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April 23, 2018 - Memory of the Day

Sri Lanka imposes state of emergency over communal violence

2018-03-06 08:15:18 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Human Rights Violations

  • 1998 | Decomposed body found
    A completely decomposed corpse of a youth was found today in the shrub jungles of Thandiyadi in the south eastern sector of the Ampara district this morning around 9.30 a.m. by a young boy who had gone to herd cattle in the area.
  • 1998 | Villagers protest over forcible eviction
    Between 500 and 1000 persons, forcibly evicted by the Sri Lankan army from Upparu, 15 km south of Trincomalee, staged a token fast at the nearby village of Aalenkerni today, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. with the support of the Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP), according to sources.
  • 1998 | Investigations into more than 700 "disappearances" should be made public - AI
    Investigations into more than 700 "disappearances" should be made public The Government of Sri Lanka should promptly make public and disseminate widely the findings of an investigation into more than 700 "disappearances" reported in 1996 in Jaffna, northeast Sri Lanka, which the investigation panel presented to President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday, Amnesty International urged today.
  • 1993 | Lalith Athulathmudali Murder
    On 23 April 1993, the opposition party leader Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali was assassinated at an election rally held in the town of Kirullapone.
  • Innocent People Killed

  • 1998 | Theiventhiram Sakunthala [ 44 F from Jaffna town ]
    She was a widow, shot dead in the presence of her daughter in Jaffna while they were returning home from their tea kiosk in Jaffna
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 680 | உறைசிறியார் உண்ணடுங்கல் அஞ்சிக் குறைபெறிற்
    கொள்வர் பெரியார்ப் பணிந்து
    The men of lesser realm, fearing the people's inward dread,
    Accepting granted terms, to mightier ruler bow the head.
    - 68 68
  • Apr 23 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Apr 23, 2018 20:56:18 GMT |  + ‘This is not a car accident.’ Nine dead as van strikes pedestrians along Yonge St. in North York, driver in custody
    Nine people have been killed and many more injured after a van ran down pedestrians along Yonge St. between Finch and Sheppard Aves. on Monday afternoon, Toronto police say. Sunnybrook hospital says it has received eight patients from the scene. more ...
  • 2) Apr 23, 2018 18:18:34 GMT |  + Report highlights UN failure in screening Sri Lankans for peacekeeping
    The United Nations has come under criticism for allowing troops including a frontline commando from an elite police unit in Sri Lanka, alleged to have been involved in serious human rights violations, to be deployed among vulnerable communities. Releasing their latest report “Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force” the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) says that it has credible evidence that this senior policeman serving as a UN peacekeeper had been involved in serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings. more ...
  • 3) Apr 23, 2018 18:13:47 GMT |  + How active approach and personal touch can win over clients
    Personal relationships lie at the heart of an advisor’s ability to provide value and steer clients away from the pitfalls of emotional investing. That’s the view of Roy Ratnavel, EVP, head of sales, CI Investments, who believes an active approach will be crucial in “smoothing out the ride” in times of increased volatility. Ratnavel believes that the market drop in February was a stark reminder that investing is not as easy as it’s been made to look during this extended expansion. more ...
  • 4) Apr 23, 2018 18:10:20 GMT |  + Several pedestrians hit by a white van that fled scene, police say
    Toronto police say a white van has struck several pedestrians in the Yonge Street and Finch Avenue area. The van fled the scene, according to police. Police said eight to 10 people were hit, but Toronto paramedics said the number was up to five. The van may have mounted the curb and hit the pedestrians on the sidewalk, police added. Police were called to the area shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Monday. Police have closed the southbound lanes of Yonge Street at Finch as officers investigate. People are urged to avoid the area. more ...
  • 5) Apr 23, 2018 18:01:13 GMT |  + Canada 'failed' latest victim of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur, migrant workers groups say
    The alleged murder of a Sri Lankan refugee claimant has several migrant worker groups calling on the federal government to make what they say are long overdue changes to Canada's immigration laws. Accused serial killer Bruce McArthur is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam. The 37-year-old fled the civil war in Sri Lanka eight years ago. Police believe he was killed in late 2015. more ...
  • 6) Apr 23, 2018 17:57:39 GMT |  + Doug Ford says he hated appointing candidates, inherited ‘a total mess’ from Brown
    PC Leader Doug Ford says he hated appointing 11 candidates to fill the remaining vacancies in ridings across the province, but blamed a short timeline and the “mess” his predecessor left behind. “We inherited a total mess in this leadership,” Ford told reporters Monday morning at a campaign stop in the Caledon area. “When we took over we had to fill 28 ridings and the runway is running short right now. There’s no one who hates appointing people more than I do. But out of 28 we were able to have 17 nominations. more ...
  • 7) Apr 23, 2018 17:55:32 GMT |  + CID CLOSES IN ON MASTERMINDS OF KEITH NOYAHR ABDUCTION
    The CID is nearing the end of its investigation into the May 2008 abduction and assault of former deputy editor of The Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, according to a detailed three-hour oral submission made to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court by Senior State Counsel (SSC) Lakmini Girihagama last Wednesday on behalf of the Attorney General.Objecting to bail being granted to former Director of Military Intelligence, Major General Amal Karunasekara, SSC Girihagama laid out the evidence collected by the CID over the span of their 18-month long investigation, which has so far led to the arrest of eight serving and former officers of the Directorate of Military Intelligence, on charges of complicity in the abduction and assault of Noyahr on May 22, 2008. more ...
  • 8) Apr 23, 2018 17:53:48 GMT |  + 15 hurt in Swiss road accident involving Sri Lanka tourists
    Fifteen people were injured on Wednesday (Apr 18) when a coach carrying tourists from Sri Lanka crashed with two trucks on a Swiss highway, police and media said. A tourist coach carrying 40 passengers collided with two trucks near the Winterthur-Wulflingen exit on a motorway not far from the northern city of Zurich, at 3.15pm (9.15pm Singapore time), regional police said. "Fifteen people were injured, one of them seriously," Zurich's cantonal police said in a statement, adding that the cause of the accident remained unclear. According to the ATS news agency, the coach was carrying tourists from Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 9) Apr 23, 2018 17:51:57 GMT |  + Revisiting northern Sri Lanka’s battlefields
    A group of Indian Peace Keeping Force veterans revisits the battlefields of northern Sri Lanka, where their lives and destinies were interwoven with those of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam three decades ago We were in Sri Lanka to remember our comrades, those we had cremated or buried here in the days of 1987-1990, when we were part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force fighting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more ...
  • 10) Apr 23, 2018 17:46:20 GMT |  + US: Lanka slow in transitional justice
    Torture remained endemic throughout Sri Lanka in 2017, the US has said, highlighting limited progress made by the government in establishing additional transitional justice mechanisms. The US State Department, in a report released on Friday, mentioned arbitrary or unlawful killings by government or its agents. “Torture remained endemic throughout the country,” the report said, adding that the detainees had complained of torture and mistreatment, forced confessions and denial of basic human rights. “Excessive use of force against civilians by police and security forces also remained a problem,” it said. more ...
  • 11) Apr 23, 2018 17:44:43 GMT |  + President Sirisena arrives in Sri Lanka following CHOGM
    President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the island today (April 23) following the conclusion of the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting or CHOGM, which was held in London. The theme of CHOGM 2018 was a Common Future. In addition to attending the main summit, President Sirisena also addressed the Commonwealth Business Forum and was the keynote speaker at the summit on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. President Sirisena also attended the celebration of the 92nd Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. more ...
  • 12) Apr 23, 2018 17:41:59 GMT |  + Iranaitheevu: An Island People's Battle to Return Home
    Despite their displacement for almost 25 years, the people remain deeply attached to their island. The literal translation of ‘Iranaimathanagar’, to which most families were displaced in 2007, means ‘the mother city of Iranai’. The people’s demands are simple. They want unrestricted access to Iranaitheevu, to settle there permanently to engage in fishing, cultivation and maintaining livestock as they did before their displacement. They are not demanding the Sri Lanka Navy to be removed from the area entirely, but are seeking the release of private lands which have been occupied for decades and for action to be taken to prevent island resources from being misused and exploited by people accessing them illegally. more ...
  • 13) Apr 23, 2017 12:33:07 GMT |  + Hindu outfit opposes Narendra Modi’s Lankan visit
    Accusing the Sri Lankan government of suppressing Hinduism and following a policy of Buddhist chauvinism, Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath on Saturday opposed the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the island nation to take part in the Buddhist festival. He said “From the times of twin epics Mahabharath and Ramayan, Tamil Eelam is the land of Lord Siva and a part of the expanded ‘Paripoorna Hindu Rashtra’. But, the entire island had been declared as a Buddhist state and the Hindus in the island who are the natives of Lanka had been massacred, Arjun Sampath added. more ...
  • 14) Apr 23, 2017 12:27:34 GMT |  + Sri Lanka workers threaten massive strikes against proposed oil deal with India
    Workers's of Sri Lanka's state-run petroleum firm are set to launch an indefinite strike from Monday against the government's proposed deal with India to jointly operate an oil storage facility at the strategic eastern port town of Trincomalee.Sri Lanka and India are expected to sign an agreement to jointly invest and develop the Trincomalee Port and establish a petroleum refinery and other industries there. The workers have three demands which include getting the government to stop granting outright ownership of some 14 World War II oil storage tanks in the eastern port district of Trincomalee. more ...
  • 15) Apr 23, 2015 13:06:41 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Executive Presidency Has Huge Challenges – Analysis
    With the Sri Lankan Supreme Court’s statutory ‘determination’ that provisions for ‘transfer of power’ at the helm, in the government-proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution, cannot be enforced without a mandated public referendum, the much-maligned and equally abused ‘Executive Presidency’ scheme will stay, at least for now. On the ‘positive side’, especially for the government, the ‘determination’ of the Bench headed by Chief Justice K. Sripavan has kept alive the hopes of early parliamentary polls, promised in President Maithripala Sirisena in his manifesto for the January 8 election.
  • 16) Apr 23, 2015 13:05:48 GMT |  + Hope drives migrants to risk death
    A young Sri Lankan man crammed into the cargo hold of a ship with nearly 500 others had only one thing on his mind – getting to the promised land called Canada. Nearly five years after the MV Sun Sea arrived on British Columbia's coast, the refugee claimant said he understands the plight of an estimated 1,700 migrants who have died in the Mediterranean Sea since April 13. “I am extremely sorry to find that they had to die as a result of escaping from danger,” said the man in his 30s, whose identity is protected by a publication ban. more ...
  • 17) Apr 23, 2015 13:03:17 GMT |  + Refugees don’t need our tears. They need us to stop making them refugees
    In the desert, the smugglers lace their water with petrol so the smuggled won’t gulp it down and cost more. Sometimes the trucks they’re packed into stall crossing the Sahara; they have to jump out to push, and some are left behind when the trucks drive off again. In transit camps in Libya before the perilous venture across the Blue Desert, they play football, fight, and pool their scanty resources so an even poorer friend can pay his way. One man says his tiny wooden boat was flanked by dolphins as they made the journey, three on each side, like guardian angels, and this was what gave him hope. more ...
  • 18) Apr 23, 2015 13:02:32 GMT |  + Investors wait for economic reform in Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka voted in a new president in January who promised to clean up a business environment plagued by allegations of corruption and cronyism. Maithripala Sirisena took power in January, but is finding it tough to push through reform. As a result, many investors are watching Sri Lanka with interest but are holding back from committing their cash. more ...
  • 19) Apr 23, 2015 12:59:36 GMT |  + Former Sri Lankan Minister Is Charged With Misuse of Public Funds
    The Sri Lankan police on Wednesday arrested Basil Rajapaksa, the country’s former economic development minister and a brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on charges of misappropriating thousands of dollars in public funds from a development program for the poor run by his ministry. Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena, won power in January after a campaign that focused on the excesses of the Rajapaksa family and on a promise to prosecute its members if elected. Basil Rajapaksa is the first to be arrested on corruption charges. more ...
  • 20) Apr 23, 2015 12:56:24 GMT |  + Colombo roadshow to market Kerala Tourism
    A high-level delegation led by Minister for Tourism A. P. Anilkumar will leave for Colombo on Thursday to explore the possibility of creating a new tourism ‘triangle’ circuit in partnership with Sri Lanka and the Maldives to enhance tourist arrivals to Kerala. The visit, in the midst of Visit Kerala Year 2015, will mark Kerala Tourism’s maiden roadshow in Colombo on Friday to market the destination. During the two-day visit, Mr. Anil Kumar will hold deliberations with Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism and Sports Navin Dissanayak and captains of the tourism industry on the proposed circuit and to work out packages.
  • 21) Apr 23, 2015 12:53:39 GMT |  + Sri Lanka c.bank head resumes duty after bond probe report
    Sri Lanka's central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has resumed his duties after a more than five-week voluntary leave of absence after being cleared by a panel investigating a controversial government bond auction. The panel of legal experts probing the Feb. 27 auction said on Sunday that it had cleared the central bank chief of any direct role in the decision to increase the size of the sale by 10 times, while calling for tighter supervision of the government's borrowing office. "The governor is in office today for the first time after he went on leave," a central bank official said on Thursday condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to media.
  • 22) Apr 23, 2015 12:53:12 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's ruling coalition faces rift
    Sri Lanka's ruling coalition faced a rift on Thursday, with the two main parties making accusations against each other. The rift was mainly over the failure by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to back key constitutional reforms in parliament. The United National Party (UNP) wants the reforms approved soon, reports Xinhua. President Maithripala Sirisena is the chairman of the SLFP and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe heads the UNP.
  • 23) Apr 23, 2014 19:10:34 GMT |  + Canadian, U.S. housing markets defy expectations, price gap hits record
    The gap between the average price of a home in Canada and the United States widened to a record level in the first quarter of this year, contrary to what economists would have expected, according to Bank of Montreal’s chief economist Doug Porter. Average Canadian home prices were 66 per cent above average U.S. prices during the first three months of this year, he says. (Note: these are prices for existing houses and condos, not those that are newly constructed). more ...
  • 24) Apr 23, 2014 19:03:24 GMT |  + Yet another fleeting opportunity
    Anxiety dominates the post-Geneva political climate in Sri Lanka, the result of a heady mixture of different reasons, which sees the ruling regime pursuing short-sighted solutions in order to neutralise. March turned out to be an eventful month for Sri Lanka domestically and internationally, with the passage of the UNHRC resolution, the arrest and detention of several key human rights defenders and elections in two Provincial Councils, all set against a backdrop of an alleged resurgence of the LTTE in the North of the country. more ...
  • 25) Apr 23, 2014 19:00:37 GMT |  + Lok Sabha elections: Voting in 117 seats in phase 6, Tamil Nadu key state
    In the second biggest phase of the current Lok Sabha elections 117 Lok Sabha seats will vote on Thursday. Among 117 the Lok Sabha seats, 39 are in Tamil Nadu which is voting in a single phase. Remaining 19 seats in Maharashtra including India's business capital Mumbai are also voting in this phase. The rest are - 10 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 12 seats in Uttar Pradesh, seven seats each in Bihar and Chhattisgarh, six in Assam and West Bengal, remaining five in Rajasthan, four in Jharkhand, one seat in Jammu and Kashmir and the lone seat in Puducherry. more ...
  • 26) Apr 23, 2014 18:58:02 GMT |  + Tamil Nadu candidates come top... in a very different kind of poll
    Tamil Nadu, the only state that has all its constituencies going to poll in Phase 6 of the Lok Sabha elections on April 24, has the dubious honour of having the top two candidates in terms of involvement in criminal cases. Udayakumar S P, the principal anti-Koodankulam nuclear power plant activist, who is contesting tomorrow elections from Tamil nadu on an Aam Aadmi Party ticket, has declared in his sworn affidavit that he has been involved in 382 criminal cases. He has faced 19 charges of attempted murder and 16 charges "related to waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India" -- relating to his agitation against the KNPP. more ...
  • 27) Apr 23, 2014 18:56:42 GMT |  + Canada passes US in middle-class wealth
    Last week we noted that a pair of academic researchers said the US was starting to look less like a democracy and more like an oligarchy, where a wealthy elite determines public policy. Here's another bit of cheer in that regard. According to a New York Times report, the rich in the US are getting richer, but the poor and middle classes are falling behind some of their Western peers. "Middle-class incomes in Canada - substantially behind in 2000 - now appear to be higher than in the United States," David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy write. "The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans." more ...
  • 28) Apr 23, 2014 12:53:23 GMT |  + BBS challenges govt.
    General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday challenged the government to take legal action against Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph forthwith who, he alleged, had helped the LTTE. "If the government had the backbone and if its conscience was clear it should without hesitation arrest the Mannar Bishop for atrocities committed by the now defunct terrorist outfit," he said. Claiming that the BBS was not scared of either the government or any other political party, Ven. Gnanasara added that what the organisation was doing was protecting Buddhism from religious extremists and other elements who were all out to wipe out Buddhism from the Country.
  • 29) Apr 23, 2014 12:43:16 GMT |  + Education in Emergencies in Sri Lanka - Lessons Learned
    This Lessons Learned review was undertaken in order to detail and analyze Sri Lanka’s experience in providing emergency education through the war and after the tsunami and identify key lessons that may be useful for future practice not only in Sri Lanka but also in emergency contexts around the world. The lessons learned discussion is framed in 10 sections corresponding largely to the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies Minimum Standards (INEE MS) on emergency education. more ...
  • 30) Apr 23, 2014 12:39:57 GMT |  + The ways tattoos can get you into trouble
    The authorities in Sri Lanka are tough on perceived insults to Buddhism, the religion of the island's majority Sinhalese, and particularly sensitive about images of Buddha.Thailand has threatened to crackdown on tourists having religious images tattooed on their bodies while on holiday, saying the trend is culturally inappropriate and erodes respect for religion. Tattoos have also caused problems in Malaysia.However, Japan is the country that stands out, according to Dr Matt Lodder, art historian and tattoo expert at the University of Essex. more ...
  • 31) Apr 23, 2014 12:36:37 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Student Wins Asia Pacific Prize for UNEP International Children’s Painting Competition
    A Sri Lanka student’s painting caught the eyes of judges, making it the Asia Pacific winner of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) annual International Children’s Painting Competition. Eight-year old Kandage Kiyara Chenuli Perera’s painting, based on the competition theme, “Food Waste – Save the Planet – Save Food, Wasting Food is Wasting the Planet” beat more than 63,700 entries from Asia Pacific to make her the winner of this year’s competition.
  • 32) Apr 23, 2014 12:34:11 GMT |  + BBC correspondent denied visa and told to leave Sri Lanka
    The respected journalist, who has been reporting from Sri Lanka since the final days of the civil war in 2009, applied for a one year renewal to his visa which expired this month, but was refused by the External Affairs Ministry and given a few days to leave the country. Pressure from senior foreign journalists in Colombo led to the Ministry giving Haviland a three month extension, but he will then be forced to leave Sri Lanka for good. more ...
  • 33) Apr 23, 2014 12:28:38 GMT |  + British tourist recounts 'hellish' experience in Sri Lanka over Buddha tattoo
    Naomi Coleman, 37, a British nurse has recounted her "hellish" experience in Sri Lanka after she was arrested and sent to a deportation centre for sporting a Buddha tattoo deemed offensive by authorities. "It is a terrible, hellish experience," said Ms Coleman, a mental health nurse from Coventry in England. "I am a practising Buddhist and meditate. That is why I have the tattoo - not out of disrespect for Buddhism." more ...
  • 34) Apr 23, 2014 12:26:39 GMT |  + Boat trade ends and Sri Lanka now legal source of migrants
    CO-OPERATION between Sri Lanka and Australia on fighting people-smuggling has reversed migration patterns, with thousands more Sri Lankans arriving as skilled workers while the flow of illegal boats from the South Asian nation, which peaked at tens of thousands, has now stopped. The number of Sri Lankans who became Australian citizens jumped 74 per cent to 3456 last year, while there were 4987 Sri Lankans who came to Australia legally with visas for work and for family reunions.
  • 35) Apr 23, 2013 17:45:25 GMT |  + Blast in Akuressa market seriously injures soldier
    One person was seriously injured and admitted to the Matara hospital following an explosion at a wholesale dealer’s shop in the Akuressa town public market early yesterday morning.The victim was M. A. Chathuranga (28) a soldier, the police said. According to eyewitnesses, as the keeper opened his shop they heard a loud explosion which rocked the area. An employee of the shop was suffering from shock. more ...
  • 36) Apr 23, 2013 13:12:57 GMT |  + Terror plot: Toronto Muslim leader tipped off RCMP: CBC
    A “prominent community leader” among Toronto Muslims tipped off the RCMP to possible terror suspects, the CBC reports. “It was a sense of thank you as well as a reconfirmation of our collaborated efforts for the safety of the country,” Yusuf Badat, director of religious affairs for the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, told the CBC’s Matt Galloway on Metro Morning. more ...
  • 37) Apr 23, 2013 3:10:55 GMT |  + Sri Lanka ex-war zone to hold landmark vote
    Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated northern region will hold its first elections for a provincial council that will grant limited autonomy to the former war zone, the president's office announced Monday. President Mahinda Rajapakse told newspaper editors that conditions were right to hold the northern provincial council elections in September more than four years after fighting there ended, his spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said. "The president said that the environment was conducive for holding the NPC elections in September, but he did not give a specific date," Samaranayake told AFP. "It will be some time in September." more ...
  • 38) Apr 23, 2013 3:09:59 GMT |  + 'We will be tortured': Sri Lankan refugees facing deportation call on international community to protect them
    "We will be tortured and persecuted if returned to Sri Lanka," said Harine, aka Rathimohan Lohini, over the phone from Dubai's Jabel Ali port. She is the former presenter of a Sri Lankan Tamil television channel run by the LTTE and is among the 45 people who escaped from Sri Lanka on a boat in October 2012, aiming to go to Australia. Their boat ran into trouble, and they were eventually rescued by a Singaporean vessel on October 14 and taken to the port of Jabel Ali in Dubai. more ...
  • 39) Apr 23, 2013 3:07:50 GMT |  + Paradise lost: The pull of Shyam Selvadurai’s birthplace shows strongly in his life and writing
    Sri Lanka is a paradise lost. In some pictures, I have seen, it is a place of flowing palm trees, beautiful flowers and gracious sweeping beaches washed by a gentle ocean. In reality, it has been ripped apart by war and by wave. It is a place of death and of destruction amid the beauty and it is full of ghosts. For the writer Shyam Selvadurai, it is also his home for half of every year. He left many years ago, fleeing the war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese government, but he has returned more regularly recently; first as the curator of a literary festival and more recently as the driving force behind a project that attempts to use writing as a means of reconciliation called, rather straightforwardly,Write to Reconcile. more ...
  • 40) Apr 23, 2012 16:09:26 GMT |  + Reconciliation, an internal issue – Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva
    Compared to many countries where indiscriminate killings and various human rights violations are taking place, Sri Lanka could be proud of its human rights record. However,to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka, the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora, various other organisations and INGOs in US and some other countries exaggerate certain things which are not based on any evidence. The Government is quite confident that its human rights record could be defended at the next UNHRC sessions.
  • 41) Apr 23, 2012 16:06:25 GMT |  + It’s official – top govt. man refutes all ‘govt. abductions’
    You take the number of registered vans in Sri Lanka and check as to how many of them are white and how many of them are coloured? About 95 per cent of registered vans are white and those white vans are used by public for public purposes.There are murderers coming, abductors coming in white vans, but we can’t stop it because most of the vans in Sri Lanka are white. Government institutions may have white vans but I deny allegations levelled against the government on abductions. The government does not have any involvement with any of those abductions. If the government wants to arrest somebody, we can always do that legally.
  • 42) Apr 23, 2012 15:59:42 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Muslims decry radical Buddhist mosque attack
    Video of monks and other hardliners trying to storm it later showed one monk addressing the crowd in overtly racial terms, saying the campaign against the Muslim building was a victory for "those who love the race, have Sinhalese blood and are Buddhists". Buddhist leaders in Dambulla say they now intend to demolish 72 structures in the sacred area that they say are unauthorised, including the mosque and a Tamil Hindu temple. A Dambulla monk told the BBC that the actions were necessary because Sri Lanka was "the only country to safeguard Buddhism".
  • 43) Apr 23, 2012 12:59:21 GMT |  + Bigoted monks and militant mobs: Is this Buddhism in Sri Lanka today?
    News channels have since broadcast footage from the incident. It is extremely disturbing, and warrants attention. Since the content is in Sinhala, we offer rough translations of the most disquieting sentiments. 00:47: Buddhist monk in orange robe: “The Divisional Secretary promised that on Monday, which is to say in two days, there will be a meeting at 3pm to take a decision on this matter.” more ...
  • 44) Apr 23, 2012 12:57:53 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Reading between the lines on Indian delegation to Colombo
    There are both positives and negatives in the reports on the Indian parliamentary delegation’s six-day visit to Colombo. The reports include a statement of Mrs Sushma Swaraj, the multi-party delegation leader issued at the end of the visit, as well as inputs on the press conference she addressed in Colombo. But what was left unsaid can be read between the lines in these reports. These are equally important to gain a balanced perspective on issues that impact India-Sri Lanka relations. Despite the polemics generated in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka after the two major Dravidian parties boycotted the delegation, the delegation appears to have done a fairly good job bringing back the focus on the post-war issues critical for the growth and sustenance of India’s friendly relations with Sri Lanka.
  • 45) Apr 23, 2012 12:56:46 GMT |  + Channel 4's "War Crimes Unpunished" to be screened at the Canadian Parliament
    "War Crimes Unpunished", Channel 4's sequel to 'Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields', will be screened at the Canadian Parliament for the first time on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 at 7:00pm. Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) urges all MPs and Senators to attend this very important screening, sponsored by Liberal Party MP Judy Sgro, Conservative Party MP Patrick Brown and NDP MP Prof. Craig Scot. CTC calls on Tamil Canadians to contact their elected member of Canadian parliament urging them to attend this important documentary screening for our community.
  • 46) Apr 23, 2012 12:55:17 GMT |  + Sri Lankan minister threatens protest in India
    A Sri Lankan minister has threatened to take some 5,000 fishermen to India to protest against poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters. Government Minister Douglas Devananda said he will lead the protest to give a message to India that livelihood of the country's fishermen is affected due to poaching by Indian fishermen. "The Indians enter Sri Lankan waters illegally in large trawlers and engage in large scale fishing. This not only affects the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen in the north but it also has an impact on our fishing resources. To stop this we have decided to launch a protest," Devananda said in a statement.
  • 47) Apr 23, 2012 12:54:06 GMT |  + Sri Lanka, South Korea eye increase in trade
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for South Korea Monday on a four-day official visit that will focus on increasing trade ties between the two countries. The visit results from an invitation extended by South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, the official government website said here. The website said President Rajapaksa will hold bilateral discussions with his South Korean counterpart while several agreements will also be signed during his stay in South Korea.
  • 48) Apr 23, 2012 12:52:07 GMT |  + India, Lanka and Maldives hold naval exercises
    With international piracy extending its tentacles to Indian Ocean, Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives are taking part in a joint exercise off the coast of Male, aimed at achieving inter-operability. Six warships are taking part in the five-day exercises code named 'Dosti XI'. Indian Coast Guard ships 'Sankalp' and 'Subhadra' are participating in the war games, while 'Huravee', 'Ghazee' and 'Shaheed Ali' of the Maldivian National Defence Force represent the Maldivian Coast Guard. A Sri Lankan Naval statement said that due to its geo-strategic significance, it is important for the Coast Guards of the three friendly countries to ensure the safety and security of the Indian Ocean for all sea-farers.
  • 49) Apr 23, 2012 10:15:57 GMT |  + Major operation in east
    A major search operation is underway in the eastern region in search of ex-LTTE cadres, who had not gone through government rehabilitation programs as well as cadres, who had returned from overseas, informed police sources said. They said that Terrorists Investigations Department and other State Intelligence bureaus are carrying out this search operations. Steps would be taken to register those ex-LTTE members.
  • 50) Apr 23, 2011 2:08:33 GMT |  + Apologise for Fast Drama: Jaya
    Armed with the UN panel report on mass killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa on Friday demanded a public apology from Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for what she called the DMK patriarch's 'dubious claim' that hostilities in the island nation had ended following his hunger strike on April 27, 2009. Jayalalithaa in a statement said the UN Panel report made it clear that the carnage of hapless Tamils lasted till May 2009, which refuted the claim of Karunanidhi that hostilities had ended as a result of his threehour long fast on April 27, 2009.
  • 51) Apr 23, 2011 1:50:53 GMT |  + Asylum seeker boat in Aust territory
    A boatload of asylum seekers has arrived in Australian territory. The boat came ashore at the Cocos Islands, about halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka. 81 passengers and crew were on the boat and it's believed most are Sri Lankans. They'll be taken to Christmas Island for processing. The Cocos Islands are home to just 600 people and it's understood they're struggling to cope with the arrivals. more ...
  • 52) Apr 23, 2010 21:41:45 GMT |  + Liberation Tigers’ Ira’naimadu runway used exclusively by Indian Air Force
    The runway constructed by Liberation Tigers of Tami Eezham (LTTE) in Ira’naimadu in Ki’linochchi has been handed over to the exclusive use of Indian Air Force (IAF), according to sources close to a section of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel who have expressed their disapproval of this course of action by Sri Lanka government. The area in which this runway is located in Ira’naimadu falls within the High Security Zone (HSZ) and is strictly out of bounds for low ranking SLA personnel, the sources added. IAF officers fly routinely between Tamil Nadu and Ira’naimadu besides training SLAF personnel at I’ra’naimadu, the sources said.
  • 53) Apr 23, 2010 21:32:26 GMT |  + French national arrested for illegal entry
    A French national has been arrested for allegedly trying to enter areas formerly held by Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka with a forged document, police have said. The person identified by police as Henry Pollard was arrested at a checkpoint with a forged document from the ministry of defence giving him permission to enter the Jaffna peninsula. The suspect was taken into custody on Wednesday in Omanthai, 240km north of Colombo, and is to be handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated last May, but all foreign passport holders still require defence ministry permission to travel to the north.
  • 54) Apr 23, 2010 21:30:55 GMT |  + Global Tamil Forum on Sri Lanka Election: Low Tamil Turnout Reflects their Disillusion in the Sri Lankan Political System
    The Global Tamil Forum views the parliamentary election in Sri Lanka conducted on April 8, as an election that was imposed on the Tamil speaking people of the island. The Tamils living in a highly militarized oppressive condition continue to undergo many forms of immense suffering, depravation of the basic necessities of life, denial of freedom, fear and intimidation. There are still about 100,000 Tamils housed in military run internment camps and their rights have been denied. Thousands of Tamils have been denied their rights to vote in this election.
  • 55) Apr 23, 2010 21:29:21 GMT |  + Iran quits race for seat on UN rights body: diplomat
    Iran, under fire from Western countries over its human rights record, has decided not to seek a seat next month on the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, a diplomat said Friday. Bandula Jayasekara, Sri Lanka's deputy UN ambassador, told AFP that Iran informed the Asian group at the United Nations it would not take part in the annual secret-ballot vote in the General Assembly for new members of the 47-member council. Iran's UN mission did not immediately confirm the move and it remained unclear why the Iranians may have decided to withdraw.
  • 56) Apr 23, 2010 16:44:05 GMT |  + Sri Lanka leader keeps key posts, budget seen delayed
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday appointed his brother to oversee the island nation's post-war economic development in a slightly smaller cabinet but kept other key ministries himself. Rajapaksa retained the defence, finance, ports, aviation and highways portfolios in a cabinet cut to 37 from 51. The total number of ministers in Rajapaksa's new government fell to 76 from 109 in his previous administration. He won an April 8 legislative poll with a 144-seat majority -- Sri Lanka's strongest government in more than a decade.
  • 57) Apr 23, 2010 16:43:14 GMT |  + As Sri Lanka AG Met With UN's Ban, War Crimes Panel Unnamed for Six Weeks
    The UN's Ban Ki-moon has yet to name the panel of experts to advise him on accountability and war crimes in Sri Lanka which he announced six weeks ago as coming "without delay." To determine what happened, Inner City Press on April 22 asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm Ban met with Sri Lanka's attorney general Mohan Peiris -- which Inner City Press exclusively reported three days ago -- and to explain the delay. Video here, at end. Nesirky, who earlier in the briefing tried to ensure that Inner City Press could not ask more questions, said he would look into it. Later on April 22 his Office confirmed that meeting with Sri Lanka's attorney general. He did not, however, explain the delay.
  • 58) Apr 23, 2010 16:41:37 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's president names new cabinet
    Sri Lanka's president unveiled a new cabinet on Friday, cementing his grip on power by keeping the key defence and finance portfolios for himself and creating a new ministry for his younger brother. The new line-up was announced a day after the opening of parliament, when President Mahinda Rajapakse's elder brother Chamal was unanimously elected as speaker with control of the legislative agenda. The 37-member cabinet was a sharply streamlined version of its predecessor, which boasted a record 109 ministers and deputy ministers and had been criticised as cumbersome and wasteful.
  • 59) Apr 23, 2010 16:40:03 GMT |  + Calls made to Britain, Sri Lanka from Nalini's mobile: TN govt
    The Tamil Nadu government on Friday said calls were made to foreign countries, including Britain and Sri Lanka, from the cellphone recovered from Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The phone recovered from Nalini in the prison cell during a routine check on April 20 was activated in March 2009 and registered in the name of one Ravi from Katpadi near Vellore, Law Minister Duraimurugan told the state Assembly. He said an analysis of the calls by officials of 'Q branch, which deals with extremist activities in Tamil Nadu, showed that calls and messages were received and sent.
  • 60) Apr 23, 2010 9:44:34 GMT |  + Sri Lanka president cements family's power
    Sri Lanka's new parliament sat for the first time yesterday with the family of Mahinda Rajapaksa, president, cementing its grip on power amid words of defiance from the dissident former armed forces chief. The parliament unanimously voted to appoint Chamal Rajapaksa, the president's brother as speaker, a key post that commands the power to decide the legislative agenda and direct impeachment motions against the president. Another brother, Basil, was elected to the 225-seat parliament, along with the president's son, Namal. A third brother, Gotabaya, is defence secretary.
  • 61) Apr 23, 2010 9:25:35 GMT |  + Malaysia admits arresting and deporting Sri Lankan rebels
    Malaysia has arrested and deported several leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka last year, officials confirmed Friday. Key members of the Tamil Tigers were caught and then deported by Malaysian police between August last year and March, Home Ministry officials said. "We did not want them here any longer than necessary," Director of Special Operations Fuzi Harun said. In a statement issued Thursday, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the arrest of the LTTE leaders was made known to Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the time.
  • 62) Apr 23, 2010 9:21:19 GMT |  + Tamils seek political solution
    Now, politicians of the Tamil ethnic minority are pushing him to use his election mandate to follow his military victory over Tamil separatist rebels with a political solution. Tamils, who have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the Sinhala majority and the government, live primarily in the north and east, and in the north, Srikantha’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which earlier acted as the proxy of the Tamil rebels, gained a majority of the votes and won 15 parliamentary seats.
  • 63) Apr 23, 2010 9:18:56 GMT |  + Former Battle Zone Getting Used to Peace
    Civilians who have returned to their homes know that they have a real struggle in their hands. There are any hardly jobs in the region. Most of the returning families use part of the 25,000 rupees (220 U.S. dollars) they receive as cash grant to set up temporary living quarters to either start small businesses or get back to farming. Agriculture and fishing are the main means of livelihood here. Still, many are willing to go through the hard grind. "If this is the price for peace, then we will pay it," said Joseph Devasagayam, a resident of Omanthai in Mulaithivu district. He says finding jobs and staying off minefields are nothing compared to what he endured a year back.
  • 64) Apr 23, 2010 1:47:49 GMT |  + The Toady’s Throne in Jaffna
    Of the registered electors in the voting list 721,359 (One has to ignore the question whether this number true or false, as it is the officially stated number of the Sri Lankan election agency), 185,132 (25.66%) polled in the presidential election on January 26, 2010. Sarath Fonseka received 113,877 (63.84%) of the votes, while President Mahinda Rajapaksa received 44,154 (24.75%) votes. The voters in Jaffna district snubbed President Rajapaksa convincingly. Soon after the results, it was reported in the media that Devananda told his supporters that he was going to resign his minister post for being the reason for Mahinda Rajapakse’s defeat in Jaffna peninsula in the presidential election (January 30,2010). But, it was not for real.
  • 65) Apr 23, 2010 1:44:26 GMT |  + Sarath Fonseka rails against ‘injustices’ at opening of Sri Lankan parliament
    General Sarath Fonseka, the Sri Lankan opposition leader and former army chief, demanded his own freedom and called for democracy and the rule of law yesterday, in his first public appearance since being arrested in February. The general, who led the army to victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels last year, is in the midst of a court martial that he claims is a punishment for challenging the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a presidential poll in January. He was allowed to attend the opening of Parliament yesterday after winning a seat in elections two weeks ago because he has not yet been convicted of any charges.
  • 66) Apr 23, 2010 1:43:32 GMT |  + Vaiko goes on hunger strike over deportation of Prabakaran's mother
    Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko went on a hunger strike on Thursday in Chennai to condemn the "insensitive" deportation of Parvathi, the mother of slain Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader V. Prabakaran. He accused the state government of being inhuman and said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi's action was a 'betrayal'. "Knowing pretty well that Parvathi is going to arrive at Chennai airport, Karunanidhi gave instructions to the police officials not to allow Vaiko and Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P. Neduraman even to approach the airport area," said Vaiko.
  • 67) Apr 23, 2010 1:40:11 GMT |  + INTERVIEW - Sri Lanka's jailed general reaches parliament
    Sri Lanka's former army chief said his swearing-in as a member of parliament on Thursday was a "humiliation" to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government, which he said had jailed him illegally to crush his political career. It was the second victory for General Sarath Fonseka in 11 months, after he as army commander announced to the nation last May that the separatist Tamil Tigers had been destroyed and the Indian Ocean island nation's quarter-century war had been won.
  • 68) Apr 23, 2009 22:56:51 GMT |  + Sri lanka’s statement in a conference in Geneva was counter- productive!
    The World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, was a landmark event in the struggle to improve the lives of millions of human beings around the world who are victims of racial discrimination and intolerance. After a wide-ranging debate, the Conference adopted by consensus the ground-breaking Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), which provided an important new framework for guiding governments, non-governmental organizations and other institutions in their efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
  • 69) Apr 23, 2009 22:38:57 GMT |  + On Cong cue, govt presses for Lanka ceasefire
    Swiftly acting on Congress leadership's cue, the UPA government on Thursday decided to despatch foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and NSA M K Narayanan to Colombo to press for a ceasefire in the war-torn country. The two officials will leave for Colombo on Friday morning and return in the evening. Government sources said they will emphasise the need for ceasefire—something which Tamil Nadu parties have been clamouring for — demonstrable humanitarian action taking into confidence international community and tangible first step towards political resolution of the crisis.
  • 70) Apr 23, 2009 22:37:49 GMT |  + UN relief team to go to Sri Lanka
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says he is sending a humanitarian team to northern Sri Lanka, where thousands of civilians are trapped by fighting. Earlier today, the government rejected a UN appeal to allow more aid agencies into the war zone, where the army is closing in on Tamil Tiger rebels. The government says 100,000 people have fled since Monday's military push, in addition to 60,000 in recent months.
  • 71) Apr 23, 2009 22:36:40 GMT |  + If the Tamils were Irish, would we be slow to help?
    A desperate humanitarian crisis is facing Northern Ireland, where over 100,000 civilians remain trapped in the crossfire between government forces and the Irish Republican Army. Since fighting intensified in mid-January 2009, available reports suggest 5,000 civilians, including at least 500 children, have died, and more than 10,000 have been injured. Despite reports that tens of thousands have managed to escape over the past few days, information from the ground suggests that more than 100,000 civilians are still trapped in the region.
  • 72) Apr 23, 2009 22:35:45 GMT |  + Man immolates self over Sri Lankan Tamils issue
    An AIADMK activist on Thursday set himself ablaze in protest against alleged failure of both the Centre and Tamil Nadu governments to find a solution to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. Mani (43), a worker in a dyeing factory in Tirupur, doused himself with kerosene on the Kulathupalayam Main road and set himself ablaze, police said. He was immediately rushed by the public to the Tirupur government hospital, where he is being treated for 90 per cent burns.
  • 73) Apr 23, 2009 17:32:10 GMT |  + Sri Lankans flee war zone with horrific injuries
    Thousands of people fleeing Sri Lanka's war zone are arriving at hospitals with horrific injuries and severe trauma, doctors said on Thursday. Some are dying in buses on their way to hospital, according to doctors working round the clock to treat wounds from shelling and gunfire. Many patients are also deeply traumatised after seeing loved-ones killed in front of them. "About three-quarters of the injured coming in now have suffered from blast injuries, and the rest are gunshot wounds and mine explosions," said Paul McMaster, a surgeon working with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) at a hospital in Vavuniya. more ...
  • 74) Apr 23, 2009 17:30:30 GMT |  + A concerned India sending two emissaries to Sri Lanka
    With the killings of Tamil civilians continuing in Sri Lanka, India Thursday underlined the need for 'an immediate cessation of all hostilities' and announced that it will send two special emissaries to Colombo. 'We are very unhappy at the continued killing in Sri Lanka. All killing must stop. There must be an immediate cessation of all hostilities,' External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement here. The strongly-worded message from the Indian government came on a day the DMK-sponsored shutdown called by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi crippled normal life in the state.
  • 75) Apr 23, 2009 15:37:49 GMT |  + UN to send team to Sri Lankan "no-fire zone"
    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on Thursday he was concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka and was sending a humanitarian team to a "no-fire zone" where civilians are trapped. He urged all sides to respect a U.N. Security Council appeal on Wednesday which also expressed concern about the humanitarian situation and the plight of civilians. "I am most concerned at the rapidly deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka," Ban told a news conference in Brussels after attending an international donors conference on Somalia.
  • 76) Apr 23, 2009 15:36:49 GMT |  + Colombo rejects UN civilian plea
    Sri Lanka has rejected an appeal by the UN to allow aid agencies into the war zone in the north-east to help civilians affected by heavy fighting. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the BBC that such a move "would not be sensible at the moment". Mr Rajapaksa's rejection came after a senior UN official urged Tamil rebels to lay down their arms so trapped people in the war zone can be helped. The government says the rebels are now facing all-out defeat in the war.
  • 77) Apr 23, 2009 15:35:27 GMT |  + Mass exodus leads to massive humanitarian need
    International and Sri Lankan relief agencies and government authorities are scrambling all available resources, and sending out appeals for more assistance, after over 100,000 Sri Lankan civilians fled combat areas in the north in the past few days. The UN in Colombo said teams were working around the clock to clothe, feed and shelter crowds of weary and hungry people. “I saw infants with dysentery, malnourished children and women, untended wounds, and people dressed in the ragged clothing they’ve been wearing for months,” Neil Buhne, UN resident coordinator in Sri Lanka, said in a statement on 23 April after visiting the new escapees from the combat zone.
  • 78) Apr 23, 2009 15:34:11 GMT |  + Deliberations to get UN approval for Tamil genocide
    Statement diplomacy and behind the screen deliberations of Colombo, India, and the International Community are heading for tacit UN approval for the Tamil genocide in the island of Sri Lanka, news reports indicate. The stand taken by the UN Security Council, and also echoed by the US state department Wednesday, welcoming the capture and detention of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka Army is the first step of direct approval for the genocide, Tamil circles said. All this time they were indirectly approving the killing of civilians by shelling and starvation to lead to their capture. By twisting the ethnic-oriented humanitarian situation as an issue of ‘terrorism’, the UN is approving the genocide, the Tamil circles said.
  • 79) Apr 23, 2009 15:33:05 GMT |  + MPs to debate Sri Lankan conflict
    MPs will debate the conflict in Sri Lanka next week as protests by British Tamils continue in central London. Commons Leader Harriet Harman announced the discussions, requested by the Lib Dems, would be held on Wednesday. The British Tamils Forum welcomed the move, saying it would give the public a perspective on just how many MPs were concerned about their constituents. It wants the UK to end the war in the former British colony between Tamil Tiger separatists and the government. more ...
  • 80) Apr 23, 2009 12:01:37 GMT |  + Sri Lankan civil war at another turning point
    The most obvious result of the latest military offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam and Tamil people by the Colombo government is that a deeply political question of national self determination of the Tamils in Sri Lanka has been temporarily converted into a humanitarian one. No doubt there are serious humanitarian angles involved in the present offensive but it will be short sighted if anyone reduces it to those angles alone. The Tamil question in Sri Lanka was and very much remains a serious political issue in South Asia and its implications are by no means limited to the geo- political boundaries of the island nation but can have wide ranging ramifications in the subcontinent.
  • 81) Apr 23, 2009 11:56:02 GMT |  + UK discusses Sri Lanka situation with India
    Voicing concern over the plight of the trapped civilians in Sri Lanka's conflict zone, Britain has favoured "a fully inclusive" political process for lasting peace in that country as it discussed the situation in the island nation with India. British Foreign secretary David Miliband discussed the situation in Sri Lanka with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, among other international leaders on Wednesday.
  • 82) Apr 23, 2009 11:45:51 GMT |  + Sri Lanka war politics shuts down Tamil Nadu
    Sri Lanka's war against the Tamil Tigers buffeted Indian politics on Thursday after Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which is sympathetic to the rebels, shut down Tamil Nadu a key electoral swing state in the middle of general election. The 12-hour strike called by the DMK is seen as an attempt to garner votes by being sympathetic to the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka. Indian politicians face pressure to protect Sri Lankan Tamils, who are closely linked to about 60 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu across a narrow strait from Sri Lanka.
  • 83) Apr 23, 2009 11:45:25 GMT |  + Analysis: Sri Lanka's war aftermath
    Al Jazeera has spoken to analysts about the current state of the Sri Lankan conflict and its future. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been pushed into a tiny coastal area in the northeast by the military, with tens of thousands of civilians being forced to migrate from the conflict zone. A military victory after 26 years of war appears imminent, but support for the Tamil movement may remain.
  • 84) Apr 23, 2009 11:30:19 GMT |  + 60,000 trapped in Sri Lanka conflict
    At least 60,000 civilians remain trapped in the conflict zone in the north of Sri Lanka, facing serious risk of injury and death. According to UN estimates, more than 4,500 civilians are believed to have already been killed in the fighting in the north eastern region of Sri Lanka. Hundreds of civilian casualties were reported on Monday alone. The situation in Sri Lanka has further intensified in the last 48 hours - immediate action must be taken to prevent further mass killing of civilians.
  • 85) Apr 23, 2009 10:57:28 GMT |  + Raising voice to stop genocide…
    Bharathiraja (film director) through his press statement informed that a demonstration would be held within film chambers, Chennai on April 23, 2009 from 10 a.m, under the aegis of ‘Film Industry Tamil Eelam Supporters Movement’ to condemn the genocide of Tamils in strife-torn Sri Lanka and to enforce immediate ceasefire in the island nation. The demonstration will be followed by a hunger-strike. The directors’ guild and other film association have promised their support for the demonstration. Bharathiraja urged all like-minded persons from the film fraternity to join the agitation.
  • 86) Apr 23, 2009 10:54:37 GMT |  + Lanka govt 'more at fault' than LTTE: Chidambaram
    Union home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said both LTTE and Sri Lanka were not paying heed to India's request to end hostilities but felt Colombo was "more at fault" as it thought military solution could end the strife. Stating that the Sri Lankan Tamils issue was a humanitarian one and there was need to protect the lives of the people, he said India had asked the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to stop the hostilities. "We have been making the demand continuously for many days. But both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government are not paying heed to our request," he said.
  • 87) Apr 23, 2009 6:38:42 GMT |  + SLN crafts encircle ICRC ship in Vanni
    Many Dvora Fast Attack Crafts of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) have surrounded the ICRC ship which was approaching Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal to transport the seriously wounded patients Thursday morning, according to latest reports from Vanni. The SLN attack crafts were also firing cannon shots towards the shore. The hostile presence of the SLN attack crafts have hampered the medical transportation of seriously wounded patients from the makeshift hospital where 700 patients are waiting to be transferred.
  • 88) Apr 23, 2009 6:37:05 GMT |  + Strike demanding truce in Sri Lanka hits Tamil Nadu
    A dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK seeking an end to fighting in Sri Lanka virtually crippled life in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, residents and witnesses said. Almost all public and private vehicles went off the roads in Chennai while most shops and businesses were shut. News reports said that life was also hit in many cities including Tiruchirappalli, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Madurai, Tuticorin, Tirupur and Villupuram besides Puducherry. Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said arrangements had been made to ensure that candidates are able to file nominations for the Lok Sabha elections despite the shutdown.
  • 89) Apr 23, 2009 6:32:06 GMT |  + Send DART to Sri Lanka
    This week saw the end of a large-scale demonstration by Canadian Tamils on Parliament Hill. The protest's final days featured an interesting development: After weeks of fruitless efforts to gain the attention of MPs, many of the protesters -- who were trying to raise awareness of a Sri Lankan military campaign that, they claim, is recklessly slaughtering civilians -- were no longer flying the flag of the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist group outlawed in this country three years ago. Instead, they flew a plain black flag, which they describe as a symbol of mourning.
  • 90) Apr 23, 2009 6:28:10 GMT |  + Tamil Tigers urged to surrender
    The UN Security Council has called on Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka to lay down their arms and let the UN help evacuate civilians from the war zone. The council's president branded the Tigers a terrorist movement and said they should join a political process. Sri Lanka's army says it has closed in on the last area of rebel resistance in the island's north-east. The military says more than 100,000 civilians have escaped from the rebel-held area, but many remain trapped.
  • 91) Apr 23, 2009 6:27:50 GMT |  + Can you belong to more than one nation?
    A few weeks ago, I ran into a traffic jam in downtown Toronto. Thousands of people were thronging the streets and waving colourful banners. Many were families with small children. Perhaps it was a religious festival, I thought - just another piece of the kaleidoscope that makes up our multicultural city. I should be ashamed of my ignorance. But I suspect it's shared by most Canadians. It's safe to say that not one in 50 would be able to explain who these people are and what they want - even though, on Tuesday, more than 30,000 of them staged one of the biggest demonstrations that Parliament Hill has seen in years. "Canada don't fail your people," the signs demanded.
  • 92) Apr 23, 2009 3:36:46 GMT |  + Britain and France consider direct action to save Sri Lankan refugees
    BRITAIN and France yesterday pressed for more international aid for the tens of thousands of people fleeing Sri Lanka's civil war – and it could include sending out boats on an evacuation mission. Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, said action was needed to avert a desperate situation as people try to escape the Sri Lankan government's push against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More than 4,500 civilians have been killed in the past three months during the military offensive on the shrinking Tamil Tiger stronghold in Sri Lanka's north, according to estimates by the United Nations (UN) which says the scale of the exodus is anything between 60,000 and 110,000.
  • 93) Apr 23, 2009 3:21:41 GMT |  + UN council voices ‘deep concern’ about Sri Lanka
    The UN Security Council expressed concern yesterday about the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of civilians trapped in rebel territory are in imminent danger. "The Security Council members, we expressed our deep concern about the humanitarian situation ... and the plight of the civilians trapped within the conflict area," Mexican UN Ambassador Claude Heller told reporters after an informal meeting of the 15-nation council on Sri Lanka. In a summary of the closed-door meeting, he said council members "strongly condemned" the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who are apparently using civilians trapped in a 13 square km strip of land as human shields.
  • 94) Apr 23, 2009 1:23:20 GMT |  + Tamil Group Says Tamils Suffer for the Tokyo Co-Chairs' Bias
    Tokyo Co-Chairs is a group of four parties: Norway, Japan, the U.S., and the E.U. who brokered cease-fire talks between the Tamil Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka. Tamils contend that the Tokyo Co-Chairs were not honest brokers because they consistently took actions and positions favorable to Sri Lanka. One reason that bloodshed continues in Sri Lanka is the biased and half-hearted work by the Tokyo Co-Chairs. Tamils for Obama states that "The flaw in the Co-Chairs work was a lack of even-handedness." Tamils for Obama gives a number of examples of partiality in the Tokyo Co-Chairs' mediation.
  • 95) Apr 23, 2009 0:02:53 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Severely Injured Patients Stream into Vavuniya Hospital
    We had a young woman of about 19 who is breastfeeding that I had to do a major leg amputation on. I just wonder what the future for her life and child will be. We’re seeing children that have no parents with them. We had a little boy with a blast amputation of his leg, I think he’s about five, and he’s being looked after by his big brother, who’s about seven, and we don’t know where the parents are or whether they’re even alive. But these two little children are in the middle of a very traumatic hospital setting on their own.
  • 96) Apr 23, 2008 22:33:04 GMT |  + Canada must condemn deteriorating human rights situation
    Earlier this week, on April 20, 2008 Rev. Fr. M. X. Karunaratnam, a Catholic priest and chair of the North East Secretariat on Human Rights, a local NGO that monitors human rights in Sri Lanka was killed by a roadside bomb. The Canadian Tamil Congress urges the Canadian Government to condemn the brutal assassination of Rev. Fr. Karunaratnam by the Sri Lankan government and urge the Sri Lankan government to allow independent international monitoring of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.
  • 97) Apr 23, 2008 19:51:41 GMT |  + TN urges Delhi to arrange peace talks in Lanka
    Asking New Delhi to arrange peace talks in Sri Lanka to work out a 'proper political solution' to end the ethnic conflict in the island, the Tamil Nadu assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution. "India should arrange for talks between the two parties and help arrive at a political solution", the resolution said, without making a direct reference to either the Sri Lankan government or LTTE and other Tamil groups. The Indian government should come forward to organise a meaningful dialogue for a proper political solution to bring peace in Sri Lanka, it said.
  • 98) Apr 23, 2008 19:30:30 GMT |  + Tigers feint kills 100 Sri Lanka troops
    More than 100 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and another 400 wounded Wednesday when troops attempted to advance toward a stronghold of the Tamil Tigers rebel organization, highly placed army sources told CNN. The incident happened before dawn, when troops manning a defense line in the northern Sri Lanka village of Muhamalai attempted to advance toward the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi in the northern Wanni region, the sources said. The village is on a thin isthmus linking mainland Sri Lanka to the Jaffna peninsula... The army sources also told CNN that at least 30 soldiers were reported missing in action. Rebel sources reported some soldiers remained lying on the battleground, but did not divulge a number.
  • 99) Apr 23, 2008 19:29:08 GMT |  + Ex-top brass barred from Army camps
    Two former top Army officers - Major General Janaka Perera and Colonel Jayavi Fernando have been barred by Army Headquarters from entering all Army camps in the country, with immediate effect citing security reasons. A top defence official told the Daily Mirror yesterday that the main reason for the ban follows the officials making statements through certain media undermining recent military victories. “A special circular has been issued by Army Headquarters to military camps and bases countrywide instructing them not to allow the two officers to enter their premises,” the official said.
  • 100) Apr 23, 2008 13:22:48 GMT |  + 150 SLA killed, Tigers locate 30 SLA bodies in Northern Front
    Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) officials in Ki'linochchi said the Tigers have located more than 30 dead bodies of the SLA soldiers in the clearing mission so far in the Northern Front after a major operation by the SLA was thwarted by them. 19 dead bodies were brought to Ki'linochchi. Meanwhile, a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) source, which didn't wish to be named, verified that 104 dead bodies were initially recovered by the army and more than 400 were wounded. The source further said at least 150 soldiers were killed in action.
  • 101) Apr 23, 2008 11:09:56 GMT |  + Sri Lanka says 90 dead in new offensive against rebels
    At least 90 rebels and soldiers were killed and hundreds wounded when Sri Lankan security forces launched an offensive against Tiger guerrillas on Wednesday, the defence ministry said. A ministry spokesman said 38 soldiers were killed and 84 seriously wounded when they tried to advance into territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The spokesman said the guerrillas lost 52 of their fighters. There was no immediate word from the rebels about their casualties.
  • 102) Apr 23, 2008 10:58:28 GMT |  + Sri Lanka has failed to protect all of its citizens
    In the editorial Taking On The Tamil Tigers (April 15), the National Post praised the Canadian government for taking a tough position on the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). Unfortunately, while focusing solely on the actions of the LTTE, general news coverage of the conflict has neglected the recent and historical atrocities that the Sri Lankan government has committed against the minority Tamil population. Media reports often correctly state that the civil war in Sri Lanka has resulted in over 70,000 civilian deaths. However the one-sided coverage leads readers to falsely believe that it is the LTTE who are responsible for these deaths, which is simply untrue.
  • 103) Apr 23, 2008 10:43:47 GMT |  + Sri Lanka shuns West, looks East for aid
    Sri Lanka's government, under pressure over human-rights violations, is abandoning support from traditional but rights-sensitive partners such as the United States and the European Union and turning to countries like China and Iran to finance infrastructure projects. Relations between the country's traditional partners and the government turned frosty in recent months as the US, the EU and international human-rights groups raised concern over growing rights violations. Recently, World Bank officials were told by a senior functionary of the treasury: "We don't need your money [with all those strings]." Nanda Godage, a retired diplomat and commentator, says there appears to be a "clumsy" policy in relation to foreign affairs.
  • 104) Apr 23, 2008 5:19:25 GMT |  + Human rights panel denies int'l plot to discredit Sri Lanka
    An international human rights panel invited by the Sri Lankan government to monitor the island's rights probe said Tuesday that it was not part to an alleged plot by the international community to discredit the government's human rights record. Nigel Rodley, a British member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) told reporters that "there was no such international agenda."
  • 105) Apr 23, 2008 5:15:23 GMT |  + Sri Lanka ethical trade deal at risk
    Sri Lankan ministers and clothing industry executives have been trying to persuade Brussels not to withdraw duty-free access to the EU market, a privilege that comes up for renewal this year. But EU officials have criticised the government’s conduct of the war with the Tamil rebels, which has generated many reports of killings and abductions. Sri Lanka was the only Asian nation to qualify for a new EU trade preference scheme aimed at encouraging “good governance and sustainable production”, launched in 2005. But the EU has warned that renewing the scheme will rely on human rights being respected. A delegation of officials who visited Sri Lanka said: “The EU continues to harbour very serious concerns about continuing reports of human rights abuses.”
  • 106) Apr 23, 2008 4:39:20 GMT |  + Trade deficit widens in February 2008 to US$147mn
    The trade deficit widened to US$147 million in February this year compared to the same period in 2007. While the trade deficit for the January to February period had widened further to US$937 million, last year during the same period the deficit stood at US$ 447.3 million. Expenditure on imports in February 2008 increased by 31%, on a year-on-year basis to US$960 million while the expenditure on imports of consumer goods increased by 40%, year-on-year, with sharp increases in imports of rice and wheat, in respect of which significant increases have been recorded in both the price and the quantity of import.
  • 107) Apr 23, 2008 4:35:02 GMT |  + JVP comes unstuck as MR follows a diabolical foreign policy
    While the hypocrisy of Weerawansa has been amply showcased by him almost on a daily basis there is bitter history between the Dalada Maligawa and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. The LTTE and the JVP have many commonalities but two horrendous deeds stand out like tall poppies. Both groups have attacked the venerated Dalada Maligawa. Both groups have attacked the Katunayake International Airport and the air force base. Nineteen years ago on February 8, 1989 during the height of JVP terror the Dalada Maligawa was attacked by them. Nine years later, on January 25, 1998 the holiest shrine of the Buddhist world was again ripped apart by an LTTE suicide bomb attack.
  • 108) Apr 23, 2008 4:27:53 GMT |  + Tamil Tigers claim they destroyed army tank
    Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers who are fighting for a separate state said yesterday that heavy fighting erupted in the northern Muhamalai area yesteday morning — a day after the military claimed it had captured a key guerrilla base in the northwestern Mannar sector. Pro-rebel web sites said the Tamil Tigers’ anti-tank unit destroyed a Sri Lanka army’s battle tank when the guerrillas launched a counter-offensive to quash security forces’ advance towards the rebel territory on Tuesday morning. The web site reports also said the guerrillas also attacked a mortar-launch pad used by the security forces at Ezhuthumadduvaa’l in Thenmaraachchi near Jaffna.
  • 109) Apr 23, 2008 4:23:09 GMT |  + Stitching in time or sewing the wind?
    Ayubowan, vanakkam and assalamu alaikkum, though the greeting sounds increasingly irrelevant if not ridiculous as the country crumbles into bits and pieces. The latest crisis, in a catastrophe of crises, is the degeneration of Asia’s one time rice bowl into a rice bawl or brawl with agendas within agendas and cliques within cliques turning our rice fields into mud holes. The paddy fields, agriculture and noble role and status of the farmer, as proudly recorded in well-known books has gone into decadence with politicians playing more havoc than the inconsistent and unusual weather patterns that arise from the ill effects of global warming.
  • 110) Apr 23, 2008 1:09:24 GMT |  + Heavy fighting erupts in Northern Front
    Heavy fighting was reported between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) along the Forward Defence Line of the Northern Front, in the early hours of Wednesday. LTTE defensive formations were confronting the SLA units that have mounted offensive attacks simulatenously at several locations around 3:30 a.m., according to the initial reports from LTTE's Northern Forces Operations Command. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army sources in Jaffna confirmed that the SLA had launched an offensive in the Northern Front.
  • 111) Apr 23, 2008 1:08:38 GMT |  + United against Tamils, why?
    Oftentimes international alliances will be formed when nations discover a common enemy, cooperative profits and/or region threats. Why then is the world united to fight against the minority Tamil people in Sri Lanka? Historical analysis would be hard pressed to find worse odds facing such a small group of people. The news is buzzing about a high level team being assembled by Sri Lankan Prime minister Ratnasiri to meet Palestine leadership.
  • 112) Apr 23, 2008 1:07:39 GMT |  + Remains of Fr. Karunaratnam interred in Vavunikku’lam
    Thousands of people stood in tearful reverence when the remains of Rev. Father M X Karunaratnam, the chairman of the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR), slain in a Claymore attack by a Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) of the Sri Lanka Army on Sunday, were interred in Vavunikku’lam Annai Vea’laangka’n’ni church cemetery Tuesday evening. paying homage to Rev. M. X. Karunaratnam The remains of the slain human rights activist were kept in St. Theresa's Church Ki’linochchi from Sunday for people to pay their last respects. The final paying of homage events began Tuesday around 9:00 a.m in Ki’linochchi St. Theresa's Church with Holy Mass led by Ki’linochchi diocese Principal Priest Rev. Fernando Benedict.
  • 113) Apr 23, 2007 23:08:23 GMT |  + Three dead in Sri Lanka bus blast
    At least three people have been killed and 35 injured by a bomb that hit a passenger bus in northern Sri Lanka, the country's defence ministry says. The attack, in Vavuniya district, about 250km (155 miles) north of the capital, Colombo, happened late on Monday night. Vavuniya is the last government-held garrison town before territory held by the separatist Tamil Tigers, blamed for the attack by Sri Lankan officials.
  • 114) Apr 23, 2007 23:04:19 GMT |  + Tiger aircrafts bomb Palaali military base in Jaffna
    Two attack air-crafts of the Tamileealm Air Force (TAF) have bombed Palaali military base Tuesday early morning at 1:20 a.m., inflicting heavy damage to the Sri Lankan military garrison in Jaffna's High Security Zone, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) military spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. The attack has caused severe casualties to the Sri Lankan forces garrisoned in the base, Mr. Ilanthirayan added. The attack comes a month after the Tigers attacked Colombo's Katunayake military airbase causing severe damage to the Sri Lankan Air Force installation. more ...
  • 115) Apr 23, 2007 20:36:35 GMT |  + Church Head 'Deeply Distressed' Over Sri Lanka's Insistent Fighting
    A stream of unwelcome news providing updates on death counts, displaced civilians and abduction cases continuously flow out of the South Asian island of Sri Lanka. “We are deeply distressed by the current intensification of fighting which affects the lives of thousands of innocent people in the country,” wrote the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia in the statement Friday, according to the WCC. “Taking into account the protracted fighting in Sri Lanka we in the WCC are convinced that the pursuit of a final military solution is an exercise in futility; the parties to the conflict need to commit themselves to a political solution as the only viable and noble alternative.”
  • 116) Apr 23, 2007 20:36:29 GMT |  + Bloodbath looms in war-torn Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka's "dirty war" against its Tamil minority has surpassed the level of abuses seen in General Augusto Pinochet's Chile, and is now increasingly being compared with Pol Pot's murderous rule in Cambodia, writes News Weekly's special correspondent. In the last 15 months alone, more people have been killed by Sri Lanka's Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (DSRSL) Government than were killed by Pinochet in the 17 years of Chile's "dirty war". This marks its renewed offensive against the traditional homelands of the Tamil people and their de facto government, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
  • 117) Apr 23, 2007 18:07:34 GMT |  + Lanka aid killings probe 'flawed'
    An investigation by Sri Lankan police into the killing of 17 local aid workers last year is seriously flawed, independent legal experts have said. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) report says there has been "a disturbing lack of impartiality and transparency in the investigation". The bodies of the Action Against Hunger workers were found in the north-eastern town of Muttur last August. Truce monitors blamed security forces, who denied carrying out the killings. The ICJ report, compiled by senior British barrister Michael Birnbaum QC, was highly critical of the authorities. more ...
  • 118) Apr 23, 2007 17:35:27 GMT |  + Canadian Tamil concludes fast, urges Canada to exert pressure on Sri Lanka
    A Canadian Tamil peace activist in Toronto, Dr. Sri Skanda Rajah, on Saturday concluded a six day Ghandian fast, he undertook to sympathize with the victims in NorthEast Sri Lanka. Urging the Canadian Government to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to help "stop the carnage, starvation and the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Sri Lankan armed forces," Dr. Sri Skanda Rajah said the fast was a spiritual exercise that transcended partisan politics and asked those who attended not to make political capital of the endavour. more ...
  • 119) Apr 23, 2007 15:27:49 GMT |  + Rajapaksa delegates civil police powers to military
    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has delegated civil powers hitherto discharged by the Police to the three armed forces, Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) by a recent Extra-Ordinary Gazette Notification of 1491/18 under Chapter 40 of the Public Security Ordinance dated April 06, 2007. Civil powers entrusted with the police throughout the whole island have been delegated to the military by Mr. Rajapaksa. Members of the three armed forces, SLA, SLN and SLAF would use the police civil powers to maintain law and order in all districts.
  • 120) Apr 23, 2007 15:12:30 GMT |  + Invisible Drivers of Eelam War IV
    Beyond polity fragmentation, ipso facto improbabilities of North-South diplomatic renormalization, three invisible drivers shape Eelam war IV’s trajectory: counter-terrorism regime alignment, dependency on highly localized infrastructure, Lanka’s changing ‘democracy’. As GoSL has learned via hard knocks, a hard line, counter-terrorism regime alignment as a state actor bears challenges, and failure to balance the protection of national security and human rights can lead to either international opprobrium, unwanted shifts in military power balance.
  • 121) Apr 23, 2007 15:04:42 GMT |  + Papal Fallibility and Sinhala Inflexibility
    Catholics are expected to believe that when the Pope makes official statements on matters of doctrine and morals he is vested with the special gift of infallibility. But not anymore according to some Sri Lankan Catholics. “Vatican has lost its moral right as a Peace-maker by welcoming a mass murderer into the Holy See” said an angry Tamil clergyman. Another layman said that in deciding to meet with an inflexible and arrogant Rajapaksa, known as the chief architect of the Tamil holocaust, Vatican has come under the ire of international rights group and free media movements. “The Pope does not seem to understand the intricacies of Sinhala politics” a western diplomat quietly quipped, in Colombo...
  • 122) Apr 23, 2007 14:44:14 GMT |  + Panchayati Raj System in India
    The institution of Panchayati Raj is specifically designed for the rural population with the basic objective of democratic decentralization and devolution of power with a view to ensuring rapid socio-economic progress with every individual being the architect of his/her own government. ‘Panchayat’ literally means assembly (yat) of five (panch) wise and respected elders chosen and accepted by the village community. Traditionally, these assemblies settled the disputes between individuals.
  • 123) Apr 23, 2007 14:30:46 GMT |  + CFA should be observed for resumption of peace talks: UNP
    In the wake of fresh attempts to place peace talks back on track, the main Opposition UNP said yesterday the Ceasefire Agreement in its present form should be observed by both parties as a prelude to the resumption of dialogue. However, UNP MP and senior lawyer K.N. Choksy noted that the territorial boundaries demarcated by the CFA had now been changed following the ground fighting between the security forces and the LTTE, and they could not be conveniently restored at this stage. Mr.Choksy said the present ground situation envisaged in the CFA should be left as it stands today pointing out that the re-demarcation of the territorial boundaries would create problems.
  • 124) Apr 23, 2007 13:52:54 GMT |  + Norwegians urged to drop trip into Sri Lankan rebel territory
    Norway's chief mediator in the long-troubled process to bring peace to Sri Lanka was urged against making a routine trip to the rebel-controlled northern part of the country on Monday. That raised fears the Sri Lankan government was planning a major attack on rebel strongholds. Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar told Aftenposten.no that he was advised to call off a routine trip to the rebel-held north because of "security concerns." Brattskar told Aftenposten.no, however, that it’s not the first time a planned visit to rebel territory has been postponed. He thinks contact with leaders of the Tamil Tigers will resume quickly.
  • 125) Apr 23, 2007 11:10:54 GMT |  + LTTE denies threatening TN leaders
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Monday denied that they posed a threat to the lives of prominent Tamil Nadu politicians. In a statement issued following reports that there had been such threats, the LTTE's military spokesman, Rasaiah Ilanthirayan alias Marshall, said that the Tamil Tigers "maintain the firm policy of keeping away from the local politics of Tamil Nadu, India or any other state in the world". He alleged that the reports of threats were inspired by the "dishonest" and "oppressive" Sri Lankan government to stem the "growing sympathy in Tamil Nadu for the suffering Eelam (Sri Lankan) Tamils". "We strongly condemn this immoral act," Marshall said.
  • 126) Apr 23, 2007 11:02:23 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's Civil War Spares Economy, Industrial Base in West
    Sri Lanka, facing a return to civil war between the army and Tamil separatists, is maintaining its fastest growth in 30 years because the fighting is taking place far from industries driving the $26 billion economy. "This is a conflict that the country has learnt to live with," said Agost Benard, credit analyst at Standard & Poor's in Singapore. "Businesses still invest, factories still produce. The main reason is because the conflict is localized." Sri Lanka's garment industry, responsible for about 4 percent of the economy, supplies for brands such as Gap Inc., Banana Republic and Marks & Spence Group Plc.
  • 127) Apr 23, 2007 10:59:15 GMT |  + LTTE: Sri Lanka’s accusations of credit card fraud is ‘attempt to distract from rights abuses’
    Liberation Tigers Political Head, S. P. Thamilchelvan, responding to allegations by the Sri Lankan Embassy in London that the Liberation Tigers were involved in organised crime in Britain involving the cloning of credit cards, dismissed the accusations and slammed them as an attempt by the Colombo government to distract international attention from widespread human rights abuses by its armed forces. Mr. Thamilchelvan said Sri Lanka's accusations which sought to implicate the hardworking and law-abiding Tamil Diaspora, stemmed from the "same chauvinism that caused the island’s protracted ethnic war."
  • 128) Apr 23, 2007 10:56:15 GMT |  + Sri Lanka halts Norway envoy's peace mission
    Sri Lanka asked peace broker Norway to suspend a planned visit Monday to Tamil rebel-held territory in the island's north, diplomatic sources said. The Sri Lankan government told Norway's top envoy here, Hans Brattskar, not to proceed with his visit to the town of Kilinochchi, 330 kilometres (206 miles) north of here, for "security reasons." "Citing security reasons, the government last night asked the Norwegian diplomat not to go ahead with the visit," a diplomatic source close to the peace process said. "They have not said when the visit can take place again."
  • 129) 12:14 GMT, Apr. 23, 2006 |  + Sri Lankans hit by war, tsunami, flee new violence
    Chelaiah Sunralachumi fled her home twice and lost her husband and two children in Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war. Then, the 2004 tsunami devastated her refugee camp and she moved once again. Now, the 60-year-old woman is again heading back into the jungles of northeast Sri Lanka, fleeing new violence that is shattering relations between ethnic Sinhalese and Tamil communities and threatens the island's 2002 ceasefire. "Where else to go?" she asked Reuters in her native Tamil language, tears running down her cheeks. "I've left my home three times in a row. What is the point of living here?" more ...
  • 130) 12:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 2006 |  + Sri Lanka seeks European ban on Tigers to save truce
    Sri Lanka has urged the European Union to designate the Tamil Tiger rebels a terrorist group, saying such a move could nudge the guerrillas into resuming talks on a troubled truce as eight people were killed in weekend violence. The government said it expected the 25-member EU to press ahead with a threatened move to list the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a "terrorist organisation" and cut off overseas funding. "We expect the European Union to go ahead with the threatened sanctions if the LTTE continues to behave in this appalling manner and engages in terrorism," the head of the government's peace secretariat Palitha Kohona said. more ...
  • 131) 12:09 GMT, Apr. 23, 2006 |  + Peace talks deadline passes amid S.Lanka violence
    Sri Lankan troops came under two separate attacks on Sunday as the deadline for attending peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, meant to begin in less than 24 hours, slipped away. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) initially pulled out of the Geneva talks because of a dispute over how to transport commanders to their northern headquarters for consultations. The government said it agreed to a new, Norwegian-brokered proposal, but was still awaiting a response from the rebels. It was too late for talks set for April 24-25 in Geneva to go ahead as scheduled, said the head of the government's body for coordinating the peace process. more ...
  • 132) 04:32 GMT, Apr. 23, 2006 |  + NGO porn scandal shocks Batti, Ampara
    A sex abuse tsunami has hit the Batticaloa district following allegations that women working for local and international NGOs have been forced into appearing in pornographic video films. The crisis has reached such serious proportions that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Batticaloa district MPs have requested District Secretary S. Puniyamoorthy to summon an urgent meeting with heads of both local and international NGOs in the district to probe the charges and take remedial action. Batticaloa and Trincomalee Bishop Kingsley Swamipillai told The Sunday Times he believed such abuse had been going on for some time and he welcomed the probe. Batticaloa’s Senior Police Superintendent Maxi Proctor said no formal complaints of such sexual abuse had been made yet but he had read about it in leaflets distributed by an organization. more ...
  • 133) 14:33 GMT, Apr. 23, 2005 |  + Elephant Pass Fall fifth anniversary celebrated
    Fifth anniversary of the fall of Sri Lanka Army's (SLA's) Elephant Pass garrison is being celebrated from the 22nd to 25th April in Vanni with long distance running competitions among different military divisions of Liberation Tigers followed by a day of cultural events, sources from Vanni said. The fall of Elephant Pass, described as "impregnable" by a US army officer who visited the garrison months earlier before the fall, established the Tigers as the only non-state military force in the world today capable of complex manoeuvre war fighting. more ...
  • 134) 14:10 GMT, Apr. 23, 2005 |  + India, Lanka put defence pact proposal on back burner
    India and Sri Lanka have put the idea of signing a Defence Cooperation Agreement on the back burner, says Sri Lanka's Acting Defence Minister, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake. "Both of us are slightly delaying it," he told the Colombo-based Tamil daily Sudar Oli in an interview on Saturday, when asked if Sri Lanka and India had abandoned a three year old, bi-lateral proposal to sign a defence pact. Wickramanayake did not say why the two countries were delaying it, despite the clamour for it in south Sri Lanka. Hindustan Times learns from other political sources in Colombo, that India is wary of signing any defence pact with Sri Lanka because of opposition from Tamil Nadu political parties like the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), all part of the ruling United Peoples' Alliance (UPA) in New Delhi. more ...
  • 135) 09:05 GMT, Apr. 23, 2005 |  + Joint mechanism embodies the principles of a solution
    The joint mechanism for tsunami aid distribution remains, quite rightly, the pressing issue of the Norwegian-brokered peace process in Sri Lanka. But despite the gentle, yet insistent, encouragement by Oslo's diplomats, a deal is said to be still a long way off. On one thing at least there is agreement: both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers are keeping the contents of the discussions under wraps. But whatever the bone of contention between the two protagonists, there are external factors stackedagainst a joint agreement: the Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP) has this week reiterated its preparedness to bring down the government if it agrees to the joint mechanism. more ...
  • 136) 08:57 GMT, Apr. 23, 2005 |  + US puts pressure on development banks
    Under the legislation, the World Bank is slated to receive $2.85 billion in US funds over the next three years, the African Development Bank $407 million in the same period and the Asian bank $461 million over four years. The push by Congress reflects a demand by the Bush administration for more accountability by the banks. British and Italian legislators also want anti-corruption reforms. Hemantha Withanage, convener for a Sri Lankan group on trade and global financial institutions, said the Asian Development Bank had approved $3.4 billion in loans for Sri Lanka but it was "highly questionable" if any of the projects had succeeded in their aim of reducing poverty. "If we take the ADB's self evaluation at face value, more than half of Sri Lanka's ADB debt accumulated over three and a half decades is from projects that ADB considers to be less than successful," he said. more ...
  • 137) 12:08 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Vote defeat bodes ill for new Sri Lanka government
    Sri Lanka's president, stung by the defeat of her candidate for speaker in parliament, searched on Friday for more allies for her minority government and strengthen her hand in peace talks with Tamil rebels. Lawmakers elected the opposition's candidate as speaker of parliament late on Thursday by a razor-thin margin of just one vote after nine hours of acrimonious argument.
    - Chandrika’s political alliance loses in Parliament speaker’s election; setback for govt - AP
    more ...
  • 138) 12:05 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + President faces major set back in Sri Lanka parliament
    In a major political setback, President Chandrika Kumaratunga's alliance has lost a crucial parliamentary vote, failing to get its candidate into the powerful speaker's post. W.J.M. Lokubandara, a former justice minister and member of the main opposition party, narrowly won the post by a vote of 110-109. His victory over Dew Gunesekara late Thursday came only after three separate votes in the legislature, and near-pandemonium as lawmakers argued about parliamentary procedure in a marathon 9 1/2 hour session.
    - Setback for Chandrika as her alliance loses speaker's election - Gulf News
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  • 139) 11:10 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Monks vs Marxists In Sri Lanka Parliament
    Seeking a majority in the hung parliament, President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Freedom Alliance sought to install a member of the Marxist JVP as speaker. However influential Buddhist monks, who hold the balance of power in the parliament, decided not to support the President’s candidate. "There is no way we could have the first communist speaker of the House," a spokesman for the monks told AFP. "We planned to remain neutral, but when we saw the government engineering defections, we wanted to neutralise it." Political analysts said it was crucial for Ms Kumaratunga to secure the speaker's post if she wanted to change the constitution to abolish the executive presidency and revert to a Westminster-style government. more ...
  • 140) 11:07 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka Wins Norwegian Promise to Help Peace Talks
    Sri Lanka took a step toward new peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday by winning a promise from Norway to resume its role as mediator in the 20-year civil war. Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said he had agreed to a request by Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga for Oslo to resume the role it suspended in November because of a power struggle in Colombo that has been resolved by April 2 elections. It was unclear when the talks might resume. Direct talks with the rebels, who control large part of the island's north and east, broke down a year ago. "The criticism of Norway's actions have been where they've moved beyond their role as facilitator and been quite unacceptable and even in breach of international law," he said. "Where the political parties have been critical it has been on quite specific matters." more ...
  • 141) 11:03 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Norway invited to Sri Lanka talks
    The Tamil Tigers' initiated the ceasefire more than two years ago Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has invited Norway to resume its role as negotiator between her government and Tamil Tiger rebels. Norway's Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said he had been asked by Mrs Kumaratunga to help resume peace talks, which broke down in November. Norway helped broker a 2002 ceasefire that has held ever since. Norway has replied with a conditional "yes", but stated it must be invited by rebel chiefs too before re-commencing. Mrs Kumaratunga has previously accused Norway of being biased towards the rebels. We hope [the Tamils' request] will come. If so, we will consult both sides about how the process can be brought forward.
  • Kumaratunga requests Norway to resume facilitation - TamilNet
    more ...
  • 142) 10:59 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka's President betrayed renegade commander - JHU
    Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) blasted the Sri Lanka Government for the pandemonium caused in Parliament on Friday and asked Ms.Kumaratunge's government to take responsibility for the defeat. Although JHU assured Ms.Kumaratunge their votes, her betrayal of renegade Eastern Commander forced them to decide against supporting her, JHU said in a press conference held in Colombo today. JHU further said that its members would willingly sacrifice their lives to prevent creation of Tamil Eelam. Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero Leader of the JHU told that they assured President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga several times that they would support the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). The Thero said that even with such assurance she had wanted the votes of the Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK), and had betrayed Eastern renegade rebel leader Col. Karuna Amman (alias Muralitharan), thereby strengthening the hands of LTTE’s Wanni leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. more ...
  • 143) 10:57 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + More than 1,000 Sri Lanka child soldiers return home
    More than 1,000 children who fought for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have returned home in the last month, in the biggest release since the start of the island's 20-year civil war, UNICEF said on Friday. The Tigers formally freed 300 child soldiers to UNICEF and more than 750 returned to their villages of their own accord, spurred by the demobilisation of a breakaway faction whose eastern region the rebels retook earlier this month. "This is the biggest in the history of Sri Lanka's conflict. Even with just the 300 it is the biggest ever," said Geoffrey Keele, a spokesman for the United Nations Children's Fund. There has been "a disproportionate emphasis on the release of the children from the LTTE at the expense of follow-up and attention to issues supporting their reintegration into the community," the Tigers' political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan said in a letter to UNICEF posted on the Tamilnet Web site. more ...
  • 144) 00:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Chandrika-led coalition govt defeated in Speaker's election
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga's newly formed minority government received a major set back today when it lost a crucial vote in parliament to the main Opposition United National Front (UNF) in electing the all important Speaker. The bitterly-fought battle for the election of Speaker was won by one vote by the UNF and its candidate and former Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana, W J M Lokkbandara in the third round of voting. He was elected as the Speaker of the 13th parliament after winning 110 votes, having defeated the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government's candidate D E W Gunasekera by just one vote.
    - Chandrika-led coalition govt defeated in Speaker's election - AFP
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  • 145) 13:42 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation and the Projects Implemented by it
    Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) was founded by Tamil refugees in India in 1985 and then was moved to the Tamil homeland (Northeast Sri Lanka) in 1987. It is run by a board of governors with offices in all 8 districts of the Northeast as well as an office in Colombo, the country's capital. With units in 14 countries overseas it receives funding from both the local as well as expatriate Tamil communities, local and International NGOs, UN Agencies, the World Bank, the Asian Development Fund as well as the Sri Lankan government. TRO has also established a Socio Economic Development Bank with 5 branches for rural development. more ...
  • 146) 12:14 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka wins Norwegian promise to help peace talks
    Sri Lanka took a step towards new peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday by winning a promise from Norway to resume its role as mediator in the 20-year civil war. Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said he had agreed to a request by Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga for Oslo to resume the role it suspended in November because of a power struggle in Colombo that has been resolved by April 2 elections. "I said that Norway was willing to comply, on condition that the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) also ask us to play a role," Bondevik said in a statement after Kumaratunga telephoned him late on Thursday.
    - Norway invited to Sri Lanka talks - BBC
    - Norway agrees to resume role of peace broker in Sri Lanka - AFP
    more ...
  • 147) 00:08 GMT, Apr. 23, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka parliament opens amid ethnic acrimony
    A rebel-backed party used the opening of Sri Lanka's parliament on Thursday to slam the new government, highlighting ethnic polarisations in the house as the island struggles to end 20 years of civil war. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) used what is usually a proforma speech congratulating the new speaker to outline Tamil Tiger demands for self-rule in the north and east, adding it was "dissatisfied" with the government for making their Tamil rival a cabinet minister. "Through the peace initiative we must achieve self-rule. That is the mandate that has been given to the TNA," said parliamentary group leader Rajavorthiam Sampanthan. more ...
  • 148) 12:38 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + No real choice for LTTE
    Conflict resolution should not proceed with the expectations that only one party to the conflict makes concessions. In this respect, the LTTE has not only shown that it is committed to a negotiated political settlement, but it has even agreed to experiment with a federal formula to resolve once and for all the long years of armed conflict between the Tamils and the government of Sri Lanka. However, the Sri Lankan government has yet to comply fully and honestly with the requirements of the Ceasefire Agreement that was concluded more than year ago. Not only has the Sri Lankan government failed to allow for the settlement of internally displaced Tamils in areas that are now occupied by the armed forces, it has also failed to provide a comprehensive solution for the economic and social upliftment of the Tamil nation. As though these were not enough, the Sri Lanka government even colluded with the United States in excluding the LTTE from participating in the recent donor conference in Washington. more ...
  • 149) 12:30 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Civilisation gone with the wind
    According to reports your party strategists headed by former media minister and Sudu Nelum frontliner Mangala Samaraweera are meeting with JVP leaders at a five star sea-side resort in Talpe to finalize a grand alliance by next month. Mr. Samaraweera has apparently redesigned his Sudu Nelum to look more like a bloody nelum because the main agenda of the new strategic alliance would obviously be to undermine and if possible sabotage the ongoing peace process. The JVP leaders, including Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa are reported to be meeting with Mr. Samaraweera's task force in a top of the range US$ 200 per night private sea-side villa off Galle. It is another indication that the present JVP leadership is straying more towards the perks and privileges of political power while verbally proclaiming commitment to the principles of simple lifestyle and identifying with the dispossessed people. more ...
  • 150) 12:24 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + TEEDOR imposes restrictions in felling Jaffna trees
    Cutting down coconut, palmyrah, margosa, mango and jak fruit trees in private properties, excavation of stones and hauling large amounts of sand and clay will require special permission from the district co-ordinater on recommendation from village officer, said Gnanavel, head of Jaffna district Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organization (TEEDOR), addressing the meeting of Kayts agricultural society held at the Assistant Government Agent's office, according to local news reports. "Felling trees is wasting our natural resources. Enforcing strict procedures to manage and control human activities that can damage our environment should be a high priority if we are to preserve our natural resources and maintain a healthy environment for our future generations," said Gnanavel. more ...
  • 151) 12:22 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Canadian teens aid suffering youth
    A Canadian group started the 30-Hour Famine fundraiser in 1971 and over the last 32 years the idea has spread to Great Britain, Australia, the United States, Malaysia, New Zealand and Japan. About 1.5 million youth around the world do World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine each year. This year’s aim also included help for girls in Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. In these countries many girls stay at home to look after younger siblings while their parents are at work. Others are child labourers including sex-trade workers. 30-Hour Famine helps these girls with opportunities for education and training. more ...
  • 152) 12:18 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Tamil Tiger pullout sparks government concern
    Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Wednesday called for an emergency parliamentary session to discuss the pullout of peace talks by Tamil Tiger rebels but said they were confident the peace process would not break down. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said on Monday they were suspending negotiations because of the exclusion from an aid planning meeting in Washington last week and a lack of progress in improving living conditions for minority Tamils. But the LTTE - which was to have held a seventh round of peace talks with the government next week - said it was still committed to a negotiated end to the war that has killed more than 64,000 people. more ...
  • 153) 12:16 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Analysis: Tigers gamble for peace
    Many in the south of the island feel this move by the Tigers is a tactical one to exert more pressure on the government to meet its demands. If that's the case, it's a risky strategy that may backfire because it weakens the current government's position in relation to rival political parties. Others argue the Tigers took the drastic step of pulling out of talks because they felt genuinely slighted by their exclusion from the government's meeting last week with donors in Washington. more ...
  • 154) 11:15 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + S.Lanka opposition wants meeting over Tiger pullout
    Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Wednesday called for an emergency parliamentary session to discuss the pullout of peace talks by Tamil Tiger rebels but said they were confident the peace process would not break down. Mahinda Rajapakse, leader of the People's Alliance party, said the government needed to explain how it planned to move ahead with a peace bid to end a two-decade ethnic war and say if there were any threats to security. "We are not expecting the peace process to collapse. The Tamil Tigers have said that the withdrawal from peace talks is temporary," Rajapakse told a news conference. more ...
  • 155) 11:14 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Lanka on alert after Tigers quit talks
    President Chandrika Kumarat-unga yesterday directed the armed forces commanders to enforce extra security measures after Tamil guerrillas pulled out of the talks, inflicting a major blow on the government's 14 month old peace process. Chandrika on Monday night summoned the heads of the armed forces and the Inspector General of Police and issued instructions to take additional security measures similar to those taken in 1995 when the guerrillas broke off peace talks. This would mean more checkpoints and cordon and search operations. more ...
  • 156) 21:53 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + No war, suspension of talks only a note of protest: LTTE
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has said the suspension of peace talks with the Sri Lankan Government will in no way affect the truce agreement and that ''there will be no war''. Addressing mediapersons in Jaffna yesterday, LTTE political wing senior leader V. Balakumaran said the move (suspension of peace talks) by its leadership was aimed at expressing its deep dissatisfaction over certain crucial issues in the ongoing process, especially the slow implementation of the truce agreement. more ...
  • 157) 21:00 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Govt-LTTE Sub-Committee meetings to go ahead
    The Sub-Committee meetings between the Government and the LTTE will go on as scheduled irrespective of the suspension of peace talks. The Government and the LTTE will meet in Kilinochchi on Friday and Saturday for another round of discussions of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Reconstruction Needs, amidst the on-going controversy caused by the suspension of the peace talks. Diplomatic sources said the meeting scheduled for April 25 and 26 is fixed and outgoing Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg will chair the meeting. more ...
  • 158) 20:39 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + LTTE to commemorate capture of Elephant Pass
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will commemorate the capture three years ago of the Elephant Pass garrison from the Sri Lankan military on April 28, sources in Vanni said. The planned celeberations will include commemoration ceremonies, military parades of several LTTE divisions, exhibitions of military hardware and speeches by senior commanders of the LTTE. The Voice of Tigers Radio Tuesday broadcast a special all-day program to mark the day (April 22) the garrison was captured. The program included details of the LTTE’s attack on the garrison, commemoration speeches, poetry, drama and music, the sources said. more ...
  • 159) 16:09 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + LTTE to attend SIHRN meet, but not to meet SLA at Omanthai
    A meeting planned to be held Thursday in Omanthai between Sri Lankan military officials and the LTTE will not be held as the LTTE has decided not to attend, but the meeting of the SubCommitte on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN) will be held on April 25, 26, as planned, sources said. According to Mr. Selvin Ireneuss, director of the SIHRN, Mr. Bernard Goonetilleke of the Sri Lankan government’s peace secretariat will lead the government team and Mr. S.P. Thamilchelvan, the political wing leader of the LTTE, will lead an LTTE team at the SIHRN meeting. more ...
  • 160) 14:09 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Tamil Tigers give ceasefire pledge
    Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka say they have no plans to break a year-old ceasefire, according to international peace monitors. Despite talk of security being tightened, there is no visible sign of any increased troop presence in the capital, Colombo, or elsewhere. The rebels say they have now launched a propaganda drive in the northern Jaffna Peninsula to explain their move to their supporters. The Tigers are angry at what they say are government attempts to marginalise their role in the peace process. Last month Japan, a major player in Sri Lankan reconstruction plans, warned both sides that they must make progress before a donor conference scheduled for June. It now looks as if the meeting will be postponed more ...
  • 161) 13:59 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + The honeymoon period is over: LTTE set for hard bargain on peace talks
    Expressing "disappointment and disenchantment" with the peace talks, the Tamil Tigers on Wednesday said the "honeymoon period was over" and they were set for hard bargaining, even as the opposition demanded immediate summoning of Parliament to discuss the crises. "The honeymoon period is over. We have suspended talks to express our disappointment and disenchantment. Our soft approach at the negotiations has ended," top political-wing leader of the LTTE V Balakumaran was quoted as saying by Tamil daily Sudar Oli. "That is all," he said, after declaring that the Tigers were now set for hard bargaining with the Sri Lankan government. more ...
  • 162) 13:21 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Avoid Toronto, WHO warns travellers
    As a result of ongoing assessments as to the nature of outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Beijing and Shanxi Province, China, and in Toronto, Canada, WHO is now recommending, as a measure of precaution, that persons planning to travel to these destinations consider postponing all but essential travel. This temporary advice, which is an extension of travel advice previously issued for Guangdong Province and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China will be reassessed in three weeks time. more ...
  • 163) 02:19 GMT, Apr. 23, 2003 |  + Netherlands aids NE resettlement, educational development
    The Ambassador for Netherlands in Sri Lanka, Ms. Susan Blankhart, Tuesday inaugurated the scheme for granting livelihood assistance for resettled families in the eight districts of the North-East province and the donation of school furniture to improve education in the province at a function held at the Trincomalee Town Hall, sources said. more ...
  • 164) 13:01 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + President's brother protests Sri Lanka peace moves
    The Sri Lankan president's brother will join a Marxist protest on Tuesday against a peace deal with Tamil rebels, the most prominent opposition figure to back an anti-peace drive led until now by the nationalist fringe. Thousands of red-shirted Marxists denounced government plans to broker peace with Tamil Tiger guerrillas as they marched to a rally in Colombo to hear a speech by Anura Bandaranaike, the brother of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more ...
  • 165) 12:59 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Last chance for peace says Ranil
    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is pursuing peace with Tamil rebels in the midst of protest campaigns, has declared that this is the last chance to achieve permanent peace in the country. "Both the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should seize the opportunity to achieve peace," Wickremesinghe said at a ceremony to mark the launch of a peace march. more ...
  • 166) 12:55 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Good news from Sri Lanka
    In this season of global terrorism, few people even know the name of the man who possesses one of the world's worst records for suicide bombings and other attacks on civilians. He is Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the militant Tamil group that seeks an independent nation, or "eelam," in the northern and eastern parts of the tiny island nation of Sri Lanka. Prabhakaran recently emerged from hiding to support a cease-fire and political negotiations. more ...
  • 167) 10:51 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Looking beyond April 10: Some reflections
    A lot has been said and written about LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's Kilinochchi news conference on April 10. The main focus of the media and political analyses of the news conference has been on whether Mr. Prabhakaran has given up his demand for a separate state. Firstly it must be clearly understood that there was nothing that Mr. Prabhakaran said at the media briefing that could lead to the conclusion that the LTTE has abandoned the political goal on the basis of which it took to an armed struggle against the State. His direct response to a pointed question as to whether he would renounce the struggle for an independent state was that "conditions have not arisen to abandon an independent statehood". He, however, pointed out that it was the Tamil people who brought the demand for Tamil Eelam on the agenda at the 1977 General Elections. In other words, the LTTE would go along with what the Tamil people would "will". more ...
  • 168) 10:36 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + U.N. to restore agriculture in northern Sri Lanka
    The United Nations said on Tuesday its plans to revive shattered agricultural production in war-torn northern Sri Lanka to prepare villagers for an end to nearly two decades of conflict. The $13.4 million initiative by the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will involve 15 agricultural and fisheries projects and was made possible by the current ceasefire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. ''The conflict has shattered the rural economy and endangered food security in northern Sri Lanka by destroying, severely damaging and restricting the basic means of agricultural and fisheries production,'' said R. B. Singh, the FAO's Bangkok-based Assistant Director-General in a statement. more ...
  • 169) 10:34 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Opposition to protest against Sri Lanka peace bid
    Sri Lanka's hardline Marxist party and the country's main opposition party vowed to put thousands on the streets on Tuesday to protest against the government's peace plans with the island's Tamil Tiger separatists. A planned protest by saffron-robed Buddhist monks aligned with the key opposition People's Alliance party fizzled out on Monday, due to low numbers and a strong police presence. But the Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP) promised a large turnout for a march on the prime minister's residence in Colombo. "This is a protest against the division of the country. We demand peace with respect," a JVP statement said. more ...
  • 170) 02:24 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + NORAD increases Sri Lanka Trade Facilitation Funding
    In line with its policy to augment its work on the peace process in Sri Lanka with work in the industrial and other sectors,NORAD, the Norweigan bilateral development agency, has increased funding for UNIDO's Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Sri Lanka, bringing its total investment so far to US$ 1.7 million. In 1999, UNIDO, in the context of its Integrated Programme for Sri Lanka, with the assistance of a US$ 800,000 trust fund made available by NORAD, launched a program to enhance standards compliance and metrology and testing capacities in Sri Lanka. The program assisted in the upgrading of five laboratories in the country (two microbiology, two chemical, one textile testing) in preparation for international accreditation. more ...
  • 171) 02:17 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Top U.N. envoy on child soldiers to visit Sri Lanka
    A top U.N. official dealing with children in armed conflict is expected to visit Sri Lanka in August to insist that Tamil Tiger rebels keep children out of their guerrilla force, a senior Sri Lankan government official said Monday. Undersecretary-General Olara Otunnu visited Sri Lanka in May, 1998 and had reportedly won a pledge from the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam to refrain from recruiting child soldiers.
  • Pongu Thamizh in Jaffna - 2002
    Puthuvai Ratnadurai

    Courtesy: Tamil Web Radio
  • more ...
  • 172) 21:39 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + War not over until normalcy returns
    In the view of the people on the peninsula, the war is not over, the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce (JCC) told a group of Colombo businessmen Tuesday. The JCC stressed that until life returned to normal for Jaffna civilians, entrepreneurs from other parts of the island should not rush to exploit the lack of facilities on the peninsula. more ...
  • 173) 18:49 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Tamil Canadian Wireless researcher on the move
    The research that could enable others to roam with their high-speed connected laptops, has also taken Dr. Mathini Sellathurai around the world. The 2002 NSERC Doctoral Prize winner grew-up in Point Pedro, a town of 3000 people in northern Sri Lanka. However, she earned her Technical Licentiate degree in electrical engineering from a hot-bed for wireless technologies, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. "I got my independent thinking in Sweden. They give a lot of freedom to their students," Sellathurai says. Wanting to join her husband at McMaster University, she emigrated to Canada in 1998 to begin her doctoral studies. Dr. Sellathurai, currently a research scientist with the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa, is extending her research in ways to increase information transmission capacity in both satellite and wireless communications systems. more ...
  • 174) 17:29 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + World Tamil conference in Madurai on May 2
    The International Tamil Integration Society will conduct its silver jubilee celebrations and its fifth world conference in Madurai from May 2 to 5. Addressing a news conference in Chennai, the society's founder Dr V M Sethuraman said that about 600 Tamil scholars across the country and abroad would take part in the four-day conference, which would begin with a rally of Tamil scholars in Madurai. Stating that the theme of the conference would be 'The transformation of Tamil and Tamils towards the changing world,' he said the conference would take up several issues for discussion including modern thoughts of Tamils in ancient Tamil literature and achievements of Tamils in computer, Internet and information technology, and pass resolutions. more ...
  • 175) 17:10 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Protest against Sri Lanka peace process
    In Sri Lanka, the main opposition parties have staged their first major public demonstration against Norway's attempts to broker peace in the island. The Buddhist clergy supports the Marxist JVP The public rally comes as the government is set to ease a ban on Tamil Tiger rebels and enter face-to-face negotiations arranged by Norway. more ...
  • 176) 17:00 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka president says neglect led to ethnic war
    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said on Tuesday her country had failed to build a pluralist state which resulted in one of the bloodiest ethnic wars in the world. "In Sri Lanka, we have faltered in the essential task of nation-building since independence... we have failed to address the issue of building a truly pluralist nation-state," Kumaratunga said at a lecture in the Indian capital.
  • Talks with LTTE on "one nation" theory basis more ...
  • 177) 13:42 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Muslims satisfied with LTTE assurances
    Karikalan, the LTTE area wing commander of Batticaloa - the Eastern Tiger stronghold of Sri Lanka and one time close ally of LTTE chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran - was a notable absentee at the Annai Boopathi death anniversary on April 19. The anniversary was regarded as the biggest LTTE celebration after the Pongu Thamil demonstration held in February this year. Instead of Karikalan, Visu, the new area commander appointed by the LTTE graced the occasion. The appointment of Visu as the area commander of Batticaloa was confirmed by the LTTE hierarchy last week. Prabhakaran at his press conference on April 10 revealed that Karikalan is being questioned about certain comments he had made to the international media over the past month about land rights of Muslims in the East, which put the LTTE leader in an embarrassing position at the press conference. more ...
  • 178) 13:30 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Lanka may revive ferry service
    Sri Lanka is planning to revive the ferry services on the Colombo to Tuticorin and Thalaimannar to Rameswaram routes, discontinued following LTTE violence in the island nation, according to the chairman, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Arjuna Mahendran. Ports and Shipping Minister Rauf Hakkim would visit New Delhi shortly to meet his Indian counterpart to discuss the project, which could be started by September, he said. Arjuna Mahendran was addressing Indian industrialists at a function here today as part of an investment promotion delegation from the island nation. more ...
  • 179) 01:15 GMT, Apr. 23, 2002 |  + Anti-peace demo flops
    A procession to the Temple Trees by some 150 Buddhist monks protesting against the Government's peace bid was foiled yesterday soon after it took off when the police barricaded the road near the Pettah bo tree. But monks staged a demonstration and protested against what they called "handing over North and East to Prabhakaran through the Interim Council". The march was organised by the National Bhikkhu Front (NBF). Though the organisers expected a participation of over 1000 monks, the attendance was far below expectations. Monks sat down on the Olcott Mawatha when the procession was prevented from proceeding. more ...
  • 180) 13:55 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Tigers say Colombo bent on war, call off ceasefire
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, stated that the organisation had decided not to extend its unilaterally declared cease-fire that expires at midnight on the 24th April 2001. "We are compelled to make this painful decision as a consequence of the hard-line, intransigent attitude of the Sri Lankan government which has not only refused to reciprocate positively to our peace gesture but intensified land, sea and air attacks causing heavy casualties on our side. It has become impossible to contain the military assaults of the enemy with our self-restrained defensive tactics without resorting to counter-offensive operations. Under such dangerous conditions we can no longer sustain our self-imposed truce which the enemy has been exploiting to its own military advantage", the LTTE's statement said. more ...
  • 181) 13:39 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka To Allow Press into Areas
    Sri Lanka said Sunday it will allow journalists into areas held by Tamil separatists following the wounding of an American reporter as she tried to return to government-held territory. However, the journalists will travel in the rebel-held territory at their own risk, said Ariya Rubasinghe, director of government information. ``Journalists can go, we have not debarred them, but they must be fully aware of and accept the risk to their lives,'' Rubasinghe said. more ...
  • 182) 12:36 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + UNP’s terms not acceptable, say Tamil parties
    TAMIL PARTIES say that the conditions put by the Opposition United National Party (UNP) for supporting the peace process are only meant to derail the effort to settle the ethnic question. UNP's leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had told the Norwegian Peace Envoy Erik Solheim in Oslo last week that his party would not support the peace process in the island if the government did not first set up independent commissions to conduct elections and govern the public service, the judiciary and the police in Sri Lanka. more ...
  • 183) 12:35 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Indian-made patrol vessels a liability for Lankan Navy
    EVEN AS the LTTE is landing lethal supplies on the north eastern coast with impunity, an ultra modern Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) sold to the Sri Lankan navy by India recently is lying idle in the island's peaceful western and southern seas. It is said to be patrolling the Colombo-Galle stretch which is under no threat from the LTTE. The reason — the OPV's safety in the volatile north eastern sector cannot be guaranteed in the absence of a fleet of escort vessels. As on date, Sri Lanka has no money to buy escort vessels. more ...
  • 184) 11:25 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Whither Peace
    The Action Group Of Tamils (TAGOT) cannot help but be amused by the peace soap opera. Apologists for Sinhalese chauvinism are playing "discover the Tamils". For instance, Sinhalese "liberals"(reportedly sponsored by the European Union) transported Sinhalese journalists and activists to Jaffna City. They are to report back to the Sinhalese-majority South-West on "what Tamils want" - in supposed contrast to the position of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) - and on life in the NEP in general. It is another subversive ploy in the long list of impotent attempts to drive a political wedge between the Tamil people and the LTTE. This too will bite the dust. more ...
  • 185) 10:56 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka to get $270 mln tied to IMF loan
    Sri Lanka will receive an additional $270 million from international donor institutions and countries linked to an International Monetary Fund standby loan announced at the weekend, a central bank official said on Monday. "They are coming with almost $270 million from other donors like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other bilateral donors like Germany, Japan and Britain," said A.G. Karunasena, director of research at the central bank. He said the IMF, which announced a $253-million standby facility on Saturday, preferred to play a catalytic role and the presence of other donors signified an endorsement of the economic reform policies of the government. more ...
  • 186) 10:53 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Sri Lankan To Permit Journalists Into Tamil Areas
    The government won't restrict journalists from entering northern Tamil Tiger rebel-held areas but won't account for any injury or loss of life, a senior government official said Sunday. "Journalists can go, we have not debarred them, but they must be fully aware of and accept the risk to their lives," Ariya Rubasinghe, director of government information, told the Associated Press. Rubasinghe also said the government couldn't provide protection for journalists undertaking such assignments or secure consent to enter territory held by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels. "They must settle it themselves with the terrorists because we have no say over matters on their side," he said. more ...
  • 187) 10:39 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Catholic bishops to go to Vavuniya, Tamil parties say Govt. not interested in peace
    Tamil political parties in Colombo
    SL Government is on the war path !
    (courtesy of photo: Reuters)
    are meeting the Bishops Monday in a bid to persuade them to urge the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to come to the negotiating table to find a solution to the ethnic conflict. Reacting to Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake's reported statement that war was the only solution to the ethnic problem, a Tamil party leader said ''it is amply clear that the government is not interested in peace negotiations. The Prime Minister's belligerence shows that the government is on the warpath again.'' more ...
  • 188) 21:28 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + LTTE calls off ceasefire
    In a major setback to the peace process in Sri Lanka, the LTTE called off its four-month-old unilateral ceasefire on Monday. The militant outfit had announced its ceasefire first on Christmas eve last year and extended it thrice until midnight Tuesday. While withdrawing the ceasefire, the Tamil Tigers said they remained committed to peace and would continue to cooperate with Norway's peace initiative to reach a political settlement to the 'Tamil national conflict'. Describing the Christmas-eve truce announcement as a 'gesture of peace and goodwill', the LTTE said the Chandrika Kumaratunga government had rejected it as a 'political stunt' and continued its offensive operations. The rebel group was bitter about the role of the 'international community, particularly the US, Britain, India and European nations in not utilising their influence to get Sri Lanka to reciprocate the ceasefire declaration." more ...
  • 189) 21:14 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + LTTE withdraws ceasefire
    The LTTE announced today it would not extend a unilateral ceasefire that will end midnight Tuesday as it had become a ``futile exercise'' with Sri Lanka's refusal to reciprocate it. But it promised continued support to Norway's bid to facilitate peace talks with the Government. It added that the LTTE remained ``seriously committed'' to peacefully resolving the conflict and would ``continue to support and co-operate in every possible way'' with Oslo to this end. A bitter line was reserved for the rest of the international community, which, ``instead of commending (the LTTE's) peace offensive'' and persuading Sri Lanka to reciprocate, had ``imposed proscription and other restrictions'' against it. The military said it was prepared for any eventuality and pulled out its own list of complaints. ``They have already violated their own ceasefire 220 times, so it will not make any difference to us. We were maintaining a high level of alertness, because we did not believe them,'' said the military spokesman, Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne. more ...
  • 190) 18:15 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Tigers end Sri Lanka truce, slam foreign governments
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said they would end their one-sided ceasefire on Tuesday and accused government forces of killing more than 160 of their cadres during the four-month, self-imposed truce. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) also Monday launched a scathing attack against the US, Britain, European nations and neighbouring India for not pressuring the Sri Lankan government to reciprocate the unilateral truce. The LTTE pulled out of its one-sided ceasefire amid reports signalled a massive setback to Norway's attempts to broker peace in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's defence ministry said the LTTE's withdrawal of the truce would not make a substantial difference in the battle field and accused the guerrillas of violating their own ceasefire. "The ceasefire of the LTTE did not make any difference to us," ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. more ...
  • 191) 18:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + Lankan Navy abducts Indian fishermen
    Eight Indian fishermen were abducted by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel in the Palk Straits off Jegadapattinam coast in Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu, yesterday. Police said 10 fishermen, hailing from Arcot Thurai, near Vedaranyam, ventured into the sea in two mechanised boats and were engaged in fishing between Jegadapattinam and Tuticorin coast when the Lankan Navy personnel intercepted and abducted them along with their vessels. more ...
  • 192) 15:09 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + LTTE's Ceasefire Comes to an End; Sri Lanka's Hardline Position Blamed
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, stated that the organisation had decided not to extend its unilaterally declared cease-fire that expires at midnight on the 24th April 2001. "We are compelled to make this painful decision as a consequence of the hard-line, intransigent attitude of the Sri Lankan government which has not only refused to reciprocate positively to our peace gesture but intensified land, sea and air attacks causing heavy casualties on our side. It has become impossible to contain the military assaults of the enemy with our self-restrained defensive tactics without resorting to counter-offensive operations. Under such dangerous conditions we can no longer sustain our self-imposed truce which the enemy has been exploiting to its own military advantage", the LTTE's statement declared.
    Also: Tamil Tigers Extend Ceasefire with Stern Warning to Sri Lanka - 22nd March 2001 more ...
  • 193) 10:31 GMT, Apr. 23, 2001 |  + STF assaults widow for reporting sexual harassment
    A widow who reported sexual harassment a group Special Task Force (STF) commandos was severely assaulted by them and was admitted to the Batticaloa hospital Sunday morning. The woman, Mahendran Nageswary, 37, Saturday complained to an officer at the STF’s main camp at Karaithivu, 46 kilometres south of Batticaloa, that a group of STF commandos from Kaluwanchikudy were harassing her. The woman was beaten up by the STF personnel who had been intimidating when she returned home Saturday evening. The commandos beat up woman’s son too when he had tried to help his mother who had fallen on the ground unconscious, hospital sources said. more ...
  • 194) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1999 |  + India - Now, coalition blues?
    No details available. more ...
  • 195) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1999 |  + Germany Donates US $ 400,000 to UNHCR project for displaced persons
    No details available. more ...
  • 196) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1999 |  + Troubled times for Sri Lankan parties
    No details available. more ...
  • 197) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1999 |  + Jaffna census: counting may show reduced population
    No details available. more ...
  • 198) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1999 |  + Human Rights court orders release of LTTE sympathiser
    No details available. more ...
  • 199) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1999 |  + The island of hope abandoned
    No details available. more ...
  • 200) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1999 |  + The military ensnared in the web of politics
    No details available. more ...
  • 201) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1998 |  + Sri Lanka troops dig in amid sporadic clashes
    No details available. more ...
  • 202) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1998 |  + S.Lankan soldiers told to stop mass Tamil arrests
    No details available. more ...
  • 203) 11:11 GMT, Apr. 23, 1998 |  + Sri Lankan panel says at least sixteen missing Tamils were killed
    No details available. more ...
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