News Archives
  • Sri Lanka president intervenes on behalf of accused military men

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 19:41:41 GMT ] [ JDS ]

        Addressing a military event in Colombo to hand over land and houses to serving and retired soldiers of the security forces, a visibly outraged President said that he is 'displeased and disgusted' over probes against suspected military men. Several officers from the military intelligence suspected for the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and the abduction of Senior Journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda are in remand custody pending investigations. "I have called the officers investigating a case where military intelligence officers are in remand for 16 months. If there is a fault they should be charged. If not, they should be released or granted bail, these are human rights," the president said in a clear reference to ongoing Ekneligoda investigations. [ Full Report ]

    - Sumanthiran slams President’s sympathy on military personnel and negligence on Tamil inmates - Athavan News
  • Alleged suicide note: Rtd. Army officer claims he killed Lasantha

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 14:56:39 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        A 52-year-old retired sergeant major attached to the Intelligence Unit of the Army had allegedly committed suicide after writing a letter claiming that he had assassinated Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Sgt. Major Ilandarage Jayamanne, was a resident of Dehipitiya Road at Karandupana in Kegalle. The letter had been titled ‘To whom it may concern’, according to the Kegalle Police. The letter claimed he was responsible for the murder and his friend Malinda Udalagama was innocent and therefore had requested the authorities to release him. The father of three had requested that his letter be handed over to the Intelligence Unit. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka probes suicide note 'confession' to murder - AFP
  • Brooklyn judge reduces convicted terror trio's jail sentence over haunting 'injustice' in Sri Lanka case

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 14:51:44 GMT ] [ NY Daily News ]

        Three men convicted of being terrorists are getting their sentences reduced by 10 years after a Brooklyn judge revealed that he had been “haunted” by the case. “I just believe in my heart of hearts that an injustice has been done and I can’t correct it,” Federal Judge Raymond Dearie said, according to a transcript of a July 15, 2015 conference with prosecutors and defense lawyers. Dearie was referring to the 25-year prison terms he was mandated to give to Canadian nationals Sathajhan Sarachandran, Sahilal Sabaratnam, Thiruthanikan Thanigasalam in 2011 for conspiring to acquire surface-to-air missiles on behalf of the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group fighting against the government of Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • A Tamil Diaspora Perspective on Sri Lanka

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 14:50:06 GMT ] [ Huffington Post ]

        With respect to the Sinhala polity, the new government has brought in some democratic features such as fighting corruption. However, with respect to the Tamils, the new government, in a calculated and sophisticated manner, is consolidating the military victory of the previous regime into a political victory. The 99% Sinhalese Sri Lanka Army continues to occupy over 67,000 acres of private Tamil land and state lands in traditionally Tamil areas. Seven years after the conclusion of the war, the Sri Lankan government continues to detain (without charge or trial) approximately 250 Tamil prisoners of war. [ Full Report ]

  • Sudbury teen in Sri Lanka for international pageant this Sunday

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 14:47:27 GMT ] [ Sudbury ]

        Sudbury's Madison Kvaltin is taking place in the final of the Miss Intercontinental Pageant in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Oct. 16. The first-year sociology student at Queen's University has been in Sri Lanka taking part in the international pageant since Oct. 4. At 18 years old, she's the youngest of the 77 contestants. This past spring, Kvaltin, a recent Lockerby Composite school graduate, was named Miss North Ontario Regional Canada. [ Full Report ]

  • Can Sri Lanka Hold On to Its Fragile Peace?

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 14:45:38 GMT ] [ National Geographic ]

        Today three-fourths of the country’s 200,000 armed forces remain stationed in the Northern Province. “That number won’t be reduced for a long time, because the threat isn’t 100 percent over,” said Gen. Daya Ratnayake, the former commander of the Sri Lankan Army.“We have no confidence that we’ll get our land back,” said a 46-year-old Tamil woman who has lived in a squalid camp since the army seized her land in 1990. “They’ve built a hotel on my property. They’re earning revenue there. Are you telling me they’ll just hand it back over to us?” [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka war crimes

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 14:41:42 GMT ] [ OLOpinion ]

        At the request of the SLG, ASIO kept over 50 former Tamil Tigers in indefinite detention, even though they were found to have been refugees. As Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, referred to Tamil asylum seekers as economic migrants, despite all evidence to the contrary. His successor, Julie Bishop, has done the same. Australian governments have adopted the fiction that the minority Tamils were the aggressors in the civil war. Their position is that Sinhalese won the war, peace has been restored and the Tamils must accept it and get on with life; which consists of a military occupation of the north, confiscation of their land, desecration of their cemeteries, rape of the women and marginalisation from economic activity; all against a background of bribery, cruelty and corruption. [ Full Report ]

  • How a Sri Lankan Refugee Became an Australian Army Major

  •    [ Oct 14, 2016 14:37:51 GMT ] [ TamilCulture ]

        He is proudly Australian and he is proudly Tamil. They are both equally valued. This is a message I think is relevant to all refugees and migrants. Lavan was born in Sri Lankan and raised a Tamil. His family has seen the ravages of war in the northern part of the country. Lavan writes and speaks his mother tongue, Tamil, proudly. He is fiercely proud of his culture, and history. When joining the Army, he was often questioned by other migrants, “why fight for a country that isn’t yours?”, “isn’t there a lot of racism in the army?”, “what’s a Sri Lankan doing in the Army?”. [ Full Report ]

  • High-level delegation led by Speaker visiting China

  •    [ Oct 10, 2016 11:43:20 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        A top level parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is reported to have travelled to China on Sunday as part of the initiatives to strengthen relations between the two countries.The delegation currently in China comprises Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Dissanayake, Chief Government Whip Gayantha Karunatilake, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem, Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) Leader Douglas Devananda and Minister Susil Premajayantha. The Speaker has sought such visits for the benefit of the MPs. During the visit, the delegation will have the chance to study the new trends in China's economic and social vision.(Kelum Bandara) [ Full Report ]

  • -Northern Sports fiesta concludes with more questions than answers

  •    [ Oct 10, 2016 11:41:48 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The 42nd National Sports Festival conducted by the Ministry of Sports was concluded in Jaffna last week while once again raising many questions over several shortcomings. The Games concluded with the organisers providing an assurance that they would put up a better performance at the next event. However, this has been the same old story that the Sports Ministry officials have been commenting on since the inaugural Sports Festival was staged in 1970. [ Full Report ]

    - Sports Minister batters journalist at Jaffna event - Sunday Times
  • Join the call for justice in Paanama, Sri Lanka

  •    [ Oct 10, 2016 11:36:34 GMT ] [ Oxfam ]

        Farmers and fisherfolk had lived on their land in Paanama village, Sri Lanka for generations – until they were forcibly evicted by the military overnight. The land they used to grow crops on is now being retained by the government to be used for tourist hotels. After years of protesting, the government decided in 2015 that the land would be returned to the community – but it has not yet kept this promise. Act now to stand with the community in their fight for land rights. [ Full Report ]

  • China invites India to join Sri Lanka offshore city project

  •    [ Oct 10, 2016 11:31:43 GMT ] [ Asia Times ]

        In what could signal a new phase in Sino-Indian economic relations, China has invited India to help in developing Sri Lanka, including taking part in the multibillion dollar Colombo International Financial City funded by Beijing.Addressing a forum in Colombo, Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang said the project was open for collaboration with India and that his country welcomed constructive partners. “We welcome any third party to join Sri Lanka and China. We are not opposed to India or any other country. China already has many business relationships with India,” Yi said at the forum organized by the Sri Lankan National Chamber of Commerce in September. [ Full Report ]

  • -The slow death of a moderate

  •    [ Oct 07, 2016 12:34:23 GMT ] [ FT ]

        For another, perhaps the TNA still believes Wigneswaran is not completely lost and could be brought back to the fold. The Chief Minister’s conduct offers little hope of such a scenario developing, but if there was a chance to reset the clock on his waywardness, that would still be preferable. The Chief Minister’s return to the path of moderate politics would strengthen the TNA’s hand at the negotiating table. It will also relegate bankrupt nationalist politicians riding high in the North today and their southern counterparts, back to the fringes where they belong. In the long term interest of winning the peace for all communities in Sri Lanka, that remains the best possible option. But can the Chief Minister still be saved? [ Full Report ]

  • Exclusive Interview: Sri Lanka’s Digital Government Chief

  •    [ Oct 05, 2016 15:28:37 GMT ] [ GovInsider ]

        “You work towards delivery – otherwise you don’t exist,” says Muhunthan Canagey. The Sri Lankan Government’s Digital Chief is describing his previous life as an entrepreneur. There is also the issue of connectivity in government offices. “We will have an entire cloud platform ready for the whole of government,” Canagey says, and 7,500 government buildings are to get internet of “minimum 100 Mbps speeds”. “That would bring in connectivity to all our government institutions within one government network where cross-government data sharing exists,” he says. Canagey brings with him an entrepreneurial edge to the Sri Lankan Government. He must use this to build public services that are nimble, efficient and trustworthy. [ Full Report ]

  • Over 200,000 people affected by drought

  •    [ Oct 05, 2016 15:26:35 GMT ] [ RW ]

        Nearly 208,000 persons from 51, 561 families in several districts have been affected by the prevailing drought. According to the Disaster Management Center sources, 69,678 people in Eastern Province, 8,600 people in Northern Province, 8,422 people in North Western Province, over 10, 000 people in Sabaragamuwa Province, and 110, 350 people from 23,000 families in North Central Province are facing a water shortage due to the drought. They said that there was no water in Kirama oya and Kattakaduwa tank and they were collecting water from wells. Meanwhile, the water in Kaluganga River has been mixed with sea water and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board is taking measures to stop this situation. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka: Over 200,000 Affected By Drought - EurAsiaReview
  • Journalist threatened inside police station in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Oct 05, 2016 15:20:58 GMT ] [ IFJ ]

        The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM) in condemning the inaction of the police while a TV journalist was threatened inside a police station in Sri Lanka on September 27. The IFJ demands that the authorities immediately investigate the incident. Ranjith Karunaweera, a journalist with Hiru TV in Mahiyanganaya of Badulla District in Uva Province of central Sri Lanka, was threatened over a news story by a group of people when he arrived at the Hasalaka police station to give his statement in a case filed against him. [ Full Report ]

    - Threats to journalists at police stations must end, says Sri Lankan media group - Free Media Movement
  • Notes on peace from northern Sri Lanka

  •    [ Oct 05, 2016 15:06:38 GMT ] [ DNA ]

        When war ends and we are told the crisis is over, nothing feels perfect. Our homes have to be rebuilt. Our families have to be found and reunited. We have to remember, even as we forget. There is the humdrum and inescapable reality of buying food and paying for a little light. Education has been disrupted and so finding a job is not easy. In the transition between the state of war and a state of peace, order has broken down and although bombs and guns have largely been withdrawn, there is a pervasive sense of insecurity. “Do not stray too far from the homestead, it is not safe.” People still seem to feel risk everywhere. [ Full Report ]

  • UN rights expert to visit Sri Lanka to assess current situation of minorities

  •    [ Oct 05, 2016 14:56:26 GMT ] [ OHCHR ]

        The United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, will carry out an official visit to Sri Lanka from 10 to 20 October 2016 to assess the current situation of national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in the country. “Experience has shown that the recognition and promotion of minority rights are critical, if not requisite, in achieving long-lasting peace and reconciliation, particularly in countries such as Sri Lanka that were once divided by ethnic conflicts,” noted the independent expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise in the field of minority rights globally. [ Full Report ]

  • Immigration detention of children and families must end

  •    [ Oct 04, 2016 14:30:21 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        Canadians have the opportunity to lead the world, as we have done with our welcome of Syrian refugees, by ending immigration detention of children and families and making sure our own policies do not exacerbate the suffering of those who, in many cases, have already suffered more than most of us can imagine. Immigration detention is a deeply flawed tool for securing our borders. Evidence shows that community-based alternatives to detention are effective, more fiscally responsible, and far more humane. These alternatives will serve families as well as adults, who, as the IHRP’s 2015 report illustrated, are often caught in a “legal black hole” of indefinite and unnecessary detention. [ Full Report ]

  • Muslims in Toronto wonder what needs to change as Canadian poll calls for assimilation

  •    [ Oct 04, 2016 13:27:26 GMT ] [ CBC ]

        This week, CBC News and the Angus Reid Institute released a poll showing that 68 per cent of Canadian respondents believe immigrants should be doing more to fit in, as opposed to keeping their own customs and languages. The pollsters behind the research suggest the results show a hardening of public attitudes toward newcomers, something possibly driven by the fierce anti-immigration stances of U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump as well as several other political leaders. [ Full Report ]

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