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November 16, 2018 - Memory of the Day

Sri Lanka seeks investment, but China questions linger

2018-09-27 19:57:48 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 1992 | Suicide attack
    Sri Lankan Navy commander Clancy Fernando blown up by a suicide bomber in Colombo
  • Human Rights Violations

  • 1997 | Vanni's food supplies ruined by exposure
    Twenty nine lorry loads of food, mostly flour and sugar, sent to the Vanni have been ruined due to delays in cross loading at Parayanalankulam on the Vavuniya Mannar road.
  • 1997 | Food items to Tamils destroyed by Army callousness
    29 lorry loads of food stuff going to Tamil people in Mullaitivu was destroyed in the rain last Monday as the Sinhalese army insisted on unloading it in the open ground to examine it. The food stuff composed of 18 lorry loads of flour, 10 lorry loads of sugar and one lorry load of rice had been purchased in Vavuniya by the Mullaitivu secretariat when heavy rain fell. The army manning the check point at Parayanalamkulam - the present entry point to Vanni - ordered the goods to be unloaded in the open grounds exposing it to the elements. The Sinhalese government has for the last 6 years imposed restrictions on food stuff to Tamil areas that are not under its control.
  • 1985 | Bar Road massacre
    Sri Lankan police commandos of the Special Task Force arrived at Bar road in Batticaloa, shortly after a Tamil guerrilla attack killed four policemen there. In retaliation, the STF shot dead nine Tamil civilians and then looted and burned 15 shops, including the timber yard and several houses.
  • 2000 | PTA detainee released - confessed under torture
    The Vavuniya High Court acquitted Balasingham Illakanakanthan, who had been charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), on the basis that the confession of the accused was obtained under duress whilst in Sri Lanka Army custody. The accused had been in remand for about eighteen months.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 7 | தனக்குவமை இல்லாதான் தாள்சேர்ந்தார்க் கல்லால்
    மனக்கவலை மாற்றல் அரிது.
    Unless His foot, 'to Whom none can compare,' men gain,
    'Tis hard for mind to find relief from anxious pain.
    - 1 1
  • Nov 16 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Nov 16, 2017 11:18:30 GMT |  + Promoting HR cannot be done overnight: SL
    “The UPR is a process that is aimed at helping each other self-assess, share best practice, and support one another to take steps to more effectively address the concerns of individuals in our respective countries. There are many, both in Sri Lanka and overseas, who question the commitment of the National Unity Government to addressing concerns of human rights. Of course it is natural to be impatient; it is natural to question; and it is natural to feel a sense of frustration. We all know very well that some who criticize do so with the best intentions as they want Sri Lanka to do well,” Head of the Sri Lankan Delegation, National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. more ...
  • 2) Nov 16, 2017 11:13:20 GMT |  + Buddha tattoo woman Naomi Coleman wins compensation
    A woman who was deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm has won compensation. Naomi Coleman, from Coventry, was detained for four days in April 2014. Granting her compensation of 800,000 Sri Lankan rupees - about £4,000 - the country's Supreme Court said her treatment was "scandalous and horrifying" and ruled her rights had been violated. Ms Coleman told the BBC Sinhala Service she was "overwhelmed" by the ruling. Officers involved in her arrest were also ordered to pay her compensation. more ...
  • 3) Nov 16, 2015 21:31:55 GMT |  + Deadly rains wreak havoc in southern India, Sri Lanka
    Floods in south India and Sri Lanka have killed over 70 people -- inundating homes, farmland and highways -- forcing authorities to shut down schools and colleges in some areas, officials and media reports said on Monday. The floods, triggered by incessant rains over the past seven days, have submerged parts of Tamil Nadu, including its capital Chennai, where most of the deaths and devastation has taken place. Caused by a depression formed in the Bay of Bengal, the heavy rains have also affected Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, as well as neighbouring Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 4) Nov 16, 2015 17:24:25 GMT |  + Sri Lanka likely to re-start China funded mega port city project by early next year
    The Sri Lankan government is likely to give its nod to re-start a stalled multi billion dollars China funded port city project in the island nation by early next year, one top official of Sri Lankan government told Xinhua on Monday.The official said that currently the Sri Lankan government was conducting high level discussions with the Chinese government over the status of the Chinese projects in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan government is likely to give its approval for the Port City project by February."All the necessary documents have been submitted and the government is likely to start the project by February," the official said. more ...
  • 5) Nov 16, 2015 16:59:41 GMT |  + 'Lanka govt risks losing Tamil goodwill over inmate's death'
    The Sri Lankan government riskslosing the goodwill of Tamil minorities after the death of aninmate who was among over 200 Tamil political prisonersobserving hunger strike demanding their immediate release,Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran today warned. Tamil prisoners who are in a continuous hunger strikewould not stop their action as the government had failed tofulfil a pledge to release them, Wigneswaran said in a letterto President Maithripala Sirisena. The death of one of the prisoners on hunger strike wouldmake the Tamils lose faith on the government, he said.
  • 6) Nov 16, 2015 16:52:13 GMT |  + Council conclusions on Sri Lanka
    The following press release was issued by the European Council on November 13, 2015 7:35 pm. The Council welcomes the significant advances made by the Government of Sri Lanka since the presidential elections held in January 2015 to restore democratic governance, initiate a process of national reconciliation and re-engage with the international community and the United Nations (UN) system. 2. Following the invitation by the Government of Sri Lanka, the European Union deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to observe the parliamentary elections in August, which were assessed positively by the EU EOM. more ...
  • 7) Nov 16, 2015 16:47:03 GMT |  + Sri Lanka by train: The formerly war-torn north is rebuilding
    Long before dawn, outside Colombo's Fort railway station, a man flattens samosa skins with the heel of his hand under a naked light bulb. The row of shops and stalls overflows with snacks, water, and Sri Lankan pop music – fuel for a new day of slow travel across an island with growing boundaries. On Platform 3, a newspaper seller bounds across the tracks to reach travellers arriving for the first trains out of the capital. Seven years earlier, a suicide bomber killed 12 people on this platform, eight of them children. The 2008 attack by Tamil separatists came before the end of a 25-year civil war that had torn apart a country and claimed the lives of an estimated 100,000 people. more ...
  • 8) Nov 16, 2013 16:54:02 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Cameron issues deadline on 'war crimes' inquiry
    David Cameron threatens to push for an independent international inquiry into allegations of war crimes at the end of Sri Lanka's civil war if the island nation does not conduct its own probe by 2014. Mr Cameron has been the most vocal critic of Sri Lanka's record on rights during a biannual summit of Commonwealth nations being held in the capital Colombo. more ...
  • 9) Nov 16, 2013 16:52:25 GMT |  + Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa defiant on rights row
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has reacted defiantly to the UK's call for an inquiry into alleged human rights abuses, saying "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". He was speaking on the second day of the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka. UK premier David Cameron had urged Mr Rajapaksa to ensure an independent inquiry, or face a UN investigation. more ...
  • 10) Nov 16, 2013 16:49:47 GMT |  + Cameron puts Sri Lanka on notice over war crimes
    Britain's David Cameron put Sri Lanka on notice Saturday to address allegations of war crimes within months or else he would lead a push for action at the United Nations. Speaking at a troubled Commonwealth summit in Colombo, the British premier warned his hosts that pressure over alleged abuses at the end of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict was not about to go away. more ...
  • 11) Nov 16, 2013 16:40:40 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Engaging the Diaspora
    The 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) opened in Sri Lanka on November 15. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has decided to boycott, citing governance shortcomings in the host country. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a late decision to stay away also. Given that India is Sri Lanka’s immediate neighbor and an emerging global power, Singh’s decision to stay home was significant. British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under intense fire for his decision to attend CHOGM 2013, but has said that he will use his presence to place the international spotlight on Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 12) Nov 16, 2013 16:38:59 GMT |  + A film of alleged war crimes … how I became Sri Lanka's most hated man
    They haunt our every move, on their motorbikes in their silver hatchback and on their tuk tuks. Sri Lanka's intelligence officers are a tenacious lot, but there's another group perhaps even more tenacious in their pursuit of us: "spontaneous", pro-government demonstrators. They were there when the Channel 4 news team and I arrived at the airport. They turned up outside our hotel that night – and when we set off by train to travel north to the former war zone, there they were again. more ...
  • 13) Nov 16, 2013 16:37:02 GMT |  + David Cameron says Sri Lanka need to go 'further and faster' in answering human rights concerns
    David Cameron put Sri Lanka on notice on Saturday to address allegations of war crimes within months or else he would lead a push for action at the United Nations. Speaking at a troubled Commonwealth summit in Colombo, the British Prime Minister warned his hosts that pressure over alleged abuses at the end of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict was not about to go away. more ...
  • 14) Nov 16, 2013 16:31:52 GMT |  + Sri Lanka says it will block UN rights probe
    A senior Sri Lanka's minister has said the government will not allow an international probe into alleged war crimes during its 27-year ethnic conflict, despite mounting pressure from abroad. The comments of Basil Rajapakse, the economic development minister and brother of the president, Mahinda, came on Saturday after David Cameron, the British prime minister, pledged to push for a UN-led investigation into alleged crimes committed in the country's civil war, unless Sri Lanka credibly addressed human rights concerns by March. more ...
  • 15) Nov 16, 2013 16:03:41 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Cameron pushes for international war crimes inquiry
    David Cameron has said he will push for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka if its own government does not conduct an investigations within four months. The British prime minister has been the most vocal critic of Sri Lanka's record on human rights at the end of its 26-year civil war, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (Chogm) being held in the capital, Colombo. more ...
  • 16) Nov 16, 2013 15:56:41 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Cameron in 'robust' talks over human rights
    David Cameron has clashed with the president of Sri Lanka as he pushed for action to protect the rights of its minority Tamil community. Downing Street said the PM "pressed his points very directly and robustly" in an hour-long meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa at a Commonwealth summit. Mr Cameron's convoy was earlier mobbed by demonstrators on a visit to the north of the country.
  • 17) Nov 16, 2013 15:50:46 GMT |  + Commonwealth: caught in the spotlight
    The Commonwealth is a jumble of nations of various sizes and colours which happen to have passed through a period of British rule. Its modern purpose is unclear, its importance hard to gauge, and its anomalous nature has always made it hard for any country or group of countries to push it in a particular direction. Yet that is just what Sri Lanka, one of its more middling members, has just achieved. more ...
  • 18) Nov 16, 2013 15:44:25 GMT |  + India’s CHOGM 2013 Strategic Blunder
    A little over a week ago, I wrote a piece for The Diplomat discussing Manmohan Singh’s bold proclamation of the five principles that, in his view, drove India’s foreign policy. He stated them during a speech to India’s Ambassadors last week. One of these was the following: “… we recognize that the Indian sub-continent’s shared destiny requires greater regional cooperation and connectivity. Towards this end, we must strengthen regional institutional capability and capacity and invest in connectivity.” more ...
  • 19) Nov 16, 2012 23:10:23 GMT |  + An Arrogant Sri Lanka Has Been Let Off The Hook Despite drawing Heavy Fire In Geneva For Lack of Progress On LLRC
    The Greek philosopher and physician Sextus Empiricus (c. 160-210 AD) wrote 'The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small' meaning at some point a sinner will be punished and that it takes time in coming. If Empiricus is alive today he would have re-phrased his saying as 'The mills of UNO grind slowly, but they grind small.' The Thamil Diaspora and human rights activists who awaited the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) sessions at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) held on November 01, 2012 with hope and interest would have been disappointed that Sri Lanka has been let off the hook one more time thanks to the last minute volte face by the Indian delegation!
  • 20) Nov 16, 2012 19:14:06 GMT |  + A necessary catharsis
    At least two permanent Security Council members — China and Russia — and India added heft to the Sri Lankan camp, and the diplomatic odds were stacked against the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has promised that the U.N. would learn from its mistakes and strengthen its responses. The world body cannot afford to give the impression that justice and accountability for past impunity have been forgotten. After perceived failures in Bosnia and Rwanda, and possibly Syria, the U.N. needs to find ways of insulating itself from the diplomatic clout of key players. Publication of its damning internal report on Sri Lanka serves as the perfect occasion for a break with the past.
  • 21) Nov 16, 2012 19:04:28 GMT |  + Colombo accelerates demographic genocide in Trincomalee
    The Colombo government led by President Mahinda Rajapakse has been implementing a land appropriation policy to reduce the parliamentary strength of Tamils in Trincomalee district with the support of occupying Sri Lanka Army, say Tamil politicians in the district. While landless residents of the district have to fight for the allocation of half an acre per family, the outsiders brought down from south are allowed to clear forest lands 2 to 3 per acres per family.
  • 22) Nov 16, 2012 17:33:16 GMT |  + Croatia's 'war crime' is no longer a crime after UN tribunal verdict
    Successful appeal in The Hague exonerates 1990s regime of Franco Tudjman and has huge significance for international law....In almost 20 years of amassing evidence on the rights and wrongs of the Balkan wars, the UN tribunal in The Hague has delivered several verdicts shaping modern international law and informing the identities of the countries that emerged from Yugoslavia.The Tudjman regime had been incriminated. Now it is exonerated. The result is joy in Zagreb and rancour in Belgrade. There was also bitterness from the dissenting two judges in the panel of five. The arguments will rage, but there is unlikely to be another verdict reversing Friday's, allowing Croatia to argue that they beat the Serbs fair and square. more ...
  • 23) Nov 16, 2012 16:54:16 GMT |  + At UN, Staff Complain of Malcorra Banning Speaking with Member States
    While the UN of late has claimed to trump its failures such as in Sri Lanka with a burst of transparency, behind the scene it is ordering its staff members not to talk with member states, much less the media. Would such silencing extend as far as to killings staff witnessed in the field, but higher-ups in the UN did not want to report, as the recent Sri Lanka report, especially as unredacted, reflects? In fairness, Ms. Malcorra is hardworking administrator, and defender of the Ban Ki-moon administration. But this can go too far.
  • 24) Nov 16, 2012 14:09:38 GMT |  + What if the UN Had Spoken Out on Sri Lanka?
    If today the United Nations announced that it had received unconfirmed reports of 50,000 casualties in a war off limits to journalists - wouldn't the world take notice and try and stop the killings? We now know the UN system had this information in 2009 about Sri Lanka and suppressed it. We know this because of an internal review, commissioned by the UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon. It's a report that concludes that the UN's conduct at the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka marked a "grave failure" that "should not happen again". The document cites the UN's role in Rwanda, saying some lessons there were not learned and proved relevant to Sri Lanka.
  • 25) Nov 16, 2012 14:08:55 GMT |  + Jungle law unchanged
    At least suffering Sri Lanka is producing new novelists, and many write about the war. One of them, Visakesa Chandrasekaram, works as a human rights lawyer, a human resources manager and a performance artist in Sri Lanka and Australia. The lawyer in him begins in Tigers Don't Confess with a brief, factual account of the war. On the next page, taking up his Buddhist persona, he has a prose poem in which an orange-robed, blood-stained swami rises above the disaster to make this enigmatic, eschatological pronouncement: ''Nalin has reincarnated.'' Then the author's inner narrator takes over and the novel itself begins: ''Something terrible was going to happen … Corporal Nalin couldn't ignore that horrendous feeling. more ...
  • 26) Nov 16, 2012 14:06:24 GMT |  + China to Launch Satellite for Sri Lanka: India’s Missed Opportunity?
    Sri Lanka's first communication satellite is expected to be launched on November 22, 2012 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China. This geostationary satellite would get operational by mid-2013 for commercial purposes. The satellite is partly owned by a private company, Sri Lanka's first Satellite Company called SupremeSAT. The cost of the project is expected to be around US$ 360 million. According to the Chairman of the company, the project is a joint venture with two Chinese companies, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) and Sino Satellite Communications Company Ltd. The project also includes the construction of a satellite Content Management Station and a Space Academy at Kandy.
  • 27) Nov 16, 2012 14:05:39 GMT |  + Asylum seekers: Where Australia stands
    The number of asylum seekers' boats coming to Australia has certainly increased over the last year, and so has the public attention on the issue. These numbers will help get your head around this controversial topic. As showed in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Report 2011–12, the number of people held in immigration detention is reaching record highs. As of June 30, 2012, there were 7,252 people in immigration detention. more ...
  • 28) Nov 16, 2012 2:41:23 GMT |  + Tamils want inquiry after UN says it 'failed civilians' in bloody Sri Lanka civil war
    The Tamil National Alliance, Sri Lanka's largest Tamil political party, on Thursday called for an international inquiry into a U.N. failure to protect civilians during the final stages of the country's bloody 26-year civil war. The request comes a day after the United Nations admitted that it didn't protect hundreds of thousands of civilians, mostly ethnic Tamils, trapped in areas of heavy shelling in Sri Lanka, a teardrop-shaped island nation off India's southern coast. more ...
  • 29) Nov 16, 2012 1:13:10 GMT |  + Scathing Internal Report of the UN describes Events in Sri Lanka as a “Grave Failure”
    Three and a half years after the world witnessed the brutal end to Sri Lanka’s 28 year long civil war, peace has evaded the island. Serious allegations of war crimes, and crimes against humanity are leveled against the parties to the conflict. The Report of the Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel on UN Action in Sri Lanka, released yesterday, concludes that the events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN to adequately respond to early warnings and to the unfolding situation during the final stages of the conflict and its aftermath, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and the displacement and subsequent internment of over three hundred thousand people. more ...
  • 30) Nov 16, 2011 15:44:21 GMT |  + Sri Lankan SAARC monument vandalised as PPM file case over import of ‘idols’
    The SAARC monument designed and gifted to the Maldives by the Sri Lankan government, has been doused with crude oil. The lion statue, representing the national symbol of Sri Lanka, was vandalised last night following the toppling, burning and theft of the Pakistani monument, which protesters had claimed was idolatrous. Council Member of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Ahmed ‘Marz’ Saleem, meanwhile today filed a case with police against the Maldives Customs Department for allowing ’idols’ to be imported to the Maldives for the SAARC Summit. more ...
  • 31) Nov 16, 2011 15:27:08 GMT |  + Former Sri Lankan President Talks Peace
    Identity politics has long been the bedrock of political conflict in Sri Lanka, a nation of 20 million located in the waters off India’s southeastern coast. One “major mistake” that exacerbated identity politics was the now-defunct Sinhala Only Act, which recognized the Sinhalese tongue as the country’s sole official language. This created a major setback for Tamils and other minority groups seeking equal opportunity in jobs and education, she said. “We brought all kinds of rules that made it more difficult for the Tamils to get into schools,” said Kumaratunga. At the end of her talk, one audience member asked what American students can learn from Sri Lanka’s history of political conflict. “They can learn how paradise was lost,” Kumaratunga lamented.
  • 32) Nov 16, 2011 15:17:41 GMT |  + Sri Lanka should control 'rogue elements' in Navy: Jaya
    Expressing serious concern over the continued attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to exert pressure on Colombo to rein in the 'rogue elements' in the island navy."I strongly feel that the Government of India should assert itself with the Sri Lankan Government to control the rogue elements in the Sri Lankan Navy who continue to indulge in acts of physical assault on our innocent fishermen," she said.
  • 33) Nov 16, 2011 12:44:18 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Still struggling to find reconciliation
    Sri Lanka is still a country struggling to put decades of civil war behind it. The final stages - in 2009 - were of particular concern to human rights groups as reports suggested thousands of civilians had been killed. The Sri Lankan government rejected calls for an independent international inquiry but it did appoint its own commission, and that panel is due to submit its report in a few days. But will it move the reconciliation process forward? more ...
  • 34) Nov 16, 2011 12:40:10 GMT |  + Cold war in the tropics: China, India vie for Maldives
    On the pristine equatorial shores of the Maldives, an archipelago best known for luxurious resort hideaways swathed in coral reefs and cerulean seas, India and China's regional cold war is warming up. Stretched across 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq m) of the Indian Ocean southwest of India, the Sunni Muslim nation of 1,192 islands finds itself sandwiched between the two Asian rivals, and both flexed their muscles at a meeting of South Asian nations hosted by the Maldives last week. more ...
  • 35) Nov 16, 2011 11:10:47 GMT |  + Prof. Peiris calls for govt. Tamil Diaspora partnership
    External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris on Monday (14) declared Sri Lanka’s readiness to work with the Tamil Diaspora, while urging the international community to take tangible action against those still pursuing the LTTE’s eelam project. The Minister stressed that the government wouldn’t want to demonize the Diaspora and was willing to work with it in the post-war era.The display of the banned outfit’s flag abroad was a manifestation of the failure on the part of the international community to cripple the LTTE. The LTTE continued to raise funds overseas, though losing its conventional military capability in May 2009, he noted. more ...
  • 36) Nov 16, 2011 2:56:30 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's savage smokescreen
    Sri Lanka's former attorney general Mohan Peiris, who is now the senior legal adviser to the cabinet and who many Sri Lankans say is aiming to become the next Supreme Court Chief Justice, has made conflicting statements about missing journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda. The discrepancies do more than point up the government's indifference to Eknelygoda's fate and the mental anguish of his wife and two sons. Peiris's statements highlight the disregard with which the government views international opinion.
  • 37) Nov 16, 2011 2:53:47 GMT |  + Death row Lankan maid in emotional meeting with parents
    A Sri Lankan housemaid who has spent the last six years on death row in Saudi Arabia had an emotional meeting with her parents in Riyadh on Tuesday. The visit took place as frantic efforts continue to secure clemency for 23-year-old Rizana Nafeek from the parents of the infant who was killed in her care. Tuesday’s meeting was the first between Nafeek and her parents following her death sentence on June 16, 2007.
  • 38) Nov 16, 2010 14:16:40 GMT |  + Crowning of a republican king
    Even by its own standards of popularity, 4000 kilograms of kiribath, the traditional Lankan coconut milk-rice dish, sounds a bit too appetising. The ingredients: 1200 kg of white rice, 300 kg of cashew, 250 kg of jaggery, 1500 coconuts and a group of five-star chefs; enough to feed 65000 people for a couple of days beginning November 17. But then, a historical week calls for extraordinary celebrations. Not only to relish mountains of kiribath but also to rejoice: Mahinda Rajapaksa will first turn 65 on November 18 and then will follow it up with a befitting ceremony to swear himself in for his second Presidential term till 2016.
  • 39) Nov 16, 2010 12:00:08 GMT |  + Military fortresses and colonisation in Jaffna choke Tamils, threaten India
    The selection of locations for building new military fortresses and for colonising Sinhalese in the Jaffna peninsula is sinisterly schemed by colonial Sri Lanka to permanently squeeze the Tamil heartland. Casual visitors don’t perceive it. Tamils of collaborative politics helplessly defend it. Indian policy planners of habitual bungling compare it with what they do in Kashmir, tribal belt and northeast India and agree with it. They think that if the nation of Eezham Tamils is permanently erased and if they get one or two harbours there that is enough for the security of India. The military cum colonisation complexes come up with the full blessings of India and with Chinese material help.
  • 40) Nov 16, 2010 11:59:56 GMT |  + A lost war
    THE author of the book under review, Pavai Chandran, is a well-known writer and journalist in Tamil. At the request of the editor of the Tamil daily Dinamani, he had undertaken the task of writing the history of the struggle for a Tamil homeland (eelam) in Sri Lanka. The armed struggle ended with the death of V. Prabakaran, the supremo of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), on May 18, 2009. The history was serialised in the daily in 178 instalments from June 1, 2009, to November 27, 2009, to cash in on the emotional impact of Prabakaran's death in Tamil Nadu. It has now been published as a book with 56 chapters in two volumes.
  • 41) Nov 16, 2010 11:55:32 GMT |  + ‘String of Pearls’ or 'New Silk Road’?
    China’s funding of Sri Lanka's Hambantota port development, and similar projects in other countries, has been interpreted by some Western and Indian analysts as part of a grand geostrategic design. The ‘string of pearls’ argument, first made by a few US military analysts, has not only become explanation for, but also ‘evidence’ of, China's supposed military ambitions in the Indian Ocean. This logic, while ignoring important related developments elsewhere, has also prevented serious consideration of alternative explanations. more ...
  • 42) Nov 16, 2010 11:54:32 GMT |  + Prince William to marry Kate Middleton next year
    Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton next year, Clarence House has said. William, second in line to the throne, will marry in London next spring or summer and live in north Wales where he is serving with the RAF. The couple, who are both 28, became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. They began dating eight years ago while studying at St Andrews University in Fife, where they shared a house. more ...
  • 43) Nov 16, 2010 11:50:42 GMT |  + Tamils in Sri Lanka
    More than 100,000 people have been killed and though international media and the Tamil Diaspora have been raising their voices, the Sri Lankan government vehemently denies any atrocities against the minority Tamils. A recent article published in Arab News, with video link to Al Jazeera, clearly shows the audacity and madness with which innocent unarmed Tamil civilians were killed during the last few days of the ethnic conflict. The photos are graphic, some showing naked bodies piled up on trucks and many with hands tied behind, eyes blindfolded and shot at. The Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), formed by the Sri Lankan government, has so far “not come across” any evidence of Sri Lankan military’s excesses.
  • 44) Nov 16, 2010 11:48:45 GMT |  + Sri Lankan Maids Become Victims in Saudi Arabia
    Spending five years in a Saudi Arabian jail while facing death by beheading would be traumatic for anyone, let alone for a 17-year-old thousands of miles away from home. But that's exactly what Rizana Fathima Nafeek, who moved to Riyadh from Sri Lanka to work as a maid, has endured since 2005. Nafeek, now 22, has spent the past half-decade in a Riyadh prison facing a death sentence in a country where she does not speak the language and where she does not have any relatives. more ...
  • 45) Nov 16, 2010 1:37:37 GMT |  + Surrendered LTTE cadres missing
    Many cadres and leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who surrendered to the forces at the end of the civil war in 2009 were still missing, a government panel looking into the war was told in Jaffna. The eight-member Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) held public sessions in and around the Jaffna peninsula over the weekend. It was set up in May 2009 by the government to look into the temporary ceasefire followed by the last years of civil war between the 2002 and 2009.
  • 46) Nov 16, 2010 1:34:14 GMT |  + Colombo to loosen capital flow rules
    Sri Lanka is to implement nearly a dozen financial liberalisation measures in an effort to sustain a post-war boom that has raised the annual economic growth rate close to double figures, according to the central bank governor. Ajith Nivard Cabraal told the Financial Times that the country's reform "roadmap" would be "almost 100 per cent" completed in the budget due on November 22. The reforms are intended to loosen controls on outward capital flows and pave the way for easier inward investment.
  • 47) Nov 16, 2010 1:25:52 GMT |  + Judge overturns release of Tamil migrant
    A federal judge has ruled that an Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator in Vancouver erred in his decision to release one of the Tamil migrants from the MV Sun Sea in September. The ruling marks the first time the government has challenged successfully the release of one of the Sun Sea migrants and now means that the mother of three children — who was kept in custody pending the decision — must remain in custody with an opportunity to have her detention reviewed every 30 days.
  • 48) Nov 16, 2010 1:20:18 GMT |  + Week-long fete in Sri Lanka to mark Rajapaksa's second term
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday kicked off a week-long celebrations to mark his second term in office beginning November 19. The government has declared the week from November 15 for celebrations to mark the swearing in. Mr. Rajapaksa was re-elected in January by a thumping majority defeating the common opposition candidate and former Army chief Sarath Fonseka. more ...
  • 49) Nov 16, 2009 17:01:30 GMT |  + Amnesty International takes action for Sri Lanka displaced
    Activists and supporters of Amnesty International will launch a week of action on Monday highlighting the continued detention of thousands of displaced civilians in government camps in Sri Lanka. Activists in more than 10 countries will take action as part of the Unlock the Camps campaign. Events include a ‘Circle of Hope’ in Canada, a street march and signature campaign in Nepal, a poetry reading in Switzerland and solidarity actions in France, Germany, Mauritius and the United States. Six months after the end of the war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka continues to confine people who fled fighting in the north to closed displacement camps in uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous conditions.
  • 50) Nov 16, 2009 15:09:58 GMT |  + Implement Indo-Lanka accord to protect Lankan Tamils: VHP
    VHP leader Praveen Togadia has stressed the need to implement the "Rajiv Gandhi-Jayawardene"accord in letter and spirit as it gave better protection for the Tamils living in Sri Lanka. Talking to newsmen here today, he said Tamil Nadu and Central government should press the Sri Lankan government to implement the accord,and ask the island government to allow the Red cross society and other voluntary organisations to work in the Tamil areas devastated by the war. "We suspect the Sri Lankan government's motive as it was not allowing even the red-cross society and the voluntary organisations and independent agencies to help the Tamils," he said, regretting that many temples in the country were without priests.
  • 51) Nov 16, 2009 15:03:41 GMT |  + Unease as Sri Lanka general eyes presidency
    Hailed as a hero for ending decades of civil war, Sri Lanka's most decorated general now looks set to challenge for the presidency -- a move that some analysts view with deep foreboding. "He is certainly entering politics. It is an irreversible process for him now," Sumanasiri Liyanage, a political science professor at the University of Peradeniya, told AFP. Victor Ivan, political commentator for the weekly "Ravaya" newspaper, said the country's fractured opposition saw in Fonseka a candidate they could unite behind. "But there is no guarantee that they will be able to have any hold on him if he wins," he warned
  • 52) Nov 16, 2009 11:37:46 GMT |  + Let the Refugees Into Australia
    “Mr Rudd, you say that you admire Bonhoeffer. You speak of a philosophy about humanitarianism. You speak from a high moral stand. And yet you pump Australian taxpayers’ money to keeping refugees in conditions like this in Indonesia. It is a huge shame. Why should they wait there for years in squalid conditions? “Bring the children here. Bring the boat people here. Don’t waste our money keeping people in camps like that.”
  • 53) Nov 16, 2009 11:34:34 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Says Tamil Tigers’ International Network Still Active
    Sri Lanka’s peace will be secured only when the international network of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is dismantled after the defeat of the rebel military wing in May, Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. “It is only when these elements have also been defeated that we can claim to have truly secured our nation,” Rajapaksa said in a speech posted on the government’s Web site late yesterday. “To prevent the LTTE raising its head again, we should act now and act decisively.” Countries criticizing Sri Lanka are expecting changes “to happen overnight,” Rajapaksa said.
  • 54) Nov 16, 2009 11:28:01 GMT |  + Demands for economic and social rights outlawed in the country
    The Sri Lankan government today issued emergency regulations to be operative from midnight tonight (November 16, 2009) which makes the services relating to oil, electricity, harbor and water resources essential services. This gazette notification means that any action taken by the trade unions for the improvement of wages and working conditions within these essential service industries will be illegal and subjected to sanctions. The sanctions may include dismissal of employees, the arrest of trade unionists and disallowing every kind of protests such as meetings, demonstrations, distribution of leaflets and pamphlets and the like. The military may also be employed to take the place of the employees for the running of these services.
  • 55) Nov 16, 2009 11:18:51 GMT |  + Trail of tears: Sri Lanka’s civil war, told through poetry
    The stories of people caught up in the civil war are told in Not By Our Tears, a play produced by the Asylum Theatre Group, shown Saturday, Nov. 14, at U of T’s Robert Gill Theatre. Hosted by the Centre for South Asian Studies and the Canadian Tamil Congress, the play was part of a book release for Wilting Laughter, a collection of Tamil poetry by R. Cheran, V.I.S. Jayapalan, and Puthuvai Ratnathurai. Chelva Kanaganayakam, an English professor at U of T, translated the volume. Not By Our Tears belongs to a genre in Tamil drama called verse play, which involves a “visual and oral representation of poetry” on stage, according to the program. more ...
  • 56) Nov 16, 2009 11:12:54 GMT |  + Indonesia plans to send detained Sri Lankan asylum seekers home
    The Indonesian Government is reportedly planning to deport 255 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, whose boat was detained on its way to Australia last month and remains moored at the port of Merak in Java. "Indonesia is losing patience with the asylum-seekers and they must leave. If necessary it is prepared to force many of the 255 Sri Lankans on to a navy warship to return them to the country they fled amid claims of persecution by the Sinhalese-dominated Government," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted a senior Government source, as saying. "Some of them cannot be accepted here, we want to deport them back to their country. We are still negotiating it"...
  • 57) Nov 16, 2009 11:10:53 GMT |  + Voter turnout endorses NCET, 15 members elected
    The Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils (NCET) attracted enough number of participants in the poll that took place Sunday in 16 centres of the different regions of Norway, in which 2767 voters turned out to elect 5 members under a national list and 10 under regional lists. Noticeable of the results was Mr. Bjønar Moxnes topping the national list polling 1864 votes. Mr. Vijayshankar from Tamil Nadu is elected to the Council topping the list of Western Region. Considering the electoral history of Eezham Tamils, who have hitherto been imposed with constitutions and were voting in elections conducted by others, this is their first ever country-wide elections, conducted by them on their own, to form a political body of their own, based on their own constitution.
  • 58) Nov 16, 2009 2:04:06 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's African slave families fade away
    In a village deep in west Sri Lanka, one of the island's few remaining communities of African descent breaks into song -- a poignant elegy to a disappearing culture. The music starts with a slow, gentle rhythm played on a tambourine, spoons and coconut shells, before it builds to a climax with dancers swinging their hips, hands and feet wildly. The performance is a direct link back to the tiny minority's distant African past. "We are forgotten people," Peter Luis, 52, said. "We are losing our language and, having inter-married many times, our children are losing their African features." more ...
  • 59) Nov 16, 2009 1:12:34 GMT |  + Sinhala speakers socially fail in moral responsibility: Peter Schalk
    “We all know there will be no apologizing. It may come only when Lanka’s intellectual and political elite among Sinhala speakers faces its judges in an international war tribunal after an international (military) intervention by the UN or a cluster of states, or when the Lankan economy suffers a breakdown. We should not delay any effort to bring these criminals to justice. If they do not acknowledge any moral responsibility we can teach them legal accountability,” writes Professor Peter Schalk
  • 60) Nov 16, 2008 14:24:13 GMT |  + Ceasefire alone will satisfy DMK: Karunanidhi
    DMK will not be satisfied till a ceasefire was enforced in the embattled north Sri Lanka, party president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said on Sunday. "We have made our stand clear in the party executive and also through the resolution at the all-party meeting that we want nothing short of a ceasefire and protection for the lives of innocent Tamils there," he told reporters here. The main crux of the resolution at the all-party meeting was that there should be a ceasefire between Lankan military and the LTTE, he said.
  • 61) Nov 16, 2008 14:21:54 GMT |  + 18 SLA killed, 29 wounded in Northern Front - LTTE
    A four-pronged attempt by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to break the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) Forward Defence Line in Mukamaalai, Ki'laali and Ka'ndal in the Northern Front on was thwarted Saturday after 6 hours of stiff resistance, according to LTTE Northern Command. 18 SLA soldiers were killed and 29 wounded in the fighting, the Tigers said. The fighting broke out at 5:00 a.m. and lasted till 12:10 p.m. Saturday till the SLA forces were pushed back to their positions, according to the LTTE.
  • 62) Nov 16, 2008 14:16:39 GMT |  + CPI for all-party meet to discuss Lankan Tamil tangle
    The Communist Party of India (CPI) has called for an all-party meeting Monday to deliberate upon possible solutions for the Sri Lankan Tamil tangle. Invitations have been sent to all political parties in Tamil Nadu to discuss means to stop the civil war and prevent the loss of innocent civilians' lives, a party press release said Saturday. Meanwhile, over 11 Tamil refugee families from Sri Lanka comprising the old and the infirm, as also women and children surrendered to police in Rameshwaram, 600 km south of here, police said.
  • 63) Nov 16, 2008 14:08:29 GMT |  + Lankan issue: Vijay goes on fast
    Actor Vijay along with his fans association on Sunday went on a eight-hour fast to express his solidarity for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils at Chepauk in Chennai. His fans from various parts of the State took part in the fast. The film fraternity has been organising several protests across the State condemning the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka. . On 19 October, a mega rally was organised at Rameswaram in which producers and film directors took part.
  • 64) Nov 16, 2008 7:19:47 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Genocidal War on Eelam Tamils and the Question of Nation's Self-Determination
    For the last two weeks, the Sri Lankan armed forces have been engaged in an aggressive war with the people of Tamil Eelam, aimed not only at the combatants but the entire civilian population. As a result, Thousands of Tamils have been killed, wounded and have been forcefully displaced. It is not a war between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE as the mainstream media tries to portray, but is an attempt by the Sri Lankan state to wipe out the entire Tamil population from the island, in the cover of eliminating the LTTE.
  • 65) Nov 16, 2008 7:13:22 GMT |  + Activists call for halt to war in Sri Lanka
    The civil society group, made up of nine Singaporeans and founded just three weeks ago, hopes to raise awareness about the ongoing civil war through the vigil. “This is a small step towards global integration and caring without distinction,” explained Chong Kai Xiong, 27, spokesperson for WWW. “The international community must take decisive steps to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka to abandon the path of militarism and opt for a negotiated political settlement,” it said. “Our prompt intervention will avert the loss of many more precious lives.” more ...
  • 66) Nov 16, 2008 7:05:21 GMT |  + Sri Lanka bombs major rebel defence line
    Sri Lanka's air force pounded the Tamil Tiger rebels' main northern defence line Sunday, a day after government forces dismantled the last rebel stronghold on the island's west coast, the military said. Fighter jets bombed the Tamil separatists' defence line in the Muhamalai area of the Jaffna peninsula, north of the rebels' de facto state early Sunday, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. It was not possible to contact rebel officials for comment because most communication lines have been severed. Independent accounts are difficult to obtain from the battlefield because journalists are barred from the war zone.
  • 67) Nov 16, 2008 5:37:26 GMT |  + Running circles around Kilinochchi
    On July 31, 2008, in the tail-end of an election campaign, the government announced that the army had entered the Kilinochchi District. Spurious reports about the imminent fall of Kilinochchi Town have followed ever since. Yet three months and at least 526 dead and 3,102 seriously injured or maimed young soldiers later, the latest reports available claim that the army is still a whole 9 km. from Kilinochchi town, and is yet to cross the deadly A-9 highway at any single point. These reports give the lie to several statements from some of the most senior figures in prosecuting this war. President Mahinda Rajapakse announced in New York on September 22 that the army was a mere 4.5 kilometres from Kilinochchi.
  • 68) Nov 16, 2008 5:36:45 GMT |  +  SC slams the door on dictatorship
    Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva continuing his role as the only opposition to a toxic regime, last Monday granted interim relief to Communication and Business Equipment (CBE) Ltd. to operate Dialog services in the east. In granting relief the bench comprising Chief Justice Silva and Justices Shiranee Tilakawardena and Saleem Marsoof came down hard on the Rajapakse cartel warning state counsel the government would be in deep trouble if CBE took up the matter in the International Court in Geneva. Deeming the action disgraceful he said the Petitioner coud have even gone to the Human rights council in Geneva.
  • 69) Nov 16, 2007 19:26:31 GMT |  + Sri Lankan Rupee Spiralling Down To The Bottom
    The Sri Lankan Rupee is taking a nose dive in terms of its value. Inflation is raging at more than 20% compared to 2% in Canada. There is a war taking place in Sri Lanka. The LTTE has started to hit targets in Southern Sri Lanka as they have promised to do in the past. They also promised that the Eelam IV war will be fought outside of the so called Eelam boundaries. What happened in Anurathapuram and Tissamaharagama clearly illustrate that the LTTE was not just threatening the Sri Lankan government but is actually successfully carrying out their targets.
  • 70) Nov 16, 2007 15:52:46 GMT |  + Reflections One Year On: The Commission of Inquiry and the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons
    One year after the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and with an extension of another year, there is no tangible improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. If at all, there is an increase in the number and nature of violations, with limited progress in investigations, indictments and convictions exacerbating the prevailing culture of impunity. With unprecedented human rights violations and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis, there is a greater need and urgency for an independent international monitoring mechanism and field based presence for human rights protection. On 13 November the CoI and IIGEP were informed of their mandate being renewed. The renewed mandate is valid till 2 November 2008.
  • 71) Nov 16, 2007 13:21:16 GMT |  + A requiem by Karuna: The death of sub-regionalism?
    Vakarai division, largely jungle tracts crisscrossed with 14 or so villages and little hamlets, situated along the northern border of Batticaloa District. The people of Vakarai are engaged in subsistence farming and fishing, with a small element of those who are traditionally hunter-gatherers. It was somewhere in December 1995; I was in the middle of conducting a meeting at a village called Paalchenai, in Vakarai, when suddenly a visibly distraught man from the same area burst into our meeting with a tiny transistor in his hand. “Amma, the army has entered Jaffna town,” he blurted out.
  • 72) Nov 16, 2007 13:20:06 GMT |  + Eelam and Indian Security: Averting a Catastrophe
    The isolation of the LTTE and active assistance for a military option against it by the International Community, may lead the LTTE and the people backing it with no option other than facing the situation. The repercussions are sure to threaten Indian security for a long time to come. The major responsibility lies with the governments concerned in avoiding a catastrophe to the already suffering masses of Sri Lanka. The gap between the Government of India and the LTTE is a serious impediment in bringing out a balance in the crisis management. A situation of having outraged people on either side of the Palk Strait is unaffordable to Indian security, writes Opinion Columnist Ampalam.
  • 73) Nov 16, 2007 13:13:08 GMT |  + Right on: Boston Globe
    Getting it right all the time, The Boston Globe does it again, and again. Asking for a confederal Sri Lanka and a US arms embargo towards, the troubled nation. With this editorial The Boston Globe demonstrated more rational leadership and maturity, than our State Department officials; who most often showed poor judgment and contradicted their own foreign policy towards the failed state of Sri Lanka. The Boston Globe provided substantial evidences of ascending human right abuses in Sri Lanka. Boston Globe’s confederal state presentation is not a new concept to the pioneer newspaper in the land of free, thus the Boston Globe’s latest editorial, is by far the most accurate image of what the people of the former confederate colony have long desired.
  • 74) Nov 16, 2007 6:17:08 GMT |  + International community must expand role in Sri Lanka, says book
    The international community is the best bet to bring peace to Sri Lanka but it needs to sharply expand its role by becoming the mediator between the Tamil Tigers and Colombo, an Indian scholar says in a new book. P. Sahadevan of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here, however, contends that the global actors have failed to understand the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), one of the most fanatic insurgent groups in the world. Sahadevan's comments form a key part of 'Sri Lanka: Search for Peace,' a collection of essays by experts the New Delhi-based Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) has just brought out.
  • 75) Nov 16, 2007 6:10:16 GMT |  + US to freeze Tamil charity assets
    The US government is to freeze the assets of a Tamil charity with links to the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. A statement from the US Treasury said the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) acted as a "front to facilitate fundraising" for the rebels. The Tamil Tigers are on a list of banned terrorist organisations in the US and a number of other countries. The rebels are fighting for autonomy for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east.
  • 76) Nov 16, 2006 17:53:20 GMT |  + S.Lanka President unveils '07 budget, markets confused
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse unveiled his 2007 budget to parliament on Thursday, but his revenue, spending and deficit forecasts differed wildly from the budget text, confusing markets and analysts.Rajapakse -- who is not an economist but has held onto the finance minister portfolio himself -- started out by saying spending would total 597 billion rupees ($5.5 bln) and revenues 584 billion rupees next year, leaving a deficit of 13 billion rupees.But a table in the budget document seen by Reuters later said spending would rise sharply from 2006 levels to 834.9 billion rupees in 2007, while overall revenues would rise to 599.8 billion rupees.
  • 77) Nov 16, 2006 14:36:25 GMT |  + Thompson couple worries about loved ones affected by unrest in Sri Lanka
    growing humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka has Dr. Alex and Dushy Mahendran concerned about the safety of loved ones in their former homeland.The crisis stems from political violence that has led to the displacement of thousands of people who are unable to access food and water and emergency care essentials. “I’m just horrified about the fact that nobody has taken any action to relieve the people of Sri Lanka,” said Dushy Mahendran, an engineer at Sun Microsystems in Burlington, Mass. “Personally, I have been through the 83 riots, and I believe that this is a much worse situation.”
  • 78) Nov 16, 2006 14:26:55 GMT |  + Vaharai – the civilians, the blockade and the offensives
    The area marked in the map is the eastern coastal belt that lies north of Batticaloa town and south of Trincomalee town and habour. It is the area administered by the LTTE and accepted as such in the 2002 ceasefire agreement (CFA). A total of 60,000 people lived along this coastal belt. The southern part of this area within the red line is called Vaharai. This area was already badly affected by the 2004 tsunami. Therefore the residents of Vaharai are refugees themselves still living in the temporary shelters meant only for six months that were erected for tsunami refugees. Vaharai, therefore, was not in a state to receive 50,000 more refugees, arriving with nothing. more ...
  • 79) Nov 16, 2006 14:10:32 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels hold talks with British envoy
    A British envoy was holding talks with Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels to help salvage a faltering peace initiative, while in the capital the president wooed moderate Tamils. Labour MP Paul Murphy toured the violence-hit port city of Trincomalee Wednesday and began talks with Tamil Tiger guerrillas at the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi Thursday, diplomats said.As the visiting envoy engaged the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), their proxies, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) met with President Mahinda Rajapakse separately in Colombo, a spokesman for the president's office said.
  • 80) Nov 16, 2006 13:21:13 GMT |  + Sri Lankan starves to death in north, first on record
    An odd-job man has starved to death in Sri Lanka's war-torn north, officials said on Thursday, the first such death since state records began in 1991.But officials said the death of Muthiah Chandrapala, 50, was not linked with food shortages in the northern Jaffna peninsula due to renewed civil war.Chandrapala died on Wednesday near the town of Point Pedro in the army-held Jaffna peninsula, where around 500,000 Tamils have been cut off from the rest of the island by Tamil Tiger rebel lines for months.
  • 81) Nov 16, 2006 12:13:26 GMT |  + Divided in peace
    Northern Ireland is on the verge of a historic power-sharing deal. But any pact between hardline republicans and unionists will formalise ethnic cleansing. Few parliaments across the world can boast gents lavatories as impressive as the ones at Stormont where Northern Ireland's representatives can relieve themselves in the splendour of black and grey marble. The politicians' idea of peace is built on a false premise. Northern Ireland is officially becoming two societies. Communities, who even during the worst of the troubles were largely integrated, have now separated.
  • 82) Nov 16, 2006 12:20:56 GMT |  + India to raise concerns of Tamils to Sri Lanka
    Expressing concern over the recent developments in Sri Lanka and the Tamils' plight there, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he will convey India's concern to the Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse in an appropriate fashion during the latter's visit to the country.In a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Singh said Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon would also be visiting Colombo to convey India's concern to the Sri Lankan Government and the need to provide Tamils there the same rights and privileges as enjoyed by other citizens in the country.
  • 83) Nov 16, 2006 11:58:34 GMT |  + Over 100,000 displaced people cut off from humanitarian assistance, as Sri Lanka conflict escalates
    Some 130,000 internally displaced people - more than half of those uprooted by the current intensification of violence in Sri Lanka - are cut off from international assistance and exposed to serious human rights abuses, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says in a report released today. "Last week's shelling of a displaced persons camp by government forces was just the latest serious incident in an escalating series of attacks on civilians by both sides in the conflict", said Elisabeth Rasmusson, the Head of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
  • 84) Nov 16, 2006 11:55:08 GMT |  + Clinton seeks political reconciliation in Sri Lanka
    Noting that escalating violence in Sri Lanka has hindered tsunami recovery efforts, former United States President Bill Clinton has sought political reconciliation in the island nation.Clinton, whose two-year term as special envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for Tsunami recovery ends on December 31, stressed the need for continued efforts to make communities less vulnerable from any such disaster in the future and rebuild houses destroyed when the tsunami hit several countries.
  • 85) Nov 16, 2006 14:42:37 GMT |  + Vaiko to stage fast in Delhi
    Marumalarchi Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko will take up a fast along with his party members at New Delhi on 27 November in a bid to condemn the brutal killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka. In a high-level party meeting held today, various resolutions were passed, and one of the them included the fast by Vaiko on 27 November, the day when the Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse is expected to visit India. Meanwhile, in another resolution MDMK has urged the Centre to persuade the opening of A9 National Highway at Jaffna in order to safeguard the Tamils. Failing which the Centre should snap all its ties with Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 86) Nov 16, 2006 0:15:16 GMT |  + Government bar on Vakarai visits hampering SLMM
    The SLMM complained that the by the government preventing them from entering Vakarai, they were unable to look into the health of the Security Forces personnel LTTE custody. However they assured that the four sailors and a soldier held by the LTTE at Muhamalai, are in good health and recovering fast. Acting SLMM Spokesperson Ms.Helen Olafsdottir yesterday said the captives were being treated well by the LTTE and were prisoner of war.She said the SLMM was exploring the possibility of obtaining permission for the family members of the captives to visit them.
  • 87) Nov 16, 2006 0:09:23 GMT |  + Catholics, Methodists 'picket' with powdered milk packets
    Wearing black "Stop Starvation" headbands, Catholic and Methodist priests and laypeople recently overran the main post office here to draw attention to what they called a "humanitarian crisis" in Jaffna. Their aim, said the parish priest of St. Anne's Church in Palangaturai, Negombo, was to "stop the starvation of Jaffna people." He called for people to "see the real humanitarian crisis." Negombo is a predominantly Catholic town about 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) north of the capital.Some Catholic priests, nuns and Methodist pastors told UCA News they joined the demonstration to show their solidarity with and help people in the north, who they said face starvation.
  • 88) Nov 16, 2006 0:06:44 GMT |  + Sri Lanka national power grid down, lightning blamed
    Sri Lanka's national electricity grid went down on Wednesday night, probably because of a lightning strike, a state electricity company official said."A big (power) line has tripped, we think because of lightning," Ceylon Electricity Board General Manager Ranjit Palleperuma told Reuters. "It is not an infrastructure problem."Colombo hotels, shops and private residences turned to diesel generators where they could, but most of the capital was in darkness.Much of Sri Lanka's infrastructure, from roads to hospitals, has been neglected by successive governments focused on a two-decade civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels.
  • 89) 12:35 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + Sri Lankans tire of crucial polls
    "I am not voting. I couldn't care less." Bandula runs a small shop selling Chinese electronic goods in Colombo's bustling Pettah market. Like many Sri Lankans, he is fed up of constant elections - parliamentary elections were held last year and Thursday's presidential vote will be the fourth poll in six years. Voter apathy has been evident throughout the 13 million-strong electorate in Sri Lanka, where campaigning ended on Monday. Rallies have been poorly attended in many regions. In Tamil Tiger-controlled areas, the rebels are less than enthusiastic. They have no candidate running and profess to having no interest in the vote's outcome, but they say they will not interfere in the electoral process.
    - Sri Lanka to Hold Presidential Election - AP
    more ...
  • 90) 12:34 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka's presidential election result crucial to peace bid
    Sri Lanka goes to the polls on Thursday, the fifth time in five years, to elect a new president to succeed Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who has completed the two terms allowed her by the constitution and is ineligible to stand for reelection. The contest, widely regarded as close, is between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse from Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party, who has aligned with the Marxist People's Liberation Front and the JHU, a party of Buddhist monks, and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party, who has twice been prime minister. Diplomats and other observers see the election as a watershed that could determine the direction in which the peace process between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, stalled since 2003, will go.
    - Sri Lanka rural voters focus on fertiliser and peace - Reuters
    more ...
  • 91) 12:30 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + S.Lanka rebels rubbish report of poll stance shift
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers on Wednesday dismissed a report that they had decided to encourage voting at the island's presidential election, saying they remained neutral and were pessimistic about both main candidates. The Colombo bourse soared 4.4 percent on Wednesday on the basis of the report in the Daily Mirror newspaper, which fuelled hopes that former prime minister and main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would win the poll. "It is a totally fabricated story," said S. Puleedevan, head of the rebels' Peace Secretariat. "We will maintain our neutral position ... We've lost hope in both candidates."
    - Preview: Sri Lankans to elect president amid Tamil separatist call for boycott - DPA
    more ...
  • 92) 12:25 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + Ballots and AK47s: Sri Lanka prepares for poll
    Police wielding AK-47s guarded ballot boxes in Sri Lanka's restive east on Wednesday as thousands of observers and troops fanned out across the island on the eve of a close-fought presidential poll. Police reinforcements, some in armoured vehicles, were drafted in to the eastern town of Batticaloa, near territory controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels, but the military and election monitors said the poll run-up was among the calmest in years. "It has been very, very quiet," military spokesman Brigadier. Nalin Witharana said. "The police will impose a curfew if there is a requirement," he said, adding 8,000 troops were earmarked to be deployed in government-held areas. more ...
  • 93) 12:22 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + Sri Lankan election seen as referendum on peace process with Tamil rebels
    With near-daily violence as a backdrop, Thursday's presidential election in Sri Lanka has effectively become a referendum on the island nation's faltering peace process. The vote caps a year that opened with the devastation of the Indian Ocean tsunami and comes amid stalled peace efforts in a land of tea plantations and wide beaches that, in better times, were packed with Europeans on tropical vacations. "We need changes - our country only moves from side to side," said R.K. Fernando, a 52-year-old shop owner in Colombo. Change is the one certain outcome of the vote - Chandrika Kumaratunga, president for the past 11 years, isn't running because of a constitutional two-term limit.
    - Sri Lankans to vote for president, peace - ISN
    more ...
  • 94) 11:41 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + Remembrance Day
    The November 11 Remembrance Day was originally known as Armistice Day – the day an agreement was singed for ‘suspension of hostilities’ during WW1. Why was this day called Armistice Day? Why was it celebrated? And how did it become known as ‘Remembrance Day’? What are the historical backgrounds? When the armistice agreement came into effect on 11.11.1918, all believed that a permanent peace had arrived. It was stated in the agreement that hostilities should end immediately and the German forces should vacate certain areas within 30 days of signing the agreement. When the agreement was made permanent the next year, people all over the world were jubilant and celebrated it as the ‘Armistice Day’. For countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America, November 11 came to be known as Armistice Day, on which day they remembered the victims of WW1 annually. more ...
  • 95) 03:31 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + Sri Lankan Voters to Choose President, Chart Course for Peace
    Sri Lankan voters go to the polls tomorrow to choose a new president, a decision that will determine the fate of efforts to reach a permanent peace agreement after two decades of civil war. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse wants to renegotiate a four-year-old cease-fire accord with Tamil rebels, who have been fighting for an independent homeland in the island's north and east. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who brokered that accord, wants to use it as the basis of a permanent peace. Wickremesinghe, the 56-year-old leader of the United National Party, and Rajapakse, who represents the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party-led coalition and turns 60 the day after the election, are the main contenders among 13 candidates. They are vying to take over from Chandrika Kumaratunga, who will step down after more than a decade in office. more ...
  • 96) 03:09 GMT, Nov. 16, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka's presidential candidate promises an uncompromising peace
    Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, the presidential candidate of Sri Lanka's governing party and a self-described "proud son of Sri Lanka," has campaigned on the simple message that his country must remain whole. To demands by the rebel Tamil Tigers for autonomy in their strongholds, Rajapakse says he will never give in. Instead, he's promised to deliver what could be described as an uncompromising peace. To those who want to further liberalize the island nation's economy, the prime minister says his country is not for sale. Rather, he's suggested a dose of protectionism may be in store if he wins Thursday's vote. more ...
  • 97) 18:55 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Think Madam President, Think and be aware
    This gallant but doomed struggle by governments to suppress active dissidents only leads to a monumental sacrifice of lives, never those of the children of the nation’s leaders. The Children of insurgent leaders are on the front lines like everyone else. Once again, Americans should never forget that it was their insurgency that won them their war of independence. That insurgency, like all insurgences, was branded and damned by their opponents as terrorist. Both Bush and Kumaratunge have frozen themselves out of civilized diplomacy, he in the Middle East and she in the North East.Kumaratunge on the other hand, has played each party against the other in a desperate bid to survive, but pretends with equal facility to be the soul of unity, while stalling if not killing all efforts at peace negotiations with the LTTE. Her efforts to seek solutions through conciliation and compromise are a farce, because the various parties are at widely divergent odds with each other for that to be possible. more ...
  • 98) 18:46 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + An Appeal For Sanity
    If you want to put a stop to the killings that are going on, you should ask the Sinhalese armed forces to stop harboring renegades like Devananda’s EPDP, and Karuna’s TIVM in their camps, encouraging them to attack LTTE cadres. The Sinhalese police and armed forces must do the job they are paid for. You cannot support covert violence by the Sinhalese, and at the same time preach Dharma and Ahimsa to the LTTE. JVP adamantly wants to continue to impose the present unitary constitution framed against the opposition of the Tamils. It is an illegal constitution as far as the Tamils are concerned. If the JVP does not want to devolve autonomy to the Tamils, what is there to talk and what can the Norwegians do. If the attempts of the Norwegians failed, it is not the Norwegians who should hang down their heads in shame; it is the Sri Lankans who should be ashamed. You can take a horse to the water, but you cannot force it to drink. Sinhalese Budhists will have to agree to federalism and autonomy for the Tamils, or risk complete break away of the Northeast. They have to make the choice between war and peace. more ...
  • 99) 12:31 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Political consensus in South Lanka must for talks: Chandrika
    Sri Lanakan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that a political consensus in South Sri Lanka is a must before talks begin with the LTTE to end the five-decade-old ethnic conflict in the country. But getting a southern consensus was more difficult than getting the LTTE to come to the negotiating table, Kumaratunga told a meeting of the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) in Colombo, the state-owned Daily News reported on Tuesday. more ...
  • 100) 12:30 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + We are Operating from the EPDP Camp: Member of Karuna Faction
    Batticaloa district judge, Mr D C Chinnaih, ordered that Archunan Vijayakumar, who was brought before the courts in connection with the claymore and grenade attack on two civilians, be kept in remand prison for 14 days. Thurairaja Vimalendran and Nallathamby Perinparaja were attacked with claymore mines at the Kaluvankerni junction yesterday. Since the mines exploded after the two have passed the location they were then attacked using grenades. Luckily the two escaped again and the accused man escaped with the motorcycle belonging to the two men. more ...
  • 101) 12:29 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Tiger rebels, Tamil lawmakers discuss Sri Lankan peace process
    Tamil Tiger rebel leaders and their supporters in parliament met Tuesday to discuss efforts to revive peace talks with the Sri Lankan government, a rebel spokesman said. All 22 lawmakers from the Tamil National Alliance, which represents the rebels in the 225-member Parliament, were meeting with S.P Thamilselvan, the chief of the Tigers' political wing, in the northern rebel-held town of Kilinochchi, Daya Master said. The meeting came just days after the reclusive Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran offered a proposal to the government for resuming the peace process. The government said it is studying the offer, details of which have yet to be disclosed. more ...
  • 102) 12:29 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Sri Lankan opposition to keep dialogue with president on peace process
    Sri Lanka's main opposition said Tuesday that it would keep the dialogue going with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on her efforts to revive the stalled peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels. G.L. Peiris, spokesman for the main opposition United National Party (UNP), told reporters that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will continue to maintain one to one dialogue with Kumaratunga despite the UNP decision to boycott an all political party parley convened by Kumaratunga. Kumaratunga and Wickremesinghe have met twice since October, and the last meeting held early this month was fruitful, Peiris said without elaborating. more ...
  • 103) 09:46 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Pakistan navy ships on training cruise to Sri Lanka
    As part of the close cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lankan militaries, two Pakistan navy ships will arrive at the Colombo port tomorrow on a training cruise, officials said today. PNS Nasr and PNS Tariq will spend three days in Colombo, they said. PNS Nasr with 23 officers and 373 sailors onboard has a top speed of 18 knots. The vessel bought second hand from China in August, 1987 has been refitted with new navigational and communication equipment as well as new guns and a helicopter.The PNS Tariq is also a second hand 30-year-old frigate bought from the Royal Navy in 1993 and undergone a complete re-fit. Sri Lanka and Pakistan militaries maintain close cooperation and Islamabad is also a key supplier of military hardware to local security forces. more ...
  • 104) 09:42 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Sri lankan HIV/AIDS cases on the increase
    An increasing number of Sri Lankanyoungsters are now threatened by Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) including HIV and AIDS mainly due to unprotected sexual activity, the local newspaper The Island quoted a Sri Lankan health official as saying on Tuesday. The official in charge of National STI, AIDS control program said at a seminar on "Current trends of STI and HIV/AIDS" organized by the Health Education Bureau in Colombo recently that the reported numbers of HIV and AIDS case were 591, 174 respectively up to the end of September 2004. Around 3,500 to 7,000 persons were said to be living with HIV and 82 percent of the infected people were at age from 15 to 49, he added.Sri Lanka still has some hope with regard to this disease due to relatively low prevalence rate coupled with high literacy rate,well established health infrastructure, media report and cultural background. more ...
  • 105) 23:21 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka to Introduce New Taxes to Narrow Its Budget Deficit
    Sri Lanka will levy new taxes in this week's budget in an effort to narrow the deficit, said Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama. The government will ``widen the tax net'' in tomorrow's budget to help cut the deficit to 7.5 percent of gross domestic product next year, from an estimate of 8 percent this year, Amunugama said yesterday in Colombo. He declined to give details. Sri Lanka, an island the size of West Virginia with a population of about 20 million people, will probably spend $1.5 billion on oil this year, twice as much as in 2003, the state oil company Ceypetco estimates. The country imports all of its oil requirements.Turning the cease-fire into permanent peace is key to attracting investors and tourists to the island's $18 billion economy, said Chitra Sathkumara who manages the equivalent of $20 million of stocks and bonds as chief executive officer of Unit Trust Management Co. in Colombo. ``The two things the government needs to do is maintain the cease-fire and promote economic activity,'' Sathkumara said. ``The government has to take the peace process forward as soon as possible and the cease-fire has to hold. If defense spending goes back up, everything will collapse.'' more ...
  • 106) 19:12 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + "Tamil mandate dictates us to be pro-active with ISGA proposals and final resolution" - TNA legislators in Kilinochchi
    The Tamil legislators of the TNA represent9ing the NorthEast in a meeting with Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan held today 16 November 2004, said in one voice that they have a valid mandate from the Tamil people to actively support the LTTE in matters connected with institutionalising the ISGA and taking forward the peace process towards final resolution of the protracted Tamil national crisis. Endorsing their views and appreciating their concerns on the hardships of the people Mr. Tamilselvan countered the government version on the stalemate situation and said that the onus is now with the government to recommence negotiations and it has been the case from the day the ISGA proposals were handed to the government. It is duplicitous on the part of the government Mr. Tamilselvan said, to carry on a false propaganda both within and outside Sri Lanka that the LTTE is delaying the peace process. more ...
  • 107) 19:07 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + No to referendum : UNP tells president
    The United National Party (UNP) laid down conditions to extend its support to the president in resuming the peace process. Spokesman for the UNP Gamini Laxman Peiris said on Tuesday that the government should not hold any referendum to change the present constitution "illegally". Objecting to a referendum being held, G L Peiris said that moves by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to convene a constitutional assembly will hinder efforts to reach a consensus between the president and the opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. President met the opposition leader on the eve of her visit to India earlier this month. Professor Peiris said on Tuesday that discussions between the president and the opposition leader will not bear fruit if the constituent parties in the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government including the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) do not come into a common agreement. more ...
  • 108) 19:02 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + The Mirage of Power Sharing
    Conflict resolution and human rights “peaceniks” in Colombo are busy mouthing vacuous slogans about national “co-existence” and ethnic “harmony”. These Sinhala peaceniks are promoting the belief that Sinhala nationalism is capable of, and willing to, strike a compromise with Tamil nationalism. The same peaceniks are silent about the Sinhala government’s war preparations. Near the end of last month, the Chief of Defence Staff appointed a Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) to “evaluate the present defence mechanism in the [Tamil-majority] north-east and make necessary recommendations to rectify shortcomings” in case of “any surprise attacks” (Daily Mirror, 29oct04) on the Sinhala armed forces by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The backdrop to the Committee’s activities is the impending defence cooperation agreement between Sri Lanka and India. more ...
  • 109) 09:40 GMT, Nov. 16, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka set for deficit budget amid economic gloom
    Sri Lanka's Marxist-backed government is set to unveil its first budget amid a foreign exchange crisis, galloping inflation and pressure from coalition partners to maintain a welfare state. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's leftist party came to power in April promising to restore subsidies removed by the previous market-friendly regime. The government has said it will raise public-sector salaries, pensions and other benefits despite the island's economic woes. Analysts believe Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama will be forced to present a Robin Hood-style budget on Thursday for calendar 2005, taxing the rich to subsidise the poor rather than making a big push to encourage investment. The government's plans to raise salaries for a million public servants and increase state sector pensions would add an extra burden almost equalling the natinon's defence budget of 56.29 billion rupees, financial analysts say. more ...
  • 110) 23:00 GMT, Nov. 16, 2003 |  + Lanka rival aides sit for talks
    Aides of the Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister met here today ahead of another round of talks between the two squabbling leaders, officials here said. No details of the meeting were immediately available. A meeting between the President and the Prime Minister ended without results last week and they are due to meet again in the coming week with the participation of their aides. However, political analysts said there were no signs of a compromise in the bitter power struggle that led to Norway suspending its peace brokering efforts on Friday. more ...
  • 111) 22:49 GMT, Nov. 16, 2003 |  + SLMC gets ready for general election
    The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, constituent of the ruling United National Front government Sunday said it has alerted its rank and file to get prepared to face a snap general election if the President and Prime Minister failed to reach an accord to resolve the current political crisis during the second round of talks scheduled to be held on Tuesday 18. The high command of the SLMC issued this notice to party organizers in the country following five hour marathon meeting of the party's politburo held Saturday night at party's headquarters -'Darussalam'- in Colombo. The meeting commenced around 9 p.m. on Saturday and came to an end Sunday around 3 a.m., party sources said. more ...
  • 112) 16:10 GMT, Nov. 16, 2003 |  + CCB-LTTE drive to boost coconut industry
    The Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB), in collaboration with the LTTE, recently launched a drive to boost the coconut industry in the war-torn Northern and Eastern provinces. The industry which was prospering on 35,000 acres before the war, has now slumped to half that extent. The LTTE has also assured its fullest support and assistance to the CCB for coconut cultivation on 5,000 acres in the areas under its control in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi. Under a 10-year programme for boosting coconut cultivation in the North and East, the Ministry plans to cultivate 2000 acres every year in the North and East, according to CCB sources. more ...
  • 113) 15:55 GMT, Nov. 16, 2003 |  + Licence for VoT under review
    The validity of the licence granted to the LTTE to broadcast the Voice of Tigers radio channel will be reviewed, the newly appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Communication Tilak Ranaviraja told The Sunday Times yesterday. Mr. Ranaviraja, who was recently appointed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga said the licence had been granted to broadcast only within a radius of 20 km but reports of the channel being operative within a much wider radius have been received. more ...
  • 114) 15:46 GMT, Nov. 16, 2003 |  + Bandaranaikes: The bane of Lanka (II)



    Western diplomat in Colombo:
    ‘ We have been neglecting Colombo and focusing only on Kilinochchi so far. This is a mistake. We have lost face with the Tigers. We cannot exert pressure on the LTTE as we did in the past. The thrust of our diplomatic role has been blunted.’

    Chandrika came to power when the country was getting sick of UNP’s governance. She promised to abolish the executive presidency and free the press. Instead, she used the captive press and the executive presidency to do whatever she wished. Chandrika occupied Temple Trees instead of President’s House and for her security two major roads — Duplication Road and Galle Road — had to be barred to the public. She cared nothing for the inconvenience she caused the public. Chandrika sold our national carrier Air Lanka to foreigners on give-away terms. She bought ship engines from France (her cultural home) for our railways. She appointed Sarath Silva as chief justice against whom there were several civil cases pending, against the advice of many, including the outgoing chief justice. more ...
  • 115) 14:04 GMT, Nov. 16, 2003 |  + No sign of way out for S.Lanka's feuding leaders
    Sri Lanka's president denied reports on Sunday that she was willing to share the defence portfolio as the island's political confusion -- which put a peace bid with Tamil rebels on ice -- showed no sign of abating. ''There is no question of the president sharing the defence ministry. Constitutionally that is not possible,'' presidential adviser Mano Tittawella told Reuters. President Chandrika Kumaratunga sacked the defence, interior and media ministers and suspended parliament two weeks ago, saying the prime minister had compromised security by conceding too much to the Tamil Tigers in the bid to end a 20-year war. more ...
  • 116) 04:01 GMT, Nov. 16, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka's President Makes Concessions
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Saturday she is willing to share control of the Defense Ministry with the prime minister, softening her stance in a power struggle between the two leaders that has threatened to derail efforts to end Sri Lanka's 20-year civil war. ``The president is willing to involve the prime minister in all such defense matters that can have a direct impact on the cease-fire and the peace process,'' said Mano Tittawella, the president's top adviser. more ...
  • 117) 23:47 GMT, Nov. 16, 2002 |  + Verbal support to Eelam Tamils no offence: Vaiko
    The general secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Member of Parliament, Vaiko, in his writ petition filed before the Supreme Court has contended that mere verbal support for the cause of Tamils of Eelam would not amount to supporting terrorism. Mr. Vaiko said the turmoil in Sri Lanka resulted in the influx of Tamil refugees to India and any reference to the turmoil could not be regarded as a support to terrorism. more ...
  • 118) 21:59 GMT, Nov. 16, 2002 |  + Norway in crisis talks with PA
    Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg met President Chandrika Kumaratunga's International Affairs Adviser Lakshman Kadirgamar last afternoon for consultation after the opposition PA made a blistering attack on the partiality of the Norwegians in the on-going peace process with the LTTE... Deputy government peace negotiator Milinda Moragoda is to leave for New Delhi next week to urge the Indian government to participate at the Oslo development forum for reconstruction aid to the north and east. more ...
  • 119) 21:50 GMT, Nov. 16, 2002 |  + Moving peace process to top gear and PA's woes
    The significance of the Oslo conference is not so much in the anticipated pledging of funds but rather the political capital to consolidate the peace process given the heavyweight presence expected of US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, Britain's Minister for Overseas Development, Claire Short and Canada's Minister for Overseas Development, Susan Whelan, amongst other ministers from donor nations. Further, the conference itself is to be co-chaired by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and the Norwegian Prime Minister, both of whom are expected to make opening statements, where a LTTE delegation headed by Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham will also be present. more ...
  • 120) 21:24 GMT, Nov. 16, 2002 |  + Oslo aid parley: US, UK watch LTTE moves
    The United States of America and the United Kingdom are likely to lift their ban on the LTTE or at least soften the restrictions in the near future if their governments are satisfied with LTTE behaviour and the progress of the peace process, the Sunday Observer learns. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage will lead the US delegation while the UK will be represented by the UK International Development Secretary Clare Short. The Indian government is expected to be represented by its envoy in Norway Gopalkrishna Gandhi at the forthcoming aid donor conference in Oslo next week, diplomatic sources said. more ...
  • 121) 15:32 GMT, Nov. 16, 2002 |  + Combined effort saves life of expat de-miner
    Government medical officers, the Sri Lanka Air Force and international agencies combined last week to save the life of an expatriate de-miner working to clear explosives in the Vanni, the United Nations announced yesterday. The UN called the operation "an outstanding display of cooperation and commitment to the spirit of Humanitarian Mine Action". After first aid at the Kilinochchi hospital he was taken to Mallawi and there treated by a joint team from the Sri Lankan Hospital services and the French NGO Medicines Sans Frontieres. Thereafter the UN ferried him to Vavuniya where an air ambulance from the 8th Squadron of the SLAF flew him to Colombo. more ...
  • 122) 15:28 GMT, Nov. 16, 2002 |  + Terrorism - a symptom of campus indiscipline
    The word "Education" is made up from two Latin words-Ex Duco, meaning to draw out-to draw out the best in man. The University students are supposed to be the intellectual elite of today's youth and its articulate leaders. But, it has become a very sad phenomenon in Sri Lanka to see these so-called learned men and women, who are destined to be our future leaders, capturing the headlines in daily newspapers as causing riots in campus, vandalism, mob violence and manslaughter. In Sri Lanka today our system of education has indeed become lop-sided, reaching up to the present deplorable state due to several myopic, selfish, and foolish acts of political expediency of our rulers since independence. In Sri Lanka today our system of education has indeed become lop-sided, reaching up to the present deplorable state due to several myopic, selfish, and foolish acts of political expediency of our rulers since independence. more ...
  • 123) 14:38 GMT, Nov. 16, 2002 |  + Vaiko challenges Section 21 of POTA
    MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, a POTA detenu, has challenged Section 21 of the Act in the Supreme Court, stating that it infringed on the fundamental rights of freedom of expression. In a writ petition, he sought a direction from the Apex Court to declare the concerned section as 'unconstitutional'. "Does the mere expression of sympathy for Tamils in Sri Lanka, for whom the LTTE has become the sole representative, recognised by the international community, amount to support to a terrorist organisation under POTA and thereby empower the state to curtail personal liberty"?, he asked. more ...
  • 124) 14:16 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka threatens to close television channel ahead of polls
    The Sri Lankan government Friday warned a private television station it would be shut down if it "worked towards the victory" of the country's main opposition in next month's national elections. The government said it had complained to elections chief Dayananda Dissanayake about "partial political propaganda" by the Telshan Network Limited (TNL), which is run by the brother of opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. "The Commissioner of Elections has pointed out that (state media heads) have the right to withhold the licence issued to any private television station violating election regulations," a government statement said. more ...
  • 125) 14:14 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + SLA soldier killed in claymore blast
    A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a claymore mine attack by the Liberation Tigers in the Kalmadhu region in Vavuniya, around 9.20 a.m. Friday, security sources said. The sources said, the Tigers triggered the claymore targeting the soldiers who were cycling from Poompuhar SLA camp to a mini camp at Kidachoori. The attack took place on Kalmadhu-Maravankulam road. more ...
  • 126) 12:48 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + The money weapon
    For decades, money raised in the United States helped the Irish Republican Army carry on a terror campaign aimed at forcing the British out of Ulster and achieving a united Ireland. Tim Pat Coogan, long-time observer of the guerrilla army, describes U.S. territory as an "ever-fertile procurement ground." In his exhaustive history The IRA, he goes as far as to say that the plastic explosive used in the 1984 bomb blast that nearly killed Margaret Thatcher may have been shipped across the Atlantic. more ...
  • 127) 12:34 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + The timely message of Nelson Mandela
    Mr. Mandela's message is more relevant than ever. "As we are liberated from our own fear," he said in his inaugural speech, "our presence automatically liberates others." Armies can do only so much. In the end, as he reminds us, our best hope for liberation lies within. This country has now awarded honorary citizenship to just two people. The first, in 1985, was Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of thousands of Jews during the Second World War. The 83-year-old Mr. Mandela is the second. The award does us all proud. Welcome to Canada, Citizen Mandela. more ...
  • 128) 12:27 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka lowers fuel prices, raises salaries ahead of vote
    Sri Lanka's government Friday sharply reduced oil prices, increased allowances paid to state employees and offered permanent jobs to thousands more ahead of next month's parliamentary elections. The price of kerosene oil used for cooking and lighting in rural homes was reduced by 10 percent while a similar reduction was ordered in industrial furnace oil, petroleum corporation officials said. The move came as the government ordered a series of increases in the allowances paid to over 30,000 workers in the country's largest poor relief program. The opposition United National Party (UNP) welcomed the salary increases and lowering of prices, but said the government could not hope to offer "piecemeal sweeteners to bribe the voters". more ...
  • 129) 12:22 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Settlement of Ethnic crisis and election manifestoes
    Both the PA and the UNP have accepted the fact that the ethnic crisis and the ensuring war are the root causes for the entire problem and obstacles, which are challenging the future prospects of this country. Both parties have also realized this fact and told the people in their respective manifestos that peace will not be sighted until such time a settlement is found for the ethnic crisis and thereby the war is brought to an end. Both parties have also told beyond doubt that they would find a permanent solution to the war and establish peace. Both parties knew all these very well but they didn't want to take any constructive measures for vested reasons for the past two decades. more ...
  • 130) 12:04 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + DIG says will consider Jaffna weapons issue
    The Sri Lanka Police said Friday that it has requested the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), a major coalition partner of the People’s Alliance government, not to go about in the Jaffna peninsula with weapons during the 2001 general elections. Addressing a press conference at the Police Headquarters in Colombo Friday the Deputy Inspector General of Police for elections, Mr. Gamini Navaratna, said that maintaining law and order in Jaffna during the elections would be easier for the Police if the EPDP desists from carrying weapons in the northern peninsula. Political parties contesting the elections in Jaffna complain that the EPDP has many weapons in its possession and is bent on rigging and intimidation during the elections. more ...
  • 131) 12:01 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Manifesto of the Tamil National Alliance
    The parliamentary elections scheduled for 5th December 2001 will be an important landmark in the political history of the Tamil nationality. It is imperative that the present situation of drift and uncertainty be ended and that the Tamil national question be addressed with all the seriousness and urgency it deserves. A brief reiteration of the political experiences and history of the Tamil nationality in the past fifty-two years since independence would be relevant. more ...
  • 132) 21:54 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka: Jobs for the boys, doles for the rest
    With just three weeks to go before the parliamentary election, the Sri Lankan Government is handing out doles, jobs and other incentives undeterred by Opposition protests that it is bribing voters. ``We are not opposed to people getting jobs, it is their democratic right. But what is this great urge to give jobs now?'' United National Front (UNF) spokesman, Mr. G.L. Peiris asked. In the Tamil-dominated Jaffna peninsula, the Eelam People's Democratic Party, an ally of the PA and partner in the Government, has been accused by rivals of handing out pre- election largesse in the form of cash doles and government jobs. more ...
  • 133) 21:10 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + North-East Province Tamil homeland - Kumar Ponambalam Gajendran
    Every Tamil wants the North East Province to be recognised as their traditional homeland. We are not prepared to have any truck with the Government that refuses to recognise our demands, United Tamil Alliance nominee Kumar Ponnambalam Gajendran said. He said that so far the Tamil parties have not been successful in bringing the ethnic issue to the attention of the foreign countries. It was the LTTE that made the ethnic problem an issue that merited the mediation of the foreign countries. They have been sacrificing their lives to enable the Tamils to live with self respect in the land of their birth. The Tamil race is morally obliged to bow their heads to the LTTE for the great sacrifices made by them. more ...
  • 134) 20:49 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Athukorala’s reply to JVP’s ‘UNP-LTTE link’
    UNP assistant leader Gamini Atukorala replying the JVP on the "so called" UNP-LTTE link charged that JVP founder Rohana Wijeweera has accepted the right of self determination for Tamils and secession, in one of his books. Responding to a letter sent by JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, Atukorala quoted Rohana Wijeweera’s "Eelam Rajyayakata Ape Visanduma" (Our Solution to an Eelam State) which is still considered as a "Bible" in JVP classes: "Right for self determination for Tamils mean the right for secession if they want to. We accept this right." Why don’t you question the PA about what they tabled in parliament. The President invited the LTTE for unconditional talks in her recent interviews with the BBC and the CNN. Why don’t you question the PA about what the President clearly said. more ...
  • 135) 19:30 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Sampanthan canvasses in LTTE held region
    Mr. R. Sampanthan, the secretary general of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) returned to Trincomalee Friday after two days of campaigning for the Tamil National Alliance in the villages of Mutur south which are held by the Liberation Tigers. He said that he had obtained due permission from the Sri Lanka army's 22 Division in Trincomalee to visit and hold propaganda meetings in the hinterland of Mutur which is under the control of the LTTE. "The electioneering in the LTTE held areas was very satisfactory and a large number of people came for our propaganda meetings with much interest," the secretary general of the TULF said. Mr. Sampanthan is the first Tamil parliamentarian to visit an LTTE held area in the northern or eastern part of the island with the SLA's permission. more ...
  • 136) 17:15 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Canada:
    Anti-terrorism Bill C-36 attacks fundamentals
    Giving the group that has crafted the proposed Anti-terrorism Bill C-36 credit for intending to come up with legislation that would balance the need for extra safety at the cost of reduced civil rights, I can only conclude that the result is a classic case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.The basic intent of the bill is to increase the powers of the police, CSIS and the political hierarchy. Coincident with this goal is the reduction of the safeguards normally provided by judicial review and access to information law. more ...
  • 137) 16:41 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Tamil Nadu:
    Politics and Cinema - The Omnipresent Intertwining
    Just when Tamil Nadu was celebrating the news that after a very long time they have a CM who has got nothing to do with Cinema, hectic activities have been taking place for the past 10 days and even before you know, the Cinema - Politics bond is as strong (if not stronger) as it was before. Kamal and Vijayakanth have slowly been entering into politics with their declarations and deeds, which reminds us of another entity - Rajinikanth. He is busy with his determination to launch his new film before the end of this year. But he was the first one to be caught in this swivel of politics and he had been maintaining a steadfast silence whenever he was asked about politics. This is a surprise to all people around him. How is he going to answer to this million dollar question. more ...
  • 138) 14:51 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + Canadian Immigrant pupils quick to progress
    Children of immigrants start school at a big disadvantage in language and math, but manage to catch up and even surpass their classmates before the end of elementary school, according to a new study. Chinese, South Asian, Tamil, African-Caribbean, Korean and Muslim communities have all set up programs with an emphasis on literacy, "because they desperately want their children to do better," said Rummana Virji, manager of community services in the board's east district. `There's a real ethic among immigrant families. They want their children to succeed, because that's one of the reasons they came here' more ...
  • 139) 11:53 GMT, Nov. 16, 2001 |  + 14,000 Tamils in Mutur denied booths
    The Returning Officer for Trincomalee district has turned down a request by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to set up clustered polling booths in Mutur south, enabling about 14,000 voters in the area to cast their votes on 5 December election. Instead, an additional bus service will be provided to the Tamil voters living in the region to travel to clustered polling stations set up near Mahindapura Sri Lanka Army camp and Muttur Al Hidaya School, he said. more ...
  • 140) 17:43 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + Tigers shell Mannar SLN camp
    The Liberation Tigers fired mortars on the Sri Lanka Navy camp at Vangalaipadu in the north-western Mannar around 12.15 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Sources said the tigers fired mortars from two boats in the seas off Pesalai. Some of the mortars fell inside the naval camp. Details of damages were not immediately known. more ...
  • 141) 17:41 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + Nationalists Urge Norway to End Role in Sri Lanka
    Several hundred protesters marched on the Norwegian embassy on Thursday to demand that Norway stop its efforts to broker a peace process to end Sri Lanka"s bitter ethnic war. Close to 300 Sinhalese nationalists demonstrated in front of the embassy in an upscale part of Colombo and burned an effigy of peace envoy Erik Solheim, who had a surprise meeting with Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran at the end of last month. The protesters shouted slogans and waved placards that said "murderous Norwegians go home," but heavily armed riot police prevented the demonstrators from approaching the embassy gates. more ...
  • 142) 14:20 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + Kumaratunga blames red tape for foreign aid wastage
    SRI Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has given notice to ministers and bureaucrats who fell back on their job and asked them to cut down red tape for the proper utilization of foreign aid. "Don't give me excuses," she admonished her giant cabinet of 44 ministers, their deputies and senior officials Thursday at a meeting, called to ginger up their performance. more ...
  • 143) 14:06 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + Kidnap episode does not signify growth of LTTE
    Urging the State Governments to act sternly against terrorism and extremism, Union Rural Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said they should take steps to prevent the recurrence of incidents such as the kidnapping of Rajkumar. Expressing his joy over the release of the actor on Wednesday, Naidu told mediapersons that the people and the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had heaved a sigh of relief after the ordeal ended. more ...
  • 144) 12:02 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + More foreign aid sought to face additional fiscal burdens
    The Sri Lankan Minister for Constitutional Affairs and Industrial Development in his presentation focused on three principal factors which are of immediate relevance to Sri Lanka. He stated that the first major problem facing the nation was the ongoing armed conflict. The expenditure of Rs. 83 billion up from the planned Rs. 51 billion placed a strain on the economy and every effort was being made to contain the budget deficit at 9% of G.D.P. Secondly, Professor Peiris said that the effect of exogenous shocks such as the Asian capital market crisis and the rising world oil prices also placed a considerable burden on the economy. Thirdly, with the gaining of Middle Income Status, which Sri Lanka is on the threshold of attaining, there were heavy costs entailed by having to undertake structural adjustments which were necessary to restructure financial and other systems and institutions. This placed additional fiscal burdens on the country, he added. more ...
  • 145) 11:57 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + CM justifies caution on kidnap issue
    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi thanked Nakkeeran editor R R Gopal and Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran for their efforts in securing the release of Kannada actor Rajkumar from forest brigand Veerappan. He also thanked Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S Ramadoss and film star Rajnikanth for persuading Nedumaran to go to the forest overlooking opposition criticism. The Chief Minister maintained he was pursuing an extraordinarily cautious and careful approach to ensure the relationship among the Tamils and Kannadigas in both the states was not strained. Karunanidhi claimed the government’s approach can be compared to the removal of a cloth fallen on a thorn. more ...
  • 146) 00:57 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + UK's Hain urges Sri Lankans to grasp peace chance
    Renewed international efforts to end Sri Lanka's bitter ethnic war offer the country its best hope of peace and the chance to match its neighbours' economic progress, Britain said on Wednesday. ''Every day the fighting continues, Sri Lanka falls further and further behind,'' Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain told a news conference. more ...
  • 147) 00:55 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + Entire village displaced
    The entire hamlet of Soodaikuda in the Muttur area south of Trincomalee town has been displaced due to continuous artillery attack by the government forces. 148 people belonging to 46 families - all Tamils - residing in Soodaikuda have sought refuge in a school at Sampoor village, officials attached to local humanitarian organisations said. more ...
  • 148) 17:45 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + MDMK for lifting ban on LTTE
    MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today said he favoured lifting of the ban on the LTTE in India, but would not demand it now as it would embarrass the National Democratic Alliance of which his party is a constituent. Vaiko told a press conference here that he was still of the view that "Eelam", a separate homeland for Sri Lankan Tamils, was the only viable solution to the Sri Lankan problem. However, he was not pressing it as he wanted to go by the majority view of the ruling National Democratic Alliance. more ...
  • 149) 17:44 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + Buddhist monks burn effigy of Solheim
    Hundreds of Sinhala nationalists Thursday evening picketed out side the Royal Norwegian embassy in Colombo and burnt an effigy of Oslo's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim. The majority of the participants were Buddhist monks. Earlier around 4 the far-right Sihala Urumaya party organized a public meeting at Narahenpitiya in Colombo protesting against Norway's involvement in finding a solution to the island's conflict. more ...
  • 150) 00:53 GMT, Nov. 16, 2000 |  + British minister to share Ulster peace experience with Sri Lanka
    British foreign office minister Peter Hain said on Wednesday he intends to share the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process with the government of Sri Lanka when he visits the country next week. Hain, a junior minister to Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, will arrive for his one-day visit in the troubled country on November 22 after spending four days in India. more ...
  • 151) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Tigers urge civilians to return
    No details available. more ...
  • 152) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + At Manal Aru ( Weli Oya ) Who In Fact Ethnically Cleansed Whom?
    No details available. more ...
  • 153) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Vanni embargo violates Geneva Protocols say US Congress members
    No details available. more ...
  • 154) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Violence as Sri Lanka campaign begins
    No details available. more ...
  • 155) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + SLAF base shelled
    No details available. more ...
  • 156) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Sri Lanka Tamil party demands relief for refugees
    No details available. more ...
  • 157) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Political turmoil in Sri Lanka as UNP defectors back Kumaratunga
    No details available. more ...
  • 158) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + SLA blocks civilians' dry rations
    No details available. more ...
  • 159) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Gunfire at MP's office
    No details available. more ...
  • 160) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Sri Lanka battle lines drawn
    No details available. more ...
  • 161) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Election season opens in Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 162) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1999 |  + Lull in Sri Lanka fighting
    No details available. more ...
  • 163) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + South Africa says Sri Lanka fighting its own affair
    No details available. more ...
  • 164) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + The Situation in Vanni is similar to Ethiopia and Somalia
    No details available. more ...
  • 165) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + Reports of Tamil Tigers setting up bases in SA
    No details available. more ...
  • 166) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + Education in Vanni
    No details available. more ...
  • 167) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + SRI LANKA:Disappearance Cases in Sri Lanka - A crime against humanity
    No details available. more ...
  • 168) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + Colombo ready to talk peace
    No details available. more ...
  • 169) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + General's new job sparks Tamil anger
    No details available. more ...
  • 170) 11:11 GMT, Nov. 16, 1998 |  + Sri Lankan minister in SA to block Tigers' move
    No details available. more ...
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    Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border