Tuesday, 26 July 2016
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Tamil Guardian 25 July 2016
On this day 25 July 1983 - Tamil prisoners massacred at Welikada
On the 25th July 1983 Sellarasa “Kuttimani” Yogachandiran, leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and Ganeshanathan Jeganathan, a political writer, had their eyes gouged out in mockery before being killed by Sinhalese inmates at the high security Welikada prison in Colombo. A total of 37 Tamil prisoners were murdered the same day, and 18 more were killed two days later.


Tamil political prisoners: Dr S Rajasunderam, Selvarajah Yogandram and Nadarajah Thangathurai


[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2016
Sri Lankan soldiers oversee donations to Tamil schoolchildren

Sri Lankan troops oversaw two charitable ceremonies last week, where school items were donated to Tamil children in the Kondavil region in Jaffna.

Sri Lanka's 551 Brigade troops were garlanded by Tamil schoolchildren from the Alvai Ambal Vidyalaya, as they organised a ceremony overseeing donations from the 'Old Anandians group of Southern Province' last Friday.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2016
'Militarisation is at its peak' in North-East – TCSF spokesperson

Human rights violations continue to occur in the Tamil North-East with militarisation by Sri Lankan troops at its peak said co-spokesperson of the Tamil Civil Society Forum Father Elil Rajendram.

In an interview with Taylor Dibbert, Father Rajendram said that since Sri Lanka's new government came into power in January 2015, “Tamils speak about the “non-transition transition” while the Sinhalese people residing in the Sinhala-majority South claim it is a real transition”.

“Why I state that it is a non-transition transition is because militarization is at its peak,” he said.

“Abductions, arbitrary arrests and sexual violence perpetrated by the military have not decreased. Military involvement in the North and East is still strong. Most military camps have become permanent and Sinhala colonization is actually on the rise. Buddhist statues continue to be built in these locations.”

“However, as most human rights activists have noted, more space for public dissent is available now,” the spokesperson added.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2016
Unemployed graduates protest over lack of jobs in Jaffna

Unemployed Tamil graduates from across the Northern Province protested against the lack of e government jobs available to them on Saturday.

The graduates staged their protest outside the Jaffna government secretariat.

Following police intervention at the protest, eventually a meeting was set up between the protesters and the government agent, N Vethanayakan, who pledged to raise the issue with the Sri Lankan government.

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2016
Military places Buddha statue inside Mannar Hindu temple

The Sri Lankan military placed a statue of Buddha inside the Tamil Hindu temple in Murunkan, Mannar.

The statue is the latest in the growing number of the Buddha statues and Buddhist stupas that have been erected by the military in the Tamil North-East following the end of the armed conflict in 2009.

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2016
Sri Lanka defence officials visit North

Senior Sri Lankan defence officials visited the North on Sunday to examine army led resettlement projects.

The paper reported that the army's release of civilian land in Jaffna, as well as the housing project in Keeramalai were also evaluated. See more here.

The government's failure to expedite the release of civilian land currently occupied by the military over 7 years since the end of the armed conflict has been widely criticised, and has prompted numerous protests across the North-East.

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2016
Perpetrators of Black July must be brought to justice - TAG

The events of Black July in 1983, where thousands of Tamils were killed by Sri Lankan government backed mobs, must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice, said Together Against Genocide (TAG).

In a statement released to mark thirty-three years since the pogrom, TAG drew on comments by the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and reiterated “the need to investigate criminal liability for genocide arising from the Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict in the wake of evidence relating to the use of cluster munitions in the No Fire Zones”.

“TAG calls for any such investigation into genocide to include the events of Black July,” said the statement.

“Despite being decades apart, both episodes possess hallmarks of latent genocidal intent: the victims were Tamil civilians, proximate Tamil groups were attacked and the state propagated the situation. It is advanced that these hallmarks indicate a deliberate targeting and destruction of proximate Tamil communities by the state. Therefore, in light of these similarities, an investigation into May 2009 warrants an investigation into Black July.”

See the full text of the TAG statement here.

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2016
Tamil demand for decentralisation of powers is being ignored says Wigneswaran
The chief minister of the northern province told delegates of the World Bank during their visit to Jaffna on Friday that the Sri Lankan government was ignoring Tamil demands for decentralisation of powers.

Discussions took place regarding the Jaffna City Development Scheme as well as other World Bank projects.

"Many projects do not kick-start because of the lack of mutual understanding between central and the provincial governments," Mr Wigneswaran told the delegates, adding that the provincial government was being sidelined.

"The Tamil people want to make their living by power sharing. We can not work as servants to the central government," he said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2016
Black July massacre remembered in London


The massacre of Tamils in July 1983, commonly referred to as 'Black July' was remembered in London today.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2016
Canadian Prime Minister commemorates Black July

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on Saturday commemorating the anniversary of Black July alongside "Canadians of Tamil descent" and the "Tamil community around the world".

"Let us pause to remember the victims of the anti-Tamil pogroms and all the lives that were lost throughout the entirety of the Sri Lankan Civil War," Mr Trudeau said. He offered his "deepest condolences" to those who lost family and friends.

"Canada will continue to encourage the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its commitment to the United Nations Human Rights Council to bring about real peace, reconciliation, accountability and justice for the people in Sri Lanka," Trudeau stated.

See full statement here.

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 18 May 2016
Enduring resistance
Seven years after the armed conflict ended in May 2009 and the height of Tamil genocide by the Sri Lankan state, Tamils this year mark May 18th with the weight of a UN report behind them. [more]

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2016
Accountability is imperative for peace
Editorial [more]

  Opinion
Hugo Swire Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
A long way in a short time, but more needs to be done - Hugo Swire
Writing in the Tamil Guardian today, the UK Minister of State for Asia, Hugo Swire recognised progress made by the Sri Lankan government but said "much more remains to be done" in the country. [more]

Nirmanusan Balasundaram Tamil Guardian 27 June 2016
"Sri Lanka wants the world to forget about justice for war victims. Please don't" - Guardian

"With the Sri Lankan government winding back commitments to reconciliation and justice measures, it’s up to the international community to hold them to account," writes Tamil activist Nirmanusan Balasundaram in the Guardian. [more]

Tamil Guardian 26 June 2016
‘Blaming Rajapaksa demons for lack of progress is a false pretence’ – GTF spokesperson
The Sri Lankan government cannot continue to blame members of the former regime for the lack of progress in furthering accountability said the Global Tamil Forum’s spokesperson Suren Surendiran, [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 23 July 2016
Remembering Black July 1983
Today we world 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. [more]

Tamil Guardian 17 July 2016
Sinhalese and Tamil students clash at Jaffna University
Updated 1230 GMT A Sinhalese student brandishes a log towards a group of Tamil students as violence broke out at Jaffna University on Saturday. [more]

Tamil Guardian 09 July 2016
No justice 21 years after bombing of Navaly church by Sri Lanka Airforce
Tamil families in the North-East remember those that perished in the bombing by Sri Lanka's armed forces [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 22 May 2016
A poet's fearless death

Puthuvai Ratnathurai is an Eelam Tamil Revoluntary Poet. He was in charge of the Tamil Eelam Arts and Cultural Guild.  Mr Rathnathuai was last seen in the custody of the Sri Lankan military on 18 May 2009 in Mullivaikkal and to date his fate is not known.  He has written hundreds of poems. Here we publish just one such poem, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 April 2016
American Tamils raise awareness of breast cancer in community
The Tennessee Tamil Sangam held an event last month to raise awareness of breast cancer and highlight the importance of early detection. [more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2016
London Tamil Market showcases very best of British Tamil business success
The two day exhibition held on 9th and 10th April 2016 included over 150 Tamil businesses and saw thousands of visitors coming through its doors. [more]



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