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Families of people missing in Sri Lanka's civil war march in silence
Published Date: 01/09/2016 (Thursday)
Human rights activists and families of missing people rallied in Sri Lanka on Tuesday (August 30) in support of an office recently set up to independently investigate the cases of thousands of people who vanished during the government's long conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels. The march marks International Day Against Forced Disappearances and comes a day ahead of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's three-day visit.
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Tamil Fest Draws Record Crowd with over 150,000 Attendees, Becomes largest event ever hosted in Scarborough
Published Date: 01/09/2016 (Thursday)
Tamil Fest broke records in its second year, drawing over 150,000 visitors from across North America and becoming the largest event to be hosted in Scarborough. Hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress, the annual festival took place from August 26 to 28 and is now also the largest Tamil event hosted outside of South Asia. “Tamil Fest is about celebrating the spectacular diversity of Canada, and of showcasing the best of Tamil arts, culture, cuisine, and entertainment,” said David Poopalapillai, National Spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress.
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Giving “Accountable Amnesty” to abductors is doing injustice to victims’ families, says HRW
Published Date: 01/09/2016 (Thursday)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that the recommendation of the Sri Lankan Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons that perpetrators of abductions be given “accountable amnesty” is tantamount to rendering injustice to the families of the victims. The concept of “accountable amnesty” is “outdated and falls short of international standards”, says James Ross, HRW’s Legal and Policy Director. He points out that the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, has recognized it as being inadequate.
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Latest measures to address disappearances in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/08/2016 (Wednesday)
By the time the new Parliament was elected in August 2015, families of the disappeared had emerged as strong civil movements in Sri Lanka. Their courage and persistence have helped bring about significant developments in relation to addressing disappearances.
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UN sponsored Peace-Building-Fund for Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/08/2016 (Wednesday)
The Government will discuss the setting up of a Multi-Million Dollar ‘Peace Building Fund’ (PBF) for Sri Lanka, sponsored by the UN, during the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s three-day visit to Sri Lanka, a senior Foreign Affairs Ministry source said yesterday. Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha De Silva has said that the objective of the PBF was to ensure fast and flexible funding in support of various peace-building and reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka
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BrahMos Missile Sale to Vietnam will Boost India’s role in Fight against China
Published Date: 29/08/2016 (Monday)
India is poised to leverage Vietnam's upcoming purchase of its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile -- the fastest in the world -- into a strategic advantage that will make it a major player in the maritime crisis pitting China against practically all of Asia. American sources say Vietnam might soon announce its approval of a deal to purchase an undetermined number of anti-ship BrahMos missile systems to be mounted on warships of the Vietnam People's Navy (VPN). China is strongly opposed to the deal.
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Why has KP not been charged?: Opposition Leader
Published Date: 27/08/2016 (Saturday)
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan in Parliament on Tuesday questioned why Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) has not been charged. He raised this question from the government when he was moving an adjournment motion on the prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
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Tamils continue to face racial discrimination in Sri lanka, says UN Committee post review
Published Date: 26/08/2016 (Friday)
Tamils continue to face discrimination in Sri Lanka, a UN committee stated recently, and questioned the island-country if Indian Tamils were allowed to get back to their homeland – while reviewing a report on the anti-discrimination efforts undertaken by the country. No cases of sexual violence – during the horrific civil war in Sri Lanka – had been submitted, even though this had affected thousands of women, said Jose Francisco Cali Tzay, committee member and country rapporteur for Sri Lanka, during a review of Sri Lanka in the 90th session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
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UN chief Ban Ki-moon to visit Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/08/2016 (Friday)
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will arrive in Sri Lanka on August 31, 2016 on a three-day official visit, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday. Mr. Ban will hold discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, among others.
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Five Tamil youth died off Chamber Sands in Essex
Published Date: 25/08/2016 (Thursday)
got into difficulty off Camber Sands. Kenigan Nathan, 19, and Inthushan Sriskantharasa, 23, became trapped in quicksand under the water and the other three swam over to try and rescue them, the brother of one of the victims revealed.
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TID Postpones Questioning Jeyakumari
Published Date: 22/08/2016 (Monday)
The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), which was to question activist Balendran Jeyakumary on Friday, had postponed it for a later date. Jeyakumary had been summoned for a second time following an interrogation by authorities earlier as well. Jeyakumary, who campaigned since the end of the armed conflict against enforced disappearances, was arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 2015.
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Hopeful for a better future
Published Date: 21/08/2016 (Sunday)
65th SLFP convention is to be held on 4th September and party leader Maithree has decided to clean the fascistic rebels, before that. In this column, we have pressed to defend this party of populist liberals, from fascistic intruders. SWRD who started the SLFP entered politics as a liberal politician proposing a federal solution to the nationality problem in 1926. However after forming the SLFP, on the sensitive issue of language, the party originally espoused the use of both Sinhala and Tamil as national languages, but in the mid-1950s it adopted a "Sinhala only" policy. Nevertheless the Bandaranaike–Chelvanayakam Pact was an agreement signed between the Prime Minister and the leader of the main Tamil political party in Lanka S. J. V. Chelvanayakam on July 26, 1957.
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64th UNASL Public Lecture by Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC, MP
Published Date: 19/08/2016 (Friday)
A Public Lecture by Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC, MP, on “Constitutional Reforms in Sri Lanka; Problems and Prospects” was conducted by the United Nations Association of Sri Lanka on 18th August, 2016 at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations & Strategic Studies in Colombo.
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UN voices concern over Sri Lanka's crumbling cave temple
Published Date: 19/08/2016 (Friday)
The U.N.'s cultural agency expressed concern Wednesday over the poor maintenance of a centuries-old cave temple in Sri Lanka, which risks being struck off the list of world heritage sites. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said she raised the maintenance issue at the Golden Temple of Dambulla with local authorities during her visit to the island.
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Editorial Beginning of international war crimes probe?
Published Date: 19/08/2016 (Friday)
Editorial The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is making the most of the increasing impotency of the state to run a parallel government of sorts in the northern parts of the country; it is also working overtime to annex the Eastern Province to the North. Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran and others of his ilk are all out to gain legitimacy for their political project with the help of foreign powers. Hardly a day passes without a foreign dignitary visiting the North and entertaining appeals from the NPC members and doing a Dixit.
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Political prisoner chained to hospital bed in Jaffna
Published Date: 17/08/2016 (Wednesday)
A political prisoner, an inmate of Anuradhapura Prison, Rasiah Anantharajah was rushed to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital after his health condition was found to be 'unstable'. He was handcuffed to the bed at Ward 19, yesterday. Anantharajah has been involved on a hunger strike at the prison on several occasions. When Ceylon Today contacted Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement D.M. Swaminathan, who had intervened and transferred the prisoner to Jaffna from Anuradhapura, he said he was informed by a Tamil politician about Anantharajah's health condition. The prison officials had told him that the inmate was 'mentally deranged'.
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TID interrogates Jeyakumari again
Published Date: 16/08/2016 (Tuesday)
Balendran Jeyakumari, who was released on bail Match last year without any charges was called again for questioning by the Sri Lankan counter terrorism agency TID on Tuesday by Sri Lanka’s counter terrorism police at its Colombo headquarters. Kilinochchi police visiting her home in Kilinochchi told her to appear before the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) Tuesday morning.
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Foreign aid to country's female education
Published Date: 16/08/2016 (Tuesday)
In today's fast growing world, most of the nations are fighting to leave a mark of their existence. While some countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have been the front runners for as long as the history books allow us to count on, other countries like Germany and Japan have surprised the world by becoming some of the largest economies in spite of being nearly demolished during the Second World War. The fact of the matter remains, however, that none of these developed countries achieved the status or the right to be called "developed" overnight.
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Reunion planned in Newfoundland for Tamil ‘boat people’
Published Date: 11/08/2016 (Thursday)
Thirty years ago, fisherman Gus Dalton spotted the 155 Tamils in two crammed lifeboats and helped bring them to Canada. Shanmuga Paul and Baskaran Nadarajah, Tamils who came to Canada as boat people 30 years ago, are expecting memories to come flooding back Thursday when they’re reunited with the ship that helped rescue them off the south shore of Newfoundland.
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Does Vatican disapprove of Cardinal's nod to give Buddhism 'foremost place' in Sri Lanka?
Published Date: 10/08/2016 (Wednesday)
The Vatican appears to disapprove of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s statement of July 25, that it is right to give to Buddhism the “foremost place” in the Sri Lankan constitution and that it is not right to declare Sri Lanka a secular state. The Vatican Radio’s website carries a story from Colombo dated August 4, in which a group of Sri Lankan Catholics are quoted as saying that the new Sri Lankan constitution should be a secular one and that giving a special constitutional status to Buddhism is a violation of human rights.
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Challenging Ratnawalli’s Imperial Sinhala Position
Published Date: 09/08/2016 (Tuesday)
In a recent article I took issue with Robert S. Perinpanayagam for his short sharp comment on one of my essays on the Elephant Pass debacle of the year 2000. Embittered Tamilness has appeared in Colombo Telegraph as well as Thuppahi. Darshanie Ratnawalli recently entered a long comment in CT in ways that seem to support my work. However, her reading confuses the concept of “nation” with “nation state,” while also providing a distilled historical interpretation that overweights the past record in ways that suggest a measure of Sinhala exclusivism that leans towards the chauvinist camp. My presentation of this set of criticisms here is intended to supersede the hurried memo I placed in CT in opposition to her claims.
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Many in diaspora approve Liberal push for reconciliation in scarred Sri Lanka
Published Date: 07/08/2016 (Sunday)
The message of tolerance at the heart of the Trudeau government's international outlook is now being put to the test in one the world's most ethnically scarred postwar countries -- Sri Lanka. The ultimate success of Canada's re-engagement with Sri Lanka, which was formalized last month when Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion visited the south Asian country, will have domestic political implications for the Liberals government in the years ahead.
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Tamil politicians investigating mysterious deaths of ex-LTTE cadres
Published Date: 07/08/2016 (Sunday)
Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are investigating reports of former Tamil Tiger cadres dying mysteriously, The New Indian Express reports. According to the Tamil media, 105 former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have so far died mysteriously, allegedly after being injected with a drug when they were undergoing post-war ‘rehabilitation’ in Sri Lankan army-run camps.
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Sri Lanka’s missing people Refusing to give up hope
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
SEVEN years ago, at a busy crossroads in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city, armed men in an unmarked white van abducted Stephen Sundararaj. He was going home, his three children snuggled up against him, after idling for weeks in a police cell. Mr Sundararaj, then a 39-year-old project manager at a local human-rights group, had been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, a draconian law permitting arrests without warrant for “unlawful activities”. He challenged the move in court and would have pursued the case, had he not been hauled away mere hours after his release. He was never charged with a crime. He has never been found.
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Forum to address psychosocial needs of missing persons’ kin in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 05/08/2016 (Friday)
A psychosocial support task force, which will introduce a range of services to families of missing persons and others in Sri Lanka who suffer from the post-conflict trauma, has been set up. Formed by the Office for National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR), the task force will take care of psychosocial needs of the families which will be part of the healing process.
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