Sunday, 14 February 2016
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Tamil Guardian 14 February 2016
Turkey strikes Kurdish militia in Syria
 Turkey’s military shelled Kurdish militia targets in northern Syria and demanded that the group withdraw from the area, reports Reuters.

The US State Department spokesperson John Kirby urged both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds to step back, saying they should focus instead on tackling a ‘common threat’ of Islamic State militants who control large parts of Syria.
“We have urged Syrian Kurdish and other forces affiliated with YPG not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory.”

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which backs the YPG controls a vast amount of the Syrian side of Turkey’s border and Ankara.
Tamil Guardian 12 February 2016
Saudi Arabia issues safety warning UN and aid agencies in Yemen
Saudi Arabia warned the United Nations and international aid organisations to protect their staff by removing them from areas controlled by the Houthi militants, reports Reuters.

A note circulated amongst embassies and the UN said that the request was to “protect the international organisations and their employees.”

Saudi Arabia has been leading coalition airstrikes against the Houthi militants for almost a year.

The UN aid chief Stephen O’Brian acknowledged receipt of the note adding that the humanitarian community would continue to deliver aid across the Yemen impartiality.
Tamil Guardian 09 February 2016
Over 300,000 could be starved of food in Syria's latest offensive warns UN
Hundreds of thousands of civilians could be cut off from food and aid if Syrian government forces circle rebel-held territories in Aleppo warned the United Nations on Tuesday.

Syrian government forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, launched a heavy offensive around Aleppo, which resulted in UN sponsored peace-talks being temporarily abandoned.

The United Nations office for the Coordination of humanitarian Affairs said,

“It would leave up to 300,000 people, still residing in the city, cut off form humanitarian aid unless cross-line access could be negotiated.”

The UN urged Turkey to open its border to allow Syrian refuges to flee the Aleppo region. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that as many as a million refugees could arrive if the Russian Syrian campaign continues.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry, urged Russia to join efforts to reach a ceasefire in the region, adding,

“Russia’s activities from Aleppo and in the region are making it much more difficult to be able to come to the table and be able to have a serious conversation.”

Tamil Guardian 07 February 2016
UN Sec Council to hold emergency meeting on North-Korea as China condemns
China’s Foreign Ministry expressed regret that North Korea had launched a rocket in to space despite strong opposition from the international community.

In a statement released on Sunday, the ministry spokeswoman Hua Cunying said,

“China expresses regret that North Korea, in spite of the pervasive opposition of the international community, insisted on using ballistic missile technology to carry out a launch.”

The condemnation came as  the UN Security Council looks to hold an emergency meeting on the issue, reports Reuters.

The United States and China have been in discussion about the possibility of expanding UN sanctions on North Korea in response to its latest actions.
Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
North Korea fires rocket for 'satellite'

The North Korean government has fired a long range rocket, claiming that it was putting an earth observation satellite into orbit.

However, it is thought that the rocket was a test of banned missile technology, part of efforts to develop nuclear weapons technology.

The US and Japan condemned the launch and have requested, alongside South Korea, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch "absolutely unacceptable," saying it was a "clear violation" of UN Security Council resolutions.

Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
Pentagon releases photos of abuse by US military

The US has released nearly 200 photographs linked to abuse by its military, after a freedom of information request.

Images published include bruises and cuts on prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, however the Pentagon said none of the pictures were of detainees held in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

A Pentagon spokesperson said the photos had "come from independent criminal investigations into allegations of misconduct by US personnel".

See more on the BBC here.

Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
European parliament recognises IS crimes as genocide
The European parliament this week recognised the crimes committed by Islamic STate against Christians and other religious minorities as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In a resolution, passed unanimously, the European Parliament called for the UN Security Council to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and for the crimes to be recognised by the them as a genocide.

Extract reproduced below:
"Whereas religious and ethnic minorities, such as Christian (Chaldean/Syriac/Assyrian, Melkite and Armenian), Yazidi, Turkmens, Shabak, Kaka’i, Sabae-Mandean, Kurdish and Shi’a communities, as well as many Arabs and Sunni Muslims, have been targeted by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’; whereas many have been killed, slaughtered, beaten, subjected to extortion, abducted and tortured; whereas they have been enslaved (in particular women and girls, who have also been subjected to other forms of sexual violence) and forcibly converted, and have been victims of forced marriage and trafficking in human beings; whereas children have also been forcibly recruited; whereas mosques, monuments, shrines, churches and other places of worship, tombs and cemeteries have been vandalised."
Tamil Guardian 04 February 2016
Officials fear UN failing Syrians as it did Tamils
Senior officials within the UN fear the organisation's role in Syria echoes its past failures during the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka where tens of thousands of Tamils were killed, reports The Guardian.

The UN's role in the siege of Madaya has come under particular scrutiny after correspondence revealed the UN was aware of the crisis since last July, but had hesitated to label it so due to a difficult relationship with Damascus.

See full report by The Guardian here.


Tamil Guardian 03 February 2016
British Airways to resume flights to Iran
British Airways will resume flights from London to Tehran from July reports Reuters.

The head of BA’s network planning division, Neil Conttrell, said,

“The recent lifting of sanctions opens up exciting new prospects for Iran as a tourist destination and with its rich heritage, unique architecture and world-class food it’s unsurprising Tehran is tipped to be a popular destination for 2016.”

Last week, Iran struck a $27 billion deal to but 118 Airbus jets and a dozen A380 jumbo jets.

 Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran in last year after protesters stormed the compound.
Tamil Guardian 03 February 2016
UN envoy halts Syria talks amidst army offensive

The United Nations envoy halted his attempts to launch Syrian peace talks on Wednesday after Syria’s army, backed by Russian air strikes made major advances on the opposition held areas around Aleppo.

The UN said it had been told hundreds of families had been uprooted following “an unprecedented frequency of air strikes in the past two days,” reports Reuters.

Speaking to press after temporarily halting the talks, the UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said,
“I have indicated from the first day that I won’t talk for the sake of talking. I have concluded frankly that after the first week of prepatory talks there is more work to be done, not only by us but by th stakeholders.”

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the country had no intention of ending its campaign, stating,
“Russian strikes will not cease until we really defeat terrorist organisations like (the al-Quadei-linked) Jabhat al-Nusra. And I don’t see why these airstrikes should be stopped.

Tamil Guardian 01 December 2015
A flower, a flame and a flag

On November 27th candles were lit in an unprecedented number of events, commemorating those who died taking up arms for the Tamil liberation struggle. [more]

Tamil Guardian 07 October 2015
Inescapable truth
The adoption of a UNHRC consensus resolution on the UN report into Sri Lanka’s atrocities (OISL) has been welcomed by many as the first step in a long process to move Sri Lanka towards an era of justice and reconciliation through genuine accountability, [more]

Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
Sri Lanka: Looking for a deal, not truth and justice Frances Harrison
Deep rooted reform in Sri Lanka is not on the government’s agenda writes Frances Harrison, in a piece for Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka. [more]

Tamil Guardian 28 January 2016
Sri Lanka's constitution: What's in it for Tamils?
Sinhala politicians are hell bent on denying Tamils federal power sharing, so that they can control Tamils through a Sinhala majority parliament writes JS Tissainayagam in the Asian correspondent. [more]

Tamil Guardian 11 January 2016
Governments change, but the torturers stay the same - Frances Harrison
While the world hails “the new Sri Lanka” for committing to deliver accountability for the past, the same torturers and rapists are in place doing what they’ve always done writes author of Still Counting the Dead and former BBC correspondent Frances Harrison. Full article reproduced below. “These are not things you can tell your wife, [more]

Tamil Guardian 11 February 2016
UN Special Rapporteur insists on importance of victim participation in Sri Lanka
File photo: Relatives of the disappeared met with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Jaffna last week, as Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff reiterated the importance victim participation in an accountability mechanism. [more]

Tamil Guardian 09 February 2016
UN Human Rights chief concludes visit to North-East
UN Human Rights chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein concluded a four-day trip across the Tamil North-East on Tuesday. Photograph: Mr Hussein on his visit to Nallur temple in Jaffna earlier this week. [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 February 2016
Protests in North-East as Sri Lanka marks Independence Day
Protests took place in every district across the Tamil North-East, as the Sri Lankan government celebrated Independence Day on Thursday. [more]

  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 27 January 2016
Tamil farmers honoured in Farmers' Festival

Farmers of the Northern Province were honoured with a Farmers Festival in Mullaitivu on Saturday.

The event was presided over by Chief Minister C. [more]

Tamil Guardian 29 December 2015
"As an artist Im still dealing with being a refugee" - Interview with M.I.A.
Photograph MIA Universe

Tamil Guardian exclusive interview with rapper and musician M. [more]

Tamil Guardian 27 November 2015
Canadian Tamil youth commemorate Maaveerar Naal


On November 25th the Tamil Youth Organization (TYO) Canada, in partnership with the Tamil Students' Associations (TSAs) from several universities, [more]

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