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Rivalry among TNA and tussle with Devananda is death-knell for Tamil aspirations

20th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Rivalry among TNA and tussle with Devananda is death-knell for Tamil aspirations – Pearl Thevanayagam Whichever party comes to power Douglas Devananda wins hands down. His Machiavellian politics transcends mere rhetoric. Having been a comrade of VelupillaiPirabakaran during Eelam struggle in the ‘70s, he finally had the gumption to side with the governments in power to gain rights and some kind of economic redress for Tamils in North and East. His white van abductions still remain a gigantic thorn in the Tamil psyche but his efforts to develop North is something the TNA cannot dispute. He gets down to the grass-roots and is making vast strides in bringing redress to Tamil grievances. Not unlike President MahindaRajapaksa, Devanandahas his pulse on the people unlike the TNA […]

The final hours: 5 Years On – The White Flags

20th May 2014 // 0 Comments

This is the story of the killing or disappearance of several groups of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who surrendered to the Sri Lankan army on or about 18 May 2009 at the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war. They were told by the government if they carried a while flag they would be safe crossing the frontline. But when they surrendered it became apparent they had been lured into a trap.Several were executed in cold blood – others have never been seen since. The surrender of the political leaders of the LTTE – Pulidevan and Nadesan – is commonly known as “the white flag incident”. It involved approximately twelve people surrendering, including the leaders. Photographs of their dead bodies later appeared. There […]

Sooka reveals new evidence relating to ‘white flag’ incident

20th May 2014 // 0 Comments

International Truth & Justice Project, Sri Lanka New evidence on the “white flag” surrenders by members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and their families at the end of the civil war requires an independent international investigation, says human rights lawyer Yasmin Sooka, who has served as an expert adviser on Sri Lanka to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “An analysis of the available evidence points to an organised government plan at the highest level not to accept the surrender of the top civilian, administrative and political leadership of the LTTE – but rather to execute them, in violation of international humanitarian law,” says Ms Sooka. The report by the International Truth & Justice Project, can be viewed online atwww.white-flags.org . The report collates […]

Wimal and SLMC threatens to quit the government but Government confident they will never leave

20th May 2014 // 0 Comments

SLMC threatens to quit the government Governing party ally, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has threatened to quit the ruling UPFA government over several issues. SLMC Leader, Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem has said there are accusations that the SLMC only wanted posts in the government. However he has been quoted in the media saying that the party is not focused on government positions and added that the SLMC will not hesitate to resign. Hakeem and the SLMC have had several rifts with the government which have been reported in the media. Last month Hakem had said he stood by a decision to submit a report to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay related to reconciliation issues and issues faced by minorities […]

Life in the Open-Air Panopticon: Surveillance and the Social Isolation of Ex-LTTE Combatants in Sri Lanka

20th May 2014 // 0 Comments

“You have to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinised.” – George Orwell, 1984 Talking to former members of the LTTE in Sri Lanka reveals much about their lives and their post-war challenges. Their stories are not only reflected in our conversations, but can also be read through their body language and mannerisms. The way they walk into a room, suspiciously saying hello and smiling reservedly, the way they stay silent for several minutes, feigning small-talk while judging whether you are someone they can trust, as well as the visible shrapnel wounds or missing limbs all speak volumes. Their struggles are multi-faceted – emotional, social, and […]

There needs to be political will – Solheim

19th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam The Norwegian Government played a key role in mediating between the Government and the LTTE during the war, including under the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government. However as soon as the LTTE was defeated the Norwegians were accused by many within the Government of playing into the hands of the LTTE and being biased towards the rebels. The man who took center stage as Norwegian mediator is former Minister Erik Solheim. Still active on expressing his views on Sri Lanka, Solheim said he is still fully convinced the peace process could have succeeded. Here are excerpts from the interview: Q. Sri Lanka is this week celebrating five years since the end of the war. As a former mediator in the Sri Lankan conflict do you […]

State Terrorism in Sri Lanka

19th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Nallur Temple surrounded by troops Troops besiege Uthayan office in Jaffna Troops outside Thinakkural newspaper office in Jaffna TNPF office blocked off by army Access to TNA office blocked by army Jaffna blood donation centre blocked off by army Sri Lankan military restricts access to Keerimalai Temple The Sri Lankan military has restricted access to Keerimalai, blocking Tamils from entering the town on the Jaffna peninsula, famous for its temple. Events to commemorate the 5 year anniversary of Mullivaikkal at the temple were cancelled as the army blocked all main roads leading to the town, reported GTN.   Army on the Thellipalai-Keerimalai road are only letting through Sinhalese tourists and stopping Tamils to go to the temple to perform rituals for those that died in the war,Uthayan reported.NPC […]

British Tamils Mark Fifth Anniversary of Mullivaikkal Massacre with Rally at Trafalgar Square

19th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Several thousand British Tamils attended a rally organised by British Tamils Forum at Trafalgar Square on Sunday 18 May 2014 to mark the fifth anniversary of the Mullivaikkal Massacre. The event commemorated the tens of thousands of Tamil people who were killed, and many more injured, at Mullivaikkal and drew together many of those who spent weeks in Parliament Square in 2009 warning the world of the impending catastrophe. Speakers at the rally pointed out that, since then, the suffering has continued, and even got worse, for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, as the military has further entrenched its presence in the North and East. Tamil people both at home and abroad have seen their land seized in order to make way for Sinhala […]

In an interview to NDTV television, Sri Lanka defense secretary Gotabaya Rajabakse said “I will be surprised if my military did not rape Tamil women.”

19th May 2014 // 0 Comments

“I will be surprised if my military did not rape Tamil women.” The defense minister of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapakse, who is also the brother of the President of Sri Lanka; in an interview said he will only be surprised if Sri Lanka army do not rape Tamil women. Both the president and the defense secretary are already been accused of genocide of Tamils. The defense secretary in another interview arrogantly said we will not allow UN or anyone else to conduct any kind of investigation into the allegations. China and Russia vehemently defends the officially rapist government of Sri Lanka from facing any investigation on the allegations. In the meantime UN panel report that accuses Sri Lanka of crimes, UNHRC verbal reports that demands […]

Obama Asked Tamil Tigers To Surrender in 2009 and they were killed by Sri Lankan forces

19th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Obama Asks Tamil Tigers To Surrender, Sri Lanka To Mind Civilians President Obama, speaking this afternoon, made a direct statement to both the Tamil Tigers as well as the Sri Lankan government regarding the enduring civil war and widespread civilian devastation in that country. Obama asked that the Tigers lay down their arms and surrender to the Sri Lankan government, and he asked that the Sri Lankans cease “the indiscriminate shelling” with heavy artillery that has been decimating civilians. The growing humanitarian crisis has captured international attention for weeks now. Obama’s statements Wednesday came shortly after Amnesty International (AI) — one of many humanitarian groups who has been vocal about the growing humanitarian crisis — issued an official plea, saying: “While U.S. Secretary of State […]

Behind The Sri Lankan Bloodbath of Tamil Civilians

19th May 2014 // 0 Comments

China, Pakistan and India helped Sri Lanka to kill thousands of Tamil Civilians by suppling of offensive weapons and its munificent aid. Thousands of noncombatants, according to the United Nations, were killed in the final phase of the Sri Lankan war this year as government forces overran the Tamil Tiger guerrillas. Nearly five months after Colombo’s stunning military triumph, the peace dividend remains elusive, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa setting out–in the name of “eternal vigilance”–to expand by 50% an already-large military. Little effort has been made to reach out to the Tamil minority and begin a process of national reconciliation. China, clearly, was the decisive factor in ending the war through its generous supply of offensive weapons and its munificent aid. It even got its ally […]

Colombo reneging repeatedly on an undertaking given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full

18th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Narendra Damodardas Modi, India’s new Prime Minister, has a reputation as a no- nonsense politician and a tough decision-maker. As much as he is touted for his pro business policies, Modi is identified with his allegiance to masculine Hindu nationalism of the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right wing paramilitary Hindu nationalist group. His vision is shaped by India’s national defence, the Indian world view and the Indian civilization – one of the oldest, which along with China claimed for half of the world production in the 17th century. Both great civilizations declined by the early ninetieth century, due to internal chaos and foreign invasions. Modi is now on a mission to steer India to its rightful place in the […]

A political settlement between Sinhalese and Tamil peoples is out of the question

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By Kumar David – Five years after the racial civil-war: This race-war is more appalling than the Dutugamunu-Elalan conflict The war that ended five years ago was a race-war. I do not say this as a hard, cold fact; I have no patience with euphemisms. Let’s call a spade a spade. In my judgement 99% of Sinhalese longed for the defeat and obliteration of the LTTE and the death of Prabaharan; 90% were convinced that the Tamils had no problem and that an armed struggle was unjustified. That’s plain vanilla Fact-1. I also know that at the height of the LTTE’s popularity two-thirds or more of Tamils empathised with it. Tamils were and are convinced that they were and are an oppressed, discriminated minority, that peaceful attempts and […]

Sri Lanka police break up Tamil war rally

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s police have broken up a remembrance service for ethnic Tamils killed in the separatist war, residents say, as the military prepared to celebrate its victory over Tamil Tiger rebels five years ago. Tamil politicians attempted to stage the remembrance on Friday at local council offices in the northern battle-scarred town of Jaffna, defying a ban on public commemorations of war victims, witnesses said. The government is planning a major military “victory parade” on Sunday to mark five years since the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels, who waged a decades-long battle for a separate homeland for minority Tamils. Services have been banned to honour Tamil rebels and remember civilians killed in the conflict which ended in 2009 after claiming at least 100,000 lives. In […]

UN urges dialogue in post war Lanka

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

As Sri Lanka commemorates five years since the end of the war and the defeat of the LTTE, the United Nations (UN) called for broad dialogue among all Sri Lankans to bring about lasting reconciliation, peace and development in the country. Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban ki moon, said in a statement that addressing the aspirations and grievances of all communities is of fundamental importance for the overall development in Sri Lanka. He recalled that this was a matter even mentioned in the 2009 Joint Statement by the Secretary-General and the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The 2009 joint statement followed a visit to Sri Lanka by UN Secretary-General Ban ki moon following the end of the war. President Rajapaksa had, in the joint statement, […]

Walking the political tightrope

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran caused ripples in political circles this week twice over – first, he was hospitalised for a heart ailment, then his name was proposed as a potential candidate at the next presidential election.Wigneswaran has recovered from his heart ailment and is now back at work, much to the relief of not only those in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) but also the powers that be in Colombo, and that is a measure of value of this Supreme Court Justice-turned-politician.As for speculation about being a presidential candidate, Wigneswaran himself has rubbished the idea. “Making any suggestions to make me a presidential candidate is meaningless and I am not for it,” Wigneswaran said categorically, adding, “I don’t know whether to laugh […]

Modi for strong ties with Sri Lanka

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Indian Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi says he looks forward to strong ties with Sri Lanka after his party, the BJP, won the Indian elections by a  landslide. Modi tweeted saying it was “wonderful” speaking to President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday after the President telephoned him to wish him on his victory. “It was wonderful speaking to you earlier today. I look forward to strong relations between Sri Lanka & India,” Modi tweeted. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had yesterday invited Modi to visit Sri Lanka. President’s spokesman Mohan Samaranayake had said that the President issued the invitation to Modi after telephoning him to congratulate him on the Indian election victory. Earlier Sri Lanka’s outgoing envoy to India Prasad Kariyawasam was one of the first foreign representatives to react […]

18th May – Rally to commemorate fifth anniversary of Mullivaikkal Massacre in London

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Venue: Trafalgar Square, London (nearest station: Charing Cross) Time: 4.00 pm – 8.00 pm, Sunday 18 May 2014 Five years on from May 2009, when Sri Lanka’s decades-long persecution of the Tamil people reached its violent climax on the shores of Mullivaikkal, British Tamils will commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamils who were killed and the many more who were injured, disappeared or raped. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWa8zgg3meM The rally, which will be held in Trafalgar Square, London, will not only remember those who were killed and wounded in 2009, but also the thousands of Tamils who continue to be killed, tortured, abused and harassed every day in Sri Lanka, in what the Tamil people believe to be a continuing programme of structural genocide. British Tamils will […]

TGTE to go ahead with events in UK Today!

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is organizing an International conference in London on May 17th, to plan strategy to boycott, divest and sanction against Sri Lanka’s political & military leaders and against Sri Lanka itself. This conference is taking place during TGTE’s week of mourning to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the mass killings in the final months of the war in 2009, which resulted in tens of thousands of innocent Tamils killed and Tamil women raped by the Sri Lankan Security forces. Venue: Hotel Ambassadors Bloomsbury, 12 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0HX Opposite to Hilton Euston  5  minute walk from Euston Station,  7  minute walk from Euston Square Station,  8  minute walk from King’s Cross St Pancras Station, 10 minute walk From Russell Square  Kind […]

How the BJP victory could affect Indo – Sri Lankan relations?

17th May 2014 // 0 Comments

‘Make Rajapaksa deliver on promises he made’ The Tamil political leadership of Sri Lanka has welcomed the new regime in India, expressing hope that the Narendra Modi-led government will pressure President Mahinda Rajapaksa to deliver on his promises to the country’s Tamils. Congratulating the Prime Minister-elect for the “historic win”, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran said the Tamil people of Sri Lanka hoped that his government would be actively engaged with the country, helping them achieve a lasting political solution. “We wish to congratulate Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for a very good showing in the State. We look forward to her continued support,” Mr. Sumanthiran said. The Tamil political leadership in Sri Lanka believes it is Ms. Jayalalithaa who has […]

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