Sri Lanka has missed a ‘historic opportunity’ for transitional justice and holds a ‘dismal record’ on accountability - UN Special Rapporteur

Reporting on the developments towards transitional justice since his first visit in March 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, noted that Sri Lanka appears to have missed a “historic opportunity” for sustainable peace due to the government’s “lack of commitment”

33 years since Thileepan began fast unto death

Today marks 33 years since Lt Col. Thileepan began his hunger strike at Nallur Kandaswamy Temple in protest against the failure of the Indian government to honour the pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan began his fast on 15 th September 1987, surrounded by over 100,000 supporters, and died 11 days later, on the 26 th September 1987.

10 years later MV Sun Sea’s Tamil refugees continue to be failed by Canada 

Last month marked 10 years since the MV Sun Sea docked in Esquimalt, B.C., carrying 380 men, 63 women and 49 Tamil children fleeing a genocide perpetrated against them by the Sri Lankan government. However, a decade on from the arrival of the boat, many of the refugees still face a precarious situation in Canada. An event was held in Victoria to mark its anniversary outside the legislature last month, with dozens of Tamils gathered. Speeches were given by those who came on the boat and their children, with a candle lit vigil in the evening.

British Tamils call for arrest of Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché to UK

Several British Tamil diaspora organisations have called on the UK Foreign Office to declare Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché Brigadier BDSN Bothota a ‘persona non grata’ and allow him to be arrested and investigated for atrocity crimes and genocide. “Sri Lanka’s military stands accused of committing grave atrocity crimes and genocide during the decades-long civil war,” wrote the ten organisations. “During the war, in February 2008, Brigadier Bothota was elevated to a Lieutenant Colonel and appointed as the commander of the senior-most regiment of the Sri Lankan Army, namely 1st Reconnaissance...

Gender + Activism - PEARL speaks with Sivakami Rajamanoharan and Roshni Raveenthiran

Speaking with People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), both Sivakami Rajamanoharan, PEARL’s senior Advocacy Officer and former Tamil Guardian Editor-in-Chief, as well as Roshni Raveenthiran, a Tamil educator and community organiser, delivered an enlightening discussion on the role of female Tamil activists; the difficulties they face; and the means of by which the Tamil community can empower women. Entering Tamil spaces Commenting on how she got involved in the Tamil political space, Rajamanoharan notes, that from a very early age she grew up with people in her house constantly...

Tamil families of disappeared rally across North-East

Tamil families of the disappeared rallied across the North-East today to mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. Families demonstrated in districts across the Tamil homeland and were joined by members of the public and Tamil politicians.

Sencholai massacre remembered in defiance of Sri Lanka police and military crackdown

Remembrance events for the victims of the Sencholai massacre, in which 53 female students and three of their teachers were viciously slaughtered by the Sri Lankan air force, took place in Mullaitivu this morning, despite a ban announced by Sri Lankan police earlier this week, and heavy military surveillance. Commemoration events are usually held annually at the memorial arch at the Vallipunam Junction near the site of the bombed home. This year, while arrangements were being made to hold a remembrance this morning (14 th August 2020); organisers were called to the Puthukudiyirippu police station on Wednesday, and informed that the commemoration events could not be held. The police also threatened the organisers with arrest if they went ahead and organised the event.

British MPs calls for sanctions on Sri Lankan government and military officials

Following a parliamentary election which has further empowered the Rajapaksa regime, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) in the UK has called upon Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, to implement sanctions against senior Sri Lankan officials. The officials listed are former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga; Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka; Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva; and, Staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake. In their letter to Raab, the APPGT emphasises that the UK has maintained a “longstanding commitment to accountability and reconciliation” which is...

Remembering the Sencholai massacre 14 years on

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the massacre of 53 school girls by the Sri Lankan Air Force.

British police open war crimes investigation into UK mercenaries in Sri Lanka

The Metropolitan Police has opened an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by British mercenaries against Tamils in Sri Lanka, decades after UK military veterans trained and assisted government troops on the island. The investigation, which is being led by the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Team, comes after the publication of a book by investigative journalist Phil Miller earlier this year, detailing how mercenaries with Keenie Meenie Services (KMS) effectively set up one of Sri Lanka’s most notorious military units and even took part in massacres.

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