SL officials remove flags from Wigneswaran-Kurshid meeting venue

Officials from the Ministry of External Affairs removed the flags of the Northern Province and India from the venue of the meeting between Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneswaran and Indian Foreign Minister Salman Kurshid. Ceylon Today reported that sources claimed that the flags were removed as the Sri Lankan flag was not hoisted at the venue, and if the national fag was missing, no other flags should be flying. Wigneswaran ignores national flag – Ceylon Today (09 Oct 13)

Sri Lanka will face difficulties borrowing from abroad - economist

A senior Sri Lankan economist has claimed that the government will soon face difficulties in borrowing from abroad, due to austerity measures in other countries affecting the global economy, coupled with the Sri Lankan Central Bank’s planned, “less accommodative”, monetary policy, reported the DailyMirror . “This means the terms which we can borrow abroad will get tightened. So, the terms on which we borrowed over the last two, three years will not be available,” Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy told a recent forum. Sri Lanka’s debt ratio is also higher than that of other comparable economies, said...

Canada envoy accuses Commonwealth chief of being SL stooge

Canada’s special envoy to the Commonwealth, Hugh Segal, accused Commonwealth secretary-general Kamalesh Sharma of "acting as a shill [a stooge] for the Sri Lankan leadership, defending their every mistake". Speaking to the Guardian on Tuesday, Segal said that Sharma had concealed legal advice on the illegality of the impeachment of Sri Lanka’s chief justice. Defending Sharma’s position, a spokesperson said "the advice was sought in confidence and it was not necessary for [Sharma] to discuss it in public". Writing in the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, Segal defended Canadian Prime Minister Stephen...

Commonwealth funding under threat

Building on his statement that he had “asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to review Canada’s financial contributions to Commonwealth programs and the Commonwealth Secretariat”, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told an Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Bali that Canada would “examine our engagement and our financing of the Commonwealth . . . to make sure that we are wisely using taxpayers’ dollars and reflecting Canadian values”. The message has been taken as a serious threat to Commonwealth finances as Canada is the organisation’s second biggest donor after the United Kingdom, which...

UK politicians consider genocide of Tamils in SL

The British Tamil Forum, in collaboration with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, held a forum on genocide at Porticullis House today. Following opening remarks from conservative MP, Lee Scott, the event proceeded with presentations from 4 panel members ending with a short question and answer session, which was chaired by Redbridge Councillor Alan Weinberg. The first panelist, Rajganna from Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) drew upon events that pointed towards genocide and highlighted the intent behind the government’s shelling of the no fire zone, prevalent altering of demographics in the North-East and examples of hate speech by several members of the government. Dr Andrew Higgingbottom , a lecturer at the University of Kingston, next took the floor and argued that Navi Pilllay’s findings of land grab and militarisation illustrated that structural genocide was occurring in the North-East.

Canadian prime minister boycotts CHOGM in Sri Lanka

The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed that he will not be attending the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo in a statement released by his office. Harper said that Canada hoped that the opportunity to improve human rights conditions and to take steps towards accountability and reconciliation, presented to Sri Lanka by awarding the summit to the country, was not taken and that Canada remained concerned over ongoing human rights violations. The prime minister also said Canada, who is the second largest donor to the body, would review its financial...

Army destroys LTTE leader's bunker

One of the final places where the leader of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran lived, was destroyed by the Sri Lankan military after evacuating local residents in the surrounding area, last week. What was a post-war tourist attraction for the people in the South and a site of remembrance for many people in the North, was destroyed with explosives last Thursday. Until last week, the site was promoted, by the army, as an internal tourist attraction geared towards the Sinhalese. A vast majority of signs were only in Sinhalese and English. However, local correspondents told the BBC that the effect...

'Tamil voters demand real change, but can TNA deliver?' - J.S Tissainayagam

Writing in The Diplomat, the widely acclaimed Tamil journalist, J.S Tissainayagam, asks if the Tamil National Alliance can provide the leadership needed to deliver to the Tamil electorate who voted for real change. See here . Extract reproduced below: "..t he TNA’s election manifesto was an open acknowledgement that power sharing with Colombo under a unitary constitution is inadequate. It lays down categorically that the resolution of the Tamil question has to be based on shared sovereignty and federal structures, which recognize the Tamils’ right to self determination. Third, the Tamils are...

Tamil Nadu student protest calls for boycott of Sri Lanka

Almost 50 Tamil Nadu students protested as the Board of Control for Cricket in India met in Chennai last week, calling for a complete boycott of Sri Lankan cricket. [ more ]

Promised jobs in North cancelled after elections

Some 400 public service jobs appointed to workers in the North a few months ago, have been terminated following the holding of the Northern Provincial Council elections, reported the Colombo Gazette . Over 600 jobs were given to workers in Jaffna and Killinochchi ahead of last month's elections "with the intention of imparting a more efficient and streamlined public service to the Northern polity”, with Northern Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri overseeing the appointments. However, around 400 of those jobs have now been suspended. One Vavuniya worker told the Colombo Gazette, "We were...

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