Aus MP Julie Bishop responds to TNA MP Sritharan

At the beginning of last month, TNA MP S. Sritharan, accused Australian MP Julie Bishop (Shadow Miniser for Foreign Affairs and Trade) of not caring about Tamil grievances, in an interview with an Australian Tamil radio show on Melbourne Radio 3Cr. See here for his comments in full. Responding on Twitter to the story by Tamil Guardian, Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) tweeted , "that report does not reflect what occurred - it is refuted". Asked by Tamil Guardian for her version of events, Bishop sent us the following written response which has been reproduced in full below. (Highlights in bold...

China refuses SL loan

China has refused a loan request by Sri Lanka for $500 million, saying that it would only approve “project loans”, reported the DailyMirror . Sri Lanka had sought the loan in order to buy petrol products. An official with the Finance Ministry said that China was only prepared to grant project loans for which interest rates were relatively high. China is now Sri Lanka’s biggest lender, with a total of US$3.1 billion obtained in loans and export credit to Sri Lanka in 18 months, at interest rates varying from 2.9% to 8.25%.

Tamil Nadu MP arrested after attempting to lay seige to SL HC

The MDMK leader Vaiko was arrested by Chennai Police after attempting to lay seige to the Sri Lankan High Commission on Monday, reported NDTV. He was demanding that New Delhi vote in favour of a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council later this month, and call for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes.

Pillay unsatisfied by progress on accountability and reconciliation

Speaking at the current United Nations Human Rights Council sessions, the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed concerns about the absence of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. An excerpt of Pillay's statement read : "I remain concerned about the lack of meaningful progress on accountability and reconciliation. Although I support the National Plan of Action for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations I do notice that this is being done selectively. So I welcome the engagement by the Human Rights Council to monitor domestic processes especially...

Fisherman dies after self-immolation in protest

A Tamil Nadu fisherman who self-immolated himself in protest at the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka has died. Mani, originally from Cuddalore, poured petrol on himself and set himself ablaze outside the District Collector's office. Speaking to reporters, Mani drew attention to the resolution being brought on Sri Lank at the UN Human Rights Council and said : "In Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa has killed Tamils. Tamils should win at the United Nations. Eelam should happen. It's martyrdom for me". According to officials, he had previously been raising awareness about government taking tsunami...

Tamil scholar from France awarded

Photograph New Indian Express Professor Francois Gros, an eighty-year-old Tamil scholar from France was awarded the Indian President's Kural Peedam award for the year 2008-2009 in recognition of his services to Classical Tamil studies. At an event in the French institute at Puducherry on Friday, Professor Gros was presented with the award by Gnanamoorthy, the director-in-charge of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai. Prof Gros who was a researcher at the French Institute of Pondicherry was presented the award in absentia on 21st December 2012 by President Pranab Mukherjee in...

Sri Lanka motion rejected in German parliament

A motion on Sri Lanka, put forward by the SPD opposition parliamentary group, was rejected in parliament on Thursday, according to the Sri Lankan embassy in Berlin. The motion called for more pressure by Germany on Sri Lanka, and encouraged it to play an active role in the current UN Human Rights Council session. Jurgen Klimke from the ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU) argued that the German government was already working with the international community and Sri Lanka, and there being no need for the motion as the issues were already being addressed. Pascal Kober of the Free Democratic...

SL Navy arrests 16 Indian fishermen

Sixteen Indian fishermen have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy reports the DailyMirror.lk. The fishermen were arrested along with their three trawlers off the coast of Kalpitiya on Sunday morning, said the Navy spokesperson, Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya. Speaking to The Hindu on Saturday, the Sri Lankan president commented on Sri Lanka's relationship with India, with particular reference to the arrest of fishermen, stating: “There are many incidents to show that the relationship is good. We don’t hold… Indian fishermen who routinely fish in our waters…Thousands of fishermen are...

US expresses 'real deep concern' on Sri Lanka

The United States has expressed "really deep concerns" over human rights in Sri Lanka and noted that the government has not taken any steps to initiate an investigation into allegations of war crimes. Speaking at the US State Department's Daily Press Briefing, Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell noted the "strong concern" over violations of international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka. The question has been reproduced below. QUESTION : Just a quick one on human rights. The UN Human Rights Report and also Human Rights Watch, they are accusing Sri Lanka as far as not taking steps against...

Peiris visits Israel and Palestine

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister GL Peiris has had a busy schedule over the last week, visiting both Palestinian and Israeli Presidents in visits to Ramallah and Jerusalem. On meeting Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas in Ramallah, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence reported , “ President Abbas, recalling with his visits to Sri Lanka in 2008 and 2012, said that he was grateful to President Mahinda Rajapaksa who, as President of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement in Sri Lanka for over 35 years, identified very closely with the aspirations of the Palestinian people. He said that the Palestinian...

Pages