India should support Tamil Eelam referendum – Karunanidhi

The Leader of the DMK, M Karunanidhi, has welcomed the idea of a referendum on an independent Tamil Eelam. Writing in his party journal Murasoli, Karunanidhi said India should give the "required support and pressure" to effect an intervention by the UN. “The demand for a referendum among Tamils for a separate Ealam is welcome. Some countries have earned recognition following such referendum at the intervention of the United Nations (UN),” he said.

Eelam Tamil elected President of Ontario NDP

An Eelam Tamil activist has been elected President of the Ontario NDP, the provincial branch of Canada’s main opposition National Democratic Party. Neetan Shan, who is also vice-chair of the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), won against two other candidates. "As the President of the Ontario New Democratic Party, I will continue to advocate for the rights of all marginalized communities in Ontario and maintain my focus on helping children, youth and families,” Neethan Shan told TamilNet. "I cannot forget that my roots are intricately woven with the collective history of the...

Visiting Indian delegation urges devolution of powers

Photograph Daily Mirror A cross party delegation of Indian officials urged the Sri Lankan government to devolve powers to the Tamils, during talks held with Basil Rajapaksa, members of the TNA and the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress. The Indian delegation, headed by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, included members from Congress, BJP, JD(U), SP and BJD. Two political parties from Tamil Nadu, AIADMK and DMK , withdrew their support for the visit, calling it futile. See here for report by The Hindu and The Hindustan Times . Speaking to PTI, Congress MP, Manicka Tagore, said, "The delegation...

Abbas hails Rajapaksa's success, Palestinian ties to Colombo

President Abbas (c) with President Rajapaksa. Photo Sunday Times Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas visiting Sri Lanka Monday hailed President Mahinda Rajapaksa for “achieving peace and stability in the country,” state media reported. Abbas is on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka. It comes exactly fifteen years after former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visited Sri Lanka – with an offer to mediate in the island’s conflict. Abbas was accompanied by foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki. Al-Maliki told reporters that the two countries had seen issues “from the same eye” for a considerable...

SL to cut Iranian oil import as US deadline looms

Sri Lanka is intending to drastically cut back crude oil imports from Iran, as the June 28 deadline for sanctions imposed by the United States is drawing closer. "Our efforts to finalize new arrangements ahead of the deadline were on track," Petroleum Minister, Susil Premjayantha said to The Island yesterday. "In fact, we have no option, but to act swiftly and decisively to ensure an uninterrupted energy supply," Mr Premjayantha said the government will have to reach agreements with new suppliers to obtain the crude oil imports, which were previously purchased from Iran. Questioned about the...

Army to be ‘guiding light’ for development in Sri Lanka – Army Commander

In more signs of Sri Lanka’s intention to ignore recommendations made in the LLRC, the Army Commander has used his New Year’s message to the armed forces to call on the army to be the ‘guiding light’ for development, just as it has been for unification, in the country. Extracts from Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya’s new year message : "At a time the whole of Sri Lanka celebrates Sinhala and Hindu New Year, it is with great pleasure I extend my New Year greetings to all ranks in the Army and members of their families. "Our next challenge in this peaceful and unitary country is development. You, as...

Another Tamil Nadu party pulls out of Sri Lankan visit

Tamil Nadu's DMK party announced its decision to pull out of an all-party Indian delegation set to visit to Sri Lanka this week, on Sunday. Speaking to reporters, the DMK leader, Karunanidhi said, “DMK never planned [to be part of the delegation]. There are past experiences to show that there is no use of such visits . Therefore, nobody from DMK is undertaking the visit.” Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, of the AIADMK party, had announced her party's decision to withdraw their representative from the delegation earlier this week.

Army tell Tamils in Jaffna - 'beware the Tamil diaspora'

The Sri Lankan military's army commander in Jaffna, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe warned Tamils in the North-East to be wary of the Tamil diaspora. Hathurusinghe said , "Various groups in Tamil Diaspora are now in the process of undermining the hard-earned peace in the country. Instead of disturbing peace now being enjoyed by people of Sri Lanka, those groups must come forward to help destitute people to make their life better using money being wasted on creating dissension among communities in Sri Lanka" The Sri Lankan government has previously dismissed human rights concerns as "...

London Mayor wishes British Tamils in New Year message

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, extended his wishes to the British Tamil community celebrating Chithirai Tirunaal and Tamil New Year. In his message Mr Johnson highlighted the significant contributions British Tamils make to the city. Full message : "I would like to extend my warmest wishes to the British Tamil community on this day of celebrating Chithirai Tiru-naal." "This important occasion provides us with the opportunity to renew the ties that bring us all together in building a prosperous community based on the bonds of family and social responsibility." "It is these strong values...

Sri Lanka seeks further trade links with Palestine

Hoping to capitalise on Palestine's $4.02 billion economy, Sri Lanka seeks further trade links and tourism investment with Palestine. Sri Lanka's minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, and his Palestinian counterpart, Khuloud Daibes, discussed ways of increasing trade between the two country's during a recent trade show. Addressing delegates at the show last month, Daibes said, "While offering greetings from our President and the Prime Minister, I should stress that Palestine can almost feel the great potential Sri Lanka has. We are glad that we have been able to arrive for...

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