Monday, 20 October 2014
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Tamil Guardian 20 October 2014
Travel restriction to North designed to prevent Tamils giving evidence to UN inquiry says TNPF
The Sri Lankan government's re-introduction of travel restrictions to the North, preventing all foreign citizens from entering the region without prior written permission from the Ministry of Defence, is aimed at stopping Tamils from giving evidence to the UN inquiry, said the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF).

"The fact that the travel restrictions on foreign passport holders to the North has come at this juncture is not a surprise at all," the TNPF president, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam told the Tamil Guardian on Sunday.

"The government would have been observing closely and its intelligence sources would have revealed that the Tamil victims of the most heinous crimes are very eager to give evidence to the OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL). The only hesitation Tamils have is with regards to how the evidence can be submitted whilst maintaining secrecy. One of the safest ways would be to transfer the evidence through diplomats or foreigners who would be most likely to be able to get the evidence out of the country safely," he said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 20 October 2014
MoD collects details of Tamils in North for 'lost property search'
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence has requested Tamils in the North to register their name, address, email address, telephone phone number and other personal information, including names of household occupants, in order to search for any property lost after 1980, the Sunday Times reports.

"Those who had lost property or land should send in details about themselves and their property to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, 15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha, Colombo 03," the paper quoted the MoD as saying.

See more here.

The announcement comes after the MoD restricted access to the North for all foreign citizens, citing national security concerns.


Tamil Guardian 20 October 2014
Sri Lanka to challenge EU court annulment of anti-terror measures on LTTE
Sri Lanka is to challenge the annulment of anti-terror measures against the LTTE by the General Court of the European Union on Thursday, by dispatching its ambassador to Strasbourg on Monday.

Ambassador Rodney Perera is to urge the Council to act on the Court ruling, attend the EU parliament's plenary session, and meet with foreign affairs and defence committees, reports the Colombo Page.

On Thursday, the Court annulled the European Council’s measures taken against the LTTE, which was designated as a terrorist organisation by the EU, on procedural grounds.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 19 October 2014
Government appointed officials in NPC do not serve people says TNA MP
Government appointed officials in the Northern Provincial Council do not serve the people said a Tamil National Alliance MP on Sunday.

Speaking to the Sunday Times on the government appointed NPC governor’s secretariat and chief secretary's failure to attend an event aimed at resolving problems related to land, birth and death certificates and other issues Selvam Adaikalanathan, said,
“The GA, the NPC Chief Secretary and other top officials did not attend the event. They are not representatives of the people to do politics. There is a huge gap opening between the central government and the NPC.”

Tamil Guardian 19 October 2014
EU will have to rethink 'flawed' proscription of LTTE says ECJ lawyer
The European Union decision to ban the LTTE in 2006 needs to be rethought after the recent European Court Justice (ECJ) ruling exposed “big mistakes” in the proscription outlined a lawyer representing LTTE at the ECJ.

Speaking to TamilNet, Victor Koppe, highlighting that the ECJ ruling had exposed that  proscription of the LTTE by EU was “flawed in various aspects,” said,

“I think it is up to the European Union to really ask itself the question, should we want to continue with this ban. The world situation is changed so much. I think this would be a very appropriate moment to rethink and reconsider this decision to put the LTTE on EU terrorist list.”

Stressing the need for the European Union to re-justify its LTTE ban, Koppe added,
 
“There should be a fundamental reconsideration in the position of the European Union. They made some – very strong – big mistakes. It is time to reconsider things with this decision in hand.”


[more]

Tamil Guardian 19 October 2014
UK, Canada, Australia warn citizens of Sri Lanka's restrictions on travel to North
The UK, Canada and Australia warned their citizens of the Sri Lanka's new travel restrictions on visiting the North of the island, in updated travel advisories this week.

The new restrictions, require all foreign nationals to obtain permission from the Ministry of Defence prior to entering the North. The clearance request is expected to take 2-3 days to process.

The UK's Foreign Office's travel advice now states:
"The security forces have imposed restrictions preventing all foreign passport holders (including British nationals) travelling to the Northern Province. All foreign passport holders planning to travel to the north must get prior approval from the Ministry of Defence.

You should send a written request to the following address/fax: Secretary Ministry of Defence & Urban Development (Attn: Military Liaison Officer) 15/5 Baladaksha Mawatha Colombo 3 Fax: +94 11 2328109

Military activities are ongoing."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 19 October 2014
UN official stopped from entering North by Defence Ministry travel restrictions
A United Nations official was stopped from entering the North on Wednesday, due to the Ministry of Defence's newly re-introduced travel restrictions, requiring all foreign citizens to seek prior permission from the Ministry to enter the Tamil region in the North of the island.

Beth Crawford, the country representative for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), was turned away at Omanthai check point, reports Sri Lanka's Sunday Times.

Crawford, who was appointed to Sri Lanka in July 2013, was reportedly on her way to Kilinochchi to mark World Food Day, on the invitation of the Northern Provincial Council Agriculture Minister P. Aingaranesan.

See related article: Foreign citizens to need MoD permission to travel to North (15 October 2014)



Tamil Guardian 19 October 2014
Fears travel restrictions to North will affect tourism
Highlighting that at least 8.6% of tourists in Sri Lanka go to the north-east, Sri Lanka’s tourism board said it was caught unaware of the new travel restrictions placed on foreigners travelling to the North, reports the SundayTimes.lk.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority director general, said “I thought the ban was temporary due to President’s visit to the north last week. We have not got any communication as yet.”

Related articles:

UK, Canada, Australia warn citizens of Sri Lanka's restrictions on travel to North (19 Oct 2014)

Foreign citizens to need MoD permission to travel to North (15 Oct 2014)


Tamil Guardian 19 October 2014
Tamil Refugee Council welcomes Packer's decision to watch 'No Fire Zone' before Colombo casino launch
The Australia based group, Tamil Refugee Council, welcomed the decision by the business tycoon, James Packer, to watch the 'No Fire Zone' documentary, ahead of launching a multi-million dollar casino in Sri Lanka.

Packer pledged to view the documentary, which was recently nominated for a prestigious Emmy award, at the annual general meeting of his business enterprise, Crown Resorts, in Perth this week.

Local refugee activist, Victoria Martin-Iverson, gave Packer a copy, after questions were raised about his plans to build the casino in Colombo.

"My heart bleeds for people caught in conflicts," Packer was quoted as saying by the West Australian newspaper, expressing sympathy for those, including Tamils in 2009.

Urging Packer to reconsider his business venture, the spokesperson for the Tamil Refugee Council, Trevor Grant, said Packer's decision was "welcome news".


[more]

Tamil Guardian 18 October 2014
Sri Lanka requires more FDI to sustain growth - minister

Sri Lanka's economy requires a substantial amount of foreign direct investment in order to sustain the current economic growth, said Minister for Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, according to Ceylon Today.

Speaking at the World Investor Forum in Geneva, Abeywardena said Sri Lanka needed $5bn in FDI, in order to achieve anticipated economic gains by 2016, but that current projections show, only $4bn will be raised.

"Sri Lanka requires a substantial amount of investment to sustain the current growth momentum and embark upon its sustainable development goals successfully."

"The private sector plays a major role in financing investment projects, so long as they generate profits. The challenge before Sri Lanka is to motivate them to finance the investment that could fill the resource gap, as the private sector is mainly driven by profits; the national priorities of a particular country may not necessarily be the priorities for the private sector," he said.
[more]

 
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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