News Category: Batticaloa
  • Christian in Sri Lanka Arrested after Reporting Threat on His Life, Watchdog Group Reports
  •    [ Feb 22, 2019 17:50:47 GMT ] [ Morning Star News ]

        Police in Sri Lanka arrested a Christian who reported a Buddhist mob’s threat on his life, according to an advocacy group in the island country. In Nattandiya, in Sri Lanka’s North Western Province, six area Buddhists on Jan. 26 threatened to attack the Christian if he refused to stop inviting a pastor to lead Bible studies at his house, the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) reported. The next day (Jan. 27), the Christian (name withheld for security reasons) filed a complaint about the threat on his life at the Marawila police station, in Puttalam District. This upset the six Buddhists, and with others they formed a mob on Jan. 29 that headed toward his house with intent to assault him, the NCEASL reported. [ Full Report ]

  • Rajapaksa poaches Tamil MP ahead of crucial trust vote
  •    [ Nov 02, 2018 20:31:21 GMT ] [ Week ]

        In a boost for newly-appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, a lawmaker from the main Tamil party defected to the premier's side and was made a minister on Friday even as President Maithripala Sirisena agreed to summon Parliament on November 7 for a floor test to end the political turmoil. Rajapaksa claims he now has enough numbers to prove his majority and at least five of ousted premier Ranil Wickremasinghe's men have defected to his side. The current suspension of Parliament is seen as key to Rajapaksa negotiating for enough defections. Rajapaksa was further bolstered by the defection of TNA MP S Vilenthiriyan from the eastern district of Batticaloa, who was made the deputy minister of eastern development. [ Full Report ]

  • TNA MP joins govt. with UNP’s Nawinne
  •    [ Nov 02, 2018 19:44:11 GMT ] [ Island ]

        Two more new ministers, who crossed over to the government from the TNA and the UNP, were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo yesterday evening. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and several UPFA parliamentarians also arrived at the Presidential Secretariat for the ceremony. UNP MP S. B. Nawinne was appointed the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Internal Affairs and Regional Development.TNA MP S. Viyalendiran was sworn in as Deputy Minister of Regional Development (Eastern Development). [ Full Report ]

  • Rohitha Bogollagama's wife , daughter ordered to be arrested
  •    [ Jun 01, 2018 16:27:41 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        Eastern Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama's wife and daughter who evaded courts were ordered to be arrested by the Colombo Chief Magistrate a short while ago. The duo were alleged to have been involved in a case pertaining assaulting a woman in Cinnamon Gardens. [ Full Report ]

  • Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, to open for passenger traffic
  •    [ Mar 27, 2018 14:10:06 GMT ] [ CH-Aviation ]

        According to the ch-aviation capacity module, the city of Batticaloa is currently served by Cinnamon Air (C7, Colombo Int'l) which operates a 14x weekly seaplane operation to Kotte near the capital Colombo. However, the carrier does not use the land-based facilities. Cinnamon Air and Sri Lanka Air Force (Colombo Int'l) owned Helitours (Colombo Ratmalana) are the only airlines providing large-scale domestic scheduled services in Sri Lanka. flydubai operates 4x weekly out of Colombo Int'l to Hambantota in the southern part of the country as a part of its service out of Dubai Int'l; however, the airline does not have the eighth freedom rights and does not sell tickets for the domestic sector in Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Shops, Mosque Damaged in Buddhist-Muslim Clash
  •    [ Feb 27, 2018 16:56:46 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        At least five people were wounded and several shops and a mosque damaged in a clash between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka, police said on Tuesday. Renewed tension has been growing between the two communities since last year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalizing Buddhist archaeological sites. [ Full Report ]

  • Maaveerar Naal commemorated across Batticaloa District
  •    [ Nov 27, 2017 20:49:19 GMT ] [ TG ]

        Events were held across Batticaloa District today at Thuyilum Illams and in village memorial sites commemorating Maaveerar Naal. At the Vaakarai Kandaladi Thuyilum Illam over a thousand people attended to pay respect and honour those who had fought in the Tamil struggle for liberation. [ Full Report ]

  • Thousands mark Maaveerar Naal across Jaffna district
  •    [ Nov 27, 2017 20:24:33 GMT ] [ TG ]

        Thousands of local residents and families of the Maaveerar gathered at the Thuyilum Illams (LTTE resting homes) and memorial sites across Jaffna district today to mark Tamil National Remembrance Day (Maaveerar Naal). Many wept at the traditional Thuyilum Illam song played whilst lamps were lit by make shift tombstones. Events took place at Thuyilum Illams and memorial sites across the North-East, which were destroyed by Sri Lankan armed forces, but cleared and decorated over recent weeks. [ Full Report ]

  • Northern Sri Lanka’s hidden treasures – a beautiful land scarred by war and untouched by tourists
  •    [ Aug 29, 2017 17:52:03 GMT ] [ SCMP ]

        It is hard to miss the scars left by three decades of civil war. For years, the LTTE (the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, known internationally as the Tamil Tigers) fought for an independent state until their defeat in 2009. Houses are riddled with bullet holes. Once beautiful colonial buildings are missing roofs and are burnt out. But between the ruins, life has returned in its glory. “It’s still difficult for us. Sri Lanka tourism does not really promote the northern provinces, so we don’t get that many visitors,” says Jeevitha, the villa’s proprietor. Tourists are missing out, not just on warm hospitality, but also great food. The local cuisine has a distinct southern Indian influence, and plenty of seafood due to the vicinity of the sea. [ Full Report ]

  • As rural Sri Lanka dries out, young farmers look for new job options
  •    [ Aug 16, 2017 17:29:05 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Scorched by a 10-month drought that has killed crops and reduced residents to buying trucked-in water, Adigama’s young people are voting with their feet. At least 150 youth have left this agricultural village 170 km northwest of Sri Lanka’s capital since the drought began, looking for jobs in the country’s cities, or overseas, village officials say. Few are expected to come back, even when the rains end. “If they get the lowest paying job overseas, or in a garment factory, they will not return,” said Sisira Kumara, the main government administrative officer in the village of 416 families. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s Conflict-Affected Women: Dealing with the Legacy of War
  •    [ Jul 28, 2017 15:06:52 GMT ] [ Crisis Group ]

        Throughout the decades of violence, women in the war-ravaged north and east have had pivotal roles, as fighters with the LTTE, activists for peace and justice, victims and survivors of atrocities and now as household heads who are trying to hold both their families and their damaged communities together. Conflict-affected women have spearheaded the demand for justice during and after the war and remain at forefront of protests in Tamil areas. The government says it is committed to addressing their demands, but its failure to do so has already stoked women’s anger and could encourage the growth of less accommodating and more conservative forms of Tamil nationalism. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamil MP challenges Mittal housing project
  •    [ Jul 14, 2017 11:19:53 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        A Tamil parliamentarian on Thursday challenged a proposed housing project of steel maker ArcelorMittal in the Supreme Court, questioning both its suitability for the post-war region and the government’s tendering process.From the time the government roped in Indian-born billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s company to build 65,000 houses in the Tamil-majority north and east, the project evoked sharp resistance. Engineering experts in Sri Lanka studied the proposed prefabricated housing model and said it was severely flawed in its design, compared to traditional brick-and-mortar homes that they recommended. They also deemed prefab homes unsuitable for the hot and humid climatic conditions in the north and east. [ Full Report ]

  • Now East gets ready for Ezhuga Thamilto push for federal unit TN won’t back the move
  •    [ Nov 28, 2016 14:56:21 GMT ] [ Island ]

        Barely three months after the Ezhuga Thamil (‘Rise up Tamils’) rally in the North, which caused an uproar in political circles, arrangements are being made for holding a sequel thereto in the East. Although Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and the TNA will not back the move, the TPC, which has Northern Chief Minister C. V. Wigneshwaran and Jaffna-based cardiologist P. Lakshman as co-chairs, has thrown its weight behind the organisers of "Ezhuga Thamil" rally in the East. Sources said they would decide on a date shortly. Political observers in the East said the TPC believed that only a full-fledged federal unit would help meet the aspirations of the Tamil people and any other arrangement would fall short of being a viable solution to the national question. [ Full Report ]

  • Family receives death threat for alerting GS officer on SL military exploitation of natural resources
  •    [ Jun 09, 2016 13:42:41 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        A family has been forced to seek security with its relatives and friends in Koara'laip-pattu South (Kiraan) DS division of Batticaloa this week after a two-member squad of ‘unknown’ persons, who came in a motorbike on Sunday (05 June) issued death threats to the family alleging it for passing information to the Village (GS) Officer about illegal logging and related military trade taking place at the interior jungle outlet of Kudumpimalai, 63 km northwest of Batticaloa city. On 01 June, Shanmugam Guru, the GS officer who was trying to investigate the exploitation was told by the armed persons in civil clothes that they belonged to SL military. [ Full Report ]

  • Roots of Governor-Chief Minister conflict in eastern Sri Lanka
  •    [ May 27, 2016 10:31:11 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        The on-going conflict between Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando and Chief Minister Naseer Ahamed, which has led to the Sri Lankan armed forces declaring an indefinite boycott of the Chief Minister, is rooted in the way Centre-Province relations have developed in Lanka and the nature of Muslim politics in the island nation. According to sources in the East, last Friday’s spat in which CM Naseer Ahamed publicly accused Governor Austin Fernando of insulting him and “the entire province”, in cahoots with the Lankan navy, could not be seen as an isolated incident. [ Full Report ]

  • Community Mediated Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka
  •    [ May 26, 2016 16:30:18 GMT ] [ Asia Foundation ]

        The Asia Foundation played a critical role in providing much-needed assistance, both logistical and financial, to enable members of the Mediation Boards Commission to travel to the North to interview and select mediators. As in other parts of the country, mediators for the Northern Province were selected from within the community, appointed through an established selection process, then subsequently provided with the required technical training to practice interest-based mediation. Anecdotal information provided by mediators and from members of the community at the time revealed that, even the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which fought a 30-year war with the government of Sri Lanka, were supportive of the mediation boards as they were seen as a mechanism by the people, for the people, and therefore non-threatening despite its government affiliations. [ Full Report ]

  • The tale of two cities by the Lagoon – Batticaloa & Venice
  •    [ Jan 01, 2016 18:21:44 GMT ] [ The Island ]

        Growing up barley a few hundred yards away from the meandering and mesmerizing Batticaloa lagoon had its magical moments. The swilling frothy waves dancing in the sun rays, and gently touching the sandy shores were a sight that never fades from memory. The mangroves, prawns, jelly fish, green algae, and the distinct lake smell –are elements that embody the surrounding of a lagoon dweller. To me, the Saturday morning bike ride with my father, along the Southern edge of Lake Road dotted with colonial government bungalows with panoramic views, gave me reason to be awestruck. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s Army Plays by the Old Rules
  •    [ Oct 27, 2015 10:21:33 GMT ] [ HRW ]

        “Our ancestors lived here,” said the elderly woman. She and a dozen other Muslim inhabitants of the village of Kasankurni spoke to a Sri Lankan activist and me last week from outside makeshift homes where they have struggled to survive for four years. “The army started by taking our maize and other crops. Then they blocked our children from going to school. They said the land belongs to them.” Kasankurni lies astride a crocodile-infested river an hour’s drive south of Sri Lanka’s eastern port city of Batticaloa. In November 2011, two years after the end of the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the army expropriated Kasankurni’s homes for a military base. Literally overnight, they drove away the 69 families living there. [ Full Report ]

  • MP Joseph Pararajasingham killing: Pillaiyan arrested
  •    [ Oct 12, 2015 11:00:08 GMT ] [ Island ]

        Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan was taken into custody by the CID yesterday in connection with the killing of Batticaloa District parliamentarian Joseph Pararaajasingham in December 2005. Earlier the Criminal Investigation Department took into custody two former LTTE members who had close links with Pillaiyan in connection with the same killing. [ Full Report ]

  • Launch of Reconciliation through Sports Cricket Tournament
  •    [ Feb 11, 2015 14:02:11 GMT ] [ SLC ]

        The Sports for Reconciliation cricket tournament, implemented by ZOA Sri Lanka, brings together 18 village-level youth teams from the Northern and Eastern Provinces representing all communities. The tournament will be played in a knock-out format with the grand final held at Mullaitivu in March 2015. The tournament aims to bring the excitement and spirit of the ICC Cricket World Cup to these communities, while also promoting social cohesion, dialogue, reconciliation and new friendships. Minister Ranatunga said, “I would like to thank the Australian High Commission and ZOA for doing this. It’s very important to play the game with every citizen in the country. That is something we are promoting… how to get north and south together. We can do that through sports.” [ Full Report ]

  • TNA and SLMC in power struggle in East
  •    [ Feb 08, 2015 1:11:46 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Following the appointment of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Councillor Hafeez Nazeer Ahamed as the new Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) the party has decided to suspend a councillor on the grounds of his misconduct, a senior party leader said. “He has been removed from the party membership by the leader with the powers vested through the Constitution of the party. Disciplinary action will follow,” SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said. [ Full Report ]

  • Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the flood
  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 13:52:19 GMT ] [ Scotsman ]

        Ten years ago Scots contributed £2.7 million to Catholic aid in tsunami-struck Sri Lanka. Life is now better than it was before, says Alistair Dutton, is the director of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF). Thanks to Scottish donations, SCIAF has been able to build new houses for 420 other families. In addition to the new homes, I saw other signs that people had not only recovered, but were now living better lives than before the tsunami. No-one can take away the pain and the grief of the loved ones lost in the tsunami, but for those that were left behind it has been an opportunity to build better lives. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's first Special Agricultural Zone to attract foreign capital
  •    [ Oct 07, 2014 13:39:21 GMT ] [ Asia News ]

        The project should be up and running within a year. The area, which covers 3,000 acres, is located in the eastern part of the country where 80 per cent of the population works in agriculture. The project will also provide an opportunity to upgrade the local infrastructure.The government also plans to invest in new technologies, build new infrastructure like roads and irrigation schemes, improve farming equipment, and open new food processing facilities. To do so, the authorities plan to attract foreign capital. [ Full Report ]

  • Fence of trees to stem human-elephant conflict
  •    [ Aug 22, 2014 14:27:26 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        An unprecedented drought in Sri Lanka is exacerbating the longstanding potential for conflict between humans an elephants, reports suggest. But a "fence" of palmyra trees is starting to yield success. With forest vegetation and water holes vanishing, hundreds of elephants are reported to have approached settlements in search of food and water. Sri Lanka has been dealing with the issue for years, and it has led to the deaths of people and elephants. An average of 50 humans and 160 elephant deaths has occurred annually, statistics reveal. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka again delays dig at suspected mass grave
  •    [ Aug 18, 2014 17:02:35 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lankan officials on Monday sought more time to exhume a suspected mass grave in a former war zone after failing to secure the services of forensic experts. The site in the eastern coastal town of Kalavanchikudy has been under investigation since a resident petitioned the local court, claiming the remains of around 100 Muslims killed 24 years ago at the height of Sri Lanka's ethnic war were buried there. The claims of a mass grave in the east of the island follow the discovery of several similar sites elsewhere in the island's war zone as well as in the central part of the country. [ Full Report ]

  • Stories Less Told: Psychosocial Workers in Sri Lanka
  •    [ Jan 16, 2014 13:39:39 GMT ] [ Asia Foundation ]

        May 2009 marked the end of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, but much work remains to heal the deep psychological wounds from this long and brutal ethnic conflict. This photo essay documents The Asia Foundation's psychosocial program in Sri Lanka through the lens of six psychosocial workers working with the Family Rehabilitation Centre (FRC) in the North and East of Sri Lanka – the regions most affected by the war. [ Full Report ]

  • Clerics Under Watch in SL
  •    [ Dec 09, 2013 10:40:59 GMT ] [ NIE ]

        Sri Lankan intelligence agencies are on the vigil against Islamic preachers who create communal tension and spread rumours threatening the security of the country, the State-owned Daily News said on Saturday. “Several” Muslim fundamentalist groups were involved in rumour mongering. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had issued a directive to take action against such groups. Muslim leader Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress stoutly deny that there is any Muslim extremism threatening Lankan. Muslims have always been a peace-loving trading community, he says. [ Full Report ]

  • Women Battle On After Lanka War
  •    [ Oct 30, 2013 14:08:13 GMT ] [ IPS ]

        The battle might have been over four long years ago, but for the women in Sri Lanka’s former conflict zones in the northern and eastern provinces, the war continues. This struggle is not only about making ends meet, but also about saving their honour. The island nation’s 26-year-long civil war (1983-2009) between the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government forces left many women the sole breadwinners for their families with their menfolk either killed, maimed or gone missing. [ Full Report ]

  • Gotabhaya reiterates concern over extremism
  •    [ Sep 07, 2013 11:24:27 GMT ] [ Island ]

        Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that extremism posed a severe threat not only to post-war Sri Lanka but many countries in the region as well as the industrialised world."We are working closely with many countries to tackle extremist acts. In fact, it is an ongoing process involving intelligence services and other relevant agencies. Due to vigilance on the part of those fighting extremism and terrorism we were able to thwart plans to cause mayhem." [ Full Report ]

  • Eastern Provincial Council in crisis: Members boycott sessions
  •    [ Jun 02, 2013 12:17:51 GMT ] [ Island ]

        The Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) has run into a crisis with 20 members of the ruling party (UPFA), including the four Ministers, boycotting sessions demanding the postponement of the Northern PC polls until the Governor and the Chief Minister are replaced and the administrative infrastructure restored. "We are talking of inefficiency and indifference which are an impediment to the working of the Eastern PC", Deputy Chairman of the Council, M. S. Subair said yesterday. [ Full Report ]

  • Former LTTE hideout in eastern Sri Lanka now tourist attraction
  •    [ Apr 18, 2013 18:54:26 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Thoppigala, which used to be an LTTE hideout in Sri Lanka's east and served as a training base for them during their nearly three decades of separatist campaign, has now been converted into a tourist attraction. The Thoppigala Heritage Park was declared opened by the top defence official Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today. "This is a multi-ethnic area in the country rich with the nature's beauty and its flora and fauna. Local and foreign tourists would be welcome to visit Thoppigala. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s systematic cleansing of ethnic Tamils at the worst
  •    [ Jan 23, 2013 13:17:02 GMT ] [ Truth Dive ]

        Sinhalese settlers in Paduvaankarai area in Batticaloa district have been illegally grabbing pasture lands with the nod from Colombo’s ruling party honchos. Cattle farm owners have told Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians that if this seizure of lands continue, about 20 to 25 thousand acres of lands would soon be taken away illegally leading in turn to elect a Sinhalese parliamentarian from the district. [ Full Report ]

  • Colombo plans to settle 25,000 Sinhala families in Batticaloa district
  •    [ Nov 12, 2012 19:34:17 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        The Sri Lankan government with the assistance of occupying Sri Lanka Army and the paramilitary politicians, has been implementing a scheme to settle down about twenty five thousand Sinhala families in the Batticaloa district in the eastern province, informed sources in Batticaola said. More than 5,000 Sinhala families brought from south have been settled down along 16 km coastal area from Paasik-kudaa in Koa'ralaippattu DS division to Chavukkadi in Ea'raavoorpattu (Chengkaladi) DS division. [ Full Report ]

  • Accident involving US envoy’s vehicle convoy
  •    [ Oct 24, 2012 17:34:42 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        An accident involving a motorcycle and one of the backup vehicles of the US Ambassador’s convoy was reported from Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa this evening. The Ambassador was unharmed, police said. The couple riding the motor cycle were admitted to the Karadiyanaru Hospital with minor injuries. The backup vehicle was released by the Karadiyanaru police after the driver’s statement was recorded. [ Full Report ]

  • Batticaloa results challenged
  •    [ Oct 04, 2012 12:26:51 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        A petition has been filed in the Court of Appeal challenging the results of the Batticaloa District in the recently concluded Provincial Council election. The petition has been filed by four petitioners of the Eelavar Democratic Front, through Attorney-at-Law Manju Sri Chandrasena, requesting a writ of certiorari quashing the final results of the Batticaloa District in the Provincial Council elections. [ Full Report ]

  • More room should be given in the Eastern Province to the TNA - Says NFF; TNA embarks on an official tour of India
  •    [ Sep 26, 2012 13:55:41 GMT ] [ Hiru News ]

        National Freedom Front member Jayantha Wijesekara, who was elected to the Eastern Provincial council states that more chances need to be given to Tamil public representation in the Eastern provincial council. He further stated that at least the post of deputy chairman of the Eastern Provincial Council should be given to a member of the TNA and he also requested from the government to give more such opportunities in the future. [ Full Report ]

  • Tamils need not worry - Pillayan
  •    [ Sep 25, 2012 13:40:38 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan said the Tamils in the East should not be worried about their future as he would be playing a leading role in the development of that area since he had been appointed as the Presidential Advisor on Eastern development.Addressing a press conference in Colombo, he said there wouldn’t be any issue with the Muslim Chief Minister or with the SLMC as all three communities could work together in the East under present circumstances. He said this was practical as there were members representing all three communities in the provincial council. [ Full Report ]

  • EPC: SLMC endorses Mahinda-Hakeem pact
  •    [ Sep 24, 2012 13:17:42 GMT ] [ Island ]

        The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) yesterday declared that its decision to support the SLFP-led UPFA to form the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) was a collective decision taken by the party in the best interests of the Muslim community.SLMC General Secretary Ali said that the SLMC had secured two thirds of the Muslim vote in the Eastern province and therefore it had every right to reach an understanding with the UPFA on behalf of the Muslim community. [ Full Report ]

  • Eastern Awakening For The Opposition
  •    [ Sep 20, 2012 12:44:16 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The formidable rise of ethnic parties in the East is a backlash against the rise of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism in the post-war period. Once again the people of Eastern Province have rejected the government’s policy of development as THE PATHWAY to reconciliation and lasting peace in the country. The eastern awakening of the opposition parties is a consolation amidst the resounding wins of the ruling coalition in the other two provinces. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan Army still has vast presence in North & East
  •    [ Sep 19, 2012 17:44:14 GMT ] [ Hindu ]

        More than three years after winning the war against the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army retains an overwhelming presence in the North and East of the island, deploying 16 out of its 19 divisions in the Tamil-dominated regions...the manner in which the troops were spread out in the entire North and East was suggestive more of an Army in ‘operational readiness’ than in post-conflict repose. The continued military presence in Tamil areas is viewed as hampering post-conflict ethnic reconciliation. The Army is entirely Sinhalese, and the people of the North are almost entirely Tamil. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s major Muslim party joins government
  •    [ Sep 19, 2012 10:52:09 GMT ] [ Khaleej Times ]

        The political vigil over the new eastern province government ended on Tuesday when the country’s main Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), joined hands with the government to form a ruling coalition. “In addition to power sharing in the provincial council, the government has given us assurance that it would look into the grievances of Muslims. There have been many issues the Muslims have been facing, and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) cannot give us this assurance,” said deputy leader of the SLMC Nazeer Ahmed. [ Full Report ]

  • Majeed sworn in as Eastern CM
  •    [ Sep 18, 2012 10:28:55 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        UPFA Provincial Council member Najeeb A. Majeed was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the temple Trees a short while ago, sources said. They said, following the SLMC's decision to support the government in the Eastern Provincial Council, the government had named Majeed for the post with the approval from all the stakeholders. It was also decided to offer two Ministerial Portfolios to the SLMC. [ Full Report ]

  • More contenders seeking CM’s post in East
  •    [ Sep 17, 2012 13:50:42 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The battle for the chief ministerial post of the Eastern Provincial Council has become intense with two Muslim parties, The All Ceylon People’s Congress (ACPC) and National Congress aligned with the ruling coalition at the last election and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) which contested alone, asking for the post, party officials said.The Governor shall appoint as Chief Minister the member of the Provincial Council who in the Governor's opinion commands a support of a majority in the Provincial Council. [ Full Report ]

  • The landscape after the PC elections
  •    [ Sep 16, 2012 11:09:57 GMT ] [ Lakbima ]

        It is the 51% that it secured in the Batticaloa District to the UPFA-Pilleyan 31% that settles the matter of Tamil allegiance and is harbinger of what to expect in the Northern PC elections, if ever the international community can get Rajapaksa to cease his shameless breach of the Constitution. He dare not allow NP-PC elections because an autocrat knows not how to deal with even one PC that is prepared to defy him. Hence the last broad conclusion that I draw is that very likely Rajapaksa will use every subterfuge to thwart NP-PC elections because Batticaloa District voting (in Padiruppu poling division the ITAK took 77% of the vote) has shown that the TNA will score a substantial victory in the Tamil majority North. [ Full Report ]

  • Post-mortem of the provincial elections
  •    [ Sep 14, 2012 11:04:41 GMT ] [ SAAG ]

        The Rajapakse government called early elections to three provincial councils (PC) as a tactical build up to early parliamentary elections (possibly after another round of PC elections) and early presidential elections. If president and parliament serve out their full term, elections are not due till early-mid 2016. The alleged reason for early elections is that the government wants to go to the polls before its falling popularity declines too much, and early PC elections which the government hopes to win will be useful psychological groundwork. Elections to the North Central Province (NCP) bordering the Northern and Eastern provinces, Sabaragamuwa in the south-west, both in the Sinhalese heartland, and Eastern provinces were held on 8 September. [ Full Report ]

  • Fear and loathing in the Eastern elections
  •    [ Sep 13, 2012 10:55:11 GMT ] [ Tamil Guardian ]

        The results from the recently held Eastern provincial council elections have been brandished by Sri Lanka as a sign of wavering Tamil demand for self rule, and more perversely, that Tamils are now content with Sri Lanka’s rule. However, rather than signal a weakening of Tamil aspirations, the elections clearly revealed the true nature of the Sinhala state’s governance in the Tamil homeland; a mixture of violence, threats, intimidation and colonisation. The elections were a far cry from the free and fair expression of Tamil sentiments that they were trumped up to be. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's ruling party sweeps local polls
  •    [ Sep 09, 2012 11:40:03 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        President Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) swept the council polls in the north-central and central regions with near two thirds majorities in Saturday's vote. In the eastern province, where Sri Lanka's two main minorities -- Tamils and Muslims -- live in almost equal number, the UPFA emerged the largest single party with 14 seats, five short of an absolute majority. The eastern province covers an area that was dominated by Tamil Tiger rebels until they were driven out of the region by 2007. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka provincial polls hit by low turn out
  •    [ Sep 08, 2012 10:32:34 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        A low voter turn out today marked Sri Lanka's provincial council polls, seen as a test of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's popularity in the wake of international pressure over alleged human rights violations by the army during the final stages of the war with the LTTE. Three of the 9 provinces are going for mid-term polls in the north central, eastern and south western (Sabaragamuva) provinces. [ Full Report ]

  • Development needs to be the development of righteousness
  •    [ Aug 08, 2012 19:04:31 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        Day in day out the situation is worsening. In the first half of this year alone there have been over 700 cases of child rape, reported to the police. Our culture is such that there is a stigma attached to incidents of this nature and therefore victims don’t want to seek justice. The unreported cases, I believe, must be about ten fold. I feel the law is not being enforced properly and therefore the perpetrators feel that they can get away scot-free. In the past we have seen situations like this where the cases went on for years and years. [ Full Report ]

  • Destabilising The East To Stabilise Familial-Rule
  •    [ Aug 06, 2012 15:19:25 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The Eastern province, multi-ethnic and multi-religious, is Sri Lanka’s Achilles Heel. Mishandle the East and the outcome will not be a cleanly bifurcated separatist war. Mishandle the East and the outcome will be a ‘war of all against all’, involving every ethnic/religious group in Sri Lanka (plus several foreign powers in supportive roles), and infecting every nook and cranny of the island. That is why attention must be paid, when three constituent parties of the UPFA warn publicly that Rajapaksa policies are endangering civil-peace in the East. [ Full Report ]

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