Reflections on the Invitation to Tamil Youth at the Commemoration of Sivakumaran’s Death Anniversary

[ CSST ][ Jun 21 15:42 GMT ]

At present, the Tamil people of the Northeast have very few leaders who are able to provide leadership and even those few have their limitations. Wigneswaran is no exception. In June last year when Wigneswaran emerged victorious by countering a plot by some members of the Provincial Council to oust him, a group of Tamil youth attempted to form a youth wing in support of Wigneswaran. But, Wigneswaran was not prepared to provide the much-needed leadership to this group. Some of these youth are now with the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), others having lost their enthusiasm have returned to pursue their own private interests. [ full story | comments ]

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Don’t go, sir!: TN students cling on to their teacher, refuse to accept his transfer

[ TNM ][ Jun 21 16:01 GMT ]

A young man in a simple grey shirt and grey pants is surrounded by students – all of them crying, hanging on to him, holding him back. G Bhagawan, the beloved English teacher of the Government High School in Veliagaram, Thiruvallur, was given a transfer order, and the students of the school were heartbroken. They created a barrier with their love and affection for the 28-year-old – one student even hugging him from the back, refusing to let him leave. Touched, Bhagawan, too, was crying as much as his students. [ full story | comments ]

Foreign Ministry urges public to provide details of missing to OMP

[ Daily Mirror ][ Jun 21 13:53 GMT ]

The Foreign Affairs Ministry today urged and encouraged any one in Sri Lanka or overseas to share the information of the missing, including whose names have been listed by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), with the Office on Missing Persons (OMP). The Ministry said its attention had been drawn to the list of names published online by the ITJP. “According to the ITJP, the list, which presently consists of 351 names, is of persons who are alleged to have disappeared while in the custody of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in May 2009,” the ministry said in a statement. [ full story | comments ]

Top monk asks Sri Lanka’s ex-defence chief to return as ‘Hitler’

[ EN ][ Jun 21 13:21 GMT ]

A top Buddhist monk has asked Sri Lanka’s former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to become another “ Hitler” who is known to have killed up to six million Jews in the Holocaust."As the clergy, we feel the country needs a religious leader… Some people have described you as a Hitler,” the venerable monk said referring to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. “Be a Hitler. Go with the military and take the leadership of this country.” The monk claimed that crime had increased in the country and he felt Sri Lanka needed a new leadership of a Sinhala-Buddhist individual. He was happy that Gotabhaya has thrown himself into contention to be the next president of Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to increase domestic flights

[ Xinhua ][ Jun 21 13:12 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Thursday said it will expand its aviation sector by allowing five new companies to operate domestic flights in the island country. Following a proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Transport Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, the Cabinet of Ministers had approved the proposal to ask the five firms to apply for operating licences, Cabinet Spokesperson Gayantha Karunathileka said. [ full story | comments ]

Human Rights Concerns in Sri Lanka - J. S. Tissainayagam,Journalist and Human Rights Advocate

[ House Committee on Foreign Affairs ][ Jun 19 17:31 GMT ]

Disappearances, torture and militarisation are all carryovers from the wartime Sri Lanka to the post-war period. They manifest clearly that despite the formal control of the military by civilian authority in Sri Lanka’s constitution, in reality, the military enjoys impunity for past and ongoing human rights abuses, some of which are characterised as war crimes and crimes against humanity by at least two different UN agencies. The impunity they enjoy has been 5 made only too clear by President Sirisena who has pledged multiple times that he would not subject any member of the military to trial for war crimes. Will these issues create more conflict? While that cannot be predicted with certainty, atrocity prevention studies say that “weak institutional governance in countries and contexts where atrocities have previously taken place,” could create trigger new atrocities. [ full story | comments ]

Doug Ford orders public sector hiring freeze in Ontario, excludes essential front-line staff

[ Globe And Mail ][ Jun 18 16:11 GMT ]

Ontario’s incoming premier has put the public service under a hiring freeze as part of a series of measures meant to limit spending as he re-examines the province’s books. A spokesman for Doug Ford says the Progressive Conservative leader has also directed government ministries to cancel “subscription-based services” and to restrict out-of-province travel. Simon Jefferies says the Tories will review government spending line by line to ensure taxpayers’ money is going to the services people rely on. During the election campaign, Ford promised to launch an audit of government spending and to save billions each year by finding unspecified efficiencies, without cutting any jobs. [ full story | comments ]

Curious minds drawn to opening of Sidewalk Toronto workshop

[ Toronto Star ][ Jun 18 15:58 GMT ]

What could the street do for you? Produce electric or thermal energy using pressure and movement? Control traffic automatically? Provide space for gardens to grow the food we need? These ideas from visitors to the open house of Sidewalk Toronto over the weekend might sound futuristic, but some of them are not out of the realm of possibility for the innovative minds at the project’s new office and workshop space, dubbed 307, on Toronto’s eastern waterfront where the planned Quayside community is envisioned. [ full story | comments ]

Ontario makes history with record number of female MPPs

[ Toronto Star ][ Jun 18 15:54 GMT ]

Women make up about one-third of the PC caucus (25 of 76 MPPs), and the Liberals have four female MPPs among their seven. Peckford said 30 per cent is considered an important benchmark, and with Ontario near 40 per cent she considers that “more of a tipping point.” “The difference that it makes — I think people have underestimated how important representation is,” said the NDP’s Laura Mae Lindo, elected in Kitchener Centre. “If I didn’t see the number of women that were actually running, I wouldn’t have run,” said Lindo, who credits NDP MPP Catherine Fife (Waterloo) for tapping her on the shoulder and being persistent in urging her to seek office. [ full story | comments ]

Garrison against Gota

[ CDN ][ Jun 18 14:57 GMT ]

The press has been full of reports that outgoing US Ambassador Atul Keshap has cautioned and advised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the nomination of his brother and US citizen Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as candidate for president in 2020, faces a variety of legal and other obstacles, based on the sum total of which, the United States would not consider the same favourably. The fact that this information was first put out and confirmed by the former president’s office, indicated that the Rajapaksa media team initially at least believed that, being seen unfavourably by the West, is an electoral gain. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka has never had traitors as committed and enthusiastic as current govt - MR

[ AdaDerana ][ Jun 18 14:47 GMT ]

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the amendments proposed to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act of 2002 are clearly aimed at assisting foreign courts in the trial of Sri Lankans for offences allegedly committed in Sri Lanka. “This is the latest betrayal by the yahapalana government,” he said, adding that the manner in which the government has been implementing the demands of their foreign patrons should also be taken note of by the public. He claimed that the proposed amendment will widen the applicability of the Act to every country that is a party to any international Convention that involves criminal matters. [ full story | comments ]

Wave of asylum seekers floods Toronto’s shelters

[ Globe And Mail ][ Jun 21 14:21 GMT ]

Thousands of migrants who entered Canada from Manitoba and Quebec are gravitating to the country’s largest city, straining the emergency housing system...Canada’s approach to asylum seekers has been markedly different from the United States, sparking an influx of recent arrivals. Some refugee claimants are arriving at airports, while more than 9,000 have crossed from the U.S. border into Quebec (and, to a much lesser extent, B.C. and Manitoba) this year. And that has added to a crowding crunch, pushing shelters over capacity and driving up costs. [ full story | comments ]

US assures continued support for SL to fulfill commitments under UN resolution

[ Sunday Times ][ Jun 21 13:25 GMT ]

After the announcement by the United States that it is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council effective June 19, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Athul Keshap met with senior Sri Lankan officials to convey the assurance of the United States Government that it will remain fully engaged with the Sri Lankan Government to help it meet its continuing and standing commitments to the international community to advance the cause of reconciliation and lasting peace for all Sri Lankans, the US Embassy in Colombo stated in a media release. [ full story | comments ]

Chinese firm pays $584 million in Sri Lanka port debt-to-equity deal

[ Reuters ][ Jun 21 13:15 GMT ]

China Merchants Port Holdings (0144.HK) has made a $584 million payment as part of a $1.12 billion deal to operate Sri Lanka’s deep sea Hambantota port, a state-run agency said on Wednesday. Under the deal, signed in July 2017, China Merchants Port (CM Port) will run the $1.5 billion Chinese-built port on a 99-year lease. The $1.12 billion total price is to be used to reduce the Sri Lankan government’s debt to China. [ full story | comments ]

Australian woman and daughter killed in Sri Lanka car crash

[ Guardian ][ Jun 21 13:11 GMT ]

A woman and child were killed in a collision south of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Photograph: Guardian Graphics for the Guardian An Australian woman and her young daughter have been killed and two other members of the family have been injured in a car crash in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan police said a 37-year-old woman and her four-year-old child died when their van collided at high speed with a truck that had broken down on the road near Nagoda, about two hours south of the capital, Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

Republicans on defensive, but Trump digs in on separating parents and children at border

[ CBC ][ Jun 18 16:46 GMT ]

Facing a rising tide of outrage from Democrats and some Republicans over the forced separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump dug in Monday, again falsely blaming Democrats in the escalating political crisis while his Department of Homeland Security forcefully defended the practice. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused Monday to apologize for enforcing immigration laws that result in the separation of children from their parents at the National Sheriffs' Association in New Orleans Monday. [ full story | comments ]

‘I Can’t Go Without My Son,’ a Mother Pleaded as She Was Deported to Guatemala

[ NY Times ][ Jun 18 16:09 GMT ]

“I am completely devastated,” Ms. Ortiz, 25, said in one of a series of video interviews last week from her family home in Guatemala. Her eyes swollen from weeping and her voice subdued, she said she had no idea when or how she would see her son again. As the federal government continues to separate families as part of a stepped-up enforcement program against those who cross the border illegally, the authorities say that parents are not supposed to be deported without their children. But immigration lawyers say that has happened in several cases. And the separations can be traumatic for parents who now have no clear path to recovering their children. [ full story | comments ]

Families separated, children detained: What we know so far about Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy

[ Globe And Mail ][ Jun 18 15:57 GMT ]

On April 6, the Trump administration announced new measures, taking effect in May, to criminally prosecute more people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally through its southwestern border. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions described it as a “zero tolerance policy,” blaming an increase in migrant crossings and Congress’s failure to pass legislation supporting Mr. Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The policy had dramatic consequences for families crossing with children: More adults were jailed, pending trial, so their children are removed from them. From April 19 to May 31, 1,995 children were separated from 1,940 adults, according to Homeland Security statistics obtained by Associated Press. The figures are for people who tried to enter the U.S. between official border crossings. [ full story | comments ]

Does Article 9 of the Constitution stipulate protection of abusive monks?

[ Sunday Times ][ Jun 18 15:04 GMT ]

But does it take extreme action of such kind indulged in by this offending monk on that day, to finally rein him in? Is the law selective in the manner in which it is wielded against some and not against others unless and until severe provocation occurs? Does Article 9 of the Constitution which gives Buddhism the foremost place in Sri Lanka mandate that the Republic should shield abusive monks from the due and proper functioning of the law that is so promptly brought into action against others? These are questions that are opportune as the monk-offender in issue faces charges in other courts that are perpetually postponed, of racist and inflammatory behavior. The Constitution recognizes no such special privilege where the law is violated. [ full story | comments ]

Fire on abandoned ship off Jaffna coast

[ News1st ][ Jun 18 14:54 GMT ]

A fire has broken out at an abandoned ship in the seas off the Myladi port in Jaffna. According to the Navy, officers have been deployed to douse the fire. The Navy noted that they were able to manage the fire that erupted last night but noted that the fire erupted once again this morning. It is believed that the fire erupted in the engine room of the vessel known as the “Kingdom.” The vessel which belonged to a private company had been used to transport cargo. The vessel had been abandoned in January after it ran into a sandbank. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lankan rupee holds steady near record low

[ Reuters ][ Jun 18 14:45 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Monday, near the record low hit in the previous session, as dollar demand from importers offset the U.S. currency sales by exporters, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 159.75/90 per dollar, lower than Thursday’s close of 159.70/90. The rupee hit an all-time low of 160.00 per dollar on Thursday. The markets were closed for a holiday on Friday. [ full story | comments ]

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