Drop 'obsession with 13A' - Tamil MPs and activists tell India

Tamil politicians and activists in the North-East told the visiting Indian delegation to drop with "obsession" with the 13th Amendment. K. Guruparan, lecturer of Law, at the Jaffna University, was quoted by The Hindu as saying: “ We told them that the 13th Amendment in itself had several contradictions and explained how, constitutionally, it would be difficult to implement anything beyond the 13th Amendment .” Along with Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), Guruparan stressed the that the 13th Amendment was 'not an adequate starting point in addressing the...

SL rejects US tariff talk request

A request by the US embassy in Colombo to discuss electricity tariffs has been rejected by the Sri Lankan government. Ms. Allison V. Areias-Vogel, the Economic and Commercial Affairs Chief of the embassy, is reported to have written to the chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board W B Ganegala to discuss issues regarding the refusal of the Petroleum Corporation to continue to issue fuel to the CEB on a deferred payment basis. Ganegala is reported to have felt that this was interference in the internal matters of the government and sought instructions from his seniors. The government had...

State-owned airline suspends flights to Tamil Nadu

Sri Lankan government-owned airline Mihin Lanka has decided to stop all its operations in Tamil Nadu, cancelling all flights from Colombo to Tiruchi. The decision comes as state-run airlines Mihin Lanka and SriLankan Airlines posted widening year-on-year losses , earlier this month. SriLankan airlines, which have received US$100 million of tax payer capital injections to stay afloat over the last 2 years, posted losses of 20.5 billion rupees in 2012. Mihin Lanka meanwhile lost 1.0 billion rupees in 2012, compared to 455.3 million rupees in 2011. S K Mittal, executive director of Trans Lanka Air Travels, the Chennai-based general sales agency (GSA) for the airline, stated the decision was made after a steep fall passengers flying to and from Colombo. Mittal stated , "We have taken a decision to ground the four flights to Colombo because of lack of patronage on this sector".

UN says 19 refugees will not be deported to Sri Lanka

19 refugees stranded in Dubai will not be deported back to Sri Lanka stated an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, amid fears that they face torture on their return. The Times of India reported Babar Baloch, spokesperson for UNHCR in Geneva, as saying, "UNHCR is looking for a solution to resettle the 19 refugees in other countries. We have full cooperation from the UAE government and there is no threat of the refugees being sent back to Sri Lanka ". "We have been working sincerely to settle them in other countries. Fifteen of the 39 recognized refugees left UAE and 12 are in the process of departing. Resettlement for others may take time. The UAE government has been supporting UNHCR in sheltering the refugees." Several groups including Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Journalists for Democracy have expressed concern over their return and urged for the group not to be deported (See here and here ). One of the refugees is a former presenter for the National Television of Tamileelam (NTT), Rathimohan Lokini. Ramanan, another of the group stated, "She (Lokini) is depressed. She knows what happened to Isaipriya , another TV presenter with the LTTE channel, who was brutally killed by the Sri Lankan Army".

Lokini speaks out about fear of being deported - Independent

Tamil journalist Rathimohan Lokini, currently stranded in Dubai, told the Independent that she is 'terrified' of being sent back to Sri Lanka, saying: “I am in a situation where I could be sent back and killed. My colleagues who worked with me have been persecuted and one person, Isaipriya, was raped and killed during the war.” Shan Sutha of BTF said of the refugee situation: “If the United Arab Emirates authorities return the 19 Tamil refugees held in detention in Dubai, they are not only failing to protect these refugees from torture and other inhumane treatment, but also showing utter...

State complicit in attacks against TNA - Sampanthan

TNA leader Sampanthan made a special statement in Parliament about attacks targeting TNA members and meetings, and the complicity of the Sri Lankan security forces in violence in the North. Sampanthan asked the Speaker to observe that: "the common feature of all these attacks is that they have been carried out by or with the connivance of the security forces and the police and even though the assailants were identifiable, no arrests have been made. These are also carried out under the watchful eyes of the police. This is clearly indicative of the complicity of the authorities."

Army report is a 'joke' - TNA MP

The Sri Lankan army's report absolving themselves of any crime is a "joke" said the TNA MP Suresh Premachandran on Wednesday. Premachandran went onto to dismiss the government's claims that India was responsible for the protracted war as "absurd". "It's absurd to blame India. All the mistakes are those made by the successive governments in Sri Lankam," said Premachandran.

Tamils in Mullaitheevu protest against land grab

Photograph Uthayan Residents protested in Mullaitheevu on Tuesday against land grab and Sinhala colonisation by the Sri Lankan state.

Sri Lankan artists hold pooja against Indian protests

In an apparent response to protests by the Tamil Nadu film industry against the genocide of Eelam Tamils, dozens of Sri Lankan held a 'Adhisthana Pooja' in Colombo on Thursday. The Buddhist pooja was held in response to the Tamil Nadu artists protesting, reported the Daily Mirror . Held outside 'Independence Square' in Colombo, hundreds gathered to hold the pooja, with Sri Lankan flags flying. An 'Adhisthana Pooja' was also held in March of this year with the participation of Defence Secreary Gotabaya Rajapaksa against a resolution that was passed at the United Nations Human Rights Council...

SL blames India for duration of armed conflict

Sri Lanka blamed India today for the 30 years of armed conflict, reports NDTV. The Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told local media that India 'could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism in Sri Lanka', and asserted that the international community should begin any investigation into the conflict with the role India played and its intervention. Drawing attention to a recent op-ed by India's former permanent representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that Puri should 'realize that India's intervention in Sri Lanka had...