News Category: Jaffna
  • The heart of Jaffna Tamil community
  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 15:22:36 GMT ] [ Star ]

        “The area was where the first generation of Jaffna (Sri Lankan) Tamil community in Malaya settled. Many of them were government clerks staying at the Hundred Quarters. Further away, where KL Sentral and Brickfields Asia College are now situated, stood rows of government quarters for Indian civil servants back then. “They sweated blood to build these establishments to preserve their culture and heritage,” said an old-timer of Brickfields who preferred to remain anonymous. [ Full Report ]

  • North in a debt trap
  •    [ Dec 12, 2014 11:15:25 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Incessant campaigning by finance companies, including door-to-door canvassing, has caused rising debt in the Northern Province amongst people who are only just emerging from a debilitating war, community leaders say. Newspapers are writing of suicides related to an inability to settle dues, although there has been no scientific research to connect these deaths with indebtedness. Several crop failures caused by drought have severely eroded farmer incomes, making it impossible for many to pay off loans. “A severe problem is that most of the people are struggling to settle credit,” said Father Christy Daniel, an Anglican priest in Kilinochchi. “These loans have been taken at the beginning of life after resettlement. They are now finding it difficult to pay.” [ Full Report ]

  • Jaffna’s youth hit the bottle
  •    [ Nov 23, 2014 16:31:56 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        More than 15,000 litres of alcohol are consumed daily in the former war-torn district of Jaffna – a dramatic increase in liquor consumption patterns, statistics from the Excise Department reveal. Figures show some 6 million litres of arrack and beer and 5m litres of toddy were consumed last year in Jaffna district, which has a population of under 600,000. This year, 4.2m litres of beer and arrack were consumed in Jaffna up to September. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka north assembly calls for release of Tamil detainees
  •    [ Nov 20, 2014 14:56:04 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lanka's Northern Provincial Council today unanimously adopted a resolution calling for urgent action for the release of Tamil political prisoners. The resolution was adopted unanimously to this effect, said Council's Chairman CVK Sivagnanam. The Northern Provincial Council is controlled by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), an amalgam of five Tamil parties. According to the resolution, some of the Tamil political prisoners have spent between 8-15 years in jail and are continued to be held without charges. [ Full Report ]

  • World Bank HOODWINKED
  •    [ Nov 17, 2014 14:19:47 GMT ] [ Nation ]

        A police investigation has now been launched into a fraud amounting to millions of rupees allegedly committed by several senior officials of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). The alleged fraud involves a project funded by the World Bank. The World Bank, meanwhile, through its Senior External Affairs Officer Sandya Salgado said it was also now ‘looking into the matter in accordance with the World Bank’s Policy on Fraudulent Practice’. Over Rs.100 million had allegedly been defrauded from funds allocated to the project, according to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran. The Nation also has in its possession documents that do point to corruption over a large scale of this project. [ Full Report ]

  • Yal Devi runaway success, more trains on track
  •    [ Nov 10, 2014 2:23:48 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Raking in Rs. 10 million since its launch on October 13, the northern-bound Yal Devi has become the highest revenue earner for the Railways Department, which now wants to put on more trains. About 10,000 people are using the train for day-to-day activities, earning the department Rs. 600,000 daily. Given the increase of passengers travelling to the north, the department has decided to launch a second night mail train as well as local train services between Jaffna and Kilinochchi, said Sri Lanka Railways General Manager V. Amaratunga. [ Full Report ]

  • Northern travel ban provokes international warnings
  •    [ Oct 27, 2014 7:25:45 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        A number of countries have revised their travel advisories to reflect recent Defence Ministry restrictions on foreigners wishing to go north of Omanthai. Among them are the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia and Japan. Most European countries have advised their citizens to exercise caution when visiting Sri Lanka with some urging them to avoid all non-essential travel to “certain areas”. Britain was the first to update its advisory following the October 15 Defence Ministry announcement that all foreign travellers to the north must obtain its permission. [ Full Report ]

  • Unfinished war in Sri Lanka threatens paradise regained
  •    [ Oct 22, 2014 10:14:29 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Tamil politicians and religious leaders accuse authorities of giving jobs to the majority Sinhalese population, saying there is a policy of "Sinhalisation" - aimed at changing the predominately Tamil demographic in the north. Tamil names of places such as Mathngal and Kantharodai in Jaffna, have been changed to the Sinhala names of Jambukolapatuna and Kathurugoda, add residents. What dampens much of Tamil confidence in a genuine reconciliation is the looming security presence in the north with countless high-walled military camps, packed security trucks and patrols, and soldiers running small shops and hotels. [ Full Report ]

  • Reconnecting Sri Lanka's north: Slow train through Jaffna
  •    [ Oct 15, 2014 2:56:01 GMT ] [ The Economist ]

        RAIL services between the south of Sri Lanka and its battle-scarred northern peninsula resumed on October 13th, for the first time in 24 years. Moments after the first train to complete the reopened service chugged to a halt at the new Jaffna railway station, teenagers bounded onto the tracks to take pictures with their mobile phones. They would have spent most of their lives weathering a brutal war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government. The last time a ticket had been sold at Jaffna station, near the heart of the insurgency fought on behalf of the country’s Tamil minority, they were yet to be born. [ Full Report ]

  • Rajapaksa re-launches Yal Devi; Wigneswaran gives it a miss
  •    [ Oct 15, 2014 2:55:04 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran stayed away from a ceremony on Monday in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa re-launched train services to Jaffna. When contacted, Mr. Wigneswaran told The Hindu: “Our letter to President refers to our keeping away from all functions he is staging in the Northern Province,” referring to an October 10 letter, in which he said the Sri Lankan government had carried out consultations in the North without informing the Provincial Council. A huge crowd gathered on Monday morning to see the special train that chugged into the reconstructed Jaffna station, nearly 25 years after the island’s civil war destroyed the region’s rail network. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's Colombo-Jaffna railway reopens
  •    [ Oct 14, 2014 13:36:57 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        A popular Sri Lankan rail service known as the "Queen of Jaffna" has reopened, linking the capital, Colombo, to Jaffna in the country's north. President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the newly renovated railway line, which was closed 24 years ago during Sri Lanka's bloody civil war. The railway had provided a vital link between north and south, transporting goods and people through the country. Its reopening is seen by many as a positive symbol of post-war Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Back on track! The Queen of Jaffna train rides again along 250-mile route 24 years after it was suspended during Sri Lankan civil war
  •    [ Oct 14, 2014 13:33:45 GMT ] [ Daily Mail ]

        Cheered by tens of thousands of people, a train decorated with banana trees and colorful flower garlands arrived in Jaffna, the capital of Sri Lanka's northern Tamil heartland, 24 years after the 'Queen of Jaffna' was suspended due to a bloody civil war. 'Yarl Devi,' as it is known in Tamil, was once a popular mode of transport between the ethnic Tamil-majority north and the Sinhala-majority south. It was scaled back in 1990 because of the heightening of the war between the government and the Tamil Tigers, who were fighting to create an independent state for the country's ethnic minority Tamils. [ Full Report ]

  • New Trains, New Hopes, Old Anguish
  •    [ Oct 14, 2014 13:31:05 GMT ] [ IPS ]

        The kids of Kodikaman, a dusty village straddling the newly laid railway line in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna District, enjoy a special treat these days. For hours on end, they wait expectantly at the edge of the rails for a track construction engine to pass by; when it nears, they rush to place metal coins on the track and when the trundling vehicle has passed, they run back gleefully to pick up the disfigured money. This little ritual is just one of many signs that the new line, re-laid here after 24 years, is a big deal all over the Vanni, the northern region of Sri Lanka that bore the brunt of the country’s three-decade-old conflict that ended in May 2009. [ Full Report ]

  • Travel restrictions as President visits North
  •    [ Oct 12, 2014 10:07:27 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The Government has imposed an indefinite travel ban on visits by foreign passport holders including tourists to the North, a senior Army officer said yesterday.The announcement came as President Mahinda Rajapaksa today begins a three-day visit to the north where he will take part in a series of functions in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna including the opening of the railway track from Pallai to Jaffna.President Rajapaksa earlier this year visited Jaffna, but no travel restrictions were imposed then. [ Full Report ]

  • India puts Jaffna train back on rails
  •    [ Oct 07, 2014 13:06:36 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        The iconic Yal Devi Express from Colombo to Jaffna will resume its run on October 13, some 25 years after the link was suspended during the height of the Sri Lankan civil war. IRCON, an Indian Railways subsidiary, restored a section of the line from Omanthai to Pallai in the Northern Province, damaged during the war, with a $800-million line of credit from India. Nearly 4,000 people, 400 of them skilled labourers from India, have been working on the project for over four years. Connecting the south to the north, the 339-km line, inaugurated in 1894, is the longest on the island. [ Full Report ]

  • News from Jaffna: A young reporter dares to cover press freedom in one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists - Sri Lanka.
  •    [ Oct 01, 2014 21:01:09 GMT ] [ Al Jazeera ]

        Despite the dangers involved in working for the Tamil newspaper Uthayan in Jaffna, young journalists like Thadsa still join their ranks. Apart from the chief editor, Uthayan does not have a single news journalist over the age of 40. As they grow older, young journalists come under family pressure to find a safer job. Thadsa is passionate about reporting and wants to cover a story on a journalist who disappeared in 2007, and look into the ongoing restrictions to press freedoms in Sri Lanka today. [ Full Report ]

  • 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 ]

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