TNA say no to Sri Lankan attempts to ‘negotiate’

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has said that it has not reached an agreement on resuming political talks with the Sri Lankan government. TNA legislator, Suresh Premachandran told Xinhua that there are still pending issues which must be addressed before any talks can resume with the Sri Lankan government. The TNA have refused to take part in the parliament select committee (PSC) until an agreement was reached about the talks with the government beforehand. Describing the Tamil sentiments towards the PSC, TNA leader Sambanthan, declared , “We have no trust in the PSC. Nothing will come out...

Buddhist leader calls for abolishment of 13th amendment

A senior Buddhist leader has called for the abolishing of the 13th amendment at a specially convened press conference in Colombo on Tuesday, reported the DailyMirror . Elle Gunawansa is the leader of the Patriotic National Movement and was one of several Buddhist leaders, campaigning alongside, then opposition leader, Mahinda Rajapakse, against the peace process around a decade ago.

Mathakal High court petition against Gota, among others

The people of Mathakal, Jaffna have filed a High Court petition against several high profile state officials claiming a breach of fundamental rights, reports Uthayan . Offenders specified in the petition included Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, Military Commander Jagath Jayasuriya, Jaffna Security Forces’ Chief Mahinda Hathurusinghe and the Attorney General. The petition comes as a response to people being prevented from resettling in the area just outside the Palali Army base, as their lands have been blockaded with preventative fencing and states, “When the war came to an end in 2009...

British Tamil tortured in Sri Lanka

A British Eelam Tamil was detained and tortured by the Sri Lankan Criminal Investigation Department (CID) when he visited the island earlier this month. Sivasubramaniam Jeevan, who lives in Scotland, was interrogated about diaspora activities while being beaten, electrocuted and threatened. He told TamilNet that he is undergoing psychiatric treatment due to the trauma he sustained during his detention and that he was only released after bribing Sri Lankan officials. See here for full report on TamilNet.

SL President - 'NGOs destroying our country'

Speaking at an event to mark 'International Coconut Day', Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has slammed non-governmental organisations as destroying the dignity and cultural values of the country, liking them to coconut 'mitas'. The event was organised by the Coconut Development Ministry and Temple Trees in Colombo. Rajapaksa said, "The coconut industry is being developed according to a local made strategic plan instead of foreign plans. We Sri Lankas need not have foreign plans." Commenting that 'mitas' have been destroying coconut plantations, Rajapaksa added, "There are Mitas lurking in other fields trying to destroy the country. Certain Mitas of Nun Government Organisations are among them. Those Mitas are destroying cultural values of the country." "The country has been placed on a fast development track after being liberated from terrorism which stifled the country's progress for nearly three decades. These Mitas come in various forms and are carrying out hidden agendas to destroy this peaceful atmosphere.' "They are engaging in destroying the dignity of the country. But the people are vigilant about the behaviour of these forces," Recalling folklore of Prince Vinaya, Rajapaksa also added, ''As a result of certain narrow minded political decisions by past governments and private sector activities, coconut cultivation in Sri Lanka had seen a gradual decline."

Media Minister vows he won’t let TNA deceive the world

The Sri Lankan Minister of Media and Information declared on Monday that Sri Lanka will no longer allow room for the TNA to deceive the international community, reported Uthayan. Responding to TNA’s reluctance to participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Tamil issues, Rambukwella emphasised that Parliament was the land’s highest institution and that the select committee would be the best place to find a solution for the ‘national issue’. Rambukwella also stressed the friendship between India and Sri Lanka and hoped that India would persuade the visiting TNA...

Indian parties united on Tamil issue - Swaraj

Indian opposition leader Sushma Swaraj has told the TNA that all Indian parties are united in their desire to find a just and dignified political solution for Eelam Tamils. During the meeting with the visiting TNA delegation, Ms Swaraj stated: "The Indian government has many inland problems, over which different parties hold different stances. However we are all of a united stance regarding the issue of Ilankai Tamils." “All Indian parties are clear about the need for a just and legal solution for the Tamils of Ilankai. We have spoken to the Indian central government about this.” “We are...

Saiva families coercibly converted to Islam

Civil societies sources in Amparai state that disadvantaged Tamil Saiva families are being converted to Islam by mosque leaders through financial enticement, reported TamilNet. Approximately seventy five Saiva families living in Nainaakdu have been converted to Islam and a mosque has been erected recently for the convertees’ use. Tamil girls working in textile shops owned by Muslims in Kalmunai-Akkaraippaththu have also been facing sexual harassment and used for prostitution. These allegations have been reported to local police, who are however to be believed to be part of the prostitution...

GL Peiris boosts cooperation with Kuwait

The Sri Lankan foreign minister, GL Peiris arrived in Kuwait this weekend to take part in the ACD foreign ministry meeting - Asia Cooperation Dialogue. The meeting will include ministers from 32 ACD countries.

GTF - diaspora united in fundamentals and determined

Speaking to The Island this weekend, the GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran commented on the recent statement by the TNA on their visit to New Delhi, and stressed the diaspora's determination to continue. "India’s interest in Tamil affairs in Sri Lanka is vital in achieving a just political solution for the Tamil National Question, equality, dignity and justice for Tamils. India is not just a regional power, it is growing to be an international power. Having a regional alliance with the Tamil Nation is not just important for Indian security but also significant to establish a stable region." "For the current Indian Government, the politics in Tamil Nadu is key to sustain the existing coalition and in the elections that are due in less than two years. In those circumstances, it is vitally important the elected representatives of the Tamil people, the TNA, to engage India at the most senior levels of the establishment. We are encouraged by the Indian Prime Minister’s remarks that `India would never backtrack from its position that Tamils in Sri Lanka should lead a life of dignity and self respect in a peaceful environment’ as reported in the local Indian media." "The diaspora is united in its fundamentals. Therefore be it at the UNHRC or any other international forums we, collectively will continue to demand for an international independent investigation to establish the truth on what happened at the last leg of the war that ended in May 2009. The fact that human rights conditions for Tamils, particularly for young women and generally for the youth has deteriorated since the end of the war will be exposed with credible evidence at every international opportunity presented to us."