US ambassador meets Sri Lankan general previously rejected for training over war crimes

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka was photographed handing over a shipment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to a Sri Lankan military general, who was previously rejected twice from participating in US training programs due to “credible allegations” over his involvement in war crimes.

The Art of Survival: Tamils in Transit

Tamils in Germany make up a sizeable number of the Eelam Tamil diaspora as a whole. Overcoming racist refugee settlement policies which have prevented them from living in close proximity to each other and as concentrated as their counterparts in Paris, London or Toronto, German Tamils have just as successfully established communities with thriving cultural and social lives. The Kamadchi Ampal temple in Hamm attracts thousands of Tamils from all over Europe, especially for its thiruvizha – annual summer festival. The larger communities are mostly concentrated in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, with smaller populations scattered across the country’s cities, towns and even villages. One of the smaller outposts, with only around 3000-5000 Tamils, is the country’s capital.

Uthayan hits back at Sumanthiran’s ‘false’ news claim

The Uthayan newspaper has hit back at Tamil National Alliance (TNA) spokesperson M A Sumanthiran’s claim that the paper had printed “totally false” news, calling his claims “baffling” and standing by a story on how the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) did not oppose the armed Tamil struggle.

Remembering Sivakumaran’s sacrifice

Tamils around the world marked 46 years since the death of Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran, the first Tamil to die in the liberation struggle. At his home town in Urumpirai in Jaffna, senior Tamil politicians held a series of events to mark his sacrifice and pay tribute to his role as the first militant to die in the armed struggle.

Sri Lanka blocks Sankathi24 Tamil news website as press crackdown continues

The Sri Lankan government has blocked access to renowned Tamil news website Sankathi24.com, as the state continued with its tightening of the Tamil press. The website – www.sankathi24.com – became inaccessible for those on the island on May 28 th last month, with no warning or explanation given by the Sri Lankan state. The latest incident sparked fears for the website’s correspondents who remain in the Tamil homeland. “We fear for the lives of our reporters in Tamil Eelam," said Seraman, a columnist, for Sankathi24.com. “We fear that they may be tracked down.”

'Self-Quarantine: Ponnaveli Village, Population One'

Sellaiah Rashanayagam has "been the sole resident of his village since Sri Lanka's civil war ended in 2009- and he doesn't plan to leave anytime soon," writes Vijayatharsiny Vijayakumar for Global Press Journal. "When the Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009, the nearly 200 residents who called this village home chose to leave. They relocated to cities and towns where they would have better access to hospitals, shopping centres and jobs. But Sellaiah Rashanayagam, 67, chose to stay." "Now, more than a decade later, he's still the lone resident of Ponnaveli, a village in Sri Lanka's northern province. The coastal village was destroyed during the war. Still, Rashanayagam says he refuses to leave and he doesn't want to open up the village to others either. He wants to preserve the village's Tamil name and farming traditions." "His solitary lifestyle is a political statement. And it's evidence that tensions between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese, and mostly Buddhist majority, and the Tamil, mostly Muslim minority, still run deep."

'I do not need to talk about that' - Sampanthan

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan refused to answer several questions on Sri Lanka’s flag and the armed Tamil struggle in a hot-headed interview with Sooriyan FM last week, where he distanced himself from spokesperson M A Sumanthiran as the party’s senior leadership continued to come under criticism. Speaking to Sooriyan FM, Sampanthan became visibly irate during the interview, shaking his fist and refusing to elaborate on several questions, stating that many topics were “old stories”.

‘Jaffna burns again’ - snippets from the burning of Jaffna Library

May 31, 1981 marked not only the burning of the Jaffna Public Library, but the beginning of a week-long rampage of violence by Sri Lankan security forces and Sinhala mobs which devastated the peninsula. The violence and devastation was largely ignored by the island’s mainstream press, and even in Tamil Nadu reports did not reach the media for many days, as a result of the shutdown of press throughout the North and general censorship imposed by the Sri Lankan government. Notably, the office and presses of Eelanadu, a prolific Tamil daily coming out of Jaffna since 1959, were burnt to the...

History in flames: remembering the burning of Jaffna Library

At midnight on May 31, 1981, the Jaffna Public Library, the crucible of Tamil literature and heritage, was set ablaze by Sri Lankan security forces and state-sponsored mobs. The burning has since been marked by Eelam Tamils as an act of genocide.

Surviving genocide and a pandemic - 63 year old farmer Kittinan

Chinnakannu Kittinan, a 63-year-old farmer, is amongst those who have been hardest hit – having suffered from both the massacres at Mullivaikkal and the state’s militarised COVID-19 response. And yet, he remains resilient, working through most of his day despite his age and the scorching sun, before going home to cook and care for his family.

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