‘LTTE should be removed from the terrorist list’ says former Malaysian PM Mahathir

Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad said that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should be removed from the country’s list of terrorist groups. Mohamad, a veteran politician that has dominated Malaysian politics for decades, was speaking about a letter he is purported to have written in January while he was still Prime Minister to the then Home Minister and now prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in which he was reported to have urged Mr Yassin to scrap LTTE from the terrorist groups list. Whilst he declared that he does not support the LTTE, he said he saw no reason to...

Sinhala Buddhist monk warns 'minorities' that 'tenants should not trouble landlords'

Sinhala Buddhist monk Ellawala Medhananda stated that “tenant” Tamils shouldn’t cause hassle for the “landlord” Sinhalese, in response to a speech by TMTK MP C V Wigneswaran in parliament last month, claiming there is “no proof that the North and East are historical Tamil provinces”. "It is a blatant lie that Tamils are the ancient race in Sri Lanka,” Medanantha said, “and there is no historical evidence to corroborate that statement”. The Buddhist monk is a former MP with the Jathika Hela Urumaya and is currently a member of the Presidential Task Force on archaeology in the Eastern Province...

SLPP slams TNA for meeting with India and discussing 13th Amendment

The General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) G L Peiris slammed the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for meeting with the Indian High Commission and discussing the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution, claiming it would “spread racism in the country”. Members of the TNA, including party leader R Sampanthan, met with Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay last month. Amongst the matters reportedly discussed was the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment, enacted after the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, was reportedly described as “dysfunctional” by the Tamil...

Sri Lanka’s parliament speaker allows Wigneswaran’s speech to stand

The speaker of Sri Lanka’s parliament announced that a speech by TMTK MP C V Wigneswaran, referencing the indigenous nature of Tamil to the island, would not be expunged from Hansard after uproar from both government and opposition Sinhala parliamentarians. In Wigneswaran’s speech, he opened with some sentiments in Tamil and then said in English, “I start my felicitation Honourable Speaker, hailing you in my mother tongue, the oldest living language of this world. And the language of the first indigenous inhabitants of this country”. The matter was brought up by Galle District SJB MP Manusha...

Families of the disappeared urge UNHRC to help provide ‘meaningful justice’ for missing relatives

The families of the disappeared in the North-East have called on the international community to “accelerate the process to proclaim a meaning justice” in an “appropriate and timely manner” for those who were forcibly disappeared, in a letter sent to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC).

JVP leader backs abolition of Sri Lanka's Provincial Council system

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake reportedly supported the abolition of the Provincial Council system in Sri Lanka in remarks made this week, according to News Wire . The website reported that during a panel discussion held in Swarnavahini, Dissanayake said the proposed 20th Amendment is an amendment to the constitution like the 13th and 19th Amendments. The 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution, passed as a result of the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord, called for the devolution of powers through provisional councils. Dissanayake reportedly suggested that the 20th...

10 years later MV Sun Sea’s Tamil refugees continue to be failed by Canada 

Last month marked 10 years since the MV Sun Sea docked in Esquimalt, B.C., carrying 380 men, 63 women and 49 Tamil children fleeing a genocide perpetrated against them by the Sri Lankan government. However, a decade on from the arrival of the boat, many of the refugees still face a precarious situation in Canada. An event was held in Victoria to mark its anniversary outside the legislature last month, with dozens of Tamils gathered. Speeches were given by those who came on the boat and their children, with a candle lit vigil in the evening.

Tamils remember their loved ones - Newsletter, 7 September 2020

In the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s 2020 parliamentary election, the Rajapaksa regime was able to solidify its control over the country and effectively gain a two-thirds majority. There was never any misconception over what accused war criminal Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa had envisioned for the state, and within weeks , his newly appointed cabinet swiftly drafted a new 20th Amendment to the constitution. If approved, which seems likely, his office will be granted sweeping powers that in effect solidifies the executive presidency and remove a series of checks and balances. Whilst the...

British Tamils call for arrest of Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché to UK

Several British Tamil diaspora organisations have called on the UK Foreign Office to declare Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché Brigadier BDSN Bothota a ‘persona non grata’ and allow him to be arrested and investigated for atrocity crimes and genocide. “Sri Lanka’s military stands accused of committing grave atrocity crimes and genocide during the decades-long civil war,” wrote the ten organisations. “During the war, in February 2008, Brigadier Bothota was elevated to a Lieutenant Colonel and appointed as the commander of the senior-most regiment of the Sri Lankan Army, namely 1st Reconnaissance...

What Gotabaya’s Presidency will mean for Tamil politics and development in Sri Lanka

Writing for The Wire India, Mario Arulthas, Advocacy Director for PEARL, and Dr Madura Rasaratnam, professor of Comparative Politics at the City University of London, rebuke the argument that parliamentary elections indicate “a complete overhaul” of the political system with turn away from “Tamil nationalist politics and towards development”; instead they provide a more nuanced analysis that highlights that the “fundamentals of Sri Lanka’s politics will likely remain unchanged”.

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