56 organisations worldwide call for international investigation into genocide

56 Tamil organisations from across the world have rejected a domestic Sri Lankan inquiry into human rights abuses and called for an international investigation into genocide, in a joint New Year message. The signatories to the statement, which span across 10 different countries, jointly noted there was an overwhelming mandate for an international investigation expressed in the recent Northern Provincial Council elections, and fully committed themselves to working towards an independent investigation into the crime of genocide. The statement, signed by many youth organisations and political parties, is released as talk of a South African style ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ have emerged from the island. Notably, organisations from South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, UK, India, Canada, USA, Mauritius, New Zealand, Sweden all jointly signed the statement.

SL Navy officer accused of abusing 4 year old in Trinco

A Sri Lankan Navy officer has been accused of abusing a 4 year old girl in Kuchiveli in Trincomalee, reported BBC Tamil . The incident took place outside the victim's house, by the Thirigai Sri Lankan Naval base. The little girl had reportedly stepped outside the house to collect some herbs for her mother, when an elder sibling saw the officer pick the child up and start abusing her. When the elder sister called out to their mother, the officer let go of the little girl, before running into the naval base. The victim has been admitted to Trincomalee hospital for medical review.

Rajapaksa's one nation

In his New Year's address the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, called for all differences and divisions to be set aside in order to strengthen 'the nation' in 2014. He said, "This year will be of special significance in economic and national development as well as in the field of politics. We shall continue to move towards this while ensuring national unity, peace and satisfaction. We have identified this as the correct path for true prosperity of the nation and building of the country.

Sritharan to be ousted from parliament – Sinhala paper

The government is planning a proposal to oust Tamil National Alliance MP S Sritharan from parliament, according to Sinhala newspaper Divaina . The report accused Sritharan of being involved in anti-government activities and is supposedly attempting to rouse communal unrest, including for praising LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in parliament. Minister calls for TNA ban (18 December 2013) TG View: Representing 'extremism' (01 December 2013) TNA sabotaging reconciliation - Gotabhaya (28 November 2013)

Mahinda and a monk put an end to Milco strike

A strike at the state-owned Milco company, which started on December the 9th, has ended after intervention from the President of Sri Lanka, who held talks with a Buddhist monk, representing the strikers. A representative from the Milco branch of the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya, a trade union on the island, stated , “We suspended our strike action for one month after Ven. Murethtuve Ananda mediated on our behalf with President Mahinda Rajapaksa who promised to resolve our concerns very soon. Our three demands have been directed to an arbitration board and would be settled within a month during which all strike action is prohibited.”

Canadian Tamil MP meets Tamil MPs in Jaffna

The Canadian MP, Rathika Sitsabaiesan, met with Tamil MPs in Jaffna yesterday, reported Tamilwin. Arriving on Saturday, Sitsabaiesan visited the militarised zone in Valikaamam North and the Sababathipillai ICP camp, before meeting informally with the Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan, and the TNA MP Sreetharan in Kilinochchi.

Karunanidhi criticises 'atrocious' arrests

The leader of the Tamil Nadu opposition M Karunanidhi has slammed the latest arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. Speaking to media in Chennai, the DMK chief expressed concerns that no proactive steps were being taken to put an end to the issue. "The arrest of 22 fishermen from Pudukottai is atrocious," he said, adding that 227 fishermen had been apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy in the past three months.

A very militarised Christmas

The Sri Lankan Army organised a series of events across the Tamil North-East to mark Christmas, earlier this week. Maj. General L. B. R. Mark, oversaw the festivities in Mullaitivu, with the Ministry of Defence noting that ‘under his patronage’ , the army’s 59th division organised a show, complete with signs in Sinhalese. The army also came dressed in Santa Claus outfits (and masks) into churches across the North-East, with the 59th division at a church in Keppapulavu and 68th division at St Anthony’s church in Iranapalai. The 64th division meanwhile put on another musical show, in full...

Elephant Pass to be rebuilt and renamed by SLA

Sri Lanka's Education Minister has plans to renovate the Elephant Pass railway station and to rename it to the Sinhalese 'Senahasaka Thotupola', reports Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). A significant marker in the Tamil homeland, Aanaiyuravu or Elephant Pass, serves as a gateway to the Jaffna peninsula from Kilinochchi. The project, like many other large-scale schemes in Sri Lanka, is likely to be undertaken by the Sri Lankan army as the newspaper reports the ministry "is now in consultation with the Sri Lanka Army to ascertain whether its engineering troops can undertake the construction of the...

'I was subjected to psychological torture' says deported Tamil Nadu journalist

Tamil Prabhakaran, the Tamil Nadu journalist arrested in Kilinochchi on Christmas Day arrived in Chennai on Saturday after being deported by Sri Lankan authorities. Prabhakaran told reporters at the airport that he had been psychologically tortured by the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID). Sri Lanka asserted that he was arrested for doing journalistic work, including taking photographs of military installations, and interviewing Tamil politicians. However Prabhakaran denies photographing any military areas, saying he had only taken a few pictures of civil functions which he said "were...