Angry locals attack police in east

Angry mobs attacked police stations in Valaichennai, Samanthurai and Potuvil in Sri Lanka’s east on Thursday and Friday respectively, ColomboPage reported. S ee reports here and here . Predominantly, Valaichennai is inhabitated by Tamils, Samanthurai and Potuvil by Muslims.

"If there is to be peace, there must be justice"

Comments by Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. For full text click here. "It has been more than two years now. Early 2009 was a frightening, chilling time for hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka. Trapped between an advancing Sri Lankan military offensive and the retreating armed opposition LTTE (or Tamil Tigers), they were caught in the middle of intense, unrelenting fighting and suffered abuses from both directions. Thousands of women, men and young people were killed and there were massive levels of displacement. Sri Lanka now faces immense...

Trends in China - Sri Lanka ties

From a recent Reuters’ fact-box (see full text here ), with added details from the BBC and others: Trade In the first half of 2011, trade between China and Sri Lanka was worth $1.28 billion - but Sri Lankan exports to China were worth just $68 million. Lending China was Sri Lanka's largest lender in 2009 and 2010, giving $1.2 billion and $821 million respectively. China Development Bank Corporation has agreed to provide $1.5 billion within three years for construction of roads, bridges, power plants and water and irrigation schemes. However, the projects China is financing are built by...

Oman Tribune editorial on Sri Lanka’s killing fields

“As evidence of the Sri Lankan army’s mass killings mounts, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s charm offensive is proving to be a futile exercise. It’s time the president and his younger brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa stopped seeking solace in a deliberate state of denial and realised that they can no more cover up the horrendous crimes committed against innocents on their orders. “Sri Lanka’s stand has the support of a handful of countries that do not have an enviable human rights record. Yet, there’s no way President Rajapaksa can escape the growing clamour for justice. The UN chief has so far not...

Sri Lanka in new ICRC report on violence against medical help

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released Wednesday a report drawing attention to one of the most crucial yet overlooked humanitarian issues of today: violence against health care. The 24-page report is available here . The ICRC has been documenting violence against health-care facilities and personnel, and against patients, since 2008 in 16 countries where it is working. Sri Lanka is one of them. In a press release announcing the report, the ICRC states: “The number of [attacks] that have been recorded is striking. But statistics represent only the tip of the iceberg: they...

US puts Sri Lanka on notice over war crimes investigations

These are comments on Tuesday by US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland came in response to questions posed by Headlines Today television’s Washington correspondent Tejinder Singh. Tejinder : In an interview with Headlines Today, Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Rajapaksa rejected calls from the UN, US, and international communities for a neutral international investigation into the war crimes. And the top Sri Lankan diplomat today reiterated his stand. So what is the latest from the US for these people who are homeless and in the camps? Nuland : Well, we have said repeatedly for a long...

Associated Press: Tamils' hell two years after Sri Lanka’s war

Extracts from Krishan Francis ’ report for AP (see the full text here ): Sri Lanka is again a palm-fringed tourist paradise, the government says. But for Tamils living in the former war zone, it is still a hell of haunted memories, military occupation and missing loved ones . Hundreds of thousands remain homeless, and no effort has been made to reunite families separated two years ago during the final bloody months of the war between the now-defeated Tamil separatists and the ethnic Sinhalese-dominated government. A power-sharing program that President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised to enact...

What does the US debt crisis have to do with China's role in Sri Lanka?

An article by Professsor Minxin Pei in The Diplomat provides some answers. Much of the world has been watching the debt crisis in the United States with trepidation in recent weeks, but one actor has been particularly nervous: China. Why? China is the world’s biggest lender to the US. Prof Pei writes: “China is the largest single holder of US Treasury debt (roughly $1.1 trillion). In a nightmarish scenario of an American debt default, the prices of the Treasury bonds China has accumulated are bound to decline significantly. “[Furthermore,] 60 percent of China’s $3.2 trillion in foreign...

China state radio’s largest foreign audience is … Tamil

China Radio International’s Tamil service enjoys the widest reach of all its channels and Tamils comprise the state-owned broadcaster’s fast-growing overseas fan base. See the reports by The Hindu newspaper here and (video) here . See CRI Tamil's website here . The Tamil station now has more than 25,000 registered listeners - besides thousands of others who tune in casually every day - in Tamil Nadu and the rest of India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Germany, the United States and Japan. The Tamil station started broadcasting in 1963. Since then, it has continued to beam its...

US wants LLRC report discussed at UN rights council next March

The United States has formally told Sri Lanka that it wants the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) discussed at the 19th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next March, the Sunday Times reported. After repeated extensions , the final report of the governemnt's LLRC is to be released in November. (See here what international rights groups think of the LLRC.) The demarche was delivered by the US Embassy in Colombo to the External Affairs Ministry last month but Sri Lanka has not yet responded officially, the paper said. An External Affairs...

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