Evoking the armed struggle - the kites at VVT festival

Crowds at Valvettithurai beach cheered as kites bearing motifs of the Tamil armed struggle took to the skies for the annual Thai Pongal kite festival on January 14. Entries included a military tank which bore red and yellow flags, the colours of Tamil Eelam, a hybrid tank decorated with what appeared to be tiger stripes, and a boat named ‘Angayarkanni’ - a possible tribute to the LTTE’s first female Black Tiger.

Canadian Prime Minister calls for justice in Sri Lanka, as politicians praise Tamil diaspora at Thai Pongal

Speaking at an event to mark Thai Pongal in Toronto last week, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for justice and accountability in Sri Lanka, as dozens of Canadian politicians from across the political spectrum praised the Tamil diaspora’s contributions. Trudeau noted that 2019 marks ten years since the end of the armed conflict on the island, where tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed, and said that it “leads many of us to reflect still on family members and loved ones who were affected, who lost their lives or injured and harmed in those 25 terrible years”. “We need...

Thai Pongal celebrated by Tamils worldwide

The Tamil festival of Thai Pongal was celebrated around the world and across the Tamil homeland on Tuesday. The secular festival gives thanks to the sun and for the harvest, and dates back in its current form to at least as far back as the Medieval Chola empire. Tamil households and workplaces in the homeland and across the world celebrate by boiling milk and rice - the eponymous 'pongal' - in a clay pot, often accompanied by various other treats and seasonal fruits. The overflow of the milk symbolises abundance and prosperity for the year to come. Our warmest Thai Pongal wishes to Tamils...

Canadian politicians heap praise on Tamil diaspora as they mark Tamil Heritage Month

Canadian politicians from across the political spectrum released statements congratulating the Tamil community on their achievements and thanking them for their contributions to Canadian life as they marked Tamil Heritage Month. The occasion was first marked after an unanimous decision in the House of Commons in 2016, passing a resolution to declare the January as Tamil Heritage Month. Since then, January has seen numerous events take place across the country with community leaders and politicians attending and paying tribute to Tamil Canadians. The Toronto District School Board earlier announced that the month would be marked with the theme of “ Remembrance. Resilience. Recognition.” See some of the messages of support that Canadian politicians have been sending to the Tamil diaspora in the country below.

Christmas celebrated in Tamil homeland

Tamil Christians celebrated Christmas today in the homeland, with church services and private celebrations.

British students 'Break The Silence' on Tamil oppression

British Tamil students held the 'Breaking The Silence' series last month, raising awareness on the stuggles of maintaining Tamil culture and traditions amid ethnic and cultural oppression by the Sri Lankan state. Across Maaveerar Week (Great Heroe's Week) in November, the Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) held a series of events at universities across London, which included an art exhibition on displacement, talks on the ongoing military oppression in the North-East and discussions on identity within the diaspora, as well as a book club.

'Who are we?' - Tamil identity in the diaspora discussed at British university

Politics, culture, religion and caste were the topics of discussion at an event held at SOAS University of London last month, as British Tamils gathered to discuss Tamil identity in the diaspora. As part of the discussion - entitled ‘Diasporic identity: Who are we?’ – panellists discussed a variety of topics related to how the British Tamil community and identity has been formed and grown. Vithujan Arumugam highlighted the intransigent nature of the caste system and iterated the normality of casteism, especially when it comes to relations and marriage – a topic that many in the community felt...

Tamils celebrate Karthikai vilakkeedu - festival of lights

The Tamil festival of lights known as Karthikai Deepam or Karthikai Vilakkeedu was celebrated by Eelam Tamils on Friday. The festival falls each year on the full moon night of the Tamil month of karthikai (November). Origin stories behind the festival vary regionally, although one reason is to celebrate the birth of the Tamil god Murugan.

25th annual Black Tigers memorial tournament held in Denmark

The annual Black Tigers memorial tournament was held in Grindsted, Denmark in August, marking 25 years since the tournament started. Tamil football teams from across Europe compete in the tournament to commemorate Karumpuli Naal , the day of remembrance for fallen cadres of the LTTE's elite Black Tiger wing.

Thousands at Nallur's annual chariot festival

Jaffna's iconic Nallur Kandasamy Kovil saw thousands attend its annual chariot festival, ther thiruvizha, on Saturday.