Not just one rotten apple - TG View

Last week the US State Department decided to sanction yet another Sri Lanka war criminal, former Naval Commander, Wasantha Karannagoda. For decades Karannagoda has enjoyed complete impunity for the crimes he committed against Tamil civilians. Despite his alleged involvement in the abduction and disappearance of eleven individuals, as a close ally of the Rajapaksa clan, Karannagoda appeared almost untouchable. Under the Sinhala state, Karannagoda was not held to account for the atrocities perpetrated against Eelam Tamil people but instead appointed as governor of the Tamil majority North-...

EDITORIAL - Wickremesinghe’s ultimatum

Illustration by Keera Ratnam / waves of colour In his Independence Day address, Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe swore that he would oppose a “division of the nation” and put forward the prospect of “maximum devolution within a unitary state”. The statement comes as the latest attempt to dilute and dissuade Tamils from their calls for self-determination. During his address to the All-Party Parliamentary Conference, Wickremesinghe warned that the decades-old 13th amendment must either be adopted or abolished. Yet, whilst these proceedings unfolded, across the North- East Eelam Tamils...

Pongal protests show why Sri Lanka’s president can’t be trusted

On the day Sri Lanka’s president attempts to visit the Tamil city of Jaffna, a familiar scene unfolds. Peaceful Tamil demonstrators are swarmed by armed Sri Lankan officers; the military erects roads blocks to cordon off demonstrators; and, the police resort to firing water cannons in an attempt to disperse the Tamil public. None of this comes as a surprise to Eelam Tamils who for years have withstood the brunt of a brutal military occupation. Indeed, despite the tactics of intimidation and violence, Tamils did not shrink from their protests but fought back. In Nallur some chose to meet...

The shattered illusion

Last Tuesday, the Canadian government broke historic ground with the sanctioning of two former Sri Lankan presidents, Gotabaya and Mahinda Rajapaksa. In this act, they shattered any lingering illusion that the crimes of the Sri Lankan military were simply the acts of rank-and-file soldiers. Instead, they were calculated, meticulously planned and executed by the head of Sri Lanka’s wartime administration and his right hand, the acting defense secretary. These were not the actions of rogue soldiers but “gross and systematic violations of human rights”. Thus, strengthening the case that the Rajapaksa must be brought before the Hague. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry has responded, predictably, by lashing out against the Canadian government for its “unilateral action” and of “polarising communities” on the island. The statement of the ministry is a pitiful attempt to prop up a mirage of communal harmony against a background of military occupation and continued human rights violations. For generations, Tamils have had to suffer under the thumb of the Sinhala Buddhist state. Their lives are punctuated by the threat of military violence; the prohibition on memorials; the memories of their loved ones abducted by the state; and the genocide they suffered.

'A powerful display of Tamil nationhood and collective defiance' – PEARL marks Maaveerar Naal

Marking the 33 rd Maaveerar Naal, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) has released a statement stressing that “Maaveerar Naal still serves as a powerful display of collective defiance against the Sri Lankan state’s narrative of a defeated Tamil nation”. In their statement, they highlight that the roots of the conflict and the current economic collapse, Sinhala Buddhist nationalism remains unaddressed. “The Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist state-building project sustains the marginalization and oppression of Tamils in their homeland, through the suffocating militarization of the North-...

'Investing in a failed state' - Gary Anandasangaree slams MPs encouraging investment in Sri Lanka

Responding to the recent visit of Canada’s business delegation to Sri Lanka, MP Gary Anandasangaree expressed his disappointment in Canadian MPs seeking investment “in a failed state with a horrendous human rights record and endemic corruption.” Deeply disappointed that @handongontario and @RachaelThomasMP encouraged #Canadians to invest in a failed state with a horrendous human rights record and endemic corruption. This was not a Gov of Canada sanctioned mission but rather 2 I’ll advised MPs going on a free trip. — Gary Anandasangaree (@gary_srp) November 18, 2022 The...

OPINION - A ‘new foundation’ for Sri Lanka’s economy?

Speaking before parliament, Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe set out a new budget that will see the selling off of state assets, slashes to the public sector, and a reorientation towards an export-driven economy. Whilst Wickremesinghe has described the budget as the “new basis of the economy”; the refusal to discuss Sri Lanka’s growing military expenditure shows greater continuity than rupture from the past. Instead, we see the perpetuation of crony capitalism that will impoverish the poor whilst the island's military grows even further. Key to Wickremesinghe’s speech was his...

TG VIEW - British Tamils expect action from Rishi Sunak

As a new British Prime minster takes office, Tamils across the country will be watching closely. It is indeed historic that Rishi Sunak will be the first person of South Asian office to hold the highest office in the country. However, both domestically and internationally, he will have his work cut out for him.

The search for Nimalarajan’s killers proves why international justice is the only way

A long and hard twenty-two years have passed since Mylvaganam Nimalarajan was murdered in his Jaffna home. His killers operated in plain sight.

Reviewing the books – Britain’s new chancellor must reconsider bankrolling Sri Lanka’s military

As Britain’s fourth Chancellor in as many months takes up office this week, there will be plenty on his plate. A falling sterling, rising interest rates and a spiralling cost of living crisis will leave Jeremy Hunt facing a difficult task. On his first day on the job, he told reporters of how wide spending cuts will be vital in reeling back government spending and repairing Britain’s economy. One area that will need urgent review is the UK multimillion-pound funding of Sri Lanka.