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[16 Aug 2013 | Comments Off | ]
Sri Lanka launches new probe into thousands missing in war

Sri Lanka’s president Wednesday ordered a new investigation into the disappearance of thousands of people in the island’s northeast during an ethnic war which ended four years ago.

The announcement comes just days before UN human rights chief Navi Pillay is due to visit the island, amid international criticism of Colombo’s human rights record during the war against Tamil separatists.

President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed a retired judge to head a three-member panel to investigate "cases of persons from the northern and [...]

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[3 May 2013 | Comments Off | ]
Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?

Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?

This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean – Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an [...]

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[14 Apr 2013 | Comments Off | ]
Jaffna-based Uthayan suffers second attack in a fortnight

The office of Uthayan, the Jaffna-based Tamil newspaper, was attacked in the early hours of Saturday.

This is the second attack suffered by the publication in the last fortnight. On April 3, the newspaper’s Kilinochchi office was attacked by masked assailant.

Speaking to The Hindu, E. Saravanapavan, managing director of Uthayan and a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, said Saturday’s edition was passed at around 1 a.m. and three employees and three security guards were at office.

“The delivery personnel [...]

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[27 Feb 2013 | Comments Off | ]
Sri Lankan forces raping Tamil detainees: rights group

Sri Lankan security forces continue to use rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected Tamil rebels nearly four years after the end of the island’s civil war, a rights group alleged Tuesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed widespread rape of detainees during the separatist conflict that ended in May 2009, and said politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police has continued.

The report, coinciding with the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva, [...]

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[2 Jan 2013 | Comments Off | ]
East mourns demise of Muslim Tamil educationalist

The 40th day mourning for Al-haj M.A. Samsudeen, who passed away on 25 November at the age of 82, is to be observed at Addaa’laich-cheanai in the Ampaa’rai district of Eastern Province on Thursday. Mr. Samshudeen dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to education in the East as well in the North and retired as Batticaloa’s Additional Director of Education. His education and career in the East, North and Tamil Nadu is one such that would inspire anyone of [...]

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[29 Dec 2012 | Comments Off | ]

Sri Lankan ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Department (TID) has placed a phone call to the head of Jaffna University Teachers Association (JUTA) Lecturer A Rajakumaran and summoned him to the notorious TID office in Vavuniyaa, informed circles at the University of Jaffna told TamilNet on Friday. The JUTA has been firm in defending the rights of the students and has extended support to the protest by the students. It has also held its own protests against the detention by the TID.

The [...]

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[27 Dec 2012 | Comments Off | ]

Not many will doubt that one of the most sought after keyword on Internet is “sex”. And Sri Lankans, it seems, are the most search savvy when it comes to Googling that term.

This is according to Google Trends, a public web facility that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.

Second-placed India is not far behind in search for the term, and so isn’t (surprise, [...]

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[12 Dec 2012 | Comments Off | ]

Nearly 50 senior army officers including eight Major Generals and Brigadiers have been transferred by Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya, military sources said and added that the transfers will take effect in December and January next year.

The transfers will affect eight Major Generals, 24 Brigadiers, nine Colonels and seven Lieutenant Colonels.

Maj. Gen. J.C. Dias has been appointed as Adjutant General of the Army Headquarters in place of the present AG Maj. Gen. Kamal Guneratne who will assume duties as the Deputy [...]

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[8 Dec 2012 | Comments Off | ]

Sri Lankan lawmakers have concluded hearing impeachment charges against the country’s chief justice in her absence after she and opposition members walked out to protest what they called a lack of fairness in the inquiry.

Government lawmaker Anura Yapa, who headed an 11-member inquiry committee, handed over a report to Parliament Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on Saturday. Rajapaksa, the older brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, did not disclose the contents but said it will be debated on and put to a vote [...]

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[12 Nov 2012 | Comments Off | ]

Uprooted Champoor Tamil families numbering about 1,250 are undergoing untold sufferings in temporary shelters due to ongoing heavy rain and strong winds. Temporary shelters situated in Kaddai-pa’richchaan, Ki’liveddi, Manatcheanai and Paddiththidal are under flood waters and the latrines are submerged in the water, according to C. Thandayuthapani, the opposition leader in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC).

Mr.Thandayuthapani of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) paid a visit to Moothoor East and inspected the conditions of uprooted Tamil families sheltered in camps. [...]

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[10 Nov 2012 | Comments Off | ]

16 inmates were killed and more than 45 have sustained injuries in a clash between Sri Lankan Special Task Force elite commandos and Sinhala hardcore prisoners, initial reports from Colombo said. A group of STF elite commandos, who entered the Welikada prison in Colombo, on a search operation has provoked anger among the Sinhala inmates after engaging in verbal abuse against the prisoners. The rioting prisoners seized an arms storage at the prison and started firing against the STF personnel, [...]

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[6 Nov 2012 | Comments Off | ]

A hundred recommendations that came out in the submissions of the member states of the United Nations at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Sri Lanka have not enjoyed the support of Sri Lanka, reveal a draft document by the UPR working committee on Monday. The report also identified 110 recommendations as enjoying the support of Sri Lanka. All conclusions and/or recommendations contained in the present report reflect the position of the submitting State(s) and/or the State under review. They [...]

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[17 Sep 2012 | Comments Off | ]

A Tamil man has set himself on fire to protest against the proposed visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to India, police said.

Vijayaraj, a 26-year-old trade union activist, shouted slogans against Mr Rajapaksa before setting himself on fire, Press Trust of India reported.

The incident occurred at a bus station in Salem district in Tamil Nadu state.

He has been taken to hospital with 95% burns and his condition is critical, police say.

President Rajapaksa is due to visit Sanchi in Madhya [...]

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[15 Sep 2012 | Comments Off | ]

Freedom from Torture (FfT),a medical foundation for the care of victims of torture, in a report released this week, pointed to the evidence of more than 20 Sri Lankan Tamils who experienced torture after returning voluntarily to Sri Lanka in the post-conflict period, and said that the Organization "considers that the UK’s removal policy for Sri Lanka is based on a flawed assessment of risk." Asserting that the examined cases "reveal that Sri Lankan Tamils who in the past had [...]

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[15 Jul 2012 | Comments Off | ]

"…three years after the war ended, human rights groups and opposition leaders warn that the country is descending toward dictatorship, with dissent brutally crushed, the media cowed and the minority Tamils, whose insurrection caused the war in the first place, still treated like second-class citizens," Washington Post said in the Friday edition, adding, "[a]s the scorched earth campaign entered its final stages in 2009, it cost tens of thousands of lives – a U.N. report called for an investigation into [...]