Jaffna Civil Society concerned about Pillay's visit - TamilNet

Tamil civil society activists have written to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressing their concerns that Sri Lanka will use an upcoming visit from Pillay’s team to propagate a manufactured view of progress in post-war efforts on the island, reported TamilNet on Saturday. Extracts reproduced below: “While we welcome the visit of the team, we are concerned that the team might not be given the access that would enable an independent assessment of the Government of Sri Lanka’s performance of its obligations under Resolution A/HRC/19/2. “To avoid giving the GOSL the opportunity of appropriating the UN OHCHR team’s visit for their propaganda purposes we consider it important that your office seeks guarantees from the GOSL that the mission will have sufficient freedom in being able to devise their own agenda... particularly during their visits to the North and East parts of the country.

Another attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Lankan Navy

The Sri Lankan Navy has been accused of attacking Tamil Nadu fisherman off the Kodiakarai coast yet again damaging fishing boats and injuring fishermen on Wednesday. According to the officials, eight fishermen of Arucottuthurai in Vedaranyam district were attacked with iron rods by Lankan Navy when they were fishing off Kodiakarai. Eight fishermen from this district were earlier attacked by the Lankan Navy on August 19 at the same place. The attack comes just after Tamil Nadu fishermen appealed for all protests against Sri Lanka to be halted, as they feared an escalation of reprisal attacks...

Boycott, divestments and sanctions call against Sri Lanka

Tamil Nadu based writer and poet Meena Kandasamy has called upon India to impose a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Sri Lanka, as " one of the solutions to the continued oppression against Tamils by Sri Lanka". Writing in Tehelka she stated that "there is no denying the fact that massive international pressure alone can halt the ongoing cultural and structural genocide against the Tamils in Sri Lanka" and called upon India to "sever all diplomatic relations with its island neighbour" and organise a widespread boycott against Sri Lanka. See her full piece here . Extracts have been reproduced below. “A visiting football team sends out the superficial message: all is well in Sri Lanka. It does not reveal that 4,000 university teachers have been striking for the past two months demanding better wages and greater spending on education, or that the government ordered the closure of all universities last week. It conceals a genocide that claimed 1 lakh Tamil lives in 2009 and a structural racism that marginalises minorities. In enthusiastically supporting the sporting spirit, even sections of the media fail to note that the football team had no permission to play in Tamil Nadu.”

Peiris delivers his pitch to the British

External Affairs Minister G L Peiris spoke to an all-party Parliamentary delegation in the UK regarding the unfavourable travel advisory released by the FCO on Sri Lanka. Peiris told the British MPs: “Go wherever you want in the country and see for yourself. We believe that transparency and visibility is the right approach to dispel the falsehoods that are told about the country by those who wish to spread ill-will. “British companies should not miss out on this great opportunity to be part of the new renaissance,” ignoring the fact that the Sinhala nationalist ‘renaissance’ is exactly what...

China gets go-ahead to exploit Sri Lankan seas

Sri Lanka has given Chinese corporations permission to fish in the sea off Pottuvil, Amparai reported Uthayan on Friday. Local fishermen from Pottuvil have expressed discontent at the move, saying that two Chinese fishing vessels are engaging in illegal fishing methods in the Pottuvil marina. The fishermen claim that government is allowing Chinese corporations, who use trawlers and large webs, to illegally exploit Sri Lanka’s seas. Demands have been raised by the fishermen to conduct an inquiry into the decision and to come to a decision which would safeguard the industrial position of local...

South African business delegation visits SL amid criticism

A South African business delegation arrived in Sri Lanka on a four-day visit amid criticism. Comprising of members of the ANC's Progressive Business Forum, the delegation was led by the deputy minister of economic development, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize. Sri Lanka's minister of industry and commerce, Rishad Bathiyutheen, asserted, "I have no doubts that this visit would help further strengthen the current trade levels of $65 million". The visit has drawn criticism from a coalition of civil society groups - the Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka (SGPJ), which includes the South African Tamil Federation, The Tamil Coordinating Committee and The World Saiva Council, along side other stakeholders - who have stated that it is "untenable" that South Africa had "chosen economic interests over the promotion of a just and equitable solution" for the Tamils.

Tamil Nadu fishermen fear reprisal attacks from SL Navy

Fearing reprisal attacks from the Sri Lankan Navy, fishermen in Tamil Nadu have called on protesters to refrain from targeting Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu. The Fishermen association in Rameshwaram condemned the attacks, saying that it would lead to further attacks from the Sri Lankan Navy, as has happened previously. "The fishermen are worried and we believe that they will not venture farther due to these issues," said N Devadoss of Tamil Nadu Fishermen Welfare Association. He went on to say, "we strongly condemn the attacks on pilgrims and tourists from Sri Lanka and hurting them is wrong. The state and Centre should take stringent measures against these outfits." Highlighting that many of those 'Sri Lankan nationals' who were targetted by protesters were Sinhala speaking Tamils, Devadoss said , "the Tamil outfits, which want to take political mileage should have thought as to how Buddhist Sinhalese people will come to churches here and must have verified the facts thoroughly."

Buddhist party calls for end to animal sacrifices

The JHU, partner of Mahinda Rajapakse’s SLFP, have called for the ban on animal sacrifices at religious events. The party, made up of Buddhist monks, said it is preparing a draft document on the proposed ban on rituals, conducted by some Tamils on the island. “We hope to see an end to this practice immediately because it today’s modern world these practices are not needed to perform religious service,” a JHU official told Bikyamasr.com on Thursday. "The Buddhist belief is that by killing an animal you are killing what could be your mother, daughter, grandfather and so on, so it is not a good...

The cycle of oppression

The appeals of Tamil Nadu fishermen associations to stop all protests against Sri Lankans for fear of reprisal attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy is a tragic reflection of their terrorised plight and the Indian government's impotence on the issue. What should have been a demand on the Indian government to fulfil its responsibility and guarantee the safety of its civilians against the Sri Lankan navy, has instead been usurped by sheer terror. Of course this fear is a very real one - attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen have no doubt escalated in response to anti-Sri Lankan activism by Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Indeed the very next day, five Tamil Nadu fishermen were reported to have been attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy. However, what must be made clear is that the attacks were one of the precursors to the recent anti-Sri Lankan protests, not the after effects.

Indias fears of SL travel advisory affecting trade

Indian business people fear that the Sri Lankan government's travel advisory warning to its citizens against travelling to Tamil Nadu will impact advsersely on trade. Speaking to the Times of India, the President of the India-ASEAN Sri Lankan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, C S Muthu Subramaniyan, said, "Numerous Lankans shop in T Nagar for their wedding purchases. I know each Lankan boarding the plane back to Colombo carries 40 sarees each. The margins are nearly 100% for these sarees. These guys may get impacted," trade sources said."Businesses of small traders and unorganized traders...