Friday, 06 May 2016
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Tamil Guardian 06 May 2016
Asylum seekers deported by Australia arrested in Sri Lanka
The 12 asylum seekers who fled Sri Lanka and reached the Cocos Islands on Monday were all arrested on arrival at Colombo airport after being deported by Australian authorities on Thursday night.

The group, which is believed to include children and an infant as young as one, were handed over to Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigation Department, reported Colombo Page.

The Australian government has refused to respond to concerns raised about the forced return, stating "we do not comment on operational matters".


Tamil Guardian 06 May 2016
Sri Lankan navy constructs permanent fences at Mullivaikkal camp

The Sri Lankan navy is erecting permanent fences around its camp in Mullivaikkal, despite calls for the Sri Lankan military to release land it is occupying to its owners.

The camp, named the Gotabhaya Camp, was constructed on 671 acres of private land belonging to Tamils in Mullivaikkal East, that was illegally acquired by the navy shortly after the end of the armed conflict in 2009.


Tamil Guardian 06 May 2016
Sri Lankan military constructed vihara remains on released Jaffna land


Sri Lanka’s armed forces continue to pray at a Buddhist vihara which was constructed on occupied land in Jaffna, lamented Tamil villagers amidst fears that the structure would become permanent.

The Sri Lankan military had built a Buddhist vihara on the land in Valikamam North, which until recently was occupied by the army.

After the release of 5.2 acres of the land back to Tamil civilians though, the Sri Lankan military regularly encroaches the area, in order to access a military constructed Buddhist vihara. The military’s continued checkpoints along the main road at Keerimalai – Naguleswaram also mean that access to a public crematorium has been compromised.

A navy base, which was initially promised to be dismantled, has also simply been pushed back a further 500 metres, said residents.   

Tamil Guardian 06 May 2016
UN Special Rapporteur meets Tamil People's Council
The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Monica Pinto, met with members of the Tamil People's Council in Jaffna on Thursday, including Professor Chitrambalam, Mr. Janarthanan and Council member and Jaffna University Teachers Union President Dr Thirukumaran.

Highlighting the injustices suffered by the Tamil people during the armed conflict, members of the Tamil People's Council, called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to establish an independent impartial inquiry immediately.


Tamil Guardian 05 May 2016
Buddhist monk threatens protestors in Amparai

A protest held in Amparai earlier today, highlighting ongoing arrests and abductions by the government, was interrupted by a mob led by a Buddhist monk, Ceylonews reports.

Protestors urged the government to stop terrorising the North-East with the detentions, urged the release of those arrested and to stop abducting those it wants to detain.

The protest, organised by the Association of Families of Disappeared, was making its way towards the Amparai District Secretariat office when a mob led by a local monk stopped and threated the participants. At least one of the men was wearing a t-shirt with the racist "Sinha-le" slogan. The protestors were accused of working for foreign NGOs, aiming to tarnish Sri Lanka's image for financial gain, Ceylonews further reported.

One woman protestor was threatened with assault, while police stood by.

Tamil Guardian 05 May 2016
Western Province passes resolution opposing Tamil call for federalism
Sri Lanka's Sinhala dominated Western Provincial Council on Thursday passed a resolution opposing the previous resolution passed by the Tamil dominated Northern Provincial Council calling for a federal solution to the decades long ethnic conflict.

Stating that a federal solution which granted political autonomy to Tamils was "constitutionally and legally incorrect", the Western Province councillor, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe was quoted by the First Post as stating the NPC's resolution was "an attempt to create two separate federal governments in the island based on language and ethnicity".

"We urge the President and the Prime Minister to reject the demand for federalism at a time the whole country has geared to achieve reconciliation with the Tamils," Mr Warnasinghe, who is also a member of the JHU, added.

The chief minister of the northern province has reiterated that the call for federalism is intended to unite, not divide the country.

Tamil Guardian 05 May 2016
Chief Buddhist monk urges Sirisena to safeguard Rajapaksa
Sri Lanka's most revered Buddhist monks of the Mahanayake chapter on Thursday wrote an impassioned plea to the president, Maithripala Sirisena, urging him to safeguard his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa by maintaining his security.

"The terrorists have a grudge against the first citizen of the country, whoever it is, that finished a 30-year-old savage war waged by a group of terrorists in a manner seen nowhere in the world using modern weapons and military power, airplanes, ships, armoured tanks, submarines and suicide bombers. It is accepted by most people that although terrorism was eliminated from our motherland, they are active and powerful in many parts of the world," the monk, Dawuldena Gnanissara wrote in a letter, translated by the Daily Mirror.

"Everyone knows that there is no other country in the world that faced such a powerful terror group in recent history. Therefore I advice you with compassion to shelve the decision not to provide military security to a defeated leader, and maintain the military security provided to the former president by respecting the wishes of a larger percentage of the people."

See full letter here.

The removal of Mr Rajapaksa's military security sparked a violent exchange in parliament earlier this week, resulting in one MP being admitted in hospital with injuries.

Tamil Guardian 05 May 2016
JHU calls for govt to 'react' to NPC's federalism resolution
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) on Thursday praised the Western Provincial Council's adoption of a resolution opposing the Northern Provincial Council's resolution calling for a federal solution and urged other provincial councils to do the same.

“We must appreciate the move taken by the WPC members and the Chief Minster for reacting to the NPC resolution. We request members of other provincial councils and Chief Ministers to show their protest on separatist moves by the NPC,” the JHU leader, the Buddhist monk, Omalpe Sobitha was quoted by the Daily Mirror.
as saying.

He also urged the Sri Lankan government to "immediately react" to the resolution, adding that "silence might suggest the tacit approval of the resolution."

Tamil Guardian 05 May 2016
UN Special Rapporteur visits Sri Lankan torture site

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has visited an infamous torture site used by the Sri Lankan military, reports The Island.

Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez visited Camp Joseph at the Sri Lankan Vanni Security Forces Headquarters during his tour of the island.

Last year the International Truth and Justice Project Sri Lanka (ITJP) identified several military officials, with photographs, who were directly involved in rape, torture and abductions in Camp Joseph Camp, and several other sites.

See more here.

Prior to the Special Rapporteur's visit UK-based Freedom from Torture said the officials "have a crucial role to play in holding the government to its international commitments".

Mr Mendez is due to conclude his visit on 7 May.

Tamil Guardian 05 May 2016
Tamil UNP minister pledges to build memorial in Mullivaikkal

The UNP's State Minister of Child Affairs Vijayakala Maheswaran has pledged to build a memorial hall in Mullivaikkal, despite government opposition to public Tamil remembrance of the war dead.

“In remembrance of the 100,00 people who were massacred in the war, a memorial hall will be constructed at Mullivaikal with the support of Northern Provincial Council. I will accomplish this within the next five years.” the Tamil MP for Jaffna said.

“Nobody can oppose the construction of the memorial hall in remembrance of our deceased relatives. I do not care, even if I am dismissed.” she added.

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

Tamil Guardian 17 February 2016
No turning back

The past months have seen Tamil victims of Sri Lanka’s decades-long conflict meet with ambassadors from across the world. The recent visit to the North-East by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein held particular significance. It symbolised the continued international focus on the future of the North-East and renewed hopes that justice and reform is beginning to take shape, [more]

Taylor Dibbert The Diplomat 17 April 2016
Sri Lanka's National Security Fearmongers
Sri Lankan police have recently uncovered ammunition, a suicide vest, and explosives in Chavakachcheri, a town in the country’s north. It’s widely (and realistically) believed that this is an old arms cache. [more]

Tamil Guardian 04 April 2016
'Victims must remain at centre of accountability efforts'

Processes in Sri Lanka towards accountability and justice must keep victims at the centre, said Dharsha Jegatheeswaran in an article for the University of Toronto Faculty of Law’s Rights Review Magazine. [more]

Taylor Dibbert The Huffington Post 30 March 2016
Sri Lanka: Gotabaya Rajapaksa Is Still Dangerous
Could Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former defense secretary (and brother of previous president Mahinda Rajapaksa), bring the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) together? Evidently a member of the country’s joint opposition has suggested that Rajapaksa be appointed to parliament, [more]

Tamil Guardian 28 April 2016
Swedish Foreign Minister in Jaffna after meetings with Sri Lankan leaders
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström arrived in Jaffna on Tuesday ahead of a series of meetings. [more]

Tamil Guardian 28 April 2016
'Where else should I die but here?'
Dharmeratnam 'Taraki' Sivaram 11 August 1959 - 28 April 2005 [more]

Tamil Guardian 26 April 2016
SJV Chelvanayakam remembered
Today marks the death of SJV Chelvanayagam QC, who is remembered across the Tamil nation for spear heading the Vaddukoddai resolution, which was overwhelmingly ratified by the Tamil votes in the 1976 parliamentary elections. [more]

  Culture & Community
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]

Tamil Guardian 02 April 2016
Sivakumaran memorial football tournament held in Switzerland
The Tamil Youth Organisaiton (TYO) Switzerland held a football tournament in memory of Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran last month. Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran is widely known and remembered as the first Tamil to die in the liberation struggle.##### Sivakumaran was a student leader and Tamil activist that was subject to severe torture in Sri Lanka during the early 1970’s. Following his first arrest and round of torture, [more]

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