Antony Blinken and Sri Lanka – A look at the new US Secretary of State

After US President-elect Joe Biden announced Antony Blinken as his pick for Secretary of State, we take a look at his previous comments on Sri Lanka, his internationalist and interventionist position and his remarks on American global leadership.

Cyclone Burevi devastates North-East

Fishermen in Mannar examine their wrecked boats. Tens of thosuands of people across the North-East have been impacted by Cyclone Burevi as it slammed into the island this week, leaving homes destroyed, scores displaced and at least one person missing. Wind speeds reached up to 90 kilometres per hour with rainfall exceeding 200mm in the affected areas as the cyclone hit and moved towards Tamil Nadu.

#RememberResist – Tamils fight censorship to mark Maaveerar Naal online

Cover art by Sindu S Hundreds of Tamils and non-Tamil allies took to Instagram yesterday to assert their determination to mark Maaveerar Naal and to remember the fallen fighters of the Tamil liberation struggle despite many contemporary obstacles such as censorship, the global pandemic and state crackdowns against memorialisation in the Tamil homeland. View this post on Instagram A post shared by TEEJAY (@teejayarunasalam) British Tamil musician and Kollywood actor Teejay Arunasalam The campaign, in which individuals posted photos of themselves with a raised palm accompanied by the hashtag #...

Tamil nation marks Maaveerar Naal 2020

Tamils in the homeland braved Sri Lankan military intimidation and court orders to join others around the world and mark Maaveerar Naal on November 27, to remember and pay tribute to the Maaveerar who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for liberation.

British politicians mark Maaveerar Naal

Parliamentarians and government ministers from the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour party across the UK marked Maaveerar Naal with messages of tributes and solidarity to the Tamil community in the UK and in the Tamil homeland for those who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for freedom. Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey, Minister and Conservatives MP Paul Scully and Labour Siobhain McDonagh were among the politicians to send messages this year.

Diaspora Tamils mark Maaveerar Naal

Diaspora Tamils gathered across the world to observe Maaveerar Naal and pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for freedom. See events from around the world below. British Tamils commemorate Maaveerar Naal Maaveerar Naal commemorated in Germany US Tamils mark Maaveerar Naal cross country

Sri Lanka’s security forces crackdown on Maaveerar Naal

Several arrests have taken place and homes have been raided across the North-East today, as the Sri Lankan military began a crackdown in the Tamil homeland, as Eelam Tamils around the world commemorate Maaveerar Naal. Access to the destroyed cemeteries where tens of thousands of Tamil fighters were buried across the North-East has been blocked off by the Sri Lankan military, as a flurry of court orders last week banned commemorative events from taking place. Though private events were allowed, the Sri Lankan security forces carried out several raids, arrests and were heavily deployed. Amongst those arrested is a Jaffna-based priest, who had set up for a remembrance event at the Bishop of Jaffna’s home.

'Ultra nationalist' Sarath Weerasekara appointed as new Minister of Public Security

Retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and long time supporter of the Rajapaksas, was recently sworn in as the new Minister of Public Security, according to President’s Media Division. Earlier this year, Weerasekara pledged to strip the 13th Amendement of clauses that would be crucial to establishing local control and provincial councils. Previously, Weerasekara has said NGOs and civil society activists should be charged with treason and sentenced to death, called for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to be banned and rallied against the Sri Lankan national anthem being sung in Tamil...

UK Houses of Parliament lit with Karthigaipoo to mark Maaveerar Naal

A Karthigaipoo, the national flower of Tamil Eelam, was projected on to Britain's Houses of Parliament in Westminster, Central London tonight, as British Tamils paid tribute to those who gave their lives in the Tamil liberation struggle amidst restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The projection lit up the Houses of Parliament with an image of the flower and the words “We Remember” and "We remember the heroes who fought for freedom from Sri Lankan state genocide".

US resolution calls for an end to enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka

US Congressmen Brad Sherman and Jamie Raskin introduced a House Resolution calling for an end to enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka, across Asia and around the world and also calls upon the United States to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The resolution highlights that "Tamil families of the disappeared have demonstrated tremendous courage in conducting continuing protests, lasting over 1,300 days to demand answers from the Sri Lankan state, despite being met with threats, intimidation, and harrassment by state security forces." It also noted that Sri Lanka has "promoted high-ranking military officials suspected of forcibly disappearing persons and bearing responsibility for war crimes, incuding Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, and has failed to hold accountable other current military officials accused of war crimes."