Wigneswaran says Tamil people have rejected separatism

The first Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, CV Wigneswaran has said in his inaugural speech that people in the south need to understand that the Tamil people have rejected separatism. Calling on Colombo to keep the Sri Lankan Army in their barracks, Wigneswaran also said the NPC would fully cooperate with the government to receive international assistance to rehabilitate Sri Lankan soldiers and integrate them into civilian life. Wigneswaran said that the council would extend a hand of friendship to the government, with the expectation of reciprocal commitment. During its...

Kurshid confirms attendance at CHOGM

India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid has confirmed his attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka next month, despite a resolution passed unanimously in Tamil Nadu’s assembly, calling for an Indian boycott of the summit. “I can say I will be there. The issue of Sri Lankan Tamils remains important to us,” Khurshid told Times Now. “By not engaging with Sri Lanka, India will be losing out. Even if it means raising…the Tamil fishermen issue. How can India do it without engaging?” When asked whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would attend, Kurshid said a...

Development not a substitute for justice - Jaffna diocese

The director of the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, Father Managalarajah, has written to the Holy See’s representative in Colombo, explaining that development alone has not helped to settle the “basic unresolved issues of the people in the North and East.” In the letter Mangalarajah describes human rights violations and lack of accountability for the ‘killing of thousands of innocent civilians’ in the final stages of the war, and also details threats and intimidation faced by Tamils wishing to register disappearances or give witness statements. Also...

Tamil Nadu ill-informed on plight of Tamils – SL envoy

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Prasad Kariyawasam, warned that India will be isolated if PM Manmohan Singh boycotts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. “If PM Singh doesn’t go, we have to think about who it will affect. Who will be isolated? Every other country barring Canada is attending. So those who don’t attend will be in isolation. “The Tamil Nadu Assembly is uninformed on the status of Tamils and eventually, the decision on PM Singh’s visit is prerogative of Indian government only,” Kariyawasam said to CNN-IBN.

Opposition backs Tamil Nadu resolution on CHOGM

In an unprecedented show of political solidarity, parties within the Tamil Nadu state assembly and outside, all backed a resolution brought forward by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, calling for India to boycott the upcoming CHOGM. The Hindu reported Congress Legislative party leader K. Gopinatha asy saying, "We welcome the resolution. But we should take care to ensure that our stand in no way affect the Sri Lankan Tamils”. Deputy leader of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam Panruti S. Ramachandran added, “Still we do not understand whether the External Affairs Ministry would take note of the...

Teacher's grants withdrawn from the North-East

A trade union in Sri Lanka’s education sector deplored the withdrawal of allowances granted to teaching assistants in the North-East, today. According to the Ceylon Teachers Union, teachings assistants were granted Rs. 4000 in the months of July August and September. However, the grants were stopped following the end of the Northern Provincial elections with no explanation provided. The General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin, called the decision unethical and unwarranted.

CHOGM development will benefit the people of the country - Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa said today that expenses incurred by the government to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo next month will be an investment for the future of the country and its people. Addressing a function held on Thursday to declare open the face-lifted Bandaranaike Memorial international Conference Hall (BMICH), the main venue for the Commonwealth Summit , Rajapaksa claimed that misleading propaganda on the government’s spending would be proved wrong. Speaking of the benefits to the people, Rajapaksa outlined , “So far $1.5billion...

Raped, murdered and mutilated body found in Jaffna temple

The dead body of a 47-year old Tamil woman was found on the premises of Naachchimaar Kovil in Jaffna this month, badly mutilated and raped according to medical sources. The Sri Lankan military has been accused of the rape and murder. The victim was identified as 47-year-old Markandu Yogarany, a war displaced woman from Vavuniya who was suffering from mental health issues, following the end of the armed conflict. She was staying with the Holy Family Convent who had reported her missing since the 4th of October. The body was discovered on the temple premises on the 17th of October. WARNING: Graphic images are featured below.

BBC hear stories of torture and rape victims in the North-East

In a recent report from the North-East of Sri Lanka, BBC correspondent heard the stories of Tamil victims of torture, rape and arbitrary detention by the Sri Lankan military. Click here for the full interview.

Tamil Nadu passes resolution calling for Indian boycott of CHOGM

The Tamil Nadu Assembly, convened today to unanimously pass a resolution that called on India to ‘completely’ boycott the upcoming Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo. The resolution further urged the centre, to initiate steps that would result in the temporary suspension of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth until Tamil grievances on the island were adequately addressed. The Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa, recalling on an earlier resolution passed in 2011 that called for economic sanctions against, further highlighted the relentless struggle taken by her government to...