Sexual violence against Tamils ‘systematic’, ‘part of policy framework’: Interview with Yasmin Sooka

Photograph SL Campaign As the global summit on preventing sexual violence in conflict gets underway in London, the Tamil Guardian spoke on Tuesday to Yasmin Sooka, one of the three co-authors of the 2011 UN Panel of Experts report into wartime mass atrocities in Sri Lanka and co-author of the ' An Unfinished War: Torture and Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka 2009—2014 ' report on post-war Sri Lanka. In comments ahead of an event on Wednesday focused on sexual violence in Sri Lanka and hosted by the Canadian High Commission, Ms. Sooka, Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South...

'North-East demands international investigation' - Interview with MK Shivajilingam

Photograph:eKuruvi Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member of the Northern Provincial Council, MK Shivajilingam has said the people of the North-East have now demonstrated to the international community their demands for a international independent investigation, with the unanimous passing of a Northern Provincial Council (NPC) resolution. In an interview with Tamil Guardian earlier this week, Shivajilingam stated that any domestic investigation by Sri Lanka should be rejected and only an international investigation can bring progress and justice, a demand stated in a NPC resolution passed earlier this year.

‘Land grabs part of structural genocide’ - interview with Tamil Nadu journalist Maga Tamizh Prabhagaran

Speaking to the Tamil Guardian, Indian film maker Maga Tamizh Prabhagaran condemned the procurement of Tamil land by the Sri Lankan government as part of a structural genocide, after the London screening of his film ‘This Land Belongs to the Army’. Prabhagaran, who was detained by Sri Lankan security forces whilst visiting the Tamil homeland in the North-East of the island, was eventually deported by Colombo. Upon arrival in London, Prabhagaran also described being held and interrogated for over 3 hours by British police, questioning him on the LTTE and on protests held by the Tamil diaspora. His film, detailing state procurement and Sinhalisation of the Tamil homeland, was screened at an international conference on land grabs earlier this month in London. Land grabs, the Sri Lankan state’s forcible and militarised procurement of Tamil owned land in the North-East, has seen international condemnation with a resolution having been presented to the US Senate this week outlining “ongoing concerns regarding landownership and property restitution”.

'A Fleeting Moment In My Country': Interview with Dr N Malathy

Tamil Guardian caught up with the author of ‘A Fleeting Moment in My Country’, Dr N Malathy, to speak about experiences described in her book. Dr N Malathy, a Tamil diaspora activist, currently working as an analyst and programmer at the University of Cantebury , has lived in New Zealand for over 4 decades. She spent 4 years working for various human rights and social welfare institutions, within the Tamil de-facto state in Vanni from 2005 to 2009. ‘A Fleeting Moment In My Country’ describes, Malathy’s experience and reflections of the LTTE administered de-facto state after returning to the region to engage in social welfare work. See below for a summarised transcript of our interview with Malathy.

Interview with TNA MP Ariyanenthiran

The Tamil Guardian caught up with the Tamil National Alliance's Batticaloa District Parliamentarian, P. Ariyanenthiran in a phone interview last month, and discussed issues such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Northern Provincial Council elections and the TNA's future plans. See full interview below.

Tamil Nadu activists speak out: Loyola College Students

As part of our series - ' Tamil Nadu activists speak out ' - on the growing activism in Tamil Nadu on the Eelam Tamil issue, Tamil Guardian caught up with leading activists across the state. This week, we publish our interview with students from Loyola College in Chennai. Students from Loyola College in Tamil Nadu remained steadfast in their call for a complete boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo by the international community, and continued to call for Sri Lanka to be suspended from the Commonwealth. In an interview from Chennai, Joe Britto from Loyola College said to the Tamil Guardian, "We, the students of Tamil Nadu, we strictly condemn that - that conference shouldn't be happening in Sri Lanka, and we will protest on the streets, and we will raise our voice against the Sri Lankan Commonwealth conference."

Tamil Nadu activists speaks out: Tamil Youth & Students Federation

As part of our series - 'Tamil Nadu activists speak out' - on the growing activism in Tamil Nadu on the Eelam Tamil issue, Tamil Guardian caught up with leading activists across the state.

Tamil Nadu activists speak out: Students Struggle for Tamil Eelam

As part of our series - 'Tamil Nadu activists speak out' - on the growing activism in Tamil Nadu on the Eelam Tamil issue, Tamil Guardian caught up with leading activists across the state. This week, we publish our interview with the 'Students Struggle for Tamil Eelam'.

Interview with 'Check your Sinhala privilege'

Last week, three young Tamils from Toronto, Montreal and London, published a piece on the website Tumblr, listing the 'privileges' of being Sinhalese. Since then, the piece entitled ' Check your Sinhala privilege ', has sparked widespread praise, criticism and passionate debate online. Tamil Guardian caught up with the writers, Ram, Ahila and Sinthujan, via Facebook, to find out more.. Tamil Guardian: What inspired you to write this piece? Sinthujan : We were just speaking about the concept of privilege in general, unrelated to Sri Lanka, and som e of the problematic things some of our friends would say. Even though many of them are well-intentioned and well-educated, they often neglect to see the issues in some of their statements. Most of them similarly don't see the ways the social, political, and economic arrangements of any given society are what systematically produce existing inequalities between different social groups. Ram: This neglect is especially prominent in discussions of Sri Lanka, for instance, when civil conflict is simply explained in terms of “ethnic hatred” rather than through a close examination of the ways societal arrangements in Sri Lanka have benefited some ethnic groups relative to others.

Life in the North-East: An Interview with Ananthy Sasitharan

From campaigning against enforced disappearances to standing as Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) candidate for the Jaffna district, to searching for the whereabouts of disappeared husband, the LTTE political leader Elilan , Ananthy Sasitharan, has become a rising Tamil voice in the North-East. Tamil Guardian caught up with the activist-turned-politician on the phone, as she made her way home from a day of campaigning. The interview was interrupted briefly when Ananthy – who has already escaped an attack on her vehicle in recent weeks – suspected that her vehicle was being followed. TAMIL GUARDIAN: How would you describe the present state of the Tamil homeland in the North-East? ANANTHY SASITHARAN: " Our homeland is completely occupied by the military , so much so that the military presence seems larger than the actual Tamil population. At any event, the army is there. People are scared by the army presence, they live in a state of fear, too afraid to talk or do anything . All our native lands are in their hands, they have seized everything.