Friday, 24 October 2014
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Tamil Guardian 24 October 2014
Sri Lanka hires another American lobbying firm
Sri Lanka hired its eighth American public relations firm this year to reach out to US media, officials and policy makers.

Levick, an organisation subcontracted to the Liberty International Group, has been hired to speak on behalf of the Sri Lankan central bank.

“Levick’s mission is to utilize communications supported advocacy to tell Sri Lanka’s amazing story of recovery after a decades long civil war against a brutal terrorist organization, as well as to assist the Central Bank in communicating opportunities for trade and investment between our two nations,” president of Levick, Mark Irion, said in a statement to The Hill.

The contract which will last until July 2015 is worth $760,000.

The Sri Lankan government and central bank have signed contracts with a host of public relations firms in the past including the Majority Group, Patton Boggs, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Qorvis Communications, Thompson Advisory Group and several others.
Tamil Guardian 23 October 2014
Army visits every Hindu household in Jaffna for Deepavali

The Sri Lankan army has visited every Hindu family in Jaffna to wish them for Deepavali.

Jaffna commander Maj Gen Udaya Perera ordered all brigades and battalions stationed on the peninsula to deliver greeting cards to the houses of each of the 157,500 Hindu families, according to a military website.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 23 October 2014
Catholic Church will reconsider papal visit if election is held in January

Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church said the planned visit of Pope Francis to the island will be reconsidered if the presidential election is going ahead in January 2015.

Spokesman Cyril Gamini told Ceylon Today that the government had not yet responded to their letter asking for confirmation of the election date and said that the External Affairs Ministry should seek confirmation of the visit from the Vatican if the election is in January.

"[N]othing has been decided as yet and if an election is to be held in January 2015 the Catholic Church will reconsider the Pontiff's decision to visit the country," Gamini said.

Presidential election ‘casts doubt’ on papal visit (22 October 2014)

Tamil Guardian 23 October 2014
Govt and opposition vie for Sinhala votes over EU Court ruling on LTTE
In an ongoing political spat, the Sri Lankan government and opposition party, UNP, sought to blame each other for the decision by the General Court of the European Union to annul the Council's anti-terror measures taken against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on procedural grounds earlier this month.

Following the ruling, posters were displayed in Colombo with a picture of a tiger and the words, "Who is the opposition MP behind lifting the ban on the LTTE", written in Sinhala, in an apparent reference to the UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe who recently travelled to UK where he sought to meet with Tamil diaspora groups.



[more]

Tamil Guardian 23 October 2014
Presidential commission denies military interference

The presidential commission investigating complaints into those who disappeared during the conflict has denied criticism by the Centre for Policy Alternatives that members of the security forces interfered in public meetings where relatives of the missing gave evidence.

Gunadasa said military personnel who were outside the venue were on “routine patrol”, adding that there was “no interference on the part of the security forces” and that the commission was not inconvenienced at any time by the military.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 23 October 2014
Canadian Tamils condemn Ottawa attack
Updated 17:40 GMT

Tamils across Canada expressed shock and outrage at the attack on Canadian parliament on Wednesday, posting messages of condolence to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier killed.

Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC):



Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance (CTYA):



NDP Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge River, Rathika Sitsabaiesan:



[more]

Tamil Guardian 23 October 2014
Tamil Nadu parties urge Modi not to form closer defence ties with SL
Political parties in Tamil Nadu urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to form close military ties with the Sri Lankan government on Wednesday, following meetings between the Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Indian counterpart.

Describing such a move as a "diplomatic blunder", the head of the National Committee of the Naam Tamilar Party (NTP), Ayyanathan, asked what how this would benefit India's security given Sri Lanka's close ties with China.

"Now, what is the point in saying that this is for our security. Are you sharing your southern security with the Sri Lankan Government and China? This is ridiculous, it is a diplomatic blunder," he told ANI.

"You [the Indian government] have decimated Tamils and you are going with Sri Lanka, but Sri Lanka is going with China. This is the mockery of southern security of the country," he said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 23 October 2014
TNA leadership distances itself from NPC genocide resolution as case filed against councillors
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) issued a statement on Wednesday, apparently distancing itself from a draft resolution tabled within the TNA led Northern Provincial Council (NPC) which calls on the international community to recognise the genocide committed against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan state.

The draft resolution, tabled by the NPC councillor M. K. Shivajilingham, said that the NPC "wished to inform the international community of its strong belief that the Tamil people have been, and continue to be subjected to genocide by the Sri Lankan government and its forces" and "requests the international community and United Nations to create a mechanism to protect the Tamil people from the ongoing genocide of the Tamil people".

Whilst stating that "acts specified in article 2 of the Genocide Convention of 1948 have undeniably been perpetrated on the Tamil people by functionaries of the Sri Lankan state over several decades", the TNA leadership said it would be "improper and inappropriate for the Northern Provincial Council or any other political body to make pronouncements in the form of resolutions or otherwise on matters of evidence and law currently being considered by the OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL).


[more]

Tamil Guardian 22 October 2014
Travel restrictions on Northern Province to remain ‘indefinitely’ says military

The Sri Lankan military says the restrictions on foreigners travelling to the Northern Province will remain indefinitely.

Speaking to Ceylon Today, military spokesperson Ruwan Wanigasuriya said there was no specific reason, as to why the requirement for foreigners to obtain Ministry of Defence approval before travelling to the North was re-introduced, but that the decision was “based on careful study” of the situation in the region.

"We need to have a track of all foreigners, who go there, for security reasons," he said.

Wanigasuriya said that foreigners found without the necessary permit would be turned back at Omanthai, which used to serve as the main crossing point between Tamil-held and Sri Lankan-held territory during the ceasefire.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 22 October 2014
Presidential election ‘casts doubt’ on papal visit

Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church asked the government for clarification regarding the presidential election in January announced this week, as the election has cast doubt on the visit to Sri Lanka by Pope Francis, reports AFP.

The Church had earlier said it would be "inappropriate" for the Pope to visit a country at the time of a national election.

"We are yet to decide anything," church spokesman Cyril Gamini Fernando told AFP.

"There will be a meeting of the bishops to discuss this."

 

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 22 September 2014
Thunderclap
The eyes of the world were on Scotland last week, as the Scottish people voted in a historic referendum on independence. The majority of Scots (55%) chose to keep their homeland as part of the United Kingdom with the promise of more devolved powers, [more]

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]

  Opinion
Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
'Why Sri Lanka's detention of Balenderan Jayakumari is so sinister' - Callum Macrae
Documentary maker Callum Macrae says Sri Lanka has continued with its “particularly sinister” arrest and intimidation of possible witnesses to a United Nations investigation into mass atrocities in Sri Lanka – including of Tamil disappearances activist Balendran Jayakumari - in a piece in the Huffington Post. Macrae, [more]

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]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
UK Ministers and MPs rally behind Tamil calls for justice
[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 September 2014
Remembering Thileepan
Today marks the 27th anniversary of the death of Lt. Col Thileepan, after he fasted to death on hunger strike, appealing to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 September 2014
#GetThePicture campaign maps Sri Lankan state massacres of Tamils
The United States Tamil Political Action Council released an updated version of their #GetThePicture campaign map this week, [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 19 October 2014
UK Tamil students hold workshop on university application process for Year 13s
Photographs TSI The Tamil Students Initiative (TSI), a network of UK university Tamil societies, [more]

Tamil Guardian 15 October 2014
Thileepan remembered 27 years on
Tamils remembered the death of Lt. Col. Thileepan last month, 27 years on, staging symbolic fasts and holding remembrance events around the world. Thileepan began a fast unto death on September 15, [more]

Tamil Guardian 04 October 2014
Kilithattu tournament sees Eelam Vaanavil hold on to trophy

Pictures (TYO)

The Tamil Youth Organization - Canada's  (TYO-Canada) 4th annual Kilithattu tournament in Toronto, [more]



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