Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran, US Ambasador Atul Keshap and Minister of National Coexistence Dialogue Mano Ganesan as they arrived in Jaffna on a USAF aircraft.. The US ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, stressed that much remained to be done in order to ensure the implementation of the UN Human Rights council resolution on accountability and reconciliation, as he marked a historic trip to Jaffna this week.
The newly-built Buddhist temple at Ilankaithurai - re-named Lanka Patuna by the government. A bridge is being constructed to improve access to the site for the increasing number of Sinhala visitors. Tamil Guardian co-editor and PEARL Advocacy Director Mario Arulthas travelled to Trincomalee last month to report on how Tamils in the region are struggling with the Sri Lankan state's spread of Buddhism across the North-East.
Former Tamil refugees who were saved by a local Canadian fishing boat 30 years ago, returned to the site of their dramatic rescue this week, as they remembered their perilous journey fleeing Sri Lanka.
Tamils around the world today remember the 10th anniversary of the massacre of 53 school girls by the Sri Lankan air force. On August 14th, 2006 four Sri Lankan air force jets flew over the Vanni and dropped sixteen bombs were dropped over the Sencholai children's home for orphans, killing 53 school girls and 3 teachers.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said his government was looking to expand relations beyond Colombo and reach out to Jaffna, after signing a series of free trade agreements with Sri Lanka earlier this month. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was on an official three day visit to Singapore last week, where he signed “four Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), and a Joint Statement between the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka to launch negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement”, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prime Minister Loong though said his country wanted to go beyond Colombo, stating Sri Lanka can be a gateway “to the Indian Ocean region for Singapore companies”. During a lunch held to mark Mr WIckremesinghe’s visit Mr Loong highlighted how “since the 19th century, Singapore’s small but vibrant Sri Lankan community has contributed significantly to our development”. He went on to point out that “Jaffna Tamils in the Straits Settlements’ civil service helped to lay the foundation for Singapore’s administrative and government services”.
Today we mark thirty-three years from the horrors of the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, when Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then UNP government and state forces.
Updated 1230 GMT A Sinhalese student brandishes a log towards a group of Tamil students as violence broke out at Jaffna University on Saturday. Sinhalese students at the Jaffna University clashed with Tamil students earlier on Saturday, as violence erupted over the use of a Kandyan dance from the south of the island at a traditional orientation programme.
Updated 0430GMT Sri Lankan intelligence operatives have reportedly tortured a Tamil man from Mannar, after abducting him from a church on Wednesday morning, reports Ceylon News. Photograph: Ceylon News Santhiyogu Anton Dani was abducted from Uyilankulam church in Mannar, where he had sought sanctuary after frequent harassment from Sri Lankan intelligence officers for the past two months. Mr Dani fled to the church after hearing Sri Lankan intelligence operatives were looking for him. He went missing on Wednesday morning and was subsequently found at Nochchikulam later that evening, at an area some 2 kilometres from the church. He was found blindfolded with his body bearing the marks of severe torture. The victim’s wife Mathuvanthy Anton, said he had been burnt with heated metal sticks and severely beaten. During several hours of torture, he was also hung by his neck and is currently unable to speak properly, she said. Ms Anton has reported the incident to local police in Mannar. Photograph: @Mari_deSilva Mr Anton told his wife that abductors had walked into his room in the church, tied his hands and bundled him into a vehicle before taking him away and torturing him. He added that he had seen another person being badly tortured by his abductors. Santhiyagu had been previously arrested in 2001 on suspicion of aiding the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam. After undergoing torture in government custody, Mr Anton was later released by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court without any charges. He has reportedly been frequently tortured by Sri Lankan security forces since at least 1998.