Tuesday, 27 January 2015
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Tamil Guardian 26 January 2015
Wigneswaran calls for release of Tamil political prisoners and return of occupied Tamil land
The Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, CV Wigneswaran and a delegate of Northern Provincial Councillors, called for the release of 6500 acres of Tamil land taken by  the Sri Lankan military and release of registered and unregistered Tamil political prisoners.

The delegation made the demands noting that several unregistered political prisoners were being held in secret captivity during a meeting with the newly appointed Resettlement Minister TM Swamynathan in Colombo on Saturday.

Mr Swamynathan assured the Tamil delegation that the appropriate actions would be taken to resolve the issues, reports the Uthayan.
Tamil Guardian 26 January 2015
Sri Lankan envoy to meet UN High Commissioner Zeid

The Sri Lankan president's senior advisors on foreign relations has arrived in Geneva for a meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussain.

Jayantha Dhanapala is expected to discuss the OHCHR Investigation in Sri Lanka, the final report of which is due to be published at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March, with the high commissioner.

External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera is also currently in Europe, where he will seek a postponement of a EU ban on imports from Sri Lanka.

Mr Samaraweera said last week the UN inquiry could have been avoided if the issue had been handled "carefully and pragmatically" by the previous government.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 January 2015
Unemployed graduates protest in Batticaloa

Unemployed graduates in Batticaloa protested on Monday, calling on the new Sri Lankan government to ensure more professional jobs, reports BattiNews.



[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 January 2015
Modi to visit Sri Lanka in March – Daily FT

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will arrive in Sri Lanka on March 14, for the first state visit by an Indian leader since Rajiv Gandhi in 1987, according to the Daily FT.

Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena will visit India, his first foreign visit since assuming office, on the February 16.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Delhi and met with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Modi.

Both countries pledged to strengthen ties between them during the talks, which focused on a range of issues, including political and economic cooperation, the repatriation of Tamil refugees and the fishermen dispute.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 January 2015
Tamils in Mannar urge international community to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka
Photographs Uthayan

Residents in Mannar launched a silent protest on Monday calling on the international community to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka, whilst also highlighting a number of pressing concerns: calling for political prisoners to be released, for the missing to be returned and for the military occupation of the Tamil homeland to end.


Wearing pieces of black cloth across their mouths, women and men marched through Mannar holding photographs of missing loved ones, and carrying banners and placards with a number of demands relating to key issues.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 January 2015
Media minister invites exiled journalists back, promises work 'without fear of persecution'
Sri Lanka's media minister, Gayantha Karunatilleka invited exiled journalists to return to the island, promising they could work independently without fear of persecution.



Praying at the sacred Buddhist site of the Sacred Tooth Relic and seeking the blessing of Buddhist clergy, Mr Karunatilleke said: "We have created a conducive environment for all media personnel to work independently without fear of persecution."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 January 2015
Tamil man assaulted by Sri Lankan army in Valvettithurai


A Tamil man in Valvettithurai reports being assaulted by Sri Lankan military personnel when he went to an army camp asking for his ball to be returned to him.

The victim, 29 year old father of three children, Selvaraja Jegan said the ball went into the military base, as he had been playing with friends at a sports ground in the Ellangulam region of Valvettithurai.

When he went there to ask for the ball to be returned, he was taken away and beaten by soldiers, he said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 January 2015
Swiss asylum applications from Sri Lanka soar in 2014

The number of asylum applications in Switzerland by individuals from Sri Lanka has increased by 87% in 2014, compared to the previous year.

A total of 1,277 refugees from Sri Lanka, the vast majority of whom are thought to be Tamils, made claims for asylum, making them the third-largest group of asylum seekers, after Eritreans and Syrians.

The number of total asylum requests in Switzerland rose by 11% to 23,765, the highest rate in over a decade, as conflicts in the Middle East and Africa intensified.

Tamil Guardian 25 January 2015
UN inquiry could have been avoided if handled 'pragmatically' says Sri Lanka's new FM
Sri Lanka's new foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, said that the UN inquiry into mass atrocities in Sri Lanka could have been avoided if the issue had been handled "carefully and pragmatically" by the previous government.

"This whole investigation was brought upon the country by the bungling of the previous government. If we had handled it carefully and pragmatically, it could have been avoided,” Mr Samaraweera said.

Asked if the team of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) conducting the inquiry had requested a meeting with the new government, Mr Samaraweera said: "Not so far but we have requested the President’s senior adviser, Mr [Jayantha] Dhanapala, to meet the UN Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva to discuss matters pertaining to this inquiry."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 January 2015
Hunger strikers told commission will review Chunnakam oil leak on Feb 6
Hunger strike continues - 24 Jan 2015


Locals protesting against the contamination of water supplies by waste oil seepage by Chunnakam power station, paused their ongoing hunger strike on Saturday, after officials said a commission would investigate the situation on February 6.




[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 12 January 2015
New Crossroad?
The shock defeat of incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections has given rise, both internationally and in the island, to cautious optimism of a new era of governance that would break from the violent authoritarianism and cronyism of the past decade. Building his campaign around a pledge to end corruption, [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 22 December 2014
No choice

In less than a month’s time, Sri Lanka will choose a president. In the south of the island the poll is one of the most anticipated in the country’s recent history, [more]

  Opinion
J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 17 January 2015
Will Sri Lanka's new president be held to international standards of justice?
In view of the Sri Lanka's new president's closeness to the last stages of the armed conflict, serving as acting defence minister for the final two weeks, [more]

Madura Rasaratnam Tamil Guardian 15 January 2015
Reality Check: Sri Lanka's New Government
Sustained international pressure is needed to ensure that the new Sri Lankan government works towards accountability, justice and reconciliation on the island, [more]

Kumaravadivel Guruparan Tamil Guardian 14 January 2015
'Why Sirisena’s Victory is Not a Victory for Sri Lanka’s Tamils'
Despite Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's surprise election victory, there is little to suggest change in government policy towards the island's indigenous Tamil and Muslim communities, [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 23 January 2015
Sri Lanka's new government and the possibility of justice
Feature - Ahead of UNHRC session in March and the report of the UN inquiry, Tamil Guardian this week canvassed opinion amongst Tamil campaigners seeking accountability and justice, on what the change in Sri Lanka’s leadership might mean. [more]

Tamil Guardian 09 January 2015
UK, Canada urge President Sirisena to cooperate with UN inquiry as he takes office
Sri Lanka's new president, Maithiripala Sirisena, faced calls from heads of states and international rights groups to address accountability for mass atrocities committed against the Tamil people, [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 January 2015
No justice for assassinated human rights lawyer Kumar Ponnambalam, 15 years on
Kumar Ponnamabalam, assassinated 5 Jan 2000. Fifteen years after Kumar Ponnambalam, [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 25 January 2015
Cambridge University take 'Kings of Gaana' title

 

For the third year in a row, ‘Kings of Gaana’, the inter-university dance competition hosted by King’s College London Tamil Society, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 January 2015
Thai Pongal celebrated across the globe
Photograph: Tamil Students Initiative [more]

Tamil Guardian 16 January 2015
Breaking the Silence 2014: Queen Mary, University of London

Students from both the Queen Mary Tamil Society and the Barts Tamil Society ran a stall at the Mile End campus, last month as part of their annual 'Breaking the Silence' exhibition. [more]



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