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April 08, 2020 - Memory of the Day

In Gotabaya’s Lanka: Many fear the rise of majoritarian sentiment in Sri Lanka

2019-11-29 09:42:34 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 1972 | Well qualified Tamil youth denied admission to universities
    Well qualified Tamil youth denied admission to universities by the introduction of the selective standardization system.
  • Human Rights Violations

  • 1998 | 81,000 Tamil homes in Valigamam damaged by SL forces
    Jaffna's Peace and Justice Committe has said 81,000 Tamil homes in Valigamam (Jaffna) have lately been damaged by the Sinhalese armed forces.
  • 2000 | Jaffna NGOs march for civilian rights
    Conceptualising civil society as the counterweight to the state was a set of ideas that became established in western thinking as societies realised that the all-powerful state was not delivering the goods. The proponents who wanted organs in civil society empowered found a voice with the decline of state-led communism. By the early 1990s, the importance of institutions in civil society had infiltrated even third world countries such as ours, and became an established part of the political discourse.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 470 | எள்ளாத எண்ணிச் செயல்வேண்டுந் தம்மொடு
    கொள்ளாத கொள்ளா துலகு.
    Plan and perform no work that others may despise;
    What misbeseems a king the world will not approve as wise.
    - 47 47
  • Apr 08 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Apr 08, 2016 10:09:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka, Politics Of Promise: Between Sirisena And Rajapaksa – Analysis
    Internationally, there has been much praise for the Government’s efforts to move towards introducing good governance, minimising massive spending, and working towards a more citizen-centric government. The colossal spending included expenditure for state events foreign visits filling entire flights, establishing overseas missions at places that have no direct benefit for Sri Lanka. Now, restructuring in all these areas can be seen, and they cannot be fixed overnight. The case Rajapaksa is trying to create is weak and does not have much support, especially from the youth who believe in creating a society with less corruption – the central theme that toppled Rajapaksa’s regime. If the delivery of the central theme, anti corruption, is as equal or worse than the past regime, things could go against the present regime. more ...
  • 2) Apr 08, 2016 10:06:09 GMT |  + Hambantota project talks with Sri Lanka should be speeded up: China
    China has called for fast-tracking negotiations with Sri Lanka over the USD 750 million second phase of the Hambantota port which in the past caused unease in India over concerns that the project is part Beijing's 'string of pearls' strategy to contain it. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the port will give Sri Lanka full play to its geological advantage to become an important international logistic hub. The second phase of construction is expected to cost over USD 750 million.The scale of the project evoked concerns in India that it could be part of China's 'string of pearls' strategy to corner India. more ...
  • 3) Apr 08, 2016 10:02:29 GMT |  + US seeks to develop close military ties with Sri Lanka
    “US national interests” is a reference to Washington’s quest to establish unchallenged domination in the Indo-Pacific as part of its global drive for hegemony. Far from “promoting peace and stability” in the region, the US represents the greatest threat to peace and stability. Washington is aggressively preparing war plans against China in order to subordinate it to US interests and building military ties and alliances throughout the region for that purpose.Behind the backs of the population, the Colombo government is increasingly entrenching the country in the US war plans against China, which carry the danger of a catastrophic nuclear conflagration.
  • 4) Apr 08, 2016 3:29:11 GMT |  + Cash-strapped Sri Lanka looks to restructure $8 bn China debt
    Sri Lanka's prime minister will seek to restructure some of the cash-strapped island's $8 billion Chinese debt, Colombo said Thursday, as he met his Chinese counterpart in Beijing. As it faces a spiralling debt crisis that has forced it to seek a bailout from the IMF, Sri Lanka's government is hoping to convert some of its loan burden into stakes in infrastructure projects. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also hopes to resolve a dispute over a $1.4 billion Chinese-built "Port City" in the Sri Lankan capital, State Enterprise Development Minister Eran Wickramaratne told reporters in Colombo. more ...
  • 5) Apr 08, 2016 3:26:37 GMT |  + India’s fear of encirclement groundless says Chinese daily, as Ranil arrives for talks
    'Global Times' article says China needs ties with Sri Lanka to establish the Maritime Silk Road as Pakistan's security is vulnerable. India’s ties with Colombo are casting a shadow on the visit of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe who arrived in the Chinese capital on Wednesday to reboot a longstanding relationship with Beijing. Within hours of Mr. Wickremasinghe’s arrival, the state-run Global Times newspaper ran an op-ed that focused on India as a factor in Beijing-Colombo ties. more ...
  • 6) Apr 08, 2016 3:23:28 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Braces for Extreme Heat
    Sri Lanka is facing the heat from a scorching sun for the past one month. In recent times, the country has imposed power cuts after almost a decade. The main reason was the stoppage at a coal power plant, but engineers at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) admit that the island’s hydro-power generation capacity is at such a critical low that without additional coal, diesel and renewable generation, the country’s full demand for power cannot be met. In the south of the country, sea water has been seeping into the inland pumping stations causing degradation of drinking water. The water board said that parts of the southern province would have to endure water cuts as pumping stations try to deal with low water levels and sea water seepage. more ...
  • 7) Apr 08, 2016 3:20:51 GMT |  + Activists in an international system: pushing for change in Sri Lanka
    Stephen Hopgood argued several years ago that it is activists, not states, who will make a difference in the future, and to a certain extent this has proved to be true in Sri Lanka. Undoubtedly, the primary struggle for human rights has to be waged at home. But there are also times when international support—such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is crucial. For us, 2006-2014 was such a time. In 2005-2006, I was working at the FORUM-ASIA Secretariat based in Bangkok. As the conflict in Sri Lanka escalated in 2006, I decided to go home and came back to chaos. more ...
  • 8) Apr 08, 2016 3:18:58 GMT |  + Colombo tries to strike a balance between India, China
    "Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China," Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said. A year ago, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had just returned to power after a gap of over 10 years, chose Guruvayur, a temple town in Kerala, to make a pertinent observation on his country’s ties with two big neighbours: “Sri Lanka is neither pro-India nor pro-China,” he said. His comments came at a time there were concerns in India about China’s rising involvement in Sri Lanka.
  • 9) Apr 08, 2016 3:17:16 GMT |  + Vaiko ties himself into knots with crude barbs, apologises
    A press conference convened to condemn DMDK rebels and the DMK for its alleged role in the split turned into a major embarrassment for the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) on Wednesday after its convenor and MDMK general secretary Vaiko made several unsavoury remarks against DMK president M. Karunanidhi. His remarks evoked widespread criticism, prompting leaders of two PWF constituents – VCK and CPI (M) – to disapprove of the comments. Late in the evening, Mr Vaiko tendered an unconditional apology to Mr. Karunanidhi. It all began when Mr. Vaiko, addressing a press conference at Thayagam, the MDMK headquarters, squarely blamed DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin and his son-in-law Sabarish for instigating dissent in the DMDK. more ...
  • 10) Apr 08, 2015 13:32:22 GMT |  + Senior UN official visits Sri Lanka
    A senior UN official, on a six-day tour to Sri Lanka, has visited the war-ravaged north to assess the development needs and meet government officials, the UN office said on Wednesday. UN Assistant Secretary General Xu Haoliang travelled to the northern town of Mullaitivu to assess the support extended by the UN Development Program (UNDP) to residents, reports Xinhua. He handed over a rice mill to the Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) at Panankamam. He met members and the board of directors of MPCS to explore other opportunities. Earlier, Xu visited the Community Forestry Project (CFP) site at Mihintale, Anuradhapura, in the North Central Province, a UNDP-supported project funded by Australia. more ...
  • 11) Apr 08, 2015 13:30:43 GMT |  + Sri Lanka parliament rejects raising US$3b in bonds
    Sri Lanka's new government suffered its first setback in parliament on Tuesday (Apr 7) when its proposal to raise the short-term state borrowing limit by over US$3.0 billion was shot down by legislators. The government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had asked the 225-member legislature to approve increasing the treasury bond limit by 400 billion rupees (US$3.0 billion) to 1,250 billion rupees. MPs voted 31 in favour and 52 against in what analysts said was a major embarrassment for the government. more ...
  • 12) Apr 08, 2015 13:29:12 GMT |  + Are Sri Lankan Tamils prone to collective political suicide?
    We have entered the ninth decade since the Donoughmore Reforms leading to the first State Council elections of 1931. Through the early part of these eight and a half decades, Sri Lankan Tamils had occupied a dominant position in this country, politically, economically and socially. The leading political institution of this community in the 1920s was the Jaffna Youth Congress (JYC) which was very highly regarded by the leaders of every political party of Sri Lanka as well as by the leaders of the Indian National Congress. more ...
  • 13) Apr 08, 2015 13:27:29 GMT |  + What future for the humanitarian capital of the world?
    Most won’t call it a cut-back, let alone a withdrawal. Instead they use words like ‘restructuring’, ‘rationalising’, or even ‘stabilisation’. But whatever you call it, a spike in the value of the Swiss franc in January has escalated discussions among humanitarian and human rights agencies in Geneva about scaling down operations in one of the world’s most expensive cities. With an unprecedented number of crises around the world already stretching the budgets of many aid agencies, and funding struggling to keep pace with rising needs, some agencies are quietly concluding it may be time to move some of their operations out of the city known as “the humanitarian capital of the world”. more ...
  • 14) Apr 08, 2015 13:18:57 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Should Resist Beijing's Overtures
    In January, Sri Lanka’s voters kicked out President Mahinda Rajapaksa for being corrupt, repressive, and too close to China. The country’s new government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, promptly drew attention and not a little admiration for halting a Chinese-led development project, citing environmental and other problems. The project’s fate remains unclear. What is obvious is that Beijing will fight to retain its commercial and strategic interests in Sri Lanka. President Sirisena was showered with promises of aid during a visit to China in late March.
  • 15) Apr 08, 2015 13:14:15 GMT |  + Scarborough’s United Tamil Sports Club wins Minor Track Association’s Ontario indoor title
    Scarborough’s United Tamil Sports Club won the Minor Track Association Provincial Indoor Championships...for the fifth year in a row. The track and field team consisting of youth ages 5 to 14 met on March 21-22 at the Toronto Track and Field Centre at York University. The competition involved track and field events such as running, hurdles, shot put and more. The 63 registered kids were awarded medals and a collective trophy for their achievement. more ...
  • 16) Apr 08, 2014 15:28:17 GMT |  + Truth about our relationship with Sri Lanka: opinion
    THE opinion piece by Gordon Weiss ("Stance on Sri Lanka needs urgent rethink", 4/4) includes a number of assertions that need correction. Most seriously, Mr Weiss makes the untrue claim that during a visit to Tamil regions in Sri Lanka's north and north-east just over 12 months ago I was given a guided tour by the Sri Lankan military. I led a delegation that included Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Justice Minister Michael Keenan.
  • 17) Apr 08, 2014 15:26:59 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Asset Freeze Threatens Peaceful Dissent
    The Sri Lankan government’s decision to label 16 overseas Tamil organizations as financers of terrorism is so broad that it appears aimed at restricting peaceful activism by the country’s Tamil minority, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should provide evidence of the unlawful activity of specific groups and individuals or remove them from the list. On April 4, 2014, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris made public an order signed on March 20, on the advice of the defense secretary, freezing the assets and financial resources of entities ranging from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was militarily defeated in 2009, to nonviolent Tamil organizations around the world.
  • 18) Apr 08, 2014 15:25:28 GMT |  + ​India refuses to rock Sri Lanka’s boat on human rights issues, but for how long?
    India has managed to negotiate a dangerous curve in its relations with Sri Lanka, a crucial Indian backyard where China and Pakistan have steadily enlarged their strategic footprints in recent years. As the closest neighbor, with thousands of years of relations with Sri Lanka, India cannot remain untouched by developments in that country. India abstained from voting at the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) on March 27 on a resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 19) Apr 08, 2014 15:24:34 GMT |  + Building a co-operative future in Sri Lanka
    The Co-operative College’s Stirling Smith has just returned from running a training course for Sri Lankan co-operators in Madurai, India. Imagine meeting a group of people who had all lost a family member or close friend in a brutal civil war. I have just finished teaching such a group in Madurai, in the south of Tamil Nadu. They had all come across the narrow Palk Straits that separate Sri Lanka from India and were from the Tamil minority that has lived in the north of the island – previously known as Ceylon – for a thousand years. more ...
  • 20) Apr 08, 2014 15:22:08 GMT |  + Quebec Liberals win majority over Parti Québécois as Marois steps down
    Philippe Couillard’s Quebec Liberal party sailed to an astonishing victory, winning a majority government in the provincial election that resulted in the defeat and resignation of Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois. The Liberal leader’s accomplishment is a surprising achievement for the former Quebec health minister and neurosurgeon who just a few months ago was widely seen as an indecisive rookie leader. more ...
  • 21) Apr 08, 2014 15:16:51 GMT |  + Sri Lankan Move against Tamil Groups Flayed
    The Sri Lankan government's decision to label 16 overseas Tamil groups as financiers of terrorism is so broad that it appears aimed at restricting peaceful activism by the Tamil minority, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. The government should provide evidence of the unlawful activity of specific groups and individuals or remove them from the list, the US-based body said. On April 4, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris made public an order freezing the assets and financial resources of entities ranging from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was militarily defeated in 2009, to other Tamil organisations around the world.
  • 22) Apr 08, 2014 15:10:04 GMT |  + BJP manifesto: A let-down for Tamil Nadu allies, core issues skipped
    The BJP manifesto has come as an embarrassment for its poll partners in Tamil Nadu. Modi's been credited with drawing in state regional parties into the saffronBSE -4.62 % ambit, but their stated positions in the state have not been taken into account in the manifesto. The Ram temple's return as a key issue despite the party's commitment to a 'constitutional solution' was a bitter pill though one that Dravidian parties including Vaiko's MDMK have swallowed in the past as NDA partner .. more ...
  • 23) Apr 08, 2013 16:00:40 GMT |  + Trichy gathering condemns “US–Indian betrayal” of Eezham Tamils
    Addressing a mass gathering of students and common people in Trichy (Thiruchchi) district, Tamil Nadu, student leaders, youth activists, and veteran political activists condemned the betrayal of the Eezham Tamil nation by the US-Indian axis, further accusing them of abetting the genocidal Sri Lankan state, on Sunday. Not only India, but the entire world has turned its attention on the mass struggle waged by our students in Tamil Nadu over the last month, said the organisers of the gathering. more ...
  • 24) Apr 08, 2013 15:51:16 GMT |  + Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council: The saga continues
    Disregarding this resolution would be risky because it would leave the regime open to real diplomatic isolation and the possibility of more unpalatable consequences that could include economic sanctions, travel restrictions for certain members of the regime or a shift in military and/or intelligence cooperation with other countries. However, those types of outcomes would likely fall outside the scope of the HRC. Nearly four years since the civil war’s tragic end, it remains to be seen whether the HRC can help turn things around in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 25) Apr 08, 2013 15:48:31 GMT |  + Sri Lanka now spits fire on Muslims
    Sri Lanka, yet to address the reconciliation measures of Tamils displaced by decades’-old civil war now begins to spit fire on Muslims, with the anti-Muslim campaign spearheaded by Buddhist monks pickling momentum in the island nation. more ...
  • 26) Apr 08, 2013 15:45:37 GMT |  + Sri Lanka reacts strongly to TN Assembly resolution
    Sri Lanka on Monday reacted strongly to the recent Tamil Nadu assembly resolution against it, saying it was “disturbing” and asked the critics to visit the country to see the progress on the ground instead of going by “exaggerated” allegations of human rights abuses.“We would like to invite all those who make unfounded and exaggerated allegations as well as unrealistic demands as solutions to Sri Lanka’s future to visit the country and ascertain the progress on the ground in terms of rebuilding the country,” the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo said.
  • 27) Apr 08, 2013 13:24:59 GMT |  + Canadians outraged by RBC foreign-worker outsourcing fiasco
    Royal Bank of Canada’s reputation is taking a huge hit today, with an explosion on social media, after revelations of an outsourcing deal that will see some of its staff lose their jobs to foreign workers.As The Globe and Mail’s Sophie Cousineau reports, the Canadian government is probing the subcontracting of some of the bank’s investor services back-office work to iGate Corp., a move that will cost 45 RBC employees in Toronto their jobs. RBC tried yesterday to distance itself from the events first reported by CBC. more ...
  • 28) Apr 08, 2013 12:25:29 GMT |  + Ex-Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher dies
    Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died at 87 following a stroke, her spokesman has said. Lord Bell said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning." Lady Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990. more ...
  • 29) Apr 08, 2012 13:37:41 GMT |  + HR battle: From Geneva to Washington now
    A string of diplomatic blunders saw a resolution on Sri Lanka being adopted at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva two weeks ago. A return to the route that brought the country under the microscope of the international community leaves behind a trail. The first international focus came when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established a three-member panel of experts to examine accountability issues. It related to the separatist war that ended with the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas. In essence, the trio examined alleged war crimes by both the guerrillas and Sri Lankan troops and brought out damning indictments. Whether they are right or wrong is another question.
  • 30) Apr 08, 2012 13:37:03 GMT |  + OORANA OOR(MY COUNTRY) - New Documentary to screen at the ReelWorld Film Festival 2012
    Award winning filmmaker Lalita Krishna’s latest documentary tackles the Tamil Canadian issue. Set against the backdrop of recent boats with hundreds of asylum seekers who have landed on Canadian shores, Krishna poses the question: Why would anyone risk their life and embark on a perilous journey to an unknown destination? Baskaran took an unmarked boat from Sri Lanka, and landed in Newfoundland 25 years ago. What he remembers is not the journey itself but the sense of security and freedom he felt on landing in Canada. more ...
  • 31) Apr 08, 2012 13:35:04 GMT |  + Strong protest by India; Gandhi statue being rebuilt
    India yesterday strongly protested and expressed concern over the vandalizing of a statue of India’s independence hero Mahatma Gandhi in Batticaloa town and offered assistance to restore it. A spokesman for the Indian High Commission said the protest was lodged with the External Affairs Ministry. “We have urged the Ministry to instruct the relevant authorities to carry out an inquiry into the act of vandalism,” he said. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi was among five statues which were vandalized in Batticaloa town by an unknown gang.
  • 32) Apr 08, 2012 13:33:44 GMT |  + Geneva Crisis
    It is correct for Sri Lanka to express its protest against the US sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution against Sri Lanka. Yet, the government had apparently failed to mobilize the protest move in a manner conducive to safeguarding the dignity of the country. The government’s approach has resulted in causing considerable damage to the good image of the country. The heated debate that was launched against the decision of the UNHRC was eventually brought to a climax with the Minister Mervin Silva suddenly entering the limelight assuming the anchor role of the protest move.
  • 33) Apr 08, 2012 13:32:12 GMT |  + The rule of law and war crimes
    In the months following the March 2012 rebuke administered to the Sri Lankan government by the United Nations Human Rights Council, critical self introspection is necessary as to some of the basic assumptions which drive the post Geneva discussions. And as tempting as it is, this questioning cannot be directed solely at an increasingly impossible Government and those Ministers (few and far in between as they are) who still retain the ability to think critically. This would be the easy option.
  • 34) Apr 08, 2012 13:29:22 GMT |  + JVP dissident leaders Premakumar and Dimuthu disappeared
    A small leftist political faction in Sri Lanka says two of its leaders – a woman and a man – have disappeared and it fears they’ve been abducted. Two activists from the same faction disappeared in December while campaining on human rights issues. The police have denied knowledge of the incident, which adds to reports of rising numbers of unexplained disappearances. more ...
  • 35) Apr 08, 2012 13:28:16 GMT |  + The External Affairs Ministry Are Liars – Dayan Jayatilleka
    Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, has described the charges laid against him by the Ministry of External Affairs as “lies agreed upon”. In an interview with The Sunday Leader Jayatilleka refuted all allegations laid against him. He further expressed his opposition to the US Resolution stating that the recommendations should not be complied with. more ...
  • 36) Apr 08, 2012 13:22:55 GMT |  + A Temple Chief Running Amok
    Questions are been raised as to whether the necessary approvals have been obtained for new constructions taking place at the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa) premises which is an archaeological reserve as well as a world heritage site. According to the Antiquities Ordinance No: 9 of 1940 (revised in 1956 and 1998) no one is allowed to commence or carry out any work of restoration, repair alternation or addition in connection with any protected monument without the proper approval from the Director General Archaeology. more ...
  • 37) Apr 08, 2012 13:15:41 GMT |  + Economic crisis hitting poor and middle classes, small businessmen and farmers
    Interest rates, which this week rose for the second time in two months, and a credit squeeze have hit the middle class and poorer segments much more than affordable groups, a Sunday Times survey shows. However, the government strategy to curb imports and reduce the widening trade deficit was paying early dividends as there was less pressure on foreign reserves, the survey found out. On Thursday the Central Bank raised its rates by 0.25% and 0.75% to 7.75% (Repurchase) and 9.75% (Reverse Repurchase) after increasing it on February 3 to 7.5% and 9%, respectively.
  • 38) Apr 08, 2012 13:12:59 GMT |  + Menik Farm after the cyclone: The continuing misery of IDPs
    After a punishingly hot day, the skies seemed to provide some relief to the residents of Chettikulam as they opened to release heavy showers during the early evening of Saturday, March 31st. However, what was welcomed as a break from the unending heat by those ensconced in sturdy houses simultaneously proved to be a torment for the 6,022[1] residents in the Menik Farm IDP camps a few kilometres outside of town. more ...
  • 39) Apr 08, 2012 11:42:12 GMT |  + ‘Backing of resolution on Sri Lanka, a sign of successful diplomacy'
    The adoption of the US-sponsored resolution on the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council reflects the success of the diplomatic approach adopted by India, said Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram here on Saturday. “It was a complex issue. We needed a resolution acceptable to all. One wrong step would have resulted in India ending up in a minority,” Mr.Chidambaram said. more ...
  • 40) Apr 08, 2012 11:38:47 GMT |  + Gandhi statue defaced in Lanka, India concerned
    India has taken up with Sri Lanka the issue of vandalism of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the eastern town of Batticaloa and offered assistance in rebuilding it. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi along with those of Lord Baden Powell and two Tamil scholars had been found damaged on Thursday, prompting the Sri Lankan government to order an investigation. Diplomatic sources said the Indian High Commission here has protested and expressed concern over the act of vandalism by an unknown group on Thursday. more ...
  • 41) Apr 08, 2012 10:52:42 GMT |  + Govt. rejects JVP allegation that rebel leaders are in custody
    The rebel JVP faction yesterday accused the government of taking its elusive leader Premakumara Gunaratnam into custody along with another senior cadre, Dimuthu Attygalle, in the run up to the launch of a new political outfit on April 9. Udul Premaratne of the dissident group told The Sunday Island that both Gunaratnam and Attygalle were missing and were believed to be arrested by security authorities.
  • 42) Apr 08, 2012 10:49:49 GMT |  + Indian delegation to visit war-torn areas in Sri Lanka
    With an aim of reinforcing India's commitment towards ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils, a delegation of MPs led by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj will travel to the country next week to assess the resettlement and political process in war-torn areas. The 15-member multi-party delegation with representatives from Congress, BJP, DMK, AIADMK and Left parties will be in Sri Lanka from April 16 to April 21. more ...
  • 43) Apr 08, 2011 2:25:17 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Account for Wartime Disappearances
    The Sri Lankan government should account for everyone who was taken into custody at the end of Sri Lanka's 26-year-long armed conflict in May 2009 and are feared to have been "disappeared," Human Rights Watch said today. Despite numerous requests from families for information about their relatives, the authorities do not appear to have conducted any serious investigations, Human Rights Watch said... Human Rights Watch has obtained several additional, longer videos of Ramesh, providing further evidence that he was in army custody. In one of the videos, Ramesh is seen lying on a bench in civilian clothes. more ...
  • 44) Apr 08, 2011 2:23:33 GMT |  + Conflict brews between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen
    While Sri Lanka was in the throes of civil war, Indian fishermen enjoyed uninterrupted fishing rights in the Palk Strait as fishing was banned in northern Sri Lanka. Now Sri Lankan fishermen are back at work only to find their livelihoods threatened by their neighbours across the sea. Conflict is brewing in the Indian Ocean. Last month the Sri Lankan authorities held 136 Indian fishermen for fishing in their waters. They were only released after a flurry of diplomatic meetings between the two sides. more ...
  • 45) Apr 08, 2011 2:08:34 GMT |  + Sun Sea crew played 'integral' role in smuggling operation, IRB told
    Among the 492 Tamil migrants who arrived in Canada aboard the MV Sun Sea last August were 12 crew members who played an "integral" role in helping to execute the large and sophisticated smuggling operation, the Immigration and Refugee Board was told Thursday. The allegation was made at an admissibility hearing for one of the crew members, a man who cooked on the ship and manned the diesel engine room and received free passage from a key smuggling agent in return for that work, the board was told. more ...
  • 46) Apr 08, 2011 2:06:11 GMT |  + Liberal success lies in winning back Greater Toronto ridings
    Mississauga-Erindale. Oakville. Vaughan. As ridings lost to the Conservatives, they tell the story of Liberal fortunes in recent elections. What’s next? Ajax-Pickering? Brampton-Springdale? Ousting long-time Liberal Joe Volpe in Eglinton-Lawrence? For the Liberals, such a Conservative victory in Toronto would be akin to letting the enemy inside the castle walls. more ...
  • 47) Apr 08, 2011 1:57:30 GMT |  + Karuna defends DMK stand on Lankan Tamils
    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday said his party had maintained a consistent stand over Sri Lankan Tamils issue and hinted that AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa had taken up the issue only with an eye on the April 13 Assembly elections. Karunanidhi said at an election rally whether it was DMK recognising Selva as the father figure of Tamils' movement in Sri Lanka in 1956 or not supporting a resolution moved by AIADMK government before the death of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran demanding his arrest and deportation to India, the Dravidian party had maintained a consistent stand. more ...
  • 48) Apr 08, 2011 1:51:34 GMT |  + Heavy competition in capturing Tamil media in the island
    Shares of a leading all-island Tamil daily, Thinakkural, published simultaneously in Colombo and Jaffna, were for ‘sale’ recently for hundreds of millions, and the competitors ranged from a former LTTE bigwig in the Rajapaksa camp and a Sinhala media house to circles close India. Ultimately, another leading Tamil daily in the island, The Virakesari, succeeded in purchasing 41 percent of the shares for 240 million rupees, informed media circles in Colombo said. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan state-owned media establishment Lake House has started publishing a Jaffna edition of its Tamil daily Thinakaran. Colombo soon plans to bring out this edition of Thinakaran using the facilities of Eezhanaatham, the only daily that was earlier coming from Vanni and the building of which is now occupied by the SL colonial military.
  • 49) Apr 08, 2010 21:20:44 GMT |  +  M.I.A. blasts Sri Lanka after return to U.K.
    Rapper M.I.A. has accused the Sri Lankan government of launching a sinister campaign to oversee her movements and "ban" her from returning to her native Britain. The Paper Planes hitmaker arrived back in her home country last month (Mar10) after 18 months living in Los Angeles, and claims she encountered numerous problems with her travel documents. She is convinced officials in Sri Lanka deliberately sabotaged her plans to fly home by "pulling the strings" after she criticised the government and accused authorities in the country of "genocide" during the Asian nation's lengthy civil war. more ...
  • 50) Apr 08, 2010 21:17:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka vote to hand president's party easy victory
    The poll on Thursday was the first since Rajapaksa in May declared victory in one of Asia's longest-running and bloodiest wars, defeating the separatist Tamil Tigers and returning the entire island to government control after 25 years. Rajapaksa and his allies are aiming to win 150 seats, or the two-thirds majority he needs to change the constitution. He has not made public his intended amendments save possibly creating a bicameral legislature and changing the electoral system. The opposition had vowed to block him, saying it would threaten democracy by increasing his already vast powers. Some speculate he would change the charter to allow himself a third term when his expires in 2016.
  • 51) Apr 08, 2010 15:15:06 GMT |  + Fears of Rajapaksa dynasty as Sri Lanka votes
    Almost a year after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka votes today in parliamentary elections that could expand President Rajapaksa’s already vast powers, extend his rule beyond 2017, and lay the ground for a dynastic succession. Mr Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition is sure to win the poll, with the opposition in disarray after the arrest in February of General Sarath Fonseka, the former army chief who was runner-up in a presidential election in January. The only question is whether the United People’s Freedom Alliance can attain its goal of winning a two-thirds majority, allowing it to make changes to the constitution that could include prolonging Mr Rajapaksa’s rule beyond the end of his second term in 2017.
  • 52) Apr 08, 2010 9:44:16 GMT |  + Mathematical complexity in Sri Lanka's parliamentary election
    Thursday's Sri Lankan parliamentary election promises to be the last of its kind. The new parliament members are expected to shed the very system. The system elected parliaments in 1989, 1994, 2000, 2001 and 2004. Here is a look at the mathematical wonder of appointing Members of Parliament (MP) based on the proportional representation (PR) system of election in Sri Lanka. A total of 196 MPs elected from 22 electoral districts would join 29 MPs to be elected based on the national PR to make the total number of MPs in parliament to 225.
  • 53) Apr 08, 2010 9:36:54 GMT |  + Reports of violence, intimidation in Sri Lanka election
    Election observers in Sri Lanka have reported intimidation and poll-related violence as people headed voted to elect a new parliament. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence reported 160 violent incidents during the first four hours of voting, most instigated by supporters of the ruling party. "Pro-government supporters are reported to have intimidated voters," said CMEV spokesperson DM Dissanayake, who said that most complaints were against the United People's Freedom Alliance, the ruling party of President Mahinda Rajapakse. more ...
  • 54) Apr 08, 2010 9:35:06 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Exports Declined in January on Weak Textiles Demand
    Sri Lanka’s exports declined in January after gaining the previous month for the first time in a year, indicating overseas demand for the South Asian island’s textiles and garments remains weak. Shipments abroad fell 3.9 percent to $472 million from a year earlier following a 6.4 percent increase in December, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said in an e-mailed statement. “The decline in textile and garment exports is attributed mainly to the lower export volumes compared to January 2009 amidst lower global demand and higher competition from other countries,” the central bank said in the statement.
  • 55) Apr 08, 2010 9:34:03 GMT |  + Sri Lanka polls set to cement president's hold
    Sri Lankans vote Thursday in parliamentary elections that are widely expected to see President Mahinda Rajapakse's ruling party storm to a comfortable win over the fractured opposition. For many Sri Lankans this will be the first parliamentary election in which they can vote without fear of Tamil Tiger violence and suicide attacks after the rebels were defeated last year following three decades of conflict. Wide expectation of a ruling-party win has fuelled predictions of a low turnout following a campaign that the private Sunday Island weekly called the "most excruciatingly boring" since independence.
  • 56) Apr 08, 2010 2:03:34 GMT |  + Sri Lanka leader's bloc is the favorite
    President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling coalition is expected to secure an easy victory in Thursday's parliamentary elections, the first since the government quashed the Tamil Tiger insurgency and ended an often brutal quarter-century-long war. But the vote may only mask continuing problems securing national reconciliation between the Tamil minority and the majority Sinhalese population, as well as quarrels among top Sinhalese leaders, analysts said. Rajapaksa won reelection in January as president, defeating former army commander Sarath Fonseka, who was widely credited with directing the strategy that finally won the war. Within weeks, Fonseka was arrested and charged by the government with conspiring to assassinate Rajapaksa and seize power. more ...
  • 57) Apr 08, 2010 2:02:33 GMT |  + Crucial polls for Sri Lanka's Tamils
    The question before the Presidential election in January was whether retired army chief Sarath Fonseka could defeat incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. Many, at least, in urban centres and certain regions of Sri Lanka thought he could. In the end, he could not and Rajapaksa won a contested but strong victory. The same voters would troop out to vote on Thursday to elect the seventh Parliament, but a different question is making the rounds now: will the Rajapaksa-led ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) be able to secure a 2/3rd majority in a Parliament of 226 members? That majority is needed for the government to bring about changes in the Constitution; the government said that it needed the majority to continue to develop Sri Lanka.
  • 58) Apr 08, 2010 1:45:40 GMT |  + Sri Lanka polls set to cement president's hold
    Sri Lankans vote Thursday in parliamentary elections that are widely expected to see President Mahinda Rajapakse's ruling party storm to a comfortable win over the fractured opposition. For many Sri Lankans this will be the first parliamentary election in which they can vote without fear of Tamil Tiger violence and suicide attacks after the rebels were defeated last year following three decades of conflict. Up until the eve of voting, opposition parties had accused the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) of violating campaign norms and warned that the vote would never be free and fair. more ...
  • 59) Apr 08, 2010 1:43:41 GMT |  + Merak asylum-seeker impasse close to end
    A SIX-month stand-off between the Indonesian Government and more than 200 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum-seekers whose wooden fishing boat was intercepted after a phone call from Kevin Rudd is close to resolution. A delegation of Indonesian authorities and officials from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration yesterday met the Tamils, whose boat has been moored at the port of Merak since it was stopped in October. Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Sujatmiko said the asylum-seekers had been told the situation had dragged on too long.
  • 60) Apr 08, 2010 1:41:54 GMT |  + Rajapaksas out in force for Sri Lanka election
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa hopes his governing coalition will score a clear victory in Thursday's legislative elections. He also hopes two of his brothers, his cousin and his eldest son, Namal, will win or regain places in parliament. The BBC's Charles Haviland reports from the Rajapaksa heartland in Southern Province. By a huge banyan tree in the town of Tangalle, Namal Rajapaksa is meeting the people outside the family home. A crowd clusters around the 23-year-old candidate and presidential son. Each person seems anxious to tell him their problem. They clutch school admission certificates and town council documents. more ...
  • 61) Apr 08, 2009 22:51:08 GMT |  + SLA attacks kill 129 civilians, 282 wounded in 'safety zone' on Wednesday
    Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fired artillery shells claimed the lives of 129 civilians inside the so-called 'safety zone' throughout the day on Wednesday, according to the latest reports. Three artillery shells targeted a child care / nutrition centre at Pokka'nai Wednesday morning where many civilians were waiting to obtain humanitarian milk rations for children. The shelling on child care centre was the single "most cruel carnage" on civilians within the safety zone, a rescue worker at the makeshift hospital in Puthumaaththa'lan said adding that exact casualty figures of children were yet to be reported from the site of the carnage, due to continued attacks till the evening.
  • 62) Apr 08, 2009 22:50:09 GMT |  + LTTE backs Jayalalithaa, snubs Karunanidhi
    In an exclusive interview to Headlines Today, LTTE political head B. Nadesan has endorsed the position taken by the AIADMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu on the Sri Lankan Tamils' Issue. AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa has been one of the staunchest critics of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the state and the LTTE has so far rarely made any direct comment about her. Breaking convention, Nadesan praised Jayalalithaa's recent statements on the situation in Sri Lanka.
  • 63) Apr 08, 2009 22:46:35 GMT |  + Tamil protesters bring traffic to a halt in Australia
    More than 4,000 Australian Tamils converged in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney Wednesday, causing police to block Elizabeth Street and bringing evening peak hour traffic to a standstill. The rally which was organised overnight, called on the Australian government to use their diplomatic powers to pressure Sri Lanka into entering a ceasefire. more ...
  • 64) Apr 08, 2009 22:41:09 GMT |  +  Karunanidhi asks people to join "Tamils Rally"
    DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today exhorted "one and all" cutting across party lines to join the "Tamils Rally" here tomorrow, demanding that the Sri Lankan government stop the war there. In a party statement here, Karunanidhi said that the rally was part of the peaceful measures aimed at "benefiting the Sri Lankan Tamils." He urged one and all, cutting across party lines, to join the rally, which will be held from Munroe statue here.
  • 65) Apr 08, 2009 22:27:27 GMT |  + Statement from Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition, on the situation in Sri Lanka
    The humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka has continued to deteriorate, causing grave concern to the international community and demanding urgent and coordinated action to end this conflict. The escalating violence between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire. Many more have been displaced and left homeless.
  • 66) Apr 08, 2009 18:04:09 GMT |  + Tamil protesters on hunger strike at the Houses of Parliament
    Two Tamils were on hunger strike today in protest at alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka as a rally outside the Houses of Parliament continued through its third day. As many as 3,000 Tamils have caused chaos in Central London this week by blocking Westminster Bridge and holding a vigil outside Parliament, demanding that the British Government intervenes in the conflict on the Indian Ocean island. more ...
  • 67) Apr 08, 2009 18:00:44 GMT |  + Assistant Secretary Boucher and Ambassador Blake Discuss Humanitarian Situation in Sri Lanka with Tamil Diaspora Groups
    Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake met with several U.S.-based organizations representing members of the Tamil diaspora to discuss the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. Assistant Secretary Boucher and Ambassador Blake welcomed the opportunity to listen to the concerns and perspectives of the American Tamil diaspora community and to share the steps the United States is taking to address the humanitarian crisis. Assistant Secretary Boucher and Ambassador Blake emphasized U.S. concern about the plight of the civilians trapped in the “no fire zone” in northern Sri Lanka.
  • 68) Apr 08, 2009 17:59:28 GMT |  + 'Immediate ceasefire is the only way' - Jayalalithaa
    "I strongly insist that an immediate ceasefire is the only way to save the Tamil civilians in the safety zone," said AIDMK General Secretary and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms. J. Jayalalithaa in a signed statement in Tamil, issued on Wednesday. Ms. Jayalalithaa in the strongly worded statement blamed Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the Central Government of India for the current plight of Tamil civilians. "People of Tamil Nadu will wash their hands off of such elements whose hands are jointly at work causing misery to the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka," she said. more ...
  • 69) Apr 08, 2009 16:01:09 GMT |  + Tamil protesters remain for 2nd day on Parliament Hill
    Tamil supporters who on Tuesday brought rush-hour traffic to a stop on Ottawa's Wellington Street said on Wednesday they will continue to demonstrate until the Canadian government lends its support to their cause. Hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of Parliament Hill Tuesday to plead with the federal government to call for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka. Protesters have accused the Sri Lankan army of using chemical weapons and rape in its war against the Tamil Tigers. They also say the army has killed thousands of Tamil civilians. more ...
  • 70) Apr 08, 2009 15:59:07 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: ICRC staff member killed in conflict area
    A staff member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was hit by a shell and killed instantly this morning while fetching water for his family near Ampalavanpokanai, on the coastal belt of the territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). "We feel devastated and are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend and colleague Sinnathurai Kugathasan," said Paul Castella, the head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to all of his family and friends." On 4 March, Vadivel Vijayakumar, another ICRC water technician involved in the medical evacuations, was also killed by shrapnel in the coastal area just north of Valayanmadam.
  • 71) Apr 08, 2009 14:26:13 GMT |  + "Bloodbath in TN if something happens to Prabhakaran": Vaiko
    MDMK leader Vaiko today warned of a"bloodbath"in Tamil Nadu if"something"happened to LTTE leader V Prabhakaran in the ongoing offensive by the Sri Lankan army in the island nation&aposs Tamil areas. Addressing a protest demonstration here, Vaiko, a staunch supporter of the LTTE, said there was nothing wrong in youth taking to arms and joining the LTTE in its fight against the Sri Lankan army. "The Tigers are fighting the army and will continue to do so. If something happens to Prabhakaran, there will be bloodbath in Tamil Nadu,"he said. Vaiko accused the Centre for not taking steps to ensure a ceasefire.
  • 72) Apr 08, 2009 14:24:41 GMT |  + SLA bombs child nutrition centre in safety zone, 258 including 100 children wounded
    Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fired artillery shells hit a child care centre and milk powder distribution centre at Pokka'nai, killing at least 40 civilians and causing injuries to more than 258 including 100 children. The SLA has stepped up indiscriminate bombardment, according to latest reports. At least 25 dead bodies have been brought to the hospital and 13 of them were identified by medical authorities at the makeshift hospital. More than 100 civilians have been killed and at least 422 wounded within the last 3 days, including Wednesday.
  • 73) Apr 08, 2009 11:45:59 GMT |  + UN issues new Sri Lanka warning
    The UN has issued a fresh appeal for a humanitarian pause or lull in the fighting in Sri Lanka to avoid a "bloodbath" on the beaches. It says such a development in the north-eastern region "seems an increasingly real possibility". The latest appeal comes as aid agencies are expressing increasing concern over the safety of more than 100,000 people caught up in the fighting. The rebels are now confined to a small area of jungle in Mullaitivu district. more ...
  • 74) Apr 08, 2009 11:10:35 GMT |  + Tamils Take Protests to Harper's Front Door
    In their most in-your-face protest yet, hundreds of Tamil Canadians clogged Ottawa's downtown streets yesterday, blocking traffic on all sides of the Prime Minister's Office. Tuesday's protest certainly got points for volume, but a more subdued action last wednesday by the Canadian Tamil Congress touched more decision makers. From here, the CTC, made their case to plenty of Liberal MPs, including John McKay, Irwin Cotler, Rob Oliphant, Keith Martin, Ruby Dhalla and Justin Trudeau. From the Conservatives, Chatter House spotted only Foreign Affairs Committee chair Kevin Sorenson.
  • 75) Apr 08, 2009 10:25:18 GMT |  + What will end game of Sri Lanka's war mean for civilians?
    Aid agencies are warning of possibly dire humanitarian consequences for tens of thousands of civilians trapped with the Tigers in the shrinking war zone. And even after the conflict is over, the fate of civilians remains a serious concern. Aid agencies say those inside the tiny no-fire zone are living in inhuman conditions. They have little shelter, food, water or medicine. They say the conditions are extremely cramped with people literally living on top of one another under tarpaulin sheets. Outbreaks of chicken pox, measles and water-borne diseases are common due to the cramped conditions, poor sanitation and the arrival of intra-monsoonal rains. more ...
  • 76) Apr 08, 2009 10:10:43 GMT |  + Sonia should press for ceasefire in Sri Lanka: VCK
    Describing Congress president Sonia Gandhi as "last hope for Sri Lankan Tamils", the pro-Eelam Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) on Wednesday appealed to her to "immediately intervene" and press for ceasefire in the island. "Sonia Gandhi should deal the situation from a humanitarian point of view...she is the last hope of the Sri Lankan Tamils and has the power to press for a ceasefire with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse," Thol Thirumavalavan, whose party is part of the DMK-Congress alliance fighting the Lok Sabha polls told a press conference here on Wednesday.
  • 77) Apr 08, 2009 10:03:23 GMT |  + Third Day Of Tamil Protests In Westminster
    Up to 5,000 people - including women and babies - forced the closure of nearby Westminster Bridge on Monday night by staging a sit-in. Leicester East MP Keith Vaz is expected to deliver a letter to Downing Street calling for the UN Security Council to debate the issue.Foreign Secretary David Miliband has insisted the Government is "very concerned" about civilians caught up in fighting in Sri Lanka. "As I said in the House of Commons last week, it is vital that civilians are able to move away from danger to safety," he said.
  • 78) Apr 08, 2009 3:20:08 GMT |  + Overstretched President Obama Should Cut the Gordian knot
    As a wielder of power Mr Obama should be attuned to do justice. His predecessor George Bush was a renegade. He thought that he could lead the world by what the Arabs called tamasha and ultimately got a boot kiss from and a name calling- ‘dog’ -from an irate raqi journalist. According to Muslims it was the worst form of insult to anyone. Therefore Obama must make justice his strength to succeed and attempt to identify injustice done by US and set them right. To dispense justice he must undo the injustice done by his predecessor who brought in the phrase ‘war on terror’ without any real terror except Al Queda. more ...
  • 79) Apr 08, 2009 3:03:12 GMT |  + Colombo turns firepower onto 'safety zone'
    Civilians inside the so-called safety zone have been forced to remain under bunkers as Sri Lanka Army (SLA) stepped up shelling and long-distance gunfire since Monday morning. Those who move on the road have come under long-distance gunfire by the SLA. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets were seen flying over the safety zone and carrying out air attacks. Local humanitarian activists in Vanni said that this is the last opportunity for the civilised world to uphold human values by taking immediate action of protecting the civilians from falling into the hands of an 'avowed genocidal government'.
  • 80) Apr 08, 2009 3:00:32 GMT |  + Why are the Tamils protesting, and are claims of abuse in Sri Lanka true?
    the plight of thousands of Tamil civilians caught up in the apparent endgame of a long and vicious civil war in Sri Lanka. The demonstrators are demanding that Britain use its influence to try and enforce a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan army and the fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Police arrested four people – one for violent disorder – after scuffles broke out when officers moved protesters off a bridge into Parliament Square. more ...
  • 81) Apr 08, 2009 2:55:15 GMT |  + Let them decide
    As London witnesses Tamil protests, a bloodbath on the beaches of northern Sri Lanka seems an increasingly real possibility. The Sri Lankan military has pushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam into an area so small that any shooting or shelling inevitably causes casualties among the 150,000 to 190,000 civilians trapped in the same zone. There have been many hundreds of civilian deaths caused by firing from both sides, though exact numbers and who fired what and when are impossible to verify. It is clear that the LTTE is refusing to let people flee, though many are managing to escape somehow, and I fear the combatants may be gearing up for a final confrontation. This is a very grave situation.
  • 82) Apr 08, 2009 2:54:23 GMT |  + On Sri Lanka, UN's Ban Says "Never Again" to Call for Ceasefire or Suspension
    With the situation for civilians trapped between the Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tigers growing more dire by the day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on April 7 was asked if he is calling for a ceasefire. Mr. Ban's 127-word answer, while describing two phone calls to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, did not use the word ceasefire, or even Ban's previous phrases, a suspension of fighting or humanitarian pause. Inner City Press noted, both in Monday's UN noon briefing and later to Mr. Ban himself, that "it is unclear whether you are asking actually for a ceasefire."
  • 83) Apr 08, 2009 2:49:30 GMT |  +  Centre urged to intervene to end war in Sri Lanka
    Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary D. Raja has urged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to intervene at the earliest to bring about a political solution to the Sri Lankan conflict. Addressing a news conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Raja termed the Indian government’s stand on the conflict ‘atrocious’ and accused the UPA government of observing a ‘dubious silence’ over the war in Sri Lanka and reports about involvement of Indian military personnel in the conflict. “There are reports that around 100 military personnel have been injured in the conflict and are being treated somewhere in Tamil Nadu. The government must come clean on whether it is giving military assistance to Sri Lanka,” he said.
  • 84) Apr 08, 2009 2:43:57 GMT |  + Colombo uses chemical weapons: LTTE
    Sri Lanka Army extensively used chemical weapons on LTTE combatants at Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) during the weekend, according to Lawrence, a senior commander of the LTTE, who personally encountered the attack and escaped, LTTE sources told TamilNet Tuesday. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Defence Ministry has claimed that it has killed hundreds of Tiger combatants including senior commanders in PTK last weekend. The use of chemical weapons were the suspicion of many who have seen the photographs released by the SL Defence Ministry, but now the accusation comes from the LTTE. The Tiger sources neither confirmed the type of the chemical weapon nor said anything on the casualties claimed by Colombo. more ...
  • 85) Apr 08, 2009 1:01:35 GMT |  + Rush-hour protest ends peacefully, traffic resumes
    Traffic finally began moving again just before 7 p.m. Tuesday after a protest snarled traffic in downtown Ottawa. Starting at 2:30 p.m., protesters marched along Wellington, Elgin, Bank, Metcalfe and Albert streets to bring attention to the ongoing violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka. Police spokesman Const. J.P. Vincelette said he believed "crowd control" officers were at the scene, along with patrol officers. "The protest is peaceful, and we're there to ensure public safety," he said.
  • 86) Apr 08, 2008 22:49:53 GMT |  + GSP Plus: Time to grow up and fast!
    The regime appears to be suggesting in a communiqué that something in the nature of a conspiracy encompassing a member of civil society, the Leader of the Opposition and the LTTE has been hatched to deprive Sri Lanka of the GSP Plus concession granted by the European Union. Withdrawal of this concession, according to some estimates, will result in the direct loss of at least a 100,000 jobs in the pivotal garment industry and many more, indirectly. The charge of conspiracy is very much in the vein of the traitors/patriots discourse that characterises these polarised times. It is also in the hackneyed tradition of offence as the best form of defence.
  • 87) Apr 08, 2008 22:43:00 GMT |  + Govt. battling on all fronts
    While International Trade Minister and UNP renegade National List MP G.L. Peiris returned to the country two weeks ago after a failed mission in Brussels to secure the GSP Plus facility, the UNP last week vowed to call for his explanation over allegedly making a false statement against Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in cabinet. Peiris was to have said that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had in writing urged the European Union not to grant Sri Lanka the GSP Plus facility due to the prevailing human rights situation.
  • 88) Apr 08, 2008 22:19:57 GMT |  + Betel for New Year: A hard day’s night
    It seems that the period of the new Sun, or the new course of the Sun, shows all the planetary signs of being a time of a dark midnight even for those who have the faith to cling to hope in the most hopeless crisis. Highways Minister and Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle – a Catholic and a Colombo Chetty -- was widely seen as a possible prime ministerial candidate after snap general elections which were expected in July or August. But analysts and observers recalled what happened after the general election of 2004, when the UPFA took over from the UNP government.
  • 89) Apr 08, 2008 20:13:40 GMT |  + STF clash with Army
    Two soldiers and a civilian were killed in a forest 5 Km from the Komarikulam area in Ampara yesterday, when a group of Army personnel and Special Task Force (STF) personnel shot at each other after each mistook the other for Tiger rebels. The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said that another soldier had been wounded in the clash and was receiving treatment at Ampara Hospital.
  • 90) Apr 08, 2008 11:00:29 GMT |  + Sri Lanka at the brink
    On January 16, 2008, the Sri Lankan government terminated a nominal ceasefire agreement it signed almost six years ago, under international supervision, with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Instead, it is now preparing to pursue a military solution to its problem with ethnic Tamils. And it can now do so relatively free of international scrutiny, especially since a Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), that has observed the former ceasefire (and its many breaches), has been obliged to pack up and leave the disputed Tamil traditional homelands in Sri Lanka's north-east.
  • 91) Apr 08, 2008 10:59:32 GMT |  +  War May See EU Duty Concessions Cut
    Sri Lanka’s garment industry is worried that the duty free access it enjoys to European markets will soon be cut as a result of alleged human rights violations related to the government’s pursuit of a military solution to a long-standing ethnic conflict. EU trade concessions, known as GSP+, end this year and will come up for review in October. Already EU has indicated that continuance of the GSP+ depends on how well the Sri Lankan government is seen to be implementing 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights and environmental standards. "It is totally based on fulfilling these conventions.
  • 92) Apr 08, 2008 10:57:26 GMT |  + Fear: A Personal Experience in Sri Lanka
    “Beware of suspicious looking objects” – this is a commonly heard public announcement these days in airports, markets and metro stations from New Delhi to London to downtown Chicago. One cannot escape the voice of the sweet lady reminding us of the volatile and precarious times we live in. There is a sense of constant caution. However in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the reminder is more personal with a visit from your friendly neighborhood cop (mostly to offices and commercial establishments).
  • 93) Apr 08, 2008 4:27:46 GMT |  + IC urges political initiative to conflict
    In the aftermath of Sunday’s suicide attack which killed top Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 14 others and injured more than 83, the International Community yesterday reiterated the urgent need for a negotiated political solution to end the longstanding ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The European Union, the United States and Australia in separate statements called for an end to hostilities and the resumption of peace talks as the only way forward if peace was to return to Sri Lanka.
  • 94) Apr 08, 2007 19:55:21 GMT |  + Tamil rebels, Sri Lankan military fight 4-hour battle, 8 killed in other fighting
    The Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels traded artillery fire for four hours Sunday at a key road junction on a strategic highway leading into the country's north, the military said. Government soldiers, meanwhile, killed six Tamil Tiger rebels in two clashes in the country's northeast, while a roadside bomb left one soldier dead, Military spokesman. Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said Sunday, capping a week of bloodshed that has left dozens dead.
  • 95) Apr 08, 2007 19:50:05 GMT |  + ICC rejects Sri Lanka claims
    The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected media reports that it has given assurance to Sri Lanka on a campaign by a human rights watchdog. The ICC Communications Officer told BBC Sinhala that the world cricket governing body is "not involved" in the ongoing battle between the Sri Lanka government and the Amnesty International (AI). "This is a matter between Amnesty International and the Sri Lankan government and as such, we are not involved," James Fitzgerald said in an email message.
  • 96) Apr 08, 2007 19:49:02 GMT |  + Pope decries world suffering
    In his Easter message on Christianity's most joyous day, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday decried suffering in the world, lamenting the "continual slaughter" in Iraq and expressing worry over unrest and instability in Afghanistan. "In the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestine Authority, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees," Benedict told tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square... Benedict said only a negotiated solution could end the drawn-out, bloody conflict in Sri Lanka, and said East Timor needs reconciliation ahead of elections.
  • 97) Apr 08, 2007 6:01:04 GMT |  + Military says 6 Tamil rebels, 1 soldier killed in Sri Lanka's northeast
    Sri Lankan soldiers on foot patrol killed six Tamil Tiger rebels in two clashes in the country's northeast, the Defense Ministry said Sunday, in continuing violence that has brought the island to the brink of an open civil war. Three rebels were killed when a military patrol returned insurgents' fire in northern Vavuniya on Saturday, hours after a bus bombing blamed on the rebels in the area killed eight people, said a duty officer at the military's information center in Colombo. One government soldier was killed, he said. Three rifles were found that belonged to the rebels.
  • 98) 20:11 GMT, Apr. 8, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka rebels, army both say attacked in east
    Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot and wounded two Sri Lankan soldiers on Saturday, the army said, shortly after the rebels themselves complained they had come under fire from the military in the run-up to peace talks. The two sides are due to meet later in the month in Switzerland for talks aimed at averting a slide towards a resumption of the island's two decade civil war. Violence had fallen since the two sides agreed to meet earlier in the year but has spiked again in recent days. "They have fired at one of our observation posts," army spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarsinghe said. "Two of our men were seriously injured." more ...
  • 99) 20:11 GMT, Apr. 8, 2006 |  + Local elections in Sri Lanka set stage for further political turmoil
    Local government elections in Sri Lanka on March 30 have resulted in a clean sweep for the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). It was desperate to bolster its political position after its candidate, Mahinda Rajapakse, only narrowly won the presidential election last November. Nationally, the minority UPFA government holds power only with the support of two Sinhala extremist parties—the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). The UPFA secured control of 223 of the 266 local councils contested on the day. The opposition United National Party (UNP) came a dismal second, obtaining only 32 after holding virtually all local councils in the south of the island since the 2002 elections. The JVP, which in the presidential election had backed Rajapakse, ran separately and suffered a major setback, winning only one council. more ...
  • 100) 14:30 GMT, Apr. 8, 2006 |  + President revokes recent army transfers, promotions
    President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ordered Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to immediately cancel all transfers and promotions made during the past few months. Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa in a letter to the Army Chief, conveyed the President’s directive that no transfers or promotions should be made in the Army without consulting the President. This move comes in the wake of several complaints made to the President regarding irregular transfers and promotions in the recent past. Earlier too, President Rajapaksa queried from the Army chief about mass scale resignations of senior army officers following those transfers and promotions. more ...
  • 101) 01:26 GMT, Apr. 8, 2006 |  + Colombo's transport refusal to Eastern LTTE commanders jeopardise Geneva preparations
    Liberation Tigers Political Head S.P. Thamilchelvan Friday requested the Norwegian facilitators to arrange sea transport, with truce monitors on board, to facilitate Eastern field commanders of the LTTE to attend a preparatory central committee meeting before the next session of the Geneva Talks. Blaming Colombo for adopting a hardline stance in providing air transport, a routine arrangement facilitated by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) during the ceasefire, the LTTE Political Head warned that the Tigers would be forced to adopt their own sea transport, aware of the risks involving possible confrontations with the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN). "As facilitator to the peace process, Norway, we trust, would bear testimony to the commitment of the LTTE to the CFA and by extension to the peace process at large and that the GoSL as the other party is acting in bad faith adopting very rigid positions," Mr. Thamilchelvan writes in his urgent letter to the Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar. more ...
  • 102) 01:24 GMT, Apr. 8, 2006 |  + Lankan Tamils Run Amok With Tehelka Interview
    Norwegian Minister of International Development Erik Solheim’s interview to Tehelka, published in the April 1, 2006 issue, has kicked up a storm. Several reports distorted the interview by misquoting Solheim with the alleged motive of undermining Norway’s role in the peace process in Sri Lanka.The maximum damage was done by a pro-Sinhala website, TamilWeek, that reproduced parts of some questions posed by Tehelka as answers given by Solheim. In Sri Lanka, Sinhala chauvinists, including the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and Jathika Hela Urumaya, have been accusing Solheim of being pro-LTTE. The two parties want a solution to the ethnic problem within a unitary state structure. In view of the developments following the Tehelka interview with Solheim, and the consequent embarrassment to Norway, we are reproducing portions of the original interview, published in Tehelka, and the distorted interview, as carried by the pro-Sinhala website. more ...
  • 103) 23:22 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + Trincomalee JVP MP arrested
    Trincomalee district Member of Parliament (MP) Jayantha Wijesekara has been arrested by the police on Friday. Wijesekara, a leading member of Sri Lankan government’s coalition partner Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), was released on bail by the Kantale magistrate after holding him in custody for two hours within the court premises. MP Wijesekara is accused of threatening a senior health official in a row over how to control Dengue fever in the area. A warrant was issued to arrest Wijesekara by Kantale magistrate Ranga Dissanayake as he failed to appear on court on charges of threatening former Chief Medical Officer ( Kantale) Rohitha Silva. Wijesekara is the first JVP MP to be arrested on a warrant since the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) came to power in April 2004. more ...
  • 104) 23:20 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + Interview with the President of Sri Lanka - Tsunami fails to bring the government and rebels closer
    The fierce competition between the journalists led them to speculate on the political situation vis-à-vis the magnitude of the disaster that had struck the two beleaguered nations. They soon they started churning out reports saying that the governments and rebels in the tsunami-hit Indonesia and Sri Lanka would start working closely and this could lead to resolution of the conflict. Within a few days these prophesies were proved wrong. In Aceh, the rebels reportedly attacked the security forces involved in relief and rescue efforts. As the rebels themselves were not organized enough to provide any assistance to the victims and survivors they chose to disrupt the relief measures. This snowballed into military campaign in Aceh by the Indonesian government troops. In Sri Lanka, the LTTE is extremely well organized and runs a parallel administration in parts of the northern mainland. The Tamil Tigers control the population, finance, law and orders as well as they are involved in development and rehabilitation of people affected by the 20-year-long conflict. more ...
  • 105) 23:08 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + World leaders, pilgrims bid farewell to Pope John Paul in St. Peter's Square
    Presidents, prime ministers and kings joined pilgrims and prelates in St. Peter's Square on Friday to bid an emotional farewell to Pope John Paul II at a funeral service that drew millions to Rome for the largest gathering of the powerful and the humble in modern times. Applause rang out in the wind-whipped square as John Paul's simple wooden coffin adorned only with a cross and an "M" for Mary was brought out from the basilica and placed on the ground in front of the altar for the Mass. Bells tolled and the crowd applauded again when the coffin was presented to them one last time and carried back inside by white-gloved pallbeareres for burial in the grotto under the basilica.
  • Pope John Paul II: a tireless preacher of Human Dignity, Freedom and Peace
    more ...
  • 106) 22:48 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + LTTE delegation arrives in South Africa
    The LTTE Political Delegation led by Mr.S.P.Tamilselvan, Head of the Political Wing arrived in Pretoria today 8 April 2005 on its first leg of the visit to South Africa. The delegation was received by Mr.Ibrahim Ibrahim, Senior Advisor to the Vice President. In an orientation meeting, Mr. Tamilselvan briefed the hosts on the purpose of the mission to Europe and Africa and the outcome of the discussions that the delegation had with Foreign Ministries of the European countries visited already. He also presented an overview of the current status of the peace process, the cease-fire agreement and the proposed Joint Mechanism for post-tsunami management. Mr.Roelf Meyer, Former South African Defence Minister and Chief Negotiator and Mr. Andre Zaaiman, Manager, Presidential Support Unit (Conflict Resolution) also participated in the discussion. more ...
  • 107) 11:12 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + UPFA in Power- One year after
    One year in office since last April, Sri Lanka's UPFA coalition government has entered its second year burdened with a range of unresolved and sharpening internal contradictions. The continuing failure of the government to maintain a sense of cohesion and unity, accompanied with the inability to move the country forward politically or economically, might even force the two main and competing coalition partners, the SLFP and the JVP, to recourse to some action to gain unilateral and partisan political advantage. The UPFA came into power in April 2004 on a huge wave of public expectations which the coalition itself cultivated among the voters. Bringing down the cost of living, improving the living standards of the workers, peasants and the marginalized masses, generation of public sector employment, reduction of crime and establishing human security through better management of law and order, securing of national sovereignty and bringing down public corruption were among the key promises the UPFA made during the election campaign. more ...
  • 108) 11:06 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + LTTE Political Delegation meets with Netherland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Receiving the LTTE Political Delegation led by Mr.S.P.Tamilselvan in the Netherland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 7th April 2005, Mr. Herman A. Schaper, Deputy Director General for Political Affairs expressed condolences for the victims of tsunami tidal surge. “We are waiting for the report from our Embassy in Colombo on the progress made by the parties in formulating a Joint structure for post tsunami rehabilitation, reconstruction and development in consultation with the Norwegian facilitators to the peace process” said the Deputy Director. Associated with the Deputy Director was Drs Mw Dicky Methorst-de Bie, Senior Policy Officer, Asia and Oceania Department, South Asia Division of the Netherland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more ...
  • 109) 11:02 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + A Pin-Point Action
    Post-tsunami Batticaloa District is still struggling to cope with the humongous task of rebuilding lives and communitieswith available meager resources. Up until now the Government has been very slow in improving the plight of the survivors. The 20-year violent struggle, racist policies and the killer waves have all contributed lavishly in placing Batticaloa in a precarious plight of being an under-developed District. Electing 5MPs has not increased the chances of developing the District. Tamil MPs seem to lack any political clout within a system that thrives on systemic disparity. Even in such a bleak of context, all is not lost. There are local visionaries, innovators of dynamic ideas; whose target is to make difference: A shift in perception perhaps! more ...
  • 110) 10:59 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + LTTE sentry in Muttur attacked, one killed
    A helper of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was killed and another injured in an attack on a LTTE sentry by an unidentified group Friday early morning around four a.m within the LTTE controlled area, about five hundred meters from the Mahindapura sentry of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), down south of Trincomalee district along Muttur-Batticaloa highway, sources said. Mr.Alf of SLMM in Trincomalee rushed to the site where the attack took place, SLMM sources said. Mr.Elilan, LTTE Trincomalee district political head said a nine-member gang in army uniform was involved in the attack after three days he made a complaint to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) that cadres of Karuna group had been given shelter in SLA camps in the area. more ...
  • 111) 10:56 GMT, Apr. 8, 2005 |  + Tigers accuse army of blocking tsunami aid
    Sri Lanka's rebel Tamil Tigers have said army units are preventing them from delivering aid to tsunami survivors in the nation's eastern region. Tamil Tiger officials said Thursday that they rejected a call by the cease-fire monitoring group in Sri Lanka to return to talks with the army. They said that past meetings have been futile, Bloomberg.com reported Friday. The rebels will consider resuming meetings with the Sri Lankan military if it "sends officers who can keep the promises they make and have the authority to implement them,'' the group said after talks with the monitors in the Batticaloa-Amparai district. The Tigers also told monitors that the involvement of military intelligence in killings in the eastern region and operations by paramilitary units are threatening the cease-fire. Peace talks between the Tamil Tigers and the government, under the Norway-brokered truce, have been stalled since April 2003. International donor nations two years ago made holding new peace negotiations a condition for Sri Lanka receiving a $4.5 billion aid package. more ...
  • 112) 16:15 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + Tigers demand talks on self-rule; Sri Lanka in army recruitment drive
    Tamil Tiger rebels asked Sri Lanka's incoming government to open talks based on their blueprint for self-rule which had previously been rejected by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The demand of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was made through their proxy Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party which won 22 seats in last Friday's elections and emerged a powerful force in a hung parliament. "The TNA urges that steps be taken forthwith to commence negotiations with the LTTE... for the setting up of an Interim Self-Governing Authority on the basis of the proposals submitted by the LTTE," a TNA statement said Thursday. more ...
  • 113) 16:15 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + POTA review committee gives clean chit to Vaiko
    In a boost to MDMK leader Vaiko ahead of the elections, the Central POTA Review Committee today gave a clean chit to him and 8 others, saying no prima facie case was made out for invoking POTA against them for a speech in support of the banned LTTE about two years ago. In its first-ever review order, the Committee headed by Justice A B Saharya directed the Jayalalitha Government "to take suitable steps forthwith including giving instructions to the Public Prosecutor to seek appropriate orders from the concerned courts in the case, in accordance with law".
    - Vaiko hails Central POTA Panel's review order - PTI
    more ...
  • 114) 16:13 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + US congress members to visit Sri Lanka
    A bipartisan delegation from the US House of Representatives will make a brief visit to Sri Lanka next week, the US embassy here said on Thursday. "Members of the bipartisan delegation include Representative David Dreier, a Republican from California and Chairman of the House Rules Committee; Representative Karen McCarthy, a Republicanfrom Missouri and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and Representative Grace F. Napolitano, a Democrat fromCalifornia and a member of the House International Relations Committee," the US embassy said in a statement. The US delegation's visit comes after President Chandrika Kumaratunga's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) defeated theUnited National Party led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the April 2 parliamentary elections. more ...
  • 115) 11:46 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka's Tamils optimistic over peace
    Residents of Jaffna town in the northern heartland of Sri Lanka's minority Tamil community are cautiously optimistic that the new government will resume peace talks with the country's Tamil Tiger rebels. They may be disappointed with the defeat of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe in last week's general elections. But they take heart from the strong showing by Tamil nationalists. "Peace is in the air, it is the buzzword in Jaffna," says GP Ferminus, an official at the Centre for Performing Arts in Jaffna. The Reverend Nesa Kumar, whose 142-year-old church was destroyed in the civil war and recently rebuilt, agrees. "I do not think there will be ever be a return to war though it is going to be a long journey to a final solution," he says. more ...
  • 116) 11:31 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels demand talks on self-rule plan
    Tamil Tiger rebels asked Sri Lanka's incoming government to open talks based on their blueprint for self-rule which had previously been rejected by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The demand of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was made through their proxy Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which won 22 seats in last Friday's elections and emerged a powerful force in a hung parliament. "The TNA urges that steps be taken forthwith to commence negotiations with the LTTE... for the setting up of an Interim Self-Governing Authority on the basis of the proposals submitted by the LTTE," the TNA said in a statement on Thursday. more ...
  • 117) 11:28 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + All 20 TNA Parliamentarians issue joint statement
    "In view of the speculative reports in the media, all Members of Parliament elected from the North-Eastern region in the name of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi emphatically state that we are unequivocally and irrevocably committed to the political aspirations of the Tamil people for over the past fifty years for self rule in a unified north-eastern region, which has been the acknowledged as the area of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people," said 20 Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians in a joint statement issued Wednesday night after two days of discussions held in Colombo. more ...
  • 118) 08:16 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka Scene Peace Talks May Suffer
    The Buddhist lobby succeeded today in forcing President Chandrika Kumaratunga to dump her nominee and appoint its choice as the new prime minister, indicating the hurdles that lie ahead of her in taking forward the peace process. Kumaratunga wanted to appoint her advisor and former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar as the prime minister, but top Buddhist priests and her party seniors compelled her to appoint former opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakse, 58, as the new prime minister. “India is already playing an active diplomatic role,” an analyst quipped. He was hinting at the role Indian envoy in Colombo, Nirupam Sen, was playing. He had a meeting with Kumaratunga Monday night before she took the decision to appoint Rajapakse as the prime minister. Rajapakse's first engagement as prime minister was scheduled to be with Nirupam Sen tonight (Tuesday). Sen met Kumaratunga yesterday (Monday) at a time when she was torn by tremendous pressure by the supporters of the two contestants for primership more ...
  • 119) 07:00 GMT, Apr. 8, 2004 |  + India watching Lanka closely
    As the new Sri Lankan government takes charge of the island, India is keeping a keen watch on developments in the neighbouring country. Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has already called for greater co-operation with India, a sentiment that India reciprocates. "The ties with India have strengthened to a point where they are supported by every section of the society and polity in Lanka," said Nirupam Sen, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. While the Norway-brokered peace talks with rebel Tamil tigers were suspended a year ago, an internal split in the LTTE has created new hopes for dialogue. "The LTTE now has a divided house and they will not be able to launch military action. The ceasefire agreement is thus strengthened," the Indian envoy said. India and Sri Lanka now share the hopes of the ethnic Lankan conflict getting resolved, enabling peace for the entire region. more ...
  • 120) 15:59 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Sri Lankan president accuses Scandinavian truce monitors of bias
    Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga has accused Scandinavian truce monitors of bias and said they were trying to place Tamil Tiger rebels on a par with her government, her office said Tuesday. Kumaratunga, who is currently visiting India, wrote to the ceasefire monitors blaming them for not carrying out a "full and impartial" probe into the sinking of a Chinese trawler last month. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) blamed the March 20 sinking, in which 18 Chinese crewmen perished, on an unidentified armed group and urged both the government and Tigers to identify and disarm them. more ...
  • 121) 14:33 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Sour Grapes Sangaree: The Psyche of a Lone, Fence-sitting Fox
    Mr.V.Anandasangaree, the current President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), is hurting badly and lamenting. But his lament has an ages-old ring to it. It is known to everyone as the fox tune of ‘sour grapes’, originally arranged by Aesop – the master story teller. The specific ‘LTTE sour grapes’ tune is also not original to Sangaree – the Happy (Anantha) camper. Politicians of every ideology and ethnic group in Sri Lanka and India do play this tune frequently to gain some attention on themselves. more ...
  • 122) 14:16 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Tamils learn about Åland autonomy
    The Tamil Tigers, who have fought for years for independence from Sri Lanka, are examining the administrative model of the autonomous Åland Islands as a solution to the years of violence. On Sunday and Monday a delegation of about 20 Tamils was in the province learning about its autonomous status and the special protection of the Swedish language. The head of the delegation, Seevaradnam Pulee Devan, notes that the Tamils have been fighting for freedom more than 20 years. "Now it is most important to achieve peace, and we are making progress", he says, when asked if autonomy would be enough for the Tamils. more ...
  • 123) 14:06 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka studies SA peace model
    Sri Lanka is to study the South African process of national reunification as a model to end the island's decades-old conflict with Tamil rebels. The top government peace negotiator, G. L. Peiris, leaves for South Africa later Tuesday to undertake the study, an aide said. Peiris, who is also the Constitutional Affairs Minister, is expected to meet the key players of the 1992 South African peace effort, his aide Dayasiri Jayasekera said. Peiris and Roelf Meyer, who had been the negotiator with Nelson Mandela on behalf of the then white government of the South African President F.W De Klerk, are to work together to help Sri Lanka benefit from the African experience. more ...
  • 124) 14:04 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka says India to go to aid meeting
    India, which has taken a backseat position in Sri Lanka's peace process, will attend an aid meeting for the first time to help rebuild the war-torn country, the island's government said on Tuesday. The meeting in Washington will bring together many of Sri Lanka's aid providers to plan a common strategy for a donors' conference in Japan in June designed to reconstruct the country after nearly two decades of war. "Representatives of the governments of Germany, India, Japan, Norway and the UK are among the countries that have already confirmed their participation," said a statement from Sri Lanka's embassy in Washington. more ...
  • 125) 14:01 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Tamils march in Geneva on Human Rights day



    Dr. Balasingham in Geneva, SwitzerLand
    Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
    Courtesy: IBC Tamil Radio

    Thousands of expatriate tamils from United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, France and other European countries, Monday, joined a march to the United Nations (UN) building in Geneva where sessions on Human Rights issues are being held at the UN, Tamil daily Uthayan from Jaffna reported. The march started at the Geneva Main Railway station and a public meeting was held at the end of the march in front of the UN Human Rights Commission building, reports said. more ...
  • 126) 13:53 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka rebels agree to halt night movements
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels agreed on Tuesday to stop moving their cadres through government-controlled areas at night, truce monitors said. The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, which oversees the island's Norwegian-brokered ceasefire, met with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam officials in the north of the island to prevent any violence that might arise from the night movements. The monitor's acting spokesman Pekka Vihervas told Reuters a meeting will also be held on April 21 for the rebels and the army to work out practical ways to facilitate the movement of cadres during the daytime. more ...
  • 127) 04:34 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + Vaiko faults NDA on affidavit issue
    MDMK chief and POTA detenu Vaiko has condemned the way the NDA government has handled his detention under the anti-terrorist law. Vaiko was brought from Vellore to appear in the Poonamalee POTA court at the end of his remand period. Without referring to the Centre changing its stand on his affidavit, he blamed the NDA, of which the MDMK is an alliance partner, of being “misled” in filing the first affidavit. Vaiko has challenged in the Supreme Court his arrest under Section 21 of the POTA which he says denies him the fundamental right to speech as guaranteed by the Constitution. more ...
  • 128) 00:56 GMT, Apr. 8, 2003 |  + PM, Dy PM in the dark on POTA affidavit in SC: Vaiko
    MDMK general secretary and Sivakasi MP Vaiko on Monday expressed suspicion that some persons in the Central government were behind the controversial affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in the petition filed by him challenging POTA. However, he hastened to add that Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee and his deputy L.K.Advani were kept in the dark about the affidavit that stated that his speech in Tirumangalam meeting of MDMK amounted to terrorism. Talking to reporters after appearing before the POTA court in Poonamalee near here, Vaiko alleged that the affidavit was the "brain child of persons" whom Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa was relying upon. more ...
  • 129) 21:29 GMT, Apr. 8, 2002 |  + LTTE invites CWC, UPF leaders for talks
    The hill country Tamil political leaders have been invited by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for talks on the peace process. The talks will be held on April 14 in the northern Vanni region, political sources said. The invitations sent by the Leader of the LTTE Mr. Vellupillai Pirapaharan were handed over to Mr.Arumugam Thondaman, leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and Mr. Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, leader of the Upcountry People's Front (UPF) by the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo Mr. Jon Westborg Monday, the sources said. more ...
  • 130) 20:36 GMT, Apr. 8, 2002 |  + We should not let this opportunity go by
    We must be thankful not only to the Prime Minister. I would also like to place on record my appreciation for the efforts of Mr. Prabhakaran. Without Mr. Prabhakaran we would not have done that. Let us be realistic about it and Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe has earned the trust and confidence of the LTTE leadership which they did not have in previous governments. So, as a result, by a shrewd diplomatic handling of the situation, by non aggressive approach, the Prime Minister has managed to take us where we have come to. more ...
  • 131) 18:07 GMT, Apr. 8, 2002 |  + Prabhakaran's media meet could be his boldest stunt yet
    Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran usually commands attention for his bloody guerrilla attacks on Sri Lanka's military and civilians, but courting the media as a peacemaker could be his boldest exploit yet. Nine months ago, Prabhakaran masterminded the dawn raid by suicide bombers on the island's only international airport and neighbouring airbase from his hideout in the island's northern Wanni region. Hotels emptied in the next few months as visitors cringed at the thought of falling victim to another such attack. more ...
  • 132) 17:33 GMT, Apr. 8, 2002 |  + Over 40 Indian scribes get visa for Prabhakaran's press meet
    Over 40 Indian journalists have been given visa by the Sri Lankan government to travel to the island nation to cover the press meet of LTTE supremo V. Prabhakaran in Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka on April 10. More scribes have applied for visa. The LTTE supremo will be meeting the domestic and international media for the first time in a decade. Prabhakaran will discuss "current political developments and associated issues" in the rebel-held town at 1700 hours, a LTTE press release had said announcing his visit. He would be assisted by LTTE's Chief negotiator and political advisor Anton Balasingham, it added. more ...
  • 133) 14:11 GMT, Apr. 8, 2002 |  + A9 to Jaffna reopens
    The last closed section of the A9 highway running from Kilinochchi to Jaffna was reopened Monday in a joint ceremony by senior officers from the Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers. Following the opening of the highway at Muhamalai, fifteen cadres from the LTTE’s political section entered Army-controlled territory to travel to Jaffna where they are to begin work under the terms of the indefinite ceasefire signed between both sides on February 22. However, the Army prevented hundreds of civilians on both sides from crossing. more ...
  • 134) 05:48 GMT, Apr. 8, 2002 |  + Lanka troops, Tamil Tigers reopen 'highway of death'
    A strategic highway to the ravaged northern Jaffna peninsula was reopened for the first time in 12 years on Monday after a last minute deal between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels. The move to reopen the A-9 highway which thousands have died fighting over came in overnight talks brokered by a Norwegian peace mission, official sources said. "A decision was taken by both parties to stick to the original agreement of opening the road on Monday," the source said. "The modalities were agreed up on only early Monday morning." more ...
  • 135) 00:48 GMT, Apr. 8, 2002 |  + ‘Elusive’ Prabhakaran to appear in public
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran will hold a series of meetings next week with leaders representing the Muslims and the Indian origin Tamils in the Wanni mainland. Chief negotiator and political advisor of the LTTE Anton Balasingham would be present at all these meetings. Meanwhile, the LTTE leader will also address a press conference there on April 10 after ten years. The LTTE through Norwegian peace facilitators has invited Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister of Port Development and Shipping Rauf Hakeem for a meeting on April 13 in the Wanni mainland to discuss matters pertaining to political development in the North-East. The LTTE invitation came just a couple of days after the Muslim Parliamentarians met the Norwegian Ambassador and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLM) representatives to express concern regarding the Muslims being ignored in the peace process and harassment against Muslims in the Eastern province. Welcoming the LTTE’s invitation, Minister Hakeem said that the discussion with the LTTE leadership would help to iron out the differences between the two communities.'' more ...
  • 136) 18:43 GMT, Apr. 8, 2001 |  + Tamils, Analysts Urge Sri Lanka To Lift Ban On Rebels
    Sri Lanka's mainstream Tamil political party Sunday joined Tamil Tiger rebels in demanding that the government lift a ban on the separatists or face a collapse of the Norwegian-backed peace process. Rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam set tough preconditions for proposed peace talks Saturday and said President Chandrika Kumaratunga must legitimize the group, which was banned in 1998 as an "essential prerequisite" to talks. "It is quite a reasonable demand. They (LTTE) want to hold negotiations as equals, not as subordinates to the government," said Veerasingham Anandasangaree, secretary of the Tamil United Liberation Front, Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party. "If these conditions are not accepted, we are certain the talks will not begin," he said. more ...
  • 137) 14:37 GMT, Apr. 8, 2001 |  + Reporter's murder still unsolved
    Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) requests information about the status of the investigation into the murder of Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, a Jaffna-based journalist who was killed in October 2000. CPJ respectfully requests a full report as to the status of this investigation. We would like to know whether soldiers stationed at the checkpoints around Nimalarajan's home have been questioned about what they may have seen or heard on the night of the murder, whether there are any suspects, and what possible motives are being considered. more ...
  • 138) 11:50 GMT, Apr. 8, 2001 |  + Is rape just part of a game
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar said in parliament last week that peace talks are imminent. How are these talks going to be relevant to the average Tamil unless the gamut of human rights violations are addressed and debated exhaustively? The military and police have to be made accountable for their actions. Otherwise, the substance of the talks will ring hollow and meaningless to the victims.What is more, some people might even say the two women were lucky - Sarathambal Ida Carmalita and Koneswary were also murdered. more ...
  • 139) 11:14 GMT, Apr. 8, 2001 |  + LTTE releases four POWs
    The Liberation Tigers on Saturday released four prisoners of war who had been held by them for many years. They were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross in the northern Vanni main land ICRC spokesman Harasha Gunawardene told TamilNet. LTTE sources said the POWs were released to show organisastion's support for the Norwegian facilitated peace talks and as a demonstration of its commitment to future peace talks. more ...
  • 140) 10:46 GMT, Apr. 8, 2001 |  + Officials fear for Sri Lanka peace bid
    On a brighter note, the LTTE on Saturday freed four hostages -- one government soldier and three merchant sailors -- held by them for four to eight years to mark Westborg's visit to the Wanni. Westborg, who crossed army lines and travelled to the Wanni stronghold of the Tigers on Friday, held talks with LTTE political wing leader Thamil Chelvam. They met for six hours on Friday and two hours the next day. "Expressing his dismay over the Sri Lanka government's determination to restrict the flow of these essential items ..., Mr. Tamil Chelvam urged the Norwegian envoy to persuade Sri Lanka to allow the fuel and cement to ... the war affected civilian masses," the LTTE said. "Mr. Westborg assured the LTTE's Political Wing representatives that he will discuss the issues raised by them with the Sri Lanka and Norway governments," it said in a statement Saturday. more ...
  • 141) 10:42 GMT, Apr. 8, 2001 |  + Mock attack ends in real-life drama for Sri Lanka troops
    A mock attack by Sri Lankan troops ended in tragedy Sunday when an accidental blast wounded a soldier helping a colleague playing the role of a wounded soldier, police said. New recruits were providing entertainment during their passing out parade in the eastern district of Amapara when a mortar bomb fired missed its target and accidently fell on them, police said. "A soldier who was 'evacuating a wounded' collegaue was hit by shrapnel and had be taken on the same stretcher to hospital," a police spokesman in Ampara said by telephone. more ...
  • 142) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + LTTE rebels destroy 2 naval gun-boats; 21 personnel missing
    No details available. more ...
  • 143) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + LTTE sinks 2 Lankan Navy attack vessels
    No details available. more ...
  • 144) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + Karunanidhi re-elected DMK President
    No details available. more ...
  • 145) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + Rebels sink Sri Lankan gunboats
    No details available. more ...
  • 146) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + Sri Lankan prisoners of war undertake hunger strike for release
    No details available. more ...
  • 147) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + Press watchdog protests attack on BBC journalist in Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 148) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + Tamil Tigers Claim Naval Victory
    No details available. more ...
  • 149) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + Dvora survivor swims ashore, helicopter hit
    No details available. more ...
  • 150) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 2000 |  + Tamil rebels sink Sri Lankan gunboats
    No details available. more ...
  • 151) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + BJP goes on the offensive against Jaya
    No details available. more ...
  • 152) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Stadium grave yields 6 more skeletons
    No details available. more ...
  • 153) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + PA stalwarts' seats fall to UNP
    No details available. more ...
  • 154) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Sri Lanka economy to see tough 1999 - U.N survey
    No details available. more ...
  • 155) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Indian coalition seeks new partners
    No details available. more ...
  • 156) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Sri Lankan bishops protest military presence
    No details available. more ...
  • 157) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Penetration team attacked in Muththaiyyan Kattu area
    No details available. more ...
  • 158) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Tigers acquire SAMS - Jane's
    No details available. more ...
  • 159) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Canada looking at ground troops, but not publicly: Eggleton
    No details available. more ...
  • 160) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Tight poll result to stymie Sri Lanka economy
    No details available. more ...
  • 161) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + FOCUS-Sri Lanka government in narrow poll win
    No details available. more ...
  • 162) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + BJP leaders wooing DMK for bailout
    No details available. more ...
  • 163) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1999 |  + Polls predict uncertain future for government
    No details available. more ...
  • 164) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1998 |  + Child sex abuse in Sri Lanka blamed on families
    No details available. more ...
  • 165) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1998 |  + S.Lanka rebels want mediation to end war - report
    No details available. more ...
  • 166) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1998 |  + Sri Lanka battles side-effects of war
    No details available. more ...
  • 167) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1998 |  + Military gets tough as LTTE applies 'chit' control
    No details available. more ...
  • 168) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 08, 1998 |  + Lankan journalists shrug off attempts to gag the Press
    No details available. more ...
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