Saturday, 19 April 2014
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One of the thousands of children that suffered from malnourishment in the No Fire Zone and IDP camps Photo:Tamilnet
 Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
Protest against SL Navy in Amparai

A protest was held against the Sri Lankan Navy in Oluvil, Amparai on Thursday, reported Virakesari.

Protestors called for the arrest of a member of the navy, who is said to have broken into a household and threatened women, after which he was captured by civilians.

Other members of the navy subsequently interfered and sheltered the sailor from the civilians at their camp.

Villagers condemned the navy’s actions and called on the police to arrest the person involved in the incident. Akkaraiapattu police later said that a member of the navy had been arrested and investigations were underway.

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
War-time restrictions now in Mannar

The pass-system, which requires Tamil fisher folk to obtain permission from the military before setting out to sea, has now been re-introduced in Mannar, after being restarted in Jaffna earlier this month, reported Uthayan.

The Mannar district fishermen’s union leader M N Aalam complained that fishermen are facing hardship because of the system. The Mannar Fishing Department said the pass system caused difficulties in the past and re-introducing this is going to cause more difficulties.

War-period pass system reintroduced for Tamil fishermen (03 April 2014)

Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Indian housing scheme stalls in Kilinochchi, local officials cite military interference
The Indian government's landmark housing scheme has stalled in Kilinochchi, due to on-going land grabs by the military, a local government official told Global Tamil News anonymously.

The official who said
the army had asked them to earmark village lands in Kilinochchi for the military added,
"The people are subjected to harassment from the army, with the intention of grabbing their lands."

"Some [housing] officials who are cooperating with the army and politicians over this, are putting the people in a very difficult situation."
According to the Kilinochchi district officer, Roopavathi Ketheswaran, 7000 houses had been proposed, however, only 3000 had been built to date.

Many of the 3000 built, remained incomplete, Ms Kethesawaran added.

Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Justice for slain activists demand Kurds and Tamils in Paris
Photographs Tamilwin


Calling for justice for the killing of 3 Kurdish activists, including the PKK co-founder Sakine Cansiz, and 3 Tamil diaspora activists, including Col. Parithi in Paris, members of both communities took to the streets in a protest march last weekend.



Marching from the Kurdish Information Centre to 141 Rue La Fayette, protesters vowed to continue the struggle for justice.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Police ask public to be alert to 'terrorist' activities
The Sri Lankan police asked the public to remain alert to and inform police of 'suspicious terrorist activities' at a press briefing by the police spokesperson, Ajith Rohana on Thursday.

Rohana 'asked the public to be vigilant and advised not to extend any support to suspected terrorists or organizations supporting the revival of terrorism in the country', reported Colombo Page.

'The security forces are responsible to prevent resurgence of terrorism and repeal the attempts made by some elements to create ethnic and religious disharmony in the country', the news site further quoted Rohana as saying.

Referring to the proscription of fifteen Tamil diaspora groups and over 400 individuals, Rohana told journalists that Interpol had been informed and Red Notices issued, reported the Daily Mirror.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Resumption of ‘comprehensive military relationship’ with SL hinges on accountability progress – US

The US will only resume a more comprehensive military relationship with Sri Lanka once the government has made progress towards reconciliation and accountability, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said at a talk at Harvard University.

Speaking on "U.S. Foreign Policy in South Asia: A Vision for Prosperity and Security", Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal said the US continues to call for credible efforts to ensure accountability and justice.

"While the prosperity agenda in South Asia is critically important, so too is enhancing political stability and regional security. In order to enhance that stability and security, our foreign policy is designed around engagement – even on the toughest and most vexing issues,

"Sri Lanka has fortunately ended its civil war, though reconciliation has proved challenging. Following the March UN Human Rights Council resolution in Sri Lanka, we continue to call for credible efforts to ensure accountability and justice. We look forward to a resumption of a more comprehensive military relationship once the Government of Sri Lanka has made better progress toward reconciliation and accountability."
[more]

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Delhi court rejects plea on Indian army involvement in 2009

The Supreme Court in Delhi has rejected a plea for an inquiry into claims that Indian forces took part in the final phase of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, saying the issue is beyond the jurisdiction of the court

The plea, filed by Ram Sankar, secretary of Delhi Tamil Advocates Association, said that Indian military personnel were active in the fighting and some soldiers were injured. A Sikh officer, who was commanding the forces, was seen in the Vanni, said Sankar, who himself was taking part in international humanitarian efforts.

“Asylum seekers have said that a turbaned Indian officer was seen commanding the armed forces that were attacking Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu,

"The authorities, without declaring an open war, deployed the personnel of armed forces in aid and abetment of the armed forces of Sri Lanka. This fact was also not revealed to Parliament, which alone is vested with the power to regulate the military affairs. There is no provision in the Constitution permitting the use of Indian armed forces for any purpose other than for the defence of India," Sankar said.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
5 years today - Starvation and shelling in No Fire Zone, rape and torture in IDP camps

18 April 2009 - Tamil civilians on verge of dying of starvation in No Fire Zone

Thousands of Tamil civilians were on the verge of dying by starvation in the No Fire Zone , sources on the ground told Tamilnet.

A United Nations official in Colombo further said, that the situational report by the Mullaitheevu District Secretariat had requested for food and rations to feed at least 305,219 people. Humanitarian aid figures suggested that only 22% of the aid needed had reached the No Fire Zone in the month of March.

Highlighting the extent of malnutrition in the No Fire Zone, the report said,

“A nutrition survey conducted by the Department of health, Mullaitivu District in last week of March, 2009, indicates that 69.91% of children were under weight and acute under nutrition is very much increased. The report requests for immediate intervention in supply food.”
[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Journalist attack could not have occurred without state's knowledge - TNPF

Amidst the heightened surveillance in the North-East, the violent attack against the journalist Sivagnanam Selvatheepan on Monday could not have been carried out without the Sri Lankan state being aware the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) said today.

“The army, the police and the intelligence service are involved in surveillance all over the Tamil homeland. In such circumstances, there is no way that this attack could have been carried out unknown to the state. Therefore the government must accept full responsibility for this assault,” a statement quoted party secretary, S. Kajendran as saying. 

Stating that the TNPF “deeply condemned” the “cowardly” attack on the 29-year-old journalist, Mr. Kajendran said, 

“We have learnt that Selvatheepan was [previously] threatened several times by groups seeking to continue repressing and strangling the voice of the Tamil people.”

Calling on the international community to act, Mr Kajendran said it must take steps to curb the oppression and attacks which the Sri Lankan government has “unleashed” on media and journalists.

Pointing to the "use of terrorism prevention laws to arrest and torture of human rights activists and Tamil people struggling for justice against government oppression, the assaults and murders of journalists seeking to expose injustices, and the burning of press offices", Mr. Kajendran said, "these things have all become commonplace throughout the Tamil homeland.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Gotabaya says 'terrorist' fronts within Tamil diaspora continue propaganda against Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said whilst Sri Lanka had defeated terrorism on the island, it was still alive within the Tamil diaspora, reports Colombo Gazette.

'LTTE network continues to sustain an international propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka through front organisations that have now put on a democratic face' Mr. Gotabaya is quoted as saying whilst addressing delegates at Malaysia's 'Defence Services Asia' conference today.

Colombo Gazette further quoted him as saying,
'Some nations seem to have chosen to turn a blind eye to these front organisations and their activities because they claim to support political activism or humanitarian relief. At the same time, the network’s operatives, most of whom are trained terrorists, remain involved in various illegal activities, and are constantly seeking ways to revive terrorist activities in Sri Lanka.'

[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
TNA MP had close links with ‘Gopi’ – Minister

Sri Lankan security forces are investigating alleged ‘close association’ between TNA MP Sritharan and ‘Gopi’ and his associates, who were accused by Sri Lanka of reviving the LTTE before being killed by the army, after a manhunt spanning several weeks.

Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake told The Island that the MP had harboured the fugitives and provided them with transportation, and that he had been seen with ‘Gopi’ in Colombo and Batticaloa.

Dissanayake said a mobile phone used by ‘Gopi’ was recovered and details retrieved from the phone will be used to reveal more information.

Police spokesperson Ajith Rohana said that there was evidence to prove that ‘Gopi’ had contact with the MP and several others.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Sri Lanka ranks 4th in global impunity index for killings of journalists
Sri Lanka ranked 4th on a global impunity index by the US based press freedom group, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on the murder of media workers.

"Government and military officials are suspected to be behind several of the murders," said CPJ.

The index included 13 countries where at least five journalists had been murdered without any convictions, over the past year. Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines, ranked ahead of Sri Lanka, with Syria just behind in 5th place.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Congress did more than any other party for Tamils in SL – Sonia Gandhi

The president of the Congress Party Sonia Gandhi said at an election rally in the Tamil Nadu, that her party had done more than any other party for the welfare of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Speaking in Kanyakumari on the southern-most tip of India, she rejected allegations by political parties in the state, who say that the Congress has not done enough for Tamils on the island, just across the water from the town.

"I want to ask them, is there any party, which has done more than the Congress party for the Sri Lankan Tamils? Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed his life while fighting for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka," she said.

Gandhi also called on Tamil Nadu to reject the BJP’s Narendra Modi.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Sharma disappointed at Canada's decision to cut Commonwealth funding over Sri Lanka
The Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, expressed his "disappointment" at Canada's decision to withdraw its $10m funding to the international body in light of Sri Lanka's role as chair.

A statement released by the Mr. Sharma's office on Tuesday, read,
"Mr Sharma expressed disappointment at this step but looked forward to the resumption of the contributions."
See full statement here.

Announcing Canada's decision to cut funding on Monday, the country's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said,
"We can no longer justify providing additional funding to an organization that turns a blind eye to human rights abuses, anti-democratic behaviour and religious intolerance in its member states".

[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Attempts to silence us will create the need for more international action -Ananthy tells Govt
Ananthy tells UNHRC March 18th - 'Sri Lanka is a genocidal state, it cannot conduct an inquiry itself'.
Photograph Tamil Guardian


Attempts to silence those who speak out against the injustices faced by the Tamil people will create the need for more international action, Ananthy Sasitharan, the TNA Northern Provincial Councillor told the government.

She was responding to calls
from the ruling coalition partner, the JHU, for herself and TNA MPs who campaigned in support of an international investigation last month, including MA Sumanthiran and Suresh Premachandran, to be arrested.
 
"If [they] think that by arresting us they can silence our voices that would be a mistaken calculation, any attempts to arrest us will bring grave consequences on an international stage," said Ms Sasitharan in a statement issued in Tamil on Tuesday.

 
"It will create the need for even more international action," she said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 April 2014
Tamil media workers demand justice for attacked journalist
Condemning yesterday attack against the journalist Sivagnanam Selvatheepan, the Sri Lankan Tamil Media Alliance called for those responsible to face justice.

"Attacks and threats on journalists in the North has become commonplace nowadays," said K. Jeyandran the group's secretary to Thinakurral.

Calling on the government to take action he said,
"The government should take action to identify the people involved in this attack, to bring them to justice, and to allow journalists in the North to work freely."
"Those who are in charge are failing to arrest the people responsible for such incidents and bring them before justice," Mr. Jeyandran said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 April 2014
Mother of 'Gopi' released by TID
The mother of one of the Tamil men shot dead by the Sri Lankan military, after claiming that he was attempting to revive the LTTE has been released from prison, reports Uthayan.

The mother of the man, named by the military, as 'Gopi, was arrested by officers of the Terrorism Investigative Division on March 26th along with another woman.

No charges were brought against her.

Tamil Guardian 15 April 2014
Malaysia PM welcomes Defence guests
The Malaysian Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Tun Razak, received the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Dunne at his office today in two separate meetings.

 

The Malaysian government is at present hosting the annual 'Defence Services Asia' conference at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

 
 International Affairs
Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
UN camp attacked in South Sudan
Gunmen in South Sudan on Thursday attacked a UN peacekeepers’ camp where thousands of people had sought safety, killing at least 58 people, the Washington Post reports.

Almost 5000 civilians were sheltering at the camp. The South Sudan government today deployed troops to provide security for UN facilities.

The United Nations said the gunmen, using a peaceful demonstration as cover, stormed the camp and opened fire after breaking through the gate.

The United Nations Security Council has  expressed outrage at the attacks.

Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
US urges Burma to protect Rohingya
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, today urged the Burmese government to intervene in the Rakhine state and end the violence between Buddhists and Muslims, reports Voice of America.

Speaking at the end of a briefing at the United Nations Security council on the situation in Burma, Power said that the United states to support Burma’s reforms but was greatly concerned by the ethnically driven violence in the country.
Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Ukraine announces amnesty for separatist militants in response to disarmament deal
The interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, addressing Ukrainian parliament today, said an amnesty bill was prepared for separatists who laid down their arms and left government buildings in response to an agreement made in Geneva yesterday.

The United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine yesterday, agreed a plan to help deescalate tensions in eastern Ukraine in Geneva.

The agreement called for the disarmament of armed groups in eastern Ukraine, the return of occupied buildings to the government and amnesty to separatist protestors in exchange for delays in another round of sanctions.

Pro-Russian separatists who proclaimed parts of eastern Ukraine as the Donetsk People’s Republic rejected calls vacate government buildings stating that they would only vacate when pro-European Union demonstrators vacated government administration.

A statement from the Donetsk People’s Republic separatists, said,


“We cannot accept the values of the Kiev junta, we have our heroic part going back to World War Two, we are the Russian bear which is waking up.”

Meanwhile in an act of solidarity with Ukraine and other vulnerable eastern European countries, the US and Canadian military, yesterday announced that they would keep fighter planes in neighbouring Poland.
 

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Burmese soldiers killed in conflict against Kachin rebels
Burma’s presidential spokesperson, yesterday confirmed that a senior commander and several troops, had been killed in fights with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), reports Voice of America.

The KIA spokesperson, rejecting calls from the government to disarm, expressed concern over the state militarisation of the area, and said,


“Everybody says we need to reduce military actions, conflicts and build up trust before signing a nationwide ceasefire agreement; however, the Burmese military deploys more troops in the area for the time being."

Burma this week received
criticism from US officials over the government’s treatment of the Rohingya community in the Kachin state.
Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Syrian activists accuse government of further chemical weapons attacks
In the fourth allegation this week, Syrian activists today published online, alleged evidence of chemical weapons attacks on civilians, reports the BBC.

Opposition activists also published photographs of injuries similar to those suffered from chemical weapons attacks.

A UN inquiry in December found credible evidence of the usage of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.
The Syrian government failed to meet a deadline in February to hand over its 1300 tonne chemical weapon agent stockpile and has an impending deadline in June to destroy all its chemical weapons.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organisation based in London that reports on and analysis the conflict in Syria estimates that over 150,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
UN asks for $270 million to aid humanitarian operations in CAR
The United Nations launched an appeal for $274 million to aid people that have fled the sectarian conflict in the Central African Republic, reports the Associated Press.

“All agencies working in the region are dramatically underfunded,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said today.

The money will be used by the UN refugee agency and 14 other non-governmental aid organisations.

Over 200,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring conflict due to the escalating violence in the region.
Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
EU looks to impose sanctions on Russia and avoid retaliatory impact
The European Commission distributed documents outlining trade and financial sanctions on Russia, reports Reuters.

Elaborating on the need for a strong and balanced sanctions package, a diplomat briefed on the sanctions said,

“We can’t have a situation where a set of sanctions ends up having a retaliatory impact o none member state or two or three member states. If there are going to be repercussions from this, they have to be shared out.”

Ukrainian efforts to re-establish control over eastern regions failed today as pro-Russian protestors seized Ukrainian military vehicles.
Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Security Council apologises for failure at preventing Rwandan genocide
The United Nations Security Council, commemorating the Rwandan genocide, apologised for the UN’s failure at preventing the mass atrocities.

The former president of the Security Council at the time of the massacre, Colin Keating, addressing the council today, said,

“This briefing also provides a fitting opportunity, for me in my capacity as former President of the Council to apologise for what we failed to do in 1994 and for that to be formally recorded in the official records of the Security Council.”

Expressing the need to improve early warning mechanism at the UN, Keating added,

"Even after the genocide had begun, events were being described for several weeks as simply a resurgence of civil war. The wholesale slaughter of civilians was not being conveyed to the Council.”

See full UN press release here.
Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
British journalists' union calls for public inquiry into 1984 Amritsar massacre

Britain’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to establish a full public enquiry into the 1984 Amritsar massacre, following revelations in recently released official documents about British assistance in planning the Indian military’s assault on the Golden Temple in which thousands were killed.

In a statement Wednesday the NUJ said delegates at its conference last week unanimously accepted a motion calling for a British public inquiry that would cover “all the documents and events relating to India, covering the whole of 1984.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 April 2014
International tribunal rejects calls to drop genocide charges against Bosnian Serb army chief
The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, today,  rejected arguments to drop charges of genocide against a former Bosnian Serb army chief, reports the BBC.

One of the judges, Alphons Orie, responding to assertions that there was not enough evidence, cited material presented by prosecutors including, video footage of the army chief calling for revenge against the Muslims in Srebrenica.

“The accused has a case to answer on all counts,” the judge said.

The Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, faces 11 charges, including genocide and crimes against humanity dating back to the Bosnian war from 1992 to 1995.
Tamil Guardian 15 April 2014
Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal could violate core principles of international law, says UN rights chief
The foundations of genuine and lasting peace after a long civil war would be damaged if Nepal gives amnesties for serious crimes committed during the conflict, said the UN human rights chief today.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement Monday, warned that Nepal’s legislation to set up a ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Disappeared persons’ would grant powers to the panel to recommend amnesties contrary to the fundamental principles of international law, reports Reuters.

Expressing her concern the High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, said,

“While I welcome steps taken by the government of Nepal to take the transitional justice process forward, I am extremely concerned by its new attempt to introduce amnesties for serious human rights violations,”
Tamil Guardian 15 April 2014
Schoolchildren abducted in north-east Nigeria
Approximately 100 school girls were abducted in an attack on a school in north-east Nigeria said officials today.

The gunmen, who are believed to be from the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, forced the teenage students into lorries reports the BBC.

The militant group, whose name means “Western education is forbidden” , is responsible for an armed movement looking to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

A bomb blast yesterday, allegedly carried out by the group, in the same region killed over 100 civilians.

See related article:

Bomb blast kills scores in Nigeria, president vows to end terrorism as AU and UN Security Council condemn (14 April 2014)
Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Bomb blast kills scores in Nigeria, president vows to end terrorism as AU and UN Security Council condemn
Updated 23:40 GMT
At least seventy people were killed and over 124 injured when a bomb ripped through a crowded bus station near the Nigerian capital Abuja early Monday, reports said. The death toll was expected to rise.

The blast, which occurred at the Nyanya Bus Park station five miles (8km) south of Abuja, came as commuters travelled during morning rush hour.

It destroyed over 30 vehicles, including 16 luxury coaches, and hurled body parts across the area. Secondary explosions ignited vehicle fuel tanks.

See reports by Reuters, BBC and The Guardian.

The Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, which seeks to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria, is widely suspected of carrying out the attack, though no one claimed responsibility.

Intense confrontations between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces has killed over 135 civilians in the past few days, and over 1,500 people, have of them civilians, this year. Some 250,000 people have been forced to leave their homes because of the fighting.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who has placed three north-eastern states under a state of emergency since May last year, visited the site of the blasts later Monday.

He denounced "the activities of those who are trying to move our country backwards" by staging such an attack.
"We will get over it ... The issue of Boko Haram is temporary," he vowed.
A spokesperson for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) urging Nigerians to unite behind the president to end terrorism called on the international community to act.
“There is a need for western [countries] to quickly assist Nigeria so that terrorism would be defeated,” a PDP spokesperson said.
The African Union condemned the attack, as did the UN Security Council.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said in a statement he “strongly condemns all indiscriminate killings and acts of violent extremism.
“The perpetrators of this attack, and those responsible for the continuing brutal attacks in the northeast of the country, must be brought to justice,” he said.
This would not be the first time that Boko Haram has attacked the capital, Abuja. In 2011, Boko Haran claimed responsibility for an attack on the United Nations building, killing 21 people and wounding 60 others.

Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Ukraine calls for UN intervention as activists seize official buildings, EU widens sanctions on Russia
EU foreign ministers said today that they would expand a list of names targeted by EU sanctions, as pro-Russian activists occupied more buildings in the eastern regions of Ukraine.

The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague , told reports that the seizure of official buildings “is something that is being planned and brought about by Russia.”

In a telephone conversation with the United States president, Barack Obama, the Russian premier, said that allegations of Russia’s involvement were “based on questionable information,” reports the BBC.

Condemning the violence in eastern that resulted in seizure of several buildings, the Ukrainian prime-minister called on the UN to assist in combating the aggression.
Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Canada prepares for various Syria intervention scenarios
Canadian defence and diplomatic officials have been quietly working on plans for possible Canadian military missions in Syria, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
 
Internal documents obtained by paper show the defence ministry has drawn up at least five scenarios for which Canadian forces should prepare.
 
At least one possible intervention “assumes that a legitimate armed opposition group has been recognized” by Canada, although details about the rest of this scenario have been blacked out, the paper said.
 
National Defence spokesman Daniel Blouin described such planning as “routine to significant international events” and part of the military’s due diligence to be prepared for any eventuality.
 
That such plans have been drawn up indicates the degree of seriousness to which defence officials and the government are taking the fighting in Syria, which brings with it the risk of escalation and broader regional impacts, the paper said.
Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Middle East talks as crisis deepens
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Sunday held a rare meeting without US mediator Martin Indyk present, as they try to salvage peace talks before a deadline of April 29, the Wall Street Journal reports.
 
The U.S., Israel and the Palestinians are trying to defuse a crisis that erupted after Israel delayed a prisoner release and announced hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank, while the Palestinians applied for membership as a state in 15 international treaty conventions.
 
Negotiation meetings continue to be held even though Israel responded to the Palestinian treaty applications by imposing economic sanctions and curtailing government relations.
 
The goal is to extend nine months of peace talks pushed by US Secretary of State John Kerry beyond the April 29 expiration.
Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
UN rights chief condemns systematic torture in Syrian detention facilities
The United Nations human rights Chief, Navi Pillay, commenting on a report released by her office today, condemned the ‘rampant’ and ‘routine’ use of torture by Syrian authorities.

“In armed conflict, torture constitutes a war crime. When it is used in a systematic or widespread manner, which is almost certainly the case in Syria, it also amounts to a crime against humanity,” said the human rights chief.

The report highlights a pattern of torture and ill-treatment against individuals in Government facilities, through interviews with individuals that had been released or escaped Syrian detention facilities.

See full report here.
Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Colombian President would think twice about killing FARC leader
The Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, said last week that he had chosen not to kill the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Rodrigo Londono, despite knowing where the leader was hiding.

Santos, suggested that he ‘would think twice’ about killing the leader after considering progress made 16 months into peace talks with the FARC in Havana, reports Reuters.

Santos has faced strong criticism from opposition politicians for embarking on long drawn peace-talks with the FARC.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Inducing fear
Transcending Terror
The Beginning
  Opinion
The proscription of the Tamil Diaspora: War by other means
UN resolution the first step on rocky path to accountability
Another step in a long and arduous path towards justice
  Feature
'We will continue to keep Sri Lanka issue alive' says Stephen Rapp at event on international criminal justice
What drew bond investors to Sri Lanka this week?
Diaspora groups reject SL ban, vow to continue struggle
  Culture & Community
Paddy Field
Talking Taboo: Discussing LGBT issues in the Tamil community
Tamil talent takes centre stage at LSE



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