Omar Khadr's first interview after nearly 13 years in prison

[ Toronto Star ][ May 28 12:50 GMT ]

Omar Khadr is standing in his bedroom looking out at the backyard. It is his second morning of freedom after nearly 13 years behind bars, and he's embarrassed because he doesn't know how to open the window. "Oh there we go. Well that will come in handy," he says as he's shown where to lift the latch and fresh air fills the room. "It got hot yesterday. So that's one of the basic skills I'm going to learn. Is how to open my window." [ full story | comments ]

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Former Sri Lanka army chief says he would welcome war crime investigation [ more ]

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Omar Khadr's first interview after nearly 13 years in prison

Omar Khadr is standing in his bedroom looking out at the backyard. ...

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Gayan Prageeth's "Extravagance" - A Witty Portrayal of Sri Lanka's Political Carnival

The post-war Sri Lanka witnessed "an unraveling of a political carniva...

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Former Sri Lanka army chief says he would welcome war crime investigation

Sri Lanka’s wartime army chief says his conscience is clear and he w...

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Sri Lanka sacks officials over sex scandal

[ AFP ][ May 28 12:48 GMT ]

Sri Lankan cricket's governing body on Wednesday announced the sacking of three officials after allegations that members of the women's national team were asked to perform sexual favours to keep their places. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said all three officials were shown the door at the end of their contracts last month after an internal inquiry found two of them guilty of sexual harassment and a third of improper conduct. The board said in a statement that "there was no evidence of any physical intimacy" by any of the three men, none of whom have been named. [ full story | comments ]

Singapore appoints High Commissioners for South Africa, Sri Lanka

[ CNA ][ May 28 12:46 GMT ]

The Government has appointed High Commissioners to South Africa and Sri Lanka, according to the to Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday (May 28). Mr Chua Thai Keong will assume the post as High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa on Jun 1, 2015. He was previously the Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, with concurrent accreditation to Mongolia, from September 2006 to December 2010. [ full story | comments ]

Fishing conflict with India will be settled via talks: Sri Lanka

[ ANI ][ May 28 12:43 GMT ]

Colombo has said that the conflict over fishing in the Palk Bay and Palk Strait between the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen will be resolved via dialogue between the fishermen of the two countries since it is a 'humanitarian and a livelihood issue'. According to ColomboPage, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne was quoted, as saying that discussions on the issue are on between the two countries. [ full story | comments ]

Gayan Prageeth's "Extravagance" - A Witty Portrayal of Sri Lanka's Political Carnival

[ Huffington Post ][ May 27 17:35 GMT ]

The post-war Sri Lanka witnessed "an unraveling of a political carnival, I was inspired by this, and the extravagance that it attempted to project. This collection captures this 'extravagance'" says Sri Lankan artist Gayan Prageeth, whom I met at Colombo's Saskia Fernando Gallery on a rainy Wednesday afternoon to talk about his latest collection of paintings, 'Extravagance'. The very use of the term 'carnival' instantly drew me into this conversation and I wanted to know more. And so we began to talk about some sensitive political realities Sri Lanka has been grappling within the post-war era. This article is based on this conversation, and expands into my personal analysis of the artist's collection. [ full story | comments ]

70,000 teens back to class as teacher strikes declared illegal

[ Toronto Star ][ May 27 13:08 GMT ]

Some 70,000 Ontario teens were scrambling to head back to school Wednesday after a sudden ruling by the Ontario Labour Relations Board declared their teachers’ strikes illegal and ordered them back to work immediately. “What? This is insane! We were thinking we would go back Friday or Monday, but I have to go tomorrow? I don’t even know what (timetable) day it is,” said a gobsmacked Cameron Penn, in Grade 12 at Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering in Durham Region, where teachers at 24 high schools have been off work since April 20. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka president visits Jaffna over gang-rape anger

[ AFP ][ May 26 14:18 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena flew to the island's former warzone of Jaffna on Tuesday to defuse rising tensions over the gang rape and murder of a teenager, a spokesman said. Sirisena met relatives of the 17-year-old school girl killed in the minority Tamil stronghold in the island's north two weeks ago, an incident that sparked clashes between residents and police, who were accused of failing to act swiftly. "The president invited the mother and brother of the victim to lunch with him and promised speedy legal action against the perpetrators," Sirisena's spokesman Dharmasri Bandara told AFP. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka parliament launches new inquiry into government bond deal

[ Reuters ][ May 26 14:16 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's parliament will launch a new inquiry into a controversial government bond deal after the main opposition party said an initial investigation that cleared the central bank chief of any direct role was not independent. The opposition United People's Freedom Party (UPFA), which has a majority of seats in parliament, has alleged corruption in the Feb. 27 sale of a 30-year treasury bond. The government raised more than 10 billion rupees ($75.2 million) from the issue at 11.73 percent, after initially offering just 1 billion rupees with an indicative price of 9.5 percent. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan president pledges to strengthen the military

[ WSWS ][ May 26 14:07 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena used the May 19 “war victory day,” the anniversary of the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), to glorify the military and promise to strengthen it with “ample physical and human resources.” The civil war ended in 2009 with the annihilation of the LTTE leadership and the killing of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians trapped in the war zone. The main celebration was held in Matara in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Sinhala south—a military parade of 7,300 military, police and civil defence force personnel, as well as tanks and other military equipment. Two commemorations were held in Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

A Choice between Stability and Virtue?

[ Groundviews ][ May 26 14:05 GMT ]

I start with a quote from Shang Yang (390-338 BC), an insightful statesman in the Chinese state of Qin: “A country where the virtuous govern the wicked will suffer from disorder, so that it will be dismembered; but a country where the wicked govern the virtuous will be orderly, so that it will become strong.” Although this quote on governance is over 2300 years old, the issues are still relevant. The January Presidential election was fought as one between stability and good governance. Such alternatives (i.e. order vs. virtue) are echoed in the above quote too. After Maithripala Sirisena won the election, the Rajapaksa camp warned that it may lead to separatist elements gaining an upper hand (cf. “dismemberment”); [ full story | comments ]

India keeps high stakes game in Sri Lanka at arm's length

[ Business Standard ][ May 25 17:42 GMT ]

With all the attention concentrated on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government's first anniversary, India is not paying much attention to events in its neighbourhood. But what is happening in Sri Lanka is utterly fascinating. With the abolition of the executive presidency on April 29, 2015, the coalition government in Sri Lanka headed by President Maithripala Sirisena has managed to keep most of the governance reform promises it had made when it came to power in January 2015. [ full story | comments ]

Book Review: Sri Lanka: Paradise Lost? By Charles Sarvan

[ SAAG ][ May 28 12:47 GMT ]

The month of May brings one memories of the brutal war that took place in what was once described as a paradise (Sri Lanka). It was in those final days of the war (May 2009) in the Paradise that one saw horrific tales of prisoners being “stripped, humiliated, tortured” before being executed. It was in the same paradise that in the last days, more than 40 thousand innocent civilians, almost 8 percent of the Tamil population in the north was eliminated! The world is yet to come to terms with this tragedy. [ full story | comments ]

Why Sri Lanka’s Historic Mangroves Move Matters

[ Triple Pundit ][ May 28 12:44 GMT ]

Huge news for the environment: Sri Lanka’s new government just took the unprecedented, historic step to protect all of its mangroves. The move, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, will provide long-term environmental, social and, last but not least, economic benefits to the Indian Ocean island nation, and provide a model for other vulnerable tropical nations to follow. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka, Pakistan aim for USD 1 billion trade volume

[ PTI ][ May 28 12:42 GMT ]

Sri Lanka and Pakistan expect to push their annual bilateral trade volume to USD 1 billion, up from the 2014 figure of USD 350 million, the Pakistani envoy here has said. Syed Shakeel Hussain said the two countries were aiming to wrap up the next Joint Economic Commission (JEC) session in Islamabad at the earliest. "We want to expedite the next Joint Economic Commission to be held in Islamabad. And our new Minister of Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan is now ready to come to Colombo before the JEC to continue the new trade initiatives agreed upon at the highest levels during April in Islamabad," Hussain, Pakistan's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka said. [ full story | comments ]

Former Sri Lanka army chief says he would welcome war crime investigation

[ The Guardian ][ May 27 13:12 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s wartime army chief says his conscience is clear and he would welcome a war crimes investigation to prove his innocence. “The allegations are there,” Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said in an interview with the Guardian. “We have to clear our name.” In May 2009 the then General Fonseka was the head of the Sri Lankan army that defeated the Tamil Tigers, or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, ending Sri Lanka’s brutal 26-year civil war. [ full story | comments ]

Video: Don't abuse the prevailing media freedom - Ravi

[ Daily Mirror ][ May 27 13:06 GMT ]

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake today requested journalists and media institutions to be careful when using the media freedom that prevails under the new government. He said journalists should verify their facts and figures by speaking to the sources without writing news stories just to fulfill certain agendas. “Attacking us through the media is fine but they should not be used to harm the economy of the country. Recently, there were several misleading articles published by media against the finance ministry,” he said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Balancing Ties Between China and the West

[ The Diplomat ][ May 26 14:16 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s geostrategic position has made it the target for diplomatic courting from a range of regional players, including China, India, and Japan. Under the tenure of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Colombo had catered especially to China and openly accepted Beijing’s development assistance in return for China’s development of major maritime ports. These plans and the friendly policy toward China have been altered since the election this past January of Maithripala Sirisena, ending the reign of the once powerful Rajapaksa. [ full story | comments ]

Film on slain Lankan TV journalist banned

[ The Hindu ][ May 26 14:14 GMT ]

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to certify ‘Porkalathil Oru Poo,’ a film based on real life story of television journalist, Isaipriya, who was allegedly killed in captivity by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the final stages of the civil war in 2009, on the grounds that the film could strain “friendly relations with foreign States.” The film director, K. Ganeshan, who is yet to get a formal letter of rejection from the CBFC, protested the decision. “What if Sri Lanka is a friendly State? Are we not allowed to criticise even when its armed forces have committed blatant human rights abuses? Even the Tamil Nadu government has passed a unanimous resolution in the Assembly not to consider Sri Lanka as a friendly nation,” he said. [ full story | comments ]

India's proposal to allow fishing in Sri Lankan waters rejected

[ IANS ][ May 26 14:06 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it has refused to agree to a proposal from India to allow Indian fishermen to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India had requested Sri Lanka to allow Indians to catch fish for 65 days a year in Sri Lankan waters in an attempt to resolve the India-Sri Lanka fishing issue. However, Amaraweera said he refused to agree to the proposal which had come through the Indian High Commission in Colombo, Xinhua news agency reported. "Not 65 days, we will not agree for even 65 hours," the minister said. [ full story | comments ]

Once Tiger Den Jaffna Now a Hub of Crime?

[ Indian Express ][ May 25 17:43 GMT ]

The phenomenon of rising crime in Jaffna after the end of the war is worrying experts. A place known for its law-abiding citizens is today a happy hunting ground of criminals and law-breakers. Sebastian Nehru, a Jaffna resident who had worked in the UK police said, “The crime rate is very high. Twenty to 30 bicycles are stolen every day in Jaffna town alone. Seventy per cent of the motorbikes here have no licence. The police, mostly non-Tamil, turn a blind eye, and the courts give bail because there aren’t enough prisons.” The high rate of unemployment is one cause, says Dr Muthukrishna Sarvananthan of the Point Pedro Institute of Development. [ full story | comments ]

Tamil Nadu sans Amma: A state interrupted?

[ Rediff ][ May 25 17:41 GMT ]

Jayalalithaa is back in the saddle as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for a fifth time. What (if anything) is going to change in the way the state is run? To be honest, not a lot. Despite complaints from industry and investors that the state was in the grips of a policy paralysis after Jayalalithaa resigned as chief minister when she was convicted in an income tax case in September last year, things were moving along quite briskly. O Panneerselvam was appointed chief minister while she was in jail. [ full story | comments ]


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Featured News

[Toronto Star - May 28, 2015 12:50:35 GMT]

Omar Khadr's first interview after nearly 13 years in prison


[Huffington Post - May 27, 2015 17:35:23 GMT]

Gayan Prageeth's "Extravagance" - A Witty Portrayal of Sri Lanka's Political Carnival


[The Guardian - May 27, 2015 13:12:43 GMT]

Former Sri Lanka army chief says he would welcome war crime investigation


[The Guardian - May 24, 2015 19:35:59 GMT]

Cannes 2015: Jacques Audiard's Dheepan wins the Palme d'Or - as it happened


[Sky News - May 24, 2015 11:16:19 GMT]

Illegal Immigrants 'Living In The Shadows'


[Sunday Times - May 24, 2015 11:13:44 GMT]

Sirisena wavers amid raging waters of SLFP split


[WSWS - May 22, 2015 20:32:30 GMT]

Growing danger of landslides in Sri Lanka


[Groundviews - May 21, 2015 17:42:38 GMT]

Post-war Sri Lanka: 6 years and still an open wound


[The Guardian - May 21, 2015 17:40:26 GMT]

Dheepan review - Tamil Tiger loose in the urban jungle makes powerful thriller


[Al Jazeera - May 21, 2015 2:26:41 GMT]

Gang-rape prompts protests in Sri Lanka's north


[Wall Street Journal - May 19, 2015 16:28:22 GMT]

Sri Lanka Marks Anniversary of Civil War’s End With New Focus on Reconciliation


[Globe and Mail - May 19, 2015 16:27:40 GMT]

Poloz comfortable leaving rates steady, despite volatile climate


[Colombo Mirror - May 19, 2015 0:39:18 GMT]

The Walk of Shame


[AFP - May 18, 2015 16:17:16 GMT]

Sri Lankan Tamils openly mark anniversary of war's end


[Globe and Mail - May 14, 2015 11:49:24 GMT]

‘Scorching,’ ‘smouldering’: Expect a jump in Vancouver, Toronto home prices