Only 49,000 to go

India's External Affairs Minister, SM Krishna, is believed to be inspecting India's housing project during his upcoming visit to Sri Lanka with trips to Jaffna and Kilinochchi. Handing over 1000 houses, constructed as a pilot project, Krishna is reported to be signing a memorandum of understanding regarding the building of the further 49,000 houses for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-East. The project, approved by the Indian cabinet in December 2011, is estimated to cost $260 million. According to The Hindu newspaper, the final project plan was redrafted to ensure funds for...

Appeal to UN over missing activists

Campaigners have written to the UN over the fate of two missing activists, who disappeared en route to a protest organised in Jaffna last month. The two activists, Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan were organising protests on behalf of families who have had relatives gone missing. Supporters maintain that Sri Lankan Security forces are responsible for their disappearances, due to the heavy militarisation that Jaffna is under and as one of the victims motorbikes were later spotted in a police compound. A spokesman for the group said , "We have written to all the authorities but so...

Tamil-Canadian student makes headlines over climate change speech

At last month’s International Climate Change Talks in South Africa, Tamil-Canadian student Anjali Appadurai made headlines when she delivered a powerful speech urging world leaders to take action over climate change. Her speech which has clocked up tens of thousands of views on YouTube, has won the praise of Amy Goodman , host of Democracy Now!, and award winning author Naomi Klein who tweeted; “ Anjali Appadurai is a hero , watch her brilliant speech that rocked the climate summit in Durban” Speaking on behalf of youth delegates at the conference, Ms Appadurai started her speech saying, “I speak for more than half the world’s population. We are the silent majority. You’ve given us a seat in this hall, but our interests are not on the table. What does it take to get a stake in this game? Lobbyists? Corporate influence? Money? You’ve been negotiating all my life. In that time, you’ve failed to meet pledges, you’ve missed targets, and you’ve broken promises. But you’ve heard this all before.” Ending her speech with a fiery “mic check”, she also managed to win the admiration of the the COP Chair of the session Artur Runge-Metzger, who said to applause, "I wonder why we let not speak 'half of the world's population' first in this conference, but only last”."

Accountability is critical and obligatory - US State Dept

Michael H. Posner, Department of State Responding to an online petition demanding support from the Obama adminstration into an " international investigation into war crimes and other human rights abuses committed in Sri Lanka ", the US state Department, in a statement released Friday, stressed the needed for accountability, as a "critical component of reconciliation" and warned that that "international accountability mechanisms" may be used if the Sri Lankan government is "unable or unwilling to meet its obligations".

Waiting for justice, indefinitely

Photograph Tamilnet Almost seven years after the assassination of the Tamil journalist, Dharmaratnam Sivaram, known also as Taraki, the perpetrators and the commissioners of his murder, are yet to be brought to justice. The trial of the man accused of murdering Dharmaratnam Sivaram, scheduled to take place Thursday, was postponed after the State Counsel informed the court that six witnesses failed to attend, reported BBC Sinhala . The six, includes two policemen. The trial has been rescheduled for the 25th April. Sivaram, one of the founding editors of Tamilnet, was abducted on the 28th April...

The 'evil spirits' of cricket

Sri Lankan cricket fans will be relieved to know that the sport's governing body is no longer troubled by 'evil spirits'. The newly elected chief of Sri Lanka Cricket, Upali Dharmadasa, declared the body free of the ghoulish beings that had allegedly plagued it, after a special pooja (religious service) was conducted. The spirits are evil indeed. Recent times have seen allegations of corruptions, financial mis-management, systemic political interfering and the military take over of cricket stadia . Reassuring any fans that maybe harbouring a degree of cynicism, Dharmadasa said, "I am a...

British Tamil hotelier shot in Trincomalee

A British Tamil business man, Kandiah Rajagopal, who owned a hotel in Trincomalee, was shot and injured off Vihara Road, near a Sri Lankan army base, on Tuesday. The shooting, having occurred despite the overbearing military presence in the North-East, is the latest in a string of attacks on foreign nationals . The shooting of Rajagopal, a hotelier, comes as several other hotel owners, including foreign investers, have accused the government of arbitarily demolishing hotels in the Unawatuna region, reported the British newspaper, The Telegraph - 'Sri Lankan government accused over bulldozed...

Exam excellence defies oppression

Facing the pervasive climate of fear and militarisation with resilience and defiance, Tamil students in the North-East have exceled at recent national exams. Topping the national GCE mathematics examination in Sri Lanka, Kamalavasan, from Uduppitti American Mission College, achieved 3 As (3.1167 z points). The second highest grade nationally in Science was achieved by another Tamil student - Sanjayan. Their success has been praised by the Tamil nation the world over, from their home towns, to their peers across the diaspora. [more]

Ministry of Defence to oversee acquired businesses

After the appointment of “Competent Authorities” to handle the running of 37 enterprises taken over by the government, it has now been announced that the Defence and Urban Development Ministry will oversee five of these institutions. The move comes as the government appointed several different ministries to oversee the running of the “ Competent Authorities ” and the enterprises they are now running. The other enterprises will be handled by other ministries, namely the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Productivity Promotion and the Ministry of Finance and Planning. The “...

Diaspora groups pledge to continue fight for justice in 2012

Tamil diaspora organisations across the world pledged " renewed commitment to work together to bring justice and peace " to Tamils in Sri Lanka, in a statement released to coincide with the new year. Reiterating their united stance against the " pogroms, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide " faced by the Tamil nation at the hands of the Sri Lankan government, they resolved to continue the campaign for an independent, international investigation into crimes committed during the armed conflict. The full list of signatories included: Australian Tamil Congress, British Tamil Conservatives, British Tamil Forum, Canadian Tamil Congress, Center for War Victims & Human Rights (Canada), Global Tamil Forum, Ilankai Tamil Sangam (USA), Maison du Tamil Eelam (France), National Council of Canadian Tamils, Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils, Swedish Tamils Forum, Tamils For Labour, Tamils For Obama, Tamil Forum Malaysia, Thamil Creative Writers Association (Canada), Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, United States Tamil Political Action Council and USA World Thamil Organization.