Protesting Buddhist monks force mosque to cease prayers

Over 2000 Sinhala Buddhists, including over 300 Buddhist monks, protested outside a mosque in Dambulla, forcing mosque officials to cancel Friday prayers. The protesters were led by three Buddhist monks - Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera, Akmeemana Gunaratana Thera and Pallewela Hemaratana Thera. Having surrounded the mosque, the protesters shouted slogans demanding that the mosque be demolished. Worshippers inside were trapped and fearful that the protesters would destroy the building, reported the BBC . Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera told reporters that the mosque's construction area was within...

Jailed Tamils attacked by Sinhala prisoners in Galle

Tamil inmates at Galle prison were violently attacked by Sinhala prisoners with blades on the 14th April, reported Lanka eNews website . The website, which has been banned by the Sri Lankan government for expressing 'anti-government' sentiments stated that the mainstream Sri Lankan press had not reported on the incident. However, the prisons commissioner has confirmed that such an incident took place when the TNA MP, Ariyanendran, inquired. Ariyanendran has urged that all Tamils jailed at Galle be transferred immediately to Batticaloa prison due to the threat to their safety. Tamil prisoners...

Abducted Tamil student found dead by military zone

The body of 18-year-old Tamil student, Sivalingam Sivakumaran, was found by a Sri Lankan military 'high security zone', 2km from his home in Kerudaavil village in Vadamaraadchi North of Jaffna district, reports Tamilnet. He was last seen alive on Friday. Locals believe that young student was abducted, tortured and killed. He was last seen alive on the 13th April. See here for report by Tamilnet.

TNA call for land and police powers

Addressing the cross-party Indian delegation currently visiting Sri Lanka , TNA MP Selvam Adaikkalanandan reiterated the need for the devolution of land and police powers. Speaking to the BBC after the event, Adaikkalanandan said , “Power devolution without power is of no use. We need police and land powers for the provincial councils like the states in India,” Highlighting the heavily militarisation in the North-East, Adaikkalanandan added, “Land grabbing continues in the north and east, while Buddhist temples are being built in traditional Tamil areas,”

Tamil homes torched and looted by Sinhala mob in Galle

Photograph Colombo Telegraph A mob of Sinhala youths assaulted two Tamil youths and set fire to seven Tamil homes in the village of Dilithura in Elpitiya, Galle, on Sunday. According to reports the incident took place after an off-duty Sri Lankan army soldier became irate at a Tamil youth who refused to call him 'sir'. As another Tamil youth attempted to mediate the altercation, upto 30 Sinhala youths gathered at the location assaulted the two Tamil youths. After the Tamil families affected reported the incident to the Embilipitiya police force, the police team arrived and arrest two Tamil...

India should support Tamil Eelam referendum – Karunanidhi

The Leader of the DMK, M Karunanidhi, has welcomed the idea of a referendum on an independent Tamil Eelam. Writing in his party journal Murasoli, Karunanidhi said India should give the "required support and pressure" to effect an intervention by the UN. “The demand for a referendum among Tamils for a separate Ealam is welcome. Some countries have earned recognition following such referendum at the intervention of the United Nations (UN),” he said.

Eelam Tamil elected President of Ontario NDP

An Eelam Tamil activist has been elected President of the Ontario NDP, the provincial branch of Canada’s main opposition National Democratic Party. Neetan Shan, who is also vice-chair of the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), won against two other candidates. "As the President of the Ontario New Democratic Party, I will continue to advocate for the rights of all marginalized communities in Ontario and maintain my focus on helping children, youth and families,” Neethan Shan told TamilNet. "I cannot forget that my roots are intricately woven with the collective history of the...

Visiting Indian delegation urges devolution of powers

Photograph Daily Mirror A cross party delegation of Indian officials urged the Sri Lankan government to devolve powers to the Tamils, during talks held with Basil Rajapaksa, members of the TNA and the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress. The Indian delegation, headed by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, included members from Congress, BJP, JD(U), SP and BJD. Two political parties from Tamil Nadu, AIADMK and DMK , withdrew their support for the visit, calling it futile. See here for report by The Hindu and The Hindustan Times . Speaking to PTI, Congress MP, Manicka Tagore, said, "The delegation...

Abbas hails Rajapaksa's success, Palestinian ties to Colombo

President Abbas (c) with President Rajapaksa. Photo Sunday Times Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas visiting Sri Lanka Monday hailed President Mahinda Rajapaksa for “achieving peace and stability in the country,” state media reported. Abbas is on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka. It comes exactly fifteen years after former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visited Sri Lanka – with an offer to mediate in the island’s conflict. Abbas was accompanied by foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki. Al-Maliki told reporters that the two countries had seen issues “from the same eye” for a considerable...

SL to cut Iranian oil import as US deadline looms

Sri Lanka is intending to drastically cut back crude oil imports from Iran, as the June 28 deadline for sanctions imposed by the United States is drawing closer. "Our efforts to finalize new arrangements ahead of the deadline were on track," Petroleum Minister, Susil Premjayantha said to The Island yesterday. "In fact, we have no option, but to act swiftly and decisively to ensure an uninterrupted energy supply," Mr Premjayantha said the government will have to reach agreements with new suppliers to obtain the crude oil imports, which were previously purchased from Iran. Questioned about the...

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