12 Reports

Veteran journalist of Tamil Eelam passes away at 87

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 November 2017, 16:07 GMT]
S.M. Gopalaratnam (SMG), the most senior journalist to serve the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle with a prolific journalistic career in the Tamil-language press with more than 50 years of continuous service, passed away at the age of 87 at his residence in Batticaloa on Wednesday. Born in Jaffna and based in Batticaloa, Mr Gopalaratnam joined Virakesari in Colombo as a proof-reader in 1953 and rose to the level of sub-editor in the same year. SMG joined Jaffna-based Eezha Naadu daily in 1961 as one of the founding editorial board members and served the paper for 20 years covering the non-violent struggle of Eezham Tamils. He narrowly escaped from an arson attack by the occupying Sinhala police who burnt down the office and machinery of Eezha Naadu the very night the Jaffna Public Library was put to ashes in 1981.
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Landowners reluctant to dismantle military-vacated Buddha statues due to SL constitutional clause

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 22:29 GMT]
The occupying Sri Lanka Army was stationed at Mailampaa-ve'li village, which is situated 8 km north of Batticaloa city along Batticaloa - Vaazhaichcheanai highway (A4). The SL military vacated from the private lands three years ago. After that, the occupying Sinhala police has put up a post at the locality and the landowner is still reluctant of removing a Buddha statue which was left behind by the Sinhala military.The SLA was occupying the said lands at Mailampaa-ve'li lands for 25 years. SL Police doesn't seem to use the small temple, which is found in the abandoned state. However, the ‘foremost place to Buddhism’ clause in the SL constitution would be used against the landowner if the structure is removed.
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Colombo refuses to release 3 political prisoners who have completed serving prison terms: MP

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 November 2017, 23:03 GMT]
Three Tamil males from Mullaiththeevu were detained by the Maldivian authorities in May 2007 for suspicious movement in the international waters off Maldives. A Maldivian court later sentenced them for 15 years of imprisonment. The prisoners were handed over to Colombo along with necessary documents and the verdict to serve the remaining terms. The prisoners have completed their terms in May as one prison year is calculated as 8 months and 10 days if served continuously. However, the SL State is refusing to release them, TNA Parliamentarian Charles Nirmalanathan said. The Tamil parliamentarian from Mannaar said that the families of the three prisoners had taken up the matter with the previous SL Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in July and that the SL minister had promised to forward their request to SL Attorney General's Department and to SL Prison Authority.
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SL Police reluctant to act against SLFP goons in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 November 2017, 17:19 GMT]
Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, a former Tiger commander turned paramilitary operative of the occupying Sinhala military in 2004, has illegally seized 25 acres of farmlands that belong to 16 private landowners at Thadaa'nai in Pearillaa-ve'li of Koa'ra'laippattu South (Kiraan) Division and transferred the lands to his sister, the affected landowners complain. The SL Police is not prepared to act against the encroachers, the landowners said. Mr Muralitharan who became a deputy minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa's cabinet in 2009 and later joined Rajapaksa's SLFP, has appointed his sister as the head of SLFP Women Wing in Batticaloa.
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Tamil-speaking aborigines face existential threat in Moothoor, Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 November 2017, 22:27 GMT]
The officials of the Wildlife Department of occupying Colombo have threatened Tamil-speaking aborigines, who had resettled in their traditional lands in Chantha'na-veddai located near Kal-malai in Moothhoor DS Division of Trincomalee district, to vacate their huts. The aborigines who have been residing in the area for centuries were provided with documents proving their ownership to lands as far back as 1972. During the times of war, they were uprooted from Chantha'na-veddai. After 2009, the people resettled back and have constructed huts. Their livelihood is cultivating finger millet and jowar since 2009. Sinhala Wildlife Department officials are now claiming the area as coming under their domain and have instructed the Tamil aborigines to vacate the lands, civil sources in Trincomalee said.
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MCC should not insult Tamils by inviting ‘Sri Lankan’ envoy: Deputy CM of Penang

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 November 2017, 20:55 GMT]
The Deputy Chief Minister of Penang state in Malaysia Professor P. Ramasamy, who is a long time advocate of the rights of Eezham Tamils, on Wednesday condemned the Malaysian Ceylonese Congress (MCC) for inviting the SL High Commissioner to Malaysia to grace a biennial dinner, which is being organised on November 25, 2017. The Chief Minister of Penang has also been invited to deliver a keynote address at the dinner. “I am not sure whether the Chief Minister of Penang would be accepting this invitation. However since the Penang state government has taken a strong stand against the Sri Lankan government for its abuse of human rights among Tamils, it is unlikely that he will attend,” the Deputy CM said.
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Colombo's NGO coordinator issues threats to freedom of association in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 November 2017, 23:08 GMT]
SL Government-operated NGO Secretariat is again threatening the local civil groups, NGOs and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) in Batticaloa district against taking part in the protests being organised by the kith and kin of the enforced disappeared, civil activists in the district said. Mr P.S. Sylvester, the chairman of the so-called Federation of Civil Organisations in Batticaloa District, an outfit recently launched by SL Minister Mano Ganesan's NGO Secretariat, is behind the intimidation. Colombo regime wants to completely dismantle the already functioning federation, which is known as I'naiyam.
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Floods displace uprooted Valikaamam North families in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 November 2017, 23:39 GMT]
75 of 125 displaced families (60%) so far displaced due to floods caused by intermittent monsoon rains in Jaffna are people who have been uprooted from Valikaamam North three decades ago and who have been residing in the so-called welfare camps, District Secretariat civil sources in Jaffna said. While the occupying military of genocidal Sri Lanka has refused to consider further release of lands from the ‘military zone’ surrounding the Palaali army cantonment, around 100,000 people have been uprooted from their houses, fertile soil for agriculture and the coast with access to the fish-rich seabed. The most deprived among the uprooted live in 34 so-called welfare camps. One of the camps, located at Polika'ndi in Vadamaraadchi North, has been severely affected by the floods. They are now sheltered at the Multi Purpose Cooperative Society building, the sources further said.
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Uprooted Valikaamam people launch new protest demanding release of lands

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 November 2017, 22:11 GMT]
The uprooted people of Vasaavi'laan and Palaali South in Valikaamam North took the streets amidst pouring rains on Sunday to protest against the position of the occupying SL military that no more lands would be released from the Sinhala Military Zone surrounding the Palaali military base for the next two years. People demanded immediate answer from SL President Maithiripala Sirisena, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the SL armed forces on the release of their lands. The protest saw hundreds of people emotionally articulating their demands.
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ITAK hierarchy receives flak for disregard of political prisoners

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 November 2017, 22:25 GMT]
Jaffna University students on Friday condemned ITAK leaders, particularly M.A. Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah for evading a crucial meeting at Jaffna University in which they were supposed to articulate and take a common responsibility of taking forward the struggle on behalf of the political prisoners before the students urged the hunger-striking political prisoners to abandon their fast unto death. Each of the three hunger-strikers have gone down in weight by 12 to 17 kg and their pulse was slow, the blood pressure has fallen and their body parts could be permanently impaired as their hunger-strike reached 37th day. Heated arguments ensued between the student leaders and NPC Councillor M.K. Shivajilingam who has been trying to negotiate and advance an appeal process in the Court of Appeal in Colombo instead of making it a political struggle with principled demands.
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Colombo fails to arrest STF commandos who shot and killed Tamil youth in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 November 2017, 23:45 GMT]
A five-member squad of the so-called Special Task Force is believed to be behind the highhanded crime of firing at two unarmed Tamil fishermen and causing death to one of them in Ariyaalai East, a suburb of Jaffna city on 22 October. Despite the discovery of a handgun and vehicles suspected to be used by the killers from a STF camp in the same area, none of the STF commandos have been detained or arrested by the SL Police investigators conducting preliminary investigations so far. The STF, organised under the SL Police department, as a full-fledged military force, which is being operated by the intelligence wing of the occupying Sinhala military in North. Colombo has been replacing key officers of the SL Police in North with former STF commandos who have been promoted to higher ranks.
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Student leaders vow to step up protests in support of hunger-striking political prisoners

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 November 2017, 23:11 GMT]
The president of Jaffna University Student Union K. Krishnameenan and Secretary K. Jackson have sent an urgent appeal to SL President Maithiripala Sirisena through various offices in Colombo and Jaffna on Wednesday urging immediate response in resolving the demands of the three hunger-striking Tamil political prisoners at Anuradhapura prison. 14 days have elapsed since the student leaders met the SL President in Colombo on 19 October. Mr Sirisena had promised swift action either before the student leaders returned to Jaffna the next day or at latest on 25th of October after having consulted with SL Attorney General and SL Justice Minister who were out of the island at that time. But, nothing has happened since then. As such the student leaders are planning to step up the protest to next level, they told media on Wednesday.
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