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February 21, 2020 - Memory of the Day

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

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

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 1997 | Two Soldiers Die - Jaffna
    Two Sri Lankan soldiers have been killed in Vadamaradchy (army-occupied Jaffna). They were part of an army motorcycle patrol riding near the Iron Bridge (Vadiri) when the LTTE intercepted them.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 103 | பயன்தூக்கார் செய்த உதவி நயன்தூக்கின்
    நன்மை கடலின் பெரிது.
    Kindness shown by those who weigh not what the return may be:
    When you ponder right its merit, 'Tis vaster than the sea.
    - 11 11
  • Feb 21 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Feb 21, 2018 14:52:14 GMT |  + Canadian PM Meets Punjab Chief Minister At Amritsar
    Following his Mumbai visit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has landed in Amritsar. He was received by Hardeep Singh Puri and Navjot Singh Sidhu at the airport. Preparations by the Punjab government were on in full swing for this visit. Mr Trudeau is scheduled to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple along with his family. A thick security blanket has been put in place in and around the Golden Temple. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Justin Trudeau in Amritsar for a one-on-one meeting. Former deputy chief minister of Punjab and president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal will also meet the Canadian PM at Golden Temple. more ...
  • 2) Feb 21, 2018 14:46:36 GMT |  + Tamil Tiger due to be deported says he will face torture in Sri Lanka
    A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who claims he once built warships for the Tamil Tigers says he will be tortured and possibly killed in his home country if he is deported by the Australian Government on Thursday. Santharupan Thangalingam, 46, said he was a senior leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant terrorist organisation, which waged a bloody insurgency against the Sri Lankan Government for more than a quarter of a century. more ...
  • 3) Feb 21, 2018 14:44:55 GMT |  + Grenade on Sri Lanka bus injures 19; military rules out attack
    A grenade exploded on a bus in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, injuring 19 people, including 12 military personnel, the prime minister said, but the military ruled out the possibility that the incident was an attack. Since the end of Sri Lanka’s nearly three-decade civil war in 2009 there have been no targeted attacks on the military. “It has been revealed from the initial investigations that it was a grenade in a bag of a passenger which exploded,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament “Further investigations are going on.” more ...
  • 4) Feb 21, 2017 15:44:16 GMT |  + President Trump: Implications for Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka could thereby make strategic “trickle down” gains under a Trump administration, even if it faces possible constraints in leveraging Chinese interests and ties in Sri Lanka against India. In harnessing these gains, however, Sri Lanka should watch for any changes in the sub-text of U.S. references to its “convergence of interests” with India and, in particular, to any anti-Muslim undercurrents. It is in Sri Lanka’s interests to unequivocally distance itself from any such shift, and to continue to pursue relations with India and the United States on a strictly “secular” basis. more ...
  • 5) Feb 21, 2017 15:41:37 GMT |  + U.S. House of Representatives Delegation Strengthens U.S.-Sri Lankan Ties
    A bipartisan delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives arrives in Colombo today for three days of meetings as part of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP). The HDP delegation is pleased to continue the important partnership begun with the signing of a Collaboration Agreement between the U.S. House of Representatives and the Parliament of Sri Lanka on September 14, 2016 in Washington D.C. The visit serves to underscore the strong bipartisan support for Sri Lanka in the U.S. Congress. “This visit by our nation’s elected representatives in Congress shows that bipartisan support for strong U.S.-Sri Lankan ties is robust across the branches of the U.S. government,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap. more ...
  • 6) Feb 21, 2017 15:39:34 GMT |  + Court finds film activist guilty for showing Sri Lanka war documentary without approval
    Activist Lena Hendry has been found guilty by the Magistrate Court today for allegedly screening a documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war without the approval of the Censorship Board. Magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris found the Pusat Komas programme manager guilty of censorship charges after the defence failed to prove reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. He did not hand out any sentence after Hendry’s lawyer New Sin Yew requested for a written submission to be handed in. “He found her guilty but he has fixed sentencing for another day. He wants a written submission by first of March,” New told reporters after the case today. more ...
  • 7) Feb 21, 2017 15:31:40 GMT |  + India will not press for merger of north, east Sri Lankan provinces: Jaishankar
    India will not be pressing Sri Lanka to merge the Northern and Eastern Provinces to form a single Tamil-majority, Tamil-speaking province as envisaged by the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, the Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) here on Monday.He was reacting to a demand made by the leader of the Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) Suresh Premachandran, that India should honor its promise to keep the North and East united. more ...
  • 8) Feb 21, 2017 15:29:42 GMT |  + China's 'New Silk Road' Is Derailed In Sri Lanka By Political Chaos And Violent Protests
    It is now looking as if Sri Lanka's biggest partner in the Hambantota endeavor, China, is pulling back from what seems to have become an all out fiasco. While a deal was supposed to be formally signed on January 7th that would have seen China take over an 80% share of the struggling Hambantota port for 99 years in exchange for $1.1 billion of much needed debt relief, this agreement has now been put on indefinite hold due to internal political strife and violent public demonstrations. more ...
  • 9) Feb 21, 2016 12:46:31 GMT |  + “More Than a Domestic Mechanism”: Options for Hybrid Justice in Sri Lanka
    All that said, any trials must be part of a diversified transitional justice program focused not only on the deployment of prosecutorial tools but also on truth-telling exercises and the formation of an accurate collective memory; the rehabilitation and reparation of victims; the promotion of reconciliation among communities; an accounting for missing persons; and the development of new institutions and policies. By launching a genuine transitional process, Sri Lanka will make a demonstrable international commitment to the rule of law and to universal principles of justice. more ...
  • 10) Feb 21, 2016 12:40:51 GMT |  + ‘Tamil areas in Sri Lanka are the pockets of poverty’
    Regions with the highest rate of poverty in Sri Lanka are areas inhabited by Tamils, according to a study of the World Bank. The regions come under the districts of Mannar, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi in the Northern Province; Batticaloa in the East and plantations in Badulla district (Uva Province) and Nuwara Eliya (Central Province). One Sinhala-dominated region the study has identified as having a high rate of poverty is the Monaragala district. Going by Sri Lanka’s national poverty line of about $1.50 per day (Purchasing Power Parity in 2005), the poverty headcount rates of Mullaitivu, Mannar and Kilinochchi are 28.8 per cent, 20.1 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively. more ...
  • 11) Feb 21, 2016 12:35:07 GMT |  + Rape of Lanka’s seas worsens
    As the Sri Lankan Government looks the other way, poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters in the Palk Strait has taken a serious turn with the use of “pair trawling” where two steel hull boats scrape the sea bottom. Navy Commander Ravindra Wijegunaratne confirmed that the new method, now in operation, destroyed marine resources more rapidly. Earlier, the Indian fishermen had been using nets drawn only by a single trawler and that too within Sri Lankan territorial waters. more ...
  • 12) Feb 21, 2015 3:42:12 GMT |  + Tamil ex-stronghold Jaffna on the road to recovery
    Jaffna is the former stronghold of the Tamil Tigers, the infamous Sri Lankan guerrilla group. This legendary peninsula at the northern tip of Sri Lanka was ravaged by three decades of civil war between Tamils and Sinhalese. Almost six years after the end of the war, our reporters returned to Jaffna to offer a glimpse into a city that’s struggling to limp back to normality after a brutal war. It was impossible for us to obtain a journalist visa to travel to northern Sri Lanka. At the time that our story was filmed, in December 2014, Sri Lanka was in the midst of a presidential election campaign. more ...
  • 13) Feb 21, 2015 3:41:17 GMT |  + PM Narendra Modi to visit Sri Lanka in March, could go to Jaffna
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Sri Lanka next month, the first bilateral visit to the country by an Indian premier in over 25 years, and is likely to go to Tamil-dominated Jaffna amid signs of growing amity between the two neighbours. "Prime Minister Modi will arrive on March 13 on a 3-day visit," Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. During his Lanka visit, Modi is likely to go to war-ravaged Jaffna in the Tamil-dominated Northern Province and Trincomalee in the Eastern Province, sources said. more ...
  • 14) Feb 21, 2014 18:42:04 GMT |  + Question of substantial justice in Rajiv case: Ram Jethmalani
    Noted advocate Ram Jethmalani today rejected arguments that there were procedural lapses on the part of Tamil Nadu government in deciding to release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and said it was a "question of substantial justice." "One side the allegations are being made. It is not a question of irregularity of procedure but it is the question of substantial justice," Jethmalani told reporters here.
  • 15) Feb 21, 2014 3:29:17 GMT |  + Canadian Tamil Congress wins $53,000 libel judgment
    The Canadian Tamil Congress has won a $53,000 libel judgment against a prominent international security expert who charged in a newspaper article that the congress was a front for a terrorist group. The Sri Lankan-born Rohan Gunaratna, a professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has been a widely quoted expert on terrorism for more than a decade, particularly on issues related to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a now defeated separatist group that fought for 25 years for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 16) Feb 21, 2014 3:28:22 GMT |  + Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Reactions from senior jurists, activists on decision to free Rajiv assassins
    Life sentence need not mean life in prison. Our justice system stands for reformation, and this doesn't translate into incarcerating someone till death. Only ignorance of what justice means can lead someone to oppose the release of convicts. That is being savage and blind. Releasing them proves the magnanimity of modern India. They have served 22 years in prison and have records proving their reformation and good conduct. Justice VR Krishna Iyer
  • 17) Feb 21, 2014 3:20:08 GMT |  + Average GTA house price hits $547,107 as market starts to thaw
    The Toronto real estate market is showing signs of stirring from its deep freeze, with new listings starting to pick up — and an almost 8 per cent spike in prices — as of mid February, year over year, according to figures released Wednesday. Some 2,767 properties were sold during the first two weeks of February, up just 1.3 per cent from the same period a year ago, says the Toronto Real Estate Board. But the average sale price was up 7.8 per cent to $547,107 from the $507,474 recorded in the first two weeks of February 2013. more ...
  • 18) Feb 21, 2013 20:27:11 GMT |  + NZ Tamils accuse Obama for doing nothing to check genocide
    Addressing the US President Barack Obama on Sunday, the Tamil Action Front (TAF) in New Zealand in a press statement said, “Nothing tangible was done by your administration with regard to the on-going genocide in Sri Lanka in your first term. We hope you will now take meaningful effective measures to save the Tamils from genocide.” The stand taken by the NZ Tamils in directly accusing and addressing the US Administration is a significant development in the diaspora, resulting from a long frustration in the ‘looking upon’ polity hitherto followed, political observers said.
  • 19) Feb 21, 2013 17:54:23 GMT |  + Who Will Speak For Tamils At UNHRC?
    It is time to push at Geneva. Last time the TNA did not go but this year party leaders aver they would, but no team has been named. It really is important that the MPs, especially those who will speak moderately in terms understood by diplomats, go and explain what is happening, avoiding the word Eelam with focus on human rights. To have a credible winning voice in Geneva, we must argue for accountability in a Sri Lanka that is plural and democratic, through spokespersons who have reflected the very same values we root for. more ...
  • 20) Feb 21, 2013 17:41:22 GMT |  + UN reiterates importance of addressing accountability in SL
    The United Nations yesterday reiterated the ‘importance of addressing accountability in Sri Lanka through a genuine and comprehensive national process and achieving national reconciliation.’“We are obviously aware of the video footage and the reports about that video footage, but I don’t have any specific comment on that,” UN headquarters Spokesman for the UN Chief Martin Nesirky said. more ...
  • 21) Feb 21, 2013 17:30:47 GMT |  + Tory leader Tim Hudak wants an election as soon as possible
    Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is itching for an election even though voters only went to the polls 16 months ago. His burning desire for a general election at a cost of $300 million appears at odds with the constant message of slashing government spending. The last provincial election was in October 2011. more ...
  • 22) Feb 21, 2013 17:25:28 GMT |  + Religious freedom? This office is about ethnic votes
    The appointment of Andrew Bennett, an obscure bureaucrat turned academic from a small religious school in Ottawa, to lead the Office of Religious Freedom in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) is part of the Conservative government’s one-two punch to capture the ethnic-minority vote.
  • 23) Feb 21, 2013 15:29:51 GMT |  + At least 15 killed in three blasts in Hyderabad's Dilsukh Nagar
    At least 15 people are feared to have been killed in a series of explosions on Thursday evening which took place in Dilsukh Nagar bus stand area of Hyderabad. Three explosions took place in the Andhra Pradesh capital at around 7 pm. While the first blast took place at 7.01 pm, the second and the third explosions occurred at 7.06 pm and 7.21 pm respectively. Following the blasts, the area was cordoned off. At least 40 people sustained injuries in the blasts.
  • 24) Feb 21, 2013 14:22:20 GMT |  + Major General Kamal Gunaratne had murdered Balachandran on Gotabhaya’s order
    LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 14 year old son Balachnadran Prabhakaran had been killed after surrendering to the army on a direct order of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Lanka News Web learns that Balachandran had been killed under the supervision of the Commander of the 53rd Brigade Brigadier Kamal Gunaratne. Balachandran had surrendered to the army near the Nadikadal Lagoon at 7.30 a.m. on May 19, 2009. He had surrendered to a group of eight soldiers led Sergeant Mutubanda from the 4th Vijayaba Infantry Regiment. more ...
  • 25) Feb 21, 2013 14:14:54 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Photos renew accusations that 12-year-old was executed
    Facing continued pressure over alleged wartime abuses, Sri Lankan officials rejected renewed accusations that a 12-year-old boy was executed in the final throes of its bloody civil war. The furor over the new photos is the latest dispute to rock Sri Lanka in the aftermath of its lengthy war. Both rebels and government forces have been accused of wartime abuses: Nearly two years ago, a U.N. panel found the Sri Lankan military intentionally shelled hospitals and aid agencies while rebels held hundreds of thousands pf people hostage as human shields. more ...
  • 26) Feb 21, 2013 14:12:11 GMT |  + Asian meet runs into trouble over Sri Lanka protests
    The Chennai local government is refusing to host the Asian Athletics Championships in July in protest against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes that targeted Tamil Tiger rebels."As long as I am in power, the Sri Lankans will not be allowed to participate in the Games and the Tamil Nadu government will not participate in conducting this event," she said, adding that she had received no response from the AAA. more ...
  • 27) Feb 21, 2013 14:09:08 GMT |  + Comment is freeAustralia is playing a dangerous game with Sri Lanka
    It's election year in Australia, and that means open season on boat migrants. Last year, 17,000 people arrived by boat, with a massive surge of 6,500 from Sri Lanka. These numbers have an alarming impact on Australia's human rights record as the government puts in place draconian domestic measures to deal with the increase, and plays a foolhardy game of building military and security links with Sri Lanka to stem the flow. more ...
  • 28) Feb 21, 2013 14:07:43 GMT |  + Jaffna native holding British citizenship missing.
    Jaffna national holding British citizenship had gone missing in Colombo was a complaint made to the police. Concerning this incident, the British Embassy in Colombo had been notified. Arumugam Yogeswaran aged 37 years a native of Karainagar had lived in Jaffna Eechamottai locality had gone missing. He migrated to London and had obtained British citizenship and recently visited to Jaffna to meet his wife and relations.
  • 29) Feb 21, 2013 14:05:30 GMT |  + Sri Lankan MP on pilgrimage returns after facing protests
    A Sri Lankan MP on a pilgrimage to the temple town of Thirukkadaiyur in this district had to return today after activists of various political parties, including pro-Eelam outfits, staged a demonstration in that town.Police said the MP Karunaratne Jayasurya had arrived at the town last night to offer worship at the famous Lord Amirthakadeswara temple.This morning pro-Eelam activists came to know of his visit and gathered in front of the hotel where he was reportedly staying, along with workers of DMK, BJP, MDMK, PMK, VCK, Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam and shouted slogans against him and demanded he go back immediately.
  • 30) Feb 21, 2013 14:01:56 GMT |  + Pressure on UPA to toughen stand against Sri Lanka
    February 21, 2013After the emergence of fresh evidence of the killing of former LTTE chief Prabhakaran's son, DMK threatened to pull out of alliance unless a tough stand is taken against Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 31) Feb 21, 2013 13:52:05 GMT |  + Documentary maker claims photos offer fresh evidence of Sri Lankan atrocity
    Balachandran Prabhakaran was 12 when he died around the end of the civl war in Sri Lanka. He was the son of the founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Velupillai Prabhakaran. Sri Lankan authorities have claimed he died after being caught in cross-fire but a British documentary-maker has released pictures he says show he was executed in a calculated way.
  • 32) Feb 21, 2013 13:50:20 GMT |  + Sri Lanka bans sale of land to foreigners
    Sri Lanka on Thursday banned the sale of land to foreigners, charging that prime properties bought by outsiders had been neglected and that the country was not reaping the full benefits of their tourism potential."Foreigners have bought prime lands, particularly beach properties, and in most cases they have neglected them," Rambukwella told reporters. "The country is not getting the full economic benefit from these properties owned by foreigners," he said.
  • 33) Feb 21, 2013 11:00:44 GMT |  + Jayalalithaa cancels Asian Athletics Championships, says she won't host Sri Lankans
    Tamil Nadu will not host the Asian Athletics Championships scheduled for July, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said, because the Centre has not asked Sri Lanka to skip the event."Sri Lanka's participation would hurt people's sentiments in Tamil Nadu," she said, adding that the Union government has ignored a request by her to ban Sri Lanka from the Championships. The 20th edition of the Championships was to be hosted in India after a gap of nearly 20 years. New Delhi had hosted it in 1989. Yesterday, the chief minister described as "a war crime" the alleged execution of the 12-year- old son of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran. more ...
  • 34) Feb 21, 2013 3:59:37 GMT |  + Tamil Tiger leader’s son killed deliberately, filmmaker alleges
    Just hours after a British TV channel released photographs suggesting the 12-year-old son of the slain Tamil Tigers leader was murdered, not killed in crossfire during the chaotic end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Human Rights Watch asked the United Nations to investigate war crimes committed in the final months of the conflict. more ...
  • 35) Feb 21, 2013 3:55:22 GMT |  + Shot Sri Lankan journalist under government protection
    Faraz Shauketaly, the Sri Lankan journalist who was shot at the weekend, confirms he is recovering and under government protection after the attempt on his life, and calls for a full investigation. Faraz Shauketaly, Sri Lankan journalist, makes statement after being shot (Getty) Faraz Shauketaly, who works for The Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka, has issued a statement after the shooting at the weekend which left him in hospital. He was shot in the neck by three unidentified gunmen on Friday night in his house in Mount Lavinia, while on the phone discussing a story for this week's edition of the newspaper. more ...
  • 36) Feb 21, 2013 3:51:32 GMT |  + Killing of Prabhakaran's son sufficient evidence: Karunanidhi
    DMK chief M. Karunanidhi Wednesday said the world or the United Nations need not go anywhere in search of evidence to "prove Sinhalese chauvinism and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa a war criminal". "There is no need for a separate enquiry," he said in a statement. Karunanidhi said the alleged cold-blooded killing of Balachandran Prabhakaran, "a tender leaf" and the 12-year-old son of the late Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, was "sufficient" evidence of alleged war crimes committed in the island nation.
  • 37) Feb 21, 2013 2:33:39 GMT |  + MPs seek Sri Lanka’s expulsion from Commonwealth
    The parliamentary caucus on the Sri Lanka conflict has resolved to pressure the Commonwealth to boot out the South Asian country from the organisation and to tell the Malaysian government to boycott this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo. Malaysia’s attendance at the meeting would be equivalent to endorsing the human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan authorities, Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran told reporters after chairing a roundtable discussion at Parliament House yesterday. “We also want the Commonwealth to expel Sri Lanka,” he said.
  • 38) Feb 21, 2013 2:29:41 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn
    Sri Lanka is faced with two worsening and interconnected governance crises. The dismantling of the independent judiciary and other democratic checks on the executive and military will inevitably feed the growing ethnic tension resulting from the absence of power sharing and the denial of minority rights. The government has conducted no credible investigations into allegations of war crimes, disappearances or other serious human rights violations and has rejected the LLRC’s recommendations to establish a range of independent institutions for oversight and investigations.
  • 39) Feb 21, 2012 17:57:24 GMT |  + UN Will Deny Tamils Justice
    Brace yourselves Tamils in and from Sri Lanka! The UN Human Rights Council will not grant you justice at its 19th session, February 27-March 23, 2012 or, perhaps, in any foreseeable future. Until the past few weeks it looked as though the “international community” (US, UK-Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan), the east (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran), the Middle East-Libya/Africa) and the progressive South (Cuba-ALBA+, South Africa)were content with ignoring Sri Lanka’s war crimes and crimes against humanity. This tragedy was not even placed on the agenda despite the UN’s “Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka” delivered to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, March 31, 2011.
  • 40) Feb 21, 2012 16:13:18 GMT |  + Pakistan Unites Against Rohrabacher's Pro-Baloch Congressional Resolution
    When Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher concluded a controversial hearing of Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations on February 8 calling for the Baloch people's right to self-determination in the southwest of Pakistan by saying "this was certainly not a stunt on anybody's part," he simply meant more staggering developments had yet to come. Hence, on Friday, Rohrabacher went a step further and introduced a House Concurrent Resolution reclaiming the "Baluchi (sic) nation has a historic right to self-determination." (Balochi is the language the Baloch (people) speak.)
  • 41) Feb 21, 2012 16:06:31 GMT |  + Monk sentenced to death after 50 years
    A Buddhist monk has been sentenced to death by the Tangalle Magistrate over the murder of a farmer. Another suspect was also given the death sentence over the murder of the farmer by the Tangalle Magistrate today. This is the first time that a monk has been sentenced to death since 1962, the Magistrate had said. In 1962 a monk was sentenced to death over the assassination of former Prime Minister S.W.R.D Bandaranaike.
  • 42) Feb 21, 2012 16:04:32 GMT |  + Calls mount for government action on war inquiry
    As the government of Sri Lanka comes under increasing international pressure to implement recommendations submitted by a presidentially appointed war commission, IRIN asked national analysts which recommendations were most easily achievable. "Looking at the scorecard after the LLRC report is not encouraging - there have been at least 22 abductions reported after the LLRC report [was released]; bodies are found in Colombo; peaceful campaigns [to locate the missing] in the north were obstructed in December and January; a protester was killed and others injured even last week in Chilaw [North Western Province)," more ...
  • 43) Feb 21, 2012 12:14:34 GMT |  + With TTC head Gary Webster likely to be sacked, Karen Stintz asks why now?
    Centrist and left-leaning councillors spent Family Day talking about what to do next in the face of a meeting that will likely end with the ousting of TTC head Gary Webster. Regardless of Webster’s fate, the last minute TTC board meeting called by five allies of Mayor Rob Ford is unlikely to stop them from pursuing the LRT plan they battled to get through council earlier this month. Two councillors said they would consider overhauling the TTC board to make it more “balanced.” more ...
  • 44) Feb 21, 2012 11:19:09 GMT |  + Sri Lanka ready for UNHRC sessions: Officials
    Sri Lanka is ready for the upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva with an impressive record of post-war reconciliation, rehabilitation and resettlement efforts, a top official said Tuesday. Mohan Peiris, legal advisor to the Cabinet said that Sri Lanka has taken action at the highest level to implement the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations.
  • 45) Feb 21, 2012 3:24:16 GMT |  + Sri Lanka used as transit point in cocaine smuggling
    The Sri Lankan Police Narcotics Bureau believes that the island is used as a transit point for smuggling cocaine into countries around the world. According to the Police Narcotics Bureau, special drug detection teams have been deployed at the country’s Bandaranaike International Airport to nab drug smugglers. Cocaine is also being smuggled into the country, said authorities. The special drug team busted two foreigners attempting to smuggle more than LKRs 75 million worth of cocaine within the past two weeks. Last Thursday a haul of cocaine worth LKRs 45 million was found on a Filipino transit passenger travelling from Sao Paola, Brazil via Doha, Qatar.
  • 46) Feb 21, 2011 19:23:00 GMT |  + Australian could face court over Tamil Tigers deaths
    AN AUSTRALIAN citizen and senior Sri Lankan diplomat has been accused of complicity in the murders of three surrendering Tamil Tigers in an application to the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. The man, Palitha Kohona, was the international face of the Sri Lankan government's war with separatist militants, the Tamil Tigers, and played an important role in the surrender of Tamil Tiger soldiers following their defeat in May 2009. more ...
  • 47) Feb 21, 2011 19:20:57 GMT |  + Somali pirates release penniless Sri Lankan fishermen
    Three fishermen captured by Somali pirates say they were freed without a ransom demand once the pirates discovered they were from Sri Lanka. The fishermen told BBC Sinhala the pirates first asked if the boat was an Iranian vessel. "When we said Sri Lanka boat, they said Sri Lanka and Somalia the same, meaning both are poor countries and you don't have money," the captain said. The fishermen returned to Sri Lanka over the weekend. more ...
  • 48) Feb 21, 2011 12:13:04 GMT |  + Judge slams 'abuse of process' in Tamil detentions
    A federal court judge has chewed out government lawyers for using tactics in court that would keep Tamil migrants in jail indefinitely. Justice Edmond Blanchard said it was unacceptable for Department of Justice lawyers to file multiple, concurrent judicial reviews of release orders -- especially after the court has already upheld a decision to release a migrant. "In my view, this would result in nothing short of an abuse of process," the judge wrote in a decision released last week. more ...
  • 49) Feb 21, 2011 12:12:02 GMT |  + Ten Oceanic Viking Tamils remain stranded
    Ten Sri Lankan asylum seekers involved in the 2009 Oceanic Viking stand-off remain stranded in emergency accommodation in Romania. And the immigration department has conceded the Tamils - eight adults judged by ASIO to be security risks and two dependent children - could end up in indefinite detention on Christmas Island unless a third country agrees to take them in. The 10 Tamils were among 78 rescued by Australia's Oceanic Viking vessel and taken to the Indonesian island of Bintan in October 2009.
  • 50) Feb 21, 2011 12:10:31 GMT |  + Thiruma to attend parvathy ammal’s funeral
    Viduthalai Chirutheigal Katchi (VCK) founder and pro-LTTE leader Thol Thirumavalavan, MP,on Sunday condoled the death of Parvathy Pillai, mother of fomer LTTE chief V Prabhakaran and said he would participate in her last rites in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. “Her death is shocking. She lived her last days without any near and dear ones by her side,” he said in a statement here. His party flags will fly half-mast for three days as a mark of respect for the deceased, Thirumavalavan said.
  • 51) Feb 21, 2011 12:08:27 GMT |  + Foreign Office Minister visits Sri Lanka
    Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt arrived in Sri Lanka this morning as the first minister of the Coalition Government to visit Sri Lanka. Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt MP During his two-day visit, the Foreign Office Minister will meet with the Minister of External Affairs, the Secretary of Defence and the Minister of Economic Development among other key local political figures; representatives of civil society groups; important members of the business community. He will also be visiting Jaffna. more ...
  • 52) Feb 21, 2010 20:36:09 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s Debt Crisis Worsens
    Despite the efforts of the Sri Lankan Government and Central Bank to paint a picture of a vibrant economy on the brink of a historic expansion, the island confronts a worsening economic crisis. Like a number of European countries, Sri Lanka is burdened with heavy foreign debts and a ballooning budget deficit, in large part due to the huge military spending needed to wage war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Sri Lankan army defeated the LTTE last May, but the island’s economic problems have only deepened. Last week Central Bank Governor Ajit Nivard Cabraal visited London to tout for foreign investment, saying Sri Lanka was ready to take off.
  • 53) Feb 21, 2010 20:34:39 GMT |  + Reconciliation, Post-War and Post-Poll
    Time used to be not very long ago when terms like rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation had specific meanings in contemporary Sri Lanka. Not any more or, those specific references and meanings have been lost, to be replaced by more recent developments and consequent relevance and priorities. Likewise, the phrase reconciliation has acquired a newer and broader connotation than was intended even weeks ago, burying with it the more focussed concerns for and of the Tamil-speaking people in the country. Today, to many in Sri Lanka, reconciliation has much, if not more, to do with the Government and the larger political Opposition, or within the divided Sinhala polity. If the presidential poll sowed the seeds, the Fonseka arrest has done the rest.
  • 54) Feb 21, 2010 20:30:54 GMT |  + Hundreds of Cases of Torture Each Year in The Asian Region Have Been Denounced
    The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and its sister-organisation, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), document hundreds of cases of torture each year in the Asian region. The eradication of torture must be at the heart of any realistic attempts to improve human rights in any given country, yet, the Special Rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, has noted the Council's failure to act in his study on torture and report to the 13th session of the Council.The ALRC is disappointed to note that despite so many members of the Council ritually repeating the mantra of "cooperation" in the Council, it is clear that States are failing to cooperate in practice with the Special Procedures.
  • 55) Feb 21, 2010 20:29:23 GMT |  + Tamil newspaper’s Scarborough office attacked
    The front window of Uthayan newspaper’s office looked like a “vehicle drove right through it” when Kula Sellathurai arrived at the scene. The threats stemmed from a recent meeting Sellathurai, President of the Canada-Sri Lanka Business Council and the United Tamil Council of Canada, had with the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The meeting was covered in Uthayan, a paper widely read by Toronto’s Sri Lankan diaspora, as well as Sri Lankan media and websites. When Logendralingam arrived he saw the damage. The whole front of the store was smashed, Sellathurai said.
  • 56) Feb 21, 2009 22:46:04 GMT |  + A show of solidarity for Sri Lankan Tamils
    The DMK youth wing on Saturday formed a human chain in the district headquarters across the State urging both the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE to lay down arms and return to the negotiation table to find a political solution to the ethnic crisis. “Laying down arms is important to save the remaining Tamils who are facing extreme difficulties,” said Local Administration Minister and youth wing leader M.K Stalin. He along with his family members participated in the human chain in front of the Anna Arivalayam.
  • 57) Feb 21, 2009 22:44:39 GMT |  +  Towards a one party state
    For the first time in a quarter of a century the country has changed. Changed, obviously not in the sense that we now enjoy free incoming mobile phone calls where we didn't five years ago, but in terms of the first profound shift in the island's power dynamics since the beginning the ethnic conflict. For the last 25 years power in the island has been shared by the UNP and SLFP in the political mainstream, the LTTE in the north and the JVP, which remained a credible political force in the south. Today however all the these groups with the exception of the SLFP have been effectively broken - eliminated from the political equation.
  • 58) Feb 21, 2009 22:35:52 GMT |  + Somersault: India calls for Govt-LTTE talks
    In a sudden shift of policy, India yesterday appealed to the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to hold talks and come to a peaceful settlement. Acting Prime Minister Pranab Mukherjee said there was no military solution to the Sri Lankan crisis and a political solution must be found. It was only just 72 hours ago, Mr. Mukherjee in a statement to parliament ruled out any Indian intervention to stop Sri Lanka’s military operations against the LTTE and slammed the LTTE as a banned organization that had done much damage to the Tamil community.'
  • 59) Feb 21, 2009 19:43:12 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's MIAs -- present grief, future fear
    The white tattered strips line the main road to Kuliyapitiya, hanging off telephone poles and fence posts, each one signifying another funeral, another loss, another hole punched in the heart of a family. A few miles away, in the center of town, ribbons of another sort decorate the chest of a commando at a recruiting post working to impress a group of teenage boys. A recent surge by the Sri Lankan army, boosted by an aggressive expansion of its forces, has prompted the government to predict that victory is just around the corner in its 25-year war with the Tamil Tiger rebels who have sought to carve out a homeland in the north and east of this island nation.
  • 60) Feb 21, 2009 19:39:06 GMT |  + Avoid a bloody battle - UN
    The United Nations under secretary general for humanitarian Affairs Sir John Holmes has urged the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to do everything possible to avoid a final bloody battle. John Holmes concluding his three day visit to Sri Lanka told media that he was deeply concerned about tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone. "I urge both sides to do everything they can for a peaceful and orderly end to avoid a final bloody battle," he said. Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that John Homes condemned Friday’s suicide mission by the LTTE aircraft and called upon the LTTE to avoid such activities. more ...
  • 61) Feb 21, 2009 15:11:35 GMT |  + LTTE crisis: Political solution only way out, says Pranab
    India expressed concern over the latest turn of events in Sri Lanka, particularly the air raids by LTTE over Colombo, and appealed to the government and the militant organisation to come to a peaceful negotiated settlement. It also said unless there was a congenial and peaceful atmosphere, attacks and counter-attacks would continue. "An LTTE plane has been shot down. This is of concern. Political solution has to be found to the LTTE issue and military action will not do," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukhjerjee, said.
  • 62) Feb 21, 2009 14:11:42 GMT |  + A Surprise Attack by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers
    The Sri Lankan Army announced with some fanfare two weeks ago that it had destroyed the last air strip used by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), its adversary in a 25-year-long conflict that appears to be coming to an end. However, the Tigers made it clear tonight, with an air attack punching into the heart of the capital, that it's not over yet. The assault began at about 11 p.m. local time, when two light aircraft burst into Colombo. One bomb hit the Inland Revenue Department, but the real target may have been the Sri Lankan Air Force building, which is directly behind it.
  • 63) Feb 21, 2009 14:07:13 GMT |  + KwaZulu condemns genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka
    The Speaker of Kwazulu-Natal legislature, the provincial government of the South African region inhabited by the largest ethnic group of the country, on Friday condemned the genocide of Tamils and expressed his support for the Tamil freedom struggle, accepting a memorandum on behalf of the premier of Kwazulu Natal, Sbu Ndebele, from the demonstrators in the city. More than 1500 South African participants marched approximately 2 km through the city’s main street to Freedom Square urging India to stop sending arms, Sri Lanka to stop the genocide of Tamils and the international community to impose sanctions on Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 64) Feb 21, 2009 13:52:47 GMT |  + The Will to Resist
    The Sri Lankan armed forces have massacred over two thousand Tamil civilians in Vanni during the past two months. This is not happening in secret, out of the world's gaze, but in plain sight. The horrific details of the Sri Lankan artillery bombardment and airstrikes are made available every day by a flood of data, pictures and footage. No Tamil can fail to be shaken by the murderous fanaticism of the Sinhala state and, especially, the complicit silence of the international community. The present is thus an important moment in Tamil national consciousness.
  • 65) Feb 21, 2009 13:43:04 GMT |  + Shoot-at-sight orders in Tamil Nadu to tackle violence
    Armed police personnel moved into position in cities across Tamil Nadu Saturday as shoot-at-sight orders were issued to quell stone pelting, arsonist mobs following three days of clashes between protesting lawyers and the police. The Director General of Police K.P. Jain ordered shoot at sight orders Saturday. The protesting lawyers had burnt vehicles and damaged property to demand action against 'police excesses'. Meanwhile, eight police superintendents and a joint commissioner here were transferred with immediate effect, an official press statement said.
  • 66) Feb 21, 2009 13:36:38 GMT |  + Vanni: the "most ignored human tragedy"
    Several hundreds of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) assembled within the "safety zone" have died in the last weeks from artillery and air strikes by Sri Lanka military. Civilian targets have been hit by hundreds of Sri Lanka Army fired artillery and motor shells. More than 300 people have died and several hundreds were injured in one day alone - 26 January. The Sri Lankan military has bombed ICRC offices, hospitals and killed paramedics, and it stands accused of shelling a house full of IDPs.
  • 67) Feb 21, 2009 3:16:26 GMT |  + Concerns raised over civilian deaths in Sri Lanka violence
    The number of civilian deaths in Sri Lanka has risen sharply in the last month, Human Rights Watch said Friday, calling on both sides in the protracted civil war to stop firing at civilians or shelling areas where they are concentrated. The government has been battling the Tamil Tiger rebel group, which wants a homeland for the Tamil minority, for the last 25 years. In recent weeks the army has stepped up its offensive, boxing in the rebels in a smaller area in the north. But by some estimates, up to 100,000 civilians are trapped in the war zone, with both sides unwilling to halt their fire and let them flee.
  • 68) Feb 21, 2009 3:14:58 GMT |  + Rebel Planes Attack Sri Lanka Capital
    Tamil Tiger rebel planes attacked the capital of Sri Lanka Friday night, destroying the main tax office, killing at least one person and injuring 48, after the government declared it was on the verge of crushing the rebel movement and had captured its jungle airstrips. As the planes approached around 9:30 p.m., Colombo plunged into darkness and anti-aircraft fire lit up the night sky. Eyewitnesses later reported a loud explosion. The government scrambled to intercept the light planes. Both were brought down -- one on top of the tax building -- and their pilots killed, according to a military spokesman.
  • 69) Feb 21, 2008 21:55:46 GMT |  + Kosovo’s victory has lessons for other liberation struggles - paper
    Describing Kosovo’s declaration of independence on Sunday and the ensuing international recognition as “a powerful shot in the arm to peoples resisting and seeking independence from tyrannical regimes,” the Tamil Guardian newspaper this said that “whilst every situation and every circumstance is unique, there are important lessons from the Kosovan march to independence for liberation struggles everywhere. The paper pointed out that just a few years ago, the idea of Kosovan independence had been dismissed by the international community and the Kosovan Liberation Army had been condemned as terrorists by the United States and other countries.
  • 70) Feb 21, 2008 21:55:10 GMT |  + Elections for local govt begins in East Lanka
    Sri Lanka on Thursday commenced the postal voting for the local government election to be held in the de-merged eastern region. The polling will be held for two days. The poling commenced even as the Human Rights Watch urged the UN Security Council to issue an ultimatum to both the Tamil Tigers and its breakaway group to release all their child soldiers. A top UN official is on a visit here to assess the situation. The government announced the decision to hold local body elections in the Batticaloa district soon after it cleared the eastern region of the rebels in July 2007, after 14 years of fighting.
  • 71) Feb 21, 2008 21:53:50 GMT |  + Rights group lashes rebels, government over child soldiers as fighting rages in Sri Lanka
    An international human rights group called Thursday on the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels for using child soldiers. The military, meanwhile, announced that 24 rebels and a soldier were killed in fresh fighting. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch made the allegations as U.N. experts met in New York to discuss the use of underage soldiers in Sri Lanka's civil war, and as a U.N. envoy was on a weeklong visit to the Indian Ocean island nation to assess the conflict.
  • 72) Feb 21, 2008 13:53:25 GMT |  + Sri Lankan Navy opens fire on Indian fishermen
    Sri Lankan Navy personnel today opened fire on Indian fishermen who were engaged in fishing within the territorial waters of the island nation between Talaimannar and Katchativu, sources said. Nobody was injured in the incident, they said. The Navy personnel who had come in "gas-operated boats", fitted with automatic guns, opened fire at the fishermen. Scared fishermen fled the place, some seven nautical miles from the maritime border, and returned to Dhanushkodi near here, the sources said.
  • 73) Feb 21, 2008 12:20:51 GMT |  + SRI LANKA: Restrictions Tighten on Media
    Gemunu Amerasinghe, a photographer with the international news wire Associated Press, was shooting earlier this month in downtown Colombo for an innocuous assignment -- or so he thought. He had just finished taking pictures of students near the Isiphatana Vidayalaya and was about to leave after thanking soldiers stationed nearby, when he was suddenly confronted by members of the Civil Defence Committee (CDC), a vigilante group, at the school.
  • 74) Feb 21, 2008 12:19:13 GMT |  + Tamil separatists hail Kosovo's independence
    Separatist Sri Lankan Tamils have hailed the emergence of an independent Kosovo with Western support, saying it augurs well for the liberation of "oppressed" minorities like the Tamils of northeast Sri Lanka. Most Sri Lankans do not relish the prospect of their small island country breaking up on the prodding of powerful Western nations. But while radicals like the Janatha Vimukthi Permuna (JVP) would like the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to take a strong anti-West stance, the liberals are urging restraint on the plea that belligerence will only provoke the West to side with the Tamil separatists when it comes to the crunch.
  • 75) Feb 21, 2008 3:56:48 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Keeps Key Rate Unchanged at 5 1/2-Year High
    Sri Lanka's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at a 5 1/2-year high in a bid to cool inflation without jeopardizing economic growth. Fighting has intensified after the government ended a 2002 cease-fire with the rebels on Jan. 16. The South Asian nation needs to rein in inflation to achieve 7 percent economic growth this year, Cabraal said Jan 2. The central bank said credit to state companies is expected ``to improve'' this year. Higher oil prices are one of the ``main risks and difficulties we are facing,'' Cabraal said on Feb. 4.
  • 76) Feb 21, 2008 3:29:59 GMT |  + Little cheer in Lanka
    This should have been a month of celebrations for Sri Lanka as it reached 60 years of independence on February 4. Instead, it was marked by battles and Tamil Tiger bombings. In January, Colombo abrogated a five-year Norwegian-brokered ceasefire, which for over a year had been undermined by violence from both the government and the Tigers leading to a human rights crisis. But as the death toll keeps rising, Sri Lanka's closest neighbour, India, has done little more than confine itself to being a spectator. Through the past 60 years relations between India and Sri Lanka have not always been easy. In the late 70s, India's sympathy for the Tamil cause and the support and training it gave to Tamil militants offended the Sri Lankan government.
  • 77) Feb 21, 2008 2:22:07 GMT |  + 13 Tamil Tiger rebels, 5 soldiers killed in violence, Sri Lanka's military says
    Government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels fought battles in Sri Lanka's restive north and suspected rebels ambushed an army post in the south, killing 13 guerrillas and five soldiers, the military said. Battles broke out Wednesday in the Parappankandal and Palaikkuli areas of northern Mannar district, killing 13 rebels and two soldiers, the military said in a statement. Hours earlier, suspected rebels attacked an army post in the Dambakote area southeast of Colombo, killing three soldiers, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. Soldiers retaliated with gunfire as the rebels fled, he said.
  • 78) Feb 21, 2007 20:41:16 GMT |  + No end in sight to Sri Lanka conflict
    Vijaraja Lakshumi takes pride in her son's appearance. Every day she dresses him for school in a crisp white shirt, even though they live in a sun-blasted, dusty camp in eastern Sri Lanka. Sumeshan is five years old, born as the ceasefire between the government and the Tamil Tigers was signed. He should have been growing up in a country at peace - instead he's a displaced person in Sri Lanka's continuing war. "We couldn't stay at home because of the shelling," says his mother, sitting in the long, low hut with a roof of tarpaulin donated by the United Nations that they share with dozens of others.
  • 79) Feb 21, 2007 20:40:09 GMT |  + Bodies of four Sri Lankans ordered strung up after execution in Saudi Arabia
    A Saudi court ordered the bodies of four Sri Lankans to be strung up and displayed in a public square after being beheaded for armed robbery on Monday, according to a government statement. It is unclear if the bodies were actually displayed. Sri Lanka's foreign ministry said on Wednesday it was trying to determine if the display had happened and was also seeking to recover the four men's bodies. Saudi officials would not confirm that the body display had happened but did confirm the four were executed.
  • 80) Feb 21, 2007 19:26:06 GMT |  + Churches Increasingly Targeted in Sri Lankan Civil War
    Since hostilities resumed in earnest last year, churches on the Jaffna Peninsula have provided shelter to hundreds of internally displaced people (IDPs), prompting retaliatory raids by the Sri Lankan army. “One wonders if the attacks on churches are just a coincidence, or an attempt by the government to warn the clergy not to give protection to these defenseless people,” one source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Compass. The same source said those speaking out for IDPs were often silenced by intimidation or “elimination,” often in the form of unexplained disappearances.
  • 81) Feb 21, 2007 19:11:20 GMT |  + Is the country's path clear!
    This poster which shows the President who is the commander of the country being surrounded by several soldiers and it seems to be requesting the government to continue its path towards war. It now appears to be that the word "Peace" in Sri Lanka has become a banned word.If some one talks about peace either he is labeled as a terrorist or some one who assist terrorists. A massive poster campaign island wide is attempting to call all the leftists and journalists in the country as terrorists. According to the posters they are identified as "Peace Terrorists". more ...
  • 82) Feb 21, 2007 15:55:52 GMT |  + Extremist minister in favour of extra-judicial means to “restore order”
    Patali Champika Ranawaka, an ultra-nationalist Sinhalese politician appointed environment and natural resources minister just two weeks ago, has already stirred controversy. In a statement on how to deal with “dissidents”, whether Tamil rebels or peace activists, he said that extra-judicial means should be available. The condemnation from civil society groups was swift and unanimous. The controversy began last Sunday when Ranawaka told Ravaya, a local newspaper, that if existing laws were not adequate to re-establish order in the country, “we shall use other means”. more ...
  • 83) Feb 21, 2007 14:25:28 GMT |  + US Ambassador, Mr. Blake, plays Politics with Tamil newspaper
    Being a bit shy in not responding to US tax payers repeated concerns regarding human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the United States Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Mr. Blake, took the Tamil daily newspaper “Thinakkural” on his standard lip service trip. In his rare and exclusive interview with the Tamil daily newspaper, Mr. Blake once again mislead and misrepresented some of the core issues concerning the troubled island’s human rights violations and made contradictions regarding the American people value of human rights.
  • 84) Feb 21, 2007 12:20:05 GMT |  + Sri Lanka marks truce anniversary, conflict rages on
    Sri Lankan government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels mark the fifth anniversary of their Norwegian-brokered truce this week but the fighting rages on, with nearly 4,000 people killed in the past year. The ceasefire, signed separately by the Tamil Tiger chieftain and Sri Lanka's then premier, came into effect on February 23, 2002. It led to direct negotiations and optimism that real peace would take hold after decades of bloodshed. However, six rounds of talks which started in September 2002 ended in March 2003. Attempts to revive them last year failed despite two face-to-face encounters in Switzerland.
  • 85) Feb 21, 2007 12:18:38 GMT |  + Sri Lanka urges India to stop Tamil rebels' alleged gun running
    India should do more to prevent Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels smuggling guns and explosives across the narrow strait that separates the two countries, a Sri Lankan official said Wednesday. The Sri Lankan government has repeatedly called on India to take action to stop the alleged gun running. It says it has credible evidence that Indian fishing boats are being used by the rebels to smuggle weapons to the island nation. "We know that India always stands besides us, but we feel time has come for India to do more to stop Tamil terrorists from smuggling weapons," chief government spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella, told reporters.
  • 86) Feb 21, 2007 12:17:49 GMT |  + SLA moves military hardware to Thenmaradchy FDLs
    Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were seen moving heavy military hardware, including more than fifteen T-54 type tanks and Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) along Point-Pedro Kodikamam road towards Thenmaradchy Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) Monday night, residents in Varani area said. With the fifth year anniversary of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) approaching on 22 Februrary, the increased military movements have further fuelled speculations of renewed war in Jaffna, civil sources in Jaffna said. The armed forces introduced a new security measure Monday, and ordered all civilians and vehicles to keep a distance of least 100 meters when a military convey passes along a road.
  • 87) Feb 21, 2007 12:14:57 GMT |  + Norway calls for Sri Lankan factions to uphold peace
    Norway has called for a fresh commitment from Sri Lanka's warring parties to maintain its peace brokering efforts. Norway's ambassador to Sri Lanka, Hans Brattskar, says neither Colombo nor the Tiger rebels had cancelled the truce, that was arranged and put in place by Oslo from February 23, 2002. "The Norwegian government has made it clear that it stands ready to continue to serve as a facilitator in the peace process, provided that both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE request its continued assistance," Mr Brattskar said. "It is the people of Sri Lanka and their leaders, not Norway or any other party, who are ultimately responsible for deciding the future of this country and finding a peaceful, negotiated settlement to the present conflict," he said.
  • 88) Feb 21, 2007 3:08:21 GMT |  + FEATURE-Fury at detentions under Sri Lanka anti-terror rules
    Huddled outside a detention camp in Sri Lanka's far south, relatives of civilians held for months without charge say lives are being ruined by emergency regulations amid renewed civil war. Some with babes in arms, others carrying a few packets of biscuits for a detained husband or brother, they swelter in the burning sun. Most have travelled all night to see loved ones imprisoned for suspected links to Tamil Tiger rebels. But months pass and still no charges are brought, and relatives and rights groups are up in arms. "They still haven't charged my brother!" said one woman, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid any retribution, after a weekend visit to Boossa detention camp a few kilometres from the island's historic southern port town of Galle.
  • 89) Feb 21, 2007 2:00:47 GMT |  + Karuna in Kirulapone?
    The residents of Andarawatta in Kirulapone in fear of indirect threat from the LTTE are to take legal action against the proposed sale of a luxury house in the neighbourhood to the Karuna faction. According to the residents a two storey luxury house in the Andarawatta area is to be sold to the Karuna group. The house had been recently renovated and upgraded with tall parapet walls and other security features with two speed breakers laid on the road in front of the luxury house, the residents revealed. The Daily Mirror learns the transaction has already been finalised with half the price already paid yesterday.
  • 90) 14:10 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Interfaith prayers for peace talks begin in northern Sri Lanka, Buddhists to join later
    Hindus, Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka's troubled northern Jaffna peninsula prayed together for peace Tuesday, the eve of negotiations between the Buddhist-dominated government and mostly Hindu separatist rebels. Monks from Jaffna's only Buddhist temple said they were unable to attend because of a previously arranged prayer service, but promised to pray for the peace talks later in the day, said monk the Rev. Warapitiye Kolitha. Hindu, Christian and Muslim leaders gathered at a public hall in Jaffna, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of the capital, Colombo, and prayed that the talks - the first such meeting between the two parties in three years - lead to a permanent end to the country's two decades of bloodshed. more ...
  • 91) 13:55 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + A Letter from a Tamil Canadian to Mr. Asoka Weerasinghe
    Tamils are ‘freedom fighters’. We take both of those terms seriously: we want freedom for our people, and not just in words, but also in deeds. We will fight for those rights. We refused to sit by idle any longer for someone to deliver this to us – we may have believed that once by organizing political dissent, but failed miserably, though we have recently shown the world that we will take that into consideration again under right set of conditions. As freedom fighters, we are freedom driven. The most common error you have made in many of your correspondence to media and politicians is that you often confuse ‘democratic fundamentals’ and ‘freedom merit’. A group of people in a country doing terrifically well, have clear destiny, a government that is embracive and response in kind, and enacts laws that creates the right conditions which in turn creates better future for those people to look forward to, is a country with great ‘democratic fundamentals, and therefore worth living in. more ...
  • 92) 13:46 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka hotheads raise temperature at Swiss talks
    Nationalists backing Sri Lanka's warring parties have arrived in Geneva to pressure peace delegates ahead of crucial talks on saving the island's faltering truce. The Nationalist Society for Peace, Unity and Rights (SUPR) said they were in Geneva to lobby Colombo government delegates to resist any arm-twisting by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)."We want the government to put pressure on the Tigers to amend the ceasefire," SPUR spokesman H.L.D. Mahindapala said as he arrived here. "We are not that hopeful much will come out of the talks." The LTTE's chief negotiator Anton Balasingham, who arrived Monday from his base in London, made it clear that they will have only one item on the agenda for the two-day talks -- "implementation of the ceasefire". more ...
  • 93) 12:44 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Sri Lankan government makes provocative preparations for Geneva talks
    Two days of negotiations are due to start in Geneva tomorrow between representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Tigers (LTTE). The talks, which were only agreed after intense international pressure and lengthy diplomatic wrangling, are the first to be held in nearly three years. The negotiations are limited to a discussion of the increasingly fragile ceasefire agreement signed in February 2002. Since the election of President Mahinda Rajapakse last November there has been a marked escalation of violence involving the deaths of more than 200 people on both sides—military personnel and associated militiamen, LTTE fighters and officials, and civilians. more ...
  • 94) 12:39 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Sri Lankan government, Tamil leaders prepare for two-day peace talks near Geneva
    Sri Lankan government officials and leaders of the Tamil Tiger rebels have arrived at a secluded chateau outside Geneva and are preparing for their first direct talks in nearly three years, officials said Tuesday. The government and rebels will try to patch up their unraveling cease-fire and stop the ethnically troubled tropical island from slipping back to war when they begin their talks on Wednesday. Objectives are limited, with political solutions which have eluded the minority Tamils, concentrated in the country's north and east, and the Sinhalese majority in the south still too remote to discuss. more ...
  • 95) 12:38 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Lanka to make best use of Geneva talks: Official
    The Sri Lankan government will endeavour to make full use of the Geneva talks with Tamil Tiger rebels, the head of the government peace delegation said on Monday. Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, who will lead the government team at the Geneva talks, said prior to his departure: "We are hoping to make the best use of the opportunity in order to try and achieve lasting peace in the country." De Silva and his team comprising three more cabinet ministers departed for Geneva, where talks will be held February 22-23 with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. more ...
  • 96) 12:36 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + What made Vaiko to continue in DPA?
    All eyes were on Vaiko with strong reports that he would pull-out from the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA). And there were lots of speculation about the MDMK striking an alliance with AIADMK for the forthcoming Assembly elections. But, Vaiko, putting an end to all rumours, has come out with his decision to stay with DPA. So what prompted Vaiko to stay put in the DPA? Sources confirm that there were indeed talks between the MDMK and the AIADMK about seat sharing and that the AIADMK had come forward to offer 40 seats. more ...
  • 97) 22:28 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka Geneva talks aim to build trust, avoid war
    As Sri Lankan government ministers and senior Tamil Tiger rebels sit around a table in a Swiss chateau on Wednesday, diplomats hope to build confidence between the two sides but say if they fail there may be war. The island's minority Tamil-dominated north and east has been calm since the two sides agreed to meet, but if talks collapse many fear a return to violence last seen in December and January which killed over 200, all but destroying a fragile 2002 truce. "If they fail, I really do believe there will be a war," said a European diplomat on condition of anonymity. "But I think it's very unlikely. What we'll probably see is some trust-building measures and a date and venue for more talks." more ...
  • 98) 21:53 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + 1956 Revolution must continue: President
    President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that the 1956 revolution led by late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike should be renewed and continued for the benefit of the people. Addressing the golden jubilee celebration of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna at Nawa Rangahala yesterday the President said that the great 1956 revolution united all leftists and nationalists forces. The President said that several prominent political leaders such as the late Mr. Bandaranaike, the President’s father D.M. Rajapakse and W. Dahanayake formed the MEP and brought about the 1956 revolution. The late Sirimavo Bandaranike also continued the policies of the MEP he said. However, there were others who worked to reverse it. “We should ask ourselves to which camp we belong” The President said. more ...
  • 99) 19:32 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Battle in Bossey
    Despite the hopes of most of Sri Lanka’s people, almost every indicator suggests that this week’s talks between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government in Geneva will be acrimonious. Even the release of prisoners by both sides has been largely ignored by those anxious about the prospects of peace. To begin with, the mutual respect that is sine qua non of successful negotiations is completely lacking. What ought to be an exercise in joint problem solving is instead being approached by Colombo as ‘a continuation of war by other means,’ to paraphrase Clauswitz. The opening salvo was fired last week by President Mahinda Rajapakse himself, in an interview with Reuters. Speaking ten days before the first direct talks between the protagonists in three years, President Rajapakse did not use the opportunity to send a conciliatory message of cooperation to the Tigers and the Tamils. more ...
  • 100) 17:13 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + The Norwegian Government appoints new Head of Mission of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
    The Norwegian Government is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Head of Mission of the SLMM, Brigadier Ulf Henricsson. Following consultations with both parties to the Ceasefire Agreement, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Norway invited all the countries in the Nordic mission to propose candidates for the post of Head of Mission of the SLMM. The successful candidate, Brigadier Henricsson from Sweden, will assume his duties on 1 April 2006. “It is very positive that another country in the SLMM has produced such an excellent candidate for this important post,” says the Minister for International Development, Erik Solheim. more ...
  • 101) 14:57 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka's only hope for peace
    The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels start their first direct talks for three years on Wednesday. The BBC assesses why they are so important. Whether the Sri Lankan government likes it or not - and they do not - the Tamil Tigers have established a de facto state in the north-east of the country. When you drive through the "border" post into their territory, you have to set your watch back half-an-hour to Tiger time. Here, the Tigers are running everything and they let you know it. During a recent visit, as I drove down a quiet country road, a Tamil Tiger policeman took out his gun, took deliberate aim at my vehicle and pulled the trigger. My driver tried to swerve but it was too late, we were hit - with a speeding fine. more ...
  • 102) 14:20 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Geneva Talks Will Determine Future Course of Sri Lanka Peace Process
    The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels are meeting in Switzerland to hold their first direct discussions since the island's peace process ground to a halt nearly three years ago. The talks are seen as a last opportunity to prevent a return to a deadly ethnic conflict. The two-day talks starting Wednesday will not seek a long-term solution to Sri Lanka's war, and instead will focus on short-term issues that have led to a near breakdown of a cease-fire signed in 2002. A series of attacks that killed more than 120 rebels and soldiers in December and January triggered fears that the island country may plunge back into war. An international effort intervened to save the situation. more ...
  • 103) 11:22 GMT, Feb. 21, 2006 |  + Geneva and the hope of a new beginning
    Over the next two days top negotiators from the government and LTTE will sit together with the Norwegian facilitators to engage in talks on upholding the ceasefire agreement. Their decision to talk to each other after the long interlude of three years has already yielded much that is positive. Just like the ceasefire agreement brought a seemingly unstoppable war to a quick halt, so has the government and LTTE's agreement to talk brought a seemingly unstoppable escalation of violence to a halt. It is remarkable how peaceful the north east of the country has become after the mutual decision to talk became known. On the other hand, the level of military preparedness on both sides continues to remain high and visibly so. more ...
  • 104) 15:33 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Norwegian envoy to push for Sri Lanka peace negotiations
    A top Norwegian envoy will urge the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels this week to resume peace talks, after renewed violence stoked fears of a return to civil war, officials said. Erik Solheim was to arrive in Colombo on Monday, a day before the third anniversary of a cease-fire between government forces and Tamil guerrillas. "It's important for Solheim to come at this time to try to iron out the tensions between the parties," said Jehan Perera, an analyst with the National Peace Council, an private research organization . Solheim is to hold separate talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and S.P. Thamilselvan, the rebels' political chief, during a one-week visit, the Norwegian Embassy said. The envoy played a pivotal role in brokering a cease-fire in February 2002. more ...
  • 105) 13:01 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Commandos speak of 'harassment' in training
    Seventeen commandos of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) were admitted to the Anuradhapura General Hospital on Sunday for poisoning. Medical Officer of the Anuradhapura General Hospital Dr. Laxman Gamlath said 16 of them are recovering while one soldier is still in intensive care. Several commandos under treatment have informed the doctors that an officer who trained them on Saturday gave C4 explosives to smell and then ordered to taste it. As a result they suffered with conditions of dizziness and nausea. C4 is a plastic explosive used in demolition. Army spokesperson Brigadier Daya Ratnayake said that inhaling the explosives or consuming food "without properly cleaning their hands" after handling explosive substance may have resulted in the unprecedented sickness. more ...
  • 106) 12:48 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + SLA stops post-tsunami project on Jaffna coast
    Sri Lanka army Monday stopped a ten million rupee project to clear Jaffna's Vadamaradchi coast of coral rocks ripped off the seabed by the Tsunami. Since the Tsunami hit Jaffna fishermen on this coast have been urging Sri Lankan government authorities and NGOs to help them remove the coral debris and make mooring points for their boats. Sewa Lanka Foundation pledged ten million rupees for the work. The project was inaugurated Monday. However, commanding officers of the Sri Lanka army garrisons in Valvettithurai and Sakkottai stopped the work and told fisheries societies that coral rock debris on the beaches of Vadamaradchi can be cleared to make boat mooring points for fishermen only in places permitted by the military. Project work was stopped following the military's intervention. more ...
  • 107) 11:51 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Natural disaster fails to change racist thinking
    People of all ethnicity, Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim, sincerely assisted to each other during the tsunami disaster. Tamil youth saved Muslim people from the sea. Muslim people gave refuge to Tamil people. Sinhala people gave food parcels to Tamil people. It all seemed contrary to the pervasive ethnic politics of the country. Political observers expected this to be a catalyst to bring about a resolution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. International experts expressed the view that tsunami relief work and the peace process could be taken up together with positive outcomes. Western leaders started visiting the country to see the tsunami devastated areas and also to strengthen the peace process. Yet, President Kumaratunge did not permit the politics to move in the direction hoped for by many. more ...
  • 108) 11:50 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka: tsunami survivors in Jaffna criticise government
    Nearly two months after the December 26 tsunami, people affected in the coastal areas of the Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka are angry about the lack of help from the government or other organisations. While President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are locked in a struggle for control of the limited relief funds offered by donor countries and international agencies, survivors are struggling with starvation. WSWS correspondents revisited the tsunami-hit Vadamarachchi area on the Jaffna peninsula in late January and mid-February. more ...
  • 109) 11:49 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Fatal blast in Sri Lankan court
    At least two people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a blast in a courtroom in southern Sri Lanka. Police say a hand grenade exploded in the magistrate's court in the town of Embilipitiya, 175km (110 miles) southeast of the capital, Colombo. "We suspect this to be the work of a man held in prison custody at the court premises," a senior police official, Kingsley Ekanayake, told AFP. More than two dozen prisoners reportedly escaped after the blast. Police have launched an investigation into the attack. "After the police investigations we will also conduct our own inquires to get to the bottom of this," prison chief Rumy Marzook told the AFP news agency.
    - Two killed in courtroom blast caused by grenade in southern Sri Lanka - AP
    more ...
  • 110) 11:44 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Clinton, Bush visit Sri Lanka's nightmare coast
    Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush shifted the focus of their Asian tsunami fund-raising tour to the psychological toll on Monday, flying to Sri Lanka's ravaged south to visit a trauma-counselling centre. The pair, on the third leg of a tour through the region's tsunami killing fields, flew by helicopter from the Sri Lankan capital along the Indian Ocean island's battered coastline, where nearly 40,000 people were killed in the Dec. 26 disaster.
    - Clinton, Bush Face Sri Lanka's Tsunami Trauma - Reuters
    - Former US presidents tour Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit coastline - AFP
    more ...
  • 111) 11:39 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Ex-leaders view Sri Lankan coasts
    Former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have visited devastated Sri Lankan coasts on their third stop in a four-nation tour of the tsunami-stricken region. The two, who were appointed by the American president to help raise funds for tsunami victims, were greeted by Sri Lanka's foreign and prime ministers. They also met President Chandrika Kumaratunga before flying over rubble to the country's southern coast and an air force base in Koggala on Monday. Survivors and onlookers lined the road as the two former leaders were driven past wrecked homes to a hard-hit fishing village where U.S. aid is helping in the rebuilding process.
    - Former US presidents end tour of Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit coastline - AFP
    more ...
  • 112) 21:50 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + G7 debt moratorium to help Sri Lanka's balance of payments
    A proposed debt moratorium on Sri Lanka's post tsunami reconstruction would help in the island nation's balance of payments, Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said Monday. Amunugama said the G7 block of nations has agreed in principle to grant the tsunami-hit Asian nations a debt moratorium to help them quickly recover from the disaster. "We have received indications from governments on the moratorium and this would help us save 500 million US dollars this year," Amunugama told reporters. The saving of 500 million US dollars would help Sri Lanka gain a surplus of balance of payments from minus level currently, Amunugama added. The Sri Lankan finance minister said the British government has expressed willingness to pay some of Sri Lanka's foreign debts. more ...
  • 113) 15:42 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Local taxes and dubious foreign aid tell on tsunami relief

    UN system in Colombo had made a "flash appeal" for US$ 166 million. Going through the breakdown of the proposed expenditure, it was found that US$ 21 million was to be spent on "coordination and support services," presumably salaries, perks and administrative expenses; $4.2 million on "mine action" though the tsunami-hit areas did not have land mines; and $4,9 million on "multi-sector", the meaning of which nobody seemed to know!

    Tsunami relief work in Sri Lanka is suffering for a number of reasons. Among them are the new taxes on relief material, the dubious ways of the international aid agencies, and the doubtful value of their work. On one hand, the cash-strapped Sri Lankan NGOs are facing a serious problem with the government slapping customs duties and VAT on relief material sent by foreign donors and on the other hand, the cash-rich International NGOs (INGOs) and UN organisations — who ought to be doing good work — are mired in wasteful expenditure, administrative inefficiency and gross inequities. An increasing number of Sri Lankans notice that the UN agencies and other international organisations working in the island have administrative and recruitment policies, which disregard their own professed norms of good governance, transparency, prudence and equity. more ...
  • 114) 02:07 GMT, Feb. 21, 2005 |  + Final DART members headed home from tsunami zone
    The remaining members of Canada's disaster response team in tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka are heading home after a strenuous 40-day mission. Since Jan. 6, 200 members of Canada's DART have been working along Sri Lanka's hard-hit coastline to help prevent a disease outbreak among the survivors. Ottawa was criticized for delaying the deployment of the elite response team after the Dec. 26 disaster. Their last day working was Feb. 19. They are scheduled to fly back to Canada on Feb. 24. But tsunami survivors wish they weren't leaving so soon. Ampara District Health Director Dr. Mohammad Naseer told CTV's Matt McClure that he wishes Canadians would extend their stay and continue to provide their services.During their time in Sri Lanka, Canadian troops attended to 5,500 patients, purified 3 million litres of water, and ferried more than 50,000 stranded locals across rivers where bridges had been damaged. more ...
  • 115) 04:04 GMT, Feb. 21, 2004 |  + Sri Lankan cease-fire holds firm
    Fighting between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels is unlikely to resume, with a 2-year-old truce holding firm because of strong international support, the chief of the European monitoring group says. "We have passed the point of no return for the cease-fire,'' Trond Furuhovde, the Norwegian truce chief, said in an interview. On Sunday, the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam mark two years since they signed an ambitious Norwegian-brokered truce that halted fighting and restored a degree of normalcy to this island off the coast of southern India. Seven days after the agreement was signed, Furuhovde, a former Norwegian major general, arrived in Sri Lanka with two other monitors to head a 15-member team. more ...
  • 116) 20:16 GMT, Feb. 21, 2003 |  + Bloodshed to brinkmanship marks Sri Lanka's record truce
    Sri Lanka's warring parties who are still officially foes will this weekend mark their first full year of a foreign-monitored truce with bloodshed giving way to brinkmanship. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government began the ceasefire from February 23, a day after peace broker Norway formally clinched the deal that set the stage for talks. India, the United States and European Union members have backed the island's peace bid aimed at granting greater autonomy to minority Tamils in exchange for ethnic peace. Official figures show 2,000 people were killed as a direct result of fighting between the government and the LTTE in 2001, but in 2002 the figure had dropped to just two. more ...
  • 117) 12:49 GMT, Feb. 21, 2003 |  + Pandemonium in parliament following JVP sit-in-protest
    Pandemonium reigned in the Sri Lankan parliament Friday as MPs from the Sinhala nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) held a sit in protest holding placards and shouting slogans against the United National Front (UNF) government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The parliamentarians were protesting against the police who dispersed their earlier demonstration Thursday. JVP parliamentarians rushed to the well of the house, shouting slogans and holding placards against the UNF government and LTTE, after the party MP, Mr. Wimal Weerawanse announced at the commencement of the sittings that his party is to hold a sit in protest condemning the police action in dispersing their march Thursday. more ...
  • 118) 12:47 GMT, Feb. 21, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka Navy delegation in India
    A delegation from the Sri Lanka Navy is now in India to have a series of discussions with Indian Naval authorities regarding security and naval operations, Navy sources told the Daily News yesterday. The three member delegation headed by Director General Operations Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera left the country on Thursday. Commander Berugoda and Ratnayaka also joined Rear Admiral Weerasekera on this visit. A Navy spokesman said the delegation will take up issues connected to security, Naval operations and the entry of fishermen to Sri Lankan territorial waters. more ...
  • 119) 12:42 GMT, Feb. 21, 2003 |  + Sri Lankan Government, Tamil rebels to discuss ceasefire violations
    Representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels are to meet next week to discuss ceasefire violations, the official Daily News said on Friday. Defense Secretary Austin Fernando and Eastern Commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels Karuna will attend the meeting which was arranged by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Chief Trond Furuhovde. The exact date for the meeting is yet to be fixed. The two warring sides are currently engaged in the Norwegian- backed peace process aimed at ending the country's 19-year ethnic conflict that has claimed over 64,000 lives since 1983. more ...
  • 120) 12:36 GMT, Feb. 21, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka truce monitor says balance of power vital
    Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tiger guerrillas should maintain the current balance of power to safeguard a ceasefire that marks one year on Saturday, the head of the international group monitoring the truce said. Opposition parties want the rebels to lay down their arms before the government holds further talks to end the 19-year ethnic war, but Trond Furuhovde, the head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, said this could harm the peace process. "The power argument is very important to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. They don't have what the government does, an organised society with a bureaucracy and international support," Furuhovde said. more ...
  • 121) 13:42 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Peace process: Lanka will not follow Philippine example
    Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando said yesterday that Sri Lanka would not follow the Philippine example in dealing with the country's ethnic problem. "Sri Lanka won't follow the Philippine model by bringing foreign troops to the country," the Minister said at a press conference when he was asked what benefits Sri Lanka is willing to receive from the post - September 11 world attitudes. But he added that the change of attitudes in the post September 11 world has helped to take the LTTE to the negotiation table. more ...
  • 122) 13:37 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Sri Lankan SEP demands the release of two Tamil detainees
    Two young Tamil plantation workers, Arunasalam Yogeswaran and Ponniah Sarawanakumar, who have been detained without trial on bogus charges for three and a half years, are due to appear today in the Kandy High Court in central Sri Lanka. The two were arrested in the Hatton area in June 1998 under the country’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), along with four other Tamil youth—Suppu Udayakumar, Pitchamutthu Chandran, Solamalai Yoganathan and Samimuththu Benedict. At the time, the police alleged that the six had carried out a bombing of one of the tea factories in the area. more ...
  • 123) 13:35 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka should decide on LTTE chief's extradition: CBI chief
    India is still awaiting a response from Sri Lanka to its request for extraditing LTTE leader V Prabhakaran for trial in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, CBI director P C Sharma has said. India's request had been followed up from time to time through diplomatic channels but it was up to the Sri Lankan government to decide on his extradition, Sharma told journalists in Colombo on Wednesday. Sharma refused to be drawn into a discussion on the implications of seeking Prabhakaran's extradition in the midst of a peace process involving the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. more ...
  • 124) 13:31 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka says close to ceasefire pact despite clashes
    The Sri Lankan military and Tamil rebels clashed on Thursday for the first time since December but a top minister said the two sides were still close to putting an indefinite ceasefire in place. The agreement would be the precursor to the first direct peace talks between the two sides in seven years to end the ethnic fighting that has killed more than 64,000. "It is extremely likely that historic developments will occur within the next 48 hours with regard to the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement between the government and the LTTE," Constitutional Affairs Minister and government spokesman G.L. Peiris told a weekly news conference. more ...
  • 125) 13:27 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + UNF govt to hold parliamentary debate on MoU
    The United National Front government said Thursday that it is willing to conduct a full parliamentary debate on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and the Liberation Tigers as soon as it is signed. "The MoU between the UNF government and the Liberation Tigers has not yet been finalised. The meeting of leaders of the political parties represented in the parliament would be summoned to fix the date for the debate, once the MoU came into force. The government is willing to hold a full debate on it if the opposition wanted," Mr.W.J.M.Loku Bandara, Leader of the House and Minister of Justice told parliament Thursday morning. more ...
  • 126) 13:25 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka ceasefire agreed
    The Sri Lankan Government and Tamil Tiger rebels are reported to have agreed to a permanent ceasefire as part of a Norwegian initiative to end almost two decades of civil war. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has given his consent to a memorandum of understanding drawn up by Norwegian negotiators. Details of the memorandum are still not clear. But reports say the truce will reportedly take effect after Norway formally announces that both parties have agreed. more ...
  • 127) 00:20 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Ending the Siege - Tamil strength led to the A9's reopening
    The opening last Friday of the section of the A9 highway which runs from Vavuniya to Kilinochchi through the Tamil Tiger held Vanni along with the easing of the security restrictions on people travelling to and from the region will be welcomed by the local residents. Apart from the much reduced effort in crossing the forward defence lines, given the shorter - and less arduous - journey, the A9 will permit more rapid induction of the much needed supplies of food, medicine and other essentials. In reality a slim road, not the multilane freeway the term highway implies, the A9 has been one of the most hard fought over pieces of territory. more ...
  • 128) 22:16 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Lanka, Tigers to sign truce
    The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger militants agreed to a historic open-ended ceasefire yesterday, with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe set to sign "a letter of exchange" today after both sides reached an understanding in the Norwegian-backed peace process. Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Velupillai Prabhakaran has already signed the document after it was personally carried by Jon Westborg, the Norwegian ambassador in Colom-bo who was flown to the Wanni region, the guerrilla stronghold. Wickremesinghe is due to visit soldiers at the front line in the northern Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts this morning. Wickremesinghe went into a crucial meeting this evening with President Chandrika Kumara-tunga, the Peoples Alliance leader. Sources in the PA ruled out an immediate acceptance on the grounds that they needed time to study all provisions in the ceasefire accord. more ...
  • 129) 00:18 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Gen. Ratwatte indicted in massacre case
    The Attorney General Wednesday decided to indict the thirty-three suspects, including General Ratwatte in the Udathalawinne Murder case before a Trial at Bar inquiry. At a conference presided by the AG at his office Wednesday afternoon, it was decided to request the Chief Justice to nominate three High Court judges to the Trial at Bar inquiry, legal sources said. AG department sources said that this decision was taken to treat the Udathalawinne murder case as a special one.
  • Ratwatte held in custody for 12 days ...Gulf-News more ...
  • 130) 21:33 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Five killed in Sri Lanka town before PM's visit
    At least five people were killed in a shootout in the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavuniya on Thursday, hours before the prime minister was due to arrive there. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will visit Vavuniya on Friday to inspect troops amid intense speculation that he will announce an indefinite ceasefire with Tamil separatists in the north and east. Police said the five men who died in the shooting were members of a former Tamil militant group which now supports the government against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more ...
  • 131) 18:39 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka's war zone on different time, same booze
    Welcome to Tiger Territory, a vast swathe of northern Sri Lanka where separatist rebels show a defiant difference -- even down to the clocks -- while running a government administration set up and still partly funded by their enemy. The parallel state runs half an hour behind the rest of Sri Lanka because the Tamil Tigers refused to follow Colombo several years ago in changing the country's standard time. Despite the resistance, similarities to the south abound and even extend to the only bar in the dusty, crossroads village of Mankulam in middle of the northern Wanni district. more ...
  • 132) 18:06 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + LTTE Leader Signs Ceasefire Agreement
    Sri Lanka said that leader of separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Vellupillai Prabhakaran has signed the agreement on permanent truce here Thursday. According to government sources, Vellupillai Prabhakaran has handed in the document to Norwegian ambassador to Sri Lanka John Westberg. The sources added that Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will go to the northern city of Vauniya tomorrow to sign the document. more ...
  • 133) 17:55 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + AG orders the release of Katunayake attack suspects
    The Attorney General has directed the Negombo Magistrate to release all the thirty-two Tamils arrested and remanded in connection with the attack on Sri Lanka Air Force head quarters at Katunayake on July 24 last year. All the suspects have been detained at Kalutara prisons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. more ...
  • 134) 16:52 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Politics drives justice in Sri Lanka

    Democracy in Sri Lanka !
    Killing of 10 Muslims .....lead to arrest the former Deputy Defence Minister!

    BUT .......What about the TAMIL YOUTHS buried at Chemmani Mass Grave!
    Who is responsible for it.....President Chandrika, Brig.Ballegalle, Brig.Janak Perera ?
    While the pursuit of justice is always to be admired, in Sri Lanka it is often not justice, but power that determines who is prosecuted and who is safe from prosecution - supporters of the new government have yet to be brought to trial despite widespread complaints by the opposition (and even the warrant for Ratwatte is suspiciously close to the local polls in which his stronghold of Kandy is up for grabs). Democracy in Sri Lanka, it seems, consists of the selective prosecution of those who commit crimes, with the criteria being their political colours rather than the evidence against them or the illegality of their acts. It can be argued that the main reason General Ratwatte - as foul a political figure as he is - is now being charged is that he (and his family) committed the acts during an election that his party lost. more ...
  • 135) 16:03 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Ranil and Prabhakaran to sign ‘Cessation of Hostilities’ agreement today
    The Government and the LTTE are to sign an indefinite Cessation of Hostilities agreement in Vavuniya today as a prelude to peace talks expected to commence within the next two months. Government sources said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will travel to Vavuniya to sign the historic agreement while LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is expected to attest on LTTE’s behalf. The Cessation of Hostilities agreement, expected to be signed at a venue close to the Thandikulam check point, will formalise unilateral ceasefires declared by each side on December 25 and extended for a further one month on January 25. more ...
  • 136) 15:37 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Where do North East Muslims stand on the ethnic issues?
    Having endured the agonising time of civil war, peace is now desperately sought after by all the peace-loving Sri Lankans. In pursuit of peace, however, the politicians may have a hidden agenda. The people seem to have subscribed to the optimistic view, well above their party politics. The Muslims in the north eastern provinces have decided that their future well-being lies in identifying themselves with the other Tamil-speaking people in these two provinces, and not look for succour outside; that they are no longer prepared to be led by Muslim leaders in the south-west; that they recognize in the LTTE its Tamil representative character; above all, they have decided to support the concept of the traditional Tamil Homeland. more ...
  • 137) 15:22 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Copy cat Tigers
    Three youths who posed as LTTE cadres have been arrested for trying to extort Rs. 100,000 from a rich Tamil businessman. The suspects who are garment factory employees are from Vavuniya and Jaffna. The youths who arrived at the residence of the businessman had told him that they were from the LTTE and demanded Rs. 100,000. They had threatened to shoot him if the money was not paid and had gone taking Rs. 5,000 promising to come in the night to take the balance. more ...
  • 138) 14:35 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + World:
    Slobo's trial lifts the moral bar
    SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC is proud that his first name means "freedom." And not the Butcher of the Balkans. He's also true, peace-loving, superior and pure. And innocent of the murder of 250,000 people in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo during the 1990s. "I defended my country with honour and chivalry," he told his United Nations trial for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, as supporters in Belgrade chanted "We love you, Slobo." Milosevic wrangles with Mr. Justice Richard May, the presiding judge. He hopes to subpoena witnesses like Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Kohl. He debates points of procedure. He has begun cross-examining witnesses. more ...
  • 139) 14:24 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Lankan Navy engaged in fierce gun battle with LTTE
    A major sea battle erupted between the Sri Lankan Navy and Tamil Tiger rebels on February 21, killing a Naval officer and wounding six others just as peace broker Norway was set to clinch a truce, officials said. The government expressed the hope that the confrontation, which came on the eve of plans to finalise a formal ceasefire with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), would not derail the delicate peace process. Israeli-built Kfir jets were pressed into action to bomb a flotilla of boats, which according to the military opened fire at Navy gunboats after they were challenged off the coast of Mullaitivu in the island's North East. more ...
  • 140) 00:14 GMT, Feb. 21, 2002 |  + Food ration crisis in Sri Lanka
    It has emerged that up to 700,000 internal refugees in Sri Lanka have been without food rations for more than two months because of rivalry between the country's two main political parties. The dispute has been over which government department has responsibility and funds to feed the refugees. The situation has been made worse by the World Food Programme halting its assistance to Sri Lanka because donors were concentrating on Afghanistan. Sri Lanka has one of the biggest internal refugee populations in the world for its size as a result of two decades of conflict. more ...
  • 141) 21:43 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + The European MPs will leave for Jaffna
    The European Parliamentary delegation, which is now in the island, will leave for Jaffna this afternoon (22). The European Union Delegation Office in Colombo said they would find out the necessity to provideassistance for rehabilitation and construction projects in the Peninsula. This is the first time that a foreign parliamentary delegation is visiting Jaffna after its liberation from the LTTE. more ...
  • 142) 21:33 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Real Situation of Goods to Wanni
    It is said only the items which are used by the LTTE for war are banned, but in fact essential items such as food, clothing, medicine and also cash cannot be taken to Wanni. Camphor, tire, tube, shopping bag, lunch sheet, bicycle, chlorine urea nephaline balls, disprin, panadol, and the like, clothes in black, grey, blue colours and colored paints have been totally banned.People cannot travel back and forth every day, and there are bans on electricity generators, bicycles and motor bicycles, auto rickshaws to lorries, buses and cars and fuel, telephones, cement and above all food items. Only half of the food items that are required by the 344,368 people living in Wanni are now sent there. Only 127,080 are issued with relief. The next 247,288 are displaced people and most of them are without any income what so ever. Children born to them are suffering from malnutrition. This is not the entire list of banned items. But the govt says there are no economic sanctions as such. more ...
  • 143) 19:39 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Controversy surrounding Tamil film, snowballing into major showdown
    With the film-makers of "Kaatrukkenna Veali" accusing the Censor Board of acting against the Tamil's cause, the controversy surrounding the denial of Censor Board certificate to the movie is snowballing into a major showdown between the board and the Tamil film industry. With the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) recently upholding the Board's decision not to issue the certificate, the `Kaatrukkenna Veali' Joint Action Committee (JAC) headed by film director Bharatiraja has decided to hold a protest demonstration in front of the Regional Censor Board office at Nungambakkam on Friday. more ...
  • 144) 14:17 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + SriLankan Airbus makes emergency landing after engine failure
    A Sri Lankan airlines Airbus A-320 aircraft carrying some 123 passengers and eight crew made an emergency landing Wednesday after one of its engines failed, airport officials said. The pilots of the Dhaka-bound twin-engine SriLankan Airbus reported that the right engine had failed and the airport cleared them to return to base after jettisoning its fuel over the sea, officials said. Emergency services were placed on maximum alert as the aircraft made a safe landing on one engine. more ...
  • 145) 14:15 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka raises customs duty amid worsening trade deficit
    Sri Lanka sharply increased taxes on imports from Wednesday as the country's trade deficit widened and foreign reserves fell alarmingly, finance ministry officials said. The government will impose a surcharge on customs duty which will take the 35 percent tariff band to an effective 49 percent rate with immediate effect, officials said. They said the increase amounted to a 40 percent increase in customs duty and the move was aimed at discouraging imports after the country's trade deficit had deteriorated to 1.5 billion dollars last year. more ...
  • 146) 14:07 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka navy sinks Tiger sea convoy, 10 killed
    Sri Lankan navy gunboats attacked a Tiger rebel convoy off the island's northern coast Wednesday, killing at least 10 guerrillas, the defence ministry here said. A pre-dawn sea battle erupted when the navy confronted cargo boats of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) approaching the north of the island, the ministry said in a statement. The rebel boats exploded when the navy fired on them, it said. At least 10 guerrillas died in the sea battle, the ministry said, adding that there were no navy casualties. more ...
  • 147) 12:37 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Paramedics taken off active duty as province joins baby death probe
    Four Toronto paramedics at the centre of a controversy over the care given a dying baby were removed from active duty Monday while their employer asked the province to help probe the death. The paramedics have been given desk jobs to make them more accessible during the course of an internal investigation and a coroner's probe, said Alan Craig, director of program development for the Toronto Emergency Service. more ...
  • 148) 12:02 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka raises customs duty amid worsening trade deficit
    Sri Lanka sharply increased taxes on imports from Wednesday as the country's trade deficit widened and foreign reserves fell alarmingly, finance ministry officials said. The government will impose a surcharge on customs duty which will take the 35 percent tariff band to an effective 49 percent rate with immediate effect, officials said. They said the increase amounted to a 40 percent increase in customs duty and the move was aimed at discouraging imports after the country's trade deficit had deteriorated to 1.5 billion dollars last year. more ...
  • 149) 21:45 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Plantation protestors light lamps
    Sri Lanka's plantation sector workers lit lamps Wednesday night in Hatton, a large town in the island's tea producing central province, on the third day of a protest fast campaign demanding an increase on their current daily wage of 101 rupees (1.14 US Dollars). Hundreds of workers, mostly ethnic Tamils, joined the 'satyagraha' fast Wednesday afternoon despite being advised by their trade union, Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), that they should not stay away from work. The CWC is major coalition partner of the ruling People's Alliance (PA) government in Colombo. more ...
  • 150) 02:54 GMT, Feb. 21, 2001 |  + Eastern Tamil protestors demand self-determination
    Eastern University Community, concluding 'Pongu Thamil' (Tamil Upsurge) programme on Tuesday declared that a solution to the island's ethnic conflict should recognise the Tamil people's right to self-determination, their traditional homeland and their distinct national identity. Until then the Tamil people would continue their agitation vigorously. More than three thousand students, staff and people took part in the event at the Eastern University in Batticaloa. The East University ground was decorated with yellow and red flags. Deans and students of the university lit the 'freedom-flame' to inaugurate the event. more ...
  • 151) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Stereotyping Tamils Unfair
    No details available. more ...
  • 152) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + World War II bomb forces evacuation
    No details available. more ...
  • 153) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka peace meeting hits snag
    No details available. more ...
  • 154) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + The courage of NOT Compromising!
    No details available. more ...
  • 155) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + The tragic plight of Tamil detainees
    No details available. more ...
  • 156) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Opposition leader declines President's invitation
    No details available. more ...
  • 157) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka pushes Norwegian-backed peace bid
    No details available. more ...
  • 158) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Norwegians should not interfere with the constitution - Sinhale Maha-sammatha Bhumiputhra Party
    No details available. more ...
  • 159) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Doubt over Sri Lanka's constitutional talks
    No details available. more ...
  • 160) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka's only McDonald's robbed
    No details available. more ...
  • 161) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + LTTE to seek troop withdrawal before resuming peace talks
    No details available. more ...
  • 162) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + First round of Sri Lanka-LTTE peace talks to be held in Oslo
    No details available. more ...
  • 163) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 21, 2000 |  + Peace-broker Norway may step up momentum
    No details available. more ...
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