Mullivaikkal memorial in the university campus ensured protection of older monuments. Last night, dozens of Tamils demonstrated in front of the university premises as authorities bulldozed a memorial monument erected in 2019 by the University Students Union, dedicated to the tens of thousands of Tamils killed in Mullivaikkal by the Sri Lankan state. When questioned about the protests, the Vice-Chancellor responded: “The University of Jaffna is a property of the government. It is my duty...

'Heartbroken' Foreign Minister and Canadian MPs condemn destruction of Mullivaikkal monument

Responding to the protests at Jaffna University , Canada's Minister for Foreign Affairs and several MPs have condemned the destruction of a Mullivaikkal memorial, commemorating the lives lost during the Tamil liberation struggle. On Twitter, Canada's Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) has responded on twitter stating: Heartbroken to hear of the destruction of the monument at #Jaffna University to Tamil civilians who died at #Mullivaikkal in 2009. Remembrance is crucial to understanding and moving toward reconciliation. Canada’s Chief Government Whip, Mark Holland, has...

Jaffna University's Vice-Chancellor disparages protesters warning 'they will be dealt with'

As protests continue outside the University of Jaffna over the destruction of a remembrance monument, the Vice-Chancellor responded by claiming the memorials must be taken down and slammed the demonstrations at the gates. "They have come because they are over-enthusiastic," said Vice-Chancellor S Srisatkunarajah, as protests took place outside the campus gates. "It is illegal for them to threaten us. If they do not go by themselves we will deal with them.” The monument was first unveiled in 2019, on the 10 year anniversary of the Mullivaikkal massacres. He maintains that the administration...

Protest at Jaffna University as authorities destroy Mullivaikkal memorial

Dozens of Tamils staged a demonstration outside the University of Jaffna into the early hours of the morning, as armed Sri Lankan troops have blocked off the entrance to the campus after authorities bulldozed a memorial monument. At least two Tamil students have been arrested so far, as the security forces rushed to the scene and crowds grew.

Tamil priest and rights activist Reverend Father Mary Bastian commemorated in Mannar

The 36th anniversary of the assassination of Tamil human rights activist and local Catholic parish priest Reverend Father Mary Bastian was commemorated through a blood donation camp on Wednesday. Mannar Diocesan Bishop Emmanuel Fernando officiated at the consecration ceremony in the evening at the Vankalai Holy Temple and a memorial service was held in front of the statue of Rev.Fr. Mary Bastian at the temple premises. During the military offensives by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) in 1984 in Mannar region, Rev.Fr. Mary Bastian and Rev Jeyarajasingham of Methodist Church in Murunkan were involved...

Extremist Buddhist monk accused of kidnapping sworn into Sri Lanka's Parliament

After several months of infighting and reports of abductions and assaults, an extremist Sinhala Buddhist monk accused of hate speech has been sworn in to Sri Lanka’s parliament this week. Athuraliye Rathana was sworn in after his Our Power of People Party (OPPP) was allocated one National List seat in parliament, as they secured 67,758 votes in the 2020 election. The extremist Sinhala Buddhist monks from the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) formed a new joint coalition to contest in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections. Initially the party had decided to nominate General...

England cricket player positive for COVID-19 whilst on controversial tour in Sri Lanka

English cricket player Moeen Ali tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, after the team arrived for a controversial tour of Sri Lanka which has faced opposition from rights activists calling for a sporting boycott. The tour, which is taking place despite the global coronavirus pandemic, saw players arrive in Sri Lanka last week. After arriving, however, Ali tested positive for coronavirus and is now isolating in a hotel in Hambantota. England’s cricket team are due to begin their test match on January 14. The players are currently allowed to train at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International...

‘$15 million to buy high speed boats for Sri Lanka’

US Senator Rand Paul has hit out at the recently passed US coronavirus relief bill for a “bunch of socialist spending”, as he slammed the stimulus package’s international spending – highlighting how US$15 million has allegedly been allocated to “buy high speed boats for Sri Lanka”. The bill, passed last month, is technically as part of a US$1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill with foreign aid. The allocation for Sri Lanka comes under the ‘‘Foreign Military Financing Program’’ and sees “up to $15,000,000 may be made available for assistance for Sri Lanka for the refurbishing of a high endurance...

‘Sri Lanka’s COVID Military Overlords’ – ITJP

The Sri Lankan government is using the coronavirus pandemic “to whitewash military officers who face allegations of war crimes” said the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) this week, after the regime announced 25 military officers were to be put in charge of civilian health across the island. Many of the officers had “frontline combat experience in the final phase of the war in Sri Lanka in 2009” when tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed by Sri Lankan forces. “The same Sri Lankan army officers are now supposed to safeguard the health of the people they once...

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