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BBC Tamil Radio Series Tells the Story of Burma's Tamils
Published Date: 15/08/2013 (Thursday)
The lives of Burma's (Myanmar's) Tamil minority are in the centre of a 12-part weekly series launching on BBC Tamil radio on Sunday 18 August. "The Tamils Who Stayed Back In The Golden Land" (Thanga Mannil Thangiya Thamizhargal) explores the conditions in which Burma's ethnic Tamils live today and talks about their collective memory, their daily lives and their aspirations for their future in a changing Burma. Burma's ethnic Tamils, whose number is unofficially estimated at half a million, are the descendants of Tamils from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They migrated to Burma during the days of the British Empire and worked in finance and trade as well as agriculture. The end of the British rule in Burma in 1948 led to a decline of the community's fortunes. In the 1960s, in the wake of the military rule, many were forced to leave Burma - but many also stayed back.
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The National Archives has given a voice to historical documents relating to the Road to Partition 1939-47
Published Date: 15/08/2013 (Thursday)
The British National Archives has recorded the narratives of four Panjabi elders uprooted from their homeland during the Partition of British India in 1947. At least 18 million people were uprooted and one million died in the mass migration that followed. In 2010, Jaswant, Mohammed, Reginald and Tilak Raj met at The National Archives to describe how Partition had shaped their lives. Born into different faith communities in the Panjab, these men are united today by their love of that common homeland, that past shared experience which was precious and which has now been lost.
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Sri Lanka After War: Tamils in Sri Lanka is a traumatized and divided people with limited influence over their own future.
Published Date: 14/08/2013 (Wednesday)
Gunnar Sørbø, senior scientist at the Chr Michesen Institute (CMI), Norway, writing in the Norwegian periodical Morgenbladetm, says - It is just over four years ago now, the long war between the Tamil Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka ended in a bloodbath and complete defeat for the Tigers. The leadership was wiped out and thousands of innocent Tamils were killed, pushed inside an ever smaller area and used as human shields as the war evolved in the government army's favor. It was a humanitarian catastrophe, and a UN report concluded that the international community probably had once failed in her mission to save lives.
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EU presses political and religious freedoms in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 14/08/2013 (Wednesday)
The European Union (EU) on Tuesday expressed concern at the state of political and religious freedom in Sri Lanka. It urged Sri Lanka to ensure justice for the victims of 1st of August military shooting on protesters demanding clean drinking water and for those hurt in a spate of attacks on mosques by Buddhist-led mobs. The E.U. delegation in Colombo said in a statement that it was concerned by the recent incidents, including the death of three civilians during a protest in Weliweriya town northeast of Colombo and a mob attack on a Colombo mosque.
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Students’ Eelam fast, now a film
Published Date: 13/08/2013 (Tuesday)
Student power in changing the political course of nations has been well recorded in history, for universities have always remained a springboard for action. Tamil Nadu, too, witnessed massive student unrest in the run-up to the voting on Sri Lanka’s track record in addressing the legitimate concerns of the Tamil minorities at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. As a result of the upheaval on the college campuses, India was forced to vote against the island nation.
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Sri Lanka among nations supplying arms to India
Published Date: 13/08/2013 (Tuesday)
Sri Lanka is among the countries which had supplied weapon systems to the Indian Government in the last three years, the Indian Defence Minister has informed the Lok Sabha. In a written reply to a Lok Sabha query on Monday, Defence Minister A K Antony said India’s three forces have spent over INR 2.35 lakh crore for procuring weapon systems from several countries including Russia, Israel, the US, the UK, Poland, Slovakia, Finland and Sri Lanka.
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Fishermen oppose Sri Lanka’s move to give its sea to China
Published Date: 12/08/2013 (Monday)
A news appearing in Divaina news paper reveals that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Rajitha Senaratne has signed an agreement with a Chinese company permitting them to Enter into Sri Lankan territorial waters and harvest the fish using large trawlers. It was reported 40 large Chinese trawlers that dwarf local boats that fish in Sri Lankan waters will commence fishing under Sri Lankan flag.
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Former Norwegian peace envoy calls for international probe into alleged human rights violations Sri Lanka
Published Date: 12/08/2013 (Monday)
Erik Solheim, former Norwegian minister of International who once played a key role in brokering peace between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Monday called for an international investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. Solheim mediated between the government and the LTTE before fighting broke out in 2006, resulting in the LTTE being defeated and bringing the armed conflict to an end in May 2009.
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Military settlements in Tamil homeland continue unabated, says TNA NPC candidate Sivajilingam
Published Date: 12/08/2013 (Monday)
Addressing a media briefing held at the Jaffna Media Centre on 8 August, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) candidate contesting the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls and former TNA Parliamentarian M.K. Sivajilingam, said the Army in the North is in the process of setting up massive cantonments with Chinese assistance, to permanently relocate around 100,000 troops in the Northern Province, and there is no truth in the Army’s announcement of withdrawing from lands that belong to civilians in the North. He said the Army’s announcement that they would withdraw from lands they currently occupy, owned by civilians in the North was an election stunt.
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Human Rights Commissions of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) complaint against the Independent Television Network of Sri Lanka (ITN)
Published Date: 12/08/2013 (Monday)
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director filed a complaint (Complaint No: HRC/3083/13) before the Human Rights Commissions of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) this afternoon against the Independent Television Network of Sri Lanka (ITN) and its Chairmen. The complaint was on the basis that a news item appearing on the 7:00pm Sinhala language news broadcast of ITN on Sunday 14th July 2013 violates several fundamental rights of both CPA and its Executive Director which are guaranteed under the Constitution to all citizens of Sri Lanka. CPA had previously written to the Chairman of ITN on the 16th July 2013 requesting that the erroneous news report be corrected and a formal apology be tendered to both CPA and its Executive Director within one week. However neither of these two requests was acceded to.
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US Pacific Air Force Command mission with Sri Lanka Air Force concludes
Published Date: 12/08/2013 (Monday)
The joint training mission conducted by the United States Air Force Pacific Command with the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) came to a conclusion Friday (August 09) at the SLAF Base Katunayake. The five-day long Pacific Angel exercise which was conducted jointly by the US Air Force Pacific Command and SLAF in Jaffna peninsula held the last training exercise Medical Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) programme at the SLAF Base in Katunayake on Friday.
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12th International Tamil Internet conference in Malaysia
Published Date: 11/08/2013 (Sunday)
The 12th International Tamil Internet Conference, TI-2013 organised jointly by the International Forum for Information Technology (INFITT) and University of Malaysia will be held during August 15-18, 2013 at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. The Conference will be supported by support of Faculty of Languages & Linguistics, Centre for Information Technology and Program Titian Digital. INFITT has previously hosted eight conferences in the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and India in collaboration with major universities such as University of California at Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Cologne University, National University of Singapore, Annamalai University and in Tamil Nadu has organized three conferences with the full support of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
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Police impose curfew following attack on Gampaha Mosque
Published Date: 11/08/2013 (Sunday)
A tense situation erupted last night due to a clash between several groups, in which a Buddhist-led mob had attacked a mosque in the Moolawatte area. A Police curfew was implemented from 7pm last evening to 7 am this morning, across the residential and commercial areas of Grandpass district. The attack on the mosque last night had left at least 4 persons injured, including two police constables guarding the mosque and several buildings damaged down Swarna Chaithya Road. The injured were admitted to the National hospital.
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Sri Lanka celebrate National Aboriginal Day
Published Date: 10/08/2013 (Saturday)
Sri Lanka celebrated the International Day for World's Indigenous People on August 9 in the majority Sinhala Dehiattakandiya of Ampara District in Eastern Province with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest. It was reported that in early July Uruwarige Wannila Aththo the Chief of Aborigines visited the Temple Trees and extended the traditional invitation to the country's head, President Rajapaksa to participate in the Commemoration Ceremony of the World Aboriginal Day. The annual Aboriginal Day celebrations in Sri Lanka gives the peoples of Sri Lanka the opportunity to celebrate and share knowledge about the Aboriginal peoples’ values, their unique heritage, customs, languages, and diverse cultures.
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NTPC to build a 500 MW thermal power plant in Sri Lanka in association with Ceylon Electricity Board
Published Date: 10/08/2013 (Saturday)
The Indian Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said today that the Indian State-run generator NTPC will build a 500 MW thermal power plant in Sri Lanka in association with Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). In a written reply to parliament, the minister said a joint venture company, Trincomalee Power Co Ltd (TPCL), had been created for the project with 50:50 equity participation from NTPC and CEB.
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Survey finds India has lost 220 languages in last 50 years
Published Date: 09/08/2013 (Friday)
India has lost around 20% of its languages in the past five decades, a survey by the Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Centre has revealed. The country had 1,100 languages in 1961, but nearly 220 of them have disappeared, said Ganesh Devy, writer and lead co-ordinator of the survey called the People's Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI). The survey was carried out over two years from 2011. "We have found 780 languages and must have missed about 100 or so. That makes it close to 880 languages. The rest have disappeared. It's a sad loss," said Devy. Most of the lost languages belonged to nomadic communities scattered across the country. "Were they alive, they would have been spoken by 3% to 4% of Indians, that is around five crore people," Devy said.
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Tamil nationalism in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 08/08/2013 (Thursday)
Former senior professor of Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Madras, V Suryanarayan recently wrote the following article which was produced in the New Indian Express today. The Pakistani political leader Khan Abdul Wali Khan (son of Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan) was asked few years ago by a journalist: “Are you a Pakistani, a Muslim or a Pathan?” Wali Khan replied that he combined all three. The journalist persisted and asked Wali Khan what his primary identity was. Khan responded, “I am a Pakistani for 30 years, a Muslim for 1400 years and a Pathan for 5000 years”. The multiple identities of South Asians, an intrinsic feature of the socio-cultural profile of the region, have made the study of nation-building an exciting and fascinating exercise.
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New Zealand High Commissioner meets Northern Province Governor
Published Date: 06/08/2013 (Tuesday)
There is a growing interest among foreign countries to visit Sri Lanka and they pay more attention to Northern Province. High Commissioner of New Zealand HE Mrs.Averil Jan Henderson paid a courtesy call on Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri on 06 August 2013 at Governor’s Secretariat, Jaffna. The discussion focused on the development activities in Northern Province. Governor briefed about the reconciliation and livelihood activities carried by Government in Northern Province. The discussion also focused on the dairy products of the Province. Secretary to the Governor L.Ilaangovan was also present at this meeting.
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Use coercive diplomacy against Sri Lanka, says TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
Published Date: 05/08/2013 (Monday)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Tuesday requested Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps to initiate "coercive diplomacy" against "unfriendly" Sri Lanka that continues to attack Indian fishermen. In a letter to Dr. Singh Tuesday, the text of which was released to media here, Jayalalithaa, citing the arrest of 20 Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka Aug 3, said: "These continuous attacks and abductions are acts of an unfriendly nation and should be countered effectively by coercive diplomacy."
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Peru, Sri Lanka agree to enhance trade relations
Published Date: 02/08/2013 (Friday)
Peru and Sri Lanka agreed to promote and enhance bilateral commerce and trade relations during a recent meeting between senior diplomats of the two countries. Newly-appointed Sri Lankan Ambassador to Peru, Raja Edirisuriya, last month met with Peru's Director General for the Americas, Claudio De La Puente, to discuss this issue and the current economic situation in their nations.
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Police arrest black flag demonstrators against Indian PM
Published Date: 02/08/2013 (Friday)
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader V Gopalasamy alias Viko, his party carder and members of Tamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and members of Students Federation of Tamil Nadu and other Tamil activists were arrested in Tiruchi today after they staged a black flag demonstration condemning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress-led UPA government for “betraying Eelam Tamils”. MDMK which called for the demonstration is one of the leading Indian regional party that espouses the cause of the Tamil people and Tamil nationalism.
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One protester killed in Sri Lanka military shooting
Published Date: 02/08/2013 (Friday)
One person was killed and about 15 were wounded when Sri Lanka’s military shot at a protest demanding clean drinking water. At least 4,000 protesters had gathered Thursday in Weliweriya, some 12 miles northeast of the capital, Colombo. It was reported that several complaints have been made to the authorities that chemical emissions from a factory into water sources has polluted drinking water in about 15 area villages. Residents have been demanding over a month that authorities should close down the factory but nothing happened.
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Sri Lanka: No Justice in Aid Worker Massacre Seven Years On, Government Does Little to Respond to Atrocity
Published Date: 01/08/2013 (Thursday)
The Sri Lankan government has made no real progress in holding accountable those responsible for the execution style slaying of 17 aid workers seven years ago despite renewed international calls for action, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 4, 2006, gunmen executed 17 Sri Lankan aid workers – 16 ethnic Tamils, four of them women, and a Muslim – with the Paris-based international humanitarian agency Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) in their office compound in the town of Mutur in eastern Trincomalee district. The killings occurred after a several-day battle between government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for control of the town. The ACF team had been providing assistance to survivors of the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
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German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to Assist School Children in Northern Sri Lanka
Published Date: 01/08/2013 (Thursday)
Nearly 170 schools in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu in Northern Sri Lanka have received new kitchen utensils, bowls and spoons from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to supplement the school meals programmes implemented by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The grant of Sri Lankan Rupees 2.4 million (US$ 18,200) is part of GIZ’s efforts to help reintegrate internally displaced people in the Vanni Region, and will benefit more than 32,000 children.
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Registration opens for Commonwealth People’s Forum 2013
Published Date: 01/08/2013 (Thursday)
Online registration is now open for this year’s Commonwealth People’s Forum (CPF). The event will take place from 10 – 14 November and will be held at Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. The CPF 2013 theme ‘Equitable growth and inclusive development: beyond 2015’ shares this year’s CHOGM theme and will focus on the post-2015 development agenda from a Commonwealth civil society perspective.
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