Despite the Sri Lankan state’s efforts, Tamils across the North-East lit candles and laid flowers in commemorative events to mark 11 years since the massacre of tens of thousands of civilians in Mullivaikkal.
Marking 11 years since the Sri Lankan military onslaught that massacred tens of thousands of Tamils, we revisit the final days leading up to the 18 th of May 2009 – a date remembered around the world as ‘Tamil Genocide Day’. The total number of Tamil civilians killed during the final months is widely contested. After providing an initial death toll of 40,000, the UN found evidence suggesting that 70,000 were killed. Local census records indicate that at least 146,679 people are unaccounted for and presumed to have been killed.
Tamil National Alliance spokesperson M A Sumanthiran said he 'bows his head' and paid his respect to LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, after he provoked widespread outrage from across the Tamil political spectrum, including condemnation from within his own party, following comments made in a Sinhala interview earlier this week. Despite his response in Tamil, his initial comments accepting Sri Lanka's lion flag and national anthem sparked widespread anger and outrage amongst Tamils across the North-East, with condemnation from even normally supportive fellow lawmakers in his own party.
Today marks 44 years since the passing of the Vaddukoddai resolution, a document that concluded an independent state of Tamil Eelam was needed to safeguard the very existence of the Tamil nation in Sri Lanka and remains a cornerstone of the Tamil movement for self-determination. The Vaddukoddai resolution, spearheaded by SJV Chelvanayakam, was unanimously adopted by the Tamil United Liberation Front on May 14th, 1976. The party adopted the resolution into its official election manifesto and a year later, the TULF swept polls across the North-East, storming its way to become Sri Lanka’s...
On Friday night, Sri Lankan army personnel assaulted women and children at the home of a former LTTE cadre, hospitalising an elderly woman. The army had rounded the house in Nagarkovil, Jaffna , in search of the householder Aingaran, purportedly in connection with an attack on a soldier on January 15. In the last four months, several Tamils have been arrested and bailed for the incident, which involved the soldier being confronted by locals for speeding and narrowly missing hitting a child with his motorcycle. Aingaran’s wife said on learning that he was not inside, the army proceeded to assault the women and children that were present. They left, dropping army insignia including a hat with a logo and a mobile phone, only to return in three vehicles bearing groups armed with swords and poles. The returning group smashed two motorcycles parked at the property, as well as furniture and other possessions.
Thampi (little brother), our dog Singaa, my 30 pet doves and myself in Eelam at the end of 2008 moving from Vaddakkachchi to Visuvamadu. I was 15 years old at that time and thought it’d only be two or three weeks then we’ll be back to our place and continue with our normal lives. But I was wrong.
On May 10, 2009, Catholic Priest Father Francis Joseph wrote to the Pope from inside the No Fire Zone, calling on the Church to break its silence on the massacre of Tamils. Father Francis Joseph disappeared after surrendering to the Sri Lankan Army alongside hundred of LTTE cadres and high ranking LTTE officials in May 2009.
On this day 11 years ago, Stephen Sunthararaj, an activist who had exposed the trafficking of Tamil children into international prostitution rings, was abducted and forcibly disappeared in Colombo by armed men in military uniforms. As part of his work he had told the then United States Ambassador in Colombo about prostitution rings run by government aligned paramilitaries in Jaffna. The paramilitaries were trafficking children into sex rings in India and Malaysia with the help of immigration officials.
Sri Lanka is currently using its military forces to seize schools and educational establishments in the Northern Province, to quietly convert into Quarantine Centres (QC’s) for returning navy personnel from the South at risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These efforts have been met with heavy disapproval by local residents and have sparked multiple protests and fear among the public. Around 50 schools in the Northern Province have currently been seized and are in the process of being converted into QC’s.
47 Roots have released a video detailing how India's 800 million poor will be the hardest hit by the state-imposed lockdown. India’s lockdown which was originally introduced on 24 March, for a 3 week period, was imposed with only 4 hours notice and has a dramatic impact on workers in the informal sector. 47 Roots notes that the informal sector accounts for 81% of employment and includes roles such as drivers, milkmen and construction workers. These workers are only paid for their daily labour can earn as little as two dollars a day. With the lock-down still in place, these workers find themselves without these meagre wages. India’s unemployment rate has risen from 6 - 23%.