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UNHCR slams Lanka on deportations

13th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Due to the large Military support received from Pakistan to Sri Lankan Army to kill more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in May 2009, Sri Lanka government is under pressure from Pakistan to corporate with them and deport all Pakistan asylum seekers. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says it is alarmed that recent deportations of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka are growing in size and scope despite international calls to stop sending them back to a place where their lives could be in danger. In all, 88 Pakistanis have been sent home since August 1. Initially, the deportees were men who had been placed into detention but now whole families are being deported. The first case happened on August 3 when a detained man was sent back […]

Hidden from view, Sri Lanka is trampling over the rights of its Tamil population

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The government has been trying its best to silence the country’s remaining Tamils without drawing the world’s attention With all the horrors taking place in Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria, Sri Lanka has understandably fallen off the international radar. However, what you must know is that this suits Sri Lanka’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, just fine. Yet the brutal methods he has used to defeat the Tamil Tigers — which ignore the cost of civilian casualties and frequently trample on human rights — are very similar to the ones used by those currently fighting in the spotlight. They are even being admired from afar: within the last two months army and police officers in Nigeria and Pakistan have expressed interest in learning from Sri Lanka’s example. […]

Govt. actions need to be consistent locally and internationally

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera The government has criticised sections of the diplomatic community for getting involved in events targeting a particular region and community which lead to volatile situations and urged the diplomatic community to be more conscious of local sensitivities when attending events of an emotive nature.  This has followed the growing interest that some embassies have been demonstrating in ensuring that civil society space for dissent is not restricted by the government.  When an event organized by a civil society group to give voice to the grievances of family members of those who had gone missing in the war was held in Colombo last week, it was broken up by outsiders.   This led to several embassies issuing an unprecedented joint statement. The embassies of […]

Sri Lanka: Heading Towards Systematic Stratocracy

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

By Kishok Jeyachandran – Five years on from the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, the international community’s patience with the government in investigating gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law is exhausted. It comes almost five years after the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted and bloody civil war—a conflict that saw the death of tens of thousands of civilians and the ‘disappearance’ of thousands more. And it comes because no one has been held accountable for any of the gross human rights abuses and serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by both sides to the conflict. The final phase of the war was a bloodbath. As the brutal, secessionist Tamil Tigers were pushed back into a rapidly shrinking pocket of territory […]

Q&A with British-Sri Lankan Soprano Kishani Jayasinghe

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Born and raised in Colombo, Kishani Jayasinghe was planning a career as a lawyer when she radically change course to become an opera singer. The decision was the right one: in 2006, the young soprano made history by becoming the first Sri Lankan opera singer to perform at the Royal Opera House, London, and her career has taken off internationally. Jayasinghe will be performing the Singapore Lyric Opera’s Gala Concert on August 2 at the Esplanade Concert Hall, with Filipino-American tenor, Arthur Espiritu. Their audience can expect a night filled with excerpts from a variety of celebrated operas such as Faust’s The Jewel Song, Lehár’s Vilja Lied, Puccini’s La Bohème, Lehár’s The Merry Widow, and Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. Blouin Artinfor talked to the Soprano about her career and favorite roles. […]

25000 acres of acquired land gone in to Government politicians…………

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

There are no substantial information on over 25,000 acres of land acquired by the government under Land Reform Act No. 1 of 1972 and its amendments, said  a higher official attached to Ministry of Land and Land Development. According to ‘Divaina’ news paper, he has further stated that there are heavy suspicions rising weather they were acquired by the politicians or distributed among their acquaintances. The governments which came into power since 1972 failing to follow a proper method has led to the particular situation, he has said. According to Land Reform Commission reports, 153,442 hectares of land were provided to Janatha Estates Development Board (JEDB), however according to JEDB reports it has been only provided with 140,761.03 hectares of land. In addition, though the […]

Bishop Rayappu rejects Presidential Commission on Missing Persons

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Making a submission to the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons, Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said that he has decided not to make representations before your commission as he has grown to be weary of domestic mechanisms in resolving serious injustices that Tamil people. The Bishop’s submission follows: The Chairman and Commissioners, Presidential Commission on Missing Persons. Dear Commissioners. Submission Regarding My position with regard to appearing before the above Commission in Mannar I am thankful for your very kind visit to me and for your personal invitation to testify before the commission during it’s sittings to be held in Mannar between the 8th and 11th of August 2014. I am writing to inform you that having considered the following I have decided not to make […]

U.N. Human Rights chief says access not a must for Sri Lanka war crimes probe

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The United Nations can conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country, said U.N. Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay, reacting to a government decision to deny investigators entry. Sri Lankan government forces have been accused of widespread human rights violations in the final stages of a 26-year civil war against ethnic Tamil separatists which ended in May 2009. The United Nations estimated in a 2011 report that about 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final weeks of the war, mostly by the army. Sri Lanka has rejected the allegation. In March, the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted to investigate reports of abuses during the war, during which 100,000 people […]

Tamil Girls In Sabaragamuwa University Under Threat of Rape

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Notices containing threats to Tamil students had also been put up in the hostel premises the same night ordering all Tamil students to leave the premises within the next 10 days. The notice states those who dare defy the order would be shot to death and any females will be raped.  Undergraduates of Tamil ethnicity in the Sabaragamuwa University have expressed concerns over the safety of their lives following a brutal attack on one of their colleagues and threats issued against Tamil students over leaflets put up in the hostel premises. Shanthikumar Sudharshan – resident of Kilinochchi and a first year undergraduate of the Sabaragamuwa University had been attacked early Sunday (3) morning by a group of five masked men. Sudharshan’s colleagues had found him […]

Another Rajapaksha governments poor Human Rights act on Minority!

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

TID Further Victimized Assaulted Tamil Student! Sabaragamuwa university students claim attempts are underway by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) to intimidate their colleague a Tamil student Shanthikumar Sudharshan who was assaulted and cut early last week by para military group run by Rajapakshe family member, into admitting the cut injuries are self-inflicted. The Sri Lanka’s  Rajapaksha government forces usually threaten the victims to say that it was Self-inflicted or bribe them with money or threaten to kill the family members and if all fails they will use there ‘White Van’ to abduct and kill the victim and frame them as LTTE member or sympathiser. Meanwhile, the TID had visited the University premises yesterday along with Sudharshan and have claimed to have uncovered several leads, which several Police […]

Pillay denies claims on Lanka probe

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay has denied several claims made with regards to the investigations launched on Sri Lanka through her office, including claims that India had rejected visas for the investigations team. Pillay told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that no one had applied for a visa for Sri Lanka or any other country She said there was a wealth of information outside of Sri Lanka which can be tapped into for the investigation. “The credibility of the report will depend on it reflecting proper standards of corroboration of evidence, whether the team is allowed into the country or not.” Pillay noted that the UN can conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country. She cited Syria and […]

TNA ready to resume direct talks

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it is ready to resume direct talks with the Government, provided the Government does not place preconditions. TNA group leader R. Sampanthan told the BBC that the Government must stop making demands ahead of talks. He also said that it is unfair for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to blame the TNA for the stalled talks. The TNA continues to boycott the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the National issue as it feels that process will not bear fruit. The position of the Government has been that the TNA must join the PSC process before one on one talks can resume between the TNA and the Government. The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) had in March this year approved holding talks with President […]

US Urges Its Citizens In Sri Lanka To Exercise Caution Against Rising Anti-Western Sentiments

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The US has issued a security message for its citizens living in Sri Lanka to be wary of their security against the backdrop of rising anti-western sentiments in the country. Issuing a security message to US expats in Sri Lanka yesterday, the notice has urged all US citizens to practice caution due to the increased protests in the country. The message is circulated just days after a mob of extremist monks and Rajapaksa regime supporters disrupted a meeting held for families of the disappeared in which US and UK diplomats also attended. The security message has noted the increase in protests in Sri Lanka since early this year including the: -anti-western demonstrations against the US, UN and recent escalation in Gaza -increased pressure on NGOS, […]

Tamil student at Sabaragamuwa University arrested by TID

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) has detained another Tamil student from Sabaragamuwa University, following his discharge from hospital where he was receiving treatment after being attacked.  Santhirakumar Sutharshan from Muhamalai was arrested on his return to the university hostel by Sri Lanka’s TID. The student had been receiving treatment at Balangoda and Ratnapura after he had been attacked on Sunday.  Following Sutharshan’s arrest, his parents were told that he had been sent to the infamous 4th floor of Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department in Colombo. Another Tamil youth, second-year student Yoganathan Nirojan, was arrested on Tuesday and is also being detained at the 4th floor. Earlier this month, a Tamil student was attacked and severely beaten by masked men. He was admitted to hospital […]

SL military steps up threats, harassment of Tamil councillors in North

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The so-called white vans and motorbikes without number plates operated by the SL military intelligence have been deployed to monitor the movement of Tamil councillors in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) in recent days, complain several members of the NPC. A prominent councillor, Ms Ananthy Sasitharan, recently lodged a complaint with Vadduk-koaddai Police complaining that white van and motorbike squads were chasing her round the clock, monitoring all her movements. In the name of investigating the complaint, the police went ahead with engineering false evidence that there were no reports of white van or motorbike squads in the area where she resides, TNA sources told TamilNet. The SL Defence Ministry was behind the recent withdrawal of police protection that was provided to some of NPC […]

Army ready to ‘nip in the bud if something comes up’ in N-E

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

India plays 80% role in training Sri Lankan troops By Suresh Perera India provides 80% of the training requirements to Sri Lankan troops as part of the close cooperation between the two nations, Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake said. “We are working closely with the Indian Army”, he stressed. “India is very supportive and extends the most assistance in terms of fulfilling the need for advanced foreign training to our officers and men”. In continuing regional cooperation efforts, Pakistan also extends training facilities to the Sri Lanka Army, he said in an interview with The Sunday Island at Army Headquarters in Colombo on Friday. Asked about military cooperation with the US, Ratnayake replied, “USA is amongst the countries engaging with us. Our officers are […]

TNA Conduit for evidence

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

UNHRC war crimes probe By Mirudhula Thambiah Those who wish to testify before the UN Human Rights Council sanctioned war crimes investigation panel on Sri Lanka, can submit their evidence through the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran informed the people in Jaffna residents, recently. He has said the UNHRC-led international probe on alleged human rights violations that took place during the final phase of the war has begun and if there were any important evidence that should be submitted, it could be passed through the TNA Parliamentarians to the UNHCR committee. “Vital evidence relating to war crimes, human rights violations against women, torture and disappearances can be given to TNA parliamentarians and arrangements have been made to convey them to the investigating panel,” he told Ceylon Today. He […]

Premadasa, Vijaya, Lalith killings: Cooray hits back

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

BY SHALIKA WIMALASENA AND ARIYARATNA GANEGODA Former UNP strongman B. Sirisena Cooray, a controversial character in politics during the Premadasa regime, a virtual scapegoat where fingers always pointed at him whenever political murders were committed in the country, once again broke silence to respond to queries regarding the tragic killings of Lalith Athulathmudali and President Premadasa during an interview with our sister paper Mawbima.  Answering questions, Cooray raised several questions at strategic points of the interview to ask the interviewers that if he was behind all these killings, how could it be possible that only he would be spared to still be alive? He dismissed reports that he had ordered to wash the scene where President Premadasa was killed and added that it could have been […]

Regrouping of LTTE out of the question

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan A separate Tamil Eelam or regrouping of LTTE is hard to achieve even though the Tamil Diaspora raises slogans and in Tamil Nadu, political parties use the Eelam issue as a vote catching device, said Former Indian Peacekeeping Forces (IPKF) Intelligence Corps Head, Colonel Ramani Hariharan (79), yesterday.In an exclusive interview, the former intelligence chief said that the overseas remnants do not have a dynamic leader who can energize and lead them in a revival of LTTE. “After all Prabhakaran took two decades to build an all powerful organiszation. So, the attempts to gain a foothold in Sri Lanka for reviving the LTTE have been feeble,” he said.He also added that the LTTE remnants are on the look out to exploit local grievances […]

Tamil outfits stage black flag demonstration against Racist BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Activists of Tanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhakam were arrested on Sunday when they tried to stage a black flag demonstration against Racist BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for his alleged “support” to Sri Lankan army which killed more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in Maty 2009  and its president Mahinda Rajapaksa who is accused of War Crime. Led by its secretary Manoharan the activists gathered in front of priavate college, where Swamy had came to attend a function, and raised slogans against him, amid the presence of large number of police. However, they were arrested and taken away from the scene by the police. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy a well known anti Tamil and a close associate of the President Mahinda accused of War crimes said that he was […]

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