US, UN among critics as war crimes accused Shavendra Silva promoted to army chief

Despite widespread criticism of the appointment of Shavendra Silva to second-in-command of the Sri Lankan army earlier this year, the war crimes-accused general was promoted to army commander by the Sri Lankan president on Monday. Formerly the head of of Sri Lanka’s notorious 58 Division, an army unit that committed grave violations of international law during a military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils, Silva has been named in several United Nations reports for his role in overseeing abusive military operations. Shavendra Silva - ‘the most wanted man in Sri Lanka’ “I am...

Britain’s new cabinet – On British Tamils, Sri Lanka and justice

Boris Johnson has been appointed as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with a new cabinet that includes many politicians that have spoken out in support of British Tamils. We examine key figures in the new cabinet and their previous statements on the British Tamil community, justice for mass atrocities and the enduring ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

Law enforcement discriminates against Tamil protesters says UN Special Rapporteur

Sri Lankan authorities apply laws in discriminatory ways, with Tamil protests and gatherings in the North-East disproportionately facing crackdowns, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association said last week. The special rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voulé said in his closing statement of his official trip to the island that although Sri Lanka had a comprehensive legal framework governing the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, this was “scattered in different sets of laws and regulations which seem to be interchangeably enforced”.

Remembering Black July

Today marks thirty-six years since the horrors of the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, when thousands of Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then UNP government and state forces. Armed with electoral rolls, Sinhala mobs targeted Tamil homes and businesses, looting and ransacking property. Driven from their homes, particularly in Colombo, over 3000 Tamils were massacred, whilst thousands more were effectively deported by the state to the North-East.

Tamils protest Kanniya Hindu temple destruction despite Sinhalese assaults and security force obstructions

Hundreds of Tamils from across the North-East travelled to Kanniya in Trincomalee to protest the destruction of a Hindu temple to make way for a Buddhist vihara. Several protesters were obstructed and blocked en route by Sri Lankan army and police, while some were assaulted by Sinhalese as security forces watched on. The protest was planned for July 16 following the destruction of the ancient Hindu temple by the Kanniya hot wells, a place of spiritual significance for Tamils which has become disputed due to the Sri Lankan state’s Sinhalisation of the Trincomalee district, especially its...

‘Tamil politicians have forsaken us’ say Keppapilavu protestors after 863 days of protest

The villagers of Keppapilavu who have been calling for the released of their occupied land for more than 863 days criticised Tamil politicians, stating that they have been “forsaken”. Speaking to reporters in Mullaitivu, where the Sri Lankan security forces have continued to occupy private Tamil land, protestors slammed leaders from the Tamil National Alliance as well as the governor of the Northern province Suren Raghavan. “In the past, TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah has said that if the people’s lands are not released, he too will join the people in their protest,” said one...

Hundreds attend Neeraviyadi temple's pongal 'festival of resistance'

Hundreds of Tamils flocked to Mullaitivu on Saturday as a Hindu temple, formerly on the verge of being colonised by Buddhist monks, held a festival for the first time in over a decade. The Neeraviyadi Pillaiyaar temple in Semmalai has been at the centre of a local dispute about land-grabs and Sinhalisation, as a Buddhist monk has spent the last ten years establishing a vihara on the temple’s premises, culminating in the building of a massive Buddha statue. The Hindu temple which was previously out-of-bounds due to Sri Lankan army occupation has restarted worship activities after a court ruled...

US Congressional Caucus discusses lack of progress on transitional justice and rise of radical Sinhala nationalism in Sri Lanka

United States Congressmen from both main parties discussed the threat of radical Sinhala nationalism in Sri Lanka and the country's lack of progress on transitional justice during the 'Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka' held in Washington DC last month.

Ontario’s Legislative Assembly unanimously votes in favour of Tamil Genocide Week Act 

Canadian parliamentarians from across the political spectrum debated a bill that would proclaim the week ending May 18th as Tamil Genocide Education Week, unanimously voting in favour of it. The bill, put forward by MPP Vijay Thanigasalam, was voted for by 59 parliamentarians with none opposing and has been sent to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills. Several parliamentarians spoke in support of the bill during the debate, with members from different parties calling for more legislation to recognise the Tamil genocide. Excerpts and videos from the debate have been...

Tamils across the world mark Mullivaikkal genocide

Tamils around the world held vigils, rallies, marches and exhibitions to mark May 18 as Tamil Genocide Day.