China, Sri Lanka to deepen defence cooperation

[ Hindustan Times ][ Mar 21 20:34 GMT ]

China and Sri Lanka will deepen cooperation in all sectors including defence, official media said on Tuesday as defence minister and state councillor Chang Wanquan wrapped up a visit to the island nation before heading to Nepal. The official news agency, Xinhua, quoted Chang telling President Maithripala Sirisena that the two countries agreed to promote the “strategic partnership of cooperation featuring sincere mutual support and long-lasting friendship.” Sirisena expressed “his appreciation for China's consistent assistance for his country in economy, agriculture, science and technology, education, defence and other areas.” [ full story | comments ]

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Still riven: Measures to placate Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority are stalling

“WE ARE like dogs in the street, while your men occupy our homes,”...

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Thousands of victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war remain unaccounted for

“I STILL believe he’s alive,” says Tharsini Santhirabose with a ...

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Films on Lankan war in stormy seas

The civil war in Sri Lanka was a bitterly fought one between the minor...

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Freedom Of Speech And Defamation In Sri Lanka: Where To Draw The Line

[ roar ][ Mar 21 20:36 GMT ]

Sri Lankans are not entirely unfamiliar with the word “defamation”. You do hear, for instance, news of one politician suing another for millions of rupees over something that was said by the latter politician, which the former found offensive or unpalatable. Most Sri Lankans are therefore aware that “defamation” is some kind of limitation on the freedom of speech of another – a tool to prevent verbal diarrhoea of sorts. This tool is also facing the ultimate test, with social media platforms such as Facebook becoming a form of media more powerful than any seen before. Individuals and entities are criticised, even insulted, on a daily basis on social media, as if there would be no repercussions. [ full story | comments ]

Still riven: Measures to placate Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority are stalling

[ The Economist ][ Mar 17 13:59 GMT ]

“WE ARE like dogs in the street, while your men occupy our homes,” read one of the banners strung up by Tamil protesters, mostly women in saris and ragged children. They had been camping for more than a month in a jumble of makeshift tents on a baking, dusty roadside near a Sri Lankan air-force base in the country’s remote north-east. They said that the armed forces, consisting almost entirely of Sinhalese from the island’s south, nabbed their land at the end of a long-running civil war nearly eight years ago and have refused to give it back, despite the promises of a kindlier reformist government elected two years ago. [ full story | comments ]

Films on Lankan war in stormy seas

[ Gulf Times ][ Mar 17 13:53 GMT ]

The civil war in Sri Lanka was a bitterly fought one between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalas. The Tamil-speaking population – which has its sympathisers in the people of Tamil Nadu, bound as the two are by a common language – was demanding a separate homeland in the northern parts of Sri Lanka. For 30 years, the two communities battled, ruining the economy and causing unimaginable suffering among the common people. In the end, the Tamils lost, and their leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, who headed a militant organisation called Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), was brutally shot dead by the Sri Lankan army. [ full story | comments ]

Where Has All the Water Gone?

[ Groundviews ][ Mar 17 13:47 GMT ]

We live on a parched planet. Farmers till arid pastureland, and policymakers fret over empty reservoirs, dry rivers, and thirsty cities. And that only scratches the surface – literally – of the world’s water problem. Subterranean aquifers, which amount to the world’s reserve water tank, are also running dry. If this continues, the consequences could be dire, especially for water-stressed and fast-growing Asia. Subterranean aquifers are repositories of water located deep underground, in permeable rock, soil, or sand. And they contain about 100 times the amount of water found on the earth’s surface, in streams, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. [ full story | comments ]

On her own two feet, after Sri Lanka’s crippling war

[ Hindu ][ Mar 11 20:40 GMT ]

Few students in Vadamarachchi, part of Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula, had heard of Visual Basic until Sebastian Selvanayagi started offering a course in it at her modest computer centre. “Even basic programming languages haven’t come to our village in a big way,” she said, entering a small room in her home, in Vetrilaikeni in Vadamarachchi East, where five desktop computers are kept. “The LTTE took complete care of me after that. I stayed with them and did programming and data entry work. That became my world,” Ms. Selvanayagi, 42, said. [ full story | comments ]

Snowden shelterers in Hong Kong seek Canada asylum: lawyer

[ Reuters ][ Mar 11 20:35 GMT ]

Three families who helped shelter former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in Hong Kong in 2013 after his mass leak of information about surveillance programs have asked Canada for asylum, their lawyer said on Friday. The families - three Sri Lankan adults, a Filipina, and three stateless children - have had long-pending asylum claims in Hong Kong that they fear may soon be rejected, lawyer Marc-Andre Seguin said in a phone interview from Hong Kong. Seguin said the families had been thrust into the spotlight after the September release of the Oliver Stone film "Snowden" which referred to their role in Snowden's flight from the United States in 2013 and, eventually, to Russia. [ full story | comments ]

Preet Bharara Is Fired After Refusing to Step Down as U.S. Attorney

[ NYT ][ Mar 11 20:12 GMT ]

Preet Bharara, the Manhattan federal prosecutor who was asked by President Trump to remain in his post shortly after the election, was fired on Saturday after he refused an order to submit his resignation. Mr. Bharara’s dismissal capped an extraordinary showdown in which a political appointee who was named by Mr. Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, declined an order to submit a resignation. “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life,” Mr. Bharara wrote on his personal Twitter feed, which he set up in the last two weeks. [ full story | comments ]

Charge Denied, But Lanka Will Probe Tamil Nadu Fisherman Killing: 10 Points

[ NDTV ][ Mar 07 22:36 GMT ]

The killing of a 22-year-old Indian fisherman shot dead near Palk Strait allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy personnel has put the focus back on a tiny island of Kachchatheevu that the Tamil Nadu government alleges was wrongly ceded to Sri Lanka through two pacts signed between New Delhi and Colombo in the 1970s. Sri Lanka has denied its Navy was involved but tried to cap the tragedy from straining relations between the two neighbours. It said a thorough probe would be held along with Indian authorities and echoed India's "deep concern" at the killing. But an angry, and impatient Tamil Nadu - that saw a bitter struggle for power in February - wants the Centre to do more to put pressure on Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's legal process, lack of approvals delay FDI - investment chief

[ Reuters ][ Mar 06 03:07 GMT ]

Long delays in Sri Lanka's legal process and a lack of speedy approvals from government institutions have delayed foreign direct investment (FDI), the head of state-run investment body chief said on Friday. The government said last month FDI slumped 54 percent to $450 million last year compared with $970 million in 2015. Upul Jayasuriya, head of the Board of Investment (BOI), said the island nation has seen strong interest for investment from many countries, but approvals have been long delayed. [ full story | comments ]

UN urges Sri Lanka not to miss chance to advance justice, reconciliation

[ UN ][ Mar 03 15:15 GMT ]

The slow pace of transitional justice in Sri Lanka and the lack of a comprehensive strategy to address accountability for past crimes risk derailing the momentum towards lasting peace, reconciliation and stability, a United Nations report said today. “Seventeen months ago, when we published a detailed report on the grave human rights violations committed during the conflict in Sri Lanka, I urged the Government and all the people of Sri Lanka to ensure that this historic opportunity for truly fundamental change should not be squandered,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a news release on the report. [ full story | comments ]

Ex-leader's brother 'led death squad' in Sri Lanka

[ Aljazeera ][ Mar 21 20:32 GMT ]

A police report has implicated the brother of a former Sri Lankan president saying he directed a top secret death squad that targeted journalists and dissidents. The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) told the Mount Lavinia magistrate's court on Monday that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa - who was defence minister during the rule of his brother, Mahinda - led a unit that is accused of assassinating former Sunday Leader newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge."Testimony from the former army commander [Sarath Fonseka] shows that there was a special secret unit outside his authority and controlled by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa through the then-chief of national intelligence Kapila Hendawitharana," said the CID report, which was read out in court. [ full story | comments ]

Thousands of victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war remain unaccounted for

[ The Economist ][ Mar 17 13:55 GMT ]

“I STILL believe he’s alive,” says Tharsini Santhirabose with a glazed, fixed smile. She last saw her husband, a fellow guerrilla for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in the final days of the civil war that ended with the Tigers’ obliteration in 2009. Up to 40,000 civilians were killed, according to the UN, along with most of the remnants of the 10,000-strong separatist army and perhaps 5,000 hangers-on. The chances that Ms Santhirabose’s husband will reappear are virtually nil. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka finance minister pledges fiscal discipline

[ Nikkei ][ Mar 17 13:47 GMT ]

After a warning from the International Monetary Fund about its thin foreign-currency reserves, the Sri Lankan government has pledged its commitment to strong fiscal discipline in line with conditions stipulated for a bailout by the Washington-based organization. "We should have a national vision to address burning issues in the economy, including fiscal-sector operations," Ravi Karunanayake, Sri Lanka's minister of finance, told the FinanceAsia Sri Lanka Investment Summit in Hong Kong on Thursday. [ full story | comments ]

Conservative Party looking into Kevin O'Leary's claims of mass voter fraud

[ Globe and Mail ][ Mar 17 13:35 GMT ]

The Conservative Party is investigating allegations of what leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary is calling massive voter fraud by at least one of his leadership challengers. Mr. O’Leary says his team has uncovered a large number of cases in the Toronto area where supporters of one of the challengers are using prepaid credit cards to sign up members based on an Ontario provincial party list, people who are unaware they are becoming members of the federal party. “It has been brought to my campaign’s attention that there are back-room organizers who are committing widespread vote rigging and potentially breaking our electoral and financial laws to buy a leadership victory,” Mr. O’Leary said in a statement. [ full story | comments ]

Does Toronto need a tax on foreign home-buyers?

[ Globe and Mail ][ Mar 11 20:37 GMT ]

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa may be on the verge of joining a trend, and he would probably be right to do so. Like a host of economists and regulators, he’s worried about the symptoms of an overheated housing market in the Greater Toronto Area. He should be. So Mr. Sousa is letting it be known that the province’s Liberal government may follow the example of British Columbia, which imposed a levy on foreign home-buyers, in an attempt to cool the excitement of speculators. In February, detached-home prices in the GTA rose by fully 30 per cent compared with the previous year. [ full story | comments ]

TNA Decision Concerning Impending UNHRC Resolution

[ TNA ][ Mar 11 20:17 GMT ]

All Sri Lanka’s obligations in terms of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 of 1st October 2015, co- sponsored by the Sri Lankan Government, must be fully implemented. These obligations must be fulfilled under strict conditions, under the monitoring of an office of the UN High Commissioner for Human rights, which must be established in Sri Lanka. The UN Human Rights Council must ensure that, in the event that the Sri Lankan Government fails to fulfill the abovementioned obligations by way of an appropriate mechanism, victims will receive the intended benefits of the fulfillment of such obligations, by way of international mechanisms. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka risks censure as president falters on war legacy

[ AFP ][ Mar 11 19:13 GMT ]

President Maithripala Sirisena came to power in Sri Lanka promising justice for war crimes, breaking from his hawkish predecessor and presenting the island with its first real shot at a lasting peace. But that optimism has been sorely tested as Sirisena, having missed a two-year deadline to investigate war-era abuses, declared he would never prosecute his soldiers, rejecting outright fresh UN calls for an international trial. "I am not going to allow non-governmental organisations to dictate how to run my government," he said a day after the UN criticised Sri Lanka's "worrying slow" progress in facing its wartime past. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka rejects UN call for foreign judges in war probe

[ AFP ][ Mar 06 03:10 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected a fresh appeal from the United Nations to allow international judges to investigate alleged war-era atrocities, vowing to not prosecute soldiers. "I am not going to allow non-governmental organisations to dictate how to run my government. I will not listen to their calls to prosecute my troops," the president said in remarks distributed by his office Sunday. The UN on Friday criticised Sri Lanka's "worryingly slow" progress in addressing its wartime past, urging the government to adopt laws allowing for special hybrid courts to try war criminals. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: UN Official Calls Progress ‘Worryingly Slow’

[ HRW ][ Mar 04 13:37 GMT ]

High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein acknowledged certain positive developments, but said that the government failed to adopt a time-bound “comprehensive strategy on transitional justice,” and called on the council to continue monitoring Sri Lankan compliance with resolution 30/1 of October 2015. “The UN high commissioner paints a picture that is in stark contrast to the rosy claims of the Sri Lankan government,” said John Fisher, Geneva director. [ full story | comments ]

UN raises concerns over abuses, torture in Sri Lanka

[ Al Jazeera ][ Mar 03 15:13 GMT ]

The United Nations has decried Sri Lanka's "worryingly slow" progress in addressing wartime crimes, warning that a range of serious abuses, including torture, appear to remain widespread. The world body and rights activists have previously accused the Sri Lankan military of killing thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, in the last weeks of a 26-year civil war with Tamil separatists that ended in 2009 and have demanded redress. [ full story | comments ]


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[The Economist - Mar 17, 2017 13:59:29 GMT]

Still riven: Measures to placate Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority are stalling


[The Economist - Mar 17, 2017 13:55:15 GMT]

Thousands of victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war remain unaccounted for


[Gulf Times - Mar 17, 2017 13:53:05 GMT]

Films on Lankan war in stormy seas


[AFP - Mar 06, 2017 3:10:36 GMT]

Sri Lanka rejects UN call for foreign judges in war probe


[UN - Mar 03, 2017 15:15:11 GMT]

UN urges Sri Lanka not to miss chance to advance justice, reconciliation


[The Economist - Mar 02, 2017 21:40:22 GMT]

Linguistic slights spur ethnic division in Sri Lanka


[Globe and Mail - Mar 02, 2017 12:35:45 GMT]

Tamil-Canadians shut out of Liberal nomination vote in Toronto-area riding


[Reuters - Mar 02, 2017 12:34:54 GMT]

Sri Lanka's Tamil party asks for U.N. pressure over alleged war crimes


[Toronto Star - Mar 02, 2017 12:26:23 GMT]

Mayor John Tory to lead trade mission to India and Sri Lanka


[Groundviews - Mar 02, 2017 12:09:12 GMT]

Sellamma & her struggle to reclaim her house and land in Puthukudiyiruppu


[The Hindu - Feb 23, 2017 8:13:13 GMT]

Are Tamil leaders losing patience?


[The Diplomat - Feb 23, 2017 8:09:45 GMT]

Pakistan Still Eying JF-17 Thunder Fighter Sale to Sri Lanka


[Forbes - Feb 23, 2017 8:08:27 GMT]

China's 'New Silk Road' Is Derailed In Sri Lanka By Political Chaos And Violent Protests


[HRW - Feb 23, 2017 8:01:31 GMT]

Don’t Backtrack on Justice for Sri Lanka’s Victims


[Reuters - Feb 23, 2017 7:50:10 GMT]

Sri Lanka panel questions central bank chief over bond sale