Facing Sri Lanka’s Ghosts

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

At some point during its brutal 26 years, the Sri Lankan civil war brought terror or loss to virtually everyone in the country. For Kasipillai Jeyavanitha, a mother of four, the defining moment of the conflict came in March 2009, just two months before the war ended eight years ago today.  She and her family were among thousands of civilians who had been living in the rebel-held territory, and who now found themselves trapped inside a conflict zone as the military made its final, terrifying advance on the group that had fought for her people’s independence. Kasipillai and her 17-year-old daughter, Jeromy, were running toward safety during a shelling attack when a pickup truck approached. Several men wearing military uniforms jumped out of the truck […]

GSP+ Received, so No more political package only Economic development to Tamils.

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Join hands to boost development in Northern Province – PM tells local politicians in Jaffna  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with Northen Provinice Chief Minister C V Vigeswaran addresses the media after his meeting with the politicians and the administrative officers in the North where it was decided to set up a mechanism for the economic development of the province. Pic By Pradeep Pathirana Special focus to develop economy of North and East  1,000 state sector jobs to Jaffna grads  Expressway system to be developed in the North with Indian assistance Tourism Task Force to visit Jaffna to explore new opportunities  In an effort to boost the development drive in the North, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called upon all local politicians and civil society activists to join […]

Poverty high in the north-eastern provinces: central bank

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka to study debt levels among N-E Tamils Poverty high in the north-eastern provinces: central bank Sri Lanka’s central bank will study the growing indebtedness in Tamil-majority north and east, its Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. “We are concerned about the rise in household debt,” the governor said, referring to a prevalent post-war challenge facing families that are rebuilding their lives. Following the study and its analysis, the apex institution will take necessary steps, Dr. Coomaraswamy told Colombo-based foreign correspondents. After Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in May 2009, scores of displaced families who returned to their hometowns are struggling to piece their lives together. While the community suffered enormous losses for three decades, those resettling are grappling with few jobs, means to livelihood and […]

Tamils’ Right To Memorialization Continue

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Preparations are underway in many parts of the Northern and Eastern provinces to commemorate the brutal end of the civil war in 2009. Religious leaders, politicians and members of the civil society in the two provinces have organized several events in the two provinces today, the 18th of May. Eight years ago, thousands of Tamils were brutally massacred in eastern coastal region of the Vanni as the government intensified its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Although the Rajapaksa government described the military operation as a humanitarian mission to liberate the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE, it was an international secret even then that Sri Lanka’s military and the political leadership in Colombo did not have an iota of concern […]

Right To Mourn Is Universal; Stop Intimidate Tamils – Sooka Tells Government

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

The International Truth and Justice Project calls upon the Sri Lankan Government to ensure that their police immediately desist from threatening and intimidating Tamil activists and their families, after banning them from commemorating those who died in the civil war by carving their names on stones in Mullivaikkal. On Wednesday, the Mullaitivu court issued an order banning any prayers around the stones for a fortnight on the grounds that such an event might jeopardise national security, peace and integrity. On appeal, the court is reported to have raised concerns that there might be former LTTE cadres among the names carved on the stones. Yasmin Sooka – Executive Director – International Truth & Justice Project – Sri Lanka “The right to mourn is universal; you cannot […]

Discrimination on Tamils continue from Mahinda to Maithiri

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Chamindra Weerawardhana – Dr. Chamindra Weerawardhana It has been eight years since Sri Lanka underwent one of the most decisive turns, if not the most decisive and epoch-changing turn, in her post-1948 history. The conclusion of the final military offensive against the LTTE, Colombo’s resounding victory, and the LTTE’s defeat, resulted in a substantive transformation of the national and regional security configurations. This was an outcome previously deemed impossible in practitioner and academic circles. To so-called ‘Sri Lanka researchers’ – a mixture of anthropologists, geographers and development studies people – where ‘whiteness’ is deemed carte blanche to write authoritatively about Sri Lanka, May 2009 was an unexpected outcome. On the diplomatic front, many governments, especially in Delhi and in the West, expected what they […]

Dumping Salt Over Sri Lanka’s War Wounds

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war ended on May 18, 2009 – eight years ago – and yet many Tamil people are not even allowed to grieve. A recent court order in Mullaitivu district asserted that Tamils residing in a particular part of the district – for two weeks – aren’t allowed to mourn those who perished during the war. More generally, there have been ongoing reports of surveillance and intimidation related to other commemorative events. This order is a preposterous and reprehensible initiative. Unsurprisingly, an array of respected organizations have condemned the move. “The ban on the basis of national security is based on spurious grounds and is a sign of the ongoing repression and militarization that continues to affect the Tamil community in the […]

Understanding Tamil diaspora and their involvement in developing the north

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Diaspora is defined as the dispersion of people from their traditional homelands. There could be over 1.2 million Sri Lankan Tamils living in various parts of the world. The majority of Sri Lankan Tamils fled the country due to political and economic reasons. The number of Sri Lankan Tamils living abroad is even greater than the Tamils currently residing in the Northern Province. Tamil diaspora shaped the Sri Lankan political landscape through its financial and ideological support during the military struggle. Subsequently the term “Tamil diaspora” was associated with a negative connotation amongst majority of Sri Lankans. It was also perceived that the Tamils residing abroad had immense financial capacity and cared more about the Tamils residing locally. Eight long years have passed since the […]

Racism victim speaks out after abuse in Welwyn Garden City

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

An accountant who has been a proud British citizen for 17 years despite his Asian birth has spoken of his shock to suffer foul-mouthed racial abuse on the streets of Welwyn Garden City. Although Eranda Wickramasinghe was born in Sri Lanka 40 years ago, he has lived in the UK since 1990, and won citizenship in 2000, marrying an Englishwoman two years ago and moving to Welwyn Garden City. Last week, as he arrived at the Hydeway end of the railway station footbridge on his way to work in London, he was confronted by a white man. The man shouted: “F***ing world must be s**t for you lot to come here”. Mr Wickramsinghe told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I was left in no doubt about […]

Granting of GSP plus to Sri Lanka printed in EU official journal

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

The decision by the European Commission to grant GSP plus to Sri Lanka has been printed in the official journal of the European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka has access to the EU market under the special scheme from today. The official journal of the EU issued yesterday (Thursday) amends an earlier decision to withdraw the GSP plus scheme granted to Sri Lanka.  In January this year the European Commission had noted that on 12 July 2016, the Commission received a GSP+ request from Sri Lanka.  The Commission said it has examined the GSP+ request from Sri Lanka in accordance with the provisions of Article 10(1) of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012, and the Commission has established that Sri Lanka meets the conditions. “Sri Lanka should […]

Statement by the Prime Minister on the Eighth Anniversary of the End of the War in Sri Lanka

19th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Ottawa, Ontario May 18, 2017 The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the eighth anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka: “Today, we mark the eighth anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka. I extend my deepest sympathies to those who were affected and their families, as we solemnly reflect and honour the lives that were lost during this 26 year war. “As we remember the trauma and loss, we must continue to work to heal the wounds of all those who have suffered, and to achieve long-term reconciliation and peace in the country. “I reiterate my call to the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that a process of accountability is established that will […]

SRI LANKA SAYS NO TO REMEMBRANCE OF DEAD TAMILS AT MONUMENT

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan court has barred activists from holding a civil war commemoration near a monument to ethnic Tamil civilians killed in the fighting, in May 2009. Anti-war activists plan to mark Friday’s eighth anniversary of the war’s end in Mullivaikkal village, where hundreds of thousands of civilians were trapped in May 2009 as Tamil Tiger rebels mounted their last stand against government troops. The UN report says that more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians were killed by Sri Lankan forces in Month of May 2009. Police argued that events should not be allowed near a stone statue of a woman carrying a dead child, saying engravings could include the names of fallen rebels and pose a threat to peace and security. Most of the police are […]

Ganesan is unsuitable for the position of Minister says racist thero

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero met Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan yesterday to discuss reconciliation between all communities of the country. Gnanasara Thero has stressed the importance of harmonious relations among all ethnicities and religions, especially between the Sinhalese and Tamils since the country was in a post-war period. Referring to a number of incidents during the recent past which caused a gulf between the Sinhalese and Tamil, Gnanasara Thero highlighted that as the Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Ganesan should take steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. Speaking after the discussion, Minister Ganesan said that he already has a sound idea about his responsibilities as the […]

Mark May 18 as ‘day of grief’, Tamils told

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Wigneswaran asks Tamils to observe three minutes’ silence on the day Sri Lanka’s civil war ended Tamils living in Sri Lanka and abroad should mark May 18 as a day of grief, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has said, ahead of ‘Remembrance Day’ being observed on Thursday. He appealed to all Tamils to observe three minutes’ silence on the day Sri Lanka’s civil war ended eight summers ago. “The truth about the several thousand deaths in the war’s final offensive is yet to come out,” Mr. Wigneswaran said in a statement, making a case for an international probe into rights abuses. Homage to victims On Thursday, scores of Tamils will converge in Mullivaikkal village in Mullaitivu, along the north-eastern coast of the island, to […]

Rajapaksas not yet finished; we have another battle ahead – Sarath Fonseka

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, in an interview with Daily Mirror, speaks about the proposed role to be assigned to him, the current status of politics and his future plans. Excerpts of the interview: Q There are contrasting views on the proposed role to be assigned to you to deal with emergency situations triggered by trade union activities. What is the actual position, and how do you look forward to it? If you say I am going to take action against trade union activities, it would not be correct anyway. What we discussed was to maintain smooth functioning of essential services. That is to ensure that essential services are not disrupted when trade union actions are taking place. That is to ensure the […]

The many meanings of May 18, 2009

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

In some part of this island, perhaps in a humble home, or in a public place heavy with ideological fervour or political statement, someone will light a candle or lamp, someone will grieve. Someone will remember someone who was loved. Remove all the ideological and political makeup and two things will remain: Love and Grief. In certain places, most likely in the public sphere, there will be celebrations. And there will be mourning. In both sites there will be self-righteousness. Some will say, ‘we have every reason to celebrate’ and they will not be wrong. Some will say ‘we have every reason to grieve,’ and they will not be wrong either. Throw both parties in one room and several things will fly out of the […]

Dr. Alush Gashi who played a Major role in the independence of Kosovo to Deliver Mullivaikal Memorial Lecture: TGTE

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

On this Tamil National Day of Mourning, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is pleased to announce that Dr. Alush Gashi who played a significant role in the independence of Kosovo will deliver the 3rd Mullivaikal Memorial Lecture in Los Angeles, USA. Mullivaikal is where over 70,000 Tamils were killed in six months in 2009 and Tamil women were raped by the Sri Lankan Security Forces (Source: UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka). Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) declared May 18 as the National Day of Mourning of the Tamil Nation. Ramsey Clark, Former Attorney General of the US delivered the Inaugural Lecture on May 18, 2015 and Alan Nairn who was instrumental in the independence of East Timor delivered the 2nd […]

‘Black flag clique’ SECRETLY met Modi at night

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Despite MPs of the Mahinda faction calling masses to hoist black flags on the Wesak Day to protest against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka, certain MPs of that faction SECRETLY visited him at 11.00 p.m. says President Maithripala Sirisena. The President said before they met Mr. Modi the Indian High Commissioner had told him that the ‘Black flag clique’ had requested to meet the Indian Prime Minister and had asked what should be done. The President had told him to allow them to meet Mr. Modi. They had met Mr. Modi at 11.00 p.m. said the President. This was said by the President at a ceremony held at Polonnaruwa yesterday (15th) expressing his views regarding the retired president Mahinda […]

Sri Lanka received assurance from UK over GSP Plus

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Yusuf Ariff Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that Sri Lanka has received an assurance from the United Kingdom that despite it leaving the EU, the trade preferences already enjoyed by other countries would be maintained. “The day after we will get the tariff concessions to enter the European Union market, which is the GSP Plus.” “We have also been assured by the UK that while they will leave the union, the trade preferences already enjoyed by the countries would be maintained,” he said, addressing the Women Leadership Summit of the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council in Colombo. He stated that the EU is the richest market and that it’s not just the question of entry into a market for Sri Lanka. “It is a […]

Tamils banned from remembering their dead but Sinhalese are allowed to do it!

18th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Tamils banned from remembering the dead – ongoing repression and militarisation that continues to affect the Tamil community The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has condemned an attempt to ban commemorations of the dead by Tamil families in Mullivaikkal. ITJP said a court order in Tamil from the District Judge and Magistrate of Mullaitivu has placed a 14 day ban from this evening on all ceremonies near the Catholic Church in Mullivaikkal East, on the grounds that they may adversely affect “the country’s integrity, national security and the peace of the nation”.  “Remembering the dead is a fundamental right of the culture of every people and begs the question of how weeping parents, remembering their loved ones, can threaten national security?” commented the executive director […]

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