Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated across North-East

Tamil Muslims across the North-East celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday, marking the end of a month of fasting from dawn to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.

Mannar Catholic Diocese condemns police threats against protesting priest

The Mannar catholic community has condemned police threats made against the parish priest of Iranai Matha Church for joining and supporting the land-return protests of Iranaithivu villagers. Reverend Father Arul Selvan was threatened by a police officer while supporting a road-block protest undertaken by the people of Iranaithivu, on their 54th day of protest, on Friday. The Manner Diocese Catholic Union reiterated in a statement on Sunday thats its priests had always been united with the people and their struggles. “No-one can forget that our priests even gave their lives during the war,...

No prosecutions as Sri Lanka's supreme court orders compensation for family of disappeared

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court ordered the state to pay RS 1 million to the parents of two men who disappeared whilst being held in custody of Batticaloa police in October 2008. The court further ordered the Officer-in-(OIC) of the Batticaloa police station, to pay the families Rs 50,000 for failing “to provide equal protection of law to their missing sons who were subject to torture.” The compensation order was in relation to the disappearance of Selvarajah Gunaseelan and K Kugadas of Batticaloa. The bodies of the two grocery shop assistants were found tied to concrete posts at Polamunai beach...

Dissecting the British Tamil vote - UK General Election 2017

The British General Election of 2017 has thrown up some surprising results. When the election was first called, few could have predicted the outcome. The ruling Conservative Party lost their majority in parliament and the Labour Party clawed back a massive deficit in the polls. The pundits were amiss with their predictions and many, including Prime Minister Theresa May, were left wrong footed by the results. Analysts from across the political spectrum have begun examining the vote and revisiting their engagement with the electorate, with questions being asked of how the Conservatives lost such a comfortable majority. Amongst the key demographics whose voting intentions will be closely scrutinised in the weeks to come, will be Britain’s ethnic minority groups. With many constituencies across the country having been heavily contested and hanging in the balance between the country's major parties, their role was crucial. British Tamils, who have a considerable presence in many of these constituencies, particularly in London, are one such influential group. As has been repeatedly noted before, Tamils are engaged in all aspects of social, economic and political life in the UK. Appearances in the Sunday Times Rich List and nominations at the Oscars and Grammy awards are just some of the highlights of the British Tamil community, who also continue to be pillars of the public sector and contribute to a flourishing student life in campuses across the country. And in this election, alongside key issues such as the economy and healthcare, as ever, the British government's policy on Sri Lanka played a large factor in deciding the Tamil vote. Indeed, it continues to be one of the key issues that galvanises the whole community with remarkable unity. The current British government has, quite simply, been floundering in its approach – both with its engagement with the Sri Lankan state and the local British Tamil community. Led by the Conservative Party and Theresa May, recently Britain has sent signals of appeasement to Colombo, whilst seemingly scaling back on its ties with British Tamils. This miscalculation, has led to setbacks on the island and closer to home.

Malathy Tamil Academies of Denmark celebrate student sporting achievements

Tamil schools in Denmark celebrated their students’ sporting achievements with their annual sports festival last week.

Mangala Samaraweera omitted from Sri Lanka's committee to coordinate UN resolution

Sri Lanka’s former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera has been excluded from the government body tasked with implementing the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on promoting accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. A Cabinet Memorandum obtained by Colombo Telegraph, Indicates that Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister proposed the following ministers to form the committee under his leadership: Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Ports & Shipping Sagala Ratnayaka, Minister of Law & Order and Southern Development Dr Wijayadasa...

Sri Lanka rejects UN rapporteur's report on independence of judiciary

Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe accused the UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers of violating “the country’s sovereignty.” Rejecting the findings of the Rapporteurs report, Mr Rajapakshe added, “We are surprised by the allegations made by her who was in Sri Lanka for only seven days. Her knowledge on the judicial systems of various countries is questionable. This report will tarnish Sri Lanka’s image and violate the country’s sovereignty. Ms Pinto in her report alleged that the Constitutional Council is no independent as all appointments are made by...

NPC members officially rescind no-confidence motion, Wigneswaran takes on dismissed ministers' portfolios

Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi's Northern Provincial Council members took back the letter of no-confidence against Chief Minister Wigneswaran from Governor Reginald Cooray today. The rescinding of the motion which was dubbed 'the people's victory' by Jaffna-based newspaper Valampuri, follows mass protests last week in support of C. V. Wigneswaran across the Northern Province. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Wigneswaran confirmed with Governor Cooray that he would take on the agriculture and education ministerial portfolios until new ministers had been decided.

Terrorism department investigate Eelam on Kilinochchi Thiruvalluvar statue

The use of the word ‘Eelam’ on the pedestal of a Thiruvalluvar statue in Kilinochchi is being investigated by Sri Lankan terrorism police.

UK Tamils protest against repression of memorialisation

Tamils in the UK protested against state repression and the detention of Thirumurugan Gandhi, leader of the Tamil Nadu-based May 17 movement.