Flowers and prayers for victims of Nagarkovil massacre

Schoolchildren at the Nagarkovil Maha Vidyalayam clasp their hands in prayer, in remembrance of the children that were killed on the same spot 21 years ago. The 21 st anniversary of the Nagarkovil massacre was marked in Jaffna on Thursday evening. The parents of schoolchildren killed in the Sri Lankan bombing raid laid flowers on a monument at the site of the attack, as they remembered the lives lost in the massacre. On September 22, 1995, SLAF aircraft bombed the Nagarkovil Maha Vidyalayam school yard crammed with 750 children on their lunch break, killing 26 – of whom 12 were six or seven...

UN working group calls for international judges in Sri Lanka

The United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances at a press conference in Colombo in November 2015. Photogrpah: Colombo Gazette. The United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances said “international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators” to take part in a judicial accountability mechanism for human rights abuses, including disappearances. In a 22-page report released in Geneva today, the UN group reiterated the importance of including international actors in any accountability mechanism. “The road that leads to truth and justice is long but is the right one to...

The books of Visvamadu Library

In December 1995 the Sri Lankan army took control of Jaffna, which before that time had been held by the LTTE for many years. The Indian “peace keeping” force had briefly captured it in 1987. The armed resistance retreated into the Vanni area, situated below the Jaffna peninsula, covering about 7650 square kilometres. The Vanni, held by the LTTE from 1995, would go on to become the de facto state of Tamil Eelam until the start of the final offensive in 2008. The Visvamadu Library was built in 2006

We are prepared to die for our land – IDPs tell Mangala

Accompanied by the Sri Lankan military, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visits Tamil IDPs in Jaffna.

Much to be done says US ambassador after visit to Jaffna

Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran, US Ambasador Atul Keshap and Minister of National Coexistence Dialogue Mano Ganesan as they arrived in Jaffna on a USAF aircraft.. The US ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, stressed that much remained to be done in order to ensure the implementation of the UN Human Rights council resolution on accountability and reconciliation, as he marked a historic trip to Jaffna this week.

From Ilankaiththurai to Lanka Patuna

The newly-built Buddhist temple at Ilankaithurai - re-named Lanka Patuna by the government. A bridge is being constructed to improve access to the site for the increasing number of Sinhala visitors. Tamil Guardian co-editor and PEARL Advocacy Director Mario Arulthas travelled to Trincomalee last month to report on how Tamils in the region are struggling with the Sri Lankan state's spread of Buddhism across the North-East.

Tamil Canadians recall 30th anniversary of dramatic boat rescue

Former Tamil refugees who were saved by a local Canadian fishing boat 30 years ago, returned to the site of their dramatic rescue this week, as they remembered their perilous journey fleeing Sri Lanka.

Sencholai massacre: 10 years on, no justice

Tamils around the world today remember the 10th anniversary of the massacre of 53 school girls by the Sri Lankan air force. On August 14th, 2006 four Sri Lankan air force jets flew over the Vanni and dropped sixteen bombs were dropped over the Sencholai children's home for orphans, killing 53 school girls and 3 teachers.

Singapore looks to Jaffna as it signs trade agreements with Colombo

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said his government was looking to expand relations beyond Colombo and reach out to Jaffna, after signing a series of free trade agreements with Sri Lanka earlier this month. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was on an official three day visit to Singapore last week, where he signed “four Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), and a Joint Statement between the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka to launch negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement”, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prime Minister Loong though said his country wanted to go beyond Colombo, stating Sri Lanka can be a gateway “to the Indian Ocean region for Singapore companies”. During a lunch held to mark Mr WIckremesinghe’s visit Mr Loong highlighted how “since the 19th century, Singapore’s small but vibrant Sri Lankan community has contributed significantly to our development”. He went on to point out that “Jaffna Tamils in the Straits Settlements’ civil service helped to lay the foundation for Singapore’s administrative and government services”.