Creating a moral Sri Lanka : BBS

A spokesman for the Bodu Bala Sena Organisation (BBS) claimed today that the organisation aims to create a moral society in Sri Lanka. Programme Coordinator, Dilantha Withanage, blamed ‘groups with ulterior motives' for misrepresenting their campaign as a fight against Muslims. The Coordinator claimed that the BBS was ready to accept that Sri Lanka was a multi-religious and multi-racial country, and outlined the organisation's intention of allowing other communities to hold their festivals in Buddhist temples, provided they were willing to reciprocate. Casting doubt over other communities...

Colombo Telegraph blocked in Sri Lanka

Updated: 11:30 GMT The news website Colombo Telegraph reported on Friday that it has now been blocked in Sri Lanka, with users unable to reach the site from within the island. The Colombo Telegraph editorial board released a message urging readers to use proxy services to reach the site. Read their message here . Update: Several sources within Sri Lanka are now reporting that the wesbite is accessible again. There has been no report from Colombo Telegraph as of yet.

Tamil MPs attacked as Sri Lankan security forces stand by

Photographs LankaSriNews Four Tamil MPs and at least 13 others were attacked by a mob carrying the Sri Lankan flag during a public meeting in Kilinochchi on Saturday morning at around 10am. According to reports members of Sri Lanka's security forces were present but stood idle as the mob of over 100 people shouted at the Tamils present at the meeting, pelting them with stones and attacking them with clubs.

'Still time' to decide on CHOGM - Narayanasamy

The Indian Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V Narayanasamy has stated that "there is still time" to decide on India's attendance at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, due to be held in Sri Lanka in November 2013. Respondong to a growing chorus of calls to boycott the CHOGM, Narayanasamy said , "As far as the Commonwealth meeting is concerned, it is going to happen in November 2013. The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution, send it to the Government of India. The DMK leader also made such a request by passing a resolution in their general council. The...

World Bank loans $200m for health services

The World Bank has provided Sri Lanka with a concessionary loan of $200 million to support the public health system on the island. "Investing in further improvement of the health system will be a critical pre-requisite for Sri Lanka's vision as reflected in the Mahinda Chintana," Country Director of World Bank in Sri Lanka Diarietou Gaye said according to ColomboPage. "A more modernized and efficient health system employing more international standards will not only help achieve the objective of improving living standards and social inclusion, but it will also contribute to the broader...

Institutions of rule of law are silent on the matter of Buddhist nationalism : HRC

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) highlighted in a statement that a "dangerous national issue" had arisen in Sri Lanka as a result of religious tensions in the country. The commission stressed concern over the fact that state institutions responsible for the implementation of the rule of law and ensuring peace are silent on this matter. The commission also noted that political parties, groups or other organisations must not use the situation to advance their political motives and objectives. See here for report. The Human Rights Commission's comments come amidst a campaign...

Indian External Affairs minister rejects TN resolution

The Indian External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid, acknowledged the sentiments of those supportive of the resolution by the Tamil Nadu Assembly regarding the Eelam Tamil issue , however, rejected its demands outright. Speaking in an interview with CNN-IBN, Khurshid said: " I take it on board that there are very strong feelings in Tamil Nadu and not just of other parties, but our own party members have very strong feelings . And we have taken those feelings on board. These feelings are not entirely out of sync with what many people in the world think . At the same time we do believe that...

Australians hold vigil for Tamil asylum seeker in indefinite detention

In an emergency vigil on Friday, Australians gathered outside the Broadmeadows Immigration Detention Centre in Melbourne and protested against the indefinite detention of the Tamil asylum seeker Selva. Thirty-seven year old Selva, or Sivaloganathan Kulachelvan, has been in detention for 37 months. Selva who has sewn his lips together in act of desperation, wrote a heart-wrenching open letter, outlining his plea for release where he calls himself as a "a worthless human being" and describes his sorrow at being away from his wife and daughter. Selva's letter: DEAR CITIZENS OF AUSTRALIA, THE STORY OF MY LIFE IN DETENTION - A WORTHLESS HUMAN BEING Please let me relate my story in the hope that I could solicit your support to bring some meaning to my life. At present, after 37 months in detention, I feel that I am "a worthless human being", to my beloved wife and daugthter; a daughter, who I have not seen, except in photographs. I was able to share my love and affection with my wife for eleven (11) months, who I left when she was two months pregnant. I was not there to give her hand through her pregnancy, nor did I have the opportunity to be at her side when giving birth, and the opportunity to hold my daughter when she was born. My beloved daughter is now two and half (2 1/2) years old, and has not had the opportunity of a cuddle, nor the warm embrace of a father; all she only hears is my voice intertwined with emotional cries of my unfailing love for her. After my daily calls to my beloved wife and daughter, I stay awake in bed unable to sleep. There are days when my emotions become uncontrollable, and I cry fulfilled with the shame that I have become "a worthless human being", and not a husband to my wife and a father to my daughter. These days bring mixed messages to my mind, where I think; death would be better. The 37 months in detention has physically and mentally affected me to function as a normal human being, as detailed in the report by my Counsellor at Foundation House. This is a true reflection of a humang being affected by 37 months in detention in combination with the effects of war in Sri Lanka.

Monks lead mob to attack Muslim store in Colombo

Updated: 02:15 30/03/2013 A Muslim owned store in Colombo came under attack by a violent mob lead by Buddhists monks in Colombo on Thursday night. Buddhists monks were filmed hurling stones at the ‘Fashion Bug’ store in the centre of Colombo, to cheers from crowds as policemen stood by. Previous video was removed by YouTube user. See this video for footage from the Sinhalese 'Hiru TV'. Skip to 25 seconds for footage of monk's attack. The BBC reported that around 500 people were outside the store, who chanted insults against the shop’s Muslim owners. Journalists and those who attempted to film...

SLBC denies interfering with BBC broadcasts

The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation denied claims by the BBC that it had interfered in the broadcasts of Tamil programmes. "We have not jammed the programme or edited it," chairman Hudson Samarasinghe told AFP. "They stopped the feed. They have not informed me why they did it," he said. The BBC suspended Tamil and English programmes on state radio after Tamil programmes were interrupted. "We regret the disruption in service to our loyal audiences in Sri Lanka, but such targeted interferencein our programmes is a serious breach of trust with those audiences, which the BBC cannot allow," BBC...

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