Sri Lanka relaunches controversial Sinhala settlement scheme in North-East

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government has opened a new village in the Tamil North-East of the island, as part of a revival of a controversial Sinhala colonisation program. The ‘Village Reawakening’ program was declared open by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa at Weli Oya today. Houses were constructed on land gifted to villagers by the Sri Lankan government and with loans provided at concessionary rates of interest. The scheme is an apparent relaunch of a program started by Mr Premadasa’s father, former president Ranasinghe Premadasa. Weli Oya has been the site of a Sri Lankan government orchestrated project for decades, where Sinhala farmers from the South were settled to the North-East. Last year the army declared open a community hall, built for […]

Country Will Be More United Under A Federal System – Mavai Senathirajah

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

by Camelia Nathaniel Jaffna District MP and Leader of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) – the main constituent party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) – Mavai Senathirajah says Tamil people are willing to work with the government and the Sinhala people to establish a lasting peace in the country. In an interview with The Sunday Leaderhe said that there are some political forces who are trying to rouse communal hatred. He further said the Tamil people do not want war, but they want a political solution to their issues and the right to live as equal citizens of this country. Following are excerpts of the interview: Q. With the recent discovery of the suicide vest in Chavakachcheri, there are concerns that terrorist activities […]

The Biggest Leak ever! –Panama Papers!

11th April 2016 // 0 Comments

A machinery adopted by wealthy people around the globe to turn their black money into white money had been come into grips with hackers and was revealed to the world sometime back and since those data have come into the limelight as Panama Secret Documents, efforts taken by the wealthy around the world including Sri Lanka would be exposed in the future, it is reported. Mossack Fonseca, a firm of legal counsellors of Panama and which country is considered as a country which imposes low tax regulations had managed to creep through the freedom afforded laws of their land and had made extended invitations to individuals of numerous countries to join hands with them and  establish companies under various names and to make investments in […]

Sharma rejects soft-pedalling HR abuses by MR regime

24th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Outgoing Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma has rejected allegations of having soft-pedalled human rights abuses during the Rajapaksa regime, the Hindu reported on Tuesday. Criticism of the Commonwealth’s role and Mr. Sharma’s leadership peaked in the lead-up to CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka. Human rights groups and pro-LTTE organisations in Britain accused him of soft-pedalling the human rights abuses of the Rajapaksa regime, which in turn led to some heads of government boycotting the meeting. In an interview with the Hindu newspaper, Mr. Sharma had dismissed this criticism. “The most important point about the Commonwealth is that it engages with member states to advance the values template,” he said. “I made five visits to Sri Lanka, but you can’t keep on talking about it in […]

PWF demands release of Sri Lankan Tamil from Tiruchi camp

23rd March 2016 // 0 Comments

Dhayabara Raj continues his fast demanding release from camp Makkal Nala Kootani members staging a protest demanding release of arrested Sri Lankan Tamils in front of Tiruchi Central prison on Tuesday.— Photo: B.Velankanni Raj Even as Sri Lankan Tamil Dhayabara Raj lodged in the Special Camp here continued his fast demanding release, members of the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) staged an agitation seeking the release of the Sri Lankan Tamil. The PWF, comprising the Left parties, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, had called for an agitation in front of the Tiruchi Central Prison on Tuesday demanding the release of the fasting Dhayabara Raj from the Special Camp here. Accordingly, members of the front assembled near the jail corner and took out […]

Sri Lankan refugee alleges illegal detention at camp

22nd March 2016 // 0 Comments

K. Dhayabararaj, a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee lodged at the Tiruchi special camp who is on an indefinite fast since Thursday, has alleged that his family is under illegal custody at the Special Quarantine Camp in Mandapam, Ramanathapuram district. When contacted, his wife Udayakala claimed that she was suffering without money and food for her three little children and officials were not extending any help even as her health condition was deteriorating. The camp was closed to visitors and the family is held there for five months. However, police officers said the couple was facing a criminal charge in Sri Lanka and detained pending extradition process. “There is no question of an illegal detention…we have adopted the due process of law,” a senior police officer, […]

Geopolitics Of Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka Postwar Challenges In Reconciliation

22nd March 2016 // 0 Comments

By Asanga Abeyagoonasekera – President Sirisena who survived an assassination attempt several years ago, created the first sign towards true reconciliation by forgiving the LTTE rebel who was a key suspect. He even got the National Anthem to be sung in both languages Sinhalese and Tamil. These are positive signs of reconciliation. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe setup an advisory council for Young Global Leaders to advise him recently. From a close administration we have moved into an administration more outward and now we have media freedom restored fully, there are no blocked media sites. I see five challenges as a nation we need to overcome. Good evening, Prof. Sara De Vido, distinguished scholars ladies and gentleman, I was told it’s the first time a Sri Lankan […]

Sri Lankan refugees baffled over NGO questionnaire

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

It seeks to know Sri Lankan refugees’ antecedents, passport details and future plans In a discreet move, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu have been served a questionnaire that seeks to know their antecedents, passport details and future plans. An NGO is believed to be involved in the survey though refugees apprehend that some other external agency might have initiated the process. According to a couple of refugees, the three-page questionnaire was delivered at their doorstep with an instruction that it be filled and returned on the spot. Volunteers engaged in the work reportedly claimed that the State police were aware of the exercise and even supported them. Several thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are settled inside and outside camps in Tamil […]

Indian politicians are bunch of Idiots!

16th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Did MR wilt under Indian Envoy’s warning? A close analysis of how the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime dealt with India and the contradictory policies and statements that emanate, at present, from former Ministers like Prof. G.L. Peiris amply demonstrate that they are playing politics for their advantage using proposed agreements between Colombo and New Delhi. The analysis records that former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to New Delhi under Mahinda’s administration, Prasad Kariyawasam made a controversial statement against Tamil Nadu urging the Central Government of India to take action against Tamil Nadu politicians who had links with the LTTE. New Delhi appeared disturbed by Kariyawasam’s statement. On the contrary the Rajapaksa administration endorsed the statement made by Kariyawasam claiming that the latter made that statement in the […]

Upcountry Tamils are Sri Lankans

16th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Upcountry Tamils are Sri Lankans BY Mirudhula Thambiah Ceylon Workers Red Flag Union General Secretary Menaha Kandasamy said that a national identity for the Plantation Tamils as an ethnic group in Sri Lanka is a must and the identity as ‘Indian Origin Tamils’ must be omitted. “We don’t need to keep this term ‘Indian Origin’. When politically categorizing, using own agendas in giving an identity to a certain ethnic group must be avoided,” she said. Following are excerpts of the interview: ? What are the elements that are essential to ensure the identity of the Plantation Tamils in Constitutional Reforms? A: Certain issues are common to the plantations too. Both Sinhala and Tamil are State languages. Nearly 90 per cent of the Plantation Community is Tamil […]

India bails out Sri Lanka

16th March 2016 // 0 Comments

India bails out Sri Lanka In what seemed like bailing Sri Lanka out from its imminent economic crisis, Indian Cabinet of Ministers this week gave the nod to provide another 700 million dollar swap to Sri Lanka’s Central Bank. The facility will be available for three months or until a deal is reached with the International Monetary Fund, India said. Earlier, Sri Lanka has received a 400 million US dollar currency swap from Reserve Bank of India’s facility for South Asia, taking the total support to the island’s monetary authority to 1.1 billion dollars. Proceeds of the 400 million dollar three-month swap had arrived in Sri Lanka on 8 March. The swap could be extended. Sri Lanka borrowed 400 million dollars from RBI’s in 2015 […]

Chief Minister Wigneswaran Wants Govt to Stop

13th March 2016 // 0 Comments

By P.K.Balachandran The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, has appealed to the Lankan government to reconsider its plan to build 65,000 prefabricated houses for war-displaced persons in the province through a contract with ArcelorMittal, a Luxembourg-based company headed by the Indian billionaire, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal. Speaking at a function at Koppai to mark the handing over of 700 acres of land to civilians by the army, Wigneswaran appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena, who was present, to give up the housing project on the grounds that it is too expensive and also unsuited to the economic condition of the displaced Tamils. “They do not suit our climate, our environment, our culture, our way of life and are exorbitantly expensive. We can […]

Families demand release of fishermen detained in Lanka

9th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Families and relatives of the 20 fishermen from Thoothukudi, who were arrested by Sri Lankan navy personnel on a charge of trespassing into the waters of the island nation on Saturday, thronged the Collectorate here on Monday, seeking the intervention of the district administration to help secure the early release of the fishermen and their boats. They said that their livelihood would be at stake until the 20 fishermen were released from custody in Sri Lanka. P. Santhya Pacheik, owner of one of three confiscated boats, said that residents of Threspuram – a majority of them country boat fishermen – were deeply saddened by their detention. The detained fishermen were lodged in a prison at ‘Neer Colombo’ in Sri Lanka. Both Central and State government […]

Indian High Commissioner to be removed?

9th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Indian HC’s remarks: Opposition, govt. blamed for pusillanimity Federation of National Organisations Chairman Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera yesterday flayed the government for being meek and submissive vis-a-vis Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y. K.Sinha’s disparaging remarks about former Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris……………..   READ MORE Gammanpila says Indian High Commissioner should be removed Opposition MP and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya general secretary, Udaya Gammanpila yesterday asked President Maithripala Sirisena to request the Indian government to recall its High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Y.K. Sinha, for what he called ‘interference in domestic affairs.’ – See more at: Indian envoy takes on Sri Lankan Opposition over economy pact India’s High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha has taken on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Joint Opposition, an […]

15 Tamil Political Prisoners go on fast?

23rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Haniff Fifteen LTTE suspects detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) are planing to stage a fast unto death. They have requested that their remains be handed over to the Medical Faculties of the University of Jaffna and the University of Peradeniya. Their protest was scheduled to commence yesterday. The detainees have said their organs like kidney and eyes could be used for the benefit of those who may need them. They have said so in statements attributed to them by a section of the Jaffna based media. The detainees have alleged that only fifteen of them are taken to courts on and off only to be informed by the court that it had no power to release them on bail. Meanwhile, […]

Northern Province Governor Welcomes TN Fishermen at Kachchativu

22nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, Reginold Cooray, welcomed over 3,000 pilgrims from Tamil Nadu who had come to worship at the church of St.Anthony in the island of Kachchativu on Sunday. The Governor was accompanied by his wife and son. The service was conducted by the Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rev. Justin Gnanapragasam. Among the distinguished persons in the gathering were the Consul General of India in Jaffna, A.Natarajan, the Commander of the Sri Lankan navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Central Children’s Affairs State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, the Chief Secretary of the Northern Province and the Government Agent of Jaffna. But no member of the Northern Provincial Council dominated by the Tamil National Alliance, including Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran, was present. The […]

The Music Project holds concert at British School in Colombo

19th February 2016 // 0 Comments

The Music Project in Sri Lanka recently held an informal concert at the British School in Colombo at which the children of this project showcased their musical skills to an enthralled audience. The concert featured children from both the north and south of Sri Lanka playing a host of orchestral instruments such as violin, cello, trumpet, flute and clarinet to mention a few, and also showcased recorder and percussion ensembles. The Music Project is inspired by El Sistema of Venezuela which has over 300,000 children playing in over 400 orchestras. The Music Project in Sri Lanka aims to build orchestral communities between the children of the north and south, thereby providing links, networks and a sense of social cohesion, as the children, teachers and wider […]

Sri Lankan Tamil issues likely to resurface

15th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Two crucial issues that played a major role in the defeat of the DMK in the 2011 election may be resurrected as poll propaganda by opposing parties after it entered into an alliance with the Congress on Saturday. Just minutes after Ghulam Nabi Azad confirmed the DMK-Congress tie up at Gopalapuram, BJP Tamil Nadu president Tamilisai Soundararajan came down heavily on the DMK. Speaking to reporters, she said the DMK quit the UPA accusing the Congress of letting down Tamils in Sri Lanka. “The DMK has to explain what has changed since 2013. Has the Congress done anything to wash its sins off? The DMK thinks it could take the memory of the people for granted. People of Tamil Nadu are not suffering from collective […]

DMK, Cong join hands for TN polls

15th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Burying differences on the Lankan Tamils issue that had rocked their nine-year-old alliance in 2013, Congress and DMK today decided to come together to fight the upcoming Assembly polls in the state. The national party described the regional outfit as the “most dependable partner” as senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad formalised the alliance with DMK President M Karunanidhi here, three years after the latter snapped ties accusing the Congress of betraying the Sri Lankan Tamils. “The party has decided at our national level and also at Karunanidhi ji’s level and other esteemed leaders of the DMK that we will be fighting this election together; we will have an alliance,” Azad told reporters after meeting the DMK chief at his Gopalapuram residence. The leader of Opposition […]

Jaya again writes to PM on arrest of fishermen by Lankan Navy

13th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Asserting that her government was committed to ensuring the rights of fishermen in traditional waters of Palk Bay,Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalaithaa today said the Centre should take concerted efforts to halt their repeated arrests by Sri Lankan Navy. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she cited the latest arrest of 12 Tamil Nadu fishermen along with two mechanised boats yesterday and said there was an “urgent and imperative need” to take appropriate steps to find a permanent solution to the issue. It was ‘unfortunate’ that the apprehension and arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy “continues unabated”, she said. “My Government stays committed to ensuring and upholding the traditional rights of fishermen from Tamil Nadu to fish […]

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