Maaveerar Naal: Jaffna District

Maaveerar Naal commemorations started off early in the Jaffna District as tributes were paid at the family home of the first Maaveerar Lt. Shankar.

Sri Lanka launches crackdown on Maaveerar Naal

A heavy Sri Lankan military presence blocked mourners across the North, with security forces arresting at least one prominent activist and assaulting a journalist, as a crackdown was launched today whilst Tamils attempted to mark Maaveerar Naal. Despite a flurry of court orders across the North that rejected appeals from the Sri Lankan security forces to block remembrance events, the Sri Lankan military presence was out in full force across the North-East.

Thousands of Karthigaipoo flowers laid out before UK Houses of Parliament to mark Maaveerar Naal

An installation was set up in front of Britain's Houses of Parliament in Westminster, Central London earlier today, with thousands of Karthgaipoo flowers bearing messages of remembrance to mark Maaveerar Naal.

Police Scotland will not renew training contract with Sri Lanka due to human rights concerns

Police Scotland has informed the UK High Commission in Sri Lanka that they will not extend their training contract with Sri Lanka’s police force in March 2022, when it is set to expire, due to ongoing human rights concerns. Making this announcement Iain Livingstone, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, told Scottish authorities: “Our training in Sri Lanka was suspended in early 2020. We have not deployed to Sri Lanka since that time, because the overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment (OSJA), require a review to accurately reflect the current security and human rights issues in the...

The aftermath of a tragedy – Photographs from Kinniya

Earlier today at least four schoolchildren and two others died after a makeshift ferry capsized in Trincomalee. Enraged locals attacked the home of a local parliamentarian, furious at construction delays of a new bridge that is supposedly being built in the area which led to the makeshift ferry being used. These photographs from Kanapathipillai Kumanan capture scenes of the aftermath in Trincomalee.

Accused Sri Lankan war criminal inducted into US military ‘International Hall of Fame’

The former head of Sri Lanka’s army has been inducted into the US Army Command and General Staff College’s “International Hall of Fame” this week, an appointment that has led to widespread outcry from Tamil victims around the world. Mahesh Senanayake, who has had a long Sri Lankan military career and once ran for president, was awarded in a ceremony held in the US this week.

Sri Lanka’s deadly new unit in the heart of the Tamil homeland

More than a decade since the end of the armed conflict, the Sri Lankan military has raised a deadly new unit in Kilinochchi, the heart of the Tamil homeland, reportedly to “eliminate the internal and external threats”. A flashy new video from the newly raised 1 Corps states that the new unit "is the highest tactical organization” in the Sri Lankan army, with a range of units including the war crimes accused 58 and 53 Divisions.

Sri Lanka’s finance minister presents budget amidst economic crisis and soaring defence spending

Sri Lanka’s finance minister presented the 2022 budget in Parliament today with a bombastic speech that praised the ruling regime and continued with the government's increased focus on military spending and 'national security'. Basil Rajapaksa, a brother of both president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, was full of praise for his siblings. “There are three main responsibilities that any elected government must fulfill in any country in the world,” he said. “They are, national security, development, and social welfare. President Mahinda Rajapaksha is the only leader...

Reporters Without Borders calls for Tamil Guardian’s Instagram to be reinstated

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for an end to Instagram’s censorship of the Tamil Guardian and for Facebook to be “more transparent”, after the news website had its account disabled last month. “The London-based English-language website is one of the main sources of news about the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the rest of the world and has more than 19,000 followers on Instagram, and yet it was censored in the most brutal manner, with no prior warning and no explanation,” said RSF in a statement released this morning. It went on to detail how despite the Tamil Guardian’s efforts...

Former UN investigator urges Police Scotland to end training of Sri Lankan officers

Former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and secretary-general of the Global Campus of Human Rights, Professor Manfred Nowark, has urged Holyrood to launch an inquiry into allegations of Sri Lankan police brutality against Tamil refugees who fled the island for Scotland. Nowark has maintained that if the refugees’ claims are established Police Scotland must end its controversial training of Sri Lankan police. He further urged for criminal investigation noting that torture techniques he exposed for the UN in 2007 are allegedly still being used. “The use of practices such as hanging victims...