Tuesday, 30 September 2014
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Tamil Guardian 30 September 2014
Complaint made against Tamil councillors for letter to Pillay condemning genocide
Complaints have been made to the Court of Appeal against 33 Tamil councillors in the Northern and Eastern provinces for a letter to the UN High Commissioner condemning the genocide of Tamils by Sinhala state forces, reports the Island.

Petitioners, including P.G. Ravindra Nirosha of Nugegoda as well as others, complained to Court of Appeal that the IGP and Attorney General had failed to take action against the councillors under Provision 120 of the Penal Code.

According to the Island, the petitioners accused the Tamil councillors of making "false claims" that "Sinhalese settlements are being set up in Tamil areas".

The letter, dated 17 August 2014 and signed by 33 Tamil councillors across the North and East, was addressed to the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and called on the UN to investigate the crime of genocide.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 30 September 2014
Man found dead with throat slit in Batticaloa
A man was found dead with his throat lacerated inside a house in Batticaloa, Kaluvanjikudi Makiloor on Sunday.

The body, identified as 68 year old Sellathambi Thangavel, has been taken to Batticaloa Teaching Hospital for further investigations, reports BattiNews.

Kaluvanjikudi Magistrate court judge Thiyogeswaran arrived at the scene to investigate. Kaluvanjikudi Police are reportedly investigating the incident.

The police have however already highlighted his separation from his family for the past 35 years.

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
#FreeJeyakumary campaigners protest in Colombo
Protestors gathered in Colombo on Monday to call for the release of a prominent Tamil rights campaigner, Balendran Jeyakumari, who has been detained under the Sri Lankan Prevention of Terror Act (PTA) since March 2014.

The demonstrations, held outside Colombo Railway Station, were met with pro-government protestors, who yielded posters mocking members of the Sri Lankan civil society.


Photographs: Pathivu

Tamil politicians, including Tamil National Alliance (TNA) appointed MP M A Sumanthiran and the leader of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) G G Ponnambalam,
attended the rally.


Pro-government demonstrators protesters oppose #FreeJeyakumary campaigners Photograph: @Mari_desilva

Sri Lankan police was eventually called to form a barrier between the protesters calling for the release of Jeyakumari from the Boosa detention facilities and the pro-government demonstrators.

See our earlier posts:


TNA condemns arrest of Tamil activist, govt trying to 'send a message' says MP (14 March 2014)

MoD orders 18 day detention, Jeyakumari makes statement to judge (16 March 2014)

SL Army accuses Ananthi Sasitharan of making 'misleading' statements over Jeyakumari-Vipoosika arrest (15 Mar 2014)

Tamils protest in Vavuniya against detention of Jeyakumari and Vipoosika (15 Mar 2014)

BTF: Arrest of disappearances campaigner underscores need for strong UNHRC resolution(14 Mar 2014)

SL Foreign Minister dismisses concern over arrest of disappearances campaigner and daughter (14 Mar 2014)

TNA condemns arrest of Tamil activist, govt trying to 'send a message' says MP (14 Mar 2014)

‘This is a serious threat' warned detained Tamil campaigner in interview to C4 last month(14 Mar 2014)

Heavy military presence in Vanni (14 Mar 2014)

Detained Tamil campaigner held under PTA act by TDI (14 Mar 2014) 

Tamils fearful after disappearances campaigner and daughter arrested by SL police (13 Mar 2014) 

Tamil 'Disappearances' campaigner and 13y daughter held by Sri Lankan military (13 Mar 2014)



Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Sri Lanka increases defence budget by 12.25% to new high
Sri Lanka has increased its 2015 defence budget by 12.25% to a record high despite the end of the armed conflict over 5 years ago.

According to the government's official figures released on Friday in a bill tabled in parliament, 285 billion rupees have been allocated to defence in 2015, reports
AFP.

Sri Lanka's spending on defence has increased year on year since the end of the armed conflict, despite increasing
international calls for the military to scale down following the end of the armed conflict.
 

[more]

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Sri Lankan authorities block journalism workshop

Sri Lankan authorities have sabotaged a journalism training program set to take place in a resort in Negombo, reports the Associated Press.

Action Committee for Media Freedom, an umbrella media rights group, said that the owner of the resort was threatened by plainclothes police officers against letting the workshop go ahead.

The owner of the Negombo workshop did not allow the workshop to take place and returned the advance payment to the Professional Web Journalists Association.

The group which had organised the workshop on digital security and ethics for online journalists, condemned the incident, saying the government intends to frighten independent journalists and stifle media freedom.

Police spokesperson Ajith Rohona denied any police involvement in the incident.

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Three Tamil youth injured in sword attack

Three Tamil youths were injured in a sword attack in Alavetti on Sunday night, reports Uthayan.

Santhirasekaram Collins, 20, Thevarasa Jeganathan and Sinnarasa Jude Anthony both aged 23 and all from Mallakam were attacked on their way home from a sporting event by men on motorbikes.

They were admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital with serious injuries.

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
OIC head to visit says Sri Lanka
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Madani, will visit Sri Lanka shortly, following an invitation by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, reports Arab News, citing a senior official within the Sri Lankan embassy.

“This is the first time such a visit is being made to Sri Lanka and we are really proud of it,” the official was quoted as saying. See
here for more.

Sri Lanka has applied for observer status within the OIC.

Earlier this year, the OIC wrote to the Sri Lankan government expressing its concern at the anti-Muslim riots and violence by Sinhala Buddhist mobs in Aluthgama.

This weekend, the leader of Myanmar's extremist Buddhist group, 969, visited Sri Lanka, on the invitation of the Buddhist monk organisation, the Bodu Bala Sena. Both groups pledged to work together to counter, what they described as the threat of Muslim extremists. See here for more.

Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Mahinda invites Ban Ki-moon to Sri Lanka

Pictures: Presidential Media Unit

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit the island, to “assess the situation” since his last visit.

The secretary general congratulated Rajapaksa on his leadership and “acknowledged the progress” Sri Lanka has made in the past years, adding that he was optimistic that remaining challenges will be overcome with “this type of political leadership” according to the government’s official media portal.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Sri Lanka Navy arrests four Indian fishermen

Four fishermen from Rameswaram were apprehended on Sunday near Kachchatheevu by the Sri Lankan Navy who also allegedly damaged 50 boats, reports the Press Trust of India.

According to T Sesuraja, the president of the local fishermen's association, the Sri Lankan Navy approached the fishermen in eight boats and detained four fishermen, taking them to Kankesanthurai along with their boats.

The incident follows a pattern of frequent arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Outgoing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had repeatedly written to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning the continuous arrests and calling on the central government to take robust action against Sri Lanka.

See previously:

Four Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka (23 September 2014)

PMK condemns reports that Sri Lanka is auctioning off detained boats (20 September 2014)

Thousands of Indian fishermen launch hunger strike protest against Sri Lankan Navy (18 September 2014)

SL navy arrests 53 Indian fishermen (11 September 2014)


Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
O. Panneerselvam to be Tamil Nadu Chief Minister after Jaya conviction
Tamil Nadu's current Finance Minister, O. Panneerselvam, is to be appointed as the state's new Chief Minister after J. Jayalalitha was forced to step down following her conviction in a corruption case.

Panneerselvam, considered a Jayalalitha loyalist, was elected by AIADMK members on Sunday, at a meeting held in Chennai and will be formally appointed on Monday.

See related article:

Jayalalithaa convicted in corruption case, will have to stand down as CM (27 Sep 2014)


Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
969 leader attends BBS conference in Sri Lanka
2nd lead
Wirathu welcomed on stage at conference by BBS leader


The leader of the 969 extreme Buddhist group in Myanmar, U. Wirathu, attended the Bodu Bala Sena's conference in Sri Lanka today.



The conference, which is currently underway, is aimed at forming a political framework that will be “based on Buddhist principles, creating an environment within which minorities can live peacefully with Sinhalese" instead of "so-called devolution of power”, a BBS official, Dilanthe Withanage said.

Wirathu honoured on stage at BBS conference


[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Arson destroys house in Eravur in Batticaloa
A house in Eravur within Batticaloa district, was set on fire by an unidentified person on Friday night, reports BattiNews.

The owner of the house, Shanmugam Sinnathangam, said the arsonist escaped, adding that the roof of the house has been fully damaged in this incident, alongside valuable goods inside.

The house was in
Siththandi-3 on Paththinisami Street. Sinnathangam has filed a complained with Eravur police, who are reportedly investigating the incident.


Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Hindu community centre attacked in Jaffna
A Hindu Saivite community centre in Jaffna, the Mallakam Koattaikaadu Saiva Youth Club, was attacked by unidentified persons on Friday night, reports Uthayan.

Doors and windows were destroyed in the attack, resulting in more than Rs. 75,000 worth of damage, said the centre's administrators.

They have filed complaints with police in Chunnakam, Jaffna
.


Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Military presence causing fear in North-East says Wigneswaran

The Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C. V. Wigneswaran condemned the heavy Sri Lankan military presence in the Tamil North-East of the island, stating that is was causing fear across the region.

Addressing the Northern Province Tourism development conference on Saturday, Wigneswaran highlighted the danger that women in particular faced from the Sri Lankan military, stating that there were 150,000 soldiers in the Northern Province.

Wigneswaran said the situation was getting worse, adding,

“The government is restricting our independence by considering North-East provinces as foreign regions that need to be under supervision, even after the war has ended.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Australia commends LLRC progress in Sri Lanka
The Australian prime minister commended Sri Lanka's successful implementation of the LLRC recommendations and the country’s ability to maintain a remarkable economic growth.
Photograph: ColomboPage

“The fact that the LLRC is going so well is a credit to you,” said Tony Abbott at a bilateral meeting at the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), reports Colombo Page.

Abbott also thanked Sri Lanka for the help it had given on “people smuggling issues.”

Tamil Guardian 27 September 2014
Jayalalithaa convicted in corruption case, will have to stand down as CM
10:48 BST, updated 13:39 BST

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa, has been found guilty of corruption by a court in Bangalore today and sentenced to 4 years in jail, as well as being fined Rs 100 crore.

The ruling means she will have to stand down as Chief Minister and will be banned from contesting any poll for 10 years.

See here for live updates by The Hindu.

The conviction has resulted in a tense situation across Tamil Nadu.  Shops and businesses have closed early in her constituency of Srirangam, as well as several other state cities such as Tanjavur and Coimbatore.

AIADMK supporters have stormed into the DMK leader M. Karunanidhi's residence in Chennai with clashes breaking out between rival groups.

Effigies and posters of Karunanidhi and his party members have been burnt in Chennai and Madurai, reports IndiaToday. See here for more.

Kerala state authorities have decided to stop all bus services into Tamil Nadu, fearing more violence and riots, reports Odisha Sun Times.

The case, which is over 18 years old, was filed initially by the BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy and taken forward by her political rival, the DMK party.

The prosecution argued she used her five year term as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996 to collect up to 66 crores worth of assets.

Three of her aides, Sasikala, V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Ilavarasi, have also been found guilty.

In May, Jayalalithaa's party, AIADMK, won a landslide victory in Tamil Nadu, securing 37 of the 39 seats in the state, and emerging as third largest party in the Lok Sabha.

Tamil Guardian 27 September 2014
Tamil journalists worldwide call for investigation into Paris assassination attempt
The International Association of Tamil Journalists (IATAJ) called on French authorities to investigate the attempted assassination of a senior official of the Tamil Media House in Paris on September 18, and ensure the security of Tamil journalists working in France.

The official was shot at by a masked gunman, before receiving death threats, warning him to stop running the organisation or face death. The France based Tamil Media House, which runs the widely read Eelamurasu newspaper, as well as two Tamil diaspora websites: www.sankathi24.com and www.tamilkathir.com, has been forced to shut down as a result.

"International Association of Tamil Journalists (IATAJ) vehemently condemns the intimidation and attempted murder of a senior official of the Tamil Media House in Paris by an unknown gunman by his home on 18 September 2014," the group said in a statement released Thursday.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 September 2014
Tens of thousands protest against Sri Lanka in Tamil Nadu

More than 20,000 demonstrators protested in solidarity with Eelam Tamils in Chennai this week, calling for economic sanctions on Sri Lanka.

Protestors from over 150 organisations gathered by Egmore Rajaratnam stadium with placards and banners, chanting slogans calling for an independent Tamil Eelam.


V Prabhakaran from the Tamil Youth and Students Federation told the Tamil Guardian,
“The protest delivers a strong message to the international community that  Tamil Nadu is in full support with Tamil Eelam.”

[more]

 
 International Affairs
Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Turkey reiterates support to Kurdistan in fight against Islamic State militants
The Turkish President pledged to support the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in their fight against Islamic State militants, reports the International Business Times.

Tayyip Erdogan met with the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister at the sideliners of the World Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul.

A statement released by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said,

"The two sides talked in detail about the events and the latest developments in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, [and other affected regions], and highlighted in particular the events after the terrorist attacks by the Islamic State (IS) on the province of Mosul and in Tikrit, and then on the Kurdistan Region. President Erdogan emphasised on enhancing Turkey's relations with the Kurdistan Region and reiterated Turkey's commitment to these relationships and agreements with the Kurdistan Region in all areas.”

Though Turkey has been reluctant to join the US-led coalition to tackle the Islamic State militants, it has continued to reiterate its support to the Kurdistan Regional Government in tackling the threats.
Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Tens of thousands defy Hong Kong riot police and demonstrate into the night
Tens of thousands of people defied calls to dismantle their protests and return home, after pro-democracy demonstrations grew in Hong Kong on early Monday morning.

Photographs: The Guardian

Riot police that attempted to disperse protesters using batons and tear gas were met with further swarming crowds and were eventually forced to withdraw, reports the BBC.


The demonstrations, organised by the Occupy Central movement, are against China’s failure to offer democratic reform in the selection process for Chief Executive candidates in Hong Kong.

Thousands demonstrate in Hong Kong as Occupy Central launches protest (28 September 2014)

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Spain wants to ban Catalonia referendum

The Spanish government has asked its constitutional court to declare the independence referendum planned in Catalonia as illegal.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the vote was not "compatible with the Spanish constitution".
Rajoy said "Nobody and nothing will be allowed to break up Spain”, during a televised address to the nation on Monday.

The president of Catalonia, Artur Mas, signed a decree on Saturday authorising a vote on independence on November 9th, for the north-eastern region of Spain.

Signing the decree in Barcelona, Mas said the vote, which is entitled the 'Non-referendum popular consultation on the political future of Catalonia 2014', would be held in line with the Scottish referendum.

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Karadzic was 'driving force' for genocide say prosecutors
Prosecutors at the trial of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, that Karadzic was the "driving force" behind the genocide in Bosnia, reports Reuters.

"After hundreds of witnesses, 80,000 pages of transcripts, and 10,000 exhibits, the policy of ethnic cleansing is finally exposed. And Karadzic was its driving force," said the prosecutor Alan Tieger, as the prosecution made its closing remarks on Monday. 

"He said at the time what would happen and it did. Thousands killed, hundreds of towns destroyed, masses forceably displaced," Tieger added.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Taiwan rejects China unification plan

The Taiwanese president has rejected the terms for unification with China, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, President Ma Ying-jeou said Taiwan does not accept the “one country, two systems” deal, proposed by their neighbours.

"In the early 1980's the 'one country, two systems' concept was created for Taiwan, not for Hong Kong. But Taiwan has sent a clear message that we do not accept the concept," said Ma.

"If the system is good, then we believe it should be 'one country, one system'."

"We are not expecting to go to war with the Chinese Communist Party," added Ma. "Instead, we are hoping to minimise the possibility of war between us."

Referring to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, Ma said: "Taiwan is the only place in China where we are able to practice democracy .... We are worried about the developments in Hong Kong.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
CAR calls for loosening of arms embargo
The interim president of the Central African Republic (CAR), in her first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) urged the international community to relax weapons sanctions imposed during the country’s mostly sectarian violence.

Welcoming the recent appointment of a UN peacekeeping mission to help end sectarian violence in the region, Samba Pamza said,

“We place great hope in deployment of this mission, a mission which will contribute to, in an effective way, securing our country and sustainable development. It remains true however that the success of this mission will also hinge on the involvement at its side of the national security and defence forces likely to lend support to this mission as a result of their intimate knowledge of the terrain.”

Approximately 7,500 UN troops have been deployed in the CAR, where the sectarian violence between Muslim and Christian militants is thought to have killed at least 5,000 people. The International Criminal Court is investigation violations by both sides, reports the Duetsche Welle.
Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
US led coalition carries out airstrikes on Islamic State oil refineries
A coalition of air-forces, led by the US, bombed four oil refineries under Islamic State control in Iraq, reports the BBC.

The airstrikes came as fighting continued on the town of Kobane that borders Turkey.

The US president, earlier today, said that US intelligence had underestimated the extent in which the political chaos in Syria would allow extremist groups such as Islamic State to thrive.

Defending the British parliamentary decision  to carry out airstrikes on Islamic state positions in Iraq, David Cameron, earlier today, said,
"When you face a situation with psychopathic terrorist killers in Syria and Iraq, who have already brutally beheaded one of our own citizens, who have already launched and tried to execute plots in our own country to kill and maim innocent people, you have got a choice. We can either stand back from all of this and say 'this is too difficult, it's too complicated, let's let someone else try to keep our country safe' or we take the correct decision to say 'let's have a full, comprehensive strategy."
Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Thousands demonstrate in Hong Kong as Occupy Central launches protest
Thousands of protestors took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday as pro-democracy group Occupy Central launched a mass disobedience campaign outside government headquarters.

Over 30,000 people reportedly attended the protest around Hong Kong government offices as police cordoned off the area, using pepper spray and tear gas against demonstrators.



[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 September 2014
Modi attracts thousands on historic visit to the US, calls for global front against terrorism
Updated 10.36 BST
The Indian prime minister, Modi addressed over 20,000 thousand Americans at a rally organised by the Indian American Community Foundation in Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Though Modi has been widely received, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of New York, demanding justice for the ill-treatment of India's Muslim and Sikh communities and 1984 communal riots.

A day before Modi’s arrival a human rights group filed a lawsuit accusing the prime minister of crimes against humanity, extrajudicial killings and negligence under the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Many countries including the US, until Modi was elected as head of state, had revoked his visas for the handling of Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002 which left over 1,000 people, who were predominantly Muslim, dead.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday, Narendra Modi called for increased commitment from nations in decision making so that no one group of countries can determine the course of the world.

Dismissing the need to discuss disputed territories in Kashmir at the UN, the prime minister stressed that India was looking to work positively with its neighbours, whilst calling on the world to unite to work against terrorism, reports the Times of India.

“Even today there were countries that were giving shelter to terrorist organizations and differentiating between good terrorists and bad terrorists which raised questions about their intentions and motives. We want to promote friendship with Pakistan too, but we can only talk without the shadow of terrorism over us," said Modi.

India’s Prime Minister, arrived in the US on Friday for official trip to boost bilateral trade and US investment in India.

On Saturday, the Indian Prime Minister addressed the Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030, in Hyde Park.

Narendra Modi, is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama this week whilst having several meetings with US business leaders.

The prime minister  has visited several community leaders including those of the Sikh and Jewish communities in New York.

Modi’s trip to the US, which has received significant funding from Indian Americans, is estimated to cost over $1.5 million.


Tamil Guardian 27 September 2014
British fighter jets deployed over Iraq
Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets were deployed over Iraq, after British parliament on Friday endorsed airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that the first RAF combat mission, on Saturday, had not engaged any targets. 

The MoD further revealed that an RAF transport aircraft had delivered fresh supplies to Kurdish authorities to aid efforts against the Islamic State militants, reports the Guardian.

US jets on Saturday attacked Islamic State militants in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, to aid Kurdish forces. 
Tamil Guardian 27 September 2014
Catalan president defies Madrid to call independence vote
Photograph @gencat

The president of Catalonia, Artur Mas, signed a decree on Saturday authorising a vote on independence on November 9th, for the north-eastern region of Spain.

Signing the decree in Barcelona, Mas said the vote, that has been entitled the 'Non-referendum popular consultation on the political future of Catalonia 2014', would be held in line with the Scottish referendum.

"Catalonia wants to speak. Wants to be heard. Wants to vote. Now is the right time and we have the right legal framework to do so," Mas told reporters following the signing in a speech in Catalan, Spanish and English.


The decree defies the government in Madrid, which has declared any such vote as unconstitutional.

The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed to block any referendum.

"Quite simply, it is not legal so won't be held," Rajoy was quoted by CNN as saying.

"In addition to not being legal, it goes against our whole history and our feelings, against what the vast majority of the Spanish people think, against our past and against the future of the Spanish people that live in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 September 2014
Prosecutors call for Karadzic to be jailed for life over genocide
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic should be jailed for life over his role in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide said prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on Friday.

In a final trial brief, prosecutors said,
"Under his command and oversight, Karadzic's subordinates and those cooperating with them expelled, killed, tortured and otherwise mistreated hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Croats."

"Should the Chamber find Karadzic responsible for a substantial portion of the crimes ... life imprisonment is the only appropriate sentence."
Karadzic is facing trial for 11 counts, including genocide. He is accused of directing atrocities throughout the conflict, including the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, where up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed by Serbian troops.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 September 2014
Israel waged 'war of genocide' in Gaza, Abbas tells UN
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of carrying out a “war of genocide” in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly and called for punishment for war crimes.

The speech has been condemned by Israel, who accused Abbas of “diplomatic terrorism”, and the United States, with Stated Department spokesperson Jen Psaki saying it “included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject.”

Abbas had told the UN General Assembly on Friday that
"In this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people."
He went on to say the conflict in Gaza was "a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world," adding,
"In the name of Palestine and its people, I affirm here today: we will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment."
Tamil Guardian 26 September 2014
UK parliament endorses air-strikes against Islamic State in Iraq
British parliament backed UK air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, during a parliamentary vote on Friday.

Following a seven-hour debate, MPs voted for military action against by 524 votes to 43 reports the
BBC.

The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour leadership all backed air strikes though some MPs voiced concerns over further implications of airstrikes against the IS.


Labour MP Iain Mckenzie was sacked as an aide to the shadow defence secretary after failing to back party calls for air strikes.


Meanwhile US led air strikes earlier today destroyed at least four Islamic State tanks on the outskirts of Baghdad on Friday announced the Pentagon.
Tamil Guardian 26 September 2014
Hamas and Fatah strike deal for unity government

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have agreed a deal for a national unity government to return to the Gaza Strip, which since 2006 has been run by Hamas.

The agreement, signed in Cairo on Friday, was described as “comprehensive” by Palestinian officials, but a Hamas official told AP that disagreements remained over who will pay civil servants in Gaza, and whether the Palestinian Authority's own security forces would be allowed in the territory.

The terms of the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel require a PA presence in Gaza, which Hamas accepted in return for help in reconstructing the region, which was severely damaged during the recent fighting.

Palestinian factions begin talks to solve disputes (24 September 2014)

Tamil Guardian 26 September 2014
Cambodia to accept Australian asylum seekers for aid money

The Australian government signed a deal with Cambodia, promising $35m in aid for accepting some of its rejected asylum seekers.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison met with Cambodia's Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Friday to finalise the agreement, which will see the money paid out over the next four years.

Morrison had earlier said the deal "enables us to fulfil on the policy which says no-one will be resettled in Australia".

In a joint statement, the countries said they agreed on an "initial trial arrangement with a small group of refugees", followed by further resettlement according to Cambodia's capacity.

The deal has been slammed by human rights groups, who say refugees will not be cared for appropriately in Cambodia.

Amnesty International has said the deal was a "new low in Australia's deplorable and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers".

It accused officials of "putting the short-term political interests of the Australian government ahead of the protection of some of the world's most vulnerable people".

Tamil Guardian 25 September 2014
US agrees to pay $554 million to Navajo nation
The United States has agreed to pay the Navajo nation a US$554 million settlement, the largest ever paid out to a single Native American tribe.

The settlement resolves a long standing legal dispute, where it was claimed the US government did not act in the best interests of the Navajo nation when handling their funds and natural resources.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly hailed the verdict as a "victory for tribal sovereignty", adding,
"After a long, hard-won process, I am pleased that we have finally come to a resolution on this matter to receive fair and just compensation for the Navajo Nation."
The decision was also praised by US Attorney General Eric Holder, who said the agreement showed the Justice Department's commitment to "strengthening our partnership with tribal nations."

He went on to say,
“This landmark resolution ends protracted and burdensome litigation.. It will provide important resources to the Navajo Nation, and it fairly and honorably resolves a legal conflict.”
The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American tribe in the United States of America, with more than 300,000 members spread over 27,000 square miles.
Tamil Guardian 25 September 2014
ICC to probe CAR war crimes

The International Criminal Court has opened a formal investigation ito “endless” instances of war crimes in the Central African Republic.

The conflict between Muslim rebels and Christian militias has seen thousands killed and raped and over a million people displaced.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said both side had committed atrocities during the turmoil.

"The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that both the Séléka and the anti-balaka groups have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, rape, forced displacement, persecution, pillaging, attacks against humanitarian missions and the use of children under fifteen in combat. The list of atrocities is endless. I cannot ignore these alleged crimes. The list of atrocities is endless. I cannot ignore these alleged crimes," she said in a statement.

"Let this be a message to would-be perpetrators in CAR and beyond: Such crimes will not be tolerated and will be met with the full force of the law."

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Thunderclap
Renewing resolve
Significance of Aluthgama
  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
Remembering Thileepan
#GetThePicture campaign maps Sri Lankan state massacres of Tamils
#GetThePicture campaign maps militarisation of North-East
  Culture & Community
Thileepan memorial marked with music in Denmark
Norway's Drammen Tsk wins 21st Karumpuli Memorial Football Cup
Tamil Eelam U14 reach quarterfinals in Denmark football cup



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