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May 24, 2019 - Memory of the Day

Sri Lanka's war 10 years on: Finding Father Francis

2019-05-21 12:00:49 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 2000 | MI 24 HELICOPTER GUNSHIP SHOT DOWN
    Soviet built MI24 helicopter gunship was shot down this evening at Manthuvil in the Thenmarachchi division of the Jaffna peninsula as fierce fighting broke out between the LTTE combat units and the Sri Lankan government troops. Two pilots and a gunner were killed in the incident.
  • Human Rights Violations

  • 1997 | Nearly 4000 Tamil civilians displaced from Nedunkerni
    3776 Tamil people have lost their homes as a result of Sri Lanka's latest military operation in Nedunkerni, said the district's Government Agent last Monday. Nedunkerni town was literally flattened by Sri Lankan bombardments and is today devoid of residents. The majority of those displaced are reduced to living in "welfare centres" with a tiny number finding refuge in relatives' homes.
  • 2000 | Hartal in Batticaloa to protest killings
    Shops and schools were closed, few reported for work in government offices and roads were generally deserted Wednesday in Batticaloa, Valaichenai and other towns in the eastern district. This hartal was in response to a call by a student organisation to protest against the indiscriminate shooting by Sri Lankan security forces on May 17 in which scores of civilians were killed and wounded. The Police failed in the morning to compel shops in Batticaloa town to open up for business.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 616 | முயற்சி திருவினை ஆக்கும் முயற்றின்மை
    இன்மை புகுத்தி விடும்.
    Effort brings fortune's sure increase,
    Its absence brings to nothingness.
    - 62 62
  • May 24 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) May 24, 2019 16:21:58 GMT |  + Instructions from headquarters: Islamic State's new guerrilla manual
    After losing territory, Islamic State fighters are turning to guerrilla war - and the group’s newspaper is telling them exactly how to do it. FILE PHOTO: A bearded man with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's appearance speaks in this screen grab taken from video released on April 29, 2019. Islamic State Group/Al Furqan Media Network/Reuters TV via REUTERS. In recent weeks, IS’s al-Naba online newspaper has encouraged followers to adopt guerrilla tactics and published detailed instructions on how to carry out hit-and-run operations. more ...
  • 2) May 24, 2019 16:15:34 GMT |  + Climbing Up that Hill: The Tamil Genocide and the Long Path to Recognition and Justice
    Sri Lanka’s victory monuments in the heart of the Tamil North-East, where mass graves are still being unearthed, echo Spain’s controversial Valley of the Fallen, which contains both mass graves from Franco’s regime and, up until June 2019, will contain a tomb for Franco himself; its large cross cuts into the skyline as a reminder of deep division and the towering figure Franco remains. more ...
  • 3) May 24, 2019 16:08:42 GMT |  + CPA Statement on the Presidential Pardon of Gnanasara Thero
    The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) expresses its deep shock and concern over the Presidential pardon of Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, who was released from prison on 23rd May 2019. The pardon raises a number of pressing questions which the President and the government are obliged to answer. Gnanasara Thero was convicted of four contempt of court charges by the Court of Appeal on 8th August 2018 and sentenced to 19 years of rigorous imprisonment to be completed within 6 years. The conviction and sentencing was premised on the Thero’s behaviour within court premises which was judged to have been beyond the respectful behaviour expected of ordinary citizens before the courts. more ...
  • 4) May 24, 2019 16:05:55 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monk walks out of jail after pardon
    Hundreds of his followers and dozens of monks waited for hours outside Welikada prison in Colombo to see Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, but the monk left through a separate gate, which a monk from his group said was due to security concerns. Some followers carried a distorted national flag which excluded the green and orange color strips which represent ethnic minority Tamils and Muslims who together account for nearly a quarter of the country’s 22 million population. Rights activists condemned the release of Gnanasara, head of the hardline Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or “Buddhist Power Force”. more ...
  • 5) May 24, 2019 16:01:26 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Tourism Suffers After Deadly Bombings
    Sri Lankan travel officials say many foreigners who were planning to visit the country over the next few months have canceled their plans. Officials reported that, overall, visitor arrivals to Sri Lanka have dropped about 80 percent since the bombings. The tourism industry makes up about 4.9 percent of Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2018, 2.3 million tourists visited the island, bringing in about $4.4 billion. That was an increase of nearly 12 percent from 2017. Industry experts say hotel occupancy rates across the island have fallen by at least 85 percent. Most beaches, eateries and stores in popular tourist areas are now empty. more ...
  • 6) May 24, 2019 15:57:40 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Was One of the World’s Hottest Destinations. Now It’s Eerily Empty.
    In one moment—or a simultaneous string of them, really—everything changed on this island nation. A decade after concluding a 30-year civil conflict, Sri Lanka had, until a couple weeks ago, enjoyed unprecedented peace and surging prosperity. But on Easter Sunday, a series of targeted blasts across the island shattered all that, tearing open old wounds and returning the country to a familiar war footing. more ...
  • 7) May 24, 2017 17:12:06 GMT |  + Why terror attacks on children are truly terrifying
    Terror attacks on children and young people are a perversion, a way to attract even more attention in a numbed landscape, which must be the reason they are deployed so often around the world. Not only in concert halls in Manchester and Paris, but in schools and fairgrounds in Pakistan and in marketplaces in Nigeria, where Boko Haram turns children into suicide bombers.Will parents see those pictures and think twice about buying concert tickets for Christmas? Will they think the risk is so tiny, but it’s still not worth it? That would be understandable, but awful – more ...
  • 8) May 24, 2017 17:09:15 GMT |  + Downtown relief line debate takes centre stage at city council
    Mayor John Tory started his day at Pape station, handing out flyers to TTC commuters bearing the slogan: "Toronto needs relief." At city hall, he told council that convincing the province of that has been harder than he thought it would be. The decision on whether to advance planning on the future downtown relief line and Yonge subway extension takes centre stage at Wednesday's council meeting. City council will vote on whether to push ahead with planning for the relief line, which would run between the downtown core and Pape station — taking thousands of commuters off the busy Yonge line. more ...
  • 9) May 24, 2017 16:59:00 GMT |  + Sri Lanka police 'failing to stop anti-Muslim attacks'
    Rights groups accused Sri Lankan police Wednesday of failing to stop a wave of hate crimes against Muslim businesses and mosques in the Buddhist-majority country. Police are yet to make any arrests in connection with more than a dozen arson attacks against Muslims shops, mosques and a burial ground in the past month. Prominent rights activist Victor Ivan said the inaction risked a repeat of anti-Muslim riots in 2014 that left four dead. "Police are responsible for allowing this situation to continue by not taking action against the perpetrators," Ivan told reporters in Colombo, adding that an extremist Buddhist group was believed to be behind the violence. more ...
  • 10) May 24, 2017 16:56:48 GMT |  + Understanding Tamil diaspora and their involvement in developing the north
    Tamil diaspora shaped the Sri Lankan political landscape through its financial and ideological support during the military struggle. Subsequently the term “Tamil diaspora” was associated with a negative connotation amongst majority of Sri Lankans. It was also perceived that the Tamils residing abroad had immense financial capacity and cared more about the Tamils residing locally. Eight long years have passed since the end of the war and three years of Yahapalanaya (Good Governance) yet the diaspora seems sceptical about the happenings in Sri Lanka. Currently the diaspora’s comeback is most anticipated, yet they seem to be missing from the development agenda. Disappointments and frustrations are brewing internally, as diaspora lacks any interest to invest their hard-earned money into northern development. more ...
  • 11) May 24, 2017 16:45:07 GMT |  + Setback in Sri Lanka for China’s silk road
    China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) sets the bar high. It strives to connect Asia, Africa and Europe with the aim of achieving mutual development. Sri Lanka, with its valuable geographic position in the heart of the Indian Ocean, is a crucial participant in Beijing’s newest endeavor.But China–Sri Lanka ties seemed to reach a low point when in January 2017 violent protests erupted in which people expressed opposition to an industrial zone project funded by Beijing. This turbulent and unpredictable bilateral engagement provides China a valuable lesson for building the Belt and Road. more ...
  • 12) May 24, 2016 16:03:42 GMT |  + 34 TN Fishermen Released by Lanka
    Thirty-four Tamil Nadu fishermen, released by Sri Lankan courts after being detained by the island nation Navy last month, arrived at nearby Karaikal Port today. State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, District Collector S Pazhanisamy and other officials received the fishermen from Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram Districts, who were arrested in batches on different dates last month. Jayakumar said the government had taken steps to send the fishermen to their respective home towns.
  • 13) May 24, 2016 16:00:28 GMT |  + Korea to join Sri Lanka’s $63b smart city project
    The Korean government is set to participate in Sri Lanka’s $63.2 billion smart city development project, Seoul’s Ministry of Land announced Tuesday. The project is part of Sri Lanka’s plan to develop nine new towns in Colombo and its adjacent areas by 2030. The Land Ministry said Minister Kang Ho-in and Sri Lanka’s Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka inked a memorandum of understanding in Seoul on Tuesday for the partnership of the new city project. “We believe Korea’s experiences in developing smart cities will greatly contribute to Sri Lanka’s new city development,” Kang said. more ...
  • 14) May 24, 2016 15:58:27 GMT |  + Tens of thousands need aid after deadly cyclone pounds Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
    Tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka need aid including clean drinking water, dry food rations and medicines after a deadly cyclone hammered the South Asia region, aid agencies said on Tuesday."Tens of thousands of poor families will have lost most of their assets - not just their houses, but also their food stores, seasonal crops and vital livestock such as cows, goats and ducks," said Shakeb Nabi, Christian Aid's Bangladesh head. "Access to food, safe drinking water, health supplies and sanitation materials is limited in some villages. Water points have been ruined, ground water contaminated and agricultural land destroyed." more ...
  • 15) May 24, 2016 15:55:28 GMT |  + China's Investments in Sri Lanka
    China’s friendly relationship with Sri Lanka began in earnest after the election of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005. With its own politically influential Tamil minority to contend with, India declined Rajapaksa’s appeals for large-scale military support, while the United States suspended military aid in 2007, citing government human rights violations in the country’s civil war.Beijing, however, was happy to fill the void. The same year that Washington suspended arms sales, China provided Sri Lanka $37 million in ammunition and ordnance to aid Rajapaksa’s war against the Tamil Tigers. In 2008, it gave Sri Lanka six F-7 jet fighters, scores of antiaircraft guns, and a JY-11 radar system. more ...
  • 16) May 24, 2016 15:47:44 GMT |  + Missing Scarborough man, 84, found dead near home
    Police said an elderly Scarborough man was found dead Tuesday in the Dorset Park neighbourhood, days after he wandered away from his home. Jayaratnam Punnusamy, 84, was reported missing on May 22. His body was found beside railway tracks near a park off of Prudential Drive, located in the Lawrence Avenue East and Midland Avenue area, about 500 metres from his home. According to police, Punnusamy had a range of health issues that made him vulnerable, including the onset of dementia, high blood pressure and diabetes. more ...
  • 17) May 24, 2016 10:50:25 GMT |  + Wigneswaran takes over three portfolios
    Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has taken over three portfolios earlier held by Northern Provincial Council Minister P. Sathyalingam. The provincial ministries of Social Welfare, Rehabilitation and Women Affairs will now come under the purview of the Chief Minister who was sworn in as the subject minister by Governor Reginald Cooray at his office. more ...
  • 18) May 24, 2016 10:45:08 GMT |  + Police Scotland under fire after new evidence of Sri Lankan torture
    Police Scotland is seeking to extend a controversial training project with Sri Lankan police despite new evidence of the force’s involvement in torture, The Ferret can reveal. Police Scotland had a contract that expired at the end of March this year to train Sri Lankan police officers and develop “ethical leadership” at its National Police Academy. The project proved highly controversial at the outset in 2012 due to Sri Lanka’s appalling human rights record but Police Scotland defended the new relationship at the time, arguing that it was aiming to improve the human rights situation. more ...
  • 19) May 24, 2016 10:40:13 GMT |  + Federal Foreign Office to provide one million euros for humanitarian aid in Sri Lanka
    Foreign Minister Steinmeier pledged financial support of one million euros to the Sri Lankan Government today (23 May) to help it deal with the aftermath of the severe storms of recent days. The Federal Foreign Office will provide one million euros in humanitarian aid for the victims of flooding and landslides. The funding will form part of international support for Sri Lanka and will be provided in coordination with the Sri Lankan Government and aid organisations in the country. The aim is to help those most in need. Germany will not only help Sri Lanka in the short term with this natural disaster, but will also do its utmost to support and foster development in the medium term. more ...
  • 20) May 24, 2015 19:35:59 GMT |  + Cannes 2015: Jacques Audiard's Dheepan wins the Palme d'Or - as it happened
    The testimony of Michel Franco and Tim Roth, writer-director and star of Chronic. Franco won the best screenplay award earlier this evening for his story of a late-life care nurse who starts to invest too much in his patients. Yet more grace under fire as Roth talks about the pleasure in winning an award, any award, even if it’s not best actor. He says meeting Franco in Cannes (when Roth was heading the Un Certain Regard jury) lead to them working together. “You should always use festivals to get work,” he says. more ...
  • 21) May 24, 2015 11:16:19 GMT |  + Illegal Immigrants 'Living In The Shadows'
    One woman tells Sky she has considered suicide and now lives in limbo - not allowed in the UK but at risk of persecution at home. Senthuran Rosendram came to the UK at the age of 14. His Tamil family say they were persecuted in Sri Lanka. Now 26, his leave to remain has been revoked after he was jailed for violent disorder. But instead of leaving the country he has chosen to disappear. more ...
  • 22) May 24, 2015 11:13:44 GMT |  + Sirisena wavers amid raging waters of SLFP split
    A nation waits in suspense as the ‘on-off’ guessing game continues over dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for general elections. The menu on this week’s political agenda is for a different course. “I can assure that a new Government will be installed by September,” declared President Maithripala Sirisena during a breakfast meeting with heads of state-run and private media. After dissolution, he noted, that it would take two weeks to call for nominations. Thereafter, elections would have to be held within five to seven weeks, he said. He avoided making any reference to the date of dissolution. more ...
  • 23) May 24, 2015 11:12:53 GMT |  + Jayalalitha: sworn in a chief minister of Tamil Nadu
    Jayaram Jayalalitha has been sworn in as the chief minister of the Indian state Tamil Nadu, less than a fortnight after being cleared of corruption. The politician, who has served as chief minister four times before, was cheered by supporters as she travelled to the swearing-in ceremony in the state capital Chennai (Madras). Last year, a court sentenced Ms Jayalitha to four years for corruption. But an appeal court overruled this, allowing her to return to politics. more ...
  • 24) May 24, 2015 11:09:25 GMT |  + Nets within nets: Untangling the problem of illegal fishing in the north
    Early this month three fishermen from Jaffna were selling their catch along the main road when a couple of Navy officers stopped to buy some. One of the fishermen thought he would be honest with the officers and had apparently told them that the fish was not good for cooking as they were caught by means of an ‘explosion’, in other words, dynamite fishing. The fishermen were arrested immediately by the two officers and handed over to fisheries officials. more ...
  • 25) May 24, 2015 11:02:35 GMT |  + Judiciary Under Pressure
    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe’s statement over the Supreme Court ruling on former Defence Secretary’s Fundamental Right (FR) application, it is now being questioned whether the politicians in the new government too are trying to influence the country’s judiciary like how the previous regime is accused of interfering with the judiciary. It was one of the main election slogans of the then opposition that they will not interfere with the country’s judiciary and to bring the 19th Amendment to bring back the stalled independent commissions for good governance. Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva says that Prime Minister’s statement on the court ruling is a severe blow to the independence of the Judiciary. more ...
  • 26) May 24, 2015 10:59:29 GMT |  + Jaffna Seeks Justice For Vithiya
    Incidents of rape have become alarmingly high in post-war Jaffna and many young women have become the victims of ruthless rapists who seem to walk away scot-free. With reference to many such incidents, people question the law enforcement authorities for their prolonged inability to bring the culprits to justice. Recently, an 18-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in Kayts in the Jaffna Peninsula adding to the long list of female victims who were subjected to atrocities committed by men in the post-war North. On the 13th of this month, Sivaloganathan Vithiya... more ...
  • 27) May 24, 2015 10:56:03 GMT |  + CID in Jaffna for full probe on protests
    A 15-strong group of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detectives arrived in Jaffna last night to conduct an urgent probe into a string of incidents that culminated in Wednesday’s attack on the Magistrate’s Court. The probe will centre on the causes that led to the incidents and whether any ‘anti national’ groups were attempting to destabilise the peninsula. One of the first tasks of the detectives yesterday was to obtain from Police the identities of persons who took part in the attacks. This was after Jaffna Magistrate P. Sivakumar issued an order for those in possession of video footage to hand them over to the Police.
  • 28) May 24, 2015 10:54:38 GMT |  + MR faction seeks nominations for remanded members
    The pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa faction in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is seeking nomination even for its members currently in custody, a spokesman said yesterday. Former minister T.B. Ekanayake said their group would take the position that none of the members in custody had been proven guilty and therefore nominations should be given to them. He said most of the SLFP members in custody were also electoral organisers and would be able to attract votes for the party. Mr. Ekanayake said their request would be put forward to President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the SLFP leader.
  • 29) May 24, 2015 10:52:09 GMT |  + 'Nope, nope, nope': Tony Abbott says Australia will take no Rohingya refugees
    None of the more than 8,000 Rohingya refugees caught in a weeks-long standoff at sea will be resettled in Australia, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, confirmed on Thursday. Overnight the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to give temporary shelter to the thousands of Rohingya Muslim migrants fleeing Burma and Bangladesh. And Gambia has offered to resettle all Rohingya refugees. Some have been stranded at sea for weeks after Thai authorities closed a well-used trafficking route out of Burma and the people smugglers jumped ship and left their human cargo to starve. more ...
  • 30) May 24, 2015 10:39:38 GMT |  + A Panopticon state: We must not wait until they come for us
    On Tuesday last week (12th) I watched, at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute the screening of ‘Citizen Four’: A documentary film concerning systems analyst Edward Snowden and the information he leaked on the nature and scale of the NSA’s spying activities. In that documentary, director Laura Poitras records the manner in which she was first contacted by Snowdon via encrypted email messages and her subsequent dealings with him, holed in a hotel room in Hong Kong, together with Guardian journalist Glen Greenwald who ‘broke’ the story and Ewan MacAskill. more ...
  • 31) May 24, 2014 1:40:15 GMT |  + Komagata Maru 100th anniversary: descendants surprised by stories
    Descendants of two B.C. residents, who were on opposite sides of the Komagata Maru story, are sharing their reflections today on the 100th anniversary of what both agree was a dark chapter in Canadian history. On May 23, 1914, the Komagata Maru, a Japanese steamship, arrived in Vancouver's Coal Harbour carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, India, seeking asylum. It spent two months at anchor. The government refused to allow its passengers to leave the ship. more ...
  • 32) May 24, 2014 1:36:30 GMT |  + ‘We are mindful of rights of Tamils'
    Facing criticism from allies, the BJP on Thursday backed the party’s decision to invite Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister scheduled for May 26. Addressing reporters here, BJP State president Pon. Radhakrishnan said the decision could not be compared with the UPA’s invites to Mr. Rajapaksa in the past. While taking the decision, the BJP was mindful of the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils. more ...
  • 33) May 24, 2014 1:29:50 GMT |  + BJP overlooks ally Vaiko's protest against Rajapaksa visit
    Even with one its own allies -MDMK— among those opposing Narendra Modi's invitation to Sri Lankan President Mahindra Rajapaksa, BJP is in no mood to go back on its invitation. The party, however, has communicated to MDMK chief Vaiko and other leaders from Tamil Nadu that the invitation is only for the swearing-in event and there will be no bilateral talks with him. The party feels that the protests are a compulsion that the political parties from Tamil Nadu cannot avoid to send a message to their local constituencies. more ...
  • 34) May 24, 2014 1:26:12 GMT |  + The Continuing Legacy of the Komagata Maru
    A century ago on May 23rd in 1914, the Komagata Maru, a ship of migrants from India sailed into the western shores of what is now called British Columbia, Canada, in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish groups of First Nations Peoples. Upon the Komagata Maru’s arrival to Canadian shores, immigration and security officials intercepted the vessel and the 375 passengers on board were prohibited from disembarking. For months the passengers remained detained on board the ship, with dwindling supplies, while Canadian immigration officials plotted means to remove them from Canada for violating the continuous journey provision of the Immigration Act. more ...
  • 35) May 24, 2013 10:17:46 GMT |  + Defence sec. opposed to police powers for PCs
    Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he would never agree to the granting of police powers to provincial councils in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He said that he had arrived at this decision after having considered the dangers and the challenges it would pose to the security services.At present no provincial council exercises police powers, and if they were to be granted such powers in future, such a measure could pose a serious threat to national security and he foresaw a dangerous situation, he said. more ...
  • 36) May 24, 2013 10:15:34 GMT |  + Govt. concerned over MoU between US Embassy and Trinco UC
    The Sri Lanka government yesterday expressed concern over the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the US embassy in Colombo and the Trincomalee Urban Council to jointly establish a public information and activity centre known as the American Corner, without the knowledge or the authorisation of the Sri Lanka External Affairs Ministry. Government sources said that foreign missions based in Colombo should obtain prior approval or inform to the External Affairs Ministry of Sri Lanka whenever they need to engage with local authorities - which is the international norm.
  • 37) May 24, 2013 10:14:30 GMT |  + Tamil asylum seekers granted lawyers after court plea
    "If people don't know their rights and aren't able to present their claims and there's a miscarriage of justice... we could be sending people back to the real risk of torture or death." Under current law, the government must give people in immigration detention "all reasonable facilities... for obtaining legal advice or taking legal proceedings in relation to his or her immigration detention" at their request. more ...
  • 38) May 24, 2012 20:03:28 GMT |  + Tamil and war widows abandoned by the Sri Lankan government
    In Sri Lanka's predominantly Tamil north, religious celebrations are restricted, freedom of association is violated and the traditional culture is being undermined, this according to Catholic priests from the southern part of the country, members of the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM). At a meeting in Jaffna (Northern Province), local prelates said, "There is a need for a political solution so that that the Tamil people are recognised as part of the nation." In the island's eastern region, serious problems also persist, especially for war widows. more ...
  • 39) May 24, 2012 20:00:52 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Sarath Fonseka barred from political office
    Sri Lanka's ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka is barred from political office for seven years, despite being freed from jail on Monday, his lawyer says. Mr Fonseka stood against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a presidential election two years ago, lost and was imprisoned shortly afterwards. Mr Fonseka's lawyer, Nalin Laduwahetti, says that the terms of his release prevent him from running for office.
  • 40) May 24, 2012 19:59:16 GMT |  + Sri Lanka sets up new courts to try war suspects
    Sri Lanka is setting up new courts to accelerate cases against hundreds of Tamil rebel suspects three years after the end of the island's bloody ethnic war, a government spokesman said Thursday. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the justice ministry would open three courts near the former war zone in the northeast of Sri Lanka to hear charges against more than 650 detainees. "We have taken a decision to speed up the cases," Abeywardena told reporters in Colombo.
  • 41) May 24, 2012 19:58:07 GMT |  + Amnesty accuses U.N. council of "failed leadership"
    Rights group Amnesty International lambasted the United Nations Security Council on Thursday as "tired, out of step and increasingly unfit for purpose". In its annual report, Amnesty said the failure of world powers to take stronger action on Syria was evidence that a sclerotic security council was hamstrung by vested interests, and also warned of abuses arising from Europe's economic crisis.
  • 42) May 24, 2012 19:54:40 GMT |  + Sympathy grows for LTTE internationally
    The Tamil community minus LTTE is left deprived of a credible leadership. The Sri Lankan state`s ongoing failure to deal with the problems facing the Tamils on the ground gives energy to this movement. Given the current circumstances, where the UN report has substantiated Sri Lankan government’s crimes during the war against the LTTE, the Tamil Diaspora is left dejected. If the oppressive Sri Lankan rule continued, there could be a demand for a separate state for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. There is a dire need to reconcile with the wounded Tamil Community in Sri Lanka so as to avoid any possibility of LTTE’s revival.
  • 43) May 24, 2012 10:23:44 GMT |  + Russia Backs Sri Lanka On War Probe Calls
    Attempts to force an international probe on Sri Lanka, into civilian deaths and rights abuses during the final months of the island nation’s civil war, are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday at a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Gamini Lakshman Peiris.“We believe, attempts to force international investigation on Sri Lanka without the sovereign state’s permission and bypassing the UN Security Council are absolutely wrong, they also contradict our aspirations in the human rights sphere,” Lavrov said.
  • 44) May 24, 2011 16:53:29 GMT |  + Sri Lanka anti-terror seminar faces boycott call
    A leading human rights group urged governments on Tuesday to boycott a conference on fighting insurgents organised by Sri Lanka, which wants to share its experience of defeating separatist militants. Sri Lanka will host the three-day meeting "Defeating Terrorism - Sri Lanka Experience" in the capital Colombo next Tuesday and has invited 54 countries of which 42 have agreed to attend. more ...
  • 45) May 24, 2011 16:52:07 GMT |  + China: Sri Lanka can handle post-war relations alone
    China on Tuesday appeared to support Sri Lanka's efforts to avert an international probe into allegations its soldiers committed war crimes, saying the Sri Lankan government could handle internal affairs on its own. The Indian Ocean country is facing calls from the West and rights groups for an investigation into what a U.N.-appointed panel calls "credible allegations" that war crimes were committed at the end of Sri Lanka's civil war in 2009.
  • 46) May 24, 2011 16:50:06 GMT |  + US Was Asked to Remove Sri Lanka UN Diplomat on Credible Evidence of Genocide and War Crimes Allegations
    United States was asked to revoke the diplomatic visa and remove from US, Brigadier Shavendra Silva, the Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Sri Lanka, on alleged credible evidence suggesting that Mr. Silva who was the commander of the 58th division of the Sri Lankan army was involved in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This request was made in a memo to the US Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Janice L. Jacobs, by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic of American University and SPEAK Human Rights Initiative.
  • 47) May 24, 2011 16:49:32 GMT |  + Nobody should politicise Rajiv's assassination: Congress
    The Congress on Tuesday said nobody should politicise the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in comments that came after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's remarks that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was indirectly behind it. Party spokesperson Manish Tewari said that Congress was "extremely sensitive" about the issue of Gandhi's assassination. "There should be no attempts to politicise such a dastardly incident, which has reverberated not only across the country but across the world," Tewari said.
  • 48) May 24, 2011 16:48:22 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Muslims
    Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict is one of the most polarizing and heated in a world full of ethnic conflicts. For a sample, check out this episode of The Agenda, aired in 2009 shortly after Sri Lankan forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, a.k.a. The Tamil Tigers), a rebel army that fought for a separate Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka for more than a quarter century: The two ethnic groups always mentioned when we think of Sri Lanka are the majority Buddhist Sinhalese population and the minority Hindu Tamil population, because they are the two groups most associated with the civil war that raged between 1983 and 2009.
  • 49) May 24, 2011 0:29:24 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Military Conference to Whitewash War Crimes
    Governments should decline the invitation to attend a Sri Lankan military conference that seeks to legitimize the unlawful killing of thousands of civilians during the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Human Rights Watch said today. The Sri Lankan government has invited 54 countries to its "Seminar on Defeating Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Experience" from May 31 to June 2, 2011 in Colombo, the capital.
  • 50) May 24, 2011 0:27:33 GMT |  + Will Sri Lanka's Tamils Get Some Measure of Justice from the United Nations?
    Forty-seven governments on the Untied Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) will discuss and decide, beginning at its May 30th session, what to do about an unusually candid and truthful report in the world of international politics. The Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka was delivered to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 31 concerning both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the last phases of the 26-year old civil war that ended May 19, 2009, and the consequences for approximately 300,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and, by extension, for the 2.7 million Sri Lankan Tamils, who were the losers in the war. Some 13% of the Sri Lanka's 21 million people are Tamil.
  • 51) May 24, 2010 17:55:11 GMT |  + 'Name the detainees' Govt. urged
    Many people have been disappeared in Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict with the Tamil Tigers, human rights activists say. Convenor of Committee for the Investigation of Disappearances (CID) Chamil Jayanetti told BBC Sandeshaya that the government should reveal the names of nearly 12,000 suspected LTTE members currently detained. "We don't know what the fate of these disappeared people are. They may be detained, killed of disappeared. If the government announce the names of those detained then the relatives would have a clue," he said. more ...
  • 52) May 24, 2010 12:22:44 GMT |  + No budging from Budget – IMF
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday asserted that its focus was currently on Budget 2010, insisting that the transfer of the third tranche would depend as much on this as on the evaluation report that it would make. "The overall plans are unchanged but reorientation according to present challenges is up to the Government. I believe that its eventual target is to reduce the deficit to 5% and we will continue discussions with them until this goal is met." IMF Mission Head Dr. Brian Aitken said.
  • 53) May 24, 2010 12:05:49 GMT |  + Don’t interfere in internal affairs: Lanka to UN chief
    Sri Lanka on Monday asked UN chief Ban Ki-moon not to interfere in its internal affairs and not to go ahead with the probe into alleged war crimes by its Army against the defeated LTTE, amidst an international clamour by rights groups for an independent inquiry. "...There is no justification legal or moral for this step (UN probe) to be taken at this time," Foreign Minister GL Peiris said ahead of his maiden meeting with Ban. "Don't complicate matters at this stage. It's not going to do any good. It has the potential of doing real harm in a situation where the government of Sri Lanka, against overwhelming odds, is trying to move the processes forward," he said.
  • 54) May 24, 2010 12:03:49 GMT |  + Sri Lanka asks UN chief not to interfere in internal affairs
    United Nations: Sri Lanka today asked UN chief Ban Ki-moon not to interfere in its internal affairs and not to go ahead with the probe into alleged war crimes by its army against the defeated LTTE, amidst an international clamour by rights groups for an independent inquiry. "There is no justification legal or moral for this step (UN probe) to be taken at this time," foreign minister G L Peiris told PTI here ahead of his maiden meeting with Ban. "Don't complicate matters at this stage. It's not going to do any good. It has the potential of doing real harm in a situation where the government of Sri Lanka, against overwhelming odds, is trying to move the processes forward," he said.
  • 55) May 24, 2010 12:02:20 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Says Iran May Lend $1.5 Billion to Expand Refinery
    Sri Lanka, which imports all its oil, may get a $1.5 billion loan from Iran to fully fund a project to double capacity at the South Asian island’s only refinery, the petroleum minister said. “The earlier understanding was for us to come up with 30 percent, but Iran may come in to completely finance the expansion,” Susil Premajayantha said in an interview in the capital Colombo. Sri Lanka plans to start the two-year construction to increase state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp. refinery’s processing capacity to 100,000 barrels a day by early 2011, Premajayantha said May 21.
  • 56) May 24, 2010 2:27:14 GMT |  + In Waldorf, Peiris and Kohona of Sri Lanka Spin Selectively, War Crimes Defense Tour Begins Behind Closed Doors
    Sri Lanka's war crimes defense tour has begun. Sunday evening in Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria hotel, new Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris held interviews with selected reporters in the presence of the country's Permanent Representative to the UN, Palitha Kohona. Despite having covered Sri Lanka more closely than any other correspondent at the UN for the last two years, when Inner City made a formal request to the Sri Lankan Mission, then directly to Palitha Kohona, to pose questions to Minister Peiris, the requests were neither granted nor even responded to.
  • 57) May 24, 2010 2:24:14 GMT |  + Probe war crimes in Sri Lanka
    The case for an international inquiry is not based solely on an abstract ideal of justice. If there is impunity for the horrors inflicted on civilians in Sri Lanka, other states confronting civil wars or secessionist rebellions will assume there is no price to pay for copying the Sri Lankan blueprint. This is a formula for scorched-earth repression, banning the international press, denying all charges of misconduct, and pretending the killers can conduct a disinterested investigation of their killings. Beyond serving the cause of justice, an international war crimes inquiry may also promote a reconciliation between the Rajapaksa government and the minority Tamils of that island nation.
  • 58) May 24, 2010 2:22:04 GMT |  + Lessons to be learnt and unlearnt
    Such squabbling is not unknown. Statutory commissions like the Election Commission, Public Service Commission, Police Commission, Human Rights Commission and the Bribery and Corruption Commission have suffered as appointments to them were mired in political controversy.Time is an irredeemable resource and Sri Lanka has already wasted over 20 precious years in debating what was obvious. Why waste time on more meaningless commissions? It is time to get on with positive action, now that the war is over. And to get going Sri Lanka needs an attitudinal change. That is the lesson number one to be learnt.
  • 59) May 24, 2009 23:04:34 GMT |  + Our leader Velupillai Prabakharan is dead, Tamil Tigers admit
    Uncertainty surrounding the fate of Velupillai Prabakharan, the leader of the Tamil Tigers, deepened last night after a statement purporting to be from the rebels admitted that he was dead. The statement, seen by The Times, appeared to be signed by Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the Tigers’ head of international relations. Sources close to the rebels said, however, they could not confirm that it was genuine. Mr Pathmanathan, who is believed to be in hiding in South-East Asia and who said last Tuesday that Prabakharan was alive, was not available for comment.
  • 60) May 24, 2009 23:03:32 GMT |  + Demonstrate the politics of war
    The Tamil national cause cannot afford to be deviated and exploited by others through questions such as whether the LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan is alive or not or whether the armed struggle has to be continued or not. The Tamil diaspora, the only section of the Eezham Tamil community that has the freedom and means to come out with authentic voice, has a historic responsibility in telling the world what they aspire for in no uncertain terms, and in seeing their righteous cause not hijacked by their enemies.
  • 61) May 24, 2009 23:02:26 GMT |  + Horror for civilians trapped in Sri Lanka's 'no-fire zone'
    From the air, the battle zone reveals itself one clue at a time — the scorched patches of earth, the blasted palm trees, the burnt-out skeletal houses. Then the helicopter banks sharp right over the green lagoon and a blaze of white sand appears — to the gasps of the first outsiders to glimpse the beach where the Tamil Tigers made their last stand. Sri Lanka’s no-fire zone is a scene of such utter devastation it mocks its very name. It is a glimpse of hell unleashed in paradise. more ...
  • 62) May 24, 2009 23:00:46 GMT |  + Tamils admire Quebec model. But will Colombo pay fat pensions to separatists?
    The Christian Science Monitor reports that Tamils see Quebec as a model of the type of autonomy they hope to win from the Sri Lankan government as they seek a peaceful path to achieving the goals they failed to gain in three decades of violence and war: Across the Atlantic in Canada, home to the world's largest Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, community leaders are holding up Quebec as a path for resolving Sri Lanka's ethnic problem.
  • 63) May 24, 2009 22:57:28 GMT |  + As Tamil MPs Are Rebuffed in Sri Lanka, UN's Ban in Denmark, No Answers
    Even after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon left Sri Lanka after his less then 24 hour tour, controversy continued to dog the trip, seem by many as giving the UN's blessing to war crimes and domination of the Tamil minority. Sources there say that while Ban Ki-moon left the press waiting on the UN plane -- well, Inner City Press was on the tarmac -- the following occurred: "R. Sampanthan, a parliamentary group leader of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), had made arrangements to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon prior to his departure at the VIP Lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport.
  • 64) May 24, 2009 22:54:13 GMT |  + 200,000 Tamil civilians imprisoned in Sri Lankan Manik Farm camp
    “We are in an open jail,” Kumar whispers, his skinny shoulders shaking as he looks around to check who is watching “Help us, we want to be free.” He is one of about 200,000 Tamil civilians being held against their will behind the razor-wire coils that surround Manik Farm, the largest displacement camp in Sri Lanka — one of the largest in the world. Camp is not the word its inmates use for it. A prison and a concentration camp were two of the descriptions The Times heard on a rare visit to the camp on the sidelines of the visit by Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General.
  • 65) May 24, 2009 22:50:03 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: child victims of the battle to end a bloody civil war
    Lying howling on a torn mattress, in a cot by a window overlooking the Sri Lankan ­capital, Colombo, the wounded toddler was a pitiful sight. A female relative fretted, trying to calm the girl down as the medics worked around her. The 18-month-old had been shot in the stomach in the final stages of the fighting in the north-east of the country and there was an ugly line of stitches across her abdomen where doctors had operated to remove the ­bullet. Her right leg was missing a chunk of flesh and had been gashed.
  • 66) May 24, 2009 15:14:26 GMT |  + Tamil Tigers admit leader is dead
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebels have admitted for the first time that their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is dead. The BBC's Charles Haviland says that a statement issued by the Tigers said their "incomparable leader" had "attained martyrdom". The Sri Lankan army last week released pictures which it said showed the body of Prabhakaran. It said he was killed as he tried to flee a last stand by the rebels in the north-east of the island. The statement was signed by the defeated group's head of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan. more ...
  • 67) May 24, 2009 15:10:11 GMT |  + 30,000 civilians maimed in battle
    UP to 30,000 civilians trapped in the last days of Sri Lanka's civil war have been left seriously disabled with lost limbs or paralysis, The Australian has learned. Sri Lanka's Government insists no civilian casualties were sustained in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, but French-based aid organisation Handicap International said yesterday that it was preparing a "huge" number of prosthetic limbs for traumatised survivors. HI Sri Lanka chief Satish Mishra said the group had delivered more than 1000 sets of crutches, wheelchairs and other devices to civilians in refugee camps in the country's north and east.
  • 68) May 24, 2009 13:21:43 GMT |  + S. Lanka to restrict aid until rebels screened out
    Sri Lanka said Sunday it would not allow aid workers complete access to civilians who remain held in camps after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers until rebels hiding among the refugees had been weeded out. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on a visit to one camp housing 200,000 Tamils, had called for his staff to be given "unhindered access" to those displaced in the decades-long war that ended a week ago. Ban, who toured the Menik Farm facility on Saturday, described the conditions as overcrowded and the detained civilians as "badly in need of food, water and sanitation." more ...
  • 69) May 24, 2009 13:17:47 GMT |  + As UN's Ban Leaves Sri Lanka, Questions Unanswered, Complicity in War Crimes?
    After Sri Lanka tried to compare the blown out "No Fire" zone with its barbed wire ringed interment camps for Tamils, and the UN's Ban Ki-moon offered praise and help, many troubling questions remained as the UN plane left Colombo. Is the UN assisting in war crimes? At the canned press conference in Kandy, after meeting with Rajapaksa brothers who wear red sashes like blood across their chests, Ban's speech said "the Government is doing its utmost, I commend its tremendous efforts."
  • 70) May 24, 2009 13:16:43 GMT |  + UN Head Ban Urges Sri Lanka To Probe Human Rights Abuses
    United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon asked Sri Lanka to probe alleged human rights violations committed during the government's defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels, a joint statement said Sunday. In talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse, Ban "underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law," it said. The government responded by saying it would "take measures to address those grievances," according to the statement, which was issued after Ban's visit to the island on Saturday.
  • 71) May 24, 2009 13:10:31 GMT |  + Close to 10,000 Tamil rebels surrender, reports Sri Lankan paper
    As many as 10,000 Tamil rebels have surrendered to the Sri Lankan government in the northern part of the country. Most of them are due to undergo rehabilitation, a state run newspaper reported Sunday. The government has already started rehabilitation programmes for more than 7,200 members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who surrendered before the fighting was officially declared over last Tuesday, the Sunday Observer in Colombo reported. Rebels who have yet to be sent to rehabilitation centres have been isolated from the thousands of refugees in camps.
  • 72) May 24, 2009 13:03:59 GMT |  + Sri Lanka blocks TNA from meeting Ban Ki Moon
    R. Sampanthan, parliamentary group leader of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), in a press release issued today, said that after the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry had made arrangements for a TNA delegation to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon prior to his departure at the VVIP Lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport, the Defense Ministry of Sri Lanka refused the delegation entry into the BIA Airport, denying the Tamil representatives from meeting the UN Secretary General.
  • 73) May 24, 2009 13:01:58 GMT |  + Why Tamils are Canadians
    I can understand how people whose only contact with Tamil Canadians has been their recent protests regarding the ongoing tragedy in Sri Lanka, might come to the conclusion they don't care about Canada. In reality, having done liaison work for the Sun with this community for the past 18 months, I can assure you nothing could be further from the truth. As in most groups, protesters tend to be the most vocal and activist members of the community and their demographic skews towards the young.
  • 74) May 24, 2009 12:57:16 GMT |  + Conflicting accounts of S.Lanka Tiger chief death
    Conflicting accounts emerged on Sunday of when and where Sri Lankan rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed, after a report of his death was published in a state-run newspaper. The military had previously announced Prabhakaran, 54, was shot on Monday when trying to escape the final battle in a small convoy of vehicles that included a van and an ambulance. But the Observer, which usually reflects the government's official position, said the account involving the ambulance had been picked up by soldiers listening in to Tiger radio communications.
  • 75) May 24, 2009 12:55:40 GMT |  + Tamils protest 'genocide'
    NEARLY 5,000 ethnic Tamil Malaysians gathered at one of the country's iconic Hindu temples Sunday to protest acts of 'genocide' against Tamils in Sri Lanka following the end of hostilities there. The demonstration by one of the world's largest Tamil communities outside India and Sri Lanka, followed Colombo's declaration of victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last Monday, amid widespread concern that large numbers of Tamil civilians were killed in the fighting. more ...
  • 76) May 24, 2009 5:13:03 GMT |  + Narayanan briefs Karunanidhi on Colombo visit
    National Security Adviser M K Narayanan Saturday met Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and briefed him on his recent visit to Sri Lanka along with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon. Narayanan, who arrived Saturda night, had a 15-minute discussion with Karunanidhi and briefed him on the envoys' meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday, official sources said. Narayanan did not talk to the media. Former Union Minister T. R. Baalu was also present at the meeting.
  • 77) May 24, 2009 4:09:40 GMT |  + U.N. Chief Calls Sri Lanka War Zone 'Very Sobering'
    Night after night, with heavy shelling over their farming village, Krishma Lela and his family did what they could to survive: They dug a trench out of the red earth and huddled inside. They moved only among a network of bunkers, made by hundreds of other Tamil villagers trying to avoid being caught in the crossfire between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels during the last days of fighting in a quarter-century-long civil war that came to an apparent end Monday. more ...
  • 78) May 24, 2009 4:05:11 GMT |  + Tigers begged me to broker surrender
    IT was a desperate last phone call but it did not sound like a man who would be dead within hours. Balasingham Nadesan, political leader of the Tamil Tigers, had nowhere to turn, it seemed. “We are putting down our arms,” he told me late last Sunday night by satellite phone from the tiny slip of jungle and beach on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka where the Tigers had been making their last stand. I could hear machinegun fire in the background as he continued coolly: “We are looking for a guarantee of security from the Obama administration and the British government. Is there a guarantee of security?”
  • 79) May 24, 2009 3:58:58 GMT |  + Agony in Sri Lanka's refugee camp
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spent Saturday in Sri Lanka pressing for political reconciliation and full humanitarian access for displaced people in camps, following Colombo's declaration of victory over Tamil Tigers rebels. The BBC's UN correspondent Laura Trevelyan was travelling with Mr Ban and sent this report. The Menik Farm camp in northern Sri Lanka has a distinctly military air for a place which is housing more than 200,000 people displaced by the fighting. There is barbed wire everywhere, and camouflage-clad soldiers who are not at all keen on journalists speaking to those inside the camp. more ...
  • 80) May 24, 2009 3:53:23 GMT |  + The costs of China’s ‘internal affairs’ kick
    Founded in 1976, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) led an armed insurgency to create a Tamil state independent from the rest of Sri Lanka and its Sinhalese majority. Apart from having an army, a navy and an air force, the LTTE also had an autonomous government and territory. Although it was declared a terrorist organization by 32 countries, and late leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was seen as a dictator, quite a few Western countries sympathized with the Tamils. When the Sri Lankan government planned to launch the final strike against the group early this month, some Western countries called for mediation.
  • 81) May 24, 2009 3:50:43 GMT |  + UN chief flies into Sri Lanka as Tamils' tales of terror emerge
    The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday visited a mass displacement camp packed with Tamil civilians as he appealed to Sri Lanka's triumphant government to "heal the wounds" after three decades of civil war. As he surveyed the beleaguered and shell-shocked refugees held there and as the army searched for Tamil Tiger fighters among them, he would not have found time to talk to Sopika, aged 10. Sopika is one of at least 250,000 Tamil civilians being held in Menik Farm in the north of the country. more ...
  • 82) May 24, 2009 3:47:02 GMT |  + U.N. secretary-general: Sri Lanka sites for the displaced 'appalling'
    After visiting a displacement camp in Sri Lanka on Saturday and flying over the site of the last battle in the country's recently ended civil war, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the sites "appalling." "I have traveled around the world and visited similar places, but this is by far the most appalling scenes I have seen," Ban told CNN. "I sympathize fully with all of the displaced persons." Ban called for better humanitarian aid after interviewing some of the people regarding shortages of water and medicine.
  • 83) May 24, 2009 3:40:05 GMT |  + U.N. Leader Presses Sri Lanka on Speeding Relief to War Refugees in Camps
    Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, pressed Sri Lanka’s government on Saturday to grant international relief agencies “unhindered access” to refugee camps housing hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamils from Sri Lanka’s civil war. Mr. Ban was the latest and highest-ranking official to call for greater access to the camps, which have swelled with new arrivals since the final patch of rebel terrain was overrun by government forces . The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa tightened access to the facilities early last week, as its military tried to root out suspected rebels hiding among the civilians.
  • 84) May 24, 2009 3:34:21 GMT |  + ‘We are the Tigers,’ roars despairing Tamil diaspora
    You buried me in my land. O’ Enemy! Where will you bury my land?’ The words of Sri Lankan Tamil poet Kasi Anandan could speak for the country’s nearly one-million strong Tamil diaspora. The LTTE may have given up arms, but the diaspora has not surrendered. Be it London, Toronto or Washington, the diaspora’s rage is growing with every report on the unfolding humanitarian crisis, the large-scale detentions and disappearances. “There is bitterness about the killing and maiming of civilians. There is a belief among Tamils that they will continue to suffer limits to their freedom of movement, of assembly, in the country,” says Canada-based Lankan Tamil poet Thiru Sambandar (name changed on request).
  • 85) May 24, 2009 3:06:10 GMT |  + India, China back Sri Lanka at HRC
    Fourteen countries, including India have praised Sri Lanka for winning the war against a “terrorist group” and come together to support Sri Lanka counter charges of violating human rights law – a subject which comes up for discussion at a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva on Tuesday. Signatories to a resolution titled “Assistance to Sri Lanka in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,” to be placed before the special session include India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Philippines, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nicaragua and Bolivia.
  • 86) May 24, 2008 23:47:00 GMT |  + A well-deserved slap
    The international community should be applauded for having given Sri Lanka the resounding slap it deserves for its continuing disregard of human rights. The abduction and assault of a senior and respected journalist in the country, Defence Columnist and Associate Editor of The Nation, Keith Noyahr, appears to have been the Sri Lankan response to being voted out of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Keith’s shocking abduction and assault took place a mere 24 hours after Sri Lanka was beaten to the UNHRC seat by Pakistan. The whole disgusting and ugly incident once again smacks of state compliance. Keith has in recent weeks, in his defence column, been critical of the Sri Lanka Army and its Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka.
  • 87) May 24, 2008 13:10:28 GMT |  + Brigadier Balraj's body laid to rest in Mu'l'liyava'lai
    The remains of Brigadier Balaraj, senior commander Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Military Intelligence, who passed away due to a sudden heart attack Tuesday, was laid to rest 6.30 pm Friday with full military honours in Mu'l'liyava'lai Heroes Cemetery the presence of thousands of public and hundreds of LTTE cadres. After the homage ceremony held Thursday in Ki'linochchi, the casket containing the remains of Brigadier Balraj was kept at Puthukkudiyiruppu Central College from 8:00a.m till 11:00a.m. to enable the public to pay their last respects.
  • 88) May 24, 2008 13:09:00 GMT |  + 8 combatants killed in Sri Lanka
    Scattered battles killed seven Tamil Tiger separatist rebels and one government soldier along Sri Lanka's northern front lines, the military said Saturday. Separately, the guerrillas said 16 civilians were killed Friday in a roadside bomb attack carried out by government forces deep inside Tamil Tiger territory. Army troops launched two separate attacks along the front lines on the Jaffna peninsula and destroyed 13 rebel bunkers Friday, a defense ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of government policy. He did not give casualty figures.
  • 89) May 24, 2008 4:38:38 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Defeat a Victory for Human Rights Council
    UN member states enforced the standards they established for the new Human Rights Council by not re-electing Sri Lanka to the body. Domestic and international human rights advocates who had opposed Sri Lanka’s re-election to the council said the vote was a victory for human rights standards and for victims of abuse in Sri Lanka. In opposing re-election, a coalition of Sri Lankan nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) said that their government has “presided over a grave deterioration of human rights protection” since winning membership, and “has used its membership in the Human Rights Council to protect itself from scrutiny.”
  • 90) May 24, 2007 18:09:21 GMT |  + Britain approves humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka
    Britain said it has approved 1 million pounds (US$1.9 million; 1.5 million) to help tens of thousands of people displaced by Sri Lanka's separatist conflict, and called for a halt to the violence. The funds will be divided between the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations to help those who have lost livelihoods and homes, the British High Commission or embassy said Thursday. "Recent fighting, particularly in the east of Sri Lanka, has displaced tens of thousands of innocent civilians," said a statement from British High Commissioner Dominick Chilcott.
  • 91) May 24, 2007 16:52:21 GMT |  + Sri Lanka backtracks on opposition to French FM
    Sri Lanka distanced itself Thursday from opposition to Bernard Kouchner, who was named by the European Union to monitor human rights on the tropical island and is France's new foreign minister. "I am the foreign minister and I speak on foreign policy and not the ambassador-designate," Bogollagama told reporters in Colombo. "I did not oppose the appointment of Mr. Kouchner." Ambassador-Designate Dayan Jayatilleka had opposed the EU's move, claiming it could set the stage for the partition of Sri Lanka, which suffers from a bloody separatist conflict. more ...
  • 92) May 24, 2007 16:12:25 GMT |  + Disappointing utterance by the Leader of the Opposition
    The statement made by the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe, that editors should be summoned to Parliament to be questioned under the Parliamentary Privileges Act, sorely disappoints the Free Media Movement (FMM). Mr. Wickremesinghe made this statement in Parliament on 22 May 2007. There is no law that says all proceedings in Parliament should be carried by media. Journalists are free to cover parliamentary proceedings as they see fit, in accordance with accepted professional ethics. It is not up to the politicians to decide what should, or should not be carried by the media.
  • 93) May 24, 2007 9:38:17 GMT |  + Tamil Tigers strike Sri Lanka capital, naval base
    Tamil Tiger rebels blew up an army bus in Sri Lanka's capital, killing at least one soldier, just hours after the guerrillas said they had also stormed a naval base and killed 35 sailors. The escalation in violence came days after the Tigers, who have been fighting for a separate state for 35 years, vowed they would never return to peace talks unless the government halted a military campaign against them. Initial investigations suggested that a Tiger suicide bomber on a rigged motorcycle had rammed into the military vehicle, but a police spokesman said the bomb could have been detonated by remote control.
  • 94) May 24, 2007 3:57:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka says blast on bus near Colombo port
    An explosion hit a bus in a commercial area near Sri Lanka's main port in the capital Colombo on Thursday, the military said, but there were no immediate details of any casualties. "There is an explosion on a bus in the Fort area," said Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake. The incident came just hours after a flotilla of Tamil Tiger rebel boats attacked a navy detachment off the island's far northern Jaffna peninsula before dawn, killing several sailors.
  • 95) May 24, 2007 3:28:15 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's naval camp overrun, 35 sailors killed, separatist rebels say
    Separatist Tamil rebels claimed to have overrun a naval camp in northern Sri Lanka early Thursday, killing 35 sailors. "The target was a naval camp south of Delft, and the fighting lasted only 20 minutes and we completely overran the camp," rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan told The Associated Press by telephone. "Later our naval attacking unit found 35 bodies," he said. Earlier Sri Lanka's navy spokesman Commander D. K. P Dassanayake said a flotilla of some 15 rebel boats attacked Delft and claimed the navy sank one of the rebel crafts.
  • 96) May 24, 2007 3:00:08 GMT |  + Tamil Tigers 'launch naval raid'
    Tamil Tiger rebels have launched a sea attack on a Sri Lankan naval base on the Jaffna peninsula in the north of the country, says a navy spokesman. In a co-ordinated land and sea attack, 15 boats targeted the base on Delft island, but one was sunk. The fighting is continuing, according to the spokesman. "We are confronting the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) on land and at sea. There were 15 boats, including three suicide boats, off Delft island in Jaffna," said navy spokesman Commander DKP Dassanayake.
  • 97) 14:46 GMT, May. 24, 2006 |  + Cut back of funds can affect SLMM
    Operations of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) are likely to be affected by an EU ban on the LTTE if funding for its operations is cut by the member governments which fall under the EU. The SLMM constitutes five Nordic countries — Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Denmark — of which three countries, Sweden, Finland and Norway, are within the EU. SLMM Spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir told that a possible ban of the LTTE in the EU would affect the SLMM if the financial assistance to the origination from the member countries stops. However, she said it was an unlikely scenario as the SLMM member countries contributed funds as part of promoting peace and stability in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 98) 12:40 GMT, May. 24, 2006 |  + 140 refugees arrive from Sri Lanka
    The arrival of refugees from violence-hit Sri Lanka continued today with 140 people from Trincomalee landing at Dhanushkodi near here. Officials said 140 people belonging to 33 families of Thirukkatoor village in Trincomalee have arrived at the Indian shore early this morning. The refugees said almost all residents of Thirukkatoor were vacating the place and at present there was hardly anybody in the village. With this, the number of refugees reaching the Indian coast since January this year has reached 1,779, officials said. All the refugees were sent to the Mandapam transit camp after initial inquiry at the police station. more ...
  • 99) 11:18 GMT, May. 24, 2006 |  + US, EU blacken hopes for Tamils

    When the four big powers meet on May 30, they need to find a way to give the Tamil people some hope for the future. Because if not, desperate people do desperate things !

    Last Thursday, under pressure from the US, the European Union agreed to label the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka as a terrorist organisation by June 1, unless it renounces violence. Yet the Colombo government historically discriminates against Tamils in Sri Lanka, limiting their education opportunities, denying them a place in government employment and restricting them in many other areas. This week, men in soldier's uniforms gunned down an entire Tamil family and the second-highest Tamil Tiger leader was assassinated. Late last month, the Sri Lankan navy moved to close the shipping lane in the north which provides the only link to the outside world that the Tamils have. This vital transport route, if closed, would bring starvation and further destitution to the Tamils, so they retaliated with every means that they had available and a navy vessel was sunk with the loss of some sailors' lives. When the tsunami struck Asia, it wiped out many homes and infrastructure in the region which is under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but international aid remains blocked and certainly no government expenditure has been forthcoming to this desperately poor area. more ...
  • 100) 10:48 GMT, May. 24, 2006 |  + Influx of Tamil refugees from Lanka causing concern
    Amid increasing fighting in Sri Lanka, the influx of Tamil refugees to India is rising and fears are expressed that the situation may become worse after the European Union bans LTTE. At least 2000 Tamils have already reached India and several hundred more are believed to be ready to leave Sri Lanka, official sources said here today.With the European Union preparing to ban LTTE, New Delhi feels that on one side it is a positive step but on the other hand it is worrying because the Sri Lankan government may feel triumphant and intensify action against the rebels.Major escalation in the fighting in Sri Lanka will not be liked by India which will have to bear the political and economic fallout of the situation in the neighbouring country. The effect will be mainly pronounced in South India.New Delhi is, however, wary of getting involved in the Sri Lankan affairs directly because of the "certain history" and domestic political reality. Besides, India does not have any direct contact with the LTTE. more ...
  • 101) 10:39 GMT, May. 24, 2006 |  + ‘Some troops’ in touch with Karuna men
    Some low-ranking Sri Lankan troops may be in contact with armed groups opposed to Tamil Tiger rebels, but there is no evidence of large-scale collusion, the head of the government's peace secretariat said yesterday. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have said they will not resume peace talks until the government makes good on a pledge to rein in such groups - in particular breakaway rebels led by a former Tiger commander called Karuna. Truce monitors say the military is at least turning a blind eye to Karuna followers in military-controlled territory, but the government says it cannot find anyone to disarm and that anyway hunting them down could risk escalating violence.
    - Lankan government under pressure to dismantle paramilitary groups
    more ...
  • 102) 10:31 GMT, May. 24, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka rebels say peace envoy visit to yield little
    Norway's peace envoy flew to Sri Lanka on Wednesday for a fresh round of separate meetings with government officials and the Tamil Tigers, but the rebels played down hopes of breaking a deadlock over stalled peace talks.The government hopes special envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer and Norwegian peace mediator Erik Solheim, due to join him on Friday, can cajole the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) back to talks they pulled out of indefinitely amid an upsurge in violence."At the moment there is a lot of violence and the LTTE's senior members are being targeted and being killed. We don't think that Hanssen-Bauer's visit is going to make any big difference," S. Puleedevan, head of the Tigers' peace secretariat said by telephone from the rebels' northern base, Kilinochchi. "Even though we are fully committed to the peace process, what's going on on the ground is totally against the peace process and the ceasefire agreement," he added, saying talks were out "until these extrajudicial killings stop and a conducive atmosphere is created". more ...
  • 103) 16:42 GMT, May. 24, 2005 |  + World Bank: Tsunami aid stuck on the ground
    Aid money given to rebuild Sri Lanka after December's devastating Tsunami is getting held up on the ground, to the frustration of governments and donors, World Bank Vice President Praful Patel said in an interview. At least $9 billion in private and official aid has been raised for countries battered by the tsunami in one of the biggest charitable fund-raising efforts in history. Donors have pledged $3 billion (1.64 billion pounds) to Sri Lanka alone. "There is impatience on the part of everybody, including the government and the donors, about the pace at which things are moving," said Patel, who visited Sri Lanka last week for a meeting to plan the country's post tsunami reconstruction. more ...
  • 104) 15:39 GMT, May. 24, 2005 |  + Concept of power sharing and legitimacy of the state
    Under the unitary state of Ceylon /Sri Lanka, one section of the community has felt strongly that it has been continuously alienated by the state through all its three organs - the legislature, executive and the judiciary. The legislature was the first in the blackballing game by introducing the Citizenship Act, followed by the Official Languages Act. Above all, did Section 29 remain a fundamental feature of the Soulbury Constitution?Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution could not provide protection to any of the non-dominant groups and it cast doubts not only over the nature of the provision, but also over the attitude of the judiciary including that of the Privy Council. If sovereignty of the state has really stemmed from the political power of all the people of the country how could these organs of the government have succeeded in alienating sections of the same people from enjoying equal rights with others in the country? more ...
  • 105) 12:04 GMT, May. 24, 2005 |  + Former U.S. president Clinton to visit tsunami-hit India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia
    Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will make his second visit to Asia this year to ensure that the world's attention remains focused on tsunami recovery efforts, the United Nations said Tuesday. Clinton, who was recently named U.N. special envoy for tsunami recovery, will be in Sri Lanka on Saturday after visiting neighboring India, said his press officer, Jehane Sedky-Lavandero. He also will go to the Maldives and Indonesia. "His immediate priorities ... are keeping the world's attention focused on the tsunami recovery" while making sure the relief effort is well coordinated and that resources are used effectively, Sedky-Lavandero said. more ...
  • 106) 12:03 GMT, May. 24, 2005 |  + "Horrendous consequences if peace process collapses"- TNA
    "The forces who opposed negotiations with the LTTE are forces committed tocontinuing the present structure of governance in this country, who want a unitary structure of government to continue, who want majority hegemony to continue. If these forces succeed, the peace process must inevitably collapse with all its horrendous consequences," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), in a recent one-day debate on the current state of the peace process, parliamentary sources said. "The peace process pertains to the national conflict and the national conflict pertains to the Tamil question. Inextricably linked to the resolution of the Tamil question is the question of the rights of Muslim people, who along with the Tamil people historically inhabited the North-Eastern region in this country. more ...
  • 107) 12:02 GMT, May. 24, 2005 |  + DMK chief joins issue with Jaya on support to LTTE
    DMK President M Karunanidhi today joined issue with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on her remarks that his party had extended "indirect support" to the LTTE when it was in power in the state during 1989-91. In a statement here, he said Jayalalithaa, who had charged the DMK Government during that period with not extending "even a little support to LTTE as compared to what late M G Ramachandran did," had made an about turn by issuing a statement now accusing his Government. "Can she refute the evidence which I have culled out from her own statements, supporting the LTTE?" he asked. "She cannot. I can only ask as to why she is issuing such a statement accusing the DMK now," he said. more ...
  • 108) 11:56 GMT, May. 24, 2005 |  + Good Wishes for Adrian Wijemanne's 80th Birthday
    In March 2005, I called for worldwide prayers for Adrian, desperately ill from a serious chest infection complicating myeloma (a type of bone cancer). Whoever looks after things on this globe seems to have listened. Adrian recovered and is now on his way to celebrate his 80th birthday on 29 May 2005. I am now calling for worldwide good wishes to be sent to this extraordinary man (awijemanne@hotmail.com). Adrian is one of very few Sinhalese (others being the late Bishop Lakshman Wickremesinghe and my uncle, the late Edmund Samarakkody) to have freed themselves from the shackles of Sinhala chauvnism to campaign for the right of Tamil people to live with equality, dignity and safety in the country of their birth. more ...
  • 109) 23:25 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + Norwegian peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka to push for peace
    Norwegian special peace envoy Erik Solheim arrived here late on Monday in his renewed effort to revive stalled peace process between the Sri Lankan government andthe Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. During his stay here, Solheim will meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to discuss issuesconcerning the resumption of the peace process. He will also visit northern Killinochchi town held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels to hand over a message from President Kumaratunga to the rebel leadership on the resumption of the peace talks. more ...
  • 110) 23:20 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + Norwegian peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka
    Norway's special peace envoy Erik Solheim arrived here late Monday as part of a renewed effort to revive the stalled peace process between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. During his stay here, Solheim will meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to discuss issues concerning the resumption of the peace process, Xinhua reports. He will also visit northern Killinochchi, town held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, to hand over a message from President Kumaratunga to the rebel leadership on the resumption of the peace talks. more ...
  • 111) 23:18 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + 'India should reconsider its decision to extend ban on LTTE'
    Claiming that India's support is crucial to the success of the Lankan peace process, a key leader of a Tamil parliamentary party has urged New Delhi to reconsider its decision to extend the ban on the Tamil Tiger rebels. ''We urge the government of India to reconsider its decision to extend the ban on the LTTE for another two years under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act,'' the Tamilnet website has quoted Wanni district parliamentarian Selvam Adaikalanathan as saying in his request to New Delhi. The request from the Tamil party leader has come a few days after India officially extended the ban on the LTTE for the next two years. more ...
  • 112) 23:17 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka appoints new army commander for troubled east
    A new army commander was appointed Monday to overlook the troubled eastern area of Sri Lanka ahead of a visit by Norwegian peace facilitators to kick start the stalled peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. Defence officials said Maj. Gen. Shantha Kottegoda was appointed the overall commander of security forces in the region, Xinhua reports. All government forces in the east will be placed under his command, they said. more ...
  • 113) 12:39 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + Eastern university don shot dead
    Mr. Kumaravel Thambaiah, a senior lecturer in the Eastern University was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his home in Batticaloa town around 4.30 p.m. Monday. Mr.Thambaiah, 40, the head of the economics department of the Eastern University, is from the village of Aasikulam north of Vavuniya. The gunmen had entered the lecturer's home in Gnanasooriyam Square in Batticaloa town from the rear and had shot him in the head and chest, Police said. The gunmen got away after killing Mr. Thambaiah. He was a graduate of the Jaffna University. Mr. Thambaiah remained in Batticaloa despite a campaign by renegade LTTE commander Karuna to evict Tamils of northern Sri Lanka to leave Batticaloa. more ...
  • 114) 11:40 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + Norway envoy to visit Sri Lanka in latest peace bid
    A Norwegian peace envoy was set to visit Sri Lanka on Monday to try and revive talks with Tamil rebels as the government grappled to resolve internal differences and soothe the island's violent east. The visit by Erik Solheim is the latest in a string since President Chandrika Kumaratunga invited Norway to resume its efforts as peace broker, but the hardline nationalist wing of her coalition expressed doubts over its role and the basis for talks. "We think Norway's duty should be as a facilitator, not as mediator," said Vijitha Herath, who is cultural affairs minister and a leading member of the Sinhalese nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP).
    - Top Norwegian Envoy Tries To Restart Sri Lankan Talks - AP
    more ...
  • 115) 03:45 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + Norwegian role in peace process opposed
    The Marxists JVP has expressed its displeasure over the continuing Norwegian facilitation in the peace process and suggested facilitation by India, a local newspaper said yesterday. At a meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa the JVP hierarchy comprising its leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, General Secretary Tilvin Silva and Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa said the party's independent view was that it would not favour the Norwegian role as facilitator in the Peace process, the Daily Mirror reported yesterday. During the three-hour long meeting with the premier, the JVP said that it was crucial that both the SLFP and the JVP should reach a consensus on how the peace process should progress, since they were the two main constituent parties of the UPFA. more ...
  • 116) 03:42 GMT, May. 24, 2004 |  + LTTE develops asymmetric deterrence to stall foreign intervention
    Given the state of mind in the south which favours (or is not averse to) direct military intervention by a foreign country or international coalition of armed forces to coerce the LTTE, it is only natural that the Tigers should include the possibility of facing an external military power as part of the scenarios entailed by their exit strategies for the peace talks. Does this mean that the Tigers are planning for war with a foreign military force at some point in the future? Yes and no. No,in as much as they consider a foreign military intervention against them primarily in terms of 'asymmetrical deterrence'. And yes, inasmuch as the potential ways in which they can wield their military power is one of the main components of this 'asymmetrical deterrence' strategy. What is 'asymmetrical deterrence' as conceived and formulated by the Military Science Department of the Tigers? more ...
  • 117) 21:12 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Boycott Tamil Mega Star Nite 2003
    We are deeply disappointed the Organizers of the Mega Star Night in London are stubbornly persisting in their folly to stage the event despite the mounting criticism by well-meaning individuals and organizations worldwide. What worries the Thamil Diaspora are the timing and the purpose of the Mega Star Night. Firstly the Star Night is being held when Thamil nationalists like Vaiko, Pazha Nedumaran, Suba Veerapandian and other Thamil activists are behind bars. Secondly the Thamil refugees in Vanni and elsewhere are wallowing in squalor and disease. It is certainly not the "duty" or "obligation" of Eelam Thamils to bailout bankrupt film producers. It is unfair and immoral to exploit gullible Thamil Eelam Thamils to part with their money under the cloak of entertainment. more ...
  • 118) 12:47 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka president spurns Tiger calls
    Sri Lanka's president has rejected calls from rebel Tamil Tigers for an interim administration in areas they control in exchange for restarting a moribund peace process. Chandrika Kumaratunga, a rival of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, indicated that she would be prepared to sack his government if she felt it was making too many concessions to the group which is refusing to take part in a key donors' meeting next month.
    - Kumaratunga rejects Tigers demand; slams Norway, Japan - PTI
    more ...
  • 119) 10:52 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Sethusamudram project will be a reality, says Fernandes
    Union Defence Minister George Fernandes on Friday asserted that the Sethu Samudram project would certainly become a reality after the task force completed the study on the technical feasibility and gave its clearance. The Minister, who arrived here on Friday by a helicopter from Uchipuli, boarded the Coast Guard Hovercraft and inspected the proposed Sethu Samudram project sites at Rameswaram, Dhanushkodi and Adams Bridge. On the retrieval of Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka, Fernandes said, ``I can't give any assurance for that, but the Government is optimistic in holding talks with the neighbouring country at an appropriate time and working out modalities''. more ...
  • 120) 10:46 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Substantial autonomy or separate state?
    The inability of the government of Sri Lanka to honestly and fairly address the issues of armed forces withdrawal from civilian areas and the lack of administrative mechanisms for the distribution of development funds are a cause of great concern to the Tamil people. It is the non-fulfillment of these two conditions that paved for the LTTE to withdraw from participating in the peace process in general and in the donor conference scheduled in Tokyo in the near future. Whether or not the LTTE would participate in the Tokyo conference is not certain, although a number of outside bodies have sought to influence the LTTE. In the ultimate sense, it is not so much about these two conditions but whether the Sinhala establishments are serious about providing substantial autonomy for Tamils in the country. more ...
  • 121) 10:28 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Bosnian experience in conflict resolution
    The present impasse in the peace process affords an opportunity to take a step back and to consider the deeper implications of our experience during the last 15 months. Were it not for the Norwegian participation in the Ceasefire Agreement its existence could, perhaps, be measured in days rather than weeks. The international presence, even though it lacks teeth, is what keeps the Ceasefire Agreement in force despite all the difficulties. In the near future, however, we shall have to come to grips with far more onerous questions than the maintenance of the ceasefire. more ...
  • 122) 10:00 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Canadian Envoy meets LTTE’s Eastern leaders
    The Canadian High-commissioner in Sri Lanka, Ms. Valerie Raymond, met with a group of LTTE leaders in the Eastern province led by Senior Commander Col. Karuna at the Karadiyanaru guest house on Friday afternoon for more than an hour. Associated with Col. Karuna at the meeting were special commander for Batticaloa-Ampara, Mr. T. Ramesh, political division head Mr. Kousalyan, Special women’s commander Ms. Nilavini and Head of the educational unit, Mr. Varathan. Sri Lankan government officials also participated. more ...
  • 123) 08:32 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + TNA wants US to pressure Sri Lanka on Interim Administration
    The TULF-led Tamil National Alliance (TNA) wants the US to put pressure on Sri Lanka to set up an interim administration with adequate authority and legal status to pave the way for the Tigers to attend the forthcoming two-day Tokyo Donor Conference, a party official said yesterday. The TNA fully endorses the Tiger decision not to take part in the Tokyo Donor Conference unless the government agrees with its justifiable demand. The TNA also agrees with the Tiger demand that the proposed structure should be outside Sri Lanka’s Constitution. more ...
  • 124) 08:23 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka president slams Norway, Japan over stalled peace bid
    Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga has slammed her embattled nation's peacebroker Norway and financial backer Japan for overstepping their brief as they struggled to revive a stalled peace bid. Kumaratunga said Norway was called in as a "facilitator" in bringing the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to the negotiating table, but not to be a "mediator or an arbitrator". She accused the Norwegians of compromising the sovereignty of her Indian ocean island, which has been wracked by three decades of ethnic bloodshed that has claimed more than 60,000 lives. "Norwegians were invited by me only as facilitators, not as mediators or arbitrators," Kumaratunga told a dinner meeting of the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Sri Lanka Friday. more ...
  • 125) 08:21 GMT, May. 24, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka president rejects Tamil Tiger proposal
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has rejected calls by the Tamil Tigers to set up an interim body to inject life into a stalled peace bid and said the government was unprofessional in dealing with the rebels. A bid to end two decades of ethnic war is in limbo after the rebels said last month they had suspended peace talks and would not attend an donor conference next month where aid will be pledged to rebuild the island. more ...
  • 126) 14:21 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Tamil schools close in protest
    More than 90% of Tamil medium schools did not function Friday in the north and east when over twenty thousand teachers and principals staged a one-day token strike putting forward a list of demands to the Sri Lankan government. Students also stayed away from their schools. more ...
  • 127) 14:19 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Unrestricted political activity by LTTE allowed
    An unlimited number of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels will be allowed to enter government-controlled areas of northern and eastern Sri Lanka from Friday for political work, under terms of a truce that has completed 90 days of successful compliance by both sides. The LTTE has set up political offices in several towns already, and has also been recruiting volunteers for political work, which essentially involves organising and addressing public meetings and mobilising the Tamil population for propaganda and protest rallies. more ...
  • 128) 14:15 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka to amend constitution
    The Sri Lankan cabinet is to amend the constitution, removing the president's powers to dissolve parliament a year after elections. A government spokesman said an amendment would also be tabled allowing MPs to vote against their party without being expelled. The spokesman also reiterated that peace talks with Tamil Tigers were likely to take place in late June - a day after the rebels warned a row over a key ceasefire accord could delay them. more ...
  • 129) 14:12 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Ecological Consequences of the War in the Tamil Homeland in Sri Lanka
    SLA cutting down a large number of palmyrah trees in Jaffna!

    The government can help in saving the ecology of the Peninsula. My heart bleeds whenever I hear the sound of a palmyrah tree falling. Twynam, a British Government Agent in the 19th century wrote; 'Palmyrah gives everything to the Jaffna man-food, shelter, fodder, timber, firewood and wine'. According to rough estimates about 40 per cent of the palmyrah trees in the Jaffna peninsula have been cut down. We who grew up with the palmyrah trees feel that part of our family is being destroyed. This will also seriously affect the rainfall in the District. This year particularly rainfall in Jaffna had been extremely poor. In some countries cutting down of trees is considered to be a serious crime.

    The Church of South India's Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Subramaniam Jebanesan writes to Brig. Ballegalle, SLA Commander

    Courtesy: Uthayan, A Tamil Daily From Jaffna

    In the past years large scale cutting down of Palmyrah and coconut palms for the construction of military bunkers have also been reported. It is estimated that in the last decade between 2 and 3 million Palmyrah palms have been cut down in the peninsula, almost halving the population of these palms. The Indian forces during their occupation of the East and more recently the Special Task Force Commandos of the Sri Lanka Police has been involved in the destruction of mangrove vegetation along the lagoons of the East, purportedly for security reasons....
    On the other hand, felling a coconut trees is banned and the utilization of coconut land for building purposes is completely prohibited. Why not introduce the same ban for palmyrah trees? Is it because it grows in Jaffna? Why the one-sided laws? more ...
  • 130) 10:21 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + British HC welcomes renunciation of violence
    British High Commissioner Linda Duffield on Wednesday said that the UK together with the international community would welcome a statement by the LTTE renouncing violence. She was speaking to the media in Batticaloa during the Director Asia Pacific of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Dr. Rosalind Marsden's visit to the area. more ...
  • 131) 10:15 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka at Critical Point after Peace Deal
    Sri Lanka's promising peace process hit another milestone yesterday, pushing along a timetable that has given the island its best chance to end nearly 20 years of war and start rebuilding shattered lives. One of Asia's longest and deadliest wars, Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict has left more than 64,000 dead, made refugees out of hundreds of thousands and handcuffed the economy of a nation composed of world's most beautiful islands. more ...
  • 132) 10:11 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka lifts fishing 16-year restrictions in northern waters
    The government lifted 16-year-old restrictions on fishing in Sri Lanka's northern waters on Friday, meeting requirements of a historic cease-fire agreement with the Tamil Tiger rebels. "Unimpeded fishing will be allowed,'' said defense ministry official Austin Fernando, subject to a few conditions in the Feb. 22 Norway-brokered cease-fire agreement that halted hostilities in the 18-year ethnic war. Northern fishermen, who are mostly from the Tamil minority, are now restricted only from fishing in northern harbors, estuaries and bays. more ...
  • 133) 10:08 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka's peace process gives hope to displaced
    Sri Lanka's steps towards peace have given new hope to thousands of displaced people, many of whom have begun returning to their homes in northern war zones. "It was still dark when I joined a queue of cars waiting to be let into Jaffna," 68-year-old Subramaniam Kumaraguru, who recently made a brief visit to the home he abandoned six years ago, said on Friday. more ...
  • 134) 18:31 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Four Sri Lankan refugees land in Rameswaram
    They gave their names as Nageswary of Trincomalee, Najima of Kandy, Meenakshi of Mannar and Akilan of Talaimannar. They told the police, that even there was normalcy in the island, they had come here for want of a livelihood. They had paid Rs.6,000 each to the boatmen to ferry them across they said and added that they wanted to live with their relatives in refugee camps. After questioning them, they were sent to Mandapam camp. more ...
  • 135) 18:27 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + UNHCR to repatriate Sri Lankan refugees from India
    Three elderly Tamil refugees who fled Sri Lanka's ethnic war will be the first to return home from camps in India next week, the United Nations said on Friday. Neill Wright, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the agency would move about 70 refugees from India, joining some 71,000 who have returned home on hopes of an end to 19 years of war. "This is not starting organised voluntary repatriation," he told Reuters. "Some districts face the problem of landmines." more ...
  • 136) 18:24 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka eases curbs on non-military items to rebels
    Sri Lanka's government lifted an embargo on Friday to allow the sale and delivery of barbed wire and batteries to the war-torn north and east to build confidence ahead of peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels, a defence official said. Barbed wire and batteries were on a list of banned non-military items because they could be used in landmines. But the two items can now flow freely to areas controlled by ethnic Tamil guerrillas who have been fighting for a separate homeland in the north and east of the country. more ...
  • 137) 17:03 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + TNA awaits action despite assurances
    An alliance of four Tamil parties said Friday that Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, had “responded positively” to the three key issues they had raised: the deproscription of the Liberation Tigers, setting up of an interim administration in the northeast province and the full implementation of the cease-fire agreement before the commencement of the direct peace talks. Despite the Premier’s assurances the Tamil delegation said they remained concerned about his government’s ability to meet the promises. more ...
  • 138) 14:23 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka says to offer tank deal to Indian Oil
    Sri Lanka said on Friday it wanted to lease out an oil tank farm in the key military port of Trincomalee to an Indian company, a deal which is likely to upset the island's Tamil Tiger rebels ahead of expected peace talks. Trincomalee is home to Sri Lanka's main naval base and has long been viewed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as the capital of a separate Tamil minority state they have been fighting for since 1983. more ...
  • 139) 10:04 GMT, May. 24, 2002 |  + General shut down in east as protests mount
    Schools, government offices, shops and businesses were closed Friday in the Batticaloa district and the coastal region of the Ampara district as protests against the Special Task Force (STF) for firing on a demonstration in Thirukkovil on Wednesday, 22 May. Sri Lanka Police sources in the east said there was no traffic Friday morning because protestors were continuing to block main roads with heaps of burning tires. more ...
  • 140) 14:26 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Tamils must unite for peace
    A call goes out to all Tamil political parties who have embraced democracy, especially at this crucial stage of peace talks, to unite in order to bring about peace with the future of the country in mind. The people are realising the ill effects of the war and it 'smarts', with the high cost of food and taxes due to the war. If we do not look sharp and if we do not take the hand of peace it will be worse next month economists predict. Sri Lankan Peace Envoy Erik Solheim has not given up and has gone on record stating that he will never give up his stand at securing peace for the country. He is now trying frantically to put the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) delegations together for talks to commence. more ...
  • 141) 11:27 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Sinhala Urumaya French office raided by French police
    At a time when the Sihala Urumaya has made arrangements to conduct their first European Conference in June 17-18, the French police raided the Sihala Urumaya office in France and questioned the President and the Vice President at length. The French police have also demanded a complete list of names and addresses of all participants who are scheduled to attend this meeting and have also added that if the intention of this Conference is to promote racism, they cannot permit it. more ...
  • 142) 11:09 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Tamil political parties insist on lifting of ban on LTTE
    Tamil community looks forward to the talks being held between both the government and the LTTE as equals.
    "the ban must be lifted as one cannot speak to a person having banned or manacled even a suspect taken before a court of law has his handcuffs removed before the judge" - ACTC leader and MP Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy
    "Although it is not much belated as much damage has been done it is still not late to lift the ban on the LTTE and commence negotiations as equals immediately," - TULF leader Ananda Sangari
    "LTTE wants to speak about the rights and aspirations of the Tamil community with their sole representative the LTTE representing them at the talks with the government. " - Mr. Suresh Premachandran of the EPRLF
    "The Tamil people wish that the LTTE, their sole representative at the talks speaks as equals with government. " - EROS General Secretary K. Sudhakaran. more ...
  • 143) 11:00 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Media rights group urges probe into Sri Lanka newspaper attack
    The Paris-based media rights group, Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Border), urged Sri Lanka's government Thursday to investigate a smoke bomb attack on two independent newspapers.RSF general secretary Robert Menard wrote to Sri Lanka's media minister, Anura Yapa, calling for a probe into Wednesday's attack on the offices of the Sinhalese-language, Ravaya, and Tamil Athavan weekly newspapers. "If the culprits of this attack and their motives are not identified quickly, the journalists of these two independent weeklies will work with the fear of new reprisals," Menard said in his letter. more ...
  • 144) 10:57 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + TULF urges Colombo to lift proscription of LTTE
    The Tamil United Liberation Front said Thursday it would strongly urge the Sri Lankan Government not to delay the lifting of the proscription on the Liberation Tigers. The Senior Vice President of the TULF M. V.Ananadasangaree and the Secretary General Mr. R. Sampanthan issued a statement following a politburo meeting of the party in Colombo Wednesday. The party said that the Sri Lankan government should not “retard the commencement of talks” with the Liberation Tigers by “delaying a positive decision in regard to the termination of the proscription of the LTTE”. more ...
  • 145) 10:56 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka navy offers amnesty to deserters
    Sri Lanka's navy Thursday offered an amnesty to deserters to rejoin the fold without fear of tough disciplinary action. The four-day amnesty period will start from June 4 and mirrors similar moves by the army which has a bigger problem of desertions amid the conflict with Tamil Tiger guerrillas. The navy announced the amnesty a day after Tiger guerrillas blew up a navy bus in northeastern Trincomalee, killing at least 14 and leaving 38 sailors wounded, according to a revised defence ministry toll. more ...
  • 146) 04:15 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Situation in Sri Lanka difficult, but not hopeless: Oslo envoy
    Norway's special peace envoy Erik Solheim met with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, South Asia experts drawn from the State Department, Pentagon and the National Security Council, US law-makers and their staff, and Sri Lankan Americans, to brief them of his most recent efforts to affect a truce between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The Norwegian envoy admitted to this correspondent that the situation is extremely difficult, but not hopeless. He said he had conveyed this message in his briefing to Armitage and senior US government officials. more ...
  • 147) 04:11 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Supreme Court weighs fate of two men facing possible torture if deported
    Two suspected terrorists who fear they'll be tortured or worse if returned to their homelands must now await a widely anticipated ruling from Canada's top court. Nine Supreme Court of Canada judges reserved judgment Tuesday in a case that pits national security concerns against the rights of refugees who may face abuse if sent home. The ruling, not expected for several months, could affect dozens of similar cases. Lawyers for the two men fighting to stay in Canada said deportation can never be justified when torture is a threat. Citing Canada's signature on an international convention against torture, they also questioned whether domestic assessments of security risk are weighted too heavily against defendants. more ...
  • 148) 21:01 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Canada condemns Taliban fatwa
    Canada has condemned the Taliban for its policy of forcing religious minorities to wear special identification tags on their clothing. ``I am shocked by these reports-discrimination on the basis of religion is abhorrent and is an affront to values held by all Canadians'', the Foreign Minister, Mr. John Manley, said in a statement. ``I hope the Taliban will come to its senses and not implement this terrible edict'', the Foreign Minister said and added that the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad was raising this issue with the Taliban diplomats in Afghanistan and officials of Pakistan who have regular contact with the Taliban. Ottawa has had no diplomatic relations with Kabul since 1979. more ...
  • 149) 19:50 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Ensuring healthy peace talks
    LTTE's official view is that they are not prepared for a secret and temporary cease-fire. Their stand is that it must be a permanent and publicly declared cease-fire. Further, they say that its other two conditions, namely, the lifting of the ban imposed on the organisation and the total removal of the embargo on goods, too must be fulfilled. Although international pressure, set-backs on the military front and threats of no-confidence motions have driven the government to take steps towards peace negotiations, the government does not seem to have a strong and clear vision required for negotiations. more ...
  • 150) 19:38 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + LTTE banning & peace talk
    It is easy to stop talking to a person but it needs lots of courage to start talking to him. The positive thinking that by talking again some thing good will happen will definitely end up in good results. This is the situation between Sri Lankan government and LTTE The banning of LTTE closes all avenues of any direct negotiations with the organization. Banning means that no relationship or communication with banned movement. The government prosecutes those who violate the ban. The government also went to the extent of canvassing with the foreign countries (US, UK, Malaysia, Europe) to ban LTTE, on the basis that it is a Terrorist movement. The government did not ban LTTE for many years, until the Dhalada Maligawa was bombed. During last two decades the Defense forces of the government destroyed Hundreds of Hindu Temples and Christian churches. When banning LTTE the foreign countries did not take into consideration those incidents (Religious State Terrorism) and Human Rights violations by the Sri Lankan government. more ...
  • 151) 04:05 GMT, May. 24, 2001 |  + Peace groups want ban on LTTE to go
    Civil society groups and peace organisations in Sri Lanka are mounting pressure on the Government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or at least suspend it in order to clear the way for talks, even as the Cabinet is reported to be split on the issue and hardline Sinhalese are demanding that there must be no caving-in. The LTTE told Norway, official facilitator for the peace process, last week that it would not participate in talks till the ban imposed on it by Colombo in 1998 was revoked. There has been no public response to the demand from the Government yet, but it seems to have thrown the Sinhalese- dominated establishment into confusion. more ...
  • 152) 10:47 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka's civil war spreads to the east
    Heavy fighting erupted near Batticaloa, 175 miles southeast of Jaffna city, when rebels fired mortars on the two military bases, according to TamilNet, a Web site that provides the perspective of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam but is not run by the group. more ...
  • 153) 09:44 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Selfish interests colour Sri Lanka's ethnic war
    Politicians are using the conflict to further their own aims, and with elections in August, the outcome of the war will be felt in the results more ...
  • 154) 09:35 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka stung by Indian withdrawal offer
    Sri Lanka was mulling Wednesday how to react to a surprise offer by India to help evacuate thousands of troops defending the northern peninsula of Jaffna against a Tamil rebel offensive. more ...
  • 155) 09:29 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka Sees Room for India in Talks to End War
    Sri Lanka is considering the establishment of a third-party group of mediating countries -- which could include India -- to end the ethnic war on the island, its president said in an interview published on Wednesday. more ...
  • 156) 23:04 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + War-scarred Lankan soldiers get psychological aid
    Psychiatrists, trauma specialists and other experts will work alongside with volunteers to help the soldiers. The government also plans to immediately start programs to provide psycho-social support throughout the country through existing systems in the armed services and the police, Rubasinghe said. more ...
  • 157) 22:53 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Eelam Tamil refugees in TamilNadu await Jaffna's fall
    "Jaffna will fall soon. We are overjoyed with the LTTE's success. Eelam zindabad," Shivappa shouts as a host of malnourished children from the Gumudipoondi refugee camp touch and smell the crackers. But their celebrations are low-key as the state police occasionally drop in to check if refugees are singing paeans to the LTTE and its chief, V Prabhakaran. "We feel like Indians during the Kargil war last year. You celebrated when the Indian Army crushed Pakistani militants. So it is time we celebrate in the name of Jaffna," says Kamal Pandyan, a refugee at Gumudipoondi. more ...
  • 158) 22:47 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + US will support any Indian move in Lanka
    India and the United States today expressed their commitment to a united Sri Lanka. Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh and US undersecretary of state for political affairs, Thomas Pickering, who is in Delhi on a two-day visit, declared that they supported the Norwegian initiative to bring the war in Lanka to an end. more ...
  • 159) 05:55 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + No letup in censorship of war coverage
    Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is profoundly dismayed by your government's use of censorship regulations. We are particularly alarmed by the recent decision to shut down the Uthayan and The Sunday Leader. CPJ is further troubled by numerous reports indicating that the censors are exercising their authority in a partisan and arbitrary way --- allowing, for example, stories and cartoons critical of the opposition while censoring identical pieces that focus instead on your administration. more ...
  • 160) 22:39 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Lebanese celebrate Israel's withdrawal
    There have been jubilant scenes across southern Lebanon after Israel's 22-year occupation ended in the early hours of Wednesday. But Israeli papers have spoken of "the scent of humiliation", and compared the pull-out to the final American helicopter withdrawal from the embassy in the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon. more ...
  • 161) 22:29 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + ‘I don't see why Jaffna should fall at all’ - Lt Gen (retd) N.K. Kapur
    Prabhakaran has promised he will take Jaffna. Given the kind of person he is, I don't think he'll have a ceasefire before he takes Jaffna—or not, one way or the other. He always makes it a point: he has promised something to the people so he will do it.And the LTTE has 6,000-7,000 cadres. So LTTE doesn't have either more manpower or firepower than the Sri Lankan army. What LTTE have at this moment is riding high on morale. And public support. more ...
  • 162) 21:12 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + WEB EXCLUSIVES - Live chat with Indian PM
    For the first time ever, the PM, on an Exclusive Internet Chat. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will CHAT LIVE with you on Thursday, 25 May, between 1730 and 1830 hours IST. This will be a moderated chat, which means your questions to our guest will first go to a moderator who will decide whether to accept or reject the question. more ...
  • 163) 20:49 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Govt's humanitarian help may extend to refugee relocation
    The Vajpayee Government's position that it is prepared for a "humanitarian" intervention in Sri Lanka could extend to addressing an increased flow of refugees in the event of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam gaining decisive victories in the next few days. more ...
  • 164) 20:37 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Time for a ceasefire
    The best way out of the present imbroglio is to work for a ceasefire. Apparently, the Norwegian initiative to facilitate a return to the peace process has not made much of a headway. Colombo is now thinking of a multilateral diplomatic effort, including India, to restart negotiations between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE. For that to happen, a cessation of hostilities is a pre-condition. more ...
  • 165) 20:31 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + India gets ready for 'Operation Jaffna'
    Though Jaffna has not yet fallen, the Government of India and its Defence Ministry have worked out a detailed plan to pull out the Sri Lankan troops from the peninsula at short notice. more ...
  • 166) 20:27 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + 'India can help evacuate Sri Lankan forces'
    Asked about the LTTE indulging in terrorism, he said, one should not be blind to the State-sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka. On several occasions, the Sri Lankan Government had reneged on agreements made to solve the issue. He refused to answer persistent questions on the LTTE attacks on Muslims in the Jaffna peninsula saying he would not allow himself to be cross- examined as if he were in a court. Mr. Vaiko criticised the Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, for stating that South Indians were being recruited by the LTTE and refugees living in South India were acting as LTTE cadres. The statement was ``baseless, vicious, and malicious.'' more ...
  • 167) 20:23 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + India, U.S. rule out support to Eelam
    India today said that it was withholding any fresh initiative for ending the strife in Sri Lanka even as New Delhi and Washington reiterated their rejection for an independent Tamil State. more ...
  • 168) 20:22 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + CEASEFIRE PRESSURE ON LANKA
    International pressure is mounting on Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga to sit at the table with Tamil guerrilla leaders as the US today said violence was not a solution to the ethnic problem. more ...
  • 169) 20:02 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Push for Sri Lankan peace
    Efforts are on to find a peaceful solution to the Sri Lankan crisis in the Indian capital Delhi, even as fighting continues. A Norwegian envoy briefed Indian officials on his country's role in behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil rebels. more ...
  • 170) 05:51 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Pickering may discuss Lankan developments with India
    US Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering will arrive in New Delhi Wednesday to discuss issues in the South Asian region, including the war raging in Sri Lanka, officials said on Tuesday. The war in Sri Lanka and India's offer to evacuate 30,000 embattled Lankan troops from the Jaffna peninsula are to figure prominently in the talks, analysts said. more ...
  • 171) 19:59 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Tigers tell Sri Lankan army to surrender by Friday
    Tamil Tiger rebels gave Sri Lankan government troops bottled up in the northern Jaffna peninsula until Friday to surrender and said they had launched a thrust on a highway linking two key towns. more ...
  • 172) 19:32 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + MI 24 Helicopter Gunship Shot Down
    Tigers Advance Towards Meesalai
    Soviet built MI24 helicopter gunship was shot down this evening at Manthuvil in the Thenmarachchi division of the Jaffna peninsula as fierce fighting broke out between the LTTE combat units and the Sri Lankan government troops. Two pilots and a gunner were killed in the incident. The fighting formations of the Tamil Tigers launched a new offensive thrust today and are advancing towards Meesalai, a small town situated along the A9 highway between Chavakachcheri and Kodigamam. more ...
  • 173) 17:50 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Norway attempts an Oslo in Sri Lanka
    As fierce fighting rages in Sri Lanka, the only hope left of peace returning to the island nation emerges from Norway, a tiny Scandinavian country, whose peacemakers are actively engaged in consultations with both the Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more ...
  • 174) 17:48 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + US warns against a "humanitarian catastrophe in war-torn Sri Lanka
    The United States on Wednesday called for a peaceful solution to end the military crisis in Sri Lanka and urged all parties to avert a "humanitarian catastrophe" in the war-torn island. US Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering after talks with Indian officials here told reporters that both India and the US were concerned by the fighting in the island nation. more ...
  • 175) 17:47 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Bomb rips through Norwegian embassy in Sri Lanka
    A blast ripped through the Norwegian embassy here Wednesday hours after Norway's deputy foreign minister Raymond Johansen left the island after a peace mission, officials said. The explosion was heard within several blocks of the fashionable Cinnamon Gardens diplomatic quarter of the capital Colombo and shattered windows at the chancery but there were no casualties, officials said. more ...
  • 176) 17:14 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Tigers advance on Meesalai
    The Liberation Tigers resumed their offensive in the Jaffna peninsula Wednesday and are advancing towards Meesalai on the A9 highway, the LTTE said in a statement from its London offices. The crew of a Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter gunship were killed when it was shot down, the Tigers said. Meanwhile the town of Chavacachcheri had come under "a continuous barrage of indiscriminate artillery shelling" from the Sri Lanka armed forces, the LTTE said. The Tigers took control of the town in an offensive last week. more ...
  • 177) 17:11 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Explosive device thrown at Norway Sri Lankan embassy
    An explosive device was thrown at the Norwegian embassy in Colombo on Wednesday but it exploded in the garden of a neighbouring unoccupied house and no one was hurt, Norway's ambassador said. There are several right wing groups belonging to the majority Sinhalese community who are opposed to Norwegian mediation. A few weeks ago the Norwegian flag was burnt outside the embassy as a protest to Oslo's involvement. more ...
  • 178) 17:02 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Why India cannot be indifferent to the Lanka crisis
    I must have been rather balanced in my column on Jaffna, "Damned if we do, damned if we don't" about India's impossible dilemma in the current crisis. I received peeved mail from all parties to the conflict -- Tamil Sri Lankans accused me of ignoring violations of human rights; Sinhalese Sri Lankans accused me of not supporting their nation's territorial integrity; and Tamil Indians accused me of not sympathising with their island cousins or on the contrary, of impugning their patriotism. more ...
  • 179) 16:47 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + ‘No operation from TN soil’
    Mr M Karunanidhi said a firm “no” today with regard to providing any military assistance to the Sri Lankan government using Tamil Nadu soil to avoid any political backlash from the pro-LTTE political outfits here. The Chief Minister is said to have indicated his stand to the Prime Minister who is in constant touch with him considering that the situation has a direct impact on Tamil Nadu. more ...
  • 180) 16:25 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Southern air command in full alert
    The southern air command is in full alert and preparedness to meet any eventuality arising out of the Sri Lankan crisis, Air Force sources said today. They said here that preparations were in full swing as Sri Lanka was barely 30 minutes by air from Thiruvananthapuram. more ...
  • 181) 00:34 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + IRELAND AND SRI LANKA - Letter
    The parallels between Ireland and Sri Lanka are remarkable. In the north of both islands there exists a minority ethnic-religious group which sees its proper place as an affiliate of a much larger and more powerful neighbour (Britain and India respectively). In both cases the legitimate government of most of the island wishes to establish a pluralist, diverse nation which welcomes all creeds and traditions. In both cases, the minority holds fast to distrust of the majority government. more ...
  • 182) 16:22 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Self immolation bid foiled
    Two youth today attempted to set themselves ablaze to urge the Centre not to send the Indian Army to assist the Sri Lankan troops. more ...
  • 183) 16:19 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Tipnis meets IAF's Southern Air Command
    Air Chief Marshal, A Y Tipnis met with station commanders of the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Southern Air Command today. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the Central government's stand that India could consider, under certain conditions -- an evacuation of Sri Lankan troops from the Jaffna peninsula. The IAF is believed to be reviewing its options for taking part in such an operation, should the need arise. more ...
  • 184) 16:15 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Norway, India discuss crisis in Jaffna
    To a specific question whether he was hopeful that New Delhi would play a role possibly in the next 48 hours, the special envoy said "I am always hopeful. But I will not give a time prediction." He said both sides exchanged views on the evolving situation in Sri Lanka. "We have informed India what we are doing and they have informed us about their planning and thinking." more ...
  • 185) 15:58 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lankan rebels take war to east
    Some fighting was reported in Jaffna, where 30,000 government troops are under attack from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The guerrillas shot down an airforce Mi24 gunship killing two crew on the peninsula, military officials said. Officials in Colombo said by phone that the rebels fired mortar bombs at an army camp and air base near Batticaloa, 300 km (190 miles) east of Colombo, late on Tuesday. more ...
  • 186) 15:54 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + SLAF helicopter shot down
    A Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter gunship was shot downed by the Liberation Tigers this evening near Sarasalai in the Thenmaradchi Division security sources said. Two gunners on board were killed, they added. more ...
  • 187) 15:42 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lankan political talks between PA and UNP postponed
    Talks between Sri Lanka's main Opposition and the Government has been put off as President Chandrika Kumaratunga is ill. "We were told that the President is indisposed and the meeting was cancelled," UNP General Secretary Karu Jayasuriya said, adding that their team was led by Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. They were at Kumaratunga's tightly-guarded Temple Trees residence for 45 minutes today before they were told that she was unable to attend a scheduled meeting. Diplomats here have noted that a bipartisan approach between Kumaratunga's People's Alliance and the Opposition UNP was also crucial for any peace process to succeed. more ...
  • 188) 15:34 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Vaiko fears Lanka sanctions on Tamils
    Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko, a staunch supporter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), on Wendesday said he feared the Sri Lankan government would impose economic blockades to subjugate the Tamils in Jaffna once the troops trapped there were evacuated. Asked whether he favoured evacuation of troops, he said: "Let the Sri Lankan government request for evacuation. Then we will decide on what conditions that should be executed..." more ...
  • 189) 15:32 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + India, US not to support 'Tamil State' in Lanka
    India and the United States today ruled out support to any independent Tamil State carved out of Sri Lanka and said there was no military solution possible to the ethnic strife on the island nation. more ...
  • 190) 15:28 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Hartal in Batticaloa to protest killings
    Shops and schools were closed, few reported for work in government offices and roads were generally deserted Wednesday in Batticaloa, Valaichenai and other towns in the eastern district. This hartal was in response to a call by a student organisation to protest against the indiscriminate shooting by Sri Lankan security forces on May 17 in which scores of civilians were killed and wounded. more ...
  • 191) 15:26 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lankan government bans three newspapers under emergency powers
    The government did not cite any specific article in Uthayan that had violated the regulations. Military personnel had visited the Uthayan office a few days earlier, however, and issued a warning against the editor for publishing reports that the President was tearful when chatting with the visiting Indian Air force chief last week (this episode was first reported in Indian press). more ...
  • 192) 00:15 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + India ready to evacuate Sri Lankan troops in case of ceasefire
    India has stated that it is ready to evacuate the trapped Sri Lankan troops from Jaffna, but only under certain conditions. One of the conditions could be a ceasefire in the conflict between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE. However, so far no formal request for help with evacuation has been made by Colombo. more ...
  • 193) 15:20 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka sets up crisis centre amid Jaffna battles
    Sri Lanka announced a crisis management centre for government soldiers as they traded artillery and mortar bomb attacks with Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the northern peninsula of Jaffna. A "crisis intervention" facility was being established within President Chandrika Kumaratunga's secretariat, the government said as Norwegian diplomatic moves were underway to get peace talks off the ground. more ...
  • 194) 12:14 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Police beat up Sunday Times crime reporter
    The crime reporter of The Sunday Times was threatened, harassed and abused by the Dehiwala police after he was bundled into a jeep while he was on his way to buy food. more ...
  • 195) 11:59 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Oh Jaffna! My Jaffna!
    "Yarlpanam Ponenadi - Ponnamma ! Yarlpanam Ponenadi" ( I went to Jaffna , Oh Ponnamma, I went to Jaffna ). The chorus of a popular Jaffna song. Almost everyone who schooled in Jaffna during the sixties and seventies will remember the lilting melody and somewhat ribald words of Yarlpanam Ponenadi. It was a must in every student sing-song of those happier times. more ...
  • 196) 11:43 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka fighting spreads
    Fighting between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tigers rebels has spread to the east of the country. It is the first upsurge of fighting there since the Tigers launched an offensive in the northern Jaffna peninsula. more ...
  • 197) 11:41 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka's civil war spreads to the east
    Sri Lanka's civil war spread to the east today as air force helicopters strafed separatist Tamil rebel positions after they attacked a government army camp and air base, military officials and sources close to the rebels said. more ...
  • 198) 11:31 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Jaffna in those halcyon days
    One of Sri Lanka's ancient names was 'Serendib'. That musical name has also enriched the English language with a delightful word: 'serendipity'. Defined in dictionaries as the faculty of making unexpected and happy discoveries by accident, it nicely sums up one of my happier experiences in Sri Lanka over two decades ago. more ...
  • 199) 11:16 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Is Sri Lanka displeased with Indian offer?
    "We have asked for help, but not to withdraw from Jaffna," a senior government official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said reacting to New Delhi's decision that it was prepared to evacuate the troops provided Sri Lanka formally asked for it and proper conditions existed. more ...
  • 200) 11:12 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Possible trouble for India after June 3, 2000
    After July 30, 2000 the political scenario in India could change. Some coalition members could leave the government and the PM could give a strong thought to retirement or maintain a low profile. more ...
  • 201) 10:57 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Lanka welcomes India's offer on troop evacuation
    Sri Lanka on Wednesday welcomed India's conditional offer to help evacuate its troops from Jaffna, but remained skeptical about any immediate need of such an action. more ...
  • 202) 10:54 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + US Under Secretary of State holds talks with Lalit Mansingh
    The US Under Secretary of State, Mr. Thomas Pickering held talks on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern with Foreign Secretary, Mr. Lalit Mansingh in New Delhi today.Prominent among them is the initiation of the Asian Security dialogue in which Sri Lanka is reported to have figured. The US apparently wants India to play a constructive role in resolving the conflict in its neighbouring country. more ...
  • 203) 00:10 GMT, May. 24, 2000 |  + Fighting erupts near Batticaloa town
    Heavy fighting erupted close to the Batticaloa this evening when the Liberation Tigers shelled the Sri Lanka army camp on the approach to the Sri Lanka Air Force base southwest of the town. Mi 24 Helicopter gunships were sent in to strafe the positions of the Tiger troops ahead of the Vavunathivu camp late in the evening today. The Tigers returned fire and continued to shell and fire on the camp sources in batticaloa said. more ...
  • 204) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + India: Pawar does not rule out alliance with BJP
    No details available. more ...
  • 205) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + SC calls for review petition in Rajiv case
    No details available. more ...
  • 206) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + India: Resignation withdrawn
    No details available. more ...
  • 207) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + Kosova: NATO's bombing blunders make US and allies edgy
    No details available. more ...
  • 208) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + India: Sonia yields to pressure, withdraws resignation
    No details available. more ...
  • 209) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + Militants disarmed after shoot-out
    No details available. more ...
  • 210) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + Dpl query over sky-sign
    No details available. more ...
  • 211) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + Fourth World Conference of the International Tamil Integration Society - Bangkok, Thailand - May 23, 24 and 25th 1999
    No details available. more ...
  • 212) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + NGOs want rebel groups to forsake landmines
    No details available. more ...
  • 213) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + PLOTE-TELO clash over tax collections
    No details available. more ...
  • 214) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + The Balkans have always been a powder keg
    No details available. more ...
  • 215) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + India: Tansi case; framing of charges against Jayalalitha tomorrow
    No details available. more ...
  • 216) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + India: Sonia's origin will haunt polls: Advani
    No details available. more ...
  • 217) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + India: Sonia to campaign in Goa
    No details available. more ...
  • 218) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + Slow delivery for Buddha birthplace project
    No details available. more ...
  • 219) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1999 |  + India-bound refugees detained
    No details available. more ...
  • 220) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1998 |  + Sri Lanka says 43 killed in fighting
    No details available. more ...
  • 221) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1998 |  + Tigers attak PLOTE-SLA camp
    No details available. more ...
  • 222) 11:11 GMT, May. 24, 1998 |  + APC attacked in Jaffna
    No details available. more ...
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    Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border