Sri Lanka president suspends parliament until May 8

[ AFP ][ Apr 13 19:44 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday (Apr 12) suspended parliament until next month in a shock move amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity government's prime minister. A government decree quoted the president as stating that he had halted parliament's meetings "with effect from midnight" on Thursday under article 70 of the constitution. The move, scheduled to last until May 8, came hours after at least 16 Sirisena loyalists, including six cabinet ministers, said they would leave the troubled coalition. Relations between the rival groups in the unity government have soured after both suffered losses in February's local council elections. [ full story | comments ]

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USAID, IOM Hand Over New Homes to Sri Lanka Flood, Landslide Victims

[ ReliefWeb ][ Apr 13 19:51 GMT ]

USAID and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week handed over new transitional homes to 120 families affected by the May 2017 floods and landslides in the Rathnapura district of Sri Lanka. The homes, which were built by IOM in Dombagammana village over the past three months, will house some 445 people, including 194 children. The families either lost their homes to floods and landslides or were unable to return home due to the ongoing risk of landslides. The new temporary homes were built by IOM on land permanently allocated by the government. Families will eventually be able to upgrade them to permanent housing on the same land, with government support. [ full story | comments ]

Mother seeks justice for slain Sri Lankan journalist

[ UCA News ][ Apr 11 13:08 GMT ]

Selvarani Sahadevan is still seeking justice for her son nearly 11 years after he was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Sri Lanka. The retired principal of Jaffna Hindu Primary School made a formal complaint to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission in 2007 to bring the perpetrators to court but has still had no positive response. Sahadevan Niluckshan, a 22-year-old media student at Jaffna University's media research and training center, was murdered on Aug. 1, 2007, by gunmen on a motorcycle in front of his house in Kokuvil West in Jaffna. The city had a heavy military presence and a curfew because of the civil war (1983-2009) at that time. His mother said Niluckshan had always opposed his family's plan to leave Sri Lanka to escape the war, killings and abductions. [ full story | comments ]

Identity And The ‘Other’: The Case Of Sri Lanka

[ SAAG ][ Apr 11 13:04 GMT ]

Reading is an ever-receding horizon with one book leading to another and that to still others, ad infinitum. So it is that Toni Morrison’s ‘The Origin of Others’ (Harvard University, 2017) led me to ‘A Good Man is Hard To Find’ by Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) and in that anthology to ‘The Artificial Nigger’. This short story is apposite to Morrison’s comment that no one is born a racist, and that we need the ‘Other’ in order to define and have a sense of our own group-identity. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka opens door for return of divisive former president

[ Guardian ][ Apr 11 12:59 GMT ]

A familiar face is back on walls across Sri Lanka. The country’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has been grinning from thousands of posters and billboards recently, palms pressed together in gratitude. Voters delivered a shock repudiation of Rajapaksa’s government three years ago, as the UN investigated war crimes against Tamil civilians, dissidents disappeared in unmarked white vans and warnings were issued that Sri Lankan democracy was at risk. In February, however, they gave the Buddhist nationalist leader’s new party a surprise victory in local government elections. [ full story | comments ]

Toronto Tamils meet Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and part as friends

[ Scarborough Mirror ][ Apr 09 19:47 GMT ]

Tamils and Mohawks aren’t so different. In a unique cultural exchange between an Ontario First Nation and a New Canadian group, the Scarborough-based Canadian Tamil Congress brought more than 130 Tamils from Greater Toronto to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville. There, on March 29 and 30, visitors and hosts presented each other with samplings of their languages, music, dances and food. [ full story | comments ]

UK chefs to host Great Street Feast this summer in support of Lankan torture survivors

[ ST ][ Apr 09 16:44 GMT ]

Twenty chefs in the UK will host the Great Street Feast this summer in aid of the national charity, Freedom from Torture and will look to raise awareness on torture victims in Sri Lanka. According to the Crafts Guild of Chefs, the event will coincide with World Refugee Day, the event will take place at BAFTA 195 (Piccadilly, London) with journalists Ian Hislop and John McCarthy hosting. Freedom from Torture’s Group will also be present cooking up traditional Sri Lankan dishes, and continue their work raising awareness of “continuing torture” in Sri Lanka. To help raise funds, the Tamil Group cookbook – launching at Great Street Feast 2018 – will be available for sale alongside a live auction and raffle. [ full story | comments ]

Wigneswaran not the next CM candidate: TNA

[ Daily Mirror ][ Apr 09 15:20 GMT ]

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran said yesterday Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran would not be given the chief ministerial candidacy again. He told a news conference that the chief minister had assured the party that he would hold the post only for two years when he was appointed the previous time. “We do not expect to appoint Mr. Wigneswaran as the Chief Minister again because he said he would not hold the position for more than two years. We do not think it is suitable to give him the position again, “ he said [ full story | comments ]

No-faith motion:PM accedes to 10 demands to secure TNA’s support

[ Island ][ Apr 06 15:00 GMT ]

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Vanni District MP Selvam Addaikalanathan yesterday said that UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had accepted ten of its proposals in return for the group's backing for him to defeat the No Confidence Motion (NCM) moved by the Joint Opposition. The TELO MP, representing the TNA, said that there had been a heated argument and tension when PM Wickremesinghe at the onset of the meeting between the UNP and the TNA turned down those proposals. Addikalanathan said that they had been able to reach a consensus on ten proposals subsequently. [ full story | comments ]

Social Media is only a Tool - Ambika Satkunanathan, one of the Commissioners at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

[ Daily Mirror ][ Apr 06 14:54 GMT ]

In an interview with the Daily Mirror Ambika Satkunanathan, one of the Commissioners at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka said that social media is only a tool that is used to incite hatred or violence and that it isn’t the cause of hatred or violence. She said that when impunity isn’t addressed perpetrators are emboldened as a result of which they continue to commit such offences. Therefore, she stressed that in order to prevent the recurrence of such acts perpetrators should be held accountable. [ full story | comments ]

Arrest of Sri Lanka’s ex-military intelligence chief leads to breakthrough

[ EN ][ Apr 06 14:28 GMT ]

The long-delayed arrest of the head of the military intelligence directorate has led to a breakthrough in solving the Keith Noyahr abduction case which is directly linked to several other attacks, police said Friday. Retired major general Amal Karunasekera was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as he was undergoing treatment at the army hospital, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. Gunasekera said Karunasekera, who was the director of the military intelligence was taken in in connection with the May 22, 2008 abduction and assault of Noyahr who at the time was an editor of the Nation newspaper. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan wins lawsuit against NHS as midwives fail to explain why she needed to feed her son due to language barrier

[ Telegraph ][ Apr 13 19:49 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan refugee who could not speak English has won a legal battle against the NHS after her child was brain damaged after hospital staff did not explain the importance of feeding a newborn. Nilujan Rajatheepan was in good condition when he was delivered by caesarean section at King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Essex in July 2009. His parents are Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka and his mother, Sinthiya, was 21 when Nilujan was born and spoke only very few words of English. [ full story | comments ]

One woman's story of being trafficked from Sri Lanka

[ BBC ][ Apr 11 13:05 GMT ]

An undercover investigation by BBC Wales Investigates has shown the extent and scale of labour exploitation and modern day slavery in the UK. With a 300% rise in recorded slavery victims since 2012, officials acknowledge there is a growing problem. We have seen evidence of traffickers forcing vulnerable people to work for little or no money. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan shares end higher; foreigners sell

[ Reuters ][ Apr 11 13:02 GMT ]

Sri Lankan shares ended slightly firmer on Wednesday led by blue-chip stocks in thin trade, while foreign selling boosted turnover with most local investors on leave ahead of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year this week, brokers said. Foreign selling accounted for 80 percent of the day’s turnover of 553 million rupees ($3.55 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 1.17 billion rupees. Foreign investors exited mainly by selling Softlogic Finance Plc, brokers said. Shares in Softlogic Finance, which accounted for 60 percent of the day’s turnover, however, ended 0.6 percent lower. [ full story | comments ]

Risotto From Sri Lanka Is Just as Good

[ New York Times ][ Apr 09 19:51 GMT ]

If you’re tired of reading terrible things about immigrants — how they never integrate, how they rape and steal, how they deal drugs, how they create “no-go zones” in European cities — here’s a success story to ponder. I’d say there are millions of such stories across Europe. It concerns Ramesh Kumar Balakrishnan, whose first job in Italy was as a babysitter. His language tutor was 5 years old. The little boy would correct him when he made a mistake — “Non dire cosí,” or “Don’t say it like that.” [ full story | comments ]

Beyond No Confidence Motion, Is Sanity Possible?

[ Groundviews ][ Apr 09 19:45 GMT ]

Raised from the Ground restarted the writing-life of Nobel laureate Jose Saramago. The semi-autobiographical novel uses the trials and travails of a single family of landless peasants through three generations to shed light on the desperate plight of Portugal’s rural poor. The book ends on a hopeful note. The Carnation Revolution has begun and the peasants are invading the ‘inland sea of latifundio,’ the massive agricultural estates owned by a handful of rich. The living are joined by the spirits of the dead, including that of a dog depicted as the model of steadfastness. [ full story | comments ]


[ SO ][ Apr 09 15:21 GMT ]

Debunking the conspiracy theory that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) support for the Prime Minister at last week’s No Confidence vote had hinged on 10 tough conditions, the country’s main Tamil party said their primary objective in voting against the Joint Opposition motion was to ensure the continuity of the Government of National Unity, so that it can meet its 2015 pledges of reform and democratisation. [ full story | comments ]

Rajapaksa camp wanted to defend themselves from murder, fraud and corruption charges - JVP

[ CDN ][ Apr 06 15:03 GMT ]

The No-Confidence motion brought against the Prime Minister split the joint opposition and also undermined its recent electoral gains at local elections, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna leader Anura Dissanayake MP told journalists yesterday. During a media briefing at JVP office in Battaramulla Dissanayake said only the Gotabhaya Rajapaksa camp in the JO was interested in the no faith motion while Basil Rajapaksa’s team had shown a lukewarm response although they had voted in favour of the motion. [ full story | comments ]

Mangala promises:Progress in constitutional reforms and transitional justice

[ Island ][ Apr 06 14:59 GMT ]

"The initial drafts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are now with the Prime Minister. We will present them to the Cabinet and Parliament this year. The legislation pertaining to the Reparation Unit is also being finalised now. The Office of Missing Persons has been established and our Ministry allocated Rs 1.3 billion to operationalize it."The minister said that PM Wickremesinghe had given leadership to Constitutional reforms following the setting up of the Constitutional Assembly on January 8, 2016. The Matara District MP said the government would "expedite the process and table the draft Constitutional Bill as early as possible this year". [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka rules out foreign judges in human rights probe

[ Sunday Leader ][ Apr 06 14:49 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Friday completely ruled out any possibility of having foreign judges in its investigations on war time human rights abuses. President Maithripala Sirisena told media heads in Colombo that Sri Lanka’s position was clearly communicated to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last month. The Canadian delegation in Geneva had said that Canada was disappointed by the slow progress in implementing commitments to advance peace and reconciliation, political stability, human rights and accountability. Canada reiterated the desire for the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that a process of accountability is established that will have the trust and confidence of the victims of this war. [ full story | comments ]

Expert Gives His Take on Religious and Political Tensions in Sri Lanka

[ Sputnik News ][ Apr 06 14:25 GMT ]

With Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe facing a no-confidence motion that could lead to political instability in the island nation, Sputnik spoke with Mahinda Deegalle Professor of Religions, Philosophies and Ethics at Bath Spa University for insight into the ongoing religious and political tensions in the country... I think that in Sri Lanka the tensions are not visible; a month ago there was unrest in certain areas regarding the Muslim communities. If we are talking about the Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindu conflict, this manifested itself in the country initially in the 1980’s, as the Tamils were striving for an independent nation, but the Muslims and the current tensions concerning them is quite different. [ full story | comments ]

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