News Category: Batticaloa
  • Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the flood
  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 13:52:19 GMT ] [ Scotsman ]

        Ten years ago Scots contributed £2.7 million to Catholic aid in tsunami-struck Sri Lanka. Life is now better than it was before, says Alistair Dutton, is the director of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF). Thanks to Scottish donations, SCIAF has been able to build new houses for 420 other families. In addition to the new homes, I saw other signs that people had not only recovered, but were now living better lives than before the tsunami. No-one can take away the pain and the grief of the loved ones lost in the tsunami, but for those that were left behind it has been an opportunity to build better lives. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's first Special Agricultural Zone to attract foreign capital
  •    [ Oct 07, 2014 13:39:21 GMT ] [ Asia News ]

        The project should be up and running within a year. The area, which covers 3,000 acres, is located in the eastern part of the country where 80 per cent of the population works in agriculture. The project will also provide an opportunity to upgrade the local infrastructure.The government also plans to invest in new technologies, build new infrastructure like roads and irrigation schemes, improve farming equipment, and open new food processing facilities. To do so, the authorities plan to attract foreign capital. [ Full Report ]

  • Fence of trees to stem human-elephant conflict
  •    [ Aug 22, 2014 14:27:26 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        An unprecedented drought in Sri Lanka is exacerbating the longstanding potential for conflict between humans an elephants, reports suggest. But a "fence" of palmyra trees is starting to yield success. With forest vegetation and water holes vanishing, hundreds of elephants are reported to have approached settlements in search of food and water. Sri Lanka has been dealing with the issue for years, and it has led to the deaths of people and elephants. An average of 50 humans and 160 elephant deaths has occurred annually, statistics reveal. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka again delays dig at suspected mass grave
  •    [ Aug 18, 2014 17:02:35 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lankan officials on Monday sought more time to exhume a suspected mass grave in a former war zone after failing to secure the services of forensic experts. The site in the eastern coastal town of Kalavanchikudy has been under investigation since a resident petitioned the local court, claiming the remains of around 100 Muslims killed 24 years ago at the height of Sri Lanka's ethnic war were buried there. The claims of a mass grave in the east of the island follow the discovery of several similar sites elsewhere in the island's war zone as well as in the central part of the country. [ Full Report ]

  • Stories Less Told: Psychosocial Workers in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Jan 16, 2014 13:39:39 GMT ] [ Asia Foundation ]

        May 2009 marked the end of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, but much work remains to heal the deep psychological wounds from this long and brutal ethnic conflict. This photo essay documents The Asia Foundation's psychosocial program in Sri Lanka through the lens of six psychosocial workers working with the Family Rehabilitation Centre (FRC) in the North and East of Sri Lanka – the regions most affected by the war. [ Full Report ]

  • Clerics Under Watch in SL
  •    [ Dec 09, 2013 10:40:59 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        Sri Lankan intelligence agencies are on the vigil against Islamic preachers who create communal tension and spread rumours threatening the security of the country, the State-owned Daily News said on Saturday. “Several” Muslim fundamentalist groups were involved in rumour mongering. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had issued a directive to take action against such groups. Muslim leader Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress stoutly deny that there is any Muslim extremism threatening Lankan. Muslims have always been a peace-loving trading community, he says. [ Full Report ]

  • Women Battle On After Lanka War
  •    [ Oct 30, 2013 14:08:13 GMT ] [ IPS ]

        The battle might have been over four long years ago, but for the women in Sri Lanka’s former conflict zones in the northern and eastern provinces, the war continues. This struggle is not only about making ends meet, but also about saving their honour. The island nation’s 26-year-long civil war (1983-2009) between the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government forces left many women the sole breadwinners for their families with their menfolk either killed, maimed or gone missing. [ Full Report ]

  • Gotabhaya reiterates concern over extremism
  •    [ Sep 07, 2013 11:24:27 GMT ] [ Island ]

        Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that extremism posed a severe threat not only to post-war Sri Lanka but many countries in the region as well as the industrialised world."We are working closely with many countries to tackle extremist acts. In fact, it is an ongoing process involving intelligence services and other relevant agencies. Due to vigilance on the part of those fighting extremism and terrorism we were able to thwart plans to cause mayhem." [ Full Report ]

  • Eastern Provincial Council in crisis: Members boycott sessions
  •    [ Jun 02, 2013 12:17:51 GMT ] [ Island ]

        The Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) has run into a crisis with 20 members of the ruling party (UPFA), including the four Ministers, boycotting sessions demanding the postponement of the Northern PC polls until the Governor and the Chief Minister are replaced and the administrative infrastructure restored. "We are talking of inefficiency and indifference which are an impediment to the working of the Eastern PC", Deputy Chairman of the Council, M. S. Subair said yesterday. [ Full Report ]

  • Former LTTE hideout in eastern Sri Lanka now tourist attraction
  •    [ Apr 18, 2013 18:54:26 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Thoppigala, which used to be an LTTE hideout in Sri Lanka's east and served as a training base for them during their nearly three decades of separatist campaign, has now been converted into a tourist attraction. The Thoppigala Heritage Park was declared opened by the top defence official Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today. "This is a multi-ethnic area in the country rich with the nature's beauty and its flora and fauna. Local and foreign tourists would be welcome to visit Thoppigala. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s systematic cleansing of ethnic Tamils at the worst
  •    [ Jan 23, 2013 13:17:02 GMT ] [ Truth Dive ]

        Sinhalese settlers in Paduvaankarai area in Batticaloa district have been illegally grabbing pasture lands with the nod from Colombo’s ruling party honchos. Cattle farm owners have told Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians that if this seizure of lands continue, about 20 to 25 thousand acres of lands would soon be taken away illegally leading in turn to elect a Sinhalese parliamentarian from the district. [ Full Report ]

  • Colombo plans to settle 25,000 Sinhala families in Batticaloa district
  •    [ Nov 12, 2012 19:34:17 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        The Sri Lankan government with the assistance of occupying Sri Lanka Army and the paramilitary politicians, has been implementing a scheme to settle down about twenty five thousand Sinhala families in the Batticaloa district in the eastern province, informed sources in Batticaola said. More than 5,000 Sinhala families brought from south have been settled down along 16 km coastal area from Paasik-kudaa in Koa'ralaippattu DS division to Chavukkadi in Ea'raavoorpattu (Chengkaladi) DS division. [ Full Report ]

  • Accident involving US envoy’s vehicle convoy
  •    [ Oct 24, 2012 17:34:42 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        An accident involving a motorcycle and one of the backup vehicles of the US Ambassador’s convoy was reported from Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa this evening. The Ambassador was unharmed, police said. The couple riding the motor cycle were admitted to the Karadiyanaru Hospital with minor injuries. The backup vehicle was released by the Karadiyanaru police after the driver’s statement was recorded. [ Full Report ]

  • Batticaloa results challenged
  •    [ Oct 04, 2012 12:26:51 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        A petition has been filed in the Court of Appeal challenging the results of the Batticaloa District in the recently concluded Provincial Council election. The petition has been filed by four petitioners of the Eelavar Democratic Front, through Attorney-at-Law Manju Sri Chandrasena, requesting a writ of certiorari quashing the final results of the Batticaloa District in the Provincial Council elections. [ Full Report ]

  • More room should be given in the Eastern Province to the TNA - Says NFF; TNA embarks on an official tour of India
  •    [ Sep 26, 2012 13:55:41 GMT ] [ Hiru News ]

        National Freedom Front member Jayantha Wijesekara, who was elected to the Eastern Provincial council states that more chances need to be given to Tamil public representation in the Eastern provincial council. He further stated that at least the post of deputy chairman of the Eastern Provincial Council should be given to a member of the TNA and he also requested from the government to give more such opportunities in the future. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamils need not worry - Pillayan
  •    [ Sep 25, 2012 13:40:38 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan said the Tamils in the East should not be worried about their future as he would be playing a leading role in the development of that area since he had been appointed as the Presidential Advisor on Eastern development.Addressing a press conference in Colombo, he said there wouldn’t be any issue with the Muslim Chief Minister or with the SLMC as all three communities could work together in the East under present circumstances. He said this was practical as there were members representing all three communities in the provincial council. [ Full Report ]

  • EPC: SLMC endorses Mahinda-Hakeem pact
  •    [ Sep 24, 2012 13:17:42 GMT ] [ Island ]

        The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) yesterday declared that its decision to support the SLFP-led UPFA to form the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) was a collective decision taken by the party in the best interests of the Muslim community.SLMC General Secretary Ali said that the SLMC had secured two thirds of the Muslim vote in the Eastern province and therefore it had every right to reach an understanding with the UPFA on behalf of the Muslim community. [ Full Report ]

  • Eastern Awakening For The Opposition
  •    [ Sep 20, 2012 12:44:16 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The formidable rise of ethnic parties in the East is a backlash against the rise of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism in the post-war period. Once again the people of Eastern Province have rejected the government’s policy of development as THE PATHWAY to reconciliation and lasting peace in the country. The eastern awakening of the opposition parties is a consolation amidst the resounding wins of the ruling coalition in the other two provinces. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan Army still has vast presence in North & East
  •    [ Sep 19, 2012 17:44:14 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        More than three years after winning the war against the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army retains an overwhelming presence in the North and East of the island, deploying 16 out of its 19 divisions in the Tamil-dominated regions...the manner in which the troops were spread out in the entire North and East was suggestive more of an Army in ‘operational readiness’ than in post-conflict repose. The continued military presence in Tamil areas is viewed as hampering post-conflict ethnic reconciliation. The Army is entirely Sinhalese, and the people of the North are almost entirely Tamil. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s major Muslim party joins government
  •    [ Sep 19, 2012 10:52:09 GMT ] [ Khaleej Times ]

        The political vigil over the new eastern province government ended on Tuesday when the country’s main Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), joined hands with the government to form a ruling coalition. “In addition to power sharing in the provincial council, the government has given us assurance that it would look into the grievances of Muslims. There have been many issues the Muslims have been facing, and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) cannot give us this assurance,” said deputy leader of the SLMC Nazeer Ahmed. [ Full Report ]

  • Majeed sworn in as Eastern CM
  •    [ Sep 18, 2012 10:28:55 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        UPFA Provincial Council member Najeeb A. Majeed was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the temple Trees a short while ago, sources said. They said, following the SLMC's decision to support the government in the Eastern Provincial Council, the government had named Majeed for the post with the approval from all the stakeholders. It was also decided to offer two Ministerial Portfolios to the SLMC. [ Full Report ]

  • More contenders seeking CM’s post in East
  •    [ Sep 17, 2012 13:50:42 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The battle for the chief ministerial post of the Eastern Provincial Council has become intense with two Muslim parties, The All Ceylon People’s Congress (ACPC) and National Congress aligned with the ruling coalition at the last election and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) which contested alone, asking for the post, party officials said.The Governor shall appoint as Chief Minister the member of the Provincial Council who in the Governor's opinion commands a support of a majority in the Provincial Council. [ Full Report ]

  • The landscape after the PC elections
  •    [ Sep 16, 2012 11:09:57 GMT ] [ Lakbima ]

        It is the 51% that it secured in the Batticaloa District to the UPFA-Pilleyan 31% that settles the matter of Tamil allegiance and is harbinger of what to expect in the Northern PC elections, if ever the international community can get Rajapaksa to cease his shameless breach of the Constitution. He dare not allow NP-PC elections because an autocrat knows not how to deal with even one PC that is prepared to defy him. Hence the last broad conclusion that I draw is that very likely Rajapaksa will use every subterfuge to thwart NP-PC elections because Batticaloa District voting (in Padiruppu poling division the ITAK took 77% of the vote) has shown that the TNA will score a substantial victory in the Tamil majority North. [ Full Report ]

  • Post-mortem of the provincial elections
  •    [ Sep 14, 2012 11:04:41 GMT ] [ SAAG ]

        The Rajapakse government called early elections to three provincial councils (PC) as a tactical build up to early parliamentary elections (possibly after another round of PC elections) and early presidential elections. If president and parliament serve out their full term, elections are not due till early-mid 2016. The alleged reason for early elections is that the government wants to go to the polls before its falling popularity declines too much, and early PC elections which the government hopes to win will be useful psychological groundwork. Elections to the North Central Province (NCP) bordering the Northern and Eastern provinces, Sabaragamuwa in the south-west, both in the Sinhalese heartland, and Eastern provinces were held on 8 September. [ Full Report ]

  • Fear and loathing in the Eastern elections
  •    [ Sep 13, 2012 10:55:11 GMT ] [ Tamil Guardian ]

        The results from the recently held Eastern provincial council elections have been brandished by Sri Lanka as a sign of wavering Tamil demand for self rule, and more perversely, that Tamils are now content with Sri Lanka’s rule. However, rather than signal a weakening of Tamil aspirations, the elections clearly revealed the true nature of the Sinhala state’s governance in the Tamil homeland; a mixture of violence, threats, intimidation and colonisation. The elections were a far cry from the free and fair expression of Tamil sentiments that they were trumped up to be. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's ruling party sweeps local polls
  •    [ Sep 09, 2012 11:40:03 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        President Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) swept the council polls in the north-central and central regions with near two thirds majorities in Saturday's vote. In the eastern province, where Sri Lanka's two main minorities -- Tamils and Muslims -- live in almost equal number, the UPFA emerged the largest single party with 14 seats, five short of an absolute majority. The eastern province covers an area that was dominated by Tamil Tiger rebels until they were driven out of the region by 2007. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka provincial polls hit by low turn out
  •    [ Sep 08, 2012 10:32:34 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        A low voter turn out today marked Sri Lanka's provincial council polls, seen as a test of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's popularity in the wake of international pressure over alleged human rights violations by the army during the final stages of the war with the LTTE. Three of the 9 provinces are going for mid-term polls in the north central, eastern and south western (Sabaragamuva) provinces. [ Full Report ]

  • Development needs to be the development of righteousness
  •    [ Aug 08, 2012 19:04:31 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Day in day out the situation is worsening. In the first half of this year alone there have been over 700 cases of child rape, reported to the police. Our culture is such that there is a stigma attached to incidents of this nature and therefore victims don’t want to seek justice. The unreported cases, I believe, must be about ten fold. I feel the law is not being enforced properly and therefore the perpetrators feel that they can get away scot-free. In the past we have seen situations like this where the cases went on for years and years. [ Full Report ]

  • Destabilising The East To Stabilise Familial-Rule
  •    [ Aug 06, 2012 15:19:25 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The Eastern province, multi-ethnic and multi-religious, is Sri Lanka’s Achilles Heel. Mishandle the East and the outcome will not be a cleanly bifurcated separatist war. Mishandle the East and the outcome will be a ‘war of all against all’, involving every ethnic/religious group in Sri Lanka (plus several foreign powers in supportive roles), and infecting every nook and cranny of the island. That is why attention must be paid, when three constituent parties of the UPFA warn publicly that Rajapaksa policies are endangering civil-peace in the East. [ Full Report ]

  • A Fishy Affair In Kokkadicholai
  •    [ Jul 26, 2012 12:47:10 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        A petition has been filed before the Colombo High Court against Deputy Resettlement Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman for allegedly taking over a prawn farm by force; set up by a company, Pearl Farms (Pvt) Ltd. Muralitharan is also a director of the company with a one third share and according to his partners wielded much power due to his position in the government. The Association members who visited the Kokkadicholai farm said that the area was being considered as Muralitharan’s fiefdom with everyone carrying out his orders. [ Full Report ]

  • Threats and intimidation have already started: Sumanthiran
  •    [ Jul 20, 2012 10:27:00 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Last time we did not contest. We went to the Supreme Court and filed a case and said that the Former Chief Minister belonged to a party that was still carrying arms and in such a situation we cannot contest. This time round we are contesting, I would not say that the situation is conducive for a free and fair election, but it is better than the last time. Last time we would not have been able to even get candidates to contest because the level of intimidation and threat was that great. However this time it is better, but it does not mean when I say better, that it is easy for the TNA to contest. [ Full Report ]

  • Two TNA candidates withdraw due to threats
  •    [ Jul 18, 2012 12:25:23 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Two TNA candidates have withdrawn their candidacy due to threats by an unknown gang in the Batticaloa district, former MP M.K. Sivajilingam said. Mr. Sivajilingam told Daily Mirror that the TNA was to file nominations for the district today, but the list had to be prepared again after the withdrawal of candidacy by two members. He said political groups having links with the UPFA had started threatening their political opponents. “This is a serious trend at the very beginning,” he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Hakeem still a possible for Eastern Province chief ministry
  •    [ Jul 01, 2012 11:04:55 GMT ] [ Island ]

        Muslim political circles were speculating about the possibility of SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem considering standing as chief minister for the Eastern Province in the forthcoming provincial elections. Hakeem threw his hat into the ring in alliance with the UNP at the last EPC election but Pillayan won the battle. Hakeem and other SLMC leaders who had resigned their parliamentary seats to run for the EPC quit their provincial council seats and returned to parliament. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka opts for mid term provincial polls
  •    [ Jun 27, 2012 22:31:41 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for an early elections in three of the nine provincial councils to test popularity of his government in the wake of international pressure on him. The Sri Lankan Elections Secretariat today confirmed that it has received the dissolution documents of North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provincial councils ratified by the respective governors. Governor of North Central Province Karunarathna Divulgane said he had signed the order of dissolution while same was stated by Governor of Eastern province Mohan Wijewickrema. [ Full Report ]

  • Population plunge in Sri Lanka’s Tamil base
  •    [ Jun 27, 2012 12:42:31 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka's first national census in 30 years has shown a dramatic 20 percent drop in the population of the Jaffna peninsula, the long-time base of Tamil rebels during the island's ethnic conflict. According to a preliminary census report released Wednesday, the population in Jaffna, which the rebels once ran as a de facto separate state in the northeast, had fallen from 734,000 in 1981 to 583,000. "Our estimate is that out of the one million Tamils who fled the fighting and are living abroad, at least 80 percent were from Jaffna," said Suresh Premachandran. "If not for the war, the population in Jaffna would have been over 1.4 million," he added. [ Full Report ]

  • Body identified: Bodyguard of Tiger political wing man
  •    [ Jun 04, 2012 14:16:02 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The body found outside a leading school in Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4 on Friday has been identified as of the one time bodyguard of former LTTE Batticaloa political wing leader Kaushalyan. The victim was identified as Kanapathipillai Udayakanthan, 38, a resident of Kallaru, Batticaloa. He was identified by his father. He served as the body guard of Kaushalyan in the 2000 – 2004 period and thereafter fled to Britain and settled down there with his family there. [ Full Report ]

  • India reviews rehabilitation work in war-hit areas in Sri Lanka
  •    [ May 27, 2012 11:06:26 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha has visited the stronghold of former Tamil Tigers in the eastern province to understand the ground situation there and review the ongoing rehabilitation work undertaken by New Delhi. "High Commissioner reviewed projects of Indian assistance currently being undertaken in the province. He also held wide ranging discussions with various stakeholders to assess the impact of these projects on the ground and understand local priorities and requirements in order to further expand India’s development assistance," said a statement released by the High Commission here. [ Full Report ]

  • Parts of Batticaloa worse than Vanni in ‘normalcy’
  •    [ May 04, 2012 12:34:03 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        While the West and India have stopped talking about the East, and try to project an image that ‘normalcy’ has returned to the East and the North also should follow suit in the same directions, large parts of Batticaloa are silently kept under conditions worse than that of Vanni for the last five years, news sources in the East said. Similar to the times of the war in Vanni, more than 250,000 people were systematically displaced by the occupying SL military in 2007, in Batticaloa’s Paduvaan-karai part alone, under the pretext of ‘liberating’ them from the LTTE. [ Full Report ]

  • Major operation in east
  •    [ Apr 23, 2012 10:15:57 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        A major search operation is underway in the eastern region in search of ex-LTTE cadres, who had not gone through government rehabilitation programs as well as cadres, who had returned from overseas, informed police sources said. They said that Terrorists Investigations Department and other State Intelligence bureaus are carrying out this search operations. Steps would be taken to register those ex-LTTE members. [ Full Report ]

  • Tsunami warning in South and East
  •    [ Apr 11, 2012 10:25:47 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Tsunami warning issued for Sri Lanka’s coastal areas and the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) advices people in coastal areas to evacuate to safe areas, the Government Information Department said. [ Full Report ]

  • Indian HC talks with Pillayan
  •    [ Apr 09, 2012 12:14:04 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Ashok K.Kantha has taken up the issue on the vandalism of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Batticaloa with Eastern province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, the Hindu online reported. “India has taken up the issue of desecration and requested that the Gandhi statue be rebuilt. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha spoke to Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary K. Amunugama. conveying India's concern and requested urgent investigations into the incident. The High Commission has also taken up the issue with the Chief Minister of the Eastern province and the Inspector General of Police,” it stated. [ Full Report ]

  • Pillayan’s stand creates problems - Karuna
  •    [ Jan 29, 2012 23:05:06 GMT ] [ Nation ]

        The government would not accept the demands of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Police and Land powers to Provincial Councils, Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said.“I do not know why they want Police powers. Those who demand for these powers have only the aim of winning votes,” he said. “What has the Tamil to gain, if police powers are devolved? He asked. Tamils and Muslims, anyone can join the police service at present. We could demand for such powers if it was not so”, he pointed out. [ Full Report ]

  • Eastern PC wants police, land powers
  •    [ Jan 29, 2012 12:31:52 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The Eastern Provincial Council led by Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan has unanimously passed a resolution demanding land and police powers for the council. A copy of the resolution has been sent to the Presidential Secretariat, a council spokesman said yesterday. The resolution says that failure to devolve land powers to the province will mean that the council will have powers only to maintain houses without powers over land. The resolution points out that most of the lands in the Eastern Province come under the Railway Department, the Security Forces, the Forest Conservation Department, the Tourist Board and the Mahaweli Authority. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka to hold first post-war census in March
  •    [ Jan 04, 2012 13:03:50 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka will hold its first post-war census in March which will cover the entire Indian Ocean island for the first time in over 30 years, officials said on Wednesday. "It will be our first full survey since 1981," the statistics office Director General Suranjana Vidyaratne told reporters. "The war in the north and east had earlier stopped us from doing detail island wide census." Some 80,000 people will be deployed across the country to collect preliminary data in February ahead of the main census day. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka lawmaker speaks for food freedoms, voiceless minority
  •    [ Dec 09, 2011 13:10:52 GMT ] [ LBO ]

        A Sri Lankan lawmaker - Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka's main opposition has spoken out for food freedoms, after a fellow parliamentarian and prime minister proposed banning an imported food heavily consumed by Tamil speaking minority citizens. "The statement by the Prime Minister that wheat flour imports should be banned is an irresponsible statement and must be retracted," de Silva said. "The 2010 data, which covers the entire island, also show that the household wheat flour consumption in the Jaffna district was 19.3 kilograms per month while in Vavuniya it was 18.1 kilograms per month." [ Full Report ]

  • Education - could do better in the east
  •    [ Nov 03, 2011 11:08:39 GMT ] [ IRIN ]

        The decades-long conflict has ended in Sri Lanka, but the damage to the country's educational system lingers, particularly in the disaster-prone east, say families and experts. Home to about 1.5 million people, Eastern Province is one of the hardest-hit areas in Sri Lanka by both natural and manmade disasters. Education advocates say schools lack teachers, funds, infrastructure - and attention. [ Full Report ]

  • Eastern Sri Lanka reeling from weather extremes
  •    [ Sep 28, 2011 18:05:43 GMT ] [ AlertNet ]

        Eastern Sri Lanka is experiencing wild swings in rain patterns, a change experts link to climate change. Because the eastern and central regions of Sri Lanka are considered the island’s granary, the changes could have a huge impact on rice production. Government authorities and specialists have discussed the possible impact of climate change on national agriculture, Centre For Poverty Alternatives (CEPA), an independent Sri Lankan research organistion's Balasuriya said. However, the lack of an implementing agency to coordinate activities among different ministries is hampering quick action, he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Urban legend causing very real problems in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Sep 15, 2011 12:37:48 GMT ] [ Radio Netherlands Worldwide ]

        The North Eastern part of Sri Lanka is gripped by a mythical creature. The so-called Grease Devil attacks have sparked outraged among locals. But the Sri Lankan government refuses to seriously investigate the attacks of what they claim to be ‘only a myth’. Over the past few months this has led to clashes between protesters and government officials. In one case a policeman was lynched by the angry mob. According to legend, Grease Devils are men covered in oil and grease who wander the streets at night looking for women. [ Full Report ]

  • Police officer killed in Sri Lanka "Grease Devil" riot
  •    [ Aug 22, 2011 2:02:41 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Angry Sri Lankans killed a police officer on Sunday in the latest outbreak of violence sparked by a fear of nocturnal prowlers known popularly as "Grease Devils" that has gripped rural areas in the island nation over the past two weeks. Another officer and five other people were hurt in two separate incidents in the northwestern Sri Lanka town Puttalam, after residents gave chase to a suspected "grease devil," police and witnesses said. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka vigilante violence
  •    [ Aug 13, 2011 23:21:12 GMT ] [ BBC Sinhala ]

        In what appears to be a bout of witch-hunting in various parts of Sri Lanka, villagers have been attacking strangers in their midst, accusing them of planning or instigating violent attacks. At least four people have died in the vigilante violence and related confrontations. The villagers appear to think the strangers have mysterious supernatural powers – “bionic” ones, according to a government minister. [ Full Report ]

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