Refusal to name war crimes probe team highlights UN hypocrisy – GL

[ Island ][ Jul 19 11:45 GMT ]

External Affairs Miniter, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government of Sri Lanka couldn’t accept a secret investigation team tasked with inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the eelam war IV. Prof. Peiris was responding to yesterday’s The Island exclusive headlined ‘UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team’ with strapline ‘OHCHR’s and Pillay’s positions contradictory.’ [ full story | comments ]

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Rob Ford touts Scarborough subway plan in mayoral debate [ more ]

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Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes; appoints foreign experts

Sri Lanka's president has extended the terms of a commission investiga...

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Amnesty calls on Australia to return 153 asylum seekers to shore

Amnesty International has called on the Australian government to retur...

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John Tory sharpens attack on Rob Ford’s record

Rob Ford returned to the mayoral debate circuit on Tuesday with the sa...

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Scarborough Paint Centre

 

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Boat people will not be sent to Sri Lanka

[ SMH ][ Jul 19 11:43 GMT ]

Justice Kenneth Hayne said that given the asylum seekers were in custody it was important that the legal battle over their future ended as quickly as possible. ''The parties are just going to have to bend their back to get on with it,'' he said. ''I am not going to let this case devolve into a procedural morass. There's got to be some sense shown.''Justice Hayne said the case appeared to come down to whether the government had the power to intercept the asylum seekers and take them to a country other than Australia. [ full story | comments ]

Amnesty calls on Australia to return 153 asylum seekers to shore

[ The Guardian ][ Jul 17 16:07 GMT ]

Amnesty International has called on the Australian government to return the 153 Tamil asylum seekers detained at sea for three weeks back to shore to have their claims processed. Court documents have shown that the asylum seekers, around 37 of whom are understood to be children, are being held in harsh conditions on an Australian ship understood to be the customs vessel Ocean Protector. The claim document, submitted as part of an ongoing high court challenge to the legality of asylum seeker’s detention, revealed they are being held in windowless locked rooms, with no access to translators and with family groups being split up. [ full story | comments ]

John Tory sharpens attack on Rob Ford’s record

[ Toronto Star ][ Jul 16 18:04 GMT ]

Rob Ford returned to the mayoral debate circuit on Tuesday with the same talking points he deployed successfully before his two-month leave of absence. His rivals were better prepared this time. Ford, making his first debate appearance since he entered rehab for substance abuse in May, was greeted by a supportive crowd and friendly questions at a Pentecostal church in Scarborough. [ full story | comments ]

Rob Ford touts Scarborough subway plan in mayoral debate

[ CBC News ][ Jul 16 18:00 GMT ]

The future of transit in Toronto was a hot topic during a rowdy mayoral debate in Scarborough on Tuesday, as Rob Ford faced more questions over his honesty in his first debate since returning from rehab for alcohol and drug abuse. Five high-profile candidates exchanged barbs over each other’s transit plans, with Ford repeating his well-worn promise to build new subways across the city. “I’m the subway mayor,” Ford told attendees, prompting both cheers and jeers. “Everybody knows it.” [ full story | comments ]

India should support UN probe against Sri Lanka, delegation from TN tells external affairs minister

[ Times of India ][ Jul 16 17:52 GMT ]

A delegation led by Dharmapuri MP and PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum demanding India support a UN probe against Sri Lanka. Retired IAS officer Devasagayam, former Dharmapuri MP Senthil and advocate K Balu, who represent a forum called Civil Society Coalition for Justice and Peace, were the other members of the delegation. The memorandum said India's stand on the UN probe against the Island nation was shocking. "Considering the fact that the Sri Lankan government has repeatedly betrayed its trust, misplaced though it may be, India should support the investigation and adopt a proactive role to facilitate the 'credible international investigation' to succeed", it said. [ full story | comments ]

India's Tamil Nadu state to change club dress code

[ BBC ][ Jul 16 17:47 GMT ]

The chief minister of India's Tamil Nadu state has said she will bring in a new law to stop private clubs from enforcing strict dress codes. J Jayalaithaa's warning came after a high court judge was refused entry to a club because he was wearing a dhoti - a traditional sarong-like garment. Ms Jayalalithaa said the club's move made "a mockery of Tamil culture" and amounted to "sartorial despostism". Western dress codes are strictly adhered to by several clubs in India. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Reconciliation Is Both A Process And A Goal – Presentation

[ Eurasia Review ][ Jul 15 12:48 GMT ]

Innovative and creative approaches that aim to rebuild confidences between stakeholders to national governance processes and further, with international mechanisms remain the need of the hour. A breakdown in trust between previously warring factions and stakeholders continue to remain an obstacle to taking the process of reconciliation forward. While the end of the war has opened up unique opportunities to achieve lasting and sustainable peace and harmony, there remain key aspects that need to be addressed with some urgency. [ full story | comments ]

Lack of trust slows Sri Lanka reconciliation

[ Aljazeera ][ Jul 15 12:35 GMT ]

Five years after government's war with Tamil Tigers ended, former fighters say cultural insensitivity remains an issue.Despite rehabilitation programmes for its 12,000 fighters, there is little trust in the government among Tamils. The government says it is developing the north of the country, where many Tamils live, but at one project to build a railway station, most workers were from the South. Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reports from Jaffna, Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka court keeps five in Australia asylum case in detention

[ Reuters ][ Jul 14 21:32 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan court on Monday ordered that five suspected ringleaders of a people-smuggling operation remain in custody for two more weeks, in a case that has fuelled controversy over Australia's tough line on immigration. The five were among 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers sent home by Australia after their refugee boat was intercepted. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has denied that the operation violated international conventions. The men have not been charged but their detention was extended to July 28 by a magistrate in Galle, a port on Sri Lanka's southwestern coast, pending a ruling on whether they can be charged. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement speaks out against government

[ Committee to Protect Journalists ][ Jul 14 17:38 GMT ]

In a high-risk move, the Free Media Movement in Sri Lanka released a statement condemning the government's ban on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) holding press conferences and issuing press releases. CPJ blogged about the government's move last week. The Free Media Movement, on which CPJ relies to monitor press freedom abuses in Sri Lanka, did not mince words in its rejection of the government's July 1 directive. "We stress that this circular is totally illegal and we further bring into notice that there is a danger of this circular being used to oppress the freedom of expression of any citizen in Sri Lanka. Also this circular violates many charters of Human Rights which Sri Lanka is committed internationally through United Nations Organization," the signed statement said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes; appoints foreign experts

[ Reuters ][ Jul 17 16:11 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's president has extended the terms of a commission investigating missing people and possible war crimes in the country's 26-year civil war, bringing in foreign experts for the first time to advise on the inquiry, the government said on Thursday. Mahinda Rajapaksa's move, contained in a document issued this week and obtained by Reuters on Thursday, comes as international pressure intensifies on Sri Lanka to investigate the final stages of the war in 2009 to crush ethnic minority Tamil separatists. [ full story | comments ]

Canada Concerned About Restrictions on Civil Society and Non-governmental Organizations in Sri Lanka

[ Government of Canada ][ Jul 17 16:03 GMT ]

The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement concerning restrictions on civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka: “Canada is deeply concerned by reports of efforts to restrict legitimate activities of civil society and non-governmental organizations in Sri Lanka. We urge the Sri Lankan authorities to respect the right to freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and the right to take part in public affairs. [ full story | comments ]

International community must not forget Sri Lanka

[ Asian Correspondent ][ Jul 16 18:01 GMT ]

The U.S. Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka held a hearing on July 9 in Washington, D.C. Good intentions notwithstanding, it’s unclear how powerful this caucus will be. Since the conclusion of the nation’s civil war in May 2009, lobbying efforts regarding Sri Lanka have been intense in both Washington and New York City, headquarters of the United Nations (U.N.). [ full story | comments ]

When it comes to persecution, we've given Sri Lanka plenty of help

[ The Guardian ][ Jul 16 17:55 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan Navy band was busy last week, learning the tune to Waltzing Matilda. They played it to welcome Scott Morrison, the Australian immigration minister, who was visiting to launch two patrol boats donated by the Australian government. A photo of the moment, tweeted by journalist Jason Koutsoukis, showed Morrison sitting alongside president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Perhaps it didn't worry Morrison that there are growing calls to prosecute Gotabaya Rajapaksa for war crimes, because of his actions in 2009 during the Sri Lankan civil war. Australia has been aware of Sri Lanka's breaches of human rights for some time. [ full story | comments ]

Tamil asylum seekers being held at sea in windowless locked rooms

[ The Guardian ][ Jul 16 17:48 GMT ]

More than 150 Tamil asylum seekers on board an Australian border protection vessel are being detained in windowless locked rooms with men kept apart from their families against their will, newly released high court documents have revealed. A statement of claim document submitted to the court by lawyers acting for 86 of the 153 asylum seekers also reveals that they have had no opportunity to deliver their protection claims – despite all claiming to be refugees – and had no access to a qualified translator despite almost all being unable to speak English. [ full story | comments ]

Toronto Mayoral candidates Chow, Ford, Soknacki, Stintz, and Tory to debate in Scarborough

[ CTC ][ Jul 15 13:30 GMT ]

Recognizing the importance of Scarborough in the election for Mayor of Toronto, the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) is pleased to host a Toronto Mayoral debate in Scarborough. The debate will take place on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 7 pm – 9 pm at Global Kingdom Ministries, located at 1250 Markham Road, Scarborough. It will be moderated by National Post columnist Chris Selley, and will feature five of the leading candidates: Olivia Chow, Rob Ford, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz and John Tory. “Toronto Mayoral races are decided in the suburbs,” says Raj Thavaratnasingham, President of CTC. “By providing this forum, CTC wants to encourage the residents of Scarborough to come out and speak to the Mayoral candidates about the issues that are important to all of us.” [ full story | comments ]

From Tigers to Barbers: Tales of Sri Lanka’s Ex-Combatants

[ IPS ][ Jul 15 12:41 GMT ]

There is also no official data on how many former LTTE members were wounded, but government records suggest that at least 10 to 20 percent of the Northern Province’s population of some 1.1 million people are war-injured, a large number of which were combatants during the conflict.They say their biggest challenge now is social acceptance and financial independence. While the immediate outlook is bleak, many harbour aspirations of improved circumstances in the years to come. “First there was war, then there was peace; now we have poverty, and hopefully the next stop will be prosperity,” says Patrickeil’s customer Mariyadas, standing up for his turn with the Sea Tiger-turned-barber. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s Downward Spiral

[ Foreign Policy ][ Jul 14 21:34 GMT ]

The U.S. Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka held a hearing on July 9 in Washington D.C. The caucus, created in 2013, is co-chaired by Congressmen Danny Davis (D-IL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH). It remains to be seen how effective this newly created group will be but - given the recent developments in Sri Lanka - there is no question that there was plenty to discuss at the gathering. Aside from the persistent ethnic and religious violence that plagues the country, the war-torn island nation is still grappling with a bunch of problems as it struggles to make the transition from a post-war country to a post-conflict one. [ full story | comments ]

Lanka to pass new laws on NGO activities

[ Business Standard ][ Jul 14 17:40 GMT ]

The Sri Lanka Government has decided to enact a law on Non Government Organizations (NGOs) that will compel them to register with the National Secretariat. The NGOs in Sri Lanka currently come under the Voluntary Social Service Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Act Number 31 of 1980 and Voluntary Social Service Organizations (Registration and Supervision) (Amendment) Act Number 8 of 1998. The Secretariat, under the Ministry of Defence, has 1421 NGOs registered under it, reports the Daily Mirror. In a recent incident, the NGOs were instructed by the secretariat to avoid conducting press conferences if it was not mentioned in their annual action plans approved by the Secretariat. [ full story | comments ]

Media Watch: Secrecy on the High Seas

[ Australian Broadcasting Corporation ][ Jul 14 17:34 GMT ]

Journalists speak out on the government’s information black out on asylum seekers. But it’s not just the future that is currently hard to know. When it comes to stopping the boats it’s almost impossible to find out what’s happening now, as reporters keep discovering. In [a] bizarre exchange two weeks ago Immigration Minister Scott Morrison was asked about a boat with 153 Tamil asylum seekers reportedly off Christmas Island. 27 times the Minister refused to confirm the boat’s existence or comment on its fate. [ full story | comments ]


>> News Archives

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[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


[CTC - Jul 15, 2014 13:30:00 GMT]

Toronto Mayoral candidates Chow, Ford, Soknacki, Stintz, and Tory to debate in Scarborough


[Eurasia Review - Jul 15, 2014 12:48:25 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Reconciliation Is Both A Process And A Goal – Presentation


[Aljazeera - Jul 15, 2014 12:35:31 GMT]

Lack of trust slows Sri Lanka reconciliation


[Foreign Policy - Jul 14, 2014 21:34:20 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s Downward Spiral


[Reuters - Jul 13, 2014 15:33:46 GMT]

Australian minister under fire for not meeting Tamil groups on Sri Lanka trip


[Calcutta Telegraph - Jul 13, 2014 15:14:49 GMT]

Modi applies UPA balm on Lanka


[Time - Jul 11, 2014 12:26:22 GMT]

Hundreds of Tamils Have Simply Vanished on the Perilous Sea Voyage to Australia


[SMH - Jul 11, 2014 12:25:17 GMT]

A treasure map, assassination plot and kidnapping among dark secrets of Sri Lankan asylum seekers


[The Diplomat - Jul 10, 2014 14:13:24 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Export Powerhouse?


[The Age - Jul 07, 2014 11:16:39 GMT]

Father pleads with Scott Morrison to reveal fate of his three-year-old daughter on missing boat