Monday, 28 July 2014
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Tamil Guardian 28 July 2014
US concern about intimidation of journalists

The US embassy in Colombo has expressed “grave concern” about the intimidation by Sri Lankan security forces of journalists, covering the court proceedings related to the rape of an 11-year old Tamil school girl in Jaffna.

In a statement released on Monday, the embassy also said it was deeply concenred about the cancellation of a training session for tamil journalists, which was financially supported by the US embassy, after protests hit the venue in Colombo.

The US said that “well-organised protestors” disrupted the third such event since May, threatening to harm the participants, and accused the Sri Lankan police of not providing security to the threatened journalists, or taking action against the groups making the threats, despite their presence during the incidents.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 July 2014
Cross-party concern over 'betrayal' of Sri Lankan soldiers in Presidential Commission of Inquiry
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Missing persons, this week, received criticism from both opposition and ruling coalition parties, reports the Sunday Leader.

The opposition UNP in a statement criticised the decision to conduct the inquiry, suggesting that it was a betrayal of Sri Lankan soldiers.

“They (the public) should be told why President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who boasted he would sit in an ‘electric chair’ than betray soldiers, has now done an about turn and that too quite secretly. The UNP strongly believes the public should also know whether the actions are in the best interests of Sri Lanka or are the outcome of ignorant, shady but powerful brokers who are on an adventure wrapping up secret diplomatic deals behind the backs of the people,” read the statement.

The leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a party within the ruling party (UPFA) coalition, criticised the government’s expansion of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Missing Persons without gaining approval from members of the ruling coalition.

Warning of unrest should anything happen to Sri Lankan soldiers as a result of the inquiry, the General Secretary of the JHU, Minister Champika Ranawaka said,
[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 July 2014
Police summons 7 Tamil journalists who protested against military for questioning
Journalists who protested against military intimidation have been called for questioning  tomorrow by the Omanthai police, reports a journalist at Yarl Thinakkural, a Jaffna based newspaper.

The journalist, Monday morning, tweeted that 7 journalists who protested against the military had been called in for police questioning.


The latest round of arrests comes as Sri Lankan forces Friday, detained and interrogated 11 Tamil journalists traveling from Jaffna to Colombo for a press workshop.

Military stop Tamil journalists travelling to press workshop, driver detained (26 July 2014)
Tamil Guardian 28 July 2014
Sri Lankan Army organises football coaching for Tamil children

A football coaching camp for Tamil youths and schoolchildren was held by the Sri Lankan Army in Jaffna.

Coordinated by the Commander of the 533 Brigade Colonel Vijith Subasinghe and the president of the Sri Lankan Football Federation Ranjith Rodrigo, the three day camp in the Duraiyappa Stadium saw participation by coaches and players from the US-based Soccer Outreach Association, Pennsylvania.

About 375 youths from different leagues in Jaffna, Valikamam and Islands administrative divisions and schoolchildren took part in the programme, which was inaugurated by Jaffna Commander Udaya Pererra last Monday, reported CIMIC-Jaffna.

Another football coaching camp was held in Nelliyadi for players from Thenmaradchi and Vadamaradchi from the 25th to the 27th of July.

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2014
Police stop peace march citing Buddhist clergy opposition
Photograph DailyMirror.lk


Sri Lankan police stopped a peace march on Saturday, stating that "they wanted to prevent any unruly incidents as Buddhist monks and other people were against the march," the Daily Mirror reported.

The march, which was due to take place in Waskaduwa, was organised by the United Socialist Party.

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2014
Only an international independent investigation will provide truth and justice - GTF
Only an ‘impartial independent international investigation can establish truth and serve justice,’ said the Global Tamil Forum spokesperson, rejecting the recently announced Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Missing Persons.

“When we do not have any faith in the commission or its limited mandate, why would anyone even consider being engaged in such a flawed process? The answer to your question is ‘No’,” said the GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran, when asked by the
Sunday Leader if the Tamil diaspora would contribute to the investigation.

Questioning the credibility of a presidential inquiry, Suren Surendiran added,
“When an alleged party to crimes is involved in the decision making process of choosing the investigators or the counsel of advisors and their terms of reference for the investigation, that may not be impartial.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2014
TNA remains sceptical over government commission
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said it remained sceptical over the government's Missing Persons Commission, despite the government's attempts to increase its credibility through reportedly widening the mandate and appointed three international experts.

Highlighting the government's previous high profile appointments that still failed to yield answers, the TNA spokesperson, Mr Premachandran said in an interview to the Sunday Leader on Sunday:
"The question is why the government took all this time to do that.
Previously under several occasions the government appointed commissions and international experts to overlook investigations but none was implemented successfully."
"With regard to Udalagama Commission, the government did not let the experts to overlook the investigations and act independently. We have previous examples why we cannot rely on the government. We do not know exactly what is going to happen to this Commission. Therefore we will need to discuss its new mandate."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2014
Sri Lanka rejects US accusations of witness intimidation
The Sri Lankan Army Spokesman, on Saturday, rejected US accusations of witness intimidation in the Presidential Commission to Investigate Missing Persons, reports Colombo Page.

“We request that if such incidents have taken place, kindly provide the information to the Army rather than make such false and baseless allegations against us,” said Brigadier Ruwan Wanigsuriya.

He further added that the US should be voicing its concerns to the Sri Lanka government and not speaking to the media.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2014
Police deny detaining Tamil journalists

The spokesperson of Sri Lanka’s police force, Ajith Rohana has denied that a group of Tamil journalists travelling to a workshop in Colombo were detained and said that only their vehicle was taken into custody.

Rohana said the police was not aware that the people travelling in the van were journalists and that they were stopped due to a tip-off that the vehicle was smuggling heroin, reported Colombo Page on Sunday.

Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, spokesperson for the Sri Lankan army also dismissed the journalists' account that the military planted the drugs during the stop.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2014
Displaced families settled in Koppai dispute orders to vacate 'government land'
Displaced Tamil families from the High Security Zones in Valli North that settled in occupied land vacated by the Sri Lankan Army in Koppai protested against an order from the Regional Secretary instructing them to leave ‘government land,' reports Uthayan.

The families disputed the Regional Secretary’s demand, arguing that they were initially displaced due to Sri Lankan army occupation and questioned why then they could not settle on government lands left unoccupied.


 
HIGHLIGHTS
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Editorial Tamil Guardian 08 July 2014
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  Illustration Keera Ratnam Almost at the centenary of the first anti-Muslim riots by Sinhala mobs in 1915, [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 13 May 2014
Silences between the shouts
The idea that Sri Lanka's opposition parties should unite to topple President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government has surfaced yet again, with much discussion of a common Presidential challenger and speculation over likely candidates. [more]

  Opinion
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]

J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 24 June 2014
'Sri Lanka’s Scapegoat for its Own Terror'

Sri Lanka is using the mask of ‘counterterrorism’ to hide its own terror, whilst increasingly becoming a hub for international crime, said award-winning exiled Tamil journalist J. [more]

Tamil Guardian 18 June 2014
‘Australia’s dangerously close relationship with Sri Lanka’

The Australian government’s “dangerously close relationship with Sri Lanka” has put it at odds with its allies and leaves it at risk of violating international human rights obligations, [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 23 July 2014
Black July 1983 remembered
Today Eelam Tamils around the world mark thirty-one years from the horrors of the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, [more]

Tamil Guardian 18 July 2014
US should push prosecution of individuals in Sri Lanka - Congressional Caucus hears

The US has the opportunity to prosecute Sri Lankan war criminals and place sanctions on Sri Lanka, [more]

Tamil Guardian 16 June 2014
Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict concludes with declaration

 

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict concluded in London last week, [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 26 July 2014
Tamil youth mark Black July raising awareness of ongoing genocide
Leicester Square, London. Photograph TYOUK Tamil youth commemorated the 31st anniversary of the anti-Tamil pogrom of Black July, [more]

Tamil Guardian 07 June 2014
Tamil Eelam defeats Darfur United
In the last game for the team at this tournament, Tamil Eelam defeated a weakened Darfur United by ten goals to nil. [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 June 2014
Sápmi defeats Tamil Eelam in closely contested match
The Tamil Eelam football team managed to net their first goals of the 2014 World Football Cup tournament, but succumbed to a 4-2 defeat to hosts Sápmi. [more]



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