Sri Lanka pays high price for north-south friendship

[ Sunday Times ][ Oct 19 12:17 GMT ]

Railway trade unions alleged that the construction work carried out by two Indian companies, IRCON has been tainted with financial misappropriation, waste corruption and commission taking of influential persons with links to the government’s top rank. That is why the department has to seek an additional sum of money to meet the expenses, they charged. The Northern Railway line project was completed in three stages.If the Railway Department had undertaken the project with local manpower and expertise the cost could have been reduced to Rs. 80-100 million per km from its previous estimate of Rs.40 million, a trade union official said. [ full story | comments ]

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'Unthinkable sexual abuse and torture': Sri Lankan asylum seekers say they have been victims of harrowing brutality after being sent home by Australia [ more ]

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Sri Lanka sanctions could affect €74m worth of imports

The EU first warned Sri Lanka in 2012 that it would face sanctions if ...

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Ocean Lady migrants from Sri Lanka still struggling 5 years later

Journalist Maran Nagarasa still recalls vividly the sense of elation a...

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Canada’s true role in the Mideast conflict

Here are two concrete initiatives I would recommend for Mr. Harper to ...

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Colombage or Justice Tilakawardane tipped as SL’s new HC in London?

[ Island ][ Oct 19 12:12 GMT ]

Speculation is rife that former Navy Commander, Admiral (Retd) Jayanath Colombage is tipped to be appointed Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner to London. The government has opted to nominate a senior naval officer to counter LTTE propaganda in the UK, which is expected to heighten, particularly after an EU court lifted sanctions against the LTTE, knowledgeable sources indicated.As nothing concrete has been done to counter LTTE activities and their propaganda in the UK over the past three years, the Sri Lankan government is keen on picking an energetic military officer to give an impetus to the campaign to counter the pro-LTTE lobby, the sources asserted. [ full story | comments ]

We can bring most Tamil votes to the UNP - Mano

[ Island ][ Oct 19 04:27 GMT ]

We are not the TNA, SLMC or even the CWC. My party is not an ethnic party, in principle. Most of our members are Tamils. So we speak more on the Tamil issues. similarly the UNP and SLFP, speak more on the Sinhala issues. Trust me, I don’t believe in a separate Tamil only journey or a Muslim only journey or a Sinhala only journey. I am a firm believer in a singular Sri Lankan journey. But the so called national parties are not national in reality. They are also ethnic and religious parties. The two big parties, the UNP and SLFP need to become more Sri Lankan first so that we can move in. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka sanctions could affect €74m worth of imports

[ Under Current News ][ Oct 18 11:00 GMT ]

The EU first warned Sri Lanka in 2012 that it would face sanctions if it did not show significant progress in cooperating against IUU. The commission said its assessment found that Sri Lanka has not sufficiently addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries control system identified in November 2012. Sri Lanka’s main weaknesses, it said, “include shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions for the high seas fleet, as well as lacking compliance with international and regional fisheries rules.” [ full story | comments ]

‘The Face of Buddhist Terror’ stokes discord in Sri Lanka

[ Cii News ][ Oct 18 10:47 GMT ]

There are also questions about how Colombo allowed extremist movement’s Wirathu to visit the island nation, not least since, as Hanif reminded Sabahul Khair, the Burmese monk’s terrorist group slaughtered 1,200 Muslims in the Indian Ocean region. “This person has close links with our Bodu Bala Sena,” the activist said, explaining the covert ties between the racist Buddhist monk and Rajapaksa’s regime. “He himself, said it’s time to eradicate Muslims bit by bit, from the Sri Lankan border,” he said lamenting Sri Lanka’s political landscape (ruling party and opposition) unity in silence in this respect. The 969 terrorist grouping, which is also rejected by the United Nations among other world bodies as well as governments, has openly said that the south Asian region has to be “saved” from Islam. [ full story | comments ]

Canada’s true role in the Mideast conflict

[ Globe And Mail ][ Oct 17 16:20 GMT ]

Here are two concrete initiatives I would recommend for Mr. Harper to put Canada on the front lines of the humanitarian crisis while a U.S.-led, primarily Arab coalition focuses on the military crisis. Canada should offer to immediately take 50,000 refugees fleeing the Islamic State. I hope the government will move on this quickly. For well over 50 years, it has been the Canadian way to open our hearts, our doors and our wallets to victims of great upheavals – Hungarians in the 1950s, Ugandans in the 1970s, Vietnamese boat people in the 1980s, refugees from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. And I am always thrilled by the great contribution they make after arriving. [ full story | comments ]

U.S. Trade Delegation Discuss Business Training, Partnerships For Sri Lankan Women

[ US Embassy, Colombo ][ Oct 17 14:16 GMT ]

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Michael Delaney speaks with Neela Marikkar, Chairperson from The Grant Group, to discuss the launch of the “War Widows Project” in partnership with the Ministry for Industry & Commerce. The project is supported through nearly 15 million Sri Lankan Rupees from the United States to open handloom training centers and entrepreneurship training for widows in Mannar and Mullaitivu. Two of the centers were opened in May 2013, where more than 60 widows underwent six months of training on handloom techniques and money management. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Comments on military presence in Northern Province - Col. R. Hariharan

[ SAAG ][ Oct 16 14:23 GMT ]

This has helped to create paranoia about the revival of Tamil militancy among Sinhala population. Politically it suits Rajapaksa to keep this paranoia alive to retain Southern Sinhala support intact. It also provides a justification for the army’s continued presence in strength in Northern Province. On the other hand TNA often speaks in two voices due to schism within the leadership in taking a more pragmatic approach to curb separatist and militant voices within the leadership. So the ethnic suspicions continue to remain in Sri Lanka colouring all political actions. [ full story | comments ]

Death threats en masse for Sri Lankan journalists

[ UCA News ][ Oct 16 13:55 GMT ]

The government vowed to investigate after dozens of Sri Lankan journalists and rights monitors received death threats yesterday from an ultra-nationalist group. The journalists and civil society members recieved threatening text messages and phone calls from a group called Rata Beragath Deshapremi Balakaya ("patriotic force that salvaged the country"), which vowed they would “attack” should the reporters attend a planned investigating journalism workshop hosted by Transparency International Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

EU court cancels Tamil Tiger sanctions on technicality

[ Reuters ][ Oct 16 12:39 GMT ]

EU judges struck down anti-terrorism sanctions imposed on the Tamil Tigers by the European Union, citing a technicality, but said on Thursday that the assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being.However, the court rejected the LTTE's contention that it was exempt from EU anti-terrorism legislation because it was engaged in an "armed conflict" with the Sri Lankan government and bound by the laws of war. The court, which stressed it was taking no view on whether the LTTE was a terrorist organisation, said EU laws on terrorism also applied to armed conflicts. [ full story | comments ]

Red card to Sri Lanka: European Commission announces severe fishing trade sanctions

[ Greenpeace ][ Oct 15 17:27 GMT ]

Greenpeace welcomed today's announcement by the European Commission that it will take a tougher stance against the government of Sri Lanka for its failure to co-operate in the global fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The sanctions will extend beyond seafood import bans, covering all fisheries-related business with Sri Lankan companies and fishing vessels. Any such business between EU fishing companies and Sri Lanka must, as a result of today's decision, be put on halt. Saskia Richartz, Greenpeace EU oceans policy director said: "The EU is a major market for seafood products from all over the world. It has a duty to protect the environment and consumers and improve labour standards, regardless of whether it is producing its own seafood or buying it from others. [ full story | comments ]

Land Bill is a concern, needs flexibility – US Trade Rep

[ Sunday Times ][ Oct 19 04:37 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s proposed new Land Bill shouldn’t be ‘one size fits only’ and should accommodate unique situations, according to a top US trade delegate. “We have a few concerns on the new Land Bill. It is a ‘one size fits all’ Bill at present. It should have (provisions) to fit individual situations that merit flexibility,” Michael J. Delaney Assistant US Trade Representative for Central and South Asia told the Business Times on the sidelines of Sri Lanka – USA Business Forum on Thursday. [ full story | comments ]

Mr. Baird, how are Saudi Arabia’s beheadings different from Islamic State’s?

[ Globe And Mail ][ Oct 19 04:06 GMT ]

Does Canada really see an ally in a country that has carried out twice as many beheadings over one month than the militia it now claims it wants to destroy? According to Amnesty International, 59 people have been decapitated in Saudi Arabia since January this year, and eight in the past month alone. That’s twice the number of Western hostages who have been featured in IS’s execution videos (though there have also been non-Western hostages beheaded by IS). Saudi Arabia’s track record actually makes IS look scant in comparison. [ full story | comments ]

Ocean Lady migrants from Sri Lanka still struggling 5 years later

[ CBC ][ Oct 18 10:51 GMT ]

Journalist Maran Nagarasa still recalls vividly the sense of elation aboard the Ocean Lady five years ago this week when he saw a plane flying overhead with a Canadian flag. “I was sure God had arrived to save us,” he said. He spent four months in jail. He was interrogated by Canadian officials. He was asked to spy on others. He was eventually released on strict conditions. Then he began the task of gathering documentation to prove he was a legitimate refugee. It wasn’t until 2013 that he was granted the right to stay in Canada. [ full story | comments ]

Tamil community presents The Scarborough Hospital with $150,000 towards MRI project

[ Inside Toronto ][ Oct 17 20:03 GMT ]

Scarborough’s Tamil community has made good on a pledge to raise $150,000 towards an MRI machine at The Scarborough Hospital’s Birchmount site.“This is a wonderful example of community spirit and generosity,” said health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, who took part in the ceremony. “The Tamil community is a wonderful example among many communities that understand what it means to give and be involved and be committed.” The Birchmount campus was the last hospital in the GTA to get an MRI. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's grand tourism plan faces hurdles

[ Al Jazeera ][ Oct 17 15:20 GMT ]

Late last month, Sri Lankan tourism officials welcomed the arrival of its millionth tourist for 2014 at Bandarankaike International Airport in the capital, Colombo. According to local newspapers, the tourist, who was travelling with his partner, was received with a special dance and was given a complimentary vacation package. The event set the South Asian island nation en route to achieving its target for 1.5 million arrivals this year and on solid ground to meet its 2016 target of 2.5 million arrivals. [ full story | comments ]

New Zealand has won one of five two-year seats on the United Nations Security Council

[ Reuters ][ Oct 16 19:56 GMT ]

New Zealand, Malaysia, Angola, Spain and Venezuela have won seats on the United Nations Security Council for two years from January 1, 2015. They are the newest members to the top UN body, which has the power to impose sanctions and authorise the use of force.The 193-member UN General Assembly elected Venezuela with 181 votes, Malaysia with 187 votes and Angola with 190 votes.All three countries campaigned unopposed for their seats after being chosen as the candidates for their respective regional groups, but still needed to win the votes of two-thirds of the General Assembly to secure their spots. [ full story | comments ]

Rudhramoorthy Cheran ~ A Brave Tamil Poet

[ Desi Blitz ][ Oct 16 14:14 GMT ]

A focus on ethnicity, identity and international development are all valuably important themes to Cheran.Beginning his creative career by writing street plays and poetry, Cheran progressed into political journalism and continued to write poems as well. “For anyone that reads my poems from 1980 all the way up until May 2009, they can see a history of Tamil people and of National oppression. It’s very significantly weaved into my poetry.” The only tool of retaliation he chose was through his writing, and he recalls: “The trauma, the pain, the suffering, the blood, the tears.” [ full story | comments ]

Deadly Alliances Against Muslims

[ NewYork Times ][ Oct 16 13:05 GMT ]

On his 79th birthday in July, the Dalai Lama appealed to Buddhist extremist groups in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to stop instigating attacks against Muslim minorities that have killed scores. Instead, in an affront to Buddhism’s core message of compassion, leaders of those groups announced an alliance to make common cause against Muslims.It is folly for the governments of Mr. Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka, President Thein Sein of Myanmar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, or their political allies, to give even the appearance of tolerating these Islamophobic groups in a region that has too often been convulsed by religious sectarian violence. They should condemn this mad alliance before it can spread further. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka bans foreigners from old war zone amid UN probe

[ Reuters ][ Oct 15 17:29 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Wednesday banned foreigners from a former battle zone, the government said, weeks after the United Nations began an investigation into alleged war crimes in the final phase of a 26-year conflict between the army and separatist rebels. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in August rejected entry visas for U.N. officials for the war crime investigation. His administration has said an external investigation is unnecessary and Sri Lanka can conduct its own. "Prior permission for the foreigners to visit the north will be implemented," the government's Information Department said in a text message. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan ruling coalition legislator vows to defeat Rajapaksa

[ PTI ][ Oct 15 17:27 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan ruling coalition legislator has said that he would do everything to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa if he tried to hold Presidential election without amending the constitution. “What we see today is a dictatorial regime controlled by a few bureaucrats,” said Buddhist Monk Venerable Athuraliye Rathana, a legislator of Rajapaksa’s ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition. His remarks came as a blow to Rajapaksa, who is bracing up for snap presidential polls to seek a record third term. [ full story | comments ]


>> News Archives

Events
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Featured News

[Under Current News - Oct 18, 2014 11:00:20 GMT]

Sri Lanka sanctions could affect €74m worth of imports


[CBC - Oct 18, 2014 10:51:02 GMT]

Ocean Lady migrants from Sri Lanka still struggling 5 years later


[Globe And Mail - Oct 17, 2014 16:20:17 GMT]

Canada’s true role in the Mideast conflict


[SAAG - Oct 16, 2014 14:23:18 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Comments on military presence in Northern Province - Col. R. Hariharan


[NewYork Times - Oct 16, 2014 13:05:16 GMT]

Deadly Alliances Against Muslims


[Reuters - Oct 15, 2014 17:29:53 GMT]

Sri Lanka bans foreigners from old war zone amid UN probe


[YU - Oct 15, 2014 15:02:26 GMT]

Grads create first-ever scholarship in Tamil studies


[Toronto Star - Oct 15, 2014 12:06:53 GMT]

Refugee in limbo, protected and inadmissible at same time


[GoSL - Oct 15, 2014 10:07:25 GMT]

Pakistani Cadets in Sri Lanka


[The Economist - Oct 15, 2014 2:56:01 GMT]

Reconnecting Sri Lanka's north: Slow train through Jaffna


[Reuters - Oct 14, 2014 17:45:28 GMT]

EU to ban fish from Sri Lanka, saying lax on illegal fishing


[BBC - Oct 14, 2014 13:36:57 GMT]

Sri Lanka's Colombo-Jaffna railway reopens


[Daily Mail - Oct 14, 2014 13:33:45 GMT]

Back on track! The Queen of Jaffna train rides again along 250-mile route 24 years after it was suspended during Sri Lankan civil war


[The Guardian - Oct 14, 2014 13:31:53 GMT]

Tamil asylum seeker held at sea wasn't asked basic questions, high court hears


[IPS - Oct 14, 2014 13:31:05 GMT]

New Trains, New Hopes, Old Anguish