Website editor’s premises stormed by intruders

The premises of an online journalist were ransacked in broad daylight today, reported the Sri Lanka Mirror. The board room of the editor of yukthiya.com, Krishantha Rajapakse, was stormed by three persons claiming to be the police. The journalist was forced to answer questions by the intruders, who brandished a letter that had the police logo and the words Anti-Terrorism Act clearly written on the heading. Whilst vandalising the journalist’s room, the intruders asked if the journalist had any connections with the Northern Province, Tamil Nadu or Meena Kandasamy. The intruders forced...

Sri Lanka “firm” on continuing training military in India - Basil

The Minister for Economic Development, Basil Rajapakse, has reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment to continue training its personnel in India. Talking to Indian reporters, the president’s brother conceded that recent protests against Sri Lankans had “hurt” their feelings, reported the DailyMirror . When questioned whether Sri Lanka was reconsidering the training programmes in India and maybe move to other countries like China or Pakistan, he dismissed the thought. "No. We have never (thought about it) because in our long history since the days when we moved from British shoulders all training (to...

Resettlement and rehabilitation 'most important' says Manmohan Singh

The resettlement and rehabilitation of Tamils in the North-East "have been of the highest and most important priority " for the Indian government, said Manmohan Singh in a reply to a letter by DMK leader Karunanidhi. Singh added, "We have also conveyed to the Government of Sri Lanka the need for taking forward dialogue with the political representatives of the Sri Lankan Tamils on devolution of power . In this context, we remain engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka for the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-...

Ban Ki-Moon pushes for political solution

During a meeting with External Affairs Minister GL Peiris, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed that a political solution must be found “without further delay” . Talking to Peiris on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the Secretary General “noted the Government’s latest efforts to implement the recommendations of its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) as well as the steady progress and remaining tasks on resettlement efforts in the North,” according to a UN statement. See here for Sri Lanka’s “steady progress” on resettlement. Peiris meanwhile criticised the UN...

Peiris' politicking at the UN

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister, GL Peiris explained what Sri Lanka had been doing over the past three years... See here for full address, extract produced below. Emphasis TG's. "Three years ago, our Government ended the terrorist challenge largely through its own efforts . Sri Lanka is firmly committed to redressing the grievances of all parties affected by the internal conflict. Sri Lanka exemplifies the challenges faced by a society emerging from the shadow of a sustained conflict which spanned three decades, and entering upon an era of peace and stability . The gradual diminution of these challenges and the brevity of the period which has elapsed since the end of the conflict, leave no room for doubt as to the degree of success achieved by the Government of Sri Lanka in respect of a wide range of issues relating to development and reconciliation . It is only about three years since the conflict ended. Prioritisation was a central feature of the government's plan of action. The progress on the ground during the last three years with regard to the resettlement of internally displaced persons, ( all internally displaced persons have been resettled ), the re-integration into society of thousands of ex-combatants after exposure to programmes of livelihood skills training which equipped them to earn their living with dignity and independence, the rapid completion of the demining process , and the unprecedented focus on infrastructure development leading to very visible invigoration of the economy of the Island as a whole, and the Northern Province in particular, is quite apparent. The experience of Sri Lanka demonstrates that, given the quality of dynamic leadership and unwavering commitment which His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa provided, an effective political and military strategy and strong rapport with all sections of the public , it is possible to prevail against the most ruthless forces of terror. No one has greater commitment to reconciliation in an all-inclusive spirit than the government .

Sri Lanka looks to further regulate ICT technology to prevent ‘abuse’

Speaking at the 12th Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa called for strategists and regulators in telecommunications and ICT to “think of ways to prevent this great technology being used to sow hatred.” Conveying the importance of upholding ‘tolerance and humanity’ in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa opened his address stating, “ICT must not be a tool of societies that pay homage to material values and pay no tolerance and humanity”. The manner in which tolerance and humanity is upheld in Sri Lanka was...

Military to cultivate land in Northern province

Upto 1000 acres of land in Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Mannar districts has been earmarked for a 're-cultivation' programme 'with the help of the security personnel in 30 army camps' reports Colombo Page. The programme has been launched by Sri Lanka's Green Lands Development Central Authority also known as Hadabima Authority. The Ministry of Agriculture has granted Rs. 15 million towards this project. Land has also been allocated in Anuradhapura district.

Indian housing project stutters into its 'second phase'

India's envisioned housing project of 50,000 houses for Tamils in the North-East, will be entering it's second phase on Tuesday, reports the Indian news site, Daily News & Analysis. The plan, first announced in June 2010, has only seen 1000 houses built and handed over to Tamils in July of this year. Two years later. According to the news site, there are 43,000 houses planned within the second phase, with 1500 houses envisioned in the next wave of development. The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Ashoka K Kantha, said: "It is a very ambitious project. Based on recommendation from...

Northern unemployment more than 7 times national average

Despite the end of the war three years ago and alleged ‘peace’ and ‘major infrastructure’ work in the North-East, unemployment is still rife in the former conflict zone reports IRIN. Accord to the report, experts estimate unemployment in the North to be at around 30%, whereas the national rate is 4%. The principal researcher at Point Pedro Institute of Development, Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, blames the absence of private sector in the region saying, “[The] bulk of the development activities are large-scale public investments in infrastructure… employing skilled and semi-skilled labour from...

Gotabaya opens Buddhist Vihara in Kilinochchi - MoD

Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has opened a Buddhist Vihara at a ceremony conducted earlier this week in the Northern city of Kilinochchi, the former administrative capital the LTTE. Rajapaksa went on to praise the Sri Lankan armed forces for their support in constructing the Buddhist Vihara. According to the Ministry of Defence , “Secretary Defence thanked the Maha Sanga for safeguarding Buddhism and Buddhists and the immense support given by the Maha Sangha to the tri forces personnel and government leaders.” The Defence Secretary was also quoted as saying, "These types of religious activities show the rise of the Buddhist people". Whilst also in Kilinochchi, Rajapaksa declared open a renovated Hindu Kovil, greeted by schoolchildren singing the national anthem, decreed to be sung only in Sinhalese almost 2 years ago. Rajapaksa at Hindu kovil in Kilinochchi, raising the Sri Lankan flag at the entrance . Rajapaksa also unveiled a plaque at the entrance of the kovil, above which flies the Sri Lankan flag. It is written entirely in English. The plaque at the vihara however, was written in Sinhala only. See both plaques below.

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