Tamils


Protest demanding investigation of war crimes. Jaffna, Sri Lankan-occupied Tamil Eelam, February 24.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved parliament and called elections for August 17. Sirisena was elected president on January 9, replacing Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Global Tamil Forum issued a statement on May 1 evaluating the first months of in office of Sri Lanka's new president Maithripala Sirisena.

In presidential elections in January, Sirisena defeated the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had presided over a genocidal war against the Tamil people and then kept them under military occupation.

The GTF praised Sirisena for amending the Sri Lankan constitution to cut the power of the president and increase the power of parliament.

Two groups of Tamils walked from Glen Waverley and Sunshine to the Melbourne CBD on March 15 to “alert Australians to war crimes and genocide in Sri Lanka”.

The walkers converged in front of the State Library, where a rally was held.

The Campaign for Tamil Justice organised the walk to coincide with a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The UNHRC meeting had been expected to hear a report on Sri Lanka by the UN human rights commissioner, but this has been delayed for at least six months.

About 150 relatives of missing people protested outside a hearing of the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons in Trincomalee, a city on the east coast of Sri Lanka, on February 28.

The protesters were mainly Tamil women whose relatives are still missing after being arrested or abducted by the Sri Lankan armed forces. They expressed their lack of confidence in any commission appointed by the Sri Lankan government, and demanded investigations by a United Nations team.

About 200 people attended a lunch at Geelong Trades Hall on August 11 to raise money for the hundreds of refugees who have arrived in the community.

Many refugees are not allowed to work as a condition of their visa and are forced to live on less than the unemployment benefit.

This has left some families lacking basic necessities such as adequate clothing and food. A great deal of pressure has been placed on charities to take up the slack.

Hundreds of people rallied outside parliament house in Canberra on March 13 to demand action for the war crimes of Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The rally was organised by Campaign for Tamil Justice, who are calling for an independent investigation into allegations by a UN panel of Sri Lankan military war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Campaign spokesperson Trevor Grant said: “The UN Human Rights Commission is meeting right now on Sri Lanka and the word is that there will be another insipid resolution issued, with support from Australia.

A Tamil refugee living in Australia on a bridging visa died in a Fremantle hospital on January 5 from suicide. He had a wife and young daughter still in Sri Lanka, and was waiting for an outcome on his refugee status.

It was his second suicide attempt. Refugee advocates in Perth said he had been tortured in Sri Lanka and his mental health deteriorated while in detention on Christmas Island and in the remote north Queensland Scherger base — where he first attempted suicide.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon spoke in parliament on November 27 to mark the the Tamil day, “Maaveerar Naal”, and detail the ongoing struggles of Tamil people to achieve justice and equality.

Her full speech is published.

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November 27 marks a very important and hauntingly sad day for Tamils all around the world including in Sri Lanka.
 
In Tamil the day is known as “Maaveerar Naal”.  Veerar means "warrior" or "hero". Maa means "great". Naal means "day".
 

On December 9, 2011, in the military-occupied Jafna, in the north of Sri Lanka, left-wing activists Lalith Kumar and Kuhan Muruganandanin were “disappeared” in the area of Neerveli while the two were riding on a motor bike.

Like many other activists and reporters who have “disappeared” in that country, witnesses say the two were abducted by an armed gang in a white van. However these witnesses were too terrified of retribution to make official statements.

The Victoria Refugee Action Collective released the statement below on July 27.

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Distraught family members of deported Tamil asylum seeker Dayan Anthony have finally been reunited with him. Anthony was deported from Australia on July 25.

He was interrogated for 16 hours after being handed over to the Sri Lankan police intelligence unit (CID) at Colombo airport. During this time, the Sri Lankan police refused to give the family any information.

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