Tamils mark the passing of Sunila Abeysekara, aged 61

Sunila Abeysekara, an internationally respected Sri Lankan human rights activist died on Monday aged 61 from cancer. An outspoken figure amongst her colleagues in Sri Lanka, she was deeply respected by a number of international figures and Tamils for fearlessly raising the issue of human rights abuses committed against Tamils at the end of the armed conflict. She eventually fled to live in exile in the Netherlands, after the Sri Lankan state owned media site called her a traitor for her endorsement of the 2012 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. She was also an ardent advocate for women's rights in South Asia as well as that of sex workers and homosexuals and transgender people. In the days following her death on September 9th, a number of Tamil activists and organisations paid tribute to her work.

No Fire Zone premieres in London

The multi-award nominee, No Fire Zone:The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka documentary premiered in the UK today, with its first official screening taking place in Soho, London. The documentary, outlines what happened to the 400,000 Tamil civilians that were trapped in the government designated 'no fire zone' and then subjected to relentless and sustained shelling, resulting in, what the UN estimates to be, the death of over 70,000 civilians. The film was screened to a fully packed audience, consisting of several human rights activists, journalists and lawyers, at the Curzon in Soho.

British University students remember Black July

British University Tamil Societies across London collaborated to hold a Black July remembrance discussion session at the London School of Economics on Monday.

'Arappor' documentary launched in Chennai

A film docmenting the wave of student protests that swept across Tamil Nadu was released in Chennai on Sunday, as a packed out crowd gathered to watch its first public screening.

Memories beneath the surface.. #BlackJuly 1983

Although thirty years have passed since the anti-Tamil pogrom of 'Black July' 1983, stories of the thousands of Tamil victims are yet to be unraveled. The thousands that fled, many not to return for years and decades to come, all too often buried their painful memories as they struggled to make a new life for themselves in new lands as refugees. Silenced Voices by www.blackjuly1983.com is a noteworthy archive. Yet it is striking that thousands of individual stories, of the many ordinary Tamils, remain unheard. Thirty years on, these stories are starting to trickle out - even then, not from the victims themselves, but from their friends and loved ones, and most of all, their children and grandchildren. As the Tamil nation marks this poignant anniversary, we have endeavoured to collate the small snippets of the nation's memories, that have been shared with the world via social media sites. Despite the time that has passed however, there is little doubt that the personal anguish remains. Whilst those that shared their families' memories were keen for the stories to be heard, many we approached asked that they remain anonymous, out of respect for the deep privacy of their parents and grandparents in relation to their own experiences of Black July. *Names changed on request, to protect victim's privacy. Gajan* @Gajan98*, UK : My parents refuse to talk about the details. But someone warned them, and they fled. When they returned, there was nothing.. #BlackJuly Selvan Ratnarajah*, Australia: "30 years ago this day my dad was dragged out of his car in the heart of Colombo whilst a government-incited mob baying for Tamil blood attempted to pour kerosene on him and set him alight. 3 months after the July 1983 pogrom which left up to 3000 Tamils dead and 150,000 homeless, the entire Rajasingham* / Ratnarajah* clan had left Sri Lanka forever and 3 years later I was born in Sydney – still very much a Tamil but an Australian. And that has made all the difference."

Calls From Back Home: Telling the Stories of the War Diaspora

First published in The Aerogram on 17th July 2013. See here for original article. Text reproduced in full below. Photograph The Aerogram When my Amma calls me on the telephone, she sometimes fills the distance that separates us by reading me her poetry and asking me for translations and opinions. She often wants me to translate her own writing from our shared mother tongue, Tamil, to German or English. This leads to inevitable debates on words, meanings, worlds and linguistic displacements. Many of her poetry and short stories center around themes on war, resistance, diaspora, feminism, her...

Tamil Eelam team departs from 'unforgettable' tournament

Emotional scenes followed Tamil Eelam's thrilling victory as the team said goodbye to the Isle of Man and to each other for the year. The team, made up of Tamil youth from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, were forced to say farewell to each other on Monday as players departed to their respective home countries to return to work or study. Fan video of the team celebrating after receiving the third place cup. Many European players who were formerly acquainted as football rivals in the Tamil sports scene, left with the promise of reuniting with their teammates at some of...

Karumpuli Naal marked in Canada

Photographs Tamil Guardian Canadian Tamils came together on Friday July 5th to mark Karumpuli Naal remembering the lives of the elite LTTE force - the Black Tigers. Starting with the lighting of the lamp and the raising of the Canadian and Tamil Eelam flag, the event included a moment of silence, following by the lighting the lamp of sacrifice. Over 200 hundreds Canadian Tamils laid flowers as a mark of respect.

Tamil Eelam celebrate 3rd place finish after stunning 5-0 victory

Tamil Eelam secured 3 rd place at the Tynwald Hill International football tournament in a rampant 5-0 victory against Raetia. {more}

Tamil Eelam footballers celebrate Isle of Man national day

After a glorious win for Tamil Eelam on Thursday , the team had a day off to rest, train and explore the local culture. Friday saw the visiting teams celebrate the Tynwald Day festival, a Manx national holiday. The Tamil Eelam team, attending in their team tracksuits, generated interest around the open air festival as locals flocked to the players to congratulate the team and express their support. Tamil Eelam players get involved in local festivities As testament to the popularity of Tamil Eelam on the island, the team's official Tynwald Hill merchandise has been selling the fastest, with...

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