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January 18, 2019 - Memory of the Day

Alleged war criminal named second-in-command of Sri Lanka army

2019-01-10 15:40:06 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 1997 | LTTE has handed over the bodies of 3 Sri Lankan sailors to ICRC
    The LTTE has handed over the bodies of 3 Sri Lankan sailors killed in Thursday's LTTE sea-attack on a navy patrol boat in the waters off Mandaitivu and Gurnagar (close to Jaffna town). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) received the bodies.
  • 1997 | Sri Lankan spy plane crash-lands in Vanni!
    A Sri Lankan unmanned spy plane has crashed in Tamil Vanni territory. The aircraft which was equipped with the latest radar and photo technology came down in Pooneryn due to apparent mechanical failure. It had been used ostensibly to gather military information but Sri Lankan forces have nevertheless routinely bombed civilian locations in the vicinity.
  • 1997 | LTTE overruns mini-camp in Anuradhapura!
    Over 23 Sri Lankan military and police personnel were killed and 20 others severely injured when the LTTE this morning attacked a mini-camp in Kepittikolawa (Anuradhapura district). The LTTE was in complete control of the Kalugaswewe camp for more than 90 minutes during which time they captured a large haul of arms and ammunition after which the whole camp was destroyed. The captured items include many light machine guns, rifles, shells and mortars. Six LTTE fighters died in the attack.
  • Human Rights Violations

  • 1999 | Youth shot dead
    A body of youth identified as Ekambaram Anantharajah, 17, was found shot twice through the head at the Saththurukkondaan cemetery, four kilometers north of Batticaloa last evening said Sri Lankan Police sources.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 1041 | இன்மையின் இன்னாத தியாதெனின் இன்மையின்
    இன்மையே இன்னா தது.
    You ask what sharper pain than poverty is known;
    Nothing pains more than poverty, save poverty alone.
    - 105 105
  • Jan 18 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Jan 18, 2018 22:09:58 GMT |  + Former Sri Lanka bank chief engaged in insider trading: probe
    A former governor of Sri Lanka's central bank has been accused of insider trading by a damning presidential report into a high-profile bond scandal that cost the island millions. The long-awaited inquiry recommended the state recover a $4.4 million loss caused by the actions of then bank chief Arjuna Mahendran in 2015. He leaked sensitive information to his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, a bond trader, according to the report released Wednesday by the president's office following an 11-month investigation. more ...
  • 2) Jan 18, 2018 22:08:51 GMT |  + Rising mortgage rates unlikely to slow down hot Toronto housing market
    A booming Canadian economy has prompted the Bank of Canada to hike its lending rate a quarter of a point for the third time since last summer. In the near-term, it will likely mean some belt-tightening among those with variable rate mortgages and lines of credit, and with more increases expected, some consumers will be scrimping further as the year goes on. But the demand for housing in the Toronto region remains so strong that the higher mortgage rates aren’t expected to have a big impact on home sales. more ...
  • 3) Jan 18, 2018 17:53:13 GMT |  + Buddhist Dominance Tamil
    The documentary discusses the possibilities of building the reconciliation and peace between the communities, centered on the dominance of the Buddhist religion, which is currently in the country. The history of Sri Lanka is a subject of deep study. The tradition of our country should be protected by accepting that Tamil Buddhists lived in Sri Lanka. Buddhist management of the present situation should be removed.
  • 4) Jan 18, 2018 17:39:53 GMT |  + Sri Lanka election authorities obstruct Tamil meeting “discussing politics”
    In an apparent effort to suppress public criticism of Sri Lanka dragging its feet on constitutional reforms, election authorities have unsuccessfully tried to ban a public meeting with international participation in the Tamil speaking northern town of Jaffna. Sri Lanka election commission has requested university authorities not to allow a political meeting to be held in the Jaffna campus. “Political discussion is likely to be beneficial to certain parties and damaging to others,” says the letter to Jaffna university vice chancellor by Director General Elections, RMAL Rathnayake, dated 12 January. Despite repeated obstructions, the public meeting had gone ahead with senior figures from diverse Tamil political parties attending. more ...
  • 5) Jan 18, 2018 17:16:05 GMT |  + RETURNING TO THE LAND: Families Resettle On Land Cleared By HALO
    Conflict forces people to flee their homes, but even after the fighting has ended, landmines and unexploded remnants of war mean it is often too unsafe to return. During Sri Lanka’s Civil War, over 300,000 people were displaced. Since 2012, HALO has been working to clear the vast Muhamalai minefield so that the land can be made safe, families can resettle and communities rebuild their lives.This is the fifth section of the Muhamalai minefield to be returned to the community and is a symbolic milestone for the people of Sri Lanka. Muhamalai represents one of the last mined areas allocated for resettlement in the entire country. For families who have been displaced, sometimes for decades, it is a time for new beginnings. more ...
  • 6) Jan 18, 2018 17:07:48 GMT |  + Joint Press Release following the 21st meeting of the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission
    The parties welcomed Sri Lanka’s recent accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, but there was agreement that the Government of Sri Lanka must ensure that the policy of zero-tolerance for the use of torture is implemented and that perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice. The EU re-emphasised its clear and unwavering expectation that urgent action would be taken by the Sri Lankan authorities to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and replace it with legislation that is in line with international standards. Plans to resolve as soon as possible the situation of the remaining detainees held under the PTA were discussed. In addition, there was discussion of the need to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to ensure fundamental legal safeguards. more ...
  • 7) Jan 18, 2018 13:36:14 GMT |  + Sri Lanka:Government Delays Implementing Rights Pledges to UN
    The Sri Lankan government stalled on its key pledges to provide justice for conflict-related violations and strengthen human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. The government took some steps in 2017 to reduce restrictions on speech and assembly, but there was little progress on transitional justice initiatives agreed to at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015.“Victims of abuses who struggled for years seeking justice finally had a moment of hope two years ago when Sri Lanka pledged to the UN to take action,” more ...
  • 8) Jan 18, 2018 11:02:11 GMT |  + An Interview with Sri Lanka’s C.V. Wigneswaran
    It is made out that Sinhalese occupied these areas originally and the armed forces are bent on claiming the northern lands for the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese never ever occupied the north and east in large numbers. The Buddhist remains were left by Tamil Buddhists...The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has not been withdrawn even though promised to the United Nations and others. Lots of suspects taken in under the PTA continue to be in incarceration without the filing of indictments. If filed trials are postponed for years, they languish in jail and our appeals to the president and others fall on deaf ears. more ...
  • 9) Jan 18, 2017 22:32:55 GMT |  + Thousands protest at India bullfighting ban
    Thousands of people in India's southern Tamil Nadu state are protesting against a ban on bullfighting. At least 4,000 people have been camping at Marina beach in the state's capital, Chennai (Madras), since Tuesday night. Traditional bull-taming contests, known as Jallikattu, have been popular for centuries in the state. Protesters say they represent its identity. But the Supreme Court banned it in 2014 after objections from animal rights groups. It upheld the ban in 2016. BBC Tamil reports that similar protests are being organised on Wednesday in other parts of the state. Calls have been made on social media asking people to join the protests. more ...
  • 10) Jan 18, 2017 15:04:13 GMT |  + Judge instructs jury to be ‘very cautious’ about eyewitness evidence in Tamil ship case
    A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has instructed a jury to be “very cautious” about relying on eyewitness evidence to find guilt in the case of four men accused of smuggling hundreds of Tamil migrants to Canada. Justice William Ehrcke noted that the jury had heard evidence from witnesses that on more than one occasion, they were shown photographs by the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency and asked if they could identify anyone pictured. more ...
  • 11) Jan 18, 2017 15:01:30 GMT |  + Toronto housing boom to continue as Vancouver slumps
    Canada’s two largest housing markets are going in different directions, with the Greater Toronto Area poised for another rally in 2017 while the Vancouver region girds for a decline. Royal LePage forecasts the median residential price in the GTA will jump 10 per cent this year while Greater Vancouver will experience an 8.5-per-cent price decrease for various housing types. “People in Toronto think that they live in this outlandishly expensive region, but they don’t realize just how affordable homes are relative to the price of homes in Vancouver. There is a dramatic difference,” said Phil Soper, chief executive officer of the real estate firm. more ...
  • 12) Jan 18, 2017 14:55:41 GMT |  + Listen To Justin Trudeau Speak Tamil To Celebrate Canada’s Diversity
    On the same day President-elect Donald Trump criticized civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and the diverse district he represents, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was celebrating his country’s diversity across the border in Canada. Trudeau sent holiday greetings on Saturday to people of Tamil heritage around the world observing Thai Pongal, a Hindu harvest festival that originated in southern India. “We should seize every opportunity to celebrate the many cultures, languages and beliefs that make our country such a wonderful place to live,” Trudeau said in a video posted to Twitter on Jan. 14. more ...
  • 13) Jan 18, 2017 14:52:20 GMT |  + With drought looming, Sri Lanka tries something new: preparing
    With rainfall in many areas just a third of that last year and many water reservoirs far below normal levels, Sri Lankans have begun holding traditional ceremonies to invoke rain – some with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena. But this time, national officials are also doing something new to prepare for what many fear could be the worst drought in decades: Developing plans, in advance, to deal with it. Those include everything from allowing communities to take only drinking water from drying reservoirs to removing taxes on imported rice and looking for alternatives to hydropower to maintain the national electric grid.
  • 14) Jan 18, 2017 14:50:31 GMT |  + Stouffville's growing Tamil community celebrating Thai Pongal
    There are “over 2,000” Tamil Canadians living in Whitchurch-Stouffville. All of them are celebrating Thai Pongal, a Tamil holiday that celebrates the new year in the Tamil calendar and serves as a harvest festival. Considering the town’s population is approximately 46,600, Tamils would constitute a significant minority. In fact, last year the town agreed to have January known as Tamil Heritage Month. As part of Tamil Heritage Month, Stouffville is having its own Thai Pongal celebration. Thai Pongal landed on Jan. 14 in 2017. more ...
  • 15) Jan 18, 2016 14:40:53 GMT |  + Sri Lanka turns to social media for help with new constitution
    Sri Lanka's prime minister Sunday announced officials would use social media to seek public opinion on a proposed new constitution aimed at preventing a return to ethnic war. Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka will use social media to help draft a new statute to devolve more powers to minority Tamils and ensure unity after decades of war. "Sri Lanka could be the first country to get views expressed on social media (to contribute to) drafting a new constitution," he said. "We want to seek the view and opinions of young people. Participate in this process." more ...
  • 16) Jan 18, 2016 14:39:47 GMT |  + Ex-Tamil Tigers go jobless in Sri Lanka
    Almost seven years after the end of Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war, the majority of former Tamil Tiger rebels are struggling to find jobs despite billions of dollars of extra investment in their regions. Sivalingam Ruvendradass, who spent three years in a government “rehabilitation” programme, which is compulsory for former Tamil Tigers and provides them with education and vocational training, now looks back at wartime with some fondness. “Then at least I was getting something from the Tigers,” he told IRIN. more ...
  • 17) Jan 18, 2016 14:39:05 GMT |  + Rajapaksa loyalists work out plans for new party and alliance
    A proposed new Constitution for Sri Lanka appears to have united warring factions in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the SLFP-led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). They want to adopt a common approach. In what appears to be a landmark event, lawmakers who are supporters of President Maithripala Sirisena and those of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa met for talks last Tuesday morning. The venue was the Parliament library. more ...
  • 18) Jan 18, 2016 14:36:50 GMT |  + 13-A Back In The Spotlight
    The visit to Colombo last week by Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, British Minister of State Hugo Swire and the scheduled visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein has put the 13th Amendment to the Constitution back in the spotlight. Jaishankar, during his meeting with the Tamil National Alliance in Colombo, had discussed the need for a political solution for the Tamils through the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. Hugo Swire had also discussed the matter and Zeid Al Hussein is expected to draw attention to this as well since it is in the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last October. more ...
  • 19) Jan 18, 2016 14:35:04 GMT |  + Wigneswaran Faces The Axe
    Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran will face pressure to resign or a no-confidence motion will be brought against him at the Northern Provincial Council if he fails to tow the line of the Tamil National Alliance. TNA Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members will meet Wigneswaran today for key talks after having similar talks last week. TNA Northern Provincial Council member M.K. Sivajilingham told The Sunday Leader that today’s discussion will be a follow up to last week’s talks but dismissed claims that Wigneswaran will be asked to resign.
  • 20) Jan 18, 2016 14:34:22 GMT |  + Third Republican Constitution: A Phoenix Rising From The Ashes
    The latest political maneuver of the United National Front for Good Governmence (UNFGG) at present is to bring before the people a new people-centric Constitution. Three committees have been appointed thus far, of which Dr. Jayampathi Wickramaratne heads the committee entrusted with the task of drafting the new Constitution. Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijeratne chairs the committee mandated to engage the participation of ‘civil society’ organisations together with the public at and thereby ensure that there is good dialogue with the people. more ...
  • 21) Jan 18, 2016 14:24:57 GMT |  + Sri Lanka govt. keen on India's help for quicker voluntary repatriation
    With one more batch of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees returning from Tamil Nadu to their motherland in a few days, the Sri Lankan government is keen on getting assistance of the Indian government to enable quicker voluntary repatriation of the remaining refugees. “We would like the Indian government to help us with regard to housing and road development in places of resettlement,” V.Sivagnanasothy, according to Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs in the Sri Lankan government. On Tuesday, 41 refugees including 26 women, will reach Colombo from Chennai and Madurai. A senior official in Chennai says: “Of late, on an average, 60 persons are returning to Sri Lanka every month compared to 30 or 40 persons in the past.” more ...
  • 22) Jan 18, 2016 14:22:27 GMT |  + This story of a Sri Lankan drummer boy will tug at your heartstrings
    When an LA rocker saw a video of a barefoot boy playing drums made of plastic bottles and tin cans, he vowed to find him... Last February, a YouTube video touched the hearts of thousands. It showed a young boy, barefoot in blue shorts, playing drums outside a basic brick hut in a clearly hot, but unknown, country. His kit was obviously home-made, constructed from old tin cans, plastic bottles and scaffolding poles, with random scraps of wood and sticks for pedals. Yet what made the clip so memorable wasn’t so much the makeshift equipment, but the huge passion and talent of the child, whose name, age and background were all a mystery. more ...
  • 23) Jan 18, 2016 14:20:57 GMT |  + David Cameron takes some credit for reforms in Sri Lanka
    Britain says its Prime Minister David Cameron could take some credit for the re-establishment of good governance and the rule of law in Sri Lanka. The visiting British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hugo Swire said in Colombo on Saturday, that Cameron, who had invested emotionally and intellectually in Sri Lanka, could take some of the credit for the positive changes since Jan. 8, 2015 which had resulted in the re-establishment of human rights , good governance and the rule law. more ...
  • 24) Jan 18, 2016 14:19:51 GMT |  + Wigneswaran Calls For Shared Sovereignty Within A United Lanka
    The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’ Tamil-majority Northern Province has called for a new constitution which will be based on the principle of shared sovereignty between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority within a united Lanka. Giving the keynote address at a seminar on constitution making in multi-ethnic societies in Jaffna on Monday, Wigneswaran said: “The principles and specific constitutional provisions that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) considers to be paramount to the resolution of the national question relates mainly to the sharing of the powers of governance through a shared sovereignty amongst the peoples who inhabit this island.”
  • 25) Jan 18, 2016 14:17:17 GMT |  + Medical education in Sri Lanka: Need for urgent reform
    Medical education in Sri Lanka commenced in 1870 with the establishment of the Ceylon Medical College. It became the Faculty of Medicine in 1942 with the establishment of the University of Ceylon. Sri Lanka produced well-recognized doctors who practice around the world with the quality education they received in our medical colleges. Post graduate studies in medicine for MRCP, FRCS, FFARCS, MRCOG, FRCR, MRCPath, MRCPsych, FDSRCS were not available until recently and had to be undertaken abroad, which were recognized by the Ministry of Health. more ...
  • 26) Jan 18, 2016 14:16:30 GMT |  + TGTE’s ‘Thai Pongal’ Festival Message – OpEd
    The Tamil Race is endowed with an age old tradition, culture and a prestigious ancient language, Tamil that had earned the recognition of a classical language. Worldwide only six languages, out of seven thousands spoken globally, have been classified as classical languages. It is an honor for all of us that Tamil is as one of them due to its antiquity, literary richness, and well defined grammatical rules. Besides, in terms of the most widely spoken languages in the world, Tamil ranks in 17th place. more ...
  • 27) Jan 18, 2015 22:01:49 GMT |  + Sri Lanka ravaged by mystery kidney disease that has killed 20,000 people in 20 years
    There is a mystery kidney disease that for years has been killing thousands of farmers in Sri Lanka's rice basket — and as it spreads, locals are becoming increasingly fearful. In 20 years the disease has killed up to 20,000 people and sickened up to 400,000 more; some villages report it causes as many as 10 deaths a month. more ...
  • 28) Jan 18, 2015 21:58:05 GMT |  + Truth vs Hype: Sri Lanka - Hope or Illusion?
    In Sri Lanka, unbelievably, the age of the Rajapaksas is over, bringing with it the promise of dramatic change. But the ghosts of the past still remain, as we uncover new details of the alleged attempt by Mahinda Rajapaksa to stage a midnight coup. But in exchange for a peaceful transition, did new President Maithripala Sirisena strike a secret deal with Rajapaska? How will Sirisena balance pressures from Sri Lanka's most powerful politicians who backed his victory, as well as ultranationalists from both sides? This week, exclusive interviews with the men who matter in the new Sri Lanka, which bring out the complex, exciting nature of the mandate. more ...
  • 29) Jan 18, 2015 21:55:36 GMT |  + Ex-Sri Lanka leader's brother accused of killing editor
    Sri Lankan authorities are investigating a claim that the toppled president's younger brother ran a "death squad" and ordered a high-profile newspaper editor's assassination, a police spokesman said Sunday. Former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse ordered the hit on Lasantha Wickrematunga in January 2009, ex-public relations minister Mervyn Silva alleged in a formal complaint lodged with police Saturday, the spokesman said. Wickrematunga was fatally shot in 2009, just days before he was due to testify in a defamation case Rajapakse had filed against his paper, which had been highly critical of the then-ruling family. more ...
  • 30) Jan 18, 2015 21:53:18 GMT |  + Insight: Indian spy's role alleged in Sri Lankan president's election defeat
    Sri Lanka expelled the Colombo station chief of India's spy agency in the run-up to this month's presidential election, political and intelligence sources said, accusing him of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa. An Indian foreign ministry spokesman denied any expulsion and said that transfers were routine decisions. Rajapaksa, voted out of office in the Jan 8 election, told Reuters he did not know all the facts while the new government in Colombo has said it is aware of the reports but cannot confirm them. more ...
  • 31) Jan 18, 2015 21:51:21 GMT |  + Loosening Beijing embrace, Sri Lanka reviews China projects
    Sri Lanka's new government will review Chinese infrastructure projects awarded under the previous administration, a junior minister said, a move bound to please Indian and Western powers concerned about Beijing's access in the island state. On Friday, the government said it would review a $1.5 billion port deal with China Communication Construction Co Ltd over concerns about the Chinese company getting land on a freehold basis in a high-security zone. more ...
  • 32) Jan 18, 2015 21:47:44 GMT |  + Did RAW's Colombo chief play a role in Rajapaksa's poll defeat?
    Sri Lanka expelled the Colombo station chief of India's spy agency in the run-up to this month's presidential election, political and intelligence sources said, accusing him of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa. An Indian foreign ministry spokesman denied any expulsion and said that transfers were routine decisions. Rajapaksa, voted out of office in the Jan 8 election, told Reuters he did not know all the facts while the new government in Colombo has said it is aware of the reports but cannot confirm them. more ...
  • 33) Jan 18, 2015 21:43:17 GMT |  + Rear view: Lost in Lanka
    By the middle of 1987, Rajiv Gandhi was besieged by many domestic problems of extreme gravity. Yet he decided to mediate in the catastrophic ethnic strife in neighbouring Sri Lanka between the ruling Sinhala majority and the highly aggrieved Tamil minority concentrated in the northern and eastern regions of the island republic. The problem had begun long ago, when the Sinhala-dominated government imposed Sinhala as the only language of the country, and it escalated so fast as to become nearly intractable. India’s policy on Sri Lanka, which Rajiv inherited from his mother, was as complex as the situation in the island. more ...
  • 34) Jan 18, 2015 21:35:34 GMT |  + US Lauds Steps Taken by New Lankan Government
    Lauding the steps taken by the new Sri Lankan government, the US has said it looks forward to to work with the administration of newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena. "Our expectations from the new government are the expectations of the Sri Lankan people. We simply want to support the new government in fulfilling its campaign pledges to the Sri Lankan people," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said.
  • 35) Jan 18, 2015 21:23:38 GMT |  + Working behind the scenes for change in Sri Lanka
    A combination of political factors may have led to the defeat of the former Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in the January 8 polls, but a small group of activist-lawyers may have sowed the seeds of regime change at least two years ago. It all began with the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake by President Rajapaksa in January 2013, recalls constitutional lawyer J.C. Weliamuna, who was at the forefront of a lawyers’ movement against the controversial motion. more ...
  • 36) Jan 18, 2015 21:21:16 GMT |  + India, Lanka set to start talks on Tamil refugees
    Delhi and Colombo are set to start “serious” talks on repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who have taken shelter in India. This was decided at a meeting lasting over three hours between visiting Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here Sunday. “The talks for repatriation will begin by end of January,” MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said. more ...
  • 37) Jan 18, 2015 21:18:14 GMT |  + Nitin Pai: Why Sri Lanka's need for China will continue
    No sooner did Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat in the Sri Lankan presidential election than commentators begin to declare that the result was a blow to China's ambitions in the Indian Ocean. Facing international isolation, the Rajapaksa regime had drawn closer to China, and Beijing had used the window of opportunity to lend money, sell goods and secure huge infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka. It is estimated that China has invested $4 billion in infrastructure projects since 2009, lent $490 million in 2012 and committed another $1.6 billion last year. China's exports to Sri Lanka (14 per cent of the total) rank only next to India's (20 per cent).
  • 38) Jan 18, 2015 12:06:21 GMT |  + Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: An Expat’s Account of an Extraordinary Visit to Colombo
    “There are Tamil and Sinhala Catholics in Sri Lanka,” said Devi Malar, a 45-year-old woman from near Puliyankulam in the north of the Island. “I am Tamil. When Pope John Paul came 20 years ago, there was still fighting, I could not travel to Colombo but this time I made it and see what he has done!” Expats like me turned out. “I live here but I’m from Mexico and Catholic, so of course I came to see the pope. But my family were surprised when I told them,” said Ana Breton, a marketing executive has worked in Colombo for the past six months. “‘There are Catholics there?’ they asked. It looks so peaceful–better organized than Mexico! This gives a really good impression.” more ...
  • 39) Jan 18, 2015 12:01:57 GMT |  + Ship carrying container loads of weapons detained at Galle Harbour
    A ship carrying containers of weapons has been detained by police at the Galle Harbour. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that investigations are underway. Twelve container loads of weapons were reportedly found onboard the Sri Lankan-flagged vessel ‘MV Mahanuwara’ which is said to be an Offshore Supply Ship registered in Sri Lanka. However, according to the website of the Sri Lanka Shipping Company, MV Mahanuwara is a government-approved floating armoury operated by Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS). more ...
  • 40) Jan 18, 2015 12:00:15 GMT |  + Flying High With Public Funds
    A stonishing revelations have now come to the fore as to how the previous regime has used Air Force commercial flights on credit facility amounting to several millions of rupees for the air travels of Rajapaksa family members and for few Ministers in the former cabinet during the Presidential election campaign. Sri Lankan government now owes more than a staggering Rs.30.485 million to Sri Lanka Air Force and questions have been raised as to who is going to foot this bill, whether it will be recovered from those who used the commercial flights or from the country’s rate payer. more ...
  • 41) Jan 18, 2015 11:58:34 GMT |  + New Sri Lankan Foreign Minister: Our Tilt Towards China Needs A Course Correction
    New Sri Lankan foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera arrived in New Delhi late Saturday. Even before his first bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj on Sunday, Samaraweera, an eloquent speaker who has held the portfolio successfully before, met with Swarajya’s Foreign Affairs Editor, Padma Rao Sundarji, for a freewheeling interview exclusive to Swarajya on the historic election victory by his ‘rainbow coalition’ that includes Tamil and Sinhalese nationalists. more ...
  • 42) Jan 18, 2014 17:48:52 GMT |  + Sri Lanka ready to face UN rights body: Minister
    Sri Lanka, on Saturday said it was ready to face another resolution against the country in the UN rights body over alleged war crimes during decades long civil war against the rebel Tamil Tigers. "We have a big challenge in March. We are ready to face any challenge," said Mahinda Samarasinghe, plantation minister and the country's human rights envoy. Addressing a gathering in central Kandy town, he said while facing the challenge in the UNHRC, Sri Lanka would not let its troops down. "We will neither betray the nation nor our gallant troops."
  • 43) Jan 18, 2014 17:48:25 GMT |  + Sri Lanka mass grave count hits 36
    Forensic experts have discovered more bodies in an unmarked mass grave in Sri Lanka's former war zone, raising the total to 36, an official said Friday. A team led by judicial medical officer Dhananjaya Waidyaratne found four more skeletons on Thursday in the first mass grave uncovered since troops defeated Tamil rebels nearly five years ago. "The bodies have been buried in several layers," Waidyaratne told the BBC's Sinhala Service at the northern district of Mannar, where the grave was found. more ...
  • 44) Jan 18, 2014 17:34:33 GMT |  + Tamil writers across globe to meet in Coimbatore
    The Center for Tamil Culture will organise a three-day meeting of eminent Tamil writers and scholars across the globe in the city from January 20 to 22. Titled ‘Thayagam Kadantha Tamil’, the international conference will see the participation of 35 experts from all over the world, said Nalla G. Palaniswami, founder-chairman of the Center, here on Friday. The experts include R. Karthickesu from Malaysia, Cheran and A. Muthulingam from Canada, Nagarathnam Krishna from France, S. Ponnudurai from Australia, Shanmuga Siva and Muthu Nedumaran from Malaysia, Ulriche Nicholas from Germany, Kalaimagal from China, Seethalakshmi and Azhagiya Pandian from Singapore – all experts in their field, said senior journalist Maalan, who is the convener of the international conference.
  • 45) Jan 18, 2014 11:11:04 GMT |  + Human Skeletons Uncovered in Mass Grave in Sri Lanka
    A mass grave containing more than 30 skulls has been uncovered in northern Sri Lanka, fuelling speculation that there may be many more like it containing the remains of thousands who went missing during the island nation's nearly three-decade war. Workers stumbled on the human remains as they dug up roadside paving for a water project near a historic Hindu temple in the district of Mannar. more ...
  • 46) Jan 18, 2014 11:08:09 GMT |  + Mass grave fuels fear of 1000s buried in Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka is already under international pressure to address alleged wartime human rights violations. A failure to probe the discovery could fuel the anger of Western nations demanding an independent international investigation into suspected abuses."The loss of lives, according to us, is between 75 000 to 150 000. Where are those remains?" TNA legislator MA Sumanthiran told Reuters. "They must be somewhere. If they were put into incinerators and destroyed, we don't know. But we don't think more than 100 000 would have been dealt with like that." more ...
  • 47) Jan 18, 2014 11:04:17 GMT |  + Sri Lanka seeks more time; fishermen's association meet postponed to Jan 27
    With Sri Lanka seeking time to finalise the list of representatives for the much-anticipated fishermen's associations meeting aimed at resolving the vexed issue of fishing rights in the Palk Straits, the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday said the discussions would be held on January 27 and not on Monday as announced originally. The decision was taken based on a communication from the Centre that Sri Lanka had sought time to finalise its list of representatives, an official release here said.
  • 48) Jan 18, 2014 10:55:52 GMT |  + Sri Lanka mass grave yields more skeletons
    The Roman Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Rayappu Joseph added that the site had been under army control "for a long time" and that although the Tamil Tigers had a presence in the area, they would not have been capable of making such a large mass grave.But police spokesman Ajith Rohana, said the area had been under Tamil Tiger control since at least 1993. He declined to comment on the possible culprits. The grave is already becoming the subject of a Sri Lanka-style propaganda battle in cyber-space. more ...
  • 49) Jan 18, 2014 10:53:42 GMT |  + HR Chief’s report will give an assessment on SL-UK
    While claiming that the UNHRC Chief’s report ahead of the HR Council will give an assessment of Sri Lanka’s progress, Britain has reiterated that if a credible domestic process has not begun properly by March it would use its seat on the UN Human Rights Council to call for an international investigation against Sri Lanka. Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire told in Britain’s Parliament on Thursday, "We are regularly discussing Sri Lanka with a range of international partners in the run-up to the next session of the Human Rights Council in March." more ...
  • 50) Jan 18, 2013 23:45:23 GMT |  + Row in Lanka as govt turns Tamil killing fields into tourist hot spot
    Local people who've recently travelled into Sri Lanka's killing fields, where an estimated 40,000 people perished in 2009, say skulls and human bones have risen to the surface after this year's flooding and abandoned belongings are strewn all over the landscape. "It is a horrible scene," said one visitor, "there are still bunkers visible with saris, kid's clothing and suitcases left open under the bushes; you can't imagine what it must have been like for those people to have been crammed into that tiny place so close together". This man was too scared to go close or collect the human remains lest there were mines or unexploded ordinance.
  • 51) Jan 18, 2013 18:17:50 GMT |  + Firing of Sri Lanka chief justice erodes rule of law: UN
    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay was "deeply concerned" by Bandaranayake's removal, her spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva. "The removal of the chief justice through a flawed process... is, in the High Commissioner's view, gross interference in the independence of the judiciary and a calamitous setback for the rule of law in Sri Lanka," he said.
  • 52) Jan 18, 2013 14:06:47 GMT |  + Joshua Kurlantzick: The reluctant democrats
    Emerging powers like India, Brazil and South Africa were supposed to be democracy’s greatest proponents, writes Joshua Kurlantzick in the third of three book excerpts. But it hasn’t worked out that way at all: ... India took a hands-off approach to its neighbor Sri Lanka, which under the government of President Mahinda Rajpaksa crushed the Tamil Tiger rebel movement in the spring of 2009, and in the process tried to destroy Sri Lanka’s press, civil society and opposition parties, as well as shelling Tamil civilians indiscriminately. more ...
  • 53) Jan 18, 2013 14:04:42 GMT |  + From Tamil Brahmin to Kashmiri Pandit: Weddings Across India
    Over the last five years, in the course of working on a photography book “Just Another Indian Wedding,” I may have witnessed and documented a greater variety of Indian weddings than any other person on earth. Traveling the length and breadth of India for the book, I was searching out differences and similarities in Indian wedding traditions, while trying to find a single theme that could explain the essence of this grand, colorful and fantastic celebration. more ...
  • 54) Jan 18, 2013 4:11:30 GMT |  + Jonathan Manthorpe: Thrust for centralized power by Sri Lankan president puts Commonwealth summit at risk
    The removal of the chief justice of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sparked international outrage because it seems to many to be another firm step in his establishment of a family dictatorship. And it comes at a time when many foreign capitals feel forced to respond because Sri Lanka is to host the 54-member Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) later this year. Typically, the human and political rights records of members of the club of former British Empire colonies is always an issue at such meetings. more ...
  • 55) Jan 18, 2013 4:09:02 GMT |  + Sri Lanka government moves closer to authoritarian rule
    Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa regime has turned its eyes to the country’s judiciary for its next line of attack. In a group that includes civilians, journalists, elected officials, humanitarian workers and human rights defenders, the judiciary was always under a tight leash but recent developments indicate that they, too, are no longer immune from immediate threat. With this week’s overwhelming vote by parliament in favour of the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s unabated endorsement of that move, Sri Lanka is further descending into authoritarian rule. more ...
  • 56) Jan 18, 2013 4:06:46 GMT |  + Save the Commonwealth Brand: Tell Sri Lanka 'Enough'
    It is time for the Commonwealth of Nations to suspend Sri Lanka from its councils. In doing so, the Commonwealth would restore confidence in its 2.1 billion people that it is not a hypocritical association that claims to stand for values, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law but fails to act to discipline governments that violate these values. The Sri Lanka government has now seriously and persistently violated the principles to which every Commonwealth country has declared itself to be committed, and, according to the Commonwealth’s rules this is ground for suspension from its councils as a first step. more ...
  • 57) Jan 18, 2013 4:05:21 GMT |  + The Law Society Expresses Concern Over the Recent Dismissal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake
    The Law Society of Upper Canada publicly expresses concern that the recent dismissal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is politically motivated and may have a negative effect on judicial independence in Sri Lanka. Reliable reports indicate that on November 1, 2012, the ruling party of Sri Lanka, the United People''s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) announced that they had started the process to impeach the Hon. Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, the country''s chief justice. Chief Justice Bandaranayake is the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka and the country''s first woman chief justice. The Chief Justice has denied any wrongdoing.
  • 58) Jan 18, 2012 18:46:24 GMT |  + Krishna Nudges Lanka to Resolve the Tamil Problem
    After he handed over 65 houses to beneficiaries in Ariviyal Nagar in Kilinochchi and Ariyali in Jaffna, the Tamil heartland of Sri Lanka, Krishna also visited the houses built by Hindustan Prefab Limited, an Indian public sector undertaking, and spoke with the beneficiaries. "India will do everything possible to assist in this process," he said and adding that the country has noted the "constructive recommendations" contained in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and look forward to their implementation.
  • 59) Jan 18, 2012 18:36:51 GMT |  + GLs absence at centenarian celebrations, ANC leaders disappointed
    The leaders of the African National Alliance (ANC) have expressed its disappointment over the absence of its Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris in the party’s centenarian celebrations in South Africa recently, informed sources said today. The government did not send Prof. Peiris as its representative in the event on January as a mark of protest against the invitation extended to the Global Tamil Forum, an LTTE front. Instead, the government sent Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to South Africa Shehan Ratnavel as its envoy.
  • 60) Jan 18, 2012 14:22:41 GMT |  + India must kick China out of Sri Lanka: William Avery, Former US diplomat
    There are few more knowledgeable observers of US-India relations than William H Avery, a former US diplomat, who served at the US Consulate in Chennai in the 1990s, a time when India’s relations with the US soured after New Delhi’s nuclear tests. “India must now concentrate on the Finlandization of Sri Lanka,” Avery writes, while referring to Finland’s subjugation by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. “In the short term this will mean preventing any further non-Indian involvement in Sri Lanka’s affairs.” more ...
  • 61) Jan 18, 2012 13:11:39 GMT |  + India, China seek to avoid border flare-ups
    India and China have agreed to try to avoid flare-ups along their disputed 4,000-km border through the Himalayas, a positive development in often fractious relations between Asia's emerging giants. Under an agreement signed on Tuesday, high-level diplomats and military officials will aim at "timely communication" about border incidents and meet once or twice a year. "Its main task is to deal with affairs concerning maintaining the peace and tranquility of the border area," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a briefing on Wednesday.
  • 62) Jan 18, 2012 11:20:53 GMT |  + TNA looks towards a new beginning in talks with Govt.
    The Tamil National Alliance, the credible representative of the Tamil people in the north, said on Wednesday that it looked forward to a new beginning in talks with the government, following the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assurance on devolution and autonomy. “The President has spoken about going beyond the 13th Amendment. This is a new beginning and we will pursue the talks from here,” TNA MP Sumanthiran told The Hindu, when asked about the progress of talks. A crucial round of talks were scheduled to begin on Tuesday but the government side did not turn up for the talks.
  • 63) Jan 18, 2012 11:14:38 GMT |  + China offers Sri Lanka help to find Silk Route wrecks
    Chinese authorities are seeking permission to explore Sri Lanka's coastline for possible Chinese ship wrecks from the ancient Silk Route era, an official said Wednesday. Sri Lanka, an Indian Ocean island, was a key trading post along the ancient Silk Route which saw silk, spices and handicrafts travel by road and sea between Asia and Europe. The seas around the island's southern port of Galle are known to have at least 75 ancient ship wrecks, of which 25 have been well documented.
  • 64) Jan 18, 2012 11:08:03 GMT |  + SM Krishna flies to Jaffna to meet Sri Lankan Tamils
    External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Wednesday flew from by chopper to Kilinochchi on way to Jaffna in the northern province of Sri Lanka to meet ethnic Tamils. He will gift medical equipment to the district general hospital at Kilinochchi on the third day of his four-day visit after fruitful official talks on Tuesday with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister DM Jayarathna and his counterpart GL Peiris in this scenic capital.
  • 65) Jan 18, 2012 11:00:38 GMT |  + Sri Lankan doctor who helped Tamil Tigers wants UK job back
    Murugesu Vinayagamoorthy, a Sri Lankan doctor who admitted aiding the South Asian nation's Tamil Tiger separatist group began his appeal on Tuesday to be allowed to resume work in Britain. The 62-year-old doctor was released last year and has asked Britain's General Medical Council (GMC) if he can see patients again at the clinic he runs with his wife in Enfield.But at a disciplinary hearing, the GMC, which registers doctors to practise in Britain, said Vinayagamoorthy's links to the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) had "stepped wildly beyond any reasonable boundary."
  • 66) Jan 18, 2011 15:43:34 GMT |  + Sri Lanka media, opposition march to protest attacks
    Several hundred Sri Lankan journalists, opposition politicians and supporters marched peacefully in the capital on Tuesday to demand justice for attacks, killings, and disappearances of media workers, and criticised the government for failing to find the perpetrators. Since the start of the final phase of a 25-year civil war in 2006, at least 14 journalists have been killed and many more attacked or threatened in the Indian Ocean island nation. more ...
  • 67) Jan 18, 2011 15:42:26 GMT |  + Appeal for help the Flood victims in Eastern Sri Lanka
    Floods in Eastern Sri Lanka has affected over a million people. Over 300,000 have been displaced and the United Nations has called upon the international community to help the victims of the flood recover from this devastation. Eastern Sri Lanka has been victimized by the brutality of war since 1983, and was severely affected by the tsunami of 2004. The needs of the victims are immense and evolving daily. The lack of shelter, sanitation facility with access to clean water, basic food, clothing, and medical treatment is of grave concern.
  • 68) Jan 18, 2011 15:41:44 GMT |  + ‘A supremely pragmatic actor’
    China has shown it will join the West in ‘interfering’ in states’ internal affairs - if that is a way to ensure regional stability and its own future interests. It has become routine in much analysis of international affairs to position China as an opponent of the West (i.e. not just a competitor), and as prioritizing state sovereignty and non-interference in a state’s internal affairs above other international principles. The one is also often suggested as the explanation for the other.
  • 69) Jan 18, 2011 15:40:27 GMT |  + A flag for the global Tamil community
    A flag represents so many things. It may represent an idea, a brand, a sports team, an organization, a community or a nation. Flags have been used by human societies from ancient times. Today apart from our tri color Indian National flag, all major political parties have their own flags. Two Indian states – Karnataka and Kashmir have their own flags. In countries like the USA, apart from the 50 states, even the Native Indian Tribes have their own flags.
  • 70) Jan 18, 2011 12:08:46 GMT |  + Extreme Weather Changes Could Follow Floods
    Weather experts warned Sri Lankan to be prepared for extreme weather changes with hardly any notice following devastating floods here that have affected over one million people. "Global weather patterns are changing, we should be prepared for extreme changes," Gunavi Samarasinghe, the head of Meteorological Department, said as the country battled floods in the east as temperatures island-wide dropped to sixty year lows. The drop in temperature was caused by the cloud cover over the island, Samarasinghe said. Colombo registered a temperature of 18.8C, while the central Nuwera Eliya highlands fell to a single digit - 7C.
  • 71) Jan 18, 2011 3:23:15 GMT |  + UN Gets Sri Lanka Visa for Fundraising, Not War Crimes Panel, Doormat for Despots
    A month after visits to Sri Lanka were announced by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his Panel of Experts on Accountability, a UN official from New York is finally going to Colombo. It is not, however, about accountability. Rather, deputy chief of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg is going to issue an appeal for money. At the UN's January 17 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to comment on protests about aid non delivery in Batticaloa...
  • 72) Jan 18, 2011 3:19:32 GMT |  + Stemming migration of medical specialists in Sri Lanka
    When healthcare professionals move abroad, domestic health services often suffer. However, a scheme in Sri Lanka is exploiting the positive effects of foreign work placements. This case study forms part of a selection of entries for the first ever Global Health Workforce Alliance awards, created to highlight successes in addressing health workforce issues. The awards will be presented at the Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, which takes place on 25-29 January in Bangkok. more ...
  • 73) Jan 18, 2011 3:16:07 GMT |  + Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Invited to Southern Sudan After Independence Vote
    Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) has invited Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to visit Southern Sudan in the immediate aftermath of the vote for an independent state. TGTE is sending a delegation to participate in the celebrations and to discuss possibilities of assisting Southern Sudan in their development efforts through Tamil Diaspora expertise in selected fields. TGTE delegation will be received by the SPLM officials and will stay as guests of SPLM. They will also meet other foreign government leaders.
  • 74) Jan 18, 2011 3:14:12 GMT |  + News reports irk Rajapaksa in Jaffna
    SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa visiting Jaffna and ‘celebrating’ Pongkal on Monday reacted to media reports that pointed out his ‘conspicuous silence’ about an aid he was politically capitalising. Meanwhile, the SL president who is coupling a terror campaign with his campaign for a colonial polity, ‘celebrating’ a Tamil agrarian festival in military occupied Jaffna, spending millions of rupees and intimidating people to attend it, while the agricultural lands of the Tamil country are seriously deluged in the floods making hundreds of thousands homeless, was nauseating to the public, media sources in Jaffna said. But addressing along with Rajapaksa, the SL minister and the ‘host’ of the event, Douglas Devananda declared that “today the polity of collaboration is on its victorious march.” more ...
  • 75) Jan 18, 2011 3:12:14 GMT |  + Workers processing Tamil refugee claims getting more work space
    Federal workers who have been processing the claims of Tamil asylum-seekers at a B.C. detention facility are getting additional workspace, even though the number of detainees has been falling steadily. The renovations at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge, B.C., come amid reports that additional boatloads of migrants could be on their way. Jennifer Bourque, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, said late Monday that trailers have been added to the jail site to increase workspace for federal workers to conduct migrant interviews and other work.
  • 76) Jan 18, 2010 20:35:28 GMT |  + Boycott Sri Lanka Releases Second Video in Series "No Blood for Panties"; innovative marketing strategy proves popular, effective
    On the heels of its successful release of the first episode of No Blood For Panties series, Boycott Sri Lanka released its second episode today. No Blood For Panties is part of a campaign to encourage Americans to boycott products made in Sri Lanka to end Sri Lanka's violent discrimination against its Tamil population. "We are thrilled by the growing success of the No Blood For Panties series," said Boycott Sri Lanka representative Anjali Manivannan. "The first episode has gone viral, with thousands of views a day, and generating a dialogue about the use of sexuality to promote activism. This is exactly the response we were aiming for: a shocking new way to spread awareness about grave human rights violations," she continued.
  • 77) Jan 18, 2010 20:22:33 GMT |  + Deadly unrest flares in Sri Lanka ahead of vote
    A Sri Lankan opposition supporter was killed on Monday as fresh unrest erupted ahead of next week's presidential election despite a security crackdown, police said. The man was killed in a clash with ruling party activists in northwestern Sri Lanka, marking the third politically-related death in the run-up to the presidential vote on January 26. Supporters of the main opposition candidate, former army chief Sarath Fonseka, were attacked in the town of Wariyapola while they were putting up election posters, police said.
  • 78) Jan 18, 2010 12:59:50 GMT |  + Sri Lanka vote raises hopes in Washington
    Sri Lanka's upcoming election is raising hopes in the United States for better relations after a chilly spell if the island turns the page on a bloody war that brought international opprobrium. The January 26 election comes months after troops killed the top leadership of the Tamil Tigers, ending their ruthless decades-long separatist campaign but also triggering accusations of human rights abuses. Ironically, the post-war election could be decided by voters from the Tamil minority as the Sinhalese majority splits between two candidates -- incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse, who ordered the final military push, and former general Sarath Fonseka, who executed it but more recently has pledged reconciliation. Related article: Sri Lanka's Tamils wary of election spotlight more ...
  • 79) Jan 18, 2010 12:59:04 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's warhorses fail at peace
    Two celebrated heroes who, as president and army chief, helped end Sri Lanka's long and brutal civil war against the Tamil Tigers are now crossing political swords. Whichever candidate wins Sri Lanka's presidential election on January 26 will have to lead that small but strategically located island-nation in a fundamentally different direction – from making war, as it has done for more than a quarter-century, to making peace through ethnic reconciliation and power sharing. Sri Lanka, almost since independence in 1948, has been racked by acrimonious rivalry between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils, who make up 12% of today's 21.3 million population.
  • 80) Jan 18, 2010 12:58:00 GMT |  + Sri Lanka pre-poll clash kills opposition supporter
    A supporter of Sri Lanka's opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka has been killed in a clash ahead of next week's presidential election, police say. Opposition activists were attacked in Wariyapola town in the north-west of the country while they were putting up election posters, police said. The man was killed in a clash with ruling party activists, they said. The 26 January presidential elections are taking place amid heightened political tension. Gen Fonseka is the main rival to President Rajapaksa. He resigned from his post as chief of defence staff in November following differences with the government over who should take credit for defeating the Tamil Tiger rebels last May. more ...
  • 81) Jan 18, 2010 2:47:09 GMT |  + Sri Lankan warrior has president in his sights
    He threw his arms high in the air as the crowd cheered wildly; they hadn’t minded being drenched by a downpour as they waited for his rally to begin on the outskirts of Colombo. They didn’t mind, either, that he was five hours late. The general is the army hero whose unexpected intervention has electrified Sri Lanka’s presidential election, being held just nine months after the defeat of the violent separatist movement known as the Tamil Tigers. When the campaign began in November the re-election of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the victorious war president, was regarded as virtually inevitable. But now, as the last week of campaigning begins, there is a growing sense that the general who directed operations on the battlefield could instead narrowly pull off a historic upset at the polls.
  • 82) Jan 18, 2009 5:47:19 GMT |  + Sirasa attack 'an inside job'
    The attack on Sirasa media station was proved to be an 'inside job', Sri Lankan government has said. "At this moment Sirasa is the Voice of Tigers. In Colombo Sirasa is the station that represents the LTTE. As we are winning now they have become desperate. Now the Tigers are losing the war, they are seeking public sympathy. That is why they set fire to Sirasa," Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. more ...
  • 83) Jan 18, 2009 5:22:10 GMT |  + Murder most foul and a Govt. running scared
    Hours after news of Lasantha's murder rocked the entire country, government ministers and other SLFPers were already jittery, privately blaming the government for its failure to stop a dangerous trend within the country culminating with this brutal killing. Some UNP crossers over were visibly angry at the government's failure to address the culture of impunity that had gripped the nation stating they had not crossed over to nurture this kind of break down of rule of law.
  • 84) Jan 18, 2009 5:10:55 GMT |  + British Tamil support group lobbies SA networks for peace in Sri Lanka
    British Tamil group is rallying support from South African religious and political organisations in a bid to help end the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka. The British Tamils Forum met with the South African Tamil Federation and the South African- based Solidarity Group of Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka to talk about the plight of Tamil Sri Lankans. The British Tamils Forum, an umbrella body which raises awareness about the humanitarian crisis among mainly Tamil people around the world, also met with ANC members at the manifesto rally in East London last week. Meanwhile the US-based organisation, Tamils For Obama, have petitioned the White House to act on the conflict in Sri Lanka. They are hoping to obtain 100000 signatures world wide.
  • 85) Jan 18, 2009 5:08:52 GMT |  + Professionalism in killings foxes them all
    In the early hours of February 18 1990 journalist and television newsreader Richard de Zoysa was abducted from his home in Colombo. The next evening his body was washed ashore on Lunawa beach. He had been shot in the head. He had burn marks on his body. Richard was 32 at the time of his death. To this date, the investigation into his death has not been completed. Dharmaratnam Sivaram was also killed on April 28 2005. He was a popular Tamil journalist. He was kidnapped by four men in a white van in front of the Bambalapitiya police station.
  • 86) Jan 18, 2009 5:05:03 GMT |  + Only a political solution will end the issue: Ahmed
    A political solution will be the only and lasting solution to the ethnic Lankan Tamil issue, said Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahmed here on Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Ahmed said, “Since the issue cannot be solved militarily, the Indian Government is taking all steps to bring about a political solution within the constitutional framework of Sri Lanka.”
  • 87) Jan 18, 2009 4:47:20 GMT |  + Despite CM’s appeal, Thirumavalan continues fast
    VCK leader Thol Thirumavalan on Saturday went ahead with his fast-unto-death agitation at Maraimalai Nagar, despite appeals from various political parties, including Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, to give up the stir. Though Thirumavalavan looked normal at the venue of the agitation, doctors who had checked his pulse said the blood pressure as well as sugar levels were coming down. Responding to the observation by the doctors, Thirumavalavan said, “I’m a Dalit. I know what it is to be hungry and have experienced the same pangs earlier.’’
  • 88) Jan 18, 2008 22:00:12 GMT |  + Britain 'has a right' to interfere
    Many international actors, including Great Britain, are concerned of the escalating violence in Sri Lanka, a senior British MP said. President of the Liberal Democrat party, Simon Hughes, MP told BBC Sandeshaya that what happens in Sri Lanka is of importance to UK and the Commonwealth as well as for many other countries, is of great importance to 'nearly quarter of a million' Sri Lankan in UK, both Sinhala and Tamil. more ...
  • 89) Jan 18, 2008 15:39:21 GMT |  + Communist Party of India concerned at Sri Lanka situation
    “The National Council of the CPI is of the view that a military offensive cannot be a solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. The Tamils of Sri Lanka are striving for peaceful co-existence with equal rights over these years. The legitimate aspirations of Tamils in Sri Lanka with all democratic and human rights must be safeguarded through a proper mechanism for devolution of powers on the basis of federal principles within Sri Lanka,” the resolution noted.
  • 90) Jan 18, 2008 15:35:54 GMT |  + ADB admits to problems over lending to poor nations
    The Asian Development Bank admitted in an internal study released Friday that some of its loans to poor countries over the last few years had failed to achieve all their goals. The release of the study comes after reports that disillusioned major donor nations such as the US and Britain want big changes at the Manila-based international lender. Concerns about the bank have prompted Britain to withdraw a commitment to provide more funds because of a "lack of significant progress on the reform agenda," the Financial Times newspaper reported on Thursday.
  • 91) Jan 18, 2008 12:38:49 GMT |  + Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka hunt
    Nine people have been shot dead in south-eastern Sri Lanka as police and army commandos hunted for suspected Tamil Tiger rebels who attacked a bus. Twenty-seven passengers were killed in the attack on Wednesday. Most were shot as they tried to get out of the vehicle after it was hit by a bomb blast. The army blamed the rebels for the attack, which came on a day when the government formally ended a ceasefire.
  • 92) Jan 18, 2008 12:37:35 GMT |  + Expat Tamil community calls for airline boycott
    Tamils around the world have called for a global boycott of Sri Lankan Airlines in protest at the Colombo government's decision to end its six-year ceasefire with rebels. The Sri Lankan government officially annulled the cessation of hostilities with the rebel Tamil Tigers two weeks ago. Announcing the boycott, the London-based British Tamils Forum claimed that £12m in foreign currency earned annually by the airline was being used to reinforce the government's war chest. As many as 300,000 Tamils from Sri Lanka live in the UK. There are an estimated 350,000 in Canada and around 100,000 each in the United States and South Africa.
  • 93) Jan 18, 2008 12:24:12 GMT |  + Surrey man charged in murder of wife
    A Surrey man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, a popular real-estate agent, after she was found dead in their home this week, stunning residents of their quiet street who described the pair as private but friendly. Sivapragasam Ratnanesan, 51, made an appearance in Surrey Provincial Court yesterday, but was remanded in custody until Jan. 31 so he could hire a lawyer. He was represented in court by duty counsel. On Wednesday, police arriving just before midnight at the couple's home found Mr. Ratnanesan with injuries consistent with attempted suicide, one source said.
  • 94) Jan 18, 2008 12:22:44 GMT |  + Lanka govt goes for victory or bust in war with Tigers
    Sri Lanka on Thursday began a new chapter in its decades-old war with Tamil Tigers having tossed aside a tattered 2002 truce with the rebels in its unquestionable belief it can defeat them. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), seen as being on the defensive after a string of setbacks suffered during last year’s slow collapse of the truce, also affirmed their readiness for all-out war. Earlier this month they killed a government minister near Colombo, and on Wednesday they were the prime suspects behind a public bus bombing that killed 24 civilians and wounded scores of others.
  • 95) Jan 18, 2008 3:11:59 GMT |  + India admits helping Sri Lanka Navy
    A day after Colombo praised the Indian Navy for its role in "breaking the LTTE's backbone", India on Wednesday acknowledged, for the first time in recent years, its active role in countering the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda had told the Colombo Post on Tuesday that Tiger supply vessels and floating warehouses containing 10,000 tons of war-like material had been destroyed thanks to Indian help. His Indian counterpart, Admiral Sureesh Mehta spoke in sync and said, "We support by checking our activities on their coast and their activities on ours. In this way, we help ourselves by helping them."
  • 96) Jan 18, 2008 2:15:53 GMT |  + What Liberation?
    The East is ‘liberated’. It has been so since last June when the government requested it to be celebrated with ‘patriotic joy’. Over 300,000 civilians were displaced in the process and a majority have been ‘resettled’ since then. But a significant minority still remain in the IDP or transit camps with uncertainty hanging over their future. This report, based on short visits and a series of discussions with a number of people in the area – including some of the displaced people themselves – is to communicate some pressing issues and concerns in this process.
  • 97) Jan 18, 2008 2:14:02 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Begins Election Process in Province Taken From Rebels
    Sri Lanka began the process of holding elections in the Eastern Province, the region captured by the army from the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam last July after 14 years of fighting. Nominations for candidates in nine local authorities in Batticaloa district will be sent to the Election Commission from today, W.P. Sumanasiri, deputy elections commissioner, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Colombo. The date for voting has yet to be set.
  • 98) Jan 18, 2008 2:13:20 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Efforts to Overcome a New Cycle of Violence
    On January 8, 2008, the Sri Lankan Minister for Nation Building, DM Dassanayake was killed when his convoy was hit by a powerful roadside bomb blast, allegedly planted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) near the capital, Colombo. The killing follows the murder of LTTE’s Political wing chief S.P. Tamilselvam and the Intelligence wing chief "Colonel" Charles by the Sri Lankan security forces. On New Year’s Day, a Tamil Parliamentarian Thiagarajah Maleswaran was assassinated inside a Hindu temple in Colombo.
  • 99) Jan 18, 2007 18:50:05 GMT |  + SLA shells Vaharai hospital, 5 civilians wounded
    Sri Lanka Army fired artillery shells targeted Vaharai hospital again Thursday twice in the morning and in the evening, wounded five persons and causing damage to the building. Despite the urgent message passed to military through the ICRC, after SLA shelling Thursday morning between 6:00 and 10:00 a.m., the hopsital vicinty was attacked again in the evening at 5:15 p.m. Artillery shells were fired from Kajuwatte and Mankerny SLA camps. Targeting of medical facilities is a serious breach of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) that applies to both internal and international armed conflicts. Hundreds of civilians have sought refuge at the area surrounding hospital.
  • 100) Jan 18, 2007 18:46:19 GMT |  + ICRC calls on warring parties to respect hospitals and civilians
    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is increasingly alarmed by the hostilities, including shelling, in the Vakarai area, where a hospital is located around which thousands of civilians have gathered. Under international humanitarian law, a hospital and its personnel exclusively assigned to medical purposes must be respected and protected in all circumstances and may not be the subject of attack. As long as the hospital is not used to commit hostile acts, such as launching military offensives or storing military equipment in its compound, the hospital must not be attacked.
  • 101) Jan 18, 2007 18:44:12 GMT |  + Sri Lanka shuts down phones amid fighting
    Sri Lanka stopped mobile phone services for nearly half a million users in the island`s embattled east as government troops were locked in combat with Tiger rebels, an official said on Thursday. Troops battling Tamil Tigers have asked telecom operators to switch off their networks to prevent guerrillas making use of mobile phone services for military operations. "It`s a routine request whenever a major operation takes place," Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Director General, Kanchana Ratwatte, told media persons today.
  • 102) Jan 18, 2007 13:04:53 GMT |  + New War
    President Rajapakse's enthusiasm for war is infectious. There can be no doubt that 2007 will be one of full-scale war in Sri Lanka. Army commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka was emphatic last week; his forces would clear the east within a month and then concentrate to destroy the LTTE in the north, he vowed. President Mahinda Rajapakse shares his confidence. The government is rolling out the political dimensions of the Sinhala hegemonic project - especially the de-merger of the Northeast Province - with a new urgency.
  • 103) Jan 18, 2007 12:26:57 GMT |  + Ten under-18 years old sought protection from military –Jaffna Human Rights Commission
    According to the Jaffna branch of the human rights commission ten children (under-18) are among the 40 civilians who have sought protection from the human rights commission. These civilians have been produced before the courts and have been placed in prison for their own safety says the Jaffna branch of the human rights commission. Citizens seeking safety in prison from death squads operating freely in society is a unique phenomenon that indicates the current context in Jaffna. Although the human rights commission will not state it, because it is part of the GoSL, it is crystal clear to the people of Jaffna that the perpetrators are the Sri Lankan military. Further elucidating this phenomenon are some recent events in Jaffna.
  • 104) Jan 18, 2007 12:25:20 GMT |  + White van squad abducts disabled man in Jaffna
    Unidentified armed men arriving in a white van abducted a disabled man in broad day light at Thettkiyalady in Chunnakam, Valigamam, Tuesday around 11:00 a.m, as he was riding his bicycle along Kankesanthurai road where Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troopers were present, the family members said. The abducted is identified as Daniel Shantharoopan, 30, a family man from Mylankadu in Elalai. His footwear and prosthetic leg were found lying at the place from where he was abducted, eyewitnesses said.
  • 105) Jan 18, 2007 12:20:46 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's abduction industry has top academic in its grip
    In a violence-torn country where kidnappings of Tamils, the rich as well as the not so rich, have become routine. 'It is more than one month and nobody is telling us where my father-in-law is,' said Malaravan. 'We have no single clue, nothing. They - are blank. Police do meet us, but that is all. And worse, there is no eyewitness to what really happened that day. 'UGC has my father-in-law's resignation. They only need to make it public. We are requesting them to do it. We are ready to give 100 percent firm assurance that my father-in-law will have nothing to do with the university once he is freed. We will not file any case. We pray to god every day.'
  • 106) Jan 18, 2007 12:15:03 GMT |  + Suspected Tamil rebels fire at Sri Lankan troops, soldier killed
    Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels fired mortars at a Sri Lankan military camp, killing one soldier and wounding another, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Thursday. Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the military camp at Nagarkovil, on northern Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula, was hit by a mortar round late Wednesday. He said one soldier was killed and another wounded. Nagarkovil is on the line that separates rebel-held and government-held areas on the Jaffna peninsula. In another incident late Wednesday, suspected rebels fired mortars at a military camp in the eastern district of Batticaloa, but missed the target. The military reported no casualties.
  • 107) Jan 18, 2007 12:13:20 GMT |  + United Nations say Sri Lanka has 213,000 new refugees, needs US$66 million for support
    The ongoing violence in Sri Lanka has resulted in 213,000 new refugees, the U.N. humanitarian affairs office said Thursday, asking donors for US$66 million (51.13 million) in aid to carry out support programs in coming months. "The recurrence of violence and hostilities in the north and east of the country since April 2006 has impacted negatively upon the humanitarian situation of the civilian population - a situation already strained by prior conflict," the U.N. agency said in a statement.
  • 108) Jan 18, 2007 3:34:13 GMT |  + Sri Lankan Disasters, Natural and Man-Made
    Pakistan and Israel together!, which have become suppliers of Sri Lanka’s military. Maybe not breaking bread but certainly providing simultaneous services to a military client state. The widespread artillery barrages and bombing runs with Israeli-supplied Kfir fighter-bombers have vastly increased the number of casualties on the Tamil side. The relatively inexperienced Sri Lanka air force, emboldened with its new toys and given a green light by an aggressive and nativist civilian government, has struck clumsy, inaccurate but devastating blows against Sri Lanka’s Tamil population. This beautiful island is in danger of slipping far down the U.N.’s index of development as a blood lust begins to permeate the country’s public life. more ...
  • 109) Jan 18, 2007 0:46:52 GMT |  + Pastor Shot Dead In Sri Lanka
    Tensions remained high in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna Wednesday, January 17, after a pastor was shot dead by government security forces, triggering fears of more ethnic and religious clashes in the volatile region, local Christians and investigators said. 38-year old Nallathamby Gnanaseelan, who leads the Tamil Mission Church in Jaffna, was reportedly shot and killed January 13 by Sri Lankan security forces in Chapel Street after he had taken his wife and daughter to hospital. In a statement, the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) said he was shot in the stomach and then in the head. His Bible, bag, identity card and motorcycle were apparently taken away and he was left alone on the road. more ...
  • 110) Jan 18, 2007 0:44:35 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Rebels, Breakaway Faction Still Abduct Children to Fight as Soldiers
    Sri Lankan children are being abducted to fight as soldiers in the bloody island conflict by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and a breakaway group known as the Karuna faction, the Secretary-General has warned in his latest report to the Security Council, calling for an immediate end to the practice and recommending "targeted measures" in response. Commenting on the report, which was issued today along with another dealing with the problem in Nepal, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy, said both documents show the ongoing attempt by the world body to end the global scourge of recruiting children as soldiers, along with other violations of children in times of conflict.
  • 111) 17:52 GMT, Jan. 18, 2006 |  + Tories would list tigers as terrorists
    A Conservative government would add the Tamil Tigers to Canada's list of outlawed terrorist groups, deputy leader and public safety critic Peter MacKay said yesterday. Mr. MacKay said "we draw a very distinct line between the Tamil community, who are extremely peace-loving, productive members of society, and this very small terrorist group that has been listed, as I understand it, by many of our traditional allies, including the U.S. and the U.K. Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said last February that Canada did not want to take any action that could be counter-productive to Sri Lanka's Norwegian-brokered peace process, but Mr. MacKay called that an excuse. "CSIS has reports that have called upon the government to list the Tigers, but the age-old excuse that has been given is that it might somehow upset the fragile peace process in Sri Lanka," Mr. MacKay said. "I think we're overstating our own influence if that's the excuse that we're relying upon." more ...
  • 112) 11:15 GMT, Jan. 18, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka deploy more troops in restive Trincomalee, one soldier wounded in grenade attack
    The Sri Lankan military deployed more troops in the strategic port city of Trincomalee on Wednesday, a day after European cease-fire monitors suspended operations there, local residents said. Trincomalee - 230 kilometers (140 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo - serves as a major base of Sri Lankan navy and has been hit by a series of deadly attacks blamed on the Tamil Tiger rebels, who want to carve out a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority. A resident said troops with drawn guns have increased foot patrols in the city, with army soldiers on motorcycles and on board trucks also on patrol.
    - Sri Lanka sends troops as Nordic monitors pull out of Trincomalee - AFP
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  • 113) 11:14 GMT, Jan. 18, 2006 |  + Violence against civilians continues in Northeast
    Two civilians were shot and killed in Kaithady. Sithampari Kanesaratnam(46), a Saloon owner at Kaithady junction and his assistant Vishvar Krishnan(53) from Navatkuly east were shot and killed when they were returning home from their work on 16th January. This incident took place near Kaithady bridge. It is worth noting that there are SLA sentry points at Kaithady bridge and this killing could not have occurred without the knowledge of, and aiding and abetting by the SLA. K. Murugan(35), father of 3 children from Navatkuly was shot and killed by gunmen on motorbike while he was working at a Koththu Rotty shop in Urumpirai. more ...
  • 114) 11:14 GMT, Jan. 18, 2006 |  + Sri Lankan authorities mount increasing attacks on media freedom
    Police and military harassment, intimidation and physical attacks directed against Sri Lankan media personnel, mainly targeting Tamil journalists, have been mounting since Mahinda Rajapakse assumed the presidency last November. These incidents have emerged amid a sharp rise in violence involving the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the growing danger of a return to open civil war. Under Rajapakse’s unstable minority government, the Sri Lankan armed forces have taken increasingly provocative and repressive actions against the island’s Tamil minority, including large-scale round-ups of innocent civilians. more ...
  • 115) 11:09 GMT, Jan. 18, 2006 |  + “SLMM should exercise its CFA mandate” -Tamilselvan
    “Our leadership is deeply shocked and wishes to express its concern over the attack on the SLMM in Batticaloa and would urge SLMM to exercise more care and become vocal in its exposure of the elements responsible for this type of dastardly acts that are planned on a political agenda to do away with the presence of SLMM” said Mr.S.P.Tamilselvan in a meeting with the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) today 17 January 2006 at the Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi. At the outset Mr.Hagrup Haukland expressed deep concern over the accelerating pace of violence and killings and asked of Mr.Tamilselvan to suggest ways and means of curbing violence.
    - Nordic monitors pull out of district after Sri Lanka blasts - AFP
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  • 116) 10:56 GMT, Jan. 18, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka parliamentary sessions disrupted
    Sri Lankan parliamentary sessions came to be disrupted for the second day running here Wednesday due to a protest staged by the main Tamil minority party. Parliamentary officials said that Wednesday's session lasted less than 20 minutes after the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) legislators stormed the Speaker's chair and tried to disrupt proceedings. The Tuesday sessions, the first in the new year, lasted only 15 minutes as the TNA legislators began shouting anti-government slogans calling for the alleged torture of Tamil civilians, abductions and killings of the Tamils by the security forces and paramilitary groups. They were also protesting against the Christmas day assassination of their colleague Joseph Pararajasingham. more ...
  • 117) 18:41 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka launches 3.5 billion-dollar tsunami rebuilding
    Sri Lanka was set to launch a 3.5 billion dollar "action plan" to rebuild tsunami-smashed regions, the president's office said as the UN warned that the emergency phase was still not over. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to lay the foundation stone for a new housing scheme in the ravaged southeastern town of Hambantota to inaugurate the so-called Action Plan for Rebuilding the Nation. A presidential statement Tuesday said the event would be attended by a cross section of society. The state-run Daily News quoted presidential adviser Mano Tittawella as putting the cost of the action plan, drawn up by three task forces set up by the president days after the disaster, at nearly 3.5 billion dollars.
    - Sri Lanka wants aid to meet $3.5 bln tsunami bill - Reuters
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  • 118) 18:39 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + DART doctors treated more than 1,000 Sri Lankans
    Canada's disaster relief team has provided medical treatment to more than 1,000 tsunami victims in the week since it arrived in Sri Lanka's devastated Ampara region, its commander says. Lt.-Col. Mike Voith, who is leading the Disaster Assistance Response Team operation along the southeast coast, said they've set up four medical clinics where doctors are treating more than 100 people a day. Most of the patients need help for cuts and bruises, infections and respiratory problems due to the ingestion of salt water, he said. The team, which consists of nearly 200 members of the Canadian Forces, hasn't seen any outbreaks of diseases that were feared, such as cholera or malaria. more ...
  • 119) 18:38 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Psychological support for those affected by Tsunami tidal wave in the NorthEast
    A group of social workers engaged in psychological counselling among war victims during the last two decades with professional guidance and help from Rev. Fr.S.Reginald, Sister E.Christobel, Sister Lourdes and many others have banded together and formed an organisation “Psychological support for those affected by Tsunami in the NorthEast”. Filling a void in the field of psychiatry in the mainland Wanni is Dr.Shanthy Sooriyakumaran, a psychiatrist domiciled in the UK and now in Wanni, having volunteered to undertake training of counsellors, a programme that is on-going from the day Tsunami struck. Complimenting her services is Dr.Ratna Pushparajah, another volunteer from the UK. more ...
  • 120) 13:08 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Tsunami Toll Tops 175,000, New Threat Warning
    Asia's tsunami death toll soared past 175,000 Monday as Sri Lanka confirmed thousands more dead, while fears re-emerged over the safety of aid workers in Indonesia's shattered Aceh province. Denmark said it had information "imminent" terror attacks were planned against aid workers in Aceh, where U.S. and other foreign troops have joined relief teams clearing rubble from the Dec. 26 disaster which killed 115,000 in that province alone. "We have received information from sources abroad that somebody would be planning an attack today," Danish Foreign Ministry official Niels Erik Andersen told Danish radio.
    - Multiple agencies inflate number of Sri Lanka's tsunami dead - AFP
    - Tsunami death toll in Sri Lanka reaches 38,195 - Xinhuanet
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  • 121) 13:02 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Tamil leaders ask PM for more support
    COLOMBO—Prime Minister Paul Martin's good intentions became entangled with fierce ethnic politics in Sri Lanka as Tamil political leaders pressed him for Canada's help in a number of areas. As Martin departed Sri Lanka, he claimed to have achieved his goals to ensure aid was flowing freely to the rebel-held north and to warn the militant Tamil Tigers against recruiting tsunami orphans. But there was no escaping the ethnic conflict here. In meetings yesterday with Martin, leaders of the Tamil National Alliance, the voice of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Sri Lankan parliament, lobbied him for...
    - PM pledges long-term help for Sri Lanka - Globe and Mail
    - Rebels help, don't hurt, children, says Tamil leader - The Toronto Star
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  • 122) 12:59 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Despite rebel ties, Tamil aid group earns high marks
    Naren Narendran laughs the bitterest laugh imaginable when he is asked how the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization learned how to help displaced people. "We were adequately trained," the 49-year-old director of the TRO's disaster-management unit says in a deadpan manner. He, too, is a refugee, having fled angry mobs as Sri Lanka's long-simmering cauldron of ethnic tensions erupted 20 years ago. Mr. Narendran ran all the way to Australia, where he became a financial manager. But now he is back in Sri Lanka, working out the complicated logistics of disaster relief.
    - With the rebel Tigers' support, Tamils lobby Martin on charity - Globe and Mail
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  • 123) 12:56 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Hospital staff in tsunami-hit eastern Sri Lanka speak of their experiences
    From the earliest hours of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, the medical staff in the hospitals of Sri Lanka’s eastern Ampara district—doctors, nurses, paramedics, health workers and cleaners—engaged in remarkable efforts to provide urgent treatment to the victims in the country’s worst hit region. Across the district, 10,436 deaths were officially recorded, 120 people were injured, with 821 missing and 103,285 displaced. According to eyewitness accounts, however, many more—up to 25,000 people—may have perished. Ampara General Hospital, the district’s main hospital, had to take the brunt of the burden. Located around 20 kilometres inland, it was not damaged. more ...
  • 124) 04:33 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Tamil Tigers leader makes rare appearance
    The reclusive leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels made a rare public appearance, ending speculation about his fate after the tsunami disaster struck Sri Lanka, a report on a pro-rebel website said Tuesday.He met "disaster management planners who are currently participating in relief and reconstruction planning, and praised them for their services to the people,'' TamilNet said. "The challenge before us is to bring our community back to normalcy and to ensure that all necessary effort is taken to comfort them from the shock,'' Prabhakaran was quoted as saying. Prabhakaran is believed to have a home in Mullaitivu, a city that was devastated in the Dec. 26 disaster. Speculation about his fate started after a Sri Lankan military officer was quoted as saying by state radio that Prabhakaran was "among the dead or reported missing'' in Mullaitivu. more ...
  • 125) 23:06 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Officials deny receiving equipment
    Pick up trucks, tractors, electric generators and other equipment have been sent to North on the request of Tamil Tigers, authorities said on Tuesday. President Chandrika Kumaratunga directed the Ministry of Rehabilitation to dispatch these requirements without delay, the statement issued by the presidential secretariat said. It said as at 13th January the ministry purchased and dispatched 12 pick up trucks, 10 tractors, 90 generators and 50 water pumps to the North and East. However, Mullaitivu District Secretary (DS) on Tuesday told journalists that clearing efforts are delayed as the government has not sent necessary equipment including dowsers, backo machines and tractors to the area.In Kilinochchi, DS Rasanayagam said although they have received enough food and medicines from the government, vehicles and temporary tents are still needed. more ...
  • 126) 19:53 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + St. Paul Woman Helps Refugees In Sri Lanka
    Shivanthi Sathanandan loaded a cargo van with supplies paid for with Minnesotans' donations, then drove nine hours through the mountains to deliver them to the island's hard-hit east coast. The 24-year-old St. Paul woman found what she expected: thousands of needy tsunami survivors eager for the medicines, biscuits, powdered milk, soap and sandals she brought. At stops in four camps throughout the day, people crowded around, welcoming the supplies, sometimes sneaking back into line to get seconds. But Sathanandan also ran into a rising squall of anger and despair among ethnic minority Tamils on a beach where 1,800 villagers are buried below light sands and lovely palms. more ...
  • 127) 18:43 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka orphans caught up in bureaucracy
    Nishanthan is barely two years old. He cannot walk because of a deformity in his waist. The child sits on the uneven sand under one of the thousands of makeshift shelters provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In spite of his handicap, Nishanthan survived. It was a miracle. His able-bodied parents and siblings were swept away by the killer wave that claimed lives of some 38,000 people in the island nation of Sri Lanka. "All he does throughout the day is cry," said 60-year-old Jayaratnam, a neighbor who is now taking care of Nishanthan in the welfare camp. "He keeps saying, 'Amma, Amma,' crying out for his mother. He doesn't know that his mother will never come back."
    - Sri Lanka survivors return home - BBC
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  • 128) 18:42 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka's tent people look to uncertain future
    Squatting by the roadside in the cool shade of a tree, W.M. Dayawate looks longingly at the crumbled facade of her house on Sri Lanka's tsunami-battered southern shore. Tantalisingly close, her home is too badly damaged to salvage. Instead, she and her husband, their five children and her mother now live in a camping tent donated by a British rotary club. They will likely live in it for months. All along Sri Lanka's southern seaboard, thousands of tents of all shapes, sizes and colours have sprung up among the ruins of coastal towns and villages, makeshift homes for thousands of displaced families. more ...
  • 129) 04:31 GMT, Jan. 18, 2005 |  + U.N. Tsunami Conference Opens in Japan
    A global conference on the tsunami catastrophe opened Tuesday amid calls for direct world action to prevent such natural events from becoming mass killers. The gathering drew some 3,000 government officials, non-governmental experts and other specialists from around the world to find ways to reverse the growth in numbers of people affected by natural disasters. "The best way we can honor the dead is to protect the living," U.N. emergency relief chief Jan Egeland said at the start of the five-day World Conference on Disaster Reduction. "We must meet today to take on this challenge with renewed urgency and vigor, knowing that we must translate words into deeds and good intentions into concrete actions." more ...
  • 130) 13:30 GMT, Jan. 18, 2004 |  + Jaffna's unheard cry for help
    Almost two years into the ceasefire agreement, the truce in its wake has certainly brought a mixed bag for the people of Jaffna and their fears are very real about a possible eruption of war as a result of the present political deadlock. And despite foreign donors, the government itself and various non-governmental organisations rushing to invest in the peninsula, at ground level, nothing seems to have changed with development and opportunities still being few. What greets visitors despite the media blitz, that creates an image of Jaffna reborn, is the weak infrastructure, dilapidated roads, restricted water supply, schools that have been ravaged by artillery shelling and hospitals overflowing with patients but lacking infrastructure facilities. Adding to the painful scenario is the manifest fear that war could become reality once more and a question mark about the entire peace deal - that it is an eye wash offered by the divided south to play for time. more ...
  • 131) 13:05 GMT, Jan. 18, 2004 |  + Chandrika discusses Tiger proposals
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has discussed Tamil Tiger proposals for an Interim Self Governing Authority with legal experts,including an Indian constitutional expert. Kumaratunga's office said she chaired a meeting of experts, including senior advocate of the Supreme Court, K K Venugopal, yesterday to see how Tiger proposals can be reconciled with a "unified" Sri Lanka. Kumaratunga had earlier rejected the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) proposals for an ISGA saying it was a blue print for a separate state. "A number of issues and legal measures were explored with a view to reconciling, within the framework of the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, the proposals made by the LTTE with available models of devolution," a statement said. more ...
  • 132) 13:00 GMT, Jan. 18, 2004 |  + Aid on agenda despite Sri Lanka political woes
    Diplomats will try to boost humanitarian aid for Sri Lanka this week despite a political fight between the president and prime minister that has sidelined the island's peace process. Yasushi Akashi, Japan's special envoy to Sri Lanka, arrives on Monday for meetings, including a follow-up to last June's Tokyo donor conference that raised $4.5 billion in aid to rebuild the war-torn island. Most of that money was tied to progress on permanently ending the two-decade civil war, but a power struggle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has stalled efforts to restart peace talks that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) walked away from last April. more ...
  • 133) 12:59 GMT, Jan. 18, 2004 |  + President's deal raises doubts over Sri Lanka peace process
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's latest alliance with nationalists could undermine attempts to end the island's ethnic bloodshed, her own party conceded as fresh moves got underway to revive talks with Tamil Tiger rebels. Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party is to seal a deal Tuesday with the JVP, or People's Liberation Front, which is opposed to the idea of devolving more autonomy to minority Tamils in exchange for peace. The leftist LSSP, or Equal Society Party, a member of Kumaratunga's broader grouping known as the People's Alliance, said it believed her pact with the JVP could stall the already faltering Norwegian-backed peace bid with the Tamil Tigers. more ...
  • 134) 17:56 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + Japan seeks to help Sri Lanka's peace process, pledges more aid
    Japan wants to play a more active role in Sri Lanka's peace process, a visiting Japanese envoy said Saturday. "We can aspire to supplement the efforts of Norway, not to interfere in the process but to be helpful if needed," Yasushi Akashi told reporters in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo at the end of a three-day visit. He did not give further details. Norway brokered a cease-fire between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels, paving the way for peace talks aimed at ending the country's 19-year ethnic war. more ...
  • 135) 17:27 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + Japan ups Sri Lanka peace role
    Japan says it hopes to supplement Norway's efforts to mediate in the Sri Lankan peace process. Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi said his country wanted to play a more active part in peace-building. He said Japan felt it had a role in Sri Lanka as the largest donor and a fellow Buddhist and Asian country. Mr Akashi plans to visit Sri Lanka at least once a month from now on to help peace-building efforts.
  • Japan says quicker aid needed for Sri Lanka peace
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  • 136) 17:13 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + From Confidence To Consensus
    Political will has taken Sri Lanka out of the mire of war and created an atmosphere where a settlement can be explored. Will political consensus be given a chance to lead to a sustainable peace? The LTTE's reluctance to consider, at this stage, any surrender or decommissioning of arms, is a pointer to its dominant psychology of the use of force as a matter of course. It is also, however, a clear response to the notorious reputation that Sri Lanka has as a reform-resistant state. Not only have earlier deals with the Tamil community been reneged upon, but two rebellions led by Sinhala youth in the past were also crushed militarily. There is a latent feeling in the whole country that a group can get noticed and be effective only if and when it takes recourse to arms. more ...
  • 137) 15:07 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + Indian concern over Japan’s role?
    The visiting Japanese special peace envoy, Yasushi Akashi has been cautioned by India that his country should watch its step in its efforts to support the peace process in Sri Lanka, according to unconfirmed reports.Sources said the Indian Premier's National Security Advisor, Brajesh Mishra had reportedly told Mr. Akashi that India would prefer if Japan restricted its role to that of a donor and not get involved in the political undercurrents of the peace process in Sri Lanka. Mr. Akashi visited Delhi before coming to Colombo on Wednesday. more ...
  • 138) 14:51 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + 82% believe in peace talks : Majority of Jaffna people upbeat about job opportunities
    The majority of people in Jaffna are upbeat about job opportunities, according to an opinion poll conducted by Social Indicator, a non-governmental organization operating under the Center for Policy Alternatives. They also feel that all ethnic communities in the country can live in harmony. The poll conducted in December showed that the people are still dissatisfied with humanitarian assistance and government loans schemes the survey found. The survey which covered populated areas in the Jaffna peninsula between the 11th and 14th of December questioned 320 people. more ...
  • 139) 14:43 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + Rajiv killers take computer courses
    Two men awarded the death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case have enrolled for undergraduate programmes in computer applications. Another, whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, has enrolled for a master’s degree in the same discipline. Nalini keeps Congress president Sonia Gandhi up to date with her academic progress and has received congratulatory notes from the Congress leader. IGNOU has gone out of its way to facilitate the sale of Nalini's embroidery work to a customer in Geneva. These three were among the most enthusiastic participants among the 122 students in Vellore jail," said K. Soundaravalli, IGNOU's regional director. more ...
  • 140) 14:34 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + 'We want our land' - Second Pongu Thamil theme
    The first year anniversary celebrations of Pongu Thamil (Tamil Resurgence) movement in northeast province which was held at the Jaffna University grounds Friday concluded with the declaration of the theme "We want our land," sources in Jaffna said. Pongu Thamil events will be held in the northeast province on district basis and the final will be held in Trincomalee, said organizers at a press briefing at the conclusion of the event. The Jaffna morning event started at the Students' Union complex of the Jaffna University, with Mr.Ilamparuthi, Jaffna district political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) hoisting the Thamileelam national flag. Lt.Colonel Sara lit the flame of sacrifice. more ...
  • 141) 12:46 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + Sri Lankans seek normalcy after 19 years of war
    Nadaraja Kandiah recalls with gratitude the stranger who welcomed the five members of his family when they fled the fighting in Kilinochchi six years ago. Others had to shelter under trees. "We carried whatever we could take and went for cover. There was no time to worry about property and businesses when we saw our friends and neighbors dropping dead," Mr. Kandiah said, his eyes reddening. "It was a rain of fire from ground and air." more ...
  • 142) 20:26 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + SLMC and the Muslim factor
    The two men, both Tamils, had in their possession arms and police investigations had revealed more startling information. That they had indeed received armed training by a Tamil political party operating in the northern peninsula, the EPDP. Investigations also revealed that the target of the attack was the national organiser of the SLMC, K. Baiz, a Hakeem loyalist. Police has identified two out of the seven Muslim suspects as underworld leaders who have been linked to several murders committed in the not so distant past. Interestingly enough, the second, Husniraj Mohomed Hussain from Kochchikade has turned out to be a former People's Alliance member of the Negombo Urban Council. Out of the four Tamil suspects, two are from Jaffna and known to be suppliers of vegetables to the Puttalam vegetable market. more ...
  • 143) 02:03 GMT, Jan. 18, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka President cold shoulders Japanese envoy
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga abruptly cancelled a meeting with a Japanese special envoy who is aiming to drum up international aid for Sri Lanka's peace bid, an official said Friday. Yasushi Akashi was set to call on Kumaratunga Thursday but his team was told at the 11th hour that the president had to attend an "important political meeting" and that the appointment was cancelled. Diplomats here were baffled by the presidential move, made against a backdrop of a fresh confrontation she is having with the cohabitation government run by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more ...
  • 144) 20:45 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + Last chance for peace?
    When S. P Thamilselvan, political wing leader of the Tamil Tigers, met journalists here on Wednesday, it was the first time in seven years that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was directly addressing the international and Sri Lankan media. The embargo was an important factor in the alienation of the Tamil minority from the People's Alliance Government of Chandrika Kumaratunga. The United National Front Government lifted the seven- year restrictions on the free movement of goods in this region on Tuesday, meeting one of the LTTE's pre-conditions for peace talks. But the free flow of goods into the Vanni alone was not sufficient, said the father of three, who has been displaced by the conflict in northern Sri Lanka four times since 1990. ``What is required is a fundamental peace, and when that happens, there will be plenty for everyone automatically.'' But for that, both sides would have to make compromises. ``Both sides will have to give in and relax their rigid positions. Neither side should be allowed to break away from this peace process because this is the last chance for people like us,'' he said. more ...
  • 145) 19:27 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + Bopage says JVP’s policy on war often changes
    The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s policy framework with respect to the "Tamil national question" has had many variations over time, Lionel Bopage, former General Secretary of the JVP and one time second-in-command to Rohana Wijeweera, said on Thursday. "The reality today is that we are a divided country, and this is because of the unitary character of the constitution. At the beginning G. G. Ponnambalam put forward the 50-50 demand, which was essentially seeking equality. This was followed by a demand for a federal set up and later to a separate state. The JVP has rejected both Eelam and federalism and although they are agreeable to equality, they do not have an objective programme to enforce it." more ...
  • 146) 18:56 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka power crisis grows
    Sri Lanka is to face longer power cuts, as the country's energy crisis looked set to last until the middle of the year. Sri Lanka generates two thirds of its electricity from water, but five years of failed monsoons has seen the number of black-outs increase. "The crisis is of alarming proportions," Minister for Power and Energy Karu Jayasuriya said on Friday. more ...
  • 147) 18:53 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + SC decides to hear Vanni,Batticaloa voters' grievances
    The Supreme Court Friday announced that the six fundamental rights (FR) applications filed by voters of Vanni and Batticaloa electoral districts would be taken up for inquiry on March 15. In these applications the petitioners residing in areas held by the Liberation Tigers have sought order of the SC nullifying the elections held in the Vanni and Batticaloa districts and to order new poll. more ...
  • 148) 15:10 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + Looking for an Indian role
    It is learnt that Balasingham, while explaining this position to the Norwegians, emphasised that his organisation and the Tamil people were heartened by the positive response in New Delhi to Wickremasinghe's visit in December. Security concerns, convenience and proximity to the "homeland" are seen as the reasons behind the LTTE's requests. New Delhi's response will be determined by a number of factors, keeping the "enlightened self-interests" of India as the paramount consideration. more ...
  • 149) 14:58 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + Batticaloa NGOs want PTA repealed
    Members of the consortium of NGO’s of Batticaloa demonstrated in the eastern town Friday morning urging the government to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (RTA), release Tamil political prisoners and remove restrictions on fishing and street blocks in the district set up by the Sri Lankan security forces. Addressing the demonstrators, the president of the consortium, Mr. A. Selvedran, said that the United National Front government should create conditions of normalcy in the district and that the army and Police should vacate the schools, temples and libraries which they occupy in Batticaloa. more ...
  • 150) 14:02 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + Canada:
    Canadian Alliance a magnet for morons
    Some are born stupid, some achieve stupidity, and some have stupidity thrust upon them ... But there's a good chance just about all of them end up in the Canadian Alliance. Up and down, up and down they would bounce, on a bare white stage, none of them getting anywhere, uttering inarticulate, strangulated sounds nobody else can quite understand. Up and down, up and down they would bounce, each one straining and pulling at the foot in his mouth, sometimes gesturing in a fresh fit of panic to his neighbour for help, but always in vain. more ...
  • 151) 11:27 GMT, Jan. 18, 2002 |  + World Report 2002 - Sri Lanka
    The Human Rights Watch,What is that report? By whom is it written? It could be a Tiger organization. I don't know what this Human Rights Watch is. - CNN Interview 2001
    The year was marked by prolonged political infighting in Colombo, renewed clashes between Sri Lankan military forces and the armed separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the "Tamil Tigers" or LTTE), and stalled peace initiatives. By early November, with the political fate of the People's Alliance government in question and new parliamentary elections called for December 5, pressing human rights problems had again been pushed off the top of the government's agenda.Draconian security laws continued to facilitate arbitrary arrest, lengthy detention of suspects without trial, and attendant abuses. Restrictions in the north and east, disproportionately affecting Tamil civilians, prevented many displaced persons from reaching work sites to earn a living, attend schools, or seek urgent medical care. more ...
  • 152) 16:02 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka says next peace move up to Tamil rebels
    Sri Lanka will press on with military operations until Tamil rebels make the next move in a Norwegian-led peace process, which has been thrown into crisis by a series of government offensives. "The onus is now on the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) to make the next move and bring some concrete proposals to the table, more ...
  • 153) 16:02 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka says next peace move up to Tamil rebels
    Sri Lanka will press on with military operations until Tamil rebels make the next move in a Norwegian-led peace process, which has been thrown into crisis by a series of government offensives. "The onus is now on the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) to make the next move and bring some concrete proposals to the table, more ...
  • 154) 15:45 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Local Tamils urge release of prisoners
    "We want the Canadian government to urge the Sri Lankan government to enter into peaceful negotiations with the Tamils," said Arularasy Singam, a 23-year-old University of Ottawa graduate. Canada should follow efforts by Norway and the European Union to pressure the Sri Lankan government into peace talks with the Tamil rebels, who have agreed to a one-month ceasefire, said Golda Gnanaprahasam, a 24-year-old University of Ottawa computer engineering student. more ...
  • 155) 15:06 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Tamil-Canadian Students Rally for Peace
    Over 200 Tamil-Canadian students gathered amidst the cold to light a ray of hope for peace in front of Queen's Park on Wednesday evening, calling for the government of Sri Lanka to "End Oppression, Allow Expression" and "Stop War, Start Peace." Assembling into a peace sign formation, they lit candles to symbolize an eternal flame for freedom, justice and peace. more ...
  • 156) 14:44 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Brimming cup of Lankan woes
    The north-east war costs the country a staggering Rs 80 billion a year. That is nearly 35 percent of the national income is spent to fight the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In addition, the Peoples Alliance (PA) government has 46 ministers who are fed by the public. This is an additional burden on the public and the state coffer. The govern-ment spends an estimated three billion rupees a month to maintain all ministers. Frustration is also mounting with the government planning to import duty free vehicles to some of the new members of parlia-ment, while also planning to build palatial residences for the presi-dent and the speaker using public funds, when some people especial-ly in the farming areas do not have even a square meal a day. To cover these expenses the government imposes price-hikes almost on a weekly basis. This is why the JVP says there should be a general strike to "teach the gov-ernment a lesson". A general strike cannot be made fruitful without the support of the public. more ...
  • 157) 12:12 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + More students arrested in Jaffna
    A Government Media release on the security situation said yesterday that in the Jaffna Peninsula another student Sendilimadan Borosankar was arrested yesterday around 8.30 a.m. in addition to those nine university students arrested on 13th January for distributing anti-government literature. The suspect was handed over to the Chunnakam Police for further inquiries. Three students from Hartley College, Point Pedro, were also arrested and later handed over to the Point Pedro Police for inquiries. more ...
  • 158) 12:10 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Eyewitness to Jaffna devastation
    Driving through the area around Chavakachcheri, the second largest town in the Jaffna peninsula, every building shows signs of damage. What was a bustling market town is now deserted, but for the army. There are about 750 people in the entire area - which was once home to 20,000. "It's very sad for Jaffna Tamils" said local journalist Vithyatharan, associate editor of the New Uthayan. "I don't know how they will react if they come here and see all these things.They can't imagine this level of destruction." He described the town as a cemetery. more ...
  • 159) 12:01 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka battles subside amid heavy losses
    Sri Lanka's northern battlefields were relatively quiet on Thursday after two days of bitter fighting as the army tried, with little success, to storm the last major rebel bastion in the Jaffna peninsula. "It looks like the army got bogged down because the strip of land they are fighting on is only about four km wide and bottle necks like that favour the LTTE," said a military analyst who declined to be identified. There has been was no word from the rebels on casualties, but an LTTE statement said on Tuesday the fighting was threatening to undermine a Norwegian initiative to bring the two sides to the negotiating table. The rebels have declared a unilateral month-long ceasefire which ends on January 24, saying it was a goodwill gesture ahead of possible peace talks. more ...
  • 160) 21:25 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + No faith in Colombo say Tamil parties
    "We doubt that the Sri Lankan government really wants to bring about peace. We have sought the good offices of the international community because we have lost faith in the Sri Lankan government and because we suspect its motives", representatives of Tamil political parties told the ambassadors of Norway and the European Union (EU) in Colombo during discussions Thursday. Senior politicians and MPs of seven Tamil political parties, including the Tamil United Liberation front, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the National Workers Congress and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation, took part in the discussions. more ...
  • 161) 19:30 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka Raises Peace Talks
    The government on Thursday said it was willing to resume peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels provided the guerrillas came up with a ``substantial proposal'' to end the country's 17-year-old civil war.``This country needs peace and this government wants peace, but the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) must come up with a substantial proposal to end the war,'' Yapa told reporters in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. He did not elaborate on what that meant. more ...
  • 162) 16:17 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Tamil party representatives meet British High Commisioner
    Tamil party representatives met with British High Commisioner, Linda Duffield on Tuesday this week to discuss the government calling upon the British state to ban the LTTE in London. Members from the TELO, TULF and ACTC held a four hour discussion with British representatives stressing that in the event Britain did ban the Tigers from operating on UK soil it would have a serious adverse effect on future peace talks with the Lankan government. more ...
  • 163) 04:08 GMT, Jan. 18, 2001 |  + Massive demonstration in Jaffna
    More than ten thousand people in Jaffna comprising university students, high-school students, residents and representatives and members of civil organisations demonstrated Wednesday, urging the Sri Lankan government to reciprocate the Liberation Tigers unilateral ceasefire and negotiate with the movement. Thousands more people were turned away by Sri Lankan security forces at check points set up along the major roads leading to the university, residents said. Reporters were not permitted into the university either. The security forces had refused to allow Wednesday’s peace demonstration and warned students, lecturers and residents of the dire consequences of participating in it. Last Saturday nine students were arrested by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in connection with organising the protest. more ...
  • 164) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka's Ceylon Grains Protests Customs Dept Action
    No details available. more ...
  • 165) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + British High Commissioner in Vavuniya
    No details available. more ...
  • 166) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Vicious Anti-LTTE Propaganda from Tamil Nadu
    No details available. more ...
  • 167) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Powerful bomb found in Sri Lanka capital
    No details available. more ...
  • 168) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + A symptom of profound political crisis
    No details available. more ...
  • 169) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Kaluwanchikudy civilians injured
    No details available. more ...
  • 170) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Ponnambalam aide identifies 'Shantha'
    No details available. more ...
  • 171) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Major re-shuffles in the army
    No details available. more ...
  • 172) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Poser to Chandrika - Letter
    No details available. more ...
  • 173) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + 'Net'ting Tamilians
    No details available. more ...
  • 174) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 2000 |  + Former Lankan Tamil rebel returns to India
    No details available. more ...
  • 175) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 1999 |  + Sri Lanka denies Mandela visit to end bloodshed
    No details available. more ...
  • 176) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 1999 |  + Transformers explode in Colombo
    No details available. more ...
  • 177) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 1999 |  + S.Lanka says Mandela won't play role in ending war
    No details available. more ...
  • 178) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 1999 |  + Sri Lanka province tense ahead of key elections
    No details available. more ...
  • 179) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 18, 1999 |  + Perumal returns, may fit into Kumaratunga's Tamil plans
    No details available. more ...
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