Friday, 18 April 2014
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Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Indian housing scheme stalls in Kilinochchi, local officials cite military interference
The Indian government's landmark housing scheme has stalled in Kilinochchi, due to on-going land grabs by the military, a local government official told Global Tamil News anonymously.

The official who said
the army had asked them to earmark village lands in Kilinochchi for the military added,
"The people are subjected to harassment from the army, with the intention of grabbing their lands."

"Some [housing] officials who are cooperating with the army and politicians over this, are putting the people in a very difficult situation."
According to the Kilinochchi district officer, Roopavathi Ketheswaran, 7000 houses had been proposed, however, only 3000 had been built to date.

Many of the 3000 built, remained incomplete, Ms Kethesawaran added.

Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Justice for slain activists demand Kurds and Tamils in Paris
Photographs Tamilwin


Calling for justice for the killing of 3 Kurdish activists, including the PKK co-founder Sakine Cansiz, and 3 Tamil diaspora activists, including Col. Parithi in Paris, members of both communities took to the streets in a protest march last weekend.



Marching from the Kurdish Information Centre to 141 Rue La Fayette, protesters vowed to continue the struggle for justice.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Police ask public to be alert to 'terrorist' activities
The Sri Lankan police asked the public to remain alert to and inform police of 'suspicious terrorist activities' at a press briefing by the police spokesperson, Ajith Rohana on Thursday.

Rohana 'asked the public to be vigilant and advised not to extend any support to suspected terrorists or organizations supporting the revival of terrorism in the country', reported Colombo Page.

'The security forces are responsible to prevent resurgence of terrorism and repeal the attempts made by some elements to create ethnic and religious disharmony in the country', the news site further quoted Rohana as saying.

Referring to the proscription of fifteen Tamil diaspora groups and over 400 individuals, Rohana told journalists that Interpol had been informed and Red Notices issued, reported the Daily Mirror.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Resumption of ‘comprehensive military relationship’ with SL hinges on accountability progress – US

The US will only resume a more comprehensive military relationship with Sri Lanka once the government has made progress towards reconciliation and accountability, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said at a talk at Harvard University.

Speaking on "U.S. Foreign Policy in South Asia: A Vision for Prosperity and Security", Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal said the US continues to call for credible efforts to ensure accountability and justice.

"While the prosperity agenda in South Asia is critically important, so too is enhancing political stability and regional security. In order to enhance that stability and security, our foreign policy is designed around engagement – even on the toughest and most vexing issues,

"Sri Lanka has fortunately ended its civil war, though reconciliation has proved challenging. Following the March UN Human Rights Council resolution in Sri Lanka, we continue to call for credible efforts to ensure accountability and justice. We look forward to a resumption of a more comprehensive military relationship once the Government of Sri Lanka has made better progress toward reconciliation and accountability."
[more]

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Delhi court rejects plea on Indian army involvement in 2009

The Supreme Court in Delhi has rejected a plea for an inquiry into claims that Indian forces took part in the final phase of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, saying the issue is beyond the jurisdiction of the court

The plea, filed by Ram Sankar, secretary of Delhi Tamil Advocates Association, said that Indian military personnel were active in the fighting and some soldiers were injured. A Sikh officer, who was commanding the forces, was seen in the Vanni, said Sankar, who himself was taking part in international humanitarian efforts.

“Asylum seekers have said that a turbaned Indian officer was seen commanding the armed forces that were attacking Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu,

"The authorities, without declaring an open war, deployed the personnel of armed forces in aid and abetment of the armed forces of Sri Lanka. This fact was also not revealed to Parliament, which alone is vested with the power to regulate the military affairs. There is no provision in the Constitution permitting the use of Indian armed forces for any purpose other than for the defence of India," Sankar said.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
5 years today - Starvation and shelling in No Fire Zone, rape and torture in IDP camps

18 April 2009 - Tamil civilians on verge of dying of starvation in No Fire Zone

Thousands of Tamil civilians were on the verge of dying by starvation in the No Fire Zone , sources on the ground told Tamilnet.

A United Nations official in Colombo further said, that the situational report by the Mullaitheevu District Secretariat had requested for food and rations to feed at least 305,219 people. Humanitarian aid figures suggested that only 22% of the aid needed had reached the No Fire Zone in the month of March.

Highlighting the extent of malnutrition in the No Fire Zone, the report said,

“A nutrition survey conducted by the Department of health, Mullaitivu District in last week of March, 2009, indicates that 69.91% of children were under weight and acute under nutrition is very much increased. The report requests for immediate intervention in supply food.”
[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Journalist attack could not have occurred without state's knowledge - TNPF

Amidst the heightened surveillance in the North-East, the violent attack against the journalist Sivagnanam Selvatheepan on Monday could not have been carried out without the Sri Lankan state being aware the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) said today.

“The army, the police and the intelligence service are involved in surveillance all over the Tamil homeland. In such circumstances, there is no way that this attack could have been carried out unknown to the state. Therefore the government must accept full responsibility for this assault,” a statement quoted party secretary, S. Kajendran as saying. 

Stating that the TNPF “deeply condemned” the “cowardly” attack on the 29-year-old journalist, Mr. Kajendran said, 

“We have learnt that Selvatheepan was [previously] threatened several times by groups seeking to continue repressing and strangling the voice of the Tamil people.”

Calling on the international community to act, Mr Kajendran said it must take steps to curb the oppression and attacks which the Sri Lankan government has “unleashed” on media and journalists.

Pointing to the "use of terrorism prevention laws to arrest and torture of human rights activists and Tamil people struggling for justice against government oppression, the assaults and murders of journalists seeking to expose injustices, and the burning of press offices", Mr. Kajendran said, "these things have all become commonplace throughout the Tamil homeland.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Gotabaya says 'terrorist' fronts within Tamil diaspora continue propaganda against Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said whilst Sri Lanka had defeated terrorism on the island, it was still alive within the Tamil diaspora, reports Colombo Gazette.

'LTTE network continues to sustain an international propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka through front organisations that have now put on a democratic face' Mr. Gotabaya is quoted as saying whilst addressing delegates at Malaysia's 'Defence Services Asia' conference today.

Colombo Gazette further quoted him as saying,
'Some nations seem to have chosen to turn a blind eye to these front organisations and their activities because they claim to support political activism or humanitarian relief. At the same time, the network’s operatives, most of whom are trained terrorists, remain involved in various illegal activities, and are constantly seeking ways to revive terrorist activities in Sri Lanka.'

[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
TNA MP had close links with ‘Gopi’ – Minister

Sri Lankan security forces are investigating alleged ‘close association’ between TNA MP Sritharan and ‘Gopi’ and his associates, who were accused by Sri Lanka of reviving the LTTE before being killed by the army, after a manhunt spanning several weeks.

Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake told The Island that the MP had harboured the fugitives and provided them with transportation, and that he had been seen with ‘Gopi’ in Colombo and Batticaloa.

Dissanayake said a mobile phone used by ‘Gopi’ was recovered and details retrieved from the phone will be used to reveal more information.

Police spokesperson Ajith Rohana said that there was evidence to prove that ‘Gopi’ had contact with the MP and several others.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2014
Sri Lanka ranks 4th in global impunity index for killings of journalists
Sri Lanka ranked 4th on a global impunity index by the US based press freedom group, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on the murder of media workers.

"Government and military officials are suspected to be behind several of the murders," said CPJ.

The index included 13 countries where at least five journalists had been murdered without any convictions, over the past year. Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines, ranked ahead of Sri Lanka, with Syria just behind in 5th place.


[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Inducing fear

The killings of three Tamil men last week, who the Sri Lankan military claims were attempting to revive the LTTE, has spread terror amongst the Tamil population. [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 07 April 2014
Transcending Terror

The Sri Lankan government's proscription last week of 15 Tamil diaspora organisations and over 400 individuals was a brazen attempt to instil fear into the Tamil people. [more]

  Opinion
Krisna Saravanamuttu Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
The proscription of the Tamil Diaspora: War by other means
Writing in JDS, on the recent blanket proscription of several Tamil diaspora organisations by the Sri Lankan government, the National Council of Canadian Tamils' (NCCT) advocacy and research director, [more]

J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
UN resolution the first step on rocky path to accountability

The resolution adopted in the UN Human Rights council is the first step in the rocky path towards accountability, writes the exiled Tamil journalist, J. [more]

Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
Another step in a long and arduous path towards justice

The Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) recognises the resolution passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as a small but important step in the ongoing struggle for justice for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
'We will continue to keep Sri Lanka issue alive' says Stephen Rapp at event on international criminal justice

The US Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Rapp, said at an event in Washington that the US will continue to work to keep the Sri Lanka issue alive, with a view to see justice some day. [more]

Tamil Guardian 09 April 2014
What drew bond investors to Sri Lanka this week?
Sri Lanka sold $500m of bonds on Tuesday with a yield of just over 5 percent – its lowest ever – after raising $1bn in January in a separate bond issuance with a 6 percent yield. [more]

Tamil Guardian 02 April 2014
Diaspora groups reject SL ban, vow to continue struggle
Thousands of Tamils protest outside the UN HRC in Geneva on March 10th, calling for an international investigation into Sri Lanka's genocide of Tamils. [more]


  Culture & Community
Sinthujan Varatharajah Tamil Guardian 26 March 2014
Paddy Field

Paddy Field

Words that hold the world together Touches that erupt in vibration Breaths that rip apart air textures

Tears that moist the sandy soil Heartbeats that overtake passing vehicles Filled with people, [more]

O V Maniccam Tamil Guardian 17 March 2014
Talking Taboo: Discussing LGBT issues in the Tamil community

Unrestricted, a discussion series created by Tamil Students Initiative, is a platform for open discussion challenging the taboos that are rife within the Tamil society at large. [more]

Tamil Guardian 01 March 2014
Tamil talent takes centre stage at LSE

‘Raise Your Voice’, an event held by the Tamil Student Initiative (tsi) to showcase and empower emerging creative talent, [more]



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