Hundreds of new photographs from inside Mullivaikkal in 2009, where tens of thousands of Tamils were slaughtered in a Sri Lankan military offensive, have been released by TamilNet this week. The photographs, taken from inside the infamous No Fire Zones, show the aftermath of Sri Lankan military shelling.
By April 2009, Valaignarmadam had been hit by shells several times. Nestled just hundreds of metres away from Nandikadal lagoon, this small, normally serene town on the coast, was now the site of unbelievable suffering. The preceding weeks and months had seen the town’s church, a makeshift hospital, and even people queuing for handouts of food hit by Sri Lankan artillery, rockets and cluster bombs. It was in this carnage that Mariyathas was with his mother.
An independent collective of Tamil-Canadian activists organized a rally in Toronto on Saturday, June 30 th , 2018 in solidarity with Tamil Families of the Disappeared who were reaching 500 days of continuous roadside protests across the North-East of Sri Lanka. This rally kicked off a series of international rallies in London, Zurich, New York, Berlin, Vancouver, Belfast and Sydney the same week. Hundreds attended protests in their respective cities and supported the call for international pressure onto the Sri Lankan government to meet the Families’ demands.
Cover art by Sagi Thilipkumar On midnight 31 st May 1981, the Jaffna Public Library, famous for being the crucible of Tamil literature and heritage, was set ablaze by Sri Lankan security forces and state-sponsored mobs. Over 95,000 unique and irreplaceable Tamil palm leaves (ola), manuscripts, parchments, books, magazines and newspapers, housed within an impressive building inspired by ancient Dravidian architecture, were destroyed during the burning. Some texts that were kept in the library, such as the Yalpanam Vaipavama (a history of Jaffna), were literally irreplaceable, being the only copies in existence. It was one of the largest libraries in Asia.
NPC member Ravikaran scatters flowers at Nandikadal lagoon at sunrise Nine years ago, the Eelam Tamil nation faced the largest massacre of its people by Sri Lankan state forces across the decades of genocide. May 18 has come to be marked as 'Tamil Genocide Day' by Eelam Tamils across the North-East and around the world. Today, we at the Tamil Guardian stand with the Tamil people in remembering the tens of thousands massacred during the final stages of the armed conflict and reiterate the Tamil people's demand for justice.
The leader of the British opposition Jeremy Corbyn committed to including fundamental Tamil issues in any future election manifesto whilst speaking at a Tamil genocide memorial event, organised by Tamils for Labour. The remembrance event, which took place on Wednesday at the Houses of Parliament, was chaired by Sen Kandiah of Tamils for Labour and Siobhain McDonagh MP. Speaking at the Mullivaikkal massacre remembrance event Mr Corbyn said, “If there isn’t truth, justice, reconciliation. There isn’t of the rights of people (Tamil) to determine their own future then problems are being laid...
Photograph: In this image released by the military, a Tamil man waves a white cloth in the air as he is surrounded by Sri Lankan soldiers in Mullivaikkal on May 17th 2009. Marking 9 years since the Sri Lankan military onslaught that massacred tens of thousands of Tamils, we revisit the final days leading up to the 18 th of May 2009 – a date remembered around the world as ‘Tamil Genocide Day’. The total number of Tamil civilians killed during the final months is widely contested. After providing an initial death toll of 40,000, the UN found evidence suggesting that 70,000 were killed. Local census records indicate that at least 146,679 people are unaccounted for and presumed to have been killed during the Sri Lankan military offensive.
An attendant on a North-bound train sexually harassed a Tamil woman and racially abused, and attempted to physically attack, male Tamil passengers who tried to intervene. The attendant on Train 4077 from Mount Lavinia to Chunnakam on Monday moved seats behind the woman and groped her. The woman moved seats to which the attendant followed her. Other passengers intervened when the woman shouted, following which the attendant became more aggressive and racially abusive towards the male Tamil passengers.
Villagers from Iranaitivu staged a massive protest this week, sailing to their island which is occupied by the Sri Lankan military and marching to their homes, refusing to leave until they are guaranteed their land will be returned to them. In a striking and daring demonstration on Monday some 300 Tamils sailed to the island, which has been occupied by the Sri Lankan navy for years. Villagers marched from their protest site on the Kilinochchi district mainland to the coastline where their fishing boats had docked.
A ground-breaking report from the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has identified 56 individuals in Sri Lanka’s notorious Special Task Force (STF) who should not be deployed as UN peacekeepers, including an officer currently serving in Africa accused of involvement in extrajudicial killings. The report is “based primarily on the testimony of Sinhalese security force witnesses” many of whom were involved in abductions themselves. The witnesses have supplied ITJP with names of commanding officers, alongside photographs, map coordinates and “detailed sketches of torture sites,” said the organisation. Former Tamil paramilitaries allied to the Karuna, Iniyabharathy and Pilliyan factions who worked alongside Sri Lankan security forces also provided testimony and evidence. It details how STF officers abducted, tortured and executed Tamils, conducted false flag operations to deceive ceasefire monitors and committed sexual violence. One STF troop described the abductions his team carried out in Colombo as “like a horror film”. Others details horrific incidents of deliberating making Tamil civilians dig in heavily mined areas knowing that they would be killed or eating a meal and drinking arrack whilst they burnt bodies of Tamil victims.