News Category: Jaffna
  • Northern Governor should emulate Colombo Mayor – Defence Secy
  •    [ Sep 17, 2014 12:31:56 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that if the maximum benefits of the government’s endeavour to create an environment that encourages a high quality of life are to be enjoyed, local government institutions irrespective of whatever party is in power, must cooperate with the Central Government. He also said that fortunately in Colombo though the opposition is in power in the local governing body, the Mayor and others corporate with the government but in the Northern Province the lack of corporation on the part of the Chief Minister has denied the people the maximum benefits. - See more at: [ Full Report ]

  • Lanka's main Tamil party demands greater devolution of power in north
  •    [ Sep 10, 2014 12:34:41 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lanka's main Tamil party TNA will start a non-violent struggle from January to seek full implementation of the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Accord to achieve maximum devolution of power in northern areas. Accusing the Sri Lankan government of trying to obliterate ethnic, religious and cultural identities of the Tamil people, the resolution states, "We appeal to India and the international community to take urgent steps to halt these genocidal actions of the government." [ Full Report ]

  • U.S. Government Support for New Hospital for Poonaryn in Kilinochchi District
  •    [ Sep 09, 2014 13:24:57 GMT ] [ US Embassy, Colombo ]

        The Northern Provincial Council Ministry of Health opened the Poonaryn Divisional Hospital on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. The new hospital facility is part of a U.S. government program to support the Northern Provincial Council’s work to expand medical services in the former conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. “We are very proud of our close working relationship with the U.S. Embassy and USAID,” said Dr. Sathiyalingam, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Northern Provincial Council - “These efforts are critical to helping our people in this area improve their standards of living.” [ Full Report ]

  • Abe, Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa agree on plan to boost maritime security
  •    [ Sep 07, 2014 15:46:22 GMT ] [ Japan Times ]

        Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed Sunday to strengthen cooperation on maritime security at a time when China is expanding its influence in the Indian Ocean country. According to a joint statement issued after their meeting in Colombo, the two leaders agreed to launch intergovernmental talks on marine pollution and environmental protection, while Abe announced that Japan will study the provision of patrol ships to Sri Lanka so that the island country can boost its security capabilities. [ Full Report ]

  • Mavai elected as ITAK’s new leader
  •    [ Sep 07, 2014 10:43:56 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Tamil National Alliance National List Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah was elected as the new leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi — the main constituent party of the TNA — at its annual convention in Vavuniya yesterday. Prior to being elected to the post, which had been held by TNA Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan since 2004, the 72-year-old Senathirajah served as the General Secretary of the party.The ITAK, also known as the Federal Party, was founded in 1949 by S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, C. Vanniasingam and Senator E. M. V. Naganathan after they broke away from the All Ceylon Tamil Congress. [ Full Report ]

  • High potential for development as recreational and eco-tourism centres
  •    [ Aug 26, 2014 13:30:08 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        New lagoons will be created by developing 18 lagoons in the country without harming the biodiversity of the lagoons, but by eliminating unauthorized structures and building the lagoons outward.The development work on the new lagoons is expected to be completed before the end of year 2015. Development work in lagoons in Negombo, Rekawa, Koggola Urani and Naraduwa is expected to be completed before years end. The lagoons in Kokilai, Maduwa, Thalan, Lanka Patuna, Batticaloa, Chulanthai, Nagaru, Chilaw, Chilai and Nandaikadal are expected to be completed by 2015. [ Full Report ]

  • Suicide Rate Up in Jaffna Post-war: Univ Professor
  •    [ Aug 18, 2014 13:45:43 GMT ] [ Indian Express ]

        Peace returned to Jaffna after a 30-year brutal war in May 2009. But paradoxically, the suicide rate has gone up there since the end of the war. Statistics collected by Dr Daya Somasundaram, Professor of Psychiatry at Jaffna University, show that in 2005, at the beginning of Eelam War IV (August 2005 to May 2009), the suicide rate in Jaffna district was about 23 per 100,000 population. But in 2006, when the war began to intensify, it came down to less than 20. [ Full Report ]

  • Free media for truth to prevail especially in North
  •    [ Jul 29, 2014 12:31:55 GMT ] [ Island ]

        In the Sri Lankan situation the large presence of military personnel in areas where there are scores of utterly poor and women-headed households recovering from three decades of war is a recipe for abuse unless strict systems of monitoring and accountability are in place. Instead of treating Tamil journalists from the North as a security threat and preventing them for improving their skills in reporting and interacting with colleagues in the South , the government needs to correct the prevailing situation at the ground level. This is the way forward to national unity, not trying to suppress the truth. [ Full Report ]

  • SRI LANKA: Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces
  •    [ Jul 25, 2014 12:55:21 GMT ] [ AHRC ]

        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 Report ]

  • India to construct a Cultural Centre at Jaffna
  •    [ Jun 09, 2014 16:11:21 GMT ] [ HCI - Colombo ]

        The Government of India will be constructing a Cultural Centre at Jaffna. A Memorandum of Understanding for implementation of the project was signed by the High Commissioner of India Mr. Y.K. Sinha and the Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development, Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka. The MoU was signed in the presence of Hon’ble Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development, Government of Sri Lanka. The Cultural Centre is to be built in the next 36 months, on a plot of land adjacent to the Jaffna Public Library, made available by the Jaffna Municipal Council. [ Full Report ]

  • Few jobs for high achievers in former Sri Lanka war zone
  •    [ May 30, 2014 12:42:57 GMT ] [ UCA News ]

        When results of Sri Lanka’s 2013 national university entrance exams were released last December, education officials in the former war-torn Northern Province had reason to be proud. Of the 16,604 students from the north who sat for the exams, 63.8 percent obtained the minimum requirement to gain entry into national universities.Since the end of the war, the Northern Province has lagged behind in terms of job creation despite numerous large infrastructure projects such as construction of highways and railway lines. Indeed, the Sri Lankan government estimates that it has spent over US$3 billion in reconstruction efforts over the last five years. Yet the jobs associated with these projects are not filtering down to local residents. [ Full Report ]

  • President Rajapaksa Arrives in New Delhi Featured
  •    [ May 26, 2014 12:37:36 GMT ] [ GoSL ]

        President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New Delhi, India, this morning to participate in the swearing- in ceremony of India's Prime Minister-elect Mr. Narendra Modi. Accompanying the President in the delegation are Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development Mr. Arumugam Thondaman, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Mayor of the Jaffna Municipal Council Mrs. Yogeswaray Patgunarajah, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne. [ Full Report ]

  • From Tiananmen to Jaffna: Banning community commemoration
  •    [ May 15, 2014 15:31:43 GMT ] [ Asian Correspondent ]

        The parallels are stark. As the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre approaches, Chinese police have begun detaining activists who might be planning to stage protests against the government for the bloody killings that left hundreds dead and unleashed a wave of repression 25 years ago. Meanwhile, last week, Beijing’s dedicated acolyte, the Sri Lanka government, announced that anyone publicly mourning the dead in the country’s Tamil-dominated North, on the fifth anniversary of a slaughter which ended the military campaign, could be arrested for terrorism. [ Full Report ]

  • Explore Investment Opportunities In Sri Lanka, Urges Envoy
  •    [ Apr 21, 2014 14:29:24 GMT ] [ Bernama ]

        Sri Lanka offers immense opportunities for Malaysian investors, especially in infrastructure development, Malaysia's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Azmi Zainuddin said."Malaysian companies have always been here, even during the war, especially in the telecommunications and infrastructure segment. Now there are more opportunities available and we should take advantage of it," he told Bernama."In Colombo, there is a lot of construction for new hotels, and they are big players in the industry," he said, adding Jaffna and the Eastern Province, which are yet to be fully developed, offer immense opportunities. [ Full Report ]

  • Singapore extends help to Sri Lanka's Jaffna
  •    [ Apr 05, 2014 15:02:19 GMT ] [ Channel NewsAsia ]

        Some 3,000 youths from Sri Lanka's Jaffna district will benefit from a community development project by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), launched by Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam on Friday. Some 3,000 youths from Sri Lanka's Jaffna district will benefit from a community development project by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF). Singapore Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam launched the project at the Jaffna Library on Friday. [ Full Report ]

  • Wigneswaran has got the balance right
  •    [ Mar 10, 2014 12:39:06 GMT ] [ Island ]

        A poser born of hardly six months of NPC experience is the possibility of either a decisive shift in Tamil politics to a new paradigm or its return to the old one. If devolution works and the NPC delivers, Tamils will seal the contract they initiated with the TNA in September 2013. Hope of a way forward within a united Lanka will take root and they will turn their energies towards nurturing a healthy society in their homelands. Of course one must not be complacent, there are a multitude of challenges; education and health on the social side; people centred development (not Basil style concrete pouring), fisheries (phew India again!) and agriculture on the development side, and halting a slide among youth to alcohol, promiscuity and idleness. [ Full Report ]

  • My Day: Sri Lankan fisherwoman
  •    [ Mar 08, 2014 22:50:24 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        Vijayakumar Thevarani, 42, has been working in fishing since the age of 16. She is a widow with four children, two of whom still live at home, and lives in Karainagar, an island joined by a causeway to Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka. I have always done fishing work. The men go out to sea and if there is work available I do everything from tapping fish - that is, removing them from the nets - to repairing nets. This is the work I have always known and if there's no work in this village I go to another. [ Full Report ]

  • After War Comes Peace, Not Prosperity
  •    [ Feb 13, 2014 11:11:19 GMT ] [ IPS ]

        A recent study on global terrorism trends by the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, also found that the government needed to do more to help the population. The report said the Sri Lankan government needs to address the needs of ordinary people in the former conflict zone, dominated by the Tamil community as opposed to the Sinhalese majority in the rest of the country. [ Full Report ]

  • Northern PC resolution on accountability issues before Geneva well-timed
  •    [ Jan 31, 2014 10:29:30 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The copies of the adopted resolution are expected to be forwarded to the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. So, the TNA has timed the adoption of this resolution with preparations for an international inquiry into accountability issues during the last stages of the war.The United States has already indicated that it will move yet another resolution in Geneva during the March session of the UNHRC. [ Full Report ]

  • “Resolution reflects people’s feelings”
  •    [ Jan 30, 2014 11:21:11 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        “If the Sri Lankan State did not commit war crimes, why should they resist an international probe? It is one thing to speak in terms of an international inquiry. At another level, it is about people who have lost their dear ones,” Chief Minister of the province C.V. Wigneswaran told The Hindu on Wednesday. “If someone is dead there is some closure, but when someone has disappeared and you wait, knowing nothing about them, it is traumatic.” [ Full Report ]

  • Lanka’s northern council backs international probe into war crimes
  •    [ Jan 27, 2014 13:51:36 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Monday adopted a resolution backing the call for an international probe into the country’s alleged war crimes during the final phase of the military clashes with the LTTE. A three-point resolution has been passed to bring to international attention Sri Lanka’s lack of action to resolve Tamils’ problems, said MK Shivajilingam, a Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member from the main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA). [ Full Report ]

  • US Ambassador Sison's Remarks at Nagakovil
  •    [ Jan 23, 2014 13:36:16 GMT ] [ US Embassy - Sri Lanka ]

        This event is all about “people to people”! These fishing boats are a gift from the U.S. people to the people of Nagakovil. My team and I are so happy to be here with you! Of course, the conflict was still on. Times were very difficult for the communities of the north. The war ended seven years later in 2009, but even today, many remain displaced, unable to return home due to issues related to durable housing, unresolved land and property issues, and of course the need for sustainable livelihoods. [ Full Report ]

  • Governance in Northern Province of Sri Lanka: Stresses and Strains
  •    [ Jan 21, 2014 14:39:06 GMT ] [ IDSA ]

        The Chief Minister has opined that Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is hindering governance in the northern province and that post-war context demands a different approach to governance. A mature handling on the part of Wigneswaran will be necessary so that the constitutional structure is not eroded and a constant dialogue ensues between the provincial political executive and the Rajapakse administration. Attempts by the Wigneswaran government to pressurise the centre by invoking Article 154B to withdraw the governor is unlikely to yield desirable outcomes. In fact the focus should be on effective governance in the existing limited functional areas devolved. [ 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 ]

  • Rapp visits Jaffna
  •    [ Jan 08, 2014 11:00:32 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Stephen J. Rapp, the US Ambassador on War Crimes, will visit the North today and meet Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in Jaffna, Daily Mirror learns. Mr. Rapp heads the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the US State Department. He advises the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on issues related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. [ Full Report ]

  • NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan reportedly under house arrest in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Jan 01, 2014 4:18:02 GMT ] [ CBC ]

        Canada's Foreign Affairs ministry is investigating reports that Toronto NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is under house arrest in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird tweeted that his staff was "working on these reports." Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich tweeted that "our High Commissioner in Colombo will be making representations in Sri Lanka to determine her status." [ Full Report ]

  • Wild horse sanctuary for Sri Lanka’s Delft Island
  •    [ Dec 26, 2013 23:33:15 GMT ] [ Horse Talk ]

        A wild horse sanctuary is being considered for Delft Island in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Discussions over a sanctuary on the island, a popular tourist destination, were announced by Sri Lanka Minister of Wildlife Conservation Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa following a meeting with the country’s Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development, Douglas Devananda. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamil council to count Sri Lanka war casualties
  •    [ Dec 26, 2013 23:31:09 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        The provincial government in Sri Lanka’s main Tamil region said on Thursday it would compile its own death toll from the country’s ethnic war, saying an ongoing census would play down the number of casualties.“The council will work out the logistics of taking a count,” Dharmalingam Sithadthan, a senior member of the Northern Provincial Council, told AFP from the regional capital Jaffna. “This is something we have to do because we don’t accept the government census.” [ Full Report ]

  • Leverage To Ensure More Power Devolution
  •    [ Dec 15, 2013 11:23:52 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        In the context of the present tensions between the Governor and provincial council in the North, the issues of accountability for past human rights violations was not the priority concern of the community leaders or elected provincial representatives in the North. Their concern was what is happening today in terms of the lack of devolution of power to improve the lives of the people and what is standing as obstacles to that improvement. [ Full Report ]

  • 'Take Steps to Avoid Collapse of TNA Government'
  •    [ Dec 15, 2013 11:14:47 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        Dr K Vigneswaran, who was advisor to two Sri Lankan Tamil Chief Ministers, A Varadarajaperumal and S Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, has urged the Northern Province Chief Minister, C V Wignewaran, and the provincial Governor, Maj Gen G A Chandrasiri, to have a dialogue, instead of going on the path of confrontation which may end in the collapse of the fledgling Tamil National Alliance (TNA) government there... But the Northern CM and the TNA, egged on by the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora, were heading towards a confrontation with the Governor and Colombo, he rued. [ Full Report ]

  • Military presence is the main problem-CM to UN envoy
  •    [ Dec 04, 2013 19:27:25 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        “On the basis of their present activities, they plan to stay in the North for a further hundred years, which really means that they plan to bring in people from the South and resettle them along with the army families. “Similar to what they did in the East, they are trying to colonise the North as well, which cannot be stopped by us alone, but should be brought to the notice of International Community and take steps accordingly.“I explained to the envoy that the people were facing severe difficulties as a result,” he said. [ Full Report ]

  • North CM on War Path With Sri Lankan Government
  •    [ Nov 30, 2013 14:49:46 GMT ] [ Indian Express ]

        After a month of cooperation with the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, has switched to confrontation. On Thursday, Wigneswaran tried to inspect the Hindu temples and houses allegedly damaged by the Sri Lankan army in the Weligamam North High Security Zone (HSZ) knowing full well that no one could enter the HSZ without prior permission. When Lankan troops told him that he ought to get prior permission from the Ministry of Defence in Colombo, Wigneswaran argued that, as CM, he had the right to visit any part of his province and that he was accompanied in this case by the priests of the damaged temples. But the troops would not budge. [ Full Report ]

  • Press Freedom Prize goes to Uzbek journalist and Sri Lankan daily
  •    [ Nov 29, 2013 10:46:50 GMT ] [ RSF ]

        Reporters Without Borders, Le Monde and TV5Monde are pleased and proud to award the 2013 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Prize to the imprisoned Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjanov and the Sri Lankan Tamil-language daily Uthayan. The names of the winners were announced during a ceremony this evening in Strasbourg’s city hall, where the awards were presented to Uthayan editor Vallipuram Kaanamylnaathan and owner Eswarapatham Saravanapavan, and to Uzbek human rights defender Nadejda Atayeva on behalf of Bekjanov, who has been in prison for the past 14 years. [ Full Report ]

  • Did David Cameron see the truth in Sri Lanka?
  •    [ Nov 20, 2013 13:55:58 GMT ] [ Daily Mail ]

        He set off for the Tamil north of the country, and visited a refugee camp and a newspaper office where the bullet holes in the walls were the result of a raid by government forces, he was told. He could say that he had seen for himself how brutal was the government of President Rajapaksa.Returning to the south and the peaceful surroundings of Colombo, he gave the President a good talking to, and demanded an inquiry, which should report by the next Commonwealth conference. [ Full Report ]

  • In contrast to Stephen Harper, Britain’s PM David Cameron goes to Sri Lanka to ‘shine light’ on abuses
  •    [ Nov 15, 2013 17:10:33 GMT ] [ National Post ]

        British Prime Minister David Cameron talks to villagers of Internally displaced peoples camp at Chunnakam village, in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Cameron Friday traveled into northern areas that saw the worst of the war between soldiers and ethnic Tamils rebels fighting for a homeland.Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, defied the Sri Lankan president and traveled to the north of the country Friday to meet Tamil victims of the civil war after criticizing the “appalling” and “chilling” crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan government. [ Full Report ]

  • Cameron meets Wigneswaran, visits ' Uthayan' office
  •    [ Nov 15, 2013 11:27:32 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        “I'm the first leader to go to the north of Sri Lanka since 1948. I want to shine a light on chilling events there first hand and Political leaders in the north of Sri Lanka tell me they are glad I've come to help highlight what is happening here,” Cemeron tweeted. Meanwhile group of around 200 demonstrators of ‘The families of those who disappeared’ had attempted to stop the convoy from leaving the premises after the meeting. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Tamils protest land grab ahead of Commonwealth meet
  •    [ Nov 12, 2013 13:22:22 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Ethnic Tamils staged a rare protest in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday against the military's refusal to hand back land after the war, as Colombo prepared to host this week's Commonwealth summit. Several hundred Tamils demonstrated in the former northern war zone of Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Colombo, even though organisers received telephone death threats beforehand against the move, a local Tamil politician said. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's northern region needs Tamil policemen: Wigneswaran
  •    [ Oct 25, 2013 10:24:18 GMT ] [ Business Standard ]

        Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated northern region needs Tamil-speaking policemen to serve the people, newly elected Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran said today. "Policemen serving in the north with no Tamil language skills and cultural understanding was an annoyance for a long time," Wigneswaran said while speaking at the historic first session of the northern provincial council in Jaffna. He said that policemen working in the north must be educated on the police powers stipulated under the 13th Amendment to the constitution. [ Full Report ]

  • Wigneswaran gets all
  •    [ Oct 17, 2013 10:09:38 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his ministry portfolios a short while ago, Media Spokesman to the President Mohan Samaranayake said. North Province Finance and Planning, Law and Peace, Land and Road Development, Electricity, Housing and Development , Water supply , Co-operative Development, Social Services and Rehabilitation, Women Affairs, Industries and Enterprise Development, Tourist, District Management and Provincial Councils, Management, Food Supply and Distribution were all assigned to Wigneswaran. [ Full Report ]

  • Army Denies Its Presence Is Responsible For Insecurity Of Northern Women
  •    [ Oct 12, 2013 23:51:44 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        According to members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and certain observers, in spite of government claims that the military presence in the North has been reduced subsequent to the end of the war, the army and security apparatus retain a heavy presence, operating increasingly in plain-clothes, which makes their presence less noticeable. The TNA and even the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) calls for the scaling back of troop numbers in the North and the remaining troops to be confined to barracks. [ Full Report ]

  • TNA wants President in Jaffna for CM oaths
  •    [ Sep 30, 2013 12:43:15 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which swept the Northern Provincial Council polls last week has held out an olive branch to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by inviting him to Jaffna to swear in Chief Minister designate C.V. Wigneswaran and other councillors. “We are now waiting for the President’s return from the United States,” TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampathan told the Sunday Times. He said the TNA wanted the President to swear in those elected — but in Jaffna. In terms of the Provincial Councils law, the Chief Minister of a province could take oaths before the President or the Governor of the respective province. However the law permits the board of provincial ministers to take their oaths before the Chief Minister. [ Full Report ]

  • Amid Violence, Returning to Elections in Sri Lanka After a Void
  •    [ Sep 21, 2013 14:56:51 GMT ] [ New York Times ]

        The thugs first appeared around 11:20 on Thursday night, a dozen or so men lurking outside her house. Two wore army uniforms.Ananthi Sasitharan — a Tamil candidate in the first provincial elections to be held in 25 years in the former insurgent stronghold here — said she had woken up her three daughters and prepared for the worst. She called a few friends, who soon appeared and persuaded her and her daughters to sneak out the back. It was a good thing they left. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's Tamils vote under the shadow of guns
  •    [ Sep 19, 2013 13:43:59 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Tamil voters in northern Sri Lanka are set to elect their first ever semi-autonomous council on Saturday, in a post-war power-sharing exercise already marred by allegations of army intimidation and harassment. The poll is being held with Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa under international pressure to allow a fair vote for the Provincial Council in the once strife-torn region which was a former stronghold for the Tamil Tiger separatist rebels. [ Full Report ]

  • Showpiece development in north but TNA victory inevitable
  •    [ Sep 16, 2013 3:10:54 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Business is booming in this northern capital. The contrast with the City of Colombo is striking. Shops stocked with satellite dish antennas, some to view Tamil Nadu TV channels, overflow to the pavements. They are aired only a few hundred miles away from the Palk Strait, the thin but marine rich seas that separate Sri Lanka and India. Showcases display flagons of premium Scotch whisky and exquisite brands of Cognac. Large screen high definition television sets, placed on the roadside windows by electronic stores, show Tamil movies. If all that is for the nouveau riche, who have mushroomed after the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas in May 2009, there is also an equal share for those who come from the ‘proletariat’. [ Full Report ]

  • More Troops Sought In Jaffna
  •    [ Sep 16, 2013 2:48:44 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe says he is contemplating making a request for more troops and military camps in the North. He says this need has arisen as there are fears the election campaign of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) may incite some 4000 former LTTE cadres who have not been rehabilitated and are believed to be mingling with civilians. When asked by The Sunday Leader if a strong troop presence was still required in the North he said, “There is no question about that, and yes the army is still needed here. [ Full Report ]

  • Elephants Stroll Past Temples on Once-Forbidden Sri Lankan Coast
  •    [ Aug 28, 2013 14:35:18 GMT ] [ Bloomberg ]

        “You’re going to Jaffna? Don’t worry!” My tuk-tuk driver in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, upon hearing that I plan to visit the northern capital of Jaffna, feels compelled to offer reassurance. Jaffna, a former stronghold of the rebel Tamil Tigers, was off-limits during long stretches of the country’s brutal civil war. My driver says he recently made the trip himself, on a freshly paved highway, and that the city and its surroundings are indeed, at long last, safe. “Most of the mines have been cleared,” he adds. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka scales back army presence in former rebel stronghold
  •    [ Jul 24, 2013 15:32:33 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka's military said Wednesday it will dismantle over a dozen army camps in the former rebel stronghold of Jaffna, weeks ahead of key council elections in the embattled region. Military spokesman brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said 13 camps in Jaffna will relocate to the sprawling Palaly cantonment on the northern edge of the peninsula next month. "This is yet another step in the ongoing process of relocating the military in the Jaffna peninsula and reducing the presence of troops," he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Why not give relief to Jaffna Tamils, asks Lanka court
  •    [ May 31, 2013 13:57:08 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        A Sri Lankan Court has issued notice to the authorities asking why it should not grant relief to 2,000 Tamils in Jaffna over takeover of their land by the Army. The Appeals Court issued notice to the respondents to show cause through filing of objections by July 10 as to why the court should not grant the relief asked for by the applicants. The petitioners challenged the Section 2 notices issued under the Land Acquisition Act which specifies that 6,381 acres and 38.97 perches are to be acquired for the Defence Battalion Headquarters in Jaffna. [ Full Report ]

  • Tension over army 'seizure' of Sri Lanka Jaffna land
  •    [ May 25, 2013 5:50:19 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        There are growing tensions in northern Sri Lanka as Tamil people try to prevent the Sinhalese-dominated army from taking over their land. In a new development, villagers have driven out a group of surveyors sent by the authorities. Thousands more are engaged in court action to try to win back land they were displaced from years ago. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka army to reduce presence in northern Jaffna
  •    [ May 22, 2013 13:02:31 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        The Sri Lanka army has said that it would reduce the number of military camps in the former rebel stronghold of northern Jaffna and hand over lands back to their original owners. “We will reduce the existing 17 military camps in Jaffna to just three,” Army chief Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya said. The fourteen camps pulled out from different parts of Jaffna would be relocated in the main Palaly cantonment, he said on Tuesday. [ Full Report ]

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