IPL confirms no Sri Lanka players in Chennai

The Chairman of the Indian Premier League has confirmed that no Sri Lankan players will be taking part in cricket matches to be held in Chennai as part of the tournament, earlier today. The decision comes after a letter from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to the Indian Prime Minster, barring all Sri Lankan players from playing in Chennai, in protest over Sri Lanka's "genocide against a defenceless civilian Tamil population". IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla said in statement, “Today, the Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has written to the Prime Minister of India stating that she will not permit the participation of Sri Lankan players or umpires in matches in Chennai during Pepsi IPL 2013.″ “The IPL Governing Council met this afternoon to discuss the issue. The security of all involved in the IPL, whether players, spectators or those working in the stadiums, is of paramount importance to the BCCI. The Governing Council decided that Sri Lankan players will not participate in the Pepsi IPL 2013 League matches in Chennai and will advise the nine franchises accordingly.”

Tamil Nadu calls on Delhi to end 1974 agreement with Sri Lanka

Voicing concern over increased attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy, the Tamil Nadu government today asked the Centre to initiate diplomatic steps to check it and urged for withdrawal of the 1974 agreement ceding Katchatheevu islet to Colombo, PTI reports. Chief minister J Jayalalithaa said her government will seek legal course if the central government failed to accede to the demand. See PTI’s report here . On Sri Lankan Navy attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen, See our earlier comment, ‘ The cycle of oppression ’ (Sep 2012) See also some of our posts since August: Jaya slams...

BBC suspends Sri Lanka broadcasts after 'interference'

The BBC said on Tuesday it was suspending its World Service FM radio broadcasts in Sri Lanka due to "continued interruption and interference" in its Tamil programming. See AFP’s report here . Both English language and Tamil services broadcast via the state-owned Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) will be stopped with immediate effect, the BBC said. "We regret the disruption in service to our loyal audiences in Sri Lanka, but such targeted interference in our programmes is a serious breach of trust with those audiences, which the BBC cannot allow," World Service director Peter Horrocks...

Shortcomings of the Sri Lankan ‘National’ identity card

A petition requesting that details on ‘National’ Identity cards, issued by the Sri Lankan government, were printed in both Sinhala and Tamil, was filed today at the Supreme Court. The petition asked for both languages to be included on the National Identity cards, as the current Sinhalese only National Identity card, proved to be of no use when travelling in the North-eastern provinces. The deputy solicitor of the court, General Viraj Rajapakse, in response to the petition, said a decision will be made on May 2 2013. See full report here .

SL 'concerned about mixing of politics and sports'

Responding to Tamil Nadu's decision to ban Sri Lankan players from Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in the state, Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to India, Prasad Kariyawasam told CNN-IBN: “We are concerned about mixing of politics and sports. Now that is something very unfortunate. It should not happen in our region. Our concern is with regard to Sri Lankans visiting India including sportspersons and their security. Our cricketers are precious and their security is most important.”

'Rump of LTTE is still causing problems' - Gotabhaya

In a lengthy speech outlining his version of the armed conflict, Sri Lanka's defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, warned that the "propaganda machine" of the LTTE "remains fully operational". Asserting that the "rump of the LTTE" was still causing problems for Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also accused "so called champions of human rights in the international media and in international NGOs" of having been "misled by LTTE propaganda" and "desperately trying to cling to causes to secure funding". See here for full speech. Extract reproduced: "However, despite all of these positive accomplishments and the country’s great potential, we must also realize that Sri Lanka still faces several challenges both domestically as well as from overseas. Despite the military defeat of the LTTE, its propaganda machine remains fully operational in a number of countries around the world. By influencing foreign governments through the large number of expatriate Tamils who comprise an important voting block in many western democracies, the rump of the LTTE is still causing problems for Sri Lanka . There are also many so called champions of human rights in the international media and in international NGOs who continue to attack the country. Some of them have publicly accepted donations from LTTE linked groups; many of them have been misled by LTTE propaganda and others are desperately trying to cling to causes to secure funding . The efforts of the rump of the LTTE and the other parties with vested interests is compounded by the strategic interest that certain state s have in Sri Lanka because of its unique geographical position. Even in international forums such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, we can see that certain powerful countries and their allies are blatantly employing double standards when dealing with Sri Lanka . They have completely ignored our achievements. The LTTE’s terrorism has been eliminated. The senseless killing has stopped. Peace and stability has been achieved.

GTF ‘dismayed’ at further time given to Sri Lanka

The Global Tamil Forum has expressed its disappointment at the resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council. Asked by the Tamil Guardian for the organisation's reaction to the resolution, spokesperson Suren Surendiran said that the organisation expressed appreciation for the countries that supported the passing of the resolution, but it would have liked to have seen a stronger text that included a “political solution for the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people” and underlined the need for an independent international investigation. “GTF is dismayed that the US and others knowing...

British Parliament debates ‘Justice for Tamils’

The British House of Commons held an adjournment debate on the subject of “Justice for Tamils” last week, where the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tamils urged the British government to push for an international investigation into allegations of war crimes. Speaking at the House of Commons last week, MP Lee Scott also called for a strengthening of the proposed UNHRC resolution, “to send a clear message to the Sri Lankan Government”. The resolution was passed the next day with 25 member states voting in favour of the resolution, 13 against and 8 abstaining. In response, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Alistair Burt, said, “All international resolutions of this kind are composites, and are put together in a manner designed to create the greatest possible support for them. That sometimes means a degree of compromise on language. The United Kingdom felt that the most important thing was that the demonstration of a significant number of countries with concern about Sri Lanka was better than having a motion that some might have felt unable to support. We wanted to give a clear indication, as we gave last year, of the importance of these issues to many nations, which is why the resolution is drafted in the terms it is. We think it is still firm and meaningful.” “The text reflects widespread concern that, in simple terms, the Sri Lankan Government, having won a brutal war, are not winning the peace.” Burt faced serious criticism from Diaspora groups after recording a video interview on the beaches of Mullivaikkal, where tens of thousands of Tamils were massacred in the final few days of the armed conflict in 2009. The Minister was also slammed after visiting Vanni earlier this year, accompanied by a heavy Sri Lankan security presence, who recorded Tamil civilians talking to the Minister. Burt responded, "When I was in Sri Lanka, in the northern area, it was noted that I was not alone. I was accompanied not only by UK officials and officials from the high commission, but by a significant military presence, some uniformed and some non-uniformed. It is not uncommon for a Minister visiting someone else’s country to be protected and supported by the military in those areas, and I raise no issue about that. I felt safe, and it was only appropriate for the Government to do that. However, the extent of military involvement was noticed by others, who were keen to pick out the non-uniformed individuals who were there, which raises a significant matter."

India should boycott CHOGM – AIADMK, DMK

The two biggest political parties in Tamil Nadu have called for India to pull out of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka later this year. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha said participation in the event would “embolden” Sri Lanka. “...Any high level participation or engagement from the Indian side in the CHOGM will not only embolden the Sri Lankan regime but also incense public opinion and sentiment in Tamil Nadu on this every sensitive issue even further”, her letter said. “As an emerging great power and an aspirant...

US warns of international war crimes investigation

In an interview with BBC world service, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Blake, urged Sri Lanka to adhere to the recently passed United Nations Human Rights Council resolution. Blake outlined Sri lanka’s responsibility to conduct an “independent and credible” inquiry into war crimes, warning that it may be forced to investigate war crimes should Sri Lanka fail to produce an adequate inquiry. Blake warned that it would become dire necessity to form an ‘International Committee’ to investigate allegations of war crimes if Sri Lanka make...