Stamp of defiance and aspiration

Postal stamp released by Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (Federal Party) on 14th April 1961 Photograph Tamil Guardian Stamps such as the one above were produced by Tamil protestors during the mass civil disobedience movement of February to April 1961 when Tamils across the North-East united to oppose the Sri Lankan government’s rapidly escalating ‘Sinhala Only’ policies. The protests brought the civil administration in the Tamil speaking areas to a complete standstill by blockading government offices. They were triggered by the Sinhala government’s decision to forcefully implement the Sinhala...

Remembering the 2006 Sencholai massacre

August 14 marks the 6th anniversary of the Sencholai massacre, where 53 school girls and 3 staff were killed, when an orphanage was attacked by Sri Lankan Air Force jets.

Remembering Black July 1983

Twenty-nine years on the massacre of 1983 is remembered by Tamils around the world. (Photograph YUTSA - 'Canadian Tamil youth #Remember83')

Rajapaksa's UK visit marred by protests

Tamils in the UK protest against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's arrival to London, for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Click on the photo for more information. Updated 07 June 2012 02:16 BST

Mullivaikkal remembered three years on

Jaffna University students defy military and remember the massacre of Mullivaikkal at remembrance event on 18th May 2012 . Three years after the end of the armed conflict, the Eelam Tamil nation remembers its loss, and reaffirms its resolve to demand justice, accountability and a lasting peace. North-East Prayers in Kilinochchi for Mullivaikkal victims (19 May) Tamil parties hold remembrance events in Jaffna (19 May) Jaffna Uni students protest against attack (18 May) Defying military, students remember May 18th at Jaffna Uni (18 May) Jaffna student leader attacked before remembrance event (...

GTF pays tribute to Comrade Roy at state funeral - S Africa

GTF delivers tribute message The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) joined President Jacob Zuba, ministers and senior government officials of South Africa to pay tribute to the late activist and minister, Roy Padayachie, at his state funeral in Durban on Wednesday. As one of the handful of speakers requested to address the mourners and pay tribute to the late Mr Padayachie, the GTF's spokeperson, Suren Surendiran, shared his memories of Comrade Roy, who he described as a pivotal and inspirational figure to the organisation. President Jacob Zuma greets Mr Surendiran Addressing the mourners, Mr Surendiran said, "let me, on your behalf, salute Comrade Roy, whom I and a large number of Tamil speaking people admire so much, for his leadership, not just in this country, but throughout the Tamil diaspora for laying the foundation for Global Tamil Forum, and for his crucial and catalytic role in bringing the liberation campaign together, with a vision to follow ." "The reward he sought, as he has always said, is not recognition, nor status, nor titles, nor money but that the coming generation – who never even knew him – enjoys a better life, thanks to his courageous work. And I also want to pay my personal tribute, to his work and his leadership in achieving, by his determined action, what many thought was impossible - to internationalise, the Tamil Question ."

Syria’s Kurds remain on uprising’s sidelines – but PKK backs Assad

Extracts from a fascinating article by The New York Times last on Syria’s Kurds. The Kurds of Syria, long oppressed by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, are largely staying out of the fighting , hedging their bets as they watch to see who will gain the upper hand. But the PKK has allied itself with the Assad government. In the past, Syria armed and protected the PKK in its long campaign against Turkey. Mr. Assad has made major efforts to keep Syria's Kurds out of the fray, aware that their support for the opposition could prove decisive. He has promised that hundreds of thousands...

Abbas hails Rajapaksa's success, Palestinian ties to Colombo

President Abbas (c) with President Rajapaksa. Photo Sunday Times Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas visiting Sri Lanka Monday hailed President Mahinda Rajapaksa for “achieving peace and stability in the country,” state media reported. Abbas is on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka. It comes exactly fifteen years after former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visited Sri Lanka – with an offer to mediate in the island’s conflict. Abbas was accompanied by foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki. Al-Maliki told reporters that the two countries had seen issues “from the same eye” for a considerable...

Coalition of Tamil diaspora youth organisations pledges to continue struggle against genocide

Delegates represent their country organisations at T-League's second annual general meeting A worldwide coalition of Tamil youth organisations, Global Tamil Youth League (T-League), pledged to continue the struggle against the genocide faced by the Tamil nation and work towards a political solution that was based on the Tamil nation's right to self-determination, at its second annual conference held on the 7th - 8th April. In a resolution unanimously adopted by all of the coalition's member organisations, T-League called for 'the establishment of an independent, international mechanism to ensure truth, accountability and justice ', and pledged to work 'to achieve a political solution that recognises the uncompromising, fundamental principles of the Tamil freedom struggle ', 'to raise awareness about the ongoing multi-faceted genocide unleashed on the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan state' and 'to promote the identity of the Tamil nation '.

Prices rise as Mahinda Economics unwinds

Electricity and fuel prices have shot up as Sri Lanka’s economy adjusts to the sudden drop in the value of the rupee after the Central Bank acceded to IMF pressure and abandoned – for now - its long standing policy of artificially propping up the local currency. Diesel and kerosene prices rose 36 and 49 per cent respectively whilst electricity rates for domestic consumers are to rise by 40 per cent. Bakeries are threatening to increase the price of bread , a staple - especially for the working poor. In the past two weeks the rupee has lost 5.7 per cent of its value against the US dollar. Consequently the prices of fuel and other imported commodities have risen. At the same, the Central Bank is finally signalling an end to cheap credit from Sri Lanka’s increasingly state controlled banks – another key demand of the IMF. Cheap state directed credit was an important factor in fuelling import demand - see our earlier post here . These changes will hit hard President Mahinda Rajapakse’s support base – namely the middle and lower middle class, urban and rural voters in the Sinhala majority areas. The UNP is already talking of an anti UPFA alliance with the TNA and JVP. However, economic difficulties may strengthen rather than undermine Rajapakse’s impeccable Sinhala nationalist credentials.