Thileepan commemorated by Tamils across the globe

Events were held by Tamils across the globe to mark the 33rd anniversary of the death of Lt Col Thileepan, a political wing leader of the LTTE who fasted to death in 1987, appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on 15th September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26th September 1987. His death was mourned across the Tamil homeland at the time and continues to be marked by Eelam Tamils around the world. London Tamils in London commemorated Thileepan outside 10 Downing Street and also held...

Visiting Thileepan

We were at home mostly during that time, especially the girls. The Indian Army were present, so it was not safe to wander outside. In order to sabotage the hunger strike, the Indian Army would disperse the crowd gathered around him. There was a lot of talk in the community about rumours to stage a ‘kidnapping’ to ruin his hunger strike. The Indian Army were set on disrupting the non-violent campaign somehow. We visited Thileepan once. It was on his ninth day into the strike, so he was already fairly frail by this time. His bed had been brought out from his tent and into public view as he...

Hunger strikes across Eelam as Tamils defiantly remember Thileepan

A series of protests are currently underway across the North-East today as Tamils across the homeland commemorated the death of LTTE’s Lt Col Thileepan, despite a Sri Lankan court ban and intimidation from the security forces. Politicians, including from the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), joined civil society members and others to commence a fast at the Chavakachcheri Shiva Temple this morning at 10.48 am - the exact time that Thileepan passed away in 1987.

SPB and songs of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle

S P Balasubrahmanyam jots down lyrics while practising for Ulaga Manitham Thalaikal - 21st June 2007. Photograph: Oviar Pugazhenthi Among the late, great S P Balasubrahmanyam's body of work, which spans over five decades and over 40,000 songs, were several enthusiastic contributions to the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle. Encompassing a variety of styles and speeds, Balasubrahmanyam frequently voiced the lyrics of Eelam revolutionary poets Puthuvai Ratnathurai, who was forcibly disappeared in May 2009, Kasi Ananthan and Joe Puradchi. We look back at a selection of SPB's Eelam liberation songs.

‘I cannot repay their love’ - S P Balasubrahmanyam and Eelam Tamils

SPB looks across Eelam as he flies to Jaffna for the first time in 2016. As Tamils and music lovers around the world mourn the death of legendary South Indian musician S P Balasubrahmanyam, we look back at his support for Eelam Tamils and his famous 2016 concert in Jaffna. Before he had visited the island, Balasubrahmanyam was already a household name. The renowned playback singer had already smashed records around the world and recorded dozens of songs praising the Tamil Eelam liberation movement. Given his long history of support for the Eelam struggle, there was a buzz when it was announced that he was to visit Jaffna in 2016 – the first time Balasubrahmanyam would come to the historic city. He was due to perform with another Kollywood celebrity Gangai Amaran, composer and brother of music director Ilayaraaja.

Tamils mourn legendary singer S P Balasubrahmanyam

The legendary South Indian musician S P Balasubrahmanyam has passed away aged 74. A prolific playback and concert singer who also made his mark as a music director, actor, dubbing artist and film producer, Balasubrahmanyam also lent his voice to the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle, recording several revolutionary songs in the mid-2000s.

Sri Lanka has missed a ‘historic opportunity’ for transitional justice and holds a ‘dismal record’ on accountability - UN Special Rapporteur

Reporting on the developments towards transitional justice since his first visit in March 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, noted that Sri Lanka appears to have missed a “historic opportunity” for sustainable peace due to the government’s “lack of commitment”

33 years since Thileepan began fast unto death

Today marks 33 years since Lt Col. Thileepan began his hunger strike at Nallur Kandaswamy Temple in protest against the failure of the Indian government to honour the pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on 15 th September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26 th September 1987.

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.

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...