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March 19, 2019 - Memory of the Day

Sri Lanka, an Island Nation That Is Best Savored Slowly

2019-01-30 21:07:46 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Human Rights Violations

  • 1999 | Five civilians killed
    Five civilians, suspected to be traders, were shot dead by the Government troops at the forward defence lines near Uyrtharaasankulam in the Uylankulam sector in the early hours of the morning today said sources.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 1151 | செல்லாமை உண்டேல் எனக்குரை மற்றுநின்
    வல்வரவு வாழ்வார்க் குரை.
    If you will say, 'I leave thee not,' then tell me so;
    Of quick return tell those that can survive this woe.
    - 116 116
  • Mar 19 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Mar 19, 2019 16:24:39 GMT |  + Indian-Omani group strikes $3.85 billion deal to build Sri Lanka oil refinery
    India’s Accord Group and Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas have signed a $3.85 billion deal to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, the biggest single pledge of foreign direct investment ever made in the country. The deal represents a challenge to China, which had until recently been on track to be the dominant foreign investor on the island, and a possible coup for New Delhi. India has been concerned in the past few years about China muscling into Sri Lanka and other countries in the region where India is the traditional power. more ...
  • 2) Mar 19, 2019 16:08:53 GMT |  + The High Commissioner’s report and the UNHRC resolution: The two are not one
    The High Commissioner’s recommendations are not decisions of the international community but are recommendations that could become unnecessary if Sri Lanka takes sufficient corrective action. The more important matter to be taken up by the UN Human Rights Council will be the draft resolution on Sri Lanka on the same theme of ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’. This is the one that Sri Lanka has agreed to sign as co-sponsor, and is scheduled to be taken up on the following day of 21 March 2019. Unlike the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which contains observations and recommendations, more ...
  • 3) Mar 19, 2019 16:05:55 GMT |  + The New Zealand terrorist attack and the international danger of fascism
    The death toll from last Friday’s fascist terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand was revised upward to 50 over the weekend. The youngest person killed was a three-year-old boy. Thirty-four people remained in hospital on Sunday, with 12 in a critical condition, including a severely injured four-year-old girl.People throughout the world are horrified by the cold-blooded, racist massacre, which targeted defenceless Muslim men, women and children while they were praying. Tens of thousands of people joined vigils over the weekend in New Zealand and internationally to show solidarity with the victims and their families and to defend Muslims, immigrants and refugees. more ...
  • 4) Mar 19, 2019 16:02:09 GMT |  + Replacing Silence with Speech- Wartime Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka
    We live in a time when sexual violence has come to occupy front page news and is being discussed in all domains of life, from academia, media, and politics to the film industry. Yet, some forms of sexual violence remain unspeakable. The edited volume, The Search for Justice: The Sri Lanka Papers is a work that compels us to rethink the idea of sexual violence, speakable and unspeakable, and make visible those dark corners that only get the spotlight when grotesque and mass violence takes place in what has habitually come to be called conflict areas. This book is one in a series of eight on sexual violence and impunity in South Asia published by Zubaan, Delhi. more ...
  • 5) Mar 19, 2019 15:43:28 GMT |  + Rajapaksa camp could field Gotabaya
    Following months of speculation, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political camp appears to have come closer to finalising the candidate for the presidential race later this year. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary and a younger brother of the ex-President, is very likely to represent the clan and its followers, political sources told The Hindu. Mr. Gotabaya, 69, remains a controversial figure in Sri Lankan politics, especially among minority Tamils and Muslims. He is currently fighting multiple court cases in which he is charged with large-scale corruption. Further, Mr. Gotabaya has in the past been associated with hard-line Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena that is notorious for inciting anti-Muslim violence. more ...
  • 6) Mar 19, 2019 15:39:44 GMT |  + No UNHRC resolutions against SL since 2015: Mangala
    In response to Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa calling for the withdrawal of Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship to the UNHRC resolution, Finace Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today there was no resolution against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC since 2015, but those, adopted since then, were to work together with the country’s partner nations in the world so that its citizens benefitted from the best expertise in the world.What Mahinda says is false. There is no resolution “against” Sri Lanka, and there has been no resolution “against” Sri Lanka since 2015. In 2009, the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government spearheaded a resolution in the Human Rights Council calling it a ‘victory resolution’ and got it adopted by a division in the Council. more ...
  • 7) Mar 19, 2019 15:16:08 GMT |  + Sri Lanka, the top holiday destination for 2019, is polluted by torture and lies
    “The picture they paint is all rainbows and butterflies since the elections in 2015. But that’s wrong. The fear and distrust is constant.” Those words from a human rights activist in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna, ahead of a United Nations decision on its role in the contry this week, reflects the disconnect between a global narrative of how much Sri Lanka has changed and the more unsettling reality on the ground. more ...
  • 8) Mar 19, 2018 23:50:08 GMT |  + Things are never easy in Sri Lanka
    Opposition leader and former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa must be laughing his head off. Despite all the cases of corruption against him and his family, despite the harassment and the jail terms that members of his family have had to serve, it was he who swept the civic elections in the island last month. The victory has thrown the ruling dispensation lead by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe into a blind panic. So much so that the two are scrapping with each other instead of attacking their common enemy and the result is that the government in Sri Lanka is virtually dysfunctional. more ...
  • 9) Mar 19, 2018 23:48:39 GMT |  + ‘No legal basis to approach ICJ against Sri Lanka’
    The Central government on Monday told the Madras High Court that there is no legal basis for India to invoke the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) since there is no treaty, including human rights treaties, under which the alleged attacks by Sri Lankan Navy against Indian fishermen could be established as human rights violation. The submission was made in a counter-affidavit filed before the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose who were seized of a public interest litigation petition filed by Fishermen Care, a private body that had sought for a direction to the Centre to refer the alleged rights violations to the ICJ. more ...
  • 10) Mar 19, 2018 23:46:03 GMT |  + India still to play role in Lanka port
    India continues to remain in fray to play a role in the strategically located Colombo Port in the Indian Ocean Region, notwithstanding the Sri Lanka’s decision to drop plans to privatise the port’s East Container Terminal (ECT). In a statement last week, Sri Lankan minister for ports and shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe said the construction of the terminal was being expedited by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), a state-run agency in the island nation. The ECT will be operated by the SLPA "to ensure best services for all mega container vessels calling at the Port of Colombo in near future”, the minister said. more ...
  • 11) Mar 19, 2018 23:44:38 GMT |  + Sri Lanka lifts nationwide state of emergency
    “Upon assessing the public safety situation, I instructed to revoke the State of Emergency from midnight yesterday,” Sirisena said on his Twitter feed. He declared a state of emergency to rein in the spread of communal violence after Buddhists and Muslims clashed in the Indian Ocean island’s central district of Kandy. Two people were killed and hundreds of Muslim-owned properties and more than 20 mosques were damaged, media reported. Tension has been growing between the two communities over the past year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites.
  • 12) Mar 19, 2018 23:42:52 GMT |  + Joan Sullivan: Novel tells story of refugees
    Sharon Bala’s debut novel is a rich and timely work. It’s tempting to say it’s ripped from the headlines, but it’s also torn form the history books. “The Boat People” are 500 Sri Lankans who’ve spent everything they had to get their families to a safe place. That’s one specific news item, but of course people have always been on the move, fleeing from trouble or seeking a brighter future. First Nations excepted, everyone’s background is as an immigrant. more ...
  • 13) Mar 19, 2018 23:41:48 GMT |  + Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s husband Natarajan Maruthappa passes away
    Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s husband Natarajan Maruthappa passed away at the age of 76 at a hospital in Chennai Tuesday midnight. Natarajan was admitted to Gleneagles Global hospital in Chennai on Sunday after complaints of chest infection. He was reportedly put on ventilator as his condition worsened on Monday. more ...
  • 14) Mar 19, 2018 16:53:20 GMT |  + Why So Many Ontario Voters Are Scared of Doug Ford Becoming Premier
    Weeks of batshit craziness amongst Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives—which started with sexual misconduct allegations against former leader Patrick Brown—have fittingly ended with Doug Ford being elected as Brown’s replacement. As head of the province’s official opposition, Ford is now in the running to become Ontario’s new premier. Considering the Liberals have been in power for 15 years, and have undoubtedly become a source of resentment for many Ontarians, Ford probably has a pretty decent shot at taking down Premier Kathleen Wynne in the June election. more ...
  • 15) Mar 19, 2018 16:48:25 GMT |  + The living and the disappeared: the unending battle for justice
    Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena met with the families of the disappeared in June and November last year and promised to release a list of who were handed over to the military by the families at the end of the war in 2009. During the June meeting with Sri Lanka's President, families handed over a memo laying out five key demands: (1) releasing a list of all those who surrendered or were detained by the Sri Lankan armed forces during and after the war, particularly during the last phase; (2) releasing a list of all secret detention centres, their status and list of detainees; ... more ...
  • 16) Mar 19, 2018 16:37:53 GMT |  + Tamil Tiger Rebel Fighters Left to Drift After Sri Lanka’s Civil War
    The former combatants and experts News Deeply talked to shared the impression that the rehabilitation centers had failed at preparing former fighters to adequately reintegrate into society. “It’s clear that ex-combatants face an enormous number of problems and have done from the beginning, when they surrendered or were captured,” Alan Keenan, International Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka senior analyst, told News Deeply. more ...
  • 17) Mar 19, 2018 16:24:46 GMT |  + THE LEGACIES OF NATIONALISM AND RACISM IN SRI LANKA
    Racism has two inter-related meanings, the first is an idea and the second is a political practice. As an idea, it is an expression of a belief, shared by members of a particular ethnic community –majority or minority --, of its superiority over other communities, on the basis of race, culture, language, skin colour, and history. As a mode of political and social practice, racism is associated with acts of prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and intolerance. It produces state policies that institutionalize group inequality as well as the denial of human dignity to some citizens as communities. more ...
  • 18) Mar 19, 2018 16:21:35 GMT |  + War and peace in Sri Lanka
    Thirty years ago, as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), they found themselves in the thick of action over the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In February, a team of nine retired officers from the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force, some with their wives, returned to the island nation. “There was no sign of the war! The country has been transformed,” says Maj Gen (Retd.) Manavalan, who served in areas like Jaffna and Vavuniya as a Major. The retired officer fondly remembers having located the grave of Major Michael Louis, a fellow Indian officer, near Puliyankulam Railway Station, in the middle of dense forests. more ...
  • 19) Mar 19, 2018 16:17:35 GMT |  + GOTABHAYA’S LAST REFUGE
    ‘Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after, And the poetry he invented was easy to understand; He knew human folly like the back of his hand, And was greatly interested in armies and fleets; When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, And when he cried the little children died in the streets.’ Epitaph on A Tyrant - W.H. Auden When Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was remodelling the city of Colombo, he was guided by his own definition of perfection. It was a tyrannical perfection. He had his share of admirers. Affluent middle class matrons found the Independence Arcade delightfully dashing. The Dutch Hospital refurbished is à la mode to those who can afford it. more ...
  • 20) Mar 19, 2018 16:16:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s UPR Report to be adopted today
    Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report under the third cycle of the UPR, will be adopted at the 37th Session of the Council today (19). Sri Lanka will be represented at this session by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha. Meanwhile, the Office of the High Commissioner will present a written submission assessing the progress of implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka at the current session. more ...
  • 21) Mar 19, 2018 16:13:23 GMT |  + Three-minister delegation to 37th UNHRC session
    The Sri Lankan delegation to the 37th session of the UNHR Council will include Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana, Special Assignments Minister Sarath Amunugama and Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faiszer Musthapha, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. Issuing a statement, it said Minister Marapana will lead the delegation which will also include officials from the Ministry, the Attorney General’s Department, the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva. more ...
  • 22) Mar 19, 2016 11:32:40 GMT |  + “perpetrators responsible for enforced disappearances” - R. Sampanthan
    I think it would be useful if I were to give this House the definition of “enforced disappearances” as accepted by the United Nations. In accordance with the definition contained in the Preamble of the Declaration, “enforced disappearances” are only considered as such when the act in question is perpetrated by State actors or by private individuals or organised groups - for example, paramilitary groups - acting on behalf of or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government. more ...
  • 23) Mar 19, 2016 11:25:42 GMT |  + Maithripala Sirisena rules out foreign judges in Sri Lanka war crimes probe
    Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that he will not have international judges on the bench for probe on war crimes cases which have been allegedly committed by government troops and the LTTE. Addressing the National Law Conference in the sea side southern resort of Wadduwa yesterday, Sirisena said: "I will not agree to get foreign judges in to any kind of investigations into human rights violations allegations". He said he had the fullest confidence in the local judges and judicial administrators, so there was no need for international judges. more ...
  • 24) Mar 19, 2016 11:23:06 GMT |  + Sri Lanka will not allow military base for China; port city project given green light
    The six-month-old Sri Lankan coalition government has declared that it will under no circumstance permit a Chinese military base to be constructed in the country. The assurance came amid concerns from India thflagsat China is looking at constructing a military base in the island nation due to its strategic location. “There is absolutely no such thing and we assure that we will never permit anything like that in Sri Lanka,” Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva told Asia Times. more ...
  • 25) Mar 19, 2015 17:04:24 GMT |  + Investment in Sri Lanka: Storm in a port
    AT A cost of $1.4 billion, Colombo port city is Sri Lanka’s biggest foreign-financed project. The idea is to reclaim land from the sea and build fancy houses on it. The state-owned China Communications Construction Company won the contract from the ports ministry, run by the then president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The megaproject fits neatly into China’s plans for what it calls a new maritime Silk Road to increase trade across the Indian Ocean. But in Sri Lanka, the deal is hugely controversial. It has become a test of how far the new government can turn its back on the Rajapaksa era and how skilfully it can steer its foreign policy between Asia’s two giants, China and India.
  • 26) Mar 19, 2015 13:52:40 GMT |  + Hope to be heard during inquiry on alleged war crimes: Former Sri Lankan Army Chief Gen Fonseka
    Former Sri Lankan Army chief General Sarath Fonseka who demolished the LTTE said that he hopes to be heard when the inquiry on alleged war crimes happens otherwise it will be a one sided inquiry. He added that the commander cannot be punished for the crimes of individuals. more ...
  • 27) Mar 19, 2015 13:50:43 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority region CM hits out at his PM for saying Indian fishermen will be shot at
    After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jaffna, the Chief Minister of Tamil-majority region in Sri Lanka hit out at Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe for his controversial comments on shooting trespassing Indian fishermen. Talking exclusively to CNN-IBN CV Vigneswaran said, "That is not the way for a head of government to say to a friendly country. As far as the fishermen are concerned, all deep sea trawlers must be sent to Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea." more ...
  • 28) Mar 19, 2015 13:25:57 GMT |  + Up to US$10b in public funds stolen: Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka said Thursday it had traced more than a billion dollars in public funds allegedly stolen by members of the former regime to a bank in Dubai, and that the total amount taken could be as much as US$10 billion. Rajitha Senaratne, a spokesman for the new government, said investigators had traced US$1.06 billion to the National Bank of Dubai, although he did not reveal who held the accounts. Former president Mahinda Rajapakse and his immediate family are accused of siphoning large sums of money from the public coffers during his decade in power, which ended when he lost January elections. more ...
  • 29) Mar 19, 2015 13:22:41 GMT |  + Buddhist monks from India, Sri Lanka hold dialogue on spiritual traditions
    Buddhist monks from India and Sri Lanka started a two-day dialogue in New Delhi beginning on Wednesday to discuss their respective spiritual traditions, values. The monks held detailed discussion on several topics ranging from the numbers of standardised offences in the code of conduct of the ordained Buddhist monk, known as 'Bhikkhu', and his lifestyle. Approximately, 50 monks from the two countries participated in the first day of the dialogue.
  • 30) Mar 19, 2015 13:22:00 GMT |  + Former Sri Lanka army chief calls on India, Pak to resolve Kashmir issue
    Former Sri Lanka army chief General Sarath Fonseka on Thursday urged India and Pakistan to speedily resolve the Kashmir issue, adding that countries of the region should start behaving like neighbours. " India and Pakistan must solve the Jammu and Kashmir issue and put an end to the misunderstanding, mistrust and suspicion or it will continue forever. Once solved, they will be able to look at the global issues better," General Fonseka said at the International Counter Terrorism Conference here.
  • 31) Mar 19, 2014 19:23:48 GMT |  + Sri Lankan government amplifies its ‘dirty tactics’ during UN session
    The Sri Lankan government’s ongoing dirty tactics to silence and smear dissidents are a brazen attempt to deflect criticism as the country faces fresh scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Amnesty International said today. The Council is due to vote next week on a resolution calling for an international investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka during the protracted and bloody internal armed conflict with the LTTE (Tamil Tigers). Since the end of the conflict in May 2009, the government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pursued a crackdown on its critics.
  • 32) Mar 19, 2014 15:01:10 GMT |  + Sri Lanka bows to international pressure, releases rights activists
    Under international pressure ahead of voting on a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, the authorities here have released two leading rights activists after their detention under anti-terrorism laws. Father Praveen Mahesan, a Catholic priest, and Ruki Fernando of the Colombo-based INFORM advocacy group were arrested on Sunday in the former LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi in the north as they met Tamils who lost loved ones during the separatist conflict. more ...
  • 33) Mar 19, 2014 14:56:18 GMT |  + Are Sri Lanka's 'anti-terror' arrests an attempt to intimidate activists?
    A prominent Sri Lankan rights activist controversially detained by his government under anti-terror laws says he believes his arrest was partly spurred by an international push to independently investigate the country's human rights record following decades of civil war. Ruki Fernando, one of his country's leading human rights activists, was arrested late Sunday night with fellow activist Rev. Praveen Mahesan, a Roman Catholic priest, in the former Tamil stronghold of Kilinochchi in the country's north. more ...
  • 34) Mar 19, 2014 14:53:39 GMT |  + Sri Lanka frees arrested human rights activists
    Sri Lankan authorities have released two prominent human rights activists who were detained on Sunday under anti-terrorism laws. The arrests of Catholic priest Father Praveen Mahesan and Ruki Fernando had provoked domestic and international criticism. The authorities said they had been held under suspicion of fostering communal disharmony. Both men had been working with families of disappeared people. more ...
  • 35) Mar 19, 2014 14:52:11 GMT |  + UNHRC members under US pressure on resolution: Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka on Wednesday claimed that most of the 47 member countries of the UN Human Rights Council are under pressure to back a tough US-sponsored resolution that has called for an international probe into alleged rights abuses during the country's war with Tamil Tiger rebels. "Countries have told us they do not want to pursue Sri Lanka's case. But they want to be seen with the US. Some of them have defence pacts with the US and wider trade links," External affairs minister G L Peiris said.
  • 36) Mar 19, 2014 14:39:38 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s Northern Province to revive talks with Rajapaksa
    The Tamil National Alliance, which controls the Northern Province, said they were not averse to reviving talks if no pre-conditions were attached. Sri Lanka’s Northern Province has unanimously agreed to revive the stalled direct talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to find a political solution to the problems of the ethnic Tamils. The Tamil National Alliance, which controls the Northern Province, said they were not averse to reviving talks if no pre-conditions were attached. more ...
  • 37) Mar 19, 2014 3:54:15 GMT |  + Sri Lanka, Admired From Above
    Jeff Powell, decked out in shorts and open-toe sandals, doesn’t want anything to do with the big airlines. The 34-year-old Canadian says he is more than happy flying for Cinnamon Air, Sri Lanka’s only scheduled seaplane service. Mr. Powell, who was a pilot in the Maldives last year when he was hired by the four-plane Sri Lankan start-up, says that the 440-kilometer, or 275-mile, long island off India’s southern coast is the perfect spot for the kind of short flights that seaplanes can provide. “This is the fun part. Nobody does this anymore,” Mr. Powell said before asking one of the central questions of the seaplane experience: “Do you want to go inland — over the mountains — at about 5,000 feet, or follow the coast at 500?” more ...
  • 38) Mar 19, 2013 22:44:28 GMT |  + DMK withdraws support to UPA, says no reconsideration
    The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Tuesday night withdrew support from the UPA government over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and ruled out any reconciliation, a move that makes the government vulnerable despite its assertions of having a Parliamentary majority. A five-member DMK delegation headed by T R Baalu handed over the letter by party supremo M Karunanidhi to President Pranab Mukherjee at 10.30 pm at Rashtrapati Bhavan withdrawing support of its 18 Lok Sabha MPs to the UPA government. more ...
  • 39) Mar 19, 2013 22:43:26 GMT |  + As DMK Fumes, Tamil Nadu Boils
    Thousands of students across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have launched protests, including hunger strikes, to press India on Sri Lanka. Specifically, they want India to move a resolution in a United Nation’s human rights forum later this month against its southern island neighbor for Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes against Tamils. more ...
  • 40) Mar 19, 2013 22:34:23 GMT |  + UPA now hostage to Mayawati, Mulayam as DMK pulls out
    DMK on Tuesday withdrew from the UPA to pressure the Manmohan Singh government to harden its stand against Sri Lanka for alleged human rights violations of Tamils, enhancing the ruling coalition's vulnerability to political calculations of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati but without creating a real crisis. more ...
  • 41) Mar 19, 2013 22:31:11 GMT |  + Lankan crisis: Does DMK matter more than diplomacy?
    The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the second biggest constituent of the ruling government, severed ties with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on Tuesday, but the move posed no immediate threat to the minority government, which said it is 'stable and will continue to stay in power'. The M Karunanidhi-led DMK, which, for days had been threatening to pull out from the UPA in protest against government not taking up its concerns in the proposed UN resolution against Sri Lanka, said its five ministers in the Union Ministry would also tender resignations by Wednesday. more ...
  • 42) Mar 19, 2013 22:26:41 GMT |  + Jolted, Congress ups rhetoric on Sri Lankan Tamils
    Not anticipating that the DMK MPs would hand over a formal letter of withdrawal from the government as early as Tuesday night to President Pranab Mukherjee, the Congress managers had worked all evening to draft a resolution on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, to be moved in Parliament, in a bid to dissuade the southern party from quitting the government. Taken by surprise, senior Congress leaders gathered shortly after at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence to review the situation: those present included Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, Parliamentary Minister Kamal Nath and Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid. more ...
  • 43) Mar 19, 2013 22:22:33 GMT |  + The Sri Lanka question: India will have to balance human rights with strategic and political compulsions
    Last week, Indian TV channels claimed the world premiere of the Callum Macrae film No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, depicting the last 138 days of the war that ended on May 19, 2009. But the horrific images were first shown on March 1 this year in Geneva on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting. That is fitting given that the UNHRC will, on March 22, vote on a US-sponsored resolution which includes allegations of war excesses committed by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) resulting — according to UN estimates — in nearly 40,000 civilians deaths.
  • 44) Mar 19, 2013 17:12:09 GMT |  + DMK leaders in Rashtrapati Bhavan to hand in resignations
    DMK leaders, led by TR Baalu, have reached the Rashtrapati Bhavan to hand in their resignations. They will be meeting Pranab Mukherjee shortly. “We are withdrawing support” TR Baalu tells CNN-IBN and says that he cannot comment on bringing a no confident motion in Parliament against UPA. more ...
  • 45) Mar 19, 2013 14:33:32 GMT |  + Sun TV, SpiceJet shares plunge after DMK pulls out of UPA
    Sun Group stocks - Sun TV and SpiceJet - tumbled as much as 6 per cent on Tuesday as sentiment turned bearish after the government's key ally DMK withdrew its support. DMK withdrew its support to the UPA and pulled out its five central ministers over the issue of alleged human rights violations of Tamils in Sri Lanka but the Congress-led government said there was no threat to its stability. Sun TV owner Kanalinithi Maran is the grand nephew of DMK chief M Karunanidhi. more ...
  • 46) Mar 19, 2013 13:04:40 GMT |  + The Rochdale Red Cross worker who continues to haunt Sri Lanka
    Everyone we spoke to explained that when politicians are implicated, justice is kicked into the long grass. “Politicians here get away with everything, they’re completely untouchable,” was a view I heard time and again. It was hard not to conclude they were out of control. In the 48 hours I spent there, another two British tourists were hospitalized by an attack from a politician. I heard shocking stories of tourists from all over the world being subject to sexual attacks, and a local newspaper ran a cartoon referring to hundreds of Sri Lankan families having lost loved ones to “violence unleashed by political goons”. more ...
  • 47) Mar 19, 2013 13:00:21 GMT |  + From Swamy to Sri Sri, no one is buying the DMK ‘bluff’
    Cho Ramaswamy has said that Karunanidhi’s decision to pull out of the UPA alliance was all about political compulsions, because the label of “Champion of the Tamils” was slipping from under his feet. “Jayalithaa has stolen it from him and he wantd it back. This decision has nothing to do with the UPA, nothing to do with the UNHCR, nothing to do with Eelam and nothing to do with Sri Lanka”, he said, in a discussion on CNN-IBN.
  • 48) Mar 19, 2013 12:45:50 GMT |  + Can India do a Pakistan to Lanka?
    Even as the DMK withdrew from the UPA on Tuesday with party chief M Karunanidhi leaving a window open saying he was ready to reconsider coming back if the UPA moves a resolution condemning the 'war crimes' and 'genocide' in Sri Lanka during its protracted war with the LTTE, the Congress core group met in Delhi to chalk out a plan to placate the Dravidian ally. The core group comprised Prime Minster Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram and Sushil Kumar Shinde. more ...
  • 49) Mar 19, 2013 12:42:27 GMT |  + World Tamils want Jayalalithaa to bring CHOGM to Chennai
    Reiterating their faith in Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa to support their long struggle for justice in the face of physical violence and political discrimination by the Sri Lankan government, the world Tamils have appealed to her to pressure the UPA government to bring the November meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) to Chennai from Colombo. “Many, including the Global Tamil Forum, humbly request chief minister Madam Jayalalithaa to offer Chennai as a viable alternative to Colombo to host the CHOGM which is due to take place in November 2013”, said the London-based GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran. more ...
  • 50) Mar 19, 2013 10:58:29 GMT |  + Militarisation as panacea: development and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka
    The creeping militarization of Sri Lanka which followed the end of armed conflict in 2009 has now, four years later, become normalised and entrenched. During the years of the war the impact of militarization was felt mainly in the North and East. However, following the end of the war, systematic militarization has been taking place throughout the country. Its impact on the lives of those in conflict-affected areas is visible and severe. Driving through Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya gives the lie to repeated denials by the government there is a heavy military presence in the North, particularly in comparison to other parts of the country.
  • 51) Mar 19, 2013 10:51:17 GMT |  + DMK quits government over Sri Lanka issue
    The DMK this morning announced that it is exiting the ruling coalition; its five ministers will quit the cabinet. The party said its decision is based on the Centre's refusal to take a strong stand against Sri Lanka at this week's session of the UN's top human rights body in Geneva more ...
  • 52) Mar 19, 2013 10:42:49 GMT |  + Sonia 'anguished' over denial of rights to Sri Lankan Tamils
    Congress President Sonia Gandhi [ Images ] on Tuesday demanded an "independent and credible" inquiry into the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka even as she refused to comment on key United Progressive Alliance partner the Dravida Munnetra Kahzagam withdrawing support to the bgovernment at the Centre. Voicing her pain and anguish over the "denial of legitimate political rights" to Sri Lankan Tamils, Gandhi dwelt at length on the issue at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting in New Delhi. more ...
  • 53) Mar 19, 2013 10:41:06 GMT |  + India key ally DMK pulls out of government
    A key regional ally has pulled out of India's ruling coalition over the government's failure to condemn alleged atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils. The DMK party's 18 MPs will not support the Congress party-led government. Five MPs who are ministers in the government will also resign from the cabinet. A senior minister said the government was "stable" and would remain in power. The DMK is the main opposition party in the southern state of Tamil Nadu which has a large population of Tamils. more ...
  • 54) Mar 19, 2013 10:35:56 GMT |  + Sri Lanka looks to set up new commercial centre
    Sri Lanka is looking to develop a new commercial capital in the southeast of the country. A new international airport was opened on Monday in the district of Hambantota. It's an area the government is hoping to turn into a tax-free zone for aviation-related industries. The BBC's Charles Haviland reports from the opening of Mattala International Airport. more ...
  • 55) Mar 19, 2013 10:35:21 GMT |  + Has India watered down UN resolution against SL yet again?
    The Indian government seems to have been successful in watering down the proposed second US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. The revised US draft, which was tabled on Monday, is much softer and “there is a lot of evidence to clearly show the imprint of Indian influence,” said G Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive of Amnesty International in India. more ...
  • 56) Mar 19, 2013 10:31:52 GMT |  + Who said what on DMK pullout: ‘I think Karunanidhi is scared of Jayalalitha’
    DMK chief M Karunanidhi today quit the Congress-led UPA and its government expressing dismay on India’s stand over Sri Lanka at the United National Human Rights Council (UNHRC). “Continuing in this government will be an injustice to the Sri Lankan Tamils,” the former Tamil Nadu chief minister told reporters. Karunanidhi said the UPA government had not only refused to consider the DMK’s views on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC but had quietly watered down the resolution. He also ruled out extending outside (legislative) support to the UPA.
  • 57) Mar 19, 2013 10:29:35 GMT |  + Despite DMK, watering down of resolution on Sri Lanka underway
    Despite the dramatic pull out of DMK from the government, watering down of the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka is underway. India is constantly negotiating with the USA so that a draft can be arrived at which will be more acceptable to the Sri Lankan government and save it from acute embarrassment.According to reports, the revised version of the resolution is a much watered down version of the original. Under rules, amendments can be moved till the last minute by the USA, the original mover. At this point, the draft resolution "Encourages" and not "Urges" Sri Lanka to allow an "independent international probe".
  • 58) Mar 19, 2013 10:27:19 GMT |  + Kollywood’s anti-Sri Lanka hunger strike (Stills)
    The film fraternity of the Tamil film industry – Kollywood has joined the warring student community of Tamil Nadu in their anti-Sri Lanka protests that are sweeping the State of Tamil Nadu on a massive scale. The college students of Tamil Nadu from many districts like Coimbatore,Tirunelveli, Tiruchy,Thanjavur etc have joined their hands to lend their voices and support for the Sri Lankan Tamils. Professional colleges too have joined the anti-Sri Lanka battle including IIT-Madras. Not to be left behind, directors, lyricists,artists of Kollywood have joined the massive stir to express their solidarity with the student community of Tamil Nadu. more ...
  • 59) Mar 19, 2013 10:26:27 GMT |  + DMK pulls out of UPA; Chidambaram says govt is stable, will stay in power
    Downplaying the DMK decision to pull out of the Congress-led UPA coalition in protest against the government's position on a US-backed United Nations resolution against Sri Lanka, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the government is stable and will continue to stay in power. "The government is stable, the government will continue to stay in power," Chidambaram said. He further said, "Karunanidhi is a senior leader; we have taken note of his statement. We respect his statement. DMK requests are under consideration."
  • 60) Mar 19, 2013 10:24:21 GMT |  + Sri Lanka says no cancellation of defence dialogue with India
    Sri Lanka on Tuesday dismissed media reports about cancellation of its annual bilateral defence talks with India, where the government is facing pressure from Tamil Nadu-based parties to vote in favour of the US-backed resolution against Colombo at the UN Human Rights Council. A government source here on the condition of anonymity said the talks were to be held in Colombo from 23 to 25 March.He said the official reason given by Indian authorities was that the Defence Minister was required to remain in New Delhi at the time to answer any queries in Parliament.
  • 61) Mar 19, 2013 10:22:17 GMT |  + Sonia demands credible inquiry into human rights violations in Lanka
    Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday demanded an "independent and credible" inquiry into the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka even as she refused to comment on key UPA ally DMK withdrawing support to the government at the Centre. Voicing her pain and anguish over the "denial of legitimate political rights" to Sri Lankan Tamils, Gandhi dwelt at length on the issue at the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting.
  • 62) Mar 19, 2013 10:20:55 GMT |  + DMK quits UPA over Sri Lanka, government moves on both its demands
    The DMK has pulled out of the Congress-led UPA coalition in protest against the government's position on a US-backed United Nations resolution on alleged war crimes carried out during Sri Lanka's civil war. more ...
  • 63) Mar 19, 2013 0:28:28 GMT |  + Poor Sri Lankans face firewood health risk
    Hundreds of experts from around the world are gathering in the Cambodian capital to discuss health problems linked to the use of firewood for cooking. The use of firewood is common practice for many poor people across the world, but research shows that inhaling the harmful fumes emitted could cause lung and heart diseases. In Sri Lanka, where nearly 80 percent of the population does not have a better alternative than firewood stoves due to their economic situation, many die from breathing in the smoke. more ...
  • 64) Mar 19, 2012 21:10:30 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Rights Probe Gains Force
    U.S. officials said they gained a key ally in their effort to push Sri Lanka to allow an independent investigation of government atrocities carried out at the climax of the country's 26-year civil war against the Tamil Tigers in 2009. Eileen Donahoe, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, said the council this week is set to accept a U.S. resolution to that affect during a meeting in Geneva that ends Friday, despite Sri Lanka's attempt to block it.
  • 65) Mar 19, 2012 19:02:47 GMT |  + Jayalalithaa slams PM's statement on Sri Lankan war crimes
    Dismissing as "non-committal" and "futile" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on India's stand on the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHRC, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said it made no reference to alleged human rights violations by Colombo. "He didn't make any reference to human rights violations. He has not said Sri Lanka will be condemned for these. This is a non-committal and futile reply," Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said reacting to Singh's statement in the Lok Sabha today. more ...
  • 66) Mar 19, 2012 18:07:36 GMT |  + War widows 'forced into prostitution'
    Women who have lost their husbands and sons in Sri Lanka's decades-long conflict have been forced to turn to prostitution, say women's rights activists. Geetha Lakmini of World Fisherfolk Solidarity Movement said over 85,000 women were widowed in the north and east after the war. "One village in Madhu area is infamous for prostitution because they have no male family members, no jobs and there is no other way of survival," she told journalists in Colombo. "The only way to feed their children is to sell their body." more ...
  • 67) Mar 19, 2012 15:40:24 GMT |  + U.N. Panel Seeks Vote on Carnage in Sri Lanka
    Three years later, diplomats and council observers say the challenge has grown more complex. As the Arab Spring unfolded over the past year, support for resolutions against abusive regimes and the impunity of their rulers has grown, analysts say. more ...
  • 68) Mar 19, 2012 14:37:48 GMT |  + Thank heavens for foreign pressure
    Why are folks protesting against international pressure; shouldn’t they be demanding more of it? Whichever way the Geneva vote goes, a new scenario has emerged. Isn’t that a good thing? The Geneva resolution mandates the UNHRC and “special mandate holders” to provide “advice and technical assistance” to implement the measures outlined in the resolution. This will institutionalize the involvement of such agencies which is essential as otherwise GoSL will flout it from day one. People like Vasu need to think of this before behaving like buffoons on the streets of Colombo.
  • 69) Mar 19, 2012 13:07:37 GMT |  + Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa at prestigious India Today Conclave
    Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa was an invitee panelist at the prestigious India Today Conclave 2012 held in New Delhi from 16-17 March 2012. The India Today Conclave which is held annually has seen the participation of leading Indian and international personalities such as Shah Rukh Khan, Mohamed ElBaradei, Sarah Palin, Dominique De Villepin, Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, former US Vice-President and Nobel Peace Laureate Al Gore at its sessions, among others, in the recent past. more ...
  • 70) Mar 19, 2012 12:47:57 GMT |  + TNA welcomes Indian move
    TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senadirajah commended Indias support towards the US led resolution at the UNHRC. “This decision taken by the government of India is most welcome because their role is very important in the efforts of national reconciliation and a lasting political solution for the ethnic problem” he said. “ India is the biggest player in the region and it has a major role to play in supporting efforts of lasting peace in this country. Senadirajah said that TNA is not against the country and the support for the move made by India is due to the impact it will have towards reconciliation.
  • 71) Mar 19, 2012 12:26:29 GMT |  + In response to Channel 4.. .
    In response to the Latest Channel 4 video title ‘Killing fields war crimes unpunished’, the defense ministry released a documentary titled “ Shadows of terror” which highlight responds to the allegations documented by Channel
  • 72) Mar 19, 2012 12:18:41 GMT |  + UN resolution: AIADMK calls for bandh in Puducherry on Mar 21
    Opposition AIADMK has called for a dawn-to-dusk bandh in the Union Territory of Puducherry on March 21 to urge the Centre to support the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes at the UN Human Rights Council meeting at Geneva. AIADMK Puducherry unit secretary A Anbalagan, MLA, announced this at a press meet on Monday.
  • 73) Mar 19, 2012 9:30:43 GMT |  + UN resolution on war crimes: India to vote against Sri Lanka
    In a victory for the DMK and the AIADMK, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said that the government intended to vote in favour of the US-led resolution against Sri lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but the final draft of the resolution was awaited. more ...
  • 74) Mar 19, 2012 9:24:38 GMT |  + Activists urge India to vote against Sri Lanka
    A group of Indian activists has urged the government to vote in Geneva in favour of a US-backed resolution attacking Sri Lanka over "war crimes". "While the government of Sri Lanka has taken some steps towards strengthening peace, there are specific issues where there has been no tangible progress," the activists said in a statement. The statement noted that much of the resolution at the Human Rights Council (HRC) had ideas that India had voiced earlier including those related to national reconciliation following the end of the war in 2009.
  • 75) Mar 19, 2012 9:00:05 GMT |  + DMK threatens to withdraw from government over US resolution on Lankan 'war crimes'
    The DMK today will keep a close eye on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's reply to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in the Lok Sabha. This amid reports that the DMK's high level committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss India's stand on the US resolution against Sri Lanka at a United National Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva. Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi had asked the Centre to support the US resolution on war crimes charges against Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 76) Mar 19, 2012 8:50:59 GMT |  + Geneva meet: rallies galore in Sri Lanka, not all altruistic though
    “Let us not lose the victory achieved by war heroes by sacrificing their lives” read one placard at a pro-government rally soon after the draft of the U.S.-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, was available in the public domain. That rally was on February 27. Since then Colombo, and many parts of Sri Lanka, have witnessed rallies, some on their own, some encouraged by the government. In fact, it's protest season and every community and organisation, which depend or want the government to do them a favour, are falling over one another to join in.
  • 77) Mar 19, 2011 19:40:58 GMT |  + Airstrikes begin on Libya targets
    French warplanes have hit four tanks used by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi on the outskirts of the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, on a day when opposition fighters in the city reported coming under constant artillery and mortar fire. The action marks the first international military move against the Libyan leader, and it comes a day after the UN Security Council authorised a no-fly zone over the North African country. more ...
  • 78) Mar 19, 2011 19:39:03 GMT |  + The Diaspora Factor
    Almost two years since the end of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, the government claims that much is being done to establish peace and development in the country, particularly in the North and the East. Among the efforts, the state says, is to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the international Tamil community. Despite the government having expressed optimism with regard to the success of this initiative, recent diaspora actions have implied otherwise – including lawsuits filed against both President Rajapaksa, and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Palitha Kohona. more ...
  • 79) Mar 19, 2011 19:35:10 GMT |  + Loyalty, not level of threat, eligibility for VIP security squad
    Last week a speeding vehicle, in which the wife of a deputy minister was traveling, ran over a pedestrian killing him and injuring three others in Avissawella. 13-1 Three weeks back, a Defender backup vehicle of the security entourage of the wife of the IGP, Mahinda Balasuriya knocked down a motorcyclist, killing him on the spot and injuring five others, including three civilians. The IGP’s wife was returning after offering a pooja at Kataragama. The driver of the vehicle was produced before court and was remanded. Speeding VIP security squads which terrorize the public, forcing them to jump into the ditch to save their precious lives are Sri Lanka’s version of Blackwaters.
  • 80) Mar 19, 2011 19:34:43 GMT |  + VVIP Vehicle Kills Another Youth
    Another young man was killed by a speeding VVIP vehicle in Avissawella last Sunday (13). The latest tragedy comes two weeks after a similar incident in Pelmadulla, claimed the life of a young boy who was killed by a speeding backup vehicle provided to the IGP’s wife. This time the victim was 28 year old Kurupadam Jackson. The Prado used by Rasika Jayasekara (who is the wife of the Deputy Minister of Power and Energy’) crashed into a three-wheeler killing Jackson on the spot and severely injuring three others. more ...
  • 81) Mar 19, 2011 19:32:20 GMT |  + Vanished Without A Trace
    Family members of a Swedish girl claim that she has vanished without trace from the beach town of Mirissa, where she was staying. What’s more, they say that she was assaulted at least once and held captive in a house. Twenty eight year old Marie Jonsson Sillén last contacted her family on the social networking site Facebook saying she had escaped from the house with a friend. She said that she was going to the police for help and would then fly back to Sweden. However, her family now suspects the message was not written by her. She has not been heard from since. more ...
  • 82) Mar 19, 2011 19:24:21 GMT |  + Chinese aircraft firm also gets Galle Face land
    A Chinese aircraft manufacturing company will be the second of three successful bidders for star class hotels to be built on the area around the Galle Face Green to be vacated by the Ministry of Defence and Army Headquarters, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the Sunday Times. This follows the sale of a six-acre property to build a multifunction complex comprising a classy hotel and a shopping mall, adjoining another six-acre property where the Shangri-La hotel chain is putting up a hotel complex.
  • 83) Mar 19, 2011 19:23:10 GMT |  + To hell with the Foreign Service!
    Senior diplomats stress that the government must ideally invest resources into improving, revitalizing and strengthening the diplomatic corps. The country needs a professional service that works in sync to promote its interests abroad. But Sri Lanka today has a problem. The government treats its diplomatic machinery solely as a means to provide plush rides for henchmen and their progeny. Our missions abroad are not seen as having a job to do. Instead, they are places you send your friends to so that they may enjoy the perks of living abroad on taxpayers’ account.
  • 84) Mar 19, 2011 12:46:50 GMT |  + “We are with the Tamils and I am very concerned about Sri Lanka” – Sonia Gandhi
    In an opportunity to speak with Mrs Gandhi following her Commonwealth lecture, at the reception for invited guests, senior members of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) raised issues regarding the plight of Tamil women in Sri Lanka. Mrs. Gandhi said that she is very concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. She said that the Congress lead coalition government has asserted their serious concerns to the Government of Sri Lanka. She said that Tamils from the war torn parts of Sri Lanka must be rehabilitated without further delay.
  • 85) Mar 19, 2011 12:43:36 GMT |  + Jaffna and the Vanni today: The reality beneath the rhetoric
    The drive along the A9 from Vavuniya to Killinochchi is brought to a temporary halt at the ‘exit-entry point’ at what used to be the forward defence line at Omanthai. On the side of the dusty dirt road, in a series of sheds, military personnel are stationed with the sole purpose of ensuring that both locals and international staff members of non-governmental and international non-governmental organisations and even UN agencies, possess the required clearances issued by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to cross into the North. more ...
  • 86) Mar 19, 2011 1:08:58 GMT |  + In Sri Lanka, seeking to square the circle
    India made an unsuccessful effort to resolve the ‘cohabitation' crisis in Sri Lanka between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe late in 2003 by suggesting that the Defence portfolio be split so that he could have effective control over military affairs in the north and east as he remained in charge of the stalled peace process. Indian High Commissioner Nirupam Sen's suggestion did not convince Mr. Wickremesinghe, from whose Cabinet the Defence, Interior and Mass Commuication portfolios were taken away by Ms. Kumaratunga in November 2003. more ...
  • 87) Mar 19, 2011 1:07:11 GMT |  + Mandate for federal solution: TNA
    By voting overwhelmingly for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at Thursday’s election, the Tamil people in the North and East have demanded a political solution on federal lines, a party spokesman said yesterday. TNA front-liner Suresh Premachandran said his party had won 12 local bodies in these two provinces. “At election rallies, we asked our people for a mandate to fight for a federal solution. We have received a clear-cut majority vote now. We received similar results in these areas at previous elections too,” he said.
  • 88) Mar 19, 2010 19:00:07 GMT |  + Q&A: Sri Lanka Remains Defiant of U.N. Chief
    The Sri Lankan government continues to challenge U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's right to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on the human rights situation - euphemistically called "accountability issues" – following the end of a protracted conflict against a secessionist insurgency widely considered a terrorist organisation. "I am convinced it is well within my power as secretary-general of the United Nations to ask such a body to furnish me with their advice of this nature," Ban told news reporters early this week. "This does not in any way infringe on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka," Ban explained, responding to his critics. more ...
  • 89) Mar 19, 2010 18:58:53 GMT |  + Wedding bells in Welikada prison
    A convicted prisoner in Sri Lanka has married his bride in a high-security prison, with senior prison officials and some politicians on hand to give their blessing. Wedding ceremony Ceremony at welikada prison The ceremony was organised by the prison superintendent. The man, Ramiah Ravindran, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2004 after four years in jail. His supporters say his case is typical of those convicted under anti-terrorism legislation which they say is draconian. more ...
  • 90) Mar 19, 2010 18:58:01 GMT |  + No foreign monitors during general elections: Lankan Election Commission
    Sri Lanka's Election Commission has turned down the demand for presence of foreign poll observers at the counting centres for the upcoming parliamentary polls. The demand was made by some opposition parties including United National Party (UNP) which said that such a presence would ensure accuracy in election results . The opposition request comes in the backdrop of allegations of malpractices in the vote count for Presidential elections. Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake did not outright reject the proposal but said that the political parties should have made such a request on the nominations day.
  • 91) Mar 19, 2010 18:56:45 GMT |  + Fonseka spoke of India threat: Rajapaksa
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an interview said that post-LTTE defeat, Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had asked army strength to be increased by three lakh on plea that the island nation faced military threat from India. “Do you know he (Fonseka) wanted to increase the size of the army to 450,000?” the President said in an interview to the Straight Times of Singapore on Thursday. “He said there are external threats. So I asked, who he was talking about? And he said, ‘India’. So what can 450,000 do against 2.5 million (India’s armed forces strength)? I told him, let me worry about external forces,” Rajapaksa said.
  • 92) Mar 19, 2010 18:54:52 GMT |  + Colombo police reaches out to Tamil community
    Police stations in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, have opened special units to take down statements in the country's main minority language, Tamil. So far, Sinhala has been the language overwhelmingly predominant in the police force. Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans had to rely on a friend to translate their complaints into Sinhala. The move has been hailed as a small but vital step in a country which has a lingering ethnic divide. Analysts say Sri Lanka's decades-long insurrection and war arose from this divide. more ...
  • 93) Mar 19, 2010 9:49:47 GMT |  + Human rights situations in Sri Lanka and the Philippines require action by the Council
    Concerning Sri Lanka, following the end of the conflict, the ALRC has witnessed a serious clampdown on human rights defenders and on the freedom of expression. We are deeply concerned by recent reports of an alleged hit-list comprising Sri Lankan human rights defenders and journalists. We are also gravely concerned by reported threats of arbitrary arrest of prominent defender J.C. Weliamuna, the Chairperson of Transparency International Sri Lanka. Intervention with the government of Sri Lanka is also vital in order to halt the country's march down the road to autocracy, perpetual impunity and the abandonment of human rights.
  • 94) Mar 19, 2010 9:47:07 GMT |  + Tensions between UN and Sri Lanka over war crimes
    A diplomatic row has erupted between the Sri Lankan government and the United Nations over plans by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, announced earlier this month, to establish an expert panel to investigate human right violations during the last stages of the country’s long running civil war between the military and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The government and the military relentlessly pursued the war and were responsible for widespread civilian casualties through indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment. In the final five months of the war to May 2009, the UN estimated that at least 7,000 Tamil civilians were killed. Other estimates put the figure as high as 20,000.
  • 95) Mar 19, 2010 2:02:53 GMT |  + “1978 Constitution places me above the Law” - Sri Lanka's President
    “Republic Constitution of 1978 brought by the then J. R. Jayawardene government places me above the Law. Accordingly judiciary cannot take action against me. The consititution empowers me to punish any soldier of the Sri Lanka Army who works against the country,” Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse said Tuesday while addressing an election rally in support of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollogama held at Kotte, according media reports from Colombo. “President Mahinda Rajapakse is very firm in this regard. The President who defeated LTTE once and for all is not ready to rule the country on the instructions of the UN Secretary General,” he added.
  • 96) Mar 19, 2010 2:00:36 GMT |  + SL proposes to appoint expert panel on Eelam war infringement on sovereignty
    Sri Lanka on Thursday reiterated that the proposed move by the UN Secretary General to appoint a Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability issues relating to Sri Lanka on the Eelam War IV between the security forces and the LTTE is an infringement on the sovereignty of an independent Member State. At a news conference here Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama insisted that these issues can be dealt with by Sri Lanka that already has full fledged local mechanisms like the judiciary, commissions of inquiry to undertake such inquiries.
  • 97) Mar 19, 2010 1:56:00 GMT |  + It’s inch-by-inch for Indian deminers in Sri Lanka
    “There is a saying among deminers,’’ the Indian official said. “It takes $3 to plant a mine and $300 to clear it.’’ Money is just a part of it; deminers have to have more than their share of patience. The Indians working for Sarvatra, a New Delhi-based NGO that has been carrying out demining projects in parts of Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north, should know about it. The 100-odd Indians, mostly former army personnel, have been working here since 2003 — along with another Indian demining NGO, Horizon — and painstakingly clearing mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) like live grenades and IEDs.
  • 98) Mar 19, 2010 1:53:52 GMT |  + On Sri Lanka, UN Puts Spin on "No Delay," Jabs at NAM, Will Fonseka Meet Pascoe?
    Amid charges by the UN that the Non Aligned Movement's letter defending Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa government was not agreed to by all NAM member, notably India, the UN is insisting there is no contradiction between its statements about a panel to advise Ban Ki-moon about approaches to war crimes in Sri Lanka. On March 18, Inner City Press asked Ban's Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq about his quote that the panel would not be established very soon and Ban's March 16 statements that there would be "no delay." Senior Ban advisors have told Inner City Press that they are mad at the NAM letter, claiming that India for example did not agree to the letter.
  • 99) Mar 19, 2009 23:52:48 GMT |  + Response to the Jaffna Bishop Rev Thomas Savundaranayagam’s Statement on IDPs
    The Bishop of Jaffna Rev Thomas Savundaranayagam’s recent statement on the Internally Displaced People (IDP) (Tamil Canadian 13.03.09) and the letter signed by all the Bishops from the northeast of Sri Lanka are both insensitive and very disappointing. There are complex issues involved in these statements. First of all, the Bishop should have asked the Government (GoSL) to halt the attacks on innocent civilians including children, whom the GoSL treat as combatants, in order to allow much needed humanitarian aid into Vanni. Secondly, the Catholic Church in the northeast should advocate for the re-settlement of the 330,000 IDPs who are trapped between the aggressive devil and the deep blue Indian Ocean, along the beaches of Mullaitivu.
  • 100) Mar 19, 2009 17:38:37 GMT |  + Religious visit the refugees, prisoners in the camps
    Children abandoned and separated from their parents, injured people without assistance, refugees held prisoners in the camps, dramatic health conditions. Nine members of the Conference of Major Religious Superiors (CMRS) have written to the bishops' conference of Sri Lanka about what they saw during their three-day visit to the refugees in Vavuniya. From February 26-28, they visited one of the areas hit hardest by the twenty-year conflict between the army and Tamil rebels, talking with the refugees, the people who assist them, and the local clergy. more ...
  • 101) Mar 19, 2009 17:01:48 GMT |  + Sri Lanka To Protest To Countries Allowing Pro-Rebel Rallies
    Sri Lanka will lodge strong protests with countries where demonstrators have show support for the island's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, a minister said Thursday. Sri Lanka's Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said pro-rebel sympathizers have been staging demonstrations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S., using Tiger propaganda. He said Sri Lanka had asked its diplomatic missions in these countries to lodge protests over the pro-rebel activities, which he described as "supporting terrorism."
  • 102) Mar 19, 2009 16:57:42 GMT |  + EU Offers More Aid To Tackle Crisis In Northern Sri Lanka
    The European Commission Thursday announced an additional EUR3 million funding for the Red Cross to help tackle the growing humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka's strife-torn north. "I am appalled by the humanitarian catastrophe in the north of Sri Lanka. Thousands of civilians trapped in the conflict zone have died and more are dying every day, not only from repeated shelling but also from lack of food, water and medical care," said E.U. Development Commissioner Louis Michel. "Only minimal humanitarian assistance is being allowed into the area. There is an immediate and urgent need to act, to save lives and prevent further human tragedy," he added in a statement.
  • 103) Mar 19, 2009 16:45:32 GMT |  + On Sri Lanka in UN Council, China Blocks March 26 Meeting, Vote May Be Called
    Non-permanent Council members including Austria, Mexico and Costa Rica have requested the meeting for March 26, under the heading "Other Matters" since Sri Lanka is still not a formal item on the Council's agenda. These members thought they had agreement from other Council members, but now China is "vehemently" opposing any discussion in the Council of the plight of civilians in the Sri Lankan conflict. China argues that it is "merely an internal matter," and not a threat to international peace and security. more ...
  • 104) Mar 19, 2009 16:41:17 GMT |  + As Sri Lanka Says No to Conditions, UN Says It Will Set Them, Journalists and UNESCO
    The day after it emerged that the UN has known of at least 2,683 civilians killings in Sri Lanka between January 20 and March 7 of this year, the UN's expert on Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy acknowledged the UN is funding the government's so-called detention camps. She said, however, that any long-term funding should be conditioned on the internally displaced people -- who are Tamils -- have freedom of movement. Currently, they cannot leave the camps, and no one can visit them. The government of Sri Lanka, meanwhile, is opposing any conditions from anyone, including on the $1.8 billion loan they have applied to from the International Monetary Fund.
  • 105) Mar 19, 2009 16:35:56 GMT |  + BJP to expose UPA’s tacit support to Lanka
    Sri Lankan Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva’s statement in Parliament acknowledging India’s role in the civil war in the island nation is proof of the tacit support extended by the Congress-led UPA government to the Lankan army, State BJP president L Ganesan said on Wednesday. The BJP will expose the government on the issue during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, he told press persons here.
  • 106) Mar 19, 2009 16:29:17 GMT |  + Sri Lankans take civil war despair on to the streets
    Tamil community and resident Sinhalese will give opposing views at vigil and demonstration Two Sri Lankan groups demonstrating in Auckland tomorrow will present conflicting views on who is responsible for the suffering in their island homeland's civil war. After a 10,000-strong Tamil demonstration outside the UN's European headquarters in Geneva this week, the local Tamil community will be staging a vigil at Aotea Square to keep the international spotlight on what they say is the Sinhalese-majority Government's "genocide of Tamils".
  • 107) Mar 19, 2009 11:45:51 GMT |  + Tamils to Prez: Tamils Need a Quick Constitutional Solution; Evacuation from Vanni Won't Help
    Tamils for Obama, in a letter sent to the president and secretary of state, explained that an evacuation of Tamils from the Vanni war zone offers no cure to the suffering there. In their opinion, nothing except a quick constitutional solution will end the immediate crisis. As the Colombo government has never acted in good faith on this matter, they say that an outsider--like the U.S. -- must force the solution. The stated that "evacuating Tamil civilians from the war zone in Vanni, Sri Lanka, is not the humanitarian good deed many take it for." Tamils for Obama gives two reasons that the evacuation of the refugees is not a good idea.
  • 108) Mar 19, 2009 11:10:03 GMT |  + 100,000 face death in Sri Lanka
    The bishop of war-torn northern Sri Lanka has written to the country’s President warning that more than 100,000 people face “total annihilation”, unless an immediate evacuation is ordered. “Since the situation is extremely dangerous, we request fast and stern action to respond to the present vital need for the safety of civilians,” he said. Describing how until now government forces have ignored his “repeated requests to open a safe corridor” for people to leave the area, the bishop wrote: “The (Sri Lankan Army has) persisted in using heavy weapons like artillery and mortar shells and simply drove the people away from a safe corridor to the present situation.”
  • 109) Mar 19, 2009 11:06:25 GMT |  + General Debate on Sri Lanka Human Rights Situations that Require the Council's Attention
    CAROLINE MILLAR (Australia) said, Up to 200,000 civilians continued to be caught up in the conflict zone in Northern Sri Lanka - long-term political stability would only be achieved through a political solution that met the needs of all. JULIE DE RIVERO, of Human Rights Watch, said the statement of the High Commissioner on Sri Lanka was a call for the Council to take decisive action to respond to the urgent needs of civilians trapped in the fighting in the Vanni. What was being seen could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and there should be an urgent independent investigation of what was happening. The Government should give the United Nations and other independent agencies full access to the conflict zone.
  • 110) Mar 19, 2009 2:05:31 GMT |  + Inclusion the way to real peace
    It is often overlooked that Tamil militarism was, in the first place, spawned by the deliberate demonisation of Tamils (both Hindu and Muslim) in the early years of Sri Lanka's independence from Britain. The situation took a significant turn for the worse following the failure of Junius Jayawardene's government to promptly intervene in the deliberate slaughter of thousands of innocent Tamils over just a few days in 1983. In his retirement, an unrepentant Jayawardene explained to me at his residence in Colombo in 1992 that, following a tit-for-tat killing of policemen by Tamil militants, 1983 had been about giving the Tamils a "bloody nose" to "put them in their place". more ...
  • 111) Mar 19, 2009 1:40:53 GMT |  + State secrets, public denials in Sri Lanka
    There's a familiar pattern emerging in Sri Lanka, one we've seen in many countries. When the government doesn't have a viable case against a critical journalist, prosecutors turn to state security laws to keep them in detention. Nadesapillai Vidyatharan, editor of the Tamil daily Sudar Oli, was grabbed at a friend's funeral in a Colombo suburb on February 26. Since then, in an effort to charge the editor under antiterrorism laws, police have been scouring phone records to try to establish a tie between Vidyatharan and the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamal Eelam.
  • 112) Mar 19, 2009 1:20:09 GMT |  + Viva Vanni! After the Gaza mission, a ship aids Tamils
    The Tamil diaspora in Europe is to charter a ship and set sail from London to the war zone in Sri Lanka. Tamil people in Vanni are facing an ever worsening plight for their very existence. The Tamil diaspora in Europe is preparing to charter a ship, load urgently needed goods and set sail from London to Vanni on a Mercy Mission. Details posted at the coordinating committee’s website vannimission.org states that the ship with doctors, celebrities & media on board is expected to set sail on 26 March 2009 to reach international waters near shores of Vanni, north of Sri Lanka on 14 April 2009. more ...
  • 113) Mar 19, 2008 21:04:32 GMT |  + Risking international condemnation to facilitate new players to the conflict
    We are reminded by the way both UN Special Reporter Novak and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louisa Arbour were prevented by the government from entering Tiger held territory last year. The decision was criticised for the large margin left in the government’s continued assertions that there are no human rights violations in the country. The unwise move had the effect of forcing the kind of negative attention the country has continued to earn over the last year and half. Why would the government risk international condemnation by disallowing access to the EU to meet with the LTTE now? The government’s refusal to allow any international organization to meet with the LTTE follows a clear and definitive plan of action.
  • 114) Mar 19, 2008 11:15:44 GMT |  + ICRC deplores misleading public use of its confidential findings on disappearances
    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) strongly objects to misleading public references to its confidential findings on disappearances that were included in a recent statement by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs... The ICRC deplores the publication and sharing of confidential reports submitted exclusively to the Sri Lankan authorities, and the Foreign Ministry's misrepresentation of its overall findings and its dialogue with the government. "Extra-judicial killings and disappearances are part of a terrible pattern of abuse in Sri Lanka, which must be stopped," said Jacques de Maio, the ICRC's head of operations for South Asia.
  • 115) Mar 19, 2008 11:13:51 GMT |  + TNA to boycott Eastern PC elections - MP
    The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will not contest in the forthcoming Provincial Council elections for the Eastern Province as the alliance "steadfastly opposed the de-merger of the North Eastern Provincial Council (NEPC) in January 2007 by the Government of Sri Lanka," Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian S. Jeyanandamoorthy told TamilNet Tuesday. "We do not want to fall prey to the policy of divide and rule of the Sri Lankan government," the parliamentarian further said.
  • 116) Mar 19, 2008 11:11:32 GMT |  + Indian Tamils Say Aid to Sri Lankan Army Should End
    India should stop its military aid to Sri Lanka and mediate in the conflict with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a Tamil party in India's coalition government said. Pattali Makkal Katchi, which has five members in the lower house of Parliament, said an offensive by the Sri Lankan army in the north is a matter of ``grave concern'' as ethnic Tamils are the main target and civilians are being killed.
  • 117) Mar 19, 2008 5:19:09 GMT |  + Sri Lanka military practices in Jaffna
    The SLA is vandalizing the Jaffna-Ellankulam War Heroes cemetery and is taking away the building material in tractor trailer for their use. Last month the SLA had vandalized this same War Heroes cemetery and taken away the roofing material in tractor-trailer for their use. SLA has barred all public ceremnonies and functions in the Manthuvil area in Thenmaradchi-Jaffna. Public must obtain permission from the SLA to hold any functions, including family affairs like small birthday parties.
  • 118) Mar 19, 2008 4:58:36 GMT |  + Pak routes fake currency through Tamil Nadu
    Investigating agencies are baffled by the quantity and quality of fake currency notes being pumped into the country from across the border. Though alarm bells are ringing loud and clear, they say there is little they can do about fake money that is flooding the country. The latest target is South India, where counterfeit currency to the tune of Rs 8 crores has been seized. The CBI is hardly patting itself on the back, though.
  • 119) Mar 19, 2008 4:51:14 GMT |  + Canada recognizes Kosovo, Serbia pulls ambassador
    Canada followed the lead of about 30 other countries Tuesday and formally recognized Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared its independence last month. The move prompted the recall of Serbia's ambassador from Ottawa, who is returning to Belgrade temporarily for consultations."We know that a significant number of countries, including our G7 partners and many of Canada's close allies, have already recognized Kosovo," Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier told CBC News.
  • 120) Mar 19, 2008 4:45:29 GMT |  + Man accused of fundraising for Tamil Tigers gets bail
    A man accused of trying to raise money for the terrorist Tamil Tigers was granted bail Tuesday, but his lawyer says he was working on behalf of a legitimate humanitarian organization. The first man charged under Canada's terrorism fund-raising law was released on bail Tuesday after being arrested in the Vancouver area over the weekend. Prapaharan Thambithurai, 45, of Maple, Ont., became the first man ever charged under Canada's law against raising money for a terrorist group, police say. He was released Tuesday on a $25,000 bond.
  • 121) Mar 19, 2008 1:24:14 GMT |  + Sci-fi guru Clarke dies in Sri Lanka at 90
    British-born science fiction guru, Arthur C. Clarke, died at a hospital in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, his aide Rohan de Silva told AFP. He was 90. Clarke, who shot to fame after writing "2001: A Space Odyssey," had been in and out of hospital since his 90th birthday in December and had breathing difficulties, de Silva said. more ...
  • 122) Mar 19, 2008 1:21:23 GMT |  + Toronto-area man accused of raising funds for Sri Lankan terror organization
    A man accused of trying to raise money for the terrorist Tamil Tigers was granted bail Tuesday, but his lawyer says he was working on behalf of a legitimate humanitarian organization. Police and a terrorist expert, however, say the organization is a front. The first man charged under Canada's terrorism fund-raising law was released on bail Tuesday after being arrested in the Vancouver area over the weekend. Prapaharan Thambithurai, 45, of Maple, Ont., became the first man ever charged under Canada's law against raising money for a terrorist group, police say. He was released Tuesday on a $25,000 bond.
  • 123) Mar 19, 2007 15:58:07 GMT |  + Bid to alter ethnic ratio in Lanka flayed
    A group of anti-war and human rights activists in Sri Lanka has alleged that the government is using the on-going military operations against the LTTE in the East to lessen the number of Tamil-speaking people vis-a vis the Sinhalas there. Addressing the media under the auspices of the multi-party Anti-War Front (AWF) here on Monday, the veteran leftist leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara warned that the move to bring about demographic changes in the East would be "disastrous" as it would take the ethnic conflict to a "dangerous terrain" and further internationalise it.
  • 124) Mar 19, 2007 14:55:28 GMT |  + I was wrong - again: minister
    THE Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, has acknowledged that he made misleading comments about the handling of asylum claims by 82 Sri Lankans who have been sent to Nauru. On Friday, Mr Andrews admitted that he had made a mistake by stating that a body paid to provide logistical services at the detention centre, the International Organisation for Migration, would be acting as an agency for the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The office is on record as opposing the Government's offshore processing of asylum claims made by people trying to reach Australia by boat.
  • 125) Mar 19, 2007 14:48:10 GMT |  + School children face yet another Kfir attack
    Sri Lankan Kfirs dropped three bombs near a school in Sundikulam of 195 children injuring four children and a teacher. The injured from the school, situated in a location that has no decent roads, were first brought by boats and then transported on motorbikes to a small rural hospital and only from their they were transported to Kilinochchi hospital in ambulance. The school located in Sundikulam in Mullaithivu was a temporary school that was set up in January this year for the children displaced in August 2006 from Vadamaradchy in Jaffna. Today surveillance plane was circling the area and it kept some students away. more ...
  • 126) Mar 19, 2007 13:24:34 GMT |  + World Nations Got Bogged Down In The Political Quagmire Of Buddhist Singhalese Sri Lankan Government
    World nations got bogged down in the political quagmire of Buddhist Singhalese Sri Lankan government that thrives on deceit and chicanery by contortion of the core issues for the racial conflict. Main theme of any talks to ensure basic, fundamental and equal rights: Would ever the main theme of any talks for a lasting political solution be to ensure that the Tamils live with their basic, fundamental and equal rights just like any Buddhist Singhalese, with inbuilt safeguard in the Constitution?
  • 127) Mar 19, 2007 11:32:02 GMT |  + Heavy battles after Sri Lanka claims sinking Tiger ships
    Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels have fought fierce land battles after government forces said they sank two ships smuggling in weapons for the guerrillas, officials said Monday. An intense battle broke out in the eastern district of Batticaloa Sunday leaving at least two soldiers dead and 13 wounded, military officials said. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they killed three soldiers and captured the bodies, which were to be returned to military authorities through the Red Cross.
  • 128) Mar 19, 2007 11:29:49 GMT |  + Sri Lankan defence ministry extends police state moves
    As the Sri Lankan government expands its military offensives against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), preparations are being made to further curtail basic democratic rights and suppress political opposition, particularly to the war. A chilling Ministry of Defence (MOD) press statement issued on March 1 foreshadowed a widening use of the present emergency powers against anyone criticising the activities of the security forces. Significantly President Mahinda Rajapakse is also the defence minister and thus directly responsible for the statement.
  • 129) Mar 19, 2007 11:02:16 GMT |  + 21 Sri Lankan refugees arrive
    Twentyone refugees belonging to eight families arrived here from Sri Lanka's Vavunia and Jaffna area today. The refugees arrived at Dhanushkodi by swimming from the Arichalmunai, where they were dropped by the ferry operators, police said. Meanwhile, 32 refugees who were dropped by the ferry operators at the sand dune off Dhanushkodi arrived here last night. One person who could not swim died on the way. His body was washed ashore near Rameswaram harbour, police said.
  • 130) Mar 19, 2007 10:51:59 GMT |  + 175 schoolchildren, 9 staff narrowly escape air strike on school
    Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir bombers Monday morning bombed a school in Chundikulam, wounding a female teacher and two schoolboys, attending 7th grade and 9th grade at the school, Chundikulam Vidyalayam, located 21 km northeast of Kilinochchi, in the southern part of Vadamaradchi East region in Jaffna district. Three bombs were dropped 25 meters from a class room. A bomb that hit a tree exploded in the air, wounding two children and a teacher. Around 175 schoolchildren, 8 teachers and the principal of the school narrowly escaped from the aerial attack. TamilNet correspondent who visited the site of the attack witnessed a second air strike at 11:45 a.m.
  • 131) Mar 19, 2007 1:04:45 GMT |  + Sri Lanka faces humanitarian crisis as 150,000 flee fighting
    A FIERCE offensive by the Sri Lankan army against Tamil Tiger rebels has forced more than 150,000 civilians to leave their homes, stretching resources to the brink and threatening to create a humanitarian crisis. The eastern coastal town of Batticaloa was already overwhelmed by 60,000 people displaced by fighting north of the town, but air and artillery strikes on Tiger territory to the south-west in the past two weeks have more than doubled that number.
  • 132) Mar 19, 2007 0:59:23 GMT |  + Tamil refugees dispute Andrews claim
    IMMIGRATION Minister Kevin Andrews has come under fire over his handling of the Sri Lankan asylum-seekers and his knowledge of his new portfolio. David Manne, the lawyer for the 83 Tamil asylum-seekers, cast doubt on government claims that the group requested legal help only on Friday, saying the men had attempted to secure legal help much earlier. Eighty-two of the Tamil men arrived on Nauru yesterday after being held for almost a month on Christmas Island, where they were sent after the navy intercepted their disabled boat at sea. Another man, who is being treated in a Perth Hospital, will join them later.
  • 133) 04:54 GMT, Mar. 19, 2006 |  + Kadirgamar case: Maharoof quizzed on land gift
    UNP Colombo District MP M. Maharoof has been questioned by Colombo Crime Division (CCD) officers for his alleged links with a key suspect in the Lakshman Kadirgamar murder case. Mr. Maharoof was questioned and his statement recorded by CCD officers after the gardener of Mr. Kadirgamar’s neighbour Lakshman Thalaysingham, confessed that Mr. Maharoof had arranged the donation of state land to him.The suspect, Muttiah Sahadevan alias Devan, earlier living in the Wanathamulla and Grandpass areas had been donated the land during the tenure of the UNP Government between 2001 to 2004 when Mr. Maharoof was the Urban Public Utilities Minister.The land in extent of about five perches gifted to the suspect was located close to Polhengoda, Narahenpita. more ...
  • 134) 20:53 GMT, Mar. 19, 2005 |  + Indian PM’s visit to Lanka postponed
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Sri Lanka, for which the tentative dates were March 30 and 31, has been postponed. The two countries are now looking for new dates sometime in June or July. Informed sources told Hindustan Times that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had been working with March 30 and 31 as the tentative dates, but it had to give it up, in view of the Prime Minister's preoccupation with some sudden domestic developments like the crises in Jharkhand and Bihar. Both India and Sri Lanka had been very keen on Singh's visit to Sri Lanka, because there had been no bilateral visit to the island at that level, for a long time. In fact, the last visit was in July 1987, when Rajiv Gandhi came to Sri Lanka to sign the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. Subsequently, former prime ministers Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited Sri Lanka, but only as participants in SAARC summits. more ...
  • 135) 15:20 GMT, Mar. 19, 2005 |  + Foreign ministry denies FMM charges

    Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) voices its seriousconcern over restrictions placed on Canadian media outlets by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa. Calling the restrictions unacceptable, the Free Media Movement (FMM) of Sri Lanka, said that measures against Canada's Global TV are clearly against universally accepted norms and practices of freedom of expression.

    Foreign journalists visiting the country can obtain visa “without any condition or agreement of any kind” Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said. In a statement issued on Friday referring to a release by the Free Media Movement (FMM) stating that a Canadian journalist has been asked “to provide a ‘letter of agreement’ as a Sri Lanka visa condition”, the ministry said “foreign media personnel are welcome to Sri Lanka at any time”.However, the ministry added that foreign documentary film makers “need to obtain prior approval as per the procedure laid down by the National Film Corporation”. The statement stressed that there has been no new procedures put in place by the authorities. But the Free Media Movement (FMM) insists that only film makers were so far required to obtain prior approval and not documentary film makers. FMM said the journalist from Global TV Canada has been asked by the Sri Lankan embassy in Ottawa to sign a letter of agreement with certain restrictions prior to the issuance of his visa. more ...
  • 136) 15:04 GMT, Mar. 19, 2005 |  + All containers at Colombo Port are checked, says Navy

    After delaying two weeks in providing clearance to a container sent from North Carolina, the Sri Lanka customs confiscated 54 boxes of medical supplies and transferred the items for delivery through their own Social Services Ministry, and charged $1000 for the rest of the 168 boxes of other relief supplies, officals of the North Carolinians for Peace (NCFP) told TamilNet.

    THE Navy Headquarters yesterday scoffed certain media reports that the Navy has stopped checking containers arriving at the Colombo Port. A press release issued by Navy Spokesman Commodore Jayantha Perera said there was no truth in reports in certain newspapers that the Navy has stopped checking containers at the Colombo Port and added that this report misleads the public. "The Government has not instructed the Sri Lanka Navy to that effect and the Navy will continue to check containers arriving at the Colombo Port with Custom officers," Commodore Jayantha added. Following this decision, the Navy carried out checks on all containers from March 9 and Custom officers through their trade unions protested against the Navy involvement in the checking of containers. The Pettah Traders' Association also supported this trade union action by closing all their shops in Pettah. more ...
  • 137) 14:21 GMT, Mar. 19, 2005 |  + India shocked at Canadian verdict
    While Canadian authorities are feeling the heat of the acquittal of a man charged with the 1985 mid-air bombing of an Air India jet, India has joined the victims' families in expressing outrage at the verdict. On Wednesday the British Columbia Supreme Court acquitted Vancouver businessman Ripudaman Singh Malik and Kamloops sawmill worker Ajaib Singh Bagri of charges of mass murder in the deaths of 329 people killed on June 23, 1985, in a mid-air explosion aboard Air-India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland and the deaths of two baggage handlers 54 minutes earlier in a bomb explosion at Tokyo's Narita airport. more ...
  • 138) 12:57 GMT, Mar. 19, 2004 |  + Canada: Bribe scandal rocks immigration board
    A Liberal appointee to the Immigration and Refugee Board was at the centre of a "well-structured criminal organization" that offered to fix the outcome of immigration hearings in return for bribes, police alleged yesterday. The RCMP capped a three-year probe into corruption at the board by laying 278 criminal charges against Yves Bourbonnais, 62, a former adjudicator who presided over hearings in Ottawa and Montreal, and 10 other Quebecers who are not board employees. "The offences committed in this matter strike at the heart of the administration of justice," said Staff Sergeant Sergio Pasin, who led the investigation. The allegations of corruption rocked the immigration and refugee board just days after Immigration Minister Judy Sgro announced measures to clean up the process used to appoint members to the quasi-judicial body. And the charges have sprung another scandal on the beleaguered Liberals still coping with the fallout of the sponsorship program. more ...
  • 139) 12:14 GMT, Mar. 19, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka's Poll Rules May Deter Thousands of Tamil Voters
    The Sri Lankan Election Commissioner's decision to avoid locating polling booths inside regions controlled by the Tamil Tiger guerrillas is likely to affect the voting prospects of around 270,000 people, many of whom are unlikely to travel to distant ballot stations to vote. The Election Commissioner decided this week to set up polling stations for such people in no man's lands (neutral zones) and at entry points to government areas from rebel-controlled regions. If this happens, citizens will have to travel around 30 miles to cast their votes for the April 2 polls, and undergo checking by both the rebels and government forces. more ...
  • 140) 12:08 GMT, Mar. 19, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka police say poll violence down, not out
    Sri Lanka will deploy more than 60,000 police officials to ensure security for the island's April 2 election, police said on Friday, adding the campaign had so far been less violent than previous polls. Police said about 560 election-related crimes had been recorded -- mostly involving threats and intimidation -- in the month since nominations closed, down from more than 1,000 in the last parliamentary vote late in 2001. "We plan to deploy 64,000, including home guards, for mobile patrols, polling stations, roadblocks and VIP security. All of these things will be fully engaged by the 30th of this month," Inspector General of Police Indra de Silva told a news conference. more ...
  • 141) 12:04 GMT, Mar. 19, 2004 |  + Sri Lankan president abolishes 13 non-cabinet ministries
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has abolished 13 non-cabinet ministries earlier taken over by her with immediate effect in order to save public funds, the official Daily News said on Friday. The Presidential Secretariat said in a special gazette notification the president has also amalgamated two non-cabinet ministries to two other cabinet ministries. Following the dissolution of parliament on Feb. 7, President Kumaratunga removed all the non-cabinet ministers and deputy ministers in a bid to restructure all the ministries. more ...
  • 142) 12:31 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Tamils Health Organization
    It is an Organization formed to support the development of health services in the Tamil Homeland in Sri Lanka. The mission of the Tamils Health Organization is to promote the health of the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka by assessing the health needs, highlighting the state of health, harnessing the expertise of the Expatriate Tamil Community around the world, raise funds and channel the resources to meet the identified needs. more ...
  • 143) 12:25 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Tamil political prisoners cases to be expedited
    Attorney General (AG) of Sri Lanka, Mr.K.C.Kamalasabeyson, has instructed district court judges to expedite the hearings of cases of Tamil prisoners arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulations (ER), legal sources said. The only evidence against majority of Tamil political prisoners, many languishing in jails for several years, is self-confession obtained under threat of violence or torture, according to legal sources. Cases of eighty four Tamil detainees are to be heard as part of the first phase of the accelerated schedule, sources close to the AG said. more ...
  • 144) 12:21 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Matters relating to the Ceasefire addressed
    The sixth session of peace talks commenced on Tuesday, 18 March 2003, in the salubrious location of Hakone, Japan. The government delegation is headed by Hon. Prof. G.L.Peiris and included Hon. Milinda Moragoda, Hon. Rauf Hakeem and Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke. The LTTE delegation is headed by Dr. Anton Balasingham and includes Mr. S.P. Tamilselvan, Mr. Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan (Karuna) and Mrs. Adele Balasingham. The two sides discussed the recent incident of a LTTE vessel being sunk off the Mullaitivu coast and how effective safeguards could be implemented to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. It is likely to result in the two parties initiating a dialogue to formulate modalities to address the issue. more ...
  • 145) 12:15 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Enhanced role for SLMM
    The Government and the LTTE yesterday resolved to confer an enhanced role to the SLMM for de-escalating situations at sea before they develop into confrontations. In this connection a meeting will be held in three weeks time between the Govt, the LTTE, the SLMM and Norway to decide on the appropriate mechanism to achieve this. "The peace process is on even keel. Those who thought the process would breakdown following the recent incident will have to be disappointed." Govt. chief negotiator Prof. G. L. Peiris told journalists yesteday adding that the parties could now concentrate on the more substantive issues. more ...
  • 146) 12:10 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Tigers warn of new course if UNF falls
    As the sixth session of peace talks began here today, the LTTE warned it would be compelled to look for an alternative to the peace process in the event of a sudden ouster or a collapse of the UNF government. LTTE Chief negotiator Anton Balasingham said they would decide on this alternative course of action with the full backing of the international community. Mr. Balasingham said that the LTTE was well aware as to who would take over the reins if the UNF government was sacked or toppled, adding that the Tamil people could not expect peace or a reasonable solution to their problems from the SLFP government backed by the chauvinist JVP which was seeking war instead of peace. more ...
  • 147) 11:56 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka peace negotiators concerned Iraq war may distract donors
    Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger peace negotiators worried Wednesday that the looming U.S.-led war against Iraq (news - web sites) could distract international donors, who have pledged millions to help rebuild the country's war-battered economy. "I think we have every likelihood of being able to attract very good resources, not withstanding the developments in West Asia," chief government negotiator Gamini Peiris told reporters during a break in the talks. "The challenge is to ensure that there will not be a substantial reduction of resources." more ...
  • 148) 11:56 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Japan gets directly involved in Sri Lanka peace talks
    Sri Lanka's latest round of peace talks entered their second day here Wednesday with Japan participating in the negotiations under the Norwegian-led initiative for the first time, diplomats here said. The Japanese-hosted talks in this hot spring resort between the Sri Lankan government and its warring partner, the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil (LTTE) began focusing on key reconstruction issues, diplomats said. They said Japan's special peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, sat in on the plenary session Wednesday, marking an upgrade of Tokyo's role in the process aimed at ending ethnic bloodshed that has claimed over 60,000 lives since 1972.
    - A step forward in Sri Lanka's peace process - Radio Australia
    more ...
  • 149) 11:54 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Chandrika seeks action against airport official
    President Chandrika Kumara-tunga has called for tough action against an airport official for allegedly helping the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to smuggle unchecked items through the international airport to the northern guerrilla held region. Kumaratunga has called Defence Minister Tilak Marapana to take action against the Airports and Aviation company's executive director, Gamini Abeyratne, and send him on compulsory leave. more ...
  • 150) 22:07 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Poll: Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese oppose federalism, minorities in favor
    Most of Sri Lanka's minority Tamils and Muslims support a federal power sharing agreement between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, but the majority Sinhalese are opposed to the deal, a poll released Wednesday found. The poll, conducted by the Center for Policy Alternatives, an independent think tank, said only 29 percent of Sinhalese among the 1,397 people interviewed supported federal governance, compared to nearly 76 percent of Tamils and 60 percent of Muslims. more ...
  • 151) 22:05 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka talks fail to clinch human rights deal
    Sri Lanka's peace negotiators failed to clinch a human rights deal on the second day of their peace talks here Wednesday, but agreed to work towards a joint declaration by next month. Negotiators from the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were unable to adopt a draft memorandum of understanding prepared by an international rights expert, Ian Martin, at their request. "We had an extended discussion on human rights issues based on the report by Ian Martin," LTTE's chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham told reporters here. more ...
  • 152) 22:01 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Sri Lankan Tamils 'arrested in India'
    Police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu say they have arrested nine Sri Lankan Tamils who were trying to return to Sri Lanka without relevant travel documents. The Indian authorities insist that Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who want to go back home need to obtain exit permits before they leave India. Correspondents say that once they leave India with exit permits, refugees are not allowed back even if they find it difficult to resettle in their homeland. more ...
  • 153) 21:59 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Colombo and LTTE downplay differences; talks enter second day
    The Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE today downplayed their differences on the crucial issue of rehabilitation of Tamil refugees in the Jaffna Peninsula and carried forward the peace momentum on the second day of peace talks, presently on here. In the morning session both sides focussed on re-settlement of Tamils who fled Jaffna in the wake of the war. The talks are being held at the Prince Hotel, a Japanese resort, about 80 km west of Tokyo in the presence of Japan's special envoy for peace in Sri Lanka Akashi Yasushi. more ...
  • 154) 15:24 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Japan warns Sri Lanka over peace
    Sri Lanka has been told that it risks losing huge amounts of international aid if peace negotiations between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels fail to progress. The warning came from the Japanese special envoy to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, at talks being held in Hakone, Japan. In an interview with the AFP news agency, Mr Akashi said he stressed to both sides the need to demonstrate "sincerity and commitment". "In the absence of some specific, tangible progress an outpouring of generosity from the international community cannot be expected," he said. more ...
  • 155) 12:43 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + A step forward in Sri Lanka's peace process



    PEACE in Japan:
    Dr. Bala with Tamil Journalists

    Courtesy: IBC London and Tamil Natham

    Sri Lankan negotiators have salvaged their formal peace talks at the Japanese town of Hakone. Colombo's chief negotiator G. L. Peiris shook hands with his rebel counterpart Anton Balasingham removing any doubts. Mr Peiris says the peace process is irreversible. The talks risked foundering when the Sri Lankan Navy sank a Tamil boat killing 11 rebels on March the 10th, but the Norwegian peace envoys managed to stop a Tamil boycott. The negotiators emerged after three hours of talks to announce a deal to expand the role of the Scandinavian monitoring group. The two sides agreed to call a meeting of the Sri Lankan navy, the Tamil Tigers' naval unit and truce monitors to expanded monitoring at sea. Japan's peace envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi become the first outsider, other than the Norwegians, to have a seat at the negotiations. more ...
  • 156) 11:53 GMT, Mar. 19, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka peace talks focus on economic recovery, human rights
    Rebuilding Sri Lanka's war-battered economy and ending the human rights abuses of the country's 19-year civil war were on the table Wednesday for another critical round of peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. The sixth round of talks between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam opened Tuesday in Hakone, where snow sprinkled the foothills of Mount Fuji and forced the Sri Lankans — used to the tropical climes of their island-nation off the southern tip of India — to bundle up. more ...
  • 157) 17:06 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Fifty thousand at Trinco 'Pongu Tamil'
    More than fifty thousand people thronged the eastern port town of Trincomalee to attend the 'Pongu Tamil' (Tamil upsurge) rally held Tuesday, urging the Sri Lankan government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and to recognise the Tamil people's right to self-determination. Processions from various parts of Trincomalee town and its suburbs commenced around 8.30 a.m. and arrived in the heart of the town around 12 noon. Thousands of school children, undergraduates, teachers, government officials and members of the public from all parts of the district participated in the processions and the rally. more ...
  • 158) 17:02 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + U.N. says too early for Sri Lankan refugees to return
    The United Nations refugee organisation said on Tuesday that even though the peace process had taken off in Sri Lanka it was too early for any large-scale return of refugees. More than 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees remain in south India, about two-thirds of them living in camps, but the UNHCR said in a statement that conditions were not right yet for them to return even though a truce was in place. "While acknowledging that the recent ceasefire agreement signed by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) and the Sri Lankan government...the situation remains too fragile for UNHCR to actively promote repatriation on a large scale," the statement quoted UNHCR official Neill Wright as saying. more ...
  • 159) 15:16 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + General Who Led Communist Victory in Vietnam Dies
    General Van Tien Dung, commander of the final communist offensive that captured Saigon to end the Vietnam War, has died aged 84. It remains a point of dispute as to which communist general could rightly claim to be the victor of Saigon, which was rechristened Ho Chi Minh City in 1975. And in October last year, he issued a warning to his former American enemies about the conduct of their war in Afghanistan, saying he was certain they could not beat Osama bin Laden and it could be difficult for Washington to extricate its troops. more ...
  • 160) 14:07 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + School sees literacy efforts pay off
    For 2 million Ontario children, today marks the return to school from March Break. But for one 6-year-old Toronto boy, it means getting back to a cherished daily date with his very own reading coach.Grade 1 student Kumaran Kirupakaran of Church St. Public School is one of a growing number of students for whom schools are hiring specialists to help boost literacy skills — and scores. When he started school last fall, Kumaran, whose first language is Tamil, struggled with the English alphabet. But the one-on-one attention of a half-hour reading session every day for 22 weeks has paid off. more ...
  • 161) 13:56 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Foreign Funds Watch Sri Lanka Budget Before Making Move
    As investors cheer growing hopes for peace and the possibility of an end to nearly 20 years of civil war in Sri Lanka, foreign fund managers say they are awaiting the 2002 budget announcement Friday before making moves to reenter the stock market. In the budget announcement - which was delayed from November due to parliamentary elections in December - fund managers say they will be watching for signs that the island's burgeoning fiscal deficit will be brought under control, and for incentives to speed up the privatization process. more ...
  • 162) 13:53 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Local polls test for S.Lanka's ruling party
    Sri Lankans will vote on Wednesday in local council elections that will test support for a Norwegian-brokered truce and for a ruling party constantly at loggerheads with a hawkish president. Both the ruling United National Party and a hardline Marxist group have made the peace bid the main issue in a campaign normally fought on garbage disposal and property tax issues. ''We should all make the forthcoming polls a de facto referendum on the peace process,'' Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando told a rally at the end of ruling party's campaign. more ...
  • 163) 13:51 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Socialist Equality Party campaign frees two Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka
    The released Two Tamil detainees, Ponniah Saravanakumar and Arunachalam Yogeswaran and their parents expressed their appreciation to the SEP for the campaign waged on their behalf.Saravanakumar and Yogeswaran also accused the TNA—a five party alliance including the Tamil United Liberation Front (LTTE), the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Peoples’ Liberation Organisation of Tamil Elam (PLOTE), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and a faction of Eelam People Liberation Front (EPRLF)—of being stooges of the government. more ...
  • 164) 13:43 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Balasingham's return heralds key peace move
    In their first face-to-face discussions in three years, Mr. Pirapaharan and Mr. Balasingham are expected to map out the LTTE's strategy and objectives for future negotiations with the Sri Lankan government, sources close to the LTTE said this week. Mr. Balasingham, who presently resides in London, could be expected in the Vanni as early as next week, where a Norwegian delegation travelling separately may also hold discussions with the LTTE, the sources said. Asked about the venue for talks Balasingham replied: "That is for Norway to determine. Both the government and LTTE have left the matter in their hands." more ...
  • 165) 23:47 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Local polls test for Sri Lanka's ruling party
    Sri Lankans will vote on Wednesday in local council elections that will test support for a Norwegian-brokered truce and for a ruling party constantly at loggerheads with a hawkish president. Both the ruling United National Party and a hardline Marxist group have made the peace bid the main issue in a campaign normally fought on garbage disposal and property tax issues. "We should all make the forthcoming polls a de facto referendum on the peace process," Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando told a rally at the end of ruling party's campaign. The President wants the army called in to prevent vote rigging, saying she has little faith in the 43,000 policemen on election duty. The government dismissed the request as unnecessary. Sri Lanka has a history of bloody and flawed elections under both major parties but monitors have hailed this campaign as being relatively trouble free. more ...
  • 166) 23:44 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Will peace ever return to paradise?
    Recent developments, though, offer some hope for a brighter future. Last month the new government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose United National Party narrowly unseated President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance in the December elections by promising peace to the war-weary nation. Unsettling, however, is the widespread cynicism about prospects for a lasting peace. After all, Kumaratunga herself swept to power in 1994 on a similar platform, and although expectations were high when she launched negotiations with the LTTE in January 1995, four months later the talks foundered amid mutual recriminations and both sides resumed hostilities. The process of resolving Tamils' grievances is vulnerable to extremists from both sides and ongoing negotiations will require a considerable degree of statesmanship. One can only hope that those involved can rise to the challenge and overcome obstacles to the implementation of a lasting accord. Until they do, the long-suffering people of this troubled paradise will remain deprived of a peace they both want and deserve. more ...
  • 167) 22:17 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + President, premier at loggerheads
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the ruling United National Front (UNF) are at loggerheads over the security situation for today's local government elections with the president insisting deployment of armed forces for the elections and the government refusing to accede to the demand. Kumartunga has called Interior Minister John Amaratunga to deploy the armed forces saying that her party 'has no faith in the police with regard to their capability to maintain law and order and act independently and impartially with election violence'. Kumaratunga's demand for the deployment of armed forces comes despite an improved security situation compared to the December 5 parliamentary elections where over 50 people were killed in the run up to the poll and more than 2,500 election related incidents were reported. So far in the run up to local polls, which are being held in areas outside the north and eastern provinces, there has been only one death and less than 500 election related incident reported to the police. The parliamentary elections were held in Sri Lanka without deployment of the armed forces. more ...
  • 168) 22:02 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + United States and the New Sri Lanka Peace Initiative
    The United States administration got involved overtly in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka when it included the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations on the 8th day of October 1997. It is public knowledge now that this decision was not a voluntary one taken by the US administration but under pressure from the then Sri Lankan government with the help of its Foreign Minister Laxshman Kathirgamar... But US Ambassador's statement was a God sent act for anti-Tamil journalists like Nirupama Subramanian of the Hindu, Balachaandran of the Hindustan and few Singhalese Nationalistic newspapers, and they tried to make hay while the sun was shining. On the other hand few Tamils have also reacted angrily taking the US embassy statement out of context. The LTTE was the target of this statement, if it was aimed at them, and LTTE have appropriately dealt with the statement through the diplomatically worded statement issued by its chief negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingam, and have closed the subject with that. It is a pity that some Sri Lankan politicians who want to get political mileage from it are making use of the situation and continue to cast their comments at their own will. more ...
  • 169) 21:45 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + World: CIA does not rule out Iraq, Iran role in Sept. 11
    U.S. intelligence agencies have not ruled out the possibility that Iraq or Iran were linked to the Sept. 11 hijacked airliner attacks on America, CIA Director George Tenet said on Tuesday. "There is no doubt that there have been (Iraqi) contacts and linkages to the al Qaeda organization," Tenet told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. more ...
  • 170) 19:46 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + UNHCR says Sri Lanka still fragile
    The United Nations refugee agency says, despite the current peace process in Sri Lanka, the situation is still too fragile for any large-scale repatriation of refugees. However, UNHCR says it will help repatriate 17 individuals for pressing humanitarian reasons. They were among 600 people who approached the UNHCR office in Tamil Nadu to ask for help in returning home to Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 171) 18:06 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + Sri Lankan PM Instructs Police to Ensure Free, Fair Local Elections
    Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe issued on Tuesday instructions to the police to maintain law and order during Wednesday's local elections. "On the eve of the elections to local government authorities, ... I wish to reiterate the need for the police service to ensure that the conditions which would enable a free and fair election are maintained," Wickremesinghe said in a letter to L. Kodituw Akku, inspector general of police. He said that all police officers in charge on the polling day would be held directly responsible for any acts in violation of the election procedures. more ...
  • 172) 11:25 GMT, Mar. 19, 2002 |  + LTTE for Thailand if India refuses venue for talks
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is likely to suggest Thailand as an alternative venue for talks with the Sri Lankan Government in case India-- which, the tigers strongly believe, would permit a South Indian city for the purpose refuses to -meet their demands, a local report says. LTTE's political in-charge of Batticaloa-Amparai districts, K Karikalan had said last week that the organisation believed India would assist the peace process by hosting talks despite strong protest from certain political parties. Meanwhile a highly placed government source said the responsibility of selecting a proper venue was totally left to the Norwegian facilitator. We are ready to travel even to the moon to continue the process until a lasting peaceful solution is found to the long drawn conflict, aw he said. more ...
  • 173) 15:20 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Anuradhapura players pique Batticaloa SLA
    The Sri Lanka army Monday stopped a street play performed by a Sinhala group in Batticaloa, objecting to a character of the skit who was in military uniform. The group, Saama Sevaya Cultural Forum from the village of Talawa in Anuradhapura, was scheduled to perform the play, Tears of Blood, in several parts of Batticaloa Monday. The SLA at Santhively, 24 kilometres north of Batticaloa town, interrupted the play and took away all 16 members of the troupe performing in the premises of Thadakam, a social service organisation in the area, to its camp for questioning around 11.30 a.m. this morning. more ...
  • 174) 14:02 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka Deputy Fin Min Confident Of Rupee Stability
    Sri Lanka's Senior Deputy Finance Minister said the government is confident that the rupee has stabilized at its current level, adding it could only be pulled down by another overshooting of defense spending to fight the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. "We are confident that the rupee will maintain at 86-87 Sri Lankan rupees ($1=LKR85.52) to the dollar level unless military spending shoots up," G.L. Peiris told a meeting of the Foreign Correspondents' Association late Friday. A heavy import burden from higher defense spending and soaring oil prices drove the rupee down by around 16% last year and forced the government to float the currency in January after seeing its reserves fall below LKR1 billion. more ...
  • 175) 12:03 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Army Settles War of the Black Beret
    Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of California circulated a letter of protest to President George W. Bush (news - web sites) among her House of Representatives colleagues. She said the Army had waived its own rules to buy American except in an emergency when it ordered berets from China, Sri Lanka, Romania, India, South Africa and Canada in order to meet the June deadline. More than 75 House members on Friday urged the Pentagon to reconsider its purchasing decision that they said ``will cause U.S. firms to lose millions of dollars and instead send this important business to foreign companies.'' more ...
  • 176) 11:40 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Ethnic strife shakes Malaysia
    Four days of vicious street battles in the squalid townships on the western fringe of Kuala Lumpur brought Malaysia its closest brush with serious ethnic strife in over 30 years. By last Tuesday, when hundreds of riot police and paramilitary troops had managed to restore order, six people were confirmed dead, and dozens of others were injured. Malaysia sets great store by its record of maintaining harmony between its various ethnic communities. Today it is clear that beneath the normally tranquil surface of Malaysian society, dangerous tensions and the potential for violence still lurk. more ...
  • 177) 11:30 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Chandrika’s mistrust of media manifest in censorship- CPJ
    The Committee for the Protection of Journalists, the New York based media watchdog, said Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's censorship policy “is just one manifestation of her basic mistrust for the media” and that she had introduced emergency regulations that included “some of the harshest censorship measures ever imposed in the country” in a statement ‘Attacks on journalists 2000’ issued Monday. CPJ said that in Sri Lanka, “Violent attacks against journalists were typically committed with impunity”. “Even when the government has paid nominal attention to pursuing justice, it has come up short”, notes the statement. more ...
  • 178) 11:27 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Jaffna fisherman protest sea ban
    More than 2000 thousand fishermen sat in protest in front of the Assistant Government Agent's office in Pt. Pedro Monday demanding that the Sri Lankan government should lift the decade long draconian restrictions on fishing in the seas off the Jaffna coast. There was no unloading at the Pt. Pedro jetty Monday as all the workers were on strike to take part in the sit in protest, sources said. The protesting fishermen, holding placards , blocked government officials from opening the AGA office this morning. more ...
  • 179) 03:48 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + TULF meets British High Commissioner
    The T.U.L.F. delegation also impressed upon the High Commissioner that the Sri Lankan State since independence was primarily responsible for the national conflict assuming grave dimensions. The Tamil people have suffered and continue to suffer gross violations of human rights, and a political settlement that would meet with the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people yet remained elusive. The delegation urged that the International Community should exert pressure on the Sri Lankan State and the political establishment to take tangible steps towards the evolution of a just political settlement. more ...
  • 180) 03:45 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + India has no objections to LTTE-Lanka pact: Solheim
    Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim has said India is "fully supportive and appreciative" of the Oslo-brokered Lankan peace efforts, effectively putting at rest the recent media reports that New Delhi is impeding the peace talks. "They are all rumours. There has been no such objection from India, which is fully supportive and appreciative of my efforts" Solheim said in an exclusive interview from Oslo to the London representative of independent Tamil daily, 'Thinakkural', published in its edition on Sunday. more ...
  • 181) 18:18 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Pakistan exhibits weapons in Gulf
    Analysts say that Pakistan has the largest presence they've seen at a defence show outside Pakistan itself. The BBC Gulf correspondent says that Pakistan is demonstrating weapons like bombs, small arms, artillery and unmanned aircraft at cheaper prices than other exhibitors. Our correspondent says countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Egypt are increasingly trying to buy weapons from other Muslim countries. more ...
  • 182) 18:12 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + A NEGOTIATED POLITICAL SOLUTION:
    Who Really wants it ?
    The involvement and interest of the United States government was long delayed and outstanding for years. If the US urges, both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE should listen. But, is the US government urging the Sri Lankan government to commit to a ceasefire and engage in creating the necessary and required conditions for a negotiation, mediation and resolution of the conflict. Time will tell as to whether the Sri Lankan government has been encouraged to find a political solution to the conflict through negotiation. What no one seemed to notice was the ever-widening gap between the Sinhalese and the Tamil people. And it has become ever wider with the failure of every attempt to find a political solution to the rights of the Tamil people. Nazism taught us some dreadful, fundamental lessons to think about the plights and survival of the Jewish people. The Sri Lankan government has become a national enemy to the Tamil people, little by little, dreadful things are happening to the Tamil people. Each step was so small and so inconsequential. more ...
  • 183) 15:32 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + TIGERS FREE FOUR CIVILIANS
    Four civilians of Padaviya, held prisoner for 16 months by the LTTE, on being released, were handed over on Saturday to their respective homes by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). These four Sinhalese prisoners said the release is a token of good faith as the LTTE wants to cultivate the good will of the government. The four are N.P. Siriwardena (43), N.P. Amarasinghe (45), Sudarshana Nayanakantha (26) and Piyasiri Karunaratna (30).The victims had been informed that they would be released to mark the visit of Norwegian peace mediator Erik Solheim to Wanni. They were released to the ICRC as Mr.Solheim did not make his journey. more ...
  • 184) 03:42 GMT, Mar. 19, 2001 |  + Want of food said afflicting war traumatised children
    "How can a traumatized child be rehabilitated psychologically when there is bombing and shelling daily in the war zone?" asked Mr.S.Subramaniam, Director of Education North East Provincial Council speaking Sunday at a meeting in Trincomalee town for officials of the Provincial Department of Social Services trained under a counseling program sponsored by Save the Children Norway (SCN) to rehabilitate children traumatized by war in the northeast. " more ...
  • 185) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + POWs to resume hunger-strike
    No details available. more ...
  • 186) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + Hope for peace and Clinton land in Delhi
    No details available. more ...
  • 187) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka appeases monks amid opposition to Oslo peace bid
    No details available. more ...
  • 188) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + Hatred: barrier for fruitful talks
    No details available. more ...
  • 189) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + PoW issue heading for crisis again
    No details available. more ...
  • 190) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka police strip woman in public amid bomb scare
    No details available. more ...
  • 191) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka appeases monks amid opposition to Oslo peace bid
    No details available. more ...
  • 192) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + The JVP and anti-mediation
    No details available. more ...
  • 193) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 2000 |  + Sinhala settlement plan derailed
    No details available. more ...
  • 194) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + Tamils Fleeing Sri Lanka War See Some Hope
    No details available. more ...
  • 195) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + The day the atom bomb fell
    No details available. more ...
  • 196) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + Doting daughters
    No details available. more ...
  • 197) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + Saarc meet for push to peace and stability
    No details available. more ...
  • 198) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + Rail bombing averted
    No details available. more ...
  • 199) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + UN expert resolves Sri Lanka landmine dispute
    No details available. more ...
  • 200) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + No consensus for South Asia
    No details available. more ...
  • 201) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + Five civilians killed
    No details available. more ...
  • 202) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + Indian 'cure' for Hepatitis B
    No details available. more ...
  • 203) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + Anti-Harassment Committee directives help LTTE to infiltrate Colombo ?
    No details available. more ...
  • 204) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1999 |  + LTTE destroys military ammunition depot
    No details available. more ...
  • 205) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1998 |  + NGOs Stunned By Move to Monitor Activities
    No details available. more ...
  • 206) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 19, 1998 |  + BJP takes office in India
    No details available. more ...
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