EU referendum: BBC forecasts UK votes to leave

[ BBC ][ Jun 24 04:53 GMT ]

The UK has voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 years in an historic referendum, a BBC forecast suggests. London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but the remain vote has been undermined by poor results in the north of England. Voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Brexit in large numbers. The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results. [ full story | comments ]

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EU referendum: BBC forecasts UK votes to leave

The UK has voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 ye...

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'The situation in Sri Lanka is not alarming for refugees to return'

A 28-minute documentary, No Longer A Refugee, tells the story of Sri L...

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Sri Lanka: Broken promises again at the UN?

THE United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions now underway ...

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'The situation in Sri Lanka is not alarming for refugees to return'

[ Rediff ][ Jun 23 19:30 GMT ]

A 28-minute documentary, No Longer A Refugee, tells the story of Sri Lanka Tamils who have returned home after spending many years as refugees in Tamil Nadu. According to one estimate, there are over 65,000 65,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees still living in nearly 110 refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. The documentary was produced by Ashok Gladston Xavier, a Chennai-based academic, on behalf of the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation or OfERR, a self-help group run by refugees since 1983 and which has offices in Chennai and Colombo. The documentary will be shown in all refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, and where not possible CDs will be supplied to refugee camps for exhibition. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka, UNDP promote social inclusion through language labs

[ LBO ][ Jun 22 16:07 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s multicultural society should be regarded as a strength and not a weakness to promote national co-existence, a minister said. “Multiculturalism and pluralism is not a weakness but a strength to our country,” Mano Ganesan minister of national co-existence, dialogue and official languages said at the opening of the second United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assisted language laboratory recently. “My goal is to establish 16 language laboratories across Sri Lanka. On a journey to realize this and achieve national co-existence, I thank the UNDP for their assistance.” [ full story | comments ]

More Worries Regarding Sri Lanka’s Lack of Progress

[ Huffington Post ][ Jun 22 16:01 GMT ]

A group of international human rights organizations has recently penned an open letter to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The letter expresses a range of concerns regarding Sri Lanka’s compliance with a U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution that the government co-sponsored last October.The HRC’s 32nd second session remains ongoing and the high commissioner will deliver an important oral update pertaining to Sri Lanka’s compliance with the previously mentioned resolution on June 29. Some diplomatic language is expected, but let’s hope the high commissioner is also open and honest about the coalition government’s lack of progress. It has become increasingly difficult to defend the new administration’s prevarication. [ full story | comments ]

President Sirisena’s second visit to Beijing to boost China-Sri Lanka ties

[ Asia Times ][ Jun 22 15:55 GMT ]

Taking a leaf from his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa’s book, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena appears to have finally joined the pro-China bandwagon. He recently granted several large-scale development projects to China in his hometown, Polonnaruwa, some 228 kilometers from Colombo...While this may be good news for both countries, observers in Sri Lanka view President Maithripala Sirisena’s pro-China tilt as an act of desperation after his administration had failed to bring in substantial foreign investments. The government’s U-turn on Colombo Port City Project by giving it green light in March this year has angered greens who view it as a sellout to China. [ full story | comments ]

Indonesia vows not to tow stranded Sri Lankans out to sea

[ Straits Times ][ Jun 22 10:04 GMT ]

The Indonesian government said on Tuesday (June 21) a boatload of stranded Sri Lankan migrants would not be towed back out to sea, after local officials had sparked anger by pledging to send them on their way in a rickety craft. Authorities will allow those with genuine refugee claims to stay in Indonesia pending permanent resettlement to another country, and send the others back home, an immigration department spokesman said. Local authorities in the western province of Aceh had previously insisted that the 43 migrants would be sent back to sea to continue their journey to Australia after repairs to their vessel. [ full story | comments ]

Jaffna’s Glitzy Exterior Hides A Stagnant Local Economy

[ NIE ][ Jun 21 15:30 GMT ]

“The five salterns in Elephant Pass, if used, could supply salt to the entire island. The abandoned cement plant in Kankesanthurai could be restarted with imported limestone, and Paranthan chemicals could be revived. If the 6,000 acres of agricultural land held by the armed forces in Weligamam North is returned to civilians, food could be produced. Cashew, coconut, sugarcane, grapes and mangoes could be grown in plantations and food processing could be given a fillip,” Jayasekaram told Express. [ full story | comments ]

Indonesia vows to help stranded Tamil migrants

[ Jakarta Post ][ Jun 21 15:21 GMT ]

Indonesia has vowed to provide humanitarian assistance to 43 Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka stranded in Aceh and connect them with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), having permitted them to come ashore after a week of attempting to force them back out to sea. “UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration [IOM] will further assist us in data gathering and provision of humanitarian assistance,” Immigration Directorate General spokesman Heru Santoso Anantan Yudha said in a press conference on Tuesday. [ full story | comments ]

Can Sri Lanka Leverage Its Location as Indian Ocean Hub?

[ The Diplomat ][ Jun 21 12:49 GMT ]

Sri Lanka is in an enviable location. The busy East-West shipping route passes just six to ten nautical miles south of the island. More than 60,000 ships ply this route annually, carrying two-thirds of the world’s oil and half of all container shipments. Sri Lanka is also at the doorstep of a dynamic market – India. Already, 75 percent of Colombo port volumes are transshipments from India; the Indian middle class market alone is set to expand to 10 times the island’s entire population. In addition, Sri Lanka has a free trade agreement with Pakistan, which is going to be expanded to cover services and investment, and will likely have an agreement with China soon. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Tamil issue: Jaya vows to bring back Katchatheevu Island

[ India Today ][ Jun 20 15:13 GMT ]

Jayalalithaa declared that she would certainly succeed in her efforts to retrieve the 285 acre island on the Indian side of the maritime boundary and wished the DMK members stay well to see it happen in an oblique reference to arch rival and aging DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi. An uninhabited island, off the eastern seaboard in the Bay of Bengal, Katchatheevu is a long standing contentious issue for the people of Tamil Nadu who are vocal and want it to be reclaimed from Sri Lanka. "I will certainly retrieve Katchatheevu", the Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa asserted on the floor of the state legislative assembly, on Monday, in keeping with her poll promise. [ full story | comments ]

NSG: India needs a balanced ‘give-and-take’ relationship with China

[ ORF OnLine ][ Jun 20 15:08 GMT ]

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Beijing last week indicates that New Delhi is undertaking direct diplomacy to obtain China’s support for India’s membership into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This is as it should be. It was foolish and futile to try and somehow shame China into supporting the Indian cause. Actually, the first round of diplomacy began with President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Beijing last month. What is not widely known is that the Foreign Secretary, who was accompanying the President, took the opportunity to engage the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a one-on-one meeting. What transpired in either meeting will not be known, but the success or failure of the effort will soon become evident in the forthcoming NSG meeting in Seoul. [ full story | comments ]

Tamils stranded in Indonesia face 'probable torture' if returned to Sri Lanka

[ Guardian ][ Jun 23 10:14 GMT ]

Several of the Tamil asylum seekers stranded after arriving by boat on the Indonesian island of Aceh have been tortured in Sri Lanka and face certain persecution if they are returned, a compatriot living in Australia has claimed. Karikalan, who has agreed only to be identified by a nickname, came to Australia as an asylum seeker by boat in 2010. He was recognised as a refugee – having a “well-founded fear of persecution” in Sri Lanka – and is now a permanent resident, living in Melbourne. [ full story | comments ]

Cabinet suspends work, payments of Defence HQ

[ Daily Mirror ][ Jun 22 16:02 GMT ]

The Cabinet on Tuesday suspended the construction of the Rs. 40 billion Defence Head Quarters Complex (DHC) at Akuregoda and the payments to the private contractor, as the selection of consultancy firm and payments that had been made were done without providing true information to the Cabinet, Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today. The Cabinet Memo presented by President Maithripala Sirisena as the Minister of Defence to this effect had revealed that a huge financial mismanagement, running into billions of rupees, had taken place during the initial stages of the project and all Cabinet Papers pertaining to the project had been prepared on the whims and fancies of the former Defence Secretary, he said. [ full story | comments ]

Tamils in Sri Lanka need a federal solution: Wigneswaran

[ PTI ][ Jun 22 15:57 GMT ]

The grievances of minority Tamils in Sri Lanka can only be addressed through a federal system of governance and the merger of north and eastern provinces, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has said. Mr. Wigneswaran said he had conveyed this to the Colombo-based ambassadors, including those from the European Union, during his recent engagements with them. The Tamil issue should not be seen by the government from the view point of the nationalist extremists in the south, Mr. Wigneswaran said in Jaffna on Tuesday. [ full story | comments ]

Indonesia working with Sri Lanka to repatriate migrants

[ AA ][ Jun 22 15:53 GMT ]

Indonesian authorities revealed Wednesday that they are coordinating with the Sri Lankan embassy to repatriate more than 40 ethnic Tamil who have been stranded on Sumatra island for over a week. The chief of the immigration office in northern Aceh province told Anadolu Agency, “through the Directorate General of the Immigration Office in Jakarta, we communicated with the Sri Lankan embassy so we can decide on further action." [ full story | comments ]

Judge Ilancheliyan struck terror in the hearts of Jaffna's criminals

[ NIE ][ Jun 21 15:36 GMT ]

Ilancheliyan’s awesome reputation as a fearless judge stemmed from his handling of the Krishanthi Kumaraswamy rape and murder case in 1999. The incident which took place at Chemmani in Jaffna district, involved Captain-rank military personnel. Ilancheliyan not only had the officers arrested, but ordered exhumation of the bodies. Fifteen bodies were exhumed under the glare of the international media. “Predictably, the Defense Ministry objected to the arrests, and many thought that Lanka’s Sinhalese majority will not allow a Tamil judge to remand Sinhalese army officers. But President Chandrika Kumaratunga bowed to international pressure and allowed the arrests. However, the four arrested officers went to the Court of Appeal in Colombo and got bail,” Ilancheliyan said. [ full story | comments ]

As TN school children struggle to learn Tamil, a new app to the rescue

[ News Minute ][ Jun 21 15:23 GMT ]

With the number of students able to fluently grasp Tamil in primary classes dropping drastically, an app called “Chutti Tamil Arichubadi” is hoping to come to the rescue. Focusing on student needs, the app has options for learning the script, practicing writing and consulting a dictionary. Thus, the app provides flash-card like sequences of 247 letters along with audio of their correct pronunciations, turns the mobile screen into an erasable slate to practice letters, and provides a dictionary that claims to be more comprehensive than any other app-based offering currently available. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Broken promises again at the UN?

[ Asian Correspondent ][ Jun 21 12:52 GMT ]

THE United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions now underway in Geneva gives another opportunity to Sri Lanka to trumpet the progress it is making on transitional justice. However, there is scant evidence of ‘progress’ on the ground because the government has either gone back, or done very little, to make good its pledges. Unless the international community calls Colombo’s bluff, victims of human rights violations cannot look forward either to justice or closure. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka reneges on rights probe resolution

[ Asia News Network ][ Jun 20 15:16 GMT ]

The BJP government by a quirk of events finds itself on the side of the Sinhala majority and China. Sirisena, during a recent stopover in New Delhi, obtained Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support to his government’s defiance of last year’s UNHRC resolution. Yi Xianliang, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, while extending his country’s unqualified support to Sri Lanka in Geneva, advised Colombo to keep foreign judges out of the reconciliation process. After so much bloodshed, the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka is back to square one. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka activists press court to sack central bank chief

[ Daily Star ][ Jun 20 15:11 GMT ]

An influential group of Sri Lankan academics and professionals took legal action Monday to seek the sacking of the controversial central bank chief over long-running insider trading allegations. "A constitutional provision which applies to all other public servants has not been applied in the case of Governor Arjuna Mahendran," Activist Keerthi Tennakoon, who heads the Anti-Corruption Front told reporters after filing the petition in the Court of Appeal against him.Mahendran, whose tenure is up for renewal at the end of June, was accused last year of leaking inside information to his son-in-law's firm, allgedly allowing it to make millions of dollars in profits from a central bank bond auction. [ full story | comments ]

Ottawa refuses to reveal decision on shipping military goods to Thailand

[ Globe And Mail ][ Jun 20 14:44 GMT ]

Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion made a big decision earlier this year on whether to allow Canadian-made military goods to be shipped to Thailand, a country ruled by an undemocratic junta since a 2014 coup – but the government won’t divulge whether he blocked or approved these exports. It’s only the second time since he took the job in November that Mr. Dion has personally rendered a “ministerial decision” on an export permit. The other was the controversial move in April to green-light export permits for the $15-billion sale of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia. [ full story | comments ]


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Featured News

[BBC - Jun 24, 2016 4:53:40 GMT]

EU referendum: BBC forecasts UK votes to leave


[Rediff - Jun 23, 2016 19:30:03 GMT]

'The situation in Sri Lanka is not alarming for refugees to return'


[Asian Correspondent - Jun 21, 2016 12:52:55 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Broken promises again at the UN?


[The Diplomat - Jun 21, 2016 12:49:22 GMT]

Can Sri Lanka Leverage Its Location as Indian Ocean Hub?


[The Guardian - Jun 20, 2016 8:24:01 GMT]

Cluster bombs used in Sri Lanka's civil war, leaked photos suggest


[ICG - Jun 20, 2016 8:20:28 GMT]

Impunity and Justice: Why the UN Human Rights Council Must Stay Engaged in Sri Lanka


[Spectator - Jun 16, 2016 13:25:22 GMT]

The Tamil Tigers' top 'show-prisoner' tells all


[ORF - Jun 16, 2016 9:51:12 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Time for international community to wake up


[GroundViews - Jun 15, 2016 9:36:07 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Trends since January 2015: Some Critical Thoughts


[Wire - Jun 14, 2016 10:23:05 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s 65,000 Disappeared: Will the Latest Missing Persons’ Office Bring Answers?


[HRW - Jun 13, 2016 10:17:58 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Enforce Commission Directives on Terror Detainees


[The Guardian - Jun 11, 2016 14:58:45 GMT]

British Tamil 'tortured and detained' during Sri Lanka wedding trip


[WSJ - Jun 10, 2016 9:50:55 GMT]

Keeping the Pressure on Sri Lanka


[ITJPSL - Jun 10, 2016 9:45:06 GMT]

Forgotten:Sri Lanka’s exiled victims


[Aljazeera - Jun 06, 2016 20:24:14 GMT]

The scars of Sri Lanka's civil war