News Archives
  • MR faction seeks nominations for remanded members

  •    [ May 24, 2015 10:54:38 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa faction in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is seeking nomination even for its members currently in custody, a spokesman said yesterday. Former minister T.B. Ekanayake said their group would take the position that none of the members in custody had been proven guilty and therefore nominations should be given to them. He said most of the SLFP members in custody were also electoral organisers and would be able to attract votes for the party. Mr. Ekanayake said their request would be put forward to President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the SLFP leader. [ Full Report ]

  • 'Nope, nope, nope': Tony Abbott says Australia will take no Rohingya refugees

  •    [ May 24, 2015 10:52:09 GMT ] [ The Guardian ]

        None of the more than 8,000 Rohingya refugees caught in a weeks-long standoff at sea will be resettled in Australia, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, confirmed on Thursday. Overnight the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to give temporary shelter to the thousands of Rohingya Muslim migrants fleeing Burma and Bangladesh. And Gambia has offered to resettle all Rohingya refugees. Some have been stranded at sea for weeks after Thai authorities closed a well-used trafficking route out of Burma and the people smugglers jumped ship and left their human cargo to starve. [ Full Report ]

    - Jakarta rebukes Tony Abbott for hardline refugee stance - SMH
  • A Panopticon state: We must not wait until they come for us

  •    [ May 24, 2015 10:39:38 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        On Tuesday last week (12th) I watched, at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute the screening of ‘Citizen Four’: A documentary film concerning systems analyst Edward Snowden and the information he leaked on the nature and scale of the NSA’s spying activities. In that documentary, director Laura Poitras records the manner in which she was first contacted by Snowdon via encrypted email messages and her subsequent dealings with him, holed in a hotel room in Hong Kong, together with Guardian journalist Glen Greenwald who ‘broke’ the story and Ewan MacAskill. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamils brave harassment, threats to mourn their dead

  •    [ May 22, 2015 20:47:25 GMT ] [ Colombo Mirror ]

        Organising a religious service to commemorate 18 May 2009 was like experiencing a horror story, full of fear and suspense, with an uncertain end. Until the last moment I was not sure if anybody would dare to turn up for the event – the first of its kind in the six years since the war in Sri Lanka ended. I went to Mullivaikkal Church three days in advance to check the arrangements as I was in charge of organising the event. On the way there I could see that the situation was getting tense; policemen were deployed along the road that leads to Mullivaikkal... [ Full Report ]

  • Meher Khalil: The ordinary bus driver who turned Sri Lanka’s ‘hero’

  •    [ May 22, 2015 20:33:29 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Meher Khalil earned fame and success after saving Sri Lanka’s cricket team from a deadly 2009 attack in Pakistan, but the bus driver calls the incident “tragic” and says it is best forgotten. The 43-year-old will be one of the guests of honour at Lahore’s Gaffafi Stadium on Friday, when Pakistan play Zimbabwe in their first home international since the notorious incident. Khalil was driving the team’s bus when it was attacked by rocket launcher and machine gun-wielding extremists in an assault that left eight people dead and seven players injured. [ Full Report ]

  • Growing danger of landslides in Sri Lanka

  •    [ May 22, 2015 20:32:30 GMT ] [ WSWS ]

        Government authorities are once again issuing landslide warnings as Sri Lanka’s central hills are being hit by heavy monsoon rains. On April 20, a massive landslide hit the Haldummulla area in the Badulla district, not far from last October’s Meeriyabedda disaster, one of the worst in Sri Lanka’s history. The Meeriyabedda landslide claimed 37 lives, all of whom were tea plantation workers living in miserable line-room accommodation. Fortunately no one was killed at Haldummulla. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lankan landslide victims still in makeshift accommodation - WSWS
  • AIADMK paves way for Jayalalithaa to return as Tamil Nadu CM

  •    [ May 22, 2015 4:04:17 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo J Jayalalithaa was on Friday unanimously elected its legislature party leader, paving the way for her return as a chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the fourth time. An early morning meeting of party MLAs in Chennai elected her unanimously, party sources said. Party Treasurer and Chief Minister O Panneeerselvam forwarded the motion to elect her as legislature party leader which was seconded by Electricity Minister Natham R Vishwanathan, the sources said, adding, it was adopted unanimously. [ Full Report ]

    - Panneerselvam steps down as Tamil Nadu chief minister - Rediff
  • Failed Sri Lankan refugee claimant gets reprieve

  •    [ May 21, 2015 22:44:10 GMT ] [ Vancouver Courier ]

        A Sri Lankan man who arrived in B.C. aboard the cargo ship MV Sun Sea in the summer of 2010 and claimed refugee protection for fear of political prosecution has been granted a judicial review of his case in his fight to remain in Canada. Federal Court of Canada Justice James O’Reilly granted the review to Packiyakumar Pathmanathan after a panel of the Immigration and Refugee Board previously dismissed the man’s claim, saying his life would not be at risk upon return to Sri Lanka. The board accepted that Pathmanathan might be questioned for potential links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but said he had not shown any association to the now defunct guerilla organization. [ Full Report ]

  • Post-war Sri Lanka: 6 years and still an open wound

  •    [ May 21, 2015 17:42:38 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        On May 19 six years had passed since the war ended. Six years ago former president Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke to the people of Sri Lanka commenting the final battle of the war: “Our troops went to this operation carrying a gun in one hand, the Human Rights Charter in the other, hostages on their shoulders, and the love of their children in their hearts.” In Colombo people were singing and dancing in the streets. The war was over and so were an everyday life in fear of suicide bombs and public attacks. Meanwhile in the Northern province, few were celebrating. Some people call Sri Lanka the divided island – separated on May 19, 2009 between the so-called winners and the losers. [ Full Report ]

    - Post-war Sri Lanka: 6 years and still an open wound - Groundviews
  • Dheepan review - Tamil Tiger loose in the urban jungle makes powerful thriller

  •    [ May 21, 2015 17:40:26 GMT ] [ The Guardian ]

        Jacques Audiard has made his name, in films such as A Prophet, Rust & Bone and The Beat That My Heart Skipped, for a kind of ecstatic violence of the soul. Dheepan, his new film about a former Tamil Tiger fighter looking for a new life in France, certainly has some of the director’s trademark ferocity, especially in its final minutes, but it displays what I can only describe as dialled-down Audiard. Indeed, much of the time it even ambles, peacefully, with nothing much happening. [ Full Report ]

    - Tamil thriller takes refugee crisis to Cannes - AFP
    - Sri Lankan immigrant drama 'Dheepan' finds a home at Cannes - AP
  • Sri Lanka nominates former cricket boss as top envoy to Australia

  •    [ May 21, 2015 17:38:17 GMT ] [ SMH ]

        Sri Lanka has nominated a new chief envoy to Australia – a former cricket administrator, businessman and member of country's Tamil minority. Somasundaram Skandakumar, originally from the country's northern city of Jaffna and a past secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, has been put forward as the next high commissioner to Australia. The post has been vacant since January when the previous representative was recalled shortly after Sri Lanka's surprise election result that toppled former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. [ Full Report ]

  • Four Sri Lankan Ministers resign

  •    [ May 21, 2015 17:37:01 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        Four Ministers belonging to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Thursday resigned from the government. The Ministers — Mahinda Yapa Abewardene, Cabinet Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs; Dilan Perera, State Minister for Housing and Samrudhi and SLFP spokesperson; C.B. Ratanayake, State Minister for Public Administration and Democratic Rule and Pavitradevi Wanniarachchi, Minister of Environment —announced their decision at a press conference here. [ Full Report ]

  • Gang-rape prompts protests in Sri Lanka's north

  •    [ May 21, 2015 2:26:41 GMT ] [ Al Jazeera ]

        More than 100 people have been arrested during protests against the gang-rape and murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl, in the biggest public demonstration recorded in Sri Lanka's north. Police fired tear gas and shops, banks and schools were closed on Wednesday as the protests brought Jaffna, the capital of Northern Province, to a standstill. The protesters demanded that authorities hand over nine men who were arrested and about to face court over the incident. The victim left for school on Wednesday last week but never arrived. [ Full Report ]

    - Outrage in Sri Lanka over teenager's rape and murder - BBC
  • Sri Lanka shift on civil war anniversary

  •    [ May 21, 2015 2:25:44 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        Sri Lanka's president has promised to seek reconciliation on the sixth anniversary of the army's victory over Tamil Tiger separatists. Maithripala Sirisena said the truth of what happened in the conflict needed to be established and justice delivered. On Monday for the first time Tamil politicians in the former war zone in the north and east were allowed to hold a memorial event for dead civilians. However, police surveillance was high. Other demonstrations were banned. "We were all happy when the war ended. But can we be happy with the developments post-war?" Mr Sirisena said during commemorations on Tuesday. [ Full Report ]

  • From Sri Lanka with “Love”

  •    [ May 21, 2015 2:23:54 GMT ] [ Counterpunch ]

        On 16 May, 2009, the Sri Lankan military announced its defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Two days later the LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was killed and the military insurgency was over. The Sri Lankan Civl War was officially declared over on 19 May, 2009 having taken the lives of between 80,000 and 100,000 people. Aside from leaving a legacy of human rights violations that are still being addressed within and outside the country, this conflict resulted in many former UN workers coming forth to report egregious violations by two agencies of the United Nations, UNICEF and UNHCR. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka says war crimes probe to start in June

  •    [ May 21, 2015 2:22:37 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said Wednesday a local investigation into allegations of war crimes committed during the island's separatist conflict would begin by June, vowing to prosecute anyone found guilty. Sirisena said he welcomed any guidance from the UN Human Rights Council on setting up the probe, amid international pressure for the island to account for alleged atrocities committed during the war which ended in 2009. "We will start the work of the local mechanism by next month. This will be in line with our own laws," Sirisena told reporters. "If anyone is to be found guilty by the investigation we will take action according to our own law," he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamils in North & East Sri Lanka remember those killed despite intimidation and surveillance

  •    [ May 21, 2015 2:21:55 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        Several remembrances events were held across the North and East in Sri Lanka on 18th May 2015 (the day the war ended in Sri Lanka in 2009) by Tamils to remember those killed during the war[1]. They were organized by Tamil politicians, religious clergy, civil society and women’s groups. Many were religious events. Most appear to commemorate civilians killed or all those killed. None that I saw had attempted to commemorate the government military or LTTE cadres that have been killed. In contrast, the government’s commereation of the end of the war was a “War Heroes (Ranaviru) Day” presided over by President Sirisena on 19th May was focused on the military, despite references having made to remember all those killed during the war[2]. [ Full Report ]

  • A tale of two Presidents, six years after the war

  •    [ May 21, 2015 2:21:05 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        May 19th 2015, marked six years since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, which at that time had been the world’s second longest running civil conflict, after Lebanon. The end of the war was commemorated in two very different ways from two very different leaders, one present and forward looking, the other defeated and backward looking, who lead a very real battle for the soul and spirit of our nation. [ Full Report ]

  • Lanka to honour fallen war soldiers at solemn ceremony

  •    [ May 20, 2015 14:08:23 GMT ] [ ANI ]

        Sri Lanka will honour its fallen war soldiers at a ceremony in the presence of Commander-In-Chief and President Maithripala Sirisena. The fallen heroes will be commemorated at a solemn ceremony today at the Cenotaph in the parliament grounds in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the Colombo Page quoted the Government Information Department, as saying. President Maithripala Srisena will attend the ceremony as chief guest. More than 2,500 family members of the fallen war heroes will also participate in the ceremony. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Marks Anniversary of Civil War’s End With New Focus on Reconciliation

  •    [ May 19, 2015 16:28:22 GMT ] [ Wall Street Journal ]

        The anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s three-decade civil war on May 19, 2009 is usually marked with celebration and triumphalist military parades. Not this year. Six years after the Sri Lankan government led by Mahindra Rajapaksa declared an end to 27 years fighting against the Tamil separatists, an unprecedented focus on reconciliation marked commemorations on Tuesday, despite criticism from the island’s Tamil politicians that the change in tone does not go far enough. Instead of tough-talking speeches by Mr. Rajapaksa, who was defeated in elections earlier this year, in which he vowed to defy international pressure to investigate allegations of war crimes committed during the last phase of the war, Sri Lanka’s new administration marked the day by in more somber fashion. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka's president marks six years since war's end - AFP
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