News Archives
  • 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 ]

  • Sri Lanka calls early presidential elections

  •    [ Oct 20, 2014 14:44:10 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        Sri Lanka will hold presidential elections in January, nearly two years ahead of schedule, the government's information minister says. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to seek a third term at the elections. Mr Rajapaksa won a landslide victory in 2010, and is currently serving a six-year term. In September 2010, Sri Lankan MPs voted to approve constitutional amendments allowing Mr Rajapaksa to seek an unlimited number of presidential terms. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka 'to hold early presidential poll' - al Jazeera
  • Lankan Defence Secy Meets Jaitley

  •    [ Oct 20, 2014 13:52:32 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa today called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley during which a number of issues came under discussion.Gotabaya, who is the Secretary of Lankan Ministry of Defence and Urban Development met Jaitley in the afternoon at his North Block Office.Though officials remained tight lipped about what transpired during the meeting, the visit takes place less than 10 days after Mathur visited the island nation. Mathur had met his Sri Lankan counterpart Gotabaya, who is also President Rajapaksa's younger brother, and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral military ties and reviewed new avenues for cooperation. [ Full Report ]

    - Tamil Nadu BJP in a tight spot over Lanka fishermen issue - PTI
    - Vaiko takes potshots at defence secy for praising Sri Lanka - ToI
    - Sri Lankan defence secretary meets Arun Jaitley - First Post
  • Sri Lanka pays high price for north-south friendship

  •    [ Oct 19, 2014 12:17:45 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Railway trade unions alleged that the construction work carried out by two Indian companies, IRCON has been tainted with financial misappropriation, waste corruption and commission taking of influential persons with links to the government’s top rank. That is why the department has to seek an additional sum of money to meet the expenses, they charged. The Northern Railway line project was completed in three stages.If the Railway Department had undertaken the project with local manpower and expertise the cost could have been reduced to Rs. 80-100 million per km from its previous estimate of Rs.40 million, a trade union official said. [ Full Report ]

  • Colombage or Justice Tilakawardane tipped as SL’s new HC in London?

  •    [ Oct 19, 2014 12:12:48 GMT ] [ Island ]

        Speculation is rife that former Navy Commander, Admiral (Retd) Jayanath Colombage is tipped to be appointed Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner to London. The government has opted to nominate a senior naval officer to counter LTTE propaganda in the UK, which is expected to heighten, particularly after an EU court lifted sanctions against the LTTE, knowledgeable sources indicated.As nothing concrete has been done to counter LTTE activities and their propaganda in the UK over the past three years, the Sri Lankan government is keen on picking an energetic military officer to give an impetus to the campaign to counter the pro-LTTE lobby, the sources asserted. [ Full Report ]

  • Land Bill is a concern, needs flexibility – US Trade Rep

  •    [ Oct 19, 2014 4:37:38 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Sri Lanka’s proposed new Land Bill shouldn’t be ‘one size fits only’ and should accommodate unique situations, according to a top US trade delegate. “We have a few concerns on the new Land Bill. It is a ‘one size fits all’ Bill at present. It should have (provisions) to fit individual situations that merit flexibility,” Michael J. Delaney Assistant US Trade Representative for Central and South Asia told the Business Times on the sidelines of Sri Lanka – USA Business Forum on Thursday. [ Full Report ]

  • We can bring most Tamil votes to the UNP - Mano

  •    [ Oct 19, 2014 4:27:33 GMT ] [ Island ]

        We are not the TNA, SLMC or even the CWC. My party is not an ethnic party, in principle. Most of our members are Tamils. So we speak more on the Tamil issues. similarly the UNP and SLFP, speak more on the Sinhala issues. Trust me, I don’t believe in a separate Tamil only journey or a Muslim only journey or a Sinhala only journey. I am a firm believer in a singular Sri Lankan journey. But the so called national parties are not national in reality. They are also ethnic and religious parties. The two big parties, the UNP and SLFP need to become more Sri Lankan first so that we can move in. [ Full Report ]

  • Mr. Baird, how are Saudi Arabia’s beheadings different from Islamic State’s?

  •    [ Oct 19, 2014 4:06:04 GMT ] [ Globe And Mail ]

        Does Canada really see an ally in a country that has carried out twice as many beheadings over one month than the militia it now claims it wants to destroy? According to Amnesty International, 59 people have been decapitated in Saudi Arabia since January this year, and eight in the past month alone. That’s twice the number of Western hostages who have been featured in IS’s execution videos (though there have also been non-Western hostages beheaded by IS). Saudi Arabia’s track record actually makes IS look scant in comparison. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka sanctions could affect €74m worth of imports

  •    [ Oct 18, 2014 11:00:20 GMT ] [ Under Current News ]

        The EU first warned Sri Lanka in 2012 that it would face sanctions if it did not show significant progress in cooperating against IUU. The commission said its assessment found that Sri Lanka has not sufficiently addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries control system identified in November 2012. Sri Lanka’s main weaknesses, it said, “include shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions for the high seas fleet, as well as lacking compliance with international and regional fisheries rules.” [ Full Report ]

  • Ocean Lady migrants from Sri Lanka still struggling 5 years later

  •    [ Oct 18, 2014 10:51:02 GMT ] [ CBC ]

        Journalist Maran Nagarasa still recalls vividly the sense of elation aboard the Ocean Lady five years ago this week when he saw a plane flying overhead with a Canadian flag. “I was sure God had arrived to save us,” he said. He spent four months in jail. He was interrogated by Canadian officials. He was asked to spy on others. He was eventually released on strict conditions. Then he began the task of gathering documentation to prove he was a legitimate refugee. It wasn’t until 2013 that he was granted the right to stay in Canada. [ Full Report ]

  • ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror’ stokes discord in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Oct 18, 2014 10:47:00 GMT ] [ Cii News ]

        There are also questions about how Colombo allowed extremist movement’s Wirathu to visit the island nation, not least since, as Hanif reminded Sabahul Khair, the Burmese monk’s terrorist group slaughtered 1,200 Muslims in the Indian Ocean region. “This person has close links with our Bodu Bala Sena,” the activist said, explaining the covert ties between the racist Buddhist monk and Rajapaksa’s regime. “He himself, said it’s time to eradicate Muslims bit by bit, from the Sri Lankan border,” he said lamenting Sri Lanka’s political landscape (ruling party and opposition) unity in silence in this respect. The 969 terrorist grouping, which is also rejected by the United Nations among other world bodies as well as governments, has openly said that the south Asian region has to be “saved” from Islam. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamil community presents The Scarborough Hospital with $150,000 towards MRI project

  •    [ Oct 17, 2014 20:03:56 GMT ] [ Inside Toronto ]

        Scarborough’s Tamil community has made good on a pledge to raise $150,000 towards an MRI machine at The Scarborough Hospital’s Birchmount site.“This is a wonderful example of community spirit and generosity,” said health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, who took part in the ceremony. “The Tamil community is a wonderful example among many communities that understand what it means to give and be involved and be committed.” The Birchmount campus was the last hospital in the GTA to get an MRI. [ Full Report ]

  • Canada’s true role in the Mideast conflict

  •    [ Oct 17, 2014 16:20:17 GMT ] [ Globe And Mail ]

        Here are two concrete initiatives I would recommend for Mr. Harper to put Canada on the front lines of the humanitarian crisis while a U.S.-led, primarily Arab coalition focuses on the military crisis. Canada should offer to immediately take 50,000 refugees fleeing the Islamic State. I hope the government will move on this quickly. For well over 50 years, it has been the Canadian way to open our hearts, our doors and our wallets to victims of great upheavals – Hungarians in the 1950s, Ugandans in the 1970s, Vietnamese boat people in the 1980s, refugees from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. And I am always thrilled by the great contribution they make after arriving. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's grand tourism plan faces hurdles

  •    [ Oct 17, 2014 15:20:19 GMT ] [ Al Jazeera ]

        Late last month, Sri Lankan tourism officials welcomed the arrival of its millionth tourist for 2014 at Bandarankaike International Airport in the capital, Colombo. According to local newspapers, the tourist, who was travelling with his partner, was received with a special dance and was given a complimentary vacation package. The event set the South Asian island nation en route to achieving its target for 1.5 million arrivals this year and on solid ground to meet its 2016 target of 2.5 million arrivals. [ Full Report ]

  • U.S. Trade Delegation Discuss Business Training, Partnerships For Sri Lankan Women

  •    [ Oct 17, 2014 14:16:06 GMT ] [ US Embassy, Colombo ]

        Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Michael Delaney speaks with Neela Marikkar, Chairperson from The Grant Group, to discuss the launch of the “War Widows Project” in partnership with the Ministry for Industry & Commerce. The project is supported through nearly 15 million Sri Lankan Rupees from the United States to open handloom training centers and entrepreneurship training for widows in Mannar and Mullaitivu. Two of the centers were opened in May 2013, where more than 60 widows underwent six months of training on handloom techniques and money management. [ Full Report ]

  • New Zealand has won one of five two-year seats on the United Nations Security Council

  •    [ Oct 16, 2014 19:56:55 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        New Zealand, Malaysia, Angola, Spain and Venezuela have won seats on the United Nations Security Council for two years from January 1, 2015. They are the newest members to the top UN body, which has the power to impose sanctions and authorise the use of force.The 193-member UN General Assembly elected Venezuela with 181 votes, Malaysia with 187 votes and Angola with 190 votes.All three countries campaigned unopposed for their seats after being chosen as the candidates for their respective regional groups, but still needed to win the votes of two-thirds of the General Assembly to secure their spots. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka: Comments on military presence in Northern Province - Col. R. Hariharan

  •    [ Oct 16, 2014 14:23:18 GMT ] [ SAAG ]

        This has helped to create paranoia about the revival of Tamil militancy among Sinhala population. Politically it suits Rajapaksa to keep this paranoia alive to retain Southern Sinhala support intact. It also provides a justification for the army’s continued presence in strength in Northern Province. On the other hand TNA often speaks in two voices due to schism within the leadership in taking a more pragmatic approach to curb separatist and militant voices within the leadership. So the ethnic suspicions continue to remain in Sri Lanka colouring all political actions. [ Full Report ]

  • Rudhramoorthy Cheran ~ A Brave Tamil Poet

  •    [ Oct 16, 2014 14:14:23 GMT ] [ Desi Blitz ]

        A focus on ethnicity, identity and international development are all valuably important themes to Cheran.Beginning his creative career by writing street plays and poetry, Cheran progressed into political journalism and continued to write poems as well. “For anyone that reads my poems from 1980 all the way up until May 2009, they can see a history of Tamil people and of National oppression. It’s very significantly weaved into my poetry.” The only tool of retaliation he chose was through his writing, and he recalls: “The trauma, the pain, the suffering, the blood, the tears.” [ Full Report ]

  • Death threats en masse for Sri Lankan journalists

  •    [ Oct 16, 2014 13:55:46 GMT ] [ UCA News ]

        The government vowed to investigate after dozens of Sri Lankan journalists and rights monitors received death threats yesterday from an ultra-nationalist group. The journalists and civil society members recieved threatening text messages and phone calls from a group called Rata Beragath Deshapremi Balakaya ("patriotic force that salvaged the country"), which vowed they would “attack” should the reporters attend a planned investigating journalism workshop hosted by Transparency International Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Deadly Alliances Against Muslims

  •    [ Oct 16, 2014 13:05:16 GMT ] [ NewYork Times ]

        On his 79th birthday in July, the Dalai Lama appealed to Buddhist extremist groups in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to stop instigating attacks against Muslim minorities that have killed scores. Instead, in an affront to Buddhism’s core message of compassion, leaders of those groups announced an alliance to make common cause against Muslims.It is folly for the governments of Mr. Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka, President Thein Sein of Myanmar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, or their political allies, to give even the appearance of tolerating these Islamophobic groups in a region that has too often been convulsed by religious sectarian violence. They should condemn this mad alliance before it can spread further. [ Full Report ]

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