Mapping 12 years of Sri Lankan opinion

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Perspectives of Sri Lankans over the last decade or so makes for fascinating reading five years after the end of the war. This infographic is only a snapshot of the hope, frustration, changes and divides between communities in Sri Lanka since 2001. Looking at this makes us wonder what the future holds. Will cycles of hope and frustration continue? Will there be a lasting peace? Or will another war mark the beginning of a new timeline of violence? The data for this infographic was taken from the Peace Confidence Index, an island wide public opinion poll which was conducted continuously from 2001 – 2008 and Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka survey, which has been conducted island wide annually since 2011 by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for […]

UK not happy with ban by Sri Lanka

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Britain says it is concerned at reports that the Sri Lankan government has proscribed a number of individuals and Tamil organisations operating outside Sri Lanka. UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth office Hugo Swire said that while UK respects the right of the Sri Lankan government to take appropriate action against individuals and groups where there is clear evidence of their involvement in terrorist activities, the British high commissioner to Sri Lanka has made clear to the Sri Lankan government that the proscription should not be used to prevent or stifle the right to freedom of speech, particularly at a time when Sri Lanka’s human rights record is under international scrutiny. “We believe that this development is not conducive to a successful […]

Bathiudeen re-settling people in forest reserves: environmentalists

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Four leading environmental associations today charged that Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had illegally cleared 18,000 acres of forest land belonging to leading wildlife parks in three districts.The Center for Environmental justice, the Environment Conservation Trust, the Sri Lanka Environment Congress and the Buddhist Collective for Nature said the Minister had cut down trees in forest reserves at 14 locations in the districts of Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu.Center for Environmental Justice Executive Director Hemantha Vithanage said the forests have been cleared violating the Environmental Act. He charged that the Minister is currently inflicting undue influence on the authorities to release some more land in the Madhu area for the resettlement of people.Mr. Vithnage said the resettlement of internally displaced persons was completed in 2012 […]

The Future Of The Tamils

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By Jan Jananayagam – Thank you for the opportunity to address the Tamil Writers Guild on the 10th Anniversary of its founding by Mr CJT Thamotheram. I have been asked to talk on the ‘Future of the Tamils’. I am conscious of the weight of the topic. And of the impossibility of doing it justice in the time available. It is somewhat like the story of the team of blind men touching an elephant and trying to describe it. My comments are in a personal capacity rather than on behalf of Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) because this is a cultural event and some aspects of the topic fall outside of TAGs mandate. I start with a story. Bear with me, with luck its relevance will become clear. […]

Jaffna University: In the Shadow Of War And Peace On A War-Footing

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Jaffna University professors are threatened and the University is closed without giving any explanation. “Early in the week beginning on 5th May, events bearing on the anniversary of the end of the war on 18th May followed in quick succession. The Registrar sent out letters announcing the closure of the University from 16th to 20th May with no explanation. On the 7th leaflets were posted on the University premises making death threats against professors who are allegedly guiding students to support terrorism and student leaders of just the Arts and Science faculties and the leader of the University Student’s Union. The academics threatened are Prof. Sivanathan, Dean of Arts, and Mr. Rasakumaran, Head of the English Language Teaching Centre, and the leader of the University Teachers’ Association. The same day, […]

Honouring the war dead and killing of 40,000 Tamil Civilians by the Army in North.

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Governor of the Northern Province, G.A. Chandrasiri, along with Mayor of Jaffna, pro government agent Mrs Yogeswarai Patkunarajah and several senior service personnel attended the National War Heroes’ Day celebration held in the Mullaitivu District recently, where the three decades of war came to an end by killing of more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians by Sri Lankan Sinhala Army.  Governor Chandrasiri, who led the event, paid floral tributes with Mrs Patkunarajah and senior service personnel in attendance.  Family members of the security forces personnel, who were killed in action in Mullaitivu, also participated at the event. The Governor presented the family members of the fallen soldiers with gifts. Tamil Students from schools were forced to take part in the event and forced to honour the Security Forces personnel by […]

Interview with Prof. Abhaya Induruwa, Father of Internet in Sri Lanka

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

When Prof. Willie Mendis invited you to start the first Computer Science department in Sri Lanka at the University of Moratuwa, how did you take on the task? I had just returned from my post-graduate studies and I was still in the Electrical Engineering Department. So computer science or computing was quite new to us. Quite fortunately we had the opportunity to use theIEEE Computer Society model curriculum for Computer Science & Engineering that they had just released in 1983.  That gave us the framework that we used to develop the Computer Science & Engineering curriculum at the University of Moratuwa. What were the challenges you faced? In terms of establishing the department, I think the main challenge was recruiting enough staff. We didn’t have any […]

London Tamil youth wins 2014 Dalton Young Researchers Award

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Kogularamanan Suntharalingam, a young Tamil academic from London, has been awarded the 2014 Dalton Young Researchers Award in Chemistry by the Royal Society for Chemistry for his contribution to the design, development and understanding of new metallo-pharmaceuticals. Kogularamanan, known as Rama, currently works as a postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. “In the near future I hope to return to the UK as an assistant professor,” Rama told the Tamil Guardian via email from the US. He received a first class MSci and a PhD in Chemistry from Imperial College in London. Born in Manipay, in Jaffna, Rama came to the UK at around the age of 4 with his family, and grew up in East London. “I am very proud of my Tamil roots […]

Erasing Identities: Tracing Sri Lanka’s Post-war Journey through the Changing Realities of Trincomalee

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Introduction When I went to Trincomalee last November with a few university friends I noticed a distinct unfriendliness in the air. While growing up, I often visited Trincomalee, because my cousins lived there. Now the Trincomalee I knew and loved from my childhood was no more. Something else had taken its place. Trincomalee today is a place where the collective existence of minorities are increasingly under threat. What follows is my attempt at unpacking the key trends of the Government’s ongoing political project of transforming Trincomalee into a Sinhalese-Buddhist town. An analysis of the new Trincomalee captures the very essence of the general trajectory of Sri Lanka’s post-war journey. An Exploration: Makings of the New Trincomalee 1. Rewriting of History and Rebranding of Trincomalee as […]

“Serious concerns about respect for human rights in Sri Lanka” MP Sharma

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka; what recent representations he has made to the government of Sri Lanka about the arrest and detention of human rights defenders; and what recent discussions he has had with his Sri Lankan counterpart about the use of that country’s Prevention of Terrorism Act. [197542] Mr Swire: We continue to have serious concerns about respect for human rights in Sri Lanka, in particular continued intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders and activists. We have consistently made clear to the Sri Lankan Government the importance of safeguarding freedom of expression and protecting human rights defenders, and continue to […]

Sri Lanka Participation Overshadows C’Wealth Games – TGTE Writes To Hague

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam has today written to the British Foreign Secretary William Hague, for support and to formally advice the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Games Federation that the prestigious Commonwealth sporting celebration risks being overshadowed by questions raised about human rights abuses and genocide in Sri Lanka, by their participation in the Games. In the letter, the TGTE Ministry of International Affairs expressed concerns and raised the following points: The role that President Rajapaksa may play at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The continued arrogance of the Rajapaksa regime to the International Community and their non-conformance to the values and principles of the Commonwealth, as well as their refusal to conform to the UN HRC Resolutions. Their continued structural genocide on the Tamil Homeland in the island […]

UN to look at reports of North ban

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

The United Nations (UN) says it will look into reports that the Government has banned public events being held in the North to commemorate those killed during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka. When asked at the daily press briefing yesterday about the ban, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said he had not seen those reports but will look into it. Army spokesman Brigadier Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya had earlier said that public events to commemorate the LTTE killed in the final battle of the decades-long separatist war were barred as the organisation remained outlawed. “Individuals may have religious services to commemorate their loved ones killed in the fighting, but there cannot be any public events,” Wanigasooriya told AFP. “Display of LTTE flags or insignia will […]

Test players to get specialized training in England

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne could be one of the players travelling to England early. by Rex Clementine Lead up to the national cricket team’s tour of England, the team management had lined up intense training as preparation for the tour. The Sri Lankans trained with the Dukes balls used in England, left grass on the wickets and started training early when the moisture was still on the wickets. Now there’s a move to get the Test specialists early to England to go through specialized training. Accordingly about six players who are likely to feature in the Test series will leave for England during this week. They will be based in Hove and will train in Sussex’s Cricket Facilities before joining the national team ahead of […]

The Search for a Political Solution Five Years after the War which President Promised

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

“The sovereignty of Sri Lanka is very much intact. And we want it to remain intact. We are Sri Lankans… And we don’t want Sri Lanka’s sovereignty to be impacted upon.” R. Sampanthan (Leader of the TNA), Al-Jazeera, 26 March 2014 Sri Lanka’s post-war politics has come to be defined by her inability to address two distinct, but inter-related, issues concerning its constituent peoples, especially the Tamil people. The first is that of accountability; the second, and the more enduring one, being that of a political solution to the national question. These are two issues that can make or break Sri Lanka. Accountability The question of accountability which is a pressing and controversial one is a question that the present government is both unwilling and […]

Problems of success? Post-war Sri Lanka’s international challenges

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Since the end of Sri Lanka’s thirty year-long war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the island is often evoked internationally in relation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. The UNHRC remains the only supranational body where the case of Sri Lanka has been evoked on a regular basis since the 1980s. Right from the outset of Eelam War IV, Sri Lanka attracted much criticism from policy research lobbies and senior personalities such as the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and present ICG chief Dr Louise Arbour. The UNHRC’s scrutiny of Sri Lanka was intensified in the aftermath of the final military offensive of May 2009. This was a justifiable move, given the substantive civilian casualties and the humanitarian catastrophe resulting in the displacement […]

Zakir Hussain was planning to attack targets in India, Sri Lanka and Maldives

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

On 19 June 2009, the US State Department reported to India, according to Wiki Leaks, that Pakistan based Lashker-e- Taiba (LeT) had established a facilitation centre in Sri Lanka. September 2010, Indian intelligence leaked to the media that the Maharashtra bakery bomber, Himayat Baig had claimed while in Indian police custody that he was trained in Colombo.  On 8 July 2013, bombs exploding in the world renowned Mahabodhi in Buddha-Gaya, India’s National Security Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon, told top authorities here that the bombs had been planted by Muslim extremists On 22 August 2013, leaked message to media claimed that Indian intelligence had been received that LeT was preparing for an attack on South India from Jaffna. Former Muslim parliamentarian M. M. Zuhair, PC, yesterday […]

No Wise Country Celebrates Killing of it’s 40,000 Minority Civilians

12th May 2014 // 0 Comments

 No Wise Country Celebrates Killing of it’s 40,000 Minority Civilians, but Sri Lanka is ruled by Rajapaksha Family. No wise country celebrates war victory after a civil war. The American Civil War is not celebrated as the victory of the North versus the South where 600,000 Americans died.  After the battle of Gettysburg President Abraham Lincoln made his famous Gettysburg address.  He went out of the way to show that it was a common victory.  Unfortunately in Sri Lanka, the political leadership indulged and continues to indulge in triumphalism celebrating the victory over the LTTE.” says the National Peace Council. Issuing a statement NPC today calls for religious observances islandwide in memory of all those who lost their lives during the war and restoration of normality for war-affected displaced […]

JVP condemns ban on commemoration of Killing of Tamil Civilians by Army

12th May 2014 // 0 Comments

 The military is planning a parade on May 18 in Matara to commemorate the victory over the rebels and killing of more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians. The Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP) has condemned the closure of the Jaffna University for a week starting from today and the government’s alleged ban on any programmes to commemorate the LTTE cadres killed during the North East conflict. The politburo of the FLSP, in a statement released to the media yesterday, said that banning of commemorations had been effected on the grounds that such programmes would be detrimental to the ethnic harmony and would promote separatism. However, the move had deprived the Tamil people of their right to commemorate the loss of their loved ones, it said. “Hundreds of […]

Sister Angela’s mission among women victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war

12th May 2014 // 0 Comments

by Melani Manel PereraOn Thursday, the Good Shepherd nun will be 80. She spoke to AsiaNews about the last years of her life, which she dedicated “almost by accident” to families in northern Sri Lanka, an area affected by the country’s ethnic conflict. Colombo (AsiaNews) – For Sister Angela Fernando, the mission she undertook among the victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war in Sri Lana means “allowing everyone to experience the great love of God and Mary.” Next Thursday, the nun from the Congregation of the Good Shepherd will celebrate her 80th birthday. However, the past few years have been the most “intense” in her life, she toldAsiaNews. Her mission, which frequently brought her to northern Sri Lanka, especially to the north-eastern district of Mullaithivu, began […]

Victoria raped while unconscious?

12th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Girlfriend of murdered British national Khuram Shaikh’s girlfriend – Victoria Alexandrovna might not remember being raped as she was unconscious when the incident took place, Dr. Dhammi Lewishewa of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital said. The doctor was speaking when the murder case of British national Khuram Shaikh was taken up today (May 12) before Colombo High Court judge Rohin Walgama. Dr. Dhammi said the vicious bite marks on Victoria’s breasts reveal details of the rape. The injuries including tears, scratches and bruises seen on Victoria’s privates and thighs indicate that she was sexually harassed, Dr. Dhammi added. The injured Russian national was rushed for a surgery as she had a grave head injury, Dr. Dhammi further said.

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