55 Reports

Buddhist monks appropriate 100 acres of land in Akkaraippattu

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 September 2012, 22:05 GMT]
A group of one hundred Buddhist monks, backed by the Sri Lankan state in Colombo, visited Moddaik-kal-malai in Akkaraippattu division of Ampaa'rai district five days ago, declaring 100 acres of Tamils land surrounding the rock as a ‘sacred zone’ of Buddhists. Tamil civil officials in the area complain that Colombo and its Buddhist monks were planning to create a Sinhala colony in the lands that belong to Tamils.
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DDoS attacks on TamilNet foiled

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 September 2012, 22:47 GMT]
Following persistent Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks on TamilNet in late February that coincided with the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva, the site was once again intensively attacked this week by sources originating from various countries. Most of the co-ordinated attacks on 26 September originated from India, Malaysia, Israel and Germany. The attacks have also come from Thailand, Georgia, Brazil and Pakistan. This time, the cyber attacks on TamilNet coincided with its exclusive coverage exposing resettlement farce in Vanni, while Colombo and its abettors in the International Community of Establishments and in the international organisations, were projecting the closure of the IDP camp in Vavuniyaa as marking the successful completion of resettlement, ostensibly for the bailout of Colombo and continuation of the deceptive LLRC roadmap.
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240 families affected by mini-cyclone in Paduvaankarai

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 September 2012, 21:08 GMT]
At least 240 families of the resettled Tamils in 6 villages of Poaratheevup-pattu division of Paduvaankarai in Batticaola have been affected in a mini-cyclone that hit the village Friday evening, officials in Batticaloa said. 22 houses have sustained damage and the people who had resettled after their displacement during the times of war, have sought refugee again with their kith and kin elsewhere.
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US letter urges soft approach to Rajapakse rights violations

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 September 2012, 02:15 GMT]
Thirty one U.S. Congresspersons, during the closing sessions before the US elections, in a letter to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, urged her and her colleagues to "purposefully and dynamically engage with the Government of Sri Lanka in advancing reconciliation and accountability and a return to peaceful stability." While Tamil diaspora widely regard the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O. Blake, as the chief architect for the Sri Lanka policy which resulted in the Mu'l'livaaykaal massacre, the soft approach adopted by the Congresspersons calling for reconciliation, and subtly dropping "International" from Independent investigations, has brought criticism over giving Rajapakse's further space to avoid scrutiny for the alleged perpetration of international crimes on Tamil civilians.
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Colombo appoints Sinhala Chief Secretary, sidelines Tamils in EPC

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 September 2012, 17:20 GMT]
Sri Lankan government has appointed a Sinhalese, Mr DMS Abeygunawardena as Chief Secretary of the predominantly Tamil-speaking Eastern Province. Not a single Tamil has been appointed as minister by Colombo. Apart from the Muslim Chief Minister, three Muslims and a Sinhalese have been appointed as ministers to the newly formed EPC. Paramilitary operative Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan is the sole member of the newly elected EPC from the Batticaloa district, but he declined to accept a ministerial portfolio. Instead he has been appointed by the SL President as his ‘advisor’ for the entire Eastern Province.
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IDP camp dismantled, inmates appeal directly to International Community

[TamilNet, Monday, 24 September 2012, 10:33 GMT]
The SL military on Sunday dismantled the Cheddiku’lam IDP camp to forcefully remove the inmates, without making any permanent arrangement for their resettlement or return to their original villages. The seriously affected group is the villagers of Keappaa-pulavu of Mullaiththeevu district, whose village is now grabbed by the occupying military. The Sinhala military is quick to announce on Sunday, “There will be no more IDPs in the country from today.” On Friday, the camp inmates, having lost all confidence in Colombo government, have directly appealed for International intervention to enable them to return to their homes. The IC that abetted the genocide and herded the survivors into barbed-wire camps, now engineering even resettlement in continued complicity with genocidal Colombo, has again gone on record, commented Tamil political activists.
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UN complicit in Mu'l'livaaykaal killings, say UN humanitarian workers

[TamilNet, Monday, 24 September 2012, 00:44 GMT]
A report filed by an independent researcher based on eye-witness accounts from twelve United Nations humanitarian workers during the last phases of war ending in May 2009 on the policies implemented by Colombo, leading to starvation, deprivation of medical supplies, indiscriminate bombings of hospitals and schools in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1612 amounting to war-crimes and crimes against humanity, accuses the United Nation's officials' inaction, failure to speak out and willingness to acquiesce with the Rajapakse government's rights violations and state sanctioned killings of tens of thousands of unarmed civilians. Professor Boyle commented that Tamils should push for a UN independent commission similar to that which produced the hardhitting UN Rwanda report, and to avoid Srebrenica type report which was an inside UN job and hence was a coverup.
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SLMC harms interests of Tamil speaking people by joining UPFA in EPC: Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 September 2012, 21:44 GMT]
The decision of the SLMC to support the UPFA to the government at the provincial level in the East, is clearly in violation of the mandate given to it, by the voters, and is unprincipled and opportunistic, said R. Sampanthan, the president of the Ilangkai Tamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) and the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The decision made by the SLMC gravely harms the short term safeguards and the long term interests that the Tamil speaking people - the Tamil and Muslim peoples need to secure in order to live with dignity and security in the territories that they have historically inhabited, Mr Sampanthan said in his statement on Sunday.
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Pongku Thamizh event in Geneva urges global Tamils to uphold struggle

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 September 2012, 03:18 GMT]
Diaspora Tamils should focus their full efforts in demanding the United Nation to conduct a plebiscite among the Tamil speaking people in the Tamil homeland, told Professor Giuseppe Burgio from the University of Palermo, Italy, at the Pongku Thamizh rally held Saturday in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva in Switzerland. More than 3,500 Tamil activists across Europe gathered in Geneva to assert their resolve to uphold the struggle for the independence of the nation of Eezham Tamils. A group of mayors and lawyers from France appeared in the stage vowing their support to Eezham Tamils' Right to Self Determination and international legal efforts that sought to pave the way forward. Norwegian Red party politician Stian Nicolajsen told the gathering that his party would extend full support to Tamils' independence.
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Spy case filed in Tamil Nadu against Pakistani diplomat in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 September 2012, 16:34 GMT]
Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a diplomat in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo has been accused in a court in Tamil Nadu for his alleged spy activities in India. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Tamil Nadu Police in a court in Tiruchy, the Pakistani diplomat, through his contacts Haji and Shaji living in Colombo, has employed Thamim Ansari of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu to supply sensitive information of defence installations in India. The Q Branch of Tamil Nadu police arrested Ansari on Monday, while he was going to the Tiruchy airport to catch the Colombo flight. The DVDs seized from him had defence-related visuals, news reports said.
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Frederica Jansz sacked

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 September 2012, 12:50 GMT]
Frederica Jansz, the editor of one of the last remaining "outspokenly anti-government" English newspaper published in Colombo, was sacked by the new businessman owner when Jansz refused to "curb her style of writing and compromise her credibility," as demanded by the owner, BBC reported. Asanga Seneviratne who is an associate of Sri Lanka's President, Mahinda Rajapakse, had bought a 72% stake in the paper, and had asked Jansz to stop carrying articles critical of the Rajapaksas - several of whom occupy senior government positions, BBC reported.
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Tamils in UK salute Vijayaraj, condemn India's welcome of Mahinda

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 September 2012, 00:03 GMT]
Saluting the sacrifice of Salem based Tamil Nadu activist Vijayaraj, who had self-immolated protesting Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to India and who succumbed to his burns on Tuesday, Eezham Tamils in the UK conveyed their solidarity to the protesting Tamils of Tamil Nadu, condemning India's welcome of the genocide-accused SL President. Demonstrating outside the Indian High Commission in London on Friday, the protesters further urged the Indian government to recognize the genocide of the Eezham Tamils.
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SL forces attack, throw dirt at people demanding resettlement in Mullaiththeevu

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 September 2012, 11:22 GMT]
When people of Mullaiththeevu for the first time in last three years gathered in hundreds in front of the district secretariat on Friday, to demand resettlement in their village at Keappaa-pulavu in the district, the occupying Sinhala military deployed in large numbers responded with intimidation of taking videos of the demonstrators and by arranging a gang to throw human excretion at them. After throwing dirt the gang escaped by getting into a nearby SL police station. Later, a motorbike gang followed the vehicle in which Mr S. Kajendran was returning from the demonstration to attack it near Mu’l’liyava’lai. Another gang, in the very presence of SL military, attacked the vehicle in which Dr. Wikramabahu Karunaratne and Mr Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam were returning via Paranthan road. A vehicle of media persons was also attacked.
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Protests intensify against Rajapaksa’s presence in India, Congress-BJP condemned

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 September 2012, 09:08 GMT]
Criticizing both the BJP led Madhya Pradesh state government and Congress Party for inviting SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a Buddhist event in Sanchi, MDMK leader Vaiko told reporters “Despite knowing that Rajapaksa is solely responsible for the genocide of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh has invited him and the Centre endorsed his visit,” a PTI report on Thursday said. As Mr. Vaiko and the MDMK cadres attempted to march to Sanchi today, all were arrested and have been temporarily detained at a location nearby, sources told TamilNet. Separately, a correspondent for The Hindu reported today that “It was an ironical scenario in Bhopal as a President accused of genocide arrived here on Thursday to inaugurate a ceremony on world peace.”
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Vaiko stopped at Madhya Pradesh border

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 September 2012, 06:18 GMT]
Even as the genocide-accused SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa landed in New Delhi on Wednesday to a warm welcome, MDMK leader Vaiko and over a thousand of his cadres, who had planned a peaceful black flag demonstration against Rajapaska’s inauguration of a Buddhist university at Sanchi, were stopped at the Madhya Pradesh border by that state’s police. Mr. Vaiko along with the other protestors staged a sit-in at the spot where they were stopped, near Pandhurna on the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border, raising banners, placards and slogans against Rajapaksa’s visit to India.
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UK Judge draws attention to Sri Lanka torture reports

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 September 2012, 01:36 GMT]
UK Queen's Bench Administrative Court Judge, Mr CMG Oakton, while refusing to grant stay of removal of failed Tamil asylum seekers, ruling that the legal challenge has to be mounted on an "individual basis," said during an individual appeal that he is concerned with the recent reports released by Freedom From Torture, and by Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) on the likelihood of State sanctioned torture in Sri Lanka. The Case was filed at the Administrative Court Wednesday morning by TAG to stop the forced deportation of asylum seeking Tamils by the UK Government in a chartered flight scheduled to depart at 15:30 pm. Wednesday. However, The Independent reported that "[d]ozens of failed Sri Lankan asylum seekers were removed at the last minute from a controversial deportation flight today after a senior judge accepted there was a risk that they could be tortured on their return. "
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Resettled people report traces of genocide

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 September 2012, 00:46 GMT]
Despite reports of alleged deployment of unscrupulous foreign expertise in erasing the traces of the genocidal onslaught that took place in Mullaiththeevu district in the final days of Vanni war in 2009, there are still remains of hundreds of human skeletons that were burnt to ashes in Aananthapuram and other parts of Puthukkudiyiruppu, civilians who have been allowed to resettle there told TamilNet this week. Their observations confirm earlier information from reliable sources inside the SL military that thousands of non-combatants were taken to the suburbs of Puthukkudiyiruppu and shot and killed en masse with a clear intention to annihilate a large section of the people including children and women.
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British MP raises issue of Tamil deportees persecution in House of Commons

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 September 2012, 21:52 GMT]
Making an emergency ‘Point of Order’ speech in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Gareth Thomas, Labour MP for Harrow West, raised the issue of deported Tamil asylum seekers being tortured by the Sri Lankan government. Referring to a HRW report on torture of Tamil deportees, Mr. Thomas said “The Foreign Office says they condemn torture but their counterparts in the Home Office have so far rejected the danger of torture to Tamil deportees. At the moment the Tories are saying one thing in one department and doing the reverse in another. They need to take the allegations of torture much more seriously than they are so far.” Separately, activists from the ‘No Borders’ group protested today the deportation of 60 Tamil refugees by attempting to halt the bus transporting them.
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RAW accuses ISI for installing spy equipment in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 12:17 GMT]
The Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in a recent report warned about increased activities of the Pakistani intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Jaffna in the last 3-4 months, reported Indian media, The Pioneer, last Wednesday. According to the report, the Pakistanis have been erecting spy equipment in Jaffna for keeping tab on the movement of Indian submarines.
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China strengthens its grip on Colombo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 11:17 GMT]
China has signed 16 agreements with Colombo on Monday. The agreemets range from visa exemption and marine development to economic and technology cooperation. The agreements also promised to expand investment and increase imports from the island, reported China Daily on Tuesday. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed the agreements with China's top legislator, Wu Bangguo, who is the highest ranking official of the Chinese legislature to visit Colombo since the end of genocidal Vanni war in May 2009.
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Detention, Torture in Sri Lanka, Tamil returnees at risk, says TAG report

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 10:40 GMT]
Tamils Against Genocide (TAG-UK), in a report released this week, provides supporting evidence from several successful judicial opinions in the UK of Tamil asylum applicants on claims of being subjected to torture in Sri Lanka, asylum interviews by UK Border Agency, and exclusive Medico-Legal Reports, concludes that Tamil returnees to Sri Lanka face "likelihood of torture in association with initial arrest and detention" and the returnees are subjected to "brutal interrogation techniques," and called for a "comprehensive re-evaluation of the UK government’s current policy towards asylum applicants of Eezham Tamil origin.
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Tamil Nadu activist attempts self-immolation to protest Rajapaksa visit to India

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 September 2012, 07:51 GMT]
Protesting the scheduled visit of SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India, Vijayaraj, a 26-year-old CITU activist attempted to self-immolate in Salem on Monday, a PTI report said. This attempt comes in the wake of protests of numerous political parties in Tamil Nadu against the genocide-accused Rajapaksa visiting Sanchi in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to lay the foundation stone for a Buddhist University on 19 September.
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Blake clings to LLRC while Rajapaksa scoffs at regime-change paradigm

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 September 2012, 00:36 GMT]
Concluding his visit to Colombo with a press conference on Friday, the US Asst. Secretary of State, Robert Blake, came out with the expected rhetoric on LLRC implementation, provincial council election in the North, ‘reducing’ the role and profile of the SL military in the ‘North’ and resumption of talks with the TNA on ‘provincial devolution’. While the zest was missing in the statement of Blake, Rajapaksa with an obvious hint at the current predicament of the USA mocked at the boomerang effect of the regime change paradigm. Rajapaksa’s tirade against the USA is unnecessary, since how could the Obama Administration that doesn’t think of even changing the South Asia desk would think of a regime change in Sri Lanka, commented political observers.
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Two dead bodies washed ashore in Jaffna islet

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 September 2012, 23:43 GMT]
Two dead bodies, washed ashore within the past 48 hours in Ma'nkumpaan near Allaippiddi in the Kayts island of Jaffna, have not been identified, according to the Sri Lankan Police in Kayts. In the meantime, news sources in Jaffna said there have been sporadic cases of dead bodies being washed ashore in recent times and a number of bodies have never been identified. The pattern indicates a mysterious background, according to the news sources in the islets off Jaffna.
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Sri Lanka in UN list of countries accused of intimidating critics

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 September 2012, 12:47 GMT]
Sri Lanka has been included in the the United Nations list of 16 nations singled out for cracking down on critics, the Washington Post reported. The UN report added that most of those countries’ governments are going unpunished for their acts of reprisal. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told a special session of the Human Rights Council that the 16 nations detailed in a new report “have been far from sufficient” in preventing members of their own governments from resorting to intimidation and attacks on various activists, the Post further said.
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Resettled Tamils again face displacement due to SLA camp expansion

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 September 2012, 23:05 GMT]
Resettled villagers are again forced to leave Thoa'ni-thaadda-madu village, an agricultural village situated 90 km north of Batticaloa city in Koa'ralaippattu North DS division, are again forced to flee their village following the recent expansion of the military camp of the Sri Lanka Army in the village.
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Tamil returnees from UK face possible torture in Sri Lanka: Report

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 September 2012, 03:35 GMT]
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 Eezham 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 an actual or perceived association at any level with the LTTE but were able to leave Sri Lanka safely now face risk of torture on return," the FfT added that there "should be a pause in forcible removals of Tamils to Sri Lanka" while the UK Border Agency's policy on removals to Sri Lanka is changed to properly reflect the evidence presented in FfT's report.
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Traders in North face dilemma as banks stop loans

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 September 2012, 15:55 GMT]
Eezham Tamil business community in the Jaffna peninsula and the Vanni mainland are in a dilemma as all Sri Lankan banks in public and private sectors have suddenly stopped issuing loans and also have increased the rate of interest to loans already issued by four percent. The entire business activity in the districts of Jaffna and Ki'linochchi has come to a grind halt, according to Mr.R.Jayasekaram, the president of the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce.
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OHCHR team arrives in Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 September 2012, 08:31 GMT]
Hanny Megally, Chief of Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Friday arrived in Colombo on a week-long tour to the island.
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UPFA operatives threaten TNA councilors to join UPFA in East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 September 2012, 23:24 GMT]
Some of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) councilors, elected in the Eastern Provincial Elections, have gone into hiding evading abduction and intimidation as operatives sent from Colombo were engaged in threatening that they would be abducted if they fail to extend support for the formation of a new administration by the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). The Colombo operatives began to threaten the TNA councilors as they were not able to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Tamil people even after promising 50 million rupees in cash to each councilor, a house in Colombo and a vehicle, the sources further said.
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Blake greets Sampanthan in Colombo

[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 September 2012, 20:00 GMT]
The visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake Thursday morning met R. Sampanthan, the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at Colombo Hilton Hotel. Mr Blake showed interest in knowing about the tug-o-war between the parties in the forming the next administration of the EPC, the sources close to TNA told TamilNet. Referring to the Action Plan submitted to the UNHCR by the Sri Lankan Government about the implementation of some of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), Sampanthan pointed out to Blake that the SL government had diluted those recommendations in its Action Plan
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Socialist Alliance in Perth formes equality campaign for Tamil Eelam, Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 September 2012, 23:16 GMT]
“Just like the apartheid in South Africa was isolated through the tightening grip of trade, cultural and sporting sanctions; just as the freedom struggle was aided by international support-moral, financial and political; so too a new international campaign for equal rights and justice in Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka must be brought into being,” says Samuel Wainwright, one of the leaders of the Socialist Alliance in Perth, Australia, who recently organised a solidarity seminar in Perth. A new network, named ‘WA Network for Human Rights in Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka’ has come into being following the seminar held on 01 September in Fremantle, he said.
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IOM blamed for double standards

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 September 2012, 21:04 GMT]
A section of the officials of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), working with the Sri Lankan State, have been harassing former LTTE members to return the identity cards the organisation had earlier provided to them certifying their release. The IOM, which undertook ‘pre-release profiling’ of more than 10,000 ex-Tiger members, had received foreign aid from Japan, Norway, USA, The Netherlands and the UK for the programme named ‘Information, Counselling, and Referral Services’ (ICRS). After completing the project, the inter-governmental organisation, with its global agenda of restricting ‘illegal immigration’, has now sought to prevent the possibility of ex-Tiger members using the identity card to document their background when they seek political asylum outside the island, informed sources told TamilNet.
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Eezham Tamil elected to leading committee of SP party in Switzerland

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 September 2012, 14:22 GMT]
Lathan Suntharalingam, an Eezham Tamil and a legislative member of Lucerne canton in Switzerland, has been elected to the national level 9-member Leading Committee of the Social Democratic Party (SP) on Sunday. Dissler Sebastian, the general secretary of the SP party in the Canton of Lucerne, told TamilNet that the election of Lathan Suntharalingam to a crucial role in their party not only demonstrated the achievement of an active politician, but also how their party has recognized the role of the immigrant population.
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‘Power cut’ costs a seat to TNA in EPC elections

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 September 2012, 03:14 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was getting 7 seats and was leading in the counting of votes for the Batticaloa district, taking place at Vincent Girls College. Then, there was a 30 minutes ‘power cut’ and when the lights came back, it was announced that the TNA got only 6 seats. The ‘lost’ one went to the UPFA. As it stands now TNA has secured 11 seats, trailing behind the ruling UPFA that has won 12 seats in the province. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has secured 7 seats, while the UNP got 4 seats and Wimal Weerawansa's National Freedom Front (NFF) got one. The counting for Batticaloa district that usually takes place at the Hindu College was shifted this time to Vincent's College close to a paramilitary camp.
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UPFA candidate threatens TNA supporters in Ampaa'rai

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 September 2012, 15:37 GMT]
Pushparasa, a candidate in the East elections under the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) ticket and a former member of the East Municipal Council attacked Tamil National Alliance (TNA) supporters and threatened with death TNA member of the Naavithan Ve'li Piratheasiya Sapai member Gunaratnam at 2.00 p.m. near the polling booth at the Ma'nal Kunru Junction Kannaki Vidyaalyam, sources in Ampaa'rai said.
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Gang attacks Catholic church in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 September 2012, 15:36 GMT]
Two devotees attending the annual festival of the Mannaar Kappal Church were seriously injured when a group of thugs stoned the church on Friday night. The latest attack is seen as an episode intended to cause ethnic disharmony between the Catholics and Muslims in Mannaar. The attack is attributed to a Muslim gang.
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60% voter turnout in EPC polls, Muslim participation low

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 September 2012, 15:27 GMT]
The voter turn-out of Eastern Provincial polls that ended at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday was about sixty percent district wise. The voter turnout in Muslim areas was reported low, according to the District Office of the SL Elections Department. The voter turn-out was 70 percent In Paduvaankarai area in Batticaloa, but in Muslim areas it was below 75 percent compared to past 92 percent. The voter turn-out in Ampaa'rai district was 65 percent in Tamil areas but less in Muslim areas. The reason for the less turn-out in Muslim areas was cited internecine fight between Muslim political parties, the sources further said.
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Tamil civil society cautions UNHRC to safeguard reputation

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 September 2012, 14:58 GMT]
Civil society activists of Eezham Tamils are worried about possibilities of Sri Lanka manipulating the visit of the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) team to the island next week. In a letter addressed to HE Navanetham Pillai, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the civil society has cautioned the team against Sri Lanka buying more time to continue and complete its agenda of Sinhalicisation of the North and East. The civil society expressed its fear based on past instances where the GOSL had been able to manipulate visits by members of the International and UN community so as to benefit its agenda. The letter requested the team to have its own agenda for assessment of the situation, to get guarantees from GOSL for that freedom and to let the public know on the terms of reference as well as restrictions.
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Rajapaksa’s ministers threaten Tamil voters in East

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 September 2012, 11:37 GMT]
A group of more than ten ministers of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) currently staying in Trincomalee district on the eve of election to the Eastern Provincial Council were reportedly engaged in intimidating voters to vote for their candidates and the Tamil village level officers are intimidated for not co-operating with them in this regard, civil sources in Trincomalee said Saturday. In the meantime, participation in the provincial elections on Saturday was as low as 35% in the city and 40% in remote areas in the early hours of the day. However, reports from remote areas indicated active participation later in the day. In Ampaa'rai district, the attendance was at 60%. In Batticaloa district, 62% of the votes were polled, the officials said. Muslim voters in Ee'raavoor, Kaaththaankudi and Vaazhaich-cheanai divisions actively participated, news sources in East said.
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SLN arrests asylum seekers, Greens Senator notes systematic abuse of Tamils

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 September 2012, 19:36 GMT]
As the Sri Lanka Navy arrested 54 Australia bound asylum seekers fleeing from the island on a boat on Thursday and hauled them off to the CID for interrogations, Australia’s Greens Party Senator Lee Rhiannon condemned the Australian Coalition’s political position to deport refugees from the island before they set foot on Australian soil as being “immoral, discriminatory, cruel”, referring to the routine violations of the Tamils’ basic rights in the island. "It is not surprising that people are looking to escape from Sri Lanka,” she told TamilNet. "Reports of the systematic abuse of Tamil women political prisoners and prisoners-of-war by the Sri Lankan armed forces are extremely disturbing,” she further said, alluding to TamilNet’s feature on genocide-intended sexual violence perpetrated by the Sri Lankan military and police on ex-LTTE female cadres.
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Rajapaksa's UPFA-men destroy Hindu temple in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 September 2012, 17:50 GMT]
Abiraami Amman Koayil in Meankaamam village, situated in Moothoor DS division of Trincomalee district, was destroyed on Wednesday. Residents in the area told TamilNet that a gang led by former Provincial Minister of Agriculture and Inland Fisheries T. Navaratnarajah, who is contesting the forthcoming election to the Eastern Provincial Council on the ticket of SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), was behind the destruction.
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Sampanthan writes to Rajapaksa on election violations in East by UPFA

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 September 2012, 13:42 GMT]
Certain events have occurred in the past several days which have raised grave misgivings in regard to whether the elections to Eastern Provincial Council to be hold on Saturday would be free and fair, tells R. Sampanthan, the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Thursday in a formal letter sent to SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also the leader of the ruling UPFA alliance. Vehicles belonging to candidates and supporters of political parties opposed to the UPFA have been attacked, Sri Lankan military intelligence personnel have warned those opposed to the UPFA of ‘unpleasant consequences’ after the elections and a so-called Blue Brigade that has arrived in the East has been asking for the polling cards of voters, the letter by Mr Sampanthan said.
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450 SL military personnel undergo training in India

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 September 2012, 01:08 GMT]
In a written reply to the upper house of the Indian Parliament, Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday admittedly confirmed the training provided to Sri Lankan military personnel in different states of India, including Tamil Nadu where there has been strong opposition from political parties of different hues against the same. “More than 450 personnel from Sri Lankan armed forces are undergoing training at the defence establishments in India including in Bangalore, Kannur and Belgaum,” a PTI report said, citing Defence Ministry sources. In the meantime, representatives from Tamil Nadu political parties in both the houses of the Indian parliament demanded the Indian government to scrap all training given to Sri Lankan military personnel, accusing the latter of war crimes and genocide.
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BJP denies inviting Rajapaksa as Tamil leaders announce protest in India

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 September 2012, 19:14 GMT]
Tamils across Tamil Nadu on Wednesday launched protests against Rajapaksa’s scheduled visit to India on 21 September to inaugurate a centre for Buddhist study at Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh. VCK activists in Coimbatore burnt photographs of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sushma Swaraj, the leader of the BJP who had reportedly invited the genocide-accused SL president. Meanwhile, MDMK leader Vaiko urged the BJP to cancel the invitation to Rajapaksa, stating that otherwise he would lead a black flag demonstration to Madhya Pradesh when the SL president arrives. In the meantime, Sushma Swaraj and other BJP leaders have denied inviting Rajapaksa, alleging that the Indian Prime Minister and the Ministry of External Affairs were responsible for inviting the SL president.
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Genuine boat refugees fear for life, send SOS from Indonesia

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 September 2012, 20:57 GMT]
53 Eezham Tamil boat refugees, seeking asylum in Australia but driven to Indonesia, are on a fast-unto-death protest on-board their vessel for the past four days, against the decision of the Indonesian authorities to hand them over to Sri Lanka Navy. The refugees claim that they will be persecuted, even killed, if handed over to the SL Navy. On Tuesday, they sent SOS messages to their families, relatives and journalists in the island to urge the international human rights groups to address their plight. A university student representative in Jaffna confirmed that there were genuine refugees needing international protection in the boat. The refugees heading for Christmas Island of Australia were taken to Indonesia on 28 August by that country’s navy after their boat ran out of fuel in mid sea.
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‘BJP legitimizes Sri Lanka’s culture of genocide through Buddhist links’

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 September 2012, 13:54 GMT]
At a function organised by the Sri Lankan high commission in New Delhi on Saturday, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has unveiled a painting depicting Emperor Asoka to mark the 2,600th year of the advent of Buddhism in the island. Sushma Swaraj recalled the important cultural and Buddhist links between India and Sri Lanka and affirmed India's commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, reported IANS on Sunday, adding that “she was impressed by the resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the Sri Lankan government and the approaches by all parties towards reconciliation.” A Tamil Nadu activist studying in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University working with the Delhi Tamil Students’ Union condemned this move as a legitimization of “Sri Lanka’s culture of genocide”.
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Sri Lanka Navy expels resettling Muslims, destroys huts in Musali, Mannaar

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 September 2012, 23:31 GMT]
The occupying Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel in uniform and civil clothes, numbering around 70, went amok on the temporary settlement of Muslims at Maraikkaar village in Musali division setting fire to 15 huts and smashing another 10 huts Monday evening around 7:00 p.m., residents said. The SL Navy has ‘warned’ the civilians, who had resettled there in 2010, to vacate the area, the sources further said. In the meantime, a Catholic school that started to function on Monday at Mu'l'likku'lam was also vacated by the SL Navy.
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TESO group to meet Ban in US, visit UNHCR in Geneva

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 September 2012, 12:01 GMT]
M.K. Stalin, son of DMK chief Karunanidhi and former deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu, accompanied by T.R. Balu, senior leader of the DMK, and possibly joined by two other TESO Committee members, the DK chief Veeramani and Subhaveera Pandian, is scheduled to visit the US during the third week of September to meet the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to present the TESO resolutions to him, Deccan Chronicle reported Monday. On their way back, the group is also scheduled to stop at Geneva to hand over the resolutions to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC). Stalin and Balu would be officially informing the purpose of their travel to the Speakers of the Tamil Nadu Assembly and the Indian Lok Sabha where they are members.
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Australia Opposition says ready to violate UN Refugee Convention

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 September 2012, 03:33 GMT]
Tamil refugees fleeing the island of Sri Lanka to the shores of Australia drew wide media coverage and Australia's law makers rushed in defence of parties' asylum policies as Australian authorities intercepted a boat carrying 81 suspected asylum seekers north-northwest of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Saturday. While Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop claimed that many asylum seekers from the island of Sri Lanka are economic migrants, and not refugees, and therefore, should be deported before they get access to Australia's legal system, the Immigration Minister in the ruling party said Australia would be breaching UN's 1951 Refugee Convention if the refugees were deported before considering their claims, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
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Tamil book club inaugurated in London

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 September 2012, 22:41 GMT]
With an initial collection of around one thousand books, a Tamil book club has been inaugurated in London on Sunday. The Lotus Book Club for buying, borrowing as well as reading Tamil books in London will be functioning at a facility near Woolwich Arsenal metro station. The opening ceremony, that saw participation of Eezham Tamils, Tamil Nadu Tamils, and Malaysian Tamils displayed a collection of books covering diverse topics such as Tamil history, linguistics, politics, evolution of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle, literary classics etc.
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Witness to Genocide documentary wins two awards in India

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 September 2012, 19:41 GMT]
One of the big winners of the 2012 exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards (eNBA) in India on Friday was ‘I Witnessed Genocide : Inside the Killing Fields of Lanka’, a key documentary produced last year by Headlines Today Television on the plight of Eezham Tamils in Vanni. The New Delhi based station's special correspondent Priyamvatha and cameraman Ashok Bhanot were the first international journalists to travel to Vanni, undercover, to report on the survivors of the 2009 genocide. The documentary has won under two categories for Best Current Affairs Programme and Best News Coverage – International.
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Jayalalithaa orders exit of Colombo footballers, suspension of stadium official

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 September 2012, 18:13 GMT]
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms Jayalalithaa on Sunday gave orders to send back a football team of Sri Lanka’s Royal College in Colombo that had come to play ‘friendly’ matches in Chennai. The matches had been organised through an arrangement between the College and an official of the Reserve Bank of India, and the team had already played a match on Friday with the Customs Department of the Central Government, at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Slamming the Government of India for allowing the Sri Lankan team to play matches in Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary of the State to suspend an officer in-charge of the Nehru Stadium of the state government who had given oral permission for the venue. Department level inquiries are initiated against the official.
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Basil Rajapaksa's men threaten Tamil-speaking voters: Sampanthan, Hakeem

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 September 2012, 15:31 GMT]
More than one thousand men sent under the instruction of SL Presidential sibling and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse have been engaged in intimidating Tamils and Muslims in the three districts of the eastern province namely Ampaarai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee that they would face serious consequences if they fail to vote for the ruling United Peoples Freedom Party in the forthcoming election to the Eastern Provincial Council that is scheduled to be held on Saturday, September 8 , according to complaints lodged with the Commissioner General of Elections by the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R.Sampanthan and Rauff Hakeem, the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, who is also the Justice Minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa's cabinet. Basil Rajapakse is also a minister in same cabinet.
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Australian Court denies US extradition request

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 September 2012, 02:36 GMT]
Melbourne Federal Court Judge, Justice Tony North, in a precedent setting verdict delivered Friday, denied extradition of an Eezham Tamil, Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, to the U.S., ruling that the US charges against Santhirarajah, were "political". The Court also ruled that Australia's Attorney General (AG) Nicola Roxon's decision to authorize extradition "denied Santhirarajah procedural fairness," and that the AG "erred in the way she accepted extradition would not result in Mr Santhirarajah's torture." Justice North appeared to have also heeded the warning of Mr Santhirarajah's wife, Priya, who is an Australian citizen and who said previously that "to consent to Thulasi's extradition will amount to the signing of his death warrant."
Full story >>

 

     

 

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