After Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa established an all Sinhala task force, which includes Buddhist monks and alleged war criminals, to “preserve the historical heritage of Sri Lanka” in the Eastern province, we take a closer look at Sinhalisation efforts that have already taken place in the region.
The Peel District School Board has apologised to the Tamil community for the “significant hurt” it caused when it issued a clarification on a statement made on May 18 to commemorate the Mullivaikkal Genocide, and has now pledged to support Tamil genocide education efforts.
The families of the disappeared in Mullaitivu have urged for support from the international community after being “continuously abandoned” by the Sri Lankan government to provide answers and justice for their missing loved ones.
The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka was photographed handing over a shipment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to a Sri Lankan military general, who was previously rejected twice from participating in US training programs due to “credible allegations” over his involvement in war crimes.
Tamils in Germany make up a sizeable number of the Eelam Tamil diaspora as a whole. Overcoming racist refugee settlement policies which have prevented them from living in close proximity to each other and as concentrated as their counterparts in Paris, London or Toronto, German Tamils have just as successfully established communities with thriving cultural and social lives. The Kamadchi Ampal temple in Hamm attracts thousands of Tamils from all over Europe, especially for its thiruvizha – annual summer festival. The larger communities are mostly concentrated in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, with smaller populations scattered across the country’s cities, towns and even villages. One of the smaller outposts, with only around 3000-5000 Tamils, is the country’s capital.
The Uthayan newspaper has hit back at Tamil National Alliance (TNA) spokesperson M A Sumanthiran’s claim that the paper had printed “totally false” news, calling his claims “baffling” and standing by a story on how the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) did not oppose the armed Tamil struggle.
Tamils around the world marked 46 years since the death of Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran, the first Tamil to die in the liberation struggle. At his home town in Urumpirai in Jaffna, senior Tamil politicians held a series of events to mark his sacrifice and pay tribute to his role as the first militant to die in the armed struggle.
The Sri Lankan government has blocked access to renowned Tamil news website Sankathi24.com, as the state continued with its tightening of the Tamil press. The website – www.sankathi24.com – became inaccessible for those on the island on May 28 th last month, with no warning or explanation given by the Sri Lankan state. The latest incident sparked fears for the website’s correspondents who remain in the Tamil homeland. “We fear for the lives of our reporters in Tamil Eelam," said Seraman, a columnist, for Sankathi24.com. “We fear that they may be tracked down.”
Sellaiah Rashanayagam has "been the sole resident of his village since Sri Lanka's civil war ended in 2009- and he doesn't plan to leave anytime soon," writes Vijayatharsiny Vijayakumar for Global Press Journal. "When the Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009, the nearly 200 residents who called this village home chose to leave. They relocated to cities and towns where they would have better access to hospitals, shopping centres and jobs. But Sellaiah Rashanayagam, 67, chose to stay." "Now, more than a decade later, he's still the lone resident of Ponnaveli, a village in Sri Lanka's northern province. The coastal village was destroyed during the war. Still, Rashanayagam says he refuses to leave and he doesn't want to open up the village to others either. He wants to preserve the village's Tamil name and farming traditions." "His solitary lifestyle is a political statement. And it's evidence that tensions between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese, and mostly Buddhist majority, and the Tamil, mostly Muslim minority, still run deep."