An Interview with Sri Lanka’s C.V. Wigneswaran

[ Huffington Post ][ Jan 18 11:02 GMT ]

It is made out that Sinhalese occupied these areas originally and the armed forces are bent on claiming the northern lands for the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese never ever occupied the north and east in large numbers. The Buddhist remains were left by Tamil Buddhists...The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has not been withdrawn even though promised to the United Nations and others. Lots of suspects taken in under the PTA continue to be in incarceration without the filing of indictments. If filed trials are postponed for years, they languish in jail and our appeals to the president and others fall on deaf ears. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka mine clearing reaches its final 25 square kilometers

[ LBO ][ Jan 17 14:15 GMT ]

Landmines have been cleared in approximately 135.4 square kilometers in the North and the East from 2002 to 2017. Mine clearing in the remaining 25.5 square kilometers is in progress. As of December 2017, the Government had taken steps to release 24,846.38 acres of private land to their original owners and released 57,308.19 acres of state land. Pursuant to land releases, as at end October 2017, the GoSL had resettled a total of 256,972 families consisting of 891,125 individual persons. It has also rehabilitated 12,182 former combatants including 594 child soldiers. Landmines have been cleared in approximately 135.4 square kilometers in the North and the East from 2002 to 2017. Mine clearing in the remaining 25.5 square kilometers is in progress. [ full story | comments ]

'It's slavery in the modern world': Foreign workers say they were hungry, abused at Toronto temple

[ CBC ][ Jan 17 13:27 GMT ]

..Eventually, a member of the temple's congregation became aware of the alleged conditions the workers were facing and contacted the Tamil Workers Network. "If it was 20 years ago, when I was young, I may have just burned the temple down, because of the magnitude ... of the story," said Ram Selvarajah, a volunteer with the Tamil Workers Network. "I'm not even going to the fair wages part of it, it's just the way the people were treated … it's slavery in the modern world." Sridurka Hindu Temple chief priest Rev. Kanaswami Thiagarajahkurukkal won the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, an award to honour Canadians for significant contributions and achievement! [ full story | comments ]

Technology-related Violence Against Women and Girls in Sri Lanka

[ GV ][ Jan 15 16:36 GMT ]

There is little research done on technology-based violence against women in Sri Lanka. In addition, there are no trilingual, easily accessible, open-source resources for digital security, key because many leaks occur due to lack of understanding about security measures to ensure privacy online. Research shows the varied impact of online harassment can be felt offline. The stigma has even driven young girls to suicide in Sri Lanka. Attempts to report violations to Facebook are met with the response that they do not violate Community Standards, as most of this content is in Sinhala or Tamil; the vernacular languages. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka reimposes ban on women buying alcohol – days after it was lifted

[ AFP ][ Jan 15 16:33 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s president has reimposed a four-decade-long ban on women buying alcohol, just days after his finance minister had lifted the restriction. Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday said he had ordered the country’s finance minister, Mangala Samaraweera, to revoke his decision of last week to overturn the 1979 law prohibiting the sale of any type of alcohol to women. “From tomorrow [Monday], the minister’s order will be rescinded,” Sirisena’s office said, which added that the status quo will be restored but offered no explanation. “The idea was to restore gender neutrality,” ministry spokesman Ali Hassen said of the decision to roll back the ban. [ full story | comments ]

Scissors attack on girl in hijab 'did not happen': police

[ CTV ][ Jan 15 16:19 GMT ]

Toronto police say an incident involving an 11-year-old girl who claimed to have her hijab cut by a stranger on the street, "did not happen." On Friday, Toronto police said they were investigating a report that a young girl was attacked by a man with scissors, as she was walking to school in the east end of the city. According to officers at the time, the 11-year-old girl was on her way to Pauline Johnson Public School in Scarborough, when she felt something and turned around to see a man trying to cut her hijab with a pair of scissors. She said she screamed and ran away, but the man returned less than 10 minutes later and tried to cut it once again. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka reimposes women alcohol ban days after it was lifted

[ Reuters ][ Jan 15 14:20 GMT ]

Sri Lanka reimposed a decades-old law banning the selling of alcohol to women and preventing women from working in liquor stores on Monday - just days after it was lifted. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera revoked the 1979 ban last week. “I spoke with the finance minister, minister, and several other ministers and asked them to cancel the gazette immediately. The gazette will be withdrawn from tomorrow,” President Maithripala Sirisena said at an election rally on Sunday. [ full story | comments ]

Postal voting begins in nine districts

[ CDN ][ Jan 12 20:49 GMT ]

Postal voting for local government bodies began in nine districts today. Commissioner General of Elections, Director General Elections, R.M.A.L. Rathnayake speaking to Daily News explained that they had sent ballot papers for postal voting in the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa. In addition to those, they had also sent ballot papers to few of the local bodies in Gampaha, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. The rest of the districts will receive their ballot papers tomorrow, Rathnayake said. [ full story | comments ]

Lots of talk but little progress in Sri Lanka over journalist murders

[ CPJ ][ Jan 12 20:42 GMT ]

It was the police line-up from hell. Forget all those "Law and Order" scenes where a victim stands anonymously behind a one-way mirror. Sri Lankan journalist Namal Perera had to stand eyeball-to-eyeball with 42 army intelligence officers in April, each of whom, Perera explained to me while demonstrating his fiercest tough-guy glare, faced him with a cold stare and arms folded aggressively. [ full story | comments ]

UN child rights committee to review Sri Lanka

[ Sunday Times ][ Jan 12 20:37 GMT ]

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is meeting in Geneva from January 15 to 2 February to review children’s rights in eight countries including Sri Lanka, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said. The Committee, which is composed of 18 independent experts, monitors how States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are complying with their obligations. During the meetings in Geneva, Committee members will hold question and answer sessions with the respective government delegations. The Committee’s final evaluation will be based on the written report and replies submitted by the State party, and the information provided supplied by the delegation as well as by other UN bodies and NGOs. [ full story | comments ]

SL defence Secretary visits Goa Shipyard

[ Daily Mirror ][ Jan 12 20:34 GMT ]

A high-level Sri Lankan defence delegation headed by the secretary of defence, Kapila Waidyaratane PC, recently visited Goa Shipyard ltd (GSL), India and held discussions with Shekhar Mital, RAdm. (retd), chairman & managing director (CMD) of GSL, and other senior officers for a review of the off-shore patrol vessels being constructed at the shipyard. The visiting defence secretary was accompanied by the commander of the Sri Lanka Army, DG of Sri Lanka Navy, DG Sri Lanka coast guard and other senior officials of the Sri Lankan ministry of defence. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's flip-flop on women alcohol ban slammed

[ AlJazeera ][ Jan 17 14:09 GMT ]

In what many see as a discriminatory move towards women, President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka has reversed a decision by his finance minister, Mangala Samaraweera, to allow women to buy alcohol for the first time since 1955. The president's office also ordered the cancellation of the gazette notifications from the ministry of finance that would have allowed women to work in bars without a permit and paved the way for licensed alcohol shops to operate for longer hours. [ full story | comments ]


[ ][ Jan 16 21:55 GMT ]

Today, a quarter of a century separates us from the last breath of Sathasivam Krishnakumar aka Colonel Kittu. On January 16, 1993, Col. Kittu was killed in a losing battle with nine other LTTE cards, as they were encircled by Indian warships in the ocean on a return journey. Kittu was born on January 2, 1960 in Valvettithuai, Jaffna. To achieve this, he joined as a youth LTTE. Through his unrivaled aspiration and unrestrained will, he quickly established himself as commander of the Jaffna peninsula within the LTTE. In addition to his capabilities in the field of war, he was also known for his political intellect and supported the political wing in the peace talks. [ full story | comments ]

Amaraweera refuses helicopter, returns on SLAF flight

[ Daily Mirror ][ Jan 15 16:34 GMT ]

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, who had refused a private helicopter, had returned on an SLAF routine flight this morning from Palali, Air Force Spokesman Capt. Gihan Seneviratne said. The pilot of the private helicopter, which carried the Minister yesterday to Palali, had reportedly lost way to the runway and had been airborne for over 45 minutes searching for the Palali runaway to land. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Air Force Spokesman Capt. Gihan Seneviratne said that the Minister had come to Palali to attend a Thai Pongal function, however had requested the support of the Air Force following the incident. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka destroys US$108 million haul of cocaine

[ Reuters ][ Jan 15 16:31 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Monday destroyed US$108 million worth of cocaine in public, seized by authorities in the port of Colombo which is increasingly becoming a transit hub favoured by drug smugglers in Asia. The authorities destroyed 928 kg (more than 2,040 lbs) of the drug, the largest cocaine haul in Asia, which was found in a container of timber on a Colombian ship bound for India in December 2016, and represented part of more than 1,700 kg of drugs seized in the past three years. The drug haul was destroyed under a special facility in a cement factory close to the country’s main airport. [ full story | comments ]

Sharon Bala: The Boat People shines a hopeful light on the life of refugees

[ Toronto Star ][ Jan 15 14:25 GMT ]

In October 2009, a rusted-out ship called the Ocean Lady landed in Vancouver, smuggling a group of Sri Lankan Tamils who were fleeing their home country’s violent civil war. Starving and exhausted, the asylum-seekers believed they had found freedom in Canada — only to be arrested by armed border guards and the RCMP. A year later, history repeated when a second group of 492 Sri Lankans aboard the ship MV Sun Sea were detained in suspicion of their ties to the Tamil Tigers, a militant organization that had been banned in Canada as a violent terrorist group. [ full story | comments ]

Canada increasingly convinced Trump will pull out of NAFTA

[ Reuters ][ Jan 15 14:10 GMT ]

Canada is increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will soon announce the United States intends to pull out of NAFTA, two government sources said on Wednesday, sending the Canadian and Mexican currencies lower and hurting stocks. The comments cast further doubt on prospects for talks to modernize the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump has repeatedly threatened to abandon unless major changes are made. Officials are due to hold a sixth and penultimate round of negotiations in Montreal from Jan. 23-28 as time runs out to bridge major differences. [ full story | comments ]

Indo-Lanka accord is a sound framework, say experts

[ Hindu ][ Jan 12 20:45 GMT ]

The Indo-Sri Lankan agreement drafted in 1987 is a sound framework that can be improved upon, say politicians and those who were involved closely with the political developments then. For speakers at the launch of Tamil book, Ore inaprachinaiyum or opandhamum on Friday, it was time to recall the incidents that led to the accord and the later developments, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the death of LTTE leader Prabhakaran. [ full story | comments ]

Ex-Navy Spokesman, five others released on bail

[ Sunday Times ][ Jan 12 20:38 GMT ]

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today released former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayaka and five others on bail. The six suspects had been in remand custody for almost six months over the alleged abduction and disappearance of 11 youths during 2008 and 2009. The Colombo High Court had earlier ordered that the suspects be released on a cash bail of Rs.100, 000 each and three sureties of Rs.1 million each. The suspects were ordered to present themselves before the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) every Saturday. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Govt issues new guideline for visa

[ LBO ][ Jan 12 20:36 GMT ]

The cabinet of ministers has given the go ahead to regularize and update the present method of visa issuing in Sri Lanka. According to the latest statement on cabinet decisions it was decided to collect visa charges in US Dollars instead of Sri Lankan Rupees and to add following to the visa issuing method. Recommendation of visa for investors/employees in BOI zones by the Secretary of the Ministry which BOI comes under. Charge a fine of US 500 dollars in addition to visa charge from foreigners whose visa period has expired. Provide residential visa for foreign student covering the whole academic period. Issue residential visa up to 10 years for foreigners who remit more than USD 500,000 to Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka’s central bank suspends four officers over alleged bond irregularities

[ Reuters ][ Jan 12 20:32 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s central bank said it has suspended four officers and taken disciplinary action against several others following alleged irregularities in a 2015 government bond auction. In a statement Thursday night, the monetary authority also said it has initiated several legislative changes aimed at preventing irregularities arising in connection with future bond issues. Last week, President Maithripala Sirisena said a commission investigating the 2015 bond sales has recommended legal action against the finance minister and the central bank governor at the time. [ full story | comments ]

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