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January 17, 2022 - Memory of the Day

In Gotabaya’s Lanka: Many fear the rise of majoritarian sentiment in Sri Lanka

2019-11-29 09:42:34 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 1997 | Jaffna student union claims 3 of their University students missing!
    Jaffna student union claims 3 of their University students were missing. It is feared they have been taken in to custody by Sri Lankan army, who are now occupying Jaffna.
  • 1998 | Vanni returnee shot dead
    The Vannie returnee shot dead by the SLA near Perumal Kovil (temple), in Jaffna, tonight between 10.30 and 11.00 p.m. The dead person has been identified as Velupillai Pavananthan, 27, father of 3 children. He had come from Vanni 3 days ago.
  • 2001 | Massive demonstration in Jaffna
    More than ten thousand people in Jaffna comprising university students, high-school students, residents and representatives and members of civil organisations demonstrated Wednesday, urging the Sri Lankan government to reciprocate the Liberation Tigers unilateral ceasefire and negotiate with the movement. Thousands more people were turned away by Sri Lankan security forces at check points set up along the major roads leading to the university, residents said. Reporters were not permitted into the university either.
  • Innocent People Killed

  • 1997 | Thevarasa Vigneswaran [ 22 M from Jaffna, Jaffna ]
    Killed by Sri Lankan Navy personnel.
  • 1997 | Somasunthram Selvakumar [ 22 M from Jaffna, Jaffna ]
    Killed by Sri Lankan Navy personnel.
  • 1998 | Velupillai Pavananthan [ 27 M from Jaffna ]
    Killed by SLA in Jaffna
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 1181 | நயந்தவர்க்கு நல்காமை நேர்ந்தேன் பசந்தவென்
    பண்பியார்க் குரைக்கோ பிற.
    I willed my lover absent should remain;
    Of pining's sickly hue to whom shall I complain?
    - 119 119
  • Jan 17 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Jan 17, 2019 20:51:45 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Asks IMF To Revive Suspended $1.5-Billion Bailout
    Sri Lanka has appealed to the International Monetary Fund to revive a $1.5-billion bailout suspended during the island nation's political crisis late last year, the finance ministry said Wednesday. In October, President Maithripala Sirisena sparked weeks of high political drama, even featuring brawls in parliament, by sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and dissolving the legislature. more ...
  • 2) Jan 17, 2019 19:50:44 GMT |  + Sri Lanka to receive $1 billion Bank of China loan this quarter
    Sri Lanka will receive a loan of $1 billion from Bank of China before the end of the January-March quarter, the chief of the central bank said on Thursday, to help the country meet repayments in the coming months. Sri Lanka is struggling to repay its foreign loans, with a record $5.9 billion due this year including $2.6 billion in the first three months. The island nation is a key battleground in the tussle for influence in South Asia between China and traditional regional power India. more ...
  • 3) Jan 17, 2019 19:48:23 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Political Crisis Threatens Justice Efforts
    Sri Lanka’s political upheaval undermined stalled processes aimed at providing truth and justice for abuses from the country’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2019. The crisis subsided after the Supreme Court ruled on December 13 that the president’s dissolving of parliament was unconstitutional, and Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down as proclaimed prime minister. “The many victims of Sri Lanka’s three-decade long civil war have seen their diminishing hopes for justice further delayed by presidential politics,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. more ...
  • 4) Jan 17, 2019 19:45:09 GMT |  + Duterte, Sri Lanka President Sirisena boost defense, agri ties during visit
    Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena’s state visit to the Philippines yielded agreements on defense, agriculture, and education cooperation for the two countries. Sirisena and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the signing of 5 memoranda of understanding on Wednesday, January 16, in Malacañang Palace. Sirisena, who is in the Philippines from January 15 to 19, is the 6th foreign leader to visit the country under the Duterte administration, excluding those who flew over to attend international fora. more ...
  • 5) Jan 17, 2018 14:15:11 GMT |  + Sri Lanka mine clearing reaches its final 25 square kilometers
    Landmines have been cleared in approximately 135.4 square kilometers in the North and the East from 2002 to 2017. Mine clearing in the remaining 25.5 square kilometers is in progress. As of December 2017, the Government had taken steps to release 24,846.38 acres of private land to their original owners and released 57,308.19 acres of state land. Pursuant to land releases, as at end October 2017, the GoSL had resettled a total of 256,972 families consisting of 891,125 individual persons. It has also rehabilitated 12,182 former combatants including 594 child soldiers. Landmines have been cleared in approximately 135.4 square kilometers in the North and the East from 2002 to 2017. Mine clearing in the remaining 25.5 square kilometers is in progress. more ...
  • 6) Jan 17, 2018 14:09:46 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's flip-flop on women alcohol ban slammed
    In what many see as a discriminatory move towards women, President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka has reversed a decision by his finance minister, Mangala Samaraweera, to allow women to buy alcohol for the first time since 1955. The president's office also ordered the cancellation of the gazette notifications from the ministry of finance that would have allowed women to work in bars without a permit and paved the way for licensed alcohol shops to operate for longer hours. more ...
  • 7) Jan 17, 2018 13:27:01 GMT |  + 'It's slavery in the modern world': Foreign workers say they were hungry, abused at Toronto temple
    ..Eventually, a member of the temple's congregation became aware of the alleged conditions the workers were facing and contacted the Tamil Workers Network. "If it was 20 years ago, when I was young, I may have just burned the temple down, because of the magnitude ... of the story," said Ram Selvarajah, a volunteer with the Tamil Workers Network. "I'm not even going to the fair wages part of it, it's just the way the people were treated … it's slavery in the modern world." Sridurka Hindu Temple chief priest Rev. Kanaswami Thiagarajahkurukkal won the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, an award to honour Canadians for significant contributions and achievement! more ...
  • 8) Jan 17, 2017 17:34:00 GMT |  + Federal Court upholds deportation of Tamil Tigers fundraiser who has fought to stay in Canada for 22 years
    An alleged fundraiser for Tamil rebels who has been fighting deportation from Canada for more than two decades has lost a key court battle after a federal judge dismissed his appeal. The Federal Court upheld the deportation of Manickavasagam Suresh on the grounds he was a member of a terrorist organization and that he was complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity. The evidence “adequately supported” the Immigration and Refugee Board’s finding that Suresh was a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, Justice Richard Mosley wrote in his ruling. more ...
  • 9) Jan 17, 2017 17:16:44 GMT |  + Why today might be the best day to buy a Toronto-area house
    The choice of homes may be limited in the dead of winter, but consumers waiting for the hot spring market should know that January actually provides the best chance for snagging a bargain. Seven years of sales data on about 650,000 Toronto-area transactions, shows Tuesday is probably the day this year when buyers will pay the least for a home, according to an analysis by TheRedPin real estate brokerage. That's because there is residual inventory — homes that didn't sell in October and November, sometimes because they were over-priced, said Tarik Gidamy, co-founder and broker of record with TheRedPin. more ...
  • 10) Jan 17, 2017 16:20:20 GMT |  + 2016 was a record-setting year for Canada’s housing market
    Canada’s real estate market will have a hard act to follow after a record-setting 2016 for prices and sales. The average price for various housing types sold nationally for all of 2016 reached a new yearly high of $490,495, up 10.7 per cent from 2015, though there were stark differences within the country, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said Monday. Nationally, a record 536,118 residential properties changed hands last year on the multiple listing service, a 6.3-per-cent increase from 2015. more ...
  • 11) Jan 17, 2017 0:19:15 GMT |  + Sri Lanka taking steps to deal with troubled past: Foreign Minister
    Sri Lanka will deal with her troubled past honestly and truthfully, Foreign Minister Managala Samaraweera said, speaking at the Chatham House in London last week. Sri Lanka is committed to the co-sponsored resolution worked out with the Human Rights Council in October 2015 to “deal with the past honestly and truthfully, accept that past, put it behind us, and then move forward to build our Sri Lankan nation anew,” he said. Samaraweera made these comments at The Royal Institute of International Affairs, also called Chatham House. more ...
  • 12) Jan 17, 2017 0:16:15 GMT |  + India must rethink opposition to Chinese investment in Sri Lanka: Chinese media
    India should rethink its opposition to Chinese investments in Sri Lanka and join the port development in the island nation instead of feeling "jealous", China's state media said today. "It is understandable that the cooperation has left some Asian countries vigilant as media reports suggest that an 80 per cent share of the port, which sits on an important trade route, and land for an industrial zone will be leased to China for the next 99 years," an article in Global Times referring to Sri Lanka's decision to hand over the Hambatota Port to China. more ...
  • 13) Jan 17, 2015 15:35:31 GMT |  + Video: Mervyn goes to CID against Gota and Basil
    Former Minister and MP Mervyn Silva today complained to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) against Former Minister and MP Basil Rajapaksa and former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over alleged frauds and crimes committed by them... “I do not want to take revenge from anyone. They are the ones who took revenge from me. I was not given a proper ministry to work. I came to the CID to complain over all the murders such as Bharatha Laksman Premachandra, Lasantha Wikrametunge and the attacks on several private media institutions. It is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was behind the white van culture in the country,” he said. more ...
  • 14) Jan 17, 2015 15:29:27 GMT |  + A Pride Of Lion-Tamers
    What Sirisena Needs To Accomplish Put Sri Lanka back on track of true and inclusive democracy Change the executive presidency to a constitutional one Probe charges of nepotism and human rights violation by Rajapaksa Take steps to look for a political resolution to the Tamil question Reach out to the various minorities to make them stakeholders in Sri Lanka’s progress more ...
  • 15) Jan 17, 2015 15:26:42 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s chance to move past postcolonial politics
    The word “serendipity” comes from Serendip, the name Persians gave a large and beautiful island off the southern tip of India, long before it was colonized by the Portuguese, who renamed it Ceilão, and then by the Dutch, and then by the English, who changed it to Ceylon. After it finally won independence from colonialism in 1948, it became Sri Lanka. As if returning to its origins, Sri Lanka began this year with a serendipitous occurrence: After a national election, the island’s long-standing president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, agreed to step down and allow his opponent, who won 51.3 per cent of the vote, a peaceful transition.
  • 16) Jan 17, 2015 15:25:46 GMT |  + Mahinda Rajapaksa Played China Against India, Says Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe
    In his first television interview since the results of the elections, Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe told NDTV that his government will redress the pro-China tilt of the Rajapaksa regime "President Rajapaksa's regime tried to play China against India and India against China but it came a cropper," said Mr Wickramasinghe. During the Rajapaksa years, China invested an estimated $6 billion in Sri Lanka, some of it in strategic infrastructure projects like ports and airports, irking India. more ...
  • 17) Jan 17, 2015 15:24:51 GMT |  + Sri Lanka votes against fear and kleptocracy
    The stunning ouster of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Jan. 8 was good news for that island nation of 20 million, and further evidence of a universal yearning for good governance. After a decade in power, Sri Lankans chose to hold Rajapaksa accountable for extensive corruption and nepotism, and for presiding over a climate of intimidation. His relatives and cronies dominated key ministries and institutions, and abused their powers to raid the public purse and silence critics. One-family authoritarian rule under the Sri Lanka Freedom Party did not pass public muster and despite the challenger’s late start and lack of resources, democracy prevailed.
  • 18) Jan 17, 2015 15:23:58 GMT |  + 'Dynastic Rule Helped Sri Lanka Win War Against LTTE,' Says Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Son
    Mahinda Rajapaksa's 10-year reign as Sri Lankan president ended with allegations of nepotism and corruption. Over 40 top government positions were held by his family and friends - cabinet portfolios to state finance corporations, airlines and sports federations. One of his brothers was his defence secretary, while another was the speaker of the parliament. A nephew is chief minister of Uva Province while a brother-in-law was the chairman of the state carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines. His son, Namal, was being groomed as his political heir. Since the defeat, the family has retreated into a shell. more ...
  • 19) Jan 17, 2015 15:23:08 GMT |  + Inclusive governance will be Sri Lanka's new mantra
    There were many firsts in the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka: An incumbent president was defeated; parties specifically representing different races and religious groups — the Jathika Hela Urumaya for the Sinhalese, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress along with the All Ceylon Muslim Congress — came together on a common political platform; corruption was a major issue in the pre-poll campaign; and now a specific timeframe has been set for reforms. However, the most important responsibility of the new government will be settling the national question. While the country owes him a debt of gratitude for eliminating terrorism from the country, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did nothing about the commitments he made in 2009 to ensure inclusive peace.
  • 20) Jan 17, 2015 15:22:13 GMT |  + Lawyers demand Sri Lanka's top judge quits over coup claim
    Sri Lankan lawyers on Saturday demanded the resignation of the country's chief justice over allegations that he tried to help ex-president Mahinda Rajapakse remain in office despite last week's election defeat. The influential Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), which includes the vast majority of lawyers in the country, said it wanted Mohan Peiris to resign over his role in an alleged coup bid. Police this week announced the launch of a criminal probe into a complaint by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera that defeated strongman Rajapakse tried to use military force to stay on. more ...
  • 21) Jan 17, 2015 15:21:13 GMT |  + Sri Lanka flag-carrier ditches ex-president's 'vanity' airport
    Sri Lanka's national airline on Saturday announced it will stop all flights to the country's second international airport built and named after Mahinda Rajapakse, after he was defeated in last week's presidential elections. Sri Lankan Airlines said operating flights via the Rajapakse International airport in the former president's home constituency of Hambantota was a huge drain on the already heavily debt-laden carrier. The state-owned airline -- under new management after new President Maithripala Sirisena assumed office last week -- has decided to cut back uneconomical flights, including operations via Rajapakse International. more ...
  • 22) Jan 17, 2015 15:19:02 GMT |  + Sri Lanka police seeks Attorney General's advice in coup probe
    Sri Lankan police has sought the Attorney General's advice as part of its probe into the alleged coup attempt by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his close aides following his shocking defeat in the presidential polls. The preliminary investigation of the alleged coup was started on complaint of foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera. "The foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera's complaint is now being investigated. The police have sought the Attorney General's advice," Police spokesman and Superintendent Ajith Rohana said.
  • 23) Jan 17, 2015 15:01:37 GMT |  + Rajapaksa defeat: 5 things likely to change in India-Sri Lanka relations
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat in his bid for a third term in office on Friday, a result unthinkable just weeks ago for a confident leader hoping to cash in on his economic record. Rajapaksa lost to his former friend and health minister, Maithripala Sirisena, who defected from the ruling party and turned the election into a referendum on the president with expanding power since his victory over the Tamil Tigers in 2009. Rajapaksa had called the vote two years early, a move seen by many as a test for triumphalism.
  • 24) Jan 17, 2015 14:53:38 GMT |  + 2000 Soldiers Were Moved to Colombo for Coup, Says Former Sri Lankan Army Chief
    Mahinda Rajapaksa's defeat in the Presidential elections was followed by the news that he had attempted a coup as the results poured in, predicting his defeat. Now, even more explosive revelations have emerged about the attempted coup. In an exclusive interview to NDTV , former army chief General Sarath Fonseka , tipped to be the new Defence Minister, said that Rajapaksa had moved 2000 troops into Colombo three days before the results in an attempt to stage a coup. Rajapaksa has denied the charges. more ...
  • 25) Jan 17, 2015 14:50:22 GMT |  + A new start in Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka’s people have made the cause of democracy proud by handing a humiliating, well-deserved defeat to President Mahinda Rajapaksa after 10 years of authoritarian rule. Rajapaksa called an election two years ahead of schedule, and lost to Maithripala Sirisena – despite last-minute attempts to rope in Bollywood stars and desperate appeals to electors to vote for the “known devil”. All South Asians should celebrate this result because it represents a big setback to the majoritarianism and extreme national-chauvinism that Rajapaksa personified, and generates the hope that our countries could become more inclusive and pluralist democracies that can accommodate and genuinely respect difference and diversity in religion, culture and ethnicity.
  • 26) Jan 17, 2015 14:48:21 GMT |  + Artful Democracy
    As the old guard in Sri Lanka was dramatically toppled in the recent presidential elections, best wishes were offered not only to the opponent, Maithripala Sirisena, but to a hopefully imminent resuscitation of a suffocated democracy. For nearly a decade, former president Rajapaksa had steadily strengthened his hold on democracy, forcing its compliance in support of a near-complete autocracy. So feeble was democracy’s presence that during election time, the outgoing president was heralded for not orchestrating a military coup, and the poll process was deemed successful despite assaults on opposition candidates and the massive misuse of state resources.
  • 27) Jan 17, 2014 18:28:11 GMT |  + 121 Tamil Nadu fishermen released by Sri Lanka
    More than 120 Indian fishermen, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in the past several months, were released today in line with the reciprocal agreement reached between the two countries to set free detained fishermen. About 160 Sri Lankan fishermen and four vessels would be released from India and 236 Indian fishermen and 90 boats by the latter as part of the pact ahead of the proposed January 20 talks between fishermen associations of both the countries.
  • 28) Jan 17, 2014 14:36:22 GMT |  + Pakistan assures Sri Lanka support on rights issue
    Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has assured support for Sri Lanka during the upcoming UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in March should a third resolution be presented by the US on the island's sketchy human rights record, a statement said here Friday. Sharif said Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoyed excellent relations and there was strong political will on both sides to further develop and promote the bilateral relations. "Pakistan's prime minister assured continued support to Sri Lanka at international forums," Xinhua quoted the statement released by the Pakistan high commission in Colombo as saying.
  • 29) Jan 17, 2014 13:50:13 GMT |  + Several layers found in Sri Lanka mass grave: Experts
    Police said in an initial reaction that the site had been under LTTE control for well over 15 years. "It was possible that the victims might be those abducted and killed by the LTTE during their violent separatist campaign," police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. Tamil rights groups, however, said the remains were those of Tamil civilians who disappeared during the conflict. This was the first mass grave found in the former conflict zone since the war ended over four years ago. more ...
  • 30) Jan 17, 2014 13:46:47 GMT |  + Mass grave fuels fear of thousands buried in Sri Lanka war zone
    The discovery of a mass grave containing more than 30 skulls in northern Sri Lanka has fuelled speculation that there may be many more like it containing the remains of thousands who went missing during the island nation's nearly three-decade war."The bodies are buried in several layers. Unfortunately, the top layer of the bodies have been destroyed by the road construction work," said Dhanajaya Waidyaratne, the Judicial Medical Officer in charge of the excavation. "This grave has grown-up people and children, and there are some holes in the skulls believed to be from gunshots," the Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Rayappu Joseph, who went to inspect the mass grave and the skeletons, told Reuters. more ...
  • 31) Jan 17, 2014 11:06:46 GMT |  + Nimal's long journey to Australia has an ending at last
    A Sri Lankan refugee who was involved in a six-month long standoff with Indonesian authorities in 2009 has finally arrived in Australia. Nimal's arrival comes four years after he staged the protest that caused the federal government worldwide embarrassment. "I feel very excited that I got my resettlement. I have waited very long time to come to Australia to come to a place where I can live," he told SBS. more ...
  • 32) Jan 17, 2014 6:26:50 GMT |  + Britain allowed ex-SAS officers to train Sri Lankans as Tamil Tigers rebelled
    Former SAS officers were allowed by the British government to train security forces in Sri Lanka around the time of the 1980s Golden Temple massacre, recently released government documents show. The disclosure comes days after documents emerged appearing to show that SAS officers were involved in training Indian troops in the months leading up to the raid on the Amritsar temple, the Sikh religion's holiest site, in June 1984. more ...
  • 33) Jan 17, 2014 6:24:28 GMT |  + India and Sri Lanka exchange fishermen at sea
    India and Sri Lanka have exchanged dozens of fishermen who were jailed for straying across the maritime boundary. The handover was done at sea, in a sign of easing tensions between the two neighbouring countries. The Indian navy handed over 52 fishermen to Sri Lanka, while 51 Indians went the other way. One Indian remains in hospital in Sri Lanka and 236 others are still detained there. Some 152 Sri Lankan fishermen remain in India. Thursday's repatriation comes ahead of 20 January talks between the two sides, and more releases are expected to follow. more ...
  • 34) Jan 17, 2014 6:23:12 GMT |  + Martin Goldfarb: Stephen Harper has injected moral principle into Canadian diplomacy
    Harper’s decision not to go to the Commonwealth Conference in Sri Lanka is another example of applying principle over expediency. The government did not want to be seen as condoning Sri Lanka’s human rights record, whether or not other Commonwealth nations decided to attend the meeting or however they may react to Canada’s position. Just a week before the Commonwealth summit in mid-November, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also decided not to attend. He was clearly following Harper’s lead. Baird even took to Twitter. “Almost half of all of all Commonwealth heads of government are not attending the #CHOGM summit (23/51) lowest number in years,” he tweeted on November 13.
  • 35) Jan 17, 2013 23:56:36 GMT |  + Impeachment of the Sri Lankan Chief Justice
    The impeachment of the Sri Lankan Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake is possibly a watershed moment in Sri Lankan law and politics. President Rajapaksa’s 13 January decision to ratify the impeachment decided two days earlier by a parliament controlled by his ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance is the latest step in the gradual but systematic dismantling of the rule of law. The move, in violation of the Sri Lankan constitution and basic principles of due process and in disregard of rulings by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, leaves Sri Lanka’s already battered democracy on life-support. more ...
  • 36) Jan 17, 2013 23:55:06 GMT |  + And then they came for the judges
    HIS foes accuse Mahinda Rajapaksa of many sins during his seven years as Sri Lanka’s president. They blame him for the savagery that cost so many civilian lives as his army defeated the rebel Tamil Tigers in 2009. They bridle at how he has carved up the government among his brothers, like a thriving family-run conglomerate. They resent the amendment of the constitution pushed through in 2010 to remove the limit on his tenure of two six-year terms, and to give himself legal immunity and the final say in appointments to the civil service, the judiciary and the police. And they suspect his regime of connivance in the beatings, disappearances and murders that have been used to intimidate critics in the press and elsewhere. more ...
  • 37) Jan 17, 2013 23:54:14 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: A tale of two chief justices
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sworn in one of his advisers, Mohan Peiris, as the country's new chief justice. Peiris is a former attorney general who has worked closely with the government in recent years. However, the judge he replaced, Shirani Bandaranayake, says she still is "the duly appointed legitimate chief justice". In a process declared unconstitutional and illegal by the country's highest court, Justice Bandaranayake was removed by the government for financial misconduct, bias and abuse of power - all of which she has denied. Critics say the impeachment is a witch hunt to punish Bandaranayake for ruling against a key government bill which centralises development work under one of the president's brothers. more ...
  • 38) Jan 17, 2013 23:47:27 GMT |  + Asylum policies are extensions of Sri Lanka’s repression
    During a recent high profile visit to Colombo, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that his country would be pumping millions of dollars into Sri Lanka, as part of a concerted effort to stem the ever rising flow of asylum seekers, comprising almost entirely of Tamils, from the island. Measures included providing surveillance training and equipment for the Sri Lankan Navy and intelligence services. By reducing the ‘problem’ to one of insufficient surveillance and security, these measures ignore the pervasive and deepening conditions of repression that compel increasingly desperate to flee. Furthermore by funding and supporting the Sri Lankan Navy, accused of shelling hospitals and civilians, Australia has chosen a policy described by one of its former diplomats as ‘siding with genocide’.
  • 39) Jan 17, 2013 23:46:23 GMT |  + Iranian ship flees detention in Sri Lanka
    An Iranian-flagged cargo ship has fled Sri Lanka's waters after weeks of detention by its navy, acting on a court order obtained by Germany's DVB Bank, officials and a lawyer acting for the bank said on Thursday. The Sri Lankan navy last week fired warning shots to prevent the MV Amina from leaving but said that late on Wednesday the vessel made its departure in rough seas. "If the ship is beyond 12 nautical miles from our shores, then we can't do anything according to U.N. laws, unless the ship has committed crimes in our country," Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said.
  • 40) Jan 17, 2013 23:45:08 GMT |  + Canadian Tamils hail Harper for tough stand on Sri Lanka chief justice’s sacking
    The Canadian Tamil Congress has welcomed Canada’s swift condemnation of the Sri Lankan government’s dismissal of the country’s chief justice. In a statement on January 13, Prime minister Stephen Harper had rebuked the Sri Lankan government for the manner in which it removed the country’s Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake Thanking the prime minister and other political leaders for slamming the Sri Lankan action, the Canadian Tamil Congress said, “The recent statement from the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake of the Sri Lankan supreme court should be welcomed by everyone.
  • 41) Jan 17, 2013 23:43:33 GMT |  + China’s first Tamil author looks to build bridges
    For Zhao Jiang, who prefers to go by her Tamil name Kalaimakal, writing a book in Tamil would have seemed unthinkable when she first began learning what appeared to be an undecipherable script in a Chinese university classroom some 15 years ago. Today, as a fluent Tamil-speaker and the director of the government-run China Radio International’s (CRI) Tamil station, which commands an impressive audience of more than 25,000 dedicated listeners in Tamil Nadu alone, Ms. Zhao has taken it upon herself to foster closer ties between China and southern India, a usually overlooked destination for Chinese travellers. more ...
  • 42) Jan 17, 2013 20:06:49 GMT |  + Sri Lanka the Wrong Choice to Top BA's Holiday Destination List
    As temperatures plummet and winter starts to bite, I'm sure many people will be reaching for holiday brochures and thinking of escaping to warmer climes. For those contemplating an escape to Sri Lanka, I'd like to offer a cautionary tale about one of my constituents. Rochdale Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh was brutally murdered on Christmas Day on a Sri Lankan holiday just over 12 months ago.
  • 43) Jan 17, 2013 20:03:24 GMT |  + Sri Lanka to be tried for genocide against Tamils: How will Cuba and its allies respond?
    An unprecedented move by internationalists and activists for human rights and justice, one that could inspire controversy among left oriented governments and peoples’ solidarity committees, will take place next spring. The PPT was referring to Human Rights Council Resolution S-11/1 of May 27, 2009. Cuba led the majority of members to vote for the Sri Lanka government drafted resolution. The resolution only praised Sri Lanka government for ending the hostilities and for the “liberation” of tens of thousands of Tamils (who were, in fact, up to three hundred thousand Internally Displaced Persons incarcerated for many months and even years in concentration camps).
  • 44) Jan 17, 2013 15:06:52 GMT |  + Iranian ship held in Sri Lanka flees country's waters
    An Iranian-flagged cargo ship has fled from waters around Sri Lanka after weeks of detention by the island nation's navy acting on a court order obtained by Germany's DVB Bank SE, officials and a lawyer acting for the bank said on Thursday."If the ship is beyond 12 nautical miles from our shores, then we can't do anything according to U.N. laws unless the ship has committed any crimes in our country," Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. "We tried to communicate and asked her to stop, but without responding to anything, she had gone."
  • 45) Jan 17, 2013 14:19:36 GMT |  + Sri Lanka gov't dismisses int'l criticism, saying Constitutional amendment possible
    Fending off criticism of the Chief Justice's impeachment, the Sri Lankan government on Thursday dismissed warnings by the United States that foreign investment or aid could be affected by the move and even suggested that a Constitutional amendment was in the pipeline.During a lengthy media conference, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella reiterated that the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was Constitutional.
  • 46) Jan 17, 2013 13:48:14 GMT |  + France sees signs of communal tensions in northern Sri Lanka
    France said Thursday that there are signs of communal tensions in northern Sri Lanka, particularly in the town of Mannar. French Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Christine Robichon, in a statement said that she had toured the areas where both the Tamil and Muslim communities displaced by the war, are being resettled including recently reopened part of the former high security zone in Jaffna.
  • 47) Jan 17, 2013 13:46:10 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: a Brainless Head
    President Rajapaksa does what he wishes to do. Nothing to be surprised of, that is who he is. This is likely to be repeated by him to get rid of political obstacles he would face in the future as well. For the country and its people it is now do or die situation. In other words, the island nation has entered its dying point as a righteous nation, due to the Rajapaksas’ egocentric politics and their harassments of truth. Like most of politicians in the world, they never let the truth come out. What is wrong with this country? How come Rajapaksa can still cynically manipulate the nation and her dignity? more ...
  • 48) Jan 17, 2013 13:34:06 GMT |  + Toronto math tutor charged with sexually assaulting two children
    A 47-year-old man from Toronto faces charges in connection with a sexual assault involving two children. The man is known within the Toronto Tamil community as an academic tutor and allegedly assaulted the two children between 1999 and 2003 while he was tutoring them in math.... A community meeting, hosted by members of 51 Division's Youth and Family Services Office and the Toronto Tamil Seniors Association, has been scheduled for Friday, January 25, 2013, at 5:30 p.m., at the Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne Street, Room B. The recent arrest of the accused will be discussed at this meeting.
  • 49) Jan 17, 2013 13:27:48 GMT |  + SL’s explanations not satisfactory: US State Department
    The United States said the Sri Lankan governments ‘explanation’ on the impeachment of Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandranayake was not “satisfactory in terms of protecting democracy”.“Just for your records, U.S. Government assistance for FY2012 for Sri Lanka was $27 million. This included 13.3 million in bilateral assistance programs which primarily related to peace and security, human rights, economic growth, and democracy programs” she said. more ...
  • 50) Jan 17, 2013 13:23:27 GMT |  + S'pore to help develop Sri Lanka's technical, vocational education expertise
    Singapore will work with Sri Lanka to help it develop technical and vocational education expertise in hospitality, infocomm and construction. This will be driven by Singapore's Temasek Foundation and Republic Polytechnic, along with the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka. They will develop training capabilities in the three key sectors, which h more ...
  • 51) Jan 17, 2012 22:50:16 GMT |  + India presses Sri Lanka on political reform
    India's foreign minister has urged Sri Lanka to move forward with reconciliation and constitutional reform on a trip to the island nation. S.M. Krishna said he hoped that the president would embark on "the quest for genuine political reconciliation". Sri Lankan government forces defeated Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate homeland in May 2009 after 26 years of civil war. more ...
  • 52) Jan 17, 2012 19:47:33 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s Game of Diplomacy and Deceit
    In theory, Rajapaksa’s administration has plenty to worry about. Lobbying and debate surrounding the next session of the HRC has already begun.Strident calls for an international mechanism will be made this spring in Geneva. If no resolution gets through either of the next two sessions of the HRC (another session will be held this summer), then Rajapaksa’s government can probably rest easy as long as they stay in power. more ...
  • 53) Jan 17, 2012 18:56:39 GMT |  + The Coming Age of Ethnic Reconciliation in Burma
    In sum, although demography and geographic distribution of resources failed to restrain ethnic conflicts immediately after independence, they will play a different role in a democratic Burma. A cursory acquaintance with Burma’s post-colonial history will convince the majority Burmese Buddhists of the impossibility and futility of any attempt to subjugate the minorities. This time, history should bear out the limits that demography and other factors place on ethno-political polarization and help foster ethnic reconciliation.
  • 54) Jan 17, 2012 17:27:43 GMT |  + India to Sri Lanka: Don't miss reconciliation chance
    India's foreign minister on Tuesday urged Sri Lanka to forge ahead with political reconciliation steps recommended by a presidential inquiry into the end of its civil war, and signed economic cooperation agreements worth $443 million. "These recommendations, when implemented, would mark a major step forward in the process of genuine national reconciliation, to which the Sri Lankan government is committed. Sri Lanka must seize this opportunity," Krishna said. more ...
  • 55) Jan 17, 2012 17:25:23 GMT |  + Canada's tightening immigration policy may be felt in U.S.
    For years, Canada has had one of the most generous immigration policies in the world, welcoming tens of thousands of asylum applicants who claim to be fleeing persecution in their homelands. But the Conservative government has begun rolling up the welcome mat, stepping up efforts to track down and deport thousands of asylum-seekers whose applications have been denied. The clampdown is likely to be felt not just across Canada, but in the United States. more ...
  • 56) Jan 17, 2012 15:59:06 GMT |  + MAS Holdings to set up new apparel unit in Sri Lanka
    Colombo based MAS Holdings, a leading apparel producer in Sri Lanka, is setting up a new factory in Kilinochchi district in northern part of the island country. The new apparel manufacturing unit being set up in once war affected area of Kilinochchi would be a world-class unit. With presence in five countries worldwide, MAS Holdings is a strategic supplier for brands like Nike and Marks & Spencer, and also caters to brands like Ann Taylor, Adidas, Banana Republic, Lane Bryant, Speedo and Gap. more ...
  • 57) Jan 17, 2012 15:55:29 GMT |  + India and China to take part Lanka's joint military exercise
    Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said that sixty four army personnel representing China, Bangladesh, and India will take part in a joint military exercise - the Diyakawa mission of the Sri Lanka Army in September. Eight teams consist of sixty four military officials are expected to join the training operation.According to the Commander the foreign team will share their knowledge, strategies and practical experiences with the Sri Lankan soldiers and other officers.
  • 58) Jan 17, 2012 15:00:00 GMT |  + Protest in Jaffna barred
    Around 800 persons who were heading towards Jaffna along the A9 road to stage a protest against the disappearance of two JVP dissidents Lalith Kumar and Kugan Maruganathan, were blocked at Omanthai, Vavuniya today. The protest was organised by the Movement for People’s Struggle of the JVP dissidents together with a few other civil society organisations and political parties. They were heading towards Jaffna in 20 vehicles including 12 buses. “Along the way, we were stopped at several points and checked. We were able to reach Omanthai by 5.00pm. Omanthai is around 100 kilomtres off Anuradhapura,” he said.
  • 59) Jan 17, 2012 13:56:19 GMT |  + Buy now to get an unheard-of rate for a 10-year mortgage
    There’s a brilliant reason to get into our expensive and quite possibly weakening housing market right now. A 10-year mortgage is now available for under 4 per cent. You can thank the banks for this unheard-of rate. In the past week or so, competition between them on mortgage rates has gone nuclear. Have you caught all the warnings about how the house that you can afford now because mortgage rates are so low will crush you when borrowing costs rise? With a 10-year mortgage, you’ve got long-term cost certainty. more ...
  • 60) Jan 17, 2012 12:29:30 GMT |  + Bleak future for Lankan Tamils: Gordon Weiss
    Eleven months after the bloody war in Sri Lanka that led to the complete rout of the LTTE amid intense civilian suffering, a great piece of journalism shook the conscience of the world: The Cage, authored by Gordon Weiss who was the UN spokesperson in the country at the time. Written with arresting clarity of purpose and a racy style, The Cage unequivocally overturned the Sri Lankan government’s stand that there were no civilian deaths in the final days of the war. more ...
  • 61) Jan 17, 2012 11:16:29 GMT |  + Will help Lanka in political settlement: Krishna
    Krishna said that in the quest of a genuine political settlement, India would help Sri Lanka in whatever way it could in the spirit of partnership and cooperation. He also said that some of the positive recommendations by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), if implemented will mark a step forward in genuine national reconciliation. Krishna said the talks between Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the government would pave way for The Parliamentary Select Committee.
  • 62) Jan 17, 2012 10:58:52 GMT |  + Move towards expeditious political settlement, India urges Sri Lanka
    A political settlement to Tamils in Sri Lanka and a solution that answers the aspirations of the Tamil community…is the most important issue to be resolved, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, here on Tuesday. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday again assured Mr.Krishna that he stood by his commitment to follow the “13th Amendment plus approach” to achieve a political solution to the Tamil question. more ...
  • 63) Jan 17, 2012 2:22:38 GMT |  + Peace in Sri Lanka is in India’s interest
    India’s interests in Sri Lanka are not confined to fishing rights alone. Nothing matters more for India than the establishment of peace and tranquillity in the island nation. The end of the civil war that saw brutalities of the worst kind on both sides has kindled hopes of a rapprochement between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. Absence of violence does not mean prevalence of peace. The issues on which the Tamils took up arms, rightly or wrongly, have not been addressed to their satisfaction so far and they continue to nurse grievances. The onus of taking the Tamils into confidence rests with the Sri Lankan government.
  • 64) Jan 17, 2011 23:15:18 GMT |  + Jason Kenney vs. the Catholic bishops
    Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has launched a war of words with Catholic bishops across Canada over the government’s anti-human smuggling bill, C-49.'You wonder today why all these people are up shouting at one another in Question Period," the late Canadian political journalist Marjorie Nichols wrote 17 years ago. "Well, it's because they are uncivil people, they are untutored. It's like inviting people who eat with their fingers to a banquet." Today, political discourse is frequently no longer a discourse at all but expressions in word and deed of raw ambition for partisan power. more ...
  • 65) Jan 17, 2011 23:13:09 GMT |  + Appeal for help the Flood victims in Eastern Sri Lanka - Medical Institute for Tamils
    Floods in Eastern Sri Lanka has affected over a million people. Over 300,000 have been displaced and the United Nations has called upon the international community to help the victims of the flood recover from this devastation. Eastern Sri Lanka has been victimized by the brutality of war since 1983, and was severely affected by the tsunami of 2004. The needs of the victims are immense and evolving daily. The Medical Institute for Tamils was registered in 1998 and has undertaken many projects in Eastern Sri Lanka. The organization is well equipped to assess and distribute funds as required to local NGO’s working in the area.
  • 66) Jan 17, 2011 17:56:45 GMT |  + Disease, hunger and mines threaten flood-hit Sri Lankans - UN
    Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans face risks from disease, hunger and landmines as they begin to return home after flooding caused by the heaviest rains in nearly a century, a U.N. official said. Aid workers fear there could be outbreaks of dengue fever and cholera and that buried landmines left over from the county’s long civil war may have become dislodged by flood waters. more ...
  • 67) Jan 17, 2011 17:55:08 GMT |  + Sri Lanka alcohol healthcare restrictions criticised
    A union representing doctors in Sri Lanka has protested against government plans to stop free healthcare for those addicted to alcohol. The health ministry is planning to stop free health care to "alcohol-addicts" from next month. The union says the new measure jeopardises doctor-patient relations because medics are required to provide a health report for each patient. The poor that will be twice punished by the measure, the union says. more ...
  • 68) Jan 17, 2011 12:10:25 GMT |  + Sri Lanka flood victims vent fury
    Victims of flooding in Sri Lanka have besieged a government office in the east of the country, accusing officials of holding back relief supplies. Windows were smashed as more than 1,000 people surrounded the office in a village in eastern Batticaloa district. Flood victims have told the BBC that some local politicians have been giving food and other aid to their supporters rather than the most needy. more ...
  • 69) Jan 17, 2011 12:08:38 GMT |  + Troubled waters in need of bridges
    IN THE spate of catastrophic floods wreaking havoc from Australia to Brazil, the biblical disaster afflicting Sri Lanka has not received the global attention it merits. The death toll is still below 40. But in terms of the numbers of people displaced and farmland inundated, the floods have been even more devastating than the tsunami of December 2004. According to the government’s figures, more than 1m people have been affected, nearly 400,000 displaced and over 200,000 are still in emergency camps.
  • 70) Jan 17, 2011 12:03:24 GMT |  + Tamil Tigers return to legal spotlight
    A year and a half after the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War, Switzerland has arrested ten members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for extortion of funds. Last week the Federal Criminal Police searched 23 sites in cantons Basel City, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Graubünden, Lucerne, Solothurn, St Gallen, Vaud and Zurich. The sting was carried out in connection with an investigation dating back to May 2009, when several people of Tamil origin were accused of extortion, forgery, money laundering and membership in a criminal organisation. more ...
  • 71) Jan 17, 2011 10:25:53 GMT |  + Smugglers seek ships for Tamil refugees
    Smugglers are preparing to ship at least 400 more Sri Lankan refugees and potential Tamil Tiger rebels to Canada from southeast Asia, intelligence officials have told the government. “There are two separate smuggling syndicates organizing two boats,” from two unnamed southeast Asian ports to the British Columbia coast, a well-placed federal government source told the Citizen. “The syndicates, as far as our intelligence tells us, have not gotten ships, they’re in the process of trying to find ships,” each capable of carrying 200 to 300 passengers.
  • 72) Jan 17, 2011 10:23:44 GMT |  + SL changes top envoy as UN panel finalises report
    In the wake of the UN-Sri Lanka spat over the appointment of a panel to advise UN Secretary General Ban-ki moon over the so-called accountability issues, the government will move the country’s top representative in New York to London.Responding to a query by The Island, sources said that London would be a tough station due to the heavy presence of the British Tamil Forum (BTF) and Global Tamil Forum (GTF), which represent the LTTE interests. The two groups spearheaded a campaign last December to force the Oxford Union to cancel a lecture by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
  • 73) Jan 17, 2011 3:18:13 GMT |  + Help Flood Victims: Canadian Tamil Congress Calls for Canadian Government Help in Sri Lanka
    The recent floods in Eastern Sri Lanka has resulted in the loss of 38 lives, and the displacement of over 380,000 people from their homes. The Region has endured 26 years of civil war and is still recovering from the 2004 tsunami. The lack of shelter with sanitation facility with access to clean water, basic food, clothing and medical treatment is of grave concern. There is an increasing fear of diarrheal epidemic because of lack of sanitation and access to clean water as a result of the unprecedented flooding and inundation of houses and wells by contaminated water.
  • 74) Jan 17, 2010 21:16:54 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's war chiefs fight for the spoils of peace
    He may seem the most unlikely candidate of all, but former army chief General Sarath Fonseka has shaken off the Sri Lankan establishment and engaged in a fierce campaign to beat his former ally to the presidential throne. General Fonseka, the very man who led the army to victory, and once part of current president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s inner circle, dramatically turned against the power in place and declared he would run against his old friend in the election. President Mahinda Rajapaksa (l) and General Sarath Fonseka (r) President Rajapaksa had called for early elections, hoping to strengthen his rule thanks to the nationalist sentiments prevailing in Sri Lanka following his government’s victory over the Tamil Tigers rebels last spring, ending a 26-year civil war. more ...
  • 75) Jan 17, 2010 21:14:01 GMT |  + Weeratunge statement proves India's complicity in Sri Lanka's genocide, says Prof. Boyle
    If the statement of Lalith Weeratunga, a top aide to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, that Sri Lanka's use of heavy weapons was eventually stopped as part of a political deal with the Indian government, was true, "then it proves India’s complicity in the GOSL’s [Government of Sri Lanka's] genocide against the Tamils," says Professor Boyle, expert in International Law in a note sent to TamilNet. "The Government of India temporarily stopped the GOSL’s genocide against the Tamils, thus proving it could do so.... India therefore violated its obligation under article 1 of the Genocide Convention “to prevent” the GOSL genocide against the Tamils," asserts Prof. Boyle. more ...
  • 76) Jan 17, 2010 14:59:10 GMT |  + Sri Lanka 'guilty' of war crimes
    The Sri Lanka government was found guilty of war crimes, a peoples tribunal in Ireland has said. In its preliminary findings, the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka (PTSL) that conducted hearings from 14 to 16 January in Dublin has also concluded that the Sri Lanka government is also guilty of crimes against humanity. However, the-pro Tamil Tiger groups’ accusation that the government carried out Tamil genocide at the last phase of war between the security forces and the LTTE needs to be investigated. more ...
  • 77) Jan 17, 2010 14:55:29 GMT |  + India intends to play greater role in Lanka
    India plans to play a greater role in finding a solution to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka, following the exit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from the political scene in the island nation. This was conveyed by India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which met her in New Delhi late last week, according to Suresh Premachandran. TNA MP for Jaffna district. Premachandran told Express that New Delhi had invited the TNA to brief it on the developing political situation in Sri Lanka post LTTE.
  • 78) Jan 17, 2010 5:02:45 GMT |  + Dublin verdict: Sri Lanka guilty of War Crimes
    Dublin war-crimes tribunal, conducted by Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) based in Milan, which held hearings on Thursday and Friday on war-crime charges on Sri Lanka from eye-witnesses and other material evidence, in the preliminary findings issued Saturday said, Sri Lanka Government is "guilty of War-Crimes" and "guilty of Crimes Against Humanity." The tribunal also concluded that the charge of Genocide requires further investigations. Eye witnesses included several escapees from the final week of Sri Lanka offensive in the Mullaitivu "No Fire Zone" where more than 20,000 Tamil civilians were allegedly slaughtered by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) training heavy weapons on them. more ...
  • 79) Jan 17, 2010 5:01:15 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Tamils wary of election spotlight
    Scarred by decades of war and official indifference, Sri Lanka's minority Tamils are now being courted as political kingmakers -- a shift that many of them view with bitter scepticism. With a presidential election just two weeks away, the two main candidates have been desperately wooing Tamil voters, offering them the same social, economic and political opportunities enjoyed by the Sinhalese majority. The incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapakse, and his main challenger, former army chief Sarath Fonseka, are both Sinhalese. more ...
  • 80) Jan 17, 2010 4:59:03 GMT |  + 'Rajapaksa leading Colombo to dictatorship'
    Former Minister Dr Jayalath Jayawaradana said that the law of the jungle was prevailing in Sri Lanka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa was leading the country towards dictatorship and family rule. Addressing a press conference, Jayawaradana said that there was no law and order in the island nation and that human rights violations were rampant. The Sri Lankan government did not take any action on the human rights commission’s orders and that “people were still reported missing” from several areas, he added. A doctor by profession, Jayawaradana said the police department has been politicised and politicians were taking law into their hands. “Rajapaksa family has become the richest in south Asia,” he said.
  • 81) Jan 17, 2009 21:02:57 GMT |  + US Pacific Command team meets EP Chief Minister
    A delegation from the US Pacific Command led by Major General Thomas L.Conant met the EP Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan at the latter's office in the Eastern Provincial Secretariat on Friday evening. Other members of the delegation were Lieutenant General C.Pettigrew, South Asia Country Director and Lieutenant Commander Lawrence A. Smith III, Defense Army Attaché for Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the US Embassy in Colombo. Dr.K.Vigneswaran, senior advisor to the Chief Minister and media spokesman Azad Moulana participated in the discussion which lasted for an hour. more ...
  • 82) Jan 17, 2009 21:00:45 GMT |  + Dictatorship in the guise of democracy?
    Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's strident outburst this week against dissenters in the media underscores the fact that we now live in a dictatorship cloaked in an exceedingly thin guise of a democracy. Objectively evaluating the interview conducted on national television, one would conclude that the Defence Secretary did both himself and his brother, President Mahinda Rajapkse, considerably more harm than good. The Defence Secretary's largely measured tones when discussing about the war and military victories, gave way to a shrill and even hysterical denunciation of the media at a point, freely categorizing anyone who pointed the finger at the government in regard to media repression, as being a terrorist.
  • 83) Jan 17, 2009 9:13:09 GMT |  + Exploring possibility to take Sri Lankan issue in UN: CPI
    CPI would explore possibility of taking the issue of killing of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka to the United Nations, after discussing with experts in Human Rights, who are holding a convention in Chennai on January 23, party Tamil Nadu unit secretary, D Pandyan said. The party would meet and discuss the issue, in the angle of human rights violation by Sri Lanka and its Army, with the experts thoroughly to take it to UN, Pandyan told reporters here. He said the Centre had failed to take the issue of ceasefire as demanded in the Tamil Nadu assembly and also discussed directly by a delegation with Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, he said.
  • 84) Jan 17, 2009 9:10:36 GMT |  + Sri Lankan Tamil pilgrims held at Sabarimala
    Twenty Sri Lankan Tamil pilgrims visiting the shrine of Lord Ayyapa at Sabarimala, have been arrested as they did not possess proper travel documents. The pilgrims, who were said to have come from Jaffna in Sri Lanka, were arrested late on Friday night and they would be produced in the court later on Saturday, police sources said. The pilgrims, part of a 28-member team, claimed that they came by air to Chennai a few days back and made preparations for making the trip to the hill shrine from an ashram at Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu.
  • 85) Jan 17, 2008 14:57:19 GMT |  + 790 schoolchildren escape SLAF attack
    790 schoolchildren and 22 teachers at the Kanakapuram Maha Viththiyaalayam school escaped the jaws of death when four Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets dropped bombs barely 100 meters away from their school in the Ki'linochchi suburb Thursday morning. A repeat of the gruesome Chegnchoalai massacre was avoided as civilians sought shelter inside bunkers, managed to flee the area and anti-aircraft fire disturbed the SLAF mission. Tiger anti-aircraft gunners rushed to the spot and started firing which ensured that SLAF bombers stopped with two rounds of bombing. more ...
  • 86) Jan 17, 2008 5:17:18 GMT |  + SLAF bombs Ki'linochchi town
    Seven civilians were wounded Thursday morning when Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter bombers attacked a civilian area with a mechanic workshop near Kanakapuram maha viththiyaalayam school. Nine houses were damaged in the bombardment that was launched at 9:30 a.m., initial reports said. more ...
  • 87) Jan 17, 2008 5:07:05 GMT |  + ITAK files petition in SC against LG elections
    The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) known as the Federal Party yesterday filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court against the holding of Local Government elections in the Batticaloa district. In its rights violation petition, the ITAK contends that the current environment in these areas is deeply oppressive and is not conducive for free and fair elections and therefore it wants to preclude the holding of the Local Government elections in the Batticaloa district. The Commissioner General of Elections and the Attorney General are cited as respondents in the two petitions filed by its General Secretary Somasundaram Senathirajah and its member in Batticaloa N.Indrakumar.
  • 88) Jan 17, 2008 4:52:23 GMT |  + Ban Ki-moon urges dialogue to halt violence in Sri Lanka following latest attacks
    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the attacks which occurred in Sri Lanka today, killing and injuring dozens – including children – and coinciding with the formal end of a truce between the Government and Tamil rebels. “The only way to stop further violence in Sri Lanka is through dialogue,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson. Earlier this month, Mr. Ban had expressed his concern with the Government’s decision to end the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement that halted a decades-long conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more ...
  • 89) Jan 17, 2008 4:38:23 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Central Bank Keeps Key Rate at 5-Year High
    Sri Lanka's central bank kept its key interest rate at a five-year high in a bid to tame inflation. Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal is under pressure to keep rates steady as higher borrowing costs may weaken an economy already threatened by heightened violence in the island's 24-year civil war. The bank needs to raise interest rates to contain price gains, the International Monetary Fund said in November. The Washington-based IMF expects Sri Lanka's economy to expand 6 percent in 2008.
  • 90) Jan 17, 2008 4:13:21 GMT |  + Lankan govt faces world criticism
    With the tattered six year old ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels officially ending on Wednesday, the Mahinda Rajapakse led UPFA regime is facing a hailstorm of international criticism for formally abrogating the peace agreement signed in February 2002. However government officials assert that keeping in line with a recent pledge by President Rajapakse, the All Party Representative Committee is to present a political package on Jan 23 aimed at placating the Tamil minority community. But analysts point out that the plan to finalise a political solution will, once again, run into difficulty when faced with obtaining a consensus.
  • 91) Jan 17, 2008 4:12:30 GMT |  + Norwegian Tamils march against the abrogation of CFA
    Abrogation of the CFA by the Government of Sri Lanka has removed the only reporting body of human rights and humanitarian law violations that take place in Sri Lanka, said K. Sivapalan, a senior attorney-at-law from Trincomalee, addressing four hundred participants, mainly members of the Tamil diaspora, who participated in a march carrying torches towards the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo, expressing solidarity with the Tamils in the homeland Wednesday evening.
  • 92) Jan 17, 2007 22:14:54 GMT |  + How CBK blocked Annan’s visit to LTTE terrain
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga had determinedly rejected a personal request by Kofi Annan to visit tsunami hit areas under LTTE control, even insisting that accompanying World Bank chief James Wolfenson may go but not the former UN secretary-general, reveals a new international publication by a New York Times Magazine journalist. Annan was taken to the presidential palace after surveying other areas of Sri Lanka that had been devastated by the tsunami. "Annan went straight to the point, saying that in a humanitarian crisis ‘we need to be able to go everywhere where people are in need` I talked to the minister of foreign affairs in Jakarta, but he said no’."
  • 93) Jan 17, 2007 22:04:05 GMT |  + Experts return 'empty handed'
    An expert panel of investigators from Australia has returned empty handed after Sri Lanka and Australia failed to agree on terms and conditions on their investigation. S Ratnavel, counsel representing the families of the 17 aid workers killed in Muttur, said the experts returned after spending 20 days in the island. The expert team on explosives has been invited by the Sri Lanka government to help investigate the murder of the local workers of France based aid organisation, Action Against Hunger (ACF).
  • 94) Jan 17, 2007 18:16:26 GMT |  + Sri Lankan Peace Hopes Suffer Military, Political Setbacks
    Hopes for a political solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict appear to have suffered a new setback. Media in the region report that Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse has rejected an appeal by former prime minister and opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe to accept opposition politicians into the government. Officials of the opposition right-wing UNP (United National Party) have said such a negative response by the president would scuttle their joint pledge to work on a united proposal for negotiations with ethnic Tamil rebels. VOA's Steve Herman reports from Washington on the fading hopes for peace in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 95) Jan 17, 2007 14:52:36 GMT |  + Sri Lanka jets bomb Tamil Tigers as fighting flares
    Sri Lankan air force jets pounded a suspected Tamil Tiger base in the island's northeast on Wednesday, the military said, as troops sought to wrest control of a rebel-held area. Witnesses saw jets roar from their base north of the capital, Colombo, to attack the suspected base near the village of Verugal where rebels control a dwindling pocket of land in the far northeastern districts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa. The Tigers were not available for comment and there were no immediate details of any damage or casualties.
  • 96) Jan 17, 2007 14:50:37 GMT |  + Six civilians killed in Vavuniya, 2 abducted
    Six persons, including a woman and a driver attached to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) were shot and killed, and two young men riding in a three-wheeler were killed, in two separate incidents in Vavuniya, Tuesday night. Four of the victims were killed at a house in Kurumankadu, 2 km west of Vavuniya town, 200 meters from a Police post, and the other two victims, riding in a three-wheeler on Rice Mill Road were shot dead. One of the victims was burnt inside the three-wheeler, Police said. Anton Rupaseelan, 26, Clive Rohan Rajadurai, 44, a driver attached to MSF, Anthonypillai Ponmani, 57, a woman, and Yoganathan Jeyanthan, 28, were identified as the four victims who were shot and killed at Kurumankadu around 8:00 p.m.
  • 97) Jan 17, 2007 2:51:28 GMT |  + Graft costs Sri Lanka a billion dollars a year: whistle-blower
    Kick-backs and crooked deals cost Sri Lanka over a billion dollars last year amounting to about a fifth of tax revenue, the country's top official whistle-blower told AFP in an interview. "As a result of these inefficiencies and corrupt deals, we estimate Sri Lanka may have lost in excess of 100 billion rupees (one billion dollars) last year alone," Legislator Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said Monday.He said he had discovered that the Board of Investment (BOI) operated without a business plan and maintained records in an ad-hoc fashion."It was shocking discovery to all of us. The BOI is such an important institution and the main agency to attract foreign investments to our country," said Rajapakshe, who is also a ruling party law-maker.
  • 98) 21:02 GMT, Jan. 17, 2006 |  + Letter from Trincomalee
    Our departure was complicated by a virtual blockade of the city by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the extreme nationalist party, whose half-drunk supporters had surrounded our vehicle earlier that day and threatened to beat us up.As our vehicle was brought to an abrupt halt, we were quickly encircled. Some of the strikers covered their faces with scarves, one of them gripping a hacksaw in his right hand. Others started making calls on their mobile phones to summon reinforcements. One of the more thick-set protesters reached through the driver's window and seized control of the keys. Others threatened to harm our cameraman unless he handed over the tape - something which we refused to do. Instead, we reluctantly agreed to erase a short portion of film - deleting enough to satisfy the strikers' drunken self-appointed censor, but retaining enough to give viewers a brief sense of the mob's violent intent. more ...
  • 99) 17:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2006 |  + Nordic countries condemn attack on Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
    The contributing countries to Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission SLMM, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, condemn in the strongest terms the unacceptable attack on the Batticaloa district office of SLMM on Friday 13 January. Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission is an impartial, civilian mission that monitors the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement by the Sri Lankan Government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE, at the invitation of the parties to the Agreement. SLMM has always enjoyed the full confidence of the affected populations, and good cooperation on behalf of the parties to the Ceasefire Agreement. The contributing countries expect the parties to the Ceasefire Agreement to ensure the security of SLMM, in accordance with the Agreement, and to ensure that SLMM is given the opportunity to fulfil the responsibilities placed on the mission by the parties to the Ceasefire Agreement. more ...
  • 100) 16:58 GMT, Jan. 17, 2006 |  + Scandinavian monitors pull out of Sri Lanka's Trincomalee district
    Scandivanian truce monitors in Sri Lanka today announced their first suspension of work in the island's restive district of Trincomalee district after a bomb attack on a navy bus wounded 12. The Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said their decision followed the escalation of violence in Trincomalee culminating in a bomb attack against a navy bus. "The SLMM has decided to suspend operational activities in Trincomalee until further notice," the SLMM said in a statement. "It is important to underline that the suspension is limited to Trincomalee district only and we plan to resume normal monitoring activities as soon as the situation calms down." more ...
  • 101) 12:39 GMT, Jan. 17, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka military ambushed as envoys visit rebels
    COLOMBO (Reuters) - Suspected Tamil Tigers ambushed military vehicles in north and east Sri Lanka on Tuesday, the army said, killing one soldier as Nordic envoys visited the rebels ahead of key peace meetings next week. The soldier died in a fragmentation mine blast on the northern peninsula of Jaffna and 12 sailors were injured in another mine attack near the eastern port city of Trincomalee. Two civilians were killed in crossfire there when the sailors and rebels exchanged fire, the military said. With the government and the Tigers unable to agree on even a venue for talks, analysts say repeated rebel attacks are aimed at forcing military retaliation they hope would win them sympathy -- but are stretching a four-year truce to near breaking point. more ...
  • 102) 12:39 GMT, Jan. 17, 2006 |  + Balasingham to visit Vanni next week
    Mr. Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator and political strategist of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), will visit the LTTE held region of Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, on 23rd January in a fresh effort to resume the peace process. Mr. Balasingham will assist the LTTE leader, Mr. V. Pirapaharan, during the forthcoming meeting next week between Mr. Erik Solheim, the Norwegian Minister of International Development, and the LTTE leadership. Mr. Solheim, who is also the Minister in charge of Norway's peace process in Sri Lanka, during his visit to the island, will meet President Mahinda Rajapakse and other Sri Lankan leaders as well as the Tamil Tiger leadership. more ...
  • 103) 11:33 GMT, Jan. 17, 2006 |  + Stop violence, start talks: World Bank
    The World Bank has added its voice to the mounting concerns expressed over the present volatile situation in Sri Lanka with the Country Director warning that assistance provided by the international lending agency could see a dent if there was no immediate improvement. WB Country Head Peter Harrold told the Daily Mirror he hoped the upcoming visit of Norwegian Minister and special envoy Erik Solheim would facilitate the process for government and the LTTE to return to the negotiating table. “As my international colleagues have commented, the current situation raises great concerns, and we strongly urge both sides to desist from violence and get down to peace talks and the review of the ceasefire agreement as soon as possible”, Mr. Harold said. He said the level of World Bank assistance in its country assistance strategy depended heavily on the progress of the peace process. more ...
  • 104) 11:29 GMT, Jan. 17, 2006 |  + “SLMM should exercise its CFA mandate”
    “Our leadership is deeply shocked and wishes to express its concern over the attack on the SLMM in Batticaloa and would urge SLMM to exercise more care and become vocal in its exposure of the elements responsible for this type of dastardly acts that are planned on a political agenda to do away with the presence of SLMM” said Mr.S.P.Tamilselvan in a meeting with the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) today 17 January 2006 at the Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi. In another meeting earlier in the day Mr.Hans Bratskar, H.E. The Ambassador for Norway had brief discussions with Mr.Tamilselvan on the visit next week of Mr.Erik Solheim, Norway’s Minister for International Development who is scheduled to meet with the LTTE leadership to work out modalities on the proposed Government – LTTE meeting on the implementation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). more ...
  • 105) 12:16 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Martin satisfied Canadian aid getting to Tamils
    Prime Minister Paul Martin says he's satisfied that Canadian aid is getting to Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, and wants to make sure the aid continues to get through. Martin made the comments in Colombo on Monday, after meeting with representatives in parliament of Sri Lanka's Tamil population. While Martin said he was pleased aid was getting through, he denounced reports that Tamil rebels were using children to fight their war. The parliamentarians did not completely deny that some children have joined the fighting, but rejected reports they were conscripting child soldiers, calling it anti-Tamil propaganda.Earlier Monday, Martin met with Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team in Ampara, where the DART team has set up a water purification unit, and helping to clean up the region. The PM is now headed for New Delhi for a visit that is expected to focus mainly on trade issues. He is not expected to tour regions devastated by the tsunami, because the Indian government has not allowed any officials to do so as of yet. more ...
  • 106) 12:10 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Karygiannis defends trip into Tamil Tiger-controlled regions of Sri Lanka
    Five-term government backbencher Jim Karygiannis, who is on a self-financed trip to Sri Lanka to observe the destruction, first-hand caused by the Dec. 26 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed an estimated 150,000 people, angrily rejected criticism launched against him last week from a fellow Liberal MP who suggested his visit into Tamil Tiger-controlled regions will fuel conflict. Liberal MP David Kilgour (Edmonton-Beaumont, Alta.) last week publicly criticized Mr. Karygiannis (Scarborough-Agincourt, Ont.) for visiting Tamil Tiger-controlled regions of Sri Lanka and meeting leaders of the rebels' political wing. But a Tamil Liberal organizer who spoke to The Hill Times on condition of anonymity said he disagrees with Mr. Kilgour and supports Mr. Karygiannis for touring Sri Lanka as the Toronto Liberal MP is responding to a humanitarian catastrophe. more ...
  • 107) 11:27 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Tsunami devastation 'beyond human comprehension': PM
    Prime Minister Paul Martin spent his second day in Asia visiting the tsunami-stricken areas in eastern Sri Lanka, saying he's been overwhelmed by the experience of seeing the devastation first hand. "This is sheer devastation. It's really beyond human comprehension," Martin said as he toured a village in the Ampara region, where more than 10,000 people died, a third of all the dead in Sri Lanka. Martin, who was also joined by members of all opposition parties, said the tour puts a human face on what he's only seen on television. "When you see these young kids, what they've gone through...When you go to those graves and see the numbers of people who were buried, it was impossible not to be deeply affected," he said. more ...
  • 108) 11:10 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Toll tops 175,000 as Sri Lanka adds thousands
    Sri Lanka's tsunami death toll shot up on Monday as officials said the more they cleared up, the more bodies they found. The island added another 7,275 victims to its list of the dead, taking the national toll over 38,000 and the overall toll around Indian Ocean nations to 175,458. "We are coming across dead bodies on a daily basis as we clear the rubble," said Tilak Ranavirajah, a senior public security ministry official. Hardest-hit Indonesia has steadily raised its total, but Sri Lanka's body count had stabilised around 30,000 until Monday. U.S. Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz flew to the island to see the clean-up efforts in the southern port of Galle.

    Prime Minister Paul Martin in Sri Lanka
    Martin will not go to the north and east, areas that are controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), as New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton and many Tamil Canadians are urging him to. Layton is among eight MPs along on the trip. Layton said he believes Martin should go to the Tamil-held regions to see for himself the flow of aid because he made a promise to the Tamil Canadian community — the largest expatriate community of Tamils outside Sri Lanka. Layton says he is trying to arrange to remain in Sri Lanka to travel there himself in the coming days. Officials said Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis (Scarborough-Agincourt) went to the northern area, and Martin will take his advice as "another voice" among those he's consulting.
  • Martin travelled today to the Ampara district where Canada's military Disaster Assistance Response Team is operating.
  • On his return to Colombo he was to meet another Tamil representative, Regi, who represents the humanitarian group Tamil Relief Organization.
  • Then he was to meet the three Tamil parliamentarians, and then President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. - TCNR ( January 17, 2005)
  • more ...
  • 109) 11:07 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + US deputy defense secretary arrives in Sri Lanka
    The US Deputy Secretary of DefensePaul Wolfowitz has arrived in Sri Lanka, the Colombo internationalairport officials said Monday. Wolfowitz who arrived in Colombo around 11:30 a.m. local time will tour Sri Lanka's Tsunami-stricken southern province, US officials in Colombo said. He would hold talks with Sri Lankan leaders and the US militarycommanders currently stationed in Sri Lanka as part of the US government's relief operations in this Indian ocean island after the Dec. 26 Tsunami disaster. The US marine soldiers are stationed in Katunayake near the international airport, the southern port city of Galle and in the capital Colombo. more ...
  • 110) 03:29 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + International Embeddedness and the LTTE
    The international community is not a neutral and homogenous body; it is controlled and manipulated by the interests and ideologies of powerful countries. Even if some of the actors seem neutral and harmless, they cannot engage in actions that are contrary to the larger political, ideological and economic interests of powerful global players. Norway has a good reputation of being neutral and objective in the peace process in Sri Lanka, but it also consults and discusses with powerful members such as the United States, European Union, India and Britain as how the peace process should proceed in Sri Lanka. India has also a stake in the peace process. She is afraid that an independent Tamil Eelam might influence political events in the state of Tamil Nadu. While is important that the conflict in Sri Lanka should be ended, it is not clear whose interests that the international community is pursuing. However, geo-political strategic and economic interests of powerful countries are certainly factored in the peace talks with the two opposing sections. more ...
  • 111) 03:27 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Humanity Must Trump Politics
    Overwhelmed by the generosity of their fellow citizens, Tamil Canadians tended to continuously acknowledge and thank their government for coming through, at the same time, cautiously warning against the need for equitable distribution of the funds to all parts of the area. Canada cannot succumb to pressures from governments such as Sri Lanka, whose assurances of equitable aid distribution is highly suspect. Rather, Canada needs to continuously monitor the aid and ensure that people, both Singhalese and Tamils, and those in the other affected areas get the relief that was meant for them, and not sent to support the oversized militaries of these states. At the same time, Canada has to meaningfully engage communities such a Canadian Tamils in the monitoring, reconstruction and rebuilding efforts. more ...
  • 112) 03:19 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Martin set for politically fraught meeting with Tamils in Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Prime Minister Paul Martin wades into Sri Lanka's murky domestic politics Monday when he meets with parliamentarians whose views reflect those of the Tamil Tigers, a separatist insurgent group. Martin will first pay a visit to Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, in Ampara, almost two hours up the coast by helicopter. But navigation could be considerably more complicated in the capital, where Martin hopes to make good on a pledge to ensure equitable aid distribution throughout Sri Lanka in the wake of the devastating tsunamis three weeks ago. On Monday, Martin meets with three politicians of the Tamil National Alliance, which is not directly affiliated with the Tigers. more ...
  • 113) 20:24 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Tsunami aid flowing freely, Tamils assure PM
    Prime Minister Paul Martin met with Tamil politicians Monday who assured him tsunami aid is reaching all areas of Sri Lanka, despite fears that it might be blocked by rebel groups. Mr. Martin sought pledges during his visit to Colombo on Monday from the officials that billions of dollars in aid money would reach the intended areas in the Tamil-controlled northern Sri Lanka area. However, Mr. Martin emerged from his meeting with two representatives, Joseph Pararajasingham and Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, saying he received guarantees that aid is reaching all areas of the country. more ...
  • 114) 17:36 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + “Tsunami syndrome should not be allowed to create a society dependant on relief aid”
    The Tamil National Leader Mr. V.Prabakaran, addressing a group of Tamil intellectuals and disaster management planners today 17 Jan 2005 in Kilinochchi, said that future planning should focus attention on the state of dependency that would arise consequent to the Tsunami disaster and reiterated the necessity to create the right livelihood environment, free of dependency on relief aid. Inaugurating the sessions, Mr.Prabakaran conveyed his appreciation to the intellectuals and experts in the various disciplines related to disaster management, rehabilitation and reconstruction, who have readily responded to the call at home of their brethren in distress. “Working day and night during the last few days, planning rescue, relief and reconstruction activities, you have demonstrated your commitment and affinity to your brethren in the homeland” commended the National Leader. more ...
  • 115) 17:21 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + 'Set politics aside,' Martin urges Tamil politicians
    Prime Minister Paul Martin met with two Tamil politicians barred entry to Canada last year because of fears they would embark on an illegal Tigers fundraising campaign, and urged them not to let politics get in the way of aid money reaching tsunami victims. Mr. Martin met with the two Tamil National Alliance members of parliament in Colombo on Monday afternoon, after he toured tsunami-ravaged Kalumnai, Sri Lanka, Monday morning. more ...
  • 116) 17:18 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Canadian PM meets with TNA, TRO delegations
    Mr. Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, met with delegations of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) Monday at Colombo Hilton Hotel at 2.30 PM. The TNA delegation urged that all international aid, including Canadian aid, to be channeled through International Non-Governmental Organizations till a proper mechanism is set up to deal with the post Tsunami situation in the Northeast. The TNA told the Canadian Prime Minister that there was total centralization of all rehabilitation, resettlement, reconstruction and development activities in Colombo, and that this was totally inconsistent with the wishes expressed by the people of Northeast. The TNA delegation comprised of Mr. R. Sampanthan M.P. Parliamentary Group Leader, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham M.P. and Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam M.P. Also present was Mr. K. P. Reggie, Executive Director of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization. more ...
  • 117) 17:17 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Martin praises DART
    Just two minutes spent visiting Sri Lanka's tsunami-shattered east coast would convince any Canadian of the value of sending in Canada's military, an awe-struck Prime Minister Paul Martin said Monday after wandering a devastated community here for close to an hour. Martin travelled by helicopter 300 kilometres east of Colombo to inspect the Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, at its camp in Ampara district - a region about half the size of Prince Edward Island that is estimated to have had more than 10,000 die as a result of the Dec. 26 tsunami. The prime minister later conceded that nothing had prepared him for the experience. more ...
  • 118) 12:32 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Number of Sri Lankans needing food aid likely to rise by 100,000
    The number of Sri Lankans needing food aid after the tsunamis may rise by 100,000 to 850,000 in the week ahead, the head of the UN's World Food Program said at the end of a tour which included the rebel-controlled north. WFP director James T. Morris said he met the leader of the Tamil Tiger's political wing S.P. Thamilselvan in Kilinochchi for an hour after initially being blocked by the government, apparently for security reasons. The WFP "expressed to him how important their respect and support for basic humanitarian principles is and how appreciative we are for the ability we have to do our work there," Morris said at the end of his two-day visit to the island on Sunday.
    - U.N. Food Rep Meets Sri Lanka Rebel Leader - AP
    - Sri Lanka announces relief package for Tsunami victims - Xinhuanet
    more ...
  • 119) 12:25 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Official: Sri Lanka in Reconstruction Mode
    U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Monday that Sri Lanka is moving swiftly from relief to reconstruction three weeks after the devastating tsunami and help from U.S. military engineers won't be needed much longer. After visiting a battered area on its southern coast, Wolfowitz said he was "impressed by how resilient people are" and then met Sri Lanka's leaders to see what more America can do. The U.S. defense official said cooperation by Tamil rebels in the relief efforts was "probably a good sign," and hoped the catastrophe shared by Sri Lanka's feuding ethnic groups would help spur peace efforts.
    -Sri Lanka to build 15 new towns in tsunami zone - Reuters
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  • 120) 12:22 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Tamil rebels revamp image
    There were paintings of tigers roaring though halos of bullets in the Tamil stronghold of Kilinochchi yesterday as loudspeakers blared songs about the homeland to commemorate the anniversary of the death of a warrior who swallowed cyanide rather than be taken alive by Sinhalese government forces. That was 13 years ago, however. These days, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam offer tea to aid workers and journalists who visit their headquarters. The rebels always hunt for ways to cut a less radical image. Last week, one of the visitors to the Tigers' area was Toronto-area Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, whose riding, Scarborough-Agincourt, has more Tamil residents than any other. The Tigers leaned on him to urge Prime Minister Paul Martin to schedule a last-minute trip to the northern region of the country during his stop in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 121) 02:27 GMT, Jan. 17, 2005 |  + Martin set for politically fraught meeting with Tamils in Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Prime Minister Paul Martin wades into Sri Lanka's murky domestic politics Monday when he meets with parliamentarians whose views reflect those of the Tamil Tigers, a separatist insurgent group. Martin will first pay a visit to Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, in Ampara, almost two hours up the coast by helicopter. On Monday, Martin meets with three politicians of the Tamil National Alliance, which is not directly affiliated with the Tigers. "However they very accurately reflect the views of the LTTE," a senior Canadian official said Sunday evening in Colombo. Two of the three men Martin is to meet - Paraajasingham and Ponnambalam - were denied visas to Canada last year because of concerns they would engage in illegal LTTE fund-raising. more ...
  • 122) 20:37 GMT, Jan. 17, 2004 |  + LTTE invites Presidentfor ground survey
    Throwing an open challenge to President Chandrika Kumaratunga to prove her claims about the alleged recruitment of child soldiers in continued violation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is the Political Wing Leader of the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), S. P. Tamilselvan. He invited Kumaratunga to send a team of representatives to the north including independent media personnel to do a ground situation survey and thereafter ascertain whether the LTTE has been breaking the truce in the manner alleged by her. Tamilselvan also said that the LTTE would not be the party to break the truce and go back to war, but added that while a war was not an option to a gigantic political problem, noted that chauvinistic elements in the south coupled with provocative actions of the military could drive them towards militancy again. more ...
  • 123) 13:15 GMT, Jan. 17, 2004 |  + Is the problem southern apathy or PA-UNF confrontation?
    For all intents and purposes the peace process has ground to a halt with not only Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announcing publicly that he cannot carry forward negotiations with the ministries of defence, the interior and mass media outside his control, but the Norwegian facilitators too moving out stating there is a lack of clarity as to who in charge of the talks in Colombo. The reason, it is plain as daylight, is due to the intra-elite dispute that has split the governing establishment in Colombo asunder. The confrontation has stymied the task of governance in all but the day-to-day affairs of running the country. Not only foreign investors, but the government too seems to have adopted a wait and see policy. more ...
  • 124) 12:55 GMT, Jan. 17, 2004 |  + New Norwegian leader of observers in Sri Lanka
    Norwegian retired general Trond Furuhovde will take over as head of the Scandinavian observer corps in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). This is seen by observers as a sign that Norway is resuming its efforts to facilitate peace talks in Sri Lanka. The appointment comes after Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga last fall forced Norway to withdraw General Trygve Tellefsen from the position of chief for the SLMM. Since then, and because of the political crisis in Sri Lanka, the year-long Norwegian peace efforts have been at a standstill. more ...
  • 125) 12:54 GMT, Jan. 17, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka president stands firm on length of term
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Saturday rejected criticism of her surprise decision to extend her term in office and said only the island's highest court could challenge it. The move is the latest in a political standoff with her rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, that has sidelined efforts to revive peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels to end a two-decade civil war that has killed 64,000 people. "If the decision is deemed to be unconstitutional, the only body with the authority to do so is the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka," the Presidential Secretariat said in a statement. more ...
  • 126) 10:07 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + SIHRN identifies 11 projects for immediate implementation in NE
    Mr.Yasushi Akashi, special peace envoy of the Government of Japan and Ms Mieko Nishimizu, World Bank Vice President for South Asia participated at the second day meeting of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN) held Thursday at Killinochchi. Eleven projects have been identified for immediate implementation in the north and east at the SIHRN meeting after eleven hour discussion, said a press release issued at the conclusion of the meeting. more ...
  • 127) 10:01 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka govt, rebels agree on resettlement tasks
    The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels, seeking to show the public tangible benefits of peace after 19 years of conflcit, finalised a plan on Thursday to develop war-battered areas of the country. The importance of Thursday's meeting was underscored by the presence of Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi and Mieko Nishimizu, the World Bank's vice president for South Asia. more ...
  • 128) 03:45 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Japan schedules donor conference in mid-June
    The Japanese Government, indicating its growing confidence in the continuity of the Sri Lankan peace process has decided to schedule the second donor conference, expected to garner a bigger quantum of aid, between June 15 to 20 in Tokyo, Cabinet spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday. Addressing the weekly Cabinet media briefing Prof. Peiris said: "The Japanese government had earlier stated they will call for a donor conference only when substantial progress in the peace talks has been achieved." more ...
  • 129) 02:36 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + 'Clandestine' visit to test Sri Lanka waters?
    The arrest of Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu in the last few days for allegedly not possessing valid documents, seems to indicate that they are trying to `explore' the ground situation in the northeast of the island-nation through `clandestine channels'. The attempts are believed to stem from hopes among refugees of a possible breakthrough in the ongoing peace talks between the LTTE and the Sri Lanka Government. more ...
  • 130) 01:15 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + A celebrated beauty honours her dad
    Celebrated Malaysian beauty Sharmini Tiruchelvam, who had once donated a house in Sri Lanka to Mother Teresa, is now donating a bungalow to the National University of Singapore (NUS). Sharmini said she and her family had known Mother Teresa long before the nun became world renown. “I donated the house that belonged to my late grandmother to her because she had visited and admired the place. “Although she never asked for it, I decided to give it to her three years before her death in the hope that she would use it as a convent,” she said in an interview yesterday. more ...
  • 131) 01:28 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Colonel Kittu's tenth anniversary commemorated
    The tenth death anniversary of Colonel Kittu, a senior commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was observed in northeastern province Thursday. Colonel Kittu and nine other LTTE members committed suicide when the Indian Navy cordoned off the boat in which they were sailing to Sri Lanka. Kittu was the head of the LTTE's International Secretariat at the time of his death. more ...
  • 132) 01:27 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Expansion of 'Voice of Tigers' a healthy sign, says Govt
    Sri Lanka today hailed the expansion of broadcast service by the ''Voice of Tigers'' (VoT) radio by terming it as a healthy sign for the ongoing peace process between the government and the Tamil Tigers. ''It is a healthy sign in terms of promoting peace efforts,'' Government's chief peace negotiator and Minister of Constitutional Affairs Prof G L Peiris said here at a media briefing. The expression of views should be allowed and the people should be informed as to how the peace process was being taken forward, he said. more ...
  • 133) 01:26 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka Tigers seek return of Muslim refugees
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to prepare a plan to resettle thousands of Muslims they drove out of the northern peninsula of Jaffna 12 years ago, officials announced Thursday. A sub-committee appointed by peace negotiators, consisting of members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan government, decided Thursday to prepare a blueprint to allow Muslims to return to their homes. "The head of the LTTE delegation reiterated the organisation's interest in, and commitment to, return of Muslim IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) to their homes in the north," a joint statement said. more ...
  • 134) 19:52 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + You Can Change Their Life ...
    Your Pocket Money Can feed a mal nutritious Child in Sri Lanka
    We want you to involve yourself in this great endeavor and let all of us individually and severally contribute to the aim of changing the bleak life of the Children at present to a rosy one of the future. Now a sort of normalcy is prevailing and hence the urgent need to identify them, assess their wants, prepare a plan to protect them and provide their wants. The massive onslaught on the Tamil population during the past few decades has brought about this destructive change and these Children are facing a dark future, if not properly planned and protected. more ...
  • 135) 19:31 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + UN agency in talks with Sri Lanka government, rebels on refugee returns
    Officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have been meeting with representatives of the Government of Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebel leaders this week to determine a possible role in returning an initial group of over 100,000 internally displaced Tamils, the UN agency said today. The meeting also discussed the future return of some 84,000 refugees living in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, spokesman Kris Janowski said in Geneva.
  • World Bank vice president visits Chavakachcheri
    more ...
  • 136) 14:03 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Plot to murder Lankan minister unearthed
    Security around Sri Lanka's Muslim Affairs Minister, Rauf Hakeem, was strengthened on Wednesday after police unveiled an alleged plot to kill him last week. Police in the Negombo district confirmed that an armed group carrying firearms, bombs and bullets had undertaken a contract to kill the minister. According to the police seven members of the gang were Muslims while the others were Tamils. Upon interrogation the group had admitted that the contract was to kill Hakeem as well as other close supporters of his. more ...
  • 137) 13:59 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Pongu Thamizh: "Quantity Deficit and Quality Surplus"



    Pongu Thamizh was strated by Student Union of Jaffna University on January 17, 2001

    As a minority community fighting against oppression we must be united and cooperate with others and act in a coordinated way. A minority community can't afford dissension and infighting among them. Already we have made such blunders and as a result have suffered much. Now we have to fight the battle against our own failures and incompetence. Our Tamil Intelligentsia living in Sri Lanka and outside must participate fully in our liberation struggle. Our thinkers and writers must contribute their best to bring about a high level of political awareness and Tamil national consciousness among our people. All of us must understand that our liberation struggle is our collective effort to regain our human dignity and as such it is our part of the worldwide struggle for human rights and human dignity.
  • Pongu Thamizh around the World
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  • 138) 13:41 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Eleven projects identified for urgent implementation in N/E sector
    The Government and the LTTE have identified eleven projects for urgent implementation in the North-East sector in their on going discussions to address the humanitarian needs in the war affected areas. Among these project concepts are the reconstruction of the road on the Mullaitivu-Mankulam-Vellankulam stretch, an Intensive Care Unit in Kilinochchi, a Milk Chilling and processing facility in the Kilinochchi District. A Centre for treatment of women with Psychiatric disorders in Kilinochchi was also among the projects which came up for discussion during the meeting of the Sub-Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North East (SIHRN) which met in Kilinochchi on January 15 and 16. more ...
  • 139) 13:29 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Editorial: Shun Gadhafy at U.N.
    It may not make us popular with many countries at the United Nations, but Canada is right to oppose a controversial drive to name Libya as the chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Relying on friends in Africa, who have the power to name the next chair, Col. Moammar Gadhafy hopes to win the coveted post Monday. The chair rotates annually among the world's five geographical regions. Next week it's Africa's "turn" to select a chair, and a panel of 10 states, nine of them unfree or only partly free, has unwisely chosen Libya, which uses its oil revenues to bankroll many African causes. more ...
  • 140) 13:19 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Pirapaharan welcomes Japanese envoy, President cancels meeting
    Leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Pirapaharan, sent his greetings through LTTE's political head, ThamilChelvan, to the visiting World bank Vice president, Ms Meiko Nishimizu, Special peace envoy of the Government of Japan, Mr.Yasushi Akashi, World Bank Country Director Mr. Peter Harold and other delegates to the meeting of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation (SIHRN) which met in Kilinochchi, Voice of Tigers (VoT), reported in its late night broadcast yesterday. Meanwhile, reports from Colombo said the President, Chandrika Kumaratunge has cancelled a meeting with Mr.Yasushi Akashi citing other political commitments. more ...
  • 141) 13:03 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Sri Lankan Muslim leader urges Tamil rebels to recognize right
    Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Rauff Hakeem has urged separatist Tamil Tiger rebels to recognize its right to represent minority Muslims in the country. Addressing a public gathering outside the capital Colombo on Thursday, Hakeem dismissed an assertion by Anton Balasingham, chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels at the peace talks with the government, that Hakeem's SLMC does not represent the Muslim community. more ...
  • 142) 12:22 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka seeking International Monetary Fund support
    A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (news - web sites) held talks with Sri Lankan officials Friday to discuss the possibility of providing long-term loans to the country, which is emerging from a protracted civil war. The four-member group met with officials of Sri Lanka's central bank, said B.A. Perera, an IMF official. No details of the meeting were immediately available. more ...
  • 143) 01:25 GMT, Jan. 17, 2003 |  + Sri Lankan tourism booms under truce
    Sri Lanka's tourism industry is booming as the country's peace process continues. Government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists signed a truce in February 2002 and talks between the two sides are continuing to end a 19-year-long civil war. As a result the number of tourists visiting the country in 2002 was up 16.7% compared with 2001, Paddy Withana, chairman of the Sir Lankan Tourism Board, was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. more ...
  • 144) 17:55 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Tamil parties unite in Constitutional Council nomination
    A retired High Court Judge Mr.T.Suntharalingam has been nominated to the eleven member constitutional council which is to be appointed under the 17th amendment to the constitution. Leaders of Tamil political parties represented in the parliament Thursday unanimously nominated Mr.Suntharalingam as the representative of the Sri Lanka Tamils in the Constitutional Council. more ...
  • 145) 13:54 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Slow Start
    Establishing conditions of normalcy must remain the prime objective of all concerned with peace in Sri Lanka. The embargo still remains on some crucial items. The devastated Vanni needs the reconstruction of houses, hospitals and schools as necessary and vital steps to normalcy. The road system - destroyed by decades of sanctions, demanding weather and war - needs to be rebuilt quickly to allow daily essentials to reach hundreds of thousand of people scattered across the region. Spare parts for vehicles and a viable transport system are also core requisites. Yet cement, petrol and diesel still remain severely restricted. more ...
  • 146) 13:36 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Trinco fishing ban drives thousands to destitution
    More than five thousand fishermen of Kinniya, China Bay and Mutur in the Trincomalee district have been deprived of their livelihood due to the ban imposed currently by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) on fishing in the Koddiyar Bay and in the waters off the eastern port town, fisheries officials said Thursday. Fishing is banned by the SLN in the waters off the coast from Mutur to Kinniya China Bay and the Trincomalee town. Inland fishing in the district is prohibited after dusk. more ...
  • 147) 12:13 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + War on terror 'curbing human rights'
    A leading human rights organisation has accused governments around the world of using the US-led war on terrorism as an excuse to carry out repressive policies and crush on internal dissent. The report also says the United States and its western allies are turning a blind eye to abuses in friendly countries in return for their support in the campaign against terror. more ...
  • 148) 12:07 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + JVP launches campaign against peace talks
    The JVP has launched a massive campaign against the Norwegian-backed peace initiative. Its members Wednesday distributed leaflets describing the new government's peace process as peace with Eelam. The JVP opposes the move and says it will not succeed. It accused the government of strengthening the Tigers’ hands at a great risk. The JVP also accused the government of conniving with the LTTE on their terms and opening the gates for them without taking into account their past record. more ...
  • 149) 12:04 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + 'BIA security personnel recruited on MP's chits'
    The Airforce had no choice in the recruitment of Airforce personnel to man the BIA as they were recruited on lists submitted by MP's. It was taken for granted that the airmen could not be transferred and only recruited for the security of the BIA, said Director Operations. Air Commodore Salgado was giving evidence before the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the attack on the Katunayake Airforce Base and BIA, chaired by the retired Court of Appeal Judge D. Jayawickreme and the retired Air Marshal P.G. Mendis. more ...
  • 150) 11:45 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + In the Tamil Tiger heartland
    When our car crossed the front line into the Vanni, we left behind the last government controlled checkpoint, patrolled by heavily armed, uniformed soldiers. On the other side we were met by their enemy, Tamil Tigers, conspicuously dressed in casual clothes and unarmed. In the two days I spent in the Vanni, I saw no guns, nor any indications of military activity there. more ...
  • 151) 11:41 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Mother jailed for children's deaths
    In the minutes before she killed her children, Jasotha Mahendriran wrote a suicide note, propped open her front door with one of her children's shoes so police could easily enter her home hours later, and gave her daughter and son Children's Tylenol. Ingesting 20 prescription sleeping pills herself, she then opened the trunk of her Honda parked in her Scarborough driveway, lay beside her children and closed the door to seal the trunk, believing they'd die and join her husband in the afterlife. more ...
  • 152) 20:45 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Jaffna NGOs accuse high officials
    The Consortium of the Non Governmental Organisations in Jaffna has in a press release accused high officials of the Jaffna Secretariat of completely sidetracking the Consortium in the agenda drawn for the visits of Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene, Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement when he was in Jaffna. They allege that the minister's programmes had been drawn as if to eclipse the miserable living conditions of the refugees living in refugee camps. more ...
  • 153) 20:41 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + No immediate de-banning of LTTE, says government
    The LTTE’s demand that it be de-proscribed if peace talks are to take place may be considered at a stage when substantive issues are taken up for discussion the Government said yesterday. Cabinet spokesman and Industrial Development Minister G. L. Peiris replying a question at yesterday’s cabinet press briefing on the LTTE’s de-proscription demand said it was too early to comment on such matters. The LTTE’s political wing leader Thamil Chelvam told southern based journalists who visited the Wanni on Tuesday that a prerequisite for any negotiations was "legitimacy" and that could be ensured only by lifting the ban on the LTTE. more ...
  • 154) 19:40 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + "Pongu Thamil nailed Chandrika's canard" - Students' Union leader
    More than 1500 undergraduates, teachers, school students and members of the public took part in the ''Pongu Thamil'' rally at the Jaffna University Thursday morning. Addressing the rally on the campus grounds the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Pon Balasundarampillai, said "Life should return to normal among the Tamils before the government begins talks with the Liberation Tigers."
    Massive demonstration in Jaffna - 'Pongu Thamil'(2001)
    A Letter to The European Union
    more ...
  • 155) 18:30 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Kumaratunga plans the Sinhala far right’s return
    This week President Kumaratunga once again initiated talks with her previous allies, suggesting that she was looking to renew her partnership with the JVP for the upcoming local elections. In a letter sent this week to the US and Great Britain, the JVP confirmed that it had not changed its hard line stance, demanding that the countries not remove proscriptions against the LTTE unless the Tigers lay down their weapons. The new alliance substantiates suspicions that Kumaratunga intends to focus on campaigning for the Sinhala right wing lobby this year with the hope of preventing the UNF's efforts to impeach her and subsequently dissolving Sri Lanka's Parliament and campaigning on a similar ticket to last year's General Election. more ...
  • 156) 18:03 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Sri Lankan president urges caution on talks
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said on Thursday the government of political rival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should get more guarantees from Tamil Tiger separatists before sitting down to peace talks. But Kumaratunga, whose party was voted out of government after failing in its own peace bid last year, said she was not standing in the way of talks that could follow a truce put in place by Wickremesinghe since his election last month. She also said in an interview with Reuters she expected more international pressure on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) because of the September 11 attacks on the United States. ''I have not made any obstacles,'' said Kumaratunga, who was elected in a separate presidential vote and has vast powers under the constitution. more ...
  • 157) 11:17 GMT, Jan. 17, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka to Decide on Constitutional Council
    The Constitutional Council was founded under the 17th amendment to the constitution under the previous People's Alliance government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the only one member legal luminary S.S. Wijeratne has been appointed to it so far on a unanimous decision by all parties. The president, prime minister, leader of the opposition and parliament speaker are ex officio members of the council. Minority political parties will nominate three members and the prime minister and leader of the opposition will nominate the other two members. more ...
  • 158) 11:54 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka Troops Reject Ceasefire, Continue Attack
    Government troops advanced Wednesday toward a rebel-held strategic land corridor that connects northern Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland, rejecting the guerrillas' appeal to halt the massive offensive. Since the battle for the Elephant Pass causeway began at dawn Tuesday, 52 rebels and 37 soldiers have died, military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said. At least 161 other combatants - 72 rebels and 89 government soldiers - were wounded, he said. The government rejected a rebel appeal to halt the military offensive and resumed the operation at 7 a.m. (0100 GMT) Wednesday after a night recess. more ...
  • 159) 11:52 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka army offensive kills 108 as battle rages
    Heavy fighting in northern Sri Lanka has killed at least 108 people, including 54 government troops, officials said Wednesday as Norway kept up attempts to broker peace in the island. Government troops killed at least 52 Tamil Tiger guerrillas and recovered the bodies of 40 of them while two more were captured alive, defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. "A few adjustments are being done here and there today, but there is no major fighting now," Karunaratne said adding that security forces lost a total of two officers and 52 soldiers killed while another 147 were wounded. more ...
  • 160) 11:49 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka Troops Advance On Rebels; Aircraft Join Attack
    Air force MiG-27 aircraft bombed a Tamil rebel-held strategic land corridor that connects Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland Wednesday, hours after ground troops resumed a massive offensive rejecting the guerrillas' appeal to halt the assault. As the battle for Elephant Pass that has left 89 combatants dead resumed, 3,000 Tamil students defied a military order and held a demonstration inside Jaffna University Wednesday, asking the government to halt all military operation and enter into peace talks with the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam. The demonstrators - students and staff of Jaffna University - put up red and yellow flags and a large float depicting Jaffna as an open prison, local journalists in Jaffna said. more ...
  • 161) 03:50 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Carleton and University of Ottawa Students on an Urgent Mission
    Students from the faculties of the Ottawa and Carleton University will mount a “Call to Action” outside the office of John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 between 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm to urge Canadian intervention to secure the release of fellow students held in detention in Sri Lanka. This “Call to Action” is an invitation to Mr. Manley to respond and is not a protest against the Minister. Over the past week, the Canadian Tamil students have been deeply concerned by the arrests of Tamil University students in Sri Lanka who were attempting to put up posters to seek peace and to stop the armed conflict in the North and East of Sri Lanka. Many of the Canadian students have relatives who are in the conflict zone and are worried by the potential of casualties. more ...
  • 162) 03:21 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Carleton and University of Ottawa Students on an Urgent Mission.
    Students from the faculties of the Ottawa and Carleton University will mount a “Call to Action” outside the office of John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 between 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm to urge Canadian intervention to secure the release of fellow students held in detention in Sri Lanka. This “Call to Action” is an invitation to Mr. Manley to respond and is not a protest against the Minister. more ...
  • 163) 03:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka launches assault
    Nine students of Jaffna University, a hotbed of Tamil politics, were arrested Monday after they were found putting up posters in support of the demonstration they had planned Wednesday, government spokesman Ariya Rubasinghe said in Colombo. "The people in Jaffna Peninsula are deprived of freedom of speech and the right to assemble to discuss their genuine grievances and aspirations," the University Students' Union of Jaffna said in a statement released Tuesday. more ...
  • 164) 02:03 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Jaffna Citizens Support Political Aspirations of the Tamil people
    We welcome the agitation spearheaded by the University Students of Jaffna demanding recognition of the political aspirations of the Tamil people and insisting that the Sri Lankan Government declare a cease-fire and begin negotiations with the LTTE the sole representatives of the people. The political aspirations include the recognition of Tamil people's right to self determination and their traditional homeland by the Sri Lankan Government. more ...
  • 165) 20:32 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + LTTE obtains Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers
    Tamil Tiger rebels used Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers in retaliation to the latest offensive launched against them by the Sri Lankan Army. Informed sources say that the rebels have obtained these high-tech weapons even before the government forces. The Sri Lankan army officials said it has met ferocious resistance from the LTTE as it tries to recapture areas of the Jaffna peninsula that it lost control of in May. more ...
  • 166) 19:45 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Heavy casualties in Jaffna fighting
    Airstrikes and heavy exchanges or artillery rocked the Jaffna peninsula Wednesday as the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) continued to face determined resistance from the Liberation Tigers, sources close to the LTTE said. Over 100 SLA troops and 70 Tigers have been killed in the past two days, sources close to the LTTE said Thursday evening. Over 400 SLA troops have been wounded, they added. Following the launch of a massive offensive Tuesday with thousands of troops supported by armour, artillery and airpower, the SLA had advanced 1.5kms against fierce LTTE resistance, but had not attempted to resume troop movements Wednesday, the sources said. more ...
  • 167) 01:57 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + PRESS RELEASE: ‘Ponku Tamil’
    Today university community comprising the university teachers association the university non-academic staff-union, the university students union, the university administrative officers union, the university clerical & technical staff union and over 50 humanitarian organizations in the Jaffna district and religious dignitaries have come together to observe ‘Ponku Tamil’ in order to take forward the long standing struggle of the Tamil people to realise their aspirations for recognition as a distinct nation, with the traditional home land and possessing the right to self determination. more ...
  • 168) 18:04 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + A DECLARATION MADE BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JAFFNA UNIVERSITY AT THE “PONKU TAMIL”
    We who are assembled here on this occasion to express the voice of our soul with unanimity. The government of Sri Lanka should stop this ruinous and dangerous war forthwith and commence a just and meaningful negotiation with the LTTE.Through this negotiation we should find a political solution to fulfill the aspirations of Tamils by recognizing the concepts of TAMIL NATIONALISM, TRADITIONAL HOME LAND, RIGHTS OF SELF DETERMINATION. more ...
  • 169) 17:14 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + 'Pongu Thamil' demos in Batticaloa and Vavuniya
    Demonstrations were held Wednesday in Vavuniya and Batticaloa in support of the Pongu Thamil rally in Jaffna. Hundreds of undergraduates of the Eastern University in Batticaloa and the College of Education in Vavuniya gathered for peaceful rallies urging the Sri Lankan government to start peace talks with the Liberation Tigers and to recognize the Tamil people's right of self determination. more ...
  • 170) 16:14 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka: End the oppression, allow expression!
    Tamil-Canadian students stand in support of our fellow students in Jaffna, Northern Sri Lanka, who are organizing a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday January 17, to voice their desire for the Sri Lankan government to seek a negotiated political settlement for the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. As a gesture of good will and to demonstrate their commitment towards achieving a peaceful negotiated settlement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have declared a unilateral month long cessation of armed hostilities. The government of Sri Lankan has rejected this attempt to secure peace using this opportunity to their own military advantage rather than to seek peace. more ...
  • 171) 14:39 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + CANADA: Carleton and University of Ottawa Students on an Urgent Mission !
    Students from the faculties of the Ottawa and Carleton University will mount a "Call to Action" outside the office of John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 between 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm to urge Canadian intervention to secure the release of fellow students held in detention in Sri Lanka. This “Call to Action” is an invitation to Mr. Manley to respond and is not a protest against the Minister. more ...
  • 172) 14:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Australian Tamil Students Demonstrate for Peace
    Tamil Students from Sydney and Melbourne, Australia organized demonstrations today (17/01/2001), to coincide with the planned demonstrations by the Jaffna University Students in Sri Lanka. Over 400 Melbourne students and family members gathered together in front of the Victorian State Parliament House to show their solidarity with their fellow students in Jaffna. Similarly, over 250 Tamil university students of Sydney gathered at the entrance of the Consulate of Sri-Lanka. more ...
  • 173) 13:15 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Massive demonstration in Jaffna
    More than ten thousand people in Jaffna comprising university students, high-school students, residents and representatives and members of civil organisations demonstrated Wednesday, urging the Sri Lankan government to reciprocate the Liberation Tigers unilateral ceasefire and negotiate with the movement. Thousands more people were turned away by Sri Lankan security forces at check points set up along the major roads leading to the university, residents said. Reporters were not permitted into the university either. more ...
  • 174) 12:27 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + International convention and defining terrorism
    The language of terrorism enables repressive and brutal regimes to nevertheless acquire political and other support from Western nations, given the collective acceptance amongst the citizens of the latter that all subversive violence against their states is illegitimate, writes Suren Manoharan. Whilst the word "terrorism" has been around for over 200 years (the Oxford dictionary first mentions it 1795, in reference to violence unleashed in post-revolutionary France- by the state), many argue its use became widespread following the spate of attacks by Middle Eastern groups on Western (civilian) targets - by non-state entities. more ...
  • 175) 12:21 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Jaffna students demonstrate demanding a cease fire and peace talks with rebels
    An estimated 4000 students demonstrated in the Jaffna university today demanding that the government reciprocate the LTTE cease fire and start peace talks. Bells in all churches and Kovils rang at noon in support of the call. The army had earlier banned the demonstrators from marching in the streets of Jaffna sighting security concerns. more ...
  • 176) 12:08 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party renews its call for the release of the Hatton six
    Six young Tamil men, Suppu Udayakumar, Pichchamuththu Chandran, Arunasalam Yogeswaran, Solamalai Loganathan, Ponnaiah Saravanakumar and Samimuttu Benedict. from Sri Lanka's plantation districts, who have been imprisoned for two and a half years are due to appear in court again on January 26 after a lapse of five months. They are accused of being members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and having taken part in a series of bomb attacks. If found guilty, they face prison terms of up to 20 years. more ...
  • 177) 12:03 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Jaffna battle rages on
    The battle has been taking place at the army's final defence line, close to the Elephant Pass garrison which it lost to the Tigers in April 2000. "[The Tamil Tigers] fought back ferociously using almost all of their indirect weapon systems," it said in a statement. Meanwhile, thousands of university students in Jaffna town have held a demonstration in defiance of a military order. The protesters are pressing the government to halt all its military operations and respond to the Tiger ceasefire. more ...
  • 178) 00:59 GMT, Jan. 17, 2001 |  + Military intimidation threatens Jaffna student rally
    "The attempts of the Sri Lankan government to suppress the peaceful 'Pongu Thamil' (Tamil Upsurge) rally in the University of Jaffna shows that the people of the north are living in the grip of military rule" Jaffna university students' union representatives said Tuesday. Students and staff of the university put up red and yellow flags and a large float depicting Jaffna as an open prison on the campus grounds in preparation for the event tomorrow. more ...
  • 179) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + Lanka police avert attack on Chandrika
    No details available. more ...
  • 180) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + Chandrika to meet allies to finalise new constitution
    No details available. more ...
  • 181) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + That fateful date - 6 May 1999
    No details available. more ...
  • 182) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka police nets rebel suspects in swoop
    No details available. more ...
  • 183) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + EPRLF sacks Varatharaja Perumal
    No details available. more ...
  • 184) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + Report on Wanni debacle with army chief
    No details available. more ...
  • 185) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka to move prisoners to new jail after clashes
    No details available. more ...
  • 186) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 2000 |  + Parcel bomb sent to Kumaratunga
    No details available. more ...
  • 187) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + Former Eeelam leader, Perumal returns to Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 188) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + Controversial cargo
    No details available. more ...
  • 189) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + Those who wear the Tiger mask
    No details available. more ...
  • 190) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + NGO's demand negotiated settlement
    No details available. more ...
  • 191) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + Mandela's mediation for peace
    No details available. more ...
  • 192) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + Quaker House chief likes quieter post
    No details available. more ...
  • 193) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + S.C. reserves judgment in Rajiv Gandhi case
    No details available. more ...
  • 194) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + Lightweight Guns in the Hands of Child Soldiers
    No details available. more ...
  • 195) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + 33 killed in S. Lanka clashes
    No details available. more ...
  • 196) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 17, 1999 |  + 30 Rebels Killed in Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
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    Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border