Saturday, 23 May 2015
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Tamil Guardian 23 May 2015
Protests inside Jaffna municipal council banned by Sri Lankan court
A Sri Lankan court on Saturday banned all protests within the Jaffna municipal council for 14 days, warning that anyone who breached the order would be arrested, following angry protests outside the Jaffna court complex this week against the rape and murder of a school girl in Pungudutivu on May 13.

Photographs Tamil Guardian

Women's groups who had planned large scale demonstrations in Jaffna on Saturday, were forced to shift their protests just outside the border to the village of Kokkuvil.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 23 May 2015
Jayalalitha sworn in as Tamil Nadu chief minister
J Jayalalitha was sworn in again on Saturday as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, India, after her court sentence for corruption was overturned by an appeal court.

Crowds cheered "Amma is back" as she arrived at the University of Madras for the swearing in ceremony, which was attended by 28 of her cabinet ministers.

Ms Jayalalitha was sentenced to four years in prison last year charged with accumulating more than $10 m in unaccounted wealth.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 22 May 2015
US congressional caucus on Sri Lanka stresses need for war crimes accountability
The US congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka convened on Wednesday to discuss the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka under the new Sirisena regime.

A packed room of congressman and senate representatives, was briefed by representatives from the International Crisis Group (ICG), Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Freedom From Torture.

Sri Lanka must not be rewarded for reforms it hasn't made say NGOs (22 May 2015)

Welcoming the panel, US senate representative BIll Johnson stressed the need to see accountabiltiy for war crimes to see real progress in Sri Lanka.

US Senate representative Danny Davis, urging the international community to stay engaged in seeing change and progress in Sri Lanka, condemned previous attacks by Sri Lanka's air-force on Tamil orphanages during the US caucus meeting on Wednesday.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 22 May 2015
Protests ease but Sri Lankan security forces remain in Jaffna
Sri Lankan riot police, Special Task Force officers and military personnel remained stationed across Jaffna on Friday, even as protests over the rape and murder of a Pungudutivu school girl last week, began to ease.

Photographs Tamil Guardian


Four senior police officers, including the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Superintendent of Police (SP), the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and the Officers-In-Charge of Jaffna and Kayts Police, were transferred to Jaffna with immediate effect, following an order by the Inspector General of Police, N K Ilankakoon.

 

The Chief Justice Shri Bhavan also visited the Jaffna Peninsula today, inspecting the damage to the Jaffna court complex following violent scenes yesterday, as protesters threw stones demanding justice for the 18 year old Advance Level student, Vithiya.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 22 May 2015
4 Sri Lankan ministers resign citing Ranil's grip on power
Four government ministers belonging to the Sri Lankan president's party, the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) resigned on Friday, accusing the prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe of exerting too much control over the coalition government.

The ministers are Dilan Perera, the SLFP spokesperson and state minister for housing; Mahinda Yapa Abewardene, the cabinet minister responsible for parliamentary affairs; C B Ratanayake, state minister for public administration and democratic rule and Pavitradevi Wanniarachchi, the minister of environment.

"It is no use of being the partners of a government which failed to keep the promises given during the election period," the ministers were quoted by PTI as saying, accusing Mr Wickremasinghe of "high-handedness".

Tamil Guardian 22 May 2015
Sri Lanka loses right to host Asian Youth Games 2017

Sri Lanka has lost the right to host the Asian Youth Games in 2017 due to government interference.

The Olympic Council of Asia withdrew the games from Sri Lanka citing problems with the autonomy of the National Olympic Committee from the government.

The games were set to be held in Hambantota, the home district of former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa which saw massive regeneration during his term.

Tamil Guardian 22 May 2015
Sri Lanka must not be rewarded for reforms it hasn't made say NGOs

Sri Lanka’s government should not be rewarded for progress it hasn’t made said the International Crisis Group (ICG) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), noting that Tamil demands for progress on accountability for mass atrocities had not been met by Sri Lanka’s new governance.


The International Crisis Group (ICG), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Committee to Protect Jorunalsits (CPJ) and Freedom From Torture (FFT) briefed a US Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka on human rights progress under Sri Lanka’s new regime, in Washington on Wednesday.

Speaking at the status update on human rights in Sri Lanka under the new regime, Mark Schneider, noting that legitimate demands of Tamils in North-East had not been met, said that the new government was yet to produce a list of detainees held, establish a clear consultative process for release of military held land and take serious steps towards accountability for atrocities.

Mr Schneider added that the recent appointment of Jegath Dias raised serious concerns about Sri Lanka’s commitment to accountability. Noting that the US should support international prosecutions, he added that domestic prosecutions using US law on potential war criminals that held dual citizenship in the US or green cards should also be pursued.   

The Asia director of Human Rights Watch, expressing concerns on issues of accountability, stressed that genuine accountability could not be traded for a truth seeking process and highlighted the need to ensure that there was strong international involvement in any domestic prosecution mechanism that Sri Lanka may implement.

John Sifton added that human rights abuses continued in the North-East under the new regime wit arrests harassment intimidation and violence, noting that though there was a new regime the structure of the state police and security forces responsible for abuses had not changed.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 22 May 2015
'War heroes laid foundation for national unity' says Ranil
Sri Lanka's prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe praised the efforts of the country's soldiers for defeating the armed Tamil resistance movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), stating that "war heroes who eliminated terrorism that engulfed our country for a longtime laid the basic foundation to build national unity and harmony".

He made these remarks on May 19, as the Sinhala south commemorated 'Victory Day', recently renamed as 'Armed Forces Day', with a military parade in Matara. See here for more.

"We should remember with gratitude and respect our men and women who laid their lives in combating terrorism, peace keeping and humanitarian operations across the world and the ones who became disabled while doing their duty diligently," he said, reported the government's news portal, News.Lk.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 21 May 2015
Sirisena denies existence of political prisoners

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday denied the state was holding any political prisoners, Ceylon Today reported.

Speaking to journalists during a press brief, the president said the government had no list of political prisoners to release as there were no such prisoners.

"We don't have political prisoners or a list of names", he said to a question posed by Ceylon Today.

Tamil politicians have long complained that the government is not addressing the issue of political prisoners. The TNA leadership raised this with US Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit earlier this month.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 21 May 2015
'LTTE began like Jaffna protests' - Mahinda

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa urged police to act against the protestors in Jaffna, as the LTTE also "began in a similar fashion."

“Stones were pelted at police stations and the courts in Jaffna. The LTTE too began in a similar fashion. This is a dangerous situation. Therefore the police should act immediately. The law should take its course in a similar manner whether it is the North or the South of the country,” he said speaking after attending religious observances at the Samadhi Buddha statue in the Mahiyangana town, the Daily Mirror reported.

“Everyone should be equal before the law, whether it is in the north or the south. Law and order should be maintained. The prevailing situation must change soon. It is obvious that the ongoing incidents are well organised,” he said.
[more]

HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 18 May 2015
Struggle for remembrance
Illustration by Keera Ratnam May 18 is etched deep into the conscience of the Tamil nation. [more]

Tamil Guardian 07 May 2015
The British Tamil ballot
With the United Kingdom approaching the 2015 general election this week, voters throughout the country will once again be carefully considering their choices at the polls. [more]

  Opinion
Tamil Guardian 18 May 2015
Chief Minister's statement delivered at May 18 remembrance event in Mullivaikkal
Chief Minister’s Statement relating to the death of our dear ones during the last stages of the war on this Anniversary date - 18.05.2015

Today is the day of remembrance of those relatives of ours who died during the last stages of the war. This day brought forth sad and grief stricken news about our people six years ago which wrenched the hearts of not only Sri Lankan Tamils but also those residing abroad. This day is thus a significant emotive day for us.

The Mullivaikal incident left indelible marks on the collective human conscience of our people. Human rights’ denied, [more]

TGView Tamil Guardian 13 May 2015
At home and abroad: accountability, reconciliation and Sinhala Buddhism

Sri Lanka announced recently that it would launch a domestic probe to investigate war time mass atrocities in time for the release of the UN mandated investigation due in September. [more]

Jared Genser Washington Post 10 May 2015
Preventing atrocities now and in the future

Jared Genser is an associate of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. This article was first published in the Washington Post on April 24, 2015. [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 18 May 2015
Tamils remember May 2009 massacre amid surveillance by Sri Lankan intelligence officers
[more]

Tamil Guardian 18 May 2015
Revisiting May 2009 - Civilians walk into SL camps after thousands killed in night of shelling, surrendering LTTE leadership killed, Tamils blockade Westminster
Photograph: War without witness [more]

Tamil Guardian 07 May 2015
UK parliamentary candidates detail their views on the Tamil question
Final report of British parliamentary candidate responses to Tamil Guardian survey [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 22 March 2015
A night to remember as Tamil comedy takes to the stage

  All photographs: Thamarai With Tamil variety shows having been a staple part of the British Tamil calendar for years, [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 February 2015
'Super Singer Junior' audiences stunned by song dedicated to Eelam Tamils
A 15 year old Canadian Eelam Tamil singer, Jessica Judes, stunned audiences of the widely popular Tamil Nadu singing competition - Super Singer Junior on Saturday, [more]

Tamil Guardian 21 February 2015
Denmark Tamil schools compete in Malathy Cup football tournament
Tamil schools across Denmark came together for the Malathy Cup football tournament on February 14. [more]



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