1) Feb 26, 2015 20:22:25 GMT | + UN Feltman's Visit to Sri Lanka Expands to Jaffna, Amid Protest of Delay
2) Feb 26, 2015 17:30:57 GMT | + A New Era for India-Sri Lanka Relations?
Nine days after the UN Human Rights Council under Joachim Rucker granted HCHR Zeid's request to withhold the already delayed report on war crimes in Sri Lanka, the UN on February 24 added Jaffna as a stop to the Sri Lanka visit by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's highest political official Jeffrey Feltman. This comes two days after Inner City Press asked Feltman would go to Jaffna, site of protests of the delay, and was told "Colombo only." But what will Feltman say, in Jaffna? What would Zeid say? more ...
3) Feb 26, 2015 17:30:07 GMT | + Sri Lanka's new leaders demand speedier police action
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent visit to India was aimed at mending bilateral relations that had deteriorated under his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on account of the latter’s close embrace of China. During Sirisena’s visit, India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements that are expected to strengthen bilateral co-operation. However, whether these can counter effectively China’s enormous presence in the island seems doubtful. India is still a long way from matching or reducing China’s role in Sri Lanka. more ...
4) Feb 26, 2015 17:28:28 GMT | + UN defends its decision to defer Lanka war crime probe report
Sri Lanka's new government on Thursday slammed the police for dragging their feet over high-profile cases including the murders of journalists and corruption under the previous regime. Law and Order Minister John Amaratunga demanded concrete action on high-profile cases as he publicly rebuked the head of the police force for failing to investigate the 2009 killing of prominent anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, among others. Amaratunga said his government came to power at January elections pledging action against criminals and corrupt individuals under former president Mahinda Rajapakse, but police have failed to show results. more ...
5) Feb 26, 2015 17:27:40 GMT | + Sri Lanka's Opposition voices support for ex-president
The UN Human Rights Council today defended its move to defer the release of a report into alleged war crimes committed during Sri Lanka's civil war as a "very rational" decision taken in a "relatively unique" case. The President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Joachim Rucker said that the decision to defer the release of the report on the human rights violations in Sri Lanka to September of this year was "very rational". more ...
A group of Sri Lanka's opposition members Thursday launched a petition in capital Colombo to name former president Mahinda Rajapakse as the prime ministerial candidate of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in the upcoming parliamentary elections, an official said. Opposition member and provincial councilor Udaya Gammanpila told reporters that the petition aimed at collecting one million signatures in order to get the former president back into politics, Xinhua news agency reported. Gammanpila also said that the petition with a million signatures would prove to the new government that a majority continued to support Rajapakse to head the nation.
6) Feb 26, 2014 18:23:43 GMT | + Reevaluating Sri Lanka’s LLRC Progress: Part One
7) Feb 26, 2014 16:59:57 GMT | + Rise of extremist Buddhism in Sri Lanka
The report provided extensive information about the Government of Sri Lanka’s (GoSL) progress in implementing the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations. Again, TSA’s partners undertook a similar survey this year. Using the data obtained last year as a baseline, TSA will be releasing two companion reports reevaluating Sri Lanka’s LLRC progress. This is the first. more ...
8) Feb 26, 2014 16:59:03 GMT | + 80 skeletal remains found in mass grave in former LTTE stronghold in Sril Lanka
Suddenly, a group of monks, with heads clean shaven and wearing saffron & red robes, emerge out of nowhere on a dark street in Colombo. Armed with machettes, stones and other weapons, and their faces deformed by the messages of hatred that they hurl, they head towards the Grandpass Mosque and start stoning it. As windows shatter, the devotees inside the mosque are caught by surprise and try to escape. But some of them are captured by the Buddhist monks, who then beat them savagely. more ...
9) Feb 26, 2014 16:57:52 GMT | + Sri Lanka's TNA backs UN report calling for international probe
Eighty skeletal remains have been dug out of a mass grave in a former LTTE stronghold in Sri Lanka, fuelling speculation that the bodies are of Tamil civilians who disappeared during the war with the rebels. "We have collected some 80 skeletal remains and removed them for safe keeping," said Dhananjaya Waidyaratne, a judicial medical officer. more ...
Sri Lanka's main Tamil party on Wednesday backed a damning UN report which has called for an international probe into allegations of war crimes during the final battle with the LTTE. The Tamil National Alliance, in a statement, backed the report ahead of the next UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session next month where a resolution against Sri Lanka is to be taken up. In the report, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navy Pillay asked for setting up of an independent probe and said Sri Lanka had "consistently failed to establish the truth".
10) Feb 26, 2014 16:57:13 GMT | + PM to meet Sri Lankan President
11) Feb 26, 2014 13:00:10 GMT | + 4 hurt as pro-Tamil groups clash with Congress workers
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa next week in Myanmar, three months after skipping a visit to the island nation to attend Commonwealth heads of government meet due to pressure from Tamil parties and within government. Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh today said the Prime Minister will meet Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC Summit on March 4 in Myanmar. "The Prime Minister will be meeting the President of Sri Lanka," she said. more ...
12) Feb 26, 2014 12:58:50 GMT | + Is India-Sri Lanka fishing row nearing an end?
Commotion prevailed outside the Sathyamurthy Bhavan, the headquarters of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), in Chennai on Wednesday when pro-Tamil groups, demanding the release of convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, clashed with Congress workers. Sources said a police officer was among five persons injured in the melee. They were taken to the government hospital in Royapettah. The confrontation resulted in traffic coming to a halt for over an hour on the arterial Anna Salai and Thiruvika Salai (GP Road). more ...
13) Feb 26, 2014 4:12:08 GMT | + Sri Lanka: Briefing exposes how activists brave retaliation before UN human rights session
Sri Lanka’s signals -- that it is ready for ‘joint fishing’ initiatives -- and Tamil Nadu fishermen’s sticking to commitments have paved the way for a negotiated settlement on a long festering issue, says N Sathiya Moorthy In a welcome and not wholly unexpected initiative, Sri Lanka has expressed willingness to consider ‘joint/cooperative fishing’ with India. 'We are ready to consider such a scheme,' the Tamil section of BBC Radio quoted Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne as saying, 'If the Indian side expresses difficulties in venturing out elsewhere for fishing.' more ...
The Sri Lankan government’s targeting of critics persists at alarming levels, with more surveillance and harassment reported ahead of next month’s UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session, Amnesty International said in a new briefing today. Suppressing calls for justice, examines the Sri Lankan authorities’ intolerance of dissent and its attacks on critics over the past six months, either directly or through proxies that range from security forces to supporters of Buddhist-nationalist groups and even immigration officials.
14) Feb 26, 2014 4:09:35 GMT | + Rajapaksa Offers to Return Boats of Indian Fishermen
15) Feb 26, 2013 18:54:37 GMT | + Canada still has much to learn from None is Too Many
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited Tamil Nadu fishermen, whose released vessels are still in the possession of the Sri Lankan Navy, to come over to the island and take charge of them at the earliest. Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told Indian journalists here on Tuesday that 49 boats which were released earlier are still in the possession of Lankan authorities. Rajapaksa feels that it is time the fishermen concerned came over and took charge of them. more ...
16) Feb 26, 2013 16:30:15 GMT | + Canada must push for strong resolution on Sri Lanka at UN Human Rights Council
In the 1930s, at the beginning of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, an influential Jewish leader wrote that the world was divided into two parts – “those places where Jews could not live, and those they could not enter.” Canada fell into the latter category. To the condemned Jews of Auschwitz, Canada had a unique meaning. It was the name given to the camp barracks where the gold, jewellery and clothing taken from inmates were stored. It represented life, luxury and salvation. It was also isolated and unreachable, as was Canada in the 1930s and 40s. more ...
New Democrat Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar is calling on the Government of Canada to take leadership at United Nations Human Rights Council and push for a strong resolution for accountability in Sri Lanka. “The international community as a whole failed to prevent atrocities and widespread violations of human rights against Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka,” said Dewar. “The new session of the United Nations Human Rights Council offers us a crucial opportunity to take steps toward restoring justice. Canada must push for a strong resolution that acts upon the recommendations of the UN Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka.”
17) Feb 26, 2013 15:51:37 GMT | + Tamil activists urge India to co-sponsor anti-Lanka resolution
UK-based British Tamil Forum (BTF)and Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based Tamil advocacy group, today said that they hope India will not only co-sponsor the US based resolution but also bring out a stronger resolution. "We urge India to not just support but also co-sponsor the US based resolution against Sri Lanka and also push to make it stronger. We also hope that India brings out a stronger resolution," Kana Nirmalan, Human Rights Coordinator, BTF said.
18) Feb 26, 2013 14:38:25 GMT | + Sri Lanka falling short of implementing the recommendations of its own Reconciliation Commission - USA
19) Feb 26, 2013 14:21:29 GMT | + China Tests Japanese and U.S. Patience
In today’s networked world hate, insulting and intolerant speech could be marginalized and defeated only by encouraging positive and respectful expression. The pursuit of an honest, open dialogue among Member States was one of the themes which the United States had pledged to pursue and would continue to do so in the coming years.Sri Lanka falling short of implementing the recommendations of its own Reconciliation Commission... more ...
The Chinese government officially downplays these capabilities and any talk of a potentially aggressive nature of the Chinese military. But Beijing does little to dissuade such speculation, allowing a steady stream of images and commentaries in the Chinese popular media and the strategic leaking of imagery in China's social media. Beijing likes to appear fierce while saying it is not. But the problem with this strategy is exactly what Abe has pointed out: In appearing threatening, concrete steps are taken to counter China's maritime expansion. Abe is calling China's bluff, exhorting Beijing to reassess the correlation of forces in the region before continuing its aggressive pattern.
20) Feb 26, 2013 12:44:53 GMT | + Sri Lanka: Rape of Tamil Detainees
21) Feb 26, 2013 12:42:37 GMT | + Sri Lanka and its critics: Bloody secrets
Sri Lankan security forces have been using rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected members or supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict that ended in May 2009, Human Rights Watch found that politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police continues to the present. more ...
22) Feb 26, 2013 12:40:17 GMT | + UK accused of deporting Tamils despite threat of rape and torture
NEARLY four years after its civil war ended, Sri Lanka is far from at peace over its recent history. Despite denials by the country’s leaders, notably its powerful defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, that Sri Lanka’s army committed war crimes in the final weeks of fighting, in 2009, troubling new evidence keeps on appearing. In March the United Nations' human-rights council is expected to renew an American-led resolution calling on Sri Lanka’s government to report on its efforts to investigate war crimes, and on relations with Tamils in the country. India and European Union countries look set to back the resolution, as they did with the original a year ago. more ...
23) Feb 26, 2013 12:38:28 GMT | + TN: Sri Lankan tourists asked to return
The British government is continuing to deport failed asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka despite mounting evidence they face the risk of being raped and tortured on their return. More Tamils are scheduled to be deported this week. A report published today by Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Sri Lanka’s security forces have been systematically using rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture men and women suspected of being members of the Tamil militant group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or else having links to the once powerful organisation. more ...
Against the backdrop of Tamil Nadu parties, including the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, raising the issue of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, a group of 75 Lankan tourists in the state have been asked by the police to return to their country. The tourists had come to Tiruvarur to visit the famous pilgrim centre of Velankanni. The police advised them to return in view of the ‘anti-Sri Lankan’ sentiment prevailing in some parts of the district.
24) Feb 26, 2013 12:37:35 GMT | + Sri Lanka security forces rape, torture Tamil detainees - group
25) Feb 26, 2013 12:33:16 GMT | + Another attack on TN fishermen by Lankan navy
Sri Lanka's security forces have used rape to torture and extract confessions from suspected Tamil separatists almost four years after the country's civil war ended, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday. The rights group documented 75 cases of predominately Tamil men and women who said they were held in Sri Lankan detention centres and repeatedly raped and sexually abused by the military, police and intelligence officials. more ...
A group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu were on Tuesday allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan naval men while they were fishing near Katchatheevu, officials of the fisheries department said. Click here! The fishermen from the coastal area had ventured for fishing in 20 boats, officials said, adding that the Lankan naval men allegedly attacked them with ropes and steel pipes, causing extensive damage to their fishing nets and communication equipment. The officials, quoting a boat-owner, said they reportedly even stuffed sugar in the engine of one of the mechanised boats and paralysed it.
26) Feb 26, 2013 4:09:05 GMT | + Media bytes: India and Sri Lanka war crimes issue
On the eve of the release of a full length film on Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes, the British daily the Independent carried an article along with two photographs showing Prabhakaran’s son eating a snack before his Sri Lankan captors allegedly shot him dead in cold blood. This serious allegation pertaining to a war India supported. It is about a brutal and heinous act by a state with very friendly to India. So apart from humanitarian concerns, India in its own interest, needs to get the allegations investigated impartially. If proved true it will undoubtedly be considered a war crime committed by Sri Lanka.
27) Feb 26, 2013 3:50:10 GMT | + ‘International community needs to voice against Lanka’
28) Feb 26, 2012 16:05:31 GMT | + Marie Colvin and Sri Lanka war crimes
Books on Tamil Eelam penned by a journalist were released here on Sunday. The event witnessed the speeches of politicians such as Pazha Nedumaran, R Nallakannu and C Mahendran, poet Kasi Anandhan and film director Pugazhendhi Thangaraj. A K Joseph Kennedy, a journalist, penned four books titled Enjiyulla Neruppu Thundugal, Padai Thalaivan Varuvan, Aindhamkatta Viduthalai Por and Arasa Bayangaravadhamum Makkal Porattamum, of which the first two are poetry collections and the rest essay collections. Kennedy had written these books under the pseudonym Kanmani. more ...
29) Feb 26, 2012 16:02:58 GMT | + New wave of abductions and dead bodies in Sri Lanka
Her iconic figure with a black patch over the left eye reporting from global conflict zones has been seen by hundreds of thousands around the world. Marie Colvin killed in Syria, alongside award winning photojournalist Remi Ochlik, lost her eye in Sri Lanka when shot at by the military while entering government territory after filing a report to the Sunday Times from restricted Tamil Tiger held territory in April 2001. more ...
30) Feb 26, 2012 14:38:08 GMT | + Sri Lanka resists UN resolution against alleged war crimes
In the past 5 months – October 2011 to February 2012 – there has been a disturbing rise in the number of abductions, especially in and around the capital, Colombo. Out of 29 abductions and 3 missing persons reported in media, most have not returned to their homes and families, rendering them ‘disappeared’ persons. The manner of these abductions has sent alarm bells ringing within the Sri Lankan human rights community, recalling the twin phenomena of the ‘white van’ and the unidentified gunman’ which plagued the country in the period from 1987/1989, and which prompted two visits to the island by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in 1991 and 1992. more ...
31) Feb 26, 2012 14:37:17 GMT | + TNA to visit New Delhi, not Geneva
Britain and the US are preparing for a bitter showdown with Sri Lanka as they attempt to pass an international resolution rebuking Colombo over alleged war crimes said to have been committed during military operations against ethnic rebels. A resolution calling upon Sri Lanka to investigate fully who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Tamil civilians and to establish genuine reconciliation is to be tabled during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which opens tomorrow. At the same time, Sri Lanka is assiduously working to block any such measure. more ...
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday called off a proposed visit to Geneva, ahead of the UN Human Rights Commission, but will go ahead with its plans to visit India. The visit to Geneva was called off at the last moment by the party saying ‘ the TNA considers it imperative that in the present situation calm should be maintained, and that nothing should be done which could exacerbate tensions’. The TNA said it has publicly stated its commitment to a reasonable workable and durable political solution within the framework of a united and undivided Sri Lanka and reiterates its commitment to its position.
32) Feb 26, 2012 14:30:08 GMT | + Sri Lanka – China nexus: The Secret Story
With Sri Lanka occupying the fourth place in Chinese strategic planning in South Asia, more than 50 per cent of the overseas funding for construction and development projects for Sri Lanka since President Mahinda Rajapaksa came to power has been siphoned in from China. China, in its attempt to build a strong presence in south Asia and to fuel its long-term strategic ambitions is backing infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka. Colombo has started seizing large areas of lands to build an airport of international standards for which China has presented models of the airport for approval, revealed TNA parliamentarian Mr. Sritharan.
33) Feb 26, 2012 14:29:26 GMT | + The UN Secretary-General Must Enforce the UN's Own Recommendations for Accountability Over War Crimes
“The United Nations Secretary-General must stand by his own Panel of Experts’ Report and continue his principled stand in support for accountability for both sides for the events in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war,” said Dr. Elias Jeyarajah, the President of USTPAC. Dr. Jeyarajah was speaking on behalf of 10 other Tamil groups from around the world on the eve of the commencement in Geneva of the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council. It has been almost a year since the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts’ Report was released.
34) Feb 26, 2012 13:41:03 GMT | + Somebody’s got to do the right thing, yes?
35) Feb 26, 2012 13:24:38 GMT | + Sri Lanka-US: A Catch 22 Situation
TNA parliamentarian R. Sampanthan said in an interview that he hoped the international community would “do the right thing” at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where Sri Lanka will face a resolution next week. There is a need for a degree of involvement by an independent impartial body to ensure that what happened in the last stages of the war is not repeated in Sri Lanka, that we don’t have a recurrence of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws. more ...
36) Feb 26, 2012 13:18:55 GMT | + Sri Lanka at UNHRC - guilty till proven innocent?
It is a Catch 22 situation for both the Sri Lankan and US governments. The proposed Resolution backed by the US deals mainly with the issue of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), its implementation and the action plan. By last Friday, diplomatic circles believed that an African country, Cameroon, was likely to sponsor the Resolution in the UNHRC sessions. The Resolution is likely to be presented to the Council during the third week of March. more ...
The maneuverings by western powers in relation to Sri Lanka in advance of the 19th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva have given rise to much speculation. The latest move has been an email dated 21 February, apparently circulated by the US mission to Council members and diplomatic missions in Geneva, that sought to create the impression that US diplomats have been in close contact with the government of Sri Lanka and its mission in Geneva to work "collaboratively" on issues of accountability and the implementation of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission Report.
37) Feb 26, 2012 13:17:53 GMT | + The Americans Draft Resolution On Sri Lanka
The US had last week handed copies of a draft resolution to be presented on Sri Lanka at the 19th sessions of the UN Human Right Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva, Switzerland. The draft was handed out to members of the diplomatic community.Sri Lanka has asked that this matter be deferred until October and taken up at the Universal Periodic Review. Calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and additionally to take immediate steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations.
38) Feb 26, 2012 12:31:10 GMT | + Showdown in Geneva: Hate-campaign in Lanka
There is little doubt that the UPFA government is in an unassailable position with a two thirds majority in Parliament. Its strength is further bolstered by a weak opposition. Whether there is a demonstration or not, its firm grip on power remains, notwithstanding some public discontent over the fuel price hike that has led to a cascading increase in prices of a number of products and services. However, the demonstrations which will rouse considerable public sentiment against the US and its allies could trigger off reactions. This is particularly if a hate campaign against the west intensifies. Whether that would harm or help Sri Lanka remains the critical question. The answers of course would come only in the weeks and months after such events.
39) Feb 26, 2012 12:28:19 GMT | + 22 Tamil Nadu fishermen held by Sri Lankan Navy
Twenty—two Tamil fishermen and their five boats were taken into custody by Sri Lankan naval personnel when they were fishing near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Arichalmunai in this island early on Sunday, police said.The Sri Lankan naval men alleged that the fishermen had crossed the IMBL while fishing, official sources said. Though two more boats were missing, it was not immediately known whether these had also had been commandeered by the Sri Lanakan naval men, official sources said here.
40) Feb 26, 2011 23:41:32 GMT | + Lanka faces multi-pronged attack on human rights
Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona, now at the centre of a brewing legal battle with the overseas pro-Tiger guerrilla lobby, was surprised when news reached him that UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon would meet a visiting two member delegation from Colombo this week. The UNSG's Secretariat had conveyed the news to him. Evidently, the request for a meeting linked to a "top secret" mission had gone not from Kohona's office but directly from Colombo.
41) Feb 26, 2011 23:40:31 GMT | + Dual citizenship gone - to avoid war crime charges?
42) Feb 26, 2011 23:34:55 GMT | + Winds of change clouded by fishing crisis
Some key positions of this government have been filled by dual citizens. Gotabaya Rajapaksa - the powerful Defence Secretary is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and the USA. Basil Rajapaksa - Investment Development Minister has a US Green Card in addition to his Sri Lankan citizenship. Sarath Fonseka, the now incarcerated former army commander is also a Green Card holder. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations also holds his Australian citizenship in addition to his Sri Lankan citizenship. more ...
43) Feb 26, 2011 23:33:52 GMT | + Who led Egypt’s revolution?
Elections are the last thing on the minds of residents of Jaffna who wage a daily battle to get life going as they pick up the pieces, 2 years after the end of the war, reports Chandani Kirinde from Jaffna The journey along the dusty, pot-hole-ridden road to Jaffna takes more than eleven hours from Colombo--the drive slowing down considerably shortly after passing Vavuniya. The surface of this stretch worn out by heavy vehicles has turned worse after the recent torrential rains. more ...
44) Feb 26, 2011 23:29:52 GMT | + Northern Homes Will Not be Returned At Cost Of National Security
The implications of the answer to this question for Sri Lanka are hypothetical because I think it is unlikely that an Egypt type uprising will break out here, at least not in the short term. I will explain my reasons a little later; nevertheless the answer to the ‘who led the revolution’ question is, hypothetically, of interest to Sri Lanka. The Egyptian Revolution (ER) has been called spontaneous; well that’s true in the sense that it was not planned and strategized by some group or party, nor executed by an organized centre. more ...
Claims made by people whose homes remain in the hands of security forces in the North will be considered, but properties will be returned only if doing so will not hinder national security, said Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella. “Primarily, national security will have to be considered. It is the case in any country,” he said. In parliament last week, the TNA raised the issue of many private properties in the North being held by the security forces.
45) Feb 26, 2011 23:27:59 GMT | + Interference in judicial matter: Lanka protests to India
Sri Lanka has lodged a strong protest to India over the interference in the country’s judiciary by New Delhi’s Jaffna-based Consul General V. Mahalingam, a senior official in the External Affairs Ministry said yesterday. Speaking on grounds of anonymity, the official said the government’s concerns were expressed by External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris during a dinner meeting with India’s High Commissioner Ashok Kanth. The Indian envoy met Dr. Peiris after he returned to Colombo on Wednesday night following a visit to New Delhi.
46) Feb 26, 2011 23:18:48 GMT | + President woos diaspora, Sajith faces setback
The president uses KP to talk to the Tamil diaspora — and he hopes to talk to the Tamil parties of all persuasions, he says, in three stages — about development and reconstruction, about law, and about constitutional reform. However he says nothing ‘that Prabhakaran asked for would ever be granted.’ That’s his take on the Tamil issues. The JVP in the meanwhile alleges that the president is creating unbelievable polarization in the North where the voters would be discouraged from voting, and would be unable to cast ballots.
47) Feb 26, 2011 23:11:39 GMT | + India, Sri Lanka discuss matters relating to fishing in waters
48) Feb 26, 2011 2:04:25 GMT | + War Crimes in Sri Lanka: Time for UN to Act
Matters relating to fishing in the waters between India and Sri Lanka were discussed at a high level meeting convened by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao in New Delhi on Saturday. It was agreed that the welfare, safety and security of the Indian fishermen will continue to get the highest priority of both the Central and the Tamil Nadu government. more ...
49) Feb 26, 2011 0:59:44 GMT | + Kachchatheevu Agreement was a joint conspiracy of India and Sri Lanka aided and abetted by Tamil Nadu government
Last May, Amnesty International launched a global action calling on the UN to establish an international investigation into war crimes and other abuses committed during the war in Sri Lanka. Both the Sri Lankan government and the opposition Tamil Tigers were responsible for massive human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war during the 26-year conflict. In response to Amnesty’s call for action, over 52,000 people signed our petition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanding an international investigation as a first step toward accountability for these crimes. more ...
The recent killings of two Tamil Nadu fishermen and the subsequent outcry by politicians and political parties has once again brought the issue of Kachchatheevu to India in 1974 by late Indra Gandhi, then Prime Minister, into focus. In my view the ceding of Kachchatheevu to Sri Lanka was a joint conspiracy between Indra Gandhi and then Prime Minister Srimavo Bandaranaike ably aided and abetted by Tamil Nadu government. Chief Minister Karunanidhi and his government merely wrote a protest letter to the centre and remained mute thereafter.
50) Feb 26, 2011 0:58:58 GMT | + FREEDOM - When Won is the Most Exhilarating Feeling
Tamil Eelam Activists around the globe would have felt the elation – even if it was vicarious, even if it was for a moment – when, first the Tunisians and then the Egyptians breathed the first air of FREEDOM. That profound sense of jubilation, a lifting of spirits rarely felt; a moment of sheer ecstasy, of triumph and of liberation is not easily described in words – It has to be experienced - FREEDOM WHEN WON IS THE MOST EXHILARATING FEELING! But the reality for us Eelam Tamils – the pain of the realization that freedom for us and our people is yet an unfulfilled dream is excruciating!
51) Feb 26, 2011 0:57:54 GMT | + UN Should Not Fail in Libya - Like it Failed in Sri Lanka
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) today urged the United Nations not to fail in protecting Libyan civilians like it failed to protect Sri Lankan civilians in 2009, when around 60,000 Tamil civilians were killed. The failure of the international community to take concrete actions to protect civilians in Sri Lanka has given the green light to regimes around the world that they can also massacre civilians without any fear of consequences.
52) Feb 26, 2011 0:57:16 GMT | + What stops Sri Lanka from becoming an outsourced beneficiary?
When historians go back to describe the events in South Asia in 2009, the big story will be the displacement of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. The lead lines hardly now mention the IDP camps but what has been conveniently forgotten is not only the displacement of Tamils but also the many hundreds, in fact, thousands of Sri Lankans, Sinhala and Tamil who have lost their homes, their life and limb during the thirty odd year war.
53) Feb 26, 2011 0:42:10 GMT | + HC rejects petition for protection of fisherfolk
The Madras high court has dismissed two public interest writ petitions seeking security to Indian fishermen near Sri Lankan waters and a judicial probe into the alleged failure of the Coast Guard to prevent attacks on fishermen. Noting that it has no jurisdiction to pass orders on an issue involving bilateral relationship between two neighbouring countries, the first bench comprising Chief Justice M Yusuf Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam on Thursday dismissed the PILs filed by LTA Peter Rayan of Chennai.
54) Feb 26, 2011 0:40:37 GMT | + Sri Lanka: The need to address persistent impunity for violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law
In this written statement to the sixteenth session of the Human Rights Council Amnesty International expresses its concern that Sri Lanka’s human rights record has not improved since the organization last addressed this Council in May 2010. Impunity persists for past violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law, and new and serious violations of human rights continue to be reported.
55) Feb 26, 2010 21:41:25 GMT | + General Sarath Fonseka to fight in Sri Lanka parliamentary elections
General Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan army chief, who was arrested this month on coup charges, filed nomination papers yesterday to contest parliamentary elections on April 8 as the leader of an opposition alliance. The soldier-turned-politician, who led the army to victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels last year, filed his application through his wife, Anoma, who is allowed to visit him in custody in the naval headquarters in Colombo. “It’s all gone through: he’s contesting for the Colombo district,” Tiran Alles, a businessman and close supporter of the general, told The Times.
56) Feb 26, 2010 21:40:00 GMT | + Sri Lanka army officers remanded over 'coup plot'
57) Feb 26, 2010 10:20:20 GMT | + Sri Lanka Inflation Rate Rises, Leaving Less Room to Hold Rates
A Sri Lankan court has ordered that six army officers suspected of plotting to overthrow the government should remain in custody. The officers appeared before Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne on Friday. The government has accused one of the suspects of being involved in the assassination of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickramathunga last year. The six are all sympathetic to detained opposition leader Gen Sarath Fonseka. He lost presidential elections in January to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and now faces possible military and civilian charges. more ...
Sri Lanka’s inflation accelerated to a 12-month high in February, giving the central bank less room to keep benchmark interest rates unchanged to bolster the economy’s recovery. Consumer prices in the capital, Colombo, rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier after gaining 6.5 percent in January, the statistics agency said on its Web site today. “The central bank may attempt to maintain policy rates at least until the election is over,” Charitha Gunasekere, research manager at Capital Trust Securities Ltd., said before the report. “With demand for credit gaining as the economy grows, inflationary pressure will build up and the central bank will have to act on it.”
58) Feb 26, 2010 10:15:44 GMT | + Pillayan stripped off security
The military security provided to Eastern Province Chief Minister and TMVP Leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan has been withdrawn with immediate effect, TMVP sources told Daily Mirror Online. The TMVP is unaware of the reason behind the security withdrawal and is expected to write to the Police DIG of the area to seek security for the Chief Minister’s residence, TMVP sources added. The move comes after the TMVP recently decided to contest the upcoming General Election independently and not with the ruling UPFA government.
59) Feb 26, 2010 10:06:16 GMT | + Sri Lanka Says General Fonseka to Face Civilian Court
Sri Lanka said General Sarath Fonseka, the defeated opposition candidate in January’s presidential election being detained for violating military law, will face additional charges in a civilian court. Charges will be filed “within the next two weeks” under the country’s penal code, the government said on its Web site. “He will be accused of fraud, condoning fraud, plotting against the government, creating unrest within the army and keeping army deserters under his protection,” the government cited G.L. Peiris, the minister of export development and international trade, as saying late yesterday.
60) Feb 26, 2010 9:59:00 GMT | + The decay of parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka
An editorial in last weekend’s Sunday Times entitled, “Give us honourable MPs please,” bemoaned the impotence of the Sri Lankan parliament and the poor quality of parliamentarians. The editorial was one of a number of opinion pieces and comments calling for an improvement in political standards as the country prepares for parliamentary elections on April 8. The media clearly recognises that broad layers of voters are alienated from and even hostile to all the major political parties and institutions of government.
61) Feb 26, 2010 9:57:03 GMT | + Troops arrested over alleged rape
Six soldiers have been remanded for allegedly molesting a minor in Batticaloa last week after an identification parade was held at the Batticaloa Magistrate Courts yesterday, the army said. Military Spokesperson Major General Prasad Samarasingha speaking to Daily Mirror Online said that as advised by local Police in accordance with legal procedures, the Army detachment presented 48 soldiers, including those six who were present at the specific location to Court for identification.
62) Feb 26, 2010 9:50:17 GMT | + Kenya overtakes Sri Lanka as top tea exporter
Kenya, one of the world’s top tea producers, said it has overtaken Sri Lanka as world’s top tea exporter. According to Tea Board of Kenya, the country exported 342 million kilogrammes to 47 world markets, accounting for 22 per cent of the world tea exports last year. Trade commodities or equities from across the globe. Kenya has about 50 tea varieties suitable to the seven growing regions. In a statement, the Board said, "We did dislodge Sri Lanka as the leading tea exporter last year and hope we will continue maintaining the same position”. Analysts attributed the success to the efforts made in research and development.
63) Feb 26, 2010 9:46:57 GMT | + U.S. Government Takes Sri Lankan Officials on Land Study Tour to Timor-Leste
64) Feb 26, 2010 0:52:47 GMT | + Sri Lankan government voices anger as UK MPs address Tamil group
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is taking 13 government officials from central and provincial ministries on a 7-day study tour to learn how land ownership issues are being resolved in Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor), a country recovering from conflict. This study tour will focus on land tenure issues in a post-conflict environment and highlight issues of ownership security and occupation of land by non-original owners. Sri Lankan officials will meet with Timorese government authorities, development workers and community leaders, and will participate in site visits to local areas to gain many perspectives on the issue. more ...
65) Feb 26, 2010 0:51:11 GMT | + Sri Lanka relations with West sour over rights abuses
The diplomatic rift between London and Colombo has widened after Gordon Brown and David Miliband met delegates from a new worldwide Tamil union despite "strong protests" from the Sri Lankan government. Miliband, the foreign secretary, used his address to the inaugural conference of the Global Tamil Forum at the Commons yesterday to urge the Sri Lankan government to embark on a "genuinely inclusive political process". He also repeated calls for an investigation into allegations that both the Sri Lankan state and the Tamil Tigers violated international humanitarian law during last year's fighting. more ...
Amid tension between Sri Lanka and western countries over Colombo’s treatment of defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka – following much western censure over the government’s war with Tamil Tiger rebels – questions are being asked in Sri Lanka about the country’s relations with the West. On Tuesday, the US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Robert Blake, urged Sri Lanka not to try Mr Fonseka – who the government accuses of planning a coup d’etat – before a military tribunal, but rather in a civil court. In a strong rebuke, the media minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana told reporters on Wednesday that Mr Blake should not dictate terms to Sri Lanka.
66) Feb 26, 2010 0:50:23 GMT | + Sri Lanka opposition coalition splits ahead of polls
Opposition parties in Sri Lanka which backed former army commander General Sarath Fonseka in presidential polls last month have decided to separately contest forthcoming parliamentary elections, officials said on Thursday. The split is expected to boost the chances of the coalition of newly re-elected president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who needs a two thirds majority to enable him to change Sri Lanka's constitution and implement reforms to boost foreign investments. The two main opposition parties are the pro-business United National Party (UNP) and the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peremuna (JVP).
67) Feb 26, 2010 0:47:46 GMT | + Where is the Anger Over Sri Lanka (and Somalia, and Kashmir)?
International anger is rising over claims that Israel engineered the killing of a Hamas official in Dubai. Australian and European officials have expressed outrage at the forgery of passports for use by the hit squad... The conflict in Sri Lanka -- between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil populations -- has been raging for decades, causing over 70,000 deaths. This conflict was effectively ended through the aggressive tactics of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, albeit at great cost to civilians. And as I have written before, despite the valiant efforts of the Tamil diaspora and some humanitarian organizations, it has failed to generate much interest among Western audiences.
68) Feb 26, 2009 21:04:43 GMT | + At UN, Sri Lanka Briefing Now Set for Friday, As Editor Arrested in Colombo
A UN Security Council briefing on Sri Lanka has now been scheduled for Friday, February 27, Inner City Press has learned. Three days after the spokesperson for the UN's top humanitarian John Holmes told Inner City Press that "there is no request for a Council briefing," and a week after the Council's president, Yukio Takaso, said "there is no strong request" anymore, a Permanent Five Council member told Inner City Press on Thursday morning that the Sri Lanka briefing is set for Friday. He said it was not easy to set up, and that the Sri Lankan government has been consulted and informed.
69) Feb 26, 2009 21:03:50 GMT | + Britain legally obliged to prevent Genocide in Sri Lanka: Prof. Boyle
70) Feb 26, 2009 21:03:00 GMT | + Rwandan community joins Tamils in condemning violence
Since the British Foreign Minister has now publicly admitted on behalf of his Government that Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is "quite prepared to go ahead with acts of genocide," then under Article I of the Genocide Convention, the British government has a legal obligation "to prevent" this expected genocide of the Tamils by GoSL, said Professor Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, in a note sent to TamilNet. more ...
Toronto's Rwandan community is joining Tamil Canadians in calling for an end to the violence in Sri Lanka. The two groups will march together this Friday alongside Canadians from various other backgrounds, calling for a ceasefire in war-ravaged North and East Sri Lanka. In the past two months, over a thousand civilians have been killed in the conflict, and over 300,000 have been cut off from humanitarian aid.
71) Feb 26, 2009 20:58:59 GMT | + Stoking the flames
WITH kerosene and a box of matches, Sivaprakasam, a 60-year-old former civil servant, turned himself into a screaming fireball on February 21st. He was the fifth resident of Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state that is home to 65m Tamils, to burn himself to death this year in protest at Sri Lanka’s brutal campaign against its Tamil Tiger rebels. Tamil Nadu is known for self-immolation. Chennai, its capital, is dotted with monuments to seven “martyrs” who died in 1965, in a successful protest against the encroachment of Hindi on the Tamil language, deemed by its speakers India’s oldest and richest.
72) Feb 26, 2009 15:45:42 GMT | + Japan extended 300 million rupees assistance to sixteen projects to enhance peace and to uplift lives of people in rural areas of Sri Lanka under its grassroots assistance
The Government of Japan has provided a sum of US$ 2,739,202 (approximately Rs. 300 million) towards enhancement of peace in Sri Lanka during the period of January 2008 to February 2009 through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) to local and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as governmental agencies in various districts of the island.
73) Feb 26, 2009 15:24:29 GMT | + Carnage Of Tamils Under UN Watch
The blood of the innocent Tamils are all over the hands of the world’s great nations. Deaf to the cries when innocent Tamils were refused the basic rights of being equal citizens in their traditional homeland, the international community and the United Nations Organization stood idle. When thirty years of talks to arrive at a peaceful settlement did not bear any fruit, the international governments refused to intervene calling it a domestic problem. Strengthened by the attitude of the international community, and with abundant money and materials given as loans and grants, the Singhalese majority governments began their pogrom of ethnic cleansing and encroachment on traditional Tamil homelands with impunity.
74) Feb 26, 2009 12:26:01 GMT | + Tamil newspaper editor arrested in Colombo
Reporters Without Borders is extremely shocked by today’s arrest of N. Vithyatharan, the editor of Sudar Oli, a Colombo-based Tamil daily that is part of the Uthayan press group. He was forcibly arrested while attending the funeral in Colombo of a relative of the group’s chairman. “Carried out without a warrant, this arrest was a violation of the rule of law,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The police must release Vithyatharan without delay. What is this respected Tamil editor accused of? Outspoken coverage of the situation in Sri Lanka, including the fate of its Tamil population.”
75) Feb 26, 2009 12:25:07 GMT | + India to send emergency medical unit to Sri Lanka
India Thursday said it would send a full-fledged emergency medical unit to help civilians wounded in the conflict in Sri Lanka and work with Colombo to spur reconstruction process in that country. 'India and Sri Lanka have agreed to work together to address the urgent medical needs of these civilians,' external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in a statement here. 'In this connection, India will immediately send a full-fledged emergency medical unit with hospital to Sri Lanka,' he said.
76) Feb 26, 2009 6:06:25 GMT | + Prominent Tamil Editor abducted in Colombo, later claimed 'arrested'
77) Feb 26, 2009 1:57:29 GMT | + Official: Sri Lanka war zone conditions worsen
Armed persons and men in police uniform who arrived in three white vans Thursday morning abducted Nadesapillai Vithyatharan, 58, the prominent editor of Jaffna-based Uthayan daily and Colombo-based Chudaroli, eyewitnesses told TamilNet. The abduction comes six days after Mr. Vithyatharan was grilled by the Sri Lankan Terrorist Investigation Department (TID). The TID had questioned him Sunday for six hours on news and views that appeared in his papers on Sri Lanka Army (SLA) attacks on civilians in Vanni and about his interactions with the officials of the Tigers in the past. Police spokesman Gunasekara, who first said that the editor was abducted by unidentified men, hours later claimed that he had been arrested. more ...
Conditions in Sri Lanka's overcrowded war zone have rapidly deteriorated as stranded families packed fields filled with human waste, water supplies dwindled and a makeshift hospital ran out of essential medicines, the top health official in the region said Wednesday. Aid groups estimate more than 200,000 people are trapped in a small strip of rebel-held territory along the northeast coast as the government wages an all-out offensive to destroy the Tamil Tiger rebels and end this country's 25-year-old civil war. The government, which says only 70,000 remain trapped, has brushed off growing international calls for a cease-fire to allow the civilians to flee the 25 square miles (65 square kilometers) that remain under rebel control, saying the war is nearly finished.
78) Feb 26, 2009 1:52:42 GMT | + As War Nears End, Sri Lankans Weigh Peace Dividend
With Sri Lanka's economy stifled by 25 years of war, many here are weighing the benefits of a peace dividend, as the conflict nears an end - just in time for the global economic slump. Even here, at one of Colombo's five-star hotels on the white-sand beach of the Indian Ocean, it is hard to tell that the country is embroiled in a war - one of Asia's longest-running. Still, there are signs. For one, there is a noticeable lack of guests. This hotel, like others in the capital, is seeing a steep drop-off in new tourist arrivals.
79) Feb 26, 2009 1:43:52 GMT | + Revise policies on Tamil struggle: Karen Parker tells U.S. Senate
80) Feb 26, 2008 18:34:45 GMT | + Top UN official fails to meet Tamil, Muslim parties
The twenty-six year old armed conflict between the armed forces of the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has reached a phase that can only be called genocide-like and catastrophic for the Tamil people in the north and east of the island, said human rights expert Karen Parker, Wednesday to the subcommittee of the US Senate, hearing on the situation in the island of Sri Lanka. Describing the war waged by Colombo as illegal military operations, using illegal weapons or legal weapons in an illegal manner without any international monitoring, she urged the US government to call for an immediate ceasefire and address it most forcefully to the Rajapaksa administration. more ...
A top UN official who was in Sri Lanka to study the worsening ethnic conflict in the island went back Tuesday without meeting leaders of the Tamil and Muslim minorities. UN Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs Angela Kane met ministers, officials, and leaders of a radical Sinhalese political party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), but avoided the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), two of the biggest political parties of the minorities. She did not meet the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) that keeps a watch on human rights violations, particularly in multi-ethnic Colombo.
81) Feb 26, 2008 18:31:30 GMT | + Sri Lanka hands over rebel bodies
Hospital officials in the northern Sri Lankan town of Anuradhapura say they have handed over the bodies of 14 Tamil Tigers to the Red Cross. They say the rebels were killed in recent fighting in the Welioya area east of the town. Hospital officials say the Tigers have handed over the bodies of three Sri Lankan soldiers so far this month. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) passes on the corpses to both sides so that they can be buried.
82) Feb 26, 2008 18:29:09 GMT | + 'Charge or release' LTTE suspects
The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka have ordered Attorney General (AG) to take steps to relase LTTE suspects if no evidence found against them. It is 'unacceptable' that these suspects are kept in remand for long periods such as 12 months, Chief Justice (CJ) Sarath Nanda Silva observed. The CJ made the re marks as a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by a resident in Jaffna, Sinnathurai Mohan, was taken for hearing.
83) Feb 26, 2008 12:32:31 GMT | + LTTE, SLA clash in Jaffna lagoon
A clash between Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) erupted Tuesday around 7:45 a.m. in Jaffna lagoon near Kozhumpuththu'rai when SLA troops in their Forward Defence Line positions along the lagoon shore attacked Sea Tiger patrol boats, sources in Jaffna said. LTTE retaliated from their vessels and the fighting lasted for nearly fifteen minutes, the sources said.
84) Feb 26, 2008 12:31:57 GMT | + Tea acts as tonic to Sri Lanka stocks war gloom
After a sharp downturn earlier this year as civil war flared, Sri Lanka's stock market is recovering thanks to an unlikely tonic -- tea. High international tea prices are boosting interest in Sri Lanka's tea and rubber plantation sector shares, which have helped reverse the stock market's 7 percent drop in January, when the government formally cancelled a truce with the separatist rebel Tamil Tigers.
85) Feb 26, 2008 12:27:20 GMT | + Tyronne Fernando passes away
Tyronne Fernando, an advisor to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a former Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka under the United National Party (UNP) government earlier, passed away in a private hospital in Colombo Tuesday morning, according to Sri Lankan presidential secretariat officials. Mr. Tyronne Fernando served as the governor of North-East Province Council (NEPC) from December 2004 till January 2006.
86) Feb 26, 2008 4:06:50 GMT | + India continues to influence events in Sri Lanka
SINCE the government proposed and accepted the 13th amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution as a means to devolve power within a unitary state, India’s interference in the affairs of its southern neighbour is becoming increasingly clear — and even coming under fire. None would dispute the claim that India has a role to play in Sri Lanka’s ethnic crisis. After all, it was India which in the early 1980s trained, armed and financed several Tamil militant groups to fight the Sri Lankan government. It was India which came to the rescue of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other militant groups when the Sri Lankan security forces were about to capture the Tamil Tiger stronghold of Vadamarachchi in 1987.
87) Feb 26, 2007 18:54:50 GMT | + Arrest of director of publishing house in Sri Lanka!
Today, at 10pm Sri Lankan time, officers from the ‘Terrorist Investigation Division’ (TID) arrested Dushantha Basnayake a director of ‘Standard Newspapers Private Limited’ (SNPL) in Colombo. Standard Newspapers’ print the popular Sinhala weekly ‘Mawbima’(motherland), a newspaper that has been under severe attack from the President Mahinda Rajapakse. The TID officers who arrived at around 6pm (Sri Lanka time) had interrogated Mr. Dushantha Basnayake at his office for nearly four hours, when a phone call from a top Defence Ministry official precipitated his arrest.
88) Feb 26, 2007 12:41:15 GMT | + Tacit international support for war as truce turns 5
The fifth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s tattered ceasefire was marked with contrasting reactions from the parties to the agreement, the government and the LTTE, peace facilitator Norway and Sri Lankan political parties. The LTTE and the Tamil National Alliance, Sri Lanka’s largest Tamil political party said the international community must share the blame for the resumption of the island’s protracted ethnic conflict. The international monitors of the SLMM (Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission) and the Norwegian government issued statements lamenting the breakdown of the truce.
89) Feb 26, 2007 12:39:51 GMT | + Sri Lanka leader brings elephant and jumbo delegation to China
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse began a week-long state visit to China on Monday -- and showed up with an elephant as a gift as well as a large delegation. Rajapakse, in China to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties between the countries, will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and other top officials during his seven-day stay, Xinhua news agency said. It said the president brought along a five-year-old male elephant as well as a replica of a statue of Buddha.
90) Feb 26, 2007 12:36:28 GMT | + Four Sri Lankan workers beheaded in Saudi Arabia
Last Monday the Saudi Arabian government beheaded four Sri Lankan migrant workers—Sanath Pushpakumara, E.J.Victor Corea, Ranjith De Silva and Sangeeth Kumara—despite years of protest from international human rights organisations and the victims’ pleas for clemency. The beheading brought the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia this year to at least 17, compared to 38 for all of 2006. Two-thirds of those killed were foreign nationals.
91) Feb 26, 2007 12:32:50 GMT | + Sri Lankan asylum seekers denied access to Aust law: advocate
The Australian Refugee Association (ARA) says 83 Sri Lankans being held by immigration authorities do not have proper access to means of applying for asylum in Australia. ARA spokesman Kevin Liston says their treatment will also be an indication of how the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship operates in the wake of the Palmer inquiry. Mr Liston believes the Sri Lankans are already at a disadvantage should they try to claim asylum.
92) Feb 26, 2007 2:39:32 GMT | + Sri Lankan Government Finds Support From Buddhist Monks
With full-scale war under way once more in a country plagued by a quarter-century of nasty ethnic conflict, an ever more assertive government has found a sturdy ally in what might seem an unexpected source: hard-line Buddhist monks. The monks have long been active in Sri Lanka’s polarized politics, but for the first time they have joined the governing coalition with their own political party. Called the Jathika Hela Urumaya, or National Heritage Party, they now hold nine seats in Sri Lanka’s 225-member Parliament.
93) 12:39 GMT, Feb. 26, 2006 | + Sri Lanka seeks new truce after Swiss talks - chief negotiator
94) 05:30 GMT, Feb. 26, 2006 | + India will not intervene
Sri Lankan negotiators have vowed to honor a deal reached with Tamil Tiger rebels after talks in Switzerland, but said a new truce is still needed to resolve 'legal infirmities' in the current ceasefire brokered in 2002. 'Whatever the steps needed will be taken by the government to implement the agreement (reached in Switzerland),' chief negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He declined to specify what measures will be taken to deliver on a promise to stop pro-government armed groups attacking Tamil Tigers, particularly in the island's restive east. A legal expert in Colombo's delegation, H L de Silva, told reporters that the truce is still flawed and the only way to make it a proper legal document is to have a brand-new ceasefire signed by the new president. The 'original weakness and legal infirmity remains,' he told reporters, adding that the Swiss talks recognized a 'de facto agreement, a de facto arrangement, outside the law, but nevertheless binding between the parties as far as their future conduct is concerned.' more ...
95) 16:53 GMT, Feb. 26, 2005 | + Report on the News on Ragging at the University of Jaffna
General Mehta, who commanded the IPKF from 1988 until its departure in 1991, was responding to a point raised by The Sunday Leader during a brief interview, that as LTTE Leader Velupillai Pirapaharan has set his sights on the emergence of Tamil Eelam and therefore even if GOSL - LTTE negotiations lead to a political settlement, the name Tamil Eelam has acquired a significance that is unlikely to be relinquished by the LTTE. However, General Mehta emphasised that "due to the baggage of the past, India is not prepared to get involved in the political resolution of the conflict, as it sacrificed over 1,248 of its soldiers during the peace keeping process. The sequel had left some residual bad blood in the Indian military, particularly among the officers of the IPKF, as one Sri Lankan government invited us and the next asked us to leave." When this writer pointed out that the IPKF period has also left bad blood for the people of Jaffna, General Mehta stated "it could have, but we should overcome the burden of the past and look to the future." more ...
96) 16:00 GMT, Feb. 26, 2005 | + Solheim meets LTTE in east
I wish to report on the real situation about the news item published in "The Island" and "Weerakesary" two days ago [18.02.2005] that the Sinhalese and Muslim students admitted to the University of Jaffna this year underwent severe ragging. The fresher Sinhalese and Muslim students were accommodated in our University Hostel as usual and their basic needs were looked after. In addition, proper strict measures were taken to ensure that these students are protected from any harassment by the seniors in the hostel. Furthermore, senior students are keen on abolition of ragging in the University this year than in previous years. Under these circumstances, the news item that was published in news papers that Sinhalese and Muslim are subjected to severe ragging is a surprise to the University Community. I wish to emphasize that the university administration will take severe punitive action on the senior students involved on receiving reliable complaint from any source if such ragging had actually taken place. more ...
97) 16:00 GMT, Feb. 26, 2005 | + Solheim meets LTTE in east
Norway’s special peace envoy for Sri Lanka, Mr. Eric Solheim Saturday met head of LTTE’s political division for Batticaloa-Amparai district, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan for discussions on post Tsunami work and the political-security situation in the region. On an invitation by Mr. Ilanthirayan, the Norwegian peace envoy and his team visited the Tsunami devastated coastal areas of Paandiruppu, a densely populated Tamil village, 38 kilometres south of Batticaloa. Mr. Ilanthirayan and other regional LTTE officers accompanied Mr. Solheim. The Norwegian envoy spoke to families on Paandiruppu coast that were affected by the Tsunami. The meeting between the Norwegians and the Liberation Tigers took place at the LTTE’s political office in Paandiruppu around 3.30 p.m. Saturday. Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission for Amparai was also present at the discussion. more ...
98) 12:41 GMT, Feb. 26, 2005 | + Sri Lanka minister thanks India for tsunami help
Norway’s special peace envoy for Sri Lanka, Mr. Eric Solheim Saturday met head of LTTE’s political division for Batticaloa-Amparai district, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan for discussions on post Tsunami work and the political-security situation in the region. On an invitation by Mr. Ilanthirayan, the Norwegian peace envoy and his team visited the Tsunami devastated coastal areas of Paandiruppu, a densely populated Tamil village, 38 kilometres south of Batticaloa. Mr. Ilanthirayan and other regional LTTE officers accompanied Mr. Solheim. The Norwegian envoy spoke to families on Paandiruppu coast that were affected by the Tsunami. The meeting between the Norwegians and the Liberation Tigers took place at the LTTE’s political office in Paandiruppu around 3.30 p.m. Saturday. Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission for Amparai was also present at the discussion. more ...
99) 12:38 GMT, Feb. 26, 2005 | + Britain's Prince Charles to inspect tsunami destruction in Sri Lanka
Two months after the tsunami ravaged Sri Lanka, the island has not only recovered its moorings, but has embarked on an ambitious reconstruction programme in which India will play a crucial role, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said Saturday. Kadirgamar, here on a three-day visit, told a press conference he had come as special envoy of the Sri Lanka president to thank the Indian government and its people for their "spontaneous help within hours of the tragedy." He said: "If India hadn't responded promptly, what would have happened? We were not prepared for the disaster of this magnitude.
- Lanka thanks India for helping in tsunami relief operations
- PTI more ...
100) 12:35 GMT, Feb. 26, 2005 | + Experts: Tamil civilisation over 4,000 years old
Britain's Prince Charles will make a lightning visit to Sri Lanka to see first-hand the devastation left by the tsunami disaster as he starts a four-nation tour, officials said. He is slated to arrive here Monday and travel to the embattled eastern district of Batticaloa, 300 kilometres (187 miles) east of here by road, before meeting President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Colombo. The prince will view the destruction wrought by the tsunamis and reconstruction efforts under way. Tamil Tiger rebels have been active in Batticaloa, but Prince Charles had no plans to visit rebel-held areas of the coastal region which was one of the worst affected by the December 26 tsunamis, officials said on Saturday.
- Prince on Sri Lanka tsunami visit
- BBC more ...
101) 20:58 GMT, Feb. 26, 2004 | + Will President Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumarathunge's snap election solve the current political impasse in Sri Lanka?
TAMIL civilisation existed more than 4,000 years ago, said archaeologists excavating near Chennai, India. The archaeologists are studying inscriptions on stones and artefacts at a site in Athicha Nallur, which is believed to be the cradle of Tamil civilisation, both Tamil Nesan and Malaysia Nanban reported. They also concluded that the Tamils were already an advanced society before the Mogul emperors invaded India. The artefacts were believed to be dated around 1,700BC and the excavation was handled under a new method called thermo luminescence, that provided the exact age of the site. more ...
102) 14:35 GMT, Feb. 26, 2004 | + The peacemaker: Former Ontario premier helps to heal Sri Lanka’s bitter conflict
Neither the UPFA nor UNF will get an out right majority (113) to form a new government. Any of these two parties will end up in depending on the "Tamil National Alliance" (TNA), that is contesting in the North-East with the backing of the LTTE, to form a government. TNA is expected to get over 20 seats in parliament and will be the third largest party in parliament. Therefore even if CBK's UPFA forms the next government, she will still needs RW's UNF to change the EPS to an EPMS. Therefore CBK's basic desire to remain in the race for the leadership of the country is not going to materialise even after the elections. more ...
103) 13:34 GMT, Feb. 26, 2004 | + Sri Lanka Police Seek Military Help To Quell Violence
Bob Rae, the former premier of Ontario, chairs the Forum of Federations, a non-profit international network dedicated to promoting federalism around the world. Rae and others from this Ottawa-based organization are assisting the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels in their efforts to hammer out a federal constitution. Feb. 27, the current affairs series 360 Vision
(In Canada) - an in-depth interview with Rae, who discusses the difficulties involved in uniting a bitterly divided country without compromising religious rights and freedoms. more ...
104) 12:03 GMT, Feb. 26, 2004 | + Inter-party clashes overshadow Sri Lankan election campaign
Sri Lanka's police have asked the army, navy and air force to help stop rising poll-related violence as the main political parties prepared to launch their election campaigns, officials said Thursday. President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who head Sri Lanka's two main rival political parties, were set to launch their campaigns Thursday for the April 2 poll. Since nominations were opened Feb. 17, there have been more than 100 incidents of election-related violence - though a cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels has held firm. more ...
105) 11:55 GMT, Feb. 26, 2004 | + Sri Lankan vote campaigns start
Sri Lanka’s national election campaign got off to a violent start, with at least 40 people, including a Buddhist monk, wounded in inter-party clashes, police said Wednesday. At least 40 people were treated in hospital following 27 incidents reported in southern and north-central regions of the island on Tuesday as nominations for the April 2 election were finalised, a police spokesman said. “We have arrested 12 people in connection with these incidents and more arrests could follow,” the spokesman said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga called the April 2 election four years ahead of schedule amid a political feud with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, casting a shadow over a shaky peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. more ...
106) 00:00 GMT, Feb. 26, 2004 | + Early violence in Sri Lanka poll
The main political parties in Sri Lanka are launching their campaigns for parliamentary elections on 2 April. The early elections follow the growing divide between the president and prime minister over peace talks with Tamil Tigers rebels. President Chandrika Kumaratunga accuses Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe of making too many concessions. Supporters of the two leaders have already been involved in violent clashes this week. At least 40 people were hurt in a series of violent incidents on Tuesday, the closing day for nominations. more ...
107) 23:57 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + Sri Lankan Govt hopeful of peace process, LTTE isn't
At least 40 people have been hurt in a series of violent incidents on the closing day for nominations in Sri Lanka's general election. The party activists were hurt on Tuesday as a record 6,024 candidates were registered to contest 225 seats. Tamil Tiger rebels marked the opening of the campaign by warning of "serious consequences" if their supporters were obstructed from voting. The poll was ordered for 2 April after the president dissolved parliament. Police said there were 27 violent incidents on Tuesday in southern and north-central regions in which the 40 activists were injured. Twelve arrests were reported. A senior police official said there had been 82 incidents more ...
108) 23:53 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + Sri Lanka asks media to lower expectations of Tamil peace
A year after the two sides signed a truce ending 19 years of war, Sri Lanka's government said on Wednesday that hopes for a permanent peace were better than ever while Tamil Tiger rebels said they were disillusioned. Negotiators from both sides have held five rounds of talks aimed at striking a final peace deal since the February, 2002 cease-fire. However, in recent weeks there have been a number of minor incidents that have threatened the process, including a number of skirmishes. more ...
109) 23:51 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + Japanese IDI team to assess urgent needs of the North-East
Sri Lanka's chief peace negotiator, G. L. Peiris, said Wednesday the two sides in the nation's protracted ethic war were about to take up contentious issues and warned that high media expectations could undermine efforts to end the conflict. Peiris, who is also the government's constitutional affairs minister, said there was no guarantee of success in the ongoing Norwegian-backed peace bid, but that it offered the best chance so far of resolving the conflict politically. "There are no guarantees of success, but the prospects of peace are a great deal better today than (they have) ever been," Peiris told the Commonwealth Press Union, holding its biennial meeting here. more ...
110) 23:48 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + India backs Sri Lanka peace bid with cash: Minister
A nine-member delegation of the Infrastructure Development Institute (IDI) of Japan will visit Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission to assess the conditions of roads, water supply and sanitation, and flood control in the North-East province from February 28 to March 6. The delegation will comprise Messrs. M.Yabe, T.Matsunaga, H.Sadamura, K.Hasegawa, T.Sakai, Yamana, R.Lizuka, I.I.Seto and A.Morikawa, sources said. more ...
111) 23:46 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + Tigers told to free soldier, policeman
Sri Lanka today said that India, which has extended a 200 million dollar credit line to the island nation, was supporting Colombo's peace bid despite domestic political compulsions. Sri Lanka's chief peace negotiator, G. L. Peiris said New Delhi was fully supportive of attempts to politically end the island's drawn out ethnic conflict and had offered cash to the war-ravaged nation. more ...
112) 11:57 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + New head of international peace monitors begins visits to Sri Lanka's war-torn northeast
Scandinavians monitoring Sri Lanka's year-old ceasefire have ruled that a soldier and a policeman held by the Tamil Tigers should be released immediately, a spokesman for the monitors said yesterday. Deputy chief of the monitoring mission Hagrup Haukland said they had sent a strong letter ruling that the soldier and the policeman be released immediately. He said if the guerrillas did not comply the monitors will be compelled to take it up with the Norwegian government who are acting as facilitators in the peace process. more ...
113) 05:57 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + Norwegian expert to advise on gender issues
The new head of a European mission monitoring a year-old truce between Tamil rebels and the government of Sri Lanka visited the country's war-ravaged northeast Wednesday to assess the situation on the ground, a spokesman said. Tryggve Tellefsen, a retired army major general from Norway, arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday to take over the reins of the mission from fellow countryman Trond Furuhovde. Tellefsen, whose duties officially begin March 7, left Wednesday on an inspection tour of the northern districts of Vavuniya and Mannar, said the deputy head of the peace monitors, Hagrup Haukland. The top truce monitor met government peace negotiator Bernard Goonetilleke and other officials before the visit and was expected to travel soon to the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi to meet the rebel high command. more ...
114) 00:48 GMT, Feb. 26, 2003 | + Tigers to urge repeal of PTA at next round
Dr. Astrid N. Heiberg, a distinguished women's activist and politician from Norway has been appointed an advisor to the Sub-Committee on Gender Issues under the peace process, the Consulate of Sri Lanka in Norway announced. Dr. Heiberg will be present at the first meeting of the Sub-Committee to be held in March. The parties to the peace process established the Sub-Committee to ensure the effective inclusion of gender issues in the talks. more ...
115) 19:03 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Landmine Survivors NetWork
The LTTE will take up the crucial issue of Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) at the next round of talks with the government to request it to repeal it early, said ACTC leader and MP Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy yesterday. The LTTE will ask the government to repeal the PTA to enable the release of suspects in custody without trial. LTTE and TNA MPs claim that normalcy was yet to be restored in the North and East though peace talks have gone on for one year. more ...
116) 16:29 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Despondent paramilitaries mull arms surrender
In countries in the developing world where landmines are prevalent, survivors lose more than a leg or arm; they often lose their place as valued and respected members of society. LSN works with survivors and their families to support their efforts to retake their place and become productive members of their communities. For example, landmine survivors play a crucial role in landmine education, particularly for children within communities at risk. Often amputees in impoverished countries can’t afford the services available to them. That’s when LSN steps in and provides direct help and material needed for rehabilitation. more ...
117) 16:17 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Asia Watch: Truce lifts Sri Lanka market
The Sri Lanka army has given 48 hours to Tamil paramilitary groups operating in the Batticaloa district to disarm or join the military and serve outside the Northeast, the regional Tamil daily, Thinakathir reported Tuesday, quoting sources in SLA's 23-3 Brigade Headquarters in the eastern town. more ...
118) 15:32 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + War Front Kumaratunga intends to wreck the ceasefire
"The good news is that the peace process is on a fast track. It's amazing we've got this far so quickly," said Dushyanth Wijesinghe, head of research at Asia Securities in Colombo. The International Monetary Fund, which lent $131m to Sri Lanka last year, has called for reforms to the labour market, public sector and education. The IMF is forecasting economic growth this year of between 3 per cent and 4 per cent compared with the government's projection of 5 per cent. Peace talks between the government and the Tamil Tigers, expected to begin in April, will be critical to achieving these targets. more ...
119) 15:04 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + President threatens to cancel ceasefire
The permanent ceasefire between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan armed forces which began on Saturday is a key and welcome step on Sri Lanka's road to peace, coming as it does after many years of ethnic conflict. As we argued last week amid the widespread speculation in the regional press and renewed opposition from Sinhala right wing forces, the foundation of any successful negotiations must surely be a stable and indefinite truce between both protagonists. The establishment of just such a ceasefire within two months of the United National Front government coming to power is a triumph for Norwegian diplomacy, particularly given the present political circumstances in Colombo. As in all successful compromises, both sides are set to benefit from the ongoing tranquillity and protections the agreement provides. The permanent ceasefire has therefore been quite rightly warmly welcomed by the international community. India, the United States, Britain and Japan publicly hailed the deal within hours of its unveiling Friday by the Norwegian government. Other countries have sub-sequently sent their commendations as has United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. more ...
120) 14:45 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Sri Lanka plays down tensions
Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga Monday threatened to derail the permanent ceasefire between the United National Front government and the Liberation Tigers with a single letter to the Army commander, a press report said Tuesday. President Kumaratunga also stepped up the war of words with the UNF government of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, dealing a heavy blow to the latter’s efforts to sustain governance by ‘cohabitation’ between Parliament and the office of the President, the Daily Mirror reported. Kumaratunga’s People’s Alliance (PA), along with the Janatha Vimukthi Pramuna (JVP) and the paramilitary Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) intend to mount a legal challenge to the permanent ceasefire, press reports said Monday. more ...
121) 14:36 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Computer dumping 'polluting Asia'
Sri Lanka's government says the objections of a noisy few to the ceasefire agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels do not mean that public opinion as a whole is against it. Government spokesman GL Peiris said December's elections had demonstrated the overwhelming support for Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe's efforts to tackle the problem. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, however, seems to differ. She says there are several suspicious clauses in the agreement, alleging she was only told of the details after the rebels had signed the document. more ...
122) 07:50 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Annan hails Sri Lanka peace deal
Old computers are been dumped in Asia where they are releasing toxic materials into the environment, say campaigners. A report, called Exporting Harm: The Hi-Tech Trashing Of Asia, details a group of villages in south-eastern China where computers from America are picked apart and strewn along rivers and fields. "I've seen a lot of dirty operations in Third World countries, but what was shocking was seeing all this post-consumer waste," said one of the report's authors, Jim Puckett of the Seattle-based Basel Action Network. more ...
123) 23:30 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Australia welcomes the signing of an indefinite ceasefire agreement
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has welcomed the ceasefire signed between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger separatist rebels after 19 years of civil war. Mr Annan also congratulated Norway for brokering the deal. The ceasefire, which is aimed at restarting direct peace talks, will be monitored by international observers. It came into effect on Friday after being signed by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the leader of the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam, Vellipulai Prabhakaran. more ...
124) 22:59 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Kumaratunga threatens to cancel truce; Govt defends deal
I warmly welcome the signing of an indefinite ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. I hope that the momentum towards a peaceful and durable settlement of the 19-year conflict in Sri Lanka can be maintained. I am sure Australia?s large Sri Lankan community will welcome the peace efforts, which I hope will end the conflict and terrorism which have marked Sri Lanka?s recent history. I look forward to discussing these issues with the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Tyronne Fernando, next week when we are in Coolum to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. more ...
125) 22:52 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Scandinavian monitors arrive
Days after Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signed a historic truce accord with LTTE, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has threatened to cancel the pact saying that she disagreed with some of the clauses. But Wickremesinghe rejected the charge and Kumaratunga's claim she can rescind the deal signed on Feb 22 with a directive to the armed forces if she wished. The Executive President's prerogative has no bearing on an internal, civil conflict, cabinet spokesman G L Peiris told reporters here today
. Wickremesinghe had kept the President informed about all developments during the prolonged discussion with the LTTE on the terms of the truce through Norwegian negotiators, he said and appealed for a non-divisive approach to the peace process. more ...
126) 21:22 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Jaffna Peace Walk (Photos)
Scandinavian monitors headed by a Norwegian arrived yesterday in Colombo to begin work on ensuring the truce, the forerunner to the commencement of peace talks. Retired Major General Trond Furuhovde of the Norwegian army has been picked by his government to head the monitoring mission. An experienced monitor in international conflicts, Maj. Gen. Furuhovde has headed the UN international forces in Lebanon during the early nineties. The monitoring mission that will set camp in most of the districts in the north and east would comprise 15 people, a senior Norwegian diplomat said. Code of ethics at sea, the re-location of government garrisons stationed in school buildings and temples in the north and east,and lines of control between government-held territory and rebel-held areas were to be worked out. more ...
127) 20:53 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Political storm in Sri Lanka after truce deal
Inter Religious Group along with the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (consist 47 organisations) were organised a peace walk on the 23rd and 24th of February 2002. The peace Walk was commenced from the Shrine of Our Lady of Sinnamadhu Kayts and ended for the first day at Nallur Kandasamy Kovil. The second day the Peace Walk was started from Nallur Kandasamy Kovil passing through KKS Road and ended at Thurkai Amman Kovil Tellipalai. The contents of the memorandum consist, removal of the ban on LTTE, accepting the right for self-determination, Tamils as a nation and declaring North and East as home land of Tamils. more ...
128) 20:49 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Sihala Urumaya urges President to nullify MoU
Politics of cohabitation in governing Sri Lanka seem to be collapsing this week with main opposition parties planning to take legal action against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government for signing the ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers, state radio said Monday. The newly elected government is this week embroiled in an escalating confrontation with President Chandrika Kumaatunga who, infuriated by Wickremesinghe's decision to enter into a permanent ceasefire with the LTTE, has became increasingly uncooperative in affairs of state and openly critical of his policies. more ...
129) 19:35 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + Sri Lanka plans to test peace deal at referendum
The Sihala Urumaya (SU), the hard-line Sinhala nationalist party, declared Tuesday that it would launch a campaign among the Sinhalese to urge President Chandrika Kumaratunga to use her executive powers to invalidate the cease-fire agreement between the United National Front government and the LTTE. Mr. Tilak Karunaratne, leader of the Sihala Urumaya (SU), addressing a press conference in Colombo Tuesday said that his party has decided to file a case on Thursday in the Court of Appeal seeking the nullification of the MoU and the cease-fire agreement as these, according to him have contravened the Constitution of Sri Lanka. more ...
130) 19:12 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday he would call a referendum on the outcome of peace talks with Tamil Tiger guerrillas, a move that would require him to win over a sceptical Sinhalese majority. The government is the on the verge of peace talks with rebels fighting for a minority Tamil state. The two sides last week signed a Norwegian-brokered truce denounced as treason by Sinhalese nationalists who have thwarted previous peace bids. ''We will put any final solution to the entire country in the form of a referendum,'' Wickremesinghe told reporters. To pass muster at a referendum, a peace settlement needs overwhelming support among the Sinhalese who make up almost 75 percent of the population. more ...
131) 07:49 GMT, Feb. 26, 2002 | + S.Lankan president threatens ceasefire - media
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is to be held 2-5 March 2002 at Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of governments and people of 54 independent countries around the world. Every two years, the 54 Commonwealth leaders meet in a different Commonwealth country to discuss matters of common interest and progress initiatives to benefit the Commonwealth's diverse membership. This summit is called a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting or CHOGM. more ...
132) 21:10 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + Vanni ban leaves little to take
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has threatened to cancel a landmark ceasefire agreement signed with Tamil Tiger rebels if she disagrees with some of its clauses, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday. Kumaratunga, who has sweeping powers to sack the government and suspend parliament, has already been highly critical of her archrival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, saying he kept her in the dark about the Norwegian-brokered truce. more ...
133) 18:26 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + Canadian Politics:
A note at the bottom of a circular by Sri
Lanka's Ministry of Defence listing the things that are not allowed to the Vanni sent to government officials in Vavuniya, reveals the extensive and arbitrary manner in which Colombo's economic embargo is imposed on the northern region. "A person can/should be stopped from taking things with him on the advice of an authorised officer. Even permitted items can be stopped at the last moment on the basis of information received by the army about the future needs and plans of the terrorists. Soldiers at the checkpoint can decide whether a person should be stopped from passing through or whether to postpone the checking of his bags," the note says. "The list of banned and permitted items displayed here to the public and government departments is totally deceptive. In effect, an officer or soldier has the right and authority to stop anything from being taken to Vanni purely at their discretion," explained an official at the Vavuniya District secretariat Monday. more ...
Indo-Canadian seeking to lead Alberta opposition
134) 16:21 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + Arts&Culture:
Indo-Canadian legislator Raju Pannu, leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP), has said he is hoping to become the province's opposition leader by dislodging the Liberal Party's Nancy MacBeth. Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, who heads a Progressive Conservative (PC) government, announced last week that elections to the provincial legislature would be held on March 12. Pannu's spokesman in the legislature, Charan Khera, said the NDP would put up candidates for all 83 seats in the province. Besides Pannu, another Indo-Canadian candidate would be Gurpreet Sihota, a realtor, he said. According to the latest opinion polls, the NDP is trailing third in Alberta, way behind the ruling PC party, which has the support of 54 percent of voters, and the Liberals, who have the support of 29 percent. The NDP has the support of just 9 percent of the voters. more ...
Kanchipuram Sarees: fashionable through the ages
135) 13:06 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + A Book Review:
The traditional Kanchipuram sari from the town of the same name retains its attractiveness through the change of fashions. Chandini Cumarswamy takes a look at what goes into weaving, and wearing, this article of traditional Tamil clothing. A sari, when worn properly, can enhance the beauty of a woman's style and bring out her charm and elegance. With a Kanchipuram sari it is completely different because the sari itself has its own beauty.
While the forces of globalisation have made Kanchi-puram saris available all over the world, the distinctive production process is still centred on Kanchipuram, a small rural town in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Kanchipuram has a unique place within Indian history; it is a centre of pilgrimage for both the Saivaite and Vaishanvite sects of Hinduism as well as being the birthplace of the modern anti - Hindu Dravidian movement. more ...
Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka and the Question of Nationhood
136) 05:15 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + Collusion, apathy said skewing medical legal reports
“Ethnicity and nation were now locked in a discourse of danger that is usually enormously productive as far as the exercise of state power is concerned. In each instance, the danger of ethnic chauvinism or separatism was used as the justification for an authoritarian and hard-line response by the center. Yet, it was often the center itself that was responsible for fomenting such ethnic separatism in the first place: either directly, by its intelligence agencies supporting the extremist fringes of such movements, or indirectly, by the concentration of power and an increasingly majoritarian conception of national identity.” more ...
"There is inordinate delay in getting medical reports on rape and torture from the Batticaloa hospital"
137) 05:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + The European Union (EU) presses Sri Lanka on democracy, human rights
said Suganthi Kandasamy, state counsel, addressing a seminar on Community awareness and aspects of the law Sunday in the eastern town. She noted that it is very difficult to prosecute cases involving torture and rape in Batticaloa because medical legal reports are either not available or in some important cases, even the preliminary examination of the victim is not done by medical officers assigned for the purpose at the Batticaloa hospital. The observations of Ms.Kandasamy come in the wake of a strong reprimand by the Vavuniya district judge, Manickavasagar Ilencheliyan in court last year of medical officers in that northern border town who, according to him, had acted in bad faith by reporting that nothing was wrong with persons bearing clear marks of physical torture that were shown in open court. more ...
138) 05:02 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + 7000 more soldiers needed to end war - PM
``There are people being detained on suspicion without trial or even charges preferred against them for years,
| Tamils in Sri Lanka: A machete-weilding mob of majority Sinhalese rampaged through a rehabilitation camp... |
It's been a long time since the massacre and very little has been done about it..
We will maintain as much pressure as we can to ensure that democracy is fully realised,''
Gerard Collins, leader of a visiting European Parliamentary delegation, told a news conference in Colombo. A machete-weilding mob of majority Sinhalese rampaged through a rehabilitation camp for surrendered Tamil rebels and child soldiers last October, killing 27 inmates and seriously wounding several others. Both the massacre and electoral reforms were raised by the EU presidency during Sri Lanka's World Bank development forum in Paris last year. more ...
139) 01:28 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + Lanka bishops to urge Kumaratunga to reciprocate Tigers' truce
"About 3500 youths have been enlisted in the Army in the recent days following a request by the government. The enlistment of 7000 others in three-year period would help to end the war," said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister (PM) Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Sunday while addressing a gathering after declaring open a new operating theatre in the army hospital in Colombo. The operating theatre has been constructed at a cost of 6.2 million rupees by the institutions coming under the Plantation Ministry. more ...
140) 01:25 GMT, Feb. 26, 2001 | + Sri Lanka set for early peace talks amid EU prod
Three Sri Lankan Roman Catholic bishops from the war-torn north and east will urge President Chandrika Kumaratunga to reciprocate the truce currently being observed by Tamil Tiger separatists. Newspaper reports said clergymen from northern Jaffna, northwestern Mannar and eastern Trincomalee provinces will meet Kumaratunga this week to ask for an early start to peace negotiations with the separatist rebels. "We want the government of President Kumaratunga to expedite the process and to consider the unilateral cease-fire announced by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) positively," Mannar's Bishop Rayappu Joseph told the state-run Sunday Observer newspaper. more ...
141) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 2000 | + UNP asks Chandrika to talk to LTTE first
142) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 2000 | + The silencing of Kumar Ponnambalam
143) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 2000 | + Sacrificing the peace process for love of the presidency
144) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 2000 | + Sri Lankan budget: increased defence spending and further IMF restructuring
145) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1999 | + Vaakarai suffers under SLA restrictions
146) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Chandrika defends offer to LTTE
147) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Tamils upset by AFP's one-sided chronology of the conflict
148) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Sri Lanka Police arrested and beaten journalist
149) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Demolition In Sea and Besiege of Sea Tigers - Naradhar
150) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Navy positions attacked at Kilaly
151) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + LTTE Says This Year Will Be Difficult To The SL Govt.
152) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Rebels attack northern Sri Lanka navy base
153) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Sri Lankan to head inspection team in Iraq
154) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Chandrika defends offer to LTTE
155) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Tamils upset by AFP's one-sided chronology of the conflict
156) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Sri Lanka Police arrested and beaten journalist
157) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Demolition In Sea and Besiege of Sea Tigers - Naradhar
158) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Navy positions attacked at Kilaly
159) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + LTTE Says This Year Will Be Difficult To The SL Govt.
160) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Rebels attack northern Sri Lanka navy base
161) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 26, 1998 | + Sri Lankan to head inspection team in Iraq
Diplomatic sources here said despite Sri Lanka's refusal to reciprocate a unilateral truce called by the Tamil Tiger rebels, Norway was pressing ahead with attempts to arrange a face-to-face meet between the two antagonists. Tiger rebels on Thursday extended their truce by a further month till March 24 and urged the international community to pressure Sri Lanka to accept and reciprocate their "gesture of goodwill." However, a visiting delegation of the European Parliament Saturday said it believed Norway's peace envoy, Erik Solheim, was best equipped to decide and call a ceasefire when he thought the time was right. The head of the five member MEP delegation, Gerard Collins, said the EU strongly backed Norway's efforts, a non-EU member state, in trying to broker peace in Sri Lanka where over 60,000 people have been killed since 1972. more ...