Friday, 31 October 2014
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Tamil Guardian 30 October 2014
Israeli police shoot journalists covering Palestinian protests
Protests following the funeral of a 14 year old Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers were met with a strong  police clamp down on Monday.

Two photographers, including one working for the Associated Press (AP), were hit by rubber bullets fired by Israeli policemen at close range reports the Huffington Post.

The AP has said it will lodge complaints with the Israeli military, police and government.

A senior managing editor for international news, John Daniszewski, said the shooting was an example of “reckless disregard for the safety of journalists who were doing their job in a lawful way.”

Describing the incident, the AP photographer said he was amongst several clearly identifiable journalists before an armoured vehicle pulled up in front of them and fired directly at them.

"The impact was so strong that it made me fall to the ground," he said. "The policeman aimed straight at us, even though we were clearly a group of media people and there were no protesters at all around us,” said Majdi Mohammed.

Lazar Simeonov, a Swiss freelance photographer that was also shot, said,

“After the incident I also tried to talk to the soldiers and asked them why they shot at us but they didn't want to hear anything and just smiled and told me to go away.”
Tamil Guardian 30 October 2014
UN, UK and US express concern at Israeli settlement plans in Palestine
Israel’s planned settlements violated international law and would raise “grave concerns” regarding its commitment towards a durable peace with the Palestinians said a senior UN political chief, reports the BBC.

Britain said that the settlement activity made it harder for Israel’s friends to defend it against accusations that questioned Israel’s commitment to peace.

A White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said,

"The fact is the United States has repeatedly made clear our view that settlement activity is illegitimate, and only serves to complicate efforts to achieve a two-state solution in the region.”

The comments came after the UN convened a special meeting to discuss escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine on Thursday.
Tamil Guardian 30 October 2014
Sweden formally recognises Palestine
Sweden formally recognised the state of Palestine on Thursday, becoming the first European Union member to do so, reports AFP.

The decision, which came ahead of schedule, has been criticised by Israel.

“Some will claim that today’s decision comes too early. I’m rather afraid it’s too late,” Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom wrote in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

“The past year, we’ve seen how the peace negotiations once again have halted, how decisions on new settlements on occupied Palestinian land have obstructed a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza.”

Hungary, Poland and Slovakia recognised the state of Palestine before joining the EU.


Tamil Guardian 30 October 2014
Realisation of right to self-determination vital for international peace says UN expert
The realisation of the right to self-determination is fundamental in maintaining local, regional and international peace and must be seen as an important conflict prevention strategy, said the United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.

Presenting his third report the UN General Assembly on Monday, Alfred de Zayas, said,

“Over the past decades too many conflicts have started because of the denial of the legitimate aspiration of peoples to achieve their human rights, including the right to internal or external self-determination.”

The UN expert called for a strategy to ensure that a recurring questions regarding self-determination were addressed and that a proactive role was taken by the UN to mediate existing and potential crises associated with self-determination, reports

“In examining claims for self-determination, the advantages of what is referred to as ‘internal self-determination’, like autonomy and federalism, should be realistically considered for stability and continuity. External self-determination should be sought only when there is a serious impasse and the other solutions to guarantee the right within existing state entities, do not lead to adequate solutions,” said Zayas.
Tamil Guardian 29 October 2014
Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentences opposition leader to death
The chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in Bangladesh was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity, including genocide, torture and rape during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, reports Reuters.

“Considering the gravity of crimes, the tribunal punished him with the death sentence,£ a Bangladeshi state prosecutor told press.

News of the verdict has sparked several violent protests from supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, resulting in the deployment of thousands of Bangladeshi police officers across major cities.

The latest verdict is the 10th since the tribunal was set up by the Bangladeshi prime minister in 2010 to investigate abuses during the independence war.

Human Rights Watch has previously noted that the Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal’s procedures fall short of international standards.
Tamil Guardian 29 October 2014
UK cannot leave EU without backing of each home nation – Nicola Sturgeon

The leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon said the UK cannot leave the European Union as the result of a referendum, unless each nation returns a majority vote in the proposed referendum on membership.

Sturgeon said in an interview with BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland, that if a referendum bill was proposed in the Commons, the SNP would table an amendment requiring that for the UK to leave the EU, it would need "not just a majority across the whole UK but a majority in each one of the four nations - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland".

"If you look at states like Australia and Canada there are some circumstances where changes to their constitution requires not just a majority across the country but in each of the provinces as well.

"The UK is not a unitary state it is a family of nations, it is made up of the four home nations.

"We were told during the referendum that each of these nations had equal status, that our voices mattered.

"If that is the case I think it is right that something that would have such significant consequences for jobs, for the economy, for our standing in the world, it should require the consent of not just the UK as a whole but that family of nations."

Tamil Guardian 29 October 2014
FSA rebels arrive in Kobane to support Kurds

Rebels from the Free Syrian Army have arrived in Kobane to support Kurdish fighters defending the town against 6-week long assault by the Islamic State.

FSA commander Col Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi, told the BBC’s Arabic service that "around 200 fighters" had entered the Kobane to help the defenders.

Kurdish Peshmerga from Iraq are also on their way to Kobane, travelling through Turkey, who are still blocking local Kurds from joining the Kurdish People's Defence Units (YPG) spearheading the defence of Kobane, due to their links to the PKK, who are listed as a terrorist group in the country.

Fighting in the town is ongoing, with IS militants in control of about 40% of Kobane. US airstrikes have brought some relief to embattled YPG fighters, halting the IS advance.

Peshmerga en route to Kobane (28 October 2014)

Tamil Guardian 28 October 2014
China ‘to protect’ whistleblowers

Chinese officials said on Tuesday that whistleblowers exposing corruption would receive legal protection, the latest move in the government’s crackdown on corruption, reported Reuters.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate, the country’s top prosecuting body, said in a statement that new regulations would clarify the rights of whistleblowers.

"The 'regulations governing the work of whistleblowers' require that when the prosecutor's office receives a whistleblowing report from someone giving their real name, it has to assess the risks from the whistleblowing and develop whistleblower protection plans when necessary to prevent and end acts of retaliation against the whistleblowers," the statement said.

Tamil Guardian 28 October 2014
Peshmerga forces deployed to defend Kobane from Islamic State militants
Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq set out towards the Syrian town of Kabani to help Kurdish militants fight against the advancing Islamic State militants on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

A senior official in the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party (PYD) said that Peshmerga combatants were flying from Erbil airport in northern Iraq to Turkey, where they would travel on land to Kobane.

A US envoy tasked with building a coalition against Islamic State militants, Brett McGurk, welcoming the development, tweeted,

“We welcome the deployment of Peshmerga fighters and weapons from the Kurdistan Region to Kobane, which began this evening.”

The US and allied forces carried out 13 air attacks on Islamic state militants laying siege to the city of Kobane.

The Peshmerga, known for their devout commitment to the Kurdish nationalist cause and regarded as well-trained, well-armed and capable, are the Iraqi kurdish military force of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination. The term Peshmerga translates to ‘those who follow death.’
Tamil Guardian 28 October 2014
Another ‘mass grave’ discovered during search for Mexican students

Mexican authorities have discovered another suspected mass grave during their search for 43 students who disappeared after clashes with police.

Attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam said that suspects arrested last week provided information leading to the discovery.

Karam said police officers had confessed to handing over the students to drug gangs in the southern state of Guerrerro.

"We have the people who carried out the abduction of these individuals," Karam told reporters.

Editorial Tamil Guardian 27 October 2014
Impeding justice
The Sri Lankan government’s announcement of restrictions on foreign passport holders travelling to the North is a brazen and calculated attempt to obstruct evidence collection for the UN inquiry into mass atrocities, [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 22 September 2014
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]

Arani Kumaran Tamil Guardian 30 October 2014
Review: 'Sri Lanka's Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder'
'Sri Lanka's Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder' by Trevor Grant, is a powerful book, [more]

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]

Tamil Guardian 01 October 2014
UK Ministers and MPs rally behind Tamil calls for justice

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 25 October 2014
Barts and London University Tamil Society host language workshop
The Barts and the London University Tamil Society and the university's Language and Culture Society, joined forced to host a ‘Basic skills in the Tamil language’ workshop on October 6th. [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 October 2014
Canada's York Uni introduces landmark Tamil studies award

Canada's York University has established the country's first ever scholarship graduate award in Tamil studies last month. [more]

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]

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