A vigil was held in Oorani on Saturday to mark the second day in the week leading up to the anniversary of Mullivaikkaal, which is being observed in the North-East as Tamil genocide remembrance week.
Meeting with the Indian premier on Friday during his two day visit of Sri Lanka the Tamil National Alliance made clear "our expectation is of meaningful power sharing in a merged North-East".
India's prime minister Narendra Modi called for increased economic and developmental connectivity with Sri Lanka whilst on a two day visit to the island. "I believe we are at a moment of great opportunity in our ties with Sri Lanka. An opportunity to achieve a quantum jump in our partnership across different fields. And, for us, the most relevant benchmark for the success of our friendship is your progress and success," said Mr Modi speaking as the chief guest for Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo.
A demonstration took place in Pungudutivu on Thursday, with dozens of Tamils protesting against a move to transfer the case of the rape and murder of a Tamil schoolgirl to a court in Colombo, in front of three Sinhala speaking judges. The rape and murder of schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vithya set off massive protests across the Tamil North-East, with demands that the perpetrators be held accountable. Two years on, and a trial is yet to begin. Relatives of the murdered schoolgirl, alongside other locals, protested against an attempt to move the case to Colombo, instead of letting the trial take...
Militarisation is the primary cause of Mullaitivu’s deprivation, Northern Provincial Councillor T. Ravikaran has said. Identified as the poorest district on the island, Ravikaran said ongoing occupation of Mullaitivu’s land and sea by the tri-forces is the main reason poverty persists. The councillor said that without demilitarisation and returning lands and coastal areas to civilians, any poverty eradication schemes would be pointless. Mr Ravikaran referred to a proposed poverty eradication programme for which the Sri Lankan president is planning to visit Mullaitivu on May 18th.
The Northern Provincial Council has called for the reconstruction of the Palaly airport into a regional airport. Passing a resolution at its 92nd sitting, the council voted unanimously in favour of developing the airport into one with regional international flights. The resolution however stipulated that the airport development should be carried out without any land grabs of Tamil civilian properties. Calls for redevelopment of the Kankesanthurai port were also included in the resolution. The council called for Indian government involvement in the development activities.
Jaffna-based think-tank, the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research, today released a brief examining whether there was a path forward for addressing the issue of disappearances and the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). The brief notes that families of the disappeared having been roadside in protest for over two months now are completely disillusioned with the current government, and are demanding urgent and immediate action. ACPR finds that before a discussion about the OMP can be had, the government must address pressing demands of the families, including releasing a list of surrendees/...
The people of Marichukatty suspended their protest against a gazette notification, which declared their lands as nature reserve, after 44 days of protest on Monday evening. The residents of the Muslim village in Mannar agreed to suspend the protest after their political representatives, including ministers Rishad Bathiudeen and Faiszer Musthapha, stated an understanding had been reached in talks with President Sirisena to find ways to fairly amend the gazette notification. The villagers were told they would receive a permanent solution after talks with the President’s Secretary on Saturday.
Families of the disappeared in Kilinochchi continued their protest for the 80th day, to a backdrop of Wesak celebrations by Sri Lankan soldiers in the area.