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  • R.Sampanthan

    TNA insists Tamils want autonomy

    The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says the Tamils in Sri Lanka want autonomy and welcomed a call to this effect made by the National Peace Council (NPC). TNA leader R. Sampanthan says the best way the Government can avoid international pressure following the adoption of the recent resolution at the UN Human Rights Council is to agree to give Tamils autonomy. The National Peace Council had last week urged the government and other political parties in the country to urgently set up institutions to enable the Tamil people to be given a measure of autonomy. “The government held elections and established the Northern Provincial Council. But it is useless unless the Northern Provincial Council is…

  • LTTE-Flag

    LTTE rump in Britain push for trade embargo against Sri Lanka- The Island

    In their latest bid, pro-LTTE Tamil groups are preparing the ground work to urge Britain to halt trading with Sri Lanka with the objective of dealing an economic blow to the country. The Sunday Island reliably learns that these activists are planning to unleash a campaign called “Say No To Sri Lanka”.  These groups are already in consultation with the top British politicians to stop buying any commodities from Sri Lanka citing the human rights record in the country as an excuse, knowledgeable sources said.  UK is Sri Lanka’s second biggest export market after USA. Sri Lanka exports tea, apparel, fish, bicycles, rubber, gems and Jewellery, coir products, ceramics, fruits & vegetables and toys to…

  • karu

    UNP slams government over attack

    The main opposition United National Party (UNP) says the attack on a group of UNP MPs in Hambantota last Friday showed that some areas where “uncleared areas” like in the war. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that every citizen of Sri Lanka has a right to go anywhere, especially to a place constructed using public funds. He said that by preventing even parliamentarians from inspecting the Hambantota Port and Airport, the Government has shown that those areas are not cleared areas. The term “uncleared areas” was used during the war to identify areas under LTTE control. The UNP MP said that serious action will be taken over the issue as in his view the country…

  • fca

    FCA says unaware of new visa policy

    The Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) says it is unaware of any time limits on visas issued to foreign journalists posted to Sri Lanka. This comes after Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath had said that a five year police in in place for foreign journalists based in Colombo. Herath had made the comment on twitter when questioned over the Government decision not to grant a one year visa extension to the BBC correspondent in Colombo, Charles Haviland. The visa of Haviland, who has been in Sri Lanka since April 2009, expired this month and he had sought a one year extension through the External Affairs Ministry. However the Ministry had refused to grant him the one…

  • selvam_mp_un_001

    Few solutions needed before discussions: TNA

    The National Peace Council released a statement reiterating that government should recommence discussions with the TNA to reach a political solution. The Peace Council further stated that the Northern Provincial Council should be able to operate with no intervention from the Central Government and to plan a national inquiry mechanism to ensure accountability measures. When we inquired from TNA regarding the current situation to begin discussions, TNA MP and TELO Leader Selvam Adai-kala-naathan stated that before a discussion they expect the issues faced by Tamil people of the North to be resolved.

R.Sampanthan

TNA insists Tamils want autonomy

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says the Tamils in Sri Lanka want autonomy and welcomed a call to this effect made by the National Peace Council (NPC). TNA leader R. Sampanthan says the best way the Government can avoid international pressure following the adoption of the recent resolution at the UN Human Rights Council is to agree to give Tamils autonomy. The National Peace Council had last week urged the government and other political parties in the country to urgently set up institutions to enable the Tamil people to be given a measure of autonomy. “The government held elections and established the Northern Provincial Council. But it is useless unless the Northern Provincial Council is…

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LTTE-Flag

LTTE rump in Britain push for trade embargo against Sri Lanka- The Island

In their latest bid, pro-LTTE Tamil groups are preparing the ground work to urge Britain to halt trading with Sri Lanka with the objective of dealing an economic blow to the country. The Sunday Island reliably learns that these activists are planning to unleash a campaign called “Say No To Sri Lanka”.  These groups are already in consultation with the top British politicians to stop buying any commodities from Sri Lanka citing the human rights record in the country as an excuse, knowledgeable sources said.  UK is Sri Lanka’s second biggest export market after USA. Sri Lanka exports tea, apparel, fish, bicycles, rubber, gems and Jewellery, coir products, ceramics, fruits & vegetables and toys to…

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karu

UNP slams government over attack

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) says the attack on a group of UNP MPs in Hambantota last Friday showed that some areas where “uncleared areas” like in the war. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that every citizen of Sri Lanka has a right to go anywhere, especially to a place constructed using public funds. He said that by preventing even parliamentarians from inspecting the Hambantota Port and Airport, the Government has shown that those areas are not cleared areas. The term “uncleared areas” was used during the war to identify areas under LTTE control. The UNP MP said that serious action will be taken over the issue as in his view the country…

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fca

FCA says unaware of new visa policy

The Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) says it is unaware of any time limits on visas issued to foreign journalists posted to Sri Lanka. This comes after Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath had said that a five year police in in place for foreign journalists based in Colombo. Herath had made the comment on twitter when questioned over the Government decision not to grant a one year visa extension to the BBC correspondent in Colombo, Charles Haviland. The visa of Haviland, who has been in Sri Lanka since April 2009, expired this month and he had sought a one year extension through the External Affairs Ministry. However the Ministry had refused to grant him the one…

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selvam_mp_un_001

Few solutions needed before discussions: TNA

The National Peace Council released a statement reiterating that government should recommence discussions with the TNA to reach a political solution. The Peace Council further stated that the Northern Provincial Council should be able to operate with no intervention from the Central Government and to plan a national inquiry mechanism to ensure accountability measures. When we inquired from TNA regarding the current situation to begin discussions, TNA MP and TELO Leader Selvam Adai-kala-naathan stated that before a discussion they expect the issues faced by Tamil people of the North to be resolved.

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bbc

BBC journalist’s visa extended, not denied

The External Affairs Ministry yesterday refuted reports that it had denied visa to BBC journalist Charles Haviland adding that his Visa was actually extended. Media reports published yesterday stated that Haviland was denied visa extension by Sri Lankan authorities. A spokesperson for the Ministry told The Nation that Haviland’s visa was, in fact, extended by three months, contrary to reports. The official said that Haviland had completed five years in the country as a foreign correspondent. However, it is unclear whether Haviland’s visa would be extended further. Meanwhile, Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Charitha Herath stated that a foreign correspondent would be allowed to stay in Sri Lanka for a maximum…

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Tourists

Foreign alarm grows at attacks on female tourists

Reports of sexual harassment of Western female tourists continue to haunt the country with the latest being reported last week from Matara. According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) last year, almost 43 per cent of tourists were female. In Polhena, Matara, a 22-year-old Briton lodged a complaint with local police stating that the guide she had trusted to take her on a coral reef exploration had molested her by touching her inappropriately. This was a few weeks after the remanding of a former chairman of the Weligama Pradeshiya Sabha for sexually harassing a 22-year-old Swedish woman in Weligama. Earlier this year, two police officers were arrested for sexually harassing a young female…

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KP

Charges Against KP Amended

The charges under which an INTERPOL warrant was issued for the arrest of Kumaran Pathmanathan, better known as KP, have been amended. As of late last year, the INTERPOL website said that KP was wanted by India over crimes, terrorism and the use of weapons and explosives. Most recently, the charges have been amended and it now says he is wanted over criminal conspiracy, violation of the Terrorist Act and violation of the Indian Explosives Act. KP, who is currently living in Kilinochchi, is wanted in India over the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Pathmanathan was one of the top LTTE officials and ran a global network of LTTE offices which were…

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unp_mattala

UNP Complains To IPU

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) has lodged a complaint with the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) in Geneva over the attack on a group of UNP MPs at Hambantota last week. The chief opposition organiser and acting opposition leader John Amaratunge, commenting on the attack, said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe had raised the issue with the IPU and the United Nations. The complaints have been lodged for violating the parliamentary privileges of MP’s, Amaratunge said, adding that, on April 24, the UNP plans to ask the Speaker for a debate in Parliament regarding the incident. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the ministerial security personnel should also take responsibility over the incident. At…

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modi2_1598726g

Modi Warns Sri Lanka

India’s BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has issued a veiled threat to Sri Lanka during speeches made over the past few days at election rallies in Tamil Nadu, indicating he will be tough with Sri Lanka if he wins the ongoing Indian elections. Modi has said that with Tamils living all over the world, including in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Fiji, it should be a priority of the Indian government to take care of their well being and he promised to do so if a BJP-led Government assumes power after the elections. The Press Trust of India quoted Modi as saying at an election rally in Chennai that a strong and determined government was…

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parliment

No change in number of elected MPs from Jaffna Deputy Commissioner of Elections refutes false reports

Refuting reports of reduction in Parliamentary representation in Jaffna, the Elections Department says that Jaffna representation was unchanged. Speaking to The Nation, Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said there was no truth in reports of reduction of MPs elected from Jaffna. “The number remains unchanged,” he said. Reports were published earlier stating that the number of Parliamentarians representing Jaffna would be reduced from nine to six. He further stated that there had been changes in mainly four districts, namely Vavuniya, Nuwara Eliya, Matara and Kurunegala. According to the Deputy Commissioner, the Parliamentary representations have seen an increase in Vavuniya and Nuware Eliya by one member each, while there has been a reduction of one MP…

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iraj

Hambantota fiasco Eraj Fernando silences UPFA bigwigs

The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government appeared to have been embarrassed to silence yesterday by the actions of Hambantota Mayor Eraj Fernando and his supporters, who allegedly attacked a group of United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarians and media personnel in Hambantota on Thursday. The Nation news desk made repeated attempts to contact UPFA heavyweights regarding the fiasco, caught on camera by media personnel, where UPFA local politician Fernando and his supporters were seen allegedly manhandling and brazenly attacking opposition politicians and journalists as police watched on. However, these attempts were met with either deafening silence or refusal to comment as UPFA bigwigs chose to avoid what was already a highly embarrassing situation that…

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gamini_lakshman_peris

Diplomatic help sought to arrest LTTE operatives

External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L.Peiris will meet the diplomatic community next week to brief them on the recent proscription of LTTE fronts by the Government and seek their cooperation to apprehend LTTE operatives who have been issued interpol red notices. Official sources said yesterday that Minister Peiris is scheduled to meet the members of the diplomatic corps on Thursday morning where he will brief them on current issues and seek their cooperation in making the proscription of LTTE fronts more effective with help from their governments. Sri Lanka renewed the LTTE ban and proscribed 15 diaspora organisations in various countries as LTTE fronts on April 1. Subsequently, interpol red notices were issued against 40 LTTE operatives…

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kidney

Lanka police reject kidney racket behind Indian’s death

Sri Lankan police rejected reports of a suspected kidney racket behind the death of a 26-year-old Indian, saying he died of heart failure. Police in Hyderabad were probing a suspected Colombo- based kidney racket following death of Dinesh, who had arrived here looking for a job late last month but died days later, media reports said. His family had alleged foul play behind his death after accessing his conversation on social media and emails he had with an agent who offered him a job in Colombo following a kidney transplantation. “This young man from Andhra Pradesh in South India had died due to a blocked artery. So it was a case of heart failure,” police…

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UNHRC-vote

Lanka maintains stand on resolution

The Government says it will maintain its position on the US resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council recently. The resolution had called for an international independent investigation in Sri Lanka into human rights abuses alleged to have taken place between 2002 and 2009. However Government sources said that while a formal request is yet to be made by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to conduct investigations from within Sri Lanka, such a request when put forward, will not be entertained. The Government source reiterated Sri Lanka’s position explained by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinghe that the resolution will not only constitute a serious…

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tna

TNA softens stand on PSC participation

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday said it would reconsider its decision to boycott the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to seek a political solution to the national question, provided the government addressed issues of mutual concern. Speaking to Daily Mirror, TNA spokesman Jaffna district MP Suresh Premachandran said there had been several attempts in the recent past to woo the TNA to talks while ignoring its concerns. He was responding to PSC Chairman Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva’s invitation to the TNA yesterday to join the committee. This comes in the backdrop of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran hinting on March 31 that the TNA should reconsider its decision to boycott the PSC….

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BBC

BBC correspondent refused a visa

The correspondent of the BBC based in Colombo has been refused a one year visa extension and he has been asked to leave the country, the Colombo Gazette has learned. Sources said that the visa of Charles Haviland, who has been in Sri Lanka since April 2009, expired this month and he had sought a one year extension through the External Affairs Ministry. However the Ministry had refused to grant him the one year extension and had given him a few days to leave Sri Lanka. Pressure exerted by senior foreign journalists based in Colombo resulted in a three month extension been granted for Haviland by the External Affairs Ministry. Haviland had been reporting extensively…

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rengan

NY Judge upholds charges against Rajaratnam’s brother

Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, on Friday lost a bid to dismiss some of the insider trading charges leveled against him last year. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled that the indictment adequately alleged the essential elements of the crimes charged. Buchwald agreed that four securities fraud counts were “internally inconsistent” with a conspiracy charge contained in the indictment. But she withheld ruling on whether to dismiss them in order to allow the government to decide whether to proceed on those charges. A lawyer for Rajaratnam did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment….

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Murali

No government funding in aborted tour

Ex-cricketer Muttaiah Muralitharan recently invited five British MPs, whose tour however was cancelled at the last minute, due to misconstrued information that the government was funding this tour arranged by an NGO. Muralidharan wanted to showcase Foundation of Goodness, a project he is involved in, to those MPs. But the trip was cancelled allegedly due to pressure from UK based activists and media, it has been reported. The MPs who aborted the tour were Laurence Robertson (Conservative, Tewkesbury), Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con., Somerset West), Sharon Hodgson (Labour, Washington/Sunderland West), Stephen Hepburn (Lab., Jarrow) and Ian Paisley Jr. (N Antrim). Their cancellation was due to External Affairs Minister, G.L. Peiris’ recent announcement that Sri Lanka would not…

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18TH_VANNI

Bridging the narratives in Sri Lanka

Instead of victory memorials, Sri Lanka needs a monument to commemorate all casualties of the war In the hot plains of the Vanni, a larger-than-life stone soldier emerges out of a block of concrete, an AK-47 in one hand and the Sri Lankan flag in the other. Hardly visible from the ground, a dove sits on the machine gun. This is a “victory memorial” created by the Army after the end of the hostilities between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan Army in May 2009. Beneath it, two plaques commemorate its creation. They are in Sinhala and in English, but not in Tamil, the majority language there. Travelling through Sri Lanka, five years after…

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