News Archives
  • Sri Lanka war crimes: NPC rejects domestic mechanism, asks for international probe

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 15:43:37 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lanka's Tamil-controlled Northern Provincial Council on Tuesday demanded an international probe into the alleged war crimes committed towards the end of civil war with the LTTE, while dismissing the domestic mechanism backed by the US and the international community. In a resolution passed today, the NPC questioned the legal possibilities of conducting a credible domestic investigation in preference to an international mechanism. "...the Council calls upon the international community to set up an international tribunal to try those alleged to have committed international crimes against the Tamil People in Sri Lanka," the resolution titled 'The Need for an International Mechanism' said. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamil Fest in Scarborough a smashing success, drawing about 90,000 people

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 13:26:53 GMT ] [ Scarborough Mirror ]

        Tamil Fest turned out to be a smashing success for both the Tamil-Canadian community and Scarborough. Organizers of the first street festival in Morningside Heights thought they’d see 30,000 people over the weekend, at most. Instead, about 90,000 turned up on a section of Morningside Avenue over Saturday and Sunday. Those crowds produced long lines at the vendors and midway rides, and some traffic and parking problems on nearby streets. But they also make it very likely Tamil Fest - one of the first Tamil street festivals outside South Asia - will be back next year. [ Full Report ]

  • Finding peace in post-war Sri Lanka

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 13:12:38 GMT ] [ Al Jazeera ]

        Six years have passed since Sri Lankan forces ended their 26-year war with separatist Tamil Tigers. But is the nation any closer to achieving reconciliation and justice for victims of conflict? Rights groups say the country's lack of accountability in addressing wartime abuses has led to a post-conflict environment where violations are still happening. Between 1972 and 2009, at least 100,000 people were killed in conflicts between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Sri Lankan military. In 1983, clashes between the two groups escalated into war following a period known as Black July. The Tamil fight for a state independent of Sri Lanka's Sinhalese majority fueled a war that lasted nearly three decades. [ Full Report ]

  • Why does Canada jail migrants?

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 13:10:04 GMT ] [ Vancouver Sun ]

        I wonder what two-year-old Alpha Anawa thinks about the refugee crisis — the largest since Second World War — unfolding in Europe. While global attention is focused on unprecedented refugee flows and deaths across the ocean, Alpha quietly spent his birthday behind bars this weekend at the Toronto Immigration Holding Center. He is a Canadian child born on the other side of barbed wires and Plexiglas. His mother Glory Anawa came to Canada seeking refugee status from Cameroon and despite never being charged, she has been jailed for 2-1/2 years. Since 2005 to March of 2015, at least 4,392 children have been forced into detention. [ Full Report ]

  • Book Review – Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 13:07:38 GMT ] [ Indian Express ]

        The day after his election victory, Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke of how he would follow the “Lichchavi approach” to governance “that requires all parties to work together”. The Lichchavi dynasty in ancient India is thought to have ruled the region that is present-day Bihar from its capital Vaishali circa 6 BC. What is most written about the Lichchavis is that their rule was akin to a republic. Though the king was the ruler, in effect he ruled in consultation with various tiers of local government. [ Full Report ]

  • Canada in recession as GDP shrinks in second quarter

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 13:04:57 GMT ] [ CBC News ]

        Canada's economy expanded in June but declined by 0.1 per cent for the second quarter as a whole, meeting the bar of what is legally defined as a recession. The economy expanded by 0.5 per cent in June, Statistics Canada said. But that slight monthly uptick wasn't enough to offset the contraction in the previous two months, which means for the second quarter as a whole, the economy shrank. [ Full Report ]

    - Canada’s economy shrinks, hit by recession in first half of 2015 - Globe and Mail
  • Half of Canadian voters undecided: poll

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 13:03:28 GMT ] [ Globe and Mail ]

        Few Canadians made up their minds in the first 31 days of the federal election campaign, and the three-way race is still wide open. Half of Canadians are still willing to consider voting for any of two or more parties. There have been tours, rallies, announcements, commercials and even a leaders’ debate, but all that hasn’t clinched many votes over the course of August. All three major parties remain in a statistical tie – but there’s plenty of potential for the race to swing wildly in the seven weeks before the Oct. 19 vote. [ Full Report ]

  • S’pore can help Sri Lanka become progressive state

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 12:22:29 GMT ] [ Today ]

        Sri Lanka’s society has long clamoured for change, and this may be on the threshold of coming to fruition after a long, costly and painful civil war. It must work hard towards bringing about unity, and ensuring no one is left out, to be able to forge ahead — like Singapore after separation from Malaysia. Both countries stand to gain from the links going back many years that have been established between their peoples, and the business they have done through those years despite the difficulties. And that all politicians should work hand-in-hand in ensuring their people benefit from the growth and prosperity that must surely come. [ Full Report ]

  • Coca-Cola Has Poisoned the Drinking Water of Millions in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 12:19:04 GMT ] [ Alternet ]

        It was reported this week that the Coca-Cola corporation has apologized for leaking diesel fuel into the Kelani river, and is promising to pay compensation to the victims of the spill. However, millions of Sri Lankans are now left without water as a result of the spill because the Kelani river is the primary drinking water source for many large areas. Investigations recently uncovered that an explosion at one of the company’s facilities on August 17th was responsible for the spill. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s parliament sworn in after unity government formed

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 12:14:51 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Lawmakers from the Tamil party, the third largest in the poll, were also sworn in, demanding a new constitution to “restore democracy and justice”. Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan said his party would push for justice for the ethnic minority following the war that ended in 2009. “Among several issues that this parliament must deal with, is the framing of a new constitution so as to restore democracy, pluralism… equality and justice,” Sampanthan said. [ Full Report ]

  • House should decide on Executive Presidency: Maithri

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 12:11:13 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        President Maithripala Sirisena today entrusted the power to make a final decision on the executive presidency to the members of parliament. Addressing the new parliament this afternoon he said the decision on the presidency, whether to keep it or abolish, should be taken by parliament. “Making a decision on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution as well as the executive presidency is up to you now,” the President said. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka Leader Calls for Reforms to Promote Ethnic Harmony - AP
  • Sri Lanka's navy arrests 16 Tamil Nadu fishermen for violating maritime norms

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 10:34:01 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sixteen fishermen from Jagadhapattinam in Pudukottai district were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line this morning, Fisheries Department officials said here. Fishermen's Association President S Emiret said the fishermen were fishing in Indian waters off Kodiakarai coast. The fishermen had been taken to Kangensanthurai in Jaffna district along with their three boats. [ Full Report ]

  • Roadmap to reconciliation: 4 post-election challenges for Sri Lanka

  •    [ Sep 01, 2015 10:32:47 GMT ] [ OpenDemocracy ]

        In September the UN Human Rights Council will consider a report into war crimes committed during the final years (and beyond) of the country’s civil war. Colombo won a deferral of the UN report’s release after it asked for more time to establish a domestic accountability mechanism. This means putting the legacy of the Tamil Tigers as well as Rajapaksa and his coterie on the spot. And it forces difficult choices on Wickremesinghe and Sirisena. Almost six months on, they have pushed the real decisions forward, preferring to avoid moves that will upset parts of their support base. [ Full Report ]

  • U.K.’s Lebara Group doubles down in Canada, launches ethnic streaming service

  •    [ Aug 31, 2015 21:09:22 GMT ] [ Financial Post ]

        When U.K.-based Lebara Group BV considered bringing its burgeoning mobile-phone service for migrants to Canada roughly six years ago, the cost of buying access to another carrier’s voice network was too steep. Instead, Lebara has made its Internet-based voice and messaging app, Lebara Talk, available for download in Canada, targeting close to seven million foreign-born residents who connect with their relatives abroad. Since February, it says the Lebara Talk app has amassed 350,000 active users in at least 10 countries. And despite offering free app-to-app calling, Lebara says 95 per cent of calls are paid for. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's August Parliamentary Election, Seen Up Close

  •    [ Aug 31, 2015 20:27:47 GMT ] [ The Diplomat ]

        I arrived in Sri Lanka on August 10, a week before the country’s August 17 parliamentary election. Our group of short-term international election observers would spend the first few days in Colombo, the capital, before heading out to the locations from which we’d be monitoring the election. Shortly after my arrival in Colombo, I learned that I would be in Jaffna on voting day. Having spent several years working for a Tamil human rights organization in Sri Lanka, I’m familiar with Jaffna and was really looking forward to heading north. [ Full Report ]

  • Lanka's main Tamil party presses for Opposition status in Par

  •    [ Aug 31, 2015 20:26:58 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lanka's main Tamil party TNA, which has emerged as the third largest party in this month's parliamentary polls, has staked claim for the status of main Opposition in the parliament, following an arrangement between the UNP and the SLFP to form a national unity government. The claim is based on an arrangement between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) and President Maithripala Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to form a national unity government. [ Full Report ]

  • A Gift to Sri Lanka Which Has Centre Caught in a Political Storm

  •    [ Aug 31, 2015 20:26:26 GMT ] [ NDTV ]

        A gift from India to Sri Lanka has started a political storm in Tamil Nadu. The state's prominent political parties have launched a scathing attack on the Centre for gifting the Coast Guard vessel 'Varaha' to its neighboring country. "Centre seems to be helping the Lankan Army which continues trouble the Indian fishermen. I oppose this on behalf of the DMK," said former chief minister and party chief Karunanidhi, who is demanding the ship's recall. [ Full Report ]

    - Vaiko, Ramadoss oppose India gifting away ship to Sri Lanka - PTI
  • Report on Sri Lanka’s missing ‘almost ready’

  •    [ Aug 31, 2015 20:24:24 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        Constituted in August 2013, the Commission has looked into complaints about the disappearance of thousands of people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons has almost completed its task, according to Justice Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, chairman of the panel. In a chat with The Hindu on Monday, Justice Paranagama said the Commission had virtually finalised its findings. However, he refused to say when he would submit the final report to President Maithripala Sirisena. “The President is busy these days,” he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Bank of Canada will cut interest rates again on Sept. 9, National Bank predicts

  •    [ Aug 31, 2015 20:23:07 GMT ] [ Financial Post ]

        The Bank of Canada will cut interest rates at its Sept. 9 meeting, National Bank Financial says, becoming the first major bank to call for a cut amid signs market turmoil threatens an economic recovery. Speaking by phone from Montreal on Wednesday, economist Paul-Andre Pinsonnault predicted Governor Stephen Poloz will cut the policy rate by a quarter point to 0.25 percent next month, matching a record low set in 2009 during the global financial crisis. The odds of a September rate cut have risen to 31 percent from 18 percent a week ago based on trading in swaps markets. Signs of global economic turmoil are being seen from falling stock market and crude oil prices to the weakest Canadian dollar since 2004. [ Full Report ]

  • U.S. grants Sri Lanka $ 3.2 million to develop schools in the East

  •    [ Aug 31, 2015 18:43:41 GMT ] [ GoSL ]

        The United States has agreed to grant US$ 3.2 million for the development of schools in the Eastern Province. The signing of the agreement took place under the patronage of Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando at his office Friday. David Christine of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo and Chief Secretary of the Eastern Province Sarath Abeygunawardena signed the agreement in the presence of Representatives of the U.S. State Department. New U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap assured the Eastern Governor another US$ 1million for education development in the Eastern Province. Governor Austin Fernando said that this is a consolidation of trust placed by Western countries in the new Government. [ Full Report ]

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