15th April 2015

British Tamils gear up for UK general election

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

In under a month Britons, including the hundreds of thousands of British Tamils, will cast their votes in the UK general election on May 7th. The British Tamil community, which makes up a significant proportion of voters, particularly in the capital, remain a decisive force in many constituencies. Days before the final deadline to register to vote, Tamil Guardian asked British Tamil voters how candidate and party stances on Sri Lanka could affect their vote. NHS doctor, Lourdes Mariathas “I am very concerned that the push for justice and Tamil rights is in danger of being brushed aside by the international community now that Sri Lanka has a new government.” “Candidates in the British election must stipulate how they will address certain pressing issues including […]

UNHRC Lists Urgent Tasks For Lankan Government

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Showing impatience over the slow pace of the ethic reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday  listed  certain urgent tasks for the Lankan government to do, so that charges of human rights abuses and war crimes are meaningfully addressed. Pablo de Greiff, UNHRC Special Rapporteur for Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence has said in his report that Lanka should take “immediate action” to clarify the fate of the disappeared; refrain from arbitrary detentions; address land issues; and put an immediate end to continuing forms of harassment, violence and unjustified surveillance of civil society and war victims, in particular women in the Eastern and Northern provinces. “These cast a serious doubt on current efforts,” he said. […]

US diplomat discusses human rights and accountability with Sri Lanka

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

A senior American diplomat has held discussion with Sri Lankan government officials on human rights and strengthening democracy, transparency, and accountability during his recent visit to the island nation. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski traveled to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan from April 2 – 10. “In Sri Lanka, he met with senior government representatives to discuss human rights and strengthening democracy, transparency, and accountability.” “He also met with representatives from human rights, religious, and civil society organizations,” the US State Department said.

Relatives of “disappeared” Tamils protest in Colombo

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Several dozen relatives of Tamils who were arrested or abducted during the communal war conducted by successive governments in the country’s north and east joined a picket in Colombo last Tuesday. Most of the protesters were mothers and wives. Many travelled overnight from the northern Mannar district. Holding photographs of their missing loved ones, they demanded that the government release them. They suspect that their children and husbands are alive and detained in secret camps. Thousands of people are still missing, nearly six years after the decades-long war ended with the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) in 2009. After former President Mahinda Rajapakse renewed the war in 2006, thousands of Tamil youth were detained, tortured and often murdered by the […]

Tamil New Year in the militarised Vanni

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil Guardian 14 April 2015 Sri Lanka’s military held several event’s in the Vanni to ‘celebrate’ Tamil and Sinhala New Year, with civilians, including children, invited to take part. The 66th and 663rd Brigades of the Security Forces Headquarters in Kilinochchi held an event each in Pooneryn (Poonakari) on the 8th and 10th of April. Major General A.P. De Z Wickramaratne, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 66 Division was chief guest at both events.  Famous Sinhala singers from the south graced the event in the Kiranchi playground, in the virtually exclusively Tamil town.     The Kilinochi military’s 651 Brigade also organised an event in Mulankavil, in coordination with the local police station and trade society on April 11. Presents and meal packs were distributed to civilians […]

Pray for life without militarisation at this Tamil new year says CM Wigneswaran

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

The chief minister of the northern province, C V Wigneswaran, expressed his hope that a life without subjugation and free from militarisation would begin this year for the Tamil people, as Tamils celebrated new year on Monday. ” We should pray that atleast in this coming new year the continuing militarised environment that surrounds us and makes our people feel that they lack freedom is removed.,” Mr Wigneswaran was quoted by the Uthayan as saying, when addressing a cultural event at Nelliyadi Central College, marking Tamil New Year. See his full comments here: “This musical and dance event has been named “Let Spring Blossom”. Last year the central government undertook its political activities by keeping the Province under its control through its ‘Northern Spring’ initiative.” […]

Liberal party celebrates Tamil contributions in Canada at Tamil New Year

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

The leader of Canada’s Liberal party, Justin Trudeau, celebrated the contributions made by Tamil Canadians as Tamils around the world celebrated Tamil new year on April 14. “This day is an important opportunity for us all to reflect on the valuable contributions Tamil-Canadians have made, and continue to make, to our national fabric,” Mr Trudeau said in a statement released on Tuesday, wishing everyone: “Iniya Tamizh Puthaandu Nalvazhthukkal.” Full statement reproduced below:   “Today, Tamils in Canada and around the world will celebrate Puthandu, the beginning of the new year in the traditional Tamil calendar. “During this auspicious time, Tamils will visit with family and friends, feast together, exchange gifts, and play games. Many will also mark this special occasion by visiting temples and churches […]

NDP commends Tamil Canadians for courage and determination at Tamil New Year

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Canada’s New Democrat Party wished Tamils in Canada a happy and prosperous new year on Tuesday, commending them determination in the face of adversity. In a statement on behalf of the NDP, Scarborough Rouge River MP, Rathika Sitsabaiesan said: “I would like to recognize the outstanding contributions of the many Canadians of Tamil descent and commend them for their courage and determination in the face of adversity – values that all Canadians can learn from.” “Puththaandu ungalukku magizhchiyaaga malara vaazhththukkal!” she added. Full statement reproduced below: “On behalf of New Democrats, I would like to wish all Tamils in Canada a happy and prosperous New Year. “The New Year is a time for celebration with family and friends to reflect on the past year and […]