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Tamil Guardian 01 September 2014
Pro-Russia rebels gain ground in Ukraine

Ukrainian forces are falling back from their positions, in the face of an advance by pro-Russian rebels.
According to officials, over 700 Ukrainian soldiers have been captured and the army was forced to withdraw from Luhansk airport.

Russia continued to deny assisting the rebels, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Ukraine's defence minister said on his Facebook page, they were now fighting a "great war" with Russia.

"A great war has arrived at our doorstep - the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War Two," he said.

"Unfortunately, the losses in such a war will be measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands."
[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 September 2014
Bahraini rights activist arrested

Maryam al-Khawaja, a prominent Bahraini human rights activist was arrested on Saturday, as she attempted to enter the country, in order to visit her father, who is currently serving a life sentence.

Ms Khawaja, the co-director of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was denied entry by officials at the airport, who said she had been stripped of her citizenship.

According to her popular twitter feed, she is being charged with "insulting the King" and "assaulting the police”.

Nabeel Rajab, president of the BCHR and who himself was detained for two years, said her imprisonment was absurd.

"She wanted to see her father, as simple as that," he told Middle East Eye.

"There are hundreds of people who were deported and not allowed to come back to Bahrain by their own government,

“If there is no international coverage of what’s going on – and unfortunately I don’t expect much attention in her case – then the government of Bahrain can continue prosecuting human rights defenders and activists and bring them before a court that does not respect human rights," he told MEE.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 September 2014
Libyan militias capture key government buildings

Libyan militiamen have taken control of most government ministries in the capital Tripoli, the government said.

"We announce that most ministries, institutions and state bodies in the capital Tripoli are out of our control," a government statement said.

On Sunday, militiamen took control of the US embassy, with footage showing men cheering and jumping from the balcony into the swimming pool.

Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been reappointed after his resignation last week. He was appointed after elections earlier this year but resigned due to the current crisis.

The main militia group in control of Tripoli, Libya Dawn. Has called on the previous parliament, the unelected General National Congress to resume its position, but the UN says it will only support the elected body.

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Philippine peacekeepers escape from Golan Heights, Fijians detained by Al-Nusra Front
A group of 40 Philippine peacekeepers have escaped from Syrian Golan Heights, after being engaged in a seven hour long gun battle with militants from the Al-Nusra Front.

Their evacuation comes as the Al-Nusra Front, insurgents links to Al-Qaeda, confirmed that they were holding a group of 44 Fijian UN troops captive.

The Philippine peacekeepers were trapped at their United Nations encampment, which came under attack from the militants as they overran Syrian government controlled crossings in the area. The head of the Philippine armed forces, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, said, "We may call it the greatest escape," adding,
"Although they were surrounded and outnumbered, they held their ground for seven hours...We commend our soldiers for exhibiting resolve even while under heavy fire."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
China rules out open elections for Hong Kong Chief
Chinese authorities ruled out prospects for an open election process to choose Hong Kong’s next leader, reports the BBC.

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress explained its decision on Sunday, stating,
“the sovereignty, security and development interests of the country are at stake there is a need to proceed in a prudent and steady manner.”
The pro-democracy Occupy Central movement, based in Hong-Kong, condemned the decision and warned that conflict and unrest in society could intensify as a result.

“We are very sorry to say that today all chances of dialogue have been exhausted and the occupation of Central will definitely happen," the group said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Ukraine needs weapons says head of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Russia calls for talks on 'statehood'
US Senator Robert Menendez has called for weapons to be provided to Ukraine to fight against a “direct invasion by Russia” as clashes continued South-Eastern Ukraine.

Menendez, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN,
"We should provide the Ukrainians with the type of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon Putin for further aggression... This is no longer the question of some rebel separatists, this is a direct invasion by Russia. We must recognise it as that."
Speaking on the current situation, amid reports of the first naval clashes breaking out, Menendez added, that the option of sending arms to Ukraine was being discussed at the White House, saying,
"I think that may very well be on the table right now. These are changed circumstances."

[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
US airstrikes and foreign aid drops help end IS siege on Iraqi town
An Islamic State (IS) siege on the Iraqi town of Amerli ended on Sunday after the US carried out airstrikes on IS positions to aid Iraq’s security forces.

The breakthrough came as the US, Australia, France and the UK carried out aid drops to the besieged town, reports CNN.

The US Pentagon Press Secretary said that the air-force had conducted “coordinated airstrikes” against IS targets to aid the humanitarian operation. 

The UN Human Rights Chief, last week condemned the siege on Amerli and called for international action.

IS militants had surrounded the town leaving, over 20,000 residents without food, water or power.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Boko Haram kills dozens in siezed Nigerian towns
Boko Haram militants in Nigeria killed scores of civilians in a town near the border of Cameroon reported AFP on Saturday.

Thousands of residents from the towns of Gamboru and Ngala have crossed the border into Cameroon in attempts to flee Boko Haram’s most recent spree of killings.


Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Irish dissidents urged to end conflict

The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuiness has urged Irish republican dissidents to end their violence on the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire by the Irish Republican Army.

McGuiness, a former IRA commander, said the groups should "take that same step into politics and away from conflict" and that there could be "no return to the violence and repression that scarred this society for so long".

"In 1994, dialogue offered the only way out of perpetual conflict and Irish republicans entered that dialogue confidently," he said in a speech in Derry, marking the anniversary.

"Successive agreements supported by the vast majority of the Irish people have removed any rationale for armed struggle and have put in place peaceful and democratic alternatives," he said on Sunday.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 31 August 2014
Israel to appropriate 400 hectares in West-Bank, reconstruction of Gaza will take over 20 years
Plans to appropriate 400 hectares of Palestinian land in the West Bank were announced by Israel on Sunday, reports Agence France Presse.

The Israeli military said the decisions were made after 3 Israeli teens were killed in an Israeli settlement area known as Gevaot.

The Etzion Settlements Council welcomed the announcement as a step towards the expansion of the current Gevaot settlement.

"It paves the way for the new city of Gevaot. The foal of the murderers of those three youths was to sow fear among us, to disrupt our daily lives and to call into doubt our right to the land," the council said in a statement.


Over 20 years to rebuild Gaza


A post-conflict reconstruction organisation said that it will take 20 years for Gaza’s damaged housing to be rebuilt, reports the Associated Press.


[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 08 July 2014
Significance of Aluthgama
  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
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]

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]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 14 August 2014
14 Aug 2006: 53 Tamil school girls killed by Sri Lankan air strike on children's home
On 14th August 2006, four Sri Lankan Air Force jets dropped sixteen bombs over the Sencholai children's home in Vallipunam for orphaned girls. Fifty-three Tamil school girls and 3 staff members were killed, and over 150 injured. [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 August 2014
Call for submissions as 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka' begins
The terms of reference for the UN inquiry on mass atrocities in Sri Lanka - 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL)', which begins work this week, were published on Tuesday, [more]

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]


  Culture & Community
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]

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



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