Tamil organisers of protests attacked

The homes of Tamil political figures who organised recent and upcoming protests were attacked with crude oil on Tuesday, reports TamilNet. See here and here for photographs and video of TNPF leader, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, speaking after the attacks. The homes of the president of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Rajappu Edward Anandarajah, the vice president of Tamil National Peoples' Front (TNPF), and Kandeepan Thangarajah of the TNPF, were attacked in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Situated in Nelliyadi, Vadamaraadchi, the house of Edward Anandarajah was reportedly attacked...

Sri Lankan defence personnel forced to cut short training in Tamil Nadu

Two senior defence officials were forced to cut short their training programme in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu after strong protests by political parties in the state. Air Vice Marshal Jegath Julanga Diaz of the Sri Lankan Air Force and Rear Admiral S Ranasinghe of the Navy left to an undisclosed location during the early hours of Tuesday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on Monday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to send back all Sri Lankan military personnel training in India as it ‘outraged’ Tamil sentiments. Last week, nine Sri Lankan Air Force personnel were forced...

Manufacturing 'integration'

The week of July 16th to the 22nd has been declared as ‘Social Integration Week’ in Sri Lanka. It was launched ceremonially by President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees on Monday. Colombo Page reports that the ‘initiative’ has been launched to tackle disparities in civil rights, to sanctify co-existence and ultimately to unite the nation. The president was presented with the ‘Social Integration Policy Framework’ which aims to reintegrate all ethnic groups as one nation, free of ‘petty’ social and cultural differences. The framework is yet to be published, though one can only presume it will...

Tamils risk death to seek asylum by boat - Australian NGO

An Australian NGO working with Tamil asylum seekers and detainees in Australia, the Australian Refugee Action Coalition, said they expected more Tamil asylum seekers to risk their lives, as the situation in Sri Lanka deteriorated. A spokesperson for Australian Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, said , “I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a record year for Sri Lankans [seeking aylum by boat]” “ Things in Sri Lanka are deteriorating .” “Many of the people coming now thought things would change after the war, but ongoing frustration amongst many Tamils and oppression is driving the numbers up...

2 SL military officers face protests in Tamil Nadu

Tamils protested against the presence of two Sri Lankan military officials at Gateway Hotel, at the Coonoor hill station in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, reports NDTV. The military personnel, reported to be a Rear Admiral and a Major General, arrived on Sunday evening, prompting 25 MDMK members to protest. They were arrested by Indian police officers as they attempted to march to the hotel. NDTV reports that there remains a 'heavy police deployment' outside the hotel, as more Tamil protests are anticipated. The Sri Lankan military are said to be taking part in a one-day programme at the Defence...

Asylum seekers recount their ordeal

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, young Tamil asylum seekers who made the perilious journey to Christmas Island, recounted their ordeal. A 17-year-old school boy said he left fearing arrest by the Sri Lankan Navy or police if he was found. "It was very bad, for five days we had no food, no water, it was very, very scary," he said. "We were vomiting blood. There were three small boys and every day we were vomiting blood. We were very frightened." "It is five to six years jail. It is very dangerous, if police stop you [in Sri Lanka]. This is a safe place, there's freedom in this country."...

Jayalalitha slams Delhi over SL training as Karunanidhi changes stance again

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has criticised the Indian government for allowing two Sri Lankan officers to receive training in the southern state’s Nilgiris district, while Karunanidhi has dropped the demand for an independent Tamil Eelam from a conference, after pressure from the home minister. In a strongly worded letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalitha said the people of Tamil Nadu “are frustrated and outraged” by the “callous and adamant attitude” of India in giving training to Sri lankan armed forces personnel.

Sri Lanka is being unfairly targeted - Justice Minister

In an interview with Sami Zeiden of Al Jazeera, Sri Lanka's Justice Minister, Rauf Hakeem, asserted that Sri Lanka was being 'unfairly targetted' by the Human Rights Council, and felt 'victimised' by the European Union. Speaking about the UNHRC resolution passed earlier this year, Hakeem said, "the European Union is to certain extent misguided in the way in which they are looking at the way forward as far as reconciliation in a post-conflict scenario is concerned." "We have been telling these countries, with whom we still have a multifaceted, fine, diplomatic relationship, that we should be...

SL military grabs yet more land in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan military in Jaffna has evicted more than 279 families from their homes and occupied their land, reports TamilNet. Civil society sources in the north report that military personnel are silently evicting people from their homes in Maathakal, an area that is outside the former ‘High Security Zone’. See here and here . The southern capital Colombo has also declared Thiruvadi-nilai and a surrounding perimeter around the coastal spot as a ‘Holy Zone’. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan Navy have refused entry to local people of the area to lands that are not even situated in the ‘Holy Zone...

Army camps are not anybody else's problem - Lt Gen Jayasuriya

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, the Sri Lankan Army's chief, Lt. General Jagath Jayasuriya, gave his take on the army's role in the North-East and rejected any criticism of the army camps as "not anybody else's" problem. Jayasuriya said , "It's not correct to say that there is one soldier for every five citizens in the north," "Like any other country we have camps and nobody can say a country cannot have camps," " Where the army deploys camps is my problem, not anybody else's ," Defending the army's encroachment on civilian life, he added, "The Army is already in the barracks. When we are...

Pages