Friday, 31 July 2015
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Location of a secret torture camp in Trincomalee - International Truth and Justice Project Sri Lanka report
 Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 31 July 2015
Sri Lankan troops mark anniversary in East with Buddhist ceremony

 

Soldiers from Sri Lanka’s 23 Division held a Buddhist religious ceremony at the Security Force Headquarters in the Easter Province, to mark the 25th anniversary of the division last Wednesday.

Buddhist monks were invited to the military base in the Eastern town of Punani, where following a Guard Turnout and Guard of Honour, an all-night Pirith chanting ceremony was held.

 


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Tamil Guardian 31 July 2015
Sri Lanka denies reaching agreement with UN over domestic investigation
The Sri Lankan government responsibility for “the matter of justice and accountability” rests with itself since it was not a signatory to the International Criminal Court, as it denied it had come under pressure to accept any UN conventions.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mahishini Colonne also denied that Sri Lanka had reached an agreement with the United Nations to carry out a purely domestic investigation into allegations of human rights violations committed during the final phase of the armed conflict.

Her remarks came after Channel 4 News revealed an internal UN document outlining a purely domestic process for accountability. “I don’t believe there is any agreement of the nature that the Channel 4 portrays,” said Ms Colonne.

“We are party to certain conventions of the United Nations and we have acceded to those conventions, in our own right as a Sovereign State, not because any pressure excerted (sic) by anyone,” she added. “And even on the questions of accountability,  the 100 days’ work programme, I think under point 93 states  that since we are not a party to the ICC Rome Statute, the matter of justice and accountability  and so on, rest with the country concerned - with the Sri Lankans.”

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Tamil Guardian 31 July 2015
EU to visit Sri Lanka and decide on fishery ban

The European Union (EU) will visit Sri Lanka in October in order to assess whether a ban on imports of fish from the island can be lifted, announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne told a media briefing that the EU Technical Evaluation Team “will engage in technical discussions to regarding measures that have been put in place and future steps for the revocation of the EU ban on fishery products”.

The visit is scheduled to take place from the 5th to the 9th of October.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Sri Lanka's investment chairman pledges post-election 'tranquillity' for foreign investment

Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment Chairman Upul Jayasuriya expressed confidence that the upcoming parliamentary elections would see the current government “re-elected with confidence.”

Speaking to Bloomberg Business, Mr Jayasuriya said that there would be “better tranquillity” in Sri Lanka for foreign investment after the upcoming parliamentary elections, adding,

“This is going to create more hope or better tranquillity in the state power in the investment climate. A lot of hope has been given by the election manifesto placed in front of the people in Sir Lanka by the ruling party.”

Sri Lankan election commissioner says candidates must affirm commitment to unitary state (30 Jul 2015)

UNP coalition partner calls for on Tamils to ‘integrate’ with Sinhalese (30 Jul 2015)

Sri Lanka will ‘not agree’ to international war crimes probe against Mahinda  (30 Jul 2015)

Sinhala nationalist organisations rally against federalism (30 Jul 2015)
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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
ITJP report highlights structural genocide against Tamils under complete impunity says Australian senator
The Australian Greens Senator for New South Wales Lee Rhiannon, described the findings of the International Truth & Justice Project (ITJP) report into Sri Lanka as a “horrifying” account of ongoing torture against Tamils “under complete impunity.”

In a media release that called for accountability and an independent international war crimes investigation and action to stop the “on going structural genocide” in Sri Lanka, Ms Rhiannon said:

“The newly documented evidence of torture, sexual violence and harassment of Tamils by officials in Sri Lanka under complete impunity and as recently as July 2015, is horrifying."
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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Sri Lankan election commissioner says candidates must affirm commitment to unitary state
Sri Lanka's election commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, said on Tuesday that all candidates in next month's general election, must reaffirm their commitment to keeping the country as a unitary state, reports The Island.

Speaking at a press briefing, Mr Deshapriya made these remarks in response to allegations that candidates within the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) were promoting separatism.


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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Wigneswaran says he will remain neutral and non-partisan at Sri Lanka election
The chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran said he would remain neutral and non-partisan during next month's general election, despite being elected to his seat by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

"I feel it would be wrong for me to be seen at any political meeting of the TNA candidates though it was they who elected me. I am one who would be able to work with whomsoever our people are pleased to elect. Whatever the result may be it is hoped that whosoever is elected should work united for the betterment and well being of our people. The welfare and wellbeing of our people takes precedence over Party considerations," the former chief justice said in a statement released on Wednesday, comparing his current predicament to a similar situation when he was elected to be the president of the Law College.

Drawing attention to a recent address made to Tamils in London on July 17, Mr Wigneswaran reiterated:
"As far as the Tamil representatives are concerned we need those who would conform to the norms set by Valluvar - honest in politics, strong in principles, dedicated in people's service, far in sight and incorruptible in spirit. Such persons must stress the individuality of our community, they must confirm our right to self determination, they must be prepared to work ceaselessly to obtain the rights of our people and to obtain justice for them."

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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Three men found dead in Batticaloa
The bodies of three males were discovered in separate incidents in Batticaloa this month.

The body of a 44 year old man was found in the Keechchaan region og Kaaththaankudi in Batticaloa on Sunday, reported BattiNews and TamilNet.

Photograph BattiNews


On the same day, the body of an unidentified male was spotted in a lagoon in Batticaloa, the paper also reported.


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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
UNP coalition partner calls for on Tamils to ‘integrate’ with Sinhalese

A senior leader of the United National Front has called on Tamils to integrate with the larger Sinhala society in order to progress.

Champika Ranawaka, the leader of the JHU which is a founder and partner of the UNP-led UNF, said to The Hindu that Indian-origin Tamils and Muslims had progressed well because “they simply integrate [themselves] with the Sinhalese,” adding that if Tamils followed suit, “they can [also] achieve a lot.”

Contrary to Mr Ranawaka’s claims, Indian-origin Tamils and Muslims still face widespread discrimination and have limited political power.

On the discussions about devolution and federalism the JHU leader said the Tamil National Alliance and others should be “very pragmatic” and have to accept that “separatism or federalism cannot be achieved”, stressing that “separatism won’t work.”

Mr Ranawaka said Sri Lankan society was “a compassionate society”, and that “our country is based on Buddhist philosophy, which teaches us that all people, all human beings are equal. No caste or no creed.”

Calling the present political climate “very peaceful”, the minister asserted that the government machinery, including the state media, were now “totally free”.

Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Sri Lanka will ‘not agree’ to international war crimes probe against Mahinda

The Sri Lankan government will not agree to an international investigation looking into former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s involvement in war crimes.

Cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said the government will set up a domestic mechanism to investigate the allegations.

He said the government would not agree, even if the report by the OHCHR Investigation in Sri Lanka (OISL) recommended an international court for those accused of war crimes.
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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
LSSP criticises TNA call for federalism

The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) has stated it is against federalism and criticised the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) call for devolution.

Leader of the LSSP Tissa Vitharana said at a press conference that his party was “displeased” and that they “condemn the call for a Federal State by the TNA at this crucial juncture”.

Mr Vitharana went on to accuse the TNA of fuelling “racist elements in the South”. The LSSP joins a wide range of other Sinhalese parties across the political spectrum to have spoken out against devolving powers to the North-East, a key demand in the TNA election manifesto.

His comments came as he called on the public to vote against the UNP in the upcoming general election, stating that the United States wants to establish military bases in Sri Lanka and the UNP had agreed to do so.

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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Sri Lanka wants ‘domestic inquiry without outside pressure’ says minister
The Sri Lankan minister of finance reiterated his government’s demand for a domestic inquiry into violations of international humanitarian law committed during the final phase of the armed conflict and called for international pressure to cease.

Mahinda Samarasinghe, who held the position of special envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights during the previous government, said Sri Lanka should be allowed to investigate any violations without international pressure.

Speaking during at the launch of his book in Colombo, Mr Samarasinghe said Sri Lanka was still unaware of the contents of an ongoing investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “However a copy of the report will be sent to Sri Lanka before they take it up at the UNHRC session,” he said, adding “I hope to represent Sri Lanka in September as I have ten years’ experience in the area.”

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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Sinhala nationalist organisations rally against federalism

The Chairman of Federation of National Organisations spoke out against the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and slammed the concept of federalism, reports The Island.

Gunadasa Amarasekera, who is also president of the Patriotic National Movement, said “federalism will be a stepping stone to Eelam”.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Amarasekara warned against voting for the United National Party (UNP) saying “with the kind of pressure mounting on Sri Lanka the separatists will achieve what they dream of if Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP are voted into power".

Comparing the situation in Sri Lanka to that of Kosovo and South Sudan, Mr Amarasekara went on to add "the TNA manifesto clearly spells out that it is advocating separatism and whether Ranil likes it or not, the TNA will do what it wants with the help of the international community”.

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Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
UN does not see Tamils as partners in accountability process – Tamil Civil Society Forum

The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) has condemned the plans for a domestic accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka, as detailed in a UN memo obtained by Channel 4.

In a statement, the group said they “condemn and reject these moves hatched in secrecy to establish a domestic mechanism solely negotiated between the Government of Sri Lanka and the UN”.

The TCSF further said that the UN “clearly does not see the Tamil people as being partners” in the accountability process on the island, despite human rights chief Zeid Hussain’s repeated call for consultations with victims in establishing a mechanism.
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Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
TNPF condemns UN plan as ‘mockery of justice’

The Tamil National People’s Front today criticised the UN plan for a purely domestic incquiry, as revealed by Channel 4 News last night.

“To suggest an internal inquiry, despite the overwhelming evidence suggesting that the Sri Lankan state structure is so biased in its Sinhala Budhhist nationalist leanings, is to make a mockery of natural justice,” TNPF President Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam told the Tamil Guardian, adding that the revelation came at a time when Tamils have been becoming “increasingly cynical about the UNHRC agenda”.

“No one with the true intention of accountability at heart will accept anything short of a referral of Sri Lanka to the ICC or alternatively the setting up of a UN sponsored ad hoc tribunal on Sri Lanka. Accountability on the basis of criminal justice is non-negotiable from a Tamil victim's point of view,” Mr Ponnambalam further said.

UN does not see Tamils as partners in accountability process – Tamil Civil Society Forum (29 July 2015)

North-East Tamil organisations urge UN Human Rights chief to act (03 July 2015)

Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
'Everybody should consider this as a one country' says President in Kilinochchi
Photograph Colombo Page


The  Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena, currently on a visit to Kilinochchi said that "everybody should consider this as a one country," reports Colombo Page.

"The demographic divisions of the country such as North, South, East, and West are only in maps," Mr Sirisena told those gathered at the opening of a supermarket in the town, which was the former administrative capital of Tamil Eelam.


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Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
Sri Lanka’s most pressing problems are both structural and systemic - Taylor Dibbert
A more subtle war still rages across the historically Tamil northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, said Taylor Dibbert, writing in The Diplomat on Tuesday.

Commenting on a report released by the International Truth and Justice Project that outlined ongoing account of torture and sexual violence against the Tamil community under Sri Lanka’s new government, Mr Dibbert said,

“This report is a stark reminder that, irrespective of what happens during the upcoming election, many of Sri Lanka’s most pressing problems are both structural and systemic; the Sinhala-dominated state has discriminated against Tamils for decades.”

Full piece reproduced below.
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Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
UNP reiterates rejection of federal solution

The UNP rejected the possibility of a federal solution to the long-running ethnic conflict, the latest southern party to do so.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said the policy of the party and its alliance the UNF was to devolve powers to the provinces in consultation with all concerned and within a united and undivided Sri Lanka, Colombo Gazette reported.

“We will not agree to a Federal solution,” Mr Perera said insisted.

The minister further stressed that there was no new or past agreement with the TNA with regards to the elections.
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 International Affairs
Tamil Guardian 31 July 2015
‘Strong evidence Israel committed war crimes’ says Amnesty International report

Amnesty International released a report claiming that there is “strong evidence” Israel committed war crimes during an offensive launched in Gaza last year.

Following the capture of Israeli soldier Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, Israeli security forces launched an offensive into Gaza, which reportedly saw at least 135 Palestinians killed. Most of the deaths are said to have taken place in the first few hours after his capture. More than 1,000 artillery shells in Rafah and dropped more than 40 bombs were dropped on the town of Rafah during the operation.

“There is overwhelming evidence that Israeli forces committed disproportionate, or otherwise indiscriminate, attacks which killed scores of civilians in their homes, on the streets and in vehicles and injured many more,” said Amnesty International.

The report, based on joint research with the group Forensic Architecture, went on to say “public statements by Israeli army commanders and soldiers after the conflict provide compelling reasons to conclude that some attacks that killed civilians and destroyed homes and property were intentionally carried out and motivated by a desire for revenge – to teach a lesson to, or punish, the population of Rafah for the capture of Lieutenant Goldin”.

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Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
UN continued to hire firm despite documented culture of sexual violence

Records suggest that the United Nations spent half a billion dollars on contracts with a Russian aviation company after discovering one of its helicopter crews working in the Democratic Republic of Congo drugged and raped a teenage girl.

Internal UN documents, leaked to the Guardian, reveal how the UN’s internal complaints unit received evidence that the woman was abused with lit cigarettes and photographed lying on the ground.

A senior UN official, commenting on the findings, stressed that the sexual violence incidents were not isolated and that “the problems of sexual exploitation were wider.”

Last month, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon said the UN had a “zero-tolerance” policy toward sexual exploitation.

Tamil Guardian 30 July 2015
Russia vetoes UN resolution on international tribunal over MH17

Russia has exercised its veto at the UN Security Council to block a move to set up an international criminal tribunal into the MH17 disaster.

Russia was the only country in the council to veto the resolution, which had 11 countries vote in favour of the move. Angola, China and Venezuela abstained.

Responding to the veto, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said, “It is tragic that Russia has used the privilege entrusted to it in order to advance international peace and security ... to frustrate international peace and security”.

“But let us be clear,” she added, “today’s veto cannot and will not deny the victims and their families justice”.

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Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
Turkey launches airstrikes against PKK

Turkey launched its heaviest offensive on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, since the start of their military campaign in the region.

The strikes hit shelters and depots belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), reports Reuters.

Iraq condemned the air strikes as an “escalation and an assault on Iraqi sovereignty.”

Turkey’s strikes come after it launched an offensive against Islamic State militants, in what it called a “synchronised fight against terror.”

Turkish officials have linked attacks against the PKK to increased killings of Turkish police officers that have been linked to Kurdish militants.

Though Turkey has pledged to provide air cover to Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants, it has stressed that it will not provide air cover to Kurdish fighters combating Islamic State advances.

Turkey, US to agree on support for Syrian rebels to create Islamic State buffer zone  (27 Jul 2015)

Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
UN aid chief seeks greater access to Syria, stresses need for political solution
The United Nations aid chief Stephen O’Brien stressed the importance of “carving out space” to meet the humanitarian needs of people in Syria in an address to the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

Expressing hope that an upcoming visit by his team would “provide an opportunity to constructively engage with the government to address some of the significant access challenges that seriously impeded humanitarian operations,” Mr O’Brien described the level of suffering as “gargantuan.”

“We must have rapid, sustainable access to deliver essential humanitarian items to all people in need, in all parts of the country, without delay or hindrance,” Mr O’Brien said.

Acknowledging that a purely humanitarian solution would not solve the crisis in Syria, Mr O’Brien added,

“A political solution is more urgent than ever to end this futile hopeless cycle of brutality and violence.”

The UN estimates that at least 220,000 people have been killed since the conflict commenced in March 2011.

See more here.
Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
Israel approves further settlement construction in occupied territories

Israel approved plans to build 300 new homes in Jewish settlements within the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, reports Reuters.

 A statement issued by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office said, “immediate construction of 300 housing units has been approved.”

The statement added that a plans to construct a further 413 homes in the captured East Jerusalem area had also been approved.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

Best outcome for Israel Palestine conflict is two-state solution says Hillary Clinton (23 Jul 2015)

Tamil Guardian 28 July 2015
Coalition air strike in Yemen may be a war crime – HRW
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for a UN Commission of Inquiry into a Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians in Yemen last week.

Visiting the targeted area approximately 36 hours after the attack, HRW said bombs struck the residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant which housed at least 200 families. At least 10 children were also killed in the attack.

“The Saudi-led coalition repeatedly bombed company housing with fatal results for several dozen civilians,” said Ole Solvang, the organisation’s senior emergencies researcher. “With no evident military target, this attack appears to be a war crime,” he continued.

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Tamil Guardian 28 July 2015
Forensic work begins at Colombian mass grave site
Forensic experts have begun excavation work at a suspected mass grave site in Colombia, where up to 300 bodies are thought to be buried.

The debris landfill site in Medellin, Colombia's second largest city, is reported to be one of the largest urban mass graves in the world, and is suspected to hold the remains of those who disappeared during a military operation in 2002. Then President Alvaro Uribe launched Operation Orion to crack down on left wing militants in the Comuna 13 district.

As the excavation, which will see 20,000 tonnes of earth removed from the site, started on Monday a ceremony was held to honour the victims. Javier Giraldo, a Roman Catholic priest and human rights activist said, "This is the site of one of the most atrocious episodes that weigh down our history and is a stain on our national identity before the entire world".

[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2015
Turkey, US to agree on support for Syrian rebels to create Islamic State buffer zone
Turkey and the US will agree plans to provide air cover to Syrian rebels in an attempt to clear Islamic State militants from a strip of land on the Turkish border, reports Reuters.

Speaking to Turkish TV, prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the aim was to provide air cover for moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants, adding,

“What we have no is air coverage so they can gain control of that region from Daesh (Islamic State) and support the moderate opposition so they can gain control of the region.”

US officials said that discussions with Turkey were continuing to decide the size and scope of the buffer zone in the US.

“The goal is to establish an ISIL free zone and ensure greater security and stability along Turkey’s border with Syria” said a senior Obama administration official.

Turkey conducts airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria  (24 July 2015)

Tamil Guardian 26 July 2015
US and African nations to discuss sanctions on South Sudan upon failure to reach peace agreement
Barack Obama and African leaders will discuss options that could include sanctions or penalties on South Sudan’s conflicting parties should they fail to reach a peace agreement by mid-august, reports The Guardian.

Outlining details of a meeting to be held in Addis Ababa, a US official travelling with the US president on Air Force One said,

“This is an opportunity to reinforce the effort that’s on the table and to strategies on next steps in the event that it doesn’t succeed.”

The US president is expected to meet with the presidents of Uganda, Kenya, the prime minister of Ethiopia, the chairwoman of the African Union and the foreign minister of Sudan.

The official said that the African bloc of nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, had set a deadline of August 17 on a peace agreement that it had formulated for South Sudan.

Elements of a “plan B” that are to be discussed on Monday could include an arms embargo and sanctions on individuals’ assets and travel.

Peace negotiators propose UN assisted independent tribunal for South Sudanese crimes  (26 Jul 2015)

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2015
Peace negotiators propose UN assisted independent tribunal for South Sudanese crimes
Negotiators in South Sudan’s peace talks have proposed establishing a court to try those responsible for genocide and war crimes in South Sudan, in a power-sharing document that hopes to end the 19 month conflict.

A draft agreement negotiated by eight East African nations of the IGAD block, convening in Ethiopia, proposes an independent hybrid court, set up in collaboration with the African Union and United Nations to try possible genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The 77 page draft agreement, released on Saturday, seeks power sharing between the conflicting sides as well as accountability.

US president Barack Obama is expected to push for the peace efforts to fructify into a concrete agreement when he travels to Ethiopia on Sunday.

South Sudan committed war crimes – HRW  (22 Jul 2015)

UN finds mass rights violations in South Sudan, calls for unfettered access and accountability  (01 Jul 2015)

South Sudan expels UN relief coordinator  (01 Jun 2015)

UN warns of famine in South Sudan, China urges ceasefire between warring parties (26 May 2015)

Nearly 100,000 displaced in South Sudan - UN  (09 May 2015)

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2015
Saudi led coalition announces humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen

Saudi led coalition forces announced a five day humanitarian ceasefire to start on Sunday, reports Reuters.

The announcement was made on Saturday, after Yemen’s exiled president Abd-Rabbu Monsaur Hadi, requested a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to Yemen’s war affected civilians.

UN aid ship reaches Yemen (21 Jul 2015)

UN brokered humanitarian ceasefire broken by Saudi coalition strikes in Yemen (11 Jul 2015)

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2015
Romania sentences former Communist prison guard for crimes against humanity
In a land mark case, Romania has convicted a former Communist-era prison guard of crimes against humanity for his role in the Ramnicu Sarat prison from 1956 to 1963 and the deaths of 12 inmates.

The former guard, who is now aged 89, Alexandru Visinescu, was sentenced for 20 years. He is the first senior official in the country's former communist regime to face justice.

The prosecution argued he had ran an "extermination regime" at the prison in Eastern Romania, which was notorious for the use of torture and starvation, targeting political prisoners.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2015
Belgium recognises Armenian genocide
The Belgium parliament on Thursday voted in favour of a resolution recognising the Armenian genocide.

The decision was swiftly condemned by Turkey. In a statement issued on Friday, the Turkish foreign ministry said, Turkey had been “unfairly indicted, historical facts have been distorted and law has been ignored."

"The grave picture that has emerged with the July 23 decision of the Chamber of Deputies [was] met with regret by the Belgian Turkish community and has deeply impacted our bilateral relations,” the statement added.

"It should be understood that this and similar decisions that have been made do not serve the Turkish-Armenian conciliation in any way".


[more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2015
Turkey conducts airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria

Turkey’s air-force carried out attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time on Friday, as well as militant camps of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, reports Reuters.

Turkish President Tayyip Ergogen promised further decisive action against Islamic State militants and Kurdish militants.

The attacks came after discussions over combating Islamic State militants took place wit the US Secretary of State John Kerry in past weeks. Fridays military strikes were followed up by a telephone conversation between Mr Erdogan and US President Barack Obama.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Erdogan said,

“In our phone call with Obama, we reiterated our determination in the struggle against the separatist organisation and the Islamic State militants.”

The US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner, said the agreement with Turkey was part of an ongoing dialogue over many months on how to defeat and dismantle Islamic State militants in the region.

Tamil Guardian 23 July 2015
Best outcome for Israel Palestine conflict is two-state solution says Hillary Clinton
The US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said a two –state solution for Israel and Palestinians was the only feasible resolution to the longstanding conflict in the region.

Responding to a question from an audience member at an election campaign event in South Carolina, Ms Clinton said that a two state settlement would be the “best outcome” for both the Israelis and Palestinians, reports Reuters.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 23 July 2015
France, Russia, Germany and Ukraine agree to call on separatist militants to extend arms pull back

Leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine agreed to call on Ukraine’s separatist militants to extend the duration of a pull-back on their weapons in eastern Ukraine.

Commenting at the end of over 2 hours of telephone talks, French President Francois Hollande’s office said that the leaders of the four countries “want the agreements signed as soon as possible.”

Ukraine and pro separatist militants agreed earlier this week that tanks and smaller weapons systems should be withdrawn in addition to heavy artillery withdrawal which was previously agreed.

 


Tamil Guardian 23 July 2015
Italy's 1974 far-right bombers receive life sentence

An Italian court has jailed two former far-right extremists for life, for their in a bomb attack 41 years ago.

The 1974 bombing in Brescia killed eight people and injured over 100 at an anti-fascist rally in the city in northern Italy.

Carlo Maria Maggi, 80, then a member of Italy's far-right group New Order and Maurizio Tramonte 63, a former intelligence agent, were given life sentences by the court in Milan.

The case exposed the close links between intelligence services and violent fascist groups in the country during the 1970s.

The biggest attack, was the 1980 bomb attack on a train station in Bologna, which killed 85 people.

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Struggle for remembrance
The British Tamil ballot
Demanding demilitarisation
  Opinion
Sri Lanka’s most pressing problems are both structural and systemic - Taylor Dibbert
We cannot henceforth be a nation that is deceived - CV Wigneswaran
Seize this opportunity for true reform - CV Wigneswaran
  Feature
Black July 1983 remembered
Wigneswaran calls for united effort to achieve Tamil nation's aspirations
30 years since Tamil organisations unanimously agreed on Thimphu principles
  Culture & Community
A night to remember as Tamil comedy takes to the stage
'Super Singer Junior' audiences stunned by song dedicated to Eelam Tamils
Denmark Tamil schools compete in Malathy Cup football tournament



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