Missing bombs – Controversy after Sri Lankan artillery fire removed from Mullivaikkal memorial

The 'reconstructed' monument unveiled last week, missing sculptures of Sri Lankan shells landing on the outstretched arms. As authorities at the University of Jaffna unveiled a supposedly reconstructed monument to those massacred at Mullivaikkal last week, there was controversy as key elements of the memorial depicting Sri Lankan military shelling had been entirely removed. The Mullivaikkal memorial, built to commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamils killed by Sri Lankan government shelling in 2009, was bulldozed by authorities earlier this year. Amidst protests by locals and global outrage...

Replacement Mullivaikkal memorial unveiled at Jaffna University

The replacement Mullivaikkal memorial was unveiled this morning at the University of Jaffna, after it was destroyed by Sri Lankan authorities earlier this year.

Remembering the blasts – 2 years on from the Easter Sunday attack

A woman pays tribute at a church in Jaffna this morning. Today marks two years since a series of bomb attacks targeting churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, killing 279 people and injured more than 500 others. The attacks, staged by eight bombers who all killed themselves in the attack, saw eight blasts reported in total, attacking luxury hotels and churches in Colombo and Batticaloa. Hotels hit by explosions include the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels and one other, all in Colombo. The three churches struck were the Catholic Shrine of St. Anthony in Kotahena, Colombo, the Catholic Church of St. Sebastian in Negombo and the Zion Church in Batticaloa. At least 45 foreign nationals were amongst the dead. Though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, with the lesser-known jihadist group National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) involved, it soon emerged that Sri Lankan intelligence services were aware that an attack was due to take place on Easter Sunday. The aftermath of the attack saw reports of senior Sri Lankan figures being complicit with the previously little known NTJ, mob violence against Muslims and a ramping up of militarisation and securitisation across the island that persists to this day.

'Where else should I die but here?' - Remembering Sivaram

Today marks the sixteenth anniversary since the abduction and murder of Tamil journalist Dharmeratnam Sivaram. Sivaram, popularly known under his nom-de-plume Taraki, was abducted in front of Bambalipitiya police station in Colombo on April 28 and was found dead several hours later in a high security zone in Sri Lanka's capital, which at the time had a heavy police and military presence due to the ongoing conflict. His killers, highly suspected to be linked to the government of then-president Chandrika Kumaratunga, were never caught.

‘Rise of the Tigers’ – The early years of the LTTE

A newly published book from the Swiss-based Puradsi Media and ‘Phoenix - the Next Generation’, provides a historical look back through the early years of the armed struggle. ‘Rise of the Tigers’ , the second publication from the organisations, compiles rare photographs, newspaper clippings and in-depth biographies to provide unprecedented details about the founding members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the formation of the leading Tamil armed movement.

12 years today - Thousands of British Tamils occupy Parliament Square

This week marks 12 years since thousands of British Tamils began a 73 day long continuous protest at Parliament Square in London, as the Sri Lankan government ramped up a military offensive that had already massacred tens of thousands. Following two weeks of protest outside the British parliament, the number of demonstrators escalated to thousands in response to the intensified shelling of Tamil civilians in the North-East of Sri Lanka. Thousands of protestors took to the streets and staged a sit-down demonstration in front of the Houses of Commons. Photographs: Southbanksteve The weeks of...

UN budgets US$2.8 million for war crimes evidence collection in Sri Lanka

Ahead of the passing of a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, a US$2.8 million budget was being requested by the global body to begin collecting evidence of mass atrocities that could be used for future war crimes trials. A programme budget implications statement was distributed on Monday, which detailed the resources and budget that would be required in 2021 and 2022 for the Office of the High Commissioner “to collect, consolidate, analyse and preserve information and evidence and to develop possible strategies for future accountability processes for gross violations...

UN Human Rights Council passes resolution mandating war crimes evidence collection on Sri Lanka

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on accountability and justice in Sri Lanka, by 22 votes in favour to 14 votes against and 11 abstentions. The resolution, adopted earlier today, will mandate the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to "collect" as well as "consolidate, analyse and preserve” evidence that could be used in future war crimes trials. The resolution also “expresses serious concern at the trends emerging over the past year, which represent a clear early warning sign of a deteriorating situation of human rights in Sri Lanka” and highlights “ongoing impunity and political obstruction of accountability for crimes and human rights violations”. More than US$ 2.8 million has been budgeted for the collection and analysis of evidence, with a report to be produced and presented to the Council in 2022.

Tamil Nadu politicians urge Indian government to vote for resolution on Sri Lanka in UNHRC

As the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council is set to vote on a crucial resolution on Sri Lanka tomorrow, politicians in Tamil Nadu have come out with statements urging the Indian government to vote in favour of the resolution, and for justice and accountability for Eelam Tamils. The stance of the Indian government has acquired particular prominence in the state because of Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage’s recent remarks that India has “assured support for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.” That the Ministry of External Affairs did not deny this claim caused anxiety in Tamil Nadu...

An animated history of the Tamil struggle

We explore figures from the early decades of the Tamil struggle by animating and bringing to life photographs taken throughout the decades. Using the ‘Deep Nostalgia’ feature, developed by the genealogy platform MyHeritage, the animated photographs offers a chance to see some of the Tamil struggle’s most memorable figures and moments in a new form. For many of these figures, no video footage of them exists.