Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister tells SL to treat Tamils equally

Amidst protests against President’s Mahinda Rajapasa’s visit to Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, said it was expected that Sri Lanka treated Tamils equally to clear doubts in the minds of people in both nations. During a brief interaction with President Rajapaksa, Chouhan acknowledged the strong relations between India and Sri Lanka, and stressed that “It was expected from the island nation to treat Tamils with equality and that the President should highlight the work being undertaken by his government in this regard”, official sources said. Fulfilling the Sri Lankan...

TNA complains about continued discrimination to UN officials

The visiting delegation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was told of continuing discrimination at the hand of Sri Lankan authorities during a meeting with the TNA on Friday. In a statement the TNA said they discussed disappearances, accountability and resettlement issues with Hanny Megally, the head of the Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa branch of the OHCHR. The TNA said it also said it raised concerns about colonisation and changes in the demographics of the northeast. "Amongst the matters discussed were land issues relating to security zones where the...

Tamil protesters in Vanni intimidated by SL military

Photograph posted on Twitter by @rkguruparan Hundreds of Tamil protestors who had gathered outside the district secretariat in Mullaitheevu, demanding resettlement in their village of Keappa-pulavu on Thursday, were faced with intimidation by the Sri Lankan military. Protesting for over one and a half hours the demonstrators demanded for the occupying military to leave their homeland. Shouting, “We want our homeland, let the military quit our homeland”, the demonstrators held banners reading, "Keappa-pulavu is our village, SL army quite today! Let us go back and resettle." As the protest got underway, the civil society activist, Guruparan Kumaravidvel, reported via Twitter , that there was a heavy Sri Lankan Army intelligence presence. Shortly afterwards, he reported that the TNPF's General Secretary's car had been attacked whilst returning from the protest on Ottuchuttan Road, and the vehicle carrying the TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam was also attacked near Theravil on the way back from Mullaitheevu. Photograph posted on Twitter by @rkguruparan

TNA meet UN Human Rights officials

The visiting delegation from the UN Office of the Human Rights Commissioner today met with members of the TNA reports Uthayan . Discussions were held with reference to high security zones in Valikamam and Sampur, where resettlement has been impeded, and Tamils are restricted from accessing their places of worship due to military land-grabs. Concern was expressed about state sponsored settlement of Sinhalese, under the guise of development schemes, which are in fact changing the demographics of the North-East. Concerns were also raised about reaching an acceptable political solution and on...

Buddhist monks protest against human rights team visit

Buddhist monks led 300 protesters from the office of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) or National Heritage Party to demonstrate opposite a local UN office, reports the Associated Press. The demonstrators were protesting against a visit from a delegation of the UN Office of Human Rights, complaining of unfair criticism and allegations of abuse since the end of the war in 2009. The protesters voiced fears that the visit was just taking Sri Lanka a step closer to being subjected to an international war crimes investigation. Placards showed the JHU’s concern for human rights in other nations,...

Sunday Leader editor sacked ‘for criticising Rajapakses’

The editor of The Sunday Leader Frederica Jansz has been sacked after the new owner of the paper said articles in the paper were too critical of the president and his family. The Sunday Leader is one of the few newspapers in Sri Lanka openly critical of the government and has previously been the target of violence, including the assassination of its previous editor, Lasantha Wikramatunge. Jansz said that the new owner, Asanga Seneviratne, who is a friend of the Rajapakses, had asked her to stop carrying articles criticising the president. "He said our articles were too slanderous of the...

‘Dozens’ of Tamil deportees given last-minute reprieve

At least 12 Tamil asylum seekers due to be deported from the UK on Wednesday were taken off a flight heading to Sri Lanka after a senior judge issued a last minute injunction, reported the Independent . The last minute injunction was issued after a judge accepted that Tamil asylum seekers who are deported to Sri Lanka from the UK with allegations against them from the Sri Lankan government of a real or perceived link to the LTTE, face torture. The judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, also accepted that those who have been previously tortured also face torture upon their return to Sri Lanka and should...

Deportees questioned by CID on arrival in Colombo

25 failed asylum seekers who were deported from Britain on Wednesday night, were questioned by Sri Lankan CID upon their arrival in Colombo The BBC reported that the families of those being deported were anxiously waiting at the airport, whilst the failed asylum seekers were being questioned by CID. According to the International Organisation of Migration 25 people were aboard the flight, after a last minute injunction granted some of the original 60 who were set to be deported a reprieve. Britain has been criticised for its decision to deport failed Tamil asylum seekers, with many human...

16 out of 19 army divisions deployed to NE

Sixteen out of 19 army divisions are deployed within the North-East, reports The Hindu. Quoting the retired Colonel R. Hariharan, the newspaper stated the deployment was more suggestive of "operational readiness" than a post-conflict scenario. The army deployment, excludes the STF (Special Task Force) in the Eastern province, and the Airforce and the Navy.

Vijayaraj's final words

Speaking on his death bed, T.P. Vijayaraj, the twenty-six year old Indian Tamil auto driver who self-immolated on Monday in Salem in protest against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s visit to India, urged Tamils to protest against the visit. Vijayraj, who succumbed to his burns on Tuesday at 11:45 am at the Government Medical College Hospital, spoke to journalists before his death: “Rajapake should not come into India. The murderer who killed Eelam Tamils in large number should not come to India. What’s your name? Viyaraj. What organization are you part of? CITU. What time did you do...

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