News Category: Jaffna
  • 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 ]

  • Skating the war-torn streets of Jaffna
  •    [ Oct 08, 2015 10:17:26 GMT ] [ RedBull ]

        The plan was to spend a few days skating Colombo and than take a newly opened train to the previously closed off northern province. Years spent in civil war has kept the rest of Sri Lanka, and the world, disconnected from Jaffna until just recently, and a train called the Queen of Jaffna has just had started service again.It turns out that we aren't able to book the tickets online because in order for us to travel north to film and skateboard, we needed to ask permission from the government. They said that a few months before us someone had gone North to Jaffna and posted photographs online saying it was a horrible place where the people were being treated inhumanely. [ Full Report ]

  • Court acquits Tamil mother after 15 years of detention under PTA
  •    [ Oct 08, 2015 8:54:08 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        Last week, Tamil children in the North of Sri Lanka reportedly took to the streets to demand the release of their parents detained for years[1] under anti-terror laws[2]. This was hardly reported in mainstream Sri Lankan media. But many Sri Lankan media reported that two suspects in the Town Hall bomb case of 1999 (injuring former President Kumaratunga and countless others and killing 26[3]) were sentenced to 290 and 300 years respectively. [ Full Report ]

  • Japan promises visiting Sri Lanka PM infrastructure, maritime aid
  •    [ Oct 06, 2015 12:13:46 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged aid to Sri Lanka on Tuesday in a meeting with his counterpart, Ranil Wickremsinghe, and reiterated a promise to help Sri Lanka bolster its maritime security and to provide patrol ships. Sri Lanka is moving away from the former government's pro-China stance and has suspended most Chinese-backed infrastructure projects. It is also trying to put more emphasis on ties with Japan, which dovetails with Abe's hope to counter a rising China. [ Full Report ]

  • Sampanthan tells Tamils not to fear investigations based on UNHRC resolution
  •    [ Oct 05, 2015 10:03:46 GMT ] [ Island ]

        If there were any threats to the interests of Tamil people by such investigations, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would counter them without letting the aspirations of Tamils be undermined, the Opposition Leader said. Sampanthan said the shift of TNA’s stance would not mean that Tamil people were ready to take it lying down if the investigations were not to their satisfaction. However, the Jaffna based civil organisations insisted that there would be no justice unless there was an international war crimes investigation. Advisor to the Collective of Independent Organisations in the North, S. Sahadevan said Tamil people would accept only the outcome of an international probe. [ Full Report ]

  • Best athlete title goes to Point Pedro for the first timeJohn Tarbet Junior Athletic Championships
  •    [ Sep 29, 2015 13:44:43 GMT ] [ Island ]

        An athlete from Point Pedro won the best athlete title of the John Tarbet Junior Athletic Championships for the first time at Anuradhapura on Friday. Sri Lanka Schools Athletic Association officials praised the efforts of Balachandran Ananth of Hartley College, Point Pedro: "Balachandran Ananth is the first athlete from the entire Jaffna peninsula to have secured the best athlete title in a Sir John Tarbet Athletic Championships," an official of the SLSAA told. Ananth won the title for his feat of 45.91 metres in the Under-15 discus throw. [ Full Report ]

  • The Forever Victims? Tamil Women in Post-War Sri Lanka
  •    [ Sep 25, 2015 15:30:08 GMT ] [ TheWeek ]

        The nostalgia for the past, however emotive, must be replaced by a more active engagement of women in the political sphere. Tamils in Sri Lanka have Ananthi Sasitharan, a very articulate and powerful woman, no doubt, but to make real change, voices like hers must be amplified a thousand-fold. Moreover, Sri Lanka’s north is one of the most militarised regions in the planet—there is one soldier for every six civilians. Such a report, from the prism of looking at the lives of women and the politics of sexual violence in the region, also lends strength to the people’s call to end the almost siege-like circumstances that characterise their lives. [ Full Report ]

  • Campaign for international accountability process reaches 150,000 signatories across North-East of Sri Lanka
  •    [ Sep 16, 2015 14:35:59 GMT ] [ TamilGuardian ]

        A signature campaign calling for an international process of justice and accountability for the mass killing of Tamil civilians during the final stages of the armed phase of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict continued at Jaffna University. The university's Department of Ramanathan Fine Arts hosted the campaign on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of signatures have been collected across the North-East to date by the campaign - organised by the Tamil Action Committee for International Accountability Mechanism (TACIAM). [ Full Report ]

  • Indian govt. project in Kilinochchi awarded to Link Engineering
  •    [ Aug 24, 2015 14:06:51 GMT ] [ Island ]

        As part of its development partnership with Sri Lanka in the field of higher education, the Government of India is undertaking a project to establish a Centre for Skill Development for the Faculty of Agriculture at the Kilinochchi Campus of the University of Jaffna, at a total cost of SLR 300 million. The project encompasses building construction as well as supply of equipment and furniture, in addition to training and curriculum development. The objective of the project is to create infrastructure facilities in order to provide a conducive learning environment for students, increase student intake, and enhance knowledge and skills of both lecturers and students in the field of agricultural science. [ Full Report ]

  • Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers
  •    [ Aug 20, 2015 13:36:13 GMT ] [ NPR ]

        Rising two stories and capped by three domes, the Jaffna Public Library looks a bit like a stately wedding cake. Gleaming white under the Sri Lanka sun, the building's classical lines and beautiful proportions make it one of the architectural standouts of the South Asia region. That it survived at all is a testament to resilience. The fact that it was restored to such pristine condition, including its lush gardens, and modernized (it now offers Wi-Fi) makes it all the more remarkable. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan ice-cream parlour gains fame after surviving brutal conflict
  •    [ Aug 16, 2015 15:44:40 GMT ] [ Channel NewsAsia ]

        Rio Ice-cream is much revered among ice-cream lovers within and beyond the town of Jaffna, north of Sri Lanka. The two-storey building on Point Pedro Road is packed with polished wooden tables and chairs that are usually occupied in the evening, when customers flock to enjoy scoops of ice-cream. “The ice-cream here is very delicious and of top quality. The staff treat us very well too,” a regular customer said, before delving a spoon into his ice-cream. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan Army says it has only ‘limited’ role in north
  •    [ Jul 26, 2015 15:39:49 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        The Sri Lankan Army has maintained that its involvement in the Northern Province is limited “only to demining, construction works and infrastructure development in connection with the resettlement of people.” Responding to a questionnaire sent by The Hindu last month on the status of the Army’s presence in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, it said on Thursday: “We have almost totally disengaged [ourselves] from non-military activities.” The Oakland Institute, a US-based policy think tank, had earlier reported the Army has “expanded” itself into “non-military activities” and is “engaged in large-scale development, construction projects and business ventures”. [ Full Report ]

  • Jaffna sees sharp fall in number of voters
  •    [ Jul 11, 2015 15:06:10 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        The Jaffna electoral district in the Northern Province has witnessed a sharp drop of over 25 per cent in the number of voters. According to the 2010 data, this electoral district, covering Killinochchi, too, had about 7.21 lakh voters, which fell to 5.29 lakh in 2014. The steep decline arouses curiosity as the Eelam War IV was over in May 2009, over a year before the release of the 2010 data. Explaining the difference, M. M. Mohamed, Additional Commissioner of Elections (Legal and Investigation), told The Hindu on Friday evening that the house-to-house enumeration of electors did not take place properly there till 2010 due a variety of factors. It was only since 2011 a proper enumeration has been carried out annually. [ Full Report ]

  • Helitours to Jaffna with expired licence
  •    [ Jun 28, 2015 11:32:50 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Helitours, the Air Force’s domestic air service, has been ferrying passengers to and from Jaffna in an aircraft with an expired Certificate of Airworthiness on the basis that the passengers are responsible for their own lives, the Sunday Times has found. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed that the annual Certificate of Airworthiness for the Xian MA60 that Helitours operates to Jaffna has lapsed. The CAA has sought assistance of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to determine whether it can be renewed.Passengers told to sign broken English document saying they are travelling at their own risk [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s Punguduthivu: An island devastated by war
  •    [ Jun 24, 2015 14:40:34 GMT ] [ WSWS ]

        Much of Punguduthivu now looks like a no-man’s land. Just 6,000 people live there, with 17,000 displaced since the military captured the islets from the LTTE in the early 1990s. The flight of people from Punguduthivu increased after President Rajapakse resumed the war in 2006. Only a few families resettled after the war ended.Punguduthivu residents depend on fishing, masonry work, caring for homes owned by displaced people or selling coconuts from abandoned properties. Some gangs produce illegal liquor. People accuse the security forces and police of having close connections with some gangs and the paramilitaries. [ Full Report ]

  • Jaffna Authorities act fast against alarming hike in alcohol, drugs use
  •    [ Jun 21, 2015 18:08:34 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Police in the Jaffna district have undertaken special round-the-clock patrolling and formulated an ‘Anti-drug plan’ to eradicate this menace from the region, said a senior police official. Newly appointed Headquarters Inspector (HQI) of Jaffna, Fredrick Woodler, said he has started awareness campaigns on the use of these dangerous drugs in all the schools in the district. “We have identified issues in the district other than drugs such as alcohol abuse, children and women abuse, use of mobile phones, social media, and conduct of the younger generation. I have cleared all the vadey carts and ice cream vans near the schools, which sell ganja and drugs mixed with arecanuts, to schoolchildren, in the guise of normal vendors,” he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Crawling Back To Normalcy
  •    [ Jun 15, 2015 12:47:51 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The releasing of land held by the army has been given wide publicity both by the Government and the military in recent times. However, while the process has been welcomed, not everyone is really happy. Some families who have been given their land back have little or nothing to go back to. A group of journalist from Colombo and a few from Jaffna were taken to Palaly last week for a briefing by the military on the land released so far in Jaffna. The journalists were also taken on a guided tour to a few areas in Palaly to see for themselves the land which has been given back to the rightful owners. [ Full Report ]

  • No military administration in Jaffna: Sri Lanka Army
  •    [ Jun 11, 2015 15:04:57 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        The Sri Lankan Army has said there was no military administration in Tamil-dominated Jaffna and denied allegations by Chief Minister of the Northern Province CV Wigneswaran that more troops had been deployed in the area after a riot in mid-May. Major General Nandana Thuduwewatta, the Security Forces Commander in Jaffna, told reporters that the military has placed itself according to the defence requirements and there was no excessive deployment of troops. [ Full Report ]

  • DS raises alarm over drugs and crimes in Jaffna
  •    [ May 31, 2015 2:35:24 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        One month before the gruesome rape and murder of a Poonkuduthivu schoolgirl, Jaffna’s District Secretary in a report had urged the police to act fast to check the rising incidence of sexual abuse, exploitation and illicit sale of liquor and drugs in the district. Describing schoolchildren’s new found addiction to drugs and banned substances as a “well-planned strategy” aimed at disrupting the social fabric of the north, the report sent to Jaffna’s Deputy Inspector General highlights the alarming rate at which crime is rising in the peninsula. [ Full Report ]

  • Addressing “blocked grief” in Jaffna
  •    [ May 31, 2015 2:33:52 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        Six years after the end of the war the population in the North of Sri Lanka remains passive, ensnared in wartime mentality because they haven’t been able to express and deal with their sorrow and trauma. Professors from Jaffna University talk of a young generation incapable of envisioning a better future. While they demonstrated courage and compassion beyond their years during war, they are now disillusioned, unable to cope with the ‘normal’ life of a university student because of a post-traumatic growth in their personalities and functioning. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka president visits Jaffna over gang-rape anger
  •    [ May 26, 2015 14:18:07 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena flew to the island's former warzone of Jaffna on Tuesday to defuse rising tensions over the gang rape and murder of a teenager, a spokesman said. Sirisena met relatives of the 17-year-old school girl killed in the minority Tamil stronghold in the island's north two weeks ago, an incident that sparked clashes between residents and police, who were accused of failing to act swiftly. "The president invited the mother and brother of the victim to lunch with him and promised speedy legal action against the perpetrators," Sirisena's spokesman Dharmasri Bandara told AFP. [ Full Report ]

  • Once Tiger Den Jaffna Now a Hub of Crime?
  •    [ May 25, 2015 17:43:16 GMT ] [ Indian Express ]

        The phenomenon of rising crime in Jaffna after the end of the war is worrying experts. A place known for its law-abiding citizens is today a happy hunting ground of criminals and law-breakers. Sebastian Nehru, a Jaffna resident who had worked in the UK police said, “The crime rate is very high. Twenty to 30 bicycles are stolen every day in Jaffna town alone. Seventy per cent of the motorbikes here have no licence. The police, mostly non-Tamil, turn a blind eye, and the courts give bail because there aren’t enough prisons.” The high rate of unemployment is one cause, says Dr Muthukrishna Sarvananthan of the Point Pedro Institute of Development. [ Full Report ]

  • Nets within nets: Untangling the problem of illegal fishing in the north
  •    [ May 24, 2015 11:09:25 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Early this month three fishermen from Jaffna were selling their catch along the main road when a couple of Navy officers stopped to buy some. One of the fishermen thought he would be honest with the officers and had apparently told them that the fish was not good for cooking as they were caught by means of an ‘explosion’, in other words, dynamite fishing. The fishermen were arrested immediately by the two officers and handed over to fisheries officials. [ Full Report ]

  • Jaffna Seeks Justice For Vithiya
  •    [ May 24, 2015 10:59:29 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        Incidents of rape have become alarmingly high in post-war Jaffna and many young women have become the victims of ruthless rapists who seem to walk away scot-free. With reference to many such incidents, people question the law enforcement authorities for their prolonged inability to bring the culprits to justice. Recently, an 18-year-old girl was gang-raped and murdered in Kayts in the Jaffna Peninsula adding to the long list of female victims who were subjected to atrocities committed by men in the post-war North. On the 13th of this month, Sivaloganathan Vithiya... [ Full Report ]

  • CID in Jaffna for full probe on protests
  •    [ May 24, 2015 10:56:03 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        A 15-strong group of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detectives arrived in Jaffna last night to conduct an urgent probe into a string of incidents that culminated in Wednesday’s attack on the Magistrate’s Court. The probe will centre on the causes that led to the incidents and whether any ‘anti national’ groups were attempting to destabilise the peninsula. One of the first tasks of the detectives yesterday was to obtain from Police the identities of persons who took part in the attacks. This was after Jaffna Magistrate P. Sivakumar issued an order for those in possession of video footage to hand them over to the Police. [ Full Report ]

  • Three brothers arrested for alleged rape and killing
  •    [ May 18, 2015 16:06:22 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Three brothers from the same family in the Jaffna peninsula have been arrested over the alleged rape and killing of an 18-year-old school girl and remanded until next Thursday, police said. Initial investigations have revealed that a long-standing dispute between the two families had allegedly led to the abduction of the girl while she was on her way to school on Wednesday morning. The suspects were produced before Kayts Magistrate Lenin Kumar. The girl was later allegedly raped and been dumped in a scrub jungle. Her hands and feet were tied with a rope and the body had cut injuries. The victim’s parents lodged a complaint at the Kayts police station on Wednesday when she did not return home from school. [ Full Report ]

  • Valalai (Jaffna): Re-militarisation of released villages with façade of resettlement
  •    [ May 18, 2015 15:57:10 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        Valalai[1] is a Tamil village of about 233 acres[2] that was occupied by the military for nearly 25 years and before it was handed back to villagers in March 2015 by President Sirisena. Yet, more than 50 days after that handover, villagers don’t see hope for resettlement as almost nothing has been provided for them to resettle into. I met a few villagers who had already decided to stay there in makeshift tents and huts and few others who had visited for the day. I was told that only about 10 out of 155 families[3] are staying there and that a few others visit for the day. [ Full Report ]

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