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Tamil Guardian 28 April 2016
'Catastrophic deterioration' in Aleppo says UN
The United Nations on Thursday warned of what it called the "catastrophic deterioration" in the Syrian rebel held city of Aleppo after air strikes by the government destroyed another hospital, killing several doctors.

"I could not in any way express how high the stakes are for the next hours and days," the chair of the UN humanitarian task force, Jan Egeland said.

The UN envoy Staffan de Mistura meanwhile urged Washington and Moscow to help revitalise the ceasefire that was now "barely alive".

The hospital targetted in the air strike was supported by Medecins San Frontieres.

At least three doctors, including one of the last paediatricians, was killed in the strike, said MSF.

Condemning the air strike on the hospital as "reprehensible", the US State Department's spokesperson, John Kirby, said, "once again we call on the regime to cease these absolutely senseless attacks, which are of course violations of the cessation of hostilities."

See here,
here and here.

Tamil Guardian 27 April 2016
Detention centre illegal says Papua New Guinea's supreme court
Australia's off shore detention centre on Manus Island is illegal, ruled Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court on Tuesday, stating the detention on the island was "contrary to their constitutional right of personal liberty".

Responding to the court's ruling, the Papua New Guinea prime minister ordered the camp to close.

"Respecting this ruling, Papua New Guinea will immediately ask the Australian government to make alternative arrangements for the asylum-seekers currently held at the Regional Processing Centre," the prime minister, Peter O'Neill was quoted by AFP as saying on Wednesday.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 April 2016
North Korean FM subjected to travel restrictions while in New York

The US placed travel restrictions on North Korea's foreign minister while he was in New York for the meetings at the UN, according to the Department of State.

Ri Su-Yong was only able to travel between his hotel, the UN, the North Korean mission and the airport, according to spokesperson John Kirby.

The move came after North Korea launched missile tests over the weekend.

See more here.

Tamil Guardian 26 April 2016
Bangladeshi LGBTI editor killed

A US embassy worker, who was also the editor of Bangladesh's only LGBTI magazine was hacked to death on Monday in Dhaka.

A statement from the U.S. Embassy said Xulhaz Mannan was a "dear friend."

"We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the Government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders," Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh, said in the statement.

Mr Mannan and a friend were killed when five or six young men posing as couriers arrived at Mannan's building under the guise of delivering a package and hacked them to death with machetes.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the "barbaric murder".

"We offer our full support to the government of Bangladesh as they investigate these murders and bring the perpetrators to justice. We remain committed to the principles that were so important to Xulhaz, and we promise to support all those who work on behalf of tolerance and human rights in Bangladesh and around the world," Secretary Kerry said.

Tamil Guardian 25 April 2016
ICC to investigate Burundi violence
The International Criminal Court (ICC) will investigate the violence that has taken place in Burundi over the past year, killing over 400 people.

Announcing the investigation, the ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda said the preliminary examination had found reports of rape, torture, disappearances and killings.

"All these acts appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC," Ms Bensouda was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"At least 3,400 people have been arrested and over 230,000 Burundians forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 25 April 2016
Obama announces increased special forces in Syria
The US president Barack Obama on Monday announced there would be upto 250 more special forces deployed in Syria.

The increase is intended to help militia fighters gain territory from Islamic State.

"A small number of special operation forces are already on the ground in Syria and their expertise have been critical as local forces have driven ISIL out of key areas,"  Mr Obama said whilst speaking in Germany.

"Given their success I have approved the deployment of upto 250 additional US personnel in Syria, including special forces to keep up this momentum."

"They're not going to be leading the fight on the ground, but they will be essential in providing the training and assisting local forces as they continue to drive ISIL back."
Tamil Guardian 22 April 2016
US president intervenes in UK EU referendum debate
US President warned that Britain could be placed to the back of the trade queue, if it votes to leave the European Union in it’s in out referendum.

Speaking at the start of a three day visit to the UK, he said,

“Let me be clear: ultimately this is something the British voters have to decide for themselves.”

"As part of our special relationship, part of being friends is to be honest and to let you know what I think, and speaking honestly, the outcome of that decision is a matter of deep interest to the US, because it affects our prosperity as well."

“The UK is at its best when it's helping to lead a strong European Union. It leverages UK power to be part of the EU. I don't think the EU moderates British influence in the world, it magnifies it. America wants Britain's influence to grow, including within Europe."
Tamil Guardian 22 April 2016
UK MPs declare Islamic State is committing genocide
British MPs on Wednesday unanimously declared that Islamic State is committing a genocide against the Yazidi and Christian people in Syria and Iraq, during a vote at the House of Commons.

The motion, which was passed by 278 votes to zero, also called on the British government to urge the UN Security Council to place the issue before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"It is about doing justice and about seeing justice being done," said MP Fiona Bruce, who tabled the motion.
Tamil Guardian 20 April 2016
ICC officially opens permanent HQ in The Hague
The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday opened its official headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

The event was attended by politicians, diplomats and lawyers from around the world, as well as the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Writing in Ahram Online, the ICC's president, Judge Silvia Fernandez, said "the message of today’s ceremony is clear: the International Criminal Court is here to stay."

"The ICC’s mandate is relevant everywhere. Where massive atrocities have occurred, international justice helps ensure that such crimes are addressed, that the perpetrators are held responsible and that victims receive justice."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 20 April 2016
South Sudan peace deal threatened say monitors
Monitors of South Sudan's peace deal said it was at risk of collapse this week after Riek Machar failed to return to the capital.

Mr Machar was due to take up post of vice-president within a unity government as part of the deal. His team have said he was delayed by logistical issues.

"The agreement is at risk. Having come so close to the formation of the transitional government of national unity, all parties must ensure that the spirit of reconciliation, compromise and dialogue embodied by the agreement should be protected," said Festus Mogae, chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

The US expressed disappointment at what it described as his "wilful decision" not to follow through on the agreed delay.


[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Tamil Guardian 19 April 2016
Accountability is imperative for peace
Editorial [more]

Tamil Guardian 17 February 2016
No turning back

The past months have seen Tamil victims of Sri Lanka’s decades-long conflict meet with ambassadors from across the world. The recent visit to the North-East by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein held particular significance. It symbolised the continued international focus on the future of the North-East and renewed hopes that justice and reform is beginning to take shape, [more]

  Opinion
Taylor Dibbert The Diplomat 17 April 2016
Sri Lanka's National Security Fearmongers
Sri Lankan police have recently uncovered ammunition, a suicide vest, and explosives in Chavakachcheri, a town in the country’s north. It’s widely (and realistically) believed that this is an old arms cache. [more]

Tamil Guardian 04 April 2016
'Victims must remain at centre of accountability efforts'

Processes in Sri Lanka towards accountability and justice must keep victims at the centre, said Dharsha Jegatheeswaran in an article for the University of Toronto Faculty of Law’s Rights Review Magazine. [more]

Taylor Dibbert The Huffington Post 30 March 2016
Sri Lanka: Gotabaya Rajapaksa Is Still Dangerous
Could Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former defense secretary (and brother of previous president Mahinda Rajapaksa), bring the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) together? Evidently a member of the country’s joint opposition has suggested that Rajapaksa be appointed to parliament, [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 28 April 2016
Swedish Foreign Minister in Jaffna after meetings with Sri Lankan leaders
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström arrived in Jaffna on Tuesday ahead of a series of meetings. [more]

Tamil Guardian 28 April 2016
'Where else should I die but here?'
Dharmeratnam 'Taraki' Sivaram 11 August 1959 - 28 April 2005 [more]

Tamil Guardian 26 April 2016
SJV Chelvanayakam remembered
Today marks the death of SJV Chelvanayagam QC, who is remembered across the Tamil nation for spear heading the Vaddukoddai resolution, which was overwhelmingly ratified by the Tamil votes in the 1976 parliamentary elections. [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 24 April 2016
American Tamils raise awareness of breast cancer in community
The Tennessee Tamil Sangam held an event last month to raise awareness of breast cancer and highlight the importance of early detection. [more]

Tamil Guardian 16 April 2016
London Tamil Market showcases very best of British Tamil business success
The two day exhibition held on 9th and 10th April 2016 included over 150 Tamil businesses and saw thousands of visitors coming through its doors. [more]

Tamil Guardian 02 April 2016
Sivakumaran memorial football tournament held in Switzerland
The Tamil Youth Organisaiton (TYO) Switzerland held a football tournament in memory of Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran last month. Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran is widely known and remembered as the first Tamil to die in the liberation struggle.##### Sivakumaran was a student leader and Tamil activist that was subject to severe torture in Sri Lanka during the early 1970’s. Following his first arrest and round of torture, [more]



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