"Was I A Stranger In My Homeland" by the young Norwegian Tamil, Malavi Sivakanesan, launched at Westminster University, in London on 19th October.
The United Kingdom Tamil Students Union (UKTSU) held their first 'True Potential' personal statement workshop at University College London on the first weekend of the new academic year.
Hundreds of people from the Tamil community in Toronto came together on September 15th, for the 5th Annual Tamil-Canadian Walkathon.
Sunila Abeysekara, an internationally respected Sri Lankan human rights activist died on Monday aged 61 from cancer. An outspoken figure amongst her colleagues in Sri Lanka, she was deeply respected by a number of international figures and Tamils for fearlessly raising the issue of human rights abuses committed against Tamils at the end of the armed conflict. She eventually fled to live in exile in the Netherlands, after the Sri Lankan state owned media site called her a traitor for her endorsement of the 2012 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. She was also an ardent advocate for women's rights in South Asia as well as that of sex workers and homosexuals and transgender people. In the days following her death on September 9th, a number of Tamil activists and organisations paid tribute to her work.
The multi-award nominee, No Fire Zone:The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka documentary premiered in the UK today, with its first official screening taking place in Soho, London. The documentary, outlines what happened to the 400,000 Tamil civilians that were trapped in the government designated 'no fire zone' and then subjected to relentless and sustained shelling, resulting in, what the UN estimates to be, the death of over 70,000 civilians. The film was screened to a fully packed audience, consisting of several human rights activists, journalists and lawyers, at the Curzon in Soho.
British University Tamil Societies across London collaborated to hold a Black July remembrance discussion session at the London School of Economics on Monday.
A film docmenting the wave of student protests that swept across Tamil Nadu was released in Chennai on Sunday, as a packed out crowd gathered to watch its first public screening.
Although thirty years have passed since the anti-Tamil pogrom of 'Black July' 1983, stories of the thousands of Tamil victims are yet to be unraveled. The thousands that fled, many not to return for years and decades to come, all too often buried their painful memories as they struggled to make a new life for themselves in new lands as refugees. Silenced Voices by www.blackjuly1983.com is a noteworthy archive. Yet it is striking that thousands of individual stories, of the many ordinary Tamils, remain unheard. Thirty years on, these stories are starting to trickle out - even then, not from the victims themselves, but from their friends and loved ones, and most of all, their children and grandchildren. As the Tamil nation marks this poignant anniversary, we have endeavoured to collate the small snippets of the nation's memories, that have been shared with the world via social media sites. Despite the time that has passed however, there is little doubt that the personal anguish remains. Whilst those that shared their families' memories were keen for the stories to be heard, many we approached asked that they remain anonymous, out of respect for the deep privacy of their parents and grandparents in relation to their own experiences of Black July. *Names changed on request, to protect victim's privacy. Gajan* @Gajan98*, UK : My parents refuse to talk about the details. But someone warned them, and they fled. When they returned, there was nothing.. #BlackJuly Selvan Ratnarajah*, Australia: "30 years ago this day my dad was dragged out of his car in the heart of Colombo whilst a government-incited mob baying for Tamil blood attempted to pour kerosene on him and set him alight. 3 months after the July 1983 pogrom which left up to 3000 Tamils dead and 150,000 homeless, the entire Rajasingham* / Ratnarajah* clan had left Sri Lanka forever and 3 years later I was born in Sydney – still very much a Tamil but an Australian. And that has made all the difference."
First published in The Aerogram on 17th July 2013. See here for original article. Text reproduced in full below. Photograph The Aerogram When my Amma calls me on the telephone, she sometimes fills the distance that separates us by reading me her poetry and asking me for translations and opinions. She often wants me to translate her own writing from our shared mother tongue, Tamil, to German or English. This leads to inevitable debates on words, meanings, worlds and linguistic displacements. Many of her poetry and short stories center around themes on war, resistance, diaspora, feminism, her...