US hopes Lanka keeps promise

The United States (US) today said it looks forward to receiving the report on Sri Lanka during the September session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and hope to see evidence in it of the Sri Lankan government’s actions to promote human rights, reconciliation, and accountability in Sri Lanka, consistent with its promises of cooperation noted in the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Speaking at the UNHRC after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein presented his annual report in which he spoke about…

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Maithripala gets diaspora boost

A leading Tamil Diaspora group has welcomed the steps taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to address several concerns in Sri Lanka and urged the government to reveal its blueprint to achieve a political solution by negotiating with the elected Tamil representatives. The London based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) welcomed the democratic transition process initiated by the new government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, which includes the increased space presently available for freedom of expression and rule of law. GTF said the 100 day program initiated by the government that…

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TN Fishermen Abducted by Lankan Counterparts, Released

Armed Sri Lankan fishermen abducted seven of their counterparts from Tamil Nadu early today off Kodiakarai allegedly for ransom but released them by evening, police here said. The fishermen from Pamban near here who were in a country boat late last night were intercepted while fishing off Kodiakarai in Nagapattinam District and taken away by the Sri Lankans to an unknown location in the island nation. Later, the Lankan fishermen using the mobile phones of abducted fishermen called up their relatives and told them they would released only if ransom…

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Delay In Addressing Tamil Problem Can Only Give Scope For Hard-Line Attitudes From All Sides To Re-Emerge: GTF

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has today called upon President Maithripla Sirisena to address concerns of the war affected Tamil people and to work towards meaningful political resolution. Issuing a statement the Tamil  diaspora organisation said; “GTF does not underestimate the mammoth task the government faces in several fronts and its notable achievements within a two month period. Nevertheless, we are also concerned that any delay in addressing the Tamil problem can only give scope for hard-line attitudes from all sides to re-emerge, and this will make the task of…

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EU is to help families in the east

Responding to the impact of the floods that hit various parts of Sri Lanka in late December, the European Commission is providing €238,000 (approx. 36,000,000 LKR) to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families in the Eastern part of the country. Triggered by prolonged heavy rains related to the North-East monsoon, the flooding badly affected standing crops throughout the region, jeopardizing the food security of the local households. The EU’s humanitarian assistance will directly benefit some 7200 people in the districts of Batticaloa and Ampara. This funding will mostly…

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CEA submits preliminary report on Jaffna ground water pollution

By Ifham Nizam The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has submitted a preliminary report on the ground water pollution in some parts of the Jaffna Peninsula. President Maithripala Sirisena took take up the matter  on Tuesday when he visited Jaffna. He told the officials present that the issue of water pollution had to be taken very seriously and everything possible done to remedy the situation and prevent contamination. CEA Chairman Professor Lal Dharmasiri told The Island that tests had been conducted on more than quarter of samples and his institution was concerned…

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Without Any Promises Made To Them, Tamils Risked Their Future

By Rev. S.J. Emmanuel – Historic contribution of The Tamils for the democratic transition The last regime not only did the Mullivaikal massacre and went further to eradicate the roots of Tamil existence but also changed the governance of the country by constitutional changes and plundering of the state. A wise coalition of leadership in the south brought out a common-candidate and the regime change was democratically effected with the contribution of all – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Tamils, encouraged by the courageous call of their leaders to participate in…

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North experienced the bombs the guns and the land mines first hand.

Butterflies have returned to North The civil war affected the whole country of Sri Lanka in one way or the other, but the North experienced the bombs the guns and the land mines first hand. People suffered. They suffered more than anyone who only felt the horrors of war through the news could ever imagine. They lost friends, family and sometimes their own limbs. They went through unimaginable hardship. Some broke. Others remained strong and moved on in life. The Travelling Chaos duo travelled to Jaffna twice, and was able…

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Muslims Want Their Land Back

Nearly six years after the end of the war, there still are many who are still displaced from their original homelands and are unable to return to their homelands. Land is a key issue requiring attention through a variety of measures which should pay due attention to individual’s land rights and claims, and the history of the land. Land issues are a matter of grave concern to the Tamil-speaking people, both the Tamil people and the Muslim people in the North and the East. The TNA has on many occasions…

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Chief Minister Wigneswaran makes reference to two nations

When Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran received President Maitripala Sirisena in Jaffna on Tuesday, many perceived it as a novel gesture of goodwill for reconciliation between the north and the south. But, Justice Wigneswaran unnerved such positivists when he mentioned, in his address, the concept of two nations in one country. President Matripala Sirisena visited Jaffna on Tuesday for the first time after his ascendency to the topmost political post, and addressed the District Development Co-ordinating Committee meeting.  The Chief Minister used to boycott key functions in the north,…

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President says no hidden deals with TNA and Muslim parties

President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that he has not signed any hidden agreement with the Tamil National Alliance and Muslim political parties, as accused by some political opponents. “The only agreement I signed is with the people of this country, there are no other agreements with either Tamil or Muslim political parties,” President Sirisena told the Eastern District Committee meeting held at the Trincomalee District Secretariat on 3 March. The President pointed out the importance of building unity, peace and brotherhood among all the communities in the country and said…

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Ready for fishermen’s talks on March 12: Colombo

After an apparent push from New Delhi on scheduling talks between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka at the earliest, Colombo has suggested that the next round of discussions be held on March 12 in Chennai. The decision follows a meeting between Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha and Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera in Colombo on Tuesday. “The Indian High Commissioner requested us to schedule the talks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka later this month,” Minister Perera told The Hindu .…

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Govt to investigate into reports on Swiss account holders

Sandasen Marasinghe, Disna Mudalige and Irangika Range Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament on Tuesday that the government would investigate into reports on Swiss accounts of Lankans with the assistance of Parliament, Prime Minister and the President and would inform Parliament of the results. The minister responding to a special statement by Democratic Left Front Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said as per Section 15(1) of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act No 6 of 2006, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has the power to receive reports from any institution, a law enforcement…

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Spy cables reveal Sri Lanka hyped up Tamil Tiger postwar threat

Exclusive: Sri Lanka played up concerns of LTTE regrouping in South Africa despite contrary intelligence report by Jyoti Thottam In November 2010, a Sri Lankan member of Parliament expressed his dismay when a small statue of a leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was erected on private property in a Paris suburb. It was an alarming sign, said Sarath Weerasekara, a retired rear admiral in the Sri Lankan navy, that the LTTE, an armed separatist group that Sri Lanka defeated decisively in 2009, might be regrouping in…

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Modi to address SL parliament

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Sri Lanka Parliament on March 13, political sources said today. Mr. Modi will make a three-day state visit to Sri Lanka from March 13. This is the first state visit by an Indian leader after 1987. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was the last to make a state visit to Sri Lanka. In 2013, the then Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Sinavatra addressed Parliament. It is learnt that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed Government members to attend the session on that day…

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Zeid warns Lanka on rights probe

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein today warned the Sri Lankan Government not to repeat the failures of the past. Speaking at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, after presenting his annual report, al-Hussein urged the authorities in Sri Lanka to consult deeply with the people, especially the victims, in order to design mechanisms that will work and not repeat the failures of the past. He told the UN Human Rights Council today that a report on Sri Lanka was to be presented during the ongoing…

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Northerners still in the doldrums

By P. Krishnaswamy reporting from Kilinochchi and Pudukudiyiruppu Yet living amid poverty, devastation and social trauma after 30 years of war, the people of Vanni look with hope to the central government and provincial administration for industrial and commercial development to resume their progress to prosperity. A vehicle sales centre in Pudukudiyiruppu The writer visited some of the interior areas of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts to meet families for a first hand report on their present condition, their main requests and requirements and what they have to say about the…

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