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June 23, 2021 - 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

  • 1966 | The Federal Party's 10th Annual Convention commences at Kalmunai
    The Federal Party's 10th Annual Convention commences at Kalmunai and Dr. E.M.V. Naganathan is elected as President. Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake addresses the convention on the final day. This is the first and only occassion in history when a Prime Minister was invited to address the gathering of a mainstream Tamil Party.
  • 1996 | Another non-violent protest and appeal
    Another non-violent protest and appeal from government civil servants requesting the President to allow them to work in Vanni to help serve the needs of the IDP. Nearly all the Jaffna population are in fact in the Vanni. People are fearful of returning to army-occupied Jaffna due to reports of gross human rights violations there, not officially reported but heard about through community grapevines.
  • Human Rights Violations

  • 1999 | Batticaloa marks day against torture
    The International Day in support of Victims of Torture is to be observed in the eastern town of Batticaloa on June 26 with a cultural pageant. Four organisations are co-ordinating the pageant and public meeting to be held on the same day.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 1301 | புல்லா திராஅப் புலத்தை அவருறும்
    அல்லல்நோய் காண்கம் சிறிது.
    Be still reserved, decline his profferred love;
    A little while his sore distress we 'll prove.
    - 131 131
  • Jun 23 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Jun 23, 2016 19:30:03 GMT |  + 'The situation in Sri Lanka is not alarming for refugees to return'
    A 28-minute documentary, No Longer A Refugee, tells the story of Sri Lanka Tamils who have returned home after spending many years as refugees in Tamil Nadu. According to one estimate, there are over 65,000 65,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees still living in nearly 110 refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. The documentary was produced by Ashok Gladston Xavier, a Chennai-based academic, on behalf of the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation or OfERR, a self-help group run by refugees since 1983 and which has offices in Chennai and Colombo. The documentary will be shown in all refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, and where not possible CDs will be supplied to refugee camps for exhibition. more ...
  • 2) Jun 23, 2016 10:14:58 GMT |  + Tamils stranded in Indonesia face 'probable torture' if returned to Sri Lanka
    Several of the Tamil asylum seekers stranded after arriving by boat on the Indonesian island of Aceh have been tortured in Sri Lanka and face certain persecution if they are returned, a compatriot living in Australia has claimed. Karikalan, who has agreed only to be identified by a nickname, came to Australia as an asylum seeker by boat in 2010. He was recognised as a refugee – having a “well-founded fear of persecution” in Sri Lanka – and is now a permanent resident, living in Melbourne. more ...
  • 3) Jun 23, 2014 13:14:11 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim riots signal deeper malaise
    Sri Lanka’s government should take action to prosecute acts of communal violence and promote peace, say observers, following the worst clashes in five years that left at least two dead and over 80 injured. On 15 June clashes between Muslim community members and hardline Buddhist groups broke out in Dharga Town, a Muslim-majority town in the southern Kalutara District, about 60km from the capital Colombo. “There is a real risk of violence spreading elsewhere unless the government acts immediately,” David Griffiths, Asia-Pacific deputy director at Amnesty International, told IRIN. more ...
  • 4) Jun 23, 2014 13:12:56 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Bans Meetings Inciting Hatred Among Religions
    Sri Lanka on Sunday announced a ban on public meetings and rallies which promote hatred among religions. The ban will also apply to any public meeting which attempts to create a rift among any race in the country, Xinhua quoted police spokesman Ajith Rohana as saying on Sunday. The ban follows a statement made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday where he instructed the police to take action against any individual or organisation attempting to spread hatred among religions or any race. more ...
  • 5) Jun 23, 2013 12:09:14 GMT |  + Lanka, Canada in diplomatic dispute over ambassadors
    Sri Lanka and Canada, which is calling upon member nations to boycott the Commonwealth summit in Colombo, are locked in a diplomatic wrangle over posting of envoys to their respective capitals. The Canadian External Affairs Ministry, diplomatic sources said yesterday, had placed on hold the agreemo to post Esala Weerakoon as Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner in Canada. He is now Deputy Ambassador to the United States.
  • 6) Jun 23, 2012 11:06:25 GMT |  + Iran, Sri Lanka presidents ask for establishment of new world order
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed the need for establishment of a new world order in their meeting here on Friday. “Independent states are under great pressures from hegemonic powers but they should understand the fact that the pressures including the sanctions and resolutions will not affect nations’ desire to resist; the biggest violators of human rights use the issue as an excuse to confront sovereign nations.” “Arrogant powers use also environmental issues as an excuse to pressure developing nations but if they were real defenders of environment; they would change their polluting technologies.”
  • 7) Jun 23, 2011 17:51:14 GMT |  + China lends $1.86b infrastructure loan to Sri Lanka
    SRI LANKA said on Thursday China has agreed to financially assist it with US$1.5 billion (S$1.86 billion) for several infrastructure projects within next three years. 'China Development Bank Corporation has agreed to provide financial assistance in a sum of US$1.5 billion within three years for construction of roads, bridges, water supply and irrigation schemes and power,' the government said in a statement. It did not elaborate on the loan terms.
  • 8) Jun 23, 2011 13:17:36 GMT |  + The island nation has a split personality
    The Sri Lankan government’s decision to delay offering political package to Tamil-dominated north and eastern provinces has caused much heartburn in India. Apprehending its repercussions in Tamil Nadu, where the state Assembly, on two consecutive days, passed separate resolutions on the issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and defence secretary Pradeep Kumar to impress upon Colombo the urgency of an early solution to the power-devolution and rehabilitation concerns. more ...
  • 9) Jun 23, 2011 13:15:38 GMT |  + No information for relatives on Sri Lanka missing
    Hundreds of people in Sri Lanka's north who responded to a police announcement about relatives held in detention say they have been given no information. Ten days ago police said they would give details about those detained in the war, which ended in May 2009. BBC Sinhala has learned of only one man out of hundreds who went to the former war zone of Vavuniya and actually found out where his relative was. Thousands of families are still seeking loved ones two years after the war. more ...
  • 10) Jun 23, 2011 13:14:01 GMT |  + A misguided refugee policy
    The Conservative government has had plenty of time, in both its last mandate and this one, to clarify why it wants to punish refugees who come here by boat. It has not done so. Its explanations, even its definitions, remain muddy. Back in 2010, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the government needed to crack down on human smuggling because "we know that jumping the immigration queue is fundamentally unfair to those who follow the rules and wait their turns to come to Canada."
  • 11) Jun 23, 2011 13:09:08 GMT |  + MV Sun Sea crew member cleared of people smuggling
    The Immigration and Refugee Board has ruled that a crew member aboard the MV Sun Sea did not engage in people smuggling and can continue with his refugee claim. The federal government has been arguing for months that crew members of the ship — which brought 492 Tamil migrants to Canada last August — weren't just passengers but played "integral" roles in helping to execute a large and sophisticated smuggling operation and should therefore be deported. more ...
  • 12) Jun 23, 2011 13:04:47 GMT |  + India and Sri Lanka after the LTTE
    India has long been the country with the greatest influence over Sri Lanka but its policies to encourage the government there towards a sustainable peace are not working. Despite India’s active engagement and unprecedented financial assistance, the Sri Lankan government has failed to make progress on pressing post-war challenges. Government actions and the growing political power of the military are instead generating new grievances that increase the risk of an eventual return to violence. To support a sustainable and equitable post-war settlement in Sri Lanka and limit the chances of another authoritarian and military-dominated government on its borders, India needs to work more closely with the United States, the European Union and Japan, encouraging them to send the message that Sri Lanka’s current direction is not acceptable.
  • 13) Jun 23, 2011 13:02:51 GMT |  + Sri Lanka 'war crime' images fuel Tamil resentment
    A TV documentary with gruesome footage that appears to back up war crimes charges against Sri Lankan troops has aggravated ethnic wounds two years after the end of the island's civil war. The decision by Britain's Channel 4 to provide free Internet access to the documentary after its broadcast last week, means that members of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority, as well as majority Sinhalese, have been able to view and share the content. The programme, titled "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields," contained footage shot on video or mobile phones during the final months of the ultimately successful 2009 offensive by government troops against Tamil Tiger rebels.
  • 14) Jun 23, 2011 13:02:04 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s bloody secret
    In 2009, the Sri Lankan army decided to move forward relentlessly to annihilate the Tamil Tigers. The government had tacit Western support and access to weapons from China, and India was not about to help the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), despite the exigencies of coalitions, particularly when the coalition was led by a party (Congress) whose leader, Rajiv Gandhi, the LTTE had assassinated in 1991. And so when Sri Lanka declared victory on 16 May that year, there were few tears shed for the LTTE. Sure, human rights groups condemned the army, but they would, wouldn’t they?
  • 15) Jun 23, 2011 12:57:47 GMT |  + Teaching a new lesson or two
    We know about the seminar that the army proudly held on how to tackle terrorism without getting their soft, saintly hands bloodied. Three days of lessons and lectures to fellow army men from other countries about smoothly carrying out humanitarian operations, hostage rescue missions and all that. Lately, army personnel have been teaching lessons of a different kind to academics and politicians in Jaffna. These incidents brought to focus that in spite of all the tall government claims of normalcy returning to areas in the former war zone, they remain heavily militarised and the man on the street at the mercy of a soldier in a bad mood or working under orders from a superior.
  • 16) Jun 23, 2011 12:56:25 GMT |  + 'Lankan navy behaving like pirates'
    Congress MP JM Haroon on Thursday charged Sri Lankan Navy with behaving like 'pirates' on the issue of 23 Indian fishermen being taken into custody by them on June 21 and said international martime rules did not bar them from fishing in international waters. "As per international maritime law, fishermen can fish in international waters and there is no bar. While so, the Lankan navy should not behave like pirates," he said to reporters.
  • 17) Jun 23, 2011 12:45:05 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Debate on second anniversary of the end of its 26-year civil war
    As Sri Lanka celebrated the second anniversary of the end of its 26-year civil war, a United Nations report claimed that up to 40,000 civilians may have been massacred during the conflict. more ...
  • 18) Jun 23, 2010 22:32:21 GMT |  + President rejects EU conditions
    President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting rejected the 15 demands put forward by the European Union (EU) as a pre requisite for the extension of the GSP+ trade concessions to Sri Lanka for a further period of six months. He is reported to have said he would not compromise the country’s sovereignty for the sake of the US$ 150 million by which amount the country would benefit under the GSP + facility. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris told the Cabinet that Denmark and Spain took a rigid stand against Sri Lanka while Italy supported the country on this issue at the EU. more ...
  • 19) Jun 23, 2010 22:28:56 GMT |  + Lessons learnt or have we learnt?
    According to reports, one of the experts is an Indonesian who was also a member of the abortive International Group of Eminent Persons appointed by the government in 2009 to probe allegations of 17 major cases of human rights violations including the massacre of aid workers. The group after weeks of investigations ran into conflicts and confrontations with government leaders and eventually wound up with little or nothing achieved. This Indonesian expert is likely to brief the UN Secretary General on the failure of the earlier commission and this might cast a shadow on the option being offered by the government – the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
  • 20) Jun 23, 2010 22:22:32 GMT |  + 'Tamil is mother of all languages in the world'
    The Tamil language is older than Sanskrit and is "the mother of all languages in the world," said Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday. Setting the stage for an academic debate on the antiquity of Tamil language at the World Classical Tamil conference in Coimbatore, the CM said more than 20 Tamil words had been found in Vedas by linguist Robert Caldwell, who coined the term Dravidian languages and first declared Tamil as a classical language.
  • 21) Jun 23, 2010 19:26:53 GMT |  + Earthquake shakes central Canada
    A magnitude 5.0 earthquake hit central Canada Wednesday afternoon, rattling buildings from Windsor to Montreal and several U.S. states. The epicentre of the quake was likely in Quebec, north of Ottawa, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and struck at 1:41 p.m. EDT at a depth of 18 kilometres. "This particular earthquake was quite deep," said Dr. Alexander Cruden, a professor of geology at U of T. He said a quake at that depth can be felt as far away as 500 kilometres. more ...
  • 22) Jun 23, 2010 19:25:29 GMT |  +  Sri Lanka rejects UN's war crime advisory panel
    Sri Lanka on Wednesday blasted the U.N. chief's naming of a panel to advise him on war crimes at the end of a quarter-century separatist war, a decision that has full U.S. support, as a violation of its sovereignty. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday named a three-member panel chaired by Indonesia's former attorney general, Marzuki Darusman, to advise him whether war crimes were committed in the final months of Sri Lanka's war last year. The government had been urging Ban not to appoint the advisory panel, saying it had its own commission to investigate possible human rights violations at the end of its quarter century war with the Tamil Tiger separatists in May 2009.
  • 23) Jun 23, 2010 9:49:10 GMT |  + Sri Lanka slams UN over war crimes probe
    Sri Lanka accused the UN on Wednesday of a "hidden agenda" behind its plans to investigate alleged human rights abuses by soldiers in the final months of the island's savage civil war. "The United Nations and its secretary-general have revealed their hidden agenda in no uncertain terms," Rambukwella said in remarks posted on a government website. Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director with Human Rights Watch, welcomed the UN panel, saying it had "long been abundantly clear that the Sri Lankan government is unwilling to seriously investigate wartime abuses".
  • 24) Jun 23, 2010 2:20:10 GMT |  + No vote for the IDPs in camps Again ! Thousands of IDPs haven’t received applications
    The registration of the IDPs who were resettled in Mullativu and Kilinochchi and the amendments to the electoral registry are not been properly carried out claimed Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE.) Although the revision of the electoral registry commenced over three weeks ago those who reside in IDP camps and many who have been recently resettled in Mullativu and Kilinochchi areas have not received the preliminary survey forms. CaFFE has identified Mallavi, Mullativu, Paranthan, Weralabadapaththu, Madu, Vavuniya North and Manthei West Divisional Secretariats as areas that are thus neglected by the officials.
  • 25) Jun 23, 2010 1:50:20 GMT |  + MR holds urgent meeting
    External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris, speaking to reporters a short while ago, said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called him to attend an urgent meeting this evening but did not elaborate on what the meeting was about. The meeting comes amidst the EU announcing a set of conditions and a deadline in order to extend the GSP plus trade facilities to Sri Lanka and also moves by the UN to create an expert panel to advice the UN chief regarding human rights issues in the country.
  • 26) Jun 23, 2010 1:35:11 GMT |  + On War Crimes, UN Ban's Panel May Not Speak to Fonseka or Travel to Sri Lanka, Report May Be Secret
    A panel on Sri Lanka war crimes has been named by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,but the panel, it turns out, won't necessarily travel to Sri Lanka or interview any witnesses. "the mandate is such that some of the precise details, the who and how, still need to be worked out." The aim, he said, is to speak with "the concerned officials," and to finish in four months. Which officials are more "concerned" than President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his brothers Gotabaya and Basil, and his Ambassador to the UN Palitha Kohona, named by Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar... more ...
  • 27) Jun 23, 2010 1:31:23 GMT |  + Sri Lanka in port expansion deal with China
    The Sri Lanka ports Authority has signed a contract with a Chinese firm, China Harbour Engineering Company, to start the second phase of a new port in Hambantota on the south coast, a statement said. Phase two would start in November this year with the completion of the first phase of the port project, the SLPA statement said.The agreement was signed by SLPA chairman.Priyath B. Wickrama and the chairman of the China Harbour Engineering Company Sun Ziyu. China will also provide concessionary finance for the second phase of the port project. The first phase of Hambantota port is also being financed by Chinese loans and built by Chinese firms.
  • 28) Jun 23, 2009 16:10:50 GMT |  + Tamil issue a big problem for Sri Lanka
    The Sri Lankan military's victory ending the 26-year Tamil Tiger rebellion is only weeks old, but already the euphoria is giving way to rising international concerns about what awaits the country's Tamil-speaking minority in the future. The government, already facing calls for a probe into alleged human-rights abuses in the final stages of the war, is coming under increasing pressure to address the plight of the IDPs, many reported to be living in deplorable conditions in the shelters.
  • 29) Jun 23, 2009 16:07:32 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Opposition Divided over Northern Poll
    Sri Lanka's opposition parties are divided on the prospect of contesting an election to be held in the north. While the main opposition United National Party (UNP) handed in nomination papers to contest the election, the next largest opposition group, the leftist party JVP (People's Liberation Front) decided to opt out of the contesting. The Sri Lankan government had called elections for the northern Jaffna Municipal Council and the Vavuniya Urban Council. The date for the elections is expected to be announced on Wednesday. This will be the first local council election in the Northern Province since 1998 and the first election since the government troops gained control of the entire Northern Province from the grasp of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
  • 30) Jun 23, 2009 12:11:54 GMT |  + TÊTE-à-TÊTE: M.I.A.
    Maya Arulpragasam is an anomaly in many ways. As M.I.A., she has had a lightning-fast rise. From her early singles “Galang” and “Sun­showers,” which spread virally through the Web in 2004, to her 2005 debut album, Arular (named after her father), and 2007’s Kala (named after her mom), she has garnered nothing but critical acclaim. Politically, she’s a tireless advocate of the Tamil people, who’ve suffered in the recent civil war in Sri Lanka between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil Tigers (the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the LTTE). Life has certainly changed from her early days living in London public housing to her recent engagement to fellow musician and Seagram heir Ben Brewer (né Bronfman, son of former Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman). more ...
  • 31) Jun 23, 2009 12:05:08 GMT |  + Tamil politician accused of helping Sri Lanka rebels
    An opposition Tamil minority legislator has been arrested for allegedly helping the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a local newspaper said Tuesday. Sathasivam Kanagaratnam, a member of parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), was living in the rebel-controlled area in northern Sri Lanka and escaped two days before the defeat of the rebels in a major military action last month.
  • 32) Jun 23, 2009 12:01:46 GMT |  + Sri Lankan president seeks extended term without elections
    In an extraordinary, anti-democratic move, the ruling coalition in Sri Lanka—the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA)—has begun to sound out amending the constitution to allow President Mahinda Rajapakse to remain in office beyond his six-year term without facing a new election. For weeks, the government has been whipping up a climate of communal triumphalism following the army’s victory over the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Now it is seeking to exploit the atmosphere to entrench Rajapakse in the powerful post of executive president.
  • 33) Jun 23, 2009 11:59:18 GMT |  + Sikhs join Tamils in London protest rally
    Over 100,000 people converged on the streets of London last weekend to remember the tens of thousands that perished in the Sri Lankan state’s final onslaught against the Tamil civilians and to call for the release of 300,000 that remain under threat of death, disappearance, rape and torture in government-run internment camps. Protesters, carrying black flags and adorned in dark attire, marched to rouse the UK and international community into action over the following three demands: • Stop the disappearances, rapes and torture occurring daily in the internment camps and find all those who were unaccounted for. • Free people from the camps immediately so that they can return to their normal lives. • Bring the perpetrators of the genocide against the Tamils to justice. more ...
  • 34) Jun 23, 2009 11:55:50 GMT |  + Devananda to contest elections under Rajapaksa's ‘Beetle Leaf’ symbol
    Sri Lankan Minister and General Secretary of Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), Douglas Devananda, announced Tuesday in Jaffna that his party will contest the local government elections of Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) and Vavuniyaa Town Council (TC) under ‘Beetle Leaf’ symbol, the common symbol of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), sources in Jaffna said. Mr. Devananda has been under pressure from the ruling SLFP to join the party in recent times, giving up the "Eelam" identity, according to informed sources, which also revealed that Devananda was forced to give up his plan of contesting under his party symbol Vee'nai.
  • 35) Jun 23, 2008 20:55:38 GMT |  + ACF massacre: Lanka may face world court
    The French government is seeking support from other countries for the holding of an international inquiry into the brutal massacre of 17 aid workers of the French aid agency Action Against Hunger in Mutur in August 2006, an agency official said yesterday. French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner has assured that in response to an ACF request for an international inquiry, France would explore the possibility for such an inquiry, the official said.
  • 36) Jun 23, 2008 20:54:52 GMT |  + Tissainayagam further detained
    Senior journalist J.S. Tissainayagam was further detained yesterday while his counsel insisted that the detention by the TID beyond 90 days was illegal. Colombo Chief Magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi reserved the order for June 30 and ordered the TID to produce Mr. Tissainyagama and the other suspects Vetrivel Jesikheren and Malarmadi Vadivel on that date. Counsel M. A Sumanthiran appearing for the senior journalist said Emergency Regulations had allowed the police to detain the suspects on the direction of the IGP only for 90 days.
  • 37) Jun 23, 2008 17:32:24 GMT |  + Media groups say Sri Lanka threatens journalists
    Media groups urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday to speak out in support of journalists in Sri Lanka who are facing "grave danger" after being labelled traitors by government officials. A total of 31 organisations from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas signed the appeal over what they called the alarming situation facing media workers in Sri Lanka. This had been created, they said, by statements linked to the government and the military, including one on the Defence Ministry website, labelling journalists critical of the conduct of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels as "enemies of the state".
  • 38) Jun 23, 2008 15:44:12 GMT |  + India helping Colombo to perpetrate genocide on Tamils, accuses Vaiko
    In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, Vaiko, General Secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), accused India of “equipping the Sri Lanka Government to help its war machine to perpetrate genocidal attacks against the Tamils...throwing to winds the farsighted foreign policy adopted by Pandit Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi,” and urged the Prime Minister to not participate in the SAARC Conference.
  • 39) Jun 23, 2008 13:55:19 GMT |  + EPDP admits Batticaloa 'abductions'
    A political ally of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted abducting a businessman in Batticaloa leading to renewed tension in the region. Ealam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) admitted the party ‘arrested’ three people including the missing businessman, Devadasan Sureshkumar. However, in an interview with BBC Tamil Service, EPDP councillor Arumailingam rejected accusations that he is still under custody of the EPDP. more ...
  • 40) Jun 23, 2008 11:54:37 GMT |  + The hidden face of Primark fashion
    The huge fashion store Primark sacked three of its suppliers last week after an investigation for the BBC's Panorama and The Observer uncovered children labouring in Indian refugee camps to produce some of its cheapest garments. Here we reveal the brutal reality of a supply chain that sees children as young as 11 sewing T-shirts which cost shoppers just a few pounds to buy on high streets across Britain. Its unrivalled success took the competition by surprise as it won over both the high-street shopper and the diehard fashionista with its simple philosophy: high on style, low on price.
  • 41) Jun 23, 2008 11:41:00 GMT |  + Hopes and fears mark India's Sri Lanka predicament
    India is pushing hard for a broader devolution process in Sri Lanka as it grapples with the strategic and diplomatic challenges arising out of the island's brutal and see-sawing armed conflict. Indian policy makers are of the opinion that Sri Lanka needs to go beyond the 13th amendment to the constitution that devolves powers to provincial councils so as to give the minorities a credible say in governance. India's message to Colombo is that while there can never be a military solution to the ethnic conflict, New Delhi will assist it wholeheartedly if it forges ahead with a genuine and broader devolution process.
  • 42) Jun 23, 2008 11:39:51 GMT |  + India to expand military ties with Lanka
    India is likely to further bolster military supplies to Sri Lanka, alarmed as it is with the way Colombo continues to turn to China, as also Pakistan to some degree, to obtain weapon systems and platforms. The arms supplies will be "largely" defensive in nature, in keeping with the policy to supply mainly "non-lethal" equipment to the island nation, said sources. India believes there cannot be a "military solution" to the bloody ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, and is concomitantly pushing for a dialogue process and devolution package for the Tamils without disrupting the country’s territorial integrity.
  • 43) Jun 23, 2008 11:37:41 GMT |  + Sri Lankan opposition wants details of Indian delegation's visit
    Sri Lanka's opposition parties have urged the ruling coalition to disclose the reasons behind the 'sudden visit' to Colombo by a high-powered Indian delegation led by National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, a media report said Monday. The demand from the opposition parties has come as both the Indian and Sri Lankan governments remain tight-lipped on the visit, while implying that the officials came here for a routine consultative meeting ahead of the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Colombo.
  • 44) Jun 23, 2008 11:26:18 GMT |  + S Lanka clashes 'kill 33 rebels'
    The Sri Lankan military says 33 Tamil Tiger rebels and six soldiers have been killed in the latest fighting in the north of the island. A defence ministry official said the fighting took place in the Jaffna, Mannar, Welioya and Vavuniya regions on Sunday. There has been no comment from the rebels about the fighting. The Sri Lankan army has pledged to defeat the rebels in their northern stronghold before the end of this year.
  • 45) Jun 23, 2007 20:14:24 GMT |  + The fantasy of empire and future of Sri Lankan media
    More than the deliberate intentions of the media content producers, it is the compulsions of the market which drive ethnically biased media content and it is therefore wrong to simply blame the mass media for bias, a veteran journalist said on Thursday. Lakshman Gunasekara, Senior Programme Manager at International Alert, Colombo and former Editor of the Sunday Observer made this assertion while making the first Sivaram Memorial Lecture at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo. Dharmaratnam Sivaram, more popularly known as ‘Taraki’, was the Editor of Tamilnet.com and a columnist for the Daily Mirror, until he was abducted and murdered in April 2005.
  • 46) Jun 23, 2007 20:09:05 GMT |  + Lanka bruised in Brussels and nailed in Geneva
    Sri Lankan Ambassador to Austria, Aruni Wijewardene who led the local delegation to Brussels, read a prepared statement there last week, while an ACF representative urged that those responsible for the killing of 17 aid workers must be brought to book. Jeewan Thiagarajah, who heads the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies in Sri Lanka, gave a balanced presentation and spoke mainly on the humanitarian situation. Human Rights Watch Representative Charu Hogg gave the government delegation a hard time, saying there was widespread impunity. She urged that “those responsible for serious crimes under Sri Lankan and International Law,” be held accountable. She has arrived in Sri Lanka again this week.
  • 47) Jun 23, 2007 19:47:37 GMT |  + Moothoor HSZ constitutes racial discrimination, denies birthright of Tamils- Sampanthan
    Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, Parliamentary Group Leader and Member of Parliament of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a speech delivered to the Sri Lanka parliament on 20th June during an adjournment motion related to the Sri Lanka Government's new regulations to establish a High Security Zone (HSZ) in Moothoor East-Champoor areas of the East said that the regulations are "a blatant violation of the fundamental human rights of the Tamil people," and denies "their fundamental right to resettle on the lands owned and possessed by them," and urged Colombo to "take steps to rescind the said regulations." more ...
  • 48) Jun 23, 2007 14:08:37 GMT |  + International Development Minister Solheim to host meeting of Sri Lanka Co-Chairs
    On 26 June, Norway will host a meeting of the Sri Lanka Co-Chairs, which will bring together representatives from the EU, Japan, the US and Norway to assess the current situation in the Sri Lankan peace process. Last time the Co-Chairs met was in Washington on 21 November 2006. “It will be a working meeting and follows several recent high-level visits to Sri Lanka,” said Minister of International Development Erik Solheim. “The purpose of the meeting is to share information and views. The Co-Chairs will explore ways and means in which the group, as a whole or as individual countries, can continue helping the parties to cease violence and return to the negotiating table,” said Mr Solheim.
  • 49) Jun 23, 2007 4:51:25 GMT |  + President needs wise counsel
    President Rajapakse sadly finds himself alienated from the two parties who worked the hardest to see him elected – the JVP and the Mangala group within the SLFP. Much was expected from a Rajapakse Presidency because he was seen as a man of the people, in the mould of Premadasa. But things have not worked out quite the way many expected. Premadasa had the sense to recognize his own strengths and weaknesses and chose his advisors carefully – experienced public servants, proven administrators and sound political and social thinkers and visionaries. Unfortunately, Mahinda Rajapakse does not have the benefit of such a team. And therein lies the difference.
  • 50) Jun 23, 2007 4:43:50 GMT |  + Dissolution if more MPs defect: President
    President Mahinda Rajapaksa warned senior party members last night he would be forced to dissolve parliament if the present crisis created by the crossovers was aggravated with more dissidents joining the SLFP (Mahajana Wing). Addressing a special meeting of ministers and senior SLFPers at Temple Trees, the President said the crisis appeared to be worsening day by day as former ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyaratchchi were trying to form an alliance with other opposition parties, party sources said. President Rajapaksa told party seniors he was ready to face an election at anytime if there was no option left.
  • 51) Jun 23, 2007 3:57:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka says tough stance needed to make peace
    Sri Lanka, which has suffered cuts in Western aid over alleged human-rights abuses in its fight against separatists, needs to show strength in order to forge a political solution to ethnic strife, Colombo's trade minister said on Friday. Minister of Export Development and International Trade G.L. Peiris said his Indian Ocean island country is taking the fight to the separatist Tamil Tigers to "create confidence in the people that the government is speaking from a position of strength" when it one day moves to make political compromises.
  • 52) 15:51 GMT, Jun. 23, 2006 |  + The Long Shadow of War: Video Report
    Heavy fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels has effectively nullified the 2002 cease-fire, leaving a nation with so much potential, and so much to lose, yet again on the brink of all-out war. Ethnic tensions between Sri Lanka's Buddhist Sinhalese majority and Hindu Tamil minority have alternatively simmered and boiled since Sri Lanka's independence from Britain in 1948. In 1976 the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), better known as the Tamil Tigers, was formed and began a campaign of violence, fighting for a separate homeland for theTamils. more ...
  • 53) 11:13 GMT, Jun. 23, 2006 |  + Ensure ceasefire holds, India tells Lanka
    India today made it clear to Sri Lanka that there need to be made all efforts to ensure that the ceasefire between the Lankan forces and the LTTE not only holds but also gets strengthened. New Delhi also suggested that Colombo work out a devolution package that has the backing of all major political forces in Lanka. This was conveyed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who made a stopover in Delhi, on his way back from talks in Oslo, to brief the Indian leadership on the current state of the peace process.
    - PM asks Lanka to restore ethnic peace - Deccan Herald
    more ...
  • 54) 11:11 GMT, Jun. 23, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka sonic boom causes alarm
    Panic gripped people living along the coast near Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo after the sound of fighter jets was mistaken for a blast, officials say. The police initially said there had been an explosion about 15km (nine miles) from Colombo, caused by a sea mine planted by Tamil Tiger rebels. But the government said later that the sound had been caused by "a sonic boom" from fighter jets on a training run. There has been a surge of violence in Sri Lanka in recent months.
    - Sri Lanka says blast near capital sonic boom - Reuters
    more ...
  • 55) 19:06 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + U.S. set to begin spending funds in tsunami aid
    U.S. government funds for Asian tsunami reconstruction will begin flowing this week, with $525 million (289 million pounds) earmarked to rebuild infrastructure and restore shattered livelihoods, officials said on Thursday. Six months after the December 26 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people, the work of rebuilding was just beginning, said State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, officials. USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios said funds from President George W. Bush's $901 million supplementary budget for the tsunami were released this week. After reimbursing the Pentagon for its disaster response work, $656 million was left for civilian projects, of which $131 million would go to repaying general disaster funds spent earlier this year, Natsios said. USAID's four-part plan to reconstruct tsunami-stricken countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives would involve large-scale infrastructure projects, vocational education and training, economic recovery and job creation, and transparency and accountability programs. USAID would also help rebuild a large bridge spanning the mouth of Arugum Bay in Sri Lanka, Natsios said. more ...
  • 56) 11:43 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka parliament to debate rebel aid pact
    Sri Lanka's parliament will on Friday debate a long-awaited plan to share tsunami aid with Tamil Tiger rebels, the government said, seen as a final step before the deal is formally signed by both sides. However, parliament will not vote on the paper, and the government will formally announce the pact to share $3 billion in international aid with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) once it has been signed, senior aides said. "The paper regarding the post-tsunami operation management structure will table in parliament tomorrow morning and there will be a debate," chief government whip Jeyaraj Fernando Pulle told parliament on Thursday. The Tigers, whose two-decade war for self-rule killed more than 64,000 people until a 2002 ceasefire, told Reuters last week the aid-sharing could help jumpstart stalled talks aimed at forging permanent peace. more ...
  • 57) 11:41 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Tsunami-battered Sri Lanka town has long wait as politics hold up aid
    Six months after the tsunamis battered Sri Lanka's shores, people in this remote eastern village under the control of Tiger rebels have yet to see any sign of reconstruction. Most live in makeshift camps and are still clearing rubble with their bare hands. For them, an early place in the toilet queue is a luxury. Not that Sri Lanka is short of money -- the island has been promised three billion dollars in foreign aid to cover the cost of tsunami reconstruction twice over. Unlike in this town, rebuilding is in full swing in government-controlled areas. Politics, however, are preventing aid from reaching the eastern seaboard, a prized military possession for the Tigers, the rebels say.
    - Stress, depression overwhelm tsunami survivors - Reuters
    more ...
  • 58) 11:39 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Tamil Tigers accuse Sri Lanka government of delaying tsunami aid sharing deal
    Tamil rebel leader S.P. Thamilselvan accused Sri Lanka's government of stalling on a controversial plan to share tsunami aid after he met Wednesday with a Norwegian peace envoy who insisted that the deal will be signed. Under the proposal, the government and separatist rebels would jointly oversee the distribution of some of the billions of dollars (euros) in aid pledged since the Dec. 26 disaster. Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen met with Thamilselvan in the northern rebel-held town of Kilinochchi as part of efforts to ease tensions arising from the plan. Helgesen discussed it with President Chandrika Kumaratunga in the capital Colombo on Tuesday.
    - Sri Lanka's Marxist party may call for early elections if government signs tsunami aid deal with rebels - AP more ...
  • 59) 11:38 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka to present controversial aid deal to parliament
    Sri Lanka's controversial aid mechanism with the Tamil Tigers is to be presented in the country's legislature, a senior minister said Thursday. Maithripala Sirisena, the Leader of the House of Parliament and the senior government minister, told parliament that the proposed joint deal with the Tamil Tigers for tsunami relief co-ordination in Tamil regions officially known as the post-Tsunami operational management structure would be subject to an adjournment motion in the House on Friday. The Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said all details on the deal would be revealed to the House. They were responding to a question raised by the leader of JVP's parliamentary group Wimal Weerawansa who asked the government if the parliamentary presentation is a result of the government already signing the deal or whether it would be signed on Friday while the debate would be progressing. more ...
  • 60) 11:37 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Living out the Canadian dream
    Sri Lankan war drove mother to flee with five boys. Family now runs own business, sons have graduated. In the past 50 years, more than 920,000 asylum-seekers from around the world have chosen to come to Canada. On Monday, the bravery of these refugees was celebrated on World Refugee Day, proclaimed by the United Nations five years ago to pay tribute and draw attention to those who leave everything behind to find safety. The theme this year: "Courage." Canada, following the United States and Australia, is among the top three recipients of people seeking permanent refuge from abroad, with a government/private sponsorship program that takes in 11,000 refugees each year — on top of the 20,000 asylum claims a year filed from inside Canada, roughly 40 per cent of which are granted. more ...
  • 61) 10:48 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + UNICEF releases six-month update on tsunami response
    As the six-month anniversary of the largestnatural disaster in living memory approaches, UNICEF has released a publicupdate on progress and next steps in its relief and rebuilding efforts formillions of children and their families in tsunami-affected countries. Canadian individuals, businesses, schools and other organizations raiseda record-breaking $23 million for UNICEF's tsunami relief work. The CanadianInternational Development Agency (CIDA) matched $15.2 million of these privatedonations to UNICEF, resulting in a total of $38.2 million. The majority of UNICEF's tsunami-related aid is helping children and their families in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, which bore the brunt of the disaster.In Sri Lanka, a remarkable 90 per cent of children are back in the classroom. Celebrating 50 years in Canada in 2005, UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, schools, associations and governments. more ...
  • 62) 10:41 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + SL Navy bans fishing and reoccupies fishing areas
    Fishermen societies in the Chavakachcheri area are accusing the Sri Lankan Navy for expanding the area they are occupying in the sea for shooting exercise thus banning fishing by the fishermen. During the war the Navy placed total ban on fishing in the lagoon from Thannagkilippu road in Chavakachcheri up to Kachchai. After the ceasefire agreement following strong protest by the fishermen Navy allowed fishing in some limited areas. Navy has now re-introduced the ban for their shooting exercise and will not even permit the fishermen to enter this region. Fishermen who earn their living by fishing in this area are left without their livelihood. Fishermen societies have lodged a complaint with the SLMM. more ...
  • 63) 21:45 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Sri Lankan party may call for early elections if gov't signs tsunami aid deal with rebels
    Sri Lanka's powerful Marxist party vowed Thursday to launch a nationwide campaign against the government if the president signs a contentious tsunami aid-sharing deal with Tamil Tiger rebels, even as Norwegian mediators scrambled to expedite the deal. Two senior Norwegian diplomats held unscheduled talks with a Tamil Tiger rebel leader on Thursday amid expectations that the government and the guerrillas will soon sign a deal to jointly distribute billions of dollars' worth of tsunami aid from abroad. No details were released from the meeting in the northern rebel capital of Kilinochchi, which came a day after the Tiger's political chief S.P. Thamilselvan accused Sri Lanka's government of stalling on the aid plan.
    Sri Lanka to enter aid deal with Tigers, Marxists warn of protests - AFP
    more ...
  • 64) 21:43 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Norwegian diplomats make unexpected visit to meet Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels
    Two senior Norwegian diplomats held unscheduled talks with a Tamil Tiger rebel leader Thursday amid expectations that the government and the guerrillas will sign a controversial tsunami aid-sharing deal soon. Tom Knappskog and Solfrid Lien flew to rebels' northern headquarters in Kilinochchi and held discussions with S. Pulidevan, head of the Tigers' peace body, Knappskog said, declining to give details. The talks come a day after S.P. Thamilselvan, the rebels' political chief, accused Sri Lanka's government of stalling on the plan to share tsunami aid with the rebels. more ...
  • 65) 21:41 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Government is indirectly aiding the physical attacks by chauvinists
    The Consortium of Non-Governmental Associations in Kilinochchi has issued a condemnation of the government for the recent attacks by chauvinists in Batticaloa and Trincomalee. It said the government is indirectly aiding the chauvinists who attacked the TRO office in Batticaloa and the Sinhala thugs who attacked Tamil people in Alioluwa and Senuwara areas in Trincomalee. The TRO office in Baticaloa was attacked on the 13th of this month with grenades and one worker in the TRO office, Pakiaraja Thanabalan, was injured and taken to hospital. On the 18th of this month Sinhala thugs attacked Tamils in Alioluwa and Senuwara areas. At this time a TRO heavy vehicle was also set alight and the boats in the vehicle were also burnt down. The driver of the vehicle was also attacked. more ...
  • 66) 19:17 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Six Months After...Fmr.President Clinton
    IT has been nearly six months since the tsunami struck 11 nations surrounding the Indian Ocean, killing more than 200,000 people. The tragedy touched the chord of our common humanity. Last year, before the tsunami, 5,000 new homes were built in Sri Lanka. Now survivors in Sri Lanka alone need almost 100,000 homes.Finally, we must do all we can to assure that the voices of the most vulnerable are heard.Will the disaster usher in a new chapter in the peace processes in Sri Lanka and Aceh, thereby making it easier for aid to be distributed and reconstruction to take place wherever it's needed? Of course, the reconstruction process will proceed more smoothly in Aceh and Sri Lanka if all parties to the longstanding conflicts there are involved. Cooperation might even lead to greater prospects for peace in both places. more ...
  • 67) 19:10 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + CIDA minister defends pace of tsunami spending
    Almost six months after killer waves hit 11 countries in Asia, Canada has approved $9 million for just two reconstruction projects. Ottawa has spent a total of $159 million since the Dec. 26 disaster. That money includes $36 million in emergency relief and $90 million to match funds that poured in from Canadians. But International Co-operation Minister Aileen Carroll defended why just two rebuilding projects have been approved. One is in hard-hit Indonesia, the other in Sri Lanka. More than 160,000 people died in the waves triggered by a massive earthquake, and thousands more are still homeless. Carroll says that governments in affected countries have only recently finalized reconstruction plans. The minister says Canadians must understand that reconstruction is a massive task that will take years. more ...
  • 68) 02:56 GMT, Jun. 23, 2005 |  + Muslim anger over Sri Lanka deal
    Sri Lanka's tsunami-affected Muslims have expressed their dismay and anger over not being made a signatory to the proposed tsunami reconstruction agreement. The agreement, known as Tsunami Joint Mechanism, is expected to be signed between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels in the coming days. The Norway-brokered deal would pave the way for the government and the Tamil rebels to share nearly $3bn in foreign aid. But visiting Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, Vidar Helgesen, has reportedly told Muslim leaders in the east that at this point they will not be among the signatories to the deal. However, he has assured them that Muslims would be duly represented in the proposed power structure. "It is shocking. The present deal would not give any real power to our representatives. We are totally opposed to this arrangement," Mr Ibrahim, secretary of the Federation of Amparai district Mosques, told the BBC. more ...
  • 69) 22:13 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + The pursuit of peace in Sri Lanka
    Our country, Sri Lanka has I think experienced over the past 50 odd years most of the negative effects of war. Perhaps some have savoured the thrill of small victories. But they have been short-lived. Most of the time as far as the mass of the people have been concerned war has meant deprivation, lack of mobility, disempowerment and limitations on freedom. To combatants directly involved - much more; thousands of men permanently disabled and the dead; (it was recently officially announced that the number of dead and missing in the armed forces alone was 21,000). This figure presumably did not include the police. more ...
  • 70) 22:07 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + Tamil massacre - officer cleared
    Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has acquitted on appeal a policeman sentenced to die for his alleged part in a massacre of suspected Tamil child soldiers. The court said there was insufficient evidence to convict Tyronne Ratnayake. He was among five people sentenced to death for allowing a machete-wielding crowd to storm a detention centre where the victims were being held. Twenty-seven young Tamils died in the October 2000 attack, which led to Sri Lanka's worst ethnic riots in 18 years. Four others convicted for their roles in the massacre at Bindunuwewa in central Sri Lanka have appeals pending.
  • Will the Bindunuwewa commission be effective?
  • Sri Lanka: The Bindunuwewa Massacre
  • Tamil Detainees murdered in custody, yet again...
  • Tamil detainees hacked to death in Sri Lanka by organised racist mob
    more ...
  • 71) 21:59 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + Tigers pull out of military meetings
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have pulled out of their regular monthly meetings with the military to protest an alleged Government backing to a rebel leader and asked the Mahinda Rajapakse administration to decide between "war and peace". The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) made the announcement in the eastern district of Batticaloa, calling off the regular monthly meeting with Government forces, the 'Sudaroli Tamil' newspaper reported yesterday. Quoting the LTTE's eastern intelligence leader Ramanan, the paper said the Government must decide between "war and peace". "The Government is double acting. They must decide if they want war or peace. Until such time we have stopped monthly meetings (with the military)," Ramanan said. more ...
  • 72) 11:49 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + UNP's involvement with Karuna jeopardise peace process
    The opposition United National Party's reported involvement with the renegade LTTE commander, Col Karuna, has further complicated the peace process in Sri Lanka, which is already mired in a controversy over the agenda for the peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. Nilavini, a close associate of Karuna's who sided with Velupillai Prabhakaran last weekend, had said that it was an UNP MP, Ali Zaheer Mowlana, who had escorted Karuna and his entourage to Colombo after the collapse of his 41-day revolt against Prabhakaran. The pro-LTTE daily Sudar Oli said in an editorial on Wednesday that Mowlana had done so with the knowledge of his party chief, Leader of the Opposition, and former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. more ...
  • 73) 11:47 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka acquits one for role in Tamil massacre
    Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has acquited a police officer sentenced last year on charges of allowing a massacre at a detention camp housing suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, newspapers said on Wednesday. The inspector was one of five sentenced to death for his alleged role in the October 2000 massacre, which sparked the island's worst ethnic riots in 18 years. The sentences were automatically commuted to life in prison since Sri Lanka has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1976. "The state did not support his conviction and conceded that there was no evidence to proceed with the case," the Island newspaper said. more ...
  • 74) 11:29 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka's History: In Danger of Disappearing
    Environmentalists warn that unchecked vandalism and neglect is destroying thousands of ancient rock caves in Sri Lanka dating back to 30,500 BC, with scores of Buddha statues rendered headless, and paintings defaced. In the absence of a detailed survey, it is believed there are between 3000-4000 caves of historic importance in the country, bearing testimony to its ancient history and religion. At a special meeting of the cultural ministry of the central Sabaragamuwa province last week, former Director General of Archaeology, Dr Shiran Deraniyagala, declared that unless the authorities take immediate action to save the caves, important historical evidence will soon be gone. more ...
  • 75) 11:27 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + US will not remove Tamil Tigers from terror list
    The United States said it would not remove the terrorist tag from the Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebel group, even though it had observed a ceasefire for more than two years and conducted informal peace talks with the government. "We will not remove our designation of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) as a terrorist organization until it has firmly and decidedly given up terrorism and such policies as the recruitment of children as soldiers," Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca said on Tuesday. The Tigers have led a bloody three-decade campaign for independence, but opened peace talks in September 2002 after entering into a Norwegian-brokered truce with security forces seven months earlier. more ...
  • 76) 10:19 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + World Bank Extends Support for Rebuilding Sri Lanka’s Conflict-affected Communities
    The Government of Sri Lanka’s efforts to rehabilitate and bring normalcy to conflict affected communities of North East Sri Lanka will be strengthened by a US$64.7 million credit approved by the World Bank today. Agriculture has been the main source of livelihood of the North East population before and during the conflict years. “To sustain the peace process, it is vital that the people of the North East should be assisted to rebuild their social networks and livelihoods. The first project supported this objective even as the conflict was raging, and this follow-on expanded operation will deepen the process,” says Peter Harrold, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka. “We sincerely hope that a successful implementation of this project will contribute significantly to assist Sri Lanka to move towards a permanent peace,” he added. more ...
  • 77) 03:28 GMT, Jun. 23, 2004 |  + Rebels warn Sri Lanka peace prospects at risk
    Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil rebels accused the government Tuesday of introducing a "potentially explosive component" to the fragile peace process as internationally backed efforts to get stalled negotiations back on track continued. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam repeated allegations that the military is covertly assisting renegade LTTE eastern commander Vinayagamurthy Muralitheran, best known as Karuna, who broke away in March and has gone underground for the past several weeks. more ...
  • 78) 19:40 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Peace talks to resume soon – Balasingham
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said today that the peace negotiations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers, suspended for the past few months, will resume soon. Mr.Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator and the theoretician of the LTTE told the TamilNet that the discussions he had with the Norwegian facilitators today in London were positive and constructive. Mr.Balasingham met with the Norwegian special envoy Mr.Eric Solheim and Ms Lisa Golden, executive officer of the Royal Norwegian Foreign Ministry, this morning and had discussions for nearly three hours. Mr.Solheim is to brief the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe and the government’s chief negotiator, Prof. Mr. G.L.Peiris, who are in London on an official visit. more ...
  • 79) 17:02 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Two Jaffna journalists honoured
    Two Jaffna based journalists Mr.V. Thavachelvam and Mr.M.K.Jeevagathas were honoured Sunday by the Kaddaiveli-Nelliyady Cultural Federation in Jaffna district in an event held at Nellai Thiru Murugan Hall where Jaffna district political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Mr. S.Ilamparithi was the chief guest, sources in Jaffna said. This event was presided by Mr.T.Sithamparapillai, president of the Kadaiveli-Nelliady Cultural Federation. Mr.Thavachelvam was presented with an Award for Courageous Journalism and Mr.Jeevagathas with an Award for his long and dedicated service in Journalism, sources said. more ...
  • 80) 16:58 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Let Sri Lankan premier deal with Tigers
    Kumaratunga must allow her prime minister to sort out the Sri Lankan mess once and for all; without this, no other country can help. Washington and New Delhi have the power to exert considerable influence on Kumaratunga. While America has little geopolitical stake in Sri Lanka, and may do precious little to "interfere," India has an abiding interest in the region. With thousands of Tamil refugees still languishing in Indian camps, peace on the emerald isle will be greatly welcome. more ...
  • 81) 15:02 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Sri Lankan shares surge
    Sri Lanka's stock market has hit an eight-year high, as investors shrugged off worries about a suspected Tamil Tiger killing of a policeman in Colombo and bet on renewed progress in peace talks. The talks have now been suspended for much of the year to date, following accusations by the Tigers that the promised reconstruction funds were failing to emerge. more ...
  • 82) 14:58 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Ranil to consult British experts on fresh offer to Tamil Tigers
    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe left for the United Kingdom yesterday to seek expert legal advice in London before formulating his government's fresh proposals to meet the Tamil guerrilla demand for an interim administration in the north and eastern regions. Wickremesinghe who left for London on Saturday was accompanied by Attorney General K.C. Kamalasabayson, The Sunday Times reported. The newspaper said that it learns that the shape and content of the fresh proposals will take into consideration the expert opinion to be obtained from British legal and constitutional experts. more ...
  • 83) 13:17 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Norway-LTTE informal talks to break deadlock
    Norwegian peace facilitators said yesterday that they were engaged in "informal discussions" with the LTTE leadership to end the deadlock in the peace negotiations and were due to meet London-based LTTE Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham. Balasingham last week said the Tigers would insist on a "radical overhaul of the entire peace process" and a "redefined agenda". Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar who met LTTE political chief Thamilselvam last Wednesday said the discussions were "constructive and fruitful". The two parties focused on means of resuming peace talks in the 90-minute discussion which also dealt with the interim administration, political assassinations and the sinking of a LTTE vessel off Mullaitivu. more ...
  • 84) 10:58 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Suspected Tamil Tiger kills Sri Lankan policeman
    A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel walked into a police station in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday and shot dead an intelligence officer in the latest attack since a ceasefire was signed 16 months ago, a military official said. The official said the officer, who was shot several times, was in charge of an anti-terrorism unit at the Dehiwala police station not far from the centre of Colombo. The attacker escaped in a three-wheel vehicle but bit into a cyanide capsule after police cornered him, the official said. more ...
  • 85) 10:55 GMT, Jun. 23, 2003 |  + Ranil to consult British experts on fresh offer to Tamil Tigers
    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe left for the United Kingdom yesterday to seek expert legal advice in London before formulating his government's fresh proposals to meet the Tamil guerrilla demand for an interim administration in the north and eastern regions. Wickremesinghe who left for London on Saturday was accompanied by Attorney General K.C. Kamalasabayson, The Sunday Times reported. The newspaper said that it learns that the shape and content of the fresh proposals will take into consideration the expert opinion to be obtained from British legal and constitutional experts. more ...
  • 86) 22:59 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + PM urged to fill govt. posts with unemployed educated youth
    Two TULF MPs K. R. Kugaaneswaran and N. Sivasaktheey have urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to stop filling government department vacancies with retired public servants and provide more employment opportunities to the youth. Every year thousands of vacancies occur in the public service as many retire. These could absorb thousands of educated unemployed youth, they said. more ...
  • 87) 22:51 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + New TNA national list MP from Muttur east
    The central working committee of the Tamil United Liberation Front Sunday unanimously decided to appoint Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham from Mutur-east as its National List parliamentarian to fill the vacancy created by the demise of late leader Mr. Murugesu Sivasithambaram. The Secretary General of the TULF Mr.R.Sampanthan will inform the decision of the party to the Speaker of the parliament next week, party sources said.
  • Anandasangaree elected TULF President more ...
  • 88) 22:47 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + Meeting Tamil aspirations within a united Lanka
    "The essence of self determination is the people's desire to be the active agents of their history. Tamils are endowed with objective characteristics, such as a distinct language, they are united by an intuitive sense of oneness, and they have a historical relationship to a clearly defined territory. Therefore, based on an analysis of who are the historical bearers of the right to self determination, and under relevant UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice's opinion in the Western Sahara case, Tamils constitute a 'people' and are the legal recipient unit of the right to self determination". more ...
  • 89) 20:57 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + "Attacks on LTTE premeditated" -TULF
    The Tamil United Liberation Front Sunday appealed to the United National Front government to conduct an impartial inquiry into the attacks on Liberation Tiger leaders at Velanai in Jaffna district and the Mutur political office of the LTTE in Trincomalee district and to bring the culprits before the court of law. The central working committee of the Tamil United Liberation Front, main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance, which met Sunday, passed a resolution vehemently condemning these attacks. "These attacks on Liberation Tigers should be considered not only as cease-fire violations but also to be viewed as a premeditated action to derail the peace process by provoking the Liberation Tigers to react," said the resolution. more ...
  • 90) 15:59 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + Looking beyond the MOU
    The title of this piece was the topic that brought out a range of points leading up to a lively discussion at a seminar - a short two hour session really, at that centre for development studies-Marga Institute. Historians we are told are story tellers and story tellers are known to set up imaginative scenarios. A historian who projects his mind to the future, steps beyond the parameters that are normally adhered to moving into the realm of speculation and uncertainty. more ...
  • 91) 13:57 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + US urges ceasefire implementation followed by talks
    The United States' Ambassador to Sri Lanka said his government urges a negotiated settlement to the island's ethnic conflict and said the Tamil people have "legitimate grievances about the way that they have been treated in this country." Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Mr. Ashley Wills said: "We agree with [Sri Lanka's policy of talking to the LTTE], and that we don't see a military solution to the conflict. We do see a political solution." Calling on the LTTE to renounce its armed struggle, the Ambassador expressed confidence the LTTE wanted to participate in talks. more ...
  • 92) 13:06 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + Talk delays do not spell end to Sri Lanka peace
    Delays in talks to end nearly two decades of war in Sri Lanka and more strident noises from the rebel Tamil Tigers do not mean the island's best chance to return to normal is slipping away, analysts said on Sunday. They say their optimism, although muted compared to several months ago, is justified because a ceasefire that has stopped the killing is still in place and the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are still working towards the talks. more ...
  • 93) 12:57 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + Sri Lankan Navy to Prevent Incidents of Ceasefire Violation
    Sri Lankan navy will take precautionary measures to prevent recurrence of incidents of violation of truce agreement signed by the government and separatist Tamil Tiger as two rebels are alleged to have been attacked by the navy personnel in the north of the country. The navy said in a statement issued on Sunday that no definite conclusion on the involvement of the navy personnel in the incident has been arrived at but allegations have been directed at navy involvement. more ...
  • 94) 12:47 GMT, Jun. 23, 2002 |  + Monitoring chief to visit as SLMC urges calm
    The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Major General Trond Furuhovde is scheduled to visit Trincomalee by next week urgently to sort out two major complaints - including an attack on the Liberation Tigers' office in Mutur allegedly by Muslim militants - and some other matters pertaining to the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, SLMM sources said. Sri Lanka's largest Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), said "sinister elements" were seeking to forment communal strife and urged calm.
  • 'Poverty alleviation program neglects Tamil poor in Trinco'
  • Independent probe into Velanai assault - SLMM more ...
  • 95) 15:49 GMT, Jun. 23, 2001 |  + SLN patrol boat captured – Mutur LTTE
    The Liberation Tigers said Saturday that they captured a patrol boat from the Sri Lanka Navy Friday morning in a surprise attack in the sea off the Sampur coast, south of Trincomalee. The LTTE, in press note issued in Mutur Saturday, said that the Sea Tigers captured a grenade launcher, an outboard motor and a communication set from the SLN in the sea attack. SLN casualties are not known, the press note added. Sampur is controlled by the Liberation Tigers. Meanwhile, the Tamilnet correspondent in Mutur said that Sri Lanka Navy gunboats opened fire on the Sampur village Saturday morning. Two civilians were wounded and a school and several houses were damaged in the SLN shelling, he said. more ...
  • 96) 13:33 GMT, Jun. 23, 2001 |  + UNP pledges to lift ban on LTTE
    TELO MP A. Kalanathan told the 'Daily News' yesterday that his party had agreed to support the No Confidence Motion against the Government in response to the UNP agreeing to several LTTE demands including the lifting of the ban on the Tiger movement. According to Mr. Kalanathan, the UNP Leadership had given their complete assurance on the matter of meeting LTTE demands. In the event of the UNP coming to power all embargoes on supply of goods to LTTE-controlled areas would also be lifted, he said. The third Tiger demand to which the UNP had agreed in order to secure TELO support for the No-Confidence motion, was to have unconditional talks with the LTTE, Mr. Kalanathan added. more ...
  • 97) 13:05 GMT, Jun. 23, 2001 |  + Sri Lankan opposition will support Norwegian peace bid
    THE leader of the opposition in Sri Lanka assured President Chandrika Kumaratunga Friday that a no-faith move against her People's Alliance (PA) coalition would not hinder Norway's peace bid here. United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Kumaratunga his party would support Oslo's attempts to broker peace between Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels, despite a no-confidence motion presented in Parliament Friday. "We made it clear that the peace process is a bi-partisan issue and what's happening in Parliament will have no bearing on it," Wickremesinghe said after an hour-long meeting with Kumaratunga. Sri Lanka's opposition rushed a no-faith move two days after a key Muslim ally pulled out of the ruling PA, leaving it without a parliamentary majority. more ...
  • 98) 12:42 GMT, Jun. 23, 2001 |  + Two youths shot dead in Jaffna
    Two youths were shot dead by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers near Thankaaval Pillayar temple in Nallur, a suburb of Jaffna town, around 4 p.m. Friday. The army said they were members of the Liberation Tigers. The area was sealed off and thoroughly searched by the soldiers following the incident. Troops put up road blocks and conducted house to house search operation in the area, residents said. more ...
  • 99) 17:21 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + No Tamil rebels in interim council
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has, in a statement, denied reports that Tamil Tiger rebels will be included in a proposed interim council. The statement is the latest in a series of sometimes contradictory government announcements in relation to the interim council. more ...
  • 100) 16:12 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + Slogans contradict Vaiko assurance
    Three `pro-Tamil Eelam' slogans approved for the MDMK's rally in Erode on July 1, seem all set to throw cold water on the party leader, Mr. Vaiko's bid to keep the Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, an invitee to the two-day conclave, in good humour. ``Let the voice lending support to Eelam Tamils reverberate in all the eight directions,'' extols one of the slogans, while the other declares ``we will voice, we will voice, for Tamil Eelam to blossom.'' The third slogan celebrates an identity of the ``blood being spilled by the Eelam Tamils with ours.'' more ...
  • 101) 13:17 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka agrees on interim council to end ethnic bloodshed
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her main opposition party agreed to form an interim council to administer Sri Lanka's embattled northeast in a bid to end ethnic bloodshed, officials said Friday. Bipartisan talks between Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) and the main opposition United National Party (UNP) decided on the interim council solution at a meeting here Thursday, official sources said. more ...
  • 102) 13:14 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + Tigers reject offer on autonomy
    Tamil Tiger rebels rejected its offer to join an Interim Council after giving up arms. Sources close to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam said the rebel leadership "mocked" at the government offer. "The proposed Interim Council does not meet even an iota of the aspirations of Tamil Tigers and, therefore, the leadership thinks it is not worth even discussing," the sources said.A mainstream Tamil political party, the Tamil United Liberation Front, said it also would not join the Interim Council. more ...
  • 103) 12:56 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + Sri Lankan army expected to undergo major changes
    Commander-of-the-Sri Lankan armed forces, president Chandrika Kumaratunge is expected to roll the heads of several senior military officials and replace them with young blood in next few weeks, military officials said here in Colombo on Thursday. "As a first move she is expected to appoint a new army commander within next few weeks", a senior military official said. It would be either Major General Lionel Balagalle or General Janaka Perera is to be appointed for the tough job; the official who did not wanted to be named said. more ...
  • 104) 12:47 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + Indian government in damage control over call for Tamil state in Sri Lanka
    A statement by Muthuvel Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on June 3 sent tremors through the Indian political establishment, forcing Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to launch an urgent damage control exercise. Karunanidhi leads the DMK, the major Tamil Nadu partner of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition government in New Delhi. more ...
  • 105) 12:35 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + IMF discusses war, loan programme with Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, battling a rising defence budget due to an ethnic war, has held fresh talks with the International Monetary Fund for a concessionary loan facility to back its structural reforms programme, an IMF official said on Friday. ``The financing will be determined after we have done all the analysis. It depends on the kind of programme they (Sri Lanka) have and how much they would require,'' - Nadeem ul Haque, IMF's senior resident representative said. more ...
  • 106) 12:10 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka denies reports on rebels in interim body
    Sri Lanka on Friday denied reports that it had agreed to include the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels in a proposed interim council to administer the war-torn north and east of the country. more ...
  • 107) 12:06 GMT, Jun. 23, 2000 |  + LTTE not included - President
    Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunge Friday re-iterated her government's position that the Liberation Tigers would not be included in the proposed interim administration for the North and East. A press release by the government's Special Media Information Center said no decision had been made to include the LTTE "which is a terrorist organization" and blamed media reports for the confusion. more ...
  • 108) 11:11 GMT, Jun. 23, 1999 |  + LTTE to seek South Africa's help : paper
    No details available. more ...
  • 109) 11:11 GMT, Jun. 23, 1999 |  + Murakoddanchchenai officer released on bail
    No details available. more ...
  • 110) 11:11 GMT, Jun. 23, 1999 |  + BUDDHIST CHAUVINISM
    No details available. more ...
  • 111) 11:11 GMT, Jun. 23, 1999 |  + Amnesty wants Sri Lanka probe widened
    No details available. more ...
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    Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border