'Australia's practice of returning Sri Lankans is reckless'

Writing in the Guardian's 'Comment is free' section, Emily Howie - a lawyer with the Human Rights Law Centre and a leebron fellow at Columbia university - said the new 'enhanced screening' is jeopardising Sri Lankan asylum claims, and described Australia's deportation of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka as "reckless". See here for full opinion. Extract published below: "Australia's practice of returning Sri Lankans is reckless. Not only does the country turn a blind eye to the harm that the they may face on return, it does so on the basis of a diminished understanding of individuals' claims for asylum and without adequate monitoring back in Sri Lanka."

BREAKING NEWS: Sri Lankan cricket fans assault #BoycottLKA activists

Sri Lankan cricket fans throw rocks and bottles at 'Boycott Sri Lankan Cricket' activists handing out leaflets outside the Oval, London. BST: 21:24

Displaced Tamil housing needs ignored - TNA

TNA's Batticaloa MPs have complained that hundreds of Sinhalese families, unaffected by the war, will benefit from the Indian housing project in the East while displaced Tamils are ignored. Speaking to the Indian Express, Ariyenthiran MP said that the TNA were not against housing being allocated to Sinhalese or Muslims but that they opposed the inclusion of families that were not displaced. Ariyenthiran was joined by Yogesvaran and Selvarasa in raising concerns about the neglect of the housing needs of thousands of displaced Tamils, accusing India of indirectly encouraging Sinhala...

'Reconciliation'

President Mahinda Rajapaksa takes photographs with Tamil schoolchildren in Kilinochchi. The ' people's president ' according to Ambassador Bandula Jayasekara, Consul General of Sri Lanka in New South Wales, Australia...

Buddhist monks police Colombo

A Buddhist organisation, the Ravana Balaya, manhandled a group of evangelical Christians who were distributing religious magazines outside Colombo, reports Colombo Page . Buddhist monks mobbed the Christian campaigners and handed them over to the police. After facing further intimidation from the monks at the police station, the campaigners were eventually released.

Sri Lanka calls for crackdown on diaspora activities

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha, has urged that more action be taken against “terrorist” activities in the diaspora, carried out under guises, such as religious, sport and youth organisations. Aryasinhe was addressing the International Counter-Terrorism Focal Points Conference on 'Addressing Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism and Promoting Regional Cooperation' and said that front organisations increase the legitimacy of certain causes, where the “parent group” may already be discredited. “Since the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka in May 2009, besides the radicalised activism of LTTE front organisations in several European capitals, and the arrest of 32 LTTE activists in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland and the conviction of a further 28 in France, the Netherlands and Belgium, its known activists continue to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders, who are primarily domiciled in Europe” Aryasinhe said.

BTF rejects 'any political solution based on 13A'

In a statement released on Sunday, the British Tamils Forum said that Tamils rejected "any political solution based on the 13th Amendment" and had "consistently rejected by the Tamil people and political leadership at several democratic stages, in the past and at present, ever since this bilateral agreement was signed between India and Sri Lanka." See here for full statement.

Facing the inconsequential

President Rajapaksa’s begrudging announcement of a Northern Provincial Council election in September has sparked an utterly predictable melee of impassioned responses to the 13th Amendment. The government is presenting an urgent bill to parliament, a minister is demanding a referendum to guarantee abolition, the TNA is aghast, a party of Buddhist monks is on the warpath, and an alarmed New Delhi is summoning the TNA for talks. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s main opposition, the UNP, is attempting to position itself as defender of ‘minority’ rights. This circus is a farce. Neither the 13th Amendment, nor the provincial council election, is of any consequence to the Tamil question. The 13th Amendment cannot address the immediate needs of the Tamil people in the North-East, or the political aspirations of the nation. Its presence, absence and anything in between is of absolute insignificance and irrelevance. That Tamils are compelled to reiterate this 26 years on, is testament to the dismaying lack of progress on resolving the conflict.

Pieris lobbies against diaspora and UN resolutions

The Sri Lankan delegation to Europe has urged the German government to be aware of several Liberation Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) front organisations, that were operating under the disguise of community initiatives and organisations. Speaking to the Minister of Foreign affairs, Dr Guido Westerwelle, Siri Lankas External Affairs Minister, G.L Peiris, proposed that a substantial number of schools operating in Germany were for terrorist propaganda and fund raising purposes. Attending a meeting of the German Association for Foreign Policy (GDAP), Peiris stressed the need for an objective...

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