Sri Lanka: Consultations Lacking on Missing Persons’ Office

[ HRW ][ May 27 10:27 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government ratified the Convention against Enforced Disappearance but in the same week created an Office of Missing Persons without promised consultations with families of the “disappeared,” Human Rights Watch said today. The government should honor its pledge to hold meaningful consultations with the affected families and nongovernmental representatives about the missing persons’ office and the other transitional justice mechanisms.“The Sri Lankan government is creating important structures to address the scourge of disappearances in the country,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “But it should only do this after receiving input from the families most affected.” [ full story | comments ]

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Roots of Governor-Chief Minister conflict in eastern Sri Lanka

[ NIE ][ May 27 10:31 GMT ]

The on-going conflict between Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando and Chief Minister Naseer Ahamed, which has led to the Sri Lankan armed forces declaring an indefinite boycott of the Chief Minister, is rooted in the way Centre-Province relations have developed in Lanka and the nature of Muslim politics in the island nation. According to sources in the East, last Friday’s spat in which CM Naseer Ahamed publicly accused Governor Austin Fernando of insulting him and “the entire province”, in cahoots with the Lankan navy, could not be seen as an isolated incident. [ full story | comments ]

WA asylum seeker ordered home to Sri Lanka despite fears for safety

[ WA Today ][ May 27 10:25 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who has lived in WA since arriving illegally by boat in 2012 has been ordered to return back to his home country, despite telling authorities he feared he would be persecuted for his religion. The Federal Court of Australia on Friday dismissed the Tamil man's application to have a previous decision not to grant him a protection visa re-heard. The man, whose name has been suppressed in court documents, claimed he fled Sri Lanka after his father was shot and killed by the Sri Lankan army and he and his family were captured and beaten by separatist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in 2008. [ full story | comments ]

Repair and reconciliation in Sri Lanka

[ BL ][ May 26 18:55 GMT ]

But the present dispensation has been sensitive to India’s security concerns. This should be acknowledged and reciprocated. While it will be unwise and unaffordable to look at every Chinese initiative in Sri Lanka with suspicion, New Delhi has to ensure that it retains its influence in Trincomalee, while ensuring that China’s presence in Colombo and elsewhere does not pose a security challenge. Sri Lanka has avoided acquiring Chinese-Pakistani JF17 fighter aircraft. It is prepared to look at acquiring the superior Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) instead. No effort should be spared to ensure that Sri Lanka expeditiously receives a sufficient number of Indian LCA. [ full story | comments ]

Canada supports VT for Sri Lankan youth

[ CDN ][ May 26 16:26 GMT ]

Funded by the Canadian government through Global Affairs Canada, Advancing Specialized Skills for Economic Transformation (ASSET) is a five year project that will increase the income potential of 4,000 youth by supporting equitable employment in the expanding trades and technology sectors. The project, implemented by WUSC in 11 districts, spans four provinces (North, North West, East and South). The WUSC engages public and private skills training providers to develop courses and programmes that better reflect the needs of the job market. [ full story | comments ]

Time to seize the moment in Sri Lanka

[ ICG ][ May 26 16:17 GMT ]

Despite the welcome change in tone and moves to improve relations between the majority Sinhalese community and Tamils, who represent 15 per cent of the country’s population, the “national unity” government needs to redouble its efforts to promote reconciliation. Measures to address the war’s legacy need to be pursued and presented as an essential aspect of the broader agenda to strengthen the rule of law, end impunity and tackle corruption and abuse of power. The government should launch a coordinated outreach campaign to educate communities about the value of transitional justice and its links to other reforms, while giving stronger backing to the nationwide public consultations on designing reconciliation and justice measures. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Office of Missing Persons seeks 'disappeared'

[ BBC ][ May 26 15:55 GMT ]

The army defeated the Tamil Tigers in a bitterly fought offensive at the end of the war amid allegations that troops killed at least 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months. The mostly Tamil families of the missing have held demonstrations to support their cause. Some of them have complained that they have been abducted or arrested by the police while staging their protests. As many as 100,000 people are thought to have died in the conflict. [ full story | comments ]

Human rights violations continue against Sri Lankan Tamils

[ RedFlag ][ May 26 10:13 GMT ]

This year’s defence expenditures are expected to exceed 2014’s by more than LKR20 billion (A$187 million). Since the end of the civil war, the north-east has been under occupation, and Sri Lanka’s 300,000-strong military has increased its involvement in civilian life, including education, property development and the construction of infrastructure. “The government will not demilitarise our homeland because they … [want to] forcibly assimilate us into their idea of a Sri Lankan identity”, a 45-year-old Tamil woman from Batticaloa told People for Equality and Relief in Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

34 TN Fishermen Released by Lanka

[ Outlook India ][ May 24 16:03 GMT ]

Thirty-four Tamil Nadu fishermen, released by Sri Lankan courts after being detained by the island nation Navy last month, arrived at nearby Karaikal Port today. State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, District Collector S Pazhanisamy and other officials received the fishermen from Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram Districts, who were arrested in batches on different dates last month. Jayakumar said the government had taken steps to send the fishermen to their respective home towns. [ full story | comments ]

Tens of thousands need aid after deadly cyclone pounds Bangladesh, Sri Lanka

[ Reuters ][ May 24 15:58 GMT ]

Tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka need aid including clean drinking water, dry food rations and medicines after a deadly cyclone hammered the South Asia region, aid agencies said on Tuesday."Tens of thousands of poor families will have lost most of their assets - not just their houses, but also their food stores, seasonal crops and vital livestock such as cows, goats and ducks," said Shakeb Nabi, Christian Aid's Bangladesh head. "Access to food, safe drinking water, health supplies and sanitation materials is limited in some villages. Water points have been ruined, ground water contaminated and agricultural land destroyed." [ full story | comments ]

Missing Scarborough man, 84, found dead near home

[ CTV ][ May 24 15:47 GMT ]

Police said an elderly Scarborough man was found dead Tuesday in the Dorset Park neighbourhood, days after he wandered away from his home. Jayaratnam Punnusamy, 84, was reported missing on May 22. His body was found beside railway tracks near a park off of Prudential Drive, located in the Lawrence Avenue East and Midland Avenue area, about 500 metres from his home. According to police, Punnusamy had a range of health issues that made him vulnerable, including the onset of dementia, high blood pressure and diabetes. [ full story | comments ]

China to provide USD 1.5 million for Sri Lankan flood relief

[ Indian Express ][ May 27 10:29 GMT ]

China will provide USD 1.5 million in cash for flood relief in Sri Lanka where heaviest rains in more than 25 years has claimed over 100 lives, authorities said on Friday. Ministry of Commerce said China will deliver more assistance to the Colombo according to the development of the situation and at the request of the Sri Lankan government, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Continuous rain and gales have caused floods and mud-rock flows in Sri Lanka, leaving nearly 100 people dead. [ full story | comments ]

'Militarisation is a problem in the Tamil areas in Lanka'

[ Rediff ][ May 27 09:50 GMT ]

There are four plots. One is the story of Adhirai alias Sundari, who is searching for her husband, an LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) cadre who had gone missing in the May 2009 war. She just wants the government to tell her what happened to husband. The second plot is about the struggles of a male historian who is fighting to hold on to his land. The third one is about Duma, a woman who is fighting for dignity in life, and the fourth one is about the story of a young woman journalist from Chennai who visits the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka after the war and how she is caught up with the situation there. [ full story | comments ]

Community Mediated Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka

[ Asia Foundation ][ May 26 16:30 GMT ]

The Asia Foundation played a critical role in providing much-needed assistance, both logistical and financial, to enable members of the Mediation Boards Commission to travel to the North to interview and select mediators. As in other parts of the country, mediators for the Northern Province were selected from within the community, appointed through an established selection process, then subsequently provided with the required technical training to practice interest-based mediation. Anecdotal information provided by mediators and from members of the community at the time revealed that, even the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which fought a 30-year war with the government of Sri Lanka, were supportive of the mediation boards as they were seen as a mechanism by the people, for the people, and therefore non-threatening despite its government affiliations. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka seeking to borrow $3.5 bln through foreign debt

[ Reuters ][ May 26 16:24 GMT ]

The borrowing plan comes as the South Asian nation seeks to fix its precarious balance of payments position after a sharp depletion of its foreign exchange reserves - a legacy of massive debt piled up under the previous government. "A $500 million syndicated loan is almost done with Credit Suisse. Once that is done, we will be going for another $500 million syndicated loan," Ravi Karunanayake told a Foreign Correspondents Association forum. "Then we will go for the sovereign bond within two to three weeks. We will also go for a sukuk." [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s Painful Past and Uncertain Future on Display in Tamil North

[ WPR ][ May 26 16:03 GMT ]

Sri Lanka—The scars of Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war remain plainly visible in the country’s north, where ethnic Tamils make up the vast majority of the population. Abandoned colonial mansions riddled with bullets stand as testament to the long war and the devastation it wrought on the region. More than half a decade after the fighting ended, despite a noticeable influx of investment from exiled Tamils, much needs to be done before the conflict between the Sinhalese-dominated state and the Tamil minority can finally be relegated to the pages of history, allowing Sri Lanka to work toward a prosperous and stable future. ... [ full story | comments ]

Ambassador Kevin Vickers, former House sergeant-at-arms, tackles protester in Dublin

[ CBC ][ May 26 15:46 GMT ]

Canada's ambassador to Ireland, and the man who was hailed as a hero for shooting Ottawa gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau after he stormed Parliament Hill in 2014, tackled a protester at a ceremony in Dublin this morning. The former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms was at the event commemorating the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising, also called the Easter Rebellion, when Irish republicans tried to overthrow British control of the country by force. [ full story | comments ]

Harper will step down as MP before Parliament’s fall session

[ Globe and Mail ][ May 25 10:15 GMT ]

Stephen Harper will resign as the MP for Calgary Heritage before Parliament resumes in the fall, as he pursues new interests on corporate boards and the establishment of a foreign policy institute, according to close confidants of the former Conservative prime minister. Mr. Harper has not decided whether to resign as an MP when Parliament adjourns at the end of June or during the summer months, but friends say he won’t be back in the Commons in September. [ full story | comments ]

Korea to join Sri Lanka’s $63b smart city project

[ Korea Herald ][ May 24 16:00 GMT ]

The Korean government is set to participate in Sri Lanka’s $63.2 billion smart city development project, Seoul’s Ministry of Land announced Tuesday. The project is part of Sri Lanka’s plan to develop nine new towns in Colombo and its adjacent areas by 2030. The Land Ministry said Minister Kang Ho-in and Sri Lanka’s Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka inked a memorandum of understanding in Seoul on Tuesday for the partnership of the new city project. “We believe Korea’s experiences in developing smart cities will greatly contribute to Sri Lanka’s new city development,” Kang said. [ full story | comments ]

China's Investments in Sri Lanka

[ Foreign Affairs ][ May 24 15:55 GMT ]

China’s friendly relationship with Sri Lanka began in earnest after the election of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005. With its own politically influential Tamil minority to contend with, India declined Rajapaksa’s appeals for large-scale military support, while the United States suspended military aid in 2007, citing government human rights violations in the country’s civil war.Beijing, however, was happy to fill the void. The same year that Washington suspended arms sales, China provided Sri Lanka $37 million in ammunition and ordnance to aid Rajapaksa’s war against the Tamil Tigers. In 2008, it gave Sri Lanka six F-7 jet fighters, scores of antiaircraft guns, and a JY-11 radar system. [ full story | comments ]

Wigneswaran takes over three portfolios

[ Daily Mirror ][ May 24 10:50 GMT ]

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has taken over three portfolios earlier held by Northern Provincial Council Minister P. Sathyalingam. The provincial ministries of Social Welfare, Rehabilitation and Women Affairs will now come under the purview of the Chief Minister who was sworn in as the subject minister by Governor Reginald Cooray at his office. [ full story | comments ]

>> News Archives

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[ICG - May 26, 2016 16:17:08 GMT]

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[Reuters - May 03, 2016 12:52:12 GMT]

Fists fly as Sri Lankan MPs protest changing of the guard for ex-president