Italian Tamil organisations call for referendum on Tamil Eelam

The Italian Tamil youth organisation, Giovani Tamil and the Italian Council of Eelam Tamils held a conference entitled "Tamil, the identity denied", with human rights organisation, academics and politicians in attendance, at the historic town hall of Palermo. A resolution, calling for a “plebiscite among the people of North and East descent in the island of Sri Lanka, in the diaspora and among the refugees in India and elsewhere, to decide on the creation of an independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam”, was passed by the organisations. Several academics form the University of Palermo spoke at the event.

Asylum seekers continue to attempt to flee as Navy arrests over 100

In yet another case this month, more than 100 people who attempted to flee Sri Lanka were arrested by the Navy, as asylum seekers remain undeterred in their efforts to escape from the island. The Sri Lankan Navy confirmed the arrest of 103 people on Monday, intercepting 2 fishing trawlers just off Negombo and a further trawler off Trincomalee. All those arrested were male and included residents from Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Trincomalee. The latest incident brings the total number of those arrested as they attempt to flee the country to 633 in this month alone, according to reports . See...

Sri Lanka has largest Olympic delegation - UNP

The main opposition UNP has criticised the number of Sri Lankan delegates who are attending the Olympic Games in London. According to The Island, the UNP said that, Sri Lanka has the highest number of Olympic officials compared to the number of athletes. Only seven athletes were representing the country, but thirty officials had accompanied them, UNP Media Spokesman Gayantha Karunathillaka MP, told a news conference in Colombo. He accused the officials of following the example set by President Rajapakse and his MPs, who frequently travel on tax payers money. Read more here .

Tamil diaspora organisations call for referendum on Tamil Eelam

A total of 11 Tamil diaspora organisations from different countries have vowed to continue to uphold the right for Tamil sovereignty, whilst calling for a referendum on Tamil Eelam among Eelam Tamils, monitored by international observers, TamilNet reported on Tuesday. The organisations committed to form working teams that would deal with specific human rights issues, which include the release go Tamil prisoners of war, political advocacy, land grabs, sinhalisation and militarisation in the Tamil homeland and the social, political and economic empowerment of Eelam Tamils in their homeland. In...

Over 50% implemented says Rajapaksa

After bemoaning the lack of time and space earlier this year in Geneva, the government of Sri Lanka has been working overtime it seems. During Mahinda Rajapaksa's monthly sermon with the island's newspaper editors, the president proclaimed that over 50% of the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) had been implemented. This has nothing to do with the resolution adopted by the UNHRC earlier this year he insisted. Preempting the inevitable queries regarding what exactly the Sri Lankan government means by 'implementation' given the on-going...

Inflation at 42-month high in July

The annual inflation rate could be upto to a 42-month high in July according to a Reuters poll 13 analysts. It is expected to have risen to at least 9.4 % in July, the highest point since January 2009. The IMF has predicted an increase to 9.5% this year. Since November last year, the rupee has depreciated approximately 16%.

Indian company to build oil refinery in SL

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to set up an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, with an investment worth $3.6 billion. A senior official told the Business Standard that the government will supply the company with the land. “We have done the analysis and have first-hand information on the kind of refinery we plan to set up in Sri Lanka. We are in discussions with the Sri Lankan government for tax concessions, a holiday for customs and excise, and other benefits that a refinery should accrue to us. The land will come from the Sri Lankan government,” said the official. Currently Sri Lanka’s ony...

TNA to attend Tamil Eelam Support Organization conference

The largest Tamil political party in Sri Lanka have confirmed that they will be attending the Tamil Eelam Support Organization (TESO) conference in India to be held in August, according to reports. Ceylon Today reported that the Tamil national Alliance would be attending the conference, along with the Nava Sama Samaja Party led by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, the Democratic People’s Front led by Mano Ganeshan and Siritunga Jayasuriya’s United Socialist Party. Reports also stated that TNA Parliamentarian Mavai Senathiraja met with Indian DMK Leader, and one of the founders of TESO,...

Army restricts access to places of worship

The Sri Lankan military in Valikaamam North has been blocking access to temples and churches located within Jaffna’s ‘High Security Zone’ reports TamilNet . St Joseph Church in the Vaasaavilan village was given military permission to hold its annual feast on Wednesday last week. However, the parish priest and worshippers were blocked at the ‘Forward Defence Line’ by the SLA and turned back after 4 hours of arguments with military officers. There have also been widespread reports of restricted access to other temples and churches in the ‘High Security Zone’.

Gandhi statue destroyed in Ariyalai

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Ariyalai, in Jaffna district, was destroyed by unidentified persons, reports Uthayan . According to Jaffna based newspaper, the incident occurred on Saturday night. Police officers in Jaffna claim to be investigating the incident. No arrests have been made.