Rajiv Gandhi sent troops to Sri Lanka without consulting Cabinet, Natwar Singh says

[ Times of India ][ Jul 31 18:10 GMT ]

Estranged Gandhi family loyalist Natwar Singh in an interview to Karan Thapar on Headlines Today claimed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sent troops to Sri Lanka without consulting his Cabinet. The Sri Lankan ethnic issue was mishandled which resulted in the the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, he added. In the interview, Natwar also claimed it was Rahul Gandhi's ultimatum to "do anything" that prevented Sonia from taking up the post of prime minister in 2004, contradicting the Congress chief's 2004 claim that she was following her "inner voice" in renouncing the high office. [ full story | comments ]

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Natwar: Rajiv sent troops to Sri Lanka without telling Cabinet [ more ]

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Rajiv Gandhi sent troops to Sri Lanka without consulting Cabinet, Natwar Singh says

Estranged Gandhi family loyalist Natwar Singh in an interview to Karan...

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Sri Lanka warned over mounting foreign debt

Sri Lanka’s economy was among the fastest growing in Asia, but it wa...

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Australia and asylum-seekers: Forced landing

THERE was a hint of triumph when Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime mini...

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Sri Lanka warned over mounting foreign debt

[ AFP ][ Jul 31 18:08 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s economy was among the fastest growing in Asia, but it was vulnerable to sudden external shocks due to high levels of foreign commercial borrowings, the IMF said Wednesday. The International Monetary Fund warned that the Indian Ocean island remained vulnerable despite economic gains after ending decades of ethnic war in May 2009. “Recent improvements in the trade and current account balances notwithstanding, Sri Lanka remains vulnerable to external shocks,” the IMF said after its latest consultations with Sri Lankan authorities. [ full story | comments ]

Australia tried to get India to take Tamil asylum seekers while still on Customs ship: Morrison

[ ABC ][ Jul 31 12:24 GMT ]

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has revealed Australia unsuccessfully tried to get India to take 157 asylum seekers while they were being held on a Customs ship for almost a month. Mr Morrison said there was no discussion with the Sri Lankan government about taking back the people on the boat. "I'll tell you why - that voyage did not come from Sri Lanka. It came from India," he said. "People were living in India or had transited through India." Mr Morrison refused to confirm whether attempts had been made to return the asylum seekers to India using Australian orange lifeboats. [ full story | comments ]

Court seeks Centre's reply on India's participation at defence conference in Sri Lanka

[ ToI ][ Jul 31 12:14 GMT ]

The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Thursday sought a reply from the Central Government on a petition filed against India's participation at a defence conference to be held in Sri Lanka in August. Virudhunagar-based advocate S M Anandamurugan filed the petition seeking an interim injunction restraining the Indian defence delegation from participating at the conference. India's abstention from the conference would safeguard the interest of fishermen in Tamil Nadu, the petitioner contented. [ full story | comments ]

Tamils issue an internal matter of Sri Lanka: Chari

[ PTI ][ Jul 30 16:40 GMT ]

Seshadri Chari, the National Convener of BJP's Foreign Policy Cell, on Wednesday denied a report quoting him as saying that India has told Sri Lanka that the Tamils issue should be resolved for making progress on bilateral trade and commerce. Referring to a a news agency's report from Singapore last week in this regard, he said he never spoke these words in a seminar there. Chari said in Colombo, which he had visited from July 20 to 22, he had expressed his opinion that the Tamils issue was an internal matter of Sri Lanka and should not be internationalised. [ full story | comments ]

Conflicted UN struggles in global peace efforts

[ BBC ][ Jul 30 16:04 GMT ]

Why hasn't the United Nations done more to end the violence in Gaza? Or, for that matter, the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan or Ukraine? These are questions that UN officials find themselves fielding not just with mounting frequency but rising passion and frustration. For it is hard to recall a time when the world confronted so many seemingly intractable crises, and when the body designed to resolve and mediate them looked so thoroughly incapable of doing so. "Why the UN Can't Solve the World's Problems" ran an accusatory headline over the weekend in the New York Times, a newspaper that's something of a parish pump for UN diplomats. [ full story | comments ]

Refugee groups welcome Morrison’s admission that Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are unsafe

[ RACS ][ Jul 30 12:31 GMT ]

Refugee groups have welcomed Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s recognition that Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are unsafe. Speaking to Chris Uhlmann on the ABC’s AM program on Monday 28 July, about the boat of 157 Tamil asylum seekers, Morrison contrasted the safety of India compared to countries like Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, saying, “….these people have come from the safe country of India. They haven’t come from Sri Lanka, they haven’t come from any of those other countries – Afghanistan or anything like that.” [ full story | comments ]

Indian officials prepare to meet with Tamil asylum seekers 'within days'

[ The Guardian ][ Jul 29 16:13 GMT ]

Indian officials will meet the 157 asylum seekers sent to Curtin detention centre “within days”, as lawyers working for the Tamils were granted their first access on Tuesday. A spokesman for the Indian high commission in Canberra told Guardian Australia the mission had expected to meet the asylum seekers within the week after receiving a formal invitation from the Australian government to assess whether any of them held Indian citizenship. George Newhouse, a lawyer working for the Tamils, said their legal team was granted “extremely limited” access on Tuesday. Guardian Australia understands the asylum seekers are being initially processed by Australian officials. [ full story | comments ]

Pope to visit Sri Lanka, Philippines in January

[ AFP ][ Jul 29 16:12 GMT ]

Pope Francis will travel to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January for his second trip to a continent where evangelisation is a big priority for the Catholic Church, the Vatican said on Tuesday (July 29). The 77-year-old Argentinian will visit Sri Lanka from January 12 to 15, before heading to the Philippines - Asia's largest Catholic country - until January 19. The trip will come six months after Francis's first visit to Asia - an upcoming visit to South Korea scheduled for August 14 to 18 this year. Asia had been repeatedly been tipped as a destination for possible papal trips as Francis's predecessor Benedict XVI did not travel there during his eight-year pontificate. [ full story | comments ]

Legacy of riots overshadows Eid in Sri Lanka

[ Al Jazeera ][ Jul 29 15:54 GMT ]

Tensions persist as Muslim and Sinhalese communities in the Sri Lankan town of Aluthgama try to rebuild their lives in the wake of communal riots. The two-day violence in June overshadowed the traditional observance during Ramadan, which has been a stressful time for local Muslims who were forced to rebuild damaged homes and businesses. But while an older generation in the coastal settlement remains angry at their neighbours, children are looking forward to the Eid al-Fitr celebrations that mark the end of the fasting month. [ full story | comments ]

International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 - Sri Lanka

[ US State Dept. ][ Jul 29 12:23 GMT ]

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom. In practice, however, local authorities failed to respond effectively to communal violence, including attacks on members of minority religious groups, and perpetrators were not brought to justice. Authorities failed to prevent the destruction of a Hindu temple in Dambulla and an attack on the Grandpass Mosque in Colombo. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) alleged that senior and local government officials provided assistance to or, at a minimum, tacit support for the actions of societal groups targeting religious minorities. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to Block Protesting Indian Fishermen

[ PTI ][ Jul 31 12:25 GMT ]

Sri Lanka today said it will block all attempts to violate its Territorial waters amid reports that Tamil Nadu fishermen have threatened to force their way into Sri Lankan waters to protest against frequent arrests. The Indian fishermen are reportedly contemplating forcing themselves into Sri Lankan waters on August 2 to protest Sri Lankan Navy's arrest of Indians. "The security forces will act like they have always performed their duties," military spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said. "They (the Indians) have also in the past threatened similar action. They even threatened to land in Kachchathivu," Wanigasuriya said. [ full story | comments ]

Fishermen Release Before the Start of 'Journey for Justice'

[ New Indian Express ][ Jul 31 12:21 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government is likely to release all the Indian fishermen in its custody before the fishermen of Rameswaram start on their “Journey for Justice” to Sri Lanka on August 2. “There is every possibility of their release before August 2. The government had already taken a decision to release all fishermen while detaining their vessels and the fishing gear. I do not know why the Attorney General’s department has not taken steps to release the men. I will talk to the Attorney General today itself,” the Minister of Fisheries Dr.Rajitha Senaratne, told Express here on Wednesday [ full story | comments ]

Australia and asylum-seekers: Forced landing

[ The Economist ][ Jul 30 16:41 GMT ]

THERE was a hint of triumph when Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, boasted on June 19th that no asylum-seekers had reached Australia by boat for six months. It did not last. On July 27th the government itself landed 157 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum-seekers on the Australian mainland. Australian authorities had intercepted them at sea a month earlier when they were trying to reach Australia. Lawyers for the boat people are challenging the government’s “stop the boats” policy before Australia’s High Court. [ full story | comments ]

Delhi Drawn Into Australia’s Refugee Dilemma

[ The Diplomat ][ Jul 30 16:11 GMT ]

After being held on board an Australian customs vessel at sea for almost a month, the first of the 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who departed from India will be transferred to the Australian mainland. The asylum seekers, mostly believed to be ethnic Tamils, have breached the Australian government’s border policy and will be the first asylum seekers to reach the Australian mainland in seven months. With the boat originating from southern India, Delhi has now been drawn into the fray over the refugee’s fate. [ full story | comments ]

Blatant lying loses family its citizenship — but earns them a $63K bill from Canadian government

[ National Post ][ Jul 30 15:52 GMT ]

Ottawa has stripped a Lebanese family of their Canadian citizenships — and handed them a $63,000 bill — after they were caught blatantly lying about living in Canada, part of a government crackdown on bogus citizens that could extend to thousands of cases. The family — a father, mother and their two daughters — signed citizenship forms claiming they lived in Canada for almost all of the previous four years when they really lived in the United Arab Emirates, a fact even posted online in the daughters’ public résumés on LinkedIn. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka cautioned on foreign borrowings by IMF, inflation watch urged

[ LBO ][ Jul 30 12:17 GMT ]

The International Monetary Fund has cautioned Sri Lanka on foreign borrowings by the state and banks and urged authorities to watch inflation closely and be prepared to raise rates. "Recent improvements in the trade and current account balances notwithstanding, Sri Lanka remains vulnerable to external shocks," the IMF's executive board said following report by a mission which engaged in annual Article IV consultations with the country.The IMF loaned Sri Lanka about 2.5 billion US dollars in a 2009 balance of payments crisis and engages in post program discussions and regular annual Article IV consultations. [ full story | comments ]

Centre's approach negative on Sri Lanka: Karunanidhi

[ PTI ][ Jul 29 16:13 GMT ]

Charging the BJP-led Union government with pursuing a "negative approach" in dealing with Sri Lanka by supporting it, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday urged the Centre to adopt a stance protective of Tamils there. Referring to a defence conference to be hosted by Sri Lanka, slated to be held between August 18 and 20, he quoted a Tamil proverb and said India's decision to participate in the meet was tantamount to betrayal. Pointing to the alleged disruption and cancellation of a seminar for Tamil journalists in Sri Lanka and its condemnation by U.S.A., the DMK leader said, "when a far away country like America has expressed its dissatisfaction, India's stance is painful." [ full story | comments ]

Not Just Fishermen, Sri Lanka Must also Return Boats, Jaya Tells Modi in Latest Letter

[ Indian Express ][ Jul 29 16:09 GMT ]

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote yet another letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this time to seek action to secure the release of 50 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in the early hours of Tuesday. She also pointed out to the Prime Minister that 43 fishermen arrested last week were yet to be repatriated. The big point she underlined in her letter was that despite the Modi government’s success in securing the release of fishermen so far, the Sri Lankan authorities continue to hold the fishermen’s boats. “Your Government had acted promptly on earlier occasions which led to the release of 225 apprehended fishermen from Sri Lankan custody from time to time. [ full story | comments ]

Free media for truth to prevail especially in North

[ Island ][ Jul 29 12:31 GMT ]

In the Sri Lankan situation the large presence of military personnel in areas where there are scores of utterly poor and women-headed households recovering from three decades of war is a recipe for abuse unless strict systems of monitoring and accountability are in place. Instead of treating Tamil journalists from the North as a security threat and preventing them for improving their skills in reporting and interacting with colleagues in the South , the government needs to correct the prevailing situation at the ground level. This is the way forward to national unity, not trying to suppress the truth. [ full story | comments ]

Pak diplomat in Sri Lanka on terror radar

[ ToI ][ Jul 29 10:24 GMT ]

Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a Pakistani diplomat named as the person managing ISI activities in India from Sri Lanka, was on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies since 2012. He was first booked by the Tamil Nadu police after they picked up a suspected ISI agent, Thameem Ansari, in September 2012. Siddiqui is said to have provided an ATM card to Ansari and sent money to him from Colombo. Husain apparently told his interrogators in Chennai that the Pakistani diplomat was planning to send two men from Maldives to Chennai and that he had to arrange for their travel documents and hideouts. [ full story | comments ]


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Featured News

[Times of India - Jul 31, 2014 18:10:04 GMT]

Rajiv Gandhi sent troops to Sri Lanka without consulting Cabinet, Natwar Singh says


[AFP - Jul 31, 2014 18:08:38 GMT]

Sri Lanka warned over mounting foreign debt


[The Economist - Jul 30, 2014 16:41:30 GMT]

Australia and asylum-seekers: Forced landing


[PTI - Jul 30, 2014 16:40:59 GMT]

Tamils issue an internal matter of Sri Lanka: Chari


[BBC - Jul 30, 2014 16:04:05 GMT]

Conflicted UN struggles in global peace efforts


[National Post - Jul 30, 2014 15:52:43 GMT]

Blatant lying loses family its citizenship — but earns them a $63K bill from Canadian government


[RACS - Jul 30, 2014 12:31:55 GMT]

Refugee groups welcome Morrison’s admission that Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are unsafe


[LBO - Jul 30, 2014 12:17:04 GMT]

Sri Lanka cautioned on foreign borrowings by IMF, inflation watch urged


[The Guardian - Jul 29, 2014 16:13:43 GMT]

Indian officials prepare to meet with Tamil asylum seekers 'within days'


[Island - Jul 29, 2014 12:31:55 GMT]

Free media for truth to prevail especially in North


[US State Dept. - Jul 29, 2014 12:23:41 GMT]

International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 - Sri Lanka


[Herald Scotland - Jul 29, 2014 10:22:33 GMT]

Sri Lankan president will stay away from war commemoration service


[Green Left - Jul 29, 2014 10:18:19 GMT]

Sri Lanka: China gets land for 'defence'


[The Guardian - Jul 28, 2014 13:02:19 GMT]

Asylum seekers: Australia asks India to interview Tamils held in WA


[Rediff - Jul 28, 2014 12:54:05 GMT]

India to inform Lanka about terror cloud on Pak embassy official