News Archives
  • Bishop of Mannar: Pope Francis’ visit, a consolation for victims of war

  •    [ Jul 24, 2014 13:36:19 GMT ] [ AsiaNews ]

        Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, talks about expectations ahead of the apostolic trip scheduled for January 2015. The Church's mission in the north ravaged by civil war, with the population "left to itself" by the government and institutions. The discrimination suffered by the Tamil minority, and "the only possible solution: a federal and truly democratic state." " Pope Francis's visit will be a great consolation for the people in the north of Sri Lanka who have been affected by war and who feel abandoned", says Msgr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar (Northern Province), home to one of the pontiff's destinations during his apostolic journey to the island scheduled for the first half of January 2015. [ Full Report ]

  • Family member of Tamils detained at sea fears if handed over to India, may be sent to Sri Lanka

  •    [ Jul 24, 2014 13:26:09 GMT ] [ ABC ]

        India is now waiting for a response from the Abbott Government, after seeking consular access to the 157 Tamil asylum seekers being held on an Australian customs vessel on the high seas.One man, whose extended family is now in Australian custody, fears that if they're sent back to India, India may then hand them over to Sri Lanka. Vimal is the father of a three year old asylum seeker being held at sea, along with his wife and his wife's brother, sister and parents. They're all Tamils who fled Sri Lanka to India. Vimal, who's now in Europe, says he last heard from them when the boat got into trouble, speaking on the phone just for a minute before the phone cut out. [ Full Report ]

  • 'Will go to Sri Lanka and surrender to survive, earn peaceful livelihood'

  •    [ Jul 24, 2014 13:24:07 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Fed up with frequent arrests and 'harassment' by Sri Lankan naval personnel, fishermen from this coastal town on Thursday said they would proceed to the island nation with their families on August 2 and surrender to officials there "to at least survive and earn their livelihood peacefully." Speaking to reporters here, S Emerit and T Sesuraja, leaders of Fishermen's Association, said the fishermen planned to meet the District Collector on July 28 and hand over the licenses and documents of the boats. [ Full Report ]

  • Games-Sri Lankan cycling team stopped by police on motorway

  •    [ Jul 23, 2014 17:14:42 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lanka's cycling team took to the open road for training at the Commonwealth Games but prompted a police response as they rode along one of Scotland's busiest motorways on Wednesday. Four cyclists, wearing Sri Lankan team training jerseys, travelled along the M74, braving 70 mile per hour traffic and the wrath of Scottish police since bicycles are banned on motorways.Police stopped the quartet near the exit for Motherwell and Hamilton after calls from concerned motorists and informed them that they were breaking the law. [ Full Report ]

  • PMK flays "denial" of visa to UN team

  •    [ Jul 23, 2014 17:13:09 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        NDA ally PMK today slammed the Centre for its reported refusal to grant visa to a UN team probing alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, saying if it was true, it will become "dark pages" in the history of human rights. Citing reports, party founder leader S Ramadoss said Prathiba Mahanamahewa, Commissioner of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission had confirmed this besides saying that the refusal of visas was a very significant gesture by India. "If such reports are true, then it will create a big dent [ Full Report ]

  • Statement by the Leader of the Official Opposition regarding the Black July Pogrom

  •    [ Jul 23, 2014 14:45:58 GMT ] [ NDP ]

        The Leader of the Official Opposition, Tom Mulcair made the following statement regarding the Black July pogrom: “Today, New Democrats’ thoughts are with the Tamil community in Canada and around the world as we commemorate Black July. We remember the hundreds of Tamils who were killed and the thousands who were displaced when their homes and businesses were destroyed in Sri Lanka from the violence that ensued from the pogroms targeting Tamils that began on July 23, 1983. The perpetrators and organizers of the violence have never been held accountable for their actions. [ Full Report ]

  • Britain will never be a champion of democracy while it sells arms to tyrants

  •    [ Jul 23, 2014 13:34:15 GMT ] [ The Guardian ]

        Attention is focusing on British-made weapons being sent to Moscow, and understandably so. Vladimir Putin was once a friend of Britain, given cover by Tony Blair as he razed Chechnya to the ground, but now – in the typically Orwellian manner of British foreign policy – he has been transformed into enemy number one. And yet David Cameron's definitive claims that an absolute arms embargo has been put in place against Russia have been torpedoed: according to a cross-party group of MPs, there are more than 200 licences in place to sell arms to Putin's government. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka hardline monk denounces Dalai Lama

  •    [ Jul 23, 2014 13:33:12 GMT ] [ Al Jazeera ]

        A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk leading an anti-Muslim campaign has accused the Dalai Lama of being influenced by "Muslim extremists" and said the Tibetan spiritual leader could not be accepted as a world Buddhist leader. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the secretary general of the Sri Lankan Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), spoke out on Tuesday after the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader called on monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to end violence towards Muslims in their countries. Clashes broke out in two Sri Lankan towns with large Muslim populations in June during a BBS-led protest. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka president skips Commonwealth Games amid protest threats

  •    [ Jul 22, 2014 15:53:41 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse will skip the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Glasgow despite being chair of the bloc, his office said Tuesday, after activists threatened to protest at his attendance. Rajapakse's spokeswoman denied he had decided to stay away because of the threat of demonstrations over Colombo's alleged human rights abuses. "No such visit was scheduled," Mohan Samaranayake told AFP. [ Full Report ]

  • View from Sri Lanka: Jaitley-Modi populist budget promises reforms later

  •    [ Jul 22, 2014 13:14:26 GMT ] [ SAAG ]

        India’s long-term economic (and political) prospects are more assured than Lanka’s for the reason that political leadership, most of the time since 1948, has been serious about its business – admittedly the outgoing Congress government, Manmohan Singh notwithstanding, was a failure. Here in Lanka, at least in recent years, miserable-we have suffered a bunch of buffoons, lining their pockets, abusing the power of incumbency, and stoking base rabble passions to hang on to office. Over there they have one cabinet minister for every 52 million people, here in Lanka we groan under the yolk of some 40 political dabblers in cabinet (I have lost count) for a population of 21 million. Is this not symptomatic of waste, amateurishness and rank lack of probity? [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka: Was it a Genocide?

  •    [ Jul 22, 2014 13:10:18 GMT ] [ SAAG ]

        However, it is a gradual process to term any event as a genocide and the same would be expected with the case of Sri Lanka. In case of Bosnia, the U.S., and the U.N. Security Council all rejected the phrase “genocide” at first, preferring “ethnic cleansing” instead, as genocide would require international action. Whether the victims can expect any “remedial justice” might be speculative at this stage but it is clear from the facts given to us by the U.N. and relevant international laws that the government of Sri Lanka can be found guilty of genocide and war crimes. [ Full Report ]

  • Narendra Modi wants 'excellent' relations with Sri Lanka: Subramanian Swamy

  •    [ Jul 22, 2014 13:05:35 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants "excellent" relations with Sri Lanka, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said as he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa here today and underlined that the end of the LTTE campaign in this country had ensured the security of India too. Swamy, the chairman of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Committee for Strategic Action, is here to deliver a talk on 'India under Modi: relevance for the region and the world'. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's militant monk rejects Dalai Lama as spiritual leader

  •    [ Jul 22, 2014 13:03:38 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        A firebrand Sri Lankan monk on Tuesday criticised the Dalai Lama for urging the island's Buddhists to halt violence against minority Muslims and rejected him as a global spiritual leader. Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara said the Dalai Lama was ignorant of the "true situation in Sri Lanka" and accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of being a victim of "Islamic extremist propoganda". [ Full Report ]

  • Refusal to name war crimes probe team highlights UN hypocrisy – GL

  •    [ Jul 19, 2014 11:45:33 GMT ] [ Island ]

        External Affairs Miniter, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government of Sri Lanka couldn’t accept a secret investigation team tasked with inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the eelam war IV. Prof. Peiris was responding to yesterday’s The Island exclusive headlined ‘UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team’ with strapline ‘OHCHR’s and Pillay’s positions contradictory.’ [ Full Report ]

  • Boat people will not be sent to Sri Lanka

  •    [ Jul 19, 2014 11:43:24 GMT ] [ SMH ]

        Justice Kenneth Hayne said that given the asylum seekers were in custody it was important that the legal battle over their future ended as quickly as possible. ''The parties are just going to have to bend their back to get on with it,'' he said. ''I am not going to let this case devolve into a procedural morass. There's got to be some sense shown.''Justice Hayne said the case appeared to come down to whether the government had the power to intercept the asylum seekers and take them to a country other than Australia. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes; appoints foreign experts

  •    [ Jul 17, 2014 16:11:49 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lanka's president has extended the terms of a commission investigating missing people and possible war crimes in the country's 26-year civil war, bringing in foreign experts for the first time to advise on the inquiry, the government said on Thursday. Mahinda Rajapaksa's move, contained in a document issued this week and obtained by Reuters on Thursday, comes as international pressure intensifies on Sri Lanka to investigate the final stages of the war in 2009 to crush ethnic minority Tamil separatists. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka announces probe into military's alleged rights abuses - AFP
  • Amnesty calls on Australia to return 153 asylum seekers to shore

  •    [ Jul 17, 2014 16:07:44 GMT ] [ The Guardian ]

        Amnesty International has called on the Australian government to return the 153 Tamil asylum seekers detained at sea for three weeks back to shore to have their claims processed. Court documents have shown that the asylum seekers, around 37 of whom are understood to be children, are being held in harsh conditions on an Australian ship understood to be the customs vessel Ocean Protector. The claim document, submitted as part of an ongoing high court challenge to the legality of asylum seeker’s detention, revealed they are being held in windowless locked rooms, with no access to translators and with family groups being split up. [ Full Report ]

    - Australia: Stopping the boats and letting them languish at sea - Amnesty International
  • Canada Concerned About Restrictions on Civil Society and Non-governmental Organizations in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Jul 17, 2014 16:03:50 GMT ] [ Government of Canada ]

        The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement concerning restrictions on civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka: “Canada is deeply concerned by reports of efforts to restrict legitimate activities of civil society and non-governmental organizations in Sri Lanka. We urge the Sri Lankan authorities to respect the right to freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and the right to take part in public affairs. [ Full Report ]

  • John Tory sharpens attack on Rob Ford’s record

  •    [ Jul 16, 2014 18:04:26 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        Rob Ford returned to the mayoral debate circuit on Tuesday with the same talking points he deployed successfully before his two-month leave of absence. His rivals were better prepared this time. Ford, making his first debate appearance since he entered rehab for substance abuse in May, was greeted by a supportive crowd and friendly questions at a Pentecostal church in Scarborough. [ Full Report ]

    - Mayoral debate a slugfest - Toronto Sun
    - Campaign Lie Detector: Rob Ford says 14 untrue things at Scarborough debate - Toronto Star
  • International community must not forget Sri Lanka

  •    [ Jul 16, 2014 18:01:38 GMT ] [ Asian Correspondent ]

        The U.S. Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka held a hearing on July 9 in Washington, D.C. Good intentions notwithstanding, it’s unclear how powerful this caucus will be. Since the conclusion of the nation’s civil war in May 2009, lobbying efforts regarding Sri Lanka have been intense in both Washington and New York City, headquarters of the United Nations (U.N.). [ Full Report ]

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