Australia to ship Tamil asylum seekers to its mainland

[ Reuters ][ Jul 25 13:16 GMT ]

Australia will transfer 157 Tamil asylum seekers it has been holding at sea for nearly a month to a mainland detention center, the immigration minister said on Friday, in an apparent setback for the government's policies."They will not be resettled in Australia. That is the policy of the Australian government and there is no change to our policy on any front and more importantly there is no change to our resolve," he said. Australia uses offshore detention centers in Papua New Guinea and the tiny South Pacific island nation of Nauru to process would-be refugees trying to reach the country, often in unsafe boats after paying people smugglers in Indonesia. [ full story | comments ]

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Tamils protest Sri Lanka's inclusion in Commonwealth at Games opening in Glasgow [ more ]

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SRI LANKA: Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces

There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-...

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Jayalalithaa asks Modi to ensure visas for UN probe team to Lanka

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday expressed surpris...

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For West, Rajapaksa is Sri Lanka’s Modi

..given Mr Modi’s own unfortunate experiences with the global human ...

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SRI LANKA: Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces

[ AHRC ][ Jul 25 12:55 GMT ]

There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. In the first case, the soldiers have been serving at Karainagar Navy base have been deployed to patrol Ureddikulam, Urkatturai, Karainagar city and Kytes. Seven were initially arrested and their names are Ajith Kumara, Rupasinghe Aarachilage Chamara Indika, Nadira Dilshan Ratnayake, Kudabalage Jayaweera, Indika Kumara Vithanarachchi, Ranasinghe Sumith Subash and Vikum Senage Piyasiri Dissanayake, all serving the Karainager Navy base. [ full story | comments ]

For West, Rajapaksa is Sri Lanka’s Modi

[ Asian age ][ Jul 25 12:39 GMT ]

..given Mr Modi’s own unfortunate experiences with the global human rights industry, it is expected that India will be more understanding of Sri Lanka’s position on the collateral damage of the civil war. The belief is that India will endorse Sri Lanka’s growing impatience with NGOs and multilateral bodies that use the cover of human rights and reconciliation to carry out a political agenda. Certainly, India will have reason to be concerned about the precedents being set by the UN office in Colombo. Last month, for example, the UN attempted to conduct “voter education” workshops in a country that had universal adult franchise even before India and where voter turnout has always been extremely high. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: The Tamil Experience of being Alienated at Home

[ SAAG ][ Jul 25 12:28 GMT ]

Tamils were forced to see themselves not as Sri Lankans who by accident of birth were Tamil but as second-class aliens. What mattered was not character and contribution but a Sinhalese identity. Mr. Duleepkumar was one of those who had fondly (“fondly” also in the Shakespearean sense of “foolishly”) believed in a Sri Lanka of inclusion, decency and justice. Mr Bradman Weerakoon in an email message to me wrote: “Duleep was a ' pluralist' to the core. As a small boy himself learning Sinhala with us, he would memorize "Guttila Kavya" practicing the way the pundits said 'Guttn sila' with a sibilant thrown in for greater effect. I still remember it with admiration.” [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka migrants' voyage of desperation

[ Al Jazeera ][ Jul 25 12:21 GMT ]

Last year nearly 2,000 asylum seekers were apprehended upon arrival in Australia, while from 2009 to 2011 about 1,529 were reportedly detained by the Australian authorities. This year, however, only two boats have reached Australian waters, both of which were intercepted by the Australian navy.According to the Sri Lankan police, any person who is found to have left the country illegally will be charged under the Immigrants and Emigrants Act. If found guilty, they could be forced to pay a huge fine or even serve a jail sentence. [ full story | comments ]

Lanka will learn from Pak on trawlers, hopes govt

[ Hindustan Times ][ Jul 24 13:56 GMT ]

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s goodwill gesture of returning 57 boats of Indian fishermen at PM Narendra Modi’s request has raised hopes that Colombo too may soon be persuaded. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always refused to return boats of fishermen arrested for crossing over to their side, with Pakistan arguing that losing boats was a deterrent for the Gujarati fishermen lured by hopes of a bigger catch on the Pakistani side.The government does not intend to stop with Islamabad and hopes the Modi initiative would touch the lives of Tamil fishermen too. [ full story | comments ]

Bishop of Mannar: Pope Francis’ visit, a consolation for victims of war

[ AsiaNews ][ Jul 24 13:36 GMT ]

Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, talks about expectations ahead of the apostolic trip scheduled for January 2015. The Church's mission in the north ravaged by civil war, with the population "left to itself" by the government and institutions. The discrimination suffered by the Tamil minority, and "the only possible solution: a federal and truly democratic state." " Pope Francis's visit will be a great consolation for the people in the north of Sri Lanka who have been affected by war and who feel abandoned", says Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar (Northern Province), home to one of the pontiff's destinations during his apostolic journey to the island scheduled for the first half of January 2015. [ full story | comments ]

'Will go to Sri Lanka and surrender to survive, earn peaceful livelihood'

[ PTI ][ Jul 24 13:24 GMT ]

Fed up with frequent arrests and 'harassment' by Sri Lankan naval personnel, fishermen from this coastal town on Thursday said they would proceed to the island nation with their families on August 2 and surrender to officials there "to at least survive and earn their livelihood peacefully." Speaking to reporters here, S Emerit and T Sesuraja, leaders of Fishermen's Association, said the fishermen planned to meet the District Collector on July 28 and hand over the licenses and documents of the boats. [ full story | comments ]

PMK flays "denial" of visa to UN team

[ PTI ][ Jul 23 17:13 GMT ]

NDA ally PMK today slammed the Centre for its reported refusal to grant visa to a UN team probing alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, saying if it was true, it will become "dark pages" in the history of human rights. Citing reports, party founder leader S Ramadoss said Prathiba Mahanamahewa, Commissioner of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission had confirmed this besides saying that the refusal of visas was a very significant gesture by India. "If such reports are true, then it will create a big dent [ full story | comments ]

Britain will never be a champion of democracy while it sells arms to tyrants

[ The Guardian ][ Jul 23 13:34 GMT ]

Attention is focusing on British-made weapons being sent to Moscow, and understandably so. Vladimir Putin was once a friend of Britain, given cover by Tony Blair as he razed Chechnya to the ground, but now – in the typically Orwellian manner of British foreign policy – he has been transformed into enemy number one. And yet David Cameron's definitive claims that an absolute arms embargo has been put in place against Russia have been torpedoed: according to a cross-party group of MPs, there are more than 200 licences in place to sell arms to Putin's government. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka president skips Commonwealth Games amid protest threats

[ AFP ][ Jul 22 15:53 GMT ]

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse will skip the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Glasgow despite being chair of the bloc, his office said Tuesday, after activists threatened to protest at his attendance. Rajapakse's spokeswoman denied he had decided to stay away because of the threat of demonstrations over Colombo's alleged human rights abuses. "No such visit was scheduled," Mohan Samaranayake told AFP. [ full story | comments ]

Jayalalithaa asks Modi to ensure visas for UN probe team to Lanka

[ TNN ][ Jul 25 12:41 GMT ]

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday expressed surprise over media reports that suggested that India denied visas to the United Nations Investigation Committee looking into human rights violations in Sri Lanka and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. "This would go a long way in assuaging the strong sentiments prevailing among all sections of society and the polity in Tamil Nadu." The chief minister recalled four resolutions passed in the Tamil Nadu assembly in the past condemning the continuing discrimination against the Tamil minorities in Sri Lanka and violation of human rights. [ full story | comments ]

TNB signs agreement in Sri Lanka over renewable energy project

[ MoL ][ Jul 25 12:31 GMT ]

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has signed an investment agreement with KLS Energy Sdn Bhd, KLS Energy Sri Lanka Sdn Bhd and KLS Energy Lanka (Private) Ltd over the 35 megawatt renewable energy hybrid wind and solar power project in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. TNB in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today said it had been invited by KLS Energy to acquire a stake in its wholly-owned unit, KLS Energy Sri Lanka, which in turn was the holding company of KLS Energy Lanka, an entity that had been granted a 20-year concession to develop the project by the Ceylon Electricity Board. [ full story | comments ]

India funds creches for Tamils of Indian origin in Sri Lanka

[ PTI ][ Jul 25 12:24 GMT ]

India on Wednesday said it will upgrade 70 creches in the plantation areas in several parts of Sri Lanka so that mothers working in tea estates can leave their children in a safe environment. The project is to be implemented at a cost of 58 million Sri Lankan Rupees and will be taken up in seven estate regions of Hatton, Galle, Kandy, Ratnapura, Galle, Badulla, and Kegalle, Indian high commission said. [ full story | comments ]

John Barrowman gay kiss was scripted, Commonwealth Games 2014 CEO confirms

[ Daily Record ][ Jul 24 14:37 GMT ]

John Barrowman’s defiant gay kiss in the middle of the Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony in Glasgow has been heralded as a spur-of-the-moment snub to countries which still criminalise homosexuality....Ahead of the ceremony, there was a Tamil protest outside Celtic Park against the inclusion of Sri Lanka in the event. Grevemberg said: "We've made a very strong commitment to allow peaceful protests. The feedback we received last night from Tamil protesters was they were happy with the opportunity." [ full story | comments ]

Chinese firm to help S.Lanka build aircraft maintenance unit

[ Reuters ][ Jul 24 13:48 GMT ]

A state-owned Chinese aviation company will help build an aircraft maintenance facility in Sri Lanka to save the island nation the foreign exchange it spends on repairs to Chinese-made aircraft in its air force, officials said on Thursday. China has stepped up investments in Sri Lanka, funding airports, roads, railways and ports, in a trend that has unsettled India, traditionally the closest economic partner of the island of 21 million people.India has already raised concern over the maintenance facility following speculation it could be built in the eastern port city of Trincomalee, which India considers a strategic location in national security terms. [ full story | comments ]

Family member of Tamils detained at sea fears if handed over to India, may be sent to Sri Lanka

[ ABC ][ Jul 24 13:26 GMT ]

India is now waiting for a response from the Abbott Government, after seeking consular access to the 157 Tamil asylum seekers being held on an Australian customs vessel on the high seas.One man, whose extended family is now in Australian custody, fears that if they're sent back to India, India may then hand them over to Sri Lanka. Vimal is the father of a three year old asylum seeker being held at sea, along with his wife and his wife's brother, sister and parents. They're all Tamils who fled Sri Lanka to India. Vimal, who's now in Europe, says he last heard from them when the boat got into trouble, speaking on the phone just for a minute before the phone cut out. [ full story | comments ]

Games-Sri Lankan cycling team stopped by police on motorway

[ Reuters ][ Jul 23 17:14 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's cycling team took to the open road for training at the Commonwealth Games but prompted a police response as they rode along one of Scotland's busiest motorways on Wednesday. Four cyclists, wearing Sri Lankan team training jerseys, travelled along the M74, braving 70 mile per hour traffic and the wrath of Scottish police since bicycles are banned on motorways.Police stopped the quartet near the exit for Motherwell and Hamilton after calls from concerned motorists and informed them that they were breaking the law. [ full story | comments ]

Statement by the Leader of the Official Opposition regarding the Black July Pogrom

[ NDP ][ Jul 23 14:45 GMT ]

The Leader of the Official Opposition, Tom Mulcair made the following statement regarding the Black July pogrom: “Today, New Democrats’ thoughts are with the Tamil community in Canada and around the world as we commemorate Black July. We remember the hundreds of Tamils who were killed and the thousands who were displaced when their homes and businesses were destroyed in Sri Lanka from the violence that ensued from the pogroms targeting Tamils that began on July 23, 1983. The perpetrators and organizers of the violence have never been held accountable for their actions. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka hardline monk denounces Dalai Lama

[ Al Jazeera ][ Jul 23 13:33 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk leading an anti-Muslim campaign has accused the Dalai Lama of being influenced by "Muslim extremists" and said the Tibetan spiritual leader could not be accepted as a world Buddhist leader. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the secretary general of the Sri Lankan Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), spoke out on Tuesday after the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader called on monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to end violence towards Muslims in their countries. Clashes broke out in two Sri Lankan towns with large Muslim populations in June during a BBS-led protest. [ full story | comments ]

View from Sri Lanka: Jaitley-Modi populist budget promises reforms later

[ SAAG ][ Jul 22 13:14 GMT ]

India’s long-term economic (and political) prospects are more assured than Lanka’s for the reason that political leadership, most of the time since 1948, has been serious about its business – admittedly the outgoing Congress government, Manmohan Singh notwithstanding, was a failure. Here in Lanka, at least in recent years, miserable-we have suffered a bunch of buffoons, lining their pockets, abusing the power of incumbency, and stoking base rabble passions to hang on to office. Over there they have one cabinet minister for every 52 million people, here in Lanka we groan under the yolk of some 40 political dabblers in cabinet (I have lost count) for a population of 21 million. Is this not symptomatic of waste, amateurishness and rank lack of probity? [ full story | comments ]


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[AHRC - Jul 25, 2014 12:55:21 GMT]

SRI LANKA: Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces


[TNN - Jul 25, 2014 12:41:23 GMT]

Jayalalithaa asks Modi to ensure visas for UN probe team to Lanka


[Asian age - Jul 25, 2014 12:39:51 GMT]

For West, Rajapaksa is Sri Lanka’s Modi


[SAAG - Jul 25, 2014 12:28:21 GMT]

Sri Lanka: The Tamil Experience of being Alienated at Home


[Al Jazeera - Jul 25, 2014 12:21:33 GMT]

Sri Lanka migrants' voyage of desperation


[ABC - Jul 24, 2014 13:26:09 GMT]

Family member of Tamils detained at sea fears if handed over to India, may be sent to Sri Lanka


[The Guardian - Jul 23, 2014 13:34:15 GMT]

Britain will never be a champion of democracy while it sells arms to tyrants


[AFP - Jul 22, 2014 15:53:41 GMT]

Sri Lanka president skips Commonwealth Games amid protest threats


[SAAG - Jul 22, 2014 13:14:26 GMT]

View from Sri Lanka: Jaitley-Modi populist budget promises reforms later


[SAAG - Jul 22, 2014 13:10:18 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Was it a Genocide?


[Reuters - Jul 17, 2014 16:11:49 GMT]

Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes; appoints foreign experts


[The Guardian - Jul 17, 2014 16:07:44 GMT]

Amnesty calls on Australia to return 153 asylum seekers to shore


[Toronto Star - Jul 16, 2014 18:04:26 GMT]

John Tory sharpens attack on Rob Ford’s record


[CBC News - Jul 16, 2014 18:00:38 GMT]

Rob Ford touts Scarborough subway plan in mayoral debate


[The Guardian - Jul 16, 2014 17:48:40 GMT]

Tamil asylum seekers being held at sea in windowless locked rooms