Remembering Bala Anna 15 years on

Today marks 15 years since the passing of the chief negotiator and political strategist of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Anton Balasingham. Balasingham, or as he was fondly known among Tamils - Bala Anna, was widely respected and adored by the nation. His charismatic addresses in venues around the world drew tens of thousands, as he provided political analysis with sharp wit. Leading LTTE delegations through numerous negotiations, Bala Anna eloquently and forcefully articulated the rights of the nation. His intellectual prowess and political acumen earned him respect from all sides of the negotiating table.

Black flags and protests mark Human Rights Day in Tamil homeland, as families brave Sri Lankan intimidation

Tamil families of the disappeared marched across the North-East today in a series of rallies and demonstrations to mark International Human Rights Day, despite Sri Lankan military intimidation.

India cracks the whip in Sri Lanka?

The Indian government has looked to expand several projects in the Tamil homeland, according to the latest press reports, as Sri Lanka’s finance minister Basil Rajapaksa faced criticism over his visit to New Delhi last week with claims that he “went to beg from India”. Rajapaksa’s visit came as Sri Lanka sought crucial financial support from India amidst a deepening economic crisis and growing tensions between the neighbours. He agreed a four-point economic plan with New Delhi, which alongside the offer of a much-needed currency swap to assist Sri Lanka during its financial crisis, also included “facilitating Indian investments in different sectors in Sri Lanka” and an agreement to develop the Trincomalee Tank Farm – a reversal from a previous Sri Lankan position.

Defender of the Rajapaksa regime - Sri Lanka's new ambassador to USA

Sri Lanka Podjuana Peramuna (SLPP) parliamentarian Mahinda Samarasinghe, a staunch defender of the Rajapaksa regime, will take up the ambassadorial position in the United States following a request from Sri Lanka's president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, according to reports. Mahinda Samarasinghe who resigned from parliament on November 25, is expected to fly to the United States next week and assume his duties as ambassador in Washington DC. We take a look back through Samarasinghe’s history and how he has denied war crimes, rejected claims of media suppression and been a firm supporter of the Rajapaksas.

Another Rajapaksa visits Delhi as Indo-Lanka tensions grow and crisis deepens

Sri Lanka’s finance minister and another brother of the Rajapaksa regime, Basil Rajapaksa, is in Delhi this week, as his government looks to India for crucial financial support amidst a deepening economic crisis and growing tensions between the neighbours. Rajapaksa arrived in Delhi on Tuesday, with a range of meetings scheduled. He is expected to meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modia, as well as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and others.

Maaveerar Naal: Jaffna District

Maaveerar Naal commemorations started off early in the Jaffna District as tributes were paid at the family home of the first Maaveerar Lt. Shankar.

Sri Lanka launches crackdown on Maaveerar Naal

A heavy Sri Lankan military presence blocked mourners across the North, with security forces arresting at least one prominent activist and assaulting a journalist, as a crackdown was launched today whilst Tamils attempted to mark Maaveerar Naal. Despite a flurry of court orders across the North that rejected appeals from the Sri Lankan security forces to block remembrance events, the Sri Lankan military presence was out in full force across the North-East.

Thousands of Karthigaipoo flowers laid out before UK Houses of Parliament to mark Maaveerar Naal

An installation was set up in front of Britain's Houses of Parliament in Westminster, Central London earlier today, with thousands of Karthgaipoo flowers bearing messages of remembrance to mark Maaveerar Naal.

Police Scotland will not renew training contract with Sri Lanka due to human rights concerns

Police Scotland has informed the UK High Commission in Sri Lanka that they will not extend their training contract with Sri Lanka’s police force in March 2022, when it is set to expire, due to ongoing human rights concerns. Making this announcement Iain Livingstone, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, told Scottish authorities: “Our training in Sri Lanka was suspended in early 2020. We have not deployed to Sri Lanka since that time, because the overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment (OSJA), require a review to accurately reflect the current security and human rights issues in the...

The aftermath of a tragedy – Photographs from Kinniya

Earlier today at least four schoolchildren and two others died after a makeshift ferry capsized in Trincomalee. Enraged locals attacked the home of a local parliamentarian, furious at construction delays of a new bridge that is supposedly being built in the area which led to the makeshift ferry being used. These photographs from Kanapathipillai Kumanan capture scenes of the aftermath in Trincomalee.