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February 24, 2018 [GMT]
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Australia & Sri Lanka talks - to fight people smuggling
[Monday 2012-12-17 13:00]

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced a four-point plan to fight peoples smuggling to be discussed with Sri Lankan government and naval authorities, including increased on-water co-operation, intelligence sharing and reducing incentives for smuggling ventures. Senator Carr is in Colombo for the inaugural Joint Working Group on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime, chaired by Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. "There is a message from these talks to people in Sri Lanka - by getting on thatboat you risk your life, you'll lose your money and you will be sent back home,"Senator Carr said. "We're setting a clear agenda for intelligence sharing, naval co-operation andhelping rebuild Sri Lanka - all designed to reduce people smuggling. "I welcome Sri Lanka's strong support for anti-people smuggling activities, andlook forward to increased co-operation in destroying the people smuggling business model."

37 Tamils arrested in Jaffna
[Sunday 2012-12-16 11:00]

The Sri Lankan police are to carry out more arrests in Jaffna over the protest while 37 Tamils already arrested are to be produced in court and charged. The families of 33 people arrested have made complaints to the Human Rights Commission regarding the arrests. But it was not clear on what basis the arrests were being made. It is learnt that receipts are being issued to the families following the arrests. They have all been sent to Vavuniya, Welikanda and other remand prisons and we do not know what they plan to do with them, Jaffna sources said.


106,000 people missing in Sri Lanka, alleges BBC journalist
[Sunday 2012-12-16 10:00]

A BBC journalist has said that around 106,000 persons were missing in LTTE-controlled areas after the war and the Sri Lankan government should explain it. Frances Harrison made the allegation in Chennai, South India, during the launch of a Tamil translation of a book she had authored on the conflict in Sri Lanka. Having worked as a BBC correspondent in Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2004, Frances Harrison said she had accessed World Bank population data in this regard to substantiate her claim. "The number may not include (LTTE) detainees or those who had left the country but the government has to explain (the dip in the population in Tamil-dominated areas)", Indian Express quoted her as having said.

Australian FM in Colombo to halt people smuggling Sri Lanka gets A$ 34 million in educational aid:
[Sunday 2012-12-16 09:00]

By Zacki Jabbar

The Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in Colombo yesterday that his government was determined to stop the people smuggling racket at its source, which has seen around 6,000 Sri Lankans trying to enter Australia this year. Carr was speaking at a ceremony at St Anthony’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya in Colombo 3, during which he also announced that his government will be providing Sri Lanka with educational aid totaling A$ 34 million spread over a five year period.

Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on the situation in Jaffna, Sri Lanka:
[Friday 2012-12-14 23:00]

"News is slowly emerging of an attack on the men's and women's dormitories at Jaffna University, with some fifty students being sent to hospital, and many arrested without warrants. Sri Lanka's civil peace is still under threat from its own government. The United States government has issued a call for a respect for civil liberties and pluralism. Canadians can hardly do less in the face of continuing attacks on journalists and others expressing their opinions.

13 Tamil girls to Army hospitalized
[Thursday 2012-12-13 11:00]

Thirteen of the 100 Tamil girls forcibly recruited by the Army, suffering from severe mental stress, were admitted to Kilinochchi Hospital around 11.00 pm on December 11, reports said. TNA MP Sridharan had tried to visit them at hospital, but had been denied permission by the military. Thereafter, he had called the hospital director over the phone to inquire about their health, but the latter had told him that he had been ordered by the military not to say anything about their condition. However, parents are permitted to visit them at the hospital, where a special area has been allotted for them. At the time of the recruitment, the girls had been told they would be required to do office work only. Ten girls had fled the Army during training while eight others have been suffering from mental stress for about a week.


Australian Foreign Minister due
[Wednesday 2012-12-12 12:00]

Australian Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, will travel to Sri Lanka over December 14-17, 2012 for talks with Sri Lanka's leadership including External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L. Peiris. Talks will cover aid, economic development, human rights and people smuggling issues. Australia provides AU $47 million a year in aid to Sri Lanka, with a focus on education and the rebuilding of economic infrastructure following the end of the civil conflict in 2009. Past aid contributions include clearing of unexploded ordinance and land mines, rebuilding of around 5,000 homes and 23 schools and delivery of water and sanitation to nearly 44,000 people. Sri Lanka is also an important regional partner in the fight against people smuggling, having disrupted more than 60 separate people smuggling ventures this year involving around 2,900 people.(release)


No acting CJ will be appointed - president
[Monday 2012-12-10 12:00]

No acting chief justice will be appointed until the final decision is taken with regard to the impeachment of the incumbent Shirani Bandaranayake, said president Mahinda Rajapaksa today (Dec. 10). He has told members of the Bar Association and heads of several state corporations at a meeting to summon around 1,000 pro-government lawyers for a protest against the CJ. He has criticized such lawyers for keeping silent while enjoying positions and privileges given them by the state. On the occasion, the president has explained about the impeachment and documents pertaining to it, including the PSC chairman's decision, were distributed among the participants. He has instructed the corporation chairmen present to arrange accommodation at Colombo hotels for the pro-government lawyers who will be attending a BASL meeting on December 15.

High-level UN team in Sri Lanka to observe implementation of LLRC
[Sunday 2012-12-09 12:00]

A high level delegation of permanent representatives to the United Nations is visiting Sri Lanka to observe the progress on the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations and other post-war developments. The delegation led by Japan included permanent representatives from Nigeria, Romania Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York. Top diplomats of Italian, Brazilian missions and South Africa's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Geoff Doidge, accompanied the delegation.

U.S. Embassy Urges Transparency and Due Process:
[Sunday 2012-12-09 12:00]

The United States Embassy remains very concerned about the state of the Sri Lankan judiciary and the impeachment process of the Chief Justice. We urge that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating the Chief Justice ensure any investigation be conducted transparently, guarantee due process, and is conducted in accordance with the rule of law.

Britain locally failing in nation building advises others: - The Guardian
[Sunday 2012-12-09 12:00]

"Communal rioting in two cities. Bricks and bottles thrown and civic buildings wrecked. Flags torn down and 15 police injured. Local politicians forced to go into hiding. It happens all over the world, but this week it happened in the United Kingdom, evidence of continuing lack of community concord in Northern Ireland," says an article appeared in The Guardian on Thursday. "The Troubles in Northern Ireland are not on a par with those afflicting states in the Middle East. But they remain unresolved and reflect a real British failure at local "nation-building". Belfast is still the only city outside Israel that must erect walls to keep warring communities apart. The lack of communal accord should evoke modesty from London towards the similar troubles of others. How dare we lecture them on reconciliation," the article questioned.

Jaffna Student's Union president surrenders to HRC
[Sunday 2012-12-09 11:00]

President of the Jaffna University Students Union V. Pavanandan and another student activist surrendered to the Jaffna office of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission yesterday (Dec. 08). Coordinator at the office Kanagaraj confirmed they took custody of the two students, adding that it was being looked into how they should be produced before courts. The TID has informed the university administration and the parents of the two students that they would be permitted to visit them. Following a notification by the military that 10 others should surrender, five of them were handed over to the TID through the dean of the university's medical faculty.


Remains of Thileepan memorial tower destroyed Top News
[Sunday 2012-12-09 11:00]

The remnants of a memorial tower in Nallur to the hunger striker Lt. Col. Thileepan were found destroyed this morning. Reports allege that a gang of unidentified people demolished the fallen tower last night, leaving only rubble. The memorial was erected at the exact spot of his hunger strike in 1987 that captivated the entire nation, but later partially destroyed.


C.J. was given time to resign - Minister Nimal Siripala
[Sunday 2012-12-09 11:00]

Once the report of the PSC is submitted to the Speaker a month's period is given to review the decision, during this period certain moves could be taken but this period is really made available for the Chief Justice to resign said Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva at the media conference held yesterday (8th). However, clause 107.2 of the Constitution states a judge "shall not be removed except by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament". In response to a query by Mirror, Attornney at law Upali Kmarapperuma states that point out that there is a contradiction in the presumption expressed by Minister Siripala and state that the government, from the beginning of the process, attempted to create a situation to make the Chief Justice to resign.

Paris protest in support of Jaffna university students Top News
[Friday 2012-12-07 14:00]

A protest has taken place in Paris, France to protest the crackdown and arrest of Jaffna university students. The TID yesterday arrested six medical students and took them to their Vavuniya headquarters, according to reports. It had told the vice chancellor that 10 others should surrender. Students are reportedly shaken by the medical faculty dean and another official handing over of five of the students to the TID. When they had gone to Kopay police to hand themselves over, they had been told to surrender to the Jaffna intelligence office. Students of the medical faculty have rejected a call by the management to end their class boycott. At present, nine Jaffna undergraduates are in TID custody.


'India's RAW is supporting CJ'
[Wednesday 2012-12-05 14:00]

Chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake has obtained support of India’s intelligence agency, RAW, lankacnews website claims quoting military intelligence.According to military intelligence, RAW is funding Neelakandan and Neelakandan legal firm which represents the CJ in the impeachment process.The website, run by a group supportive of minister Wimal Weerawansa, says this legal firm had appeared for the most number of cases on behalf of the LTTE. Also, RAW was behind the recent northern lawyers' protest against the impeachment. The website adds that the Indian high commission in Colombo has become an unusually busy place these days.


CID quizzes TNA youth organizer
[Wednesday 2012-12-05 13:00]

The CID has questioned Kilinochchi orgranizer of the youth organization of TNA, Arunachalam Satyananda.The police yesterday (Dec. 04) visited him at Kilinochchi Central College, where he is a teacher, and inquired from him about the activities and the membership of the TNA youth organization.A few days ago, CID questioned the parents of TNA Pallai organizer Subramanian Suren.According to the TNA, the CID is gathering information about its activists in Kilinochchi.


Australia Court stops deportation of 56 Tamils
[Tuesday 2012-12-04 14:00]

The deportation of 56 Tamil men was halted after a dramatic hearing at the High Court in Sydney late on Monday.The department agreed to halt the men's forcible deportation, expected to take place this morning (TUESDAY) and all parties will reappear in court on Thursday. A department spokesman said it was "not uncommon" for the department to face legal challenges of this kind, but no other deportations would be affected by the hearing. He said the department "will continue to remove unlawful non-citizens where it is in accordance with the Migration Act". The court action was brought by refugee advocate Ian Rintoul and Bala Vigneswaran from the Australian Tamil Congress.

Security withdrawn for Sridharan's office
[Tuesday 2012-12-04 12:00]

Police security given to the Kilinochchi office to TNA MP S. Sridharan has been withdrawn since yesterday (Dec. 03).The withdrawal follows the MP having told parliament earlier in the day that the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has not yet been scientifically proven.He has gone on to say that similar to Yasser Arafat in the Palestine and Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Prabhakaran would be the liberation of Sri Lankan Tamils.The TNA MP also condemned the arrest of four Jaffna university students by the military.


Divi Neguma will be adopted 'despite any obstacles'
[Tuesday 2012-12-04 11:00]

Minister Basil Rajapaksa has said that the Divi Neguma draft bill would be adopted despite any obstacles.Speaking at a function in Yakkala, he said the groundwork would be laid for the country to enjoy the dividends of Divi Neguma by overcoming the intimidations and pressure by local and international elements, just like the three decade old terrorism was defeated.He claimed there has been a reduction in low-income population and that the income of the masses has seen an increase.Mr. Rajapaksa said the president's aim is to increase the per capita income, which was increased three fold from the 1,000 US dollars at the time he took over, to 4,000 dollars.

Speaker's ruling has no bearing upon the substantive issues in the impeachment
[Monday 2012-12-03 11:00]

The Speaker's ruling relating to the Supreme Court's notice to the Speaker and the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee does not in any way prohibits the constitutional right of the Court to entertain and to determine the Reference made by the Court of Appeal for a specific question relating to the scope of Article 107 (3) of the Constitution. Since the issue mooted is of utmost importance, various aspects relating to it should be reflected upon on the basis of constitutional principles and logic.

Arrested Jaffna undergrads in TID custody
[Sunday 2012-12-02 11:00]

The four Jaffna University Students arrested two days ago are in the custody of the TID in Vavuniya, according to DIG Wagista. The police official has made the revelation in response to an inquiry by MP Ajith Kumara. The parliamentarian has inquired as to why those undergraduates had not been produced before a magistrate even 24 hours had elapsed since their arrest.The DIG has said that they could be kept in detention for 72 hours, since they had been taken under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Relatives of the students had not been informed of their whereabouts until this revelation by DIG Wagista. Of them, Dharshananath and Solomon had led the protest at the university on November 28.


Tenure of a C.J. to be limited to 06 yrs?
[Sunday 2012-12-02 11:00]

Discussions are underway regarding constitutional amendment to limited the he period of office of the post of Chief Justice is to be limited to a maximum of 05 years, according to government sources. Countries such as India and Ireland have a period of 5 yrs. tenure for the Chief Justice and Sri Lanka too should follow suit, according to a submission by Minister G.L. Peiris to the cabinet for approval on an earlier occasion.

Lecturers & workers at Jafna Uni stage protest
[Saturday 2012-12-01 13:00]

Teachers and workers of the University of Jaffna staged a peaceful protest against Sri Lankan police and Army today to strongly condemn the action against Tamils, when they attacked University students two days ago.The demonstration held from 11.00am saw teachers holding placards in front of the University gates.The teachers union of University said that the police and military had brutally handled the peaceful protest staged by students and accused forces of entering both men's and women's hostels without any authorised permission.

Lanka tops sexual harassment in public transport
[Saturday 2012-12-01 11:00]

The Legal Aid Commission say Sri Lanka has topped the list of sexual harassment in South Asia region especially relating to women being harassed in public transport. Its chairman S. S. Wijeratne said that owing to several public awareness campaigns, there was a gradual decrease in such incidents in the recent past. He was addressing the White Ribbon campaign in Colombo with the aim of stopping sexual harassment in public transport.Mr. Wijeratne said the victimized women in public transport were reluctant to make complaints about the matter to bus conductors, bus drivers or to the police.The LAC is ready to assist and appear on behalf of such victimized women in public transport, he said.


Canadian organizations condemn attack on students in Jaffna
[Saturday 2012-12-01 00:00]

Condemning the brutal assaults on the students of University of Jaffna by the occupying Sri Lanka's police and military apparatus that has been happening with intensity since Tuesday, the Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA), the York Federation of Students (YFS), the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU), and the Tamil Youth Organization-Canada (TYO-Canada) have issued statements supporting both the civil and political liberties of the Eezham Tamil students in the homeland as well as the democratic right of the Tamil nation to self-determination.

SC again orders notice issued on respondents
[Friday 2012-11-30 14:00]

The Supreme Court today (Nov. 30) stressed that it was aware of the constitutional framework and the powers vested in it through the same and that it acts accordingly.A SC panel comprising Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, K. Sripavan and Priyasad Dep was taking up five petitions that challenge the parliamentary select committee's taking up of the impeachment motion against the chief justice.Three of these petitions were heard by the SC earlier and notice was issued on the respondents. The respondents nor their lawyers were present at today's hearing.

Chandrika warns inequality breeds 'terrorism'
[Friday 2012-11-30 14:00]

Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has warned that inequality can fuel 'terrorism.' She was delivering a speech in Nigeria, a country grappling with a deadly Islamist insurgency, AFP reports.'Poverty, socio-political injustices cause frustration and anger among the marginalised groups,' said Mrs. Kumaratunga.'The continued existence of inequality gives rise to violence and even terrorism,' she added. Mrs.Kumaratunga was invited to speak by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, an independent think-tank that hosts an annual lecture by a prominent world leader.

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