1) Mar 24, 2016 10:26:41 GMT | + A New Land — Reshaping Sri Lanka’s Destiny
On March 15, a momentous day for Sri Lanka’s future passed by in silence. The twenty-member Public Representations Committee (“ PRC“) on Constitutional Reforms accepted its last public submission to feed into a new national Constitution. The PRC sought inputs from all across Sri Lankan society, in an island-wide exercise that included public sittings, oral submissions over the phone and even receiving comments on Facebook. For the first time in living memory, Sri Lanka asked its own citizens to decide the future of their country.
2) Mar 24, 2016 10:25:44 GMT | + Piragal Thiru to Seek Provincial Liberal Nomination in Upcoming Scarborough-Rouge River By-election
3) Mar 24, 2016 10:23:40 GMT | + Sri Lanka's airline unable to repay $1 bn debt: PM
Experienced community organizer and public servant Piragal Thiru announced today his intention to seek the nomination of the Ontario Liberal Party in Scarborough-Rouge River. “I consider it a great privilege to be able to put forward my candidacy to represent a riding that is home to so many hard working Ontarians”, said Thiru. “Scarborough-Rouge River is a tremendously diverse and vibrant community, and one that I am deeply committed to having been involved in it in a number of different capacities over the years. In seeking this nomination, my hope is to be a strong and articulate advocate for the interests of Scarborough-Rouge River at Queen’s Park.” more ...
4) Mar 24, 2015 10:30:48 GMT | + 19A a ‘Constitutional Coup’-JHU
Sri Lanka's loss-making national carrier will not be able to repay its debt of nearly $1 billion, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament Wednesday. With its own finances in a rocky state, the government will decide within six weeks whether it can afford to take over SriLankan Airlines' debt repayments, the premier said. State enterprise development minister Kabir Hashim, who oversees the carrier, earlier this month put its debt at $933 million but on Wednesday it emerged the figure could be higher. more ...
5) Mar 24, 2015 10:27:45 GMT | + Sri Lanka plans legislation outlawing racist, religious extremist groupsSri Lanka plans legislation outlawing racist, religious extremist groups
JHU General Secretary and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the objective of the newest reforms was to create the Executive President powerless and to make the Prime Minister powerful going against ‘Yahapalanaya’. “People’s franchise was given to the President to curtail arbitrary powers of the Executive. They didn’t vote to make the Prime Minister the Head of the Government and to allow the Parliament to conquer the Executive,” he told a news conference held at Party Head Office in Battaramulla. more ...
6) Mar 24, 2015 10:24:57 GMT | + New Sri Lanka Government Gives Military-Held Land Back to Tamils
The Sri Lankan government is planning implement a law that bans racist and religious extremist groups at a time of heightening tensions in the predominantly Buddhist country. Newly-elected President Maithripala Sirisena intends to propose the measure when the Sri Lankan parliament convenes in the coming weeks. It is part of his "100 Days Work Program," said National Executive Committee member Azath Salley. more ...
Sri Lanka’s new government handed back 425 acres of military-held land to minority Tamil families in the country’s north on Monday in its latest effort to rekindle ethnic reconciliation. President Maithripala Sirisena distributed deeds to hundreds of families whose land was taken by the armed forces to create so-called high security zones around military installations during a decadeslong civil war with Tamil separatist insurgents. “The Government is committed to building peace,” Mr. Sirisena said. He said authorities need to eradicate “mistrust, fear and suspicion among communities.”
7) Mar 24, 2014 21:57:23 GMT | + If Australia wants to stop the boats, it must stand against abuses in Sri Lanka
8) Mar 24, 2014 21:54:29 GMT | + Vaiko, Alagiri spell trouble for the BJP
To many Australians, Sri Lanka means one of two things: the home of “boat people” or an exotic beach holiday destination. Sri Lanka’s idyllic palm-fringed beaches with new tourist resorts give no inkling of the country’s grim recent history: a nearly three-decades-long, brutal and bloody conflict that ended almost five years ago with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, known as the Tamil Tigers. The UN estimates that up to 40,000 civilians may have died during final months of fighting. Persistent allegations of war crimes committed by both sides refuse to go away. Thousands of “disappearances” remain unresolved. more ...
9) Mar 24, 2014 20:58:02 GMT | + Poems of Displacement, Love, and Other Modern Tamil Concerns
The BJP’s hobnobbing with M K Alagiri and ally Vaiko’s controversial demands has the potential to rock the BJP’s boat in Tamil Nadu, says N Sathiya Moorthy. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko and former Union minister M K Alagiri are at the centre of a storm, which if fanned well by the National Democratic Alliance’s electoral competition, has the potential to rock the boat in 40 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. more ...
10) Mar 24, 2014 20:41:33 GMT | + Time to Act
My first encounter with Tamil poetry came in the form of a short poem by Auvaiyar, written two millennium ago: Bless you, earth: field, forest, valley, or hill, you are only as good as the good young men in each place. This poem appeared in a book of classical Tamil poetry called Poems of Love and War from the Eight Anthologies and the Ten Long Poems of Classical Tamil, selected and translated by A.K. Ramanujan, which featured poems from around 100 BC to AD 250, and late classical poems from the 5th and 6th centuries. more ...
This week the text of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka will be finalised and voted on by member states. Amid the intense deliberations of the past weeks in Geneva, the crux of the problem in the island has been laid bare. Even as diplomatic missions, international NGOs, numerous Tamil actors and some Sinhala ones have campaigned for mandating an international independent investigation into Sri Lanka’s wartime atrocities and ongoing abuses, the arguments of those calling for a more tolerant and accommodative approach have been thoroughly discredited by Colombo’s own conduct: not only has the government rejected out of hand calls for accountability for some of the worst atrocities of the century...
11) Mar 24, 2014 14:48:36 GMT | + Missing plane lost, Malaysia says
12) Mar 24, 2014 3:41:36 GMT | + Dispute on Sri Lanka War Crimes Escalates
Malaysia's prime minister has announced on the basis of new analysis it must be concluded that missing flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. He said Malaysia Airlines had told the families of the 239 people on board. Earlier the BBC saw a text message sent to families saying it had to be assumed "beyond reasonable doubt" that the plane was lost and there were no survivors. more ...
13) Mar 24, 2014 3:27:54 GMT | + Geneva: What went wrong; is damage control possible?
About 100 government supporters marched to the American Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, last week and smashed coconuts on the embassy’s doorstep in a Hindu ritual meant to curse an enemy. “We will not let them take our president to the electric chair!” the protesters shouted. The next day, thousands of miles away, Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, performed a ritual of her own by releasing a statement that condemned Sri Lanka’s recent arrests of human rights activists. more ...
14) Mar 24, 2014 3:26:06 GMT | + Why the Commonwealth must regain its ethical zeal
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday cautioned External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris over the release of media statements on important foreign policy issues without proper scrutiny. He said they should be examined carefully before being made public. The move was prompted by an External Affairs Ministry statement personally initiated by Peiris. It was over the crisis in Ukraine where Russia later ended up annexing the Crimean peninsula. Moscow claimed that 98 per cent of the population who cast their votes in a referendum had chosen to join the Russian Federation. more ...
15) Mar 24, 2014 3:23:26 GMT | + Will India do a Crimea on Lanka?
If the Commonwealth is to survive, heads of government are going to have to live by the principles it espouses. Basic statements on human rights, on the way government should behave, are fine as expressions of noble sentiments, but when it comes to a test, the Commonwealth fails. It used not to be that way. The Commonwealth was more influential than any other organisation in ending apartheid. While the result became highly controversial, it also played a significant role in Zimbabwe. more ...
No ray of hope lights to lift the brooding pall of Geneva’s gloom and a desolate air of uncertainty hangs heavy as the countdown to the crucial vote begins; and Lanka can do no more but clasp her hands in Confucian prayer and, banging her head on wood, hope for the best and expect the worst in this unfolding drama of which she, having played her role and cast her last card, is now a sorry spectator of her own portending tragedy. But at this hour, when the distant Geneva bell tolls, our fears should not focus on whether it sounds the call for an international war crimes probe.
16) Mar 24, 2014 3:21:45 GMT | + A Crackdown On Dissent?
17) Mar 24, 2014 3:19:46 GMT | + House-to-house search in north for two LTTE suspects
Some say it was a big mistake. Some say it was part of a Government plan. Whichever it maybe, the arrest of three activists in the North over the past two weeks only contributed to add pressure on Sri Lanka in Geneva ahead of the formal release of Navi Pillay’s report and the vote on the US sponsored resolution. Pillay’s report on Sri Lanka and a debate on the report will take place on Wednesday and there is no doubt concerns will be raised on the alleged threats and intimidation of human rights defenders, particularly those working in the North. more ...
A Police-Army joint operation has been launched in the Northern Province to track down two former LTTE cadres wanted for criminal activities and a two-million-rupee reward has been offered for any information, a senior police officer said. The operation has been launched in the Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Jaffna districts for the suspects identified as Kajeeban Ponniah Selvanayagam alias ‘Gopi’ a.k.a. Kasiyan, and Navaratnam Navaneethan. The Police yesterday released the photographs of the suspects with descriptions.
18) Mar 24, 2014 3:18:32 GMT | + The Beach Paints An Ugly Picture
19) Mar 24, 2013 20:36:25 GMT | + Petition against IPL planned if Lankan players participate
The idyllic beaches and traces of Dutch architecture of the popular Southern town of Tangalle, have drawn visitors from around the world for many years. However, in the recent past, the picture-postcard town has been marred by a series of alarming events – from theft to murder. As lawlessness and impunity prevails, the seedy coastal stretch of the popular beach is fast becoming known as a dangerous site for female tourists. TripAdvisor reviews of the beach warn women of drinks allegedly spiked with a date-rape drug and subsequent theft, molestation and sexual assault, at a well known restaurant in the area. more ...
The ‘Students Federation for Free Eelam’ will petition to the Commissioner of Police urging him not to grant permission for conducting the IPL cricket match in Chennai if Sri Lankan players participate in it. The first match is to be played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the Chidambaram stadium here on April 6. The application of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association seeking Public Resort Licence to conduct the match is pending with the Chennai Police.
20) Mar 24, 2013 13:46:12 GMT | + Lanka policy gets media flak
21) Mar 24, 2013 13:45:39 GMT | + Geneva and Bodu Bala Sena: Two Dimensions of a Crisis
The differences in media on India’s stand on the US resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka for war crimes seem to have dissipated post-vote. Indian media is united in opinion that the UPA-led government at the Centre bungled yet again: the English language media and those in other regions berate it for succumbing to pressure from its electoral ally, the DMK in Tamil Nadu, and the Tamil media in Tamil Nadu for ignoring the pressure from the State. more ...
22) Mar 24, 2013 13:42:07 GMT | + The Violent Creed
There are tensions and schisms erupting, there is a crisis in the making. One dimension of this crisis is the unfolding diplomatic debacle: the Geneva-crisis. The group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) represents, and gives expression to, another dimension. The emergence of both was to be expected; both, however, were avoidable. After Sri Lanka’s sui generis performance in 2009, the Geneva-story has been a depressing one to a lot of people. Sri Lanka’s support-base has dwindled drastically. more ...
23) Mar 24, 2013 13:38:45 GMT | + Chinese firm gets major oil deal in Mattala, Hambantota
And then they went for the Christians – and even the Buddhists. A new group called the Sinhala Ravaya is making their presence felt across the island, carrying out systematic attacks on what they deem to be illegal places of worship. On Monday (18) members of this new group laid siege to the home of a Christian pastor, threatening his family and demanding that religious services cease. Last Friday (15) members of the Sinhala Ravaya stormed into a house in Walauwatta, Nawala, throwing religious texts on the floor and accusing the residents of carrying out unethical religious conversions. more ...
A Chinese firm has won the award to supply fuel to the international airport in Mattala and the harbour at Hambantota for the pre-commissioning of a bunkering facility and tank farm. The winner, China Hanqui Contracting & Engineering Corporation, has just completed work on the project in Hambantota. The fuel requirements are for the pre-commissioning and testing of the facility before being handed over to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The move follows a recommendation to the Cabinet by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Minister of Ports and Highways. It was only last Monday that he declared open the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.
24) Mar 24, 2013 13:36:18 GMT | + Lanka may pull out of Tamil Nadu
The Government is exploring the possibility of shifting the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner’s office in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, to Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala State. The move comes after the recall to Colombo of SSP Rohan Dias, who is Sri Lanka’s Defence Attach� in the DHC’s office. The developments have been prompted by growing anti-Sri Lanka sentiments, threats and intimidation to those visiting Tamil Nadu cities, particularly Chennai.
25) Mar 24, 2013 12:22:19 GMT | + ‘India far better than Lanka in peace parleys’
“India is not a illiberal democracy like Sri Lanka. It is accountable to people and is questioned for its actions unlike Sri Lanka,” he added. Sahadevan also highlighted that all internal conflicts in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar may have external backing, but when it comes to signing the accord the role of external factor is missing. This is because the nations think peace process is more of internalised matter.
26) Mar 24, 2013 12:19:48 GMT | + CMAG to discuss SL under "any other matters"
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has not listed Sri Lanka or the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on its agenda for the April 26 in London, Richard Uku, spokesperson for Commonwealth Secretariat, said last week. However, according to unconfirmed reports although Sri Lanka is not on the agenda, CMAG ministers have agreed to talk about the country under "Any Other Matters". This decision apparently has been taken when the CMAG ministers had their tele-conference last Wednesday.
27) Mar 24, 2013 12:13:49 GMT | + If resolution is not implemented, US may push for punitive action
28) Mar 24, 2012 22:52:03 GMT | + They Weren’t Even Cubs
The latest US resolution would mean that in September, at the UNHRC 24th sessions an oral update will be given by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. By March, next year, it will be followed by a discussion at the 25th session. It would be the time when the US and its allies would embark on their next move at the Council. Accusations that provisions of the resolution have not been implemented may force another resolution calling for punitive action. The challenges that lay are many. more ...
29) Mar 24, 2012 22:50:07 GMT | + After Geneva, government must evolve clear-cut policy
I got to Sri Lanka two days after the tsunami in 2004 where I worked for the UN. I was evacuated on September 16, ’08. All the UN aid agencies and NGOs were ordered to evacuate from Kilinochchi that morning as the Lankan government said they could no longer offer protection to us. The UN gave in and decided to pull out. There was no pressure actually and I am quite critical of what the UN did at that time. At least 2,50,000 civilians lived in the north. The next 2-3 days, there were civilians protesting in front of our office, pleading with us not to leave. more ...
Like the proverbial story, the United Nations Human Rights Council laboured hard like a mountain, and brought forth by majority vote a mouse or a 'non-binding,' seemingly toothless US backed resolution on Sri Lanka on Thursday. Yet, the dangers it portend cannot be underestimated. For the first time, a UN body has brought the country under its microscope and the international community's scrutiny. For many days before the final document emerged, in Geneva, diplomats of India and the United States have been locked in secret consultations.
30) Mar 24, 2012 22:48:44 GMT | + The Sinhalese doctor defying the ethnic odds
You don’t have to look far to find stories on how divided Sri Lanka still is. Granted, this website is no different. Despite the end of the Tamil war in 2009, there is still a deep dividing line between ethnic groups in the country. And yet there are people who defy these ethnic lines and just do what they think is necessary to heal the scars left behind by the 30-year war. Dr Panagamuwa Bandara is one of them. Dr Bandara is Sinhalese, born in Sri Lanka, but raised and educated in the UK. He trained as a doctor and went on to become a surgeon in Birmingham, specializing in artificial limbs and prosthetics.
31) Mar 24, 2012 22:41:04 GMT | + Geneva: An Unnecessary War; A Needless Defeat
32) Mar 24, 2012 22:36:15 GMT | + Abuse Away From Home
The Geneva Resolution was not inimical to Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans. Its adoption is not a defeat for Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans. But for the Rajapaksas, the Geneva vote is a defeat; a defeat as needless as the battle itself. The US stands accused of innumerable crimes and misdeeds, past and present, including conspiracies against sovereign governments, such as that other 9/11, the overthrow of the elected Popular Unity administration of Salvador Allende in Chile. But the American Resolution on Sri Lanka was not a conspiracy hatched in secrecy. more ...
33) Mar 24, 2012 22:35:09 GMT | + Oil imports: US gives concessions to Lanka
Three years ago, Nesamalar Kanapathipulla bid farewell to her daughter Sundaralingam Meghala, who was leaving to Saudi Arabia as a domestic worker. Meghala had previously worked in Jordan and Dubai, to help bring in more income to support their family. This time around however, Nesamalar had reason to panic. Shortly after Meghala began work at her sponsor’s house, her Ampara-based family stopped hearing from her. Months dragged on, into nearly three years, until finally, last year, Nesamalar vistied Colombo, and lodged a complaint with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). more ...
Hard on the heels of the US sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, Sri Lanka has gained a concession from the US on restrictions imposed on fuel imports from Iran. United States, which imposed sanctions on Iran, has asked Sri Lanka to scale down crude oil imports from Iran for the current year only by 15 per cent, a senior Minister said yesterday. Petroleum Industries Minister, Susil Premajayantha said such a reduction meant Sri Lanka would not face a total ban immediately. Earlier, a total ban was expected to come into force from June this year fuelling fears that the country may face a serious fuel crisis.
34) Mar 24, 2012 22:27:25 GMT | + We Should Re-Think Economic Ties With India: Lanka
A coalition partner in the Sri Lankan government today said that Colombo should stop according any preferential trade treatment to New Delhi, two days after India voted in favour of a UNHRC resolution against it. "We should not grant favours to countries merely because they are our neighbours. India was the only Asian country that sided with the US. "Whenever we (Sri Lanka) take a decision we are always concerned how it would affect India", Udaya Gammanpila, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) spokesman told reporters.
35) Mar 24, 2012 22:22:47 GMT | + Look at LTTE a few years later if you don’t implement political reforms now: Indian media to Mahinda
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa could be looking at LTTE 2.0 a few years down the line if he fails to implement political reforms to achieve ethnic reconciliation without any further loss of time. This is the view of the Indian media in the wake of India’s decision to vote for the resolution last Thursday at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), demanding a thorough investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan security forces and the LTTE in the civil war that ended in May 2009.
36) Mar 24, 2012 13:57:04 GMT | + Sri Lanka blows hot and cold against India
Sri Lanka is blowing hot and cold against India following the passage of a resolution in Geneva that raised questions over rights violations during the war on the Tamil Tigers. While President Mahinda Rajapaksa warned that countries which voted for the resolution will have to worry about consequences of terrorism, a minister mildly praised India for dilution of the impact of the resolution.
37) Mar 24, 2012 13:56:05 GMT | + Hesitant But Welcome Change in India's Sri Lanka's Policy
Human Rights organizations and Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora have valid reasons to be jubilant about the outcome of the 19th Session of Human Rights Council held in Geneva on March 22, 2012. There was intense lobbying by the Sri Lankan Government to defeat the US sponsored resolution to promote reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, activists in the Tamil diaspora ceaselessly campaigned, supported by human rights groups, to hold the Sri Lankan Government accountable for the gross human rights violations and the killing of nearly 40,000 innocent civilians during the last stages of the Fourth Eelam War.
38) Mar 24, 2012 13:55:15 GMT | + PM writes to President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka
The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka on the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council. The text of the Prime Minister's letter to the President of Sri Lanka is as follows: "Thank you for your letter of March 19 regarding the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council and the introduction of a resolution therein on the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka. As Your Excellency is aware, the Government and the people of India have stood firmly by Sri Lanka in its struggle against terrorism.
39) Mar 24, 2012 13:53:38 GMT | + Muddied waters
40) Mar 24, 2012 13:52:33 GMT | + Jaya Announces Schemes for Lankan Tamil Refugees
For the past couple of weeks, offices of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka have been communicating intensely with each other. Rajapaksa sent his close aide Bandula Jayasekara to New Delhi, where he held discussions with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. Sources say that the Sri Lankan president was informed beforehand of India's decision to side with the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council targeting Sri Lanka's alleged human rights violation during the 2009 war. India's vote in support of the US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC has hit the Sri Lankan side hard. “Indian diplomats like Shivshankar Menon, Nirupama Rao and their Sri Lankan counterparts devoted years of work to upgrade India-Sri Lanka relations. more ...
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today ordered extension of the government's comprehensive health insurance scheme to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and allocated Rs 25 crore for improving basic facilities in the camps in the state where they are lodged. She ordered extension of the scheme, presently available to poor people of the state, as part of measures taken by her government for the welfare of the Tamil refugees, an official release said. She also allocated Rs 4.33 crore for improving drinking water supply and more than Rs 20.66 crore for repairing houses, road works and for creation of library, ration shops and sanitation facilities in the camps, it said.
41) Mar 24, 2012 13:52:06 GMT | + Canada to step up battle against illegal migration, smuggling
Canada is contributing $12 million over two years to crackdown on human smuggling and illegal migration in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the funding during a visit to a Thai police outpost where he toured two military-style vessels and received a briefing on efforts to prevent asylum seekers from arriving on Canada's shores by boat.
42) Mar 24, 2012 2:58:49 GMT | + Resolution respects Lankan sovereignty: Indian envoy to NDTV
43) Mar 24, 2012 1:17:40 GMT | + Sri Lanka visit of Indian MPs under cloud
A day after India voted against Sri Lanka and supported US' resolution, India's envoy to the United Nations Dilip Sinha in Geneva tells NDTV that the resolution ensures Sri Lanka's sovereignty is respected. Here is the entire conversation: NDTV: It's being said that India had domestic compulsions which is why it voted for this draft resolution, but doesn't India also subscribe to the spirit of this resolution? more ...
The impending visit of an all-party delegation of Indian MPs to Sri Lanka in April is now doubtful after India's vote in favour of a US-sponsored resolution on war crimes in the island nation which was adopted at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. "Whether the visit will happen now or will it will be delayed, we can't say at this juncture," Congress Rajya Sabha MP and president of the Tamil Nadu Congress unit B S Gnanadesikan told TOI. He said the Centre would take the decision based on inputs from the external affairs ministry which is in touch with the Sri Lankan government.
44) Mar 24, 2011 10:57:17 GMT | + Opposition lines up against government
45) Mar 24, 2011 9:37:43 GMT | + R2P: Still Alive and Kicking?
With the government unwilling to amend its budget, all three opposition leaders said they are prepared to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority government on a motion of non-confidence Friday. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Wednesday his party was giving notice it would introduce the motion. NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe both said they would support it. more ...
A lot has been written and said about the popular uprisings in the Arab world and some have opined on the possibility or lack thereof of similar events in Sri Lanka. Suffice it be said that the situations in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya are different to that in this country. Over thirty years we have had armed insurgencies in the south and in the north and east of the country.
46) Mar 24, 2011 9:36:42 GMT | + Poll rejects museum’s plan to set Holocaust apart from other genocides
47) Mar 24, 2011 9:35:07 GMT | + Government supporters protest over Libya near UN's Sri Lanka office
A poll sponsored by two organizations opposed to the exhibition plans of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights indicates Canadians wish to have “one exhibit which covers all genocides equally” rather than one zone devoted to “a particular genocide” such as the Holocaust and another dedicated to others. The telephone poll of 1,216 adults, conducted earlier this month by Nanos Research, is the latest instalment in an ongoing feud between various communities and the CMHR over the Winnipeg-based museum’s plans to establish a large, permanent space highlighting the Holocaust and a separate one for other atrocities, such as 3.3 million Ukrainians starved to death under Stalin in 1932-33 and the 1915 Armenian genocide. more ...
Government supporters protested outside the United Nations office in Sri Lanka's capital Thursday, condemning the UN's stance on the Libyan conflict and airstrikes carried out there. An estimated 500 pro-government supporters chanted slogans and displayed placards against the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and the organization. 'We are against the biased behaviour of the UN on Libya in favour of the US and Britain,' said the leader of the National Freedom Front party, Wimal Weerawansa, who is also a cabinet minister.
48) Mar 24, 2011 9:10:42 GMT | + Insider trading: Ex-Intel man 'tipped' Raj Rajaratnam
49) Mar 24, 2011 8:54:16 GMT | + The dangers of whistle-blowing in India
A former Intel executive has said that he passed company information to his friend Raj Rajaratnam in the biggest Wall Street insider-trading trial in decades. Rajiv Goel made the claims as a witness for the prosecution. Former billionaire hedge-fund manager Mr Rajaratnam is accused of making more than $45m (£28m) by illegally trading on insider information. Mr Rajaratnam denies all charges. more ...
50) Mar 24, 2010 9:48:25 GMT | + U.S. Government Provides 750 Scholarships to Youth in the East and North
Whistle-blowing can nearly destroy you in India, as Salim Baig found out for himself. Until three years ago, he practised ayurvedic medicine in Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad district, a place better known for its intricate brass work than its sleuthing citizens. But the softly spoken Mr Baig, publisher of a small newspaper, riled the local authorities so much with his questions that he had to flee his town. more ...
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently awarded 500 scholarships in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to youth in the North. Earlier, USAID/Sri Lanka, the development agency of the U.S. Embassy, provided ICT scholarships to 250 young people from the East. The scholarships will provide the recipients with the skills needed to meet current workforce demands. USAID, in a partnership with Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Partnership (UPP) program, developed computer-based ICT curricula to address the workforce needs in the agriculture, apparel, media, and tourism sectors.
51) Mar 24, 2010 9:42:30 GMT | + Fitch May Lower Sri Lanka’s Debt Rating on Widening Deficit
Sri Lanka’s credit rating may be lowered by Fitch Ratings if the island nation fails to narrow its budget deficit, derailing a $2.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.Sri Lanka’s 2009 budget shortfall, which exceeded target and widened to 9.7 percent of gross domestic product, “indicates significant fiscal slippage attributable to the post-war reconstruction phase,” Ngiam Ai Ling, a Singapore- based director of Asian sovereigns at Fitch, said in response to e-mailed questions. The Washington-based lender said Feb. 25 that it may consider changing the loan package to Sri Lanka because of a deterioration in public finances.
52) Mar 24, 2010 9:38:43 GMT | + Pro-government thugs attack plantation workers
53) Mar 24, 2010 9:36:49 GMT | + People smuggling boss escapes with fine
In another incident of election violence in Sri Lanka, an armed gang associated with the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) attacked the houses of five members of the rival National Union of Workers (NUW) at the RB Division of the Ramboda Estate on March 17. The thugs warned workers not to support NUW leader R. Thigambaram, who is standing in the Nuwara Eliya district in the April 8 general election. The CWC is part of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its leader Arumugam Thondaman is a cabinet minister in the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse. The rival NUW is allied with the opposition United National Party (UNP). more ...
A notorious people smuggler who tried to bring 254 Sri Lankan asylum seekers into Australia last year has been fined by an Indonesian court. Abraham Louhenapessy, better known as Captain Bram, was fined 25 million rupiah ($A3000) on Wednesday for breaching sailing laws. Prosecutors were unable to charge Bram with more serious offences, partly because people smuggling is not yet a crime in Indonesia. Meanwhile, more than 240 of the Sri Lankans are still aboard Bram's overcrowded boat, moored in the Javanese port of Merak, refusing to come ashore. They fear they will be forced to wait for years for resettlement if they are processed in Indonesia and are holding out for a rapid resettlement deal.
54) Mar 24, 2009 23:38:25 GMT | + 62 civilians killed, SLA, SLAF step up attacks on safety zone
55) Mar 24, 2009 23:35:30 GMT | + Sri Lanka Shelling of No Fire Zone Noted at UN, Claims Pillay is Not UN
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) stepped up shelling on all areas within the so-called safety zone from 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, killing 62 civilians and causing injuires to many. Artillery and mortar shells hit the safety zone killing 27 civilians during the night. Artillery-fitted cluster munitions exploded between Valaignarmadam and Ampalavanpokka'nai causing heavy casualties. The SLA deployed RPG shells, short range mortars and long distance gunfire on the safety zone during the daytime on Tuesday in addition to 12 air strikes in the settlements surrounding the Pachchaip-pulmoaddai junction within the safety zone. More than 70 bombs were dropped by the SLAF bombers that flew at low altitude killing at least 17 civilians. more ...
While in the UN Security Council the request of Mexico, the United States and the European Union members for a briefing on Sri Lanka remains pending, top UN Humanitarian John Holmes on Tuesday told the Press there is evidence of government shelling of the supposed No Fire Zone which, along with Tamil Tiger firing, "needs to stop." Video here, from Minute 49:45. Inner City Press asked Holmes about the document leaked to Inner City Press from his Office describing 2,683 killings of civilians between January 20 and March 7. "You've seen that internal document," Holmes conceded, noting that the figures used by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay were "roughly comparable."
56) Mar 24, 2009 23:34:15 GMT | + US, China and the war in Sri Lanka
Diplomatic skirmishing in the UN Security Council between the US and China over the war in Sri Lanka underscores their growing rivalry in every corner of the globe. Both powers are intent on staking out their claims in Colombo as the 25-year conflict on the island reaches its climax. Last week UN Security Council members Austria, Mexico and Costa Rica, backed by the US and Britain, called for an informal briefing on the humanitarian crisis facing tens of thousands of people trapped by the war in northern Sri Lanka. China, supported by Russia, blocked the move declaring that it was "an internal matter" for Sri Lanka and was not a threat to international security.
57) Mar 24, 2009 11:52:24 GMT | + Sri Lankan army shelling civilians: rights group
Indiscriminate army shelling is killing dozens of civilians every day in a no-fire zone in northern Sri Lanka where Tamil Tiger rebels are staging a last stand, a rights group said Tuesday. "We receive reports of civilians being killed and wounded daily in the no-fire zone, while the Sri Lankan government continues to deny the attacks," said Brad Adams, Asia director at New York-based Human Rights Watch. The Tamil Tigers' use of civilians as human shields "adds to the bloodshed," Adams said.
58) Mar 24, 2009 11:46:20 GMT | + India may expand hospital facility in Lanka war-zone
India, which has set up a hospital in Sri Lanka's embattled north to provide medical aid to displaced Tamil civilians, may expand the 115-bed facility to accommodate more patients. The Indian authorities are considering expanding the 115 bed set-up near the Eastern Trincomalee district in the event of an increase in the patients from Wanni. Meanwhile, the life of a Tamil civilian was saved by timely intervention of Indian doctors, brought a glimmer of hope for persons running away from LTTE-Lankan Army conflict.
59) Mar 24, 2009 11:43:34 GMT | + Conditions Worsen For Women Workers
Ramani, 26, sits inside her small, dimly-lit boarding house room, cutting vegetables, in this industrial town outside Colombo. She plans to return to her rural village in May to get married. "Most girls generally work for five years in garment factories and return to their villages to get married,’’ she says. Thousands of young women, employed in garment factories spread across Sri Lanka, and concentrated in Free Trade Zones (FTZ) in towns like Biyagama, now face an uncertain future due to lowered demand for their products.
60) Mar 24, 2009 11:00:23 GMT | + Allow human rights monitors to visit Lanka: UN
In the wake of continuing violence and reports about deaths of civilians in Sri Lanka, the United Nations has asked Colombo to allow human rights monitors to visit the country and assess the situation. "I have asked the Sri Lanka government to allow human rights monitors there. I have not got any response. I am going to press for that," Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters here. Pillay raised the Sri Lankan issues during her discussion with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee here on Monday. "Our view is that you can never succeed through military solution. The problem can be solved politically," she said.
61) Mar 24, 2009 10:55:31 GMT | + One dead, 122 ill due to food poisoning in Sri Lanka
At least one person died and 122 people, including school children, were hospitalised Tuesday after falling sick due to food poisoning in Sri Lanka's eastern port city of Trincomalee district, officials here said. Medical officials in Trincomalee said that at least 93 school children, 28 civilians and a women police constable were taken to the Trincomalee base hospital after eating buns for their breakfast Tuesday. Health Ministry spokesman M.D. Wanninayakka said that the initial investigations have revealed that the children have fallen ill after eating buns from a bakery in the Trincomalee town.
62) Mar 24, 2009 10:54:07 GMT | + Sri Lanka: No Let-Up in Army Shelling of Civilians
The Sri Lankan army, despite government denials, is indiscriminately shelling the "no-fire zone" in northern Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are trapped by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Human Rights Watch said today, citing new information from the region. More than 2,700 civilians have reportedly been killed over the last two months, and the number of casualties rises daily. "We receive reports of civilians being killed and wounded daily in the ‘no-fire zone, while the Sri Lankan government continues to deny the attacks," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
63) Mar 24, 2009 2:06:14 GMT | + SLA attacks kill 128 civilians in 48 hours
Sri Lanka Army short-range mortar shelling, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attacks and gunfire killed 96 civilians, including 19 children within the 'safety zone' Monday. 32 civilians, including 7 children were killed Sunday, according to local aid workers and medical authorities. Around 160 civilians sustained injuries on Monday when Sri Lanka Army stepped up mortar fire, RPG attacks and opened fire from the other side of the lagoon into Puthumaaththa'lan within the 'safety zone'. Increased and systematic attacks on civilians during the day time was targeting to evict civilians from the so-called safety zone, said TamilNet correspondent who visited the site of the carnage.
64) Mar 24, 2009 2:05:34 GMT | + Sri Lankan army ranks media freedom low priority
Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara had pinned his statement of faith to a map used to brief journalists visiting Sri Lanka: "It's the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press," it began. It went on to say the soldier, not politicians, "ensures our right to Life, Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness". I was recently in Sri Lanka to report on the final stages of a civil war that has been raging for a quarter of a century. As I write, 200,000 civilians are caught between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers.
65) Mar 24, 2008 20:22:11 GMT | + ACF probe marred by controversy
The inquiry into the killing of 17 aid workers in Mutur in August 2006 took an unexpected turn yesterday when President’s Counsel Desmond Fernando allegedly claimed a Cabinet Minister in a confidential discussion with him said the Minister was aware who the perpetrators were. Mr. Fernando said he no longer wished to participate in the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the killing of Action Contra La Faim (ACF) workers because he was privy to such information.
66) Mar 24, 2008 17:13:02 GMT | + South Africa calls for talks
The South African Government says it is encouraging warring parties in Sri Lanka to get back to negotiation table. Deputy Minister of Communications Radakrishna (Roy) Padayachie told BBC Sandeshaya that the South African government has consistently sought to encourage and lend support to the creation of a climate conducive to a finding a lasting solution to the Sri Lankan conflict. Deputy Minister of Communications Radakirshna (Roy) Padayachie has represented the South African government at the two-day International Seminar on Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict at East London University.
67) Mar 24, 2008 13:38:27 GMT | + Family of Sri Lanka massacre victims doubt justice
Relatives of 17 aid workers massacred in Sri Lanka said on Monday they did not expect justice as a heated human rights inquiry began into their execution-style murders more than a year ago. Ravi Shantha, the aunt of one of the Action Contre la Faim (ACF) aid workers killed in August 2006 in the northeastern town of Muttur, told a panel of judges appointed to investigate rights abuses in Sri Lanka that too much time had passed. "I don't trust that I will be given justice in this case," Shantha said to Reuters after giving evidence about the last known movements of her nephew Ambigavathy Jayaseelan.
68) Mar 24, 2008 11:10:22 GMT | + Food terrorism – Sinhala governing of Tamils
Ever since the Sinhala State took power from Britain, it has controlled the Tamil affairs by maintaining military checkpoints into Tamil areas. As the Tamils began demanding their rights to govern themselves the ferocity of these Sinhala checkpoints increased. These checkpoints became places for regular threats and humiliation for the Tamils. It also has and continues to be a place for more sinister activities and many Tamils have gone missing after inquiries at these checkpoints. The end result is that in the minds of Tamils these checkpoints have become a huge psychological burden to be avoided whenever possible.
69) Mar 24, 2008 11:08:50 GMT | + Sri Lankan Economy in Doldrums
The economy of Sri Lanka (SL) is diving deep into an abyss, thus burdening the common man particularly the poor income group to unbearable misery. The inflation has reached an ever high level and it is said that it is the highest in the entire Southeast region. The Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) reflected a record figure of 24% last month. Lack of proper economic management and inefficiency at the highest level is supposed to be underlying cause for this unsatisfactory situation prevailing in this country.
70) Mar 24, 2007 16:48:46 GMT | + Information DVDs for International release
The Tamil people are facing the worst crisis in their recorded history, at the hands of the most murderous regime ever to run Sri Lanka. The only ‘force’ that can stop the murderous attempt by the Rajapakse regime to decimate the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka, is international public opinion. The International Community (IC) has to be targetted urgently. For this to be done, ordinary people across the world will have to be apprised of the critical situation facing the Tamil people.
71) Mar 24, 2007 15:48:09 GMT | + Heavy casualties in Sri Lanka amid intense battles
Government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels fought intense battles in Sri Lanka on Saturday for a second day with both sides reporting heavy casualties while separately a blast ripped through a roadblock. An unidentified man detonated explosives as he was being frisked at a barrier along the main road in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, killing himself and a soldier, military officials said. The blast came as the defence ministry said nine soldiers were killed and 45 hospitalised in the past two days of fighting along a de facto border dividing government and rebel-held areas in the island's north.
72) Mar 24, 2007 15:42:32 GMT | + Civilian displacement: Sri Lanka’s fight against “terrorism”
Tamil civilian displacement since August 2006 totals more than 340,000. The breakdown is shown in the map. Displacement in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu began in August 2006. Most of these IDPs are from Jaffna and from the villages near the northern Forward Defense Lines. Trincomalee displacement began in April with constant firing into Sampur and continued for several months. Some displaced to other parts of Trincomalee while most were gradually pushed into Batticaloa. Amaparai IDPs mostly displaced within Amparai itself.
73) 12:17 GMT, Mar. 24, 2006 | + The Sri Lankan knot
74) 11:50 GMT, Mar. 24, 2006 | + One Tamil rebel killed, two injured in eastern Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is one country where you take no time to pick up the thread from where you have left it off three months or three decades ago. It is the same old ethnic divide in different forms at different times. The Sinhalese are on one side and the Tamils, particularly in the north, on the other. The divide takes an ugly turn, as it has done many a time before. Then the two sides fight against each other with all the weapons — and the tactics — they can marshal. Currently, they are sitting across the table for sorting out a way to live together in the united country. But this is not the first time they are doing so. They have gone over the exercise again and again. India was in the picture more than once and even got embroiled and mauled in a war. more ...
75) 11:40 GMT, Mar. 24, 2006 | + The HRW Report and the Foreign Minister's Reaction
The Tamil Tigers on Friday accused government soldiers of firing mortars at a rebel checkpoint in eastern Sri Lanka, killing one guerrilla and wounding two others, a pro-rebel Web site reported Friday.The attack occurred Thursday night near the port town of Trincomalee.Meanwhile, students in the northern town of Jaffna - 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of the capital, Colombo - accused Sri Lankan soldiers of attacking them Friday after they hoisted a rebel flag in defiance of a provision of a 2002 cease-fire. Five students were injured when the troops entered the Advanced Technological Institute, assaulting students and smashing doors and windows, said S. Suganthan, the student union president.The latest violence comes after the government and the rebels met last month in Geneva and agreed to scale down attacks to save the four-year-old cease-fire. more ...
76) 11:35 GMT, Mar. 24, 2006 | + Dissecting the Semi-fictionalized HRW Report
HRW claims that the interviewees were selected through journalists in the respective countries. These journalists cannot be from the majority of those Tamil journalists who support the Tamil cause as well as the LTTE, which is fighting for the Tamil cause. Therefore, the author of the HRW report must have contacted the very few (not even a handful) of anti-LTTE Tamil journalists to organise the interviewees for this study. These anti-LTTE Tamil journalists have a well-known interest in discrediting the LTTE, so no wonder that the interviewees arranged by these anti-LTTE Tamil journalists all had a story to tell. At least 4 journalists’ names have been mentioned in the report and in some of these cases it is alleged that these Tamil Diaspora journalists have learned that publishing or broadcasting information that is critical of the LTTE can carry a heavy price. more ...
77) 11:02 GMT, Mar. 24, 2006 | + Norway involved in Basque ceasefire
In responding to the flurry of outbursts from the Eelam Tamil diaspora to the half-baked, mud-slinging report released this month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated: “Human Rights Watch investigations are based on qualitative rather than quantitative research” [Reuters report, March 16, 2006]. The identified real names cited as sources or purported victims of LTTE aggression, in HRW ’s report, are as follows: D.B.S.Jeyaraj [Canada], Namu Ponnambalam [Canada], Rajasingham Jayadevan [UK], Arumugam Kandiah Vivekananthan [UK], V.Ramaraj [UK], Seyed Bazeer [UK], Vaithiyanathan Loganathan [Germany], Selliah Nagarajah [Australia], N.Kandasamy [location not identified], Sabaratnam Sabalingam [France] – deceased, Subramaniam Muthulingam [Australia] – deceased, and Kanakapathy Rajadurai [Sri Lanka] – deceased. That quite a few among this cluster, like Jeyaraj, Ponnambalam, Jayadevan, Ramaraj and Nagarajah, are anti-LTTE partisans is known to Tamils in Sri Lanka and the diaspora. Thus, that their expressed views on the deeds of LTTE have an inherent bias is unchallengeable. more ...
78) 13:04 GMT, Mar. 24, 2005 | + ASP Udugampola who raided Army safe house at Athurugiriya arrested
Norwegian mediators were involved in negotiations that prompted the Basque separatist organization ETA to announce a permanent ceasefire this week.Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on national radio Friday that representatives for both the Spanish government and the ETA met secretly in Oslo last fall.Norwegian officials helped arrange the meeting and acted as hosts for the secret talks, which reportedly lasted a week.The ETA announced Wednesday that it will give up its 40-year armed struggle to separate the Basque region of northern Spain from the rest of the country. Its fight with the Spanish authorities has led to numerous bombings and other violence.Norway has made major efforts to act as peace brokers in conflicts all over the world, from the Middle East to Sri Lanka and Indonesia. more ...
79) 13:02 GMT, Mar. 24, 2005 | + ADB awaits Sri Lanka's move with Tigers on tsunami relief
ASP Kulasiri Udugampola who raided the Army safe house at Athurugiriya on January 2, 2002 was arrested yesterday morning by a special police investigation team in Kandy. Udugampola was on compulsory leave. The Attorney General will indict ASP Udugampola on 20 counts including instituting false charges against former Army Commander Lt. General Lionel Balagalle and several Army officers and wrongful confinement of Army personnel in police custody. He was taken into custody on the IGP's orders on investigations of Senior SP Asoka Wijetilake who probed the Police raid on the Army safe house at Athurugiriya on January 2, 2002. more ...
80) 12:51 GMT, Mar. 24, 2005 | + Second Lankan UN peace keeper killed
The Asian Development Bank has asked Sri Lanka to step up the momentum of tsunami reconstruction and said it was awaiting agreement between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government over relief distribution. ADB vice president Liqun Jin Thursday said the bank will support any arrangement between Colombo and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to ensure reconstruction in the troubled northern and eastern regions. Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway has been trying to clinch a deal between the Tigers and the Sri Lankan government to ensure that millions of dollars in foreign aid is spent on reconstruction in troubled areas. The rebels have said they would support a "joint mechanism" drafted by Oslo but there has been no formal announcement by Colombo on working together to ensure tsunami relief reaches areas held by the guerrillas. more ...
81) 12:47 GMT, Mar. 24, 2005 | + Canadian Red Cross joins efforts to rebuild hospitals destroyed by the tsunami in Sri Lanka
Another member of the Sri Lanka Army who joined the United Nations’ Peace-keeping Force and served in Haiti died under tragic circumstances while on duty yesterday (23). The Army personnel whose life came to an end yesterday was Private J.B.A.S. Jayasinghe of School Lane, Kudaheella North, Beliatta. Army Headquarters yesterday said that action will be initiated to obtain compensation amounting to Rs. 4 million in respect of his death in addition to a post humus promotion to the rank of a corporal for the deceased.The body of Corporal Jayasinghe is expected to be flown to Sri Lanka on March 26 together with the body of Lance Corporal H.M. Wijesinghe of Uraniya, Badulla, who was killed earlier under similar circumstances while serving under the United Nations’ Peace-keeping Force. more ...
82) 12:43 GMT, Mar. 24, 2005 | + Critical assistance to Sri Lankan communities
The Canadian Red Cross will rebuild or repair four of the hospitals and build several oxygen storage facilities across the country. The four hospitals are located in the districts of Kalutara, Galle and Kilinochchi. One of the two hospitals in Galle and the one in Kilinochchi suffered extensive damage while the other two are in need of partial reconstruction. As the official signing for the hospital reconstruction occurred, the Canadian Red Cross prepared to launch the training next week for its 49 community health workers in psycho-social assistance. The training is managed by a leading Sri Lankan expert in trauma-affected communities in Sri Lanka, Dr. Somasundaram of Jaffna University. more ...
83) 12:42 GMT, Mar. 24, 2005 | + Caritas Reviews Sri Lanka Programmes - Three Months after Tsunami
Mercy Corps staff is partnering with local organizations to mount a sustained, efficient response to Sri Lanka's greatest needs. Current operations include rebuilding of water and sanitation facilities, re-supplying schools with teaching materials and sports equipment, trauma counseling, clean up efforts and programming designed to revitalize local economies and livelihoods. In early March, Mercy Corps approved two new projects in the hard-hit city of Trincomalee: one will provide nets and bicycles to prawn fishermen who live more than two miles inland, and the other will fund two cash-for-work cleanup programs organized by a fledgling community-based organization whose capacity Mercy Corps hopes to build as recovery efforts in the area deepen. more ...
84) 12:39 GMT, Mar. 24, 2005 | + Tsunami mother mourns 6 children
The Caritas trauma counselling programmes in Sri Lanka have been training social workers in Jaffna, Ampara and Colombo districts. General psycho-social assessments are being coordinated with government agencies. Ongoing evaluation of psycho-social health in Tsunami-affected communities has a particular focus on children and Caritas is developing programmes of support for children’s needs alongside trauma counselling activities. The Colombo review meeting brought together programme staff from Caritas Sri Lanka (formerly known as SEDEC) and the national and international staff working with communities in the Tsunami-affected regions around the country. For the past three months international staff from partner Caritas agencies based in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America have been providing specialist assistance to boost the post-Tsunami emergency activities in Sri Lanka. more ...
85) 22:06 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + Tamil Tiger split 'will not harm peace'
It has been three months since Sri Lankan housewife Viyarseeli Nadarajahlingam saw her six children swallowed up by Asia's tsunami, but crumpled in grief at a makeshift shrine, she often longs for death. "I used to call you my little ones. Now I have no one!" she wailed on a daily visit to the bare concrete foundations of her former seaside home, razed to the ground in this tiny fishing village turned ghost town deep in Tamil Tiger rebel territory. "When will I see you again?" she screamed desperately in her native Tamil, her hands raised in supplication and cries piercing an otherwise eerie calm as palm leaves swished in the wind and waves lapped ashore nearby. Nadarajahlingam looked on in disbelief as a towering tsunami wave eclipsed the tops of surrounding coconut palms and wrenched her children -- the youngest a year old, the oldest 13 -- from her arms. more ...
86) 21:48 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + Contending with the Karuna factor after polls
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe says he does not think the split in the Tamil Tiger rebel organisation will affect the outcome of the country's peace process. Mr Wickramasinghe said he believed everyone was interested in ending the war and the internal problems of the Tigers would not affect the outcome of the peace process. But the prime minister was less benign about his political rival, President Chandrika Kumaratunga. He accused her of trying to undermine his efforts to bring peace to Sri Lanka by calling snap polls four years ahead of schedule. more ...
87) 17:59 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + Indian Tamil Vote May be Polarized in Sri Lanka Polls
The Karuna sensation is gradually losing space in the front pages of newspapers. It is inevitable because this is election time. However, once a new government comes to power after the 2nd of April it will have to grapple with the question of the renegade LTTE commander in the east. Therefore the first option for the LTTE after the elections would be to 'lock' Karuna inside the Batticaloa Amparai region by bringing political pressure on the new government to prevent the military from making any major deal with him and then the Tigers would try to ensure that he and all the leaders under him remain committed to the goal of Thamil Eelam. If the Tigers achieve this, then it would be business as usual between Kilinochchi and Colombo. more ...
88) 12:33 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + Gunmen injure East Campus Dean
In comparison to the UPF, the CWC, which was founded in 1950, has great appeal among the older generation of Indian Tamils, most of whom are plantation workers. These people do not want to upset their relations with the majority Sinhala community and are not keen to fight for a change in their status and more rights, something the UPF strongly advocates. Chandrasekaran is heavily criticized by nationalist parties like the SLFP, Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Sinhala Urumaya for his publicized remarks that Tamils should fight for a separate state if their demands aren't met. more ...
89) 12:25 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + Tamil Rebels Square Off Along Sri Lanka's Verugal River
Assitant Dean of Agriculture at Eastern Campus, Professor T.Thiruchelvam, was shot and injured by two unidentified gunmen at his home in Kallady, Batticaloa Tuesday night at around 8.30 pm, security sources said. He has been admitted to the Batticaloa teaching hospital and receiving treatment, according to hospital sources. Hospital sources said that Prof.Thiruchelvam received two wounds in his lower stomach area and that the wounds were not life threatening.Prof.Thiruchelvam's house is located at the perimeter of Maariamman Temple in Kallady. Batticaloa Police are investingating the incident. more ...
90) 12:24 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + Academic wounded in Sri Lanka, fuelling fears of rebel showdown
A barefoot Tamil rebel fighter perches in a tree by the Verugal river, using a leafy branch to rest the barrel of his machine gun that points to the northern bank. From behind sand bags on the north side, other Tamils point weapons the opposite way. The river marks the fault line in an unprecedented schism in the ranks of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels. If the split worsens, the river would become the front line in fighting that could drag the government army into a new round of the country's two-decade-old civil war. Vinayakamoorthy Sivanesadurai, a 40-year-old field commander, eyed the north from the south bank that marks the edge of eastern Sri Lanka territory controlled by a renegade Tamil leader. more ...
91) 12:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + US Tamils call for show of unity
A Tamil academic was shot and wounded in Sri Lanka in what appeared to be the first sign that Tamil Tiger rebels were bracing for a possible showdown with a rival faction, police said. Gunmen shot Thevanayagam Thiruchelvam, a lecturer from a university in the eastern district of Batticaloa overnight, police said, adding they suspected that Tamil Tigers were behind the attack. The victim was seen as being sympathetic to the renegade Tamil Tiger leader V. Muralitharan, popularly known as Karuna, who broke away from the main Tiger movement three weeks ago. more ...
92) 02:20 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + Murugupillai Navaratnasamy - the maestro swimmer
It is the duty of every Tamil speaking person in Sri Lanka, regardless of his/her political alignment, religious affiliation, region of residence, or even personal biases, to set aside all such considerations and support this hard earned Tamil unity. On April 2, 2004, they have the opportunity to express it at an election. The greatest contribution Eelam Tamils can make at this rare moment in history is to speak with one voice and endorse the Tamil leadership. A strong electoral message will have a forceful and convincing impact on the international community and the government of Sri Lanka, and pave the way for an end to Tamil suffering. more ...
93) 01:52 GMT, Mar. 24, 2004 | + First Centenary of the Jaffna Central vs St Johns Match
Murugupillai Navaratnasamy, a house hold name in every nook and corner of the country in the mid nineteen fiftees for his exceptionally extra ordinary attempt in successfully swimming the thirty four mile stretch of the Palk Strait Channel from Vatvettiturai (V.V.T.) to Point Calimere, better known as Kodikarai, in Southern India on the 25th of March 1954 was indeed forty four when he achieved this hard earned fame and glory! The Golden Jubilee commemoration of this memorable event that placed this little island prominently in the world map then, is to be celebrated now, in an elaborate scale at Thondaimanaru, the place of his birth, by the "Super Swimmer" Murugupillai Navaratnasamy memorial Golden Jubilee Society on the 25th of March 2004 to honour and to reminiscence the super human effort of this memorable character. more ...
94) 17:17 GMT, Mar. 24, 2003 | + Sri Lankans prefer prosperity to peace
One hundredth anniversary, though it is a mental construct, for those associated with such an event, it is not only an admirable milestone but also an achievement to be proud of. It is incumbent on us who are living, to honour those who contributed to this achievement. We also have a responsibility to ensure that the event’s growth and progress goes on ad infinitum. I admire those who played in the first match in 1904 and those who organized it, and for continuing the series, missing only ten of the matches. Once because of a dispute between schools stemming from a football match in 1947 and the others because of the violent conflict, and the war that made refugees of the population of the Jaffna peninsula from 1995 to 1997. Persevering to continue the tradition of cricket is a tribute to the past and present administrators, teachers and criketers of the two of the premier institutions of learning. Centenary Battle of the North to be celebrated in grand style - Northeastern Monthly
95) 17:13 GMT, Mar. 24, 2003 | + Economic development, TEEDOR's main focus
New poll results showing that Sri Lankans are most concerned about daily economic woes explain why it is not easy to mobilize a greater mass movement in support of the peace process. This is despite the fact that the ethnic war in Sri Lanka has cost 65,000 lives in the past 20 years. Among the Tamils, the results of the Peace Confidence Index showed that 30 percent cited the ethnic conflict as the most critical issue for them, followed by a close 27.5 percent who cited cost of living as their main concern. more ...
96) 12:35 GMT, Mar. 24, 2003 | + Iraq War May Jeopardise Aid, Fears Sri Lanka
Farmers and officials associated with agriculture should co-operate with the Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organization (TEEDOR) to build the economic sector of the Northeast which has been badly affected by war, said Ramesh, Batticaloa-Amparai Special commander of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), speaking as the chief guest in the Farmer' day event held at the Ampalanthurai Sports ground, Batticaloa, Sunday, sources said. "Even in the midst of war our leader Pirapaharan paid great importance to agriculture and established TEEDOR to attend to the economic activities of Northeast. Colonel Karuna has provided his support and encouragement to the activities of TEEDOR. Nizam's efforts in ensuring that none of the fertile stretches of our district are unused are paying dividends. more ...
97) 11:58 GMT, Mar. 24, 2003 | + Norway provides Rs. 200 million for road development in South
With the United States, United Kingdom and Japan already formulating plans for rebuilding Iraq, an insecure Sri Lankan government is making determined efforts not to lose prospective donors, essential for its long overdue reconstruction program. At the "Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka" scheduled for June, the government hopes to garner aid totaling U.S $ 500-750 million, needed to rebuild its devastated northern and eastern provinces. But as Minister of economic reforms and member of the government's negotiating team, Milinda Moragoda pointed out, "The key players at the Tokyo donor conference happen to be the same as those in the coalition to rebuild Iraq. So we have to fight for attention to ensure our share." more ...
98) 11:06 GMT, Mar. 24, 2003 | + Lanka party merger suffers setback
In response to the request made by the Government of Sri Lanka at the donor conference in Oslo on November 25, 2002, the government of Norway will allocate Rs. 200 million for the development of the road network in the southern region in Sri Lanka during 2003 and 2004. The grant will be provided under the on-going development co-operation programme between Sri Lanka and Norway. The funds will be used for repairs and re-grading of rural roads in the southern region. At the donor conference in Oslo, the Norwegian government indicated positive interest to support quick impact projects, which will address economic and social dimensions of the rural communities. more ...
99) 18:08 GMT, Mar. 24, 2002 | + LTTE leader arrives in the Maldives
A proposed merger between two of the main opposition parties in Sri Lanka has suffered an early setback with the two sides differing on their stand about a solution to the country's ethnic problem. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA), the main opposition party, and the third major party, the Marxist JVP (People's Liberation Front), were planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU). But, difference of opinion has emerged on how the two sides will handle the ethnic problem when they form a future government. more ...
100) 15:04 GMT, Mar. 24, 2002 | + Peace overtures in Sri Lanka endorsed by election result
The chief negotiator of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels arrived at this Indian Ocean atoll nation Sunday on his way home, ending three years of self exile, witnesses said. Anton Balasingham flew into the Maldive's Male International Airport from London on Sunday and was spending the night at the airport hotel located on the airport island of Hululle, they said. Security had been provided by the Maldivian National Security Service (NSS). Balasingham is due to travel to Sri Lanka on Monday for talks with the elusive supremo of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Prabhakaran, who is hiding somewhere in the north of the island. more ...
101) 15:00 GMT, Mar. 24, 2002 | + Top Tamil negotiator to pave way for talks
Norwegian attempts to broker peace in Sri Lanka have received an unexpected boost from local elections, raising prospects of talks aimed at ending decades of bloodshed. Hectic diplomatic activity is anticipated as Norway's peace envoy Erik Solheim arrives to arrange the return home of the London-based chief negotiator of the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lanka's main opposition was routed in the local council elections, along with a radical Marxist group which turned Norway's initiative in Sri Lanka into a referendum issue. The election result was seen as an endorsement of the ruling party's peace overtures. more ...
102) 14:27 GMT, Mar. 24, 2002 | + Sri Lankan rebel leader to meet media next month for first time in decade
A top Tamil Tiger rebel negotiator is scheduled to arrive here Monday as part of an effort to pave the way for direct talks with the Sri Lankan government under Norwegian mediation. Tamil negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingham and Norwegian mediator Erik Solheim arrived in the nearby island nation of Maldives Sunday. The Tamil rebels' top demands include lifting a four-year government ban on their organization and the creation of an interim administration in rebel-controlled areas. more ...
103) 19:15 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Sri Lanka loses international airlines
Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran will meet the media for the first time in 10 years at a special press conference to be held in April, a newspaper reported Sunday. The news conference will be held in northeastern Sri Lanka, the main battlefield in a 19-year insurgency by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rebels' chief negotiator was quoted as saying by the Sunday Leader . "Prabhakaran is prepared to answer all questions regarding the past, present and future of the ongoing peace process and outline the LTTE stance openly," LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham said. more ...
104) 17:45 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Colombo's ceasefire intransigence censured
International airlines have apparently begun withdrawing services to Sri Lanka. Russia's Aeroflot reportedly pulled out of the market on 22 March and is expected to be followed by Martinair at the end of March. AOM French Airlines has already ceased services to Colombo, according to Xinhua News Agency. Kuwait Airlines apparently has plans to reduce the number of flights to Sri Lanka from four to three, and the president of the Travel Agents Association has said that it is now almost impossible to get a seat to Colombo. The travel group has claimed that Sri Lankan Airlines, the national carrier, is responsible for the withdrawal of foreign airlines. more ...
105) 14:50 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka appeal for support for their release
"The Sri Lankan government can be no longer unconcerned with the safety and security and well being of the Tamil people, particularly when the other party to the conflict, the Liberation Tigers, has extended its unilateral ceasefire for another month. The safety, security and the well being of the Tamil people must no longer be subordinated to the exigencies of military strategies", Mr. R. Sampanthan, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front told Tamilnet Saturday. more ...
106) 14:44 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Asian Bank programme for Sri Lanka
Six young Tamils from the plantation districts of Sri Lanka, who have been held in detention for more than two years without trial, have written to the Socialist Equality Party thanking the party for its campaign for their release. The six appeared in court last month, only to have their trial delayed again for another 11 months until next January. The letter signed by all six detainees stated: “We are confident that you will stand for our defence... In a situation where we are imprisoned since 1998 without bail, the postponement of our case for such a long period is an unjustified act imposed upon us by the Sri Lankan government. more ...
107) 14:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Vavuniya Pass violates fundamental right- Ilancheliyan
The Asian Development Bank says aid donors will have a major role to play when Sri Lanka's civil war finally ends, as massive assistance will be required. Bank officials said that planning for a post-war Europe had begun two years before the Second World War ended, so now was the time to begin work on Sri Lanka, even though there seemed to be no end in sight yet. more ...
108) 13:29 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Canada wants amity in the island - High Commissioner
The Vavuniya district judge Mr. Manickavasagam Ilancheliyan ordered Police officers in charge of the checkpoints in Eeratpaeriyakulam and the town’s railway station Friday that they should forthwith stop sending back to persons, almost exclusively Tamils, from Colombo and other parts of the island on grounds that they do not have documents demanded by them or issuing such visitors passes that limit their stay only within Vavuniya. He told the Police that they have no authority in law to issue limited temporary residence passes to persons coming to Vavuniya from Colombo and other parts of the country or to refuse them permission to enter this northern border town. The judge pointed out in his order that there is no basis in law to issue to such passes. more ...
109) 13:26 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Weapon stockpile unearthed in Lanka
"Canada welcomes the initiatives taken by the LTTE to hold peace talks with the Sri Lanka Government. Canada wants peace to be restored and the people to live in amity in this beautiful island. The repercussions of the ethnic war have been greatly felt by all the people in this land. It has affected them physically and psychologically", said Ms. Ruth Archibald High Commissioner of Canada in Sri Lanka. She was addressing the representatives of Non Governmental Organisations in Jaffna when she visited the HUDC Organisation in Jaffna. She further said that Canada had been helping the people of Sri Lanka through the Non Governmental Organisations for the past ten years. She would contact the authorities concerned and present the requests made by the Jaffna NGOs Union. more ...
110) 13:22 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Sri Lanka exports fall sharply, trade gap widens
Sri Lankan police have unearthed a large stockpile of weapons worth Rs 15 million from an arsenal of the LTTE in the northern Jaffna city, a senior police officer has said. The weapons seized included powerful anti-aircraft weapons, explosives, automatic firearms of various types and live ammunition, The Daily Mirror quoting the officer said. more ...
111) 21:49 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Erik Solheim bets on peace
Sri Lanka's exports fell sharply in January by 47.4 percent compared to the previous month and by 12.3 percent against the corresponding period last year, the central bank said. Export earnings in January fell to 334.2 million dollars, down from 636.3 million dollars in December and 381.0 million dollars in January 2000, central bank's latest figures showed. Imports also fell by 28 percent in January this year compared to December, but rose marginally by six percent compared to the corresponding period last year. more ...
112) 21:45 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Tiger posters put up in security zone
Mr. Erik Solheim, Norwegian special envoy who has been trying to bring the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE to the negotiating table, said reports that New Delhi had recently told the Sri Lankan Government that Norway should restrict itself to a facilitatory role, and not become a mediator, were ``untrue''. He pointed out that Norway was assisting Sri Lanka ``because we are asked to do so by the sovereign Government of that country and by the LTTE.'' more ...
113) 13:21 GMT, Mar. 24, 2001 | + Sri Lanka's top foreign investment official faces bribery charge
The Liberation Tigers put up posters to mark the annual month long commemoration of 'Annai' Poopathi which began this week, in the heart of the Sri Lanka Army's high security zone in Batticaloa town, Saturday morning. 'Annai' Poopathi fasted to death at a temple in Batticaloa in 1988 demanding the withdrawal of the Indian Army. The Liberation Tigers commemorate her from 19 March to 19 April. Sources said that major preparations are underway in the LTTE controlled areas of the district for the commemoration during the month. more ...
114) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + The intelligence agencies said, Don't worry about the LTTE, they are our boys, they will not fight us
115) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Britain ready to negotiate if requested - British Envoy
116) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Annai Poopathy remembered fondly by Tamil Eelam Nation!
117) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Plane crashes north of Colombo
118) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Sri Lanka rebels question govt's peace moves
119) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Sri Lankan police order female "LTTE suspect" to strip publicly at gunpoint
120) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Clinton sights tigers
121) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Ceylon Tobacco says stops all advertising
122) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + U.S. Details Threats Linked to Clinton Trip
123) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + LTTE leader gets medicare in Norway
124) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + ‘Lanka should seek international aid to crush LTTE’
125) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 2000 | + Balasingham: "Tamils want their rights"
126) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Nato bombs Serbia
127) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Fear grips people of captured Tamil town
128) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Demonstration against Palali expansion
129) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + 30,000 newly displaced in Mannar
130) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + What next?
131) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Madhu: for whom does the bell toll?
132) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Deal with army clears way for mine removal
133) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Prayer in Malaysia for peace in Sri Lanka
134) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Church that gives life raises Sri Lanka peace hopes
135) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1999 | + Sri Lankan Army takes over Madhu area
136) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1998 | + Hindu priest injured
137) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1998 | + Kalutara prisoners begin fast unto death
138) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1998 | + Bishop criticises Sri Lankan restrictions
139) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1998 | + Sri Lanka reports fresh fighting in north
140) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1998 | + Mr. Suresh has been released on bail today
141) 11:11 GMT, Mar. 24, 1998 | + TDP moved closer to the BJP
Sri Lanka's independent anti-graft panel Friday indicted the country's top foreign investment promotion official, Tilan Wijesinghe, on a corruption charge. The Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption filed a case against Wijesinghe, the director general of the Board of Investment (BOI), in the Colombo Magistrates court after a year-long investigation, officials said. Wijesinghe was asked to answer charges when the case is expected to be called on May 11. It is alleged that Wijesinghe demanded a bribe of one million dollars from a businessmen to authorise the establishment of a flour milling plant and that he had accepted a down payment. more ...