Thursday, 24 April 2014
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Tamil Guardian 24 April 2014
Rajapaksa: no hurry to hold elections early, unless opposition wishes

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Thursday he is no hurry to hold snap elections next year, but is ready to do so if the opposition requested it. See Colombo Gazette’s report here

Speaking to newspaper editors at a breakfast meeting, Mr. Rajapaksa said his term did not end till 2016, but he was prepared to hold presidential or general elections if the United National Party (UNP) formally requested it.

“I will need to ask the opposition leader what election he wants first,” the President said, jokingly.

Mr. Rajapaksa is in his second term but in 2010 his government amended the constitution to abolish a two-term limit and allow presidents to seek re-election any number of times.

Tamil Guardian 24 April 2014
‘Imperative duty’ of states to suppress terrorist funding from diaspora, says Sri Lanka

External Affairs Minister GL Peiris today hosted a “comprehensive briefing” about the government’s claim of an “LTTE revival” for international diplomats in Colombo, calling on states to take action against organisations that were recently banned by the government and suppress terrorist funding activities, according to a statement released by the official government news website.

The minister said at the briefing, which he held alongside the Chief of National Intelligence Major General Kapila Hendawitharana from the Ministry of Defence, that there was compelling evidence regarding the remittance of considerable sums of money from overseas for terrorist activity.

Tamil Guardian 24 April 2014
Don't use Buddha’s image inappropriately - President Rajapaksa

The president of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed media organisations in the country to inform the population to desist from using images of the Buddha, printed on their media, for general purposes, reported the Daily Mirror.

The directive came after the head of the Asgiriya Chapter, Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha called on the president to stop print media from publishing pictures of Buddha or set guidelines to ensure the printed images are not used in an inappropriate manner, according to the Daily News.

The Buddhist leader said during a meeting with Rajapaksa last Thursday that printed material, bearing the image of Buddha, were used as serviettes in restaurants and to wrap consumer goods by traders, noting that this amounted to sacrilege.

Tamil Guardian 24 April 2014
SL turns down British request to legalise gay marriage

The Sri Lankan government has rejected a request by the British government to legalise gay marriage on the island, reported Colombo Gazette.

Speaking to newspaper editors in Colombo, Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that Britain had put it forward in the form of a condition to receive British aid, but that the government was not prepared to agree to the request.

Tamil Guardian 24 April 2014
Attempted rape of German tourist in Sri Lanka

A German tourist was the victim of an attempted rape in Hatton on Monday, police said according to Ceylon Today.

The 30 year old woman was on holiday with her husband and was staying in a guest house, when an employee attempted to rape her while she was sleeping, she told police.

The employee was arrested on Tuesday and charged with the attempted rape, according to police.

Sexual assaults on tourists increase in Sri Lanka (31 March 2014)

Australian student raped by tourist guide in South (26 January 2014)

Tamil Guardian 24 April 2014
5 years today - UN confirms at least 20000 casualties, LTTE calls for international aid, Sri Lanka rejects aid envoy
24 April 2009 - UN confirms at least 20000 casualties, SL rejects aid envoy

United Nations documents confirmed that at least 6500 civilians had died and 14000 wounded over the previous three months, reported The Guardian.

UN officials told The Guardian that April had seen at least 2000 civilians killed and an increasing rate of death.

The Internal Review Panel Report on Sri Lanka, published by the UN in 2012 estimated the total civilian death toll to be around 70,000.

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon announced the dispatch of a humanitarian team to the conflict zone. The UN announcement was immediately rejected by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who said,

“It is not a sensible thing at the moment. There is a civilian rescue operation going on in the area and allowing aid agencies inside the conflict zone is not matching with the ground realities."

24 April 2009 - LTTE call on international community to provide aid for over 165000 starving civilians

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in a statement  to the international community ,said that over 165000 Tamil civilians faced a humanitarian disaster due to denial of food and humanitarian supplies by the Sri Lankan government, and urged actors to ensure that immediate and continuous aid to the Tamil civilians.

See full statement here.


Tamil Guardian 23 April 2014
Prisoner dies after being attacked by guard - Jaffna
A prisoner who was attacked by a guard at Jaffna prison has died from his injuries today, reported Uthayan and Tamilwin.

The prisoner, identified as 56 year old Krishnaswamy Balakrishnacettiyar, was attacked on April 20, and admitted to Jaffna hospital with head injuries.

The guard involved in the incident has been suspended, sources at the prison told Uthayan at the time.

Jaffna police have launched an investigation into the incident, the Virakesari reported.

Tamil Guardian 23 April 2014
Another arrest over Tamil Eelam posters
A third man has been arrested in Jaffna by Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) officers in connection with posters reading 'Tamil Eelam will blossom' that alleged appeared by Jaffna Hindu College last week, the Uthayan reported.

Rajaratnam Sutharshan, a 30 year old owner of a computer centre on Manippai road was arrested last Wednesday, accused of helping to produce the poster.

Police allege that evidence of him having printed the posters was found on his computer. His computer centre has been sealed shut.

Last week two 24 year old men, Manmatharasa Venuganthan and Jeyathasan Kajanan, were arrested.

Tamil Guardian 23 April 2014
Wigneswaran hits out at President Rajapaksa over failed pledges

Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran has hit out at President Mahinda Rajapaksa for failing to honour pledges made regarding the NPC, reported Ceylon Today.

Speaking at the Kilinochchi District Development Committee, which ended without resolution according to the Uthayan, Wigneswaran said that the president has not met several pledges that he made regarding the “successful governance” of the provincial council, but instead the government has been trying to take “the upper hand”.

"The Provincial Council system was introduced to devolve powers to the provinces under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. However, the Central Government is attempting to tighten its grip over the Provincial Councils.

"Since powers were not devolved to the NPC, I met Rajapaksa in Colombo on 2 January and explained to him the need of devolving powers to the NPC.

"He made several pledges to me on the successful governance of the NPC. However, he has not done anything so far to fulfil those pledges.

Tamil Guardian 23 April 2014
CPA files complaint over state media report alleging LTTE support

A leading Colombo-based think tank, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), has filed a complaint before Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission against a state-owned television network over a news broadcast last July which claimed the CPA had organised a meeting in support of the LTTE. The complaint is to be heard Thursday.

Independent Television Network (ITN) launched in April 1979 as a private company, was taken over by the Sri Lankan government in June 1979 and declared a Government Owned Public Company in April 1992.

The complaint filed by CPA and its executive director, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, against ITN and its chairman, Rosmand Senaratne, concerns a Sinhala language news broadcast on 14 July 2013.

The broadcast claimed CPA and Dr. Saravanamuttu organised a meeting in Ampara that day to "further the interests of the LTTE" and that the meeting was cut short due to the intervention of Buddhist clergy and public of the area.

Stating "no employee of CPA or its Executive Director organized or was present at any meeting in Ampara on 14th July 2013," the complaint said "the language used by ITN in its news item was incendiary and it intentionally distorted the facts with the aim to arouse public opinion against CPA and its Executive Director and lower their standing in the eyes of the public."


Editorial Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Inducing fear

The killings of three Tamil men last week, who the Sri Lankan military claims were attempting to revive the LTTE, has spread terror amongst the Tamil population. [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 07 April 2014
Transcending Terror

The Sri Lankan government's proscription last week of 15 Tamil diaspora organisations and over 400 individuals was a brazen attempt to instil fear into the Tamil people. [more]

Krisna Saravanamuttu Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
The proscription of the Tamil Diaspora: War by other means
Writing in JDS, on the recent blanket proscription of several Tamil diaspora organisations by the Sri Lankan government, the National Council of Canadian Tamils' (NCCT) advocacy and research director, [more]

J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
UN resolution the first step on rocky path to accountability

The resolution adopted in the UN Human Rights council is the first step in the rocky path towards accountability, writes the exiled Tamil journalist, J. [more]

Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
Another step in a long and arduous path towards justice

The Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) recognises the resolution passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as a small but important step in the ongoing struggle for justice for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. [more]

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
Enter South Africa?
Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's Special Envoy on its dialogue initiative in Sri Lanka addresses speaking at a Hindu Easter festival this weekend. Photograph courtesy of Subry Govender. [more]

Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
'We will continue to keep Sri Lanka issue alive' says Stephen Rapp at event on international criminal justice

The US Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Rapp, said at an event in Washington that the US will continue to work to keep the Sri Lanka issue alive, with a view to see justice some day. [more]

Tamil Guardian 09 April 2014
What drew bond investors to Sri Lanka this week?
Sri Lanka sold $500m of bonds on Tuesday with a yield of just over 5 percent – its lowest ever – after raising $1bn in January in a separate bond issuance with a 6 percent yield. [more]

  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 21 April 2014
‘Breaking the Silence’ held at Kingston University

; (Pictures: KUTS)

Kingston University Tamil Society held the first ‘Breaking the Silence’ event of 2014 earlier this month.

Tamil students from the university organised an exhibition at the main campus of the university in south London detailing aspects of the genocide and war crimes that occurred during the armed conflict.

Award-winning documentary “No Fire Zone” was also played to students and faculty members at the university.

Breaking the Silence is a project to raise awareness about Tamil rights issues, [more]

Tamil Guardian 20 April 2014
Talking Taboo: Caste & Religion in the Tamil community
In the second part of the 'Unrestricted' series, a discussion forum by the Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) aimed at stimulating dialogue within the Tamil community on subjects often considered taboo, [more]

Sinthujan Varatharajah Tamil Guardian 26 March 2014
Paddy Field

Paddy Field

Words that hold the world together Touches that erupt in vibration Breaths that rip apart air textures

Tears that moist the sandy soil Heartbeats that overtake passing vehicles Filled with people, [more]

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