Tamils brave harassment, threats to mourn their dead

[ Colombo Mirror ][ May 22 20:47 GMT ]

Organising a religious service to commemorate 18 May 2009 was like experiencing a horror story, full of fear and suspense, with an uncertain end. Until the last moment I was not sure if anybody would dare to turn up for the event – the first of its kind in the six years since the war in Sri Lanka ended. I went to Mullivaikkal Church three days in advance to check the arrangements as I was in charge of organising the event. On the way there I could see that the situation was getting tense; policemen were deployed along the road that leads to Mullivaikkal... [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka shift on civil war anniversary [ more ]



Growing danger of landslides in Sri Lanka

Government authorities are once again issuing landslide warnings as Sr...


Post-war Sri Lanka: 6 years and still an open wound

On May 19 six years had passed since the war ended. Six years ago form...


Dheepan review - Tamil Tiger loose in the urban jungle makes powerful thriller

Jacques Audiard has made his name, in films such as A Prophet, Rust & ...



Scarborough Paint Centre





Meher Khalil: The ordinary bus driver who turned Sri Lanka’s ‘hero’

[ AFP ][ May 22 20:33 GMT ]

Meher Khalil earned fame and success after saving Sri Lanka’s cricket team from a deadly 2009 attack in Pakistan, but the bus driver calls the incident “tragic” and says it is best forgotten. The 43-year-old will be one of the guests of honour at Lahore’s Gaffafi Stadium on Friday, when Pakistan play Zimbabwe in their first home international since the notorious incident. Khalil was driving the team’s bus when it was attacked by rocket launcher and machine gun-wielding extremists in an assault that left eight people dead and seven players injured. [ full story | comments ]

AIADMK paves way for Jayalalithaa to return as Tamil Nadu CM

[ PTI ][ May 22 04:04 GMT ]

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo J Jayalalithaa was on Friday unanimously elected its legislature party leader, paving the way for her return as a chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the fourth time. An early morning meeting of party MLAs in Chennai elected her unanimously, party sources said. Party Treasurer and Chief Minister O Panneeerselvam forwarded the motion to elect her as legislature party leader which was seconded by Electricity Minister Natham R Vishwanathan, the sources said, adding, it was adopted unanimously. [ full story | comments ]

Post-war Sri Lanka: 6 years and still an open wound

[ Groundviews ][ May 21 17:42 GMT ]

On May 19 six years had passed since the war ended. Six years ago former president Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke to the people of Sri Lanka commenting the final battle of the war: “Our troops went to this operation carrying a gun in one hand, the Human Rights Charter in the other, hostages on their shoulders, and the love of their children in their hearts.” In Colombo people were singing and dancing in the streets. The war was over and so were an everyday life in fear of suicide bombs and public attacks. Meanwhile in the Northern province, few were celebrating. Some people call Sri Lanka the divided island – separated on May 19, 2009 between the so-called winners and the losers. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka nominates former cricket boss as top envoy to Australia

[ SMH ][ May 21 17:38 GMT ]

Sri Lanka has nominated a new chief envoy to Australia – a former cricket administrator, businessman and member of country's Tamil minority. Somasundaram Skandakumar, originally from the country's northern city of Jaffna and a past secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, has been put forward as the next high commissioner to Australia. The post has been vacant since January when the previous representative was recalled shortly after Sri Lanka's surprise election result that toppled former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. [ full story | comments ]

Gang-rape prompts protests in Sri Lanka's north

[ Al Jazeera ][ May 21 02:26 GMT ]

More than 100 people have been arrested during protests against the gang-rape and murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl, in the biggest public demonstration recorded in Sri Lanka's north. Police fired tear gas and shops, banks and schools were closed on Wednesday as the protests brought Jaffna, the capital of Northern Province, to a standstill. The protesters demanded that authorities hand over nine men who were arrested and about to face court over the incident. The victim left for school on Wednesday last week but never arrived. [ full story | comments ]

From Sri Lanka with “Love”

[ Counterpunch ][ May 21 02:23 GMT ]

On 16 May, 2009, the Sri Lankan military announced its defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Two days later the LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was killed and the military insurgency was over. The Sri Lankan Civl War was officially declared over on 19 May, 2009 having taken the lives of between 80,000 and 100,000 people. Aside from leaving a legacy of human rights violations that are still being addressed within and outside the country, this conflict resulted in many former UN workers coming forth to report egregious violations by two agencies of the United Nations, UNICEF and UNHCR. [ full story | comments ]

Tamils in North & East Sri Lanka remember those killed despite intimidation and surveillance

[ Groundviews ][ May 21 02:21 GMT ]

Several remembrances events were held across the North and East in Sri Lanka on 18th May 2015 (the day the war ended in Sri Lanka in 2009) by Tamils to remember those killed during the war[1]. They were organized by Tamil politicians, religious clergy, civil society and women’s groups. Many were religious events. Most appear to commemorate civilians killed or all those killed. None that I saw had attempted to commemorate the government military or LTTE cadres that have been killed. In contrast, the government’s commereation of the end of the war was a “War Heroes (Ranaviru) Day” presided over by President Sirisena on 19th May was focused on the military, despite references having made to remember all those killed during the war[2]. [ full story | comments ]

Lanka to honour fallen war soldiers at solemn ceremony

[ ANI ][ May 20 14:08 GMT ]

Sri Lanka will honour its fallen war soldiers at a ceremony in the presence of Commander-In-Chief and President Maithripala Sirisena. The fallen heroes will be commemorated at a solemn ceremony today at the Cenotaph in the parliament grounds in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the Colombo Page quoted the Government Information Department, as saying. President Maithripala Srisena will attend the ceremony as chief guest. More than 2,500 family members of the fallen war heroes will also participate in the ceremony. [ full story | comments ]

Poloz comfortable leaving rates steady, despite volatile climate

[ Globe and Mail ][ May 19 16:27 GMT ]

Stephen Poloz says the Bank of Canada is struggling to get a good reading on inflation because of a raft of temporary factors, including the oil price plunge and the cheaper Canadian dollar. But the central bank governor said he’s comfortable leaving the bank’s key overnight interest rate unchanged at 0.75 per cent in spite of the volatile inflation environment. “It wouldn’t make sense to respond to every wiggle in the inflation rate,” he said in remarks prepared for a speech Tuesday to the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. [ full story | comments ]

Don't Delay Devolution, North CM Warns Sirisena

[ Indian Express ][ May 19 01:16 GMT ]

In a veiled warning to the Maithripala Sirisena government and the international community, the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, has said that any delay in devolving power to the Tamil-speaking provinces will exacerbate the Tamil problem. But if justice is done to the Tamils speedily, using the current favourable circumstances in Lanka, the community will be encouraged to continue their political journey to find an amicable solution, he said. [ full story | comments ]

Growing danger of landslides in Sri Lanka

[ WSWS ][ May 22 20:32 GMT ]

Government authorities are once again issuing landslide warnings as Sri Lanka’s central hills are being hit by heavy monsoon rains. On April 20, a massive landslide hit the Haldummulla area in the Badulla district, not far from last October’s Meeriyabedda disaster, one of the worst in Sri Lanka’s history. The Meeriyabedda landslide claimed 37 lives, all of whom were tea plantation workers living in miserable line-room accommodation. Fortunately no one was killed at Haldummulla. [ full story | comments ]

Failed Sri Lankan refugee claimant gets reprieve

[ Vancouver Courier ][ May 21 22:44 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan man who arrived in B.C. aboard the cargo ship MV Sun Sea in the summer of 2010 and claimed refugee protection for fear of political prosecution has been granted a judicial review of his case in his fight to remain in Canada. Federal Court of Canada Justice James O’Reilly granted the review to Packiyakumar Pathmanathan after a panel of the Immigration and Refugee Board previously dismissed the man’s claim, saying his life would not be at risk upon return to Sri Lanka. The board accepted that Pathmanathan might be questioned for potential links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but said he had not shown any association to the now defunct guerilla organization. [ full story | comments ]

Dheepan review - Tamil Tiger loose in the urban jungle makes powerful thriller

[ The Guardian ][ May 21 17:40 GMT ]

Jacques Audiard has made his name, in films such as A Prophet, Rust & Bone and The Beat That My Heart Skipped, for a kind of ecstatic violence of the soul. Dheepan, his new film about a former Tamil Tiger fighter looking for a new life in France, certainly has some of the director’s trademark ferocity, especially in its final minutes, but it displays what I can only describe as dialled-down Audiard. Indeed, much of the time it even ambles, peacefully, with nothing much happening. [ full story | comments ]

Four Sri Lankan Ministers resign

[ The Hindu ][ May 21 17:37 GMT ]

Four Ministers belonging to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Thursday resigned from the government. The Ministers — Mahinda Yapa Abewardene, Cabinet Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs; Dilan Perera, State Minister for Housing and Samrudhi and SLFP spokesperson; C.B. Ratanayake, State Minister for Public Administration and Democratic Rule and Pavitradevi Wanniarachchi, Minister of Environment —announced their decision at a press conference here. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka shift on civil war anniversary

[ BBC ][ May 21 02:25 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's president has promised to seek reconciliation on the sixth anniversary of the army's victory over Tamil Tiger separatists. Maithripala Sirisena said the truth of what happened in the conflict needed to be established and justice delivered. On Monday for the first time Tamil politicians in the former war zone in the north and east were allowed to hold a memorial event for dead civilians. However, police surveillance was high. Other demonstrations were banned. "We were all happy when the war ended. But can we be happy with the developments post-war?" Mr Sirisena said during commemorations on Tuesday. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka says war crimes probe to start in June

[ AFP ][ May 21 02:22 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said Wednesday a local investigation into allegations of war crimes committed during the island's separatist conflict would begin by June, vowing to prosecute anyone found guilty. Sirisena said he welcomed any guidance from the UN Human Rights Council on setting up the probe, amid international pressure for the island to account for alleged atrocities committed during the war which ended in 2009. "We will start the work of the local mechanism by next month. This will be in line with our own laws," Sirisena told reporters. "If anyone is to be found guilty by the investigation we will take action according to our own law," he said. [ full story | comments ]

A tale of two Presidents, six years after the war

[ Groundviews ][ May 21 02:21 GMT ]

May 19th 2015, marked six years since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, which at that time had been the world’s second longest running civil conflict, after Lebanon. The end of the war was commemorated in two very different ways from two very different leaders, one present and forward looking, the other defeated and backward looking, who lead a very real battle for the soul and spirit of our nation. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Marks Anniversary of Civil War’s End With New Focus on Reconciliation

[ Wall Street Journal ][ May 19 16:28 GMT ]

The anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s three-decade civil war on May 19, 2009 is usually marked with celebration and triumphalist military parades. Not this year. Six years after the Sri Lankan government led by Mahindra Rajapaksa declared an end to 27 years fighting against the Tamil separatists, an unprecedented focus on reconciliation marked commemorations on Tuesday, despite criticism from the island’s Tamil politicians that the change in tone does not go far enough. Instead of tough-talking speeches by Mr. Rajapaksa, who was defeated in elections earlier this year, in which he vowed to defy international pressure to investigate allegations of war crimes committed during the last phase of the war, Sri Lanka’s new administration marked the day by in more somber fashion. [ full story | comments ]

Q&A: A new Sri Lanka?

[ Daily Maverick ][ May 19 16:26 GMT ]

Sri Lanka appeared to turn a new leaf with the election in January 2015 of President Maithripala Sirisena. This put an end to rule of this country of 21 million people by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is closely associated with a brutal 2009 victory over the Tamil Tiger insurgency and authoritarian government. ALAN KEENAN discusses with the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP how much President Sirisena, previously a minor figure in Rajapaksa’s government, has changed politics on the South Asian island. [ full story | comments ]

The Walk of Shame

[ Colombo Mirror ][ May 19 00:39 GMT ]

When the door was unlocked she scrambled out of the room so fast she left her underwear behind. The Sri Lankan soldiers stood about watching outside – jeering and abusing her. Head bowed, hair dishevelled, she found herself unable to do up her buttons. Her dress was soaked in blood from where they’d burned and slashed her body, in addition to raping her. It was a walk of shame back into the camp. Her fellow Tamils instantly knew what had happened but nobody spoke of it. All they could do was give her hungry child water until she’d composed herself enough to breastfeed again. The soldiers had dragged her out, tortured her and threatened to kill her children if she didn’t stop screaming and trying to resist. [ full story | comments ]

>> News Archives

Featured News

[WSWS - May 22, 2015 20:32:30 GMT]

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[Groundviews - May 21, 2015 17:42:38 GMT]

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[The Guardian - May 21, 2015 17:40:26 GMT]

Dheepan review - Tamil Tiger loose in the urban jungle makes powerful thriller

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