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January 25, 2017 - Memory of the Day

Sri Lanka hit by worst drought in decades

2017-01-22 09:57:20 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 1986 | 11 Tamil Plantation refugees killed
    Massacre of 11 Tamil Plantation refugees waiting for train at Kilinochchi Railway Station.
  • 1998 | Bomb blast
    Bomb blast outside Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist temple in central Kandy
  • 1998 | 20 detainees injured in road accident
    20 civilians arrested in a cordoned and search operation in the villages in the Valaichenai area, north of Batticaloa, were wounded when the tractor they were being transported to Peythalai SLA camp rolled over with its trailer, this morning at 10.30 a.m.
  • 1998 | Ltte Counter Attacks STF
    LTTE forces today counter attacked a group of elite Sri Lankan STF forces who lay concealed ready to ambush the LTTE at Marunthanpanai in the deep south of Amparai. In this operation 5 STF soldiers were killed while the rest fled in panic. Some arms and ammunitions were captured. LTTE forces did not suffer any casualties.
  • 2001 | Black bands in Batticaloa University for ceasefire, self-determination
    Students and teachers of the Eastern University in Batticaloa wore black bands on their arms and observed five minutes of silence at 12 noon Thursday to urge the Sri Lankan government to recognize the Tamil peopleÃs right of self determination and to reciprocate the extended unilateral ceasefire declared by the Liberation Tigers.The Sri Lanka army in Batticaloa has repeatedly warned the public and civil society groups in this east coast district that it is a serious offence to hold meetings, picketing, demonstrations and marches calling on the government to take steps to expedite the peace process for ending the islandÃs ethnic conflict.
  • Human Rights Violations

  • 1998 | Tamil school closes following army fire
    Karuvankeni Vigneswaram School in Valaichchenai (Batticaloa) remains closed after the Sinhalese army continually opened fire at the Tamil school. Parents have refused to send their children there as they fear the army could harm them.
  • 1986 | Kilinochchi railway station massacre - 12 killed
    At least twelve Tamil civilians were shot and killed and several others injured on 25 January 1986 as Sri Lankan soldiers fired indiscriminately at about 75 passengers waiting to biard a train at Kilinochchi railway station. The dead included four women and two children.

    Source: TIC - Extrajudicial and Arbitrary killings, Jan 1987; p33

  • 1999 | Air attack kills one and injures seven
    One student was killed and 7 others seriously wounded in an air attack by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) kfir jet planes on Sunday around 5.30 p.m. in residential areas in Mullaithivu district in the northeast of the island sources in the Vanni said.
  • Innocent People Killed

  • 1997 | Thiravium Sutharson [ 22 M from Thandikulam, Vavuniya ]
    He was arrested arbitrarily, tortured by many inhumane methods including squeezing his genitals, beating.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 246 | பொருள்நீங்கிப் பொச்சாந்தா ரென்பர் அருள்நீங்கி
    அல்லவை செய்தொழுகு வார்.
    Gain of true wealth oblivious they eschew,
    Who 'grace' forsake, and graceless actions do.
    - 25 25
  • Jan 25 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Jan 25, 2016 13:39:18 GMT |  + Key to Lanka’s success
    It is not easy for societies riven by internal disagreements or mistrust to draft a democratic constitution, especially to replace the existing one. And that too after a deadly ethnic war, the trauma of which still remains fresh in peoples’ memory. As Sri Lanka, despite its continuing sociopolitical polarization, embark on a constitution re-writing journey shortly, the leadership needs to be reminded that for a constitution to be lastingly effective it must not only be framed for the future, keeping in mind the peoples’ sentiments, but also justifiable on ethical, moral and practical grounds. Many right-thinking Sri Lankan citizens are eagerly looking up to President Maithiripala Sirisena for an egalitarian statute, which does not give prominence to ethnicity or religion.
  • 2) Jan 25, 2016 13:38:05 GMT |  + No Takers for UNHRC Resolution in Sri Lanka
    A high level delegation of EU officials was in Sri Lanka last week to have meetings with a cross section of society prior to engaging in discussions with their counterparts in the Sri Lankan government. When they met with civil society representatives they said that this was the first joint meeting on issues of human rights with the government and saw this as a positive breakthrough. They also said that they had come to see what had been delivered by the government in terms of the promises it had made. The media release that they issued after a joint EU-Sri Lanka Working Group on Governance... more ...
  • 3) Jan 25, 2016 13:36:17 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s Rebirth
    Sri Lanka has been deservedly praised for the progress it has made since the end of the war against the separatist Tamil Tigers in 2009. The economy has grown at an average annual rate of 6.7%, and education and health statistics are impressive. All developing countries face myriad challenges, but this is especially the case for a country that has suffered an intense 30-year civil war. The government will need to set priorities; but success will require a comprehensive approach. Support Project Syndicate’s mission Project Syndicate needs your help to provide readers everywhere equal access to the ideas and debates shaping their lives. Learn more
  • 4) Jan 25, 2015 14:48:02 GMT |  + A Game Changer for China and India in Sri Lanka?
    On January 18, a Reuters reported claimed that Sri Lanka’s now former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had expelled the station chief of India’s intelligence agency in Colombo after accusing him of working against his government and supporting the opposition. India denied the claim, but the report serves as an example of Rajapaksa’s thorny attitude towards New Delhi, irrespective of the face presented by public diplomacy. The docking last September of a Chinese naval submarine in Colombo turned heads in New Delhi, just as the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was still getting up to speed. more ...
  • 5) Jan 25, 2015 12:26:04 GMT |  + New Sri Lanka govt looks to improve rights record
    Following new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's assertion that his government would get the country's human rights house in order, separate missions are to make crucial visits abroad to engage with global agencies. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera said, President Maithripala Sirisena's international affairs advisor, Jayantha Dhanapala is to travel to Geneva. "We are taking the international commitments very seriously. Mr Dhanapala will go to Geneva to meet with the .. more ...
  • 6) Jan 25, 2015 2:16:59 GMT |  + Lankan economy will stay flat for now:The Mafia-State must be rooted prior to economic consolidation
    For both domestic and international reasons the economic prospects for Lanka remain flat for the short and medium term periods ahead; short-term is the 100-Day duration of President Sirisena’s Action Plan and I use medium-term to denote the two-year transitional national government envisaged for the subsequent phase. It needs no great political acumen to make these two forecasts, the first is self-evident but some light may be shed by probing why this will be the case in the medium-term. more ...
  • 7) Jan 25, 2015 1:53:30 GMT |  + ‘This is Sri Lanka’s Burma moment, everyone should help us’
    When he returned to the Foreign Ministry last week, Mangala Samaraweera first rearranged the furniture so his office would look as it used to. Then he flew to New Delhi—to do the same for India-Sri Lanka relations. Mr. Samaraweera has taken charge of diplomatic affairs after an eight-year hiatus. He was foreign minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government from 2005-2007. more ...
  • 8) Jan 25, 2015 1:47:18 GMT |  + CJ 44 won’t go; Govt and BASL losing patience
    Chief Justice 44 Mohan Peiris is refusing to relinquish office and now demanding a plum diplomatic posting in return for vacating his post despite a demand by the country’s lawyers that he step down. His choice is either as Ambassador to the UN in New York or as High Commissioner in London, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has offered him Brazil, a National Unity Government source said yesterday. “We are losing our patience. By deliberately delaying he is precipitating a serious situation that could hurt him the most”, the source added.
  • 9) Jan 25, 2015 1:41:42 GMT |  + JVP application seeking arrest of ‘KP’ to be taken up on Tuesday
    A Writ Application filed by the JVP seeking an order to arrest and prosecute former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’ will be taken up for hearing on Tuesday. The petition filed in the Court of Appeal on Monday demanding the arrest and trial of ex-LTTE leader who is believed to be the head of the international wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eleam (LTTE). Currently Mr Pathmanathan is running a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) under military protection. more ...
  • 10) Jan 25, 2014 16:35:55 GMT |  + NDP's Sitsabaiesan 'right to be concerned' in Sri Lanka, says Mulcair
    NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is defending MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan's trip to Sri Lanka over the holidays in a recent letter to the high commissioner, stating that Sitsabaiesan had "no intention to embarrass" the country's government. The letter was sent in response to accusations by the Sri Lankan high commissioner that Sitsabaiesan was trying to do just that by claiming she faced political intimidation while on a personal trip to the country. Mulcair said the controversy was only created when Sitsabaiesan was followed, and that she "was right to be concerned." more ...
  • 11) Jan 25, 2014 16:35:15 GMT |  + Qatar World Cup: 185 Nepalese died in 2013 – official records
    The extent of the risks faced by migrant construction workers building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been laid bare by official documents revealing that 185 Nepalese men died last year alone. The 2013 death toll, which is expected to rise as new cases come to light, is likely to spark fresh concern over the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and increase the pressure on Fifa to force meaningful change. According to the documents the total number of verified deaths among workers from Nepal – just one of several countries that supply hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to the gas-rich state – is now at least 382 in two years alone. more ...
  • 12) Jan 25, 2014 16:31:12 GMT |  + Sri Lanka looks for 30000 army deserters
    Sri Lanka's security authorities are searching for 30,000 army deserters nearly five years after ending a decades-long separatist war with Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the military said Saturday. Police across the country have been told to track down deserters who failed to accept several offers of leniency, military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. "Out of nearly 60,000 listed as deserters, about half have responded and we are looking for the others," Wanigasooriya told AFP. "Steps are being taken to arrest them." more ...
  • 13) Jan 25, 2013 16:31:53 GMT |  + Sri Lanka bishop laments loss of democracy
    The Anglican Bishop of Colombo has called for a Time of Lament, after Sri Lanka’s chief justice was unlawfully removed by the ruling regime. Others in the country and abroad have protested after she was impeached, in a process ruled illegal by the supreme court. There is growing concern that the rule of law and democracy are being undermined by President Mahinda Rajapakse and his brothers, who hold key positions, and who have used strong-arm tactics to silence dissent.
  • 14) Jan 25, 2013 16:27:49 GMT |  + India is compromising on some issues with Sri Lanka: DMK
    In the light of India’s announcement that it could continue to train Sri Lankan military in the country, key UPA constituent DMK today said there was a ‘doubt’ if India was ‘compromising’ on some issues vis-a-vis Sri Lankan Tamils issue to show itself as a ‘neutral’ country.Holding that he was “confident” that the March 2013 session of the Human Rights Council in UN will discuss the Tamils issue in detail, he aked India to take a “strong stand” in support of Lankan Tamils there. more ...
  • 15) Jan 25, 2013 15:40:51 GMT |  + Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wins appeal, will stay in office
    Rob Ford stays on as Toronto’s Mayor after a three-member panel of judges ruled in favour of his appeal of his conflict of interest conviction. Cllr Joe Mihevc says he hopes the mayor will now take a "different approach to governing" following his legal battle. more ...
  • 16) Jan 25, 2012 23:12:42 GMT |  + Sri Lanka media press for probe into killings
    Dozens of media rights activists took to the streets in Colombo on Wednesday demanding action against those responsible for killing journalists and attacking news organisations. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined Sri Lankan media organisations at the demonstration in Colombo's Lipton Square. Organisers said the rally was in response to a spate of attacks on the media and the failure of the government to bring those responsible to justice. more ...
  • 17) Jan 25, 2012 23:11:37 GMT |  + Poorest Still Go Hungry
    Experts agree that Sri Lanka's free pre and postnatal clinics across the island nation have helped bring infant mortality down to 15 per 1,000 live births and the under-five mortality rate to 21 per 1,000 live births. But, beneath that general picture of success lie pockets of vulnerability where poverty and lack of awareness are causing high levels of malnutrition in this country, classified as a middle-income country by the International Monetary Fund in 2010. According to a November 2011 paper released by the Institute of Policy Studies, a semi-government research body, a fifth of children under the age of five suffer from malnourishment, as also every sixth newborn. more ...
  • 18) Jan 25, 2012 13:26:14 GMT |  + 'Black January' marked amidst rival protests
    Media organisations in Sri Lanka have been marking 'Black January' while an international watchdog has downgraded the country's rank in press freedom index. The campaign, organised by Sri Lanka's Alliance of Media Organizations, to mark killings of journalists and threats and intimidation against media personnel in January, is also supported by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). more ...
  • 19) Jan 25, 2012 13:24:58 GMT |  + Indian fishermen advancing to our Eastern seas: Sri Lanka Navy
    The Sri Lanka Navy said that Indian fishermen are now advancing into the Eastern seas to engage in illegal fishing activities. Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that the Navy came to this conclusion following the arrest of 43 Indian fishermen in six fishing trawlers from Tamil Nadu were arrested in the seas off Pulmudai.
  • 20) Jan 25, 2012 13:16:04 GMT |  + Examining Sri Lanka’s Diplomacy Machine
    Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Both documents are part of the Sri Lankan government’s strategy to placate international observers and convince people that there is no need for any kind of international assistance because the country’s domestic institutions are working just fine. In theory, Rajapaksa’s administration has plenty to worry about. Lobbying and debate surrounding the next session of the HRC has already begun. more ...
  • 21) Jan 25, 2012 13:11:13 GMT |  + No justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka: Human Rights Watch
    The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa continued to stall on accountability for abuses by the security forces, threatened media and civil society groups, and largely ignored complaints of insecurity and land grabbing in the north and east, Human Rights Watch said. more ...
  • 22) Jan 25, 2012 11:03:17 GMT |  + Visa process keeps body in mortuary for weeks
    Immigration officials have refused to issue a visa to a Sri Lankan man wanting to attend his father's funeral because he presented a risk of becoming an illegal immigrant. Mr Mylavaganam died on New Year's Day aged 78, surrounded by his Auckland-based family, who are New Zealand citizens. The family hoped that Mr Mylavaganam's only son, would be able to fly in for the funeral to perform the customary Hindu last rights.
  • 23) Jan 25, 2012 4:43:07 GMT |  + ‘In ravaged times, poets become the voice of the voiceless’
    R Cheran is a Sri Lankan Tamil poet and academician, born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He published his first collection of poems Irandaavathu Suriya Uthayam (The Second Sunrise) in 1982. His other titles include Yaman (God of Death) (1984), together with an anthology of Tamil resistance poems, Maranatthul Vaalvom (Amidst Death, We Live), which he edited in 1985, and Miindum Kadalukku (Once More, The Sea), published in 2004. He is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Windsor, Canada. more ...
  • 24) Jan 25, 2011 14:07:32 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Stonewalling on Wartime Abuses
    The Sri Lankan government refuses to investigate alleged war crimes despite growing evidence of widespread atrocities during the civil war that ended in 2009, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2011. The government has threatened and intimidated journalists, opposition politicians, and civil society activists, and has consolidated President Mahinda Rajapaksa's grip on power by extending executive power over previously independent government commissions, Human Rights Watch said. more ...
  • 25) Jan 25, 2011 13:57:03 GMT |  + Sri Lankan army accused of making parts for landmines
    Activists have accused the Sri Lankan military of manufacturing components for landmines while the government was involved in an internationally-sponsored ceasefire with Tamil rebels and receiving millions of pounds in aid for de-mining projects. The Tamil activists claim to have obtained classified documents they say show the Sri Lankan military sought tenders from several suppliers in Colombo and bought parts to produce remote-control detonators for Claymore anti-personnel mines. more ...
  • 26) Jan 25, 2011 13:55:57 GMT |  + U.S., UN among those weak on rights abuses: group
    U.S. President Barack Obama and United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon are among key international figures who are ignoring abuses by regressive governments in a bid to advance economic and other interests, a leading human rights advocacy group charged Monday in its annual report. The influential Human Rights Watch says the trend toward "soft diplomacy" when it comes to upholding human rights has become a euphemism for "we have other interests at stake."
  • 27) Jan 25, 2011 13:52:22 GMT |  + Sarath Fonseka loses bid to keep Sri Lanka seat
    Imprisoned former Sri Lankan military commander Sarath Fonseka has lost a Supreme Court appeal to retain his parliamentary seat. The court ruled that a court martial in September which found him guilty of arms procurement offences meant that he could no longer be an MP. The BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo says that the ruling is a severe legal blow for Mr Fonseka. more ...
  • 28) Jan 25, 2011 13:50:37 GMT |  + Cohn: Global politics now local politics
    Politicians know that the shortest route to the hearts — and votes — of the province’s 600,000 Indo-Canadians goes through Bollywood. You can’t blame Dalton McGuinty for hamming it up the other day with Anil Kapoor, the Slumdog Millionaire star in town to promote the Oscar-style Bollywood awards coming to Toronto this summer. But courting the ethnic vote can be complicated. Schmoozing with superstars is a sure crowd-pleaser — Kapoor hugged the premier for photographers while touring the Legislature. It’s also fun hanging out with the rich and famous. The infamous, not so much.
  • 29) Jan 25, 2011 13:49:22 GMT |  + Hawaii temple joins Thai Poosam celebration
    The Kadavul Temple in Hawaii was amongst the thousands of Saivite temples celebrating the festival of Thai Poosam this month. The Kadavul temple is attached to the Kauai Aadheenam or monastery, which traces its guru lineage directly from Jaffna’s well known sage Yogaswami. The guru lineage is named Kailasa Parampara, after the Kailasa mountain range in the Himalayas where the earliest of these yogis is said to have meditated. more ...
  • 30) Jan 25, 2011 10:08:23 GMT |  + Lives of Lankan Tamils still the same, says Chennai based lawyer
    A Chennai-based lawyer who was recently arrested in Sri Lanka for visiting the northern part of the island nation without permission from Colombo, has said that there is no truth to the claim that Sri Lankan Tamils are leading a normal life almost a year after the conclusion of the civil war. The Makkal Osai quoted E. Angayarkanni, as saying that the condition of Tamils remained the same as it was immediately after the war. She said her visits to several places in the north showed that the lives of people who were living in camps or were relocated to other places remained the same despite the government's claim otherwise.
  • 31) Jan 25, 2011 10:06:15 GMT |  + Tamil-Americans ask Obama for probe against Rajapaksa
    Tamil-Americans have asked US President Barack Obama to initiate investigations against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, for his alleged crimes against humanity during the civil war that ended last year with the defeat of the LTTE. The memorandum to Obama has been signed by more than a dozen Tamil-American organisations, many of whom held day-long protest outside the White House and the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on Monday. Mahinda is currently believed to be in Houston on a private visit to the US. The State Department spokesman, PJ Crowley, said that there has been no meeting between any US official and Rajapaksa.
  • 32) Jan 25, 2011 9:54:02 GMT |  + White House protest calls for arrest of visiting Sri Lanka President
    Nearly one hundred Tamils in unfriendly weather conditions called upon the US President to investigate and arrest the visiting Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse widely accused of committing war-crimes against Tamils during the end of Sri Lanka's war in May 2009. Protesters pointed out that US Ambassador in Colombo, Ambassador Butenis, has herself acknowledged possible complicity by the Rajapakse brothers of the said crimes. The protest took place at the Washington D.C. Lafayette park in front of the White House along the closed Pennsylvania avenue between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday.
  • 33) Jan 25, 2010 22:18:18 GMT |  + Close finish expected in Sri Lanka’s presidential poll
    Political analysts say that Mr Rajapaksa still retains the edge in the contest given his more expensive campaign that has seen billboards and posters plastered across the countryside and the touting of his 40 years of political experience against Gen Fonseka, a political novice. “The people are backing Gen Fonseka because the main Tamil party here, the Tamil National Alliance, has also urged people to vote for the opposition candidate,” said a senior newspaper editor in Jaffna, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions. He added that in a clean poll, votes from Jaffna could decide the winner. more ...
  • 34) Jan 25, 2010 22:15:47 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Tense on Eve of Presidential Election
    Former General Fonseka, hoping to unseat President Mahinda Rajapaksa, says five battalions posted in the capital - including two composed of special forces soldiers, some just 100 meters from his campaign office - are an ominous sign that he and other opposition leaders could be targeted him as part of a "military coup" should he prevail at the ballot box. "They want to bring the war to Colombo? Of course, we will face it," he said. VOA observed hundreds of soldiers who have appeared to set up a makeshift camp in the grandstands of a race course just down the street from the Fonseka headquarters. more ...
  • 35) Jan 25, 2010 22:09:36 GMT |  + Reconciliation must be sought
    Whoever wins Sri Lanka's election must make it a priority to embrace the Tamils...Sri Lanka goes to the polls today in one of the closest presidential elections for decades, but whichever party wins will have a duty to move faster than the present leadership to bring the former Tamil areas back into the mainstream of Sri Lankan political life. The residue of the brutal civil war needs to be overcome, and the Sinhalese majority needs to fully accommodate the substantial Tamil minority. Today's polls will show if they have been successful.
  • 36) Jan 25, 2010 22:06:00 GMT |  + Violence and Harassment of Media Mark Sri Lanka Election Campaign
    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) notes with concern that the campaign for Sri Lanka’s presidential election due to take place tomorrow has been marked by a high degree of harassment of media personnel and occasional acts of violence. In the most recent instance of harassment, a busload of media personnel going to the venue of a meeting between opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka and former president Chandrika Kumaratunge was detained by police and questioned about the purpose of their trip. Permitted to proceed after questioning, the journalists were stopped again at another point and again put through a round of interrogation.
  • 37) Jan 25, 2010 22:02:11 GMT |  + No matter who wins, India's stake in Lanka will go up
    A closely fought election in Sri Lanka on Tuesday will be watched closely in India, but notwithstanding the result, India's investment in its island neighbour will only increase. Working quietly after coming under criticism, India is now on its way to outgunning Chinese presence in Sri Lanka. What's significant in these elections is that India has become virtually a non-story -- neither of the candidates nor the vocal voters have really made India an issue. Both Fonseka and Rajapakse are comfortable with India, a feature that, like in Bangladesh, will facilitate increased Indian investment in Sri Lanka. But no one is willing to take a call on the election.
  • 38) Jan 25, 2010 21:58:54 GMT |  + Two Canadians sentenced in Tamil missile-buying case
    Two Canadian men who pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy anti-aircraft missiles and other equipment for the Tamil Tigers rebel group in Sri Lanka were sentenced on Monday to 25 years in a U.S. prison. Thiruthanikan Thanigasalam, 41, and Sahilal Sabaratnam, 30, were among four men arrested in Long Island, New York, in 2006 in an FBI sting operation as they tried to buy surface-to-air missiles, missile launchers and hundreds of AK-47 assault rifles to be used against Sri Lankan forces, prosecutors said.
  • 39) Jan 25, 2010 11:55:36 GMT |  + DIG Lewke’s transfer cancelled
    Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka has ordered the cancellation of the transfer of Northern Province senior DIG Nimal Lewke. The polls chief has informed the IGP in this regard, the election monitoring body PAFFREL said. Lewke, who is in charge of operations in the North, had been recalled to the police headquarters in Colombo. Police transfers ahead of a Presidential election is a violation of election laws.
  • 40) Jan 25, 2010 11:44:08 GMT |  + Media personnel Prageeth Ekneliyagoda missing from yesterday night
    Prageeth Ekneliyagoda and independent media personnel and a political analyst has disappeared from yesterday night. Ekneliyagoda is an independent media personnel and a political analyst. He lives at Homagama. People of the area have seen a white Van sans number plate stationed around his house yesterday. During the last several days, he had been engaged in the election campaign of Gen. Fonseka. Ekneliyagoda was a provider of news based on political affairs to Lanka e news.
  • 41) Jan 25, 2010 11:36:10 GMT |  + Tamil MP predicts trouble if President Rajapakse loses Sri Lanka poll
    On Tuesday, the people of Sri Lanka will go to the polls to choose a President. Current President Mahinda Rajapakse called the poll almost two years early, hoping to capitalise on his success in bringing an end to Sri Lanka's decades long civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam, better known as the Tamil Tigers. However, he may have badly miscalculated, with campaigning now over, President Rajapakse finds himself locked in a tight battle with his opponent, former General Sarath Fonseca, who led the war to its brutal conclusion. Some political commentators are concerned there could be violence if President Rajapakse loses the poll.
  • 42) Jan 25, 2010 11:35:15 GMT |  + Voter disenchantment clouds Sri Lanka's east
    Sri Lanka is gearing up for a presidential election on 26 January. But for the Tamil and Muslim electorate of eastern Sri Lanka, disenchantment prevails. The main issues for people here are the rehabilitation of displaced Tamils who were interned in camps in 2006 as the army fought the rebels in this area and poverty alleviation - people here are still suffering as a result of the tsunami of 2004. Although President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his main rival, Sarath Fonseka, have announced various policy statements to win Tamil support for their campaign, critics say that neither has made concrete manifesto commitments to help them.
  • 43) Jan 25, 2010 11:33:10 GMT |  + War crimes pressure on new Sri Lanka chief: analysts
    Sri Lanka's next president will face immediate pressure to investigate war crimes allegations and to mend relations with Western powers which provide key export markets for the island, analysts say. On the diplomatic front, the war against the Tigers led to allegations of serious war crimes that continue to dog both men and have damaged relations with former allies in the West. Last month, the EU announced plans to suspend important tariff concessions to Sri Lanka that facilitate exports to the giant European market. The threat of a war crimes investigation will also continue to hang over the victor.
  • 44) Jan 25, 2010 11:29:43 GMT |  + Star-gazers sway Sri Lanka election
    While the end of Sri Lanka's 37-year civil war has shaped this Tuesday's presidential election, celestial alignments and astrologers have exerted huge influence on the contest behind the scenes. The decision to call the snap poll, the exact date of voting and the emergence of opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka can all be traced to the star-gazers who hold enormous sway in political circles.
  • 45) Jan 25, 2010 3:10:06 GMT |  + India stars in Sri Lanka polls too close to call
    Sri Lanka's presidential polls on January 26, between incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse and the combined opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka, may be surprisingly too close to call, even as it has emerged that Rajapakse did the Congress party a favour during the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu last year by withdrawing the use of heavy weaponry against pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels in the last days of the war. Conversations with both Indian and Sri Lankan analysts have revealed that Rajapakse, who advanced the date of the presidential polls by two years because he wanted to take advantage of his victory in the 25-year-long war against the LTTE , is surprisingly being given a run for his money by his former army commander and retired general, Sarath Fonseka.
  • 46) Jan 25, 2010 2:58:09 GMT |  + Voters gear up for Sri Lanka's first post-war presidential poll
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will seek a fresh mandate in the upcoming elections in the South Asian nation, but he is facing a tough challenge from his one-time confidante and former Army commander, retired General Sarath Fonseka. More than 14 million Sri Lankans will head to the polls on Tuesday to elect the island nation's sixth executive president to a six-year term. Buoyed by the military defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last year, which brought an end to a decades-long separatist conflict, Rajapaksa called the election two years before his term ends.
  • 47) Jan 25, 2010 2:24:24 GMT |  + Sri Lankan presidential election sparks fears of rising violence
    Sri Lanka will on Tuesday hold its first presidential elections since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, amid allegations that the ruling party is planning to stir up violence in a desperate attempt to cling on to power. The increasingly bitter election campaign came to an end this weekend with final rallies for the two main candidates, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka, the former head of the army. The two men are widely seen as the chief architects of last year's victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). But since putting an end to one of the world's longest running insurgencies they have turned on each other in an escalating round of accusations and insults. more ...
  • 48) Jan 25, 2010 2:16:55 GMT |  + War President versus war general in Sri Lanka
    In the event the Sinhala vote is divided, the Tamils, who form some 14 per cent of the island’s 21 million people, may hold the power balance. Should they give Fonseka their vote, Sri Lanka may see a new president this week. Tamil groups feel that this strategy could help their cause and increase their say in Colombo, even though Fonseka has spoken of raising the Sri Lankan military’s strength after the war and once reportedly said that the island is a Sinhala nation where Tamils “are also allowed to live”.
  • 49) Jan 25, 2010 2:13:43 GMT |  + General Puts Up a Fight in Sri Lanka’s Election
    No matter who wins, the competitiveness of the election has already had a profound effect on Sri Lanka, said Rukshana Nanayakkara, deputy executive director of Transparency International Sri Lanka, an anticorruption advocacy organization. The emergence of a credible opposition candidate pushed the government to speed the release of displaced Tamils held in camps, and ease restrictions on journalists, he said. “This was an opportunity through the campaign to challenge the government,” he said. “Regardless of who wins, that has been a very good thing.”
  • 50) Jan 25, 2010 2:11:19 GMT |  + Overwhelming turnout of voters in Germany, 99% mandate Tamil Eelam
    99.2 percent of voters said yes to Tamil Eelam in an impressive turn out of more than 90% of eligible Eezham Tamil voters for the referendum in Germany on Sunday. International Human Rights Association in Bremen conducted the referendum on the question of forming an independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka. 23,089 voters participated in the poll in 110 centres across the country and 22,904 of them said yes. 136 voters said no and 49 votes were invalid. more ...
  • 51) Jan 25, 2010 1:39:19 GMT |  + Imag(in)ing 'Home’, Memories and Histories of a lost homeland, display at Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver
    With the help of Vancouver Tamil community at large and Canadian Tamil Congress, Vancouver chapter, Shanaathanan Thamotharampillai, a Tamil artist from Sri Lanka who is currently completing his PhD in art history at Jawaharlal Nerhu University, New Delhi started a project in September of 2009. This installation tries to unpack the complexities and liminality of the Tamil Community by weaving together 300 individual stories about the idea of "home." Each personal story or memory is represented by a mundane or everyday object. more ...
  • 52) Jan 25, 2010 1:35:56 GMT |  + Tamils may hand power to general who crushed Tigers
    If the outcome of Sri Lanka's bitterly contested presidential election were decided solely by which candidate had the largest billboard, then incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa could sleep easily in his bed. At the international airport near Colombo, a huge hoarding shows the president, dressed entirely in white, a beatific smile beaming across his face. His advisers believe that as voters go to the polls tomorrow, their best asset is the candidate himself, a man who oversaw the defeat of separatist rebels and ended a brutal 30-year civil war. more ...
  • 53) Jan 25, 2010 1:32:55 GMT |  + In Sri Lanka, Tamil Vote Seen as Key to Presidential Election
    This country's presidential vote Tuesday pits two chief architects of the country's defeat last year of Tamil separatists, underscoring the political divide that remains after 26 years of ethnic strife. The leading contenders among the field's 22 candidates are President Mahinda Rajapaksa, elected five years ago on a promise to crush the Tigers, and retired Gen. Sarath Fonseka,who oversaw the rebels' battlefield annihilation in May. Most Sri Lankans view them as war heroes. They are seen as war criminals by the country's minority Tamils,who could end up deciding the outcome of a vote observers say is too close to call. The war pitted the government, dominated by Sri Lanka's predominately Buddhist Sinhalese majority,against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who fought for a homeland for the largely Hindu ethnic group.
  • 54) Jan 25, 2009 23:08:51 GMT |  +  DMK council will meet before February 15 to decide on Sri Lanka issue: Karunanidhi
    The general council of the DMK will meet before February 15 and take a decision on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi said here on Saturday. Addressing a function organised by the Sanga Tamizh Peravai to honour him for obtaining classical language status for Tamil and for declaring that Tamil New Year would begin from the Tamil month Thai, he said that the meeting would take a decision on how to determine the course of the lives of Sri Lankan Tamils. Invoking imagery from the Sangam literature, the Chief Minster said, “We are like a man without hands and dumb, who is not able to protect the butter from the scorching sun.”
  • 55) Jan 25, 2009 23:05:11 GMT |  + Refugee kids dream of return to an isle of peace
    "In the evening, the sun goes home... when will we go home?" asks seven-year-old D. Sarika from the Azhiyanilai refugee camp in Tamil Nadu's Pudukottai district in a drawing she has made. For more than 19,000 children under 12, growing up in 117 refugee camps across Tamil Nadu, home is where they have never been. Home is where their parents abandoned hearts and hearths as tanks rolled into village after village and terror-stricken Tamils fled. They dream of returning home but not, of course, to a strife-torn Sri Lanka. They dream, perhaps even more ambitiously, of returning to a peace that the north of Sri Lanka has not known for three decades. more ...
  • 56) Jan 25, 2009 20:32:36 GMT |  + SLA shelling kills 22 civilians, 60 wounded, humanitarian supply centre targeted
    Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has continued artillery shelling on densely populated 'safety zone,' in Chuthanthirapuram, Udaiyaarkaddu and Thearaavil in Visuvamadu throughout Sunday, at least twice attacking the vicinity of the supply centre, located at Chuthanthirapuram playground, the only centre in Vanni where humanitarian supplies brought in by the UN World Food Programme are distributed. Two shells exploded in the premises, killing five members of a single family of Mr. Jegatheeswaran, owner of a saloon displaced from Visuvamadu. Five more civilians, including children and women, were also killed. Body parts were scattered across the locality and not all of them could be identified, according to medical sources. At least 13 civilians were wounded at the site.
  • 57) Jan 25, 2009 9:06:40 GMT |  + DMK general council to chalk out future action on Sri Lankan issue
    Hinting that he was ready to "relinquish power" if the Centre failed to take expeditious steps to ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has said that DMK's general council will meet before February 15 to chalk out the future course of action. Speaking at a literary function here on Sunday night, Karunanidhi, who had made a "final appeal" to the Centre in this regard on January 23, said "the decision will allow those in the country as well as in Sri Lanka understand what we can do."
  • 58) Jan 25, 2009 9:04:58 GMT |  + Former UN diplomat urges global attention on Sri Lanka
    Jan Egeland, the former UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a commentary article published in a leading newspaper in Norway on Saturday has called for world attention on forgotten conflicts where situation has deteriorated while the focal point of the world was centered on Gaza. "With catastrophic consequences to an already exhausted civilian population, the army of Sri Lanka has taken upon the guerrilla controlled areas," he writes.
  • 59) Jan 25, 2009 9:03:43 GMT |  + Heavy fighting after Tigers blast dam in Sri Lanka: military
    Heavy fighting broke out in northern Sri Lanka on Sunday, a day after Tamil Tiger rebels blasted a dam and flooded land in a bid to halt the army's recent rapid advances, the defence ministry said. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched counter-attacks on military positions in Mullaittivu district where troops are on the offensive, the ministry said. The military did not say if it had suffered any casualties in the latest fighting. The Tigers have not commented on the latest fighting, but the pro-rebel website recently accused the military of shelling civilians trapped inside rebel-held areas.
  • 60) Jan 25, 2009 8:58:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka troops enter final Tiger town: military sources
    Sri Lankan troops on Sunday fought their way into Mullaittivu, the last town held by Tamil Tiger rebels who are holed up in the northeast of the island, military sources said. Troops in small groups entered the western edge of Mullaittivu, the final known urban stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), via boats, a military official said. The Tigers blewn up a dam and flooded surrounding areas on Saturday in a bid to slow down the military advance towards Mullaittivu town, but troops used boats to enter the town's outskirts, the official said declining to be named.
  • 61) Jan 25, 2009 7:45:50 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Genocide of the Tamil minority
    There is a humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, where the Tamil minority in the island’s north and east are facing annihilation at the hands of the Sinhalese-dominated government. Who runs that country is of no concern to me, as long as it is run without serious violations of human rights. Sri Lanka was tossed out of the UN Human Rights Council in May last year due to its human rights record, and the drift of a democracy to a fascist politico-military dictatorship, none of which have been publicised internationally.
  • 62) Jan 25, 2009 6:49:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's other war keeps media on the run
    Sri Lanka is in the grip of its biggest military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, but the country's journalists are also facing an unprecedented battle of their own. Since the killing of the anti-war Sunday Leader editor Wickrematunga on January 8, at least eight senior journalists and media activists have fled the island, fearing that they too could be targeted by unidentified attackers. Both local and international media rights groups have joined in demanding thorough investigations and an end to the culture of impunity that has encouraged attacks against the independent media over the years.
  • 63) Jan 25, 2009 0:06:44 GMT |  + 'US must act on its citizens violating human rights here'
    Convenor SLFP (M) and former SLFP strongman, Mangala Samaraweera calls upon all journalists to shed differences, as they are a group under attack. In a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Leader, Samaraweera alleged government involvement in the violence unleashed against the media and vowed to do everything in his power to have the perpetrators accountable for their actions. The MP said a meeting will be sought with the US State Department shortly to urge action against US citizens and Green Card holders who are violating US laws by committing human rights violations in Sri Lanka.
  • 64) Jan 25, 2009 0:03:25 GMT |  +  The media killing field
    With Sri Lanka earning the dreaded classification of being declared the world's second most dangerous place for journalists, political parties, civil society and media organisations are now calling for immediate action to halt the slide to anarchy. The International Federation for Journalists (IFJ) in its latest report listed Sri Lanka as the second most dangerous country for journalists to work in. War ravaged Iraq occupied the top spot. Opposition political parties, civil society and media organisations have now decided to join together to fight the ongoing media suppression. more ...
  • 65) Jan 25, 2008 21:52:08 GMT |  + Rights groups eye jailed Tamil ex-rebel
    A renegade former commander of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels has been jailed for identity fraud in the UK. The BBC's Jill McGivering watched Col Karuna's sentencing and asked human rights groups for their reaction. Isleworth Crown Court is an unimpressive modern building, set midway down a leafy residential street in suburban London. But on Friday, court number three was attracting an unusual amount of media attention. Outside, passers-by were stopping to ask questions about the unfamiliar sight of a TV camera crew. Inside, the two rows of government seats that constitute the public gallery in the court were full.
  • 66) Jan 25, 2008 20:46:24 GMT |  + ‘India could back Tamil people against the 13th Amendment’
    Not a lot of people in this country know about the history of the 13th Amendment and that it didn’t really come from India. It didn’t have the support of India but it was what was on the table at the time the Indo Lanka Agreement was signed. It was never accepted by the Tamil people of this country. President Rajapaksa was never involved in the evolution of the 13th Amendment. This is one big agenda lacking in honesty and candour. more ...
  • 67) Jan 25, 2008 16:15:00 GMT |  + Witness in Maheswaran murder case threatened with death
    The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka Police Friday informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Mr.Ravindra Premaratne that one of the witnesses in the murder of Colombo district parliamentarian Mr.T.Maheswaran did not come to court due to death threat by unidentified persons, legal sources said. However, another key witness present in court had failed to identify the suspect produced in court Friday, legal sources said.
  • 68) Jan 25, 2008 15:49:35 GMT |  + Staff working for Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna
    Staff at the Uthayan newspaper based in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, have recently been threatened. Their lives are believed to be at risk. At around 10.45am on 6 January, the Uthayan newspaper office received a threatening telephone call demanding that the newspaper stop its production immediately. The caller did not give his identity but stated that he was calling from the island of Kayts, off the coast of the Jaffna peninsula. Attempts to censor the media have increased with the collapse of the ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The 2002 truce formally ended on 16 January 2008, following an announcement by the government to withdraw from the ceasefire agreement.
  • 69) Jan 25, 2008 15:41:19 GMT |  + Sri Lanka fixes dates for elections in war-torn east
    Sri Lanka has fixed dates to hold local elections in the recently recaptured east for the first time in 14 years, a day after the government unveiled a home grown peace plan aimed at giving more autonomy to war-torn areas. "The elections will be held on 10th of March," said an official at the Department of the Elections Commissioner, asking not to be named in line with policy.
  • 70) Jan 25, 2008 15:02:30 GMT |  + Sri Lanka should remove defence system in Palk straits: MDMK
    MDMK leader Vaiko on Friday demanded that the Centre should ask the Sri Lankan government to remove the underwater defence system set up across the Palk straits on the International Maritime Boundary Line. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a copy of which was made available to the media here, Vaiko said the system would damage and destroy the fishing boats of Indian fishermen. "But like a bolt from the blue, the Sri Lankan government has dared to set up an underwater defence system, with malicious aim to curtail the rights of Indian fishermen. There is a sinister design behind this move to threaten and prevent the suffering Tamils of Sri Lanka to reach Tamil Nadu as refugees," he said.
  • 71) Jan 25, 2008 13:40:45 GMT |  + UK jails ex-S.Lanka Tiger Karuna for ID fraud
    Britain sentenced renegade ex-Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebel Karuna Amman to nine months in prison on Friday for identity document fraud and now rights groups hope he will face additional war crimes charges. The ex-eastern Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) commander is accused by rights groups of torture, abductions, killings and child soldier recruitment both before and after splitting from the mainstream rebels in 2004.
  • 72) Jan 25, 2008 13:00:10 GMT |  + Civlian killed, 2 wounded, SLAF bombs Ki'linochchi suburb
    A civilian traveler was killed and two civilians were seriously wounded when Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers attacked Viveakananthaa Nakar, an outer suburb of Ki'iinochchi, located 3 km southwest of the town, Friday morning between 7:50 and 8:10 a.m. Three houses were fully destroyed and six more houses have sustained damage. Liberation Tigers anti-aircraft unit rushed to the area and opened fired when SLAF fighter jets swooped over the suburb, forcing the planes to higher altitudes.
  • 73) Jan 25, 2008 12:58:52 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's devolution proposal gets slammed
    Sri Lanka's main opposition and dominant Tamil party have denounced a proposal by a panel suggesting devolution of powers to provinces as a 'deception' and a 'farce'. Lakshman Kiriella, a leading member of the United National Party (UNP), said that the proposal by the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) was only made to the liking of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. 'The APRC did not consider recommending the full implementation of the 13th amendment (of the constitution) before the president requested it to do so,' he pointed out.
  • 74) Jan 25, 2008 12:56:29 GMT |  + Sri Lanka probes bodies found in shallow graves
    Sri Lankan police were investigating the gruesome discovery of 16 bullet-riddled bodies dumped in shallow graves in a government-controlled part of the island. ADVERTISEMENT The bodies were found on Thursday evening by villagers in the district of Anuradhapura, 206 kilometres (130 miles) north of the capital Colombo. The victims had been blindfolded, tied up and shot, officials said. "We are now investigating to initially establish the identity of the victims," said a senior officer in Anuradhapura, who declined to be named.
  • 75) Jan 25, 2008 12:51:55 GMT |  + SRI LANKA: UN human rights commissioner in the firing line
    Protests in front of the UN compound in Colombo usually call for more assertive action by the world body, but this week was different: The People’s Liberation Front (PLF), the second largest opposition party, held a demonstration calling on UN Human Rights High Commissioner Louise Arbour to mind her own business, and her language. The PLF’s criticism of Arbour stems from comments she made in recent speeches that human rights violators in Sri Lanka, even those in senior government posts, could be charged in international criminal courts.
  • 76) Jan 25, 2008 12:49:31 GMT |  + 1987 pact with India to be implemented: Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka said Thursday that the recommendations of an all-party panel on devolution of power to the provinces reflected a collective resolve to fully implement the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. 'It is a fact that after 20 years the present formulation will see the letter and spirit of the agreement of 1987 being fully implemented in the areas it was intended to serve,' Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said here.
  • 77) Jan 25, 2008 12:48:55 GMT |  + LTTE is waging its last battle: Sri Lanka
    Claiming that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was fighting its 'last battle', Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has said the armed forces were treading a victorious path and there was no going back on the 'march against terrorists.' "The LTTE is, perhaps, fighting its last battle and the security forces are continuing their fight to emancipate the country and the people of the north and east from terrorism," Rajapakse said after giving away gallantry awards to the armed forces personnel in Colombo on Thursday.
  • 78) Jan 25, 2008 12:40:49 GMT |  + Confusion about the meaning of independence
    On February 4, Sri Lanka will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its independence from the British colonial empire. There is hardly any mood to celebrate in the country, however. Beset by enormous economic hardships and price hikes, by ever unprecedented levels of blatant corruption and abuse of power, rejection of adherence to the Constitution itself and violent conflict within which all parties to the conflict seek a more direct military confrontation, the people of the country are confused about the meaning of it all.
  • 79) Jan 25, 2007 17:42:15 GMT |  + Calculating risk
    "As a display of contempt towards the sanctity of humanitarian assistance, a massacre blamed on Sri Lankan soldiers, of 17 locally hired aid workers last summer takes some beating", says the latest edition of the Economist, commenting on the release of a new report on the dangers facing aid workers. The Sri Lankan aid workers were shot at close range, inside their compound, while wearing the T-shirts of their humanitarian agency. more ...
  • 80) Jan 25, 2007 13:19:06 GMT |  + Sri Lanka vows to build on military gains
    Sri Lanka's president vowed to crush "terrorism" as his troops dismantled a de facto separate state run by Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's restive east. President Mahinda Rajapakse said the military had the strength to cope with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has been leading a decades-old campaign for independence. "Terrorism that many once swore cannot be defeated is now crouching in fear because we faced up to that challenge," Rajapakse said Thursday while launching a 350-million dollar irrigation project in the north-central part of the island.
  • 81) Jan 25, 2007 13:16:22 GMT |  + Sri Lankan military captures strategic eastern town from LTTE
    After imposing a siege lasting months, the Sri Lankan security forces finally took the key eastern coastal town of Vaharai last Friday in what is a significant blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Vaharai is the latest in a series of LTTE strongholds that have fallen to government troops since July. The army entered the town without much resistance. Faced with the prospect of being trapped between government troops to the north and south, the LTTE withdrew. By Sunday, the security forces had extended their control to the adjoining areas of Verugal and Kathirvelu. An LTTE spokesman acknowledged the loss saying that its fighters had “readjusted” their positions.
  • 82) Jan 25, 2007 13:15:37 GMT |  + Police arrests Tamil rebels, find arms supplies
    Indian police say they have arrested five members of the banned Sri Lankan separatist rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and discovered a major supply line of explosives for the militants. The Tigers are fighting for an independent state for minority Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka in a civil war which has killed more than 67,000 since 1983. The five Sri Lankan nationals, were arrested on Tuesday in the port town of Tuticorin - about 600 km south of Chennai, the state's capital - where police also found two tonnes of steel ball bearings for making explosives.
  • 83) Jan 25, 2007 13:14:26 GMT |  + Sri Lankan military says 4 Tamil Tiger rebels killed in clashes with army
    Government troops clashed twice with separatist Tamil Tigers in volatile northern Sri Lanka, killing at least four insurgents, the military said Thursday. In the northern district of Vavuniya, army troops exchanged gunfire with a group of rebels on Thursday morning and later found the body of an insurgent, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. Separately, soldiers repulsed a rebel attack late Wednesday in Welioya, also in the north, killing three insurgents, Samarasinghe said. There were no government casualties in either clash, he said.
  • 84) Jan 25, 2007 12:10:29 GMT |  + 12,000 Jaffna-Northewest school students boycott classes for the third day
    Protesting the disappearance of three of their fellow students and torture of others after arrest by the Sri Lankan military more than 12,000 students from schools in the northwest region of Jaffna are boycotting their classes for the third day in succession. Muruhananthan Paramananthan, an Advanced Level student from Hartley College in Point Pedro disappeared on 15 January 2007 after abduction by the Sri Lankan military. Paramsothy Thananchayan, another Advanced Level student was disappeared from Point Pedro by the Point Pedro Sri Lankan military intelligence wing military.
  • 85) Jan 25, 2007 3:13:51 GMT |  + Held without charge, Sri Lankan journalist sees detention extended 90 days
    The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Sri Lankan government to bring charges against detained Tamil reporter Maunasámi Parameswaree or release her. Parameswaree, who wrote for the Sinhala-language weekly Mawbima, was arrested at her home south of Colombo on November 24. On Tuesday, the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in Colombo got a court order to extend her detention for another 90 days. She has been held without charge. Colleagues told CPJ they believe her detention may be related to her reporting on human rights violations by security forces. Mawbima is a Sinhala-language newspaper noted for an editorial line that is critical of both the Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels.
  • 86) Jan 25, 2007 3:07:26 GMT |  + Balasingham’s death will necessarily make talks with LTTE more difficult - Westborg
    The death of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Chief Negotiator, Anton Balasingham, will further complicate communications between the rebel group and the Sri Lankan government, says H.E. Jon Westborg, Ambassador of Norway to India who was the former Norwegian envoy in Colombo.Ambassador Westborg said that Balasingham, who died in London last month, was “from the very beginning a very important player” in the peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the LTTE, both due to his long history of association with the dialogue and his good offices with V. Prabhakaran. “It is a regrettable fact that Balasingham’s death necessarily makes communication more difficult, but that is just one more of those obstacles that one will have to work around”, said Mr. Westborg.
  • 87) Jan 25, 2007 3:01:57 GMT |  + 'Hundreds of' Indian Tamils detained
    The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has ordered the police to take immediate steps to release detained Tamil youths of Indian origin. In a meeting held with union leaders of plantation workers, Mr. Rajapaksa has ordered the police to produce those accused of any wrongdoings before the courts. Leaders of the Up Country Peoples Front (UPF), Minister P Chandrasekaran and Deputy Minister P Radhakrishnan met the Head of State to discuss the issue on Saturday.
  • 88) Jan 25, 2007 1:18:06 GMT |  + Sri Lanka to discuss development at donor forum despite violence
    Sri Lankan government hopes to take up the island's development and economic issues at an international donor forum meeting to be held in a southern resort town next week. Dr P.B Jayasundera, the top civil servant at the Ministry of Finance, told reporters here Wednesday that the country's infrastructure development and development in the field of education were the key themes at the Development Forum 2007 to be held in Galle, the southern resort town 115 kms from here on 29 and 30 January. "We will be discussing economic issues with our bilateral and multi-lateral donor partners. Rural infrastructure development, the knowledge economy and a review of the post-Tsunami rehabilitation work are the key subjects", Jayasundera said.
  • 89) Jan 25, 2007 1:11:03 GMT |  + Five Tamil civilians beaten-up in Matale
    Five upcountry Tamil civilian passengers were injured when a group of Sinhalese hoodlums attacked a State owned passenger bus in Udathanna in Matale Monday evening, while the funeral of a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier killed in Vaharai military operation against the LTTE was taking place, sources in Matale said. The attackers ordered the Tamil passengers to get down from the bus, and beat them with with poles seriously injuring two of the passengers. SLA soldiers on security duty closeby stood by. At least two female passengers were injured, media sources said.
  • 90) Jan 25, 2007 1:05:21 GMT |  + North East de-merger could be lodged in the World Courts
    he bloody conflict in the island of Sri Lanka is an ongoing agony. Since independence from the British (1948), the reluctance of successive Sri Lankan governments to accept the political rights of Tamils, set in motion 35 years of non-violent struggle. As this non-violent struggle was continuously suppressed by the security forces, militancy and armed struggle were born. This eventually led to a conventional war between the Tamil national liberation movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE and the Sri Lankan security forces.
  • 91) 21:43 GMT, Jan. 25, 2006 |  + Secretary-General welcomes February resumption of talks on Sri Lanka
    The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: The Secretary-General is very pleased to learn that, for the first time since April 2003, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have agreed to hold direct talks in mid-February in Geneva. The Secretary-General welcomes the renewed efforts by the Government of Norway to facilitate the resumption of talks. To advance the peace process, it will be important to put an end to the escalating violence in the north and east and to strictly uphold the ceasefire. The people of Sri Lanka deserve a new hope that peace could be in reach. more ...
  • 92) 11:20 GMT, Jan. 25, 2006 |  + “Only with the implementation of the CFA we can sit peacefully for further negotiations.” Tamil National Leader V Prabaharan
    Mr. Erik Solheim, Norwegian special envoy and Norwegian Minister for international development, met with the Tamil National Leader in Kilinochchi today, 25th January 2006. The Norwegian delegation led by Mr. Solheim included Mr. Hans Brattskar, Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Odd Naustdal Deputy Director from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sondre Bjotvedt, an Executive Officer from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Second Secretary to the Norwegian Ambassador, Mr. Tom Knappskog. The LTTE delegation consisted of Tamil National Leader, Mr Vellupillai Prabaharan, Chief Negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingam, Mrs. Adele Balasingam, Political Head, Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, and Chief of Police, Mr. Nadesan. more ...
  • 93) 11:18 GMT, Jan. 25, 2006 |  + Tamil Tiger Rebels to Resume Peace Talks
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said Wednesday they have agreed to hold talks with the government in Switzerland in February, raising hopes that the country may avoid sliding back to war. The rebels' top peace negotiator, Anton Balasingham, told reporters that the talks will review the 2002 cease-fire with the government. The rebels' approval came after Norwegian envoy Eric Solheim, a key broker of the peace process, met with the reclusive leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in the rebel-held city of Kilinochchi.
    - Sri Lanka sides agree to meeting - BBC
    more ...
  • 94) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2006 |  + INTERVIEW-S.Lanka Tigers pledge not to attack troops
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels will not attack government forces provided the military ceases violence against Tamil civilians, the rebels said on Wednesday as they agreed to Swiss peace talks. The rebels had previously denied involvement in a string of attacks on government forces that has stretched a 2002 truce to its limit and raised fears the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) might resume their fight for a Tamil homeland. "There has been some LTTE military action, but most of these incidents are by the peoples' militias," chief negotiator Anton Balasingham told Reuters shortly after the rebels dropped their refusal to go anywhere but Norway -- the one place the government would not go. more ...
  • 95) 11:07 GMT, Jan. 25, 2006 |  + Tigers end Sri Lanka peace deadlock, talks in Geneva
    Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to hold talks with the Sri Lankan government in Geneva in mid-February, a top Norwegian peace broker said here after hectic closed-door negotiations. The talks would focus on strengthening their ceasefire agreement after a surge in violence left 152 people dead since December, envoy Erik Solheim told reporters after a rare meeting with Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on Wednesday. "We expect Geneva to be the venue for such a meeting," Solheim said. Solheim travelled to the political capital of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after discussions with President Mahinda Rajapakse in Colombo in a bid to save the truce that has been in place since February 2002. more ...
  • 96) 11:05 GMT, Jan. 25, 2006 |  + Tamil Tiger rebels agree to resume peace talks with Sri Lankan government in Switzerland in February
    The Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday agreed to hold talks with the Sri Lankan government in February, raising hopes that the country may avoid sliding back to war. The rebels' approval came after Norwegian envoy Eric Solheim met with the reclusive leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Solheim met Velupillai Prabhakaran in the rebel-held city of Kilinochchi for about 2 1/2-hour and delivered a message from President Mahinda Rajapakse, who had earlier agreed to resume peace talks that broke down in 2003 over rebels' sweeping demand for autonomy. Solheim is expected to meet with Rajapakse later Wednesday after returning to Colombo. The meetings could help decide whether the 2002 cease-fire, threatened by months of rising violence, will stay in effect. more ...
  • 97) 15:05 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + M K Narayanan new National Security Advisor
    M K Narayanan, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and former Intelligence Bureau chief, was today appointed the new National Security Advisor (NSA) in place of J N Dixit who died earlier this month. The order of appointing Narayanan, who was officiating as the NSA after the death of Dixit, for the post has been issued, PM's media advisor Sanjay Baru said. A 1958 batch IPS officer, 70-year-old Narayanan headed the Intelligence Bureau in 1989-90 before being made head of Joint Intelligence Committee. He was again brought back as IB chief in 1991 and retired the next year. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made him Special Advisor for Internal Security in May soon after the UPA assumed office. Narayanan is an expert in security matters and a specialist on Sri Lanka affairs. more ...
  • 98) 12:13 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + The Asian tsunami disaster: causes and consequences
    The Asian tsunami has claimed more than 200,000 lives in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and other countries and left a trail of destruction in its wake. Although the tsunami had natural causes, the scale of the catastrophe was by no means inevitable. Obvious questions are raised. Why was there no advance warning? Why are millions of people living in highly vulnerable positions with no protection against natural disasters? Why have the relief efforts for survivors been so chaotic and limited? Any serious probing of these questions leads to an examination of the underlying social and political roots of the disaster that lie in the nature of the profit system itself. more ...
  • 99) 12:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Hong Kong government donates US$128,000 to Sri Lanka's tsunami relief efforts
    Hong Kong's government said Tuesday it has approved a 1 million Hong Kong dollar (US$128,000; €98,000) grant for tsunami relief in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's Hong Kong Honorary Consul Thomas Cheung said the cash grant is more helpful for the island nation because of difficulty delivering supplies to its already busy airports, a government statement said. Details of what the grant will be used for were not available. Earlier, the Hong Kong government allocated the same amount to disaster relief efforts in the Maldives and sent supplies to Thailand and Indonesia. more ...
  • 100) 12:10 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Norwegian envoy holds talks with Tigers on tsunami aid
    A top Norwegian envoy held surprise talks yesterday with a Tamil Tiger rebel leader. The talks focused on setting up a new way to distribute tsunami aid that would give the guerrillas more oversight of aid headed for territory they control. Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen flew by military helicopter to the rebel-held northern town of Kilinochchi for an unexpected meeting with S.P. Thamilselvan, the rebels' top political leader, government and rebel officials. more ...
  • 101) 12:09 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + US mulls trade relief to tsunami-hit economies
    The United States is to consider easing trade with Asian nations reeling from a deadly tsunami atop financial and logistics aid. The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said it is discussing several "trade initiatives" with trade ministers and Washington-based ambassadors of the disaster-hit countries. The US Chamber of Commerce (news - web sites), the top business lobby representing more than three million organizations, has called for temporary tariff reductions on key products from the affected countries. more ...
  • 102) 12:07 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka's Tamil Rebels Say Relief Cooperation Is Key to Peace
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said relations with the government over post-tsunami relief and reconstruction is key to reviving peace talks to end a civil war in the South Asian island. A two-decade conflict waged by Tamil Tiger rebels has made it harder for both sides to work on a relief operation after the humanitarian disaster. At least 20,000 people were killed by the Dec. 26 tsunami in the northeast of the island where most of the minority Tamils live, the Tamil Tigers said. ``Through relief work we can build up a relationship for any future peace talks,'' Daya Master, the Tamil Tiger spokesman, said today in a phone interview from Kilinochchi, in rebel-held territory. ``We still see that relief is not being distributed equally in the region.'' more ...
  • 103) 01:10 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + NGOs in fierce competition in Lanka
    They are of all shapes, sizes and colors. The tsunami hit areas of the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka look like a world conference amid rubble. NGOs in fierce competition in Lanka By Ravi R. Prasad UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL Tangalle, Sri Lanka, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- They are of all shapes, sizes and colors. The tsunami hit areas of the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka look like a world conference amid rubble. Every cluster of camping tents has a flag showing the name of the non-governmental organization or the country that it has come from. There are vehicles flying flags of NGOs and armed forces that are working with the tsunami victims in the east and south of the country. A quick surf of the Web sites of many international NGOs gives an impression that they have taken care of all the problems of the victims in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 104) 01:05 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka to spend USD 320 million to attract tourists
    Sri Lanka will spend USD 320 millions to repair resorts damaged by last month's tsunami and promote its beleaguered tourist industry, hoping to attract 600,000 visitors this year, officials said on Monday. Only five of the country's 246 hotels suffered major structural damage from the killer waves, Sri Lanka Tourism Board spokeswoman Beth Kennedy, said at a promotional event in wealthy Singapore, a key tourism market in the Asian region. The Government will set aside USD 195 millions for repairs and waive import taxes on construction materials for such jobs, Kennedy said. more ...
  • 105) 17:10 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Rumour-mongering and Wishing Another Human Being’s Death!
    Rumour mongering is a habit that is endemic to Sri Lanka. How are false rumours spread? The process begins with one individual who has a grievance with the world. He plants the rumour, and goes away. The juicier the rumour, the faster it spreads. But no one will ever know who started it first. There is a story in Aesop's Fables of a monkey who was asked where it got its fleas from. He pointed to the next monkey. In fact, Sri Lankan history has many instances of how false rumours have cost lives. During the anti-Tamil riots of 1958, some vicious character started a rumour that a Sinhalese woman teacher from Panadura teaching in Batticaloa was murdered by Tamils and had her breasts cut off. The rumour spread like wildfire, and the immediate result was a Brahmin priest of the Hindu temple in Panadura was seized by a violent mob, petrol poured over him and he was burnt to death. On later enquiry, the Education Department confirmed that there was no Sinhalese woman teacher in the whole of Batticaloa. more ...
  • 106) 15:15 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Disruptive JVP
    "Snake that winds round the leg will eventually bite" goes the saying. This is the lesson that the Sri Lanka freedom party is presently learning through experience. President Kumaratunge planned to capture power by sacking the last UNP government well short of the six year term it was elected to serve. For this purpose she snuggled with the chauvinistic JVP snake. She used it as expected to capture power. It is clear now that the snake she huddled to is not going to desist from biting her just because she hugged it. For her own narrow political gain, the President broke the mediated peace efforts, of the last UNP government, to resolve an ethnic problem that has festered for 5 decades and broke out as a devastating war for two decades. more ...
  • 107) 15:13 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka tsunami survivors saved by colonial past
    For generations, souvenir-seller M. Samsudeel's family have owed their livelihood to the imposing 17th century Dutch fort in Sri Lanka's southern town of Galle. Now he owes it his life.The fort was built on a promontory by the colonial Dutch in 1663 on top of a smaller one built by the Portuguese, and sprawls over 36 hectares (90 acres). Galle was then Sri Lanka's most important port, and Muslim traders dominated the fort itself. The Dutch ruled from 1658 to 1795, when the British took over and ruled until independence in 1948. The Dutch East India Company's insignia is still etched in stone above the fort's old gate. Inside, there are old Dutch churches and houses in varied degrees of disrepair. While the tsunami waves sloshed over one part of the ramparts and left some houses ankle-deep in water, there was very little damage. more ...
  • 108) 01:03 GMT, Jan. 25, 2005 |  + Canadian Red Cross pledges 10 year aid to tsunami victims
    The Canadian Red Cross pledged to mount a 10-year generational effort to ease the plight of victims of last month's Asian tsunami disaster. The agency praised donors who had contributed 128 million Canadian dollars (105 million US) to its emergency tsunami appeal, augmented by another 26 million dollars (21 million US) from corporations and regional governments. "Canadian Red Cross will fund programs overseas for at least 10 years. It will take a generation to rebuild," said Canadian Red Cross Secretary General Dr. Pierre Duplessis. After returning from a trip to disaster-hit areas in India and Sri Lanka, he said the agency would mount a three-month disaster relief phase to include providing emergency water supplies. more ...
  • 109) 18:35 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Chandrika gives green light for LTTE rebels to use military flights
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga has given the green light for Tamil Tiger guerrillas to use military helicopters when travelling to the island's international airport to catch international flights. Kumaratunga, who took over the defence ministry from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe' control in November after accusing him of comproimising national security, had allowed the Tigers to use military helicopters. The privately-run Sunday Island newspaper said a rebel delegation hoping to trvel to Norway at the end of this month had been granted a use of a military chopper by Kumaratunga to travel from the rebel-held north to the airport. more ...
  • 110) 16:01 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Breakthrough in Mano-Malik talks
    A major breakthrough was achieved on Friday in the Mano-Malik talks with a decision to issue a statement detailing agreements already reached on wide ranging issues between the two parties. It was also decided at Friday's meeting to hold a second meeting on Monday, January 26, with a follow up meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday (27). President Kumartunga on Friday informed Japan's special envoy Yashushi Akashi she had faith that the Mano-Malik committee would achieve a breakthrough and that the agreement with the JVP was a short term strategy which will have no bearing on the peace process. Ambassador Akashi had also discussed the Cambodian defence council system as a compromise to break the deadlock which he had also discussed earlier with the Prime Minister. more ...
  • 111) 15:59 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Rule of Law, values said basis of Tamil society
    “Foreigners who visit the Vanni assume that two decades of war would have torn apart the fabric of our society. They expect a total break down of law and order; that crime and corruption would be rife as in societies ravaged by war in other parts of the world. They tell us they are surprised that, instead, they see a society where the Rule of Law prevails, where high social, moral and cultural values are still earnestly upheld. ”, said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, addressing the fourth convocation of the Tamil Eelam Law College in Kilinochchi in Sunday. more ...
  • 112) 15:58 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka under foreign pressure to avoid snap polls
    Sri Lankan leaders are under international pressure to end their power struggle and avoid snap polls that could further damage a peace bid with Tamil rebels, diplomatic sources said. Foreign donors who reviewed Sri Lanka's political crisis as well as the Norwegian-backed peace initiative here have warned the country risks losing 4.5 billion dollars in aid unless the political crisis is resolved soon. Tamil Tiger rebels have also warned the minority Tamil community will be forced to secede unless the two leaders of the majority Sinhalese community resolve their differences and agreed to pursue the peace process. more ...
  • 113) 13:58 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Canada’s new $100 bank note to be unveiled on 28 January 2004
    Canada’s new $100 bank note will be unveiled on Wednesday, 28 January 2004, in Halifax. The first high denomination note in the Canadian Journey series will be unveiled by the Honourable John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, and David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada. Distinguished guests will include Marc Garneau, the Canadian astronaut and veteran of three space flights who is president of the Canadian Space Agency. The new $100 bank note incorporates new security or anti-counterfeiting features as well as images depicting the theme of exploration and innovation. It will be issued beginning on Wednesday, 17 March 2004. more ...
  • 114) 13:25 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Sinha meets Sri Lankan minister
    Sri Lanka’s Economic Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda held talks in New Delhi yesterday with Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha, an Indian foreign ministry official said. The official would not give any details of the talks, but official sources in Sri Lanka said Moragaoda wanted to brief the Indian government on the island’s worsening political crisis and the troubled peace process. The Sri Lankan minister was due to hold talks later with national security advisor Brajesh Mishra. Moragoda’s visit follows President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s meeting earlier this month with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajyapee during a South Asian summit in Islamabad. more ...
  • 115) 13:24 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Muslim party urged to quit Lanka alliance
    The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is likely to join the main opposition, the People's Alliance, sources in the party told Dawn. The sources said on Saturday they would be meeting soon to discuss the issue. The development came in the wake of a demonstration held by the Muslim community in the eastern district of Puttlam calling upon the party leave the ruling United National Front (UNF). Some of the protesters said they felt the SLMC should quit the UNF because the government was ignoring the problems the Muslims were facing once again because of the Tamil Tigers' attitude. more ...
  • 116) 13:14 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka rebels deny recruiting child soldiers
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have denied they are recruiting child soldiers, saying on Sunday the accusations are designed to discredit the separatist movement. UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, said on Thursday the rebels last year recruited more than than 700 children as soldiers despite a ceasefire in the island's two-decade ethnic war, and urged that the practice must stop. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said the recruits were volunteers who said they were 18 years of age. "The economic conditions of the parents in tatters, educational pursuits increasingly becoming more difficult and unavailable...children enrol themselves in our organisation saying they have completed 18 years of age," the rebels said in a statement. more ...
  • 117) 22:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + India's Interest in a JVP Sri Lanka
    While there have been many articles written about the military importance of Srilanka to India, many have overlooked the role of Srilanka in India’s long term economic vision. It is obvious that India has been aspiring to be an economic powerhouse and seeks to organize the south Asian countries around its own agenda. There has been so much talk lately about a common currency and other open trade agreements in the South Asian region. For India to be an economic giant, it has to reduce its spending on what it deems unnecessary in the long term. While neutralizing the military threats of its neighbors, it also has to stymie the economic prospects of its neighbors. more ...
  • 118) 18:38 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + JVP-SLFP alliance seriously jeopardizes Peace Process - American Academics
    North American academics expressed pessimism about the future of process after the JVP-SLFP alliance. Prof.Oberst of Nebraska Weslyan University said, "it has complicated the peace process...LTTE leadership [will be] hesitant to agree to anything until after the next general election." Prof Mia Bloom from McGill University said the alliance "seriously jeopardizes the peace process since it provides legitimization of the SLFP shifting even further to the right." The impact on the rivalry between the president and the prime minister is also hard to predict. The reports of a breakthrough in the negotiations between the prime minister and president may be one of the positive consequences of the alliance. more ...
  • 119) 13:13 GMT, Jan. 25, 2004 |  + Japan says donors still committed to Sri Lanka
    A power struggle between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister threatens aid flows to the island, but donors are still committed to backing a peace process with their money, Japan said on Sunday. Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi said despite a breakdown in peace talks and political fight between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the peace process was still strong because a ceasefire was holding. Donors who pledged $4.5 billion at an aid conference in Tokyo last June -- conditional on progress in the peace process with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) -- want humanitarian aid to continue, Akashi said. more ...
  • 120) 21:17 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + 'Decommissioning of arms after finding political solution'- PM
    Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe said this is not opportune time, before finding a lasting political solution, to demand decommissing of arms from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), when addressing the annual convention of the pro-government Sri Lanka Estate Workers Union at Sri Kotha, United National Party headquarters, in Colombo Saturday. more ...
  • 121) 14:07 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + Interview: Chandrika favours peace process
    "This is a permanent marriage, there can be no divorce later," said Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando of the island nation's ambitious attempt at face to face peace talks with the Tamil Tigers, a group that until last year waged a bloody separatist battle for over 30 years. Its trademark weapon is the suicide bomber. Yet, in a remarkable turnaround, the dreaded Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran has emerged from the trenches and chosen to negotiate for a homeland within the framework of a unitary Sri Lanka with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government. more ...
  • 122) 14:06 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka investigates its 'disappeared'
    A commission of inquiry has started to look into the plight of hundreds of civilians who disappeared in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna when the military retook the area from Tamil Tiger rebels seven years ago.The commission was formed in response to growing protests by the relatives of the disappeared. The relatives are hoping against the odds that their husbands and sons might still be alive in a jail somewhere in the south of the island. more ...
  • 123) 14:04 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + UNICEF head to visit Sri Lanka
    Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Carol Bellamy will visit Sri Lanka from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, UNICEF's Colombo office said. @@During her three day visit here, Bellamy will call on President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers of Foreign Affairs Tyronne Fernando and other ministers, the UNICEF said in a statement available on Saturday. @@Bellamy is scheduled to travel to the northern Vanni areas held by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and Jaffna peninsula and have discussions with rebel leaders and government officials. more ...
  • 124) 14:00 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + Lankan women of war and peace
    It's their chance to carve out their dreams of hope and rehabilitation. The Sri Lankan government has recently nominated a 10-member, all-women committee to make recommendations on all matters related to displaced women and children, protection of women's rights and monitoring mechanisms during the peace process. Though women have always been the worst victims of war and conflict, they are seldom involved in post-war peace negotiations or rehabilitation processes. The formation of the committee follows the third round of successful negotiations and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). more ...
  • 125) 13:46 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + Verdict in Nedumaran case on Jan 27
    Paldurai, Judicial Magistrate of Tiruchendur put off the verdict in the case in which Thamizhar Desiya Iyakkam leader P Nedumaran for January 27. He is being charged with speaking in support of the LTTE in 1992. On January 9, four witnesses deposed in favour of Nedumaran. The final hearing was held on Thursday, when Nedumaran, who is being detained in prison under the provisions of POTA, was produced in the court. Nedumaran's counsel Suppurathinam and public prosecutor Jeganathan made their submissions after which the judge announced that he would deliver the verdict next Monday. more ...
  • 126) 13:41 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + Resettlement process should satisfy all communities - Minister Hakeem
    Sub-committees dealing with the re-settlement process of displaced persons should ensure that their activities meet the satisfaction of all communities affected by war. They are duty bound to take initiatives without showing any discrimination to any particular community, observed SLMC leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem last Tuesday. Hakeem made these comments at a special discussion in connection with resettlement of displaced persons from the North East held at the Ministry of Eastern Development and Muslim Religious Affairs last Tuesday in Colombo. more ...
  • 127) 13:19 GMT, Jan. 25, 2003 |  + ICRC assumes new role in peaceful Sri Lanka
    Although the country has entered a transitional period towards normality as a result of the peace process, the ICRC will remain in Sri Lanka to implement long term projects in helping to solve 'missing cases' and dissemination of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), said the Head of the ICRC, Trincomalee sub delegation, Ms Lina Milner at the first press conference of the ICRC in 2003 in Trincomalee Friday. She further stated that the ICRC has commenced reducing its emergency mode activities and leaving it to other organizations to continue the process. more ...
  • 128) 13:20 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Intervention may not mean cure but it can bring change

    The Guardian - Jonathan Steele

    The moderate Tamil parties which rejected violence and sought change through parliament came out behind the Tigers, declaring the guerrillas to be the sole Tamil representatives with whom the government must talk. This destroyed the long-standing Sinhalese strategy of divide and rule.

    Forget the Middle East for a moment, and ignore Kashmir. Take your eyes off the Pentagon's unfinished hunt for Osama bin Laden and the bombs which still fall on Afghanistan. So far this is a very good year for peace. Two of the world's longest wars have taken big strides towards a settlement and a third shorter one has been declared over. Not bad for a single month, though in the contemporary culture of anxiety where good news is no news, you can be forgiven for not having noticed. Every war has its own complex mixture of causes, and the dynamic of struggle depends on many factors. Pressures for peace also emerge in different ways. more ...
  • 129) 13:08 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Formal truce in Sri Lanka could come within a month
    A formal truce between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels could be in place within a month, a senior minister said Thursday. Both sides are observing a ceasefire which began on Christmas Day and was this week extended until February 24. Constitutional affairs minister G.L. Peiris said the government was keen to have a formal truce in place before the current cessation of hostilities expired. more ...
  • 130) 10:59 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Peace - through repentance, forgiveness and mercy
    Rt. Rev. Swithin Fernando, former Bishop of Colombo in a message titled "Peace - through repentance and forgiveness and mercy" expresses satisfaction at the program of the 'pilgrimage of peace' says "every Sri Lankan must get involved in this pilgrimage in emanating thoughts of penitence, forgiveness and mercy." Whatever is to be achieved is greatly conditioned by personal attitudes and community attitudes in the pursuit of this quest for Peace. This applies to all of us Sri Lankans irrespective of ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, etc. We are in our present state because of the spirit of revenge for wrongs done by others. more ...
  • 131) 10:47 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Britain will make own decision
    British High Commissioner Linda Duffield said yesterday Britain was continuing to give full support for the steps both the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE were taking to further the peace process. "We welcome all moves towards peace talks", Ms. Duffield said in Colombo according to a communique issued by the British High Commission.On the question of whether the ban on the LTTE should be lifted in Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner said this was for the Government of Sri Lanka to decide. Such a move would not directly affect Britain's position. more ...
  • 132) 10:38 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka captives freed by rebels say well treated
    Sri Lankans held captive by Tamil Tiger rebels for more than five years and released this week as a goodwill gesture said on Friday that they were treated well. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) released three soldiers and seven seamen on Tuesday as hopes for peace talks between the government and the rebels have grown in recent weeks with both parties observing month-long ceasefires. ''We were treated well under the circumstances. I had an injury right after we were taken and they gave me medicine,'' said able seamen M.H. Ravindra Pushpakumara, referring to his early days at the hands of the rebels. more ...
  • 133) 10:31 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Commandos camp in hospital despite peace promise
    In Thirukkovil and Thambiluvil, the large Tamil villages on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast, few believe that the dividends of the current peace process in the war torn island would come their way. "We are like people in the land that time forgot. We have survived here amid draconian controls for more than sixteen years", says Mr. S. Vivekanandan, a local journalist. The only civilian hospital in this region is inside the camp of the Special Task Force (STF), an elite commando unit of the Sri Lankan security forces. The STF moved into the Thirukkovil hospital in early 1986. more ...
  • 134) 03:19 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka formal truce hope
    A Sri Lankan minister has said a formal ceasefire between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels could be in place within a month. Both sides have been observing a temporary ceasefire which is due to expire at the end of 24 February. The Minister for Constitutional Affairs, G.L. Peiris, said the government was keen to have a formal truce in place before the current ceasefire expired. Meanwhile, the Tigers' chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, has welcomed the government's comment that it was considering lifting a ban on the Tigers, as an encouraging sign. But he criticised the former foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, for cautioning the government against moving too quickly. more ...
  • 135) 03:08 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Opposition mounts to lifting of LTTE ban
    Sri Lanka’s Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP), the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and the Sinhala right wing MEP, a constituent of the main opposition People’s Alliance (PA) are to jointly campaign against the de-proscription of the Liberation Tigers, The Island newspaper said Friday. The day after Sri Lanka’s newly elected United National Front (UNF) government said “deep thought” should be given to de-proscription, the JVP - the third force in Sri Lankan politics - said that they have initiated talks with the PA to oppose such a move, the paper added. more ...
  • 136) 20:02 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Families of POWs urge Sri Lanka to free jailed Tigers
    The Sri Lankan government was Friday urged to free jailed Tamil guerrillas in exchange for the 10 prisoners released by the rebels three days ago. The Association of Relatives of Servicemen Missing in Action (ARSMIA) said the government needed to reciprocate the gesture by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). "We have asked the government to release 10 LTTE suspects," E. P. Nanayakkara, president of ARSMIA, told reporters. "I have undertaken to take them to the north and return them to their families." more ...
  • 137) 18:47 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + JVP can't speak on behalf of Tamils
    President, Samastha Lanka Government General Employees Union S. Loganathan addressing the fifth annual general meeting of the Trincomalee district branch held at St. Zaviour's MV said that his trade union condemns the communal policies of the JVP which has no right to speak on behalf of the Tamil people and the LTTE. He appealed to the people of the North East Province not to allow JVP to engage in political activities in the province as the JVP should be ousted from the North East Province. more ...
  • 138) 18:17 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Groups of LTTE cadres enter Welikanda
    LTTE cadres had met with a police party led by an ASP from Welikanda, the sources said. "There had been a friendly discussion," the sources said. They left after implying that they would be back to see some of their relatives living in the area, the sources said. The LTTE last Monday treated a group of policemen including an SSP who strayed into an LTTE held area in the Batticaloa, with soft drinks and escorted them back to the Batticaloa - Ampara main road. The bus carrying the police party from the SLPR headquarters, Colombo had taken the wrong turn and ended up on the road leading to LTTE held Kokkadicholai. more ...
  • 139) 18:12 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + PSD Boss To Be Arrested
    It is learnt that the Attorney General has decided to file a charge sheet against the Director of Presidential Security Division (PSD) Nihal Karunaratne, for his alleged involvement in sending nine armed people to Hangurakketha with the intention of assassinating S.B. Dissanayake. It is also said that he will be arrested along with it and forwarded at the Courts. Last 3rd of December Maturata Police OIC Rohana Dissanayake was able to arrest nine people with two double cabs, which consisted of a police sergeant and a constable of the PSD, three army deserters and four under world assassins. more ...
  • 140) 13:28 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Local bodies polls put off in North-East
    Local body elections in Sri Lanka's Tamil majority areas in the North and East have been postponed in response to a request by an alliance of Tamil political parties. Local body polls, due to be held across the country in March, would not be held in the North and East, state-run media said. However, they would go ahead as per schedule in Muslim-majority Digamadulla electorate in the East. more ...
  • 141) 01:15 GMT, Jan. 25, 2002 |  + Chandrika's coalition rocked by dissent
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) coalition was rocked by internal disputes over how to deal with the new government culminating with her one-time prime minister and current parliamentary opposition leader sending his resignation on Wednesday. more ...
  • 142) 15:09 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Black bands in Batticaloa University for ceasefire, self-determination
    Students and teachers of the Eastern University in Batticaloa wore black bands on their arms and observed five minutes of silence at 12 noon Thursday to urge the Sri Lankan government to recognize the Tamil people’s right of self determination and to reciprocate the extended unilateral ceasefire declared by the Liberation Tigers.The Sri Lanka army in Batticaloa has repeatedly warned the public and civil society groups in this east coast district that it is a serious offence to hold meetings, picketing, demonstrations and marches calling on the government to take steps to expedite the peace process for ending the island’s ethnic conflict. more ...
  • 143) 14:06 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Sri Lankan who set out for Germany buried in Kazakhstan
    The body of a Sri Lankan, who set out for Germany but died of cold during a four-day trek across the Russian steppe, has been buried in a northern town of Kazakhstan, Interfax reported Wednesday. The dead man was buried in the village of Pavlodar with the consent of his compatriots on Wednesday, the news agency said. The 20-year-old Sri Lankan died after he and 24 other men were deceived by an undisclosed middle-man into believing they were on their way to Germany to find work. more ...
  • 144) 12:28 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Muslim ally backtracks on deadline for Sri Lanka coalition
    Sri Lanka's main Muslim party which is propping up the shaky coalition government has climbed down from a 100-day deadline to have its key demands met, political sources here said Thursday. The deadline set by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is set to expire at the weekend without any danger to the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the sources said. The SLMC had asked for independent commissions to run the police, judiciary, the public service and the elections department in exchange for its crucial parliamentary support to prop up the minority government. more ...
  • 145) 12:28 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Muslim ally backtracks on deadline for Sri Lanka coalition
    Sri Lanka's main Muslim party which is propping up the shaky coalition government has climbed down from a 100-day deadline to have its key demands met, political sources here said Thursday. The deadline set by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is set to expire at the weekend without any danger to the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the sources said. The SLMC had asked for independent commissions to run the police, judiciary, the public service and the elections department in exchange for its crucial parliamentary support to prop up the minority government. more ...
  • 146) 12:04 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka says doubts sincerity of LTTE ceasefire
    A decision by Tamil rebels fighting for independence in Sri Lanka to extend a unilateral ceasefire was just an attempt to divert international criticism, state media said on Thursday. They also repeated previous government statements that the move by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to extend the unilateral truce by one month to February 24 was made to give the rebels time to regroup after recent battlefield losses. more ...
  • 147) 11:59 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka PM vows war till Tigers enter talks
    Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Thursday rejected reciprocating a truce offered by Tamil Tigers and vowed military pressure until the rebels entered Norwegian-backed peace talks. Wickremanayake also appealed to Sri Lankan youth to join the armed forces for a three-year period to escalate the military offensive against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE which is fighting for independence in the island's northeast on Tuesday extended by another month the unilateral truce they declared on Christmas Eve, and asked the government to follow suit. more ...
  • 148) 11:57 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + PA not capable of resolving conflict -Tamil coalition
    "Tamil parties firmly believe that Peoples Alliance (PA) Government is not capable bringing the ethnic conflict to an end. That is why we have formed a coalition to urge the international community to actively join the peace efforts by pressuring the Sri Lankan Government to stop fighting and start negotiations with the Liberation Tigers," said the representatives of Tamil parties during a meeting with the Swedish Ambassador held in Colombo on Wednesday. The Swedish Charge d'affaires of the South Asian region also attended the meeting. more ...
  • 149) 10:59 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + "Right to life not guaranteed in constitution"
    "The Sri Lankan constitution does not guarantee the right to life. Many human rights violations and murders are possible due to such loopholes in the constitution. The Sri Lankan government refused to sign an international convention that would have obliged it to act responsibly on the question of human rights violations and missing persons. It is the governmentís duty to explain the fate of persons reported missing. But it does not do anything. This is the reason why it is possible not to take any action to bring those responsible for murdering journalists to book" said V.T Thamilmaran, senior law lecturer at the University of Colombo Wednesday, addressing the 90 days remembrance meeting for slain Jaffna journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan in Colombo. more ...
  • 150) 22:50 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Sri Lankan FM hands over message to Russian president
    The Sri Lankan minister pointed out that the talks focused on economic cooperation, in particular on investments and air communication, as well as political and military relations. He expressed the hope that his visit will open a new page in bilateral relations. Kadirgamar invited the Russian foreign minister to visit Sri Lanka. Ivanov emphasised that Russian-Sri Lankan contacts respond to the interests of both countries and their cooperation at the international arena. Ivanov noted that this is the Sri Lankan foreign minister's visit to Russia after a long break. He stressed that "there should not be any long pauses in bilateral contacts". He also expressed the hope that at present, the governments of the two countries will maintain permanent relations. For his part, the Sri Lankan minister said that both countries should continue the development of traditional friendship. He pointed out that "our countries have much in common and our positions coincide on many international issues". more ...
  • 151) 15:31 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + An Interview:
    "The military effort should continue with more vigour" - LT Gen LIONEL PIYANANDA BALAGALLE
    "The LTTE will not be able to sustain their losses if they continue as in the past several months" As the founder of the Sri Lanka Army's Military Intelligence Corps and later the first Director of Military Intelligence, Lt Gen Lionel Piyananda Balagalle has spent much of his military career focussed on defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Since 1983, the group has been fighting to achieve Eelam, a separate Tamil homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 152) 15:21 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Mad Cow Crisis Has Asia Within Its Reach
    Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Sri Lanka may become the next victims of mad cow disease after buying potentially tainted animal feed from Britain at the height of the UK epidemic, scientists said on Wednesday. Britain, which banned the feeding of crushed animal carcasses to cattle in 1986, exported much of its stocks of feed to Europe and beyond until a decade later, when the trade was ended. more ...
  • 153) 02:56 GMT, Jan. 25, 2001 |  + Union demands Tamil GA for Trinco
    Samastha Lanka Government General Employees Union has requested the President to take steps to appoint a Tamil civil servant as the Government Agent (GA) of the Trincomalee district. A resolution to this effect was unanimously passed at the fourth annual general meeting of the Trincomalee branch of the union held last week. more ...
  • 154) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + Feature : Chandrika’s re-election is a Sinhala mandate for war
    No details available. more ...
  • 155) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + Record numbers file for asylum in UK - ministry
    No details available. more ...
  • 156) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + ‘LTTE spies had access to top defence secrets’
    No details available. more ...
  • 157) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + The film that was denied screening in Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 158) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + From Sri Lanka to London by Tamil Eelam shipping !
    No details available. more ...
  • 159) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + Norwegian official meets TULF
    No details available. more ...
  • 160) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + Tigers Hold Sri Lanka by the Tail
    No details available. more ...
  • 161) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + Norway in Sri Lankan peace attempt
    No details available. more ...
  • 162) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 2000 |  + India: Fernandes scorns test ban treaty
    No details available. more ...
  • 163) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 1999 |  + NWPC polls invalidated - monitors
    No details available. more ...
  • 164) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 1999 |  + The North-East Provincial Council, 1988-1990
    No details available. more ...
  • 165) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 1999 |  + Monitors detail large-scale rigging, violence in Sri Lanka poll
    No details available. more ...
  • 166) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 1999 |  + FOCUS-Violence mars key Sri Lanka regional poll
    No details available. more ...
  • 167) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 25, 1999 |  + Violence, booths captured in Sri Lankan polls
    No details available. more ...
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    Justin Trudeau-Happy Thai Pongal to Tamils celebrating!