News Category: Jaffna
  • Kerala Ganja worth Rs.10 million seized in Jaffna
  •    [ Jul 02, 2016 11:14:58 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        A haul of Kerala Ganja with a staggering street value of 10 million rupees was seized by the Special Task Force (STF) at Achchuveli in Jaffna yesterday. The haul, weighing 91.519 kilograms, was detected in a search operation conducted along the Achchuveli-Valalai coast in Jaffna. Two suspects who were allegedly transporting the Kerala Ganja were also arrested by the STF. The STF had received a tip-off regarding a Kerala Ganja smuggling racket centered in this area, which had reportedly been active over a long period of time. The arrested suspects, aged 24 and 24 years, are residents of Valalai and Ilavalai. [ Full Report ]

  • Displaced Tamils call for expert panel to monitor progress in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Jun 29, 2016 10:11:18 GMT ] [ TamilGuardian ]

        Tamils who have been displaced from their homes for decades have written to the United Nations human rights chief, urging him to appoint an expert panel to “monitor and report the progress on resettlement, relief, and restoration of the sociopolitical and economic structures”. In a letter written to the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al-Hussein, Tamils from Valikamam North in the Jaffna district said that the Sri Lankan military continues to occupy their houses. [ Full Report ]

  • 'The situation in Sri Lanka is not alarming for refugees to return'
  •    [ Jun 23, 2016 19:30:03 GMT ] [ Rediff ]

        A 28-minute documentary, No Longer A Refugee, tells the story of Sri Lanka Tamils who have returned home after spending many years as refugees in Tamil Nadu. According to one estimate, there are over 65,000 65,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees still living in nearly 110 refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. The documentary was produced by Ashok Gladston Xavier, a Chennai-based academic, on behalf of the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation or OfERR, a self-help group run by refugees since 1983 and which has offices in Chennai and Colombo. The documentary will be shown in all refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, and where not possible CDs will be supplied to refugee camps for exhibition. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamils in Sri Lanka need a federal solution: Wigneswaran
  •    [ Jun 22, 2016 15:57:10 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        The grievances of minority Tamils in Sri Lanka can only be addressed through a federal system of governance and the merger of north and eastern provinces, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has said. Mr. Wigneswaran said he had conveyed this to the Colombo-based ambassadors, including those from the European Union, during his recent engagements with them. The Tamil issue should not be seen by the government from the view point of the nationalist extremists in the south, Mr. Wigneswaran said in Jaffna on Tuesday. [ Full Report ]

  • Judge Ilancheliyan struck terror in the hearts of Jaffna's criminals
  •    [ Jun 21, 2016 15:36:46 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        Ilancheliyan’s awesome reputation as a fearless judge stemmed from his handling of the Krishanthi Kumaraswamy rape and murder case in 1999. The incident which took place at Chemmani in Jaffna district, involved Captain-rank military personnel. Ilancheliyan not only had the officers arrested, but ordered exhumation of the bodies. Fifteen bodies were exhumed under the glare of the international media. “Predictably, the Defense Ministry objected to the arrests, and many thought that Lanka’s Sinhalese majority will not allow a Tamil judge to remand Sinhalese army officers. But President Chandrika Kumaratunga bowed to international pressure and allowed the arrests. However, the four arrested officers went to the Court of Appeal in Colombo and got bail,” Ilancheliyan said. [ Full Report ]

  • Jaffna’s Glitzy Exterior Hides A Stagnant Local Economy
  •    [ Jun 21, 2016 15:30:02 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        “The five salterns in Elephant Pass, if used, could supply salt to the entire island. The abandoned cement plant in Kankesanthurai could be restarted with imported limestone, and Paranthan chemicals could be revived. If the 6,000 acres of agricultural land held by the armed forces in Weligamam North is returned to civilians, food could be produced. Cashew, coconut, sugarcane, grapes and mangoes could be grown in plantations and food processing could be given a fillip,” Jayasekaram told Express. [ Full Report ]

  • Duraiappah stadium a symbol of optimism, economic development: PM Modi
  •    [ Jun 20, 2016 8:04:21 GMT ] [ ANI ]

        Asserting the Duraiappah stadium a symbol of optimism and economic development, Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Saturday said India will walk side by side with Sri Lanka as it charts its own path to progress and prosperity for all citizens. “The Duraiappah stadium is not just bricks and motors it is a symbol of optimism and economic development. An arena of phosphorous and healthy future for Jaffna’s youth. [ Full Report ]

  • Modi, Sirisena inaugurate renovated Duraiappah stadium in Jaffna
  •    [ Jun 20, 2016 8:02:13 GMT ] [ IANS ]

        Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated newly-renovated Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna on Saturday. While Sirisena was present at the stadium in Jaffna, Modi joined the event through video-conferencing from New Delhi. Modi said that Indian government with Sirisena jointly dedicate to the people of Sri Lanka the newly-renovated Duraiappah Stadium. [ Full Report ]

  • India-rebuilt Lanka stadium where 23 human skeletons were discovered
  •    [ Jun 18, 2016 10:47:21 GMT ] [ IANS ]

        The India-renovated Duraiappah sports stadium in the embattled Sri Lankan city of Jaffna had once laid bare the hidden brutalities of the Tamil civil war when at least 23 human skeletons, including those of some disappeared children buried secretly in the playground, were discovered in 1999. The skeletons, including those of children, were unearthed when the stadium was being refurbished, according to a 2002 report on Sri Lanka child soldiers by Daya Somasundaram, a renowned psychiatrist in northern Sri Lanka. The bodies were believed to be of those arrested by Sri Lanka security forces and later allegedly killed in what activists say were extra-judicial murders. [ Full Report ]

  • Colombo's TID interrogates Tamil paramilitary operative
  •    [ Jun 16, 2016 13:35:26 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        Colombo's ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division (TID) officers are interrogating a 29-year-old Tamil paramilitary operative from Thenmaraadchi, Jaffna, in connection with the discovery of explosives in March at the village of Ma'ravanpulavu, informed sources told TamilNet on Wednesday. Sivarasa Sivakulan alias Murali, who has been a close confidant of former SL Military Commander in Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and who was actively involved in SLFP election campaigns in Thenmaraadchi during the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the one subjected to interrogations at the notorious 4th Floor in Colombo. Mr Sivakulan has also been a close friend of the present SL Governor of Northern Province Mr Reginald Cooray, informed sources in Jaffna said. He was detained on 11 June. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka: People affected by the past conflict regain economic stability
  •    [ Jun 16, 2016 13:00:44 GMT ] [ ICRC ]

        In Sri Lanka, the ICRC is responding to the needs of some of the most vulnerable households, to provide them with the means to acquire basic necessities to restore a decent life. We support vulnerable households in the north and east of the country to start a small business of their choice through our Micro Economic Initiatives programme, which is carried out in line with the Sri Lankan government's community empowerment programme. A member of the household receives a cash grant and basic training to develop this business into a sustainable source of income. [ Full Report ]

  • "Militti" Army Camp In Jaffna Should Be Removed – CM Vigneshwaran
  •    [ Jun 14, 2016 12:50:01 GMT ] [ Hiru ]

        C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, making a statement in Vavuniya, said considering the fire and explosions of the ammunition storage at the Kosgama Army Camp, the ammunition storage in the “Militti” army camp in Jaffna should be removed along with the entire camp. He pointed out that maintaining weapons storages in populated areas endanger the lives of the people.Adding further, CM stated that he has discussed in this regard with the Commander of the Security Forces in Jaffna, Major General Mahesh Senanayake as well. [ Full Report ]

  • World Bank provides USD55mn to develop Jaffna
  •    [ Jun 02, 2016 15:20:51 GMT ] [ LBO ]

        “The loan will add development of rapidly urbanizing Jaffna to the existing Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP), which is supported by the World Bank and was originally approved in 2014,” the bank said in a statement. A recent World Bank study, “Sri Lanka: a Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD)”, identifies Jaffna as a rapidly growing, single-city agglomeration in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. “Well planned cities can be centers of innovation and job creation as experienced in many parts of the world and this is an opportunity for Sri Lanka to connect people to prosperity,” Françoise Clottes, World Bank country director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives said. [ Full Report ]

  • Absence of Tamil Cops is Main Reason for Rise in Crime in Jaffna
  •    [ May 31, 2016 18:29:28 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        The alarming rise in crime in Jaffna peninsula since Eelam War IV ended in 2009, is attributed to a variety of factors, but one of the principal causes appears to be the absence of Tamil-speakers, especially ethnic Tamils, in the local police force, says M. A.Sumanthiran, Jaffna district MP and spokesman for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Describing the situation as being "very serious" , Sumanthiran said that unless Tamils are recruited at all levels, crime detection will continue to suffer grievously and result in further widening the "trust deficit" that has always existed between the Tamils and the powers-that- be in Colombo. [ Full Report ]

  • Repair and reconciliation in Sri Lanka
  •    [ May 26, 2016 18:55:54 GMT ] [ BL ]

        But the present dispensation has been sensitive to India’s security concerns. This should be acknowledged and reciprocated. While it will be unwise and unaffordable to look at every Chinese initiative in Sri Lanka with suspicion, New Delhi has to ensure that it retains its influence in Trincomalee, while ensuring that China’s presence in Colombo and elsewhere does not pose a security challenge. Sri Lanka has avoided acquiring Chinese-Pakistani JF17 fighter aircraft. It is prepared to look at acquiring the superior Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) instead. No effort should be spared to ensure that Sri Lanka expeditiously receives a sufficient number of Indian LCA. [ Full Report ]

  • Community Mediated Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka
  •    [ May 26, 2016 16:30:18 GMT ] [ Asia Foundation ]

        The Asia Foundation played a critical role in providing much-needed assistance, both logistical and financial, to enable members of the Mediation Boards Commission to travel to the North to interview and select mediators. As in other parts of the country, mediators for the Northern Province were selected from within the community, appointed through an established selection process, then subsequently provided with the required technical training to practice interest-based mediation. Anecdotal information provided by mediators and from members of the community at the time revealed that, even the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which fought a 30-year war with the government of Sri Lanka, were supportive of the mediation boards as they were seen as a mechanism by the people, for the people, and therefore non-threatening despite its government affiliations. [ Full Report ]

  • Wigneswaran takes over three portfolios
  •    [ May 24, 2016 10:50:25 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has taken over three portfolios earlier held by Northern Provincial Council Minister P. Sathyalingam. The provincial ministries of Social Welfare, Rehabilitation and Women Affairs will now come under the purview of the Chief Minister who was sworn in as the subject minister by Governor Reginald Cooray at his office. [ Full Report ]

  • Government of Canada partners with UNDP and FAO to take Northern Sri Lanka’s Dairy and Agriculture Sectors to New Heights
  •    [ May 17, 2016 16:51:23 GMT ] [ UNDP ]

        Under the Canada-funded Agro Economic Development Project (ADP), the Government of Canada together with UNDP and FAO, is working to strengthen agro economic cooperatives in the Northern Sri Lanka, with a specific focus on the districts of Jaffna, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, as the region continues a gradual transition from recovery to development phase.The Government of Canada under a financial envelope of 6 Million Canadian Dollars is funding the UNDP-FAO jointly implemented ADP with a reach of over 11,000 households across the Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts. The Government of Canada continues to enhance the strong and longstanding partnership with the United Nations and is the third largest donor of UNDP Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Wigneswaran hospitalised; talks postponed
  •    [ Apr 18, 2016 10:55:22 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had been admitted to the Jaffna General Hospital due to a sudden illness yesterday, hospital sources said. The meeting scheduled for today with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo over the release of lands in the North has also been postponed due to this, officials said. [ Full Report ]

  • The Tamils of Sri Lanka are still stuck between a bloody past and hope
  •    [ Mar 28, 2016 10:08:27 GMT ] [ Quartz ]

        “Sinhala politicians are paranoid about the next uprising. But, we cannot build trust among these people if we keep so many armed personnel there,” says Sanjana Hattotuwa, Colombo-based founder of the Groundviews, dubbed Sri Lanka’s first citizen journalism portal. “Military presence reminds Tamils about what the state did to them.” Nilanthan says, “We are still unable to count our dead and those who disappeared… The army hasn’t given back the land it holds and we are being monitored by the intelligence..." [ Full Report ]

  • Return remaining lands swiftly-US to SL
  •    [ Mar 01, 2016 11:06:15 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        While expressing support to Sri Lanka in fully implementing the commitments as agreed in the Human Rights Council resolution, the US has urged the Sri Lankan government to return remaining lands to rightful owners swiftly. “The United States expressed support for the Government’s plans for constitutional and legislative reform including public consultations on a new Constitution and the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act to be replaced by appropriate counter-terrorism legislation consistent with international law,” the US said. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka northern province CM asks for Indian help for a federal solution
  •    [ Feb 29, 2016 13:53:04 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Mr. Wignewswaran said he believed that India would intervene again in Sri Lanka as they had come to the assistance of the Tamils in politically sensitive situations in the past. India might ‘intervene’ again in Sri Lanka to help the Tamil minority and provide a federal solution to the ethnic reconciliation problem, a media report quoted the country’s Northern Province Chief Minister as saying. The BBC’s Sinhala service reported that C V Wigneswaran, who is himself a Tamil, made the remarks in Jaffna on Sunday while addressing a group of academics, who had returned to the north after their educational pursuits in India. [ Full Report ]

  • Jaffna Railway Station: On a fast track to success
  •    [ Feb 28, 2016 12:35:35 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The Jaffna Railway Station has turned to be one of the main out hubs for transportation between the north and the south. Over 1,200 passengers pass through the station daily with four trains from Kankesanthurai (KKS) to the south and back to KKS. The intercity train has turned out to be the most popular train between the two destinations with most seats being booked on a regular basis. The station is one of the best maintained stations in the country after the Bank of Ceylon sponsored the reconstruction of the station. [ Full Report ]

  • Lingering sore in a fast-healing Jaffna
  •    [ Feb 28, 2016 12:30:00 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        “Today in Jaffna, there are incidents of gang fights, child abuse, public harassment cases and violent activities being reported. If any issues erupt, don’t turn to violent protests. We don’t like to see university students languishing in cells. “You are our future leaders Jaffna High Court Judge M. Elancheleyan said at an event to mark the aluminum jubilee of the Department of Law, University of Jaffna last Sunday at the Kailasapathy Auditorium. [ Full Report ]

  • Problems Continue to Plague Sri Lanka’s Northern Province
  •    [ Feb 19, 2016 11:25:24 GMT ] [ The Diplomat ]

        It’s been over a year since Maithripala Sirisena assumed the presidency, although much about daily life in Sri Lanka’s war-torn Northern Province remains the same. “There’s a reduced number of troops on the road,” says Shalin Uthayarasa, a journalist. “We’re experiencing a temporary respite in repression.” Uthayarasa goes on to mention that his two previous points apply to ordinary people, but aren’t relevant for journalists or human rights activists, who continue to face threats (or worse) from state security personnel. “I’m sure they [the Sri Lanka Army] haven’t reduced troop numbers,” he tells me. [ Full Report ]

  • New Sri Lanka's North Governor Cooray takes charge
  •    [ Feb 16, 2016 20:05:12 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        Reginold Cooray, who took charge as Governor of the sensitive Northern Province on Tuesday, said his top priorities would be to win the hearts of people of the Province and accelerate the process of development. Widely regarded as a moderate leader of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), progressive and “left-wing thinker” in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Mr. Cooray succeeded H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, who had held the post for a year. He told The Hindu that he would demonstrate friendship and readiness to work together with the administration of the Northern Provincial Council. [ Full Report ]

  • That Jaffna Spook
  •    [ Feb 05, 2016 15:17:02 GMT ] [ Outlook ]

        Prakash Belawadi is waiting for a vehicle at Bangalore’s Ashoka Pillar when a young couple stops by for a selfie with him. Does that happen often? “After Airlift, it’s like an epide­mic, it’s a big film,” says the actor with a shock of grey hair who played the crabby George in the Bollywood movie. “I think these selfies will last another couple of days.” It’s nearing nine in the evening, just a few hours after Belaw­adi flew back into town from Mumbai after Airlift’s celebratory party (the film has made Rs 100 crore in ten days). Already, he’s managed to squeeze in an hour or so to rehearse an English play scheduled for an amateur theatre festival later in the week. [ Full Report ]

  • TNA, Wigneswaran Rift Deepens
  •    [ Jan 24, 2016 15:09:41 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The rift between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran deepened last week after Wigneswaran refused to resign as chairman of the newly formed Tamil People’s Council (TPC). TNA Northern Provincial Council members had urged Wigneswaran to step down as chairman of the TPC as there is a conflict of interest between the TPC and the TNA. Some TNA Provincial Council reminded Wigneswaran that he came to power as a result of the TNA and so he must follow the line of the TNA. [ Full Report ]

  • Wigneswaran Faces The Axe
  •    [ Jan 18, 2016 14:35:04 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran will face pressure to resign or a no-confidence motion will be brought against him at the Northern Provincial Council if he fails to tow the line of the Tamil National Alliance. TNA Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members will meet Wigneswaran today for key talks after having similar talks last week. TNA Northern Provincial Council member M.K. Sivajilingham told The Sunday Leader that today’s discussion will be a follow up to last week’s talks but dismissed claims that Wigneswaran will be asked to resign. [ Full Report ]

  • De-mining Sri Lanka: a job for widows and survivors
  •    [ Jan 12, 2016 15:33:47 GMT ] [ Al Jazeera ]

        Not so long ago Shanmukam Thankamuththu had 25 goats; now she has only five. The other 20 have been sold, each animal bringing in 9,000 rupees, or around $60, depending on its size. "I sold one and used the money to build this wall. I sold another to dig the well," she says, explaining how her goats paid for her house. This sturdy but cramped single-room structure is occupied by the 56-year-old, her husband and the two youngest of their seven children, along with two dogs and a ginger kitten. [ Full Report ]

  • TMP Watchdog of Lanka Tamil Politics
  •    [ Jan 11, 2016 17:24:44 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        The TMP, he said, is only meant to give the present Tamil leaders (including those of the TNA) the necessary broad-based backing so that governments are forced to turn their attention from trying to satisfy the needs of individual leaders to meeting the demands of the Tamils as a whole. The CM said that there is concentration of power in the hands of a few Tamil leaders, and warned that individual leaders or political brokers cannot win for Tamils, their legitimate rights. [ Full Report ]

  • Jaffna’s Punkudutivu Paradise
  •    [ Jan 07, 2016 20:15:37 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        Head out of the centre and go in search of a place called Punkudutivu, only a short distance from where the ferryboats dock to take people to three of Jaffna’s seven low-lying islands. Punkudutivu village is full of deserted beautiful old houses from the colonial period with hand carved ornate lattice stonework found above the doorways. These include elaborate peacock, elephant and floral designs in stone and wood painted over in white and in the case of one house on the main road there is a regal porch way with two elephants flanking it. Amazingly these sculptures have retained much of their original paintwork and are still holding up the porch and roof with the tip of their trunks. [ Full Report ]

  • Yahapalanaya at One: When will our leaders ‘walk the talk’?
  •    [ Jan 04, 2016 14:26:30 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        I shared those words one year ago on Twitter and Facebook through a simple web meme. At the time, it was very much an aspiration, as we Lankans were still living under a regime that harboured monarchic delusions and had little regard for our rights as citizens. And a week later, at Sri Lanka’s seventh presidential election, we citizens sent that regime home. Contrary to some assertions, it was an entirely a home-grown, non-violent and democratic process. An impressive 81.52% of registered voters (or 12.26 million persons) took part in choosing our next head of state and head of government: Maithripala Sirisena. [ Full Report ]

  • House hunt in Sri Lanka: Seeking the place my father once called home
  •    [ Dec 29, 2015 18:23:57 GMT ] [ Globe and Mail ]

        As Dakshana Bascaramurty was growing up in Canada, her father would reveal almost nothing about his past life in rural Sri Lanka. So when fate took her to the island country, she knew she had to search for the place he left behind. My father never read to me when I was a kid, but could sometimes be persuaded to tell a bedtime story from memory, drawn from a stock of Sri Lanka-ified versions of Aesop’s Fables. In the original parable of the crow and the fox, the fox flatters the crow, who is holding a piece of cheese in his beak, into singing for him. This prompts the crow to drop the cheese, and the fox catches it. [ Full Report ]

  • 'Tamil Makkal Peravai Will Be A Watchdog of Tamil Politics'
  •    [ Dec 28, 2015 13:19:17 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, has clarified that the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP), which he has floated, is not a rival to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), but is a non-partisan, civil society watchdog meant to see that the basic interests of the Lankan Tamils are upheld by their leaders and not compromised for petty gains. Wigneswaran asked people to be aware of the ideological dimension of majoritarian Lankan politics. Sinhalese majoritarian parties may be competing against each other for political power, but they unite against the Tamils. [ Full Report ]

  • What’s missing out there? People or Politics?
  •    [ Dec 25, 2015 14:42:25 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        “Thamil Makkal Peravai” (TMP) prompted this essay on Christmas Day. I checked up on the English translation of the Tamil word “Peravai” with a few Tamil friends and there were at least 03 suggestions. One said it’s a “Council”. Another said it’s a “Front” while the third suggested the word “Platform”. A council, front or platform, this new collective of Northern and Eastern politicos and concerned social activists formed during the previous weekend, certainly has an anti TNA projection. [ Full Report ]

  • Sirisena makes surprise visit to IDP camp in Jaffna
  •    [ Dec 23, 2015 17:38:33 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        A cross section of the inmates interacted with the President, who spent nearly 45 minutes at the camp. Over 1,500 inmates of a camp of internally displaced persons in Konapulam, near Kankesanthurai, of the Jaffna district were taken by surprise on Sunday when President Maithripala Sirisena made an impromptu visit to their place and enquired on their well being. Giving an account of the President’s visit to the camp, Angajan Ramanathan, regarded as one of the Members of Parliament belonging to the camp of Mr. Sirisena in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), told The Hindu that a cross section of the inmates interacted with the President, who spent nearly 45 minutes at the camp. [ Full Report ]

  • Colombo seeking to centralise powers: Wigneswaran
  •    [ Dec 16, 2015 15:18:57 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Referring to a draft scheme, titled “Grama Rajya” and circulated by the Central government, Mr. Wigneswaran said it had been proposed that district and village level committees, all coming directly under the Central government, would be empowered to decide on implementation of all development works. “This has to be viewed as a new plan by the Central government to sideline provincial councils and exercise its influence directly,” he said, while presenting the budget for 2016. Even though actions of the present government were giving signals of being “well-intentioned”, they were only “nurturing indirect control” of the Central government over the provincial councils, he said, complaining that what had been allocated to the Northern Province was only about 40 per cent of what was sought. [ Full Report ]

  • Expressway to Jaffna through Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee
  •    [ Dec 14, 2015 15:57:48 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Three mega road projects to be launched next year, trip to Kandy in 75 minutesBy Damith Wickremasekara Three mega expressway projects, including one to the north through Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee, will be launched next year, officials said yesterday. Funding for the projects estimated to cost US$ 13.4 billion (Rs. 1,900 billion) will come from multiple sources including China, the Asian Development Bank and local avenues, Road Development Authority Director General M.P.K.L Gunaratne told the Sunday Times. [ Full Report ]

  • Wigneswaran reiterates demand for Tamil prisoners' release
  •    [ Dec 11, 2015 15:57:46 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran on Thursday used the occasion of the World Human Rights Day to renew his call for the release of Tamil prisoners, described by him as “political prisoners.” Mr Wigneswaran urged President Maithripala Sirisena to grant an “open amnesty” and ensure the release the prisoners [numbering 203]. He argued that the right to liberty “continues to be violated” with the incarceration of many hundreds of young Tamils detained without trial or deprived of proper hearings. Terming the continued imprisonment as a “violation of this important right” by the Sri Lanka government,the Chief Minister said the government should release the prisoners “without any delay and demonstrate its commitment to human rights.” [ Full Report ]

  • Samantha Power evades questions in Jaffna on Tamil genocide
  •    [ Nov 23, 2015 14:09:40 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        Placing high hopes on Colombo regime that it will act positively to accountability demands of the US, and that there would be a vibrant civil society, lasting democracy and increased prosperity in the island, the visiting US Ambassador to United Nations, Ms Samantha Power, in Jaffna, dodged questions on the need for investigations on Tamil genocide, when journalists in Jaffna met her at the Jaffna Public Library on Sunday. During the tightly scheduled visit to Jaffna, Ms Power met with SL Governor to North, NPC Chief Minister and his ministers, toured the offices of the Uthayan newspaper and ceremonially opened a new science building at Jaffna Osmania College, constructed with 450,000 USD aid from the US Pacific Command. [ Full Report ]

  • KIMFF:News from Jaffna
  •    [ Nov 20, 2015 14:08:29 GMT ] [ Nepal Times ]

        It is fitting therefore that FSA this year is showing News from Jaffna - a 28-minute long documentary that follows the path of a young female journalist, Thadsa, who works for Uthayan - a widely known daily paper run by Tamils out of Jaffna. The paper refuses to blink in the face of widespread media censorship - which exists, as Thadsa points out in one of her investigative pieces, whether you are Sinhalese or Tamil.Sri Lanka’s freedom of press and freedom of speech is still staggering to recover, even after the unexpected ousting this year of the formidably corrupt (morally and otherwise) Mahinda Rajapaksa who actively disappeared dissenters during his regime. [ Full Report ]

  • India's Chennai hit by rain and deadly flooding
  •    [ Nov 17, 2015 22:35:14 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        More than 70 people have been killed as incessant rains continue to batter the southern Indian city of Chennai, media reports say. Most of the main streets are waterlogged, bringing the city to a standstill. Many offices, schools and colleges have been shut due to rains in the past week. The rains have also affected at least 80,000 people in northern parts of neighbouring Sri Lanka. A depression formed in the Bay of Bengal has triggered rains in coastal areas of India's Tamil Nadu state and Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Deadly rains wreak havoc in southern India, Sri Lanka
  •    [ Nov 16, 2015 21:31:55 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Floods in south India and Sri Lanka have killed over 70 people -- inundating homes, farmland and highways -- forcing authorities to shut down schools and colleges in some areas, officials and media reports said on Monday. The floods, triggered by incessant rains over the past seven days, have submerged parts of Tamil Nadu, including its capital Chennai, where most of the deaths and devastation has taken place. Caused by a depression formed in the Bay of Bengal, the heavy rains have also affected Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, as well as neighbouring Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Cycle rickshaws in Jaffna
  •    [ Nov 09, 2015 14:44:36 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        More than a century ago, cycle rickshaws were the main mode of transport in parts of Asia. The earlier Jaffna Urban Council (now Municipal Council) taxed cycle rickshaws at 75 cents a month. While this mode of transport is no more (except as a tourist attraction), one elderly man in Jaffna is using it to earn money and feed his family. 68 year-old Ratnam Aiyampillai, a Malaysian-born Jaffna resident, for decades has been operating a cycle rickshaw as a Montessori school transport in the northern city, as his livelihood.He has four children, gets just Rs. 15.000 a month from his rickshaw and also receives the Samurdhi dole. Keen to provide his children a proper education, he says he hopes for some assistance from a friendly NGO or well-wishers. [ Full Report ]

  • Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province:
  •    [ Nov 05, 2015 14:16:07 GMT ] [ Citizens Commission ]

        The Commission collected 391 testimonies. 206 females and 185 males were interviewed and documented. Among them 26 individuals were from the host community, 10 resettled people from Jaffna and one person form Mullaitiwu. Four interviews were conducted with Northern Muslim activists. Another 12 individuals who were between the ages of 12- 15 during the time of expulsion were interviewed.The Commission on the Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province has come to the following conclusions regarding the expulsion, the displacement and return: [ Full Report ]

  • Conservators Are Repairing Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Fort
  •    [ Nov 05, 2015 11:26:22 GMT ] [ Archaeology ]

        War and neglect have taken a toll on Jaffna Fort, a star-shaped structure built in the seventeenth century by Dutch colonists on the Jaffa peninsula. Archaeologist Prashantha Mandawala of the University of Sri Jayewadenepura is leading the effort to remove unexploded mines and shells from the site. “There was also vandalism. Some people whose houses were damaged during the war had vandalized the fort to remove limestones to rebuild their homes,” Mandawala told The Sun Daily. Some 150 workers are looking for the limestone bricks in people’s homes, in the fort’s moat, and making replacements. [ Full Report ]

  • Reforms underway: Jaffna University VC
  •    [ Oct 28, 2015 13:22:56 GMT ] [ Deccan Chronicle ]

        Education sector was never affected in Sri Lanka during the period of unrest in the country. In fact, many reforms took place in the sector there, according to Vice-Chancellor of Jaffna University Vasanthi Arasaratnam. She also pointed out that the scheme would be useful for widow victims of the war period. The university was making all out efforts to uplift women in Sri Lanka. M.M.M. Najim, Vice Chancellor, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, hailed the efforts of Indian Government, especially NIT-T, towards development of women entrepreneurs of both countries in business and management capacities. [ Full Report ]

  • Thavil beats from Jaffna
  •    [ Oct 22, 2015 19:11:23 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        Maestro Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy Pillai was admired by his contemporaries and music lovers alike. Yazhpanam Thedchanamoorthy Pillai may not be a familiar name for most people. But the fact remains that he was a name to reckon with in the field of thavil playing. Veteran percussionists, including the legendary Palghat Mani Iyer, have lauded his playing skills, and even hailed him as ‘the eighth wonder.’ Now, this maestro is the subject of a new documentary made by film-maker Amshan Kumar. But how did Amshan end up making a film on a thavil artist from Sri Lanka? [ Full Report ]

  • War Has Had Severe Psychological Effects on Kids in Lanka's North: Psychiatrist
  •    [ Oct 19, 2015 15:05:27 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        The thirty year war in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province has had a severe psychological effect on the children there, says Dr. Daya Somasundaram, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Jaffna. Describing the effects of such a traumatic background on the mental make up of kids, Somasundaran says: “The hopes, trust, and feelings of security that children need to develop normally, would have been destroyed, causing permanent scarring at an impressionable age.”A study of medical students from the districts of the Wanni revealed that 63 percent had witnessed the unnatural death of a friend or a family member; 67 percent had escaped from the jaws of death; 43 percent had witnessed killings of strangers; and 80 percent had been in the midst of armed combat. [ Full Report ]

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