Government body to approve all song lyrics after singer distorts Buddhist hymn

The minister of cultural affairs, T.B. Ekanayake, announced that the government intends to amend the Public Performance Act, so that a body, entitled the Public Performance Board (PPB), would in future approve the lyrics and context of songs for public release. The proposals were made after a young Sinhalese singer, Gayan Perara was accused to distorting a a Buddhist hymn or Gatha, in his latest release, 'Tiken Tika'. Ven. Mahamega Pagnaratne thera of Sunethra Devi International Buddhist Centre, has reported filed a complaint with the Mirihana police force.

Navi Pillay raises concerns over General Silva at UN

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, raised concerns regarding the appointment of General Shavendra Silva as sri Lanka's deputy permanent representative to the UN, in a letter to the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon. Speaking to journalists after the UN General Assembly meeting on Monday, Pillay said, "It's a matter of concern," "The United Nations has very clear policies on vetting and this is part of the work that my office does. "We keep a list of individuals who are suspected of committing human rights violations and I have addressed a letter of concern to the secretary...

Tamil youths attacked by SL Army and Police

Reports have emerged of attacks by Sri Lankan security forces on Tamil youths in Vanni. TamilNet reported on Tuesday that a number of Tamil youngsters were dragged off the street and assaulted in seemingly random attacks in Nedungkeani, in the district of Mullaithivu. The youths were beaten and stripped naked before being tortured in a nearby canal. Local residents are reported to have shut themselves inside their homes in fear of the Sri Lankan security forces, while the youths’ screams could be heard. Full report on TamilNet .

US will back Sri Lanka resolution – Robert Blake

The United States will support a resolution pushing Sri Lanka to address accountability issues at the UN Human Rights Council session next month. The resolution would be asking for the same ‘internal mechanism’ that the UN panel of experts recommended nearly one year ago. Under Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake responded to reporters in Colombo when he was asked if the US would support a resolution. “The United States will support a very straightforward resolution that the government of Sri Lanka has not yet done enough to implement the recommendations of the Lessons...

Activists in Chennai protest against Sri Lankan hockey team

A group of youth activists protested on Saturday, against the presence of Sri Lanka's hockey team in Chennai, for training. The protest led to the cancellation of the hockey team's training session, and team members leaving the premises. Chennai City Police arrested all those engaged in the protest. They were all later released without charge. Protesters belonged to the Naam Thamizhar and Thamizhar Ezhuchi Iyakkam, and have led previous protests calling for the boycott of Sri Lankan goods in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. See related articles: Retailers boycott Sri Lankan goods after consumer pressure...

Tamil businessman abducted in Wellawatte

Tamil businessman, Ramasamay Prabhakaran, was abducted from outside his house in the Wellawatte area by an armed gang on Saturday. The abduction took place front of his mother and daughter, before witnesses saw him being bundled into a white van by seven men armed with assault rifles and hand guns. Sri Lanka's Sunday Times newspaper, reports Prabhakaran had been detained for two years previously, accused of having links with the LTTE. He was released 16th September due to lack of evidence and all charges were dropped. Following this, Prabhakaran, had filed a Fundamental Rights case in the...

Sri Lanka signs deals with Pakistan

During a three day visit to Pakistan, Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, signed 3 memorandums with his counterpart in Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, on trade, technical education and media. The trade agreement, includes Pakistan offering an export credit line of $200 million, in order for Sri Lanka to import machinery and equipment. In exchange Pakistan would import goods, such as food. According to the Indian newspaper, The Times of India, Pakistan remains on of Sri Lanka's key suppliers of military hardware, and Colombo is considering an offer from Islamabad for the training of...

US state department officials visit Vanni

The US ambassador at large for war crimes, Stephen Rapp, led a team of US officials, including the assistant secretary of state for South and Asian affairs, Robert O'Blake, to Vanni. The delegation collected eye-witness testimonials from Tamil civilians in Mullaitheevu and Kilinochchi districts, reported Tamilnet. See here for article on Tamilnet.

Sri Lankan Minister flees Coimbatore after protests

The Sri Lankan Minister for Livestock and Rural Community Development, Arumugam Thondaiman, was forced to abandon his visit to the Tamil Nadu city of Coimbatore after protestors besieged his residence. Arumugam Thondaman's visit drew angry crowds to his hotel on Saturday, before he fled to Chennai. The protestors, mostly supporters of Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), demanded Thondaiman leave India immediately and attempted to jump over the gate of the hotel. 15 people were arrested by police over the protest. Thondaman is a member of the Ceylon Workers' Congress, a coaliton partner of the ruling...

'Time for a reality check on the Sri Lankan civil war'

In his blog in The Independent, journalist Emmanuel Stoakes calls for an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes. See below for extracts. "It has been around a thousand days since the conclusion of the war. In that time the response of the government to allegations of abuses, up to and including the LLRC report has been unconvincing, redolent of political self-service rather than an authentic attempt at truth and reconciliation. "Even some of the most ardent patriots who instinctively rally to Rajapaksa must be growing weary of reflexive cries of “lies and propaganda!” every time new...

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