News Archives
  • You can build a better Canada, or you can get out of the way

  •    [ Jan 29, 2015 14:38:26 GMT ] [ Macleans ]

        When they see a problem, they first deny it exists. Then they make an excuse. They explain it’s not their responsibility. They blame someone else. They attack those who would suggest things could be better, and question those people’s loyalty and patriotism. A Third World population in the midst of a wealthy country like Canada doesn’t just happen. It requires people like this. It requires denial, indifference, ignorance, and wilful blindness. Canada does have a race problem. It persists because of people like you. We don’t expect you to help fix it. But as better men like Bowman try, the least you can do is get out of the way. [ Full Report ]

  • Minorities key to national reconciliation in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Jan 29, 2015 14:20:18 GMT ] [ Asian Correspondent ]

        The bottom line is that we Sri Lankans have never found out the truth.There is nothing to stop the President cooperating with the current UN investigation on Sri Lanka and in addition appointing our equivalent of South Africa’s truth and reconciliation commission. The former is necessary for Sri Lanka’s international credibility and the latter is essential for national reconciliation.Reconciliation is critical, and this cannot happen unless the truth is known. This, sooner rather than later, has to be at the top of the new President’s agenda. If minorities in Sri Lanka are imperative to political change, then that change must reflect their needs and aspirations too. [ Full Report ]

  • Revisiting Sampur: How Long Will it Take to Return Home?

  •    [ Jan 29, 2015 14:13:40 GMT ] [ GV ]

        The election of a new President has unleashed high expectations of change for the better. Although for some the expectations relate to macro issues of constitutional reform and good governance, for others their hopes are more basic: that of survival, of returning to their own homes and rebuilding their lives. A key stumbling block to these expectations being met was the claim by the previous government that Sri Lanka no longer had any internally displaced persons (IDPs). Ground realities though are starkly different with thousands in the North and East of Sri Lanka unable to return home due to land occupation, [ Full Report ]

  • “Thank God it’s over”: Mangala

  •    [ Jan 29, 2015 14:11:41 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        I think all of them will be summoned to answer. I think in all areas, whether it is murder or human rights violations, againthere should not be exceptions. If there are such allegations they should be inquired into and suitable action be taken. I am not saying that we should initiate a broad witch-hunt against all those involved with the Rajapaksa administration. We know so many people who had no choice but to cooperate. But as the Magnitsky law that was brought in the US, even the engine drivers who took the Jewish people to Auschwitz to the gas chambers, should be equally guilty as Hitler for ordering it. So the guilty, whoever they might be, must be punished. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka: Main Tamil Political Party (TNA) Reiterates Its Call For An International Investigation For Tamil Killings

  •    [ Jan 29, 2015 13:59:16 GMT ] [ EIN News ]

        Mr. Premachandran categorically opposed any domestic investigation, saying that Tamil have no faith or trust in a domestic investigation, citing numerous domestic Commissions set up by several previous governments for the repeated mass killing of Tamils over the years. He also urged that UN High Commissioner for human rights to table the report on Sri Lanka as scheduled in the UN Human Rights Council Session in March this year. UN Human Rights Council passed a Resolution in its March 2014 Session urging UN High Commissioner for human rights to submit a report on violations of humanitarian law that took place during the war with Tamil rebels called Tamil Tigers. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka says army ‘sabotaging’ post-war reconciliation

  •    [ Jan 29, 2015 11:12:56 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka’s new government on Thursday accused the military of trying to sow unrest to sabotage its efforts to bring about ethnic reconciliation in the war-ravaged north of the country.The government said it was investigating allegations that two senior military officers were training 400 troops to provoke unrest in Jaffna, capital of the northern province. “We have information that saboteurs are being trained in small batches of 10 at a time and they are being deployed in Jaffna,” said government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne. Senaratne, who is also health minister in the new government, said senior military officers had been in contact with the former president’s brother, ex-defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, about the alleged bid to destabilise Jaffna. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka plans fresh inquiry into human rights abuses during civil war

  •    [ Jan 29, 2015 10:56:30 GMT ] [ Guardian ]

        Sri Lanka is planning an investigation into accusations of human rights abuses in the final stages of a 26-year civil war amid international frustration at the failure to look into numerous civilian deaths, a government spokesman said. “We are thinking of having our own inquiry acceptable to them to the international standards,” government spokesman Rajitha Seneviratne told a forum of foreign correspondents in Colombo on Wednesday. “It will be a new local inquiry. If we need, we will bring some foreign experts.” [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka Says to Return Private Lands in Civil War Areas - AP
  • Current political trend signals harmony among communities - M.A.Sumanthiran MP

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 19:35:55 GMT ] [ Sunday Observer ]

        Tamil National Alliance (TNA) frontliner M.A.Sumanthiran MP in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer spelt out the TNA’s needs - their stance with regard to a lasting solution to the Tamil problem, the immediate measures that they have insisted over the livelihood and rehabilitation of the conflict-affected Tamils, the current controversy over the post of Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Provincial Council (PC) and the Government’s measures to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full. He said that the Maithripala administration which the Tamils exuberantly supported has already initiated measures to resolve their outstanding issues and expressed optimism that the current political trend signals harmony and mutual understanding among the different communities in the country. [ Full Report ]

    - The future state of the nation - Dayan Jayatilleka - FT
  • Armitage, Bue and Curtis: Sri Lanka Is Ready to Take Center Stage

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 17:41:40 GMT ] [ Wall Street Journal ]

        Sri Lanka has rarely, if ever, topped any U.S. foreign-policy agenda. But after the surprising outcome of its presidential election earlier this month, it should get higher billing. In a stunning reversal, Sri Lankans ousted President Mahinda Rajapaksa after 10 years of increasingly authoritarian and corrupt rule. By the time of the election, Mr. Rajapaksa had effectively turned the nation into a family-owned business, with seemingly little room for political opposition and scant attention to the reconciliation and accountability needed by all Sri Lankans following the violent, decades-long fight against Tamil separatists. The Rajapaksa family’s grip on the country made the election outcome all the more surprising. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka reinstates Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 15:51:59 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        Sri Lanka's new president has reinstated the former chief justice two years after she was sacked by his predecessor over corruption claims. A smiling Shirani Bandaranayake returned to the Supreme Court to be given flowers by her supporters. President Maithripala Sirisena's office called her removal a "procedural" error. She always denied corruption. However, her return is thought only temporary as reports say she is to retire now her name has been cleared. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lankan president reinstates sacked chief justice - Reuters
  • One Way Sri Lanka Can Shield its ex-Defense Secretary from a U.S. Criminal Prosecution

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 15:51:28 GMT ] [ Just Security ]

        Last week, Sri Lanka’s Justice Deputy Minister responded to an Op-Ed that I published in the New York Times, in which I described reasons that the United States can and should pursue a criminal investigation of U.S. citizen and Sri Lanka’s ex-Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In this post, I respond to the Deputy Minister’s statement that his administration would protect Mr. Rajapaksa from a criminal trial by the United States, if it ever came to that. Here are the key parts of the Deputy Minister’s remarks, published in the state-owned newspaper News Daily: [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's NGOs test limits of new freedoms

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 15:50:38 GMT ] [ IRIN ]

        Less than three weeks since Sri Lanka voted in a new president, rights activists and other NGOs say there are already encouraging signs that they may have more freedom to work under the new administration, including in the former conflict zone in the north. Six days after the 8 January election, around 300 families of those still missing as a result of Sri Lanka’s two and half decade long civil war attended a prayer service led by Pope Francis at the Madhu Shrine in the northwestern district of Mannar. Some held pictures of missing relatives; others held small signs calling for justice. But in a marked departure from the pattern of recent years, security forces prevented no one from protesting or entering the shrine compound. [ Full Report ]

  • Asylum seekers legally detained on Customs vessel, High Court rules

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 15:46:04 GMT ] [ The Age ]

        The Australian government acted legally when it detained 157 Tamil asylum seekers on the high seas for a month last year, the High Court has ruled. In a 4-3 majority decision announced on Wednesday afternoon, the court found that the 157 asylum seekers were lawfully held by Australian authorities on the Customs vessel Ocean Protector and the asylum seekers, who are now in Nauru, were not entitled to any compensation. [ Full Report ]

    - Australian court rules detention of Sri Lanka asylum seekers at sea lawful - Reuters
    - Court Rules Australia Held 157 Sri Lankans at Sea Legally - ABC News
  • Indonesian Attorney-General deals blow to Bali nine's Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 15:36:47 GMT ] [ The Age ]

        The condemned Bali nine members Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could be executed as early as next month after the Indonesian Attorney-General said there could not be a second judicial review into their case. Chan and Sukumaran are among 11 convicts on death row in Indonesia who will now face the firing squad because their clemency pleas have been rejected by the President. Eight have been condemned for narcotics offences and three for premeditated murder. H.M. Prasetyo said the Australians would not be executed in Bali but the location was yet to be decided. [ Full Report ]

    - ndonesian Attorney-General deals blow to Bali nine's Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - The Age
  • Tamil Daily threatened of 'Charlie Hebdo style' attack

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 15:31:59 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        A Tamil newspaper has received a letter threatening an attack similar to the one on the office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police said. "We have received the letter from the newspaper and a probe is on," a senior police official said. The letter, typed in English, says "Yesterday-Paris Charlie Hebdo, Tomorrow - Dinamalar." The words appear against the background of India's map. The letter was sent by post by unidentified elements claiming to belong to an outfit called "The Base Moment," and said to be based at "3/10, Ukkadam, Kovai, Tamil Nadu, India. [ Full Report ]

  • Time not right for repatriating Tamil refugees: TN CM Panneerselvam

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 15:03:30 GMT ] [ IANS ]

        Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam Wednesday said discussions on voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees should be deferred as it is premature to deliberate the matter now. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the text of which was released to the media here, Panneerselvam said: "The process of voluntary repatriation could be considered only after concrete and credible measures are taken by the Sri Lankan government and the Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu are given adequate verifiable assurances and gain the requisite confidence to return to their native land." "In this context, we believe that having a meeting to discuss voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees is premature and should be deferred for the present," he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Builder quietly cancels condo complex

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 3:22:49 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        Urbancorp has quietly cancelled its Kingsclub condo complex on King St. W. and plans to build three towers of rental apartments instead. It is the second downtown condo project in just the last few weeks to suddenly convert to rental apartments instead, leaving hundreds of buyers of preconstruction units out in the cold. The two back-to-back conversions are being seen as a sign that developers are growing fearful that condo interest is waning in Toronto, at the same time that rental demand shows no signs of letting up. [ Full Report ]

    - GTA housing affordability falling; ‘we’re not far behind New York’ - Toronto Star
  • The Lanka question

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 3:05:21 GMT ] [ Pakistan Today ]

        New Delhi has lots to explain when Mohinder Rajpaksa was reelected as Sri Lanka’s President for the second time. India had supplied him small arms which he liberally used to kill the Tamils, the largest minority in that country. He should have been tried for war crimes because he killed 40,000 Tamils in cold blood even after the surrender by what was then called the LTTE, the militant face of Tamils in the Northern Sri Lanka. That he tried to woo both military and police chiefs to stay back even after the defeat show. This shows how adroitly he led a democratic India up to a garden path. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka chooses changes

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 3:04:26 GMT ] [ East Asia Forum ]

        The recent election of President Maithripala Sirisena heralds a golden opportunity for Sri Lanka to heal old wounds and to open up its economy — and for the West, India and even East Asian countries to re-engage. New Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena hands a letter of appointment to Mangala Samaraweera as the Minister of Foreign Affairs during the swearing-in of the new Cabinet in Colombo, 12 January 2015. (Photo: AAP). In November 2014 the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, called an early election in the hope it would be a cakewalk. Instead he was defeated by an effective opposition challenge that tapped into a groundswell of popular resentment with one-family rule. Only two months ago, the Rajapaksas seemed invincible. On 8 January, their edifice collapsed. [ Full Report ]

  • India to take bilateral ties with Lanka to new level: Envoy

  •    [ Jan 28, 2015 3:03:10 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        India will work closely with the new Sri Lankan government led by Maithripala Sirisena - whose victory was a tribute to Lankan people's yearning for change - to take bilateral ties to a new level, the Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha said on Monday. Addressing the celebrations of the 66th Indian Republic Day held at India House here, Sinha said India stands ready to continue to provide support and partnership to Sri Lanka in realising its people's aspirations. He congratulated the people of Sri Lanka on the peaceful conduct of the recent landmark elections that installed a new government under Sirisena in the island after defeating two-time president Mahinda Rajapaksa. [ Full Report ]

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