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April 18, 2014 [GMT]
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Reconciliation cannot be achieved overnight, Sri Lanka tells US
[Friday, 2014-04-18 20:10:01]

Reconciliation in a Sri Lanka after a three-decade long war cannot be achieved overnight, Sri Lanka Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya has said. Brigadier Wanigasuriya made this remark in response to media queries on a statement made by the United States Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal that U.S. will resume "more comprehensive" military relationship with Sri Lanka once the government makes progress towards reconciliation and accountability.



Jaffna Church offers to assist probe
[Friday, 2014-04-18 20:06:19]

The Jaffna Catholic Church has offered to assist investigations into the death of a girl in the area after two Catholic priests had been linked to her death. The Jaffna media quoted a statement from the Jaffna Bishop’s office as saying that the parents of the victim had not made any complaint to the Jaffna Bishop’s office regarding alleged harassment by the two priests before the girl was found dead in a well recently.



KP still a wated man by INTERPOL
[Friday, 2014-04-18 20:04:56]

Kumaran Padmanathan, the one time LTTE chief arms procurer, better known as KP, is still on the INTERPOL red list. Earlier there were reports that KP has been taken off the list but the INTERPOL website has him still listed. Pathmanathan was one of the top LTTE officials and ran a global network of LTTE offices which were engaged in its weapons procurement, logistics and money laundering operations.



Police arrest 239 in Jaffna
[Friday, 2014-04-18 20:00:43]

A total of 239 people have been arrested in the Jaffna District, during the festive season for various offences, police sources told. Thirty one persons were arrested over their involvement in gang fights and sword attacks and 71 arrests were made in connection with drunken driving, speeding and assault.



Int’l community inquires about ban on LTTE fronts
[Friday, 2014-04-18 19:57:53]

The international community has made a series of inquiries about the proscription of 15 Tamil organisations operating abroad and suspected to be fronts of the LTTE decimated in Sri Lanka, the Daily Mirror learns. Also, some countries have made similar inquiries about recent attempts to revive the LTTE in the north. The government banned these organizations in terms of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 which was introduced by the United States in September, 2001 following the attack on New York twin towers.



OHCHR will commence assessing the evidence on SL-UK
[Thursday, 2014-04-17 20:37:00]

Britain said that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will now begin the process of establishing an investigation and assessing the evidence regarding Sri Lanka. UK Foreign Minister William Hague told in UK Parliament that, it is expected that the investigation will draw on expertise from a range of fields and examine a broad range of information and evidence. The high commissioner will provide an oral update to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) this September, and will provide a comprehensive report to the UNHRC in March 2015.



SC rejects plea to probe Indian Army's role in SL
[Thursday, 2014-04-17 20:16:08]

The Supreme Court Thursday declined to entertain a plea seeking a Special Investigative Team (SIT) probe into the role of the Indian Army as a peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka during operations against the LTTE. "There are issues which are absolutely beyond the domain of the court and this is one of them," said the apex court bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice Kurian Joseph as it dismissed the plea.



Some countries blind to LTTE fronts - Gota
[Thursday, 2014-04-17 18:27:13]

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said though there was no more terrorism in Sri Lanka, the terrorists’ global network continued to function largely unhindered and that some nations seemed to have chosen to turn a blind eye to these front organisations. “The network continues to sustain an international propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka through front organisations that have now put on a democratic face,” he said when speaking at the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference held in Puthrajaya.



Red Notices against LTTE operatives abroad
[Thursday, 2014-04-17 14:40:10]

Interpol is reported to have issued 40 ‘Red Notices’ against LTTE operatives living abroad. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said several LTTE leaders are known to be living abroad. “We obtain a warrant against anyone who has not served his or her jail sentence for more than two years. We also inform Interpol with the relevant details,” he said. “Red Notices have also been issued to 56 non-LTTE operatives as well,” he said.



Sharma expresses disappointment
[Wednesday, 2014-04-16 21:30:22]

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has expressed his disappointment over the decision taken by Canada to suspend funding to the Commonwealth. Issuing a statement Mr. Sharma said, The Government of Canada has informed Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma of its decision to suspend contributions to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation over the next two years. This mutual and voluntary fund is the principal means for provision of technical assistance to Commonwealth countries.



Tamil Canadians welcome Canada’s decision to withdraw funding from Commonwealth
[Wednesday, 2014-04-16 20:44:39]

Tamil Canadians welcome the action taken by Canada to suspend its voluntary contribution of $20 million to the Commonwealth Secretariat for the period during which the Commonwealth is to be headed by Sri Lanka. In an official statement on Monday April 14th, Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird said, “We can no longer justify providing additional funding to an organization that turns a blind eye to human rights abuses, anti-democratic behaviour and religious intolerance in its member states” and “Canada remains deeply concerned about the absence of accountability for alleged serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian standards in Sri Lanka.”



Sri Lanka accuses Canada of using Commonwealth funds as a political tool
[Wednesday, 2014-04-16 13:33:08]

Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry said Tuesday that Canada's decision to use the voluntary funds to the Commonwealth as a political tool based on dictates of electoral compulsions was regrettable. Responding to the Canada's announcement that it will suspend the $10 million annual voluntary contribution to the Commonwealth for the next two years over the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, the current chair of the 53-member organization, Sri Lanka said it is not surprised by the Canadian Government's action.



Sonia says Rajiv died for the Tamils
[Wednesday, 2014-04-16 13:11:58]

Congress President Sonia Gandhi says her husband Rajiv Gandhi, who was killed by the LTTE, had sacrificed his life while fighting for “our brothers and sisters” in Sri Lanka. Shas said that the Congress-led government has throughout stood up for the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils and has been in the forefront to protect the needs of the Indian fishermen, the Business Standard in India reported.



TNA to back South African process
[Wednesday, 2014-04-16 13:05:34]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it will back the South African facilitated process to achieve reconciliation in Sri Lanka but at the same time will also closely monitor the actions of the Government. A TNA delegation which visited South Africa last week on an invitation extended by the South African Government, said the visit was positive and fruitful.



2 dead, 104 missing in ferry sinking off South Korea coast
[Wednesday, 2014-04-16 07:50:57]

Rescue boats and helicopters scrambled to pluck hundreds of passengers, most of them high school students, from a passenger ferry as it listed and slow sank off the southwest coast of South Korea on Wednesday. Of the 474 people on board, 368 were rescued, many from the freezing waters into which they had jumped from the listing ship.



Biswal and Solheim discuss Lanka
[Tuesday, 2014-04-15 20:22:31]

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian affairs, Nisha Biswal, had had discussions with former Norwegian Minister Erik Solheim on Sri Lanka. Solheim was a former peace envoy and mediator during the conflict in Sri Lanka and continues to follow the Sri Lankan issue while Biswal had in February visited Sri Lanka for the first time since taking over as Assistant Secretary of State.



Mini-sub to make more search attempts for MH370
[Tuesday, 2014-04-15 20:15:28]

The unmanned submarine hunting for wreckage of the missing Malaysian jet MH370 will make a second attempt on Tuesday after aborting its first search mission as it encountered water deeper than its operating limits while scanning the floor of the southern Indian Ocean. The robotic sub began scouring the bed of the Indian Ocean on Monday to try to determine whether signals detected last week by sound-locating equipment were from the plane's flight recorders.



SRI LANKA: TERRORISM LABEL ON PEACEFUL ADVOCACY FOR INDEPENDENT STATE IS A DENIAL OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH – TGTE
[Tuesday, 2014-04-15 17:56:26]

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)’s Parliament & Cabinet have taken decisions to respond to Sri Lanka's listing of Tamil groups as terrorists
• TGTE to take this matter to:

a) UN Human Rights Committee,
b) UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of speech,
c) UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism and
d) Anti-Terrorism Committee established under UN Security Council
Resolution 1373.



Canada Suspends Voluntary Commonwealth Funds
[Tuesday, 2014-04-15 11:01:35]

April 14, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that Canada will suspend its voluntary contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat and reallocate the funds for the next two years. “As host of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and current Chair in Office, Sri Lanka has a duty to take meaningful action on human rights, political reconciliation and accountability. However, Sri Lanka has failed to realize progress on any of these issues,” said Baird. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada took a strong and principled stand in not attending the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, and today’s announcement is an extension of that leadership.



Indian forces took part in SL war: Plea
[Tuesday, 2014-04-15 10:58:22]

Did India clandestinely deploy its armed forces in Sri Lanka during the final phase of the ethnic war in 2009? A PIL filed in the Supreme Court has said Indian military personnel took direct part in the war, and that some were even injured in the battle. A Sikh officer was commanding the forces, it said, citing eyewitness evidence and international probe. Noting that deploying Indian military without parliamentary or presidential nod is illegal, it sought a special tribunal to probe and prosecute persons who were behind the "illegal war", besides compensation to the immediate families of the victims.


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