Celebrate Prabhakaran’s 60th birth anniversary: Vaiko

Chennai, Nov 19 (IANS) MDMK leader Vaiko Wednesday called for grand celebrations Nov 26 to mark the 60th birth anniversary of the slain Tamil Tigers leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Vaiko urged people to burst crackers and offer special prayers at 7.18 p.m. — which he said was the birth time of Prabhakaran. The celebrations should take place wherever Tamils live around the world, he said in a statement. It should “echo the cause of Tamil Eelam”, he said. Prabhakaran was born into a middle class family in the coastal town of…

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For Mannar Bishop, Joseph Vaz led John Paul II and Francis to Sri Lanka

At the 2014 AsiaNews International Symposium, Mgr Rayappu Joseph talks about the challenges and work of the Catholic Church in his country. Francis will be the first pope to visit the Tamil North, which has suffered 30 years of civil war. He insists on the need to “overcome tensions and polarisation between different communities”. Vatican City (AsiaNews) – John Paul II’s visit in 1995 and Francis’ visit in 2015 are linked by a “blessed coincidence,” embodied by the figure of Fr Joseph Vaz “who brought the Catholic faith to Sri…

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Sri Lanka’s civil war Giving voice to the voiceless – M.I.A

The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War. By Rohini Mohan. Verso Books; 368 pages; $26.95 and £16.99. Available from Amazon.com andAmazon.co.uk Maya Arulpragasam is a British-born rapper of Sri Lankan heritage, better known as M.I.A. Her background is rather different from that of most people working in the music industry. Her father was heavily involved in the fight to defend the rights of the minority Tamil community in Sri Lanka, and M.I.A. spent her early life in the northern, Tamil-dominated part of Sri Lanka. During…

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When UN peacekeepers commit atrocities, someone has to act

Sexual exploitation, child abuse, corruption and torture. These are just some of the many crimes committed by United Nations peacekeepers. Such abuses have the potential to undermine and even delegitimise the work of the UN, yet they regularly go undetected or unpunished. A culture of impunity pervades, largely because of deficiencies in the laws governing peacekeeping operations. UN peacekeeping troops have legal immunity from prosecution in the host state. The country that sent the troops to the host state in the first place is supposed to prosecute its soldiers for…

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Increasing fear Rajapaksa not playing a straight bat

By Ashok Malik Why are India-Sri Lanka relations in such trouble? The recent case of five Indian fishermen who were initially sentenced to death and then released (pending an appeal) for alleged smuggling of contraband is a case in point. The episode is scarcely the root of all problems but different perceptions of it point to a trust deficit. Similarly, the docking of Chinese nuclear-powered submarines and warships in Colombo, too, caused concern. When spoken to by Indian officials, the Sri Lankan defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (brother of the country’s…

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Man arrested at BIA for molesting a British woman

A 47-year-old man was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning for allegedly molesting a British woman in onboard a SriLankan airlines flight. Police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohna said that the suspect has been identified as a Sri Lankan born British citizen who is a resident of Batticaloa. The person was arrested following a complaint lodged by the British woman with the airport police post. According to the police, the incident had taken place while the 27-year-old woman was on her way with her boyfriend for a three…

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Lankan refugees attempt mass suicide

NPC adopts motion on Tamil detainees The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today adopted a motion calling for the release of Tamil political prisoners who have been in jail for several years without a proper trial. The motion was submitted by the chairman of the council C.V.K Sivagnanam and was adopted unanimously. In the motion, the NPC called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Justice Minister to release the detainees. It noted that several Tamil political prisoners have been in jail for between 8-15 years without their case being taken up…

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People’s Faith In The JHU Will Increase?

Jathika Hela Urumaya Chairman Athuraliye Rathana Thera has said that the decision by the JHU to leave the government will increase the faith of the people ‘by a thousandfold.’ Speaking with Sirasa TV yesterday, hours after the crucial decision was announced, he maintained that “we relieved ourselves from our responsibilities with the Alliance Government. We have taken a political decision where the JHU will act independently in the Parliament.” He also added that people including scholars, intellectuals and the public by their thousands have embraced them with respect after the…

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Thinking of visiting Sri Lanka? Think again.

Tourism In Sri Lanka Is Part Of “Stealth Militarisation”; Sri Lanka Campaign Warns Tourists Of Ethical Risks Re-launching their #ThinkAgain Ethical Tourism Campaign today, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice have claimed that tourism to Sri Lanka is being used as cover for the military’s takeover of civilian life in Sri Lanka. The launch coincides with the conclusion of TBCAsia, an international Travel bloggers conference, which is taking place in Colombo. The Sri Lanka Campaign’s#ThinkAgain initiative encourages tourists to Sri Lanka to think carefully about the ethical choices…

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Maithripala Is Offered Prime Minister Post Amidst Crossover Rumours! EXCLUSIVE

As a surprise move just hours ahead of the possible announcement of the presidential election, Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena has been offered the position of Prime Minister, a highly placed government source told Asian Mirror, under the strict conditions of anonymity. However, the minister, who is one of the most senior-most members of the cabinet, has still not responded to the offer positively. The offer has been made by one of the top-most echelons of the government, this evening.  The position has been offered amidst rumours…

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Sri Lanka releases all 5 Indian fishermen on death row

The five fishermen had been freed without any conditions and would be sent to India within two or three days. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Wednesday released the five Indian fishermen facing death penalty after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa commuted their sentence, television reports said.   The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the issue a few days ago. Earlier, India had also filed an appeal in the Lankan Supreme Court challenging the high court verdict awarding the death sentence to…

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“I Feel Sorry For The President”; Rajiva To Follow JHU Path

UPFA National List Parliamentarian Dr. Rajiv Wijesinha today said he would not be in a position to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa if the government did not respond to his proposals. Speaking to ‘Asian Mirror’, Dr. Wijesinha said his proposals with regard to strengthening good governance and democracy have been sent to the government months ago. “But, my letters have not elicited any response,” the Parliamentarian said. The Parliamentarian said in no uncertain terms that he would not President Rajapaksa at the upcoming if the UPFA failed to respond to his…

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Save The SLFP From The Rajapaksa Dynasty

By Granville Perera – It is time that all those who believe in the ideals of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) immediately gather around any opposition candidate who would genuinely work towards abolishing the executive presidency and save the future of the SLFP. Those who fail to act now will realize that a 3rd Term for Mahinda Rajapaksa would ensure that Gota will succeed him and the baton would be passed on to Namal and there is no hope for any in the SLFP to climb up the ladder…

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“JHU Proposals Had Important Points”: GL Gives A New Twist To Controversy

In a new development, External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris has underscored the significance of the JHU proposals presented to the government while saying there were many important points among the 35 proposals. The External Affairs Minister said that the JHU decided to step down from ministerial positions, soon after the government started to consider the JHU proposals. However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa previously asserted that the government was not in a position to go for a hasty constitutional amendment. The President also added that the constitution was not a “magazine”…

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It Is Not Only The UN That The Government Must Answer To

By Dr Jehan Perera Even as it prepares for a decisive Presidential election, the government is getting into an escalated conflict with the UN system where it cannot possibly prevail.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has sided with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al-Hussein and not with the Sri Lankan government in their confrontation.  His spokesman has said “The Secretary General supports the views of High Commissioner Zeid and he agrees with High Commissioner Zeid that the Government of Sri Lanka should cooperate.  And we will continue…

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Imagining A Muslim Eelam, As An Election Buffer?

By N Sathiya Moorthy The recent demand of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) for a separate administrative unit comprising the community-majority areas may have been lost in the combined Opposition cacophony over the abolition of the Executive Presidency for one more time. Yet, the subsequent parliamentary reference to the Muslim demand may be as mischievous in intent as it could be substantial in content and contribution to the fate of the presidential polls, whenever held. The Muslim demand, shared by some other sections of the divided community polity, is…

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New Tamil Diaspora Org Called ‘Non Resident Tamils Of Sri Lanka’ Formed

A new Tamil diaspora organisation has been formed to furtherance of the rights and wellbeing of Tamils of Sri Lankan origin world over. Seven leading Tamil activists in the United Kingdom who were engaged in diverse political and media activities have come together to form the campaign group under the name of ‘Non Resident Tamils (of Sri Lanka)’.  The group will be also known as ‘NRT (SL)’. According to the interim Chairman who is a well-known political analyst V.Sivalingam, ‘NRT is formed to embrace and represent the wider views of…

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Using Universities For Political Goals, How Dare You Speak Of Principles!

By E. Saravanapavan – I rise to commend His Excellency the President on the commitment to Higher Education enunciated in this budget. In principle, the government is on the right track. New faculties are in the offing – an Engineering and Technology Faculty at Jayawardanapura University, an Information Technology Center at Kelaniya University, an Advanced Medical Faculty at Peradeniya University, and Electronics, Petroleum and Aeronautical Engineering Faculties at  Moratuwa University. A hostel construction program for 25,000 students will be embarked upon on an accelerated basis. The Mahapola Scholarship monthly allowance…

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Sri Lanka, Myanmar And The Buddhist Radical Groups: New Alignments?

By Roomana Hukil – Recently, hard-line Buddhist clerics in Myanmar and Sri Lanka stated that Buddhist associations from both countries will work together to protect Buddhism against the threat from the Muslim extremists around the globe. Last month, Myanmar’s Ashin Wirathu and Sri Lanka’s Galagodaththe Gnanasara met in Colombo to work towards “Buddhists around the globe to ally internationally.” Following this, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) expressed interest in seeking out to a similar partnership with India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) towards securing a ‘Buddhist-Hindu peace zone in Asia’ to…

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JHU move won’t upset presidential campaign -GL

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the JHU’s actions wouldn’t hinder incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ongoing campaign, much less prevent his victory at the next presidential election. Prof. Peiris was addressing the media at the SLFP headquarters in the wake of JHU General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka and Western Province Minister Udaya Gammanpila giving up their ministerial portfolios over dispute with the SLFP. The External Affairs Minister said that the JHU move wouldn’t weaken the President’s position and, therefore, it was wrong to…

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