Thursday, 27 November 2014
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Tamil Guardian 27 November 2014
5 dead in attack on British embassy in Kabul
Five people have been killed in an attack on the British embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday in a suicide bombing, reports Reuters.

One Briton is believed to be among the dead, whilst 33 people were injured.

"I can confirm it was a British vehicle and there are some injuries. We are working with the Afghan authorities," a British embassy spokesperson told the news agency on condition of anonymity.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it had "targeted foreign invading forces".


[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 November 2014
US led coalition foreign ministers to discuss action plan against Islamic State militants
Foreign ministers from up to 60 countries within a US led coalition against Islamic State militants will hold their first meeting next week in Brussels.

The meeting, to be held on December 3 and chaired by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, will analyse progress in the fight against Islamic State militants, and discuss future political coordination, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile, the US military continued its airstrikes against the Islamic State, with 10 attacks near Kobane, destroying six fighting positions said US central command on Wednesday.

Tamil Guardian 26 November 2014
Catalan parties to unite in 18 month plan for independence
Catalonia’s leader Artur Mas, outlined a plan to create a Catalan state within 18 months, by uniting the region's politicians, reports Reuters.

Catalonia’s two main parties, on Wednesday, came close to agreeing on a decision to call for regional elections that could be used as a proxy for a referendum on independence from Spain, by the parties uniting on a common election platform.

The leader of Catalonia’s second-biggest party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), welcomed Mas’ plan as a “good starting point.”

“We need to seek formulas that add up between all the political forces that want to move towards independence,” said Oriol Junqueras.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 November 2014
US drone strikes kill 5 militants in Pakistan
A US drone strike in Pakistan killed 5 militants, a government official said on Wednesday.

The US drone strike hit a house used by militants, near the Afghan border, as the Pakistani military intensified their own airstrikes in an offensive against Taliban militants.

The Pakistani government condemned the US strike as an infringement of Pakistani sovereignty.

“The Government of Pakistan condemns the drone strike that took place in the early hours of Wednesday, 26 November 2014 at Garga, north Shawal in North Wziristan Agency,” the government said in a statement.

Though Pakistan protests drone strikes, many say that the military has given its tacit acceptance of the US strikes, Reuters said.

Tamil Guardian 26 November 2014
Student leaders arrested as police clamp down on Hong Kong protests
Hong Kong police, on Wednesday, moved in to clear one of the largest protest sites in the occupy movement and faced several clashes with pro-democracy activists that continued to stream into cleared areas.

Several student leaders were arrested, including Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, reports the BBC.

Police used pepper spray and batons against demonstrators, whilst arresting individuals that resisted the police.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 November 2014
Farc releases two soldiers in bid to restart peace talks
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have released two Colombian soldiers and vowed to release an army general, in a move that is hoped to revive stalled peace talks.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hailed the release, stating it was “an important step which shows the maturity of the peace process and the gestures of peace all Colombians demand."

In a statement released from Havana, Cuba, FARC said it had ”fulfilled the conditions of the first phase of the Special Humanitarian Accord and will now focus its efforts on freeing General Ruben Dario Alzate ... and his companions."

The group went on to call for a halt on all Colombian government military activity in area held by FARC, saying,

"We hope the operations led by the defense ministry and the military siege against the civilian population will be immediately suspended so that the release of these individuals can go ahead without any scares."

The Colombian army has been accused by the militants of bombings, deploying troops and of surveillance flight over FARC-held territory. The two soldiers captured in the eastern Arauca province in a reported clash with FARC militants two weeks ago.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 November 2014
Grand jury decision over Michael Brown shooting sparks protests
A Missouri grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown earlier this year, has sparked protests across the United States.

Responding to Monday's verdict, rights’ activists and civil liberties’ organizations denounced the failure to indict Wilson as symptomatic of a larger failure by the American justice system to hold police officers accountable for their disproportionately high rates of violence against people of colour.

Jeffrey Mittman, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union said
in a statement,
“The grand jury's decision does not negate the fact that Michael Brown's tragic death is part of an alarming national trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. Yet in most cases, the officers and police departments are not held accountable. While many officers carry out their jobs with respect for the communities they serve, we must confront the profound disconnect and disrespect that many communities of color experience with their local law enforcement.”
In a statement released on Monday, the family of Michael Brown expressed their disappointment with the decision.
“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen”
Thousands of Americans at demonstrations throughout the country have condemned the failure to indict Wilson as unjust. Despite calls for restraint by various state and federal officials, including President Obama, some have turned to rioting and violence with reports of police having fired tear gas and flash-bang canisters at protesters. In Ferguson alone, 61 people were arrested Monday night.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 November 2014
Dozens killed as Syrian government bombs Raqqa
At least 87 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a series of air strikes carried out by the Syrian government on the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Raqqa.

Rami Abdulrahman from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 10 Syrian government jets had struck Raqqa at least 10 times, killing dozens.

"The majority of the strikes were in the eastern part of the city," Abdulrahman said. "At least 36 of those killed are civilians. As for the rest, we are not sure yet if they were fighters."

"Most of the casualties were caused by two consecutive air strikes targeting the city's industrial area," he went on to add. "The first strike came, residents rushed to rescue the wounded, and then the second raid took place."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 24 November 2014
US confirms successful airstrikes against Islamic State militants
The US military in a statement, said that it had, with its allies, conducted several successful airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

According to the statement 9 strikes in Syria took out at least three Islamic State militant fighting positions, whilst 15 strikes in Iraq destroyed militant checkpoints and military vehicles, reports Reuters.

US air-drops arms to Kurdish forces fighting IS (20 October 2014)

IS retreat amidst US airstrikes, coalition pledges further support to forces fighting militants (16 October 2014)
Tamil Guardian 24 November 2014
At least 45 killed in blast in Afghanistan
An explosion, thought to have been caused by a suicide bomber, has killed at least 45 people and wounded dozens more at a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan.

The attack on Sunday occurred in the Paktika province, where locals had gathered to watch the game.

Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani said the incident was a"heinous attack", according to his spokesman and Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement, "no cause justifies such acts of terrorism and taking of innocent lives."

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The explosion occurred just hours after the lower house of the Afghan parliament, approved security deals which will see around 12,000 NATO and US troops remain in the country after most foreign troops withdraw next month.

[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Tamil Guardian 27 November 2014
A legacy for generations

Twenty-five years ago today, the Tamil nation’s day of remembrance - Maaveerar Naal, was first commemorated at an event in the Vanni. Today, the commemoration of the nation’s fallen heroes has spread across the world, [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 27 October 2014
Impeding justice
The Sri Lankan government’s announcement of restrictions on foreign passport holders travelling to the North is a brazen and calculated attempt to obstruct evidence collection for the UN inquiry into mass atrocities, [more]

  Opinion
Sinthujan Varatharajah Tamil Guardian 27 November 2014
Topography of terror and exile

Where do we carry our dead when our soil is stolen and our oceans were turned into impenetrable walls and borders? Where do we take our grief when our kovil bells are forced into silence and our mourners made illegal? Where do we sing our songs of sorrow and resilience when our lips have been sealed? We carry them afar. We carry them in our suitcases across the sea. Five years after the end of war, [more]

Tasha Manoranjan Tamil Guardian 17 November 2014
Gendered Genocide: Sri Lanka’s War Against Tamils
  The following address was delivered by Tasha Manoranjan, a graduate from Yale Law School, and founder and director of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), [more]

Arani Kumaran Tamil Guardian 30 October 2014
Review: 'Sri Lanka's Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder'
'Sri Lanka's Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder' by Trevor Grant, is a powerful book, [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 23 November 2014
Who is Maithripala Sirisena?
Last week the former secretary general of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and minister of health, Maithripala Sirisena, was announced as the common opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. [more]

Tamil Guardian 02 November 2014
Remembering Thamilselvan 7 years on
S. P. Thamilselvan, the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) political wing, was assassinated by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) on November 2nd, 2007. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 October 2014
30 Oct 1995: Jaffna exodus as Tamils flee for Vanni ahead of SL military advance
On October 30, 1995, over half a million Tamil men, women and children fled their homes in Jaffna, [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 16 November 2014
Breaking the Silence Journal 2014: Cardiff University
Cardiff Tamil Society kicked off this year's Breaking the Silence campaign by holding a week long exhibition, [more]

Abi Gunarajah Tamil Guardian 01 November 2014
Tamil students inspired to excel at UKTSU's Careers Network 2014
 Photography - Soozana Pvan Over 100 Tamil students and top professionals from several key industries came together for the UK Tamil Students Union's (UK TSU) careers event - Careers Network 2014 on October 30.   Part of UKTSU's Careers Development Scheme, [more]

Tamil Guardian 25 October 2014
Barts and London University Tamil Society host language workshop
The Barts and the London University Tamil Society and the university's Language and Culture Society, joined forced to host a ‘Basic skills in the Tamil language’ workshop on October 6th. [more]



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