April 2015

Sri Lankan Police at War with Tamil Journalists in Jaffna

16th April 2015 // 0 Comments

A two-member squad, dressed in civil clothes, was trying to knife three journalists in Jaffna after chasing them in a motorbike for 2 kilometres at Nalloor on Tuesday night. The journalists were returning to their offices in two motorbikes after collecting news of a hunger strike when the incident took place. The journalists managed to escape from the attackers and rushed to the Police station in Jaffna to lodge a complaint on the assassination attempt. At the police station, they saw the motorbike of the attackers parked inside the premises and the alleged attackers were a police inspector and a surgeon. The police officers at duty refused to file the complaint from the journalists. In the meantime, another reporter from Point Pedro has been remanded […]

UN for probe on sexual violence

16th April 2015 // 0 Comments

The United Nations has called on the Government to investigate allegations of conflict-related sexual violence, including incidents said to have taken place during the post war period. UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon, in a report to the UN Security Council, on conflict related sexual violence, said that in Sri Lanka, in the five years since the end of the armed conflict, the Government has committed to supporting the resettlement and reintegration of civilians displaced by the violence and has made considerable progress in this regard. However, he said one of the major unaddressed issues is impunity for conflict-related sexual violence. He noted that the the Government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy on sexual and gender-based violence and committed to take stringent action in response to such […]

Naxals getting arms via Sri Lanka

16th April 2015 // 0 Comments

India’s Central intelligence agencies have launched a major investigation into a “specific tip-off” that Naxals were now getting sophisticated weapons through the sea route from Sri Lanka. The Asian Age quoted top intelligence sources as saying that they had received information some time back that Naxals were routing arms and ammunition through the sea route through an arms cartel which was suspected to be earlier providing weapons to the LTTE as well. It is suspected that the weapons are coming through Sri Lanka using the sea route, sources added. Till now it has been confirmed that Naxals were primarily getting weapons, mostly of Chinese origin, either through the Nepal route or through some terror outfits operating in the Northeast, like the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) […]

US checkmates China with Modi and Sirisena

16th April 2015 // 0 Comments

The government has used the US to influence the UN to postpone the probe report’s publication until September, a mere 150 days away. The report will be made public irrespective of whether the government initiates its own domestic probe on par with global standards which meet UN specifications. Despite all the ballyhoo, MR knows that the west and Sirisena and company will in the final essay allow the UN to throw the book at MR come September. Besides the anti-west foreign policy issue that created the conditions for the birth of the MS faction and MR’s ouster from power, MR’s survival, as he see it, leaves him no option but to wrest power by hook or by crook to be in power again as the […]

Seeking UN approval compromises independence

16th April 2015 // 0 Comments

NO IMMEDIATE WAR CRIMES PROBE ONLY REPORT ON MODALITIES TO UN IN SEPTEMBER Our lead story on our Avurudu eve edition of Monday, 13 April, carried some seemingly good news for the incumbent minority UNP Government which has to face the polls at the latest by next year. The article titled “No immediate war crimes probe,” with a strap line called “Only report on modalities to UN in September,” it, quoting Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Ajith P. Perera said, “There will be no immediate domestic probe on war crimes as the government will only submit a report to the UNHRC in September on the modalities on how such a domestic inquiry would be conducted. SL government achieved a ‘great’ diplomatic victory in March this year […]

British Tamils gear up for UK general election

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

In under a month Britons, including the hundreds of thousands of British Tamils, will cast their votes in the UK general election on May 7th. The British Tamil community, which makes up a significant proportion of voters, particularly in the capital, remain a decisive force in many constituencies. Days before the final deadline to register to vote, Tamil Guardian asked British Tamil voters how candidate and party stances on Sri Lanka could affect their vote. NHS doctor, Lourdes Mariathas “I am very concerned that the push for justice and Tamil rights is in danger of being brushed aside by the international community now that Sri Lanka has a new government.” “Candidates in the British election must stipulate how they will address certain pressing issues including […]

UNHRC Lists Urgent Tasks For Lankan Government

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Showing impatience over the slow pace of the ethic reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday  listed  certain urgent tasks for the Lankan government to do, so that charges of human rights abuses and war crimes are meaningfully addressed. Pablo de Greiff, UNHRC Special Rapporteur for Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence has said in his report that Lanka should take “immediate action” to clarify the fate of the disappeared; refrain from arbitrary detentions; address land issues; and put an immediate end to continuing forms of harassment, violence and unjustified surveillance of civil society and war victims, in particular women in the Eastern and Northern provinces. “These cast a serious doubt on current efforts,” he said. […]

US diplomat discusses human rights and accountability with Sri Lanka

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

A senior American diplomat has held discussion with Sri Lankan government officials on human rights and strengthening democracy, transparency, and accountability during his recent visit to the island nation. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski traveled to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan from April 2 – 10. “In Sri Lanka, he met with senior government representatives to discuss human rights and strengthening democracy, transparency, and accountability.” “He also met with representatives from human rights, religious, and civil society organizations,” the US State Department said.

Relatives of “disappeared” Tamils protest in Colombo

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Several dozen relatives of Tamils who were arrested or abducted during the communal war conducted by successive governments in the country’s north and east joined a picket in Colombo last Tuesday. Most of the protesters were mothers and wives. Many travelled overnight from the northern Mannar district. Holding photographs of their missing loved ones, they demanded that the government release them. They suspect that their children and husbands are alive and detained in secret camps. Thousands of people are still missing, nearly six years after the decades-long war ended with the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) in 2009. After former President Mahinda Rajapakse renewed the war in 2006, thousands of Tamil youth were detained, tortured and often murdered by the […]

Tamil New Year in the militarised Vanni

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil Guardian 14 April 2015 Sri Lanka’s military held several event’s in the Vanni to ‘celebrate’ Tamil and Sinhala New Year, with civilians, including children, invited to take part. The 66th and 663rd Brigades of the Security Forces Headquarters in Kilinochchi held an event each in Pooneryn (Poonakari) on the 8th and 10th of April. Major General A.P. De Z Wickramaratne, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 66 Division was chief guest at both events.  Famous Sinhala singers from the south graced the event in the Kiranchi playground, in the virtually exclusively Tamil town.     The Kilinochi military’s 651 Brigade also organised an event in Mulankavil, in coordination with the local police station and trade society on April 11. Presents and meal packs were distributed to civilians […]

Pray for life without militarisation at this Tamil new year says CM Wigneswaran

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

The chief minister of the northern province, C V Wigneswaran, expressed his hope that a life without subjugation and free from militarisation would begin this year for the Tamil people, as Tamils celebrated new year on Monday. ” We should pray that atleast in this coming new year the continuing militarised environment that surrounds us and makes our people feel that they lack freedom is removed.,” Mr Wigneswaran was quoted by the Uthayan as saying, when addressing a cultural event at Nelliyadi Central College, marking Tamil New Year. See his full comments here: “This musical and dance event has been named “Let Spring Blossom”. Last year the central government undertook its political activities by keeping the Province under its control through its ‘Northern Spring’ initiative.” […]

Liberal party celebrates Tamil contributions in Canada at Tamil New Year

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

The leader of Canada’s Liberal party, Justin Trudeau, celebrated the contributions made by Tamil Canadians as Tamils around the world celebrated Tamil new year on April 14. “This day is an important opportunity for us all to reflect on the valuable contributions Tamil-Canadians have made, and continue to make, to our national fabric,” Mr Trudeau said in a statement released on Tuesday, wishing everyone: “Iniya Tamizh Puthaandu Nalvazhthukkal.” Full statement reproduced below:   “Today, Tamils in Canada and around the world will celebrate Puthandu, the beginning of the new year in the traditional Tamil calendar. “During this auspicious time, Tamils will visit with family and friends, feast together, exchange gifts, and play games. Many will also mark this special occasion by visiting temples and churches […]

NDP commends Tamil Canadians for courage and determination at Tamil New Year

15th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Canada’s New Democrat Party wished Tamils in Canada a happy and prosperous new year on Tuesday, commending them determination in the face of adversity. In a statement on behalf of the NDP, Scarborough Rouge River MP, Rathika Sitsabaiesan said: “I would like to recognize the outstanding contributions of the many Canadians of Tamil descent and commend them for their courage and determination in the face of adversity – values that all Canadians can learn from.” “Puththaandu ungalukku magizhchiyaaga malara vaazhththukkal!” she added. Full statement reproduced below: “On behalf of New Democrats, I would like to wish all Tamils in Canada a happy and prosperous New Year. “The New Year is a time for celebration with family and friends to reflect on the past year and […]

Did the British Prime Minister visit Jaffna in 2013 just to deceive Tamils with false promises?

14th April 2015 // 0 Comments

IC should act on de-militarisation of Valikaamam, Champoor: Shageevan Without de-militarisation, it is not possible to achieve proper resettlement, even at the minimum standard in the military-occupied former High Security Zone in the North and in the Champoor region in the East. “The international community knows this very well. But, it intentionally avoids putting forward this as a demand,” says S. Shageevan, the deputy chairperson of the Divisional Council of Valikaamam North and the president of the welfare association of uprooted people from Valikaamam North. The International Community has been allowing the previous and current regimes in Colombo to buy necessary “time and space” in Geneva and in New York after 2009. It was during this time Colombo transformed the former High Security Zone into […]

Can Sirisena Deliver on Reforms?

14th April 2015 // 0 Comments

What has Sri Lanka’s Maithripala Sirisena manage to achieve in his first three months in office? In early January, Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa was thrown out of office. Rajapaksa, a two-term president who had ruled since 2005, allegedly abused state resources throughout the election campaign and few predicted he would lose. Though Rajapaksa still won a majority of Sinhalese votes (the overwhelming ethnic majority in a country whose population exceeds 20 million), Sri Lankans from all walks of life were simply fed up with a regime that had been plagued by corruption, nepotism, and heightened authoritarianism. Maithripala Sirisena campaigned on a bold agenda that pledged to stop the rot. But is Sirisena’s governing coalition really committed to meaningful change? Might reform in Sri Lanka be […]

Ex minister Bogallagama barred from foreign travel by SL court roaming in London !

14th April 2015 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News -14.April.2015, 5.25AM) Ex minister Rohitha Bogallagama who was barred from foreign travel by the court on 1 st of April was captured by the Lanka e news camera roaming Oxford street , London on yesterday(13) evening. It is the chief magistrate of Colombo Gihan Pilapitiya who  imposed the foreign travel ban on the ex minister after hearing a plaint filed in the Commission of bribery and corruption against him. Based on the case filed by the bribery commission  in relation to the misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs. 1.4 million of the ministry of investment and promotion when Bogallagama was its minister, the latter has got these funds passed by the ex Director general of the investment promotion board, Lakshman R. Watawala. That is, […]

Sri Lanka constitutional bombshell could return Rajapaksas to power

14th April 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, (EconomyNext) – President Maithripala Sirisena’s sudden indisposition during the New Year holidays had politicians on both sides of the House considering a potentially serious constitutional bombshell. The possibility of the Rajapaksa family making a come back, not just as members of parliament, but even as political masters of the country till 2021 has emerged a real possibility. Mahinda Rajapaksa could return as president through an entirely legal process. Official sources say that President Sirisena was under the weather over the weekend after hectic shuttling between Colombo – Polonnaruwa and attending the funeral of the Asgiriya chief prelate. He only needed rest and there was nothing serious. Although the 63-year-old Sirisena appeared to be in good health, his sudden illness raised questions among politicians about […]

Full Text: UNHRC Special Rapporteur’s Observations After His Recent Visit To Sri Lanka

14th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Observations by the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, on the conclusion of his recent visit to Sri Lanka; I would like to thank the Government of Sri Lanka for the invitation extended to undertake a visit to the country from 30 March to 3 April 2015. In the course of the visit, I was able to meet with high-level Government officials at central and provincial levels, members of the judiciary, civil society organizations, political parties, religious leaders, and victims. I travelled to both the North and the Eastern Provinces, including Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya. I am grateful to the Government for the collaboration during the visit, and to everyone […]

TO EVERYONE CELEBRATING ‘PUTHANDU’ I WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR – PRIME MINISTER

14th April 2015 // 0 Comments

“I’m sure many people celebrating today will be thinking of loved ones overseas, especially in Sri Lanka. When I met with President Sirisena in Downing Street last month I offered my support for the steps his government has begun to take to address the issues of the past. But I was also clear that the Government must go further and that they must continue to offer full support to the ongoing UN investigation” said David Cameron. Issuing a statement on Tamil and Sinhalese New Year the British Prime Minister said;  “I would like to send my best wishes to everyone in Britain, Sri Lanka and around the world celebrating Aluth Avurudda and to all Tamil communities celebrating Puthandu today. It’s a time when millions of people […]

We Will Continue To Push For Full & Independent Inquiry On Sri Lanka’s War Crimes: Ed Miliband

14th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Ed Miliband has vowed to continue to push for a full, independent, international inquiry into the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka. In a video message for “Tamil New Year”, the leader of the Labour Party reiterated his support for accountability in Sri Lanka and promised that he would advocate for the Tamil cause – “we, in the Labour Party, know our responsibility to the Tamil community.” Miliband took the opportunity to thank the Tamil people for the immense contribution they had made to British public life and said that the Labour Party will always be a friend to the Tamil community. Transcript of Ed Miliband’s message: “I want to wish everyone in the Tamil community a Happy New Year. […]

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