Posts Tagged ‘tamil’
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
[Reporters Without Borders]
Reporters Without Borders is extremely shocked by today’s arrest of N. Vithyatharan, the editor of Sudar Oli, a Colombo-based Tamil daily that is part of the Uthayan press group. He was forcibly arrested while attending the funeral in Colombo of a relative of the group’s chairman. The media minister told the organisation that he was being “treated well” by the police.
“Carried out without a warrant, this arrest was a violation of the rule of law,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The police must release Vithyatharan without delay. What is this respected Tamil editor accused of? Outspoken coverage of the situation in Sri Lanka, including the fate of its Tamil population.”
Thursday, February 19th, 2009
His life had taken him from the northern tip of Sri Lanka to a pebble-dashed semi in north-west London and finally to a cold square in Geneva. But it is for his death that the 26-year-old Tamil, Murugathasan Varnakulasingham, is likely to be remembered. A little after eight o’clock last Thursday night, the computing graduate and part-time Sainsbury’s shelf-stacker doused himself in petrol in Geneva and set light to his body outside the United Nations complex in the Place des Nations. Police officers rushed to try to save Murugathasan, who stood “burning like a torch”, but he was too badly injured.
Monday, February 16th, 2009
[Reporters Without Borders]
Reporters Without Borders today expressed revulsion at the death of a Tamil journalist in a Sri Lankan Army bombardment on the north of the country, which it described as a “war crime”. Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy was killed during an air raid on 12 February on Thevipuram, Mullaithivu district in the region of Vanni, being fought over by the army and rebel Tamil Tigers (LTTE). He had recently filed news of the plight of civilians in the latest wave of fighting. “Army air strikes and artillery fire on areas where there are tens of thousands of civilians, including Tamil journalists, are war crimes” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
Sunday, February 15th, 2009
THE BARRAGE of media reporting of the grim conflict in Sri Lanka has captured popular imagination, but has overlooked the grisly Sinhalese Buddhist genocide of innocent Hindu or Christian Tamil civilians by a US dual citizen and US green card holder. The two should be investigated and prosecuted in the United States. As a preliminary to the horror, roads and medical aid were blocked, and humanitarian workers and all media were expelled. During a BBC radio interview on Feb. 2, Rajapaksa declared that outside the “safety zone” nothing should “exist.”
Saturday, February 14th, 2009
Where is Mohideen? His wife Fatima wonders this every day as she wakes at 5 a.m. to say her morning prayers and get her two sons ready for school. Since November, Fatima, who lives in a corrugated tin-roof home in one of the Sri Lankan capital’s Tamil neighbourhoods, has been praying to Allah for her husband’s safe return. At 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 11, four men wielding guns and flashing badges barged into Fatima’s home, demanding Mohideen accompany them to the police station for two hours to be questioned.
Friday, February 13th, 2009
Sri Lanka was accused yesterday of planning concentration camps to hold 200,000 ethnic Tamil refugees from its northeastern conflict zone for up to three years — and seeking funding for the project from Britain.
The Sri Lankan Government says that it will open five “welfare villages” to house Tamils fleeing the 67 sq mile patch of jungle where the army has pinned down the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
The bloody progress of the conflict in Sri Lanka has united many diaspora Tamils across the political spectrum. The Sri Lankan military has made major gains in its attempt to defeat Tamil Tiger rebels (LTTE) fighting for a separate homeland. But Tamils around the world have protested in their thousands about the fate of civilians trapped amid the fighting and among those taking to the streets are Tamils profoundly critical of the Tigers. Nesan Shankaraji of the Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka (APRSL) and a strident critic of the LTTE says moderate Tamils have been extremely disappointed by what they see as the Sri Lankan government’s attitude towards civilians caught in the conflict.
Friday, February 6th, 2009
The Sri Lankan government is poised to crush the Tamil Tiger rebels and end a quarter-century civil war that has killed tens of thousands. But it still faces a major challenge beyond the battlefield: resolving the ethnic conflict that fueled the uprising. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has consistently expressed support for a deal to give the ethnic Tamil minority on this South Asian island nation more say in a government long dominated by the Sinhalese majority. “The sowing of discord belongs to the past. The future belongs to those who sow the seeds of unity,” he said in a speech Wednesday marking Independence Day.
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
As violence surges in Sri Lanka, so does the number of abductions and disappearance of mostly Tamil men. That is the assessment of human rights activists and international aid groups operating in the Indian Ocean nation. Raymond Thibodeaux files this report for VOA from Batticolao, on the eastern edge of Sri Lanka. Soli Chana, 23, is trying to find out what happened to her husband. Witnesses say three men in civilian clothes stopped him, not far from his house in Vanuniya in central Sri Lanka. They handcuffed him, shoved in a plain white van and sped away. That was a year and a half ago. He has not been heard from since.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
A human rights group in Sri Lanka has blamed local security forces for the massacre of 17 aid workers in 2006 and accused the government of a cover-up. The bodies of the Action Against Hunger workers were found in the north-eastern town of Muttur. It was one of the worst attacks on humanitarian workers since the 2003 bombing of the UN compound in Baghdad. Meanwhile, another human rights group has shut down, after accusing Colombo of failing to tackle rights issues. So far there has been no response from the government to both developments.