News Archives
  • Is Sri Lanka’s Tamil party selling out the Tamil people?

  •    [ Oct 04, 2017 22:13:01 GMT ] [ Asian Correspondent ]

        At the same meeting where he advised Tamils not to hang on to words like federalism, Sampanthan said, “We (TNA) won’t sell out the Tamil people. We will not pawn our people’s rights…” If the TNA is sincere about not selling out Tamil interests it needs to renegotiate the constitutional proposals with the other parties. Otherwise, it will be a betrayal of the Tamil people’s trust. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka rejects Chinese request for local fuel sales

  •    [ Oct 04, 2017 14:46:20 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lanka has blocked a proposal by Chinese firms bidding to build the island’s biggest oil refinery to sell fuel locally, fearing a threat to domestic firms that dominate the small but growing market. The veto is the latest in a tussle over Chinese investments in Hambantota, a southern town near an important shipping route, where China controls the sea port and plans an industrial zone for Chinese firms and a $3 billion refinery with annual output of around 5 million tonnes. [ Full Report ]

  • A legacy of liberalisation in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Oct 04, 2017 14:42:06 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        The Sri Lankan government recently released its ‘Vision 2025’ manifesto, heralding a new wave of economic reforms. Its timing coincided with the 40th anniversary of the island’s embrace of deregulation, trade liberalisation, and privatisation ahead of the rest of South Asia. While the current government seeks to revive neoliberal momentum, there is no assessment of the legacy of liberalisation even on narrow economic benchmarks. Growth in gross domestic product has been modest. It averaged 4.8% between 1978 and 2009 compared to 3.5% between 1971 and 1976. Some of the initial expansion was from massive inflows of grants and soft loans, as Western donors and multilateral agencies rushed to reward a regime hailing the virtues of high growth, foreign investment, and free market capitalism. [ Full Report ]

  • US Tamils pin hopes on ‘home’ for Harvard chair

  •    [ Oct 04, 2017 14:39:00 GMT ] [ Times of India ]

        As reputed indologist David Shulman, puts, "Tamil is one of the world's major languages, and the only South Asian language to have evolved continuously from a very ancient past while remaining a living contemporary language spoken by tens of millions of people. Its literary tradition is among the nest in human civilisation, encompassing marvellous love poetry, epic, philosophical texts, reflexive sciences of grammar, logic, and poetics, historiography, and an enormous religious literature." The antiquity of the language whose richness still awes scholars is just one of the many reasons that have encouraged Tamils in the US to pitch for a permanent chair (professorship) for the language at the Harvard University. [ Full Report ]

  • Basil drops bombshell on security forces in Jaffna

  •    [ Oct 03, 2017 14:00:16 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        Former minister Basil Rajapaksa stunned journalists in Jaffna Sunday by admitting that security forces commanded by his president brother Mahinda committed “crimes” during and after the Tamil separatist war. Basil told the Jaffna Press Club that troops continued to break the law even after the end of the war in May 2009. It is the first time that one of the kingpins of the Rajapaksa administration admitted, in the former war zone, that armed forces had committed crimes. “I think our forces didn’t do war crimes, but individuals might have done. It is not war crimes. We can call (it) crimes,” Rajapasksa said dispensing with a Sinhala-Tamil translator and switching to English. [ Full Report ]

  • A trial-at-bar in Jaffna and a governance muddle in Colombo

  •    [ Oct 03, 2017 10:32:51 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        In midst of an impossible muddle of governance in Colombo, the handing down of the death sentence to the accused in the Sivaloganathan Vithya rape and murder case by a trial-at-bar in Jaffna this week is one tentative indication that, (to borrow from Longfellow) the mills of justice in Sri Lanka have started grinding again, exceedingly fine. Indeed, this trial is noteworthy in a way that goes far beyond its verdict. It is more than merely symbolic that the court sittings were held in Jaffna. The last such nationally prominent case was far back as the mid 1990’s when Chemmani school girl Krishanthi Kumaraswamy’s rape and murder, (as well as the murder of her mother, brother and neighbour), was prosecuted before a Colombo trial-at-bar. [ Full Report ]

  • Two US Navy Ships arrive at Trincomalee harbour

  •    [ Oct 03, 2017 10:31:09 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Two US Navy Ships named Lewis and Clark arrived at the port of Trincomalee yesterday to attend the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise – 2017, Navy said. The ship which is 210 m in length and 32 m in width features a helipad which is capable of providing landing facility for 2 helicopters. The ship, upon completion of the training exercise, is scheduled to leave for her next port of call on October 6. [ Full Report ]

  • ADB gives USD 900Mn for rural connectivity program in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Oct 03, 2017 10:29:32 GMT ] [ LBO ]

        The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved financing of up to 900 million dollars for a program that will upgrade Sri Lanka’s road network, a statement said. Most rural roads cannot provide all-weather access, and parts of the trunk road network are in dilapidated condition. Providing access to markets and business opportunities will be key to boosting prosperity in rural areas. Under a first ADB program, an $800 million multitranche financing facility was approved in 2014 to upgrade the road network in Central, North Central, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, and Southern Provinces, as well as a part of Western Province. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan families demand answers on missing relatives

  •    [ Oct 02, 2017 13:08:15 GMT ] [ Al Jazeera ]

        For the last decade, Arulanadam Pushparani has not seen her son, who she says disappeared after being rounded up by security forces during Sri Lanka's civil war. During the final phases of that conflict, which stretched from 1983 until 2009, Pushparani was separated from her youngest son as they fled from shelling. He later called her to inform her he had been arrested with several other ethnic Tamils, but it was the last she ever heard from him. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan Tamil refugee found dead on Manus Island

  •    [ Oct 02, 2017 13:07:17 GMT ] [ The Guardian ]

        Another refugee has died in Australia’s offshore detention regime, with a man found dead, apparently by suicide, on Manus Island. The body of the man, whose name the Guardian has chosen not to publish at the request of his family, was found on the grounds of the Lorengau hospital, where he had been sent after a previous suicide attempt. The man was facing charges of rape following an alleged assault at a motel in Lorengau earlier this year. The matter was still to come before court and he intended to plead not guilty and to defend the charges. [ Full Report ]

  • President consolidates position as SLFP leader ahead of local polls

  •    [ Oct 02, 2017 13:04:41 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        With local government polls now ahead, President Maithripala Sirisena has embarked on an ambitious project to consolidate his position as leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Last Thursday evening, he took the unusual step of conducting one-on-one meetings with SLFP ministers, parliamentarians and chief ministers. The venue for the special event was the Cinnamon Hilltop at Kaluwella in Galle. There were no ‘note takers,’ secretaries or other officials. Seated in a ground floor room of what was once the abode of Col. Henry Steel Olcott, a former US military officer, journalist and lawyer well known for the Buddhist revivalist movement in Sri Lanka, the President made notes of the discussions personally. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Arrests Buddhist Monk After Protest Against Rohingya Muslims

  •    [ Oct 02, 2017 13:00:16 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        A Sri Lankan court remanded a Buddhist monk in custody on Monday after charging him with leading hardline nationalists in a protest against 31 Rohingya Muslim asylum seekers last week, forcing the refugees to flee a U.N. safe house, police said. The police have so far remanded seven people on several charges including creating communal disharmony, attacking police and damaging property, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara told Reuters. [ Full Report ]

  • Las Vegas Shooting Near Mandalay Bay Casino Kills More Than 50

  •    [ Oct 02, 2017 12:53:37 GMT ] [ New York Times ]

        A gunman firing from a Las Vegas hotel rained a rapid-fire barrage on a huge outdoor concert festival on Sunday night, sending thousands of people fleeing until SWAT units found and killed him. More than 50 victims died, and at least 200 others were wounded, officials said, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history. [ Full Report ]

  • Catalan referendum: Catalonia has 'won right to statehood'

  •    [ Oct 02, 2017 12:52:26 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence. He said the door was open to a unilateral declaration of independence after Catalan officials said voters had backed secession with a 42.3% turnout. Spain's government has warned it could suspend Catalan autonomy. The constitutional court banned the vote and almost 900 people were hurt as police tried to stop it going ahead. [ Full Report ]

  • Army Commander denies Northern CM’s claims of excessive deployment in North

  •    [ Sep 29, 2017 20:13:51 GMT ] [ Island ]

        The inaugural religious ceremony, the precursor to a series of commemorative events lined up in connection with the forthcoming Army Day (Oct 10) and 68th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Army took place on Thursday (28) at Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of Tooth) in Kandy. Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army as the Chief Guest for the occasion carried the Buddha Pooja for offering and afterwards joined the Sangeeka Daana (alms-giving) to a total of 68 members of the Maha Sangha. [ Full Report ]

  • Mullaitivu residents concerned about militarisation demand removal of army camp from school roads

  •    [ Sep 29, 2017 20:09:00 GMT ] [ TamilGuardian ]

        Mullaitivu residents have demanded the removal of an army camp that surround schools in the district, citing concerns about the negative effects of militarisation on the area's young people. Parents of students at two schools in the Manthai East division have repeatedly asked for the army camps close to the schools to be moved. A large-scale army camp on around 8.5 acres of land is situated opposite Palinagar Maha Vidhyalayam and Kumaraswamy Vidhyalayam, both leading schools in the division. [ Full Report ]

  • Constitutional choices and Tamil politics – Part 1

  •    [ Sep 28, 2017 13:58:53 GMT ] [ GV ]

        To the best of my knowledge, even the most ardent federalist within the Tamil political leadership never favored secession, nor insisted on the degree of devolution that exists in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, and many other countries. The Vaddukoddai revolution must be seen as largely an expression of despair on the part of the political leadership and of its exploitation by armed Separatists, particularly the LTTE. Of the countries listed above, Canada had a secession problem till about three decades ago, but no longer. Many countries have broken up, such as the USSR, but not on an account of excessive devolution. [ Full Report ]

  • Gangsters’ death sentences changed to life jail in rape-murder case

  •    [ Sep 28, 2017 13:56:05 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Six men who gang-raped a 17-year-old schoolgirl and also filmed the incident have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment because their country, Sri Lanka, has an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment. One of the convicted men was reportedly aided by police to escape to Switzerland, though public outcry eventually forced President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene. One of the convicted rapists, Mahalingam Shashikumar, was based in Switzerland and he was sentenced to death Wednesday with six others. [ Full Report ]

  • UNHCR alarmed at violence against Rohingyas in Sri LankaReuters Staff

  •    [ Sep 27, 2017 23:19:17 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        The United Nations on Wednesday raised concern for the safety of Rohingya Muslim asylum seekers in Sri Lanka after Buddhist monks and hardline nationalists forced them to flee a U.N. shelter in the capital Colombo. The refugees, who were detained in April along with two suspected Indian human traffickers in a boat off Sri Lanka’s coast, are now in a camp in southern Sri Lanka to ensure their security after the incident in the capital. In Tuesday’s incident, the Sri Lankan monks and nationalists stoned the shelter, prompting its 31 Rohingya occupants - mainly women and children - to flee for their own safety, witnesses said. No injuries were reported. [ Full Report ]

    - Rohingyas should be expelled: SNF - Daily Mirror
  • Vidya’s murder: Seven sentenced to death

  •    [ Sep 27, 2017 12:48:42 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Seven of the nine accused in Sivaloganathan Vidya’s abduction, rape and murder, were sentenced to death by a three-judge bench of Jaffna High Court a short while ago. Jaffna High Court Judge M. Elancheliyan while sentencing them said the first and the seventh accused should be released because of the lack of evidence against them. The seven men found guilty were also sentenced to 30 years rigorous imprisonment and ordered to pay Rs.1 million as compensation to Vidya’s family and in the event they failed to pay, the Jaffna High Court said their term of imprisonment should be extended. [ Full Report ]

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