Sunday, 29 May 2016
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Tamil Guardian 29 May 2016
Sri Lankan president defends land releases with talk of bolstering security
Sri Lanka’s president has defended the small scale release of land held by the military to their rightful Tamil owners in the North-East by pledging that national security “has been further strengthened”.

Speaking to a gathering of the Sri Lankan community in Japan, Maithripala Sirisena emphasised that “the national security of Sri Lanka has been further strengthened and it has not weakened in any way,” according to the President’s official media division.

He also “vehemently rejected the claims by some websites that the Government is betraying the security forces,” it reported.

Defending the release of land by his government in the Tamil North-East, the president assured the crowd that he has taken "every step" to ensure the national security. "There is no threat whatsoever,” he said. “We have taken every step to ensure the national security."

Mr Sirisena was responding to a question from the audience, with regards to criticism he has received for releasing the land – an issue that has seen dozens of protests by Tamils in the North-East in this year alone.

"They (the Tamils) have waited not one or two years but 27 years to get their lands back," Mr Sirisena said.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 May 2016
Sri Lanka approves controversial Indian housing project for North-East
The highly opposed option of building 65,000 prefabricated steel houses for displaced people in the North-East has been termed as a ‘fair solution’ by a University Panel in Sri Lanka, reports The Hindu.

A panel from the department of Civil Engineering at the University of Peradeniya, deemed that the housing project was suitable despite concerns raised by the Tamil National Alliance and the Northern Provincial Council.

Sections of the TNA have been opposing the house project for its lack of consultation with the Tamil community.

Wigneswaran slams 'dominating, domineering and hegemonic" attitude of government (02 Apr 2016)
TNA MP urges transparency in Sri Lankan govt's housing project (07 Apr 2016)

Sri Lankan minister dismisses Tamil concerns on 65K housing project (10 Apr 2016)
Tamil Guardian 28 May 2016
Jayalalithaa vows to support Tamil rights

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa says she will continue to press the central government in Delhi to get justice for Tamils in the North.

Responding to a letter by Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran congratulating her on her election victory, Ms Jayalalithaa said she would meet with the chief minister at a "mutually convenient time".

"As a Chief Minister of the state, I have taken steps to establish the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils during the last five years," she said.

"I wish to inform you that I will continue to take steps through the Centre for getting justice for Tamils living in the Northern Province."

Wigneswaran congratulates Tamil Nadu chief minister, hopes for action on Eelam struggle (19 May 2016)

Jayalalithaa says her party would work for separate Tamil Eelam (24 April 2016)

Tamil Guardian 28 May 2016
Buddhist monks protest over Eastern CM remarks
Sri Lankan Buddhist monks led a protest against the Eastern chief minister's comments to a navy officer, telling him to "just get out of here" at a civilian event.

Condemning the chief minister, who is a Sri Lankan Muslim, the monks and other Sinhala protesters chanted derogatory remarks against Muslims.



[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 May 2016
Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission issues guidance on treatment of arbitrarily detained prisoners
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is to issue a directive on the treatment of people detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The directives are aimed to regulate the arrest process, process to be followed after arrest and special measures related to the arrest of women and people under 18 years.

The directive comes as calls for Sri Lanka to repeal the draconian PTA that allows for indefinite arbitrary detention mount, amidst ongoing reports of torture in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has struggled to repeal the PTA  and release all Tamil political prisoners, which is seen as a key small confidence building measure with the Tamil community.



Tamil Guardian 28 May 2016
No confidence motion brought against SL finance minister
A debate on a no-confidence motion against Sri Lanka's finance minister Ravi Karunanayake has been scheduled in parliament on June 8.

The motion, brought by 37 members of the joint opposition, accuses the minister of "mishandling the economy and putting the country in an economic crisis", the Colombo Page reported.

Stating that the MPs had lost faith in the minister, the MP Bandula Gunawardena presented the motion to the Speaker and stated "the government obtained loans without making any records and it is difficult to serve as the Finance Minister without revealing the truth to parliament".

See here for more.
Tamil Guardian 28 May 2016
Japan to provide $340mn in loans to Sri Lanka

The Japanese government will provide Sri Lanka with loans worth over $340mn, for the construction of transmission lines and water supply facilities, according to a statement released by Japan.

"Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to provide ODA loans, which amount to approximately 38 billion yen, for the construction of transmission lines in the North Central and Eastern Provinces and water supply facilities in the North Central Province, in order to further promote socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. The project of constructing transmission lines will allow the electricity generated at the power plants that Sri Lanka planned in the Eastern Province to be transmitted to the City of Colombo," the statement said.

The prime minister told President Sirisena, who is currently in Japan, that Sri Lanka will also receive two patrol boats, a part of their maritime security cooperation.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 May 2016
Military presence in North-East to derail youth
The Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Sivagnanam Srithiran said that military presence in the North and east was a deliberate attempt to lead the youth into facets of a culture of violence so they have no time to devote to Tamil nationalism.

He further alleged the security forces stationed in the North were the cause of the dominance of a violent culture which had a demoralizing impact on the lives of Tamil youth.

Commenting on the Navy’s attempt to construct a new church on the island inlet of Kachchathibu he alleged that the act was an attempt to colonise the fishing island.

The construction of Buddha shrines across the North-East were part of a wider programme of Sinhalsiation of the North-East he added.
Tamil Guardian 27 May 2016
Former LTTE member arrested at Katunayake

Another former LTTE member was arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Department, TamilWin reported on Thursday.

Ayyathurai Mohandas, known as Athavan Master, was arrested at Katunayaka airport, in connection to the suicide vest, discovered by the military earlier this year.

Mr Mohandas, who was the LTTE head of intelligence for Mannar and Vanni, surrendered to the military in May 2009 and after going through its controversial rehabilitation programme, was reportedly made to work for the intelligence services.

The TID claims he led the group responsible for the suicide vest and says he was attempting to escape to India when he was arrested.

His house was visited by intelligence officers earlier this year, however he was said to have gone into hiding by then.

Tamil Guardian 27 May 2016
No arrests over Tamil student attack in East says TNPF
The Tamil National People's Front condemned Sri Lankan state's inaction and "partisan approach" over the racist attack of a Tamil student by Sinhala students at Eastern university.

"Forty-eight hours have elapsed since the student, who was a victim of a racist attack, lodged a police complaint however, until now, no one has been arrested," the TNPF said in a statement.

Tamil students have raised concerns that there has been ongoing intimidation of the victim in order to make him withdraw his complaint.

"Sri Lankan state machinery discriminates against Tamils. This practice of treating Tamils with partiality also continues under the present regime," TNPF added.


[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 18 May 2016
Enduring resistance
Seven years after the armed conflict ended in May 2009 and the height of Tamil genocide by the Sri Lankan state, Tamils this year mark May 18th with the weight of a UN report behind them. [more]

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2016
Accountability is imperative for peace
Editorial [more]

  Opinion
Tamil Guardian 24 May 2016
‘Human rights issues in North-East not settled’ - Penang Deputy Chief Minister
Human rights issues in the Tamil North-East have not yet been settled and the Sri Lankan government is yet to prosecute members of the armed forces responsible for war crimes, said P Ramasamy, the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang. [more]

Tamil Guardian 18 May 2016
‘An absence of transition in Sri Lanka’ – Kate Cronin-Furman
The failure to acknowledge crimes committed in Sri Lanka “is a continuing injury” to victims, writes human rights lawyer Kate Cronin-Furman in the Washington Post. [more]

Taylor Dibbert The Diplomat 17 April 2016
Sri Lanka's National Security Fearmongers
Sri Lankan police have recently uncovered ammunition, a suicide vest, and explosives in Chavakachcheri, a town in the country’s north. It’s widely (and realistically) believed that this is an old arms cache. [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 22 May 2016
May 18th commemorated by Tamils worldwide
On Wednesday, May 18th, Tamils across the world marked the 7th year anniversary of the end of the armed conflict, which saw tens of thousands of Tamils massacred as Sri Lankan state forces drew in. [more]

Tamil Guardian 18 May 2016
Tamils mourn 7 years after 2009
Updated 22 May 2016 11:00 GMT  NPC Councillor T Ravikaran pays his respects at the Nandikadal Lagoon

Marking the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils at the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009, [more]

Tamil Guardian 14 May 2016
Danish parliament hosts conference on accountability for Sri Lanka's mass atrocities
A conference on international humanitarian and human rights law violations in Sri Lanka was held in the Danish Parliament this week. [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 22 May 2016
A poet's fearless death

Puthuvai Ratnathurai is an Eelam Tamil Revoluntary Poet. He was in charge of the Tamil Eelam Arts and Cultural Guild.  Mr Rathnathuai was last seen in the custody of the Sri Lankan military on 18 May 2009 in Mullivaikkal and to date his fate is not known.  He has written hundreds of poems. Here we publish just one such poem, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 April 2016
American Tamils raise awareness of breast cancer in community
The Tennessee Tamil Sangam held an event last month to raise awareness of breast cancer and highlight the importance of early detection. [more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2016
London Tamil Market showcases very best of British Tamil business success
The two day exhibition held on 9th and 10th April 2016 included over 150 Tamil businesses and saw thousands of visitors coming through its doors. [more]



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