Sri Lanka's discrete efforts to turn Tamil schools into quarantine centres despite public unrest

Sri Lanka is currently using its military forces to seize schools and educational establishments in the Northern Province, to quietly convert into Quarantine Centres (QC’s) for returning navy personnel from the South at risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These efforts have been met with heavy disapproval by local residents and have sparked multiple protests and fear among the public. Around 50 schools in the Northern Province have currently been seized and are in the process of being converted into QC’s.

Why India’s poorest are starving during lockdown - 47 Roots

47 Roots have released a video detailing how India's 800 million poor will be the hardest hit by the state-imposed lockdown. India’s lockdown which was originally introduced on 24 March, for a 3 week period, was imposed with only 4 hours notice and has a dramatic impact on workers in the informal sector. 47 Roots notes that the informal sector accounts for 81% of employment and includes roles such as drivers, milkmen and construction workers. These workers are only paid for their daily labour can earn as little as two dollars a day. With the lock-down still in place, these workers find themselves without these meagre wages. India’s unemployment rate has risen from 6 - 23%.

Remembering Isaipriya

This weekend marked the 38th birthday of Isaipriya, a famed Tamil newsreader that was executed by the Sri Lankan military in 2009. Shoba, better known by her nom de plume Isaipriya, was just 27 years old when she was killed. A regular figure as a newsreader and telecaster, she was a well known and much loved across the Tamil homeland and the large Tamil diaspora. She presented the news on TTN and featured in the LTTE’s Oliveechchu videos that were distributed around the world.

Sri Lankan police leave three Tamil women hospitalised in brutal assault

Updated 1845 GMT Sri Lankan police officers forced entry into a house in Jaffna and viciously attacked family members with their guns and bats, leaving at least three Tamil women hospitalised. The three women were rushed to the Base Hospital in Manthikai, Jaffna earlier today, with one of the women unconscious from the violent assault. Children and elderly people living in the house were also ruthlessly assaulted, with officers threatening to arrest people on false drug possession charges.

Shot and shelled – but still succeeding

A small war-impacted school in Mullaitivu celebrated as two of its students, both who were left paralyzed from the waist down by Sri Lankan military attacks in 2009, achieved top marks in their O-Level exam results this week. One of the schoolchildren, Vidurshika, spoke to the Tamil Guardian at her home in Mullaitivu the day after she received her results. She was just 6-years-old when a Sri Lankan soldier shot her in the back.

'Where else should I die but here?'

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary since the abduction and murder of Tamil journalist Dharmeratnam Sivaram. Sivaram, popularly known under his nom-de-plume Taraki, was abducted in front of Bambalipitiya police station in Colombo on April 28 and was found dead several hours later in a high security zone in Sri Lanka's capital, which at the time had a heavy police and military presence due to the ongoing conflict. His killers, highly suspected to be linked to the government of then-president Chandrika Kumaratunga, were never caught.

Tamil asylum seeker’s coronavirus death highlights criticism of UK immigration policy

The death of a Tamil asylum seeker from coronavirus last week has highlighted criticism of Britain’s immigration policy towards migrants in the country, including those who have been fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka. Alakaratnam Jeevithan, an asylum seeker from Jaffna, came to the UK ten years ago as he fled Sri Lankan state repression. Yet despite being in Britain for over a decade, his asylum claim was never fully accepted and he had continued to fight legal battles until his death from coronavirus at a London hospital last week.

Remembering the Easter Sunday attacks

Today marks the first Easter Sunday since the suicide bomb attacks last year that killed 359 people and injured 500 more, in a series of explosions targeting churches and luxury hotels. Eight blasts were reported in total, attacking churches in Colombo and Batticaloa. Hotels hit by explosions include the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels and one other, all in Colombo. The three churches struck were the Catholic Shrine of St. Anthony in Kotahena, Colombo, the Catholic Church of St. Sebastian in Negombo and the Zion Church in Batticaloa. At least 45 foreign nationals were amongst...

Tributes for British Tamil doctor on the frontline who dies from coronavirus

Updated 2220 GMT A British Tamil doctor who was working on the frontlines of the country’s National Health Service has passed away after contracting coronavirus. Dr Anton Sebastianpillai, a consultant geriatrician at Kingston Hospital, passed away on the weekend at the hospital’s intensive care unit. His final shift at the hospital had been on March 20.

Prisons releasing vulnerable inmates globally to stem spread of Coronavirus

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began a number of countries around the world have released thousands of prisoners in order to stem a possible spread of the virus within prisons. According to public health experts , prisons are a ripe place for the spread of COVID-19 due to the close contact between prisoners, overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.

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