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TNA Sampanthan Speech to parliament 28 Nov 2013
Published Date: 29/11/2013 (Friday)
Mr. Deputy Speaker, I am happy to follow the Hon. Minister of External Affairs, the Hon. (Prof.) G.L. Peiris. His Excellency the President in his capacity as Minister of Finance has presented his 9th Budget. When he presented his 9th Budget, he had also assumed duties as Chairman of the Commonwealth. This would, no doubt, entail additional duties and responsibilities, which hopefully would have a beneficial impact on governance in this country.
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New Guide - How to follow up on United Nations human rights recommendations
Published Date: 29/11/2013 (Friday)
The fifth in the series of Practical Guides for civil society produced in the last three years by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the new Guide - How to follow up on United Nations human rights recommendations describes methods and activities that civil society actors can use to promote the implementation of human rights recommendations, as well as existing follow-up procedures and practices of UN human rights mechanisms and how civil society can participate. Complemented by real experiences contributed by civil society actors and OHCHR field presences, the Guide offers a menu of options from which civil society actors can select on the basis of their on human rights recommendations
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Commemorating the birth of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran or paying tribute to LTTE banned in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/11/2013 (Tuesday)
The Sri Lankan government announced today that it has outlawed all events that directly or indirectly honour the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The authorities took this decision to prevent commemoration of the birth of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the Tamil community celebrating the “Heroes Day”.
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Government's CHOGM bill at Rs 15.8 Billion
Published Date: 24/11/2013 (Sunday)
The government has spent a whopping Rs 15.8 billion on the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), opposition charged in Parliament yesterday. Spending money of this magnitude for a meeting of this nature should have some sense of proportion where 54 Mercedes Benzes were imported for the 54 Heads of Governments, but only 21 arrived, Colombo District United National Party (UNP) MP, Ravi Karunanayake, speaking during the budget debate said.
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Popular Tamil poet arrested in Sri Lanka for violating visa condition
Published Date: 24/11/2013 (Sunday)
The Jaffna-born popular Tamil poet V.I.S. Jeyapalan has been arrested in Sri Lanka for violating visa regulations. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said, Jeyapalan, 79 was arrested on Friday, 22nd in Mankulam because he was visiting the island on a tourist visa, but was involved in holding seminars in Jaffna, which according to police aimed at causing communal unrest. The exiled poet is a resident of Norway.
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British Foreign Secretary opens UK funded reconciliation centre
Published Date: 14/11/2013 (Thursday)
Today, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, opened a new reconciliation centre in Matara, southern Sri Lanka, funded by the UK. The centre is run by Sri Lanka Unites (SLU) – a youth movement which helps young people lead the way in consolidating peace in Sri Lanka. The organisation says, it has over 15,000 members from over 100 schools across Sri Lanka. Some volunteers are from local and international universities and there are chapters established in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
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Police demolished Mullivaikal Memorial Compound wall in Tamil Nadu
Published Date: 14/11/2013 (Thursday)
P Nedumaran, president of Ulaga Thamizhar Peramaippu announced that the police and highways department officials demolished the compound wall of the Mullivaikkal Memorial (Mullivaikkal Ninaivu Mutram) in the early hours of this morning. He said, “The police came to the memorial armed with bulldozers and fenced the memorial area which contained the park and lawns with wire mesh. They also installed two boards stating the area belonged to Highways department and later started demolishing it”.
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ICG’s New Report: Sri Lanka’s Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire
Published Date: 13/11/2013 (Wednesday)
Despite recent moves meant to show progress towards post-war reconciliation and respect for human rights, Sri Lanka's government has not altered the authoritarian direction of its policies, and the rights and security of all communities remain under threat. In its latest report, Sri Lanka's Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire, the International Crisis Group examines challenges facing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) following its landslide victory in Sri Lanka's north, the central government's hostility to devolution, and the ever-shrinking democratic space nationwide.
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Mauritius Prime Minister to skip CHOGM
Published Date: 12/11/2013 (Tuesday)
Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam will not travel to Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Summit, to be held from September 15 to 17 November. However, Mauritius will be represented by the Foreign Minister Arvin Boolell. The prime minister made the announcement at the National Assembly Tuesday, November 12 while responding to the Private Notice Question (PNQ) the Leader of the Opposition.
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Commonwealth: Raise Rights at Sri Lanka Summit
Published Date: 11/11/2013 (Monday)
Governments attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting should press the host, Sri Lanka, on accountability for alleged war crimes and ongoing human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch and the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice said today. The two groups released a media guide for the November 15-17, 2013 summit. The 22-page media guide provides information on both the summit and Sri Lanka, from practical tips on getting around the country to the human rights situation four years after the end of the 26-year conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
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Corrupted Journalism: Channel 4and Sri Lanka
Published Date: 10/11/2013 (Sunday)
In the media pack given to all arriving journalists at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Sri Lanka next week is a 222 page book called "Corrupted Journalism". In response, the Channel 4 News Editor Ben de Pear says, “It is an out and out attack on Channel 4 and our journalism. As we only received our visas this week (our accreditation process took 8-10 weeks as opposed to the 2-3 weeks it took everyone else) I do not have this weighty tome in my hands, so I can't react to everything it says.
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Attack on Bhadrakaaliamman Temple at Dimbulla in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 09/11/2013 (Saturday)
The Western Provincial Councillor and Deputy Leader of the Democratic Peoples’ Front, who is also spokesman for the Hindu Front said that, “It’s with deep shock & sorrow I record here that the Dambulla Badhrakaali Amman Kovil (Temple) has been demolished.” Guruparan said that both he and parliamentarian R .Yogarajan had appealed directly to the President over the issue, but to no avail. He described the campaign that had led up to the demolition of the thirty year old temple as an “attack” by a “chauvinist buddhist group”. He said that, “There is a group of Buddhist fundamentalists eager to change the history of Tamils and Hindus’ and Muslims’ in Dambulla,” by removing the temple and palace, and that government forces in “civvies” had been responsible for the destruction.
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CHOGM 2013: political parties stage protests in Coimbatore
Published Date: 08/11/2013 (Friday)
Several political parties staged protests across Coimbatore (Kovai) in Tamil Nadu against India’s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka from 10 – 17 November. The protestors also demanded the prosecution of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for alleged war crimes. Around 100 cadres of the Akila India Samathuva Makkal Katchi staged a protest near the Red Cross Office.
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Boycotting Commonwealth summit may help Sri Lankan Tamils – Tutu
Published Date: 07/11/2013 (Thursday)
A boycott of a meeting of Commonwealth leaders this month in Sri Lanka could help pressure Colombo to address alleged war crimes against minority Tamils, South African peace campaigner and Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said on Thursday. The Sri Lankan government, which defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, is under increasing pressure from the international community to try those responsible for rights abuses during the nearly three-decade-long conflict.
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Tamil Australians Protest Against CHOGM
Published Date: 06/11/2013 (Wednesday)
Consortium of Tamil Associations' spokesperson, Mr. Siva Sivakumar, said that Victorian Tamils will conduct a peaceful protest from 5PM next Monday, 11 November 2013 five days before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka. The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has made no progress towards an effective accountability process for the serious and widespread atrocities committed during the civil war. The heavy military presence in the predominantly Tamil areas, and continued arbitrary arrests, intimidation and killings are the main reasons for the Tamil youth fleeing Sri Lanka on leaky boats, to places like Australia.
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Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire will answer your questions on the Commonwealth live via Twitter on 7 November.
Published Date: 05/11/2013 (Tuesday)
Commonwealth Heads of Government are meeting in Sri Lanka from 11 – 17 November. The biannual Heads of Government meeting, known as CHOGM, is an opportunity for member states to consider priorities for the organisation and reflect on progress. The UK is attending CHOGM not only to support the Commonwealth, but to shine a spotlight on Sri Lanka and to urge its government to make real progress on issues of human rights, reconciliation, and political reform.
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Report on the screening and discussion of ‘The Advocate’ documentary film by Deepa Dhanraj on civil liberties, social movements and state in Andhra Pradesh, India
Published Date: 04/11/2013 (Monday)
The Development & Conflict Group at the University of Westminster, CAMPACC, the International State Crime Initiative at King’s College and Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers co-hosted a successful screening of the documentary The Advocate on 23 October 2013 at the University of Westminster’s Cavendish Campus. The documentary made by Deepa Dhanraj, a well know film-maker from India, focuses on the life and work of late K.G. Kannabiran, India’s foremost lawyer and champion of civil liberties. The film brought to life state repression including extra-judicial killings, political prisoners, police impunity and violations of civil liberties against the context of the Maoist insurgency in India in the post Emergency era after 1977 in India.
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Arrests of Protesters in Vellore
Published Date: 02/11/2013 (Saturday)
Around 20 Naam Thamilar party members gathered in front of Vellore Head Post Office and requested the staff to close down the post office and to join their protest against India participating in the Commonwealth Conference in Sri Lanka on 1 November 2013. The protesters were arrested by the Tamil Nadu police and released later.
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Director says video shows Sri Lanka army committed war crimes
Published Date: 01/11/2013 (Friday)
Callum Macrae, the British journalist and documentary film maker Callum Macrae, said the video of a Tamil Tiger television presenter suggests she was captured alive and killed, rather than dying in the chaotic end of Sri Lanka's three decade war. The footage is in the documentary "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka". The film maker allege the Sri Lankan army committed war crimes at the end of the separatist conflict in 2009.
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Young author Malavi Sivakanesan reflects upon the plight of her people in her memoir: "Was I a Stranger in My Homeland?"
Published Date: 25/10/2013 (Friday)
The struggle for freedom and peace among the Tamils in Sri Lanka has been quite bloody and plagued with many controversies. BBC News South Asia posted news articles online revealing the British TV station Channel 4’s active support for Tamils over the past years in finding out the truth, while most of the other media have been biased and have been siding up with the Sri Lankan government. Young author, Malavi Sivakanesan, of Tamil descent, reflects upon this political turmoil in her newly published memoir, titled Was I a Stranger in My Homeland?
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Tamil Nadu Assembly passes resolution, asks Centre to boycott CHOGM
Published Date: 24/10/2013 (Thursday)
Tamil Nadu on Thursday (24th) asked the Central government to boycott next week’s Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka. The state Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution, which was moved by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, calling on the Centre to "completely" boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
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Persons with Criminal Convictions are barred from contesting elections in Nepal.
Published Date: 23/10/2013 (Wednesday)
As Nepal prepares to hold the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections on 19th November 2013, there already seems to be one positive lesson: those “convicted of a criminal offence involving moral turpitude” have been barred from contesting the elections. The Supreme Court of Nepal in a judgement on 26th September 2013 disqualified anybody with a criminal conviction from contesting the CA elections.
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Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne VS Peradeniya University
Published Date: 04/10/2013 (Friday)
On Feb. 4th 1978, with others including Lalith Abesinghe and late Nissanka Karunathilaka, Bahu hoisted black flags in Kandy area, against launching the dictatorial constitution. They were arrested and remanded. Later university of Peradeniya removed Bahu from the post of Senior Lecturer in the Engineering faculty. However later after an inquiry cabinet decided that Bahu was politically victimized hence he should be reinstated with back wages. Dr Sarath Amunugama as Minster of education sent a letter conveying that decision.
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Sri Lanka Government tries to prevent screening of the “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” film in Nepal Film festival.
Published Date: 03/10/2013 (Thursday)
The producers of the feature documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka have condemned an unsuccessful attempt by the Sri Lankan government to prevent the screening of the film as part of the Film South Asia film festival in Nepal. The film’s director Callum Macrae accused the government of attempting to suppress the truth about their complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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Foreign Ministers look towards Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Published Date: 26/09/2013 (Thursday)
The annual meeting marked an important milestone ahead of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo in November. Minister of State for the Commonwealth, the Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, represented the UK at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ meeting in New York today.
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