Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war

[ Los Angeles Times ][ Mar 28 14:45 GMT ]

The road from Colombo, Sri Lanka's graceful seaside capital in the south, to the northern town of Jaffna has rarely been a straight shot. Most of the 250-mile journey follows the A9 highway, which slices through palm groves and green carpets of farmland that were the main battlegrounds of the country's three-decade civil war. During the worst fighting between an army dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic majority and rebels from the mainly Tamil north, long stretches of A9 were closed to civilian traffic. As the main supply line for Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for an independent homeland, it held immense strategic value. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war [ more ]

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Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war

The road from Colombo, Sri Lanka's graceful seaside capital in the sou...

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NEH funds LACMA show on Sri Lanka, Ken Burns film on Vietnam War

The National Endowment for the Humanities will funnel $1.4 million to ...

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China, Sri Lanka Sign Agreements To Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

Sri Lanka and China have signed agreements on a wide range of cooperat...

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NEH funds LACMA show on Sri Lanka, Ken Burns film on Vietnam War

[ Los Angeles Times ][ Mar 28 14:44 GMT ]

The National Endowment for the Humanities will funnel $1.4 million to California museums, university-based scholars and libraries in grants announced this week, including $40,000 for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a touring exhibition on the art of Sri Lanka. Among the $22.8 million in grants nationwide, the biggest for a single project is $1 million to help fund a 10-part documentary on the Vietnam War directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka president's brother dies in axe attack

[ BBC ][ Mar 28 14:31 GMT ]

A brother of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has died in hospital after being attacked with an axe on Thursday, police have said. Priyantha Sirisena suffered severe head injuries in his hometown of Polonnaruwa, north-east of the capital Colombo, AFP news agency reports. Colombo Gazette reports there was a "private dispute" and a man has been arrested. The president is out of the country on a state visit to China. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s pivot to India breaks China’s dreams

[ Boston Globe ][ Mar 27 16:35 GMT ]

The state visit of Narendra Modi symbolized a new relationship between India and its southern neighbor that, if continued, will mean that China’s “elusive empire” will not extend as far into the Indian Ocean as China might have wished. As for Mahinda Rajapaksa, he has a chance to return to power as prime minister if Sirisena carries out his intentions to limit the constitutional power of the presidency and put power in the hands of elected prime ministers. Never a good loser, Rajapaksa has accused the secret services of India, Britain, and America of conspiring against him in the last election, and has even said that after his defeat at the polls he no longer believes in astrology. [ full story | comments ]

In the Hills of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country

[ New York Times ][ Mar 27 13:25 GMT ]

The man in the khaki vest slurped noisily from his cup, descended briefly into scowling meditation, spat the contents into a sink and then unleashed a torrent of approving descriptors, lavishly rolling his r’s along the way: “No foreign taste, very refreshing, robust, strong tannins, a tingly sensation at the end of the tongue — good show!” I sipped as well and nodded gravely, thinking: right, but it’s still tea. Granted, it was excellent tea, cultivated just outside the Norwood Estate processing factory where we stood, surrounded by whirring machines and immense bags stuffed with tea leaves. [ full story | comments ]

India must be wary of Tamil extremism in Sri Lanka

[ IANS ][ Mar 27 13:12 GMT ]

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins to build a relationship with Sri Lanka's new leadership, the one thing he needs to be wary of is the extremist Tamil position in the island nation. Modi made history by becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit Sri Lanka after 1987 when Rajiv Gandhi went to Colombo to sign a pact to end Tamil separatism, which eventually consumed his life in 1991. Modi won many hearts by becoming the first Indian leader to visit Jaffna, the Tamil heartland which is also the hub for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) headed by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. [ full story | comments ]

Clarifying the fate of missing persons in Sri Lanka requires sustained commitment

[ ICRC ][ Mar 27 13:10 GMT ]

The ICRC's Director of Operations, Dominic Stillhart, recently concluded a five-day visit to Sri Lanka. During his time in the country Mr Stillhart met with a number of senior government officials, including the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera. In these meetings he reiterated that the organization remains committed to their work in Sri Lanka and to providing assistance to vulnerable individuals, including detainees and families of missing persons. [ full story | comments ]

Unsung heroines: Women in Tamil cinema

[ The Hindu ][ Mar 27 13:06 GMT ]

In a world where we have enough people telling women what to do, how to behave, how to dress and how to avoid rape, do we also need reel life portrayals telling us similar things. I recently watched the Hindi film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, a charming tale of an overweight wife and a frail husband struggling to make their arranged marriage work amid an extremely patriarchal set up. While the girl gushes at the timid Ayushmann Khurrana, the young man is opposed to the marriage: one of the main reasons being his wife’s rotundness. I was immediately reminded of the effervescent Sathileelavathi starring Kalpana as Leelavathi, whose cheating husband Arun (Ramesh Arvind) finds his wife of 12 years fat and boring. [ full story | comments ]

Suspended Sri Lankan Port Project Complicates Sirisena's Trip to China

[ The Diplomat ][ Mar 26 15:13 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is headed to China this week, both to pay a state visit to Beijing and to attend the annual Boao Forum in Hainan. It will be Sirisena’s first chance to interact directly with China’s top leaders since he came into office in January, after running in part on a promise to scrutinize foreign (including Chinese) investment in Sri Lanka. That promise has played out in the strange saga of Colombo Port City, a $1.4 billion project funded by a Chinese company. Sirisena’s government said it would “reassess” the deal back in January, citing concerns over the environmental impact as well as the original agreement to cede or lease 108 hectares of land to the Chinese construction firm involved, China Communications Co. Ltd. (CCCC). [ full story | comments ]

Lanka court orders inspection of Rajapaksa’s brother account

[ PTI ][ Mar 26 13:05 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan court on Thursday ordered the southern town of Galle to inspect the bank accounts of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the former defence secretary and brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa. A magistrate court in Galle had on March 9 issued an order preventing Gotabhaya — the powerful defence secretary under his brother’s administration — and three others from leaving the country until the conclusion of investigation. The court also impounded their passports, police said. [ full story | comments ]

In Sri Lanka, Elephants and Humans Struggle to Live in Close Quarters

[ CityLab ][ Mar 25 14:06 GMT ]

Elephants in Sri Lanka can have the demeanor of cranky wedding guests in a slow buffet line. They munch away at grass and leaves, kicking their heels back in annoyance at the pure white egrets standing behind them. Cross their path in a safari vehicle and you might get a raised trunk and a trumpeted warning: I’m walking here! But these feisty Asian elephants have a problem: Their turf is dwindling. Just a few years out of its 26-year civil war, the tiny island nation actually has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan tea plantation workers oppose Glenugie estate witch-hunt

[ WSWS ][ Mar 28 14:34 GMT ]

Glenugie tea estate Deeside division workers at Maskeliya in Sri Lanka’s central plantation district have spoken out against the police and company management frame-up of eight fellow workers. The Deeside workers were responding to a Socialist Equality Party (SEP) statement distributed last Sunday calling for unified action to defeat the witch-hunt. On March 11, police arrested eight workers on fabricated charges that they physically attacked an estate supervisor and stoned wasp nests to disrupt work at the tea estate. The victimised workers, including an SEP supporter, G. Wilfred, were bailed-out on personal guarantees the following day. The case against them will be heard on June 24. [ full story | comments ]

China, Sri Lanka Sign Agreements To Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

[ Eurasia Review ][ Mar 27 18:23 GMT ]

Sri Lanka and China have signed agreements on a wide range of cooperation that cover health, education, social and economic development. The agreements were signed following bilateral talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese President Xi Jingping. An agreement to assist the promotion of public health in Sri Lanka was signed between the Ministry of Commerce in China and the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine in Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Ranil lists immediate priorities for Sri Lanka

[ FT ][ Mar 27 13:30 GMT ]

“The dialogue among political parties is not sufficient. Genuine reconciliation needs to engage people. The best safeguard against a return of terror is political reconciliation supported by all people,” the Prime Minister said. “In that context, every Sri Lankan must support national unity,” said Wickremesinghe, adding that the media too had an important role to play. He said that the new Government successfully met the looming challenge of the UN Human Rights Commission taking up report on Sri Lanka at its March sessions in Geneva and a possible avoidance of economic sanctions. [ full story | comments ]

Russia, Sri Lanka resolve standoff over stranded research vessel in Colombo — state agency

[ Tass ][ Mar 27 13:16 GMT ]

Moscow has paid off its debt to Sri Lanka’s port Colombo for the maintenance of the Russian research vessel, the Akademik Nikolay Strakhov, the Russian Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations said on Friday. The debt was settled by the Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences which owns the research vessel. "The overall amount of payment has reached $66,000," the agency said in a statement. "The life support regime of the vessel has been restored. It has been re-connected to the electricity supply. Foodstuffs and drinking water have been taken onboard," the statement reads. [ full story | comments ]

Barack Obama nominates Indian-American as ambassador to Sri Lanka, Maldives

[ PTI ][ Mar 27 13:12 GMT ]

President Barack Obama has nominated an Indian-American, a former official at its Embassy in New Delhi, as the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. Obama yesterday announced the nomination of Atul Keshap, a career foreign service official, as the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives along with Alaina Teplitz as the next ambassador to Nepal. [ full story | comments ]

India & Sri Lanka agree on proposals for finding interim solution on fishermen issue in May

[ Economic Times ][ Mar 27 13:09 GMT ]

Fishermen associations of India and Sri Lanka have made a set of proposals for an interim solution to the issue related to encroachment by Tamil Nadu fishermen into Lankan waters that has cast a shadow on otherwise close bilateral ties. The two associations which met in Chennai on Tuesday discussed Indian proposal for environmentally sustainable fishing and the Lankan proposal of fishing in deep sea waters by Tamil Nadu fishermen, according to diplomatic sources. The two associations .. [ full story | comments ]

Indian Naval vessels to reach Sri Lanka's east coast for drill today

[ PTI ][ Mar 27 12:45 GMT ]

Four Indian Navy vessels will arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday to hold a three-day training exercise for Lankan Navy personnel in the country's east coast. Four ships from the Indian Navy's First Training Squadron, namely Indian Naval Ships TIR and KESARI, Indian Coast Guard Ship VARUNA and Sail Training Ship SUDARSHINI, are visiting Trincomalee from March 27-29, the Indian High Commission here said on Thursday. A series of professional, training, cultural and sports interactions will take place between the ships' crew and Sri Lankan Navy personnel in the country's eastern coast. [ full story | comments ]

Ex-Lankan President to head task force for reconciliation of Tamils

[ PTI ][ Mar 26 15:11 GMT ]

Former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will head a special presidential task force to identify urgent reconciliation needs of the minority Tamil community, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday. “We are focused in achieving communal and religious harmony,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said. The new government has set up a dedicated office for reconciliation under the Chair of 69-year-old Ms. Kumaratunga, the country’s first woman president. [ full story | comments ]

China offers Sri Lanka olive branch and warnings

[ AFP ][ Mar 26 13:03 GMT ]

President Xi Jinping worked to mend relations with Sri Lanka on Thursday as Chinese state-run media warned the island nation's new government against shutting off billions in investments from Beijing.China has said any disruptions to the project will spook foreign investors and an op-ed in the Global Times, a paper affiliated with the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, reminded Sirisena that "Sri Lanka needs foreign investment more than ever"."A consistent policy is crucial for attracting foreign investment," wrote Lan Jianxue, of the China Institute of International Studies. "Sri Lanka's strategic goals will be better guaranteed if Colombo can integrate them with China-backed projects." [ full story | comments ]

Lanka police wants Rajapaksa sibling for quizzing

[ PTI ][ Mar 25 14:04 GMT ]

Sri Lankan police is looking for Basil Rajapaksa, the brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, for questioning in a corruption probe. Basil is wanted in a probe about a fund under the Ministry of Economic Development, Assistant Superintendent of police Ruwan Gunasekera said. Basil was the key advisor of Rajapaksa during his nine- year rule. After Rajapaksa's defeat in the January 8 election by current president Maithripala Sirisena, a number of anti- graft cases were registered against him and his family members. [ full story | comments ]


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Notices
Featured News

[Los Angeles Times - Mar 28, 2015 14:45:00 GMT]

Sri Lanka road trip finds north and south still divided after civil war


[Los Angeles Times - Mar 28, 2015 14:44:37 GMT]

NEH funds LACMA show on Sri Lanka, Ken Burns film on Vietnam War


[Eurasia Review - Mar 27, 2015 18:23:20 GMT]

China, Sri Lanka Sign Agreements To Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation


[Boston Globe - Mar 27, 2015 16:35:32 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s pivot to India breaks China’s dreams


[New York Times - Mar 27, 2015 13:25:03 GMT]

In the Hills of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country


[ICRC - Mar 27, 2015 13:10:52 GMT]

Clarifying the fate of missing persons in Sri Lanka requires sustained commitment


[The Diplomat - Mar 26, 2015 15:13:53 GMT]

Suspended Sri Lankan Port Project Complicates Sirisena's Trip to China


[CityLab - Mar 25, 2015 14:06:37 GMT]

In Sri Lanka, Elephants and Humans Struggle to Live in Close Quarters


[Outlook - Mar 25, 2015 2:46:37 GMT]

A House For Tamils


[PTI - Mar 23, 2015 10:23:28 GMT]

Tamils in Sri Lanka hold demontrations demanding international probe into war crimes


[SAAG - Mar 23, 2015 9:34:36 GMT]

Resetting Indo-Lanka Relations


[CNN-IBN - Mar 22, 2015 2:17:52 GMT]

A bridge too far: Special report from Sri Lanka


[Groundviews - Mar 22, 2015 2:02:29 GMT]

Sri Lankan National Anthem: Symbolism, Nationalism, Racism and Other Stories


[Tribune India - Mar 20, 2015 1:44:03 GMT]

Sri Lanka as Indian Ocean pivot


[Reuters - Mar 20, 2015 1:35:01 GMT]

Sri Lanka says Rajapaksa officials stashed over $2 billion in Dubai