Tamil youth in India and UK unite to call for CHOGM boycott

Student societies across India and the UK released a statement Tuesday, continuing calls for a boycott of the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). 28 Tamil organisations, in a joint statement, deplored the British Premier’s decision to attend CHOGM and consolidated their calls for heads of states to boycott the summit in Sri Lanka.

New video evidence of Isaipriya alive in military custody

New footage obtained by Channel 4 news shows Tamil journalist Isaipriya alive and held by the Sri Lankan Army, contrary to earlier government reports.

British Tamils protest as SL envoy addresses Pre-CHOGM Forum in London

A Pre-CHOGM Forum entitled “The Commonwealth in Colombo: Prospects for the 2013 Commonwealth Summit” was held in Senate House last week, while Tamils protested outside against Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister GL Peiris, who was earlier reported to be one of the speakers, but he was replaced by Ambassador Chris Nonis. The proceedings started with the Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ms Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, who in her introduction to the event, said that no Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting would take place without focus on the political values of the...

Tamil vote for self-determination must be respected - TNPF

Speaking at a Jaffna press conference at the Jaffna Press Club on Monday, Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam praised the people of the North for demand for self-determination expressed by their votes at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections last month. Listen to press conference in Tamil here: Standing by the TNPF’s decision to boycott the election, Gajendrakumar said that the Tamil people of the North were to be praised for rejecting Sri Lankan rule in the Tamil homeland, and for expressing their enduring desire for the right to self-determination, despite all the obstacles and hardships they have faced in the four years since the end of the armed conflict. " We also view this [election result] as something special. As you well know, our party boycotted this election completely ." " But despite that, we did not ask the Tamil people to boycott the election or to act in a way that we instructed. As you well know we did released a written statement, that only a few media outlets covered. In that way, we left the election to the conscience of the people ." " As far as we are concerned, even today, the [Tamil] people have clearly expressed their aspirations, namely, firstly, they have categorically rejected the Sri Lankan state's conduct and rule within the Tamil homeland . Secondly, with regards to Tamil political aspirations, even today, they have once again, resolutely voted for the right to self-determination, seeking the reaffirmation of our nationhood, and unanimously, for the freedom of a nation ; in a vote that has no historic precedence ." " We bow our heads to their [Tamil people's] act " Gajendrakumar said that his party would work to keep the people actively engaged in politics, outside of election time.

The celebrations continue...

After taking his oath in Jaffna on Friday, P Deniswaran of TELO went to Mannar to celebrate in being appointed a Minister in the Northern Provincial Council.

And so, the NPC begins…

Newly sworn in Chief Minister of the Northern Province CV Wigneswaran and other TNA members who have been appointed to the Northern Provincial Council took their oaths in Jaffna, at the Veerasingham Hall earlier today. (Picture courtesy of Tamil Mirror)

From electioneering to President pleasing: C.V. Wigneswaran

"It is a betrayal of the people who voted for TNA" - TNA candidate Ananthi Sasitharan

Tamil defiance wins

In a show of defiance against weeks of mounting intimidation and harassment, the North cast a vote of outright rejection of the Sri Lankan state, with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) sweeping 75% of the overall vote. The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) fell miles behind, securing only 17% of votes but still faring better than the opposition United National Party (UNP) which failed to secure even 1% of the vote. The TNA won 30 out of the 38 seats on the Northern Provincial Council . The UPFA secured 7 seats with the remaining seat going to the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress (SLMC). Statistics from therepublicsquare.com "The TNA firmly believes that sovereignty lies with the People and not with the State. It is not the government in Colombo that holds the right to govern the Tamil People, but the People themselves. In this regard the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is flawed in that power is concentrated at the Centre and its Agent, the Governor. Our political philosophy is rooted in a fundamental democratic challenge to the authoritarian state. Our political programme is therefore rooted in the needs and aspirations of the Tamil Speaking People for justice and equality. " - From TNA's 'Manifesto Statement'

Northern Provincial Elections take place under draconian intimidation measures

The highly controversial Northern-Provincial Elections took place today, after a week that saw the attack of an electoral candidate’s residence, the death of a TNA campaigner and several other draconian measures . Sources suggest that over 60% of eligible voters took part in all districts of the Northern Province. The district of Jaffna had the lowest turn-out of 60%. The past week saw citizens of the North subject to heightening intimidation and misinformation. Less than two days before the Northern Provincial Council election, one of the most vocal and outspoken candidates of the Tamil National Alliance’s electoral campaign Ananthi Sasitharan narrowly escaped an attack at her home. Consequently, an election monitor, who rushed to the scene after receiving a call from Ananthi, was brutally attacked. Full Coverage: SL army attack Ananthy Sasitharan's home (20 September 2013) Fake prints of the Uthayan newspaper were distributed around the Northern Province, exhibited fictitious calls from the TNA that urged voters to boycott the elections. The forged paper went as far as alleging that TNA candidate, Ananthi Sasitharan, had pledged a new alliance to the ruling party, the UPFA. Copy of fake Uthayan Newspaper- Courtesy www.Seithy.com

Full coverage: SL army attack Ananthy Sasitharan's home

Less than two days before the Northern Provincial Council election, the Sri Lankan army and paramilitary group, EPDP, surrounded the house of Ananthi Sasitharan. Whilst she and her three daughters managed to escape, many of her supporters, and one election monitor were injured after being beaten by the soldiers. The election monitor said, "they [soldiers] kept beating us repeatedly with wooden poles saying "You all speak Tamil Nationalism? You all want the Northern Provincial Council. Take this"