1) Jan 23, 2015 14:04:54 GMT | + Double Tax Avoidance Deal With Sri Lanka Proposed
Fiji has proposed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Sri Lanka. The Fijian Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, confirming this said a draft agreement will be sent to Sri Lanka to initiate the discussions. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum met with the Sri Lankan Minister for External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera this week. The meeting discussed issues that will lead to improved bilateral relations. “Enhancing trade and investment between two countries was one of the key issues that were discussed,” he said. “The South-East Asian region is experiencing economic growth and high commercial activity.
2) Jan 23, 2015 14:02:53 GMT | + New York Times columnist advises how to protect pro-US government in Sri Lanka
An op-ed column entitled “Helping Sri Lanka’s New Democracy” in the New York Times on Monday went further, offering advice to the White House on how to entrench Sirisena and thereby protect American interests. It was written by Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University and adviser to the US State Department. Goodman’s promotion of the Sirisena government as “Sri Lanka’s new democracy” is utterly false. Sirisena’s election win was the outcome of a carefully engineered regime-change operation, backed by Washington and its allies, to exploit widespread hostility to the autocratic government of President Mahinda Rajapakse.
3) Jan 23, 2015 13:40:43 GMT | + The Gov’t of Sri Lanka Responds to my NYT Op-Ed on U.S. War Crimes Probe of ex-Defense Secretary - Ryan Goodman
The government of Sri Lanka’s Justice Deputy Minister has responded to an Op-Ed that I published in the New York Times in which I described the reasons that the United States can and should pursue a criminal investigation of U.S. citizen and ex-Defense Secretary of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Importantly, Mr. Rajapaksa may also be liable under other federal laws if he committed tax evasion, obstruction of justice, or immigration fraud (see an earlier post for how each of those provisions might apply in his case).
4) Jan 23, 2015 11:25:56 GMT | + Election night coup What really happend?
Although the credibility of these allegations or the specific details of this alleged plot - if true - are yet to be revealed, the politicians of the new interim government state that all measures were set to implement the plan under the directions of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, the former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya. They also state the alleged coup attempt was thwarted by the Attorney General Yuvanjan Wijeyathilake, the IGP and the Elections Commissioner, who stood against the plan and thereby saved the country from being pushed towards an unprecedented carnage by the wee hours of January 9 - a claim that has neither been acknowledged nor denied by any of these officials so far.
5) Jan 23, 2015 11:24:09 GMT | + Seychelles is ‘open to assist’ Sri Lanka with Rajapaksa money-laundering investigation
6) Jan 23, 2015 11:19:38 GMT | + Sri Lanka Premier Wickremesinghe: ‘Huge Challenge’ Ahead
The government of Seychelles has said it will assist with all formal requests for an investigation into the assets of Sri Lanka’s former president. The Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said this in a press statement released yesterday after reports surfaced recently in the Sri Lankan media that the country’s newly-inaugurated President Maithripala Sirisena’s government would be pursuing an investigation against former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in connection with allegations of stolen assets hidden in the Seychelles. “The allegations made against our financial services sector are unfounded,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Paul Adam, who said that Seychelles’ priority was to continue to build on the partnership between the two Indian Ocean island nations. more ...
Over the next several months, Messrs. Sirisena and Wickremesinghe have pledged to amend Sri Lanka’s constitution to strip the presidency of many of its executive powers and move toward a parliamentary system with a prime minister as the head of government. Mr. Wickremesinghe said he is confident Sri Lankans are ready for a different kind of politics. During the election campaign, Mr. Rajapaksa’s camp argued that weakening the power of the presidency would “mean chaos.” But, he said: “When people see us implementing our program, that myth will be shattered.”
7) Jan 23, 2014 18:03:46 GMT | + Governance In Northern Province Of Sri Lanka: Stresses And Strains – Analysis
8) Jan 23, 2014 18:02:08 GMT | + Indian fishermen can't fish near Katchathivu, Centre tells HC
CV Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province of Sri Lanka has lamented in a recent public speech on January 10, organized by a Colombo-based think tank that Colombo is not appreciative of the essence of issues of governance in his province. The Chief Minister has opined that Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is hindering governance in the northern province and that post-war context demands a different approach to governance.1 Wigneswaran has further highlighted that militarization is affecting resettlement of the internally displaced Tamils, the SLA has taken over private land and even agricultural activities and as a result “locals have to purchase produce from their own land cultivated by Army”. more ...
9) Jan 23, 2014 18:00:05 GMT | + Authorities step in to reunite Elina with dad
Sri Lanka's sovereignty over the island of Katchativu is a settled matter and fishermen from India do not enjoy any right to indulge in fishing activities in the region, the Centre informed the Madras high court on Thursday. In counter-affidavit, filed in response to a PIL seeking a direction to retrieve the island ceded to Sri Lanka by two agreements in 1974 and 1976, the Centre categorically said: "As far as the government of India is concerned, the issue of the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka and, consequently, that of sovereignty over Katchativu island is a settled issue". more ...
10) Jan 23, 2014 17:55:09 GMT | + Chance meeting with musician five years ago put newcomer to Canada on path to self-discovery
The authorities in Dubai have stepped up their efforts to reunite little Elina with her father Chris after reading about her plight in XPRESS even as offers to help the five-year-old keeps pouring from all corners every day. “We have taken up this case and moved it to the Department of Children’s and Women’s Protection of Dubai Police. We are trying our best to safeguard the child during this time of her crisis,” Captain Mohammad Nagi Alolaqi, Head of Cases Affairs Section, General Department of Human Rights, Dubai Police, told XPRESS on Wednesday. more ...
11) Jan 23, 2014 17:53:54 GMT | + Sri Lanka regrets pressure from UNHRC resolutions
For RasTamils' vocalist/guitarist Franklin Fernando, reggae has been more than just music. It's been a lifeline. Five years ago, Fernando, then a 17-year-old newcomer from Sri Lanka who dabbled in folk music and not much else, met Rasta percussionist Martin Valach at a late-night outdoor drum jam. "He had these crazy long dreadlocks and I just went up to him and started chatting," Fernando recalls. It was Canada Day 2009, and Fernando's life changed. Valach took him under his wing and turned him on to reggae, educating him on the history of the genre and the nuances within it. more ...
The Sri Lankan government Thursday said it is not being treated fairly and regretted excessive pressure being exerted by repeated resolutions in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. A US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to be submitted to the council in March seeking support for an international investigation into alleged war crimes committed during the final stages of the war between the government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels, Xinhua reported. Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said that such resolutions were counterproductive because of their polarising effect, according to the external affairs ministry.
12) Jan 23, 2014 13:36:16 GMT | + US Ambassador Sison's Remarks at Nagakovil
13) Jan 23, 2014 13:25:56 GMT | + China-Sri Lanka FTA feasibility to be finalized in March
This event is all about “people to people”! These fishing boats are a gift from the U.S. people to the people of Nagakovil. My team and I are so happy to be here with you! Of course, the conflict was still on. Times were very difficult for the communities of the north. The war ended seven years later in 2009, but even today, many remain displaced, unable to return home due to issues related to durable housing, unresolved land and property issues, and of course the need for sustainable livelihoods. more ...
The feasibility study on the highly-anticipated Sri Lanka-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is underway and due to be completed by March with eventual signing of the deal slated for before end 2014, an official said here on Thursday. The progress towards what would be a landmark agreement was revealed by Wang Yingqi, commercial counsellor of the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka, at a forum promoting ceramics from China.
14) Jan 23, 2014 13:20:37 GMT | + Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu government release fishermens' boats
As part of mutual agreement between India and Sri Lanka ahead of next week meeting of fishermen's associations from both countries, Colombo has released 30 mechanised boats of Indian fishermen, Tamil Nadu Government said today. This includes a local court in Colombo today ordering the release of 15 such boats held by Lankan authorities, an official release in Chennai said. "Similarly, Tamil Nadu government has ordered release of 11 boats of Sri Lankan fishermen today," it said.
15) Jan 23, 2014 12:09:58 GMT | + Refugee claims hit ‘historic low’ as Ottawa’s policy faces fresh criticism
16) Jan 23, 2014 9:57:14 GMT | + Lalith Weeratunga in US
The number of people claiming refugee status in Canada reached what Ottawa calls a “historic low” in 2013 after it brought in changes to speed up the program by deterring applicants from safer countries. The changes remain unpopular with refugee advocates who say valid claims are being brushed aside. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has also lashed out at Ontario, one of many provinces continuing to provide health care for claimants who Ottawa says want to “game the system.” more ...
17) Jan 23, 2013 20:20:18 GMT | + ‘What the f**k Malaysia’ ignites protest
Ahead of the March session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, who is in charge of the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the Recommendations by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), was to leave for the United States (US) yesterday to brief the leaders of that country on the developments here. more ...
18) Jan 23, 2013 17:52:48 GMT | + Ontario teacher protest: Liberals repeals Bill 115
Tempers flared and the Sri Lankan national flag was ripped to pieces by a group of angry protesters this morning who demanded an apology from the deputy high commissioner who had apparently insulted Malaysia. Armed with placards, the protesters, who gathered outside the high commission here, claimed that on Dec 27, Sunil Vikramesing had chased a group of protesters from the commission’s grounds and uttered the words: “What the f**k Malaysia and f**k constitution.” more ...
The Ontario government officially repealed Bill 115 early Wednesday morning, a move the teacher unions have called “meaningless.” It is not expected to have any effect on the ongoing tensions with public elementary and high school teachers and extracurricular activities will not resume.Teachers unions have said they are waiting to see who the Liberals choose as their leader this weekend and how that person deals with the ongoing education turmoil, before any decision is made on extracurricular activities.
19) Jan 23, 2013 17:40:15 GMT | + Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam to be banned in Tamil Nadu
20) Jan 23, 2013 13:22:50 GMT | + Post impeachment scenario
The Tamil Nadu government has decided to ban the screening of actor-producer Kamal Haasan's film Vishwaroopam in the state till further orders. Highly placed sources in the government told NDTV "district collectors have been orally instructed to pass appropriate orders and to make sure advance booking is stopped". The Rs. 95 crore film, Kamal Haasan's most expensive ever, was slated for release this Friday on around 500 screens in Tamil Nadu alone. more ...
All oppositional groups, who do not agree at least on implementation of the LLRC Report recommendations, are indirectly helping the ideology of the regime. The man in charge of implementing the LLRC recommendations - Mohan Peiris, appointed as the country’s new Chief Justice, is the latest actor to enter the impeachment drama. His will be the most controversial selection to this high office. Already Sinhala extremists are upset about his background. But he has served the Mahinda regime in the recent past in a manner that cannot be surpassed by any Sinhala Buddhist extremist!
21) Jan 23, 2013 13:20:07 GMT | + Foreign Policy And Domestic Stability In Sri Lanka – Analysis
It is beyond dispute that Sri Lanka’s three decade conflict was externalised due to a combination of factors, ranging from the presence of an active expatriate community abroad; the involvement of foreign facilitators in the peace process; and the presence of foreign peacekeeping forces in 1987. By the end of the war, Sri Lanka was placed well within significant cynosure of the international radar. Such international attention has spilled over into the country’s post-war phase as well, but this time taking on a new meaning.
22) Jan 23, 2013 13:17:02 GMT | + Sri Lanka’s systematic cleansing of ethnic Tamils at the worst
Sinhalese settlers in Paduvaankarai area in Batticaloa district have been illegally grabbing pasture lands with the nod from Colombo’s ruling party honchos. Cattle farm owners have told Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians that if this seizure of lands continue, about 20 to 25 thousand acres of lands would soon be taken away illegally leading in turn to elect a Sinhalese parliamentarian from the district.
23) Jan 23, 2013 13:14:13 GMT | + Sri Lanka govt Web sites hit in spate of attacks
acker Davy Jones breaches government sites, including that of Sri Lanka Port Authority site, Bureau of Foreign Employment, and those of two local TV stations. A hacker on Tuesday breached the Web site of Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA), and also attacked and leaked the Web sites of two Sri Lankan TV channels and the Bureau of Foreign Employment over the last weekend. Over the weekend, the same hacker breached the Web sites of two Sri Lankan TV Channels, Rupavahini TV and One SriLanka, and the Bureau of Foreign Employment site, according to a separate report on E Hacking News.
24) Jan 23, 2013 13:12:14 GMT | + Sri Lanka lawyers to boycott chief justice ceremony
The main association of lawyers in Sri Lanka has said it will boycott the inauguration of the government's newly appointed chief justice. Mohan Peiris has already been sworn in but the official ceremony is due to take place on Wednesday. His predecessor, Shirani Bandaranayake, was removed from the post two days after being impeached over allegations of financial and official misconduct.
25) Jan 23, 2013 13:10:46 GMT | + ‘Sri Lanka not averse to constitutional changes’
The Sri Lankan government on Thursday said it was not averse to changing the constitution. “We have noted the building of public opinion on the need to change”, Keheliya Rambukwella, the Minister of Information told reporters. “This whole process (of impeachment) has generated several views. Many seek to strengthen Parliament as well as the judiciary,” Mr. Rambukwella added. Mr. Rambukwella said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had received legal views which may lead to constitutional changes.
26) Jan 23, 2013 13:05:37 GMT | + Tamil Canadians Honour Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair With `Leaders For Change Award’
27) Jan 23, 2012 18:57:33 GMT | + Former Tigers 'threatened' in north
Political leaders, including Ontario Liberal leadership front-runner Sandra Pupatello, MPs, MPPs and community leaders attended the sixth annual dinner of the Canadian Tamil Congress held at the Hilton in Markham at the weekend. The gala also coincided with Thai Pongal – ritual thanksgiving to the Sun God by the Tamil community for bountiful harvest.The highlight of the event was that Toronto Police chief Bill Blair was honoured for his leadership and `tremendous service to the people of Toronto.’ more ...
28) Jan 23, 2012 18:55:49 GMT | + Sri Lanka’s defence secretary targets workers and youth
The military in Sri Lanka is constantly threatening former Tamil Tigers who were released in the north following rehabilitation, to stay away from political activities, local politicians say. The former combatants are particularly told by military not to engage with the Peoples Struggle Movement (PSM), Velvettithurai Urban Councillor MK Sivajilingam told BBC Sandeshaya. "This is a denial of their political rights," he said. PSM is a breakaway group of Janatha Vimkuthi Peramuna (JVP). more ...
29) Jan 23, 2012 14:44:16 GMT | + Sri Lanka: No Progress on Justice
The defence secretary declared that Sri Lanka was a “democratic nation” but lectured workers and youth not to exercise their democratic rights to defend their interests. In reality, Sri Lanka remains a police state. All the anti-democratic powers that were employed during the war—including arbitrary arrest and detention without trial—remain in force despite the formal ending of the country’s state of emergency. Thousands of Tamil youth remain in custody without charge, two years after the end of the war. more ...
30) Jan 23, 2012 14:43:19 GMT | + Activists “Stop Silva’s Report Justify Sinhala Genocide of Eelam Tamils in 5/09”
The Sri Lankan government in the past year failed to advance justice and accountability for the victims of the country’s 26-year-long civil conflict, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2012. While Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north and east became more open, the government deepened repression of basic freedoms throughout the country. The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa continued to stall on accountability for abuses by the security forces, threatened media and civil society groups, and largely ignored complaints of insecurity and land grabbing in the north and east, Human Rights Watch said. more ...
Genocide is the most heinous crime the modern world had known and the whole universe abhors it. Socrates, a well known Greek philosopher and the originator of Western philosophy, believed “No evil can happen to a good man, neither in life nor after death”. But good men were since then subjected to inhuman treatment and genocide contravening this adage. It was Hitler in the second World War who used the most modern methods of cruel warfare and barbaric methods to exterminate the European Jews for the simple reason that they belonged to a particular ethic group which he thought was inferior to the ? Aryan Germans.
31) Jan 23, 2012 14:42:00 GMT | + Exclusive Interview with Karen Parker, JD
32) Jan 23, 2012 14:40:06 GMT | + Lanka resorts to stone attack; should we take Katchatheevu back? 2
Karen Parker, J.D., is an International Human Rights Lawyer and a member of the Advisory Committee in the TGTE. Charles Devasagayam interviewed her in Toronto on Dec 18, 2011. She explained about the TGTE’s progress and elaborated the difficult situation the Tamils are facing under the Sri Lankan and geopolitical context. She says that the Tamils are under the same type of oppression that led to the armed conflict in the first place and shed light on how the three major powers, China, Russia and India are shaping up the future of Sri Lanka. more ...
33) Jan 23, 2012 13:50:16 GMT | + Sexual abuse of another foreign woman down south
The weird stone barrage by the Sri Lankan Navy on Tamil fishermen from Rameshwaram near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) on Saturday, brings forth a vexed issue that seems to perpetually escape resolution. At stake are the lives and livelihoods of thousands of fisher-folk in Tamil Nadu. That the latest attack happened barely a few days after foreign minister SM Krishna took up with Sri Lanka this sensitive issue, clearly indicates the inflexibility of the Sri Lankan authorities and the helplessness of the local fishing community. more ...
34) Jan 23, 2012 13:37:41 GMT | + Sri Lanka reconciliation, secular republics in focus at writers' meet
Netherlands Embassy First Secretary Jaco Beerends said, “The sexual abuse of a female Dutch national at a guest house in Matara can be considered a ‘terrible’ incident and the authorities must act upon any incident that concerns the safety of tourists arriving in the country.” “One such incident can create a huge impact, as safety is the important factor for a tourist on vacation, and we are concerned of the safety of Dutch nationals,” he said. Mr. Beerends said there will be no change in the travel advisory, as this is an isolated incident. more ...
Building a secular state can prevent oppression of minorities and victims of an arbitrary state should learn to forgive but must also speak out for change, writers participating in a literary festival in Sri Lanka said. Majority voting made it easy for rulers to gain power and pass unjust laws, riding on the majority religion or language. Classical liberals in both economic and political thought in those countries were overshadowed by nationalist voices and interventionists.
35) Jan 23, 2012 11:32:11 GMT | + RIM's Balsillie, Lazaridis resign
36) Jan 23, 2012 11:30:23 GMT | + Canada: More than 50,000 federal jobs on chopping block as Ottawa trims spending
Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the co-chief executives of Research In Motion Ltd., have stepped down as heads of the Waterloo, Ont.-based technology company. According to a news release issued Sunday, RIM's board of directors unanimously named former chief operating officer Thorsten Heins as president and CEO on the advice of Balsillie and Lazaridis. "There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership," Lazaridis said. "Jim and I went to the board and told them that we thought that time was now." more ...
More than 50,000 federal jobs could disappear by the time the Conservatives are finished their budget-cutting, with the resulting loss of services being felt most by aboriginals, seniors, low-income earners and other vulnerable Canadians, an Ottawa think tank predicts. The report says few cuts are expected among RCMP and military forces. And border security operations, correctional services and intelligence gathering are likely to be exempt from cuts given the Conservatives’ priorities, the report says.
37) Jan 23, 2012 11:02:03 GMT | + Ground being prepared for int’l war crimes probe
38) Jan 23, 2012 10:57:41 GMT | + Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence sells port stake to China Merchants
In the run-up to the Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva next month, those pushing for an international war crimes inquiry targeting Sri Lanka are stepping up pressure, with a key member of UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts (PoE) on accountability in Sri Lanka, Prof. Steven Ratner reiterating the demand for an international investigation. Last week, US national Ratner in his address to a gathering of diplomats and representatives of several NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in Geneva, emphasized the need to go ahead with an international inquiry, regardless of Sri Lanka’s stiff resistance. more ...
Sri Lankan conglomerate Aitken Spence on Monday said it is selling its 30 percent stake in a $500 million port expansion joint venture to Hong Kong-based China Merchants Holdings. Earlier this month, Spence pulled out of the joint venture with the state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and China Merchants Holdings due to high costs and unreasonable demands, officials have said. Aitken Spence in a statement to the Colombo Stock Exchange said Sri Lanka's Board of Investment and the SLPA had approved the sale to China Merchant. The company did not disclose how much it was to be paid.
39) Jan 23, 2012 10:55:10 GMT | + Senate cannot be substitute for police and land powers – TNA
40) Jan 23, 2012 2:54:50 GMT | + Missing ITAK representative in Jaffna under ‘investigation’ in Colombo
The Senate proposed by the government as a solution would be complementary and not a substitute for land and police powers, the Tamil National Alliance said yesterday. "Our position has been patently and abundantly clear on the national question; the Senate proposed by the government which says it goes beyond the 13th Amendment could be complementary, but it is not a substitute," TNA Leader and Trincomalee District MP R. Sampanthan told. more ...
The organizer of Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) in Jaffna city and a former representative of Jaffna University Student Union, Mr. Arnold, has been reported missing after being invited to Colombo by a person yet to be identified. Arnold has been allegedly abducted and subjected to investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lankan Police in Colombo, informed circles in Jaffna said.
41) Jan 23, 2012 2:53:41 GMT | + TNA should use its Tamil national mandate: Bishop of Mannaar
The aim of the Tamil civil groups’ memorandum dated 13 December 2011 and addressed to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was in fact to strengthen the Tamil national polity and its democratically mandated representatives. It was not meant to weaken the TNA. There is a mandate given by the people to the TNA about continuing talks with the SL government and that the TNA in its course of action should stick to its mandate is the thrust of the memorandum, clarified the Bishop of Mannaar, Most Reverend Rayappu Joseph, in a press release issued on last Monday on behalf of the civil society signatories of the memorandum.
42) Jan 23, 2012 2:38:23 GMT | + Fishermen attacked by Sri Lankan navy
It seems diplomacy does not hold strong for even a week between India and Sri Lanka. External affairs minister S.M. Krishna raised the issue of attacks on Indian fishermen with authorities in Colombo during his four-day visit there last week. But news comes Sunday of four Tamil Nadu fishermen going missing and 200 boats being damaged allegedly by Sri Lankan navy personnel at the international maritime boundary line in Palk Strait.
43) Jan 23, 2012 2:34:42 GMT | + Chief ministers express mixed sentiments on “13 plus”
In the wake of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assurance to India that powers would be devolved beyond the 13th Amendment, various chief ministers expressed mixed sentiments on the matter. Shan Wijeyalal Silva, the chief minister of the Southern Provincial Council, said yesterday that powers should not be devolved to appease a single community. He said that it should be done to meet the aspirations of all communities. He said that the chief ministers could provide an effective service to the people with the existing powers.
44) Jan 23, 2011 17:48:50 GMT | + TAG to file civil case against Rajapakse in Texas Federal Court
Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group advocating criminal legal action worldwide against Sri Lanka's alleged war-criminals, said in a press release issued today, that TAG's attorney is filing civil action against visiting Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse for damages under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA/TVPA) on behalf of three plaintiffs for the killings of 40,000 civilians in Mullaiththeevu in 2009, killing of 5 Trincomalee students in January 2006, and for the killing of 17 Action contre la faim (ACF) workers in August 2006. As calls to apprehend, investigate and prosecute Mahinda Rajapakse by rights organizations, US Congresspersons and diaspora Tamils have escalated, European Tamil diaspora youth are mobilizing protests in front of US embassies against Rajapakse's visit to the U.S.
45) Jan 23, 2011 17:37:33 GMT | + Choice of Sri Lankan envoy is questioned
AUSTRALIA is under pressure because of a war crimes controversy to reject Sri Lanka's choice of a senior military commander, a former Sri Lankan navy chief, Thisara Samarasingheas its next top envoy in Canberra. But the Herald understands Foreign Affairs - which must decide if it will accept the nomination - sees the appointment as ''problematic'' for Australia amid calls for a United Nations investigation into human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Tamil community leaders in Australia have demanded that the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, reject the nomination in protest at Sri Lanka's refusal to allow an international war crimes tribunal.
46) Jan 23, 2011 17:34:28 GMT | + India asks Sri Lanka to probe fisherman's killing
India Sunday strongly condemned the tragic killing of another Indian fisherman allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy personnel and asked Colombo to investigate the latest incident a day earlier and ensure that it is not repeated. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna expressed the Indian government's 'strong and unequivocal condemnation of this violent incident' and conveyed his deep sympathies to the family of the deceased.
47) Jan 23, 2011 12:56:25 GMT | + Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam urges United States to investigate Mahinda Rajapaksa!
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) urged the United States to investigate Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who arrived on a surprise visit to the United States, for his role in perpetrating Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against Tamil civilians. TGTE also urged Eelam Tamils to actively participate in the demonstrations being held outside the White House & the State Department and outside US Embassies in many centers around the world, calling on the United States to investigate visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
48) Jan 23, 2011 1:18:31 GMT | + Controversial Judge Defends Human Rights At Stanford
49) Jan 23, 2010 21:48:21 GMT | + The contest for Sri Lanka's future
Goldstone turned to the conflict in Sri Lanka and said both the government and their opponents, the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), committed war crimes. Yet the UN Human Rights Council didn’t investigate because China considered it to be an internal matter. He expressed disappointment that “Tamil children were ignored and not cared about like children in Kosovo and Gaza.” Without optimism, Goldstone opined that “the resolve of the Human Rights Council will be tested in the coming weeks regarding Burma.” more ...
50) Jan 23, 2010 21:46:31 GMT | + What if Mahinda wins?
Pitting the president against a former general, the contest between the two frontrunners in Sri Lanka's presidential election has shaped up to be a battle of political heavyweights. In one corner for the January 26 vote is Mahinda Rajapaksa - the incumbent president who ordered the destruction of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels. In the other corner is the man who made that vision a reality - retired General Sarath Fonseka. Eight months after the final defeat of the Tigers, the former partners in war are very much enemies in peace. more ...
Nobody is going to change his mind at this late stage, so today I intend to forget about canvassing the relative merits of different candidates. It’s time to brace for some other eventualities. I am one among many - well over 50% of the population I believe - who wants regime change. The residual echoes of war victory, and the malignant dark-side of a regime which cares not a penny for the law, make the latter a possible outcome - within 50:50 plus-minus 5%. There has been flagrant abuse of state resources, property and funds and oceans of newsprint have had zero effect on the guardians and servants of the public; hence the odds have become close.
51) Jan 23, 2010 21:44:01 GMT | + President Scoffs At Dublin Verdict
President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week scoffed at the explosive judgment delivered recently by a Dublin based International Tribunal which found the Sri Lankan Government, its military and aligned paramilitary groups guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war. At a meeting he had with editors of several weekend newspapers at his official residence in Kandy last Wednesday, in response to a question raised by The Sunday Leader Rajapaksa dismissed the war crimes tribunal and its findings – insisting they were unimportant and insignificant.
52) Jan 23, 2010 21:43:20 GMT | + Corrupt politicos would have the door open to Welikada - Fonseka
The Common Opposition Candidate Gen Sarath Fonseka says he will win the election by a ten per cent lead. “If the election is held today, I will win” he says. But he cautions that that there is an organized attempt to rig the election island-wide, and especially in the Jaffna peninsula, where recent transfers of military top brass have raised suspicions. Gen Fonseka spoke to Ranga Jayasuriya on a gamut of issues ranging from his campaign promises, president’s duplicity, purported anxieties of an Idi Amin in the making, to the alleged agreement with the Tamil National Alliance.
53) Jan 23, 2010 21:39:26 GMT | + As E-Day nears, both candidates confident
Speeding northwards through the highways of the west coast, veering inland to the central hills and emerging in the deep south ahead of the Presidential polls lay bare an array of new political tides and trends. If the cutouts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa are ubiquitous in most towns, there are also those, much fewer in number though, of Gen. (retd.) Sarath Fonseka. They stand testimony to the ineffectiveness of the orders issued by the Commissioner of Elections. Police have not been successful in removing them though funds were made available for this task. This, no doubt, is just one of the flaws in an increasingly politically susceptible Police force.
54) Jan 23, 2010 20:46:29 GMT | + Can the new King of Sri Lanka bring deliverance to the Tamils?
From North to the South, West to the East, the skies of Sri Lanka are now filled with the empty and virtual deceptive promises of two desperate presidential candidates. While the Sri Lankan politicians are beating their drums, While the so called war heroes of the nation are busy launching mudslinging campaigns against each other, while the strategic think tanks with geopolitical interests are making last minute manoeuvres to influence the outcome of the election, while the local business leaders, industrialists and bankers are speculating the election results, Sri Lankan Tamils are still on their knees praying what they have always prayed "Deliver is from the evil one"
55) Jan 23, 2010 14:09:24 GMT | + Sri Lanka campaign enters final day
56) Jan 23, 2010 14:07:00 GMT | + Violence flares ahead of Sri Lankan vote
The final day of campaigning is taking place ahead of Sri Lanka's presidential election on Tuesday. Although the war in the north of the island is now over, the campaign in other parts of the island has become bitter, violent and personal. The two main candidates are both closely associated with the government's defeat of the Tamil Tigers last May. But now President Mahinda Rajapaksa and General Sarath Fonseka have fallen out bitterly. Groups monitoring the conduct of the campaign say there have been hundreds of violent incidents, resulting in four deaths and many more wounded. more ...
57) Jan 23, 2010 14:01:07 GMT | + Canadian Tamil Tiger supporter sentenced to 26 years in prison
In Sri Lanka, two well-known warhorses are neck and neck on the election track, and the smart money is staying in the punters' pockets. In the Tuesday vote, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who ordered the campaign that crushed the separatist Tamil Tigers last spring, is running against Sarath Fonseka, the general who led the campaign that ended the 26-year war. So far it's a race too close to call. Rajapaksa, once considered a Teflon candidate, planned to glide to victory in an early election, with support from the majority Sinhalese community. more ...
Satha Sarachandran was an unlikely international arms dealer. Quiet and studious, he was a software engineer who volunteered at a Toronto youth group. He had no criminal record. But in 2006, FBI agents caught the 30-year-old Canadian shopping for surface-to-air missiles in Long Island, New York, and Friday afternoon he was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Prosecutors are seeking 25- to 40-year sentences for two more Canadians, Sahilal Sabaratnam and Thiruthanikan Thanigasalam, when they appear in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Monday.
58) Jan 23, 2010 3:01:44 GMT | + Sri Lanka locked in dirtiest election for years as poll violence rises
59) Jan 23, 2010 2:41:12 GMT | + Displaced Tamils demand a better life
It was just before dawn yesterday when the bomb exploded in front of Tiran Alles’s villa in Colombo, signalling a new low in one of the dirtiest elections in Sri Lanka’s history. “Shocking,” Mr Alles, 49, told The Times as police examined the wreckage. “There’ll be more violence like this before polling day.” Until the Tamil Tigers’ defeat in May few would have doubted that the rebels were behind an attack like this on an ethnic Sinhalese businessman. This time, the finger of suspicion points in a different direction. more ...
60) Jan 23, 2010 2:37:55 GMT | + Promises pouring, will they deliver
For thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils there is only one issue that really matters in next week's presidential election - their rehabilitation after months in government-run camps. Some are struggling to come out of the shock of the war and prolonged internment in the camps. Even as the revised government target for re-settling all displaced Tamils before 31 January fast approaches, there is no word yet on when it will take place in other camps adjoining the towns of Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu. But for the 80,000 internally displaced people who still remain in camps, campaigning in Colombo seems to be very far away. more ...
When sugar price shot up from Rs. 90 to Rs. 105 last week a section of the people in the country silently rejoiced over it. They are the followers of the opposition political parties. On the other hand ruling party seemed to be cheerful when one of its supporters was shot dead allegedly by the supporters of the opposition. The state run TV stations repeatedly showed the bullet riddled wounds on the body of the victim. This is our politics. Sugar price hike would certainly be a burden on the people, which in turn, according to the opposition’s thinking would pit the ordinary people against the Government.
61) Jan 23, 2010 2:33:04 GMT | + 2 Canadians sentenced for attempting to arm Tamil Tigers
Two Canadian supporters of the Tamil Tigers were sentenced Friday to prison terms totalling 40 years in the United States for plotting to supply arms to the terrorist group. Nadarasa Yogarasa and Sathajhan Sarachandran both pleaded guilty last year to providing material support to terrorists. Sarachandran received a sentence of 26 years, while Yogarasa was handed a 14-year term Friday in a U.S. federal courtroom in Brooklyn, N.Y. Sarachandran, an unlikely international arms dealer — he was a software engineer who volunteered at a Toronto youth group.
62) Jan 23, 2009 23:35:51 GMT | + Caught between the Tigers and the tanks
63) Jan 23, 2009 23:28:53 GMT | + “Take steps to stop war in Sri Lanka today itself”
Every day, the women get up in the cool of early morning and walk a few kilometres north to the heavily fortified checkpoint that stands between them and their families. And every day a kindly staffer from the International Committee of the Red Cross tells them that they still cannot cross... United Nations officials say privately that the Sri Lankan military has indeed taken thousands of casualties. And while the government insists that no more than 1,000 or perhaps 2,000 Tiger fighters remain, senior staff with aid agencies and diplomatic missions (not permitted to speak on the record) say that the real figure may be as high as 40,000 of the most seasoned rebels and that the Tigers have brought their weaponry from across the northern territory with them into Mullaitivu. more ...
The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday made a “final appeal” to the Centre, urging it to take steps to stop the war in Sri Lanka “today itself.” Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who moved the resolution, said the ceasefire should be followed by a political solution to the ethnic conflict and permanent peace in the land of the Buddha. “I am moving the resolution expecting a positive outcome. If it fails to produce the desired effect, the DMK’s executive committee or general council will discuss the issue and take a decision,” he said.
64) Jan 23, 2009 23:25:54 GMT | + India, Co-Chairs backing war: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka said Friday its military offensive against the Tamil Tigers was supported by India and the Co-Chairs to the donor community – US, EU, Norway and Japan. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the Co-Chairs and Sri Lanka had a common objective of a speedy solution to the conflict. Meanwhile, Japan’s special envoy Yashushi Akashi, was quoted by the Defence Ministry as “expressing satisfaction at the efforts by the Sri Lanka Government to safeguard the civilian population in the north.” Almost a hundred civilians died this week in the military’s deliberate shelling of populated areas, including a ‘safe zone’ Colombo announced.
65) Jan 23, 2009 23:24:22 GMT | + Another attack on media
The free media still struggling to get over the blatant assassination of The Sunday Leader editor was shocked and shaken yet again when the Rivira newspaper editor Upali Tennakoon was attacked by unidentified goons yesterday. Mr. Tennakoon told police he was attacked by four people who forced him to stop his car soon after he left his house at Ihala Imbulgoda in Kadawatha with his wife. Mr. Tennakoon’s wife Dhammika told Daily Mirror they left their house at about 6:40 a.m. with her husband at the wheel when they were attacked on Yagoda Road close to the Tracmore Junction near their residence.
66) Jan 23, 2009 21:31:01 GMT | + CPI holds demo protesting India's 'aid' to Lanka
The CPI today staged a demonstration here accusing the Centre of providing economic and military aid to Sri Lanka for its offensive against the LTTE in the Northern parts of the island nation. CPI General Secretary D Raja MP, who led the demonstration, told reporters that Indian Navy was providing "vital" information to its Sri Lankan counterpart and by doing such things India was playing a part in Colombo's "war" against civilian Tamils and his party "strongly condemned" this attitude. "India should make efforts to not only ensure ceasefire but also a cordial atmosphere for the peaceful co-existence of Sinhalese and Tamil," he said.
67) Jan 23, 2009 12:42:36 GMT | + Fresh media attack in Sri Lanka
68) Jan 23, 2009 12:40:08 GMT | + Former US diplomats write to SL President
The editor of a Sri Lankan weekly newspaper and his wife have been assaulted in Colombo in the latest of a series of attacks on journalists. Reporters on the Rivira weekly say four men on motorcycles blocked Upali Tennakoon's car and attacked the couple with iron rods and other weapons. The pair are in a stable condition. The attack comes two weeks after top editor Lasantha Wickramatunga was shot dead. Meanwhile, fierce fighting continues as troops battle rebels in the north-east. more ...
Six former US ambassadors served in Colombo since 1989 have written a letter in their personal capacity to Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, expressing their deep concern about internal threats destabilizing ‘democracy’ in Sri Lanka. They were particularly upset over the assassination of the Editor of Sunday Leader, Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunge. "The civilized world has to appreciate these diplomats voicing for a bold, sane and humane journalist," said a political commentator based in Colombo, adding however that their letter is an "open confession of the reactionary premises taken by them and by their government in the last two decades," which in fact externally contributed to the destruction of the substance of democracy in the island, retaining only a brittle shell that is crumbling now.
69) Jan 23, 2009 10:34:17 GMT | + Sri Lanka presses rebels, but at a mounting cost
The military gains are the deepest encroachment into rebel territory in a decade, and the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has promised to quash the Tamil Tigers. But even if the government manages to crush the group militarily, it will still need to find a political solution to the grievances among the island's Tamil minority, and it has yet to clearly define what that solution might look like. Even some of the government's backers say that once the conventional war ends, the insurgents will just return to their roots and become guerrilla fighters once more.
70) Jan 23, 2009 10:02:00 GMT | + EU looks to take Iran group off terror list
European states have reached a preliminary agreement to remove exiled Iranian opposition group the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from an EU list of banned terrorist groups, diplomats said on Thursday. The agreement, reached among EU envoys, must still win final approval from foreign ministers of the 27 EU states at a meeting in Brussels on Monday. It follows a string of European court decisions against the blacklisting of the group. "The deal has been done. It (the PMOI) will be delisted," said one EU diplomat, although he stressed the decision would not become operative until ministers gave their approval. Groups on the list -- which also include Palestinian Hamas and Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers -- have their assets frozen.
71) Jan 23, 2009 9:52:18 GMT | + Editor attacked in Sri Lanka
ASSAILANTS beat a Sri Lanka newspaper editor and smashed his car as he drove to work Friday, colleagues said, in the latest of a string of violent attacks here against journalists. Upali Tennakoon, chief editor of the privately-owned Rivira weekly, and his wife were attacked by four men on two motorcycles who blocked his car at Imbulgoda, outside the capital Colombo, a reporter on his paper said. 'They smashed the windscreen and then started attacking us,' his wife Dhammika said as they were brought to the Colombo National hospital. 'I hugged him tight as they started hitting us with sticks and stabbed,' she said, adding the attackers escaped.
72) Jan 23, 2009 9:49:33 GMT | + Sri Lanka destroying democracy from within
The failure to investigate the attack on Sirasa TV and the assassination of Wickrematunge have brought to light the absence of the political will on the part of the government to deal with serious abuses of human rights by the security forces and others. There are however, thousands of cases involving ordinary citizens who have suffered grave abuses but have failed to obtain any form of investigations into their complaints. As this column was being written, one more incident with terrible consequences to an individual was reported.
73) Jan 23, 2009 9:46:41 GMT | + Sri Lankan Navy arrests 22 Indian fishermen
Sri Lankan Navy has arrested at least 22 Indian fishermen with six boats while fishing illegally in Sri Lanka's northern sea waters off Kankesanthurai (KKS), official sources said in Colombo Friday. The sources told a news agency that the Sri Lankan Navy has arrested these Indian fishermen trespassing into the Sri Lankan territorial waters late Thursday and handed them over to the KKS police for investigation.
74) Jan 23, 2009 9:45:14 GMT | + Karunanidhi's 'final appeal' to Centre on Sri Lanka issue
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday made a 'final appeal' to the Centre, saying that it should expeditiously take steps to enforce a ceasefire and find a political solution to end the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Replying to a call attention motion in the Tamil Nadu assembly, seeking the Centre's immediate intervention to ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, Karunanidhi said this was his 'final appeal' to the Union government in this regard. However, the principal opposition party AIADMK and its ally MDMK staged a walkout, stating that they did not want 'to be part of the drama' being enacted by the ruling DMK.
75) Jan 23, 2009 9:43:36 GMT | + Sri Lanka journalism 'under threat'
76) Jan 23, 2009 1:20:50 GMT | + Sri Lanka: Free Journalists Held Illegally
A spate of attacks on reporters, threats from unidentified groups and the murder of a leading newspaper editor are all jeopardising the future of journalism in Sri Lanka. Many bright young students say they fear taking up journalism as a career choice in the island nation and a number of experienced journalists have already left the country because of threats to their lives. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) group has called on the authorities to take steps to end the prevailing climate of fear caused by "government cronies increasing their pressure". more ...
President Mahinda Rajapakse should order prosecutors to drop all charges against journalists held on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the president today. J.S. Tissainayagam, a journalist, and N. Jashiharan, a publisher, and his wife, V. Valamathy, have been in detention since March 2008. The letter identified serious violations of due process and the right to a fair trial by the authorities in Tissainayagam's case. "Tissainayagam's arrest was politically motivated and his detention has involved a litany of due process violations," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
77) Jan 23, 2009 1:16:54 GMT | + Dalai Lama to meet Indian envoy on Lankan
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has said that he will meet the Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon regarding the ongoing Sinhalese military onslaught against Tamil Tigers. At a press conference held at the University of Madras, the Dalai Lama when asked if he would appeal to the Buddhist Sri Lankan rulers to call for a ceasefire replied: "The government of India's foreign secretary has just returned from a visit to Sri Lanka. I will consult with him when I reach delhi on Thursday." He made it clear that he will not be going to Sri Lanka. "My first foreign visit to Sri Lanka was proposed in 1960 and the Sri Lankan ministry of external affairs had given its clearance.
78) Jan 23, 2009 1:07:11 GMT | + Sri Lankan troops shell "safe zone" for civilians
79) Jan 23, 2009 1:00:03 GMT | + Issue ultimatum to Centre on Sri Lanka, Ramadoss urges Karunanidhi
The Sri Lankan military shelled a village and a makeshift hospital inside a government-declared "safe zone" for civilians in the north Thursday, killing at least 30 people and wounding scores, local health officials said. The military denied hitting the hospital and said it was taking precautions to protect civilians. Health officials said that at least 67 civilians have been killed in shelling since Tuesday. With the government's offensive against the Tamil Tigers escalating, international aid groups are increasingly concerned about the safety of the hundreds of thousands of civilians reportedly living inside the shrinking pocket of rebel-held territory in northeast Sri Lanka. more ...
80) Jan 23, 2008 21:06:01 GMT | + A “credible” devolution package, within a ‘united’ Sri Lanka
The Pattali Makkal Katchi on Thursday urged Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to issue an ultimatum to the Centre for taking immediate steps to end the military action in the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka and initiate peace talks to find a solution to the ethnic conflict in the island. The executive committee of the party met at Tindivanam on Thursday and passed a resolution stating that the State government had the responsibility and duty to save the “suffering Tamils” in Sri Lanka. It could not evade its responsibility stating that it was for the Centre to take action. more ...
Understandably it is the perfect path to win Indian support, and therein that of the West. Only time will tell if the government has understood the responsibility of committing itself to international concerns. Or the repercussions of playing games with powerful neighbours. More powerful governments and political leaders have learnt bitter lessons in attempting this. It is hoped the Rajapaksa administration will not join that list.
81) Jan 23, 2008 20:58:01 GMT | + Tamils for Justice Attorney Challenges FBI’s Assessment of the Tamil Tigers and the Government of Sri Lanka
Bruce Fein, former Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States, speaking for Tamils for Justice, issued a statement today challenging a tendentious assessment of the Tamil Tigers and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 10, 2008. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the FBI issued its statement to frighten Tamils and others from supporting Tamils for Justice in its quest to employ legal means to achieve Tamil statehood, deproscription of the Tamil Tigers, and prosecution of United States citizens and permanent resident aliens in United States courts for torture, extra-judicial killings, and crimes against humanity while serving in the GOSL or Parliament.
82) Jan 23, 2008 17:08:11 GMT | + Devolution proposals handed to President
83) Jan 23, 2008 15:58:21 GMT | + Untold and unsolved mysteries of the FBI
President Mahinda Rajapakse has expressed willingness to devolve power through provisions available in the 13 th Amendment to the constitution without a two third majority in parliament, Chairman of the All Party Conference (APC), Minister Tissa Vitharana says.He said United National Party has said that it was ready to participate in devolution talks if disputes within the government were resolved. Except Sri Lanka Muslim Congress no other opposition party has participated in the talks of the all party conference more ...
J. Edgar Hoover, founder of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) once said, “Above all, I would teach him to tell the truth. Truth-telling, I have found, is the key to responsible citizenship. The thousands of criminals I have seen in 40 years of law enforcement have had one thing in common: Every single one was a liar.” Little do the American people know that the United States’ finest and bravest law enforcement agency, the FBI, have made it their business to misrepresent themselves on various occasions.
84) Jan 23, 2008 14:56:53 GMT | + LTTE refutes SLAF claims of air strike on Tiger leadership
85) Jan 23, 2008 14:53:37 GMT | + Emirates walking away from SriLankan
Liberation Tigers Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan Wednesday evening refuted the claims by the Sri Lanka Air Force that it had hit a location of the leader of the LTTE Velupillai Pirapaharan Wednesday morning. Stating that Colombo was spreading false propaganda, Mr. Ilanthirayan said the SLAF attack targeted civilian settlements at Vaddakkachchi twice between 11:10 a.m. and 11:35 a.m. and in the evening between 5:15 and 6:00 p.m. Colombo was engaged in such false propaganda, also during the Tsunami catastrophe and on many occasions earlier, he said. more ...
The Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation warns of the collapse of the Emirates partnership that "the timing could hardly be worse for SriLankan's future", given that nearby India is allowing more of its airlines to operate internationally, resulting in new competition. CAPA believes that "termination of SriLankan's 10-year agreement with Emirates will mean a lot more than a simple change of management". It says Mihin Lanka's creation last year and steady growth "could now be seen as part of the preparations - or provocations - for termination of the Emirates management agreement.
86) Jan 23, 2008 14:46:46 GMT | + US cast doubts on Free and fair elections
87) Jan 23, 2008 14:13:03 GMT | + APRC: Once more to the past
The United States does not believe that free & fair elections can be held in Batticaloa if one party is allowed to bear arms says the US Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Robert O Blake. If one party is allowed arms and threaten and intimidate other parties and other contestants free and fair electionscan not be held, said the US Ambassador addressing a public function held in Batticaloa on Wednesday. The US Ambassador said,” Unchecked illegal paramilitary activity also discourages the prime investment that is badly needed to help the reconstruction process in the east". more ...
Today is the deadline for the APRC proposals. Given the hullabaloo that attended its establishment and the expectations invested in it by the international community no less, this should be a landmark event in the transformation of the conflict and the constitutional order of the country. The APRC after all was set up to epitomise the paradigm shift from the flawed and failed modus operandi of previous regimes. It was to be participatory and inclusive in the way previous initiatives were decidedly not. Its declared objective was a consensus of the south and accordingly, the bridging of the legitimacy deficit of those earlier initiatives.
88) Jan 23, 2008 14:04:36 GMT | + Monkeying around with the ethnic conflict
Even as President Mahinda Rajapakse started last week to kiss Indian posteriors in a bid to settle for the 13th Amendment as a final solution to the ethnic conflict, a gallon of petrol was to hit an all time high of Rs.571.50. While the economic burdens become unbearable and the government continues to blame the rising cost of international fuel prices for the drastic price hike in fuel last Sunday the JVP that condemned previous regimes for raising prices by a much smaller amount due to international increases remains dumb struck.
89) Jan 23, 2008 14:02:53 GMT | + Killings and gross violations of rights abuses further divide ethnic groups
Killings and gross violations of human rights abuses should not be used as the last resort in any war around the world. But the cruel fact is that this is absolutely true in the case of Sri Lanka, where both parties resort to killings and human rights violations and blame each other for the escalation of rights abuses and killings of each other’s members. Regardless of who is doing it, all these actions will add fuel to the already burning issue.
90) Jan 23, 2008 11:36:34 GMT | + Pak defence delegation makes second major visit to Sri Lanka
With India reluctant to enhance defence cooperation with it, Sri Lanka has shown signs of turning towards Pakistan with a high-level defence delegation from Islamabad holding talks with senior officials here. The Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) chief held detailed discussions with Sri Lanka's security officials including Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse, brother of Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. POF is Pakistan's largest conventional arms and ordnance facility and its 14 factories and four subsidiaries produce several varieties of armaments for export.
91) Jan 23, 2008 11:29:15 GMT | + UPFA-TMVP sign agreement for Batti poll
92) Jan 23, 2008 11:21:50 GMT | + Sri Lanka planes bomb rebel leader's hideout-military
The UPFA and TMVP signed an agreement this afternoon to jointly contest the Batticaloa Municipal Council polls. TMVP leader Pillayan and UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha signed the agreement in Batticaloa, TMVP spokesperson Azad Moulana said. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called for the establishment of independent Commissions immediately to ensure a free and fair local government election in the East. He also charged that an armed group is for the first time being registered as a political party. more ...
Sri Lanka's air force bombed rebel positions in the far north on Wednesday, targeting the Tamil Tiger's reclusive leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, the military said. "We have taken a target at 11:15 a.m., and according to intelligence sources it was a secret hideout called X-ray base in the area of Iranamadu, where we suspect the LTTE leader was hiding," said air force spokesman Wing Commander Andrew Wijesuriya. "I would not like to speculate whether he was killed. What we can say is that the target was accurately taken," Wijesuriya said.
93) Jan 23, 2007 20:51:18 GMT | + Going here, there, or nowhere
The traditional multi ethnic wishes and peace greetings again seem to be inappropriate if not absurd at a time when you and some of your top advisors appear to be dragging the country into one hell of a bloody mess on various fronts. For those who are gloating about military victories, what happened in 1996 might help to put things in perspective. After the much heralded victory of Operation Jayasikuru with the capture of the Jaffna peninsula many claimed that the Eelam war was over and the Tiger dead. But within months the wheel turned the other way and we saw disaster after disaster for the military, while Colombo and the suburbs were shattered by massive attacks including the Airport inferno.
94) Jan 23, 2007 17:51:50 GMT | + 35 Lankan refugees arrive
Thirty-five Sri Lankan refugees from Trincomallee and Vavuniya regions landed at the coast near here today. They were lodged in the Mandapam transit camp after preliminary enquiries by the police, camp officials said. They said the refugees had paid Rs 7,000 per head for the ferry. Meanwhile, 17 refugees from Tiruchirappalli and Mandapam, who attempted to escape from the camps, were nabbed by the naval men mid-sea and were handed over to the police. A case had been registered against them, officials said.
95) Jan 23, 2007 17:35:06 GMT | + Some 5,000 civilians find refuge in Batticaloa after fleeing coastal strip
96) Jan 23, 2007 14:32:11 GMT | + Sri Lankan journalists protest killings, unofficial censorship
An estimated 5,000 civilians have found refuge in eastern Sri Lanka's Batticaloa district after fleeing escalated fighting between government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the Vaharai coastal strip. Yoko Akasaka, the head of the UNHCR field office in Batticaloa town, said the civilians had started fleeing from Vaharai and moving south to Batticaloa early on Friday morning. "By the time they arrived in the government-controlled towns of Mankerny, Singhapura and Ridithenna [in Batticaloa district] they were starving and exhausted," she added. more ...
97) Jan 23, 2007 12:16:27 GMT | + 'Two killed' in Sri Lanka blasts
Sri Lankan journalists today protested attacks against them and the unofficial censorship imposed by the government as the island nation was regarded the most dangerous place for reporters in Asia after Pakistan.
Dozens of media personnel carried placards and staged a peaceful rally (march) outside the Colombo fort railway station where anti-riot squads and heavily armed troops were deployed. "Hands off journalists," said a banner carried by a reporter. "Report card 2006-2007: eight journalists killed," said another placard. A spokesman for the protestors said the government was enforcing an unofficial censorship on the media personnel. more ...
At least two people have been killed and 14 others injured in two roadside bomb attacks in northern Sri Lanka, officials say. A soldier died in a blast in Jaffna, while a civilian was killed in an explosion in the nearby town of Chavakachcheri, authorities said. The attacks come amid an escalation in fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels since late 2005. The Sri Lankan defence ministry said both blasts were caused by mines. There has been no official comment from the rebels. The latest violence comes after thousands of Tamils fled intense fighting between government troops and rebels around Batticaloa in the east.
98) 12:32 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + Will Lanka miss the peace bus again?
99) 12:26 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + Sri Lanka Still Wed to System
The Norwegian peace broker Erik Solheim is to meet the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran in Kilinochchi on Wednesday with a message from the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sri Lankans pin high hopes on this crucial meeting because their country is now on the threshold of yet another round of hostilities, already codenamed "Eelam War IV" by veteran defence analyst Iqbal Athas. In the Tamil-speaking North, the LTTE has been saying that the "final push" to secure an independent Tamil Eelam by force is on the cards. Thousands of Tamils have fled to the LTTE-controlled areas from government-controlled areas in Jaffna fearing a Sri Lankan onslaught. more ...
100) 11:40 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + Appeal for peace in Sri Lanka
Every Sunday, newspapers here are filled with classified ads for marriage partners. But for Americans accustomed to the personals staples "SWF" and "must love cats," the descriptions can be mystifying. "Sinhala Buddhist Govi mother seeks professionally qualified partner for youngest daughter," read a recent ad in the Sri Lankan Sunday Observer. "Reply with caste and religion material, horoscope." The ad, referring to the elite land-tilling Govi Gama caste, spotlights a system that locked islanders into a rigid social hierarchy for centuries. But numerous chisels are chipping away at its power, including better education, increasing wealth, fewer arranged marriages, a stronger civil service recruited on merit and the shift from agrarian to urban life. more ...
101) 11:34 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + New Sri Lanka blast ahead of peace talks
The World Alliance of YMCAs is deeply concerned about the recent escalation of violence in Sri Lanka and the risk that this will lead again to Civil War. Since the Presidential election of November 2005 over 100 people have died in acts of violence. The Peace, Reconciliation & Reconstruction committee of the National YMCA of Sri Lanka, working hand in hand with other NGOs, is asking for our help to demand peace. As National General Secretary of Sri Lanka, Chrisantha Hettiaratchi, said in his letter to the World Alliance, “Last Christmas we asked for Tsunami emergency relief, this year we seek your support for peace.” more ...
102) 07:45 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + Balasingham arrives in Kilinochchi
The patrol was ambushed with a deadly claymore fragmentation mine, a block of plastic explosive which blasts out ball bearings. It was the latest in a string of attacks that have killed more than 70 armed forces personnel since December.The attack came just hours after peace envoy Erik Solheim touched down in Sri Lanka for a three-day visit to try to convince the government and the rebels to agree on a venue for talks to haul a 2002 truce back from breaking point."People are really angry and frustrated with the Sri Lankan government ... who are using the military as an iron fist to suppress their democratic rights and aspirations," S Puleedevan, head of the rebels' Peace Secretariat, said by telephone from Kilinochchi."If the Sri Lankan government and southern Sinhalese fail to realise the concerns of the Tamil population, then it will be very difficult for them to go on like this," he added. "The people are ready to move this freedom struggle forward all over the northeast." more ...
103) 07:42 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + Peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka
The Chief Negotiator and Political Strategist of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mr. Anton Balasingham, arrived in Kilinochchi Monday morning around 9:00 in a Sri Lankan Air Force Helicopter. Mr. Balasingham will hold consultations with the leader of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. V. Pirapaharan, Monday, regarding the current state of the peace process. Mr. Balasingham, who will assist the LTTE leader during the forthcoming meeting with the Norwegian Minister of International Development, Mr. Erik Solheim, is expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday, LTTE officials said. more ...
104) 07:38 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + US Tamils question timing of Ambassador Lunstead's speech
A top Norwegian envoy arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday on a mission to save the cease-fire he negotiated four years ago and prevent the island nation from slipping back into war. In meetings through Wednesday, envoy Eric Solheim, was to confer with President Mahinda Rajapakse and travel to the Tamil Tiger rebels' capital of Kilinochchi to meet with their reclusive leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, officials said. Separately, the rebels' peace negotiator, Anton Balasingham, also arrived from his home in London. Balasingham, who holds a British passport, will aid Prabhakaran during talks with Solheim. Solheim, who brokered the 2002 cease-fire, also planned to meet with U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns later Monday, the U.S. Embassy said. Burns will discuss the peace process with Sri Lankan officials, Solheim and others "to reiterate the strong U.S. desire to see all Sri Lankans work for peace," the embassy said in a statement before his arrival. more ...
105) 23:55 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + Facilitate talks "even in the moon"
Questioning Ambassador Lunstead's "reckless exercise at a time of great risk to the peace process, and just a few days before Mr. Erik Solheim’s visit, which everyone was looking to as the only way of defusing an extremely dangerous situation," US Tamils, in a memorandum to Secretary of State, Dr Condoleezza Rice and to Mr Nicholas Burns, the U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, said they hoped that Mr. Burns, who will be in Sri Lanka during Mr. Solheim’s visit, "will clarify to everyone what US policy is at this critical time, and help revive the peace track." more ...
106) 17:31 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + White House Announces Nomination for Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs: Ambassador Richard A. Boucher
The Norwegian government would facilitate talks between Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers anywhere in the world, the special peace envoy said. Erik Solheim, Norwegian minister for International Development, told foreign media correspondents in Colombo that Norway would facilitate talks “even in the moon”, if the parties agree on the venue.The minister, who is visiting Colombo in an attempt to save the fragile truce under threat due to continuous violence in the North and East, insisted that Norway has no preference over venue. The government suggest the talks to be held anywhere in Asia, the LTTE insist on having talks in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. The minister, who is visiting Colombo in an attempt to save the fragile truce under threat due to continuous violence in the North and East, insisted that Norway has no preference over venue. more ...
107) 01:53 GMT, Jan. 23, 2006 | + Norway, U.S. Send Envoys to Sri Lanka to Boost Peace Process
The White House announced on January 17 that United States President George W. Bush’s intends to nominate Richard A. Boucher, of New York, to be Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs. Ambassador Boucher is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister. He most recently served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs at the Department of State. Prior to this, he served as the United States Senior Official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Ambassador Boucher served as U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus and Consul General in Hong Kong. Earlier in his career, he served as Deputy Principal Officer in Shanghai, China. Ambassador Boucher received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University. more ...
108) 17:12 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Sri Lanka Tamil Media Tsunami Relief Disaster Fund
Envoys from Norway and the U.S. visit Sri Lanka today to try to broker peace talks to support a 2002 cease-fire that is in danger of collapsing amid increasing violence between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. Erik Solheim, Norway's minister of international development, will meet government and rebel leaders during a four-day visit. U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns is visiting Colombo to meet Solheim and Sri Lankan officials, the U.S. embassy said in a statement. Burns ``will call again for the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to resume talks on strengthening the cease-fire agreement as soon as possible,'' the U.S. embassy said. more ...
109) 17:08 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + An Appeal to the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference!
The Tsunami Relief Fund, established by Tamil Media Alliance, will help those Tamil Journalist displaced by the tsunami that devastated the Sri Lankan coastline. With an initial contribution of Rs. 10 thousand from the Alliance, we shall help in whichever way possible those who have been hurt and displaced. We look to further our endeavors with added contributions from institutions, people, and donors. Whatever amount is donated will be done so with a large heart, and will be greatly appreciated. This is a yet another appeal at your already reddened palm that presents the saddest plight of our twenty journalists who have been horrendously affected due to the tsunami waves that hit the Coastal belts of SriLanka on 26th December 2004. Most of them are from North East who worked as regional correspondents to local and foreign media. more ...
110) 16:59 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Return to Sri Lanka is mission of mercy
The International Federation of Tamils (IFT), on behalf of the international Tamil Community, requests the third meeting of the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference (Sri Lanka) to express open support for an effective aid distibution apex mechnisam for the northeastern region of Sri Lanka. IFT calls the attention of the International Community and the Co-Chairs to the current post-Tsunami situation in the northeastern region. We point out that the lack of SL administrative mechanisms for that region, the reintroduction of dragonian Emergency Regulations, the threatening role of the Sri Lankan armed forces in the aid and relief issues in that region, the motives for the centralised rehabilitation authority of the President and the new reports of a 150 million dollars purchase of military material from Iran are worthy of closer examination. IFT sends an urgent appeal for the open support for an apex mechanism by the Co-chairs of the third meeting of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka, which will be held on the 25th of Jan. 2005 in Brussels. more ...
111) 16:43 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Utahn gets up-close account of tsunami's heartbreak
"You would expect the whole country to come together and help the people. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening; The Sri Lankan government is ignoring the north and concentrating on the south; It's sad. You would think the government would use this opportunity to win the hearts of the north." - International Medical Health Organization (IMHO)
In Sri Lanka, the tidal waves left more than 200,000 homeless. Nearly two-thirds of the dead and 75 percent of the displaced families were Tamils living in territory controlled or influenced by the separatist Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam (LTT). The Sinhalese control the Sri Lankan government, but the Tigers control much of the northern provinces. The United States lists the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist group. Though few condone the Tigers' trademark suicide-bomb attacks, many Tamil expatriates in America and throughout the world support the struggle against what they see as discriminatory policies of the Sri Lankan government. Still, the northern and eastern districts under the Tigers' control remain backward outposts in contrast to the more prosperous and developed south. Fears among Tamil expatriates that their suffering brethren would be forsaken by the Sinhalese-dominated government made their mission seem all the more urgent. more ...
112) 15:44 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Mix of Quake Aid and Preaching Stirs Concern
John Pace, a Salt Lake City civil-rights attorney and a former nurse, is a relief volunteer in the war- and tsunami-ravaged Tamil region of PuthukKudiyiruppu
In an unexpected irony that can only come from conflict, however, the war honed the medical expertise of the Tamil Tigers, who dominate the north and east part of the island, and appeared to have helped alleviate the suffering.If not for the Tigers' experience in treating and evacuating mass casualties, the toll would have been worse, according to medical officials here. Tiger-trained doctors describe treating thousands along the beaches within hours of the tsunami. They say they inserted tubes down the throats and into the lungs of nearly 300 victims who couldn't breathe sufficiently due to the seawater they'd inhaled. Of that number, all but two survived.Within three days of the tsunami, the Tigers had established survivor camps in schools throughout the Mallaittivu district that meet generally accepted public health standards for such makeshift cities. more ...
113) 14:31 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Norwegian envoys scramble to resolve tsunami aid dispute in Sri Lanka
A dozen Americans walked into a relief camp here, showering bereft parents and traumatized children with gifts, attention and affection. They also quietly offered camp residents something else: Jesus. Most American groups, including those affiliated with religious organizations, strictly avoid mixing aid and missionary work. But scattered reports of proselytizing in Sri Lanka; Indonesia, which is predominantly Muslim; and India, with large Hindu and Muslim populations, are arousing concerns that the good will spread by the American relief efforts may be undermined by resentment.Last year, Buddhist hard-liners attacked the offices of the World Vision Christian aid group and vandalized or threatened churches and pastors 75 times. They accuse Christians of using money and social programs to cajole and coerce conversions. more ...
114) 14:28 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Sri Lanka denies using tsunami aid to buy weapons; Norway urges unity
Norwegian diplomats were trying Saturday to get the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to form a body to ensure tsunami aid is fairly distributed, aiming to resolve guerrillas' accusations the government is blocking supplies to their areas. The aid dispute has undermined hopes that dealing with the disaster, which killed some 31,000 people in Sri Lanka, would bring the two sides closer together and back to the negotiating table for a lasting peace agreement. more ...
115) 14:26 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Norway foreign minister meets with Sri Lanka leader after talks with rebel chief
The government denied claims by Tamil Tiger rebels that it is using tsunami relief donations to buy arms, as peacebroker Norway urged the two sides to unite to rebuild the battered country. A report on the Tamilnet website said Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), had raised the issue with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen when they met in the northeastern town of Kilinochchi on Saturday. 'Our leader (Prabhakaran) has brought to the notice of the Norwegian delegation that the international aid coming to the country due to sympathy following tsunami disaster is being misused by the government,' LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham was quoted by Tamilnet as saying. 'Our leader has pointed out that the (government) has taken steps to purchase arms from Iran at a cost of 150 million US dollars. This act is considered as an attempt to tilt the balance of military power.' more ...
116) 19:21 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + LTTE declares 26 January as a day of national mourning for Tsunami victims
Norway's foreign minister _ mediating between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to ensure fair tsunami relief in Tiger-held areas _ met with Sri Lanka's prime minister Sunday, a day after holding talks with the top guerrilla leader. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and Norway's Foreign Minister Jan Petersen "had very good discussions and the prime minister thanked Norway for assisting Sri Lanka at this critical time," said Rajapakse's secretary, Lalith Weeratunga. Weeratunga did not go into details about any aid discussions. With Norway's encouragement, the rebels and the government are discussing creation of a joint body to oversee aid distribution in rebel-held northeastern areas, home to most of Sri Lanka's 3.2 million minority ethnic Tamils. more ...
117) 19:17 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Protest in the South
Our people suffered untold hardship, destruction and misery and thereby lost all what was positive in their lives during the two decades of war. The ceasefire provided to our people, especially to those living in the seacoast, a chance to begin their lives back with their resilience and thus a semblance of normalcy. It is under this circumstances that on the 26th of December 2004 that the unprecedented tidal surge attacked the Southeast Asian region including this Island and caused devastation of a vast magnitude. Our brethren living in the Tamil homeland have met with major disaster and loss, which has seriously impacted them. Mother nature’s furry had again made our people homeless, traumatised them with the loss of their loved one and posited them over again in welfare centres and with friends and relatives. more ...
118) 17:41 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Decentralise relief effort, mediators urge Colombo
Businessmen of Galle took to the streets in protest of the government regulation prohibiting construction within 100 metres from the sea shore. They gathered in front of the divisional secretariat, disrupting traffic. The businessmen are demanding that they must be allowed to reconstruct on locations, where they had their shops before the disaster. They also said that they have not been told of any alternative site for relocation. Another protest was reported at Pitiwella in Boossa, a coastal town close to Galle. In this area, out of 400 houses 100 are totally destroyed. The displaced people say that they do not receive enough relief supplies or ration cards provided by the government. "Colombo will mislead the world on aid distribution"
Colombo’s post tsunami development blueprint assailed
119) 17:32 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Sri Lanka Government says ‘no’ to NGO choppers
Norwegian peace brokers are urging the Sri Lankan government to decentralise distribution of international aid to tsunami survivors, in an effort to meet demands by Tamil Tiger rebels for greater control of the relief effort in guerilla-held areas, officials said yesterday. With Norway's encouragement, the Tigers and the government are discussing creation of a joint body to oversee distribution of aid in rebel areas, said a Tiger leader. Hilde Johnson, Norwegian minister for international development did not go as far as the rebels would like, but said the Norwegians wanted to ensure “inclusiveness in the process'' as well as equal treatment. “Norway would like to see co-operation and partnership in the reconstruction effort'' between the two sides, she said. more ...
120) 14:24 GMT, Jan. 23, 2005 | + Berlusconi donates half a million euros to Sri Lankan orphanages
The military believes that there is no requirement for international NGOs to deploy their own helicopters for post-tsunami relief operations. An authoritative security official said that the SLAF top brass had advised the relevant authorities against the ongoing moves to allow international NGOs to operate choppers.This follows Friday’s detection of two choppers, including a US-built Bell Jet Ranger, that had been ferried in what the official termed as "knocked down" condition. The chopper parts had been packed in 13 boxes. The Bell had been sent to Ever Green, a US NGO engaged in tsunami relief. The other chopper which is yet to be identified had been sent to World Vision.The military fears that international NGOs would want to operate choppers to LTTE-held areas. The detection had been made in the backdrop of confirmed reports that the LTTE had acquired at least two light aircraft. more ...
121) 17:34 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Sri Lanka impasse 'threatens aid'
Italy's Prime Miniser Silvio Berlusconi has donated half a million euros to a Sri Lankan orphans programme, following up a five million euro donation the day before to the Asian tsunami recovery. The media magnate-turned-politician, who is Italy's richest man, pledged his latest donation to the Salesian religious order in Milan for a distance-adoption project involving Sri Lankan orphans, the order's Father Arturo Lorini said. The prime minister has been stepping up public appearances ahead of criticial regional elections in April seen as a test for his four-party center-right coalition against a left-wing opposition challenge. Lorini said Berlusconi made the latest gesture at a lunch in Milan on Saturday. more ...
122) 16:58 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + An Indian Takeover of Sri Lanka?
International donors meeting in Sri Lanka to discuss releasing billions of dollars of aid have expressed deep concern at the political crisis. A three-month deadlock between president and prime minister has blocked any progress in the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. The donors say $4.5bn pledged to rebuild the island could be in danger. The Tamil Tigers refused to attend the one-day donor meeting, saying the political situation was too unstable. more ...
123) 13:50 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + NATO appoints new spokesman
While both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan President are claiming friendship with the Indian government, it is obvious that the Indian government is playing up to the President rather than the LTTE. The Indian government has declined the invitation to be part of the aid donor group giving funds directly to the LTTE. Instead, they are offering arms and training for the Sinhalese Army; and aerial surveillance of the North as part and parcel of their promise to repair the Palaly Airport. Why do we need the Indians to do this? Does the S L government have no road engineers to repair the runways and redesign the airport? Why again, if Federalism is the goal of peace negotiations, does the Sri Lankan government need an airport in Palaly? Could that not be administered by the Federal Administration of the Northeast? Or is it the government¹s intention to continue to rule the Northeast with its much resented military presence? more ...
124) 13:36 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Chandrika-Ranil battle may cost Lanka $4.5 bn in aid
Canadian James Appathurai
was appointed spokesman of the NATO alliance Friday. Appathurai, 35, has worked in NATO's Political Affairs and Security Policy Division since 1998, most recently as deputy head of policy planning and speechwriting. He replaces another Canadian, Yves Brodeur, who returned to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa in September after 2 1/2 years as NATO spokesman. Before joining NATO, Appathurai worked for the CBC in Toronto and as a policy adviser with the Defence Department in Ottawa. more ...
125) 13:27 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Sri Lanka donors worried about political crisis
Foreign aid donors today warned Sri Lanka that it risked losing 4.5 billion dollars in financial assistance to rebuild the island unless President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ended their power struggle. Chairing a major aid conference here, Japan's Special Peace Envoy Yasushi Akashi said the donors wanted to see a greater flow of aid to the island, but the political crisis was a hindrance. "There was serious concern expressed about the political situation," Akashi said, adding they wanted the two leaders to try and work together. more ...
126) 13:26 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Toronto: Province aims to stay ahead of gangs
International donors want aid to keep flowing into war-torn Sri Lanka, but voiced concern on Friday that a political crisis would make that difficult by hindering efforts to revive the island's stalled peace process. The meeting of aid donors comes amidst a power struggle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who have locked horns over how to permanently end a 20-year war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). "It was a good meeting, very constructive," said one diplomat who attended the closed-door meeting. "Everybody wants aid to go ahead, especially humanitarian aid, but there are serious worries about the political situation in the south," the diplomat said.
- Foreign donors say Sri Lanka risks losing billions in aid
- AFP more ...
127) 13:25 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Sri Lanka aid meeting gets underway without Tigers
Attorney-General Michael Bryant hopes assigning a team of crown attorneys to prosecute only gang cases will keep the justice system one step ahead of organized crime. "The goal here is that every step of the investigation is armed with the best possible legal tools to permit us to do what it takes to be more organized than organized crime," Bryant said yesterday."The investigations have become enormously complex, both because the laws involved are very complicated and because the gangs have become diabolically sophisticated," Bryant said. "It has meant that more often than not the justice system is one step behind." more ...
128) 13:22 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + 'Singhalese should reject chauvinist forces'- LTTE
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels boycotted an international aid meeting amid a worsening political crisis in the government, officials said. The meeting, opened by Sri Lanka's main financial backer Japan on Wednesday, would look at progress made since donors pledged 4.5 billion dollars to support the island's peace moves at a conference in Tokyo last June. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) told special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi of Japan Thursday that they would stay away from Friday's conference. more ...
129) 20:52 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + LTTE denial on BBC report of 22.01.2004 relating to enrollment of children in the organization.
“If the Sinhala people elect racist political leaders at the next election then Tamils might have to decide their own future. The Sinhala people should identify and reject chauvinist forces among them. It is in the hands of the Singhalese to prevent another bloodbath in this island," said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, the head of the Liberation Tigers political division during a goodwill meeting with journalists from the northeast in Kilinochchi Friday. “How can we talk to those who say they want to negotiate with us but who demean the Tamil people’s struggle for their legitimate rights? There is no point in talking to those reject the Tamil people’s aspirations”, he said during the wide-ranging discussions. more ...
130) 17:36 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Consensus committee on Sri Lanka crisis resumes sittings
We are deeply concerned about the news item "Liberation Tigers have increased the intake of children into their organization" by the BBC's Colombo correspondent on 22 January 2004. There is no truth in this news item and it is based on unconfirmed information. At a time when there is a two-year-old cease-fire in force, the allegation that the LTTE is continuing intake of children is a malicious propaganda. In this 25-year-old war in the Northeast it is the children who form the vulnerable group that finds life intolerable in the deprivations consequent to the war. It is regrettable however some interested parties are engaged in a mischievous campaign to vilify the LTTE. more ...
131) 17:36 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Sri Lanka president wants peace bid restarted
A committee looking at ways to enda political feud between Sri Lankan president and the prime minister resumed its sittings on Friday after a long recess, officials said. The committee headed by top aides of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met for the first time since Kumaratunga's main opposition party earlier in the week forged a political alliance with the objective of toppling the Wickremesinghe government. "We were able to confirm some of the agreements we had reached on good governance and electoral reforms," an official close to the Wickremesinghe administration said on condition of anonymity. more ...
132) 17:35 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + Chandrasekaran calls for a Joint Tamil Front
Sri Lanka's stalled peace process must not be allowed to simmer for long, the island's president said on Friday as she defended her actions in a showdown with her rival prime minister. The power struggle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has paralysed efforts to retart stalled peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to end a two-decade war that killed 64,000 people. "The LTTE also can't be expected to be patient for a long time," Kumaratunga said in an interview on state television. The two share an uneasy coexistence, with the president having wide constitutional powers and the prime minister controlling parliament. more ...
133) 02:13 GMT, Jan. 23, 2004 | + War Over but No Peace for Sri Lanka's Displaced
Mr.Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, Leader of the Upcountry People's Front and a Member of Parliament for the Nuwara Eliya district appealed to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to join forces with parties of upcountry Tamils to strengthen the political power of Tamils. "Tamils should unite to consolidate their political power if we are to effectively confront the re-emerging unification of Sinhala chauvinist forces," said Mr.Chandrasekaran talking to reporters after meeting LTTE's Head of Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi today. more ...
134) 14:37 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + India-SriLanka Ferry Service To Resume Operations in March
Political turmoil in the federal government is obstructing the resettlement of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the town of Chavakachcheri in war-torn northern Sri Lanka. In the bitter fighting between government troops and Tamil Tigers in 2000, the town of 72,540 people was completely destroyed and even houses and buildings in the suburbs were leveled. Chavakachcheri remained a ghost town till a ceasefire was signed between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in February 2002. more ...
135) 14:35 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Sri Lanka peace talks scaled down to two days: Norway
Recording over 102 per cent growth in Indian tourists arrivals last year, Sri Lanka Wednesday said the long-awaited ferry service linking Tuticorin and Colombo would resume operations in March this year after a gap of 20 years. Announcing this here, Sri Lankan Tourism minister Prathap Ramanujan said "Sri Lanka is eyeing India as a top market for its tourism industry after recording an increase of over 102.8 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka last year." more ...
136) 14:32 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Sri Lankan opposition, unions to launch anti-government protest
Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway today announced the next round of talks will be scaled down to two days while the venue is being shifted from Thailand to Europe. The Norwegian foreign ministry in a statement issued here said the talks would now be confined to two days and noted that Balasingham had not met with LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in two months. "What we are having is only a scaling-down of the duration, but it is not a downgrading of the talks," Sri Lanka's chief negotiator, G L Peiris said before leaving for Switzerland today to attend an economic forum in Davos. more ...
137) 12:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Sri Lanka, Tigers stage joint meet to seek foreign aid
Sri Lankan opposition parties and trade unions are to launch a joint protest campaign against the government next month. "We will be launching a campaign to highlight the high cost of living, plans to privatize state enterprises and the government moves to curb labour rights," Mahinda Rajapakse, the opposition leader told reporters here Thursday. Rajapakse said that a token countrywide work stoppage would be staged on a date to be decided late February while on Feb. 18 a campaign with the them "people's outcry" will be staged. more ...
138) 05:07 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Humanitarian issues stressed in Swiss Ambassador meeting
The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers today staged a landmark meeting here to drum up international financial support for their fledgling peace process. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government also addressed Colombo-based diplomats from the major donor nations, including the United States, Britain and Japan. Government's chief peace negotiator, G L Peiris, said the meeting was aimed at securing greater support from the donors ahead of a bigger aid pledging conference Japan is hosting in mid-June. more ...
139) 05:05 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Jaffna Business Community gets connected to global network
In a meeting with a Swiss delegation headed by the ambassador for Switzerland in Sri Lanka, Hon. Bernardino Regazzoni today, S.P.Thamilchelvan, the political leader of the LTTE, has stressed that the immediate focus of the peace process should be on the humanitarian needs of the people of the North-East, according to the ambassador. The meeting between the LTTE and the Swiss delegation took place at the LTTE's political headquarters in Kilnochchi today at 10:30 am. The Swiss Minister for Human Resources and an official from the embassy accompanied the ambassador. more ...
140) 04:45 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + DRC discusses participation in NE relief efforts
A delegation of senior business leaders representing the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is undertaking a mission to Jaffna to sign an agreement with the Jaffna Business Chambers to network them into a national and global information initiative. This mission is organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka–German Enterprise Information Project (EIP) of the GTZ. This mission is being organised with a view of demonstrating the business Community’s support to the ongoing Peace negotiations and enhancing business links in the North. The Business Peace Caravan mission is scheduled for January 24th, 2003. more ...
141) 04:42 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Are they anti-LTTE or anti-Tamil?
Representatives of Danish Refugee Council (DRC), led by Nelson Benderson from the Asia-Africa Head Office, met with Thamilchelvan, Head of the political section of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in Kilinochchi Tuesday, sources in Vanni said. The meeting took place in the Political Office of the LTTE in Kilinochchi town. The delegation discussed matters related to the participation of DRC in the humanitarian relief efforts in the NorthEast province, sources close to the LTTE said. more ...
142) 18:23 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Norway appoints new head for Sri Lanka cease-fire monitors
Ayubowan, Vanakkam, Assalamu Alaikum and perhaps also a sad 'Sayonara' to the cordial ties you and your party may have had with Japan. Your attitudes and actions for the New Year so far appear to be largely indecisive and unbalanced if not dangerously erratic. At one extreme, you were reported to have decided to call off or retreat from your potentially disastrous clash with the Norwegian government and its Ambassador Jon Westborg. The Norwegian Prime Minister in response to a tough letter from you had courteously but curtly said your objections or fears had little basis. more ...
143) 18:19 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Sri Lankan politician refused bail
Norway announced the appointment of a new head of international monitors keeping track of a cease-fire in Sri Lanka between the government and Tamil rebels Thursday. According to the Foreign Ministry, Tryggve Tellefsen, a retired army major general, will succeed another Norwegian, Trond Furuhovde, as head of the international Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission. more ...
144) 18:18 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + Sri Lanka's ex-defence minister remanded on mass murder charge
Former Sri Lankan Defence Minister Anuraddha Ratwatte has been refused bail in a case relating to the murder of 10 men during elections two years ago. Mr Ratwatte, who is President Chandrika Kumaratunga's uncle, was remanded in custody after his bail application was rejected by the Colombo High Court. more ...
145) 02:19 GMT, Jan. 23, 2003 | + India: MDMK delegation calls on PM
A former Sri Lankan defence minister was Thursday ordered remanded indefinitely as a court investigates allegations he and several others were involved in mass murder. The Colombo High Court rejected a request for bail by Anuruddha Ratwatte, who is President Chandrika Kumaratunga's uncle, amid the probe into the murder of 10 Muslim men during parliamentary elections in December 2001. Ratwatte, who has been in and out of remand prison over the past 11 months, was ordered in custody for one day Wednesday pending his application for bail, which was turned down by the high court. more ...
146) 13:00 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + Batticaloa Tamils still subject to harrasment, embargo
A delegation of senior leaders of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) today called on the Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, and submitted a representation expressing the concern of the people of Tamil Nadu over the continued detention of Vaiko and eight other frontline functionaries of the party under the POTA. The leaders are scheduled to call on the President, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, tomorrow. more ...
147) 12:54 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + Sri Lanka plans high court to clear tied up cases
Harassment of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces is continuing at check points in the Batticaloa
district despite the Sri Lankan government's directives to reduce tensions and establish normalcy in the island's war zones, press reports said this week. The most serious harassment is said to be at ongoing at the Pattiruppu Bridge, where the Special Task Force, an elite police commando unit has been assigned duties. Tamil women are even being strip-searched there, press reports said. more ...
148) 12:52 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + Troops and police clash in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka plans to set up a high court to quickly clear cases of people held under its feared Prevention of Terrorism Act, the minister for justice and law reform said on Wednesday. The move comes amid growing hopes of peace talks between separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas and the new pro-peace government with both sides observing a ceasefire and taking steps to show goodwill. ''This high court will only deal with cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act,'' Justice Minister W.J.M. Lokubandara said at a news conference. Sri Lanka's Prevention of Terrorism Act was invoked to allow the armed forces powers to arrest and detain people suspected of planning terrorist activity. more ...
149) 12:50 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + Sri Lanka opposition calls for foreign-monitored truce
SRI Lankan police opened fire in the town of Kandy to stop rampaging soldiers beating up traffic police, officials said. Troops smashed police vehicles after a traffic police officer had an argument with an army driver in Kandy, 72 miles northeast of the capital Colombo, local officials said. Police fired in the air as dozens of army men broke the police barricades which protect the Temple of the Tooth, the holiest Buddhist shrine in the island, and attacked officers. more ...
150) 10:53 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + North America enjoying a mild flu season
Sri Lanka's main opposition Wednesday urged the government to conclude a wide-ranging cessation of hostilities agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels and have it supervised by international monitors. Former foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said it was imperative that the government sign with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) a truce that will stop the sabotage of civilian targets and assassinations in addition to battlefield hostilities. more ...
151) 10:50 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + EPDP welcomes Ranil's moves
There's been barely a hint of flu in Ontario this winter, or throughout North America for that matter. Curtis Allen, spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said the agency's tracking of flu across the United States indicates it's a mild flu season with only sporadic cases showing up in Colorado. ``When the flu season will hit, or how severe it will be, is unpredictable,'' he said. more ...
152) 10:41 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + (Photographs) Tigers release 10 POWs
The EPDP which has been allied to the PA for the past seven years yesterday welcomed the UNF government's approach in solving the ethnic conflict as outlined by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his policy statement. Party leader Douglas Devananda said last night the UNF government's steps as a prelude to begin peace talks with the LTTE and President Chandrika Kumaratunga's pledge to give support and leadership to this endeavour were a good sign for peace. "This shows signs that there could be a consensus among the southern political parties on this question and it should continue even in the future," he said. However, Mr. Devananda said the EPDP was still not convinced about the commitment of the LTTE. more ...
153) 02:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + India and Lanka: Once bitten, twice shy; third time lucky?
The Liberation Tigers released 10 prisoners of war as a good will gesture towards strengthening the peace process with the United National Front government on Monday in the northern town of Kilinochchi. The prisoners were released in the presence of the Association of Parents and Relatives of Service Men Missing in Action, a group that has been involved independently in building goodwill and lobbying for peace in the south. The organisation is led by a former Sri Lanka army soldier Mr. E. P Nanayakkara who was also present at the release of the POWs on Monday in Kilinochchi. more ...
154) 18:04 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + Hospital in Tamil areas 'without medicine'
| One of the PoW greeted by LTTEs Thamil Chelvam in Vanni |
India has always maintained that the conflict in Sri Lanka is an internal matter that should be solved through negotiations leading to a political settlement within an united Sri Lanka. Despite the IPKF experience, Gandhi’s assassination and the LTTE ban, India has maintained that the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE should commence a dialogue. It has fully supported the Norwegian facilitated initiative to this end and both the Sri Lankan government and the Norwegians have been keen at all times to keep India abreast of the current status of the initiative. There are issues however that could surface into the future. These relate to possible Indian concerns about the potential repercussions for peacemaking in India that could arise from the modalities of peace making in Sri Lanka. more ...
155) 16:42 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + No change on LTTE ban: India
Doctors in the main hospital in rebel-controlled northern Sri Lanka say they still have not received supplies of essential medicines, a week after the government eased the economic embargo on Tamil Tiger-held territory. The doctors say they desperately need basic drugs, such as anaesthetics and painkillers. more ...
156) 16:38 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + The scars of Sri Lanka's war
India today made it clear that there was no change in its position on the banning of LTTE in the country. ''There is no change in Government of India's position on the banning of the LTTE in India,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said in response to a question on a statement made by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday in Colombo. She said Government has seen the report of Wickremesinghe's statement in Sri Lankan Parliament touching upon the ban on the LTTE in the context of proposed negotiations between Colombo and the LTTE. more ...
157) 16:32 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + LTTE welcomes de-proscription moves
Kilinochchi is a town that bears the scars of war. Most buildings have been damaged by repeated aerial bombardment and shelling. What is left of the structures is marked with bullet holes. The sandy roads of what was once a thriving centre for agricultural produce are pot-holed and empty of any kind of transport except bicycles. The district of Kilinochchi was once home to 150,000 people, the vast majority of whom are still displaced by the fighting. more ...
158) 13:50 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + Lanka opposition demands timeframe for talks
The Liberation Tigers chief negotiator and political advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, Wednesday welcomed the Sri Lankan governmentís decision to review its proscription of the LTTE so as to pave the way for future negotiations with the organisation. Contacted by TamilNet over Premier Ranil Wickremesingheís comments in Parliament Tuesday, Mr. Balasingham said the de-proscription of the LTTE was a long-standing impediment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. He also criticised comments by former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar urging the new government not to lift the ban on the LTTE. more ...
159) 13:13 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + Opposition 'backs Sri Lanka peace effort'
Sri Lanka's main opposition party today cautioned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe against hasty removal of the ban on the LTTE and demanded a definite time-frame for talks to take place before the world shed its post-September 11 anti-terrorism mood. "On the question of de-proscribing the LTTE, any precipitate action should be avoided, and the government should bear in mind international practice in the face of impending talks with banned organisations," former foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said in a debate in Parliament. more ...
160) 01:58 GMT, Jan. 23, 2002 | + The press continues to fail the Tamil people
Sri Lanka's main opposition party, the People's Alliance (PA), has given its public support to the government's efforts to find peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. "The PA supports all measures taken by the government to get the proposed peace talks moving," former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told parliament on Wednesday. Analysts say, however, that while the PA does not want to be seen undermining the peace process, it is prepared to be critical of the government should the process collapse. more ...
161) 17:31 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + Peace protest in Vaakarai
We should not forgot Sri Lanka’s past atrocities
While looking forward to a positive future, the Tamils cannot ignore the realities of the past. The actions of the Sri Lankan government stand as testimony to the fact that it is a rogue state, and one that practices state terrorism.
Last week the international and domestic audience observing the situation in Sri Lanka were treated to a deluge of reports detailing the plight of the Tamil people who had been living under a Sri Lanka Army imposed economic embargo due to the fact that they did not reside in Sri Lanka government controlled areas. The cause of this sudden spree of press coverage was due to the Government of Sri Lanka easing rules pertaining to the press censorship of the north and east of the island to benefit from the public relations benefits of allowing the international community to witness the convoy of food being allowed into the territory as part of their goodwill gesture to the Liberation Tig-ers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more ...
162) 14:23 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + LTTE extends ceasefire, Colombo calls it "publicity stunt"
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Vaakarai on Tuesday demanding the Sri Lankan Government reciprocate positively to the Liberation Tigers unilateral cease-fire and to begin negotiations with the movement. The protest was also intended to highlight that Tamil people's aspiration is their right to self-determination, organisers said. A large number of school students, government and non-governmental officials participated in the protests despite heavy rains, sources said. more ...
"We have decided to extend the ceasefire for another month to prevent an escalation of current hostilities into an all-out war and to provide further space to facilitate the peace effort undertaken by the Norwegian government,"
163) 14:19 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + Sri Lanka foreign minister to visit Moscow, St.Petersburg
said the statement, issued by the LTTE's International Secretariat in London. The government dismissed the first ceasefire as a publicity stunt and says the LTTE -- which has been battling for a separate minority Tamil state in the north and east since 1983 -- must agree to substantive talks before any truce can begin. "We wish to reiterate that our liberation organisation is prepared to enter into peace negotiations when Sri Lanka reciprocates favourably to our unilateral declaration of ceasefire and agrees to implement the Norwegian peace project aimed at the de-escalation of war and normalisation of civilian life,"
the LTTE said. The statement said the LTTE had asked Solheim to notify the government of the ceasefire extension. more ...
164) 12:58 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + Lake House journalist tortured in police custody
Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Lakshman Kadirgamar arrives on Tuesday in Moscow for a working visit. On January 25, he will have talks with head of the Russian diplomacy Igor Ivanov. The two ministers will discuss the bilateral relations and a situation now taking shape in South Asia. Last time the top diplomats of the two countries met in October 2000, at the 55th session of the UN General Assembly. Earlier in the year, there had been consultations held between the two countries at the level of deputy foreign ministers. After his meeting with Igor Ivanov, Lakshman Kadirgamar will leave for St.Petersburg, where he will have talks with the city leadership. There is an extensive cultural program waiting for the high-ranking guest from Sri Lanka both in Moscow and St.Petersburg. Lakshman Kadirgamar will leave Russia on January 27. more ...
165) 12:43 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + Tigers extend unilateral ceasefire
A Tamil journalist arrested by the police has been tortured in custody. A human rights activist in Colombo told BBC’s Sandeshaya that the journalist Nadarajah Thiruchelvam was handcuffed to a chair and beaten with a pipe.
He has recorded a statement from Thiruchelvam. The victim is a Lake House reporter based in Jaffna who was arrested after arriving in Colombo to attend a wedding. The police has told his family that they have received a petition alleging journalist’s connection to LTTE. The Lanka Academic learns that a powerful government minister from the North East region has ordered Nadaraja’s arrest.
The family say Nadarajah had no special connection to the Tigers. more ...
166) 12:30 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + Tigers extend ceasefire
The Liberation Tigers said Tuesday they would extend their
unilateral ceasefire by another month, and called on the international community to persuade Sri Lanka to "reciprocate favourably and resume negotiations in a cordial atmosphere of peace and normalcy."
The LTTE’s unilateral ceasefire was due to expire Wednesday night. The Tigers said they had made the decision in conformity with the collective will of the Tamil nation which demands peace and also in compliance with the wish of the international community which pleads for a peaceful means of resolving the conflict." more ...
167) 03:04 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + Army aims to retake a major Tamil rebel base
Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka have extended a
unilateral ceasefire by a month and called for international pressure on the government to reciprocate. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), under pressure from government forces in their stronghold on the northern Jaffna peninsula, said the move was made "in the spirit of goodwill".
But the government has dismissed the rebel move as a publicity stunt and says the LTTE - which has been battling for a separate minority Tamil state in the north and east since 1983 - must agree to substantive talks before any truce can begin. more ...
168) 02:41 GMT, Jan. 23, 2001 | + Ban LTTE, Sri Lanka tells U.K.
Government troops and tanks, backed by MiG-27 jets, began an assault at dawn Tuesday to retake a major Tamil Tiger rebel bastion in Sri Lanka, the military said. One civilian was killed and several injured in the first hour of fighting in northern Jaffna Peninsula, said military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne. He did not give any military or rebel casualty figures. Using tanks, heavy artillery and aircraft, the army was trying to move toward the strategic, rebel-held Elephant Pass, which connects the peninsula with the mainland. more ...
169) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2000 | + Discrimination against NorthEast doctors:Joseph Pararajasingham
170) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2000 | + Ranil's googly: Presidency out or not out?
171) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2000 | + Soldiers in need of `relief’
172) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2000 | + Kumaratunga to talk to LTTE on Constitutional reforms
173) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2000 | + 'Ethnic clashes come to an end in Sri Lanka'
174) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2000 | + Hunt for Sri Lankan rebels
175) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 2000 | + Army prepares for new thrust against Tigers
176) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 1999 | + Three transformers blown up in Sri Lanka capital
177) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 1999 | + Bloody campaign ends ahead of key Sri Lanka poll
178) 11:11 GMT, Jan. 23, 1999 | + Monsoon floods hit Vanni displaced
Representatives of other Tamil parties have appealed to the U.K. not to ban the LTTE as ``it would be counter- productive'' to the peace talks. Their views are also likely to be taken into consideration by the British Government. Last week, the LTTE representative in London, Mr. Anton Balasingham, told Uthayan, that they would not extend the ceasefire if the Government continued its offensive in the peninsula. more ...