Army warns former cadres

Responding to reports that former LTTE cadres were joining the JVP, the Sri Lankan Army has warned them not to join groups that look to “overthrow the government in an uprising” and reiterated that they would be closely monitored. Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Chandana Rajaguru confirmed that former cadres were being watched but on the issue of tem joining the JVP commented , “Our people who are monitoring these people have not reported their joining this group.” His warning came as Sri Lanka declared that at least 4 “rehabilitation centres”, where former cadres were...

India's helping hands

India's foreign affairs minister, SM Krishna, formally handed over 1000 houses built for IDPs by India, 49,000 are yet to be built . In a statement Krishna said, “The houses that you see across the school compound have been constructed in the pilot phase for 1,000 houses under our Housing Project which was launched during my visit in November 2010. I am happy to hand over these houses to beneficiaries of Ariviyal Nagar here and at Ariyalai in Jaffna later in the day." "I am sure that the lessons learnt from this pilot phase will be useful in the implementation of the next phase of the project...

India hopes

Meeting Sri Lanka's president at Temple Trees on Tuesday, India's visiting foreign affairs minister, SM Krishna, felt assured by the president's commitment on finding a political solution based on the implementation of the 13th Amendment and the "meaningful devolution of powers". Speaking to reporters afterwards, Krishna said, “I discussed this matter [political solution for Tamils] with His Excellency the President this morning. The President assured me that he stands by his commitment to pursuing the 13th Amendment [to the Sri Lankan Constitution] plus approach,” “The Government of Sri...

TNA tells India 'no progress' on talks

There has been "no progress" achieved during TNA-government talks, TNA delegates told India's foreign affairs minister, S.M. Krishna, during his current visit to Sri Lanka. Calling the government's attitude, "lethargic", the TNA reportedly urged India to take an "active role" in the process of arriving at a political solution. Speaking after the meeting, one of the TNA delegates, S Premachandran, said, “We started a political dialogue with the government a year ago. So far, nothing concrete has happened. We informed Mr. Krishna about these matters. Also, we briefed him that the situation in...

Keep monks out of politics - monk urges politician

Photograph sundaytimes.lk A senior Sinhala Buddhist monk, Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera, urged the UNP's deputy leader, Sajith Premadasa to keep monks away from the political arena. Buddharakkitha Thera explained, “I am not for or against monks doing politics and we can’t ask them to refrain from doing so. It is much better for political leaders to discourage the monks from entering the political arena." His advice was given when Premadasa visited Buddharakkitha Thera to seek blessings for his birthday. Presenting the Premadasa with a bejewelled elephant , Buddharakkitha Thera treated the...

Sri Lanka seeks Iranian oil sanctions get-out clause

Responding to US sancions on Iranian oil, Sri Lanka's petroleum resources minister, Susil Premajayantha, reiterated Sri Lanka's dependency on Iranian oil . Speaking to the Reuters news agency Premajayantha said, "We don't have any other alternative than getting oil from Iran," "Our main problem is that you can't use all types of crude here for our machines." According to Reuters, three officials from the central bank and petroleum ministry, told reporters on condition of anonymity, that Sri Lanka may consider buying Iranian crude through an intermediary in the Middle East or a Chinese company...

'A Fairy Story For The Galle Literary Festival By Popular Demand'

Critically acclaimed Sri Lankan born novelist Roma Tearne has released a satirical short story ahead of the Galle Literary Festival, which she, along with Reporters Without Borders , Noam Chomsky and Arundhati Roy amongst others, called to boycott last year. Extracts from her piece have been reproduced below. “The festival was in full swing. All the great writers from around the world were present, topping up their tan by the pool. Sorry I mean all the great white writers. The UK-returned natives were keen to stay out of the sun. Listen, you must understand, on this island paradise, the darker you were the harder it was to find a spouse and the more likely you were to be killed. It’s true.” “The Festival sponsors strutted about and got lots of exposure. The organisers played at blind-man’s bluff. And the tan-toppers drank a lot. I’m telling you, all was as it should be.” “One or two people were a bit worried about security. ‘Did you hear a Russian girl was raped?’ ‘No, no,’ SS told them, waggling his head. ‘That didn’t really happen! It was a play put on for the purpose of the Festival. It wasn’t the real thing!’ ‘What about that Red Cross guy who was killed?’ ‘That was in the play, too. Remember your Hamlet? The play’s the thing and all that…’ ‘Oh okay,’ said the foreigners and off they went for a swim thinking, gosh, these people are incredibly friendly. They just smile and smile…. wasn’t there something like that in Hamlet, too?”

TNA rejects LLRC report, calls for international action

Dismissing the LLRC report for falling " dramatically short of international standards applicable to accountability processes ", the TNA (Tamil National Alliance) called on the " international community to institute measures that will advance accountability ", in a 70-page response to the LLRC report, released Sunday. The TNA's response comes as their face increasing pressure from Tamil civil society groups and ordinary Tamils in the North-East, to take decisive action. See here for the TNA's response in full. Extracts reproduced below: " The LLRC’s processes and practices have failed to win...

Forcibly displaced Tamils urge TNA to act

Tamils from Manalaaru in Vanni, who remain forcibly displaced by the Sri Lankan army since 1984, have urged the TNA to act or else the "structural genocide [of Eelam Tamils] will be complete in Mullaiththeevu in 2 years" reported Tamilnet. The displaced Tamils put their demands to TNA MPs Mavai Senathirajah and S Sritharan when the pair visited the area on a fact finding mission on Friday. The civilians stated that the Sri Lankan Army, citing 'land mines', was preventing them from visiting their lands. See here for full article by Tamilnet. Tamils in Mathagal and Thelakatti have also...

Ontario Premier sends Thai Pongal greetings

Marking the Tamil harvest festival of Thai Pongal, the Premier of Onatrio Dalton McGuinty realised a video statement praising the contribution the Tamil community have made to Canada. Extracts from the statement have been reproduced below. “The diversity of our people is a big reason why our province is exciting, so dynamic and so strong. In Ontario’s vibrant Tamil community, with strong values like devotion to family, hard work and charity, truly makes our province a better place to live for all of us.” They say the start of the month of Thai paves the way for new opportunities and in today’...

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