Sri Lanka’s President Sirisena vowed on Monday to drive through his change of government which he had begun with the replacement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena would not be discouraged by resistance in Parliament, civil society and the international community to his actions, the Associated Press quoted him telling a large rally of supporters of his UPFA party. "Even if there are threats, pressure and forces, I will only move forward and will not take a step back," Sirisena told the crowd, which police estimated at 120,000. He denounced the policies enacted by the coalition government he had formed and jointly led with Wickremesinghe since 2015 as foreign impositions. “I ousted a vision that is incompatible with our local culture and values, and that works according to foreign agendas,” Sirisena said. "For the past 3 ½ years, poor people were suppressed by Ranil Wickremesinghe's economic and political vision. Local thoughts were rejected and an extreme neo-liberal form of governance was carried out."
Today marks eleven years since S. P. Thamilselvan, the head of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was assassinated by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF). On November 2nd 2007 Sri Lankan Air Force jets carried out a strike on a residence of members of the LTTE's political division. Five other LTTE officials - Lt. Col. Anpumani (Alex), Major Mikuthan, Major Neathaaji, Lt. Aadchiveal and Lt. Maavaikkumaran - were killed alongside Brigadier Thamilselvan, in the attack.
Sri Lanka has erupted into political turmoil this weekend after the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who stands of accused of overseeing war crimes as tens of thousands of Tamils were massacred during 2009, was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s prime minister on Friday. The appointment, which was overseen by current president Maithripala Sirisena and the heads of the three branches of the Sri Lankan military, caught UNP leader and Sirisena’s coalition partner Ranil Wickremesinghe by surprise, who has argued back that the move was unconstitutional. Wickremesinghe has claimed that he still remains Sri Lanka’s prime minister and has refused to vacate the office in Temple Trees.
The British Tamil Conservatives (BTC) hosted their annual reception at the Conservative Party Conference on this weekend, where ministers and parliamentarians came and pledged to work towards justice in Sri Lanka.
Tamils across the North-East held local events to remember the death of Lt Col Thileepan on September 26, 1987, after he fasted unto death in protest at the Indian government's failure to fulfil its pledges to the Tamil people.
Today marks 31 years since the death of Lt Col Thileepan, a political wing leader of the LTTE who fasted to death, in a protest appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on the September 15, 1987, with 100,000 people gathered around the historic Nallur Kandwaswamy Temple in Jaffna. As he began his strike he put forward 5 demands to the Indian government. Thirty-one years on, Tamils continue to call for the demands made by Thileepan. See a video of his famous speech below. See an eye witness account of his protest written by Adele...
Sexual violence against Tamil men by the Sri Lankan state was ‘widespread’ and ‘egregious’ both during and after the war, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) concluded in its latest report, launched at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today. The report analyses testimonies collected by the organisation over four years, which show Tamils have been disproportionately affected by sexual violence by state security forces, both during the war and in the post-war context, and that sexual violence has been committed to a large extent by those in Sri Lanka’s “extensive security apparatus who profit from a culture of impunity.” The testimonies used in the report were from Tamil men in ages ranging from the youngest aged 14 at the time of the violations to the oldest victim in his late forties.
Tamils across the North-East today marked 31 years since Lt Col Thileepan began his fast unto death, demanding the Indian government upheld its promises to the Tamil people. Over 100,000 people gathered at the Nallur temple in Jaffna on September 15, 1987 to hear his words as he began the hunger strike.
He was my favourite uncle, the youngest in my mother’s family, who was named after the Tamil deity, Lord Murugan - the true protector of language heritage and the Tamil culture, as my grandmother (Ammamma) would always say. He was her last son, her favourite. A most mischievous being that she loved and spent the majority of her final years protecting. He survived abuse during the time the Indian army came onto the island and lived through war and witnessed the genocide of his people, before he was forced to let go of the one person he dreamed of sharing his life with.
Thousands of Tamils demonstrated in Mullaitivu this morning, calling for an end to Sinhalisation and land grabs in the region.