7th February 2019

Independence Day, a ‘black day’ for Tamils ​​and tea pickers

7th February 2019 // 0 Comments

On Monday, Sri Lanka celebrated the 71st anniversary of independence from British rule. President Sirisena admits delays in economic development. Tamils complain of continuing persecution even after the civil war ended. Plantation workers demand higher wages. Colombo (AsiaNews) – On the day that Sri Lanka marked the 71st anniversary of its independence from British colonial rule, Tamils and tea plantation workers held a black day protest. Both groups chose to boycott the festivities to complain that their demands have not been heard for far too long. Tamils staged demonstrations against the constant discrimination that persists since the end of the civil war, whilst tea pickers want an increase in the minimum wage, which is no longer adequate to feed their families. On Monday, independence celebrations […]

PM, Vasu clash over US ship

7th February 2019 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith An argument broke out between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara in Parliament yesterday over providing logistical support to the US navy ships operating in the Indian Ocean. The UPFA MP raised a question on an agreement signed between Sri Lanka and the US Embassy in 2018, but the PM said that the pact MP Nanayakkara referred to had been signed in 1995. MP Nanayakkara, referring to a newspaper report on the US Navy aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis establishing a logistics hub in Sri Lanka, questioned whether it had got the Cabinet approval. He asked why Parliament had not been informed about it. MP Nanayakkara said: “The hub established on a temporary basis provides logistics support to […]

A Day in Saraswathi’s Life (VIDEO)

7th February 2019 // 0 Comments

38-year-old Saraswathi wakes at 5.30 am to send her children to school before she heads to work.  In this video, produced by Selvaraja Rajasegar of Maatram, she readies her children for school, in doing so addressing issues highlighting the obstacles to education that the Malaiyaha Tamil community is faced with.  Parents often find it difficult to provide the meals required for children under the government’s stipulated school-feeding plan – the roti they eat regularly has almost no nutritional value, but is often the only thing they can afford. Saraswathi’s story highlights some of the challenges faced by the community, who have lived and worked in this country for over 150 years.  Estate workers have been calling for an increase in their daily basic wage to Rs. 1000 for years.  The Collective Wage […]

TNA calls for implementation of PRECIFAC recommendations

7th February 2019 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith The TNA, yesterday, demanded from the government that it should take immediate action to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud (PRECIFAC). Moving a motion at the adjournment of the House for a debate on the PRESIFAC report, TNA MP MA Sumanthiran said that the commission had found serious acts of misconduct. Those offences had been committed at 34 institutions and the names of those responsible had been disclosed in the report. “After the lapse of one full year, no meaningful steps have been taken to apprehend and punish those responsible and I move that the government take immediate steps to implement the said recommendations in the report and take decisive action […]