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February 18, 2019 - Memory of the Day

Sri Lanka, an Island Nation That Is Best Savored Slowly

2019-01-30 21:07:46 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Human Rights Violations

  • 1997 | Sri Lankan army wipes out NorthEastern Trees
    The Sri Lankan military is carrying out a covert tree-demolition project in captured areas of the northeast. The ecology of the region has been destroyed since the government's military operations resumed in 1995. Some 2.5 million trees have so far been wiped out and the army is now ordering Tamils to cut down mango trees growing in their own gardens. In Jaffna city, ancient stately trees planted down roadsides by the ex-British colonial administration have been cut to stumps.
  • 2001 | Body of Jaffna youth identified
    The body of a youth found near the Nanthavil Amman temple in Kondavil in Jaffna on Friday was identified by relatives Saturday evening as that of Kutaalam Muraleetharan.
  • Innocent People Killed

  • 1996 | Sinnathurai Suntharalingam [ 76 M from Valigamam, North ]
    Elderly under military die of starvation and without medicine.
  • 1996 | Maylvaganam [ M from Valigamam, North ]
    Elderly under military die of starvation and without medicine.
  • 1996 | Kanthaiya [ M from Valigamam, North ]
    Elderly under military die of starvation and without medicine.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 841 | அறிவின்மை அன்மையுள் இன்மை பிறிதின்மை
    இன்மையா வையா துலகு.
    Want of knowledge, 'mid all wants the sorest want we deem;
    Want of other things the world will not as want esteem.
    - 85 85
  • Feb 18 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Feb 18, 2015 14:20:39 GMT |  + Conspiracy underway in the guise of 100-day programme: Gammanpila
    A conspiracy is underway in a bid to encourage and develop separatism in the country under the guise of the Government’s 100-day programme, Western Provincial Council member Udaya Gammanpila asserted. The observation was made at pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa rally which is being held in Nugegoda at the moment. The politicians joined at the rally called former President to contest as the Prime Ministerial candidate at the upcoming general election. more ...
  • 2) Feb 18, 2015 14:18:34 GMT |  + Sri Lanka to review all projects approved by Mahinda Rajapaksa government
    Sri Lanka on Tuesday said that it would review all projects — that was agreed by the previous Rajapaksa government — in the island nation being built with international support and take action if discrepancies are found in any of the plans. Colombo will review all projects that was approved by the previous government and take steps if discrepancies are found, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Smaraweera told a news channel without naming any country a day after official talks between his visiting President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Narendra Modi. more ...
  • 3) Feb 18, 2015 14:12:03 GMT |  + Sri Lanka says China "port city" broke rules
    Sri Lanka's prime minister said on Wednesday a $1.5 billion luxury real estate deal with China was signed without cabinet approval and without following procedures, and launched a new investigation to uncover any corruption. The last government entered into the deal with China, dubbed Port City, to build an offshore development on reclaimed land next to Colombo port. Critics say the details of the deal were not revealed and the environmental study not made public. more ...
  • 4) Feb 18, 2015 14:03:58 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia among 50 diplomats recalled
    Sri Lanka’s new president has recalled more than 50 diplomats from across the globe who were seen as “political” appointments made by the former regime - including the high commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, and UN representative Dr Palitha Kohona, a dual Australian-Sri Lankan citizen.The Sri Lankan high commission in Canberra confirmed the diplomats had been recalled. Both of the diplomats with Australian connections attracted controversy, both relating to their positions and actions at the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal 26-year civil war between government troops and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam army (the Tamil Tigers). more ...
  • 5) Feb 18, 2015 14:01:49 GMT |  + China proposes triangular partnership with India, Sri Lanka
    “We are happy to see close and friendly development of India-Sri Lanka relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry says on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to India. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying added: “We believe the sound relations among the three countries are conducive to the three countries and to the whole region. Therefore we are happy to see development of relations between Sri Lanka and India.” China’s new strategic construct of inclusive ties with India and Sri Lanka follows its advocacy of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR), where India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan are visualized as partner countries in South Asia. more ...
  • 6) Feb 18, 2014 16:48:05 GMT |  + Toronto startup takes menus digital
    Ehamparam and Ponnampalam are working towards a partnership with Toronto-based mobile payment processor Lucova, which will soon allow customers to settle their bill without flagging down a server. “You basically just click a ‘pay’ button on the tablet, and you will get a notification as you’re walking out the door that the restaurant has gotten paid through the credit card that’s attached to your profile,” said Ehamparam. “So it’s a very seamless payment process.” more ...
  • 7) Feb 18, 2014 15:41:47 GMT |  + Rajiv case convicts rejoice at SC ruling
    Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan's joy knew no bounds when they were informed about the apex court giving them a new lease of life. It was a moment to rejoice for the three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case at the high—security Central Prison here on Tuesday when authorities broke the news of Supreme Court commuting their death sentences to life terms. If the dawn of the day brought anxious moments for Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, their joy knew no bounds when they were informed about the apex court giving them a new lease of life.
  • 8) Feb 18, 2014 11:40:24 GMT |  + Rajiv case: Convict Perarivalan's mother now hopes for son's release
    Elated over the Supreme Court commuting to life term the death penalty given to her son in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the mother of convict A G Perarivalan on Tuesday thanked Chief Justice A P Sathasivam for the "historic" verdict. "I thank Chief Justice Sathasivam for the verdict. I was waiting for this for 23 years and living with the hope, wandering through streets anticipating for such an order. I now have peace of mind," an emotional Arputham Ammal told the media soon after the court commuted the death penalty of her son into life sentence. more ...
  • 9) Feb 18, 2014 11:38:00 GMT |  + Supreme Court commutes death sentence for Rajiv Gandhi's killers to life
    The Supreme Court today commuted the death sentence of three men convicted of killing former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to life in prison, rejecting the government's view that an 11-year delay in deciding their mercy petition was not agony for them. The convicts, Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, can also walk out of jail if the Tamil Nadu government grants them remission, the court ruled. The decision will be a politically loaded one ahead of the national election, due by May. more ...
  • 10) Feb 18, 2014 11:34:28 GMT |  + Supreme Court commutes death penalty of Rajiv Gandhi's killers to life term
    The Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death penalty of Rajiv Gandhi's killers to life term, citing the 11-year delay in deciding their mercy pleas. With this, the three convicts on death row in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case — Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan — have been spared the gallows. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam rejected the Centre's submission that there was no unreasonable delay in deciding their mercy plea and the condemned prisoners did not go through agonizing experience as they were enjoying life behind the bars. more ...
  • 11) Feb 18, 2014 11:28:53 GMT |  + Defining moment
    UN Human Rights chief Navaneetham Pillay’s forthcoming report to the Human Rights Council, extracts of which appeared this weekend in a Sri Lankan newspaper, makes a clear and unambiguous call: for an international investigation into the mass atrocities of the final months of the island’s civil war. The High Commissioner’s call will be welcomed by the diverse array of actors, both ‘local’ and international, who have been steadfastly campaigning for five years for accountability for the war crimes and crimes against humanity in which at least 70,000 people were systematically slaughtered in 2009. more ...
  • 12) Feb 18, 2014 11:26:01 GMT |  + Tamil Nadu parties welcome SC verdict on Rajiv killers
    Political parties in Tamil Nadu welcomed the Supreme Court order commuting the death sentence of three convicts —Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan— in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and wanted their release from prison, arguing that they had already spent 23 years in jail. Only on Monday the DMK conference in Tiruchi adopted a resolution for commuting their death sentence. more ...
  • 13) Feb 18, 2013 20:47:44 GMT |  + Handed a snack, and then executed: the 12-year-old son of a Tamil Tiger
    New photographs have emerged which raise fresh questions about the conduct of Sri Lanka’s armed forces during the final stages of the operation against Tamil rebels and have led to claims the 12-year-old son of the militants’ leader may have been summarily executed. A series of photographs taken a few hours apart and on the same camera, show Balachandran Parabhakaran, son of Villupillai Prabhakaran, head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more ...
  • 14) Feb 18, 2013 16:39:46 GMT |  + Sri Lanka mass grave called 'a crime site'
    The remains of more than 150 people have been excavated in the town of Matale in central Sri Lanka. The skeletal remains were discovered late last year by workers building a facility at a hospital in Matale. Dr Ajith Jayasena, Matale hospital's judicial medical officer in charge of the investigation, told Al Jazeera that the site "is a crime scene". Bone samples will be sent abroad to find out when they died and soil analysis of the area is also being done, investigators said. more ...
  • 15) Feb 18, 2013 0:11:27 GMT |  + Don’t Let the Rajapaksas Ruin Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka was for decades an example of how sectarian conflict can wreck an otherwise fortunate country. It has had three years to show how devolving power to an ethnic minority can bring about lasting peace. Now it looks as if the opportunity will be lost. Sri Lanka paid an enormous price to bring 26 years of civil war to an end. An estimated 40,000 people died in the last months of fighting in 2009, bringing the conflict’s final toll to more than 100,000. This includes a sitting president, Ranasinghe Premadasa, and a former Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, who were killed in suicide bombings by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more ...
  • 16) Feb 18, 2013 0:07:43 GMT |  + Revealed: UK sells arms to Sri Lanka's brutal regime
    Britain is selling millions of pounds worth of small arms and ammunition to Sri Lanka despite the country’s dire human rights record, The Independent can disclose. Figures taken from the Government’s own database show how the authorities in Colombo have gone on a buying spree of British small arms and weaponry worth at least £3m. more ...
  • 17) Feb 18, 2013 0:06:15 GMT |  + Sri Lanka hardline group calls for halal boycott
    A new hardline Sinhalese Buddhist group in Sri Lanka has called for the abolition of the Muslim halal system of certifying foods and other goods. The Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Strength Force, also said foreign propagators of religions should leave the country within a month. Thousands of supporters of the group attended a rally in a suburb of the capital, Colombo. The calls come at a time of mounting religious tension in the country. more ...
  • 18) Feb 18, 2013 0:05:30 GMT |  + LTTE campaign delayed Rajiv Gandhi's killers’ hanging, source says
    Three Rajiv Gandhi assassins have opposed the execution of the death sentence awarded to them by pointing to the 12 year-lag between the Supreme Court's confirmation of the high court's order to send them to the gallows and the rejection of the mercy petition by President. Behind this argument, it turns out, is a well-organized campaign by LTTE cadres, sympathizers and human rights groups opposed to death penalty who could well have been the reason for the delay in the first place. more ...
  • 19) Feb 18, 2013 0:03:53 GMT |  + Sri Lanka paper says unbowed after reporter shooting
    A Sri Lankan newspaper vowed it would not be intimidated on Sunday after an investigative reporter survived an assassination bid, the latest in a string of attacks against the country's media. Faraz Shauketaly, 54, from the privately owned Sunday Leader, was in intensive care at a Colombo hospital but making a "steady recovery" after a bullet was removed from his neck, hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa told AFP. more ...
  • 20) Feb 18, 2011 23:26:01 GMT |  + Sri Lankan farmers need urgent help after losing rice harvest to floods – UN official
    “A lot of farmers in these areas are people who were living on the edge – had borrowed money hoping for a good harvest crop [and] will now have no income,” Neil Buhne, the outgoing UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sri Lanka, told reporters in Geneva. “We are very concerned about the impact this will have,” said Mr. Buhne, explaining that farmers in Batticaloa district in the Eastern Province had lost their entire rice crop to the floods just as they were getting ready to start harvesting. Residents of Trincomalee district in the same province lost an estimated 40 per cent of their rice harvest, he added. more ...
  • 21) Feb 18, 2011 17:39:12 GMT |  + India arrests Lankan fishermen
    Four Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested by the Indian Navy off this coastal town and their mechanised boat seized for reportedly crossing into the Indian territorial waters. Commander S. Agarwal, Officer Incharge, Naval Detachment, Rameswaram said an Indian naval patrol vessel noticed the boat moving suspiciously near the Fifth Island inside Indian territorial waters this morning and arrested the fishermen. They were brought to the Naval jetty here and would later be handed over to the Tamil Nadu police for further questioning, he said.
  • 22) Feb 18, 2011 17:36:56 GMT |  + Sri Lanka set to meet budget deficit target: IMF
    Sri Lanka's government is likely to be able to meet the 2010 target for its budget deficit of eight percent of gross domestic product, a visiting International Monetary Fund official said. Brian Aitken, chief of the IMF review mission, said the island's economic growth remained strong and there were no signs of inflationary pressure. "The authorities continue to execute policies in line with the IMF programme's goals," he told a news conference. "The performance against the end-December targets was satisfactory with the 2010 budget deficit likely to have been held within the target of eight percent of GDP."
  • 23) Feb 18, 2011 14:02:51 GMT |  + Obama did not live up to his predecessors performances: Sri Lanka case Study
    When American presidents were ranked according to their performance in office using criteria such as presidential achievements, leadership qualities, failures and faults (such as corruption), George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt consistently climbed the top of the lists. Often ranked just below those three were Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt. more ...
  • 24) Feb 18, 2011 14:02:09 GMT |  + The Tamil Diaspora and the Future of the Tamil Struggle
    Today, the 18th of February, finds us three months away from the second anniversary of the “Mullivaikal Massacre”. At this juncture it is important to ask the question: What constructive action can be taken by the Tamil Diaspora to build a better future for the Tamil nation? In Tamil culture, at a funeral, all the people of the village are expected to attend. It’s tradition. But if the whole village was a funeral house, who will go and to whose house? Also, who will heal the existing souls?
  • 25) Feb 18, 2011 14:01:38 GMT |  + Mullivaikkal Tragedy - The Growing List of Complicity
    Ban Ki Moon’s emissary Vijay Nambiar who was dispatched to Sri Lanka, apparently to stop the predictable blood bath in the final days of the conflict met with his brother Satish Nambiar, the Sri Lankan Government’s Military Consultant and, of course, the Rajapakses, Narayanans and Menons directing the Tamil Genocide. The fate of those unfortunate civilians in Mullivaikkal and environs were decided and sealed. Having ‘failed’ in his mission Vijay Nambiar returned to his boss in New York and personally apprised him of the ‘success’ of his mission.
  • 26) Feb 18, 2011 14:01:05 GMT |  + TN fishermen vs SL navy: Encounters of worst kind
    A Ganesh Nadar in Rameswaram Tamil fishermen being attacked by the Sri Lankan navy has become a regular affair in Tamil Nadu. Most of these fishermen belong to two districts: Nagaipattinam and Ramanathapuram which includes the island of Rameswaram. Recently 118 fishermen from Nagaipattinam were arrested by the Lankan navy and were produced in a court in Sri Lanka. They are reportedly remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.
  • 27) Feb 18, 2011 13:42:56 GMT |  + Support war crimes inquiry-British MPs
    A group of 41 British MPs- members or Supporters of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils- in a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron urged to support an independent, international war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka. These MPs drawn from the three major parties at Westminster said that “This is a major issue of concern for British parliamentarians, and follows credible evidence provided by the US State Department, the European Commission and International Crisis Group, as well as the findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, that war crimes could have taken place in Sri Lanka.”
  • 28) Feb 18, 2011 13:38:41 GMT |  + Seizure of Indian trawlers, a token action: fishermen representatives
    Around 500 Eezham Tamil fishing society representatives who gathered at Point Pedro in Vadamarradchi refused Thursday to hand over the poaching Indian trawlers, which they had seized from the intruding Indian fishermen on Tuesday. Declaring that their action against Indian poaching was a token one, the representatives urged immediate action from the Indian authorities. The fishermen representatives also refused to hand over the vessels to Sri Lankan military, urging the concerned authorities to resolve the dispute by civil means. more ...
  • 29) Feb 18, 2011 13:37:41 GMT |  + Sri Lanka frees all Indian fishermen
    The 136 Indian fishermen arrested and remanded earlier this week for straying into Sri Lankan waters were released by a Jaffna court on Friday. It was learnt that the fishermen and their 25 seized trawlers will be escorted to the international maritime border line (IMBL) later this evening by the Sr i Lankan navy. From the IMBL Indian Coast Guard ships were expected to take over and escort them back home. The 136 fishermen were intercepted in two batches by Lankan fishermen operating off the Jaffna coast on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was possibly for the first time that local fishermen themselves had taken the law into their own hands and then handed the Indian fishermen and handed them over to the police in the coastal town of Point Pedro.
  • 30) Feb 18, 2011 13:32:57 GMT |  + 2G scam: CBI raids DMK's Kalaignar TV office
    The CBI on Friday raided the in the offices and residences of top management of DMK-run Kalaignar TV in connection with the 2G spectrum scam. The raids came in the wake of allegations that that there was a connection between accused Shahid Usman Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom and the channel. The agency carried out searches at Kalaignar TV Managing director Sharad Kumar's residence. more ...
  • 31) Feb 18, 2011 13:29:56 GMT |  + The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urges prompt investigations into acts of sexual violence in Sri Lanka
    The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) urges Sri Lanka to "promptly investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of violence including sexual violence" which arose during the last stages of the conflict and in the post-conflict phase. Prior to this, ECCHR submitted a report during the 48th Session CEDAW Committee on the foreseeability of sexual violence during the Sri Lanka conflict.
  • 32) Feb 18, 2011 11:57:29 GMT |  + Cop apologizes for ‘sluts' remark at law school
    A police officer who suggested women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like “sluts” has apologized, saying he is “embarrassed” by the remark and that assaulted women are “not victims by choice.” Darshika Selvasivam, vice-president of the York Federation of Students, said she found the use of the word “extremely alarming.” Linking provocative clothing to sexual assault “is a huge myth” and all it does is “blame the survivor of a sexual assault while taking the onus away from the perpetrator,” she said. more ...
  • 33) Feb 18, 2010 12:59:01 GMT |  + Jaffna blames India; but likes investment
    The business community in the north Sri Lankan Tamil-speaking district of Jaffna is ready to welcome Indian investments and development projects amidst them, in spite of the fact that they, like the people of the district, harbour strong anti-Indian feelings. A Jaffna man blames India for the defeat of the LTTE. “India had failed to stop the last leg of the war between the Lankan forces and the LTTE and prevent the killing of thousands of Tamil civilians,” they complained. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi only enacted a “drama” in support of the Tamils here, they sneered. However, Jaffna is safe for Indian investors and businessmen, assured R Janakumar, president of the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce.
  • 34) Feb 18, 2010 12:58:23 GMT |  + Paramilitary men lob grenade, demand ransom in Jaffna
    Paramilitary men alleged to be collaborating with Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Intelligence Unit in Jaffna lobbed two hand grenades on the house of a person in Araali East in Valikaamam Tuesday night in an attempt to threaten him to pay two million rupees demanded by them, sources in Jaffna said. One of the grenades had exploded and following the attack the person had been threatened on phone that his life will be in danger next time if he does not pay the demanded sum of money, the sources added. The hand grenades were lobbed by men on motorcycles in front of the house and the unexploded grenade was found on Wednesday morning.
  • 35) Feb 18, 2010 12:57:48 GMT |  + Sri Lanka’s debt crisis worsens
    Despite the efforts of the Sri Lankan government and Central Bank to paint a picture of a vibrant economy on the brink of an historic expansion, the island confronts a worsening economic crisis. Like a number of European countries, Sri Lanka is burdened with heavy foreign debts and a ballooning budget deficit, in large part due to the huge military spending needed to wage war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Sri Lankan army defeated the LTTE last May, but the island’s economic problems have only deepened.
  • 36) Feb 18, 2010 9:47:59 GMT |  + China's Sri Lanka Port Raises Concern
    China's construction of a port in Sri Lanka and a Chinese admiral's suggestion Beijing build a naval base in the Gulf of Aden has raised fears in the Middle East that a confrontation between China and India is looming along vital energy export routes. Both the Asian titans, whose economies continue to expand despite the global financial meltdown, are heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil and will become more so as supplies dwindle. The Indians are building their naval forces across these vital shipping lanes through which some 85 percent of China's oil supplies pass along with raw materials from Africa.
  • 37) Feb 18, 2009 18:53:15 GMT |  + 38 civilians killed in Sri Lankan war
    At least 38 civilians have been killed and 140 others wounded in government artillery attacks and air raids on a tiny rebel-controlled territory in Sri Lanka, a health official says. The attack was carried out in an area that included a government designated "no-fire zone," said Dr. Thurairaja Varatharaja, who works in the embattled region. He said 13 members of an extended family were killed early Wednesday when artillery hit their home in Idaikkadu village.
  • 38) Feb 18, 2009 18:51:10 GMT |  + 30 tonnes of food for 300,000 - Ilamparithi
    Pressurised by international opinion, Colombo government allowed Wednesday transportation of a meager amount of food – 30 tonnes – for a population of 300,000 on Wednesday, said LTTE's Puthukkudiyiruppu Political Head C. Ilamparithi. "When distributed the amount each one would be getting is 100 grams: roughly 66 grams of flour, 20 grams of Dahl and 14 grams of sugar per person," he said blaming Colombo for 'eyewash'. C. IlamparuthyMr. Ilamparithi was present to monitor the humanitarian supplies received by the government officials in Vanni. more ...
  • 39) Feb 18, 2009 18:44:00 GMT |  + Tamils are being wiped out from Sri Lanka while the Nations are watching!
    Sri Lankan government has bombed many hospitals even within the safe zone declared by them. People are very reluctant to come out of the conflict zone and enter into the concentration camps set up in the government controlled areas. The reason for this is because Tamils never feel safe in the hands of the Sinhala forces. People in the conflict zone are very aware that the government is filtering out young Tamil boys and girls as suspects. There are reports of rape and murder among the ones that are taken out of these camps.
  • 40) Feb 18, 2009 18:39:39 GMT |  + The Jeff and Mutt Act
    "...The Jeff and Mutt act is also sometimes called the 'Good Cop, Bad Cop' role play. And given the recent Mutt like call by Norway, US, EU & Japan for the LTTE to surrender so that Vanni civilians may be saved from Sri Lanka's genocidal onslaught, it may be helpful to examine some features of the Jeff and Mutt role play adopted by international actors in relation to the conflict in the island of Sri Lanka... It seems that the trilaterals having waited till Tamil resistance is 'sufficiently weakened' are now concerned to pressure Sri Lanka to fall in line with their own strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region..."
  • 41) Feb 18, 2009 18:32:52 GMT |  + Sri Lankans in 'Safe Zone' Still Under Fire
    In a designated safe zone in northern Sri Lanka, weekend fighting has put civilians back in the war zone. A new "safe zone" has provided some respite for tens of thousands of local residents, reports the United Nations, but that area also experienced some fighting in the past several days. "The Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should take immediate steps to allow thousands of civilians trapped in a shrinking conflict zone safe passage and to ensure that they receive desperately needed humanitarian aid," says international rights monitor Human Rights Watch.
  • 42) Feb 18, 2009 18:26:33 GMT |  + Tamil diaspora doctors prepared to enter Vanni, demand access
    Doctors organised in charity and aid organisations in Australia and Norway have urged their foreign ministries, United Nations Secretary General and the ICRC to secure urgent permission from Sri Lankan authorities to facilitate safe passage of their convoy of doctors and medical supplies. Dr. V. Manomohan, the president of Australian Medical Aid Foundation (AMAF) and Dr. T. Sivakanesan, the coordinator of Norwegian Tamils Health Organistaion (NTHO) said Wednesday that their organisations that have rendered medical aid for a long time, especially in the aftermath of Tsunami, have the necessary skills, manpower and resources to engage immediately in the medical aid, given that a safe passage is provided to their medical units. more ...
  • 43) Feb 18, 2009 18:24:59 GMT |  + India offers ‘final thrust’ for ‘subjugation’ of Tamils
    Accusing the Tigers for committing damages to the Tamil community and calling them for laying down arms and releasing the civilians, the Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Indian Parliament on Wednesday offered India’s facilitation to evacuate civilians, working along with the Colombo government and the ICRC, who would be responsible for the security, screening and rehabilitation of them, BBC reported. This offer without taking responsibility, neither to the future plight of the civilians nor to the political consequences that would follow, is the 'best of its abetment' India is rendering to Colombo in the subjugation of Tamils, according to Tamil political observers.
  • 44) Feb 18, 2009 17:15:53 GMT |  + A Harrow Tamil martyrs himself to protest against the Sri Lanka government
    A TAMIL from Harrow poured petrol over his head and burned himself to death in protest at the civil war which is devastating large parts of the population of Sri Lanka. Murukathasan Vanakulasingam left his family last Tuesday to fly to Switzerland and take part in a mass protest against the attacks on Tamils by the Sri Lankan government. But on Thursday night, hours before he was expected to fly home and return to his job, the 27-year-old computer science graduate set fire to himself outside the gates of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. more ...
  • 45) Feb 18, 2009 17:06:37 GMT |  + Humanizing the Tamil Plight
    The plight of the Tamil people has always been just that – the plight of the Tamil people. Put simply, the onus has consistently fallen on Tamils to draw light to their own humanitarian cause. Of course, who better to speak for Tamils than Tamils themselves but the problem lies in the reality that the cause is not solely theirs but a cause familiar to all of humankind. Canadians have a responsibility to hold the government accountable for its complicit role in this crisis. But a lack of knowledge proves to be a hindrance in taking action. However, gathering the support of non-Tamil organizations has vastly increased awareness among non-Tamils.
  • 46) Feb 18, 2009 13:20:57 GMT |  + UN Envoy On Humanitarian Affairs To Arrive In Sri Lanka
    The U.N.'s top envoy for humanitarian affairs John Holmes will arrive in Colombo on Thursday to assess Sri Lanka's relief operations in its conflict zone, the government said. The visit comes after U.N.-appointed experts expressed concern earlier this month over "rapidly deteriorating conditions" facing civilians affected by the war between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels and the "significant number of civilian casualties." The United Nations under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs was visiting the island at Colombo's invitation, the government said Wednesday.
  • 47) Feb 18, 2009 12:39:17 GMT |  + India can't force Lanka to take a particular line, says Pranab
    The government on Wednesday virtually turned own demands of two Tamil parties, including United Progressive Alliance constituent Patali Makkal Katchi, for India's intervention to stop military offensive in Sri Lanka, saying it cannot force a sovereign government of another country to take a particular line. The assertion by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee came after PMK and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members expressed unhappiness over his statement in Lok Sabha on the situation in Sri Lanka and demanded its withdrawal. Mukherjee expressed readiness to make "corrections" in his statement if there were any "discrepancies".
  • 48) Feb 18, 2009 12:30:54 GMT |  + India-Sri Lanka accord sabotaged by governments in Colombo: Kumaratunga
    Successive governments in Colombo have spiked the provisions of the 1987 India-Sri Lanka accord aimed at devolving powers to provinces in the island nation, former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga has said. Had the devolution of powers taken place earlier, Sri Lanka's dragging ethnic conflict might have ended a long time ago, Kumaratunga told a panel discussion here Tuesday evening. Kumaratunga, who stepped down as president in November 2005, was referring to the 13th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution that followed the 1987 accord. The agreement sought to end Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka.
  • 49) Feb 18, 2009 12:17:13 GMT |  + Infosys’ Murthy pulls back as IT advisor to Sri Lanka president
    In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Murthy said he had decided to withdraw from being the advisor due to personal reasons. “I thank you for the courtesy shown to me during my recent visit to Sri Lanka. I have decided to withdraw from being the advisor to your government due to personal reasons,” the company quoted Murthy’s letter to Rajapaksa. Incidentally, Murthy told IANS Tuesday that the role of an advisor was to keep his mouth shut and open it only when asked for his views based on experience. more ...
  • 50) Feb 18, 2009 11:55:39 GMT |  + Sri Lanka After the War
    The greatest mistakes are made on the morrow of the greatest victories. Sri Lanka is now approaching a decisive victory in its 26-year war against Tamil separatism, and it is about to make a very big mistake. This is the time when a peace that gives the Tamils equal rights and autonomous local governments in the areas where they are a majority could secure the country's future, but it is most unlikely to happen.
  • 51) Feb 18, 2009 11:48:32 GMT |  + Massive air attack on civilian targets, more than 100 feared killed
    More than 100 civilians were feared killed Wednesday around 12:50 p.m. when four Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers dropped cluster bombs on Internally Displaced Civilians at Aananthapuram in Ira'naippaalai, according to initial reports from medical sources. More than 70 wounded were rushed to hospital so far and 10 of the victims have died on the way to Maaththa'lan hospital. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched an artillery barrage blocking transportation of wounded to hospitals. Doctors in the makeshift hospital told TamilNet that unless the seriously wounded were not evacuated by the ICRC to Trincomalee or elsewhere, many would die at the hospital. more ...
  • 52) Feb 18, 2009 9:48:04 GMT |  + Tamil Americans to hold rally in Washington
    Tamils in the US will hold a demonstration in front of the State Department and the White House here on Friday protesting against the “genocide” against their community in Sri Lanka. 'Tamils Against Genocide', a pro-Tamils organisation, will organise a rally and hunger strike to urge US President Mr Barack Obama to bring an end to the “genocide” in northern Sri Lanka, where the Army and LTTE are engaged in a war. “Tamils have been systematically attacked and brutalised since the government ordered international aid agencies out of the region last September,” the group said in a statement.
  • 53) Feb 18, 2009 9:45:24 GMT |  + Sand Castles and the Rock of truth
    On the military front in Mullaitivu and elsewhere in the North, intense battles continue but the international focus was on the plight of more than 200,000 civilians who are languishing in varying degrees of degradation, destitution and danger. One report said they did not have even a tree for shelter and were probably just sitting on the beaches with little or no food, medicine, shelter or clothing. Though local attention on the desperate plight of these innocent civilians was tragically insufficient due to lack of knowledge or care, the international community, which gets more information on Sri Lankan issues than most Sri Lankans do was expressing growing concerns over the civilians.
  • 54) Feb 18, 2009 9:36:29 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Rejects Truce Call As Fighting Escalates
    Sri Lanka's government Wednesday rejected fresh calls for a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels as security forces took another village previously held by the cornered guerrillas. Defense spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the government was firmly committed to wiping out "terrorism" and described the demand for a ceasefire from a Tamil Tiger proxy as "laughable." "We have taken a policy decision to completely root out terrorism," Rambukwella told reporters here. "There will be no ceasefire with the LTTE ( Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)."
  • 55) Feb 18, 2009 9:24:19 GMT |  + LTTE Must Lay Down Arms: Pranab
    Denouncing the LTTE, India today said the outfit had caused "much damage" to Tamil community and it should lay down arms as there is a political opportunity after 23 years to restore normalcy in northern parts of the island nation.Making a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India remains concerned over the safety and welfare of civilians, most of them Tamils, caught in the conflict and is ready to facilitate their evacuation.
  • 56) Feb 18, 2009 9:15:09 GMT |  + SLA artillery fire hits new 'safety zone', 108 killed, 200 wounded
    Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched indiscriminate artillery barrage into the newly announced 'safety zone' killing at least 108 civilians and causing injuries to more than 200, according to initial details from the medical sources in the area. Every shell that hit the area seemed to have caused casualties, said a doctor at the makeshift hospital at Maaththa'lan. More than 100,000 people have been forced into a plain and narrow strip along the coast, north of Mullaiththeevu town, without potable water. Meanwhile, relentless artillery barrage by the SLA has boxed Theavipuram and Va'l'lipunam villages within the old zone, trapping thousands of civilians preventing them from moving to the new 'safe zone'. more ...
  • 57) Feb 18, 2009 3:26:29 GMT |  + An invisible war: why you should care about Sri Lanka
    This horrific situation in Sri Lanka is certainly an issue that has been absent from the American news media, but is certainly one which warrants much more attention. People should be made aware of this bloody conflict that has claimed the lives of both innocent Sinhalese and Tamil people, and more action should be taken to end the fighting on both sides. If this situation continues to stay below the radar, people throughout the world will not know about this conflict and it will never improve. By informing people and raising attention about this civil war in Sri Lanka,
  • 58) Feb 18, 2009 1:16:12 GMT |  + Human chain across State seeks ceasefire in Sri lanka
    The Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement on Tuesday formed a human chain across the State, demanding immediate a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. CPI state secretary D. Pandian, Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P. Nedumaran, PMK president G.K. Mani, Viduthalai Chiruthigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan, MDMK treasurer M. Kannappan and the PMK MLAs joined the chain at Tambaram. MDMK general secretary Vaiko took part in the protest at Tiruchi. A similar protest was held in Puducherry linking Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Nagapattinam and Rameswaram. more ...
  • 59) Feb 18, 2009 1:12:19 GMT |  + Only dialogue can bring peace in Lanka, says Chandrika
    The ongoing war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cannot be a solution to the ethnic conflict in the island nation and only a negotiated settlement will bring lasting peace in the nation, former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga said in New Delhi on Tuesday. Asked about the current situation in Sri Lanka, she told rediff.com: "We are deeply concerned by the killings of innocent civilians.'' The Sri Lankan ex-president was in the capital to participate in a panel discussion on Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar's book on Rajiv Gandhi, A Time of Transition.
  • 60) Feb 18, 2008 20:49:14 GMT |  + Voicing support to LTTE no offence: Karunanidhi
    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday reiterated that the Supreme court had observed that mere expression of support to a banned organisation like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was not an offence. Reacting to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo J Jayalalithaa's challenge whether he could quote the apex court order to this effect, he said, "When the issue was raised in the state assembly on January 29, he had given a detailed reply and the same was published in a English daily. Being a former chief minister, Jayalalithaa could have obtained a copy of the order in the POTA case from her lawyers and studied it properly before throwing the challenge."
  • 61) Feb 18, 2008 20:48:18 GMT |  + Engaging with the enemy for the common good
    On the weekend as I enjoyed the early morning hours in the park near where I live, I heard a raucous noise. Not thinking it was for me, I continued with my jog. But on the next round it was unmistakable. The sound coming from across the distance was “traitor, traitor.” I could not see who it was because the sound came from between parked cars. But whoever it was wanted to make it known that I was the target. “Jehan Perera, traitor, traitor”, he shouted. This was a person giving vent to a primeval passion. The present period can be considered the worst ever in the post-independence history of Sri Lanka where it concerns a mutually acceptable solution to the ethnic conflict.
  • 62) Feb 18, 2008 12:53:17 GMT |  + Suspicious Watch On TV News Director in Sri Lanka
    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed at reports that Susil Kedelpitiya, the news director of a popular television channel, is at risk after a series of suspicious incidents indicating he is under surveillance. Kedelpitiya, of Sirasa Television, told the Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, that he noticed a group of unknown people watching his home and car on the morning of February 14. He was later threatened by a driver in a pick-up vehicle and was followed by a hostile group that forcibly opened his car in an apparent attempt to harm him.
  • 63) Feb 18, 2008 12:46:55 GMT |  + Karuna denies Jaya's charge against DMK govt on LTTE issue
    Accusing AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa of telling a bundle of lies about the DMK government's stand on the LTTE issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said her aim was to see his ministry dismissed. Denying that his government was soft towards the LTTE as alleged by her, Karunanidhi, in a hard-hitting statement, said her main aim was to recapture power in the state by telling a bundle of lies and demand the dismissal of DMK government.
  • 64) Feb 18, 2008 4:52:21 GMT |  + Sri Lanka kicks off US$300mn syndicated loan
    Sri Lanka has called for proposals from foreign banks to raise 300 million dollars form a syndicated loan aiming to close the deal by late March or April, officials and bankers said. The Central Bank, which manages the island's public debt, will call a meeting of bankers later this week to explain the purpose of the loan and get the views of bankers, the head of the public debt department C P J Siriwardena said. Bankers said they were originally asked to submit proposals by February 21, but the closing date would now be extended till after the meeting. Siriwardane said the government was looking for a March to April deadline to raise the money.
  • 65) Feb 18, 2008 4:43:15 GMT |  + An Indian (mis)connection again ?
    Again, the JHU is opposed to the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. Again, the JVP is ready for another extremist campaign against the 13th Amendment, although this time, they are represented in them. President Rajapaksa says he does not believe in experimenting. Interim Advisory Councils, Police Powers for PCs, land alienation therefore would not be worth experimenting with. All these amended changes that leads to the present scenario nevertheless leaves one major question to be answered. Will history repeat itself, with India proved wrong yet another time and the SL government once again trying out a failed experiment?
  • 66) Feb 18, 2008 2:18:01 GMT |  + Sri Lanka rejects Kosovo independence
    While the United States and a number of European Union countries are expected to recognize Kosovo on Monday, Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry, reasoning that declaration of Independence can set "an unmanageable precedent in the conduct of international relations," said that Sri Lanka does not endorse the secession of Kosovo from Republic of Serbia. Questions raised by the birth of a new state towards demand for self-determination by similarly affected Tamils in Sri Lanka, may explain Sri Lanka's discomfiture towards Kosovo's independence more than the outwardly expressed "concern" for the threat to international peace and security, political observers in Colombo said.
  • 67) Feb 18, 2008 2:06:54 GMT |  + Gamka comments on two interviews
    It has been the misfortune of this writer to come across two high-profile interviews. The first is Indian NDTV’s Walk the Talk interview of President Mahinda Rajapaksa carried out by Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express. The second happens to be an interview of the president’s omniscient brother, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in the Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper. Let’s take a look at the Walk the Talk interview. I wonder if Shekhar Gupta is always so genial in his approach when interviewing people, or if jet lag put him in a sonambulent mood when talking to Mahinda Rajapaksa, for the interview sounds very chummy.
  • 68) Feb 18, 2008 1:55:53 GMT |  + Lanka buys weapons from Pakistan to fight Tigers
    Engaged in an all-out military campaign against the LTTE, Sri Lanka has said it was procuring arms from Pakistan to meet the terror threat from the Tamil Tigers. "We are facing a problem of terrorism against a democratically-elected legitimate state. In that situation, the government needs to procure equipment to resist that terrorism. So we are making the purchases," Sri Lankan high commissioner to India C.R. Jaisinghe said when asked about reports that Sri Lanka was procuring arms from Pakistan.
  • 69) Feb 18, 2007 21:39:06 GMT |  + Four TNA MPs appeal to the international community to pay attention to the increasing disappearances
    Four TNA members of parliament, S Kajenthiran, Pathmini Sithamparanathan, K Sivanesan, and P Ariyanenthiran, released an appeal to the international community today for action to bring an end to the increasing rate of disappearances. Many of the military officials directly involved in cases of disappearance have been given promotions. In Sri Lanka, the culture of impunity is openly displayed as something desired and celebrated. Tamil people wonder why this practice by the Sri Lankan military is not addressed by the international community with the kind of vigor that it demands. Is there a human rights that is worse than enforced disappearance.
  • 70) Feb 18, 2007 16:13:20 GMT |  + Britain warns could withold aid to Sri Lanka
    Britain warned on Sunday it will withhold millions of pounds worth of aid to Sri Lanka if the island's government fails to provide assurances it is fulfilling agreed human rights and defence spending conditions. Britain agreed in 2005 to provide Sri Lanka 41 million pounds ($79.9 million) in debt relief through 2015 in yearly instalments of around 4 million pounds, as long as it meets conditions related to various issues, including human rights and defence expenditure. The British government has written to its Sri Lankan counterpart asking it to clarify whether those conditions were still being met.
  • 71) Feb 18, 2007 16:11:47 GMT |  + Education in peril
    More than 7% of school-aged children in Jaffna, amounting to 10201 students, dropped out of schools in 2006, most of the dropouts occurring following the fresh outbreak of violence from 11 August 2006, say education officials in Jaffna. The schools in the district that boasted highest literacy rates 3 decades ago, and produced nearly 40% of the medical and engineering freshmen, now are gripped with fear of student abductions, and with high school education crippled with lack of school supplies and scarcity of books.
  • 72) Feb 18, 2007 16:11:03 GMT |  + Sri Lankans forced into labor in Iraq
    In Sri Lanka's war-torn north and east, where killings happen every day and work is nearly nonexistent, it doesn't take much to entice a man to leave. So when an employment agency offered a steady paycheck for laboring amid Dubai's soaring glass and steel towers, 17 young Sri Lankan men paid their fee to the job brokers — $2,000, a small fortune on this tropical island — and signed up. But instead of going to work, they were locked in a room guarded by a man with a pistol. They had been sold to another agency, they were told, for $1,200 apiece. It took them two weeks to realize where they were: Iraq.
  • 73) Feb 18, 2007 8:02:58 GMT |  + Pak eyes larger share of SL's arms market
    With an eye to corner a major share of Sri Lanka's military imports primarily aimed at countering the LTTE, a high-level Pakistani team led by Defence Secretary Tariq Waseem Ghazi will visit the island nation on Monday. Colombo has placed orders worth up to 100 million dollars with Pakistan for tanks, armoured vehicles, different kinds of bombs, explosives, ammunition and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), premier journal Jane's Defence Weekly and Sri Lankan media reports have said, confirming that the value of the deals could go up to 200 million dollars in the next 18 months.
  • 74) Feb 18, 2007 6:25:41 GMT |  + Britain threatens to stop aid to Lanka
    The British government is putting the squeeze on Sri Lanka, threatening to stop a grant of £41 million for breaching international obligations and for "unjustified" military spending. But now Britain claims that Sri Lanka is guilty of a significant violation of international obligations, particularly human rights, an instigation of hostilities and an unjustified rise in military spending. It believes that instead of spending the sum released on tsunami recovery and poverty reduction it has gone on a spending spree for military hardware and logistics.
  • 75) 12:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2006 |  + LTTE releases second Sri Lankan policeman as goodwill gesture prior to Geneva talks
    After three years of stalled peace talks, the upcoming Geneva talks will be held on 22-23 February. As a gesture of goodwill, the national leader ordered the release of a Sri Lankan policeman, W G D S Hemantha. He was released under the order of the Kilinochchi District Court Magistrate and handed over to SLMM officials in Kilinochchi District Court on Saturday. Three policemen were arrested inside the LTTE administered area on 10 September 2005 under the charge of not obtaining permission prior to entering the area. The first policeman, K A D Sarath, was released in the same way on 26 January. more ...
  • 76) 11:32 GMT, Feb. 18, 2006 |  + Swiss Tamils look to preserve their culture
    Tamils first came to Switzerland in the 1980s as refugees fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka and now make up a sizeable community in the country. Although they encountered prejudices at first, Tamils are now regarded as having adapted well to their new home. But they are still not fully integrated.An estimated 35,000 Tamils now live in Switzerland, of which ten per cent are naturalised Swiss. The ex-pat community is now one of the largest after those in Canada, Germany and Britain. However, the arrival of Tamils in the mid-1980s was not without consequences. The authorities were forced to set up a special refugee authority in 1986 to cope with the unprecedented deluge of Tamil asylum seekers. Prejudice and xenophobia were also commonplace. "The reception was very harsh, very aggressive, and for us it was also the first time we had been to Europe and experienced the cold snow," said Anton Ponrajah, the head of the Swiss Federation of Tamil Associations. more ...
  • 77) 02:49 GMT, Feb. 18, 2006 |  + Shadow hangs over Sri Lanka tourism
    Sri Lanka's government is due to hold talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels in Geneva next week. The aim is to revive the island's peace process, which was all but destroyed by a series of killings in recent months. The threat of a return to war has led to uncertainty in Sri Lanka's tourism industry. "Each year we are expecting a lot of tourists then something happens. Unfortunately we had a tsunami so last year was washed out. Now this killing is starting again and people are afraid to come to Sri Lanka,". Seenivasagham Kaliselvam, the director-general of the Sri Lankan Tourist Board, says: "Peace is paramount if we have to get tourists to this country. "As far as tourists are concerned they have various destinations they can choose for their holiday. No tourist will come to a country where violence is taking place. "So we are very certain we have got to have peace in the country to go forward in tourism." There has been a lull in the killing since January when the government and the Tiger rebels agreed to meet for talks in Geneva in Switzerland on 22 and 23 February. more ...
  • 78) 19:31 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Norwegian envoy to pay Sri Lanka second post-tsunami visit
    Norway's peace envoy Erik Solheim will visit Sri Lanka next week for talks with the government and rebel Tamil Tigers over tsunami relief distribution, the Norwegian embassy said. An embassy statement termed Solheim's second visit since the December 26 tsunami as a "regular" one, and said he would be visiting tsunami-affected areas in the south and the east of the island nation. Solheim will hold talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and separately with rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) political head S.P. Thamilselvan, the embassy said. "Solheim will participate in celebrations of the third anniversary of the ceasefire agreement in Colombo on February 22," the statement said. more ...
  • 79) 13:10 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka's Muslim minority accuses government of ignoring religious sentiments in tsunami reconstruction
    About 1,000 Muslims blocked traffic Friday to protest plans by the Buddhist-dominated government to reconstruct tsunami-hit eastern Sri Lanka, saying the effort could wipe out their villages and force them to relocate. The Muslim students and teachers blocked vehicles by sitting down on the main road in the town of Oluvil following Friday prayers, demonstrating against the government's proposal to prohibit construction 100 meters (330 feet) from the sea. M.Jasith, an organizer of the protest, said the plan could wipe out Muslim villages on the coast and force them to relocate to other areas, harming their culture and livelihood. "The government has not consulted the people before planning resettlement and reconstruction. We want to pressure more ...
  • 80) 13:05 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Haran returns home from Sri Lanka
    Haran is a native Tamil, and after the devastation struck his homeland, he pledged to raise $750,000 in Chester to buy tents for many left homeless by the tsunami. The tents have no holes for air because they are designed to keep insects out, Haran said. “It will be hard for the people to live in these tents for a long time. The weather is changing from monsoon rain to hotter and sunny weather,” he said.The International Red Cross is also distributing tents in the area, Haran said. The Tamil organization, TRO, is constructing temporary concrete structures with palm leaves for roofs. The structures will help house the homeless, and cost about $250 apiece, Haran said. The Sri Lankan government is “struggling with corruption and inefficiency” in providing relief to the tsunami victims, Haran said.This is different than what is taking place in the north and east sections, which are controlled by the LTTE, he said. more ...
  • 81) 12:59 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Two faces of care in Sri Lanka: Teams treated tsunami survivors and Marines
    Country the same, missions distinctly different. That was the experience of two Navy medical personnel teams from the U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, recently returned from Sri Lanka. The 26-member group spent its first week in-country in Galle, said Cmdr. Tom Davis, a trauma surgeon with the team. But Sri Lanka’s government and the U.S. Embassy saw a need in the north, so the team was sent to work out of the Point Pedro base hospital in Jaffna, he said. In nine days there, Davis said, the team saw 2,002 patients and performed 27 operations. Davis saw almost 300 patients, he said. The team’s dental detachment also saw more than 90. The medical staff was tending both tsunami victims and emergency cases that arose while the team was there, Davis said, but was careful not to do too much. The hospital has just one doctor who handles everything. more ...
  • 82) 12:50 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Preparing for the devastation
    The surrealism hit him as he turned his head to the right and saw what was left of a Sri Lankan village following the Dec. 26 tsunami: splinters, debris and bodies. A little girl's sandal poked out from the sand at his feet, a testament to the hundreds of little girls who will never be found. The birds calling to each other were carrion-feeders, arguing over lunch. Moore knows exactly what a team of 18 Binghamton medical specialists will deal with when they head to Sri Lanka next month, because he came back a few days ago from a couple of weeks in Sri Lanka. He'll help them get ready, but there's nothing anybody can do to really prepare them emotionally. Dr. Richard Cunningham spent time in Nepal; Dr. Alberto Bartoli worked in Haiti. Dr. Suren Pathman was actually in Sri Lanka -- where he grew up -- when the tsunami hit. And certainly, most of the team has a medical background. more ...
  • 83) 12:41 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka Tigers reject UN charges over child soldiers, urges dialogue
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said Friday a United Nations report saying that the guerrilla movement had recruited more than 4,700 children since 2001 was false. "We totally reject the accusations levelled against us about recruiting children for war," the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan said. Thamilselvan said the UN should send a representative to discuss the issue with them. "We believe the United Nations would study them (the allegations) and take a fair decision. We are prepared to join and work with any organisation that is acting in a practical manner for the welfare of our children," he said. Thamilselvan said if children volunteered for enlistment were underage, they were returned to their parents. "As far as we are concerned, those coming forward to join our ranks, if they are found to be children, are sent back to their parents," he said. more ...
  • 84) 12:38 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Toronto: For whom does our outrage toll?
    Selvakumar Sellaiah was a handsome man from a good family. By all accounts he was a trusted worker and a loyal friend; above all, everyone knew he was a devoted son. The 26-year-old was gunned down the other night in a stairwell on the 17th floor of an apartment building in St. James Town.... The talk shows ought to be lit up with calls. The television stations ought to be airing news specials. Selva's death ought to be front-page news in all the papers. Oh, but he's Sri Lankan and we've heard a lot about Sri Lanka lately. Oh, but he's new here; the lives of newcomers are somehow not the same as ours. Oh, he worked in a kitchen; that's not a skilled job. Oh, he did not leave weeping orphans clutching at the skirts of a grieving widow. Oh, it happened in St. James Town. more ...
  • 85) 12:35 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Tigers Get Ready to Change Their Stripes
    Kilinochchi, in fact, is alive with other features seeking to mirror this increasingly new spirit of the rebels, ranging from the sprawling headquarters to house the Tamil Eelam police force, a Tamil Eelam bank and a hospital. Even the Achilles heel of the Tigers, its notorious human rights record, has not been ignored in the on-going makeover. Seven months ago, the North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESHR) opened its doors in Kilinochchi. ''This is a further sign that we have grown up as a nation,'' Father Mariampillai Karunaratnam, a Catholic priest who heads the NESHR, told IPS. ''The international community is realising this and that is why they want to work with the LTTE.'' Significant in this regard is the rebels' willingness to learn about human rights as part of this ''politically maturing process,'' says Karunaratnam. ''They know as a revolutionary body that there can be excesses and violations.'' more ...
  • 86) 12:28 GMT, Feb. 18, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka, stop customs duties on relief goods to tsunami victims
    Sri Lanka must immediately stop imposing customs duties and other charges on international relief goods sent for tsunami victims in the country, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) urged on Friday. A senior United Nations official, who is currently visiting the disaster-hit Sri Lanka, and two former U.S. presidents, who are scheduled to arrive on Sunday on a separate tour, should take up the issue with the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure quick and smooth delivery of relief aid to the victims, the Hong Kong-based regional human rights group said. More than 100 container loads of relief goods are reportedly lying idle at the port of Colombo as non-governmental organisations face difficulties in clearing the goods due to heavy customs duties, other charges and bureaucratic procedures imposed by the Sri Lankan government. more ...
  • 87) 13:39 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + Sri Lankan rivals in media row
    Sri Lanka's caretaker government is threatening legal action against journalists in the state-run media for failing to provide impartial coverage of elections due in April. A spokesman for Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said the state media, now controlled by President Kumaratunga, was in flagrant violation of laws on fair and balanced reporting, adding that journalists would be held personally liable. The prime minister lost control of the state media last November after the president took over the information ministry in a power struggle. She had complained that the state media was biased - something she said she would correct. more ...
  • 88) 13:38 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka Donors Say Aid Should Keep Flowing
    Leading donors said aid should keep flowing to Sri Lanka despite a stalled peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels and a political feud that has paralyzed the government and led to the president calling snap elections. The United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway, meeting in Washington, also called for violence-free polls on April 2 after previous elections were marred by scores of deaths. All four co-chaired a Tokyo donor conference last year that pledged $4.5 billion to rebuild Sri Lanka's shattered north and east after 20 years of civil war killed tens of thousands of people and displaced many more. more ...
  • 89) 13:37 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka PM slams President for scuttling truce, economy
    Sri Lanka's Prime Minister has accused the country's president of jeopardising a ceasefire with Tamil rebels and scuttling economic recovery in his first public address since his government was sacked 10 days ago. "The president's action has jeopardised the ceasefire agreement. The economy has suffered a severe blow," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in his first address to the nation since his legislature was sacked by President Chandrika Kumaratunga He said his government had spent the past two years trying to revive the economy at the cost of cutting back welfare measures, and claimed the economy was set to take off when the president struck. more ...
  • 90) 12:36 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka Scene: Election Jockeying
    Nomination week for the April 2 parliamentary election begins on Tuesday February 17 and the events of the last few days point to an intensely violent and confrontational campaign. Two incidents of election violence have been reported from the Puttalam district on Saturday and police clamped night curfew to prevent the spread of the violence. Unidentified gunmen damaged the houses of two local leaders of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s party and fired on, and injured, their supporters. “The election campaign this time may be as violent, if not more, as during the 5 December 2001 election,” a high- ranking police official said. More than 60 persons were killed and hundreds of houses burnt during the 2001 polls. more ...
  • 91) 12:29 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + Buddhist monks to contest Lanka elections
    A group of Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist monks said on Tuesday they would field candidates in the April 2 parliamentary elections. The National Bhikku Council said on Tuesday that they would be vying for places in the 225-member assembly through the Jathika Hela Urumaya (the National Heritage Party). "It is important for the Sinhala Buddhists to safeguard their national and religious rights. Parliament must become a place where their aspirations could be realized. With that objective in mind we have decided to contest elections", Reverend Athuraliye Rathana, a spokesman for the Bhikku Council, said. more ...
  • 92) 12:16 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + Donors unhappy with Sri Lanka
    Countries which pledged aid for Sri Lanka's peace process have said that they are disappointed by the failure of the nation's leaders to work together. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered fresh general elections in the country following a prolonged power struggle with Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. The row has crippled Sri Lanka's peace process with Tamil rebels. Donors have already warned that the instability may damage international confidence in the peace process and delay funds. At a conference in Washington on Tuesday for reviewing the progress, the donors said that the promised development funds were conditional on progress of the peace talks between the rebels and the government. more ...
  • 93) 02:26 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + Tamil Tiger Rebels Will Support Political Party in Election
    The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will support a political party in Sri Lanka's general election in April after ignoring polls during the country's 20- year civil war. The group's political wing will ``play a major role in the election campaign this time,'' supporting the Tamil National Alliance party, S.P. Thamilselvan, the Tigers' political head, said, according to a transcript on the TamilNet Web site. ``Tamils should unite under one leadership and one policy for this election,'' Thamilselvan said. ``This is the wish of our leader and leadership.'' He was speaking after meeting members of the Tamil National Alliance yesterday in Kilinochchi in the rebel- controlled north of the country. more ...
  • 94) 02:07 GMT, Feb. 18, 2004 |  + New minister cancels TV licence on eve of elections
    Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) condemned the Sri Lankan information and communication minister's decision, announced today, to cancel the TV broadcast channel licence that was granted to the Asian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1995. The decision, which ABC executives called "politically motivated," came just as the company was about to launch the channel. The decision was notified to ABC by the new information and communication minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, who had held out the hope of a very different approach when he said on 9 February, the day after being appointed, that, "the private media belongs to its owners, who may use it as they please." more ...
  • 95) 20:24 GMT, Feb. 18, 2003 |  + Sri Lankan govt denies giving in too much to Tamil rebels
    Defense Minister Tilak Marapana told the parliament that the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continue to possess arms and run their own courts and police stations and these are some of the subjects for discussion and negotiation. The LTTE and the government have had five rounds of direct peace talks since September last year and the sixth round is to take place in Japan next month. The talks are aimed at ending the country's 19-year ethnic conflict that has claimed over 64,000 lives since 1983. The opposition charged that Marapana, as the defense minister, has failed to ensure national security in the face of atrocities by the LTTE. more ...
  • 96) 20:16 GMT, Feb. 18, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka prepared for war or peace with foreign support: minister
    The government has received foreign support to revamp its intelligence services and strengthen security while engaging in Norwegian-brokered peace talks with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Marapone said in parliament. "We must ensure that our armed forces act very cautiously and are not provoked to retaliate in excess of the bare minimum," the minister said during a debate on an opposition-sponsored no-trust resolution against him. "But, I beg of you not to mistake that for their weakness." more ...
  • 97) 14:21 GMT, Feb. 18, 2003 |  + 101 Villages in NE selected for NIAP development
    The World Bank assisted North East Irrigation and Agriculture Project (NIAP) officials said that under the 2003 program for renovating irrigation tanks in NorthEast, 101 villages have been selected in districts of Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee and Batticaloa where implementation activities will begin in March, sources in Vavuniya said. NIAP has signed agreements with non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) FORUT, Seva Lanka, Village Development Organization and Sareeram which will implement the projects for NIAP. Officials of these NGOs and Mr.S.Rangarajan, the Primary Secretary North East Province on behalf of NIAP participated in the sign-off of the agreements, sources said. more ...
  • 98) 14:19 GMT, Feb. 18, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka prepares for war amid peace talks: minister
    Sri Lanka was stepping up security with foreign support even as the government remained locked in a fragile peace bid with Tamil Tiger rebels, Defence minister Tilak Marapone said today. He was addressing the parliament during a debate on the no-trust vote brought by the opposition against him, which the 225-member assembly deafeated with a 42-vote margin. more ...
  • 99) 13:30 GMT, Feb. 18, 2003 |  + It is all about ‘Balance of Power’
    Can the LTTE remain quiet when the Sri Lanka military is allowed to build up? The LTTE will only get caught with its pants down in the event the peace talks fail and war resumes!...One should not assume that the Government of Sri Lanka is whole-heartedly giving autonomy to the Tamils after all these years of struggle. They never wanted to, and they still may not want to if they can help it. The Government was able deny justice to the Tamils only because Tamils could not fight back...Tamil support groups like the TNA, and the International Tamil Organizations to come out with the possible mindset and fears of the LTTE, and address the issue by bringing restrictions to the Sri Lankan military also with regard to purchasing hardware. more ...
  • 100) 03:18 GMT, Feb. 18, 2003 |  + Leather limbs hallmark of S.Lanka rebel aid group
    Suresh Kumar has the burly build of a fighter but not the walk. Where his leg should be is a contraption of plastic and metal stretching from hip to fake foot. Like countless others, he is a victim of Sri Lanka's 19-year ethnic war and lost his leg in 1997 at the age of 17 when he stepped on a landmine while fighting for the island's Tamil Tiger rebels. Back then, the war was at its height and, with most foreign aid workers unwilling to work in areas controlled by guerrillas known for their ruthless suicide bomb attacks, the rebels resorted to making their own prosthetic limbs. more ...
  • 101) 03:05 GMT, Feb. 18, 2003 |  + Waiting to Exhale
    Exiting the international airport in Colombo can be alarming: uniformed men tote guns, and there are acres of razor wire. Colombo's quaint commercial center is clogged with police checkpoints. President Chandrika Kumaratunga lives there; having survived an attempted assassination bombing three years ago, she's not taking any chances. In fact, there's little to fear. Nobody worries about bombs going off in Sri Lanka these days. You can travel just about anywhere on the island: to the northern peninsula of Jaffna or to the eastern beaches near Trincomalee, areas that were off limits for most of the past 19 years of civil war. The government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) signed a truce a year ago which, to everyone's amazement, has held. more ...
  • 102) 11:10 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Poverty bomb in North-East
    Seventy percent of the people in the northeast province are below poverty line and their average monthly income is less than Rs. 1000, according to a shocking disclosure made yesterday as the A9 highway was re-opened in a major step on the road to peace. The Asian Development Bank's Country Director John R.Cooney , made the disclosure at a meeting in Trincomalee, to mark the launching of a massive community development and restoration project funded by several governments and international organisations. more ...
  • 103) 11:00 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Malaria ravages LTTE-held Vanni
    The Sri Lanka Red Cross medical officials based in the poverty stricken LTTE controlled Vanni region warn that a malaria epidemic had gripped the area and that an average of around one hundred cases are reported daily. Most of the patients are said to suffer from recurrent fever. This was revealed when the 'Sunday Observer' visited the mobile camps conducted by the SLRC in Mullaitivu and Killinochchi last week. Urging the government to take urgent action to control the disease the SLRC doctors functioning in the areas of Mullaitivu and Killinochchi through mobile medical camps say that intensified Malathion spraying would reduce the epidemic reaching a higher level. more ...
  • 104) 10:56 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + THE TIMES (UK) - A Sri Lanka Propaganda Mouthpiece?

    TNA MP, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingam's Comments
    Peace process, UTHR and the East

    Courtesy: Thamil Naatham
    “Children kidnapped to fight for Tamil army” in the main section of your paper of same date, shows that your paper has become a party to a campaign, not only against the long-suffering Tamils, but also against the peace process initiated by Mrs.Kumaratunga’s political opposition, after twenty years of war. To shut your eyes to one set of facts and give inordinate publicity to a contrary version is nothing but one-eyed journalism. more ...
  • 105) 10:29 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Discipline in North: Lesson for the South
    In the schools in the Wanni, there are no chairs, no desks, just a pock marked blackboard and a teacher with a few bits of chalk. The streets are unlit yet young women and girls are seen out as late as eleven on bicycles travelling after late tuition classes. In the Wanni there is no curfew, we saw no queues at check points only at a mobile medical clinic. Today, there is no caste system in the Wanni. Women cannot be asked dowries when they seek permission from their esteemed leader to marry at thirty. Is this the ideal? Earlier in the North and East there has been discrimination on caste basis that was much worse than in the south. "...Vanni is more disciplined than the rest of Sri Lanka. That is the first lesson we can learn from the LTTE..." more ...
  • 106) 10:14 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + A reason to celebrate
    The time was around 3.00 p.m. and the road was beginning to fill with traffic and take on a festive air as never seen in the area since ethnic war began to escalate in the early 1980s. A banner slung across the Murunkan junction said what all the buzz was about: Thamil engal uyir; avuyir Pirapakaran (Tamil is our spirit; that spirit is Prabhakaran). The Thamil engal uyir celebration was organised at Muttharipputhurai. The ponguthamil elurchchi early last year served to mobilise Tamils to agitate for the lifting of the proscription on the LTTE and begin political negotiations. Its unexpected fallout was the defeat of the EPDP at the last general election. The Thamil engal uyir celebration this year was to celebrate Tamilness and its integral link to the LTTE leader. more ...
  • 107) 10:03 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Tigers in two minds on Eelam?
    As for the LTTE being banned by leading western countries, he maintained that it had no impact on them, but they felt hurt. The Tamil people felt they have been wrongly judged. It was not because of acts of terrorism committed on those lands. It was due to propaganda of the Government of Sri Lanka. He pointed out that the same governments that declared them as terrorists, in the same breath had told Sri Lanka government that it should negotiate with the LTTE. Asked whether they were forced into the peace process by post September11 developments, Mr Selvam maintained that it would be a wrong judgement to say it had motivated the LTTE to change. In fact the LTTE from 1994 was with open arms for peace. Mr Prabhakaran at every Heroes day speech had insisted that they were for peace. "We were not forced into it." more ...
  • 108) 09:54 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + A9 opening
    The TamilNet correspondent for Vavuniya visited the Vanni after the A-9 highway was reopened on Friday, February 15 from Vavuniya up to Killinochchi, as part of ongoing efforts to de-escalate the conflict. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) opened the A9 highway northwards from Omanthai and the Liberation Tigers opened the southern end of the section of the road which falls within their areas. more ...
  • 109) 01:00 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + JVP criticised for sabotaging peace efforts
    The Colombo based Sinhalese weekly 'Hiru' has criticised the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) for its chauvinistic stance on the current peace initiatives by the United National Front government. "The JVP has violated all socialist norms by keeping silent on the political and economic rights of the Tamils in the Northeast province", the paper said in its political column Sunday. more ...
  • 110) 20:30 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Canada won't join unilateral war in Iraq, Manley says
    Deputy Prime Minister John Manley announced Monday that Canada would be unwilling to expand the war against terrorism to Iraq without an international legal consensus, heightening the difference with Washington over the best way to handle Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Mr. Manley noted that Canadian troops in Afghanistan are operating under the moral and legal authority of NATO and UN resolutions, adding that "in the absence of that kind of framework, it would not be Canada's policy to push on into other operations." more ...
  • 111) 20:12 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka Tamil moderates welcome peace talks by March
    Sri Lanka's main moderate Tamil party Monday welcomed the government moves to open talks with Tamil Tiger guerrillas next month and renewed its call to lift the ban on the group ahead of negotiations. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) said moves to open talks between the two sides had already gone on for too long and it was time to remove the four-year ban on the Tamil separatists. "We welcome the Prime Minister's announcement that there will be talks with the Tigers next month," said TULF president M. Sivasithamparam. "It has being going very slowly and it is now time to take some steps." more ...
  • 112) 20:04 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + UNF minister meets Karikalan in Batticaloa
    Mr. Arumugan Thondaman, Minister for Housing, Monday met Mr. Karikalan, the deputy leader of the LTTE's political wing, for talks on development work in the island's east coast. Speaking to the press after the meeting at the LTTE's district secretariat in Kokkaddicholai, 16 kilometres southwest of Batticaloa, Mr. Thondaman and Mr. Karikalan said that reconstruction and development programs would be identified and initiated in the war devastated region once the Memorandum of Understanding between the Colombo and the Liberation Tigers is signed. more ...
  • 113) 19:40 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Sri Lankans to face electricity outages until June
    Daily power outages will continue in Sri Lanka at least until June, when a thermal power plant is expected to begin operation, an energy official said Monday. The dlrs 104 million Kelanitissa power plant _ being built with assistance from U.S.-based AES Corp. and the Asian Development Bank _ is expected to help overcome the Sri Lanka's shortage of hydroelectric power. The plant is scheduled to begin operating on June 15, David Warden, AES Kelanitissa's project manager, told Dow Jones Newswires. more ...
  • 114) 18:00 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Government to probe three murders afresh
    Attorney General K.C. Kamalasabeyson has ordered the CID to probe three killings during PA rule. Newspapers and relatives blamed the previous government for not conducting proper inquires into the Killings of BBC's Nimalarajan, Satana editor Rohana Kumara and the All Ceylon Tamil Congress leader Kumar Ponnambalam. They charged that the government of President Kumaratunga had a hand in the deaths. An underworld agent who had connections with the PSD allegedly killed Rohana Kumara. The EPDP of Douglas Devananda, a PA ally, has been accused of having a hand in the killing of Nimalarajan in Jaffna. CID inspector Bandula Wickremasinghe in an affidavit had said he gave the names of likely killers of Kumar Ponnambalam to President Kumaratunga. more ...
  • 115) 17:48 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Canadian Tamils Debate the Future of Health Care
    The first Tamil community forum on “Health Care in Canada” was held at the Scarborough Civic Centre in Toronto on February 9, 2002. The event was organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress, a community advocacy group that seeks to identify and create solutions for the social challenges faced by Canadian Tamils. The Health Forum is the first in a series of public gatherings to address the social areas in need of improvement within the Tamil community. Dr. Mahesan Srivamathevan and Dr. Meera Selvakone, representatives of the Canadian Tamil Congress, co-moderated the event that drew many concerned citizens, members of various health service-providing organizations and health professionals. During the forum, panel discussions were held on health topics relevant to the Tamil community. more ...
  • 116) 15:51 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Sri Lanka to 'cut defence spending'
    The Sri Lankan Defence Minister, Tilak Marapone, says there will be a substantial drop in spending on the military as a result of current efforts to end the country's two decade long civil war. But the minister also complained that weapons bought by the last government still had not been paid for so that this year's defence budget might not drop as much as he would like. According to the defence minister the Sri Lankan army will not be buying equipment on the same scale as previous years. more ...
  • 117) 14:56 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Breaking Off the Battle
    Too many people have died, the years have been so hard that many Tamils want something to justify it all. And they trust Prabhakaran will get it for them. "Let us not forget that the problems did not start with the LTTE," says P. Sampanthan of the Tamil National Alliance, a moderate political group. "We talked to the government for the past 50 years to settle the Tamil question. Nothing happened until Prabhakaran brought in his invincible fighters." The ball is now in the government's court. Prabhakaran has backed away from his demand for an independent homeland, though he insists on genuine autonomy. more ...
  • 118) 13:50 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + 2002 2002 2002? Not since 1111 1111 1111
    Think of it as a minute of perfect symmetry — a certain magic moment that brings everything into harmonious balance. 2002 2002 2002. The year 2002. The 20th day of the 2nd month, 2002. And, on the 24-hour clock, at two minutes after 8 p.m., harmony. 2002. And it happens on Wednesday. There hasn't been a moment quite like it in more than a thousand years — not since 11:11 p.m. on Nov. 11, 1111, in fact. That would have been expressed as 1111 1111 1111. more ...
  • 119) 00:59 GMT, Feb. 18, 2002 |  + Lankans hate IPKF, yet seek Indian help
    Nearly 15 years have passed, but most of the people living in the LTTE-controlled areas of northern Sri Lanka claim they are still haunted by the memories of the Indian peace-keeping force (IPKF). Ironically however, they believe that India’s help is essential in resolving the ethnic conflict. Many people in the north love India and refer to it as their motherland, denoting close cultural and religious ties. “Let us forgive and forget what the IPKF did. We respect India and want their support,” says Ft. M Karunaratnam, who heads the Citizen’s Committee in Mallavi. more ...
  • 120) 14:05 GMT, Feb. 18, 2001 |  + Toronto:
    `Why did my baby have to die?'
    Paramedic crews didn't take illness seriously: Parents
    It had been hours since the baby last ate. And then came the crying that would dissolve into tiny shrieks, a sound that would come to haunt Jeyarani Vijayaratnam. Eighteen-month-old Methusam, who might normally be watching his favourite Pokemon video - his favourite word was ``Pikachu'' after the cartoon character - was refusing to take his bottle. Instead, he placed his hand on the back of his neck, convulsed in pain. His mother, Jeyarani, a registered nurse in her native Sri Lanka, asked her husband Seevaratna, 40, to call an ambulance. more ...
  • 121) 13:33 GMT, Feb. 18, 2001 |  + Govt not keeping us informed of peace process: UNP
    Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party accused the Government of keeping it in the dark on the ongoing indirect preliminary peace talks with the LTTE, in violation of an earlier agreement to do so. "Only the Norwegians are keeping us informed, not the Government," Jayasuriya told reporters on Thursday while replying to a question on why the UNP was yet to take a position on the Government's demand that Britain outlaw the LTTE. "We don't want to be accused of affecting the peace process. It's an internal matter of Britain, and if the Government has something to say, it can, but we have no official information on either the LTTE ban issue or the peace process itself," Atukorale said. The Fox agreement ensured that an agreement entered into by one Government will be honoured by a subsequent Government, if the other party came to power. more ...
  • 122) 13:12 GMT, Feb. 18, 2001 |  + Four Jaffna undergrads arrested
    UNP MP for Jaffna T.Maheswaran signing the memorandum urging the British government not to ban the Liberation Tigers
    The Sri Lankan Police arrested four Jaffna university undergraduates who were collecting signatures on a memorandum urging the British government not to ban the Liberation Tigers around 2.45 p.m. Sunday afternoon near the entrance of the medical faculty. The arrested students were at of one of the offices set up by the students for receiving signatures of the public on the memorandum. The Kopay Police confiscated all the documents and a cassette recorder in the office. Meanwhile, the leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation in Jaffna, 'vinthan' signed the memorandum Sunday. The United National Party MP for Jaffna T. Maheswaran went to the campaign office of the students to put his signature on the memorandum Saturday. more ...
  • 123) 05:16 GMT, Feb. 18, 2001 |  + India says no to UK, Japan in monitoring committee
    A new development has been the pressure exerted by India to exclude Britain and Japan from the international monitoring committee. Although proposed by Norway in its list, both countries were equally acceptable to the government and the LTTE. Japan in particular was expected to head the monitoring committee and also finance its activities. According to western sources, New Delhi has objected to both Britain and Japan being included in the monitoring committee. Apparently it is wary of a major western or eastern power playing a prominent role in what it considers to be a South Asian regional issue. India wants to avoid the setting up of any precedent that may in the future encourage further interference by the west or the east. It has no objections to minor or smaller countries participating on the committee. more ...
  • 124) 05:14 GMT, Feb. 18, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka battles worsening economic woes amid another war budget
    Sri Lanka is set to unveil another war budget amid dwindling foreign reserves and sharply rising interest rates, but the Central Bank is banking on better times as Norway tries to broker peace. President Chandrika Kumaratunga had already warned public servants not to expect salary increases in the budget proposals to be announced on March 8, but promised better economic prospects in a couple of months. Kumaratunga, who holds defence and finance portfolios, has a delicate balancing act to keep the widening budget deficit under control while ensuring that the military gets enough money to fight the marauding Tiger rebels. more ...
  • 125) 05:09 GMT, Feb. 18, 2001 |  + Human rights a key issue
    Two delegations from the European Union visit Sri Lanka this month, with members of the European parliament who arrived here yesterday expected to address crucial problems regarding the ethnic conflict, western diplomatic sources said. The office of the delegation of the European Union said a team of members from the European parliament (MEPs) will be in Sri Lanka till February 24 and their visit will be followed by a group of officials from the European Commission for the EEC - Sri Lanka joint commission meeting on February 27 and 28. more ...
  • 126) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Lanka govt agrees on one-year time frame for peace talks
    No details available. more ...
  • 127) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Emerging saboteurs of peace efforts must be nipped in the bud
    No details available. more ...
  • 128) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Lanka may switchover from executive presidency to Westminister model
    No details available. more ...
  • 129) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Colombo accepts Norwegian peace proposal
    No details available. more ...
  • 130) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Sri Lanka captives await visit
    No details available. more ...
  • 131) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Sinhala extremists condemn Norwegian involvement
    No details available. more ...
  • 132) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + SLAF Helicopter shot down in Jaffna
    No details available. more ...
  • 133) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Two killed as Sri Lankan military helicopter shot down
    No details available. more ...
  • 134) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Sri Lankan boy to stay with Columbus relatives for now
    No details available. more ...
  • 135) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Family fears boy will be forced into war if he returns to Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 136) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Sri Lankan Government, Rebels Agree on Peace Talks
    No details available. more ...
  • 137) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Norway formally mandated in Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 138) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Patience crucial to Norway initiative
    No details available. more ...
  • 139) 11:11 GMT, Feb. 18, 2000 |  + Press release on Norwegian visit
    No details available. more ...
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