End of war in Sri Lanka, but Tamils still suffering

[ Free Malaysia Today ][ May 23 20:19 GMT ]

The war might have ended, but the civilian Tamil population, particularly in the north and east, are being robbed of their properties and land by the Sri Lankan armed forces. Hundreds of thousands of parcels of land belonging to Tamils have been grabbed by the armed forces in the name of security. Tamil fishermen have been refused entry to certain areas in the sea due to security impositions by the Sri Lankan navy. Small-scale businesses owned by Tamils in the past have been taken over by organisations affiliated with the armed forces. A large number of houses owned by Tamils have come under the control of the armed forces simply by listing these properties under the security list. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka mudslides: Death toll reaches 92 with many still missing

The death toll from floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in Sri...

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New trustee to seek MPP seat — just four months after being elected

Just four months on the job, and he’s already looking for a new one....

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Sri Lanka's torrential rains drive more than 130,000 from homes

Flash floods and landslides in Sri Lanka, triggered by more than three...

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Appraising Sri Lanka’s Reform Agenda

[ Huffington Post ][ May 23 20:14 GMT ]

With the 32nd session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) less than a month away, this detailed appraisal (which includes a range of policy-oriented recommendations) is quite timely. (During the HRC’s 32nd session, Sri Lanka’s compliance with an October 2015 HRC resolution will be discussed in some detail.) The challenges facing the coalition government, a partnership between political parties which have historically been rivals, are wide-ranging. Though progress in certain areas (such as freedom of speech and reduced authoritarianism) has not gone unnoticed, many promises remain unfulfilled, including contentious issues pertaining to devolution of power and transitional justice. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka mudslides: Death toll reaches 92 with many still missing

[ BBC ][ May 23 15:26 GMT ]

The death toll from floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in Sri Lanka has risen to 92, officials said. Soldiers looking for victims recovered at least seven more bodies on Sunday from Aranayake - one of the worst-hit villages in the district of Kegalle. Starting last weekend Sri Lanka has seen the heaviest rains in 25 years. The rain has now stopped in parts of the country and floodwaters were fast receding in the capital Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Jumpstarting the Reform Process

[ ICG ][ May 23 14:33 GMT ]

The unexpected chance for lasting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka that followed President Maithripala Sirisena’s January 2015 election faces increasing turbulence. Initial moves by Sirisena’s government halted and began to reverse the slide into authoritarianism and family rule under Mahinda Rajapaksa. Its reform agenda is ambitious: restoring the rule-of-law and ending impunity for corruption and abuse of power; a new constitution; a complex package of post-war reconciliation and justice mechanisms agreed with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC); and major policy changes to jump-start a beleaguered economy. Progress, however, has been slower than key constituencies expected and lacks the coherence and resources needed to sustain it. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka floods expected to cost at least $1.5 billion

[ Reuters ][ May 23 14:29 GMT ]

The cost of Sri Lanka's landslides and floods will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion at the minimum, the government said on Monday, as the Indian Ocean island struggles to recover from its worst natural disaster since the 2004 Asia tsunami. The official death toll has risen to 92 but 109 people are feared to have been buried in landslides. Days of torrential rain forced more than 350,000 people from their homes, though many were returning on Monday. [ full story | comments ]

Exposition of Buddhist relics from Pakistan in Sri Lanka

[ Dawn ][ May 23 13:53 GMT ]

Sri Lankan Presi­dent Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickra­masinghe, along with members of the Buddhist clergy and other dignitaries, inaugurated the exposition of the Sacred Relics of Lord Buddha brought from Pakistan, at a ceremony on Saturday which marked the Buddhist festival of Vesak. Vesak celebrates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and departure from the human world. [ full story | comments ]

Raymond Cho and Doug Ford team up in Scarborough to take on provincial Liberals

[ Inside Toronto ][ May 20 17:59 GMT ]

Raymond Cho and Doug Ford are teaming up to take a part of Scarborough away from Ontario’s Liberals. Cho, a local councillor in the Scarborough-Rouge River area since 1991, says he’ll seek the riding’s Progressive Conservative nomination on June 4. Neethan Sha, who ran against both Cho and Balkissoon in 2014, and also ran against Cho in two municipal elections, seeking Cho’s council seat, is set to be acclaimed the riding’s New Democratic candidate Thursday, May 26. The riding’s Liberals will nominate their candidate Sunday, June 5. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war finally ended seven years ago. But moving on from the past is not easy.

[ Washington Post ][ May 20 09:47 GMT ]

It’s Remembrance Day in Sri Lanka on May 18, the seventh anniversary of the end of a long civil war. But the island’s two biggest ethnic communities will be remembering very different things.In deeply divided societies like Sri Lanka, the question of how to deal with a history of violence has no easy answer. Under international law, the victims of atrocities have a right to truth and a right to justice, but fulfilling these rights is not a simple task. Sri Lanka is a particularly clear example of why this is so. As is frequently the case in countries emerging from conflict, civilian and military leaders involved in the war remain in positions of power. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka mudslide: Army fears 134 missing are dead

[ BBC ][ May 19 10:06 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's monsoon rains often bring floods but officials say these are the worst for several years. Many displaced people have moved to shelters, and officials have appealed for water, dry food rations and sanitary items. Low-lying coastal areas have also been hit. In southern India the authorities are on alert as the rains move up the country's east coast. At least 280 people died in a month of heavy rains and floods in the city of Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu state last year. The rains, the heaviest there in a century, were blamed on climate change although city officials were also criticised for being unprepared. [ full story | comments ]

Cancellation of Victory Day Parade will help national reconciliation - TNA, Canada commends govt move

[ Island ][ May 18 14:40 GMT ]

Canada strongly pushed for the cancellation of Victory Day Parade since May 2014. Although, many countries privately requested the previous government, only Canada publicly called for an immediate end to military celebrations. Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting announced that her country wouldn’t be represented at the Victory Day parade in Matara. The Canadian envoy said the annual military parade wouldn’t help post-war national reconciliation, therefore she wouldn’t accept the government invitation for May 2014 event. [ full story | comments ]

Unusual heat bakes Sri Lanka's chicken industry

[ Reuters ][ May 18 13:47 GMT ]

As noon-time temperatures began soaring in late March, Mohamed Nizam, a small-scale chicken seller, knew he was headed for trouble. Soon the mid-day heat was touching 40 degrees Celsius, and Nizam told his workers to pour water on to the pavement in front of his shop in the Colombo suburb of Wattala in an effort to ward off the heat. "But nothing can keep that kind of heat from getting to the chickens. It roasts them alive," Nizam said. [ full story | comments ]

Former inspector arrested for Lanka rugby players murder

[ PTI ][ May 23 20:10 GMT ]

A retired deputy inspector general of police was today arrested in connection with the murder of a rugby player who had fallen out of favour with the sons of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Anura Senanayake, the then deputy inspector general in charge of capital Colombo was arrested following a Crime Investigations Department questioning. He is accused of subverting the investigation in order to portray it as a road accident. An officer in charge of a police station is already in remand custody in the same case. [ full story | comments ]

New trustee to seek MPP seat — just four months after being elected

[ Toronto Star ][ May 23 15:23 GMT ]

Just four months on the job, and he’s already looking for a new one. Neethan Shan, a newly elected trustee on the Toronto District School Board, will run under the NDP banner in the MPP race in Scarborough-Rouge River — a seat that became vacant with Liberal Bas Balkissoon’s sudden resignation from provincial politics. When Shan ran in a trustee byelection held in January, his opponents accused him of not being committed to the board and simply seeking any political seat, given he’s run for different levels of office seven times since 2003. He was elected once before, as trustee in York Region in 2006. [ full story | comments ]

Jayalalitha: New Tamil Nadu chief minister curbs alcohol sale

[ BBC ][ May 23 14:31 GMT ]

Jayaram Jayalalitha, who has been sworn in as the chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has begun her new term by announcing curbs on alcohol sales. The authorities ordered 500 government-run liquor shops to shut down and also reduced the store timings. Ms Jayalalitha had promised in her poll manifesto to gradually ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state. She has been sworn-in for the sixth time as the state's chief minister. [ full story | comments ]

Siemens cements ties with Sri Lanka on smart city solutions

[ Money Control ][ May 23 14:24 GMT ]

The major objective of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is to bring systematic changes and development processes into the urban community in Sri Lanka, which will ensure inhabitants of urban areas become part of socio-economic development while maintaining high quality of life, Siemens said in a BSE filing. Siemens today said it has strengthened its partnership with Sri Lanka by signing a pact with the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development to offer expertise from its globally-proven smart city solutions. [ full story | comments ]

As Sri Lanka reels under worst disaster in a decade, start-ups do their bit to help out

[ Scroll ][ May 22 10:58 GMT ]

As Sri Lanka struggles to deal with the devastation caused this week by Cyclone Roanu, which left floods, landslides and at least 58 people dead in its wake, citizens are pitching in to help with government relief initiatives. Assisting with these efforts are local start-ups. “As start-ups, we can bring to the table innovations, new technology and new thinking," said Jiffry Zulfer, Chief Executive Officer of PickMe, a local taxi-hailing app in the vein of Uber and Ola. [ full story | comments ]

In Sri Lanka, Mobilizing the Community to Start a School

[ WB ][ May 20 10:16 GMT ]

Sri Lanka involves about four million children and 215,000 teachers in 10,000 schools. However, public investments in education are modest compared to countries with similar income status. Education expenditure accounts for 1.9 percent of GDP, roughly 7.3 percent of the government’s budget. In addition, skills in high demand in the global knowledge economy, such as English, information and communications technology (ICT), science, and mathematics are not widely taught and significant regional disparities persist. [ full story | comments ]

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA ON THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF THE WAR IN SRI LANKA

[ PMO ][ May 19 14:23 GMT ]

“Today, we mark the anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka in 2009. It is a time to honour, remember, and reflect on the victims of this 26-year war. “Over the past seven years, I have met many victims of this war, and have been deeply moved by their heroic stories of trauma and loss. Much work lies ahead to heal the wounds of all those who have suffered, and to achieve long-term peace and reconciliation on the island. “Tamil-Canadians are an integral part of our country and have overcome much adversity. I extend my deepest sympathy and support to Canadians of Tamil descent. [ full story | comments ]

In Sri Lanka, Little Hope for Survivors After Deadly Landslides

[ NYT ][ May 19 10:04 GMT ]

A devastating landslide on Tuesday afternoon blanketed three hamlets on the mountain here in the tea-and-cinnamon-growing region of central Sri Lanka. Officials said that at least 45 people were known to have been killed in landslides and flash flooding in the past few days in this island nation at the foot of India, where monsoon season has just begun. But the death toll was expected to rise substantially. Hundreds of thousands of people have also been displaced. As heavy rain continued on Thursday morning, hundreds of military personnel resumed rescue operations shortly after dawn, climbing together, knee-deep in mud, up the slope of the mountain. [ full story | comments ]

Beyond reconciliation and accountability: distributive justice and Sri Lanka's transitional agenda

[ OpenDemocracy ][ May 18 14:36 GMT ]

In Sri Lanka, the question of whether to emphasise truth and reconciliation—embracing a “soft accountability” path—or to lay equal stress on investigation and prosecution of grave human rights crimes looms over the transitional justice debate. It is increasingly clear that the country’s transitional justice landscape will be determined by the contestation between the relative weight or sequencing of restorative and retributive justice measures. One crucial effect of this bipolarity is that it entirely sidelines distributive justice and questions of economic harms. [ full story | comments ]

Delhiberations - India & Lanka: Is bonhomie fading?

[ Deccan Chronicle ][ May 18 13:46 GMT ]

At his weekly media briefing on May 12, the external affairs ministry’s erudite spokesman read out details of foreign secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Bangladesh and immediately threw the floor open to questions. There were many. But not a single reporter asked him why President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, another neighbour of equally huge strategic importance and ancient ties to India, would be dropping in for dinner with Prime Minister Narendra Modi within barely 24 hours of that briefing. [ full story | comments ]


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[BBC - May 23, 2016 15:26:15 GMT]

Sri Lanka mudslides: Death toll reaches 92 with many still missing


[Toronto Star - May 23, 2016 15:23:52 GMT]

New trustee to seek MPP seat — just four months after being elected


[Reuters - May 17, 2016 12:09:56 GMT]

Sri Lanka's torrential rains drive more than 130,000 from homes


[Hindustan Times - May 17, 2016 12:06:40 GMT]

Exit polls indicate DMK comeback, Jayalalithaa’s defeat in Tamil Nadu


[DNA - May 13, 2016 14:04:55 GMT]

Lankan refugees cause doesn't excite Tamil voters anymore


[Huffington Post - May 13, 2016 14:03:45 GMT]

They Killed My Husband, Saying, 'How Dare You Love, You Pallar Son-of-a-Bitch?'


[Reuters - May 11, 2016 12:57:17 GMT]

U.N. urges judiciary reforms in Sri Lanka to avoid delay in justice


[UN News Centre - May 11, 2016 10:18:03 GMT]

UN experts urge Sri Lanka to adopt measures to fight torture and strengthen justice system


[The Hindu - May 07, 2016 15:17:04 GMT]

UN concerned over manner of arrest of ex-LTTE activists


[The Diplomat - May 07, 2016 15:16:02 GMT]

The Repression of Sri Lanka’s Tamils Continues


[Toronto Star - May 06, 2016 10:24:05 GMT]

Average price of a GTA home up more than $100,000 in a year


[Reuters - May 05, 2016 18:51:45 GMT]

As the climate shifts, tradition threatens Sri Lanka's rice harvest


[NOW - May 05, 2016 12:48:25 GMT]

M.I.A. takes a stand for Tamils


[Reuters - May 03, 2016 12:52:12 GMT]

Fists fly as Sri Lankan MPs protest changing of the guard for ex-president


[CNBC - Apr 29, 2016 2:54:06 GMT]

Sri Lankan struggle to recover from the economic and emotional wounds of civil war