Sangakkara meets US ambassador

Sri Lanka cricket star and former captian Kumar Sangakkara met with the United States Ambassador in Colombo, Patricia Butenis, Monday, colombopage reports , citing a report in the Sinhala daily Divaina. The newspaper said it was unable to contact Sangakkara to inquire about the matter, and that the US embassy declined to comment on it.

Why cricket can do nothing for peace in Sri Lanka ...

“ Amid the Sri Lankan government’s refusal to accede to a political solution and accountability for war crimes, and its continuing militarised repression in Tamil areas, cricket can no more be a unifying force across Sri Lanka’s communities than whale-watching, or any other human pastime . “Sport is inseparable from politics. Nothing sends a clearer message of international abhorrence of a government’s conduct than when it is shunned by international sportspeople. Conversely, nothing gives a repressive regime greater legitimacy, and makes light of its brutal conduct, than continuing sporting...

India's response to Channel 4 documentary ...

Eight days after the broadcasting in India of Channel 4’s documentary, 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' , the Delhi government has finally broken its silence. During an interview with Headlines Today , which rebroadcast the documentary, a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said: “Our focus is on the welfare and the well being of the Tamil speaking minorities of Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. We have consistently emphasized to the Sri Lankan Government that their rehabilitation should be of the highest and most immediate priority. “ A fair and reasonable settlement of the political...

India and Sri Lanka's war crimes

These are comments by former Indian Foreign Secretary Jaswant Singh during the discussion hosted by Headlines Today on the atrocities highlighted by the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary , Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields. When asked if it wasn’t time for India to get off the fenceon Sri Lanka's war crimes?: “You said the government of India appeared to sit on the fence for too long. Governments cannot, cannot even appear to, sit on fences for too long. Otherwise the fence will enter their soul, not just their actions.” When asked if about geopolitical concerns that India's acting would encourage Sri...

India’s failing policy on Sri Lanka

“Should Indian foreign policy to a neighbour like Sri Lanka be based on such unwarranted fears about India’s interests? Why will Sri Lanka not develop relations with China, even if India does everything to placate the current regime? “ Should norms and values that India hold dear, like minority rights, be sacrificed at the altar of geopolitical gains? Is a militarised, authoritarian Sri Lanka of greater interest to India or a democratic stable one? “India will have to do more .... It’s support for negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil National Alliance, that began in...

One Canadian Tamil's experience of Sri Lankan custody

A Canadian Tamil man has returned to Toronto after spending three years in the custody of Sri Lanka’s anti-terrorism police , who detained him until he signed a false confession saying he had smuggled equipment to the Tamil Tigers. The below are extracts of his account to Stewart Bell of the National Post newspaper (see full report here ) From the room where he was held [by the Terrorism Investigation Department], Mr. Samathanam said he could see the detainees being hit with cricket wickets and chunks of hard rubbe r. “One or two cases they did it in front of me, I think just to scare me,” he...

Mississauga Tamils mark Canada Day

Sisters Tharani Thayaparan (right) and Kiruthika perform a welcome dance Thursday during the Canada Day celebrations. Photo Steven Der-Garabedian/ mississauga.com. “Tonight we are celebrating our fidelity and gratitude to a great country which has welcomed us, given us refuge and a life free from fear.” - Anthony Jesuthasan , President of SOPCA (Social Cultural Recreational Educational and Environmental Network). See mississauga.com ’s report and more pictures here .

Why a sports boycott is essential for justice

“As a first step, Britain must support the international isolation of the Sri Lankan regime until it accepts an independent, international investigation into the mass killings. “ A boycott of Sri Lankan sport will send a clear message to Sri Lanka's regime and in particular to its many supporters at home, of the international community’s abhorrence of these atrocities and its commitment to justice .” “Teams representing countries like Sri Lanka, whose regimes brazenly abuse human rights with impunity, should not be allowed a role in international sport. To do so otherwise is to legitimise...

Sri Lanka's monoethnic military

“Not all Sinhalese are evil. Neither is every Tamil a saint. But the fact remains that every soldier in the Sri Lankan army who fought the war against the LTTE during 2008-2009 was a Sinhalese. “This background information is essential for any non-Tamil to understand how the Sri Lankan army can be so brutal against its own civilians.” - P C Vinoj Kumar , Editor of the Weekend Leader. See his comment here . So, how did Sri Lanka’s armed forces became mono-ethnic? Prof. Brian Blodgett , Director of the History and Military Studies Programs for the American Public University, published a study...

Taking the stand

At the screening last week in New York of the Channel 4’s documentary ‘ Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields ’ to UN diplomats and US media, representatives of Sri Lanka’s government insisted on responding to it. One of those who challenged the documentary, which examined the mass killings by government forces of over 40,000 Tamil civilians, was Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Maj Gen (retd) Shavendra Silva. Gen. Silva is one of the military leaders who had command responsibility during the final months of the war in 2009. The Island newspaper reported his delivery as a '...

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