Sri Lanka's main Tamil party denies links to rebels

[ Shanghai Daily ][ Apr 19 18:51 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's main minority Tamil political party on Sunday dismissed allegations that it had worked with Tamil Tiger rebels. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had been accused of spreading the ideology of the Tamil Tigers, also known as the LTTE, who fought a 30-year war in Sri Lanka before their defeat in May 2009. "We do not have any allegiance to the LTTE nor are we committed to their ideology. We stand up for the rights of the Tamil people but we are not in favor of terrorism nor do we encourage it and everyone knows this,"TNA legislator M.A. Sumanthiran told local Sunday Leader newspaper. [ full story | comments ]

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Will Solve Fishermen Issue: Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on the sidelines of hi...


Sri Lanka bars central bank chief from foreign travel for three months

Sri Lanka has imposed a three-month ban on overseas travel by its cent...


Girls Rising: Perspectives From Sri Lanka – OpEd

The right to education has been recognized since the United Nations De...



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Nearly 50% of rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres are Graduates

[ Sunday Times ][ Apr 19 18:49 GMT ]

Nearly half of former LTTE cadres who sat the GCE Advanced Level (A/L) exam while undergoing rehabilitation during the past few years, qualified to enter university and graduated, according to Commissioner General (CG) of Rehabilitation, Maj. Gen. Jagath Wijetilleka. Of some 723 who sat for their A/Ls, 324 gained university entrance. The CG said that the majority of this number have already graduated, with 4 Doctors and 2 Engineers among them. Of a total of 12,088 ex-combatants who were arrested or turned themselves in during the Wanni Humanitarian Operation, have been socialised. [ full story | comments ]

Will Solve Fishermen Issue: Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

[ Indian Express ][ Apr 19 12:29 GMT ]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on the sidelines of his visit to Guruvayur temple here on Saturday, said that measures would be taken to solve the issues plaguing the fishermen community in India. “There are no classifications like Indian fishermen, Sri Lankan fishermen or Tamil fishermen. All of them are treated alike,” he said. The Lankan PM had earlier made a controversial statement justifying shooting of Indian fishermen if they intruded into Lankan waters. [ full story | comments ]

Lankan PM offers worship at Guruvayur temple

[ PTI ][ Apr 19 12:23 GMT ]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on Saturday offered worship at the famous Lord Krishna Temple in Kerala amid heavy security. The PM, who was accompanied by his wife Maitree Wickramsinghe, arrived at the shrine around 11.15 am. Wickramasinghe offered ‘Thulabharam’ (an offering where a devotee is weighed against offerings of banana, sugar, flowers etc) with sandalwood. About 77 kg of sandalwood, at an estimated cost of Rs 8.45 lakh, was offered by the dignitary as an offering to the temple. [ full story | comments ]

Full implementation of 13 A never realistic – Mahinda

[ The Island ][ Apr 17 14:05 GMT ]

State Finance Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday asserted that India couldn’t compel the new Sri Lankan government to fully implement the 13 Amendment to the Constitution forced on the then President J. R. Jayewardene’s administration in 1987. Recollecting the circumstances under which India had intervened in Sri Lanka, Minister Samarasinghe emphasised that the country had never asked for that amendment. India had violated Sri Lanka’s airspace to pressure the then UNP government to accept the Indian remedy, the minister said. The State Finance Minister was responding to a query on a live Rupavahini political programme yesterday morning. [ full story | comments ]

The Wind Hums A Tamil Air

[ Outlook ][ Apr 17 13:41 GMT ]

An image of Brahmin priests in conversation with Buddha, Sanskrit inscriptions left centuries ago by Tamil merchants in south China, a bowl and a dish from the Tang period of China—John Guy can draw stories out of these objects. A curator at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, he was in Mumbai recently to speak on how Tamil merchants domina­ted maritime trade across southeast Asia in the first millennium and commanded influence in most kingdoms of the region. He calls himself an “objects person”. It’s a passion that began some three decades ago, when he began his studies of the culture and archaeology of the region. Old India was a land of plenty, with numerous kingdoms, and was both a supplier to and market for produce in the region. [ full story | comments ]

New visa scheme for tourists from Sri Lanka

[ The Hindu ][ Apr 17 11:37 GMT ]

India has launched e-tourist Visa Scheme (eTV) aimed at making visa facility easier for India-bound Sri Lankans. Those Sri Lankans holding ordinary passports can avail themselves of the facility, which came into effect on Tuesday coinciding with the Tamil and Sinhala New Year Day. Applicants need to go to and apply, according to a release of the Indian High Commission issued here on Thursday. This will be in addition to the existing system of visa services wherein applications for most of the categories are being processed through a private agency. [ full story | comments ]

Madras HC dismisses plea seeking reinvestigation into Rajiv Gandhi assassination

[ Times of India ][ Apr 16 16:58 GMT ]

The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Thursday dismissed a petition that sought a reinvestigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Madurai-based advocate V Santhakumaresan filed the petition in May, 2013 to save convicts T Sudenthendraraja alias Santhan, V Sriharan alias Murugan and A G Perarivalan from the gallows. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court commuted the convicts' death sentence to life term in February, 2014. [ full story | comments ]

Narendra Modi: India’s reformer-in-chief

[ Time ][ Apr 16 16:52 GMT ]

As a boy, Narendra Modi helped his father sell tea to support their family. Today, he’s the leader of the world’s largest democracy, and his life story—from poverty to Prime Minister—reflects the dynamism and potential of India’s rise. Determined to help more Indians follow in his path, he’s laid out an ambitious vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India’s true economic potential while confronting climate change. Like India, he transcends the ancient and the modern—a devotee of yoga who connects with Indian citizens on Twitter and imagines a “digital India.” [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: The more things change...

[ FrontLine ][ Apr 16 11:44 GMT ]

The immediate outcome of the January election has been a fillip to freedom of expression in the media, but behind the euphoria of the moment trails a three-decade-long record of a press under siege. THERE may be a nostalgic colouring to this, but well into the 1980s it seemed that there was a vibrant public intellectualism in force in Sri Lanka that engaged with the ethnic question in a reasoned, bold and fair-minded manner. Scholars like Kumari Jayawardena, Karthigesu Sivathamby, Charles Abeysekara, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Sunil Bastian or V. Nithiyanandan and politicians of the calibre of Colin De Silva or Neelan Tiruchelvam sought to understand and bridge or transcend the deepening chasm of the ethnic divide. [ full story | comments ]

Bank of Canada leaves rate unchanged at 0.75% after economic 'wobble' to start 2015

[ CBC News ][ Apr 16 11:39 GMT ]

The economic pain inflicted by plunging oil prices is hurting the country more than expected, but that pain should start to ease in the next few months, the Bank of Canada says in its latest forecast. Unlike what the bank did in January with a surprise cut, the bank opted Wednesday not to change its overnight lending rate, leaving it at 0.75 per cent. The Canadian dollar gained almost a full cent to 80.60 cents US on the news, as currency traders seemingly focused on the lure of stability as opposed to a rate cut which would have made the loonie less attractive as an investment. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka neither pro-India nor pro-China: Wickramasinghe

[ Hindu ][ Apr 19 18:40 GMT ]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has said Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China. Calling for better bilateral ties, Mr. Wickramasinghe said: “We must move ahead,” pointing to visits by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s to India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka.” He said: “I had promised to offer worship in the temple if the results in the Sri Lankan elections were favourable.” [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka bars central bank chief from foreign travel for three months

[ Reuters ][ Apr 19 12:26 GMT ]

Sri Lanka has imposed a three-month ban on overseas travel by its central bank governor, Arjuna Mahendran, who faces an investigation over alleged insider dealing, an official said on Saturday. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe set up a three-member panel to investigate the alleged insider dealing at a Feb. 27 bond auction after opposition parties accused Mahendran of involvement and demanded an independent inquiry. The probe panel was scheduled to hand its findings to the prime minister on April 10, but the outcome has yet to be made public. [ full story | comments ]

Colombo Port City causing "unimaginable" environmental harm

[ Asia News ][ Apr 17 19:31 GMT ]

The new Colombo Port City should be scrapped because the “sovereign, economic, social and environmental costs of the project far outweigh whatever benefits” it might bring, this according to a public tribunal hosted by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TIS), which is opposed to the project funded by the China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCCL). Construction is currently halted, but fishermen and activists with the People's Movement against the Port City Project are concerned that the government might backtrack on its promise to shelve the project and allow work to resume. [ full story | comments ]

India Ranks Below Bhutan, Sri Lanka in Broadband Reach: Trai

[ NDTV ][ Apr 17 14:00 GMT ]

India is ranked below Bhutan and Sri Lanka in terms of broadband penetration and the multi-layered structure involved in the decision making for the sector needs to be overhauled, telecom regulator Trai said Friday. "India ranks 125th in the world for fixed broadband penetration. Some of our neighbours like Bhutan and Sri Lanka are ahead of us. We need to seriously think about it," Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar said while sharing details of recommendations on the subject of 'Delivering Broadband Quickly'. [ full story | comments ]

ICC Board takes steps to investigate apparent government interference in Sri Lanka

[ ICC Cricket ][ Apr 17 11:39 GMT ]

The ICC Board today considered the implications of the appointment of an Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by the Government of Sri Lanka and whether this may be a breach of the ICC’s constitution which requires free and fair elections for office-bearers within Member boards. After considerable discussion, and without making a final decision on the matter, the ICC Board supported a recommendation of the ICC Governance Review Committee that it should write to the Sports Minister of Sri Lanka seeking a full and proper explanation of its intervention that prima facie puts SLC in breach of the ICC’s constitution. [ full story | comments ]

Girls Rising: Perspectives From Sri Lanka – OpEd

[ Eurasia Review ][ Apr 16 16:58 GMT ]

The right to education has been recognized since the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948, which states in Article 26 that the UDHR proclaims that everyone has the right to education. It highlights this right to be universal and not discriminated based upon factors among which are gender, ethnicity and religion. The right was further enshrined in a range of international conventions including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. More recently, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Millennium Development Goals also underline gender equality in attaining goals including education. [ full story | comments ]

Cameron Sends Message Supporting Sri Lanka In Addressing ‘Past Issues’

[ Eurasia Review ][ Apr 16 16:54 GMT ]

The British Prime Minister David Cameron in a message to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, reiterated his country’s support to Sri Lanka in addressing past issues and requested the Sri Lanka Government to extend its full support to the UN on its on-going investigation. “I would like to extend my best wishes to everyone in Britain, Sri Lanka and around the world celebrating Aluth Avuruddha and to all Tamil communities celebrating Puthandu today. It’s a time when millions of people would come together with families, friends and neighbours to celebrate their New Year”, the PM said. [ full story | comments ]

Mahinda Rajapaksa prepares for political comeback in Sri Lanka

[ The Guardian ][ Apr 16 11:45 GMT ]

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president of Sri Lanka, is planning to stand in parliamentary polls to launch an attempt to return to power, aides have said. The veteran politician, who suffered a surprise defeat in snap presidential polls he called in January this year, has been taking a break from politics and has yet to formally declare any campaign. However, he has been meeting hundreds of supporters who visit his residence in the town of Hambantota, and travelling widely around Sri Lanka to see elected members of local and municipal authorities. [ full story | comments ]

In historic speech, Indian PM Modi vows closer Canadian ties

[ Globe and Mail ][ Apr 16 11:40 GMT ]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi used a speech in front of nearly 10,000 Indo-Canadians in Toronto on Wednesday night to tout his achievements since becoming India’s leader and promise that his country would overcome corruption and poverty. In a speech that was by turns charming and fiery, Mr. Modi said he would work to build a stronger relationship with Canada. The event at Ricoh Coliseum came just hours after he met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Parliament Hill, where the two leaders announced a uranium supply deal and simplified tourist visas for Canadians travelling to India. [ full story | comments ]

Fresh tuna prices stable again after initial chaos of Sri Lanka ban

[ Under Current News ][ Apr 16 11:32 GMT ]

The cost of importing fresh tuna into the UK since trade with main supplier Sri Lanka was cut off by the EU in January has stabilized after a frantic month or so, two companies told Undercurrent News. The price for fresh and chilled yellowfin imports on alternative supply routes, like the Maldives, are back down after a spike in February, and now rest just a little higher than 2014 prices. “Supplies are consistent and the quality is good,” said Laky Zervudachi, director of sustainability and epicurean with Direct Seafoods, referring to the Maldives. [ full story | comments ]

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Featured News

[Indian Express - Apr 19, 2015 12:29:08 GMT]

Will Solve Fishermen Issue: Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

[Reuters - Apr 19, 2015 12:26:23 GMT]

Sri Lanka bars central bank chief from foreign travel for three months

[Eurasia Review - Apr 16, 2015 16:58:42 GMT]

Girls Rising: Perspectives From Sri Lanka – OpEd

[The Guardian - Apr 16, 2015 11:45:49 GMT]

Mahinda Rajapaksa prepares for political comeback in Sri Lanka

[FrontLine - Apr 16, 2015 11:44:14 GMT]

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[Globe and Mail - Apr 16, 2015 11:40:23 GMT]

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[CBC News - Apr 16, 2015 11:39:45 GMT]

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Observations by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Mr. Pablo de Greiff