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August 24, 2019 - Memory of the Day

The man who might have stopped Sri Lanka's Easter bombings

2019-05-31 09:40:46 more ...

Gary Anandasangaree

Important Incidents

  • 1997 | Two people were killed by SLA Truck!
    Sri Lankan army truck knocked over and killed Tamil man and grand daughter in Urumpirai, Jaffna.
  • Human Rights Violations

  • 1990 | 4 Tamil refugees killed on a boat attack
    Four Tamil refugees killed when a refugee boat in Keratheevu was attacked by Sri Lankan Airforce helicopter.
  • 1997 | Military operations affect 12,500 Tamil students
    Sri Lanka has stopped Tamil students in Mullaitivu from obtaining school uniforms, textbooks and exercise books, which are supplied free to schools in Sinhala areas.
  • 1998 | UNESCO expresses concern
    UNESCO expressed its concern over reports that food distribution to Vanni by the Sri Lankan government (SLG) has been deliberately reduced. The organisation also urged the SLG to provide unhindered humanitarian assistance to the people of Vanni.
  • Thirukural - திருக்குறள்

  • Kural: 1204 | யாமும் உளேங்கொல் அவர்நெஞ்சத் தெந்நெஞ்சத்
    தோஒ உளரே அவர்.
    Have I a place within his heart!
    From mine, alas! he never doth depart.
    - 121 121
  • Aug 24 TamilCanadian News Archives

  • 1) Aug 24, 2017 13:48:08 GMT |  + Prized old cars bring 'back home' feeling to Scarborough's Tamil Fest
    Ramalingam’s love is for the British car makes of decades ago, ones which drove on the streets of Sri Lanka before that island’s devastating civil war. Sri Lanka had been a British colony, Ceylon, and even after independence in 1948, many of Sri Lanka’s taxis and passenger cars were, like the Somerset, from Britain. That’s why Ramalingam, 52, will bring the Somerset and other cars from that era to this year’s Tamil Fest on Markham Road from Aug. 26 to 27 (see www.tamilfest.ca) — so people can remember “back home”. “Right away, they’ll know what this is,” said Ramalingam, who owns a Danforth Road limousine service and body shop. His parents in Jaffna had a A40 Somerset from 1955, handmade to last, with a strong body and right-hand drive. more ...
  • 2) Aug 24, 2017 13:46:13 GMT |  + Tamil Fest brings many foods, folk arts to Scarborough's Markham Road
    Good intentions in the kitchen, says Chef Damu, make food you're preparing more delicious. “The best cooking has to come from the heart to the hand,” explained Damu, or K. Damodaran, a celebrity whose cooking shows have aired in South India for two decades. “With love and affection, the food will not be a failure.” That Damu has flown to Canada to demonstrate his skills at Tamil Fest — as he has for its previous two years — shows the scale and importance of what’s happening on Scarborough’s Markham Road this weekend. more ...
  • 3) Aug 24, 2017 11:18:19 GMT |  + TTC driver charged with careless driving after woman, 71, fatally struck
    A TTC bus driver has been charged with careless driving after a 71-year-old woman, who fell while getting out of a TTC bus in Scarborough, was fatally struck. According to investigators, the bus came to a complete stop to let passengers out at Eglinton Avenue East, west of Midland Avenue, on July 18 at around 11 a.m. At this stop, the 71-year-old woman exited the bus before she fell and was struck by the vehicle. more ...
  • 4) Aug 24, 2017 11:12:26 GMT |  + Trudeau plays down concerns of 'uncontrolled immigration'
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians can continue to have confidence in the country’s immigration system, and defended his government’s response to the surge of asylum seekers who have avoided regular border crossings to enter Canada from the United States this summer. “I can understand the concerns that Canadians have about whether this is a shortcut, whether somehow this is uncontrolled immigration,” the Prime Minister said on Wednesday. more ...
  • 5) Aug 24, 2016 13:58:29 GMT |  + National security, Army’s foremost priority
    The incumbent Commander Security Forces - Jaffna, Major General, Mahesh Senanayake in an interview with the Daily News explained the allegations that there was a threat to national security in Jaffna, was more political than real. Certain groups or individuals keep saying that there is a threat to national security and that it would affect the South, another war may come and that we are about to lose our hard won victory. They also claim that our soldiers have lost their morale. That is all false, there is no such situation. These are attempts to gain political mileage. more ...
  • 6) Aug 24, 2016 13:54:33 GMT |  + The OMP Act: The first step on the Long hard road to reconciliation
    Already the international community which had long berated Lanka for allegedly discriminating the minorities and had pressed successive Lankan governments to mend its ways or else be prepared to face the prospect of a separate state being carved out of the island mass, have this week praised the passing of the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) Bill as a step in the right direction to bring about reconciliation and forge a durable peace in the land. What the nationalists die-hards must realise is such action by the government not only silences the Jayalalithaas and Wigneswarans of the world ... more ...
  • 7) Aug 24, 2016 13:48:34 GMT |  + Snuff targeting schoolchildren, floods country through legal loopholes
    A decade-old legal loophole is allowing addictive substances containing nicotine to flood the country, with schoolchildren allegedly the prime target. The recent seizure of two stocks of a powdered substance identified as SVS snuff (dunkudu) has brought this matter into refocus. In September last year, Customs officials confiscated 75,000 vials of SVS snuff imported from India. The importer had tried to get the stock cleared through Customs by declaring the consignment as ‘sambrani’ (benzoin resin) used as incense. more ...
  • 8) Aug 24, 2016 10:01:13 GMT |  + The ‘Different Yet Equal’ Protest Politics of Sri Lanka
    The vigil's organizers might have prepared better for such disruptions, given that a similar disturbance was staged at a candlelight vigil outside the Buddhist Cultural Centre on Sambuddatva Jayantha Mawatha in 2013 (covered extensively by Groundviews). Many vigil participants engaged in verbal shouting matches, enraged by the counter-protesters’ xenophobic rhetoric. This, it seems, is exactly the reaction the group wanted, allowing them to swing the news narrative and grab the spotlight. (Apart from the appearance of the distinctive “Le” stickers, as well as the formation of parties like the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, these hardliner activists had been relatively silent until this month.) more ...
  • 9) Aug 24, 2016 9:54:39 GMT |  + Australian companies linked to bribe scandals in Sri Lanka and Congo
    Two Australian companies are embroiled in bribery scandals that reach into the offices of the presidents of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Congo, as the firms sought to secure multi-million dollar contracts.The firm's overseas staff allegedly bribed officials to secure a $2.3 million aid-funded sewerage project in Sri Lanka in 2011 and, in partnership with a Canadian company, a $2.2 million power plant project in Bangladesh in 2007. Company emails also reveal Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and his adviser allegedly demanded a political "donation" to be paid by SMEC when Mr Sirisena was a cabinet minister. more ...
  • 10) Aug 24, 2015 23:43:09 GMT |  + Ranil hopeful of political solution to Tamil question
    A day after he assumed office, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke to N. Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, on a wide range of issues. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is confident and hopeful that the political situation in Sri Lanka following the August 17 general election, although complex, is favourable for forging an enduring political solution to the Tamil question. Noting that the two main national parties, his United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and the Tamil National Alliance were “the three key players” in formulating the proposals for an enduring solution, he said he had “tried to keep the UNP position flexible so that we can bridge the differences.” more ...
  • 11) Aug 24, 2015 23:40:59 GMT |  + Kumar Sangakkara offered post of Sri Lanka high commissioner by president
    Kumar Sangakkara has been offered a post of Sri Lanka high commissioner by the country’s president, Maithripala Sirisena. The offer came straight after India had wrapped up victory in the second Test in Colombo, in which batsman Sangakkara was carried aloft by his team-mates in a circuit of the ground. “You have been a great honour to Sri Lanka,” said Maithripala Sirisena before offering the role to Sangakkara, who was visibly shocked. more ...
  • 12) Aug 24, 2015 23:39:10 GMT |  + It’s No Revolution
    When Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election results were announced on August 18, there were few celebrations on the streets of Colombo. Many Sri Lankan citizens had voted for the incumbents simply for want of something better. On August 17, when they cast their votes to elect MPs, they had a clear choice: A return to the iron grip of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, or a mandate to continue and consolidate the changes set in motion in January 2015. more ...
  • 13) Aug 24, 2015 19:36:37 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's New Foreign Policy Presents Opportunities for India
    The keen interest of Western powers in the region is evidenced by the fact that immediately after Maithripala Sirisena assumed the presidency earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the country, representing the first U.S. secretary of state visit since 2005. Sri Lanka will also have noticed that Japan, in its bid to counter China’s growing involvement in the Asian infrastructure market, announced a capital package of $110 billion dedicated to infrastructure development projects in Asia.This new thrust in Sri Lankan foreign policy augurs well for India as it steps up its efforts toward building partnerships across the IOR. Sri Lanka’s proximity to these powers will help India’s aspirations for multilateral leadership in the Indian Ocean gather more mass. more ...
  • 14) Aug 24, 2015 19:31:47 GMT |  + Keeping good ties with all regional powers in the interest of Sri Lanka
    Sirisena's wish to get investment and assistance from India is unrealistic. Japan adopts a milder approach toward Sri Lanka's human rights issues and can offer more investment and aid than India.The growing importance of the Indian Ocean has made Sri Lanka of greater interest to big powers, which will bring huge development opportunities for the country. Sirisena should retain a good relationship with China, and meanwhile warm up ties with the West, India and Japan. He should inject new impetus to the country's development rather than striking a poor balance with these partners at the cost of relations with China. more ...
  • 15) Aug 24, 2015 19:12:10 GMT |  + 4 Army Officers Arrested Over Killing Of Journalist In Sri Lanka
    Four army officers have been arrested in Sri Lanka over the abduction and suspected killing of a political journalist during the regime of former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, police said on Monday. The disappearance of Pradeep Ekneligoda five years ago was never investigated after senior members of the former president’s regime claimed that the journalist was living overseas.“The Criminal Investigations Department on Monday questioned four army officers, including two lieutenant colonels over the disappearance of the journalist. “They have been placed them under arrest for further investigations,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said. more ...
  • 16) Aug 24, 2015 17:48:12 GMT |  + Sri Lanka election: Tamil voters must keep TNA on straight and narrow
    What the Tamils expected from the TNA after May 2009 was unique. While legally it had to function as a political party within the Sri Lankan system, the Tamils expected the TNA to also negotiate with the Sri Lanka government as an elected representative of a people – of a nation if you may. Up to now the TNA has not played that role well. But with the TNA’s remarkable electoral victory emasculating other Tamil political parties, it is now left to the Tamil public, civil society and diaspora to be check on the TNA to compel it to stay on the straight and narrow. more ...
  • 17) Aug 24, 2015 14:18:07 GMT |  + Toronto South Asian group to hold forums addressing ‘cultural and religious’ myths about organ donation
    A South Asian advocacy group in Greater Toronto will host public forums this fall to address “cultural and religious myths about organ and tissue donation” it says persist in their communities. The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians chose Scarborough - which has one of Ontario’s lowest overall registration rates - to announce the first South Asian Gift of Life Week from Oct. 5 to 11. The study found 8.9 per cent of Chinese and 12.8 per cent of South Asians were registered for possible organ donation, less than half the Ontario average of 25.4 per cent in 2013. “The need for an organ or tissue transplant can affect any one of us. No community is immune,” added Neethan Shan, CASSA’s executive director. more ...
  • 18) Aug 24, 2015 14:14:15 GMT |  + Govt. To Get Geneva Report 48 Hrs In Advance
    With the parliamentary election now done, the spotlight will be on Geneva where the highly controversial report on Sri Lanka will be made public. Sources close to the Government and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that the report will come down hard, both on the LTTE and the former Mahinda Rajapaksa administration. “The Government of Sri Lanka will get the report 48 hours before it is made public. It is not expected to be leaked before the launch,” the source said. more ...
  • 19) Aug 24, 2015 14:06:51 GMT |  + Indian govt. project in Kilinochchi awarded to Link Engineering
    As part of its development partnership with Sri Lanka in the field of higher education, the Government of India is undertaking a project to establish a Centre for Skill Development for the Faculty of Agriculture at the Kilinochchi Campus of the University of Jaffna, at a total cost of SLR 300 million. The project encompasses building construction as well as supply of equipment and furniture, in addition to training and curriculum development. The objective of the project is to create infrastructure facilities in order to provide a conducive learning environment for students, increase student intake, and enhance knowledge and skills of both lecturers and students in the field of agricultural science. more ...
  • 20) Aug 24, 2015 14:04:09 GMT |  + Gotabaya quizzed by PCoI for five hours
    Former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was today questioned by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) over allegations of misusing state funds and using personnel of the state-owned security firm, Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited (RALL) for the presidential election campaign.PCoI Secretary Lacille De Silva said Mr. Rajapaksa was questioned with regard to a petition alleging that in his capacity as Defence Secretary he had misused Rs.6 millions in state funds and used some 500 Rall employees for the presidential election campaign. more ...
  • 21) Aug 24, 2015 14:01:40 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Elections: A Vote For Reconciliation Process – Analysis
    It is time for some deep reflection within Sri Lanka. On the one hand the democratic process has been well managed and with very little violence. That is itself a credit to a country and its people that have witnessed traumatic times for close to three decades. That Mr. Rajapakse will be a Member of Parliament and is quite strong within the Sinhala community means that Sri Lanka will witness some heated debates and anxious moments when issues are talked about nationally and internationally. The onus is, however, on the Sirisena government to put in place a mechanism that satisfies not only all the Tamils but also international agencies that have been calling for accountability for quite some time now. more ...
  • 22) Aug 24, 2015 13:44:58 GMT |  + Tamil refugee: How Australia is complicit in Sri Lankan genocide
    Tamils were the first people subject to “enhanced screening” – given 15 minutes to tell their story and sent back if they could not convince the authorities. Australia did this despite evidence from human rights groups about what was happening in Sri Lanka under the Rajapaksa regime. The Australian Federal Police are also providing support to the Sri Lankan military and Sri Lankan intelligence. Australia has been defending the Sri Lankan government in international platforms such as the UN Human Rights Council. Australia is complicit in genocide. more ...
  • 23) Aug 24, 2015 10:34:50 GMT |  + Give greater autonomy to Sri Lanka’s Provinces: Vickramabahu Karunarathne
    The new government in Sri Lanka should take up, as its immediate priority, the full implementation of the 13 Constitutional Amendment and recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, Vickramabahu Karunarathne, general secretary of the Nava Sama Samaj Party, has said. Apart from these measures, he favoured the setting up of a credible domestic investigation mechanism to probe alleged war crimes by adhering to principles acceptable to the international community. “We have enough resources, enough people to carry out this task.” These steps would mark the beginning of the process of resolving the Tamil question. more ...
  • 24) Aug 24, 2015 10:32:55 GMT |  + Sri Lanka delays coalition cabinet
    Sri Lanka's president on Monday (Aug 24) reinstated three key ministers in their posts but delayed announcing a full cabinet after a landmark agreement to form a coalition government. Maithripala Sirisena had been expected to swear in a cabinet Monday, but official sources said that had been delayed as talks with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) continued."There is hectic lobbying going on and that is why the cabinet (formation) is taking so long," a UNP source told AFP. more ...
  • 25) Aug 24, 2014 3:46:11 GMT |  + Toronto mom and her two children are missing
    Police are looking for a mother and her two children after they were reported missing Saturday afternoon. Rebekah Isaac, 34, Jonathan, 7, and Joylin, 5, were last seen near Sheppard Ave. and Progress Ave. in Scarborough around 2:30 p.m. Police say Rebekah was wearing a yellow dress and Jonathan was wearing khaki pants and a yellow checkered shirt with a black cowboy hat. Joylin was wearing a pink T-shirt with a pink hat. Police say they are concerned for their safety. more ...
  • 26) Aug 24, 2013 11:06:59 GMT |  + Sri Lanka lifts Fonterra ban
    A Sri Lankan court has lifted a temporary ban imposed on products from New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, according to local media. The Gampaha District Court lifted an order that prevented the company from releasing, distributing or advertising its product, the Daily Mirror reports. However, the court reissued a summons to directors of the local unit relating to a contempt of court charge. Fonterra in New Zealand was not immediately able to confirm the developments.
  • 27) Aug 24, 2013 10:48:07 GMT |  + HC stays deportation of another Sri Lankan Tamil to Colombo
    A day after the Madras high court restrained the state and central government from deporting a Sri Lankan Tamil, Eela Nehru, to the island-nation, yet another Lankan Tamil R Senthuran earned a similar respite from the court on Friday. A division bench of Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice C T Selvam said the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government shall maintain status quo, and shall refrain from deporting Senthuran to Sri Lanka, till August 27 when his case and that of Eela Nehru would be taken up for further hearing.
  • 28) Aug 24, 2013 10:39:27 GMT |  + Pakistan PM for deeper economic ties with Sri Lanka
    Pakistan PM for deeper economic ties with Sri Lanka Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the current volume of trade between the two countries, despite the Free Trade Agreement of 2002, did not reflect the true potential. ISLAMABAD: Eyeing deeper economic ties with Sri Lanka, Pakistan today stressed the need for the early conclusion of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.This was conveyed by both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during their interactions with Lankan foreign minister G L Peiris, who is on an official visit to Pakistan.
  • 29) Aug 24, 2013 10:34:22 GMT |  + UN rights chief should push Sri Lanka on press freedom
    When the human rights watchdog for the United Nations visits Sri Lanka this weekend she should forcefully address the government's problematic record on press freedom.ajapaksa has a record of relentlessly obstructing the independent press. Earlier this month, CPJ reported on government's effort to control media coverage of an ugly attack by security forces on people protesting what they feared was industrial contamination of their drinking water.
  • 30) Aug 24, 2013 10:28:56 GMT |  + Armed men hold Lankan editor at knifepointSearched her home before police burst in and shoot one of the intruders dead
    Five armed men held a Sri Lankan newspaper editor at knifepoint as they searched her home on Saturday before police burst in and shot one of the intruders dead, officials said. The attack was the latest in a string of violent incidents involving the staff of the Sunday Leader and media activists said they suspected the incident at the Colombo home of Associate Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema was an attempt to intimidate her. more ...
  • 31) Aug 24, 2012 13:04:41 GMT |  + Sri Lanka not keen on CEPA with India
    Sri Lanka has apparently informed Indian authorities it was not keen on having a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India, as it feared granting more Indian access to its markets would destroy that country’s domestic industry. However, it has made its own set of fresh demands to consider under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is under operation since March 2000. During the recent visit of Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to Colombo, the Sri Lankan government refused to resume talks on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) even though the mandate to upgrade the FTA to CEPA was formally agreed in June 2010 during the visit of their President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
  • 32) Aug 24, 2012 10:54:59 GMT |  + Demands for inquiry into Sri Lanka 'white van' abductions
    They spoke out after a leading Sri Lankan politician revealed how he and his guards had thwarted an apparent kidnap attempt by a gang of men in a white van in a Colombo park earlier this year. Police later confirmed the men in the vehicle were government soldiers. Disappearances in "white van kidnappings" were a regular occurrence when the government’s war with the Tamil Tigers was at its height four years ago. more ...
  • 33) Aug 24, 2012 10:50:21 GMT |  + Moves on the electoral chess-board
    The Lankan government suddenly and unnecessarily dissolved three provincial councils two months ago. The rumour was that it was testing the waters for early parliamentary elections in 2013 as a precursor to presidential elections before the cut-off date of January 2016. It is beneficial to have a pliant parliament in situ during a presidential poll. Since there is little prospect of price rises ending, the economy improving, or anger at scandalous corruption and abuse of power subsiding, the logic was that it’s better to hold elections before unpopularity reached rock bottom.
  • 34) Aug 24, 2012 10:49:50 GMT |  + Australia to increase refugee intake to 20,000 annually
    Australia says it will increase its intake of refugees to 20,000 a year, from the current 13,750, in line with recommendations by an expert panel. PM Julia Gillard said the jump of 45% was the biggest increase in 30 years. Lawmakers also recently approved the re-opening of offshore processing camps for asylum seekers in Nauru and PNG. The moves are aimed at deterring asylum seekers from making the dangerous journey to Australia by boat, amid an increasing number of arrivals. more ...
  • 35) Aug 24, 2012 10:44:54 GMT |  + Canada’s splendid isolation from the realities of human smuggling
    Returning to Pearson Airport from vacation, I’m always jolted by the sight of our border guards clad, incongruously, in armoured vests. Any threat to Canada’s border security from knife-wielding assailants is surely infinitesimal: passengers are pre-screened for weapons before boarding flights. But here’s a bigger challenge for our system: soft-spoken foreigners who approach border agents not to inflict violence but to seek protection — supposedly from persecution at home. more ...
  • 36) Aug 24, 2012 10:41:48 GMT |  + UN to play no part in Nauru, Manus Island centres
    The United Nations refugee agency has told the Federal Government it will not play any part in processing asylum seekers sent to Nauru or Manus Island. Australian soldiers are about to start work in Nauru, and the Government says it expects to be able to house 500 asylum seekers by the end of September. more ...
  • 37) Aug 24, 2012 10:35:09 GMT |  + Norway Killer Is Ruled Sane and Given 21 Years in Prison
    A court on Friday sentenced Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who admitted killing 77 people, to at least 21 years in prison after ruling that he was sane when he carried out his country’s worst peacetime atrocity. The sentence was the most severe permitted under Norwegian law, but it can be extended at a later date if he is still deemed to be a danger to society. more ...
  • 38) Aug 24, 2012 10:21:38 GMT |  + Farmer bites cobra to death in Nepal
    A Nepali farmer who was bitten by a cobra in his rice paddy field has killed the snake by repeatedly biting it in return. "A snake charmer told me that if a snake bites you, bite it until it is dead and nothing will happen to you," Mohammed Salmodin told the BBC. He has now been discharged from hospital where he was being treated for the snake bite. Officials say he will not be charged because the reptile was not endangered. "When I realised that a snake had bit me, I went home to get a torch and saw that it was a cobra. So I bit it to death," he told BBC Nepali's Bikram Niraula in Biratnagar. more ...
  • 39) Aug 24, 2011 17:03:05 GMT |  + Tornado watch issued for south-western Ontario
    Environment Canada has issued a tornado watch for parts of southern Ontario, including the town of Goderich, which is still recovering from one of the worst tornadoes to hit the province in years. The watch is in effect for areas west of Toronto, from Windsor and London up to Barrie and Muskoka. Some of these storms are expected to be severe — with large hail, damaging winds, lightening and torrential downpours — and could develop into tornados.
  • 40) Aug 24, 2011 16:42:13 GMT |  + Int’l community demands ‘unreasonable’: Govt.
    The government said yesterday it was “unreasonable” for the international community to expect it to complete processes in a post-conflict situation, which have taken other countries in similar situations, many years to accomplish. “For example Spain, Cambodia and Bangladesh took many years and in some cases almost half a century to achieve standards that are being expected of Sri Lanka in a mere two years after the war ended,” External Affairs Minister G.L. Peries said. “There must be clarity with regards to procedures relating to international forums whether they are the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR), the General Assembly or the Security Council for there to be precision and predictability in their functions,” ...
  • 41) Aug 24, 2011 16:35:11 GMT |  + Sri Lanka Asks China for USD 40 Million Loan to Demolish Massive Seabed Rock at Hampantota Port
    Sri Lankas port authority on Tuesday said it has asked China for $40 million loan to demolish a massive seabed rock obstructing the entrance of its new $1.4 billion Hambantota port, due to start commercial operations this year. “This rock was identified before we started the port construction,” Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath Wickrama told Reuters. “We need just below $40 million to blast it. We have requested the amount from China.” It has increasingly been relying on China, Russia, India and to a lesser degree, Brazil, for the financing and expertise required for its post-war rebuilding plans. more ...
  • 42) Aug 24, 2011 16:30:36 GMT |  + Quebec's Premier Tech buys majority interest in Sri Lankan firm
    Premier Tech, which specializes in agriculture and environmental technologies, said Wednesday it has acquired the majority interest in Tropicoir Lanka Ltd. in Sri Lanka to increase its presence in Asian markets. The Quebec company didn't release financial terms of the deal. The company also said the acquisition will add to its products for residential and commercial markets in Europe and North America.
  • 43) Aug 24, 2011 16:28:42 GMT |  + Million dollar asylum baby is secure
    Despite Immigration Minster Chris Bowen's claims they would be returned to Christmas Island when the baby was born last November, the immigration department now has no intention of sending them back. The government faces having to continue to house the family under surveillance - at a cost of almost $1 million so far - because they can't be settled due to the ASIO assessment, or be sent home. The family, who fled Sri Lanka by sea but were rescued from their sinking boat by the Customs ship Oceanic Viking, which they then refused to get off, were assessed as genuine refugees.
  • 44) Aug 24, 2011 16:26:04 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's new port gets $610 mln investment
    Sri Lanka's ports authority on Wednesday said it has approved $610 million investment in large warehousing projects for sugar, fertiliser, and bottle manufacturing at its new port in Hambantota, due to start commercial operations this year. India's Shree Renuka Sugars , Singapore's Peak Energy and Sri Lanka's conglomerate Hayleys will together invest $610 million in sugar refining, bottle manufacturing, and fertiliser bag production respectively, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath Wickrama said.
  • 45) Aug 24, 2011 15:15:29 GMT |  + The death and legacy of Jack Layton
    NDP Leader Jack Layton's flag-draped casket has arrived in Ottawa, where it will lie in state on Parliament Hill for two days. The 61-year-old Official Opposition leader died peacefully at his Toronto home early Monday. Within hours of his death, Canadians and politicians of all political stripes were paying tribute to the passion and determination of the former city councillor who led the federal NDP to its historic electoral result of 103 seats and becoming the Official Opposition in the spring 2011 election. A state funeral will be held Saturday in downtown Toronto. more ...
  • 46) Aug 24, 2011 12:55:27 GMT |  + The surreal politics of ‘grease devils’
    A large number of areas outside the big cities of Sri Lanka have been gripped for the last one month by a most extraordinary panic verging on mass hysteria. The localities of Akaraipattu, Ampara, Puttalam, Kandy, Baticaloa, Kurunegala, Kinya, Trincomalee, Badulla, Nawalapitiya, Muthur and many more have been affected. The police force is on heightened alert, troops have been deployed (though this may be counterproductive as I will explain), accusations and counter accusations are traded and the government is scrambling to salvage what’s left of its reputation. more ...
  • 47) Aug 24, 2011 12:53:39 GMT |  + 'We are so proud of Thusha': Five-year-old shot by gangsters leaves hospital bed for first time
    She was left paralysed after being shot by teenage gangsters and spent four weeks in an induced coma, but now brave five-year-old Thusha Kamaleswaran has left her hospital bed for the first time in five months. Her mum and dad are proudly looking on as she now learns to use a wheelchair and receives physiotherapy, but they know that it will be a long battle before she can walk again. more ...
  • 48) Aug 24, 2011 3:25:47 GMT |  + Mass arrest following attack on military camp
    One hundred people were arrested on Monday in northern Sri Lanka after clashes with government security forces. Deputy Inspector General, Gamini Silva confirmed the arrest of one hundred villagers from Navanthurai. Villagers in Navanthurai in Jaffna pursuing suspected nocturnal prowlers had attacked a local army detachment. more ...
  • 49) Aug 24, 2011 3:24:32 GMT |  + Jaya dumps DMK's Tamil New Year date
    Reversing yet another decision of the previous Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime, the Jayalalithaa government on Tuesday announced that the Tamil New Year would now be celebrated in April, instead of January. The move followed a public demand that the New Year be reverted to 'Chithirai', Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said in the assembly, while accusing the previous DMK government of not taking it into account the "sentiments and opinion" of the people while effecting the change in 2008.
  • 50) Aug 24, 2011 3:21:32 GMT |  + Sri Lanka prefers to look forward
    Not surprisingly, in the face of NDP members urging the United Nations to set up an independent, international and impartial mechanism to ensure “truth, accountability and justice” for Sri Lankans after a long civil war, the Sri Lankan high commissioner prefers to look to the future. “I don’t want to keep on talking about the conflict and the war that went on for nearly three decades,” Chitranganee Wagiswara said at her residence this week. “That is all behind us now and we have to look forward. We lost a lot in terms of human resources, natural and other material resources. Everyone has lost — Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Muslims. Now there is peace and we want to move on and also catch up.”
  • 51) Aug 24, 2010 22:45:42 GMT |  + Border officials face long haul to ID Tamil migrants
    At the continuation of hearings into the detention of hundreds of Tamil migrants Tuesday, a clearer snapshot emerged of some of the challenges that federal officials face in trying to verify their identities. The process is not as simple as it sounds. Each migrant's identification documents have to be sent for analysis at the Canada Border Services Agency's "intelligence unit" in Vancouver. Meanwhile, in-person interviews have to be conducted with the migrants to verify that what they say matches the information in those documents.
  • 52) Aug 24, 2010 22:41:42 GMT |  + IMF set to approve Sri Lanka loan payment
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated it will release the next tranche of a multi-billion dollar loan to Sri Lanka. Following a two week mission to the country, the body gave an upbeat assessment of Sri Lanka's economy. It said government targets for deficit reduction were on track, with taxes increasing and spending being cut. An IMF mission also arrived in Serbia on Monday to assess its economy with a view to releasing a loan payment. more ...
  • 53) Aug 24, 2010 11:25:34 GMT |  + Why refugees turn to smugglers
    In 2007, the Tamil Tigers approached Sabalingam Kumarasamy and asked him to work for them. When he refused, the Tigers arrested him — he was released six days later only after agreeing to collaborate with them. To escape this enforced recruitment and fearing further trouble, he approached a smuggler who offered to take him to Canada. After receiving thousands of dollars from Kumarasamy, his smuggler abandoned him in Ghana, where he remains to this day. In Ghana, he applied at the Canadian embassy for a permanent resident visa under the “convention refugee abroad class,” and as a member of the “humanitarian-protected persons class.”
  • 54) Aug 24, 2010 11:24:38 GMT |  + Tamil asylum-seekers must stay in jail, Canada says
    More than 400 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who arrived in Canada aboard a cargo ship 11 days ago have been told they must stay in jail. The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board agreed with government requests for more time to check the migrants' identity papers. Government officials want to establish whether any are militants from the Tamil Tigers, a group banned in Canada. Some 49 children arrived with the group, but they have not been detained. more ...
  • 55) Aug 24, 2010 11:23:21 GMT |  + A cursory commission and star witness
    In Colombo, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) records evidence from witnesses at the sprawling, white-washed 'Lighthouse' bungalow, a colonial era mansion used by the British. When I walked in last week to hear defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa depose before the panel, the air was relaxed, almost informal and security checks cursory. Welcoming enough, I thought, for someone to saunter in and tell the LLRC without fear or favour why the ceasefire agreement (CFA) with the LTTE failed and the war continued for several bleeding months.
  • 56) Aug 24, 2010 11:21:14 GMT |  + Tamils challenge offshore processing
    The High Court is hearing a challenge from two Tamil asylum seekers that their lawyers say could undermine the basis for offshore processing. The two asylum seekers, identified only as plaintiffs M61 and M69, arrived by boat in 2009, reaching Christmas Island on October 2. Both claimed refugee status out of fear they faced persecution from the Sri Lankan army, agencies of the government and paramilitary groups because of their alleged support for the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam.
  • 57) Aug 24, 2010 11:19:16 GMT |  + What we expect of new Canadians
    Over the weekend, the Sun newspaper chain reported the findings of a "secret government report" suggesting that nearly three-quarters of Sri Lankan Tamils previously granted refugee status in Canada have returned to their homeland for visits or vacations, casting doubt on their claims that they faced persecution, or even death, in their homeland. The "secret report" turns out to be a collection of 50 refugee-applicant case studies, plucked at random from government files. That is a small sample size, and it's not clear that even these 50 individuals are entirely representative of the larger Canadian-resident Tamil community.
  • 58) Aug 24, 2010 11:13:59 GMT |  + Basil Off To India
    Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa is to leave for India today (24) on a two-day official tour till the 26th. During Rajapaksa’s visit, he is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other high ranking members of the Indian government. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunge were to also participate in the Indian tour, but later cancelled the plans.
  • 59) Aug 24, 2010 9:50:14 GMT |  + ‘A section of int’l community prolonged war’
    Prof. Wijesinha said that the UNDP and Norway had said that funds were transferred to the LTTE with the knowledge of the UNF administration. For want of scrutiny on the part of the government and the donors, the LTTE had an opportunity to use funds as it pleased, he said. Pro. Wijesinha said that there had been a tremendous change in attitude on the part of Buhne, as well as the Heads of OCHA and UNICEF who came to Sri Lanka in 2007.
  • 60) Aug 24, 2009 21:02:41 GMT |  + San Francisco Court Upholds Law Allowing President to Designate Groups as Terrorist Organizations
    A law that allows the U.S. president to designate groups as terrorist organizations, freeze their assets and block aid to them was upheld by a federal appeals court in San Francisco Monday.In 2001, President George W. Bush issued executive orders under the law that enabled him, through the Treasury Department, to designate groups as terrorist organizations, freeze their assets and prohibit any aid or services to the groups. The penalty for violating the law is a fine of either $250,000 or twice the amount of money given to a group. The procedure was challenged in federal court in Los Angeles by the Humanitarian Law Project, which sought to aid the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam in Sri Lanka.
  • 61) Aug 24, 2009 18:58:33 GMT |  + Dolphin van scare in Vavuniya camps
    Displaced Tamil people are being daily abducted from camps in Vavuniya by people who come in vans, a displaced person told the BBC. Speaking with BBC Sandeshaya from a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Vavuniya, the IDP said all the displaced try to hide in their tents as the 'Dolphin vans' arrive in the camps. "We do not know what exactly happens as everybody hides as soon as they see the vans. But I know that two to three people are disappearing daily," he said. "There are special tents outside the camps to meet the relatives. The Tamil man who did not want to be identified due to fear for his safety said they are only allowed to meet relatives separated by a barbed wire fence.
  • 62) Aug 24, 2009 18:54:28 GMT |  + SOS emergency relief programme for orphans in Sri Lanka
    The civil war in northern Sri Lanka in Spring 2009 left thousands of children orphaned or separated from their families. With the permission of the Sri Lankan government, SOS Children has started an emergency relief programme in one of the IDP (internally displaced peoples) camps. Immediate support to the children through temporary shelters, which opened on 21 August 2009. We are currently caring for 161 children - 71 boys and 90 girls. Preventive care, ensure that all necessary immunizations are done, and curative care (this would be limited to whatever is available within the camp)
  • 63) Aug 24, 2009 18:52:12 GMT |  + Lanka unearths plot to kill Defence Secy; one held
    A plot to assassinate powerful Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who had played a major role in the defeat of the LTTE, was unearthed today with the arrest of one person and seizure of a suicide jacket and arms from him, police said."We have arrested one person and found a five-kg suicide jacket kit, cynide capsules and an automatic gun," police spokesman Nimal Mediwake said.
  • 64) Aug 24, 2009 18:50:05 GMT |  + Recanting Sri Lanka medics bailed
    Four doctors who worked in Sri Lanka's combat zone have been given bail after they were detained for allegedly exaggerating civilian casualty figures. A court in the capital Colombo said they could be released as long as they reported to police once a month. With journalists banned from the war zone, the doctors were an important source of news about the fighting in the final bloody months of fighting. In July, the doctors said they had overstated the casualty figures. They told a news conference they had been under pressure from Tamil Tiger rebels, who controlled the area where they were working, to exaggerate the death toll.
  • 65) Aug 24, 2009 12:13:24 GMT |  + ‘Rebellion or mass suicide only outcome if this continues’
    The estimated 280,000 inmates of Manik Farm camp – and there are no accurate figures of how many people are in each camp or who they are – are housed in six zones, three on either side of a central passage. The names of the people detained are not recorded, and thus there is no accountability for the people detained. Locals feel the camps are likely to continue indefinitely with foreign financial help – they were certainly built with international aid. But they also warn that if the situation continues, the people are bound to either rebel or kill themselves.
  • 66) Aug 24, 2009 11:47:33 GMT |  + Sri Lanka remembers Fr. Brown and aid workers disappeared into thin air during the war
    The Church of Sri Lanka has remembered Fr. Nihal Jim Brown (pictured), a priest of the diocese of Jaffna, who died in August 2006 during clashes between the government army and Tamil Tigers in Allaipiddy in the north. The priest of the diocese of Jaffna disappeared three years ago during clashes between army and Tamil Tigers near his parish in Allaipiddy. From 2006 until the end of the conflict the number of religious and humanitarian workers killed or missing during the war are over 70. Authorities’ silence shrouds their fate. more ...
  • 67) Aug 24, 2009 11:45:19 GMT |  + Three doctors accused of helping Tamil rebels released on bail
    Three of five doctors accused of spreading Tamil rebel propaganda about civilian casualties during the army's final offensive against the separatists in May were released Monday on bail in Sri Lanka, court officials said. The physicians treated civilians during the last few months of the conflict and provided details of the offensive and war casualties. They were a main source of information for journalists and were also quoted in reports by international organizations, including the United Nations and human rights groups, such as Amnesty International. Soon after their capture, the medics said at a government-arranged press conference that they were forced to provide false information by the rebels. The doctors released on bail were identified as Kanapathipillai Shanmugaraja, Illancheliyan Vallavan and Thurairaja Varatharaja.
  • 68) Aug 24, 2009 11:39:39 GMT |  + MNCs flock in to get the ‘fruits’ of war
    Roman Scott of Calamander Group, who believes Tigers have been effectively contained, suppression of free expression by Colombo will not affect business, and economics is not really that strong related to democratic principles, is an early bird in the island for investment, says the latest issue of Forbes India. Sri Lanka is going to be “one of the best investment opportunities on the planet for the next two to three years,” said the Singapore based British equity manager. According to Forbes, companies from some countries have a natural advantage either because they have the trust of the Sinhalese or understand the local nuances better. China falls into the first category and India into the second. These two countries are likely to play a major role in the reconstruction.
  • 69) Aug 24, 2009 11:38:48 GMT |  + U.S. Government funds Sinhala and Tamil language training for eastern government officials
    The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing Sinhala and Tamil language training to elected government officials and staff from 11 local government authorities in Eastern Province. Improved language skills will help them provide better services to the multi-ethnic communities they serve. USAID, the development agency of the U.S. Government, is funding a three-year initiative to promote good governance and human security in the East entitled Supporting Regional Governance (SuRG). The goal is to build participatory and transparent local government and to improve responsiveness to local community needs.
  • 70) Aug 24, 2009 11:35:11 GMT |  + President’s rule will last two decades – Bandula
    President Mahinda Rajapakse will continue as the head of State for twenty years, said Trade Consumer Affairs and Cooperative Minister Bandula Gunawardana addressing a meeting at Menikhinna in Kundasale on Saturday 22. There was no one who could prevent President Rajapaksa from ruling the country for two decades. The Opposition could not pose any challenge to him because it was now like a dog without a tail, the Minister said. Minister Gunawardena was addressing a meeting to welcome Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella as the new SLFP Chief Organiser of the Kundasale electorate.
  • 71) Aug 24, 2009 11:33:50 GMT |  + This is how I managed the war! -Gen.Fonseka speaks
    Speaking on ‘Winning Military Strategies - Lessons for Managers,’ General Fonseka said that when he took over the Army, the LTTE was acting almost like a conventional army and was considered to be unstoppable. Like a conventional army, they had to protect land, equipment and armaments. “From our side, we changed our tactics and strategies. We started act ing like guerrillas, making incursions into their territories in small groups and carrying out daring attacks when the LTTE challenged us in the jungles,” General Fonseka said.
  • 72) Aug 24, 2009 1:51:25 GMT |  + In Sri Lanka, Death Threats Over Speaking on EU's GSP Plus Tariff Treatment, Silence at UN
    A Sri Lankan academic and human rights activist faces death threats for allegedly providing information about the situation in Sri Lanka which might force the European Union not to continue its tariff free treatment of Sri Lankan textiles under the so called GSP Plus program. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu of the Centre for Policy Alternatives received the death threat, reproduced below, last week. The UN Security Council, which despite the UK's claim to have had the votes to put Sri Lanka on the agenda didn't, has not spoken on the death threat, nor on the worsening conditions in the internment camps for Tamils which the UN is funding.
  • 73) Aug 24, 2009 1:50:37 GMT |  +  Sewage mess: Govt. and UNICEF trade charges
    Our story last week captured the conditions of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Menik Farm following flash floods damaging tents and carrying sewage into tents around the camp. Though the rains eased during the last few days, the IDPs could face more problems due to the monsoon proper starting in a few weeks. The New York Times on August 16, quoting an NGO source said there could be more damage during the full monsoon. “If only three or four hours of rain cause this much chaos, only imagine what a full monsoon can cause,” said, Country Director for Oxfam, David White. Latrines have collapsed, sending waste spilling into nearby rivers. more ...
  • 74) Aug 24, 2009 1:49:04 GMT |  + Is an elected dictatorship an oxymoron?
    Elections are what democracy is all about - never mind old Engels, I think, who said that elections are an opportunity for the public to choose which bunch of worthies from the propertied classes will exploit them for the next five years. We could refine this by changing propertied classes to political scoundrels and five years to six. But smartarse epigrams aside, if a government is put in power by a thumping majority, and if it then rides roughshod over all the procedures and practices that are usually associated with democratic governance, what do we call that system? I will return to semantics later.
  • 75) Aug 24, 2008 21:26:32 GMT |  + KKS port renovation a “tough task” - SLPA
    The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said that renovation of the Kankasanthurai port is a “tough task” in view of the current ongoing projects in four other ports in the country. The government has expressed interest in opening up the Kankasanthurai port following the capture of some key areas, SLPA Acting Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama said. SLPA is expected to obtain monetary assistance from the Treasury for the renovation work at the Kankasanthurai port. Meanwhile, the SLPA is gearing up to call for tenders for the Colombo South Port next month. He noted that the first tender was cancelled in view of the “national interest”.
  • 76) Aug 24, 2008 14:08:33 GMT |  + Sri Lanka's ruling party sweeps local polls
    Sri Lanka's ruling party swept two local councils in an election seen as a referendum on the administration's war against Tamil rebels, results showed on Sunday. President Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) comfortably won the provincial councils by polling more than 55 percent of Saturday's vote, according to the department of elections. Rajapakse wanted the ballot for the highest level of local government in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces to be a referendum on his military campaign against Tamil separatists.
  • 77) Aug 24, 2008 13:26:36 GMT |  + Germany washes hands off Lanka
    Germany said it has virtually washed its hands off solving the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict since its voice and advice has been ignored by the government. German Ambassador Jürgen Weerth, addressing a forum organised by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sri Lanka (FCCISL), said the present government had ignored the voice of Germany with regard to solving the ethnic conflict. He added that his country did not believe in allowing the majority community to rule over minorities. “A country should have a give-and-take policy when ruling. Each community should be given preference, instead of supporting one community,” he said.
  • 78) Aug 24, 2008 5:30:48 GMT |  + War rhetoric and the numbers game
    As many analysts have been saying since the military campaign in the Wanni started, it is one that lacks clarity or direction. At various times officials have made statements so self-contradictory that they lead to fears that - despite the ruthless professionalism emanating from the soldiers on the ground - the top brass do not know whether they are coming or going. At the peak of the US military's Vietnam debacle, when a draft (effectively conscription) policy was in place and tens of thousands of American soldiers were being slaughtered, the desertion rate peaked at 5%.
  • 79) Aug 24, 2007 19:39:10 GMT |  + SLMM’s Weekly Report for August 13-19, 2007
    In the Eastern Region (ER) military operations were decreasing, while the presence of armed members of the Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP)/Karuna group continued to cause concern. Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) and artillery barrages were recorded in the Poonaryn area and the Jaffna Forward Defence Locality (FDL) every night throughout the week. Occasional shelling was moreover recorded from Pampaimadu; most likely directed into the LTTE controlled area north of Omantai.The SLMM Head of Mission (HOM) returned from Norway on 13 August. Thorfinnur Omarsson completed his term as SLMM Head Spokesperson; he was on 15 August replaced by Steinar Sveinsson.
  • 80) Aug 24, 2007 16:15:04 GMT |  + The UK's Peace Building Strategy for Sri Lanka
    The UK will work closely with the government of Sri Lanka and other local actors. We will also work in partnership with the international community – especially the Tokyo Co-Chairs, the EU, the UN, international financial institutions and development partners – co-ordinating and complementing our work with theirs. We have created an innovative Political and Development Section in the High Commission in Colombo which works in tandem with the Defence Section to implement the PBS, using funds from the UK’s Global Conflict Prevention Pool. PBS programmes will take a long-term approach aimed at tackling the underlying causes of the conflict. Evaluation and lesson learning will be central to our activity.
  • 81) Aug 24, 2007 15:59:17 GMT |  + Who is the bully, Sri Lanka or the U.N.?
    Sri Lanka's Deputy Solicitor General Savindra Fernando has been quoted in the local press stating that Sri Lanka has often been bullied into signing United Nations' conventions. All authoritarian states throughout history and the world have bullied their own people and deprived them of their rights. It is unfortunate if not unpredictable for the deputy solicitor general, who comes from the country's chief legal office, the Attorney General's Department, to take the position that international efforts to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of all, including Sri Lankans, should be branded as bullying, rather than branding the undeniable violations of rights that have and continue to take place there as such.
  • 82) Aug 24, 2007 15:40:42 GMT |  + HIV delegate denied treatment
    A Nigerian man attending a major AIDS conference in Sri Lanka says the stigma on HIV in Sri Lanka is worse than many countries in Africa. Jude Chidi Munaonye (43 years) Health educationist from Nigeria say the local hospital in Sri Lanka refused to treat him. "For more than two and a half hours he was at the hospital and no one treated him," a hotel employee who rushed him to the local hospital told the media. "Some nurses were helpful, but the doctors were not keen on treating him." "As soon as I told them that I am HIV positive, the hospital staff left me and went away. No one came to treat me for hours". Jude Munaonye told the BBC.
  • 83) Aug 24, 2007 14:57:08 GMT |  + Of Prime Ministerial aspirants and apparatchiks…
    According to Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Sir John Holmes is a terrorist. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has also made disparaging remarks about Sir John. And when the UN Secretary General defended Sir John and the remark he made that Sri Lanka is the worst place in the world for humanitarian workers, Fernandopulle is reported to have said that he didn’t give a dam about Ban Kyi Moon. It is also reported that Fernandopulle is after Wickremanayake’s job – that of Prime Minister. The question therefore arises as to whether a qualification for the job is the ability to abuse foreigners on the pretext of defending the sovereignty of Sri Lanka?
  • 84) Aug 24, 2007 14:45:14 GMT |  + Religious feast prompts brief lull in escalating conflict
    Uliyankulam, a key checkpoint along the line of control that separates Sri Lankan government-controlled areas from those held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), only gets about 1,600 people passing through per week. “Madhu is a place of peace where all Sri Lankans can gather and be in harmony,” the Catholic bishop for the area, Rayappu Joseph, told IRIN. “It is a place where we can be like one family and it was like that during this year’s feast… Both sides kept the guns silent during the feast, it was a great thing.”
  • 85) Aug 24, 2007 13:09:32 GMT |  + Red Cross to expand Sri Lanka border mission to five days a week
    The International Red Cross will extend its mission at a crossing between government and rebel-held territory in northern Sri Lanka to five days a week, the group said Friday, a move that will help increase the flow of goods and people in the war-wracked area. The presence of Red Cross workers at the tense crossing at Omanthai is seen by both the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels as mandatory for keeping the crossing open. After several violent incidents at the crossing that threatened civilians and Red Cross workers, the group reduced its operations there to only three days a week in June.
  • 86) Aug 24, 2007 10:39:52 GMT |  + "Jaffna’s media in the grip of terror"
    A report about the plight of the press in northern Sri Lanka, entitled "Jaffna’s media in the grip of terror," was released today by Reporters Without Borders and International Media Support, two members of the international press freedom mission to Sri Lanka, that carried out a joint fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka in June. Grave press freedom violations have been taking place in the isolated, Tamil-populated Jaffna peninsula, which has been badly hit by the fighting between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
  • 87) Aug 24, 2007 10:37:22 GMT |  + LTTE urges ICRC to restore opening days of Vavuniya entry point
    Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) Thursday discussed the operation of the only entry/exit point between the LTTE controlled Vanni and GoSL controlled Vavuniya town. LTTE officials said they had asked the ICRC to keep the Oamanthai checkpoint open for seven days a week to enable the people of Vanni to get provisions and other commodities uninterrupted. The request was made when LTTE representatives met Toon Vandenhove, Sri Lankan Country Director of ICRC and Katya Lawrence, the resident Representative of ICRC in Kilinochchi.
  • 88) Aug 24, 2007 10:34:41 GMT |  +  Ease emergency laws, media rights group tells Sri Lanka
    A media rights group Friday urged Sri Lanka to ease emergency laws that curtail freedom of expression and warned of worsening conditions in one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists. Working conditions have deteriorated in the Tamil-populated northern district of Jaffna since fighting erupted there between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, the Free Media Movement (FMM) said in a statement. "At least seven media workers including two reporters have been killed since May 2006," the statement said, adding that one journalist was missing and the offices of three media outlets had been physically attacked.
  • 89) Aug 24, 2007 10:27:52 GMT |  + JVP helping Rajapaksa brothers’ ‘company’ to prosper: Mangala
    While claiming all govt. parliamentarians barring 21 are willing to join the newly formed National Congress, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera yesterday charged the JVP of helping the Rajapaksa led government and his company of brothers to continue with their corrupt practices. “As a genuine political entity – the JVP should protest against the Rajapaksa ‘Company’ and not just put up posters,” Samaraweera told a media briefing of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party – Mahajana Wing, yesterday at Rosemead Place. He questioned as to why such a prominent and respected political party as the JVP is playing a ‘double game’.
  • 90) Aug 24, 2006 21:03:50 GMT |  + Soldiers killed in action buried secretly: Lakshman Kiriella
    Speaking during the adjournment debate on Wednesday in Parliament regarding the north east problem, UNP MP, Lakshaman Kiriella charged that a number of soldiers had been buried secretly at the Wijayapura cemetery in Anuradhpaura. He called on the government to inform the families of the deceased of this act or list the soldiers as Missing In Action. He claimed the government did not want to handover the bodies over to the families fearing possible unrest in the country.This government is groping in the dark he said and had no idea of how to solve the ethnic problem. Mr. Kiriella said he was informed of the secret burial of soldiers killed in operations, while he was in Anuradhapura recently.
  • 91) Aug 24, 2006 18:15:26 GMT |  + Race War
    August has been the bloodiest month in Sri Lanka for five years. Hundreds of combatants have been killed and many more wounded in heavy fighting on the Jaffna peninsula. As was the case during President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s infamous ‘war for peace’ the details are obscured, but what is clear is that the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers have clashed substantially. War reporting is a difficult matter, particularly when the battlefield is inaccessible and both sides are revealing little. But nonetheless, the fighting has dominated the headlines. The unfortunate consequence of thatis the fascination with casualty figures and maps has obscured another grim consequence of Sri Lanka’s armed forces going to war: at least 160,000 civilians have been displaced, hundreds have been killed and many more are wounded.
  • 92) Aug 24, 2006 17:35:12 GMT |  + UNICEF insists innocent children were killed
    While preferring to refrain from making any direct comments over calls to extradite the Killinochchi based UNICEF representative Penny Brune, the main UNICEF representative JoAnna Van Gerpon insisted however that statements made by UNICEF over the Sencholai compound bombing were by her and New York and no one else. ?Our assessment indicated that the children were from surrounding schools. I don?t think anyone is disputing that fact,? Ms. Van Gerpon said backing the original statement issued by the UN children?s rights group. The government kept insisting that those who were killed were child soldiers preparing to launch attacks against the security forces but it should be noted that under UN laws even such children were also termed as ?victims? as they were recruited on the insistence of an adult.
  • 93) Aug 24, 2006 14:24:40 GMT |  + Sri Lanka: Stories from conflict zones
    The past month has witnessed the worst violence in Sri Lanka since the 2002 ceasefire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.The entire Jaffna peninsula in the north has been cut off for more than a week following heavy fighting.Tens of thousands of people have been displaced and the capital Colombo has witnessed two bombings in as many weeks.People across the country have told the BBC how they have been affected by the escalation in violence. Communication with people trapped in the Jaffna peninsula is proving virtually impossible. more ...
  • 94) Aug 24, 2006 17:36:03 GMT |  + Rs.18 million for the seven rounds of talks
    The country has spent a staggering amount of Rs.18 million for the seven rounds of peace talks held in foreign countries so far with highest amount being incurred for the last Geneva talks held in February this year. For Geneva talks alone, the country has borne an expenditure worth Rs. 7.5 million. During the previous UNP regime, Rs. 7,83,964 have been spent for the first round talks held in Sathahip, Thailand between September 16 to 18 in 2002. The highest individual expenditure of Rs.8,24,162 had been spent by Director General of the Government?s Peace Secretariat Dr. Palitha Kohona who was a member of the Geneva negotiation team, and Rs. 4,10,719 by Investment Promotion and Enterprises Development Minister Rohitha Bogollagama
  • 95) Aug 24, 2006 14:25:23 GMT |  + Departing ceasefire monitor chief slams EU in gloomy Sri Lanka outlook
    The outgoing chief monitor of Sri Lanka's crumbling ceasefire criticised the EU for banning the Tamil Tiger rebels and said his warnings of a violent "worst case scenario" had come true. Brigadier General Ulf Henricsson wrote a memo to theEuropean Union more than a month before May's ban was imposed warning of a rise in violence and attacks in the capital Colombo if the EU carried out its threat."I think the EU thought that the government of Sri Lanka was a responsible government who could take the appropriate decision and work for peace instead of war," he said without elaborating. more ...
  • 96) Aug 24, 2006 10:54:58 GMT |  + Sri Lankan air force destroys rebel sea base as government discusses peace
    Sri Lanka's air force destroyed a Tamil Tiger sea base in the northeast Thursday as the government said it would consider a new cease-fire with the rebels only if it was offered by their elusive leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.Air force planes launched two airstrikes Thursday morning and the attack "totally destroyed" a Tiger sea base, said an air force official speaking on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to the media.There were no immediate reports about casualties.
  • 97) Aug 24, 2006 10:54:27 GMT |  + A War in All But Name
    While the international community still holds out hope that the cease-fire will survive, Sri Lanka's government and Tamil rebels are locked into all-out conflict. When the Sri Lanka government and separatist Tamil rebels signed a cease-fire agreement in 2002, the world hailed the country's chance to achieve a lasting peace after 19 years of civil war. Now, that promise is a distant memory. A steady trickle of bombings and murders has burst into a flood of deaths in recent weeks, and parts of the country's north and east have turned into intense battle zones.
  • 98) Aug 24, 2006 10:53:26 GMT |  + 'Battle' in Lanka, case of human rights violation, says PUCL
    Terming the ongoing 'battle' between Sri Lankan army and LTTE as a case of "human rights violation," PUCL has urged Tamil Nadu Government, to look Tamil refugees with humaneness.The steps being taken (with regard to the refugees coming to Tamil Nadu) are bureaucratic in nature. Rules were made only to protect the people and not to harrass or assault them, PUCL National president, K G Kannabiran, told reporters here yesterday.
  • 99) Aug 24, 2006 14:22:35 GMT |  + 2 new arrests in Tiger probe
    The RCMP has arrested two more Canadians in connection with an alleged U.S.-Canadian conspiracy to provide weapons and other materials for the Tamil Tigers, dubbed a terrorist group by both countries.Both Canada and the U.S. have formally listed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, as a terrorist group. The designation bars people from making donations or supporting the Tigers' activities. A spokesman for the Tigers, Rasiah Ilantheriyan, has denied the people arrested in New York have any connection with the organization, according to BBC's Tamil News Service. Toronto resident Siva Sivanathan, who knows and has attended community events with the first four men arrested, said the charges don't make sense.
  • 100) Aug 24, 2006 10:36:48 GMT |  + India 'silence' over Sri Lanka
    The growing conflict in Sri Lanka is having an affect in neighbouring India which has a sizeable Tamil population.Support for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority has always existed in India, particularly in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is governed by a party that is sympathetic to the Tamil Tigers and is also an influential member of India's governing coalition. Despite this, India has maintained a studied silence on the issue beyond calling on both sides to negotiate. Delhi appears keen to remain disengaged, especially after getting its fingers badly burnt when it sent peacekeeping troops to Sri Lanka in 1987. So for now, Sri Lanka's Tamil minority can expect little beyond lip service from the country's giant neighbour.
  • 101) Aug 24, 2006 10:31:31 GMT |  + Terror tests all of us
    Many in Canada's large Tamil community have been shaken by the arrest of prominent young Canadians who allegedly conspired to supply weapons and resources to the outlawed Tamil Tiger organization. These charges have yet to be proved in court. And we know from past experience not to prejudge the outcome. Other alleged terror conspiracies have collapsed in legal ruins. This has plunged some in Canada's large Muslim, Tamil and Sikh communities — now numbering 1 million — into a season of soul-searching. It has been compounded by the arrests of 18 Muslims for allegedly planning to storm Parliament and bomb targets in Toronto, and this week's allegation of a Tamil conspiracy. Some feel unfairly tainted by the alleged wrongdoing of a few.
  • 102) Aug 24, 2006 10:23:20 GMT |  + Besieged Sri Lankans await aid
    A ship carrying food approached Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula for the first time in nearly two weeks on Thursday, but a new government demand made an end to fighting with the Tamil Tiger rebels seem more distant.A Red Cross-flagged ship, which has sailed almost all the way around the island from the capital with security guarantees on both sides, was expected later on Thursday. A second ship was preparing to sail from Trincomalee to begin the evacuation of 500 foreign nationals from the peninsula.But half a million Jaffna residents will remain trapped.Separately, the government said on Thursday it wanted Tamil Tiger rebels out of territory overlooking Trincomalee port, from which they have launched attacks on the naval base in recent months.
  • 103) Aug 24, 2006 10:19:57 GMT |  + Finland's FM to attend NB8 talks in Oslo before extra EU meeting in Brussels
    Erkki Tuomioja (soc dem), Finland's foreign minister, is to participate in the NB8 meeting between the foreign ministers of the five Nordic countries and the three Baltic countries held in Oslo Friday, according to a statement by Finland's foreign ministry Thursday. The extraordinary foreign minister meeting, which Mr Tuomioja is chairing, is to deal with contributions to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon by the EU member states. According to the foreign ministry, Finland is due to give a report on its EU presidency term so far at the Oslo meeting. In addition to the Middle Eastern question the foreign ministers are also to discuss various other international issues, including the situation in Sri Lanka and Sudan, as well as relations with Russia.
  • 104) Aug 24, 2006 20:57:34 GMT |  + Cardboard Hitlers plunging the country into a hellhole
    A full scale war raging especially in and around Jaffna and Trinco, though you keep insisting the government has not declared war and the military operations are only defensive or retaliatory attacks. Words are cheap or meaningless and the reality is that the casualty toll on both sides is fearfully high with the Gampaha and Ragama hospitals reportedly being cleared to accommodate wounded soldiers . According to most analysts, you appear to be cornered largely due to weak, immature or inexperienced leadership at a time of grave crisis and the lack of think tanks or intellectuals who have a deep insight into local and international realities. more ...
  • 105) 12:58 GMT, Aug. 24, 2005 |  + IFJ Concerned by Lack of Information on Arrested Journalist in Sri Lanka
    The International Federation of Journalists today expressed concern over the refusal of Kurunagala police to give information on the arrest of journalist Subramanium Ramesh on August 19, 2005. Kurunagala police arrested Subramanium Ramesh, a Tamil language correspondent for the daily Veerakesaree, under emergency laws. Representatives of the Free Media Movement, an IFJ affiliate, in Sri Lanka have been unable to gain any further information or details surrounding the arrest. "The IFJ is concerned that the arrest is not adhering to the rule of law in Sri Lanka," said IFJ President Christopher Warren. "It is imperative that the legal process be a transparent one, that ensures the right to information on arrested persons," said the IFJ President. more ...
  • 106) 12:45 GMT, Aug. 24, 2005 |  + Intimidation intensifies by the SLA after Emergency Regulations
    Human rights activists have condemned that the arrests, harassments and intimidation against Tamils have increased after the SriLankan State imposed Emergency Regulations(ER) by the SriLankan armed forces. The harassments and intimidations are rising up against Tamils in Colombo and NorthEast after the emergency regulations imposed on 13th August 2005. And also search operations and round-ups have increased in Colombo and the NorthEast. Normal life of the people in the NorthEast has disturbed and tension mounting up by the aggressive activities of the Sri Lankan armed forces in the GoSL controlled areas of the Northeast. Tamil people rights have been violated and they have been attacked under the emergency regulations which provide special authorities to the SLA and the police. And Tamil journalists have been arrested and imprisoned by using this ER. more ...
  • 107) 11:41 GMT, Aug. 24, 2005 |  + Sri Lanka's new foreign minister makes India first overseas trip - Yahoo! Australia & NZ News
    Sri Lanka's new foreign minister will travel to India on his first official visit after being sworn in this week to replace slain predecessor Lakshman Kadirgamar, a spokesman said. The brother of President Chandrika Kumarataunga, Anura Bandaranaike, 56, is scheduled to arrive in India Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, a spokesman for his office said on Wednesday. Kadirgamar was assassinated on August 12 by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels. The guerrillas have denied involvement in killing Kadirgamar, who had been a staunch critic of the Tigers. more ...
  • 108) 10:24 GMT, Aug. 24, 2005 |  + Government rejects overseas venue for truce talks with Tamil Tiger rebels
    Sri Lanka's government has rejected the Tamil Tiger rebels' offer to hold peace talks in Norway, arguing that the guerillas would use a foreign venue to promote their autonomy bid, officials said Wednesday. The Tigers said last Friday that they were willing to hold talks in Norway's capital, Oslo, to review the Norwegian-brokered 2002 truce agreement with the government.A location in northern Sri Lanka - or even in neutral territory between government and rebel forward defense lines - has been suggested as an alternative, the officials said. The guerrillas had not yet respond to the government's proposal Wednesday. Rebel spokesman Daya Master said holding talks in government-held territory was "completely out" because the security risks were too high. A Norway-brokered cease-fire halted the fighting in 2002, but it has been under increasing strain in recent months. more ...
  • 109) 23:01 GMT, Aug. 24, 2004 |  + Sri Lankan opposition says country at brink of war
    Sri Lanka's main opposition Tuesday warned that the country is being pushed to the brink of resumption of the ethnic war due to inconsistency on the part of the government. G.L. Peiris, the spokesman for the United National Party (UNP),blamed the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga for failing to speak with one voice, referring to the difference of opinion within the ruling coalition. The leftist JVP or People's Liberation Front, the main partner of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), is opposed to the resumption of direct peace negotiations with the Tamil Tiger rebels based on their blueprint for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) for the war-torn north and east regions.
    - Sri Lanka on 'Brink of War,' says Opposition Leader - VOA
    more ...
  • 110) 10:51 GMT, Aug. 24, 2004 |  + Light at the end of the tunnel for Lankan Tamils of Indian origin
    At last, things are looking up for the Tamils of Indian origin, who constitute the bulk of the workforce in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka. Traditionally, one of the most neglected and segregated of the various communities living in the island, the plantation Tamils of Indian Origin are today experiencing a noticeable improvement in the quality of their lives. But sadly, the improvement is not evenly spread out. Only those who work for registered companies are seeing an improvement. And these are in a minority. The bulk of the estates in Sri Lanka are small and family owned properties, where there has been little or no improvement over the years. And the small holders are a power to reckon with because they produce more tea than all the registered companies put together. more ...
  • 111) 10:16 GMT, Aug. 24, 2004 |  + Sri Lanka being pushed to brink of war, says main opposition
    Sri Lanka's main opposition, which holds the balance of power to make or break a peace deal with Tamil Tiger rebels, has accused the government of pushing the country to the brink of war. Opposition spokesman G.L. Peiris accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga's shaky Marxist-backed coalition of allowing a Norwegian-backed process to drift and of failing to revive negotiations with Tamil rebels. "The tragic reality is that the country is being pushed to the brink of war," said Peiris, the chief negotiator under the former administration which was sacked by Kumaratunga allegedly for making too many concessions to the Tigers. "It is happening because of the lack of a clear policy of the government. It is like a rudder-less ship. An aircraft without a pilot." more ...
  • 112) 10:08 GMT, Aug. 24, 2004 |  + Ship seized for cutting Lanka's internet link
    Sri Lanka's high court has ordered the seizure of an Indian cargo vessel which allegedly cut a submarine cable connecting the island's telecommunications subscribers with the rest of the world. The court ordered that the vessel, State of Nagaland, be held at the Colombo port where it berthed on Sunday after accidentally severing the cable known as the SEA-ME-WE-III with its anchor. The submarine cable connecting Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe was damaged at a point some 10km off the Sri Lankan coast cutting off some 800,000 telephone and internet users. more ...
  • 113) 10:04 GMT, Aug. 24, 2004 |  + US Hails Military Ties With India, Lists Proposed Arms Deals
    Hailing its new military ties with India, the United States has listed an impressive catalogue of arms deals with New Delhi. Speaking at the Army War College in Indore, US Charge d'Affaires Robert Blake said recent military cooperation with India included joint training in jungle and mountain warfare, and an offer to sell to New Delhi chemical and biological protection equipment. Blake's list of military hardware - both sold and in the pipeline - was impressive. In July 2003, two AN-TPQ/37 Firefinder counter-battery radars arrived and have been deployed in India. Two more radars, part of a 12 unit $190 million sales agreement under Washington's foreign military sales policy, will soon be deployed, having just completed their final quality testing. To help promote regional stability in South Asia, the US and India meet regularly to discuss "mutual concerns" in Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. "The US also supports continued efforts by India and Pakistan to better their relations," Blake added. more ...
  • 114) 10:00 GMT, Aug. 24, 2004 |  + Tamil Tigers warn killings threaten Sri Lanka truce
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have accused the army of colluding in the killing of a top member of its political arm and said a two-year truce that silenced the guns after two decades of civil war faced serious threat. In a statement issued late on Monday, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's political wing said the army had helped a breakaway faction to target and ambush aides and a rebel patrol -- a charge the army denies and Nordic peace monitors are now investigating. "The Sri Lankan army accommodating and encouraging the activities of the armed groups in violation of ... the ceasefire agreement is a serious threat," spokesman S.P. Thamilselvan said on the political wing's website www.lttepeacesecretariat.com. more ...
  • 115) 12:19 GMT, Aug. 24, 2003 |  + Tamils call Sri Lankan peace offer "ambiguous", discuss counter-proposal
    Top Tamil Tiger leaders meeting in Paris on Saturday described a peace offer from the Sri Lankan government to restart a faltering peace process as "ambiguous" and said they would come up with their own counter-proposition by the middle of next week. The political leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sinniah Paramu Tamilselvan, told reporters the government offer of limited autonomy was "ambiguous and does not contain enough power for the Tamils to run their own affairs in the northeast region" of the island state. He added that he and nine other senior LTTE members were working on an offer that "reflects the aspirations of the Tamil people". more ...
  • 116) 12:18 GMT, Aug. 24, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka rebels plan next move in peace talks
    Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers gathered 10 rebel leaders and expatriate Tamil experts in Paris on Saturday to map out the next stage of their suspended peace talks with the Colombo government. The rebels had been expected to respond to a government proposal for a power-sharing body for the Tamil-dominated north and east of the country. more ...
  • 117) 12:16 GMT, Aug. 24, 2003 |  + Sri Lanka president's party slams Norway, Japan over peace bid
    President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party launched a scathing attack against Norway and Japan over Sri Lanka's peace bid and accused her cohabitation government of abdicating its powers to foreigners. The president's international affairs adviser Lakshman Kadirgamar said Norway, originally invited by Kumaratunga to broker peace here, had gone beyond its mandate and was dictating terms to the government. Kadirgamar told a dinner meeting of the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Sri Lanka here Friday that the recent involvement of Japan in the peace bid had prompted Indian concern over Tokyo's political role in the region. more ...
  • 118) 10:14 GMT, Aug. 24, 2003 |  + Minister Hakeem fans communalism, as Tamil MPs remain dumb
    The latest round of violence that erupted in Muttur and spread to Sammanthurai is not new to anyone who has following the patterns of Tamil-Muslim violence that has flared up periodically in the east ever since the signing of the ceasefire agreement in February 2002. What is exasperating is that while Hakeem uses the parliamentary complex and all the communication facilities afforded by modern technology to advocate his cause, the members of parliament of the TNA that includes R. Sampanthan and M. Thurairatnasingham from Trincomalee, have chosen to remain silent. Tamils are perturbed that the initiative has been wrested by the likes of Hakeem who are doing everything to destabilise the east and embarrass the LTTE for petty political gain. more ...
  • 119) 13:33 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + Lanka PM on rare visit to mutt
    Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today made history of sorts by visiting the Sankara Mutt at Kancheepuram and meeting Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswati. Wickremesinghe arrived from Colombo today, accompanied by his wife, on a three-day personal visit to India. Later, they drove down to the temple town and spent nearly 45 minutes with Jayendra Saraswati and junior acharya Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati. more ...
  • 120) 13:30 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + Ranil meets Kanchi acharyas
    Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today called on the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt, Sri Jayendra Saraswati, and held a closed-door meeting. The junior pontiff, Sri Vijayendra Saraswati, was also present during the hour-long meeting. Emerging from the meeting, Wickremesinghe told reporters here that he felt strengthened by the encouragement given by both the acharyas to the peace efforts of his government. He expressed the hope that the blessings of the acharyas would further the peace process in the island republic. more ...
  • 121) 13:26 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + Lanka Govt to lift ban on Tamil Tigers on Sept 6
    The Sri Lanka government will lift a four-year ban on Tamil Tiger rebels on September 6, paving the way for peace talks with the insurgents scheduled for later that month in Thailand, a government minister said on Saturday. "We will lift the ban as promised," Minister for Rehabilitation Jayalath Jayawardena said. The lifting of the ban is one of the key rebel conditions for resuming peace negotiations with the government after a hiatus of more than seven years. more ...
  • 122) 11:58 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + Tamils Honour Their Fallen Heroes
    Not only Tamils visit the cemetery. While travelling to Jaffna up the A9 highway, a number of people from the majority Sinhala community also make a brief stop over at the martyrs' memorial. Most of them are surprised to see the huge number of graves in the cemetery. Some of them even bring along flowers and wreaths as a mark of respect for the dead. The Tamil Tigers are now trying to rebuild the cemeteries that were destroyed in the war in a project funded by donations collected from all over Sri Lanka. The cemeteries are reminders of the long and bloody ethnic conflict that has raged for nearly 20 years in this island nation. But there are hopes that with the warring sides moving away from the battlefield and towards the negotiating table, the killing is drawing to a close. more ...
  • 123) 11:49 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + US military officials to visit SL frequently — Armitage
    Visiting United States Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage on Thursday said that officials of the US military establishment would visit Sri Lanka frequently. When asked by "The Island" about such visits, Armitage said that it was with the view to establish a "University of Defence" in Sri Lanka. Armitage who flew back to Colombo had a one-to-one meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s nominee for peace process, former Foreign Minister and parliamentarian Lakshman Kadirgamar. more ...
  • 124) 11:41 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + PA set to confront Ranil government
    Sri Lanka's main opposition People's Alliance (PA) was setting the stage for a major confrontation with the ruling United National Front (UNF) government yesterday with threats to defy a court order and block the holding of a referendum on the proposed constitutional amendments. The PA yesterday declared that President Chandrika Kumaratunga will hold the powers to decide on implementing the court order over holding a referendum. "The President can even delay holding the referendum on the grounds that the security situation is not conducive for such poll or that the government lacks funds for such a poll," former minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. more ...
  • 125) 11:06 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + 'All efforts to bring peace in Sri Lanka welcome'
    The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, today said his country welcomed efforts from all quarters to restore peace there, even as he expressed gratitude to India for its help in that direction. ``I welcome efforts from all nations in bringing peace to Sri Lanka,'' Mr. Wickremasinghe said. Asked if the present situation would lead to long-lasting peace, he said that everyone desired that and it finally rested in the hands of the Sri Lankan people. On the sentiments of the Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu who wanted to return to their homeland only if there was an end to the conflict, he said his Government was taking steps in this regard. more ...
  • 126) 05:05 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + Lankan PM says would welcome help from India, US
    Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who arrived in India on Friday on a three-day visit, said he would welcome help from any country, including the United States and India, to bring peace to his nation. "We welcome the American efforts and in fact, we welcome contributions from any country for working towards peace," Wickremesinghe said during a visit to the famous Kancheepuram temple, 80 km from Chennai. more ...
  • 127) 04:45 GMT, Aug. 24, 2002 |  + Govt. peace official holds talks with Thamilchelvan
    The Peace Secretariat Secretary, General Mr.Bernard Gunatillake, Friday held talks with the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The two-hour talks held with Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan by the government peace official centred on various issues including the development of the north east province, government sources said. more ...
  • 128) 16:39 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Time to end double standards and respect the consular rights of foreign nationals facing the death penalty
    Ruling in response to the execution of the LaGrand brothers in the state of Arizona in 1999, the ICJ found that the USA had violated its obligation under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to inform them of their right to communicate with their consulate after arrest. The ICJ also declared that domestic procedural rules must not prevent judicial review of convictions involving violations of the right to consular assistance, and that the USA must provide the means to permit review and reconsideration of similar cases. "By ignoring the historic decision of the International Court of Justice which defends the consular rights of arrested foreign nationals, the USA is undermining the international rule of law," Amnesty International declared today. "No nation which claims to uphold international law can defy a binding judgement from the world's highest court." "The USA vigorously defends the consular rights of its own citizens arrested abroad but refuses to remedy violations of those same essential rights within its own borders," the organization added. "How long must the world wait for the USA to obey the law?" more ...
  • 129) 15:50 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka ends honeymoon with leftists
    Sri Lanka's beleaguered President Chandrika Kumaratunga has rejected the key demands of the main Marxist party ending hopes of hammering out a coalition to remain in power, officials said Friday. Kumaratunga in a letter to the JVP, or People's Liberation Front, ruled out reopening the legislature she shut down until September 7 to avoid a humiliating defeat of her minority government. Political sources said the JVP's demands for a "probationary government" were brushed aside or flatly rejected in Kumaratunga's response to the party late Thursday. "The president has made it very clear that there will be no early summoning of parliament," a political source said. "On the question of trimming the cabinet from 44 members to 20, the government said more discussion was necessary." more ...
  • 130) 13:00 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Anti-government demonstration in Colombo
    Thousands of demonstrators Thursday afternoon around 2 p.m. started marching towards Colombo Town Hall to attend a mass rally organised by the People's Alliance for Democracy, demanding President Chandrika Kumaratunge to reconvene the Parliament and cancel the proposed referendum for a new constitution. more ...
  • 131) 12:50 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Nine Sri Lankan soldiers missing after rebel raid
    Nine Sri Lankan soldiers were listed as missing on Friday, a day after Tamil Tiger guerrillas unsuccessfully tried to overrun their camp, sparking battles that left at least 15 dead on both sides, military officials said. The soldiers were part of a patrol that left the Kokkutudu Wai camp in eastern Sri Lanka hours before the rebels began their pre-dawn assault, the latest in a steadily escalating ethnic war. "Troops conducted a search operation to locate them, but now we have officially categorised them as missing," said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne. more ...
  • 132) 12:49 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Fear of Rape Haunts Tamil Women
    Exhausted after a night's work at a busy cafe and an anxious encounter with police, Velu Arshadevi was fast asleep when the loud thumping came at the door of a house shared by the cafe's employees. ``I sat up in the bed. It was about 3 in the morning and who would come?'' Arshadevi recalled asking herself. At the door, the 28-year-old mother of two found the police officer who had stopped her on the street hours earlier. He said she would have to come with him to the station as police needed to further verify her identity because she was a Tamil. more ...
  • 133) 12:43 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + US intervention gets cold shoulder in Sri Lanka crisis
    Sri Lanka's main opposition Friday played down a US initiative to broker unity talks with the beleaguered government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a bid to restore political stability. The United States embassy Thursday expressed concern about Sri Lanka's political uncertainty and said it had acted as a messenger between two political parties in the island. But former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP), denied he was given a message by the US ambassador to Sri Lanka, Ashley Wills. "He has not carried any message to us from anyone," Wickremesinghe said. more ...
  • 134) 12:43 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Sri Lanka names panel to salvage government
    Sri Lanka's minority government Friday named a six-member ministerial panel to open power-sharing talks with the main opposition in a bid to salvage its position, officials said. The negotiating team headed by agricultural minister D. M. Jayaratne was named by President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government just before a 24-hour deadline for talks set by the main opposition was due to expire. The opposition United National Party (UNP) confirmed that Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake formally informed them of the move and asked that talks begin Saturday, as delegates were unavailable Friday. more ...
  • 135) 11:20 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Joint opposition warn president not to come to parliament without policy statement
    The Joint Opposition has decided not to allow the President to walk in to the Parliament on the 7th of Sept. without a Policy Statement and inform the President about it. This means she can come only with a policy statement and not without. She is thus permitted to declare her policy statement and request it to be subjected to a vote. But in a situation where the opposition has the majority, such a policy statement could be defeated and in that case the Prime Minister and the whole Cabinet would have to step down. Under the 33(a) chapter of the constitution, the President has powers to declare a policy statement whenever the Parliament is assembling for a fresh session. The opposition however, has the constitutional powers to demand a vote on this policy statement, as prescribed in the 49 (2) of the constitution. But if this policy statement were defeated in such a situation, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet would have to step down immediately. more ...
  • 136) 11:14 GMT, Aug. 24, 2001 |  + Death toll in Tiger attack in Sri Lanka rises to 22
    Tamil Tiger rebels killed twice as many government troops in an attack on an army camp as was previously thought, taking the total death toll on both sides to 22, officials said Friday. In Thursday's attack carried out by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the Kokkuthuduvai army camp in the northeast of the country, seven soldiers were orginally reported dead, while a further 11 were wounded. Defence officials said another seven soldiers who were presumed missing were now thought to have been killed by the LTTE guerrillas who removed the bodies when they withdrew. more ...
  • 137) 13:29 GMT, Aug. 24, 2000 |  + Paedophile cases rising in Asia
    The number of tourists in Asia seeking sex with children is on the rise, and more of the paedophiles are Asians themselves, officials and experts said on Tuesday. Cheaper airfare, the opening of countries once closed because of war or politics, and the advent of the Internet have provided more opportunities for tourists looking for underage sex partners, the experts said. more ...
  • 138) 13:23 GMT, Aug. 24, 2000 |  + Buddhist monks warn Lanka govt on poll violence
    Four Mahanayaka Theras (Buddhist prelates) issued a warning on Thursday to the government to take necessary steps for holding free and fair elections following increased poll-related violence in several parts of the country recently. more ...
  • 139) 13:04 GMT, Aug. 24, 2000 |  + Killing of student ruled homicide
    The Batticaloa District Judge Wednesday returned a verdict of homicide in the death of a student who was shot by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers on August 18. M.Vijayatharsan, 20, a GCE (A/L) student of Ramakrishna Mission Tamil Mixed School in Morokkoddaanchenai, was shot dead by SLA soldiers at Kaluwankerny. more ...
  • 140) 03:55 GMT, Aug. 24, 2000 |  + Political crisis deepens for Kumaratunga
    The political crisis which arose from the sudden resignation of port minister H M Ashraff over seat-sharing in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka entered a new dimension Wednesday as the leading Muslim leader unexpectedly decided to leave for Mecca on a pilgrimage, leaving the ruling People's Alliance in a tizzy. more ...
  • 141) 03:48 GMT, Aug. 24, 2000 |  + Ashraff on pilgrimage, resignation stands
    Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Sri Lanka's Ports minister M.H.M.Ashraff left for Mecca in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday on a three-day pilgrimage to perform religious rites called UMRA. more ...
  • 142) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Two SLA bodies returned
    No details available. more ...
  • 143) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + EPDP accused of grenade attack on Jaffna daily
    No details available. more ...
  • 144) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + World: Big explosion in Afghanistan
    No details available. more ...
  • 145) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India's N-doctrine likely to feature in US-China talks
    No details available. more ...
  • 146) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India: `Sonia needs to brush up on history'
    No details available. more ...
  • 147) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Subway murder-suicide shocks relatives, doctor
    No details available. more ...
  • 148) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + TamilNadu: 'Promote use of Tamil in computers'
    No details available. more ...
  • 149) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India denies secret accord with Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 150) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Views of Mankulam crossing - Photoes
    No details available. more ...
  • 151) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Colonisation jubilee to be celebrated
    No details available. more ...
  • 152) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India denies secret military pact with Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 153) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + President's unpopular power-sharing peace plan shelved
    No details available. more ...
  • 154) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Chandrika's plea may go unheeded
    No details available. more ...
  • 155) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Trapped in trouble, they escape to schools
    No details available. more ...
  • 156) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + UNP smells rat in Chandrika’s talks offer
    No details available. more ...
  • 157) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Two SLA bodies returned
    No details available. more ...
  • 158) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + EPDP accused of grenade attack on Jaffna daily
    No details available. more ...
  • 159) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + World: Big explosion in Afghanistan
    No details available. more ...
  • 160) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India's N-doctrine likely to feature in US-China talks
    No details available. more ...
  • 161) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India: `Sonia needs to brush up on history'
    No details available. more ...
  • 162) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Subway murder-suicide shocks relatives, doctor
    No details available. more ...
  • 163) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + TamilNadu: 'Promote use of Tamil in computers'
    No details available. more ...
  • 164) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India denies secret accord with Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 165) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Views of Mankulam crossing - Photoes
    No details available. more ...
  • 166) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Colonisation jubilee to be celebrated
    No details available. more ...
  • 167) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + India denies secret military pact with Sri Lanka
    No details available. more ...
  • 168) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + President's unpopular power-sharing peace plan shelved
    No details available. more ...
  • 169) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Chandrika's plea may go unheeded
    No details available. more ...
  • 170) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + Trapped in trouble, they escape to schools
    No details available. more ...
  • 171) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1999 |  + UNP smells rat in Chandrika’s talks offer
    No details available. more ...
  • 172) 11:11 GMT, Aug. 24, 1998 |  + Sri Lanka stocks hits seven year low
    No details available. more ...
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