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Tamil Guardian 31 January 2015
Ukraine peace-talks collapse
Peace talks between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian militants collapsed on Saturday with no tangible progress towards a new ceasefire between the conflicting parties, reports Reuters.

Ukraine’s representative, Leonid Kuchma, loft the talks in Belarus, blaming separatists for undermining the talks by making ultimatums ad refusing to discuss plans for a new ceasefire.

A separatist official, Denis Pushilin, told reporters denied claims and said that the militants were ready for talks, and where being undermined by Ukrainian ultimatums.

The collapse of the peace-talks come as the EU said on Friday that it would extend sanctions on Russia for its involvement in causing instability in eastern regions of Ukraine.

The past week has seen an escalation in violence between the conflicting sides.
Tamil Guardian 31 January 2015
Kurdish fighters re-capture Kobane
Kurdish ground forces, supported by US led airstrikes retook, the Syrian town of Kobane from Islamic State militants, US Lieutenant-General James Terry confirmed on Saturday.

A statement issued by the US military, said, “Kurdish ground forces, supported by our air components, were successful in retaking the town of Kobane.”

“Kurdish forces continue to expand their positions to surrounding areas outside of Kobane by seizing key terrain routes,” the statement added.

The United States and its allies has launched over 700 air strikes against Islamic State militants around Kobane.
Tamil Guardian 30 January 2015
EU foreign ministers agree on extended sanctions on Russia
European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, agreed to impost new sanctions over Russia's alleged involvement in propping separatist militants in Ukraine, reports Deutche Welle.

The EU Foreign Policy co-ordinator, Federica Mogherini, told reporters in Brussels, no Thursday that she and the bloc's foreign ministers had agreed on a new list of people to be target by sanctions.

Ms Mogherini added that the EU was prepared to take further action , stating,

" We have shown that the EU is ready to take further measures and to prepare further measures in the weeks to come if the situation doesn't improve."

The German Foreign Minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier, adding to warnings of further action, said,

"If there were large military offensives, for example with widespread assaults on Mariupol, a clear reaction would be needed."

The fresh set of sanctions came as the peace talks between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian militants failed amidst heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Seven civilians were killed in Debaltseve, east of the militant-held city of Donetsk.
The past week saw fighting escalate between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian militants.
Tamil Guardian 30 January 2015
At least 40 dead in bomb blast at Shia mosque in Pakistan

A bomb blast at a Shia mosque in the Sindh province of Pakistan as left at least 40 people dead.

The attack in Shikarpur came soon after Friday prayers and was claimed by Jundullah militants, who are linked to the Pakistani Taliban.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the incident and ordered an immediate investigation into the attack.

Mr Sharif is currently on a visit to Karachi, the capital of the province in the south of the country.

Tamil Guardian 30 January 2015
International war crimes tribunal upholds convictions on perteptrators fo Srebrenica genocdie
A judge at the United Nations Yugoslav tribunal upheld convictions of five men for their role in the Srebrenica massacre, reports the BBC.

The men, who were convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), appealed against their convictions for range of atrocities including genocide.

Two men mean lost their appeals against the charge of genocide, and had their life sentences upheld.

The ICTY has concluded 141 proceedings, with 15 others still ongoing before the court.
Tamil Guardian 29 January 2015
EU to discuss new Russia sanctions

Russia may face new EU sanctions over support to separatist rebels in the east of Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels on Thursday to debate fresh sanctions, on top of the already existing asset freezes and travel bans on Russian officials and Ukrainian separatist leaders.

"If we see no signs of improvement we should proceed with further sanctions," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told the BBC.

"How many people should be killed in order to realise that lines were crossed many times?"

The US also indicated it is considering further sanctions.

"As long as Russia continues its blatant disregard of its obligations... the costs for Russia will continue to rise," US Vice President Joe Biden is reported to have told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, during a phone conversation on Wednesday.

Tamil Guardian 29 January 2015
Targeted sanctions and ICC prosecutions needed in Libya – Amnesty International

Amnesty International called on the United Nations Security Council to impose targeted sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes against those involved in violating international humanitarian law in Libya, alongside prosecutions through the International Criminal Court (ICC), in a briefing released this week.

“Unless the international community demonstrates the will to investigate war crimes and hold perpetrators accountable, the cycle of abuses and the suffering of victims is likely to worsen,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. “This climate of impunity compounded by lawlessness must be ended.”


Tamil Guardian 28 January 2015
Castro demands US hand back Guantanamo Bay

Cuba’s President Raul Castro has called for the return of the military base at Guantanamo Bay from the United States and the lifting of blockades on the country before the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In a speech at a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Castro also called for the removal of Cuba from a terror list and reparations for damages. His speech comes after the two countries agreed to attempt to normalise diplomatic relations last month, with high-level talks being held in Havana last week.

Mr Castro said that “the reestablishment of diplomatic relations is the start of a process of normalising bilateral relations". However, he went on to say, "but this will not be possible while the blockade still exists, while they don't give back the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo naval base."


Tamil Guardian 28 January 2015
Islamic State 'rejects' Jordanian hostage counter offer

A voice recording, purportedly by the Islamic State, says a Jordanian pilot held by the group will be executed, if an Iraqi prisoner held by Jordan is not released by sunset on Thursday.

The militant group had demanded the release of failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for their Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, but Jordan said it would only free Ms Rishawi if Jordanian air force pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh is also released.

The latest voice clip, which is currently being investigated by Japan, appears to have Mr Goto conveying Islamic State's rejection of the counter offer and demands Ms Rishawi's release.

Tamil Guardian 28 January 2015
Hezbollah-Israel clashes leave three dead

Heavy fighting erupted between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters on the border with Lebanon, leaving two Israeli soldiers and one UN peacekeeper dead.

Missiles were launched at Israeli targets in the Shebaa Farm area in the Golan Heights, which is occupied by Israel and claimed by Lebanon as their territory. The Israeli army responded by launching artillery fire and air strikes into southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah said the attacks were in response to an Israeli air strike last week which killed several of its fighters.

Editorial Tamil Guardian 12 January 2015
New Crossroad?
The shock defeat of incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections has given rise, both internationally and in the island, to cautious optimism of a new era of governance that would break from the violent authoritarianism and cronyism of the past decade. Building his campaign around a pledge to end corruption, [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 22 December 2014
No choice

In less than a month’s time, Sri Lanka will choose a president. In the south of the island the poll is one of the most anticipated in the country’s recent history, [more]

J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 17 January 2015
Will Sri Lanka's new president be held to international standards of justice?
In view of the Sri Lanka's new president's closeness to the last stages of the armed conflict, serving as acting defence minister for the final two weeks, [more]

Madura Rasaratnam Tamil Guardian 15 January 2015
Reality Check: Sri Lanka's New Government
Sustained international pressure is needed to ensure that the new Sri Lankan government works towards accountability, justice and reconciliation on the island, [more]

Kumaravadivel Guruparan Tamil Guardian 14 January 2015
'Why Sirisena’s Victory is Not a Victory for Sri Lanka’s Tamils'
Despite Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's surprise election victory, there is little to suggest change in government policy towards the island's indigenous Tamil and Muslim communities, [more]

Tamil Guardian 28 January 2015
UK MPs call for Sri Lanka to co-operate with UN inquiry or face sanctions
British MP's united in calls for increased pressure on Sri Lanka to co-operate with the UNHRC investigation into Sri Lankan atrocities and take tangible steps towards reconciling with the Tamil community in the North-East. [more]

Tamil Guardian 23 January 2015
Sri Lanka's new government and the possibility of justice
Feature - Ahead of UNHRC session in March and the report of the UN inquiry, Tamil Guardian this week canvassed opinion amongst Tamil campaigners seeking accountability and justice, on what the change in Sri Lanka’s leadership might mean. [more]

Tamil Guardian 09 January 2015
UK, Canada urge President Sirisena to cooperate with UN inquiry as he takes office
Sri Lanka's new president, Maithiripala Sirisena, faced calls from heads of states and international rights groups to address accountability for mass atrocities committed against the Tamil people, [more]

  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 25 January 2015
Cambridge University take 'Kings of Gaana' title


For the third year in a row, ‘Kings of Gaana’, the inter-university dance competition hosted by King’s College London Tamil Society, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 January 2015
Thai Pongal celebrated across the globe
Photograph: Tamil Students Initiative [more]

Tamil Guardian 16 January 2015
Breaking the Silence 2014: Queen Mary, University of London

Students from both the Queen Mary Tamil Society and the Barts Tamil Society ran a stall at the Mile End campus, last month as part of their annual 'Breaking the Silence' exhibition. [more]

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