UN to fund operations in Sri Lanka

The UN has announced it will allocate $55 million to strengthen basic services in eight countries with ‘neglected humanitarian emergencies’. Afghanistan, Cameroon, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Sudan will be in receipt of the funds from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help provide food, water, health and other basic services. “These CERF grants provide critical funding. The money will save lives by helping aid agencies reach people in desperate need,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency...

SL faces an economic war by Tamil diaspora - Peiris

Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister, G.L. Peiris, said the island was facing an 'economic war' from foreign groups, during a defence seminar on Wednesday, reported Xinhua. Peiris said that the vast majority of the groups were Tamil diaspora organisations and that Sri Lanka’s economy is being targeted by the Tamil diaspora participating in campaigns that compel tourists to boycott travelling to Sri Lanka. Peiris went on to say that he regretted attempts to internationalise the 'Sri Lankan situation' and seek a external solution to the conflict.

India must examine itself in dealing with neighbours - Rajapaksa

In an interview with the Times of India, Mahinda Rajapaksa shared his thoughts on India and its decision to support the UNHRC resolution earlier this year. "Any good intentions and actions are always appreciated. But I must add that if India stood by us and supported Sri Lanka's request for more time and space, who knows , there may not have been a resolution at all." "The region looks up to India but India must examine itself whether or not it is doing the right thing in dealing with its neighbours ... what they are doing is the best thing or not ." Asked about the anti-India sentiment on the island as a result of India's vote in favour of the resolution, Rajapaksa said, " All I can say is that we are not a nation and people without feelings. India and Sri Lanka share common cultural and historic values and so we can feel deeply about such moves."

India denies SLAF training in Tamil Nadu

The Indian Defence Minister has stated that Sri Lankan Air Force personnel are not being trained in Tamil Nadu, following controversy over the alleged training last month. Widespread condemnation of the programme led to the Sri Lankan personnel being shifted out of Tamil Nadu into other parts of India, with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha in particular voicing her criticisms. See our earlier post: Jayalalitha slams Delhi over SL training as Karunanidhi changes stance again (16 July 2012) Defence Minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha, "At present no personnel of the Sri Lankan Air...

South Africa offers assistance for Sri Lanka’s ‘peace efforts’

The South African government has offered support and advice to Sri Lanka in its attempts to bring a political solution to the island. The External Affairs Ministry said a delegation visiting Colombo offered assistance to External Affairs Minister GL Peiris on Friday. Deputy Minister of International Relations Ebrahim Ebrahim and former Minister of Constitutional Affairs Roelf Meyer were part of the delegation. Peiris provided the South African delegation with an update on the developments in Sri Lanka, including resettlement of IDPs and rehabilitation of former combatants. He also gave the...

TNA Eastern election candidates threatened and vehicle attacked

The vehicle of the TNA's candidate for the upcoming Eastern Provincial council election, Markandu Nadarasa, came under attack on Friday. See here for report on Uthayan and Tamilwin . The incident occurred by Batticoloa temple way on Friday afternoon, when after conducting a campaign event, masked men on motorcycles drove past Nadarasa's vehicle and attacked it with stones, smashing the windows of the car. Meanwhile, another TNA candidate, Somasundaram Yoganantharasa, who had been at a campaign event by Kalladi, was threatened by men who arrived from a white-van. In a statement Yoganantharasa...

Body found in Akkaraipattu

Photographs Tamilwin The body of a 20-year-old man was found murdered in Akkaraipattu, Amparai district, on Friday morning, reports Tamilwin. The body was found by local residents - the head wrapped in polythene bag with severe wounds to the back of it. The victim has been identified as that of Ganeshamoorthy Riyaas, who worked at a restaurant in Akkaraipattu town. Warning - some readers may find the following photograph upsetting.

SL Police disrupt Tamil prisoner’s last rites and warn against funeral proceedings

The Sri Lankan Police have disrupted the last rites ceremony of a Tamil political prisoner who passed away on Wednesday, after spending weeks in a coma following an attack on Tamil prisoners by prison guards. The body of 37-year old Mariathas Nevis was handed over to his family in order to hold the last rites ceremony at around 5.30 yesterday evening in Passaiyoor, Jaffna Uthayan reported that Sri Lankan policemen entered the home where the last rites were being held and halted traditional instruments from being played at the ceremony. Furthermore, the policemen warned the family against...

Occupy and evangelise

The Tamil Buddhists Association of Jaffna has been trying to promote religious harmony between Hindus and Buddhists by distributing cloth to 100 schoolchildren from low income families, the Daily News reported. The Jaffna Vihara Chief has said that more would be done to spread the ways of the Dhamma to the North. The army is reported to be heavily involved in these activities. The Daily News quotes Colonel Amarasinghe of the 513 division as saying: "The Army is taking every step to promote and uplift the welfare of the people in Jaffna. Civilians too are showing keenness and enthusiasm to...

Tamil detainee attacked by jailers, dies

A Tamil political prisoner who had been in a coma for several weeks following an attack on Tamil detainees by prison guards at Vavuniya prison in June, died at 2:30am yesterday, reported Uthayan. The 37-year-old victim was admitted to Mahara hospital following the attack. The body was to be handed over to the victim's family today in order to have his last rites and funeral. The victim had been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in 2009 as he tried to flee the conflict, said his mother at the time of the attack.