Revisiting options for justice beyond the UNHRC on Tamil New Year - Paul Scully MP

Op-Ed by Paul Scully, MP Today Tamils living in the United Kingdom and across the globe will be welcoming a new year. It is a time to spend with loved ones, feast, exchange greetings and offer prayers at temples. Whilst it is a time for celebrating with family and friends and enjoying the festivities, it is also a time for reflecting on past achievements and looking towards the future with hope. In Britain, achievements and contributions of the Tamil community continues to grow. From academia to healthcare and from business to technology, Tamils contribute across sectors. As the Prime...

Sri Lankan commander attacks Tamil diaspora for 'distorted, malicious and untrue information'

The head of Sri Lanka’s army has attacked the Tamil diaspora for criticising the military, stating that they have been supplying “distorted, malicious and untrue information”. Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army was speaking at an event to inaugurate the military’s Directorate for Overseas Operations in Colombo, when he told reporters that "various anti-Sri Lanka Army groups, including the diaspora keep pressure on international organizations supplying them with distorted, malicious and untrue information of different nature and some of those agencies continue to deter...

Tamil political prisoner hunger strikes demanding trial

A Tamil political prisoner has been hunger striking since Monday, demanding his trial and release. 36-year-old Irapallavan Thaporuban was arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Department in 2009 and kept in detention in Jaffna until 2012 when he was moved to Anuradhapura prison. Mr Thaporuban said that he has engaged in countless protests over the years and been granted several promises that his case would go to trial and that his indefinite detention would come to an end. The detainee said that he was forced to campaign once again as despite all those promises there has been no progress...

Sri Lanka fails to meet UN deadline on torture report

The Sri Lankan government has failed to respond to a United Nation Committee Against Torture (CAT) report, which called for information on the “establishment of a judicial mechanism” to investigate torture and information on the role of a former Criminal Investigations Department head, confirmed a UN official this week. Sri Lanka had until December 2017 to respond to the report, which was issued after the state was discussed at the 59th session of the UN CAT in 2016. However, the Tamil Guardian confirmed with the United Nations this week that Sri Lanka is yet to provide a response, though several months has passed since the deadline. Other states such as Armenia, Ecuador and Turkmenistan, which were also discussed at the 59 th session, have responded to the global body as required.

Knife attack on Mullaitivu disappeared protest on Day 400

The families of the disappeared protest in Mullaitivu was attacked by a knife-wielding individual on Thursday on its 400th day.

India prime minister met by swelling black flag protests in Tamil Nadu

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi was forced to take a helicopter ride from Chennai airport to a speaking engagement at India’s mega defence exhibition at Thiruvidanthai, Mr Modi was met in Chennai by a sea of black flag protests over the centre’s failure to resolve a water despite between neighbouring state Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Several Dravida political party leaders in Tamil Nadu participated in the citywide protests, which forced the Indian Prime Minister to take areal routes to his speaking engagements. The Indian Premier League was also forced to move it’s cricket matches due to...

Sri Lankan military admits to harassing Tamil journalist

The Sri Lankan military has admitted to detaining and questioning a Tamil journalist, whilst he was reporting on the army’s plans to appropriate land in Mullaitivu last month. The Commanding officer of the 24th battalion of the Sinha Regiment (24SLSR) Champika Kathriarachchi attempted to downplay the incident, telling Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission that there had been a “misunderstanding” that led to journalist Shanmugam Thavaseelan being held and interrogated for an hour and a half. When the journalist refused to hand over his camera to be searched, he was taken aside and interrogated...

Sri Lankan soldiers hold music show at occupying Jaffna military base

Whilst calls for the Sri Lankan military to vacate their military bases in the North-East continue, the army held a talent show at its military base in Palaly last month, the site of a massive High Security Zone which remains inaccessible to locals and landowners, nine years after the end of the war.

Sinhalese fishermen brazenly engaging in illegal and pollutive methods of fishing in Mullaitivu

Sinhalese fishermen are openly engaging in illegal and pollutive methods of fishing in Mullaitivu with no fear of legal censure. During a research trip to document the extent of Sinhalisation and land appropriation in Mullaitivu’s border villages, members of the Northern Provincial Council came across Sinhalese fishermen using tractors to pull their nets out of the water in Kokkulai. This method results in the pollution of the waters due to leakages in tractor fuel, with harmful effects on the sea life and underwater habitats. Tamil fishermen are prohibited from such methods and their fishing activities are strictly monitored by Sri Lankan armed forces, in particular the Navy. Journalists noted that the tractors used in the process were unmarked and bore no license number plates. A Tamil fisherman native to the area said that while Tamil fishermen held permits to sail only five boats in total, individual Sinhalese fishermen were granted permits to sail up to twenty-five boats.

Mother continues struggle for justice for murdered Tamil journalism student

Nilakshan's parents lay flowers at Jaffna Hindu College remembrance event in August 2017. The mother of an up and coming Tamil journalist was shot and killed by suspected Sri Lankan military intelligence personnel in 2007, has reiterated her calls for justice for the killing.