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...

22 more Indian fishermen arrested in Palk Strait

The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 22 Indian fishermen off the coast of Neduntheevu, Jaffna, for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Navy headquarters spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya told The Island that the fishermen and 6 trawlers were taken into custody in Kankesanthurai. Earlier this month, over 100 fishermen from India were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. 'We are only protecting ourselves' SL Navy Chief tells Tamil Nadu (20 Dec 2013) Mass arrest of fishermen is 'near warlike' act says Tamil Nadu CM (12 Dec 2013)

SL Intelligence call TNPF organiser for questioning again

Sri Lanka's Special Intelligence Branch called the Tamil National People's Front's (TNPF) Vice President and Trincomalee organiser, Rasakone Hariharan for questioning again on Thursday over a commemoration event being planned by TNPF for the assassinated TNA MP, Joseph Pararajasingham on Sunday. Hariharan was previously questioned on December 23rd by the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) in Trincomalee. The questioning was undertaken in a "very hostile and threatening manner", said Hariharan.

Govt census designed to minimise death toll - TNA MP

Slamming the Sri Lankan government's proposed census count, the TNA MP, Suresh Premachandran said the it was designed to minimise the death toll, reports Arab News. “ We strongly believe this is an attempt to give lower figures for war fatalities, ” said Premachandran. Highlighting the need to provide social services to those in need including single parent families and orphans, he added, “ for planning purposes of the council, we want the actual numbers, not watered down figures .” See our TG View - Erasing the dead and related articles: Sri Lanka rejects dismissal of ethnic conflict census (26 Dec 2013)

SL Navy opens resting point for Buddhist pilgrims in Jaffna district

A resting point for Buddhist pilgrims was opened in Mathagal in Jaffna district this month, by the chief Buddhist monk at Nagadeepa Temple, situated in Nainatheevu, along with a number of Sri Lankan Navy officials. The newly built complex is called 'Dambakolapatuna Pilgrims Rest', and is by the recently built Buddhist temple - Dambakolapatuna Sangamitta Viharaya.