Tuesday, 28 July 2015
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Tamil Guardian 28 July 2015
Coalition air strike in Yemen may be a war crime HRW
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for a UN Commission of Inquiry into a Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians in Yemen last week.

Visiting the targeted area approximately 36 hours after the attack, HRW said bombs struck the residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant which housed at least 200 families. At least 10 children were also killed in the attack.

“The Saudi-led coalition repeatedly bombed company housing with fatal results for several dozen civilians,” said Ole Solvang, the organisation’s senior emergencies researcher. “With no evident military target, this attack appears to be a war crime,” he continued.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 July 2015
Forensic work begins at Colombian mass grave site
Forensic experts have begun excavation work at a suspected mass grave site in Colombia, where up to 300 bodies are thought to be buried.

The debris landfill site in Medellin, Colombia's second largest city, is reported to be one of the largest urban mass graves in the world, and is suspected to hold the remains of those who disappeared during a military operation in 2002. Then President Alvaro Uribe launched Operation Orion to crack down on left wing militants in the Comuna 13 district.

As the excavation, which will see 20,000 tonnes of earth removed from the site, started on Monday a ceremony was held to honour the victims. Javier Giraldo, a Roman Catholic priest and human rights activist said, "This is the site of one of the most atrocious episodes that weigh down our history and is a stain on our national identity before the entire world".

[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 July 2015
Turkey, US to agree on support for Syrian rebels to create Islamic State buffer zone
Turkey and the US will agree plans to provide air cover to Syrian rebels in an attempt to clear Islamic State militants from a strip of land on the Turkish border, reports Reuters.

Speaking to Turkish TV, prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the aim was to provide air cover for moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants, adding,

“What we have no is air coverage so they can gain control of that region from Daesh (Islamic State) and support the moderate opposition so they can gain control of the region.”

US officials said that discussions with Turkey were continuing to decide the size and scope of the buffer zone in the US.

“The goal is to establish an ISIL free zone and ensure greater security and stability along Turkey’s border with Syria” said a senior Obama administration official.

Turkey conducts airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria  (24 July 2015)

Tamil Guardian 26 July 2015
US and African nations to discuss sanctions on South Sudan upon failure to reach peace agreement
Barack Obama and African leaders will discuss options that could include sanctions or penalties on South Sudan’s conflicting parties should they fail to reach a peace agreement by mid-august, reports The Guardian.

Outlining details of a meeting to be held in Addis Ababa, a US official travelling with the US president on Air Force One said,

“This is an opportunity to reinforce the effort that’s on the table and to strategies on next steps in the event that it doesn’t succeed.”

The US president is expected to meet with the presidents of Uganda, Kenya, the prime minister of Ethiopia, the chairwoman of the African Union and the foreign minister of Sudan.

The official said that the African bloc of nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, had set a deadline of August 17 on a peace agreement that it had formulated for South Sudan.

Elements of a “plan B” that are to be discussed on Monday could include an arms embargo and sanctions on individuals’ assets and travel.

Peace negotiators propose UN assisted independent tribunal for South Sudanese crimes  (26 Jul 2015)

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2015
Peace negotiators propose UN assisted independent tribunal for South Sudanese crimes
Negotiators in South Sudan’s peace talks have proposed establishing a court to try those responsible for genocide and war crimes in South Sudan, in a power-sharing document that hopes to end the 19 month conflict.

A draft agreement negotiated by eight East African nations of the IGAD block, convening in Ethiopia, proposes an independent hybrid court, set up in collaboration with the African Union and United Nations to try possible genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The 77 page draft agreement, released on Saturday, seeks power sharing between the conflicting sides as well as accountability.

US president Barack Obama is expected to push for the peace efforts to fructify into a concrete agreement when he travels to Ethiopia on Sunday.

South Sudan committed war crimes – HRW  (22 Jul 2015)

UN finds mass rights violations in South Sudan, calls for unfettered access and accountability  (01 Jul 2015)

South Sudan expels UN relief coordinator  (01 Jun 2015)

UN warns of famine in South Sudan, China urges ceasefire between warring parties (26 May 2015)

Nearly 100,000 displaced in South Sudan - UN  (09 May 2015)

Tamil Guardian 25 July 2015
Saudi led coalition announces humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen

Saudi led coalition forces announced a five day humanitarian ceasefire to start on Sunday, reports Reuters.

The announcement was made on Saturday, after Yemen’s exiled president Abd-Rabbu Monsaur Hadi, requested a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to Yemen’s war affected civilians.

UN aid ship reaches Yemen (21 Jul 2015)

UN brokered humanitarian ceasefire broken by Saudi coalition strikes in Yemen (11 Jul 2015)

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2015
Romania sentences former Communist prison guard for crimes against humanity
In a land mark case, Romania has convicted a former Communist-era prison guard of crimes against humanity for his role in the Ramnicu Sarat prison from 1956 to 1963 and the deaths of 12 inmates.

The former guard, who is now aged 89, Alexandru Visinescu, was sentenced for 20 years. He is the first senior official in the country's former communist regime to face justice.

The prosecution argued he had ran an "extermination regime" at the prison in Eastern Romania, which was notorious for the use of torture and starvation, targeting political prisoners.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2015
Belgium recognises Armenian genocide
The Belgium parliament on Thursday voted in favour of a resolution recognising the Armenian genocide.

The decision was swiftly condemned by Turkey. In a statement issued on Friday, the Turkish foreign ministry said, Turkey had been “unfairly indicted, historical facts have been distorted and law has been ignored."

"The grave picture that has emerged with the July 23 decision of the Chamber of Deputies [was] met with regret by the Belgian Turkish community and has deeply impacted our bilateral relations,” the statement added.

"It should be understood that this and similar decisions that have been made do not serve the Turkish-Armenian conciliation in any way".


[more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2015
Turkey conducts airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria

Turkey’s air-force carried out attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time on Friday, as well as militant camps of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, reports Reuters.

Turkish President Tayyip Ergogen promised further decisive action against Islamic State militants and Kurdish militants.

The attacks came after discussions over combating Islamic State militants took place wit the US Secretary of State John Kerry in past weeks. Fridays military strikes were followed up by a telephone conversation between Mr Erdogan and US President Barack Obama.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Erdogan said,

“In our phone call with Obama, we reiterated our determination in the struggle against the separatist organisation and the Islamic State militants.”

The US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner, said the agreement with Turkey was part of an ongoing dialogue over many months on how to defeat and dismantle Islamic State militants in the region.

Tamil Guardian 23 July 2015
Best outcome for Israel Palestine conflict is two-state solution says Hillary Clinton
The US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said a two –state solution for Israel and Palestinians was the only feasible resolution to the longstanding conflict in the region.

Responding to a question from an audience member at an election campaign event in South Carolina, Ms Clinton said that a two state settlement would be the “best outcome” for both the Israelis and Palestinians, reports Reuters.


[more]

HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 18 May 2015
Struggle for remembrance
Illustration by Keera Ratnam May 18 is etched deep into the conscience of the Tamil nation. [more]

Tamil Guardian 07 May 2015
The British Tamil ballot
With the United Kingdom approaching the 2015 general election this week, voters throughout the country will once again be carefully considering their choices at the polls. [more]

  Opinion
CV Wigneswaran Tamil Guardian 21 July 2015
We cannot henceforth be a nation that is deceived - CV Wigneswaran
Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran speaking  at the International Association of Tamil Journalists annual lecture in the London, UK. [more]

CV Wigneswaran The Hill 08 July 2015
Seize this opportunity for true reform - CV Wigneswaran

Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran writing in The Hill, a major Washington DC-based newspaper which focuses on politics and international relations. [more]

Tamil Guardian 25 June 2015
Sri Lanka's concept of accountability not in accordance of international standards - BHRC Chair
Sri Lanka's concept of accountability has not been in accordance with international standards, said the Chair of the BAR Human Rights Committee for England and Wales, [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 23 July 2015
Black July 1983 remembered
Tamils in London commemorate the victims of the Black July pogroms (Photo: Tamil Guardian) [more]

Tamil Guardian 21 July 2015
Wigneswaran calls for united effort to achieve Tamil nation's aspirations
Photograph: Tamil Guardian

United and coordinated action between the homeland and Tamil diaspora is needed to achieve the Tamil nation’s aspirations of redeveloping the North-East, [more]

Tamil Guardian 13 July 2015
30 years since Tamil organisations unanimously agreed on Thimphu principles
Delegations meet at the first phase of the Thimphu peace talks. Tamil delegation seated on the left and the Sri lankan delegation seated on the right. [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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