Government offers harbours to East Asian countries

Sri Lanka is to offer its fisheries harbours to countries from East Asia and to Dubai, in a bid to prevent European countries from "exploiting fishing resources" in the Indian Ocean, reported the Sunday Times . Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated that around 20 Chinese and 8 Japanese vessels had already been offered use of Sri Lanka’s harbours for fishing, adding, “They will be operating under the Sri Lankan flag and will process the fish for exports in local harbours. Sri Lanka will benefit by imposing port charges and export taxes”. The minister went on to slam...

800 families in Trincomalee displaced for Indo-SL power plant – The Hindu

Around 800 Tamil families have been displaced by the building of Sampur power plant and continue to live in misery, reported The Hindu . According to the paper, the Sampur power plant, a joint project by Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC), will take up more land than needed for the plant. The land was taken from Tamils who vacated the area during the conflict.

Barts students shocked by No Fire Zone documentary

After a successful Breaking The Silence genocide awareness campaign, Barts Tamil Society held a screening of the Channel 4 Documentary, 'No Fire Zone' , followed by a question and answer session with director Callum Macrae. The documentary left a fully packed lecture hall stunned into silence for minutes after the end of the film. Responding to questions on what the outcome may have been for Tamils in the North-East if the LTTE had retained control of Vaani, Macrae said, "The peace process of 2002 was relatively successful, and the Tigers themselves were successful in improving in a number of human rights issues for their people, including eradicating caste, improving women's rights etc. However it is questionable if peace talks could have been successful considering the impact of 9/11. The event swayed the balance of support and the military campaign against the Tamils was seen as a 'war on terror; which allowed Rajapaksa along with complicit members of the international community to go on, with this rhetoric enabling what was seen as the final solution."

DMK calls for UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka

The DMK general council has passed a resolution calling on Indian to push for an " independent international probe" into human rights violations in Sri Lanka at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council session in March 2014. The resolution also called for the implementation of the 13th Amendment as “interim relief” for the island’s Tamils.

Sri Lanka to use census to appropriate lands of diaspora Tamils - report

The Sri Lankan government has announced that it will be appropriating houses and lands in the Northern Province found to be owned by Tamils now living abroad, reported the Jaffna based newspaper, the Uthayan . The government will be using the data collated by the census to identify those properties belong to Tamils who have fled the island, the paper added. This development comes after a series of measures by the government since the end of the armed conflict in 2009 that have made it increasingly difficult for Tamils living abroad to own land and property in their Northeast homeland.

SL military produces videos of 'real facts' ahead of UNHRC

The Sri Lankan military has prepared eight videos for the Ministry of External Affairs, to aid its diplomatic offensive against any possible resolution on Sri Lanka at the next UN Human Rights Council in March, reports Colombo Page . Speaking to the media, the Sri Lankan military's spokesperson, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, said that eight videos had been given to the Ministry of External Affairs, in order to be sent to international diplomatic missions. "These videos will give real facts about the true situation with regard to allegations levelled by the Channel 4 (British TV) and others," said Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya.

Dutch NGO sponsors SL Army to build school in Mullivaikal

The Sri Lankan Army has opened a new pre-school in Vellamullivaikal, with the assistance of a Dutch non-governmental organisation, reported the Sri Lankan Army's website. The army proposed the project to Netherlands-based Caridas Cutex, who then provided sponsorship for the school and were subsequently invited to the opening in the presence of the 68 Division of the Sri Lankan Army.

Book review: 'A Fleeting Moment In My Country' by N. Malathy

The Tamil Information Centre (TIC), Saturday, held an introductory event for the book ‘ A Fleeting Moment In My Country ‘ by N Malathy. The book, which has been released in Tamil and English, describes the author’s experiences from when she went and worked in the peace secretariat of the de-facto state, in Vaani run, by the LTTE. From left to right: Mr Emmanuel, Dr Ratneswaran and Dr Malathy

Remembering Bala Anna

The Voice of the Nation

MoD provides scholarships for children of SL military

The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, teaming up with the Bank of Ceylon , awarded educational scholarships to 76 school children of military personnel on Friday. The scholarships were awarded under the "Ranaviru Dudaru Scholarship Programme", which the Ministry of Defence said was a project aimed at ensuring "a bright future for the children whose parents had made the supreme sacrifices for the entire nation." Last month, 28,000 children of the Sri Lankan military, almost entirely consisting of ethnic Sinhala personnel, received over 96 million rupees worth of books, laptops and...