Commemorative events were held today across the Tamil homeland to remember the 35,000 victims of the catastrophic tsunami on December 26, 2004.
Today marks 12 years since the passing of the chief negotiator and political strategist of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Anton Balasingham. Balasingham, or as he was fondly known among Tamils - Bala Anna, was widely respected by the nation. His charismatic addresses drew tens of thousands, as he provided political analysis with sharp wit. Leading LTTE delegations through numerous negotiations, Bala Anna eloquently and forcefully articulated the rights of the nation. His intellectual prowess and political acumen earned him respect from all sides of the negotiating table. He remains an extraordinary theoretician and a formidable figure within the Tamil struggle. Bala anna's special relationship with the Tamil Guardian is a bond that we remain deeply proud of to this day.
A new study has estimated that over 500 Tamils were forcibly disappeared in just three days, after surrendering to the Sri Lankan army in May 2009. The disappeared include an elderly Tamil Catholic priest Father Francis Joseph, LTTE cadres and civilians who all surrendered to Sri Lankan troops at the time. The study commented that this event “was extraordinary by the number of people disappeared in one location and in a very brief period”.
Thousands of Eelam Tamils worldwide commemorated Maaveerar Naal on November 27, coming together to remember and pay tribute to the Maaveerar - those who gave their lives for the struggle for liberation. Across the North-East, Tamils gathered at Thuyilum Illams (LTTE cemetries or resting homes) and memorials to light lamps and lay flowers. Families of the Maaveerar made personal tributes to their loved ones, bringing photographs and serving their favourite food.
Final preparations at Kanagapuram Thuyilum Illam, the major LTTE cemetery in Kilinochchi, have been completed in advance of Maaveerar Naal. The Kanagapuram Thuyilum Illam has held particular significance as a symbol of mobilisation and resistance around Tamil memorialisation efforts, becoming the first place since the end of the war where Maaveerar Naal was commemorated publicly on a large scale two years ago. Local efforts to recover what remained of Maaveerar graves and headstones and transform the gathered pieces into a new centrepiece mound have inspired similar efforts in the destroyed...
Jaffna University students embarked on their final preparations for Maaveerar Naal, the Tamil national remembrance day for fallen fighters, today. Red and yellow flags marking Tamil national colours where hung across the campus, with the university's Maaveerar monument receiving fresh coats of paint and a newly constructed entrance gate. The miniature entrance gate which was newly erected for this year's event, resembles the towering entrance gates of the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cemeteries, which were bulldozed by Sri Lankan forces at the end of the armed conflict...
Final preparations for Maveerar Naal, the Tamil national remembrance day for fallen LTTE fighters, are underway in thuyilum illams (LTTE cemeteries) across the Tamil homeland.
A second day of chaos set off inside Sri Lanka’s parliament as lawmakers hurled chairs, books and water mixed with chilli powder at the Speaker, who had to be shielded by a heavy police escort in the chambers.
Sri Lanka's parliament descended into a violent brawl today, with a UPFA MPs caught on film throwing a waste bin at the Speaker and a UNP MP photographed wielding a knife during the session. Another UPFA MP was videoed pouring water over the Speaker's chair, whilst photographs published by AFP show a former minister brandishing his middle finger to colleagues.
33 years later, families of the victims recalled how 13 young Tamil men were rounded up and made to walk with their ID cards in the air. STF troops shot them in the neck or head, except the youngest, Maju, who they shot in the chest.