Across the Tamil homeland, decades of armed conflict had already taken a heavy toll. Yet, more than 11 years since the massacres at Mullivaikkal, alongside the massive loss of life and the ongoing militarisation across Eelam, many continue to live in dire poverty. More than 11 years since the massacres at Mullivaikkal, we take a look at one town in Mullaitivu, which highlights how for the Tamil people the suffering has not stopped.
Today marks the birthday of Balachandran Prabhakaran, the third child of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was executed by the Sri Lankan military during the final days of the Mullivaikkal massacre. Balachandran, who was born on the 1 st of October 1996, would be 24 years old today. Aged just 12 years old, he was one of thousands of children killed by the Sri Lankan military. Leaked trophy photographs taken by Sri Lankan soldiers, show the child in their custody sitting with a snack in his hand, sitting on a bench surrounded by sandbags, in what looks like a fortified army position.
The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres raised concerns over the Sri Lankan government’s intimidation of human rights activists, including those that had travelled to the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year, labelling any such activities “absolutely unacceptable”.
A hartal is being carried out across the North-East today, as Tamils were joined by Muslims and others across the region as they protested Sri Lankan attempts to ban the commemoration of those who gave their lives for Tamil rights and ongoing intimidation. The hartal - a day long shutdown - took place despite intimdation from the Sri Lankan security forces, with reports that traders were threatened to continue business as normal.
Events were held by Tamils across the globe to mark the 33rd anniversary of the death of Lt Col Thileepan, a political wing leader of the LTTE who fasted to death in 1987, appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on 15th September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26th September 1987. His death was mourned across the Tamil homeland at the time and continues to be marked by Eelam Tamils around the world. London Tamils in London commemorated Thileepan outside 10 Downing Street and also held...
We were at home mostly during that time, especially the girls. The Indian Army were present, so it was not safe to wander outside. In order to sabotage the hunger strike, the Indian Army would disperse the crowd gathered around him. There was a lot of talk in the community about rumours to stage a ‘kidnapping’ to ruin his hunger strike. The Indian Army were set on disrupting the non-violent campaign somehow. We visited Thileepan once. It was on his ninth day into the strike, so he was already fairly frail by this time. His bed had been brought out from his tent and into public view as he...
A series of protests are currently underway across the North-East today as Tamils across the homeland commemorated the death of LTTE’s Lt Col Thileepan, despite a Sri Lankan court ban and intimidation from the security forces. Politicians, including from the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), joined civil society members and others to commence a fast at the Chavakachcheri Shiva Temple this morning at 10.48 am - the exact time that Thileepan passed away in 1987.
S P Balasubrahmanyam jots down lyrics while practising for Ulaga Manitham Thalaikal - 21st June 2007. Photograph: Oviar Pugazhenthi Among the late, great S P Balasubrahmanyam's body of work, which spans over five decades and over 40,000 songs, were several enthusiastic contributions to the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle. Encompassing a variety of styles and speeds, Balasubrahmanyam frequently voiced the lyrics of Eelam revolutionary poets Puthuvai Ratnathurai, who was forcibly disappeared in May 2009, Kasi Ananthan and Joe Puradchi. We look back at a selection of SPB's Eelam liberation songs.
SPB looks across Eelam as he flies to Jaffna for the first time in 2016. As Tamils and music lovers around the world mourn the death of legendary South Indian musician S P Balasubrahmanyam, we look back at his support for Eelam Tamils and his famous 2016 concert in Jaffna. Before he had visited the island, Balasubrahmanyam was already a household name. The renowned playback singer had already smashed records around the world and recorded dozens of songs praising the Tamil Eelam liberation movement. Given his long history of support for the Eelam struggle, there was a buzz when it was announced that he was to visit Jaffna in 2016 – the first time Balasubrahmanyam would come to the historic city. He was due to perform with another Kollywood celebrity Gangai Amaran, composer and brother of music director Ilayaraaja.
The legendary South Indian musician S P Balasubrahmanyam has passed away aged 74. A prolific playback and concert singer who also made his mark as a music director, actor, dubbing artist and film producer, Balasubrahmanyam also lent his voice to the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle, recording several revolutionary songs in the mid-2000s.