Tamils protest at Nelliyadi amidst Army presence

Video Uthayan Defying intimidation by the Sri Lankan military, Tamils took part in a protest in Nelliyadi, against the murder of the Tamil man, Nimalarooban, an inmate in a Sri Lankan prison. See here for reports by Uthayan. Holding banners and placards, protesters demanded the release of all Tamil political prisoners, and asserted the rights of the Tamil nation. The protest took place despite Sri Lankan Army personnel ordering Tamil civilians not to take part, reports Uthayan. Buses travelling to Parithithurai were reportedly stopped by the army and passengers subjected to intense...

UPFA politicians involved in child rape

Amid rising incidents of child rape, the BBC reports 'several cases' involve politicians from Sri Lanka's ruling UPFA coalition. In one case, a 13-year-old victim has identified on local government politician as one of four men who gang-raped her last month. According to BBC Sinhala the past decade has seen over 100 Buddhist monks also charged with sexual assault, however very few have been convicted.

'Sri Lanka envoy must be recalled' - Canberra Times

Extracts from opinion , by Bruce Haigh writing for the Canberra Times, on the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand and the dropping of a case against him: Samarasinghe joined the Sri Lankan navy in 1974 and retired in 2011, after his appointment to Australia became known. Samarasinghe was Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan navy in 2009 when the navy carried out the shelling of Tamil women and children in a safe zone designated by the Sri Lankan defence force, in the north of the country, at the end of the civil war between the Tamils and the Sinhalese. Whether he ordered...

Indian proscriptions and Sri Lanka’s ethnic crisis: a policy of failure

The intemperate attacks against the Tamil Diaspora that accompanied India’s predictable decision to re-proscribe the LTTE earlier this month reflects more than anything the dismal failure of India’s attempts to shape a political solution to the island’s ongoing and escalating ethnic conflict. Indian approaches to the Tamil crisis in Sri Lanka have long been driven by the belief that the LTTE and particularly its senior leadership remained the singular obstacles to an equitable political solution to the conflict. To this end the Indian political and military establishment provided unqualified support for Sri Lanka’s military efforts to crush the Tamil struggle. However, three years after the end of the war and the military destruction of the LTTE, amidst Sri Lanka’s horrifying slaughter of Tamil civilians, the prospects of a political solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict are by all accounts remote.

Australian senator calls for SL envoy expulsion

Australian senator of the Greens party, Lee Rhiannon, called for the expulsion of Sri Lanka's High Commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe. Accusing him of boasting about how Sri Lanka caught Tamil asylum seekers trying to flee the civil war, Rhiannon stated he was a war criminal. According to the Canberra Times, Australian Federal Police dismissed the charges of war crimes against him 'more than four months ago'. Dismissing the Foreign Minister's claims that the Greens cannot be trusted with Australia's international relations, the Greens leader, Christine Milne, said that the party's foreigh...

Tamil organisers of protests attacked

The homes of Tamil political figures who organised recent and upcoming protests were attacked with crude oil on Tuesday, reports TamilNet. See here and here for photographs and video of TNPF leader, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, speaking after the attacks. The homes of the president of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Rajappu Edward Anandarajah, the vice president of Tamil National Peoples' Front (TNPF), and Kandeepan Thangarajah of the TNPF, were attacked in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Situated in Nelliyadi, Vadamaraadchi, the house of Edward Anandarajah was reportedly attacked...

Sri Lankan defence personnel forced to cut short training in Tamil Nadu

Two senior defence officials were forced to cut short their training programme in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu after strong protests by political parties in the state. Air Vice Marshal Jegath Julanga Diaz of the Sri Lankan Air Force and Rear Admiral S Ranasinghe of the Navy left to an undisclosed location during the early hours of Tuesday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on Monday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to send back all Sri Lankan military personnel training in India as it ‘outraged’ Tamil sentiments. Last week, nine Sri Lankan Air Force personnel were forced...

Manufacturing 'integration'

The week of July 16th to the 22nd has been declared as ‘Social Integration Week’ in Sri Lanka. It was launched ceremonially by President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees on Monday. Colombo Page reports that the ‘initiative’ has been launched to tackle disparities in civil rights, to sanctify co-existence and ultimately to unite the nation. The president was presented with the ‘Social Integration Policy Framework’ which aims to reintegrate all ethnic groups as one nation, free of ‘petty’ social and cultural differences. The framework is yet to be published, though one can only presume it will...

Tamils risk death to seek asylum by boat - Australian NGO

An Australian NGO working with Tamil asylum seekers and detainees in Australia, the Australian Refugee Action Coalition, said they expected more Tamil asylum seekers to risk their lives, as the situation in Sri Lanka deteriorated. A spokesperson for Australian Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, said , “I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a record year for Sri Lankans [seeking aylum by boat]” “ Things in Sri Lanka are deteriorating .” “Many of the people coming now thought things would change after the war, but ongoing frustration amongst many Tamils and oppression is driving the numbers up...

2 SL military officers face protests in Tamil Nadu

Tamils protested against the presence of two Sri Lankan military officials at Gateway Hotel, at the Coonoor hill station in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, reports NDTV. The military personnel, reported to be a Rear Admiral and a Major General, arrived on Sunday evening, prompting 25 MDMK members to protest. They were arrested by Indian police officers as they attempted to march to the hotel. NDTV reports that there remains a 'heavy police deployment' outside the hotel, as more Tamil protests are anticipated. The Sri Lankan military are said to be taking part in a one-day programme at the Defence...

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