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Tamil Guardian 29 August 2015
Egypt jails Al Jazeera journalists for three years

An Egyptian court has jailed three journalists with Al Jazeera for three years, for "spreading false news".
The three men were initially sentenced in July 2014 but their convictions were overturned and they were released in February this year.

One of the journalists, Australian citizen Peter Greste was subsequently deported back to his home country, but Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed remained in Egypt.

All three were tried again, with Mr Greste on trial in absentia.

Giving the verdict on Saturday, judge Hassan Farid said the three men were not registered journalists and had been operating from a Cairo hotel without a licence.

He handed three-year sentences to Mr Greste and Mr Fahmy but gave Mr Mohamed an additional six months.

Al- azeera said the verdict was "yet another deliberate attack on press freedom".

Outside the courtroom in Cairo, Mr Fahmy's lawyer, Amal Clooney, called on Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to issue a pardon to the journalists.

"The verdict today sends a very dangerous message in Egypt," she told reporters. "It sends a message that journalists can be locked up for simply doing their job, for telling the truth and reporting the news."

Tamil Guardian 29 August 2015
Wanted Sudanese president to visit China
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who has international arrest warrants for crimes against humanity and genocide, is set to visit China to mark World War II commemorations next week.

The reported visit has sparked outrage from human rights groups who have repeatedly called for Mr Bashir’s arrest.

“It is outrageous that anyone would welcome him into their border without arresting him,” said Tom Andrews, president of the Save Darfur Coalition.

His comments were echoed by Elise Keppler, acting director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch, who said “Omar al-Bashir should be in The Hague facing justice, not in China celebrating at their World War II event”.

“Experience has shown that fugitives may be able to evade justice for a time, but not indefinitely,” she added.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 August 2015
Bosnian Muslim commander charged with war crimes

A former Bosnian Muslim commander was charged with war crimes during the 1992-1995 ethnic conflict.

Naser Oirc led Muslim forces in the eastern town of Srebrenica alongside his lieutenant Sabahudin Muhic. The pair were charged with the murder of three Serbian prisoners of war in 1992 reports Agence France Presse.

Mr Oric was arrested in Switzerland earlier this year on an arrest warrant issued by Serbia.

In 2006, Oric was sentenced by the International Criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to two years in prison for not doing enough to protect Srebrenica’s Serb population during the war.

The arrest of Mr Oric sparked mass outcry among the Bosnian Muslim leaders and families of the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men by Bosnian Serb forces.

Still lessons to be learnt to prevent genocide says UN at Srebrenica memorial (11 Jul 2015)

UK defends draft resolution on Srebrenica genocide at UN  (01 Jul 2015)

Tamil Guardian 28 August 2015
CAR militants release captured children as part of UN negotiations
An armed group in the Central African Republic released 163 enslaved children on Friday as part of a pledge in a UN agreement.

The children were freed by the predominantly Christian anti-Balaka militants, who are thought to have captured 6,000 children.

A negotiator from the UN children’s agency UNICEF, Mohamed Malick Fail, said,

“The release is a sign that the process of implementing the commitment made by the leaders of these groups, as a part of the peace and reconciliation process is on track.”

The country was plunged into violence in 2013 after predominantly Muslim Seleka militants seized power.
Tamil Guardian 28 August 2015
British Library criticised for rejecting Taliban archive over terrorism fears
The British Library was criticised on Friday by academics around the world for refusing to house the master copy of the largest digital archive of Taliban manuscripts and literature, citing fears of contravening the UK's anti-terror legislation, reported AFP.

A spokesperson for the British Library said it was "no currently able to acquire a copy of the archive", which includes laws, official newspapers, maps, poetry and radio broadcasts, stating that "it is a large digitised archive which contains material that could contravene the Terrorism Act".

"The legal advice received jointly by the British Library and other similar institutions advises against making this type of material accessible," she added.

"It's surprising and disappointing," the lead researcher, Alex Strick van Linschoten, who is based in Berlin said.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 August 2015
China and US look to strengthen ties as Rice meets Xi Jinping
The United States and China said they looked to strengthen and building on ties between the two countries, as the US' national security advisor, Susan Rice, met with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday.

"We have seen our bilateral relationship evolve and strengthen in recent months. And we have found areas of broadened and deepened cooperation that we are certainly looking forward to building upon," Ms Rice was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"At the same time, we have been able to discuss frankly our differences, which we both acknowledge need to be addressed effectively," she added.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 August 2015
US sanctions European funders of FARC militants
The US Treasury said it would place financial sanctions on four Colombians accused of laundering money for the FARC militants in Colombia through an outfit in Switzerland.

Four individuals were sanctioned for serving as a front for FARC militants by running a store that specialised in rare Latin delicacies, reports Associated Press.

One of the individuals is believed to be the FARC militant’s chief representative to France, Italy and Switzerland.

Tamil Guardian 27 August 2015
UN Sec-Gen calls for probe into chemical weapons usage in Syria

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon outlined plans into a further investigation into allegations of chemical weapons attacks in the Syria’s 4 year conflict.

Ban Ki Moon, in a letter to the UN Security Council, outlined plans for the UN and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct an investigation into allegations of chemical weapons usage in Syria.

“Success will depend on the full cooperation from all parties, including thee government of the Syrian Arab republic and other parties in Syria,” said Ban Ki-Moon.

The UN Chief called for the investigation to be chaired by an assistant secretary general and two deputies, reports Reuters.

A separate UN investigation previously determined that sarin gas was used in the Syrian conflict.

The calls for a UN inquiry come as NGOs alleged that there was credible evidence of chemical weapons usage in recent clashes in Syria’s conflict.

NGOs accuse Islamic State of using chemical weapons (25 Aug 2015)

Tamil Guardian 27 August 2015
US warns South Sudanese leaders over peace accord

The US has warned South Sudan's president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar  not to violate the peace deal signed on Wednesday.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby said the US would "hold to account" those who breach the peace deal and would support sanctions against them, the BBC reported.

Mr Kirby said the US did not "recognise any separate reservations made about the agreement", made by President Kiir.

"To end the fighting we call on all parties to adhere to the permanent ceasefire within the next 72 hours and begin the process of implementing this agreement," he added.
[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 August 2015
Warring sides in Syria agree two day ceasefire

Syrian rebels, the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah agreed a 2 day ceasefire in 3 conflict regions near Lebanon’s border reports Reuters.

The rebel-held town of Zabadani has been the main focus of an offensive by Hezbollah and the Syrian army who are fighting against the Syrian rebels.

A similar ceasefire in the same areas organised by Turkey and Iran earlier this month broke down after a brief extension.

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Tamil Guardian 24 August 2015
Litmus Test

With the conclusion of Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections last week, the island has reached an important juncture. In the North-East, the Tamil National Alliance swept the polls on a clear platform of self-determination through federalism and an international mechanism of accountability for the massacres of Tamils. In the Sinhala south, [more]

Tamil Guardian 06 August 2015
A failure of justice

Reports that the United Nations has begun drawing up plans for the Sri Lankan government to lead a purely domestic mechanism into the mass slaughter of Tamils have widely, and rightly, been met with dismay by the victims. [more]

  Opinion
J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 21 August 2015
Tamil nation must ensure TNA holds true to elected mandate - JS Tissainayagam
It is up to the Tamil public, civil society and diaspora to ensure that the Tamil National Alliance remains true to the mandate given by the voters, said exiled Tamil journalist J. [more]

Together Against Genocide (TAG) Tamil Guardian 15 August 2015
Profiles of 2006 Sencholai massacre
Marking the ninth anniversary of the Sencholai massacre when 53 school girls were killed by a Sri Lankan military air strike on a children's home, Together Against Genocide (TAG) published an account of the incident based on interviews. [more]

Taylor Dibbert Tamil Guardian 29 July 2015
Sri Lanka’s most pressing problems are both structural and systemic - Taylor Dibbert
A more subtle war still rages across the historically Tamil northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, said Taylor Dibbert, writing in The Diplomat on Tuesday. [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 18 August 2015
TNA becomes third biggest party in Sri Lanka with 16 parliamentary seats
Tamils cast their vote in the North-East. (Photograph Tamilwin). [more]

Tamil Guardian 17 August 2015
Election polls close in Sri Lanka amid unanimous Sinhala rejection of Tamil demands
As the Sri Lankan government's delivery on key issues to the Tamils in the North-East of Sri Lanka continues to falter, this year has seen increased protests demanding internationalised action to solve their immediate concerns. [more]

Tamil Guardian 14 August 2015
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]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 22 March 2015
A night to remember as Tamil comedy takes to the stage

  All photographs: Thamarai With Tamil variety shows having been a staple part of the British Tamil calendar for years, [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 February 2015
'Super Singer Junior' audiences stunned by song dedicated to Eelam Tamils
A 15 year old Canadian Eelam Tamil singer, Jessica Judes, stunned audiences of the widely popular Tamil Nadu singing competition - Super Singer Junior on Saturday, [more]

Tamil Guardian 21 February 2015
Denmark Tamil schools compete in Malathy Cup football tournament
Tamil schools across Denmark came together for the Malathy Cup football tournament on February 14. [more]



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