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September 2, 2014 [GMT]
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SL Tamil found murdered in Trichy
[Tuesday 2014-09-02 11:00]

A Sri Lankan Tamil national was murdered by two unidentified men near his house in Karumandapam. The 56-year-old man was a visa agent and was trying to get valid stay permits for people in the locality.The victim, Selvendran has been residing in the city for long. However, he was found murdered near his house by police. Doctors at the government hospital declared him brought dead. Upon investigation, police found that two people had murdered the man as several injury marks were found on his body. It was found that the person had previous enmity with certain members from the locality, which could have led to the murder.



Modi, MR talks likely during UN meet
[Monday 2014-09-01 15:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are likely to hold talks in the US on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting. The 69th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 69) will convene at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday, 16 September 2014. The General Debate will open on Wednesday, 24 September 2014. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to address the General Debate on 25 September. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to address the General Debate and is likely to meet President Rajapaksa, the second time they will meet since Modi was appointed Prime Minister.



Prince arrives Pillay departs
[Monday 2014-09-01 14:00]

Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan will assume duties as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights today. He will be the first commissioner from the Muslim Arab world and the first from Asia."I am going to be the first High Commissioner from the Asian continent and from the Muslim and Arab world," Prince Zeid said after the 193-member body approved his appointment by consensus. "Needless to say this reflects the commitment of the international community towards this important dossier and its commitment to push it forward in this continent as well as in other regions of the world," he added.



Abe will bring a high level delegation
[Monday 2014-09-01 14:00]

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe will be accompanied by a high level delegation to Sri Lanka during his official visit from 7th to 8th September 2014, at the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the External Affairs Ministry said today. President Rajapaksa paid an official visit to Japan in March 2013 to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Japan.



Resolving the National Question : TALK TO THE GOVT. INDIA TELLS TNA
[Monday 2014-09-01 14:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has confirmed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged it to engage the Government in resolving the national question. In an interview with , TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said his party had always been willing to talk to the Government which had walked out of the talks in 2012. He said India was keen that the TNA, as the primary interlocutor to this problem and the Sri Lankan Government engage in talks to resolve this longstanding problem.



Buddhist extremism a worry
[Monday 2014-09-01 14:00]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon yesterday expressed concern that Buddhist communities in Myanmar and Sri Lanka are "being swept up by a rising tide of extremist sentiment against other groups". "This betrays the peaceful teachings of the founder, Lord Buddha," he said in his speech at the opening of the UN Alliance of Civilisations forum in Bali. His remarks are some of the toughest to date from a global leader on rising Buddhist nationalism, which in both countries has been led by extremist monks and seen violence targeting Muslims and Christians.



India for friendly relations with Lanka
[Monday 2014-09-01 14:00]

India needs to maintain a friendly relationship with Sri Lanka, Indian Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today. The Indian media quoted Naidu as saying India would establish a friendly relationship with all its neighbours including China. 'Even as the government is sensitive to the issues of Tamils in Sri Lanka, India needs to maintain friendly relationship with Sri Lanka as well as the island nation would incline towards other neighbours,' he said.



Presidential polls on Jan. 3
[Sunday 2014-08-31 13:00]

Presidential elections will be held on 3 January 2015, according to sources. The Government is now in consultation with legal experts as to whether a ruling is required by the Supreme Court, or whether there is a need to amend the Constitution, sources added. Nevertheless, the date of election has been fixed after consulting legal experts, they claimed. A Gazette notification on the proclamation calling a presidential poll, is to be issued on 20 November. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will complete his fourth year in office in his second term on 19 November. According to the Constitution, a President may call for elections after holding office for a minimum of four years.



Constitutional Amendment must for MR to seek 3rd term-Ex CJ
[Sunday 2014-08-31 13:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest a third term in office, said former Chief Justice (CJ) Sarath N. Silva in an interview with Ceylon Today. He said it was because Rajapaksa was elected twice to office before the 18th Amendment (18A), which removes such maximum terms, came into being. "Therefore, he is not eligible to contest for a third term," Silva said. He further said Rajapaksa was elected to office to serve his second term as President prior to the institution of the 18A, which removed those terms. Under those circumstances he's not eligible to seek election for a third term, the former CJ said.



Is LTTE trying to regroup in Australia?
[Sunday 2014-08-31 13:00]

Is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which ran out of steam in 2009 following the killing of its founder Velupillai Prabhakaran by Sri Lankan armed forces, trying to regroup itself in Australia? The arrest of four human traffickers while trying to transport six Sri Lankans to the land of Kangaroos through the Prakasam coast earlier this week has led to a suspicion among sleuths that the LTTE may be trying to revive itself after lying low for five years. These sleuths, including Intelligence Bureau, CBI and Tamil Nadu police, came from Chennai in the wake of the busting of the human trafficking racket.



COI Probe On War To Begin Soon
[Sunday 2014-08-31 13:00]

The probe on the war by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) is to begin soon and will be conducted parallel to the hearings being conducted on missing persons, the Chairman of the Commission said. Commission Chairman, Maxwell Paranagama said that, the Commission is making preparations to commence inquiries using the new mandate it had been given. He said the inquiries will not be conducted separately but will go hand in hand with the current investigations being conducted by the Commission on missing people.



TNA For Conditional Talks
[Sunday 2014-08-31 12:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has stipulated conditions to resume talks with the government on the Tamil national issue. General Secretary, TNA, Mavai Senathirajah, told The Sunday Leader that, the TNA is ready to join the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the national issue if the government responds to proposals the TNA had submitted way back in 2011. He added the TNA has always been ready to resume negotiations with the government and that it was the government that had withdrawn from the talks in 2012.



Voting time to be re-scheduled
[Sunday 2014-08-31 12:00]

The Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya, is considering the possibility of re-scheduling the commencement of voting time from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. This will encourage more female government officers to take part in election duties. The majority have indicated that 7 a.m. deadline caused inconvenience to them to arrive at venues to take over duties of female officers refuse to be a part of elections duties because of the timing, Deshapriya said at a meeting held yesterday. Deshapriya said if voting starts at 8 a.m. it will encourage female participation. The Commissioner has already presented this proposal to party leaders.



Shyam Selvadurai finalist in 2014 Toronto Book Awards
[Saturday 2014-08-30 19:00]

Sri Lankan-born Canadian author Shyam Selvadurai was named among five finalists by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards, which honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Toronto Book Awards. Selvadurai was named for his novel The Hungry Ghosts, published by Doubleday Canada. Each finalist will receive $1,000 and the winning author receives $10,000. The winning author will named on October 16 at the Toronto Reference Library's Bram & Bluma Appel Salon. The city invited members of the public to celebrate the evening awards celebration hosted by CBC Radio's Gill Deacon.



UN makes note of tensions in Lanka
[Saturday 2014-08-30 19:00]

A UN official today noted that incidents in some countries, including Sri Lanka, clearly demonstrate that societies are grappling with identity based tensions. The UN official highlighted the important role played by the initiative known as the Alliance of Civilizations in building bridges to peace, especially amid the current instability in many parts of the world, as he kicked off a global forum in Bali, Indonesia. 'The Alliance is here for you to serve as a soft power tool for conflict prevention, reconciliation, and to advance sustainable development,' said the High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser.



Sri Lanka to rebuild bridge from River Kwai movie Top News
[Saturday 2014-08-30 19:00]

Sri Lanka is to rebuild a bridge that was destroyed in an iconic scene from the classic 1957 movie Bridge on the River Kwai. The movie, which depicts British prisoners of war forced by the Japanese to build a bridge on the Thailand-Burma railway, was filmed in Sri Lanka. The authorities hope to build the bridge within the next two years It is hoped the bridge will appease locals, who fear a planned dam will harm an area popular for water sports. The river in Sri Lanka where the film was set is called the Kelani, which has become a tourist attraction for its white-water rapids.



Tense situation outside cricket venue
[Saturday 2014-08-30 19:00]

A tense situation prevailed outside the Dambulla cricket stadium today as hundreds of people attempted to enter the venue to watch the cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.The police said that at least two people were injured when several people attempted to climb the fence around the stadium to enter the venue by force. Tickets for today's match were sold out but hundreds of people queued outside hoping to obtain last minute tickets for the crunch game. Once they realized tickets were sold out several of them attempted to force their way in. Additional police were deployed outside the stadium to control the situation.



Namal and Harin SECRET TALKS
[Saturday 2014-08-30 19:00]

In a dramatic turn of events, in the political scene in Uva, where Provincial Elections are scheduled for 20 September, the UNP's Chief Ministerial candidate, Harin Fernando has had a secret meeting with UPFA Hambantota District MP, Namal Rajapaksa, last Thursday (28) at the residence of UPFA parliamentarian, Chamika Buddhadasa, well informed sources revealed yesterday. The meeting had lasted over 45 minutes, the sources said adding the details of the talks were not known. The duo had met at 2.30 p.m. on Thursday.



US boost for post-war health facilities in Vanni
[Saturday 2014-08-30 19:00]

The Northern Provincial Council Ministry of Health opened the Poonaryn Divisional Hospital on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. The new hospital facility is part of a U.S. government program to support the Northern Provincial Council's work to expand medical services in the former conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka's Northern Province. Michael Honigstein, U.S. Embassy Political Counselor, attended the opening ceremony at the invitation of the Northern Provincial Council Ministry of Health, along with Dr.P.Sathiyalingan, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Northern Provincial Council, Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development, Douglas Devananda, Minister of Small Industries and Entrepreneur Development, G.A. Chandrasiri, Governor of Northern Province.



URGENT Appeal from CTC: Witness Testimony from Tamil Canadians Needed in Support of UN Investigation Our Dear Community,
[Friday 2014-08-29 20:00]

As many of you may know, on August 5th, 2014 the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) announced it will accept submissions pursuant to the mandate given to it at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights in Sri Lanka during the period of February 2002 to November 2001. In accordance with this mandate, the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) was established. Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) wishes to encourage any and all members of the community to make submissions to the OISL


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