Rajapaksa uses private jet costing millions to travel for religious pilgrimage

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa flew to India using a private jet allegedly procured by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Uganda and Kenya, Velupillai Kananathan, costing millions of Sri Lankan rupees. Rajapaksa used the private jet to travel to the temple city of Tirupati located in Andhra Pradesh, India. Rajapaksa was welcomed by the joint executive officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and chief vigilance and security officer Gopinath Jatti as he arrived at the temple, where Hindu priests performed associated with seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva. The visit has been...

Chinese company pushes for economic sanctions on Sri Lanka

Responding to the rejection of 20,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser by the Sri Lankan government, the Chinese company Seawin Biotech have successfully sued the government and are now putting pressure on the Chinese government to impose economic sanctions and trade restrictions on Sri Lanka. The rejection of the import occurred in September and led to China blacklisting Sri Lanka’s second-largest state-owned bank and a lawsuit in which Sri Lanka agreed to pay USD $6.7 million in damages to a Chinese fertiliser company. Sri Lanka initially claimed that the fertiliser was rejected due to issues...

Sri Lanka cabinet to discuss IMF bailout option

Mahinda Amaraweera Sri Lanka cabinet will meet on Monday to decide whether or not to seek bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The group of ministers will be joined by the Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal as well as the Treasury Secretary Sajith Attygalle, according to Environment minister Mahinda Amaraweera. Amaraweera, who is a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), has spoken out in favour of seeking an IMF bailout. Speaking to reporters last week he said, “We will have to go to the IMF. There is nothing wrong with that… since we have no other option...

Sri Lanka closes three foreign missions as economic crisis worsens

Sri Lanka has temporarily closed three overseas diplomatic mission posts from December 31 in a bid to save foreign currency reserves and cut spending, as the country deals with crippling debt. The Sri Lankan High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, the Consulate General of Sri Lanka, Frankfurt, Germany and the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Nicosia, Cyprus will be closed from January. Commenting on the closures, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The restructuring is undertaken with a view to conserving the country’s much needed foreign reserves and minimising expenditure related to...

2021 - A year of defiance

As 2021 draws to a close, Tamil Guardian reflects on some of the most significant moments across this past year. This year started off with an attempt by Sri Lanka's security forces to destroy a Mullaivaikkal monument held at Jaffna University. Tamils responded by launching large-scale protests, sit-ins and a hartal across the North-East despite the continued surveillance, intimidation, and threats of violence by Sri Lanka's security forces. The month was marked with unprecedented unity across the North-East as major Tamil political leaders, Tamil civil society actors and Tamil survivor...

Global Tamil Forum commemorates the passing of Bishop Desmond Tutu

Responding to the death of anti-apartheid activist Bishop Desmond Tutu, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has released a statement mourning his passing and remembering his support for “justice, reconciliation and prosperity” in Sri Lanka. In their statement, they highlighted that the Nobel laureate closely followed the brutal massacres that concluded the armed conflict in Sri Lanka and the continued abuses that followed in the years that came. “Your journey has many parallels to the one that we travelled in South Africa, in our quest for equality”, Tutu reportedly told GTF. He further recognised that...

Sri Lankan Special Task Force open fire on Tamil man 

Yasinthan, 27, was severely injured after the Sri Lanka's notorious Special Task Force (STF) opened fire against him last week in Ariyalai-Mulli, Jaffna. Yasinthan was operating a tractor in farmland when the STF obstructed him. They opened fire at him when he continued operating the tractor on the soil without obeying the officers’ orders. Yasinthan suffered terrible injuries as a result of the shooting and was admitted to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital by the police. The police are also said to have confiscated the tractor.

Charges filed against former Jaffna University student representatives

Charges have been filed against former Jaffna University Students’ Union President M. Thivakaran and Secretary S. Babilaraj in Colombo's High Court. These charges come thirty months after the two men were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and released on bail by a Jaffna Court. Thivakaran and Babilaraj were apprehended on May 3, 2021, when the Sri Lankan army conducted a large-scale search of the Jaffna University campus premises and the residence halls. The University administration had invited the army to conduct a search in order for it to be reopened following the...

Villagers in Batticaloa block highway to Colombo in protest against sand mining

Tamil people in Oothuchenai, a village in Batticaloa bordering Polonnaruwa district, blocked a highway between Polonnaruwa and Colombo on Monday, in protest against rampant sand mining in their locality. Located near Vadamunai, Oothuchenai also suffers from a poor road system and the protesters demanded that the road between their village and Velikanthai be renovated. The neighbourhood surrounding Oothuchenai and Vadamunai is home to around 800 families and the Sri Lankan government has given permission to sand mining in Maduru Oya, a nearby river basin. The mining activities, the locals...

MGR remembered in Jaffna

The 34th anniversary of the passing of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and popular Kollywood actor M.G. Ramachandran was commemorated in Jaffna late last week. Remembrance of the towering personality in modern Tamil political history is usually organised in Jaffna by Koppay Sundaralingam, a friend and fan of the superstar. This year, however, due to his recent passing, Sundaralingam’s wife led the proceedings by laying a wreath around MGR’s statue and lighting a candle. Former Northern Provincial Council member M.K. Sivajilingam and the leader of Valvettithurai MGR Organisation were among...

Pages