Indian officials prepare to meet with Tamil asylum seekers 'within days'

[ The Guardian ][ Jul 29 16:13 GMT ]

Indian officials will meet the 157 asylum seekers sent to Curtin detention centre “within days”, as lawyers working for the Tamils were granted their first access on Tuesday. A spokesman for the Indian high commission in Canberra told Guardian Australia the mission had expected to meet the asylum seekers within the week after receiving a formal invitation from the Australian government to assess whether any of them held Indian citizenship. George Newhouse, a lawyer working for the Tamils, said their legal team was granted “extremely limited” access on Tuesday. Guardian Australia understands the asylum seekers are being initially processed by Australian officials. [ full story | comments ]

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Indian officials prepare to meet with Tamil asylum seekers 'within days'

Indian officials will meet the 157 asylum seekers sent to Curtin deten...

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Free media for truth to prevail especially in North

In the Sri Lankan situation the large presence of military personnel i...

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International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 - Sri Lanka

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom...

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Centre's approach negative on Sri Lanka: Karunanidhi

[ PTI ][ Jul 29 16:13 GMT ]

Charging the BJP-led Union government with pursuing a "negative approach" in dealing with Sri Lanka by supporting it, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday urged the Centre to adopt a stance protective of Tamils there. Referring to a defence conference to be hosted by Sri Lanka, slated to be held between August 18 and 20, he quoted a Tamil proverb and said India's decision to participate in the meet was tantamount to betrayal. Pointing to the alleged disruption and cancellation of a seminar for Tamil journalists in Sri Lanka and its condemnation by U.S.A., the DMK leader said, "when a far away country like America has expressed its dissatisfaction, India's stance is painful." [ full story | comments ]

Not Just Fishermen, Sri Lanka Must also Return Boats, Jaya Tells Modi in Latest Letter

[ Indian Express ][ Jul 29 16:09 GMT ]

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote yet another letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this time to seek action to secure the release of 50 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in the early hours of Tuesday. She also pointed out to the Prime Minister that 43 fishermen arrested last week were yet to be repatriated. The big point she underlined in her letter was that despite the Modi government’s success in securing the release of fishermen so far, the Sri Lankan authorities continue to hold the fishermen’s boats. “Your Government had acted promptly on earlier occasions which led to the release of 225 apprehended fishermen from Sri Lankan custody from time to time. [ full story | comments ]

Free media for truth to prevail especially in North

[ Island ][ Jul 29 12:31 GMT ]

In the Sri Lankan situation the large presence of military personnel in areas where there are scores of utterly poor and women-headed households recovering from three decades of war is a recipe for abuse unless strict systems of monitoring and accountability are in place. Instead of treating Tamil journalists from the North as a security threat and preventing them for improving their skills in reporting and interacting with colleagues in the South , the government needs to correct the prevailing situation at the ground level. This is the way forward to national unity, not trying to suppress the truth. [ full story | comments ]

Pak diplomat in Sri Lanka on terror radar

[ ToI ][ Jul 29 10:24 GMT ]

Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a Pakistani diplomat named as the person managing ISI activities in India from Sri Lanka, was on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies since 2012. He was first booked by the Tamil Nadu police after they picked up a suspected ISI agent, Thameem Ansari, in September 2012. Siddiqui is said to have provided an ATM card to Ansari and sent money to him from Colombo. Husain apparently told his interrogators in Chennai that the Pakistani diplomat was planning to send two men from Maldives to Chennai and that he had to arrange for their travel documents and hideouts. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: China gets land for 'defence'

[ Green Left ][ Jul 29 10:18 GMT ]

During a recent visit to China, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa signed an agreement to give China 1200 acres of land in the Trincomalee area on a long term lease for “defence-related development”. China's desire for a military presence in Trincomalee is probably related to its rivalry with other countries ― especially the United States and India ― for influence in the broader Indian Ocean region.However, this aid is often in the form of loans that must be repaid with interest. Sri Lanka is heavily in debt to China and the US-dominated International Monetary Fund. [ full story | comments ]

50 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

[ Hindu ][ Jul 29 09:56 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 50 Indian fishermen off Point Pedro in Jaffna on Monday, on charges of poaching in Sri Lankan waters. As many as seven trawlers in their possession were seized. The arrest comes at a time when fishermen on either side of the Palk Strait are voicing concern about the lack of progress in finding a solution to the ongoing fisheries conflict between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

U.S. Embassy Concerns on Media Freedom in Sri Lanka

[ US Embassy - Colombo ][ Jul 28 14:11 GMT ]

The United States is deeply concerned by the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of a journalism training session in Colombo over the weekend. The eventual cancellation of this training, which was focused on digital security for Jaffna-based journalists and financially supported by the U.S. government, was accompanied by a series of threats and intimidation of training participants and other journalists around the country, including threats against at least one journalist who made a statement criticizing the government over the cancellation. [ full story | comments ]

7 ideas for pro-Eelam groups to ponder on

[ Weekend Leader ][ Jul 28 12:59 GMT ]

Round 1 has gone to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the fight for justice for Eelam Tamils, as fresh battle lines were drawn after Narendra Modi came to power in India. Pro-Eelam groups have not been able to convince New Delhi to give up its pro-Colombo policy and look with favor on the Tamils of Sri Lanka, who have been fighting for a separate nation. But of course the battle for justice continues, and it would, till Eelam is formed. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka protesters scuttle media training for Tamils

[ Gulf News ][ Jul 27 15:17 GMT ]

Dozens of pro-government activists blocked ethnic Tamil journalists from holding a training programme in Sri Lanka on Saturday, marking the latest harassment of the minority community, a media rights group said. Journalists from the northern Jaffna peninsula, a former war zone, had travelled to Colombo for an electronic media workshop. “The organisers were forced to stop the programme because of intimidation by dozens of protesters,” said Sunil Jayasekera, spokesman for the Free Media Movement (FMM), the country’s main media rights organisation. [ full story | comments ]

India to inform Sri Lanka about terror cloud on Colombo

[ PTI ][ Jul 27 14:45 GMT ]

India will be informing Sri Lanka about an official working with the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo who was allegedly playing a key role in planning terror strikes at the behest of ISI on the US and Israeli consulates in the southern part of this country. The information will be shared with Sri Lankan authorities by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) signed between the two countries in 2010, official sources said. [ full story | comments ]

Pope to visit Sri Lanka, Philippines in January

[ AFP ][ Jul 29 16:12 GMT ]

Pope Francis will travel to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January for his second trip to a continent where evangelisation is a big priority for the Catholic Church, the Vatican said on Tuesday (July 29). The 77-year-old Argentinian will visit Sri Lanka from January 12 to 15, before heading to the Philippines - Asia's largest Catholic country - until January 19. The trip will come six months after Francis's first visit to Asia - an upcoming visit to South Korea scheduled for August 14 to 18 this year. Asia had been repeatedly been tipped as a destination for possible papal trips as Francis's predecessor Benedict XVI did not travel there during his eight-year pontificate. [ full story | comments ]

Legacy of riots overshadows Eid in Sri Lanka

[ Al Jazeera ][ Jul 29 15:54 GMT ]

Tensions persist as Muslim and Sinhalese communities in the Sri Lankan town of Aluthgama try to rebuild their lives in the wake of communal riots. The two-day violence in June overshadowed the traditional observance during Ramadan, which has been a stressful time for local Muslims who were forced to rebuild damaged homes and businesses. But while an older generation in the coastal settlement remains angry at their neighbours, children are looking forward to the Eid al-Fitr celebrations that mark the end of the fasting month. [ full story | comments ]

International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 - Sri Lanka

[ US State Dept. ][ Jul 29 12:23 GMT ]

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom. In practice, however, local authorities failed to respond effectively to communal violence, including attacks on members of minority religious groups, and perpetrators were not brought to justice. Authorities failed to prevent the destruction of a Hindu temple in Dambulla and an attack on the Grandpass Mosque in Colombo. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) alleged that senior and local government officials provided assistance to or, at a minimum, tacit support for the actions of societal groups targeting religious minorities. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan president will stay away from war commemoration service

[ Herald Scotland ][ Jul 29 10:22 GMT ]

The controversial president of Sri Lanka, whose government faces ­allegations of war crimes, will not attend the Commonwealth's official First World War commemoration service in Glasgow next week. Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime is accused of committing atrocities against its own people in the final weeks of his country's 26-year civil war. There had been concern his presence could overshadow Monday's event.But while Mr Rajapaksa, who holds the position of Chair in Office of the Commonwealth until next year, will stay away, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which is ­helping to organise the event, said Sri Lanka would be represented by the country's UK High Commissioner. [ full story | comments ]

Don't take part in Lanka defence meet: MDMK urges Centre

[ PTI ][ Jul 29 10:15 GMT ]

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), an ally of BJP in Tamil Nadu, today urged the Union government to not participate in a defence conference which is to be hosted by Sri Lanka next month. "It is shocking to learn that an Indian delegation, comprising senior military personnel, officials and BJP leaders, including Subramanian Swamy, will be participating in a defence conference being organised by Sri Lanka," MDMK general secretary Vaiko said in a statement here.The conference is to be held in the island nation between August 18 and 20. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka will play an important role in building process of proposed Maritime Silk Route - China

[ MoD SL ][ Jul 28 19:31 GMT ]

Sri Lanka stands to gain from the proposed Maritime Silk Route policy of the Chinese government as the island's location puts it in a prime position to act as a hub for South Asia and link to Africa and the Middle East, the Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao has said. "We are confident to say that Sri Lanka will see a lot of development opportunities and will play a very important role during the cultivation and building process of the new Maritime Silk Road," the Chinese Ambassador has said. [ full story | comments ]

Asylum seekers: Australia asks India to interview Tamils held in WA

[ The Guardian ][ Jul 28 13:02 GMT ]

The federal government has asked the Indian high commission to interview some of the 157 Tamil asylum seekers who were held at sea for weeks. The high commission will be given access to those who may have fled another country and then moved to a refugee camp in India. On Monday the high court decided not to proceed to a full hearing on 5 August as the circumstances of the case had changed since the asylum seekers were brought to Curtin immigration detention centre in Western Australia overnight. [ full story | comments ]

India to inform Lanka about terror cloud on Pak embassy official

[ Rediff ][ Jul 28 12:54 GMT ]

India will be informing Sri Lanka about an official working with the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo who was allegedly playing a key role in planning terror strikes at the behest of ISI on the US and Israeli consulates in the southern part of this country. The information will be shared with Sri Lankan authorities by the National Investigation Agency under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between the two countries in 2010, official sources said. NIA had last month taken over the case which was earlier registered by Tamil Nadu Police in which a Sri Lanka national, Sakir Hussain, was arrested following a tip-off from the Intelligence Bureau. [ full story | comments ]

New Pakistan Defence Attaché calls on Secretary Defence

[ MoD SL ][ Jul 27 14:51 GMT ]

Newly appointed Defence Attaché to the Embassy of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Colonel Muhammad Rajil Irshad Khan paid a courtesy call on Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the ministry premises today (24th July). The outgoing Defence Attaché Colonel Sheharyar Parvez Butt was also present at the occasion and a cordial discussion was held on the areas of bilateral cooperation during the official gathering. Secretary Defence also presented a memento to outgoing defence Attaché to mark this special occasion. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s NGO Clampdown

[ FP ][ Jul 26 00:50 GMT ]

The move has been sharply criticized by both leading activists within Sri Lanka and experienced international analysts. The U.S. State Department was also quick to criticize the move. The administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa didn’t stop there. All non-profit organizations in Sri Lanka will need to register officially (as NGOs) with the NGO Secretariat, a body that operates under the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development. If an organization refuses to do so, severe financial restrictions would be forthcoming, including the closing of bank accounts and a prohibition on receiving foreign funding. [ full story | comments ]


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[The Guardian - Jul 29, 2014 16:13:43 GMT]

Indian officials prepare to meet with Tamil asylum seekers 'within days'


[Island - Jul 29, 2014 12:31:55 GMT]

Free media for truth to prevail especially in North


[US State Dept. - Jul 29, 2014 12:23:41 GMT]

International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 - Sri Lanka


[Herald Scotland - Jul 29, 2014 10:22:33 GMT]

Sri Lankan president will stay away from war commemoration service


[Green Left - Jul 29, 2014 10:18:19 GMT]

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[The Guardian - Jul 28, 2014 13:02:19 GMT]

Asylum seekers: Australia asks India to interview Tamils held in WA


[Rediff - Jul 28, 2014 12:54:05 GMT]

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[FP - Jul 26, 2014 0:50:37 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s NGO Clampdown


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