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 ]

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Tamils protest Sri Lanka's inclusion in Commonwealth at Games opening in Glasgow [ more ]

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

The federal government has asked the Indian high commission to intervi...

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India to inform Lanka about terror cloud on Pak embassy official

India will be informing Sri Lanka about an official working with the P...

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Sri Lanka’s NGO Clampdown

The move has been sharply criticized by both leading activists within ...

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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 ]

SRI LANKA: Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces

[ AHRC ][ Jul 25 12:55 GMT ]

There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. In the first case, the soldiers have been serving at Karainagar Navy base have been deployed to patrol Ureddikulam, Urkatturai, Karainagar city and Kytes. Seven were initially arrested and their names are Ajith Kumara, Rupasinghe Aarachilage Chamara Indika, Nadira Dilshan Ratnayake, Kudabalage Jayaweera, Indika Kumara Vithanarachchi, Ranasinghe Sumith Subash and Vikum Senage Piyasiri Dissanayake, all serving the Karainager Navy base. [ full story | comments ]

For West, Rajapaksa is Sri Lanka’s Modi

[ Asian age ][ Jul 25 12:39 GMT ]

..given Mr Modi’s own unfortunate experiences with the global human rights industry, it is expected that India will be more understanding of Sri Lanka’s position on the collateral damage of the civil war. The belief is that India will endorse Sri Lanka’s growing impatience with NGOs and multilateral bodies that use the cover of human rights and reconciliation to carry out a political agenda. Certainly, India will have reason to be concerned about the precedents being set by the UN office in Colombo. Last month, for example, the UN attempted to conduct “voter education” workshops in a country that had universal adult franchise even before India and where voter turnout has always been extremely high. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: The Tamil Experience of being Alienated at Home

[ SAAG ][ Jul 25 12:28 GMT ]

Tamils were forced to see themselves not as Sri Lankans who by accident of birth were Tamil but as second-class aliens. What mattered was not character and contribution but a Sinhalese identity. Mr. Duleepkumar was one of those who had fondly (“fondly” also in the Shakespearean sense of “foolishly”) believed in a Sri Lanka of inclusion, decency and justice. Mr Bradman Weerakoon in an email message to me wrote: “Duleep was a ' pluralist' to the core. As a small boy himself learning Sinhala with us, he would memorize "Guttila Kavya" practicing the way the pundits said 'Guttn sila' with a sibilant thrown in for greater effect. I still remember it with admiration.” [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka migrants' voyage of desperation

[ Al Jazeera ][ Jul 25 12:21 GMT ]

Last year nearly 2,000 asylum seekers were apprehended upon arrival in Australia, while from 2009 to 2011 about 1,529 were reportedly detained by the Australian authorities. This year, however, only two boats have reached Australian waters, both of which were intercepted by the Australian navy.According to the Sri Lankan police, any person who is found to have left the country illegally will be charged under the Immigrants and Emigrants Act. If found guilty, they could be forced to pay a huge fine or even serve a jail sentence. [ full story | comments ]

Lanka will learn from Pak on trawlers, hopes govt

[ Hindustan Times ][ Jul 24 13:56 GMT ]

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s goodwill gesture of returning 57 boats of Indian fishermen at PM Narendra Modi’s request has raised hopes that Colombo too may soon be persuaded. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always refused to return boats of fishermen arrested for crossing over to their side, with Pakistan arguing that losing boats was a deterrent for the Gujarati fishermen lured by hopes of a bigger catch on the Pakistani side.The government does not intend to stop with Islamabad and hopes the Modi initiative would touch the lives of Tamil fishermen too. [ full story | comments ]

Bishop of Mannar: Pope Francis’ visit, a consolation for victims of war

[ AsiaNews ][ Jul 24 13:36 GMT ]

Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, talks about expectations ahead of the apostolic trip scheduled for January 2015. The Church's mission in the north ravaged by civil war, with the population "left to itself" by the government and institutions. The discrimination suffered by the Tamil minority, and "the only possible solution: a federal and truly democratic state." " Pope Francis's visit will be a great consolation for the people in the north of Sri Lanka who have been affected by war and who feel abandoned", says Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar (Northern Province), home to one of the pontiff's destinations during his apostolic journey to the island scheduled for the first half of January 2015. [ 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 ]

Australia to ship Tamil asylum seekers to its mainland

[ Reuters ][ Jul 25 13:16 GMT ]

Australia will transfer 157 Tamil asylum seekers it has been holding at sea for nearly a month to a mainland detention center, the immigration minister said on Friday, in an apparent setback for the government's policies."They will not be resettled in Australia. That is the policy of the Australian government and there is no change to our policy on any front and more importantly there is no change to our resolve," he said. Australia uses offshore detention centers in Papua New Guinea and the tiny South Pacific island nation of Nauru to process would-be refugees trying to reach the country, often in unsafe boats after paying people smugglers in Indonesia. [ full story | comments ]

Jayalalithaa asks Modi to ensure visas for UN probe team to Lanka

[ TNN ][ Jul 25 12:41 GMT ]

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday expressed surprise over media reports that suggested that India denied visas to the United Nations Investigation Committee looking into human rights violations in Sri Lanka and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. "This would go a long way in assuaging the strong sentiments prevailing among all sections of society and the polity in Tamil Nadu." The chief minister recalled four resolutions passed in the Tamil Nadu assembly in the past condemning the continuing discrimination against the Tamil minorities in Sri Lanka and violation of human rights. [ full story | comments ]

TNB signs agreement in Sri Lanka over renewable energy project

[ MoL ][ Jul 25 12:31 GMT ]

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has signed an investment agreement with KLS Energy Sdn Bhd, KLS Energy Sri Lanka Sdn Bhd and KLS Energy Lanka (Private) Ltd over the 35 megawatt renewable energy hybrid wind and solar power project in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. TNB in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today said it had been invited by KLS Energy to acquire a stake in its wholly-owned unit, KLS Energy Sri Lanka, which in turn was the holding company of KLS Energy Lanka, an entity that had been granted a 20-year concession to develop the project by the Ceylon Electricity Board. [ full story | comments ]

India funds creches for Tamils of Indian origin in Sri Lanka

[ PTI ][ Jul 25 12:24 GMT ]

India on Wednesday said it will upgrade 70 creches in the plantation areas in several parts of Sri Lanka so that mothers working in tea estates can leave their children in a safe environment. The project is to be implemented at a cost of 58 million Sri Lankan Rupees and will be taken up in seven estate regions of Hatton, Galle, Kandy, Ratnapura, Galle, Badulla, and Kegalle, Indian high commission said. [ full story | comments ]

John Barrowman gay kiss was scripted, Commonwealth Games 2014 CEO confirms

[ Daily Record ][ Jul 24 14:37 GMT ]

John Barrowman’s defiant gay kiss in the middle of the Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony in Glasgow has been heralded as a spur-of-the-moment snub to countries which still criminalise homosexuality....Ahead of the ceremony, there was a Tamil protest outside Celtic Park against the inclusion of Sri Lanka in the event. Grevemberg said: "We've made a very strong commitment to allow peaceful protests. The feedback we received last night from Tamil protesters was they were happy with the opportunity." [ full story | comments ]

Chinese firm to help S.Lanka build aircraft maintenance unit

[ Reuters ][ Jul 24 13:48 GMT ]

A state-owned Chinese aviation company will help build an aircraft maintenance facility in Sri Lanka to save the island nation the foreign exchange it spends on repairs to Chinese-made aircraft in its air force, officials said on Thursday. China has stepped up investments in Sri Lanka, funding airports, roads, railways and ports, in a trend that has unsettled India, traditionally the closest economic partner of the island of 21 million people.India has already raised concern over the maintenance facility following speculation it could be built in the eastern port city of Trincomalee, which India considers a strategic location in national security terms. [ full story | comments ]

Family member of Tamils detained at sea fears if handed over to India, may be sent to Sri Lanka

[ ABC ][ Jul 24 13:26 GMT ]

India is now waiting for a response from the Abbott Government, after seeking consular access to the 157 Tamil asylum seekers being held on an Australian customs vessel on the high seas.One man, whose extended family is now in Australian custody, fears that if they're sent back to India, India may then hand them over to Sri Lanka. Vimal is the father of a three year old asylum seeker being held at sea, along with his wife and his wife's brother, sister and parents. They're all Tamils who fled Sri Lanka to India. Vimal, who's now in Europe, says he last heard from them when the boat got into trouble, speaking on the phone just for a minute before the phone cut out. [ full story | comments ]


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