News Archives
  • Under the Radar: Are Sri Lanka’s ports the next Great Game for China, India and Japan?

  •    [ Apr 19, 2017 13:54:54 GMT ] [ GRI ]

        Increased international interest in the Indian Ocean comes at a convenient time for Sri Lanka, as the country continues to recoup after the end of its decades-long civil war which ended in 2009. The island nation is being courted (and courting in turn) by various major powers, each seeking a stake in developing Sri Lanka’s strategic location midway between the Middle East and the Straits of Malacca. While opportunities present themselves, all this attention also comes with its own set of complications. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka to offer India port development to balance out China

  •    [ Apr 19, 2017 13:53:31 GMT ] [ TNN ]

        Sri Lanka may find it difficult to wriggle out of China's clutches because of the massive debt it owes to Beijing but to balance things out, it is now set to allow India to jointly develop the Trincomalee port in northeastern part of the country. Diplomatic sources said Sri Lanka has readied an MoU for joint development of the project and that it's likely to be signed during PM Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Colombo. Official sources also confirmed that Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would visit India this month to review bilateral ties. [ Full Report ]

    - PM Modi to visit Sri Lanka in May - MC
  • Sousa set to unveil 10 measures targeting housing affordability

  •    [ Apr 19, 2017 13:34:00 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        Queen’s Park will also impose a new levy on housing speculators, including foreign buyers, and is working with the city of Toronto on a vacancy tax to discourage investors from leaving properties empty.“So in the coming week the Ontario government will announce a suite of measures designed to increase supply and address demand,” he said, mindful that house prices have skyrocketed in Greater Toronto by 33 per cent year over year, which the Bank of Canada governor has warned is unsustainable. “We’ve developed a comprehensive action plan to help stabilize the housing market, informed today by my colleagues. It’s a ‘made in Ontario’ solution that’s unique to Ontario.” Sousa emphasized that his moves would not have “unintended consequences because we also recognize the value of these properties for families.” [ Full Report ]

  • Canadian defence minister accused of being Sikh nationalist during visit to India

  •    [ Apr 19, 2017 13:28:23 GMT ] [ NP ]

        Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s visit to his native India this week has run into controversy after one of the country’s political leaders accused him of being a Sikh nationalist. Amarinder Singh, the top elected official in India’s Punjab province, where Sajjan was born, made the explosive accusation in an interview on Indian TV in advance of Sajjan’s trip. In the interview, Singh expressed anger over not being allowed to speak at political rallies in Canada last year before calling Sajjan and the other Sikh members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet “Khalistanis.” [ Full Report ]

    - Indian leader accuses Defence Minister Sajjan of being a Sikh nationalist - Globe and Mail
  • Contributions to Tamil from doyens of Chettinad recalled

  •    [ Apr 18, 2017 15:00:52 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        International conference on ‘Chettinad and its contribution to Tamil,’ organised by Karaikudi Kamban Kazhagam in Karaikudi recently. | Photo Credit: handout_e_mail A.V. Meyyappa Chettiar, a pioneer in popularising songs of Subramania Bharathi Avichi Meyyappa Chettiar, popularly known as A. V. Meyyappa Chettiar or AVM is known to many as Indian film producer, director and philanthropist but not many know he was a great lover of Tamil and the pioneer in popularising the patriotic songs of national poet Subramania Bharathi. [ Full Report ]

  • Govt. agrees to release more military-occupied land: TNA

  •    [ Apr 18, 2017 14:59:06 GMT ] [ DM ]

        “People in the North and East are protesting against the delay in releasing their lands which are still being occupied by the security forces even though the war ended nearly eight years ago. The Army Commander told us they were acting on the instructions of the President and the Defense Secretary with regard to the need to early release of the lands. He said gradually the lands occupied by the security forces will also be released,” Mr. Sumanthiran told a news conference.Mr. Sumanthiran said a final decision on the extent of lands to be released would be taken at a discussion to be held in Colombo early next month. [ Full Report ]

  • Feasting on Tamil performing arts

  •    [ Apr 18, 2017 14:57:32 GMT ] [ JP ]

        People familiar with the Jakarta performing arts scene might find that local performance halls rarely feature performing arts from India, particularly those coming from its southern province of Tamil Nadu.The Tamil language comes from the Indian province of Tamil Nadu. It is widely spoken in many Asian countries like India, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, where many members of the Tamil community live. ITS was established as a legal entity in Indonesia in 2011 and is joined by around 400 Tamil family members in Indonesia who actively participate in the activities of the sangam, which means association. [ Full Report ]

  • The Cancer Within Sri Lanka’s Military

  •    [ Apr 18, 2017 14:51:57 GMT ] [ Diplomat ]

        Recent reporting suggests that 200 members of the Sri Lanka Army will join a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali imminently. Troublingly, there is no reason to believe that Sri Lanka is contemplating security sector reform. Let’s not forget that – in addition to the latest news about peacekeepers in Haiti – Sri Lanka’s military has been plagued by (among other serious violations) credible allegations of sexual violence that occurred during the end of the island’s civil war, during the years following the war and also since a new president, Maithripala Sirisena, was elected in January 2015. When examining violations that have occurred within Sri Lanka, it’s particularly important to keep ethnicity in mind. The military is almost exclusively Sinhalese, yet most victims are Tamil, a numerical minority in the country. [ Full Report ]

  • India helped SL fight the war without being asked to: MR

  •    [ Apr 18, 2017 14:50:36 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        India had helped Sri Lanka fight the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) even without being asked to, says former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an exclusive interview to posted on Monday. “They (India) helped us! We didn’t have to ask! Because I was fighting your war, India’s war, not my war, actually,” Rajapaksa told the Indian interviewer, Padma Rao Sundarji. “The LTTE killed your prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi and so many other people in India and on your soil, not ours. So in that way, it was not only my war, it was an Indian war, it was a humanitarian war. India helped us in every possible way,” he asserted. [ Full Report ]

  • US must not ignore Sri Lanka's human rights violations

  •    [ Apr 18, 2017 14:42:46 GMT ] [ Hill ]

        Since Sirisena was elected president, America’s Sri Lanka policy has been disappointing, shortsighted and naive. It appears that the U.S. will continue to deprioritize human rights concerns in general and minority issues specifically. These regrettable decisions will not go unnoticed — especially by Tamils residing in the country’s Northern and Eastern Provinces. “Sri Lanka has not made any significant gain in anything as far as reconciliation is concerned,” notes Kusal Perera, a senior journalist based in Colombo. [ Full Report ]

  • Healing through harmonies in post-conflict Sri Lanka

  •    [ Apr 18, 2017 14:40:09 GMT ] [ IT ]

        At a political level, not much has happened to facilitate the healing. Since the war ended in 2009, the government has taken few constructive actions to address wartime accountability. A regime change in January 2015 did bring some hope for progress as the incoming coalition government promised a new constitution that would help reconcile the past as well as address the root causes of the conflict. However, to date, few substantial inroads have been made apart from some symbolic returns of occupied Tamil lands, as well as the release of some political prisoners. [ Full Report ]

  • 'The Tamil Nadu factor': demanding justice for genocide in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Apr 16, 2017 23:00:30 GMT ] [ OpenDemocracy ]

        From politicians to protestors, the people of Tamil Nadu are making waves in Indian politics, rallying around the need for justice for the war crimes committed against Sri Lanka’s Tamils. New Delhi, which had worked in tandem with the US in ousting the pro-Beijing Rajapaksa, had gone along with the consensus resolution of March 2017, but found it necessary to explain its stance. India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, justifying her government’s role in supporting the March 2017 resolution, told the Indian upper house, the Rajya Sabha, that India’s approach in the UN Human Rights Council was guided by the premise that the protection of human rights can be best pursued through constructive and collaborative engagement, and that its aim is to “protect the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka”. [ Full Report ]

  • Canada and the Meaning of Diversity: Two Ambassadors Tell Their Story

  •    [ Apr 16, 2017 22:37:10 GMT ] [ Medium ]

        “My mother made sure to teach me what Germany had done during the war — the aggression, the crimes, the atrocities of the Holocaust and the impact Hitler’s lies had on Germany, its people and her family. Her words lingered. Once I joined Global Affairs, I specialized in human rights law, international peace and security, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and accountability for atrocity crimes. In 2015 I was honoured to become Canada’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with responsibility for the Hague courts and tribunals.” [ Full Report ]

  • Rs. 1 billion worth jewellery and gold to be returned to owners soon

  •    [ Apr 16, 2017 22:34:12 GMT ] [ ST ]

        The Defence Ministry has decided to fast-track the process of returning almost Rs one billion worth of gold and other valuable ornaments seized by the military from the custody of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and found in abandoned houses during the final phases of the conflict, a senior official said. “The committee which was appointed to look into this forwarded its recommendations to the President recently. A high level meeting with all stakeholders has been fixed for next week to determine the next steps to be taken in this regard,” Additional Defence Secretary R.M.S Sarath Kumara told the Sunday Times. [ Full Report ]

  • Globe editorial: Pop Canada’s housing bubble, before it pops the economy

  •    [ Apr 16, 2017 22:32:51 GMT ] [ Globe and Mail ]

        On Tuesday, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is to meet with his Ontario counterpart, Charles Sousa, and Mayor John Tory of Toronto.They’ve got to take action. And they’ve got to take the right action. This is a national issue, threatening harm on the national economy and the national banking system. But the site of the problem is localized in Southern Ontario, and to a lesser extent B.C. [ Full Report ]

  • WHO Approves World's First-Ever Dengue Vaccine

  •    [ Apr 16, 2017 22:29:35 GMT ] [ Time ]

        The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday endorsed the world’s first-ever vaccine for dengue fever, a potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus that threatens to infect close to half of the world’s population. Unlike malaria, there is no established cure for dengue fever, which can cause severe nausea, bone pain, headaches, rashes, bleeding and even death. The virus can last for up to 10 days. About 390 million people are infected by dengue each year in some 120 countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa. [ Full Report ]

  • Many feared buried as hopes dim after Sri Lanka garbage dump landslide

  •    [ Apr 16, 2017 22:26:16 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Hopes faded on Sunday for the survival of an estimated 100 people trapped under the mud and debris of a landslide at a giant rubbish dump in the Sri Lankan capital. Police say the known death toll from the disaster has risen to 26 and emergency workers are to resume their search on Monday after halting late on Sunday night. The 300-foot-high (90-metre) dump in the Meethotamulla area on the border of the commercial heart of Colombo collapsed after flames engulfed it late on Friday, the nation's new year's day, burying many homes. [ Full Report ]

    - Death toll in Sri Lanka garbage mound collapse rises to 26 - AP
  • Sophisticated white-van abductions continue unabated in Jaffna

  •    [ Apr 14, 2017 12:05:13 GMT ] [ TN ]

        A Tamil man, 35-year-old Thiraviyam Naguleswaran from Vaddukkoaddai in Jaffna, was missing for the last 10 days. Three days ago, his wife received a phone call from him. He was being detained at Anuradhapura, the frightened husband told his wife from the custody of his abductors. Mr Thiraviyam asked his wife not to file any complaint with the SL Police and to avoid alerting any human rights watchdog or media. His abductors were investigating him and he would not be released if there was any complaint made to human rights groups, he had told. His wife refrained from complaining or alerting media. But, on Wednesday, the circumstance of a pending court case at Mallaakam courts has exposed the abduction. [ Full Report ]

  • Lyca's village inaugurated without Rajinikanth, Vigneswaran

  •    [ Apr 14, 2017 12:01:39 GMT ] [ DM ]

        Lyca is owned by a Sri Lankan Tamil, and its village has as many as 400 houses. It also happens to be producing Rajinikanth's next film, Enthiran 2.0. Rajinikanth along with North Province Chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran and Opposition leader R. Sampanthan were supposed to attend the inauguration of the village. But it wasn't to be as the veteran actor called off his visit following protests by several groups in India.According to India Today, North Province chief minister Vigneswaran, too cancelled his visit to the village at the last minute. However, Opposition Leader Sampanthan was present for the inauguration. [ Full Report ]

  • UN peacekeepers in Haiti implicated in child sex ring

  •    [ Apr 14, 2017 11:58:15 GMT ] [ Independent ]

        Some of the peacekeepers involved in the ring were still in the Sri Lankan military as of last year, Sri Lankan military officials say. The United Nations, meanwhile, continued to send Sri Lankan peacekeepers to Haiti and elsewhere despite corroborating the child sex ring. Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi defended the troops, saying, “People are quite happy and comfortable with the peacekeepers.” [ Full Report ]

    - UN peacekeepers who created child sex ring in Haiti were never punished - HotAir
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