Sri Lanka

The institutional integration of sports with the military has reproduced authoritarian sports cultures, writes Janaka Biyanwila. Popular protests demanding regime change are also about demilitarising the state.

Protest posters in Sri Lanka

Since the beginning of March, protests have erupted across Sri Lanka demanding the resignation of President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, writes Janaka Biyanwila. These protests emerged in the context of rising costs of living, exacerbated by a foreign debt crisis.

Anti-government protests in Sri Lanka on April 13

A wave of protests has spread throughout Sri Lanka in recent weeks, sparked by an economic crisis. Chris Slee reports.

Sri Lankan health workers protest

A district court in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo ordered the government nurses union to suspend strike action on February 9 after more than three months of strikes, reports Chris Slee

Despite ongoing repression, Tamils continue to fight for their rights, including over the seizure of Tamil land for military bases, reports Chris Slee.

The Tamil Refugee Council (TRC) has condemned the Australian government for supplying five drones to the Sri Lankan police, reports Chris Slee.

Sri Lankan soldiers and police have demolished a monument at Jaffna University dedicated to marking the massacre of Tamils at Mullivaikkal in 2009, reports Chris Slee.

Chris Slee reviews a new documentary showing how British mercenary company Keenie Meenie Services trained a notorious Sri Lankan government paramilitary force, responsible for the torture and murder of Tamil civilians.

The situation for Tamils in Sri Lanka is likely to worsen, writes Chris Slee, after the Sri Lanka Peoples Front, a right-wing alliance headed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, won 145 seats in Sri Lanka's 225 member legislature in the August 5 elections.

The Sri Lankan government has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for increased repression of the Tamil people, writes Chris Slee.

A state of fear is being re-established in Sri Lanka ahead of snap elections, writes Chris Slee.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, regarded by many Tamils as a war criminal, won the Sri Lankan presidential election on November 16 with 52.3% of the vote.

He was defence secretary in 2009, when the Sri Lankan armed forces massacred tens of thousands of Tamils in the final stages of their war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE were fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka.

Losing Santhia: Life & Loss in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
By Ben Hillier
Interventions, 2019
150 pages

In 2009, the Sri Lankan military launched a genocidal offensive against the island's Tamil population on a stretch of sand in Mullivaikal, in the island's north-east.

Claiming its offensive was to rescue civilians, the Sri Lankan military carried out an indiscriminate bombing offensive against Tamil civilians that killed tens of thousands.

A new report shows why Tamil refugees fear being sent back to Sri Lanka, and why it is essential to campaign against the Australian government's policy of deporting them or pressuring them to return "voluntarily", writes Chris Slee.

Sri Lanka has a long history of discrimination against Tamils.  In 1948 Tamil plantation workers were deprived of citizenship.  In 1956 Sinhalese was made the sole official language, denying the Tamil language equal status, writes Chris Slee.

More than 500 Tamil demonstrators tried to march to the site of a destroyed Hindu temple at Kanniyaa in the Trincomalee district of Sri Lanka on July 16.

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