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Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
Sri Lanka denies torture and rape of deported Tamil asylum seekers
Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Australia rejected findings in a SBS investigative report that documented evidence of torture and rape of Tamil asylum seekers deported from Australia to Sri Lanka.

Speaking to the SBS news channel after the report aired on Australian TV, Thisara Samarasinghe, suggested that the evidence of rape and torture was self-inflicted and labelled the documentary as a
"doctored, orchestrated, biased documentary which is absolutely baseless, that is trying to portray an absolutely wrong picture of Sri Lanka."

Samarasinghe further added that the documentary was "an attempt to support separatism in Sri Lanka."


SBS Dateline documentary with interview of Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia

[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
'They have the guns, we have only pens'
Al Jazeera has profiled a day in the life of a Tamil journalist writing for the Jaffna daily Uthayan, as she writes an article on a colleague who was abducted in 2007.

As part of their Viewfinder Asia program, Al Jazeera documented Thadsa, a journalist from the Uthayan, as she wrote on the abduction of Vadivel Nimalarajah in 2007.

See the film made by Kannan Arunasalam below.


See a report from the time of the abduction from Reporters Without Borders here.

Apart from the chief editor, Uthayan does not have a single news journalist over the age of 40, reports Al Jazeera.

Uthayan received the Press Freedom Prize from Reporters Without Borders in 2013 and was visited by British Prime Minister David Cameron later that year.

Also see:

Journalists protest against media repression in North (31 July 2014)

'Media repression and Tamils' – Tamils Against Genocide (12 October 2013)
Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
'Why Sri Lanka's Detention of Mrs Balenderan Jayakumari Is So Sinister' - Callum Macrae
Film maker Callum Macrae 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, director of No Fire Zone, added that whilst the intimidation of witnesses continued, Sri Lanka was “carrying out an ongoing campaign whose aim is nothing less than to permanently change the ethnic make-up of the Tamil areas in the north and east.”

He added that “through the use of major strategic land-grabs, systematic sexual violence, political repression, enforced disappearances and wholesale plantation by non-Tamil families and businesses they are assaulting Tamil identity and ethnically re-engineering the entire region.”

[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
Sri Lankan and Burmese Buddhist groups sign agreement to work together

(DailyMirror)

Buddhist nationalist groups from Sri Lanka and Burma have signed a deal, agreeing to work together to protect Buddhism.

Leader of the 969 U Wirathu and Bodu Bala Sena’s General Secretary G Ganasera said that Buddhism is being challenged worldwide and their agreement would help build the capacity to stabilise Buddhism.

“I expect a lot of problems because I have decided to work with Bodu Bala Sena for the upliftment of Buddhism. But we are ready to face anything,” Wirathu told reporters.


(Bodu Bala Sena)


[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
Senior Tamil journalist detained by CID officers in Jaffna
12:53 BST

A senior Tamil journalist, Ratnam Thayaparan, was detained by Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers earlier today, said the Jaffna based media group, the Jaffna Press Club.

Thayaparan, who is also a prominent campaigner for press freedom for Tamil journalists in the North-East, was interrogated by special CID officials based in Kankesanturai.


Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
New Tamil Nadu CM writes to Modi urging fishermen's release
The new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O. Panneerselvam, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, seeking the release of 20 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy this week and urging that New Delhi take "positive and concrete steps", reports The Hindu.

"The traditional rights of fishermen from Tamil Nadu to fish in the waters of Palk Bay is continuously being infringed upon by the Sri Lankan Navy," wrote Panneerselvam in a letter dated September 30, also praising the former Chief Minister Jayalalitha's "untiring and relentless efforts" to release Tamil Nadu fishermen detained by Sri Lanka.

Whilst commending Modi's efforts in securing the release of over 70 fishermen previously, Panneerselvam said "unfortunately, 71 fishing boats of these fishermen have not yet been released by the Sri Lankan Government and are falling apart from disuse there itself."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
Rakapaksa instructs Cabinet to expedite land sales restrictions to foreigners
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the Cabinet on Wednesday to expedite the bill restricting land sales to non Sri Lankan citizens, reported the Daily Mirror.

It was due to be debated and voted on by parliament last week, however had to be withdrawn due to a "lack of clarity on the content of the Bill", the paper added.

The proposed bill was discussed in a Cabinet meeting today.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
Australian asylum policies 'reckless' says Human Rights Law Centre
Criticising the Australian government's continued deportation of asylum seekers fleeing Sri Lanka as "extremely reckless", the Human Rights Law Centre, said Australia was placing the deportees in direct danger.

Speaking as further evidence of the rape and torture of Tamil deportees emerged, this time those who had been deported from Australia, HRLC's Director of Advocacy and Research, Emily Howie, said:
“The Immigration Department should stop denying Sri Lankans the opportunity to use the proper processes to make claims for protection. By using a flimsy screening process, Australia is being extremely reckless and risks placing men, women and children directly in danger."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
Sri Lankan police arrest Indian national in Nanu Oya
Sri Lankan police arrested a 31 year old Indian citizen in Nanu Oya, in the Central province on Tuesday citing alleged visa violations.

The 31 year old, who is from Tamil Nadu, was accused of overstaying his tourist visa and selling clothes illegally, reports the Daily Mirror. He was brought before Nuwara Eliya magistrate and released on bail.

Last month, Sri Lankan police arrested seven Indian nationals for alleged visa and trade violations in Kalmuani in the Eastern province.



Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
Sri Lankan authorities block journalism workshop

Published 29/09/14

Updated 17:30 BST 01/10/14

Sri Lankan authorities have sabotaged a journalism training program set to take place in a resort in Negombo, reports the Associated Press and Reuters.

Action Committee for Media Freedom, an umbrella media rights group, said that the owner of the resort was threatened by plainclothes police officers against letting the workshop go ahead.

The owner of the Negombo workshop did not allow the workshop to take place and returned the advance payment to the Professional Web Journalists Association.

The group which had organised the workshop on digital security and ethics for online journalists, condemned the incident, saying the government intends to frighten independent journalists and stifle media freedom.

Police spokesperson Ajith Rohona denied any police involvement in the incident.

'Sri Lanka continues to intimidate journalists' – TNA MP (05 August 2014)

Tamil media oppression is state sponsored - Bishop of Mannar (03 August 2014)

Journalists protest against media repression in North (31 July 2014)

Jaffna Press Club Statement on harassment of Tamil journalists (29 July 2014)

US concern about intimidation of journalists (28 July 2014)


 
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 Mrs Balenderan Jayakumari Is So Sinister' - Callum Macrae
Film maker Callum Macrae 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, [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 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]

Tamil Guardian 08 September 2014
#GetThePicture campaign maps militarisation of North-East
The United States Tamil Political Action Council has launched an interactive map, detailing the Sri Lankan state's increased militarisation across the Tamil homeland in the North-East. [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 14 September 2014
Thileepan memorial marked with music in Denmark

The town of Lkast in Denmark hosted a singing contest in remembrance of Lt. Col. Thileepan this month, with Tamils from across Europe gathering to take part. [more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Norway's Drammen Tsk wins 21st Karumpuli Memorial Football Cup
Norway's Drammen TSK football team won the 21st Karumpuli Memorial Cup on August 23, pushing Denmark's Sønderborg and OTSC into second and third place respectively. [more]

Tamil Guardian 26 August 2014
Tamil Eelam U14 reach quarterfinals in Denmark football cup

An Under-14 Tamil Eelam football selection reached fourth place in the Vildbjerg Cup in Denmark earlier this month. [more]



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