Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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Tamil Guardian 16 September 2014
Over 5700 cases of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka says UN
The UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, presenting its report to the UN Human Rights Council at the Council's 27th session in Geneva currently underway, condemned the ongoing use of enforced disappearances by states.

"Forced disappearances is not just a crime of the past, it is still being used in conflict situations, where there is internal instability, or in order to fight terrorism and organised crime. Enforced disappearance cannot and must not be the response to such challenges," said the Chair Rapporteur on Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Ariel Dulitzky, adding that "enforced disappearance is a flagrant violation of the basic principles which underpin the international system of human rights."

The Working Group reported over 43,000 cases of enforced disappearances in 88 countries, including over 5700 in Sri Lanka, as well as 16,400 in Iraq, 3000 in Algeria and over 2000 in Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 September 2014
Academics condemn Sydney Uni's acquiescence of Sri Lanka's demands
Academics in Australia condemned the University of Sydney's decision to acquiesce to the Sri Lankan military's demands to withdraw invitations to NGOs known to be critical of the state for a conference hosted along side the University of Colombo this week in Bangkok.

In a letter to Dr Daniella Celermajer at Sydney University, a group of lecturers and academics said her decision to withdraw invitations "threatens to bring the University of Sydney's commitment to and connection with human rights into disrepute," reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

"[The conference is at] serious risk of providing the appearance of human rights cover to a brutal regime that continues to perpetrate gross violations and is going to great lengths to silence critical voices both within Sri Lanka and in the international community".


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
2009 was a genocide says former UK home secretary
The former British home secretary, David Blunkett described what took place during the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009 as a "genocide" and called for it to be "properly investigated", meeting with members of the Tamil community at an Advice Surgery last Saturday.

Mr Blunkett said he "believed genocide had taken place on the island of Sri Lanka and that evidence that human rights violations had occurred during the armed conflict in 2009 must be properly investigated."

He went on to express "disappointment at Sri Lanka’s obstruction of the currently ongoing UN Human Rights Council mandated investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka" and adding his support "to the need for an independent international investigation on abuses that have happened in Sri Lanka."

Mr Blunkett, who is currently the Labour MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, was the UK home secretary from 2001 to 2004.

The Tamil community representatives, also members of the British Tamils Forum (BTF) said they had met with Mr Blunkett "to garner support for UK Tamil organisations and individuals that have been targeted by Sri Lanka’s efforts to silence dissent through the use of UN Security Council Resolution 1373."

Mr Blunkett meets with the Tamil community 


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
Thousands demonstrate in Geneva demanding justice for genocide and independence referendum

Thousands of Tamils from across Europe demonstrated in Geneva on Monday, demanding justice for the genocide and a referendum on independence.




[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
‘Assured and re-assured’ on 13A says India

The Sri Lankan government has repeatedly re-assured India of its commitment to implement the 13th Amendment, stated a spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)today.

Responding to a question on India’s stand on the 13th Amendment at a media briefing on Monday, spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said,

“Our stand is that any decision that has been taken by the Sri Lankan people and which their leaders have assured to us on repeated occasions (that it) should be implemented.”

“And we have been assured and re-assured by the leaders of Sri Lanka that they are committed to full implementation of the 13th Amendment and we will go by what they have told us.”

See from 42:30 onwards below.

Despite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go beyond the 13th Amendment, Rajapaksa has repeatedly stated that he would refuse to devolve land and police powers to the Tamil North-East of the island, a key component of the amendment.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
India to step up surveillance of Tamils fleeing from Sri Lanka

The Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Home Minister N. Chinarajappa said surveillance was to be stepped up in an attempt to stop boats of asylum seekers leaving the Indian coast towards Australia.

Speaking to reporters in Andhra Pradesh, Chinarajappa said more marine police stations would be opened up to stop Tamils, who have fled from Sri Lanka, from boarding boats along the coast in a bid to reach countries such as Australia.

Earlier this year, a group of over 150 Tamil asylum seekers were stranded at sea, after they left the South Indian coast attempting to reach Australia. After more than a month of being held at sea by Australian authorities, the group were brought to a detention centre in Western Australia before being transferred to Nauru.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
SL to discuss Free Trade Agreement with China
Sri Lanka and China will launch negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement, during the Chinese Premier’s visit to Colombo on Tuesday, reports Colombo Page.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a “Joint Working Group on Trade” which, in March, concluded a Free Trade Agreement would be beneficial to both countries.
Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
Army organises children’s sports meet in North-East

The Sri Lankan army organised a sports meet for the Vazhaham Children’s Home earlier this month.

The event took place with the “full patronage” of the 14th Gemunu Watch, an army division based in the area, at the Maraththanamadam Girls’ School, a school for those with sight impairments, reported the website of the Civil-Military Coordination – Jaffna.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
Nigerian official slams 'highly discriminatory' treatment of citizen by SL authorities
2nd Lead 17.50 GMT
Nigeria's chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa slammed the treatment of a Nigerian man by Sri Lankan authorities at Colombo's airport as "highly discriminatory", after he was quarantined and deported by the authorities who suspected him and his family of being infected with the Ebola virus.

Condemning the stigmatisation of Nigerian nationals due to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, Dabiri-Erewa said it “must be addressed instantly before it spirals out of control.”

"Our citizens are mainly harassed and unfairly treated for the fact that they are Nigerians, and in some case sent back from the airport. This act is very predatory and must be checked immediately," she was quoted as saying by Nigeria's Daily Times newspaper.

Citing the example of a Nigerian national, Adeseye Adeyemi, who travelled to Sri Lanka to get married but his journey turned "to sadness," she added, "by the terrible treatment received from the Sri Lankan authorities.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 15 September 2014
Woman's body found washed up in Oluvil
The body of a 40 year old woman was found washed up by the fishing areas of Oluvil in Amparai district within the Eastern province.

The police are carrying out further investigations into the discovery of the body, which has not been identified yet, reported BattiNews Sunday.

 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 12 September 2014
Renewing resolve
The start of the UN Human Rights Council's 27th session this week saw the welcome reaffirmation of resolve to pursue accountability for mass atrocities in Sri Lanka through a UN inquiry from the newly appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights, [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 08 July 2014
Significance of Aluthgama
  Illustration Keera Ratnam Almost at the centenary of the first anti-Muslim riots by Sinhala mobs in 1915, [more]

  Opinion
Tamil Guardian 02 August 2014
‘Legal Avenues to Prosecute a US Citizen for War Crimes—The Case of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’

Ryan Goodman, Professor of Law and Co-Chair of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law has called on the United States to prosecute Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for war crimes, [more]

Arani Kumaran Tamil Guardian 28 June 2014
Review: 'This Land Belongs to the Army'
'This Land Belongs to the Army’ is a strong documentary about the manner in which the lands in the traditional Tamil homelands of the North-East of the island of Sri Lanka have been appropriated by the government and the military. Made by Indian journalist and filmmaker Maga Tamizh Prabhagaran, [more]

J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 24 June 2014
'Sri Lanka’s Scapegoat for its Own Terror'

Sri Lanka is using the mask of ‘counterterrorism’ to hide its own terror, whilst increasingly becoming a hub for international crime, said award-winning exiled Tamil journalist J. [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 08 September 2014
#GetThePicture campaign maps militarisation of North-East
The United States Tamil Political Action Council has launched an interactive map, detailing the Sri Lankan state's increased militarisation across the Tamil homeland in the North-East. [more]

Tamil Guardian 14 August 2014
14 Aug 2006: 53 Tamil school girls killed by Sri Lankan air strike on children's home
On 14th August 2006, four Sri Lankan Air Force jets dropped sixteen bombs over the Sencholai children's home in Vallipunam for orphaned girls. Fifty-three Tamil school girls and 3 staff members were killed, and over 150 injured. [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 August 2014
Call for submissions as 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka' begins
The terms of reference for the UN inquiry on mass atrocities in Sri Lanka - 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL)', which begins work this week, were published on Tuesday, [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 14 September 2014
Thileepan memorial marked with music in Denmark

The town of Lkast in Denmark hosted a singing contest in remembrance of Lt. Col. Thileepan this month, with Tamils from across Europe gathering to take part. [more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Norway's Drammen Tsk wins 21st Karumpuli Memorial Football Cup
Norway's Drammen TSK football team won the 21st Karumpuli Memorial Cup on August 23, pushing Denmark's Sønderborg and OTSC into second and third place respectively. [more]

Tamil Guardian 26 August 2014
Tamil Eelam U14 reach quarterfinals in Denmark football cup

An Under-14 Tamil Eelam football selection reached fourth place in the Vildbjerg Cup in Denmark earlier this month. [more]



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