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...

Pillay to arrive in SL on Sept 14

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is to visit Sri Lanka and the North-East next week. Arriving on the 14th September, Pillay will off 'advice and techinical assistance', reported the Daily Mirror. Quoting government officials, PTI reported that Pillay's team would examine resettlement programmes and IDP concerns in the North-East. See related article: Pillay's invitation cannot be a fact-finding mission - Mohan Peiris (03 Jun 2012)

'The Dialectics of Genocide' - Interview with Lokeesan

Writing in the Kindlemag, Meena Kandasamy interviews a Tamil journalist who reported from Vanni during 2009. Lokeesan was the Vanni correspondent for TamilNet during that time, and is currently living in exile. See here for full interview entitled 'The Dialectics of Genocide'. Excerpts of Lokeesan's interview reproduced below: Meena Kandasamy: How different was your work, from the kind of reporting that Lasantha, or any of the dissenting Sinhala journalists were doing? Lokeesan: "Lasantha had all the facilities available to the media – internet, phone, email, camera, everything. But where we...

Asylum seekers stage protest aboard boat in Indonesia

53 Tamil asylum seekers have undertaken a fast-unto-death protest on their boat harboured in Indonesia for the past 4 days, demonstrating against the decision to send them back to Sri Lanka. The group of asylum seekers sent messages to relatives and journalists calling for intervention to ensure they are not returned to Sri Lanka for fear of persecution. After a perilous 20 day journey from Chennai, during which a friendly fishing boat provided them with fuel, the group found themselves stranded off the Indonesian coast, where the navy then towed them to a port. The refugees have been calling...

Passing the soiled buck

After severe criticism from Tamil Nadu's major parties and protests in the state, the BJP hastily distanced itself from allegations that the party was behind Mahinda Rajapakse's planned visit to a Buddhist event in Madhya Pradesh, pushing the blame onto Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "Invitation to Rajapajksa was sent by the prime minister, not by the leader of opposition. I have not invited him. "Leader of opposition cannot invite anybody (head of the state) to the country. His itinerary has been finalised by the Premier and MEA," said BJP leader Sushma Swaraj. BJP’s Tamil Nadu chief Pon...

Sri Lankans face further protests in Tamil Nadu

A convoy of buses carrying 178 fleeing Sri Lankans was pelted by sticks and stones near Kattur in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. The Sri Lankans, who were on their way to Tiruchirapalli airport to fly back home to Colombo, experienced similar protest action whilst visiting a Christian shrine in Velankanni earlier that morning, and whilst visiting a Poondi Madha Christian shrine in Thanjavur the day before. Shouting , "Sinhalese go back", protesters in Tamil Nadu used two-wheelers to block the road ahead of the convoy. According to Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner R K M A Rajakaruna, the fleeing Sri...

'No real will to account' says Amnesty

In a written submission to the up-coming, 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International detailed the 'shortcomings in Sri Lanka's National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the LLRC'. The report, entitled 'No Real Will to Account', argued that the lack of accountability had ensured a " climate of impunity where arbitrary detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearances, and custodial killings continue unchecked." "More than three years after the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended, these violations continue to be reported." See here for full statement.