Sri Lanka provides aid to Pakistan flood victims

Sri Lanka is to provide flood relief goods such as tea, biscuits, sleeping bags, bed sheets, exercise books and medicines to those affected by the floods in Sindh province of Pakistan. According to the Sri Lankan government's official news portal, Mahinda Rajapaksa personally instructed G.L. Peiris, the Minister of External Affairs, to arrange for the donation. Last week, officials from Pakistan's army, toured Sri Lanka and pledged to provide military and demining training. See Sri Lanka seeks Indian and Pakistani army advice on demining (Oct 2011) See While the North starves (Oct 2011) A...

An open letter to ‘Shooty’

"Dear 'Shooty', I've just watched our Prime Minister talking about shared Commonwealth values in Perth. My mind turned at once to you and your solitary, late-night death in Villawood detention centre last week.” “At CHOGM, the high table of Commonwealth values, Sri Lanka went un-punished for atrocities against Tamils. But even when the Tamil human-shield civilians were being blasted at the end of the Sri Lankan war between the government and the Tigers, we all knew some people like you would inevitably come to Australia . Good old John Dowd, who is head of our local chapter of the...

Lost opportunities at the Commonwealth

"The second major issue for the meeting concerned the civil war in Sri Lanka and whether both the government and the Tamils had committed war crimes in the conflict's final years. The question, however, was virtually ignored ." "Indeed, there is now sufficient evidence to justify a full international inquiry into the actions of both sides, potentially leading to indictments before the International Criminal Court ." " This failure to debate what happened in Sri Lanka may have consequences for the Commonwealth down the line. Indeed, several weeks ago, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper...

Sunday Leader editor threatened by ‘Sinha Regiment’

Reporters Without Borders have expressed concern after Frederica Jansz, the editor of The Sunday Leader received death threats from the “Sinha Regiment”. The handwritten letter in Sinhalese, was sent to the editor warning her over her involvement in the “White Flag” case, in which she is a key witness. In the case, Gen Fonseka is being tried over alleged “false statements” he gave in an interview to the Sunday Leader, where he claimed Defence Secretary Gothbaya Rajapakse gave the order to murder surrendering members of the LTTE. Sent to her home, the letter warns of extreme violence and...

Sri Lanka seeks Indian and Pakistani army advice on demining

Indian army officials visited the Sri Lankan army's Security Forces Headquarters in the Vanni region on Wedesday, during a six day tour of the country. The delegation, leg by Air Commodore P R Navalkar of the Indian Air Force, also called on Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, Sri Lankan Army Commander. Bilateral discussions included military training. India's visit, comes the week after officials from the Pakistan Army visited the country. The Pakistani delegation, consisting of veteran de-mining experts and led by Colonel Zaafir Nisar, reportedly shared their demining expertise with the Sri Lankan...

No place for politics in crimes against humanity

“Last week Attorney-General Robert McClelland halted the possibility of the arrest and charging of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and in my view undermined similar ''citizens arrests'' of individuals against whom it could be said there is a prima facie case of crimes against humanity.” "McClelland took less than 24 hours to refuse to allow charges to be filed against Rajapaksa despite the fact that the person laying the charges was Jegan Waran, a 63-year-old man who claimed to have direct evidence of war crimes being committed against the Tamil people during the country's recent civil...

Tamil on death row dreams of Eelam

One of the suspects on death row in Tamil Nadu for his alleged role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi still dreams of an independent country for Eelam Tamils. 39 year old Perarivalan, also known as Arivu, was convicted for assisting the alleged killers of Rajiv Gandhi by providing them with batteries in 1991. He has been on death row for the past 20 years, but a huge campaign has been ongoing in Tamil Nadu to stop the death sentence in his case and the case of the other two individuals on death row for the killing. Responding to a question by a reporter from The Hindu newspaper about the...

When Dutugemunu met the Queen...

Sri Lanka blocked access to the anti-government website Lanka-e-news this week, drawing criticism from the US . Perhaps this is the story that prompted the move: 'doctored photographs' .

Peiris belittles TNA's mandate

Sri Lankan foreign minister, GL Peiris, attempted to denigrate the TNA (Tamil National Alliance) as the a TNA delegation met US state department officials in Washington , as well as the UN Secretary General in New York. Asserting that the TNA was not the sole representative of the Tamils in the North-East, Peiris lamented Sri Lanka's inability to dictate to the UN whom they should meet. “There are many political parties, some of who are in [the Sri Lankan] parliament, that represent the Tamils. So it would be a fundamental fallacy to look upon the point of view of the TNA as the one which...

Thanthai Chelva statue in Trinco beheaded

Reports have emerged that a statue of S. J. V. Chelvanayagam, affectionately known by Eelam Tamils as “Thanthai Chelva”, has been vandalised in Trincomalee. The statue of the Tamil leader, which is garlanded annually in his remembrance, was found beheaded after vandals had cut through the wire fencing guarding it. It is not yet known who the perpetrators are. The original statue before it was vandalised. See a video of the damage below. Last year, TamilNet reported that a gang of Sinhalese who stormed into Jaffna Public Library also vandalised a statue of Chelvanayagam in Jaffna. Memorials of...

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