Monday, 01 September 2014
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Tamil Guardian 01 September 2014
LSE professor detained and questioned
A lecturer at the London School of Economics, Dr Rajesh Venugopal, was detained by Sri Lankan immigration officers and questioned by police, who allege he violated his visa regulations.

Dr Venugopal, a British Indian professor in South Asian affairs, travelled to Sri Lanka to attend the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) 13th annual symposium, taking place 1-3 September in Colombo.

Ahead of the conference he is understood to have visited Batticaloa, where police allege he enquired about the military presence and military reprisals.

"According to his visa, he does not have permission for this," police spokesperson Ajith Rohana told the BBC's Tamil and Sinhala service.

"After being investigated by the immigration officer, he is now allowed to take part in the conference," Rohana added.

The police deny media reports that state Dr Venugopal was detained at Katunayaka airport in Colombo on his arrival Sunday.

Tamil Guardian 01 September 2014
School principals in Kilinochchi interrogated by anti-terror squad over Mullivaikkal book
Three principals from schools in Kilinochchi were called in for questioning by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) this weekend over a book allegedly distributed in schools, the Uthayan reports.

The three were released following a lengthy interrogation at the TID office by the Kanthasamy temple.
Principals from other schools in the region have also been summoned for questioning by the TID.

The book, entitled 'Uyirpathivu', was published by a Catholic priest. According to the paper, the book is regarding ethnic cleansing in Mullivaikkaal during the end of the armed conflict.





Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Sri Lanka looks to China as Norochcholai power plant breaks down again
Sri Lankan authorities have announced that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed with China in September to help repair the $1.35 billion Norochcholai power plant as it broke down yet again this week.

The Sunday Times reported the MoU will be signed when China's President Xi Jingping visits Colombo on September 16th, with Sri Lanka's Power and Energy Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi, adding the increased Chinese role will ensure there will be not be “any future technical failures.”

Jellyfish reportedly clogged up filters at the trouble-plagued plant, with officials struggling to fix it before the Chinese President's visit. Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Media Spokesman Senajith Dassanayake said,

“Around 30-40 divers have to be used to remove these creatures from the filters. We were hoping to remove these creatures from the filters of Unit 1, but unfortunately, seas these days are extremely rough in the area and the divers haven’t been able to go in thus far.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
TNA calls on India to help release seized land North-East
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called on the Indian government to help secure the release of land seized by the Sri Lankan Army, in an effort to resettle the thousands of refugees in Tamil Nadu, reports The Hindu.

Senior TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah, who recently travelled with a delegation to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month, said,
“There are over one lakh (100,000) refugees in Tamil Nadu living in 115 camps. We have requested the Indian government to pressure the Sri Lankan government to release their [refugees’] land in the north which has been taken over by the Army.”
Talks with the Indian Prime Minister included the topic of resettlement, with Senathirajah adding, “They [the refugees] have to come back and be resettled in their own lands with secure livelihoods.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Ruling-coalition member warns Muslims on their attire

The National Freedom Front, a key ally in the Rajapaksa-led UPFA coalition, has warned Muslims in Sri Lanka on “following Arabic culture” in the clothes they wear, as it could lead to divisions amongst the communities, reported Colombo Gazette.

Media Spokesman of the NFF, Mohammed Muzammil said that historically, Muslim women in Sri Lanka covered their heads using the saari and not the ‘Abaya’, which is prevalent in the Middle East.

Muzammil said a handful of Muslim groups on the island are attempting to promote the Arabian style of dress for Muslims, warning others not to fall prey to the attempts backed by the West.

 


Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
President Rajapaksa must be protected – Minister

Sri Lankan minister SB Dissanayake says the time has come to protect President Mahinda Rajapaksa as there are attempts to “create another war”, Colombo Gazette reported.

The Higher Education Minister said that groups on the island are attempting to divide the country and destabilise the nation, funded by “powerful countries”.

Dissanayake says he feels the people of Sri Lanka should protect the Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan government at this “critical juncture”.

 

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
MoD regulations widen beyond NGOs to foundations, trusts and societies
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence is to impose regulations on foundations align with recent restrictions placed on NGOs.

The regulations will require all non profit organisations, trust and some societies to be registered with the NGO Secretariat, the Sunday Times reports.

 “Under the proposed amendments, they will have to register with the Secretariat or lose the right to receive foreign funds and conduct local monetary transactions,” said the director of the National NGO Secretariat, Saman Dissanayake, was quoted by the paper as saying.

“They will have to submit reports to us every three months about their activities. They will have to sign standard Memorandums of Understanding with us like NGOs do. The current provision for lifetime registration will be replaced by annually renewable registration.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Talks fail as Sri Lanka rejects India's fishing proposals
Talks between the governments of Sri Lanka and India over the issue of fishing around the Palk Straits this week ended without conclusion after Sri Lanka rejected India's proposals to allow Indian fishermen to enter Sri Lankan waters three times a week.

Tamil Nadu's demands on Sri Lanka to return the fishing boats impounded by authorities were also rejected.

“They came up with an MoU and wanted to pursue the matters which we discussed in the 2012 Joint Working Committee. Our representatives told them that it was not necessary,” Fisheries Minister Rajitha Dr. Senaratne was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying.

"There would be no change in the Sri Lankan policy not to release Indian boats in Sri Lankan custody," he reportedly added.

The District Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Coastal Fishermen’s Association told the New Indian Express:
“The actual proceedings of the meeting are being kept under wraps, with the press release saying nothing. But we hear that the issue of the release of boats created a deadlock."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
Police block protestors in Vavuniya on International Day of the Disappeared

Hundreds of Tamils were blocked from delivering a petition in Vavuniya on Saturday, marking the International Day of the Disappeared.

Relatives of disappeared from across the Northeast attended an event at Vavuniya Urban Council, before a protest march towards the Government Agent offices at Vavuniya Kachcheri but police stopped the protestors from proceeding, saying that they did not have permission, sources at the scene told the Tamil Guardian.



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Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
UN Sec Gen alarmed by rising level of attacks against religious minorities in Sri Lanka
Buddhist communities in Sri Lanka and Myanmar “are being swept up by a rising tide of extremist sentiment against other groups,” said the United Nations Secretary General.

See full statement here.

Speaking at the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) forum on Friday, Ban-ki Moon said he was “alarmed by the rising level of attacks in Sri Lanka against religious minorities.”

“We cannot allow communities to be threatened by atrocity crimes because of who they are, because of what they believe,” the Secretary General added.

The UNAOC, an initiative launched in 2005, seeks to promote better cross-cultural relations worldwide by working through innovative ideas and programme.
Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
Military threats call off prayers for Vali North displaced
Prayers organised for those displaced in Valikaamam North were called off this week after organisers received threats from military personnel, warning them there would be "consequences" if they went ahead with the prayers, Uthayan reports.

The prayers had been organised by the Poonthalir Women's Forum at the Sunnaakam Sabapathipillai Welfare Centre to pray for the resettlement of those displaced in the region.

Attempts to explain that the event was simply a religious event only increased the threats, organisers said.

Several politicians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and the Vali North regional council had been invited.

Organisers had planned to hand in a petition to the local officer, calling for the rapid resettlement of the displaced.




Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
Army intruder caught by locals in Kurunagar
A Sri Lankan army soldier was apprehended by locals, after he entered a house in Jaffna's coastal suburb of Kurunagar on Wednesday night, reports Virakesari.

Locals, who had gathered in the area to celebrate the local temple's chariot festival, rushed to the scene after hearing a woman scream from within the house at around 11.45 pm.

The soldier was beaten and tied to a tree until the following morning, before being handed over to the police.

There are unconfirmed reports that the soldier has been handed over to the military police, the paper reports.

Earlier this month, a navy officer was caught whilst entering a woman's house in Vadamarachchi. See here for more.

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
UK PM urged to take action over Sri Lanka's refusal to issue visas to UN investigators
The British Prime Minister David Cameron was urged to take action over Sri Lanka's refusal to issue visas to UN officials from the OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL) and the "worsening" situation in the country.

The Labour MP for Mitcham and Mordem, Siobhain McDonagh urged Prime Minister Cameron to call for the suspension of the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Chair-in–Office of the Commonwealth.

“Given the Government of Sri Lanka’s refusal to commit to an independent, international investigation that would lead to reconciliation, the situation in Sri Lanka is worsening. Since the adoption of the UNHRC resolution, we have seen some of the worst inter-communal violence in decades targeting the Muslim community in south-west of the country, the unwarranted proscription of major Tamil diaspora organisations by the Government, a crackdown on activities of NGOs and the continuing and egregious perpetration of human rights violations,” McDonagh wrote, in a letter addressed to Cameron.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
Sri Lanka should immediately release fishing boats – Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has reiterated its demand for the immediate release of its fishing boats held by Sri Lanka.

Speaking during the first India-Sri Lanka Joint Committee (JC) meeting on fisheries in New Delhi, Tamil Nadu’s Fisheries Secreteary S Vijayakumar reiterated the state’s “firm commitment” to the restoration of traditional fishing rights of Tamil fishermen, including fishing unhindered in the Palk Strait.

The Government of India should not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka as settled, since the constitutional validity previous agreements have been challenged on “extremely valid and legal grounds” by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the Supreme Court of India, he said according to The New Indian Express.

The Indian delegation was led by Dr Raja Sekar Vundru, Joint Fisheries Secretary, and Sri Lanka was led by Nimal Hettiarachchi, Director General of the Department of Fisheries and Agricultural Resources.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
Prayers held in Thirukketheswaram for disappeared
Families of the disappeared held prayers on Friday at Thirukketheswaram temple, lighting candles in memory of their missing loved ones.

The prayers, organised by the Youth Network, was attended by over 300 people from Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu, reports Uthayan.

"Five years on since the armed conflict ended, but a normal situation has not returned yet. Many problems, such as human rights violations, land issues, disappearances related problems, political issues and economic issues remain unsolved," said organisers.

"We are disappointed after believing in many politicians, government organisations and commissions. Who should we say our problems to? Who is going to solve it?" asked the families.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
Vendors who hoard rice face ‘stern action’ warns government

The Sri Lankan government announced that rice millers who hide stock face ‘stern action’ as it set a deadline for all vendors to submit details of their stock.

Private mills and stores will be raided after the September 15th deadline to search for hidden stocks, with the government warning those traders who they claim are trying to inflate rice prices.

The government earlier set prices for rice, with the Consumer Affairs Authority having so far raided 400 vendors who had sold goods at higher than the set limit.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka is set to import some 100,000 tons of rice from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam, with Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry forecasting that 15 per cent of the paddy harvest will be lost this year due to drought.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
UNP MP threatens to crossover to join government

The United National Party’s Colombo district MP Ravi Karunanayaka has threatened to cross over and join the government, if Hambantota district MP Sajith Premadasa is appointed as the deputy leader of the party.

ColomboPage reported Karunanayaka as opposing Premadasa’s proposed appointment to the post, which has caused internal disputes within the opposition party.

Karunanayaka reportedly voiced his warning to UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, who is looking to rebuild the UNP, amid earlier defections from their members to the governing party. 


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
US gives $517,000 to fund Poonakari hospital

The United States has given $517,000 to support the construction of Poonakari hospital in the Kilinochchi district, as part of a program to support the Northern Provincial Council.

The hospital, which was opened on the 27th of August, is one of nine different hospitals that have received US$3.8 million in assistance from the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).


[more]

 
 International Affairs
Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Philippine peacekeepers escape from Golan Heights, Fijians detained by Al-Nusra Front
A group of 40 Philippine peacekeepers have escaped from Syrian Golan Heights, after being engaged in a seven hour long gun battle with militants from the Al-Nusra Front.

Their evacuation comes as the Al-Nusra Front, insurgents links to Al-Qaeda, confirmed that they were holding a group of 44 Fijian UN troops captive.

The Philippine peacekeepers were trapped at their United Nations encampment, which came under attack from the militants as they overran Syrian government controlled crossings in the area. The head of the Philippine armed forces, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, said, "We may call it the greatest escape," adding,
"Although they were surrounded and outnumbered, they held their ground for seven hours...We commend our soldiers for exhibiting resolve even while under heavy fire."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
China rules out open elections for Hong Kong Chief
Chinese authorities ruled out prospects for an open election process to choose Hong Kong’s next leader, reports the BBC.

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress explained its decision on Sunday, stating,
“the sovereignty, security and development interests of the country are at stake there is a need to proceed in a prudent and steady manner.”
The pro-democracy Occupy Central movement, based in Hong-Kong, condemned the decision and warned that conflict and unrest in society could intensify as a result.

“We are very sorry to say that today all chances of dialogue have been exhausted and the occupation of Central will definitely happen," the group said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Ukraine needs weapons says head of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Russia calls for talks on 'statehood'
US Senator Robert Menendez has called for weapons to be provided to Ukraine to fight against a “direct invasion by Russia” as clashes continued South-Eastern Ukraine.

Menendez, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN,
"We should provide the Ukrainians with the type of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon Putin for further aggression... This is no longer the question of some rebel separatists, this is a direct invasion by Russia. We must recognise it as that."
Speaking on the current situation, amid reports of the first naval clashes breaking out, Menendez added, that the option of sending arms to Ukraine was being discussed at the White House, saying,
"I think that may very well be on the table right now. These are changed circumstances."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
US airstrikes and foreign aid drops help end IS siege on Iraqi town
An Islamic State (IS) siege on the Iraqi town of Amerli ended on Sunday after the US carried out airstrikes on IS positions to aid Iraq’s security forces.

The breakthrough came as the US, Australia, France and the UK carried out aid drops to the besieged town, reports CNN.

The US Pentagon Press Secretary said that the air-force had conducted “coordinated airstrikes” against IS targets to aid the humanitarian operation. 

The UN Human Rights Chief, last week condemned the siege on Amerli and called for international action.

IS militants had surrounded the town leaving, over 20,000 residents without food, water or power.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Boko Haram kills dozens in siezed Nigerian towns
Boko Haram militants in Nigeria killed scores of civilians in a town near the border of Cameroon reported AFP on Saturday.

Thousands of residents from the towns of Gamboru and Ngala have crossed the border into Cameroon in attempts to flee Boko Haram’s most recent spree of killings.


Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Irish dissidents urged to end conflict

The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuiness has urged Irish republican dissidents to end their violence on the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire by the Irish Republican Army.

McGuiness, a former IRA commander, said the groups should "take that same step into politics and away from conflict" and that there could be "no return to the violence and repression that scarred this society for so long".

"In 1994, dialogue offered the only way out of perpetual conflict and Irish republicans entered that dialogue confidently," he said in a speech in Derry, marking the anniversary.

"Successive agreements supported by the vast majority of the Irish people have removed any rationale for armed struggle and have put in place peaceful and democratic alternatives," he said on Sunday.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Israel to appropriate 400 hectares in West-Bank, reconstruction of Gaza will take over 20 years
Plans to appropriate 400 hectares of Palestinian land in the West Bank were announced by Israel on Sunday, reports Agence France Presse.

The Israeli military said the decisions were made after 3 Israeli teens were killed in an Israeli settlement area known as Gevaot.

The Etzion Settlements Council welcomed the announcement as a step towards the expansion of the current Gevaot settlement.

"It paves the way for the new city of Gevaot. The foal of the murderers of those three youths was to sow fear among us, to disrupt our daily lives and to call into doubt our right to the land," the council said in a statement.


Over 20 years to rebuild Gaza


A post-conflict reconstruction organisation said that it will take 20 years for Gaza’s damaged housing to be rebuilt, reports the Associated Press.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
EU warns Russia of more sanctions if troops do not withdraw from Ukraine
The European Union called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine or face further sanctions, following a meeting with EU leaders in Brussels Saturday.

Proposals for further sanctions are to be ready for review within a week, however no clear date was set to the ultimatum.

Asked about a deadline, the EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy said:

"It depends, further steps, on development of the situation on the ground. There is no precise criteria, but I can assure you that everybody is assured that we have to move quickly."

"There can be no military solution to this crisis, it is time for everyone to get to the business of peace making," Rompuy added.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
Rouhani criticises new US sanctions on Iran

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has criticised new sanctions imposed by the US on the country as a “very ugly move”.

The president said Iran was still committed to continuing nuclear talks with the US and other countries, known as P5+1, despite the developments.

"They are in conflict with the spirit of talks. They are unconstructive in my opinion," he said on state television, adding that the move would deepen distrust between the sides.

"If there are no excessive demands in the issue and if the opposite side shows loyalty...we can achieve a final deal," he said.

"Of course we bypass sanctions. We are proud that we bypass sanctions because the sanctions are illegal."

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States make up the P5+1 and have agreed with Iran to extend negotiations until November.

Tamil Guardian 30 August 2014
South Africa to work with Afrikaner self-determination groups
The acting South African President met with a delegation of the Boere-Afrikaner Volksraad group to discuss  Afrikaner self-determination on Thursday reports  TimesLive.co.za.

The group briefed Cyril Ramaphosa on its aim of self-determination for the Boere-Afrikaner and creation of an Afrikaner people's republic.

A government council statement said after the meeting that, "The almost two-hour long meeting at the Union Buildings took place with an open heart and good spirit."

The Boere-Afrikaner Volksraad chairman told reporters that Ramaphosa had pledged to discuss the matter with the Ruling African National Congress secretary general to gather support to pass the idea through parliament.

Ramaphosa also said that the he would look to engage other Afrikaner self-determination groups to make the process more inclusive.
Tamil Guardian 29 August 2014
Britain raises national terror threat level, proposes new anti-terror legislation
The British government raised its terror threat level to ‘severe’ on Friday, reports the BBC.

The new alert level deems the risk of an attack on the UK as “Highly likely” although there was no evidence to suggest an “imminent” attack said the British Home Secretary.


"The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West. Some of those plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have travelled there from the UK and Europe to take part in those conflicts,” said Theresa May.


The Prime Minister, during a press conference at Downing Street on Friday, promised a new legislation that would make it easier to take passports from those travelling abroad to fight.


David Cameron said that Islamic State killings of international journalists was "clear evidence - not that any more was needed - that this is not some far-off [problem], thousands of miles away, that we can ignore."
Tamil Guardian 29 August 2014
US places new sanctions on Iran
The US imposed new sanctions on companies and individuals for connection with Iran’s nuclear programme, evading previous US sanctions and supporting terrorism reports the BBC.

The US Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial intelligence in a statement said the sanctions reflected the  “continuing determination to take action against anyone, anywhere who violates our sanctions.”

Iran and world powers are working to reach a permanent agreement on resolving the nuclear dispute by the 24th of November 2015.
Tamil Guardian 29 August 2014
Almost half of all Syrians displaced says UN
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) called Friday for urgent action stating that almost half of all Syrians were displaced, with over 3 million having fled the country as refugees, whilst fighting continues across the country. 

"Almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. One in every eight Syrians has fled across the border, fully a million more than a year ago. A further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Over half of those uprooted are children," UNHCR said in a statement released on Friday.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 29 August 2014
NATO slams Russia’s ‘blatant violation’ of Ukraine’s sovereignty

NATO as accused Russia of breaching Ukraine’s sovereignty by directly supporting rebels in the east of the country.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking after an emergency meeting with NATO ambassadors, said that "despite hollow denials", it was clear that Russian forces illegally crossed the border into Ukrainian territory.

"This is not an isolated action, but part of a dangerous pattern over many months to destabilise Ukraine as a sovereign nation," he said.

"This is a blatant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It defies all diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution."

Rasmussen called on Russia to halt all military action and supporting the rebels, and to take “immediate and verifiable steps towards de-escalation of this grave crisis".
[more]

Tamil Guardian 29 August 2014
Kurds recapture Mosul oil fields

Kurdish forces have recaptured three oil fields near the city of Mosul, which were overrun by Islamic State militants in recent weeks.

IS blew up the installations at Ain Zalah as they retreated from the Kurdish Peshmerga attack.

The US has been supporting the Peshmerga with air strikes, helping the Kurds to regain some of the ground lost to IS.

Britain appoints security envoy to Kurdish regions in Iraq (24 August 2014)

Germany to arm Kurdish military (20 August 2014)

France sends arms to Kurdish forces as UK, US continue assistance (13 August 2014)

UK endorses US air strikes against IS fighters (09 August 2014)

Amid counteroffensive against ISIS, KRG seeks US military assistance as Kurds in Syria and Turkey extend support (05 August 2014)

Tamil Guardian 28 August 2014
Islamic State militants execute over 150 prisoners, US to formulate plan to combat militants
Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria executed over 150 Syrian troops that were captured in the North-East of the country, reports the Independent.

The Britain based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 120 government troops were killed near the Tabqa airfield by IS fighters.

The US President in a press brief today said that though a strategy was yet to be decided, the US Defense Secretary had been instructed to formulate a plan to combat Islamic State (IS) militants.

The latest killings come as the UN accused both the Syrian government and rebel factions of committing war crimes.

Syria and rebels committed war crimes – UN (27 August 2014)
Tamil Guardian 28 August 2014
UN peacekeepers detained in Golan Heights

Members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (Undof) in Syria’s Golan Heights are being held by an “armed group” according to the UN.

A UN spokesperson said the 43 peacekeepers were detained "during a period of increased fighting beginning yesterday between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces within the area of separation".

"The United Nations is making every effort to secure the release of the detained peacekeepers, and to restore the full freedom of movement of the force throughout its area of operation."

The capture, by an unspecified group, comes a day after Syrian rebels gained control of a border crossing into Israel.

Tamil Guardian 28 August 2014
Over 1,000 Russian troops in Ukraine – NATO

More than a thousand Russian troops are operating inside Ukrainian territory according to NATO, who released satellite images showing forces with heavy weaponry.

"Over the past two weeks we have noted a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia's military interference in Ukraine," Dutch Brigadier-General Nico Tak, head of NATO's crisis management centre said reports Reuters.

"We assess well over 1,000 Russian troops are now operating inside Ukraine," he said, referring to Russia's actions as "incursions" rather than an invasion. "They are supporting separatists (and) fighting with them."

"We have also detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defence systems, artillery, tanks and armoured personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine," he said.

The UN Security Council met in an emergency session, and NATO and EU leaders said they will will consider a response on Friday, but Russia denied that its troops where in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Peter Poroschenko also said that Russians were supporting pro-Moscow rebels, who captured Novoazovsk and other parts of southeast Ukraine.
[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Significance of Aluthgama
Silences between the shouts
Inducing fear
  Opinion
‘Legal Avenues to Prosecute a US Citizen for War Crimes—The Case of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’
Review: 'This Land Belongs to the Army'
'Sri Lanka’s Scapegoat for its Own Terror'
  Feature
14 Aug 2006: 53 Tamil school girls killed by Sri Lankan air strike on children's home
Call for submissions as 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka' begins
Black July 1983 remembered
  Culture & Community
Norway's Drammen Tsk wins 21st Karumpuli Memorial Football Cup
Tamil Eelam U14 reach quarterfinals in Denmark football cup
Tamil youth mark Black July raising awareness of ongoing genocide



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