169 Reports

Tamils undisputed champions of diaspora politics: Scottish writer

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 January 2010, 17:07 GMT]
“Unless there is a sea change in the factional Scottish parliament in the months ahead, it is a vote I will not be able to cast in a Scottish constitutional context,” writes Stuart Cosgrove, a Scot married to an Eezham Tamil, who cast his vote in that capacity in the referendum for Tamil Eelam in Mayhill, Glasgow, Saturday. In his column in Times Online, from the Sunday Times, he recollected the Scottish referendum of 1997 and sounded contentment about his participation in the Tamil referendum which in his view defied the new world order on the epic stage of global politics. Saying Tamils are undisputed champions of diaspora politics today, Cosgrove’s appreciation was that “it was a timely reminder that democracy is a precious gem that neither war nor national circumstances should tarnish.”
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Voting continues in British Tamil Eelam referendum

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 January 2010, 16:32 GMT]
The second day of the British Tamil referendum on the question of independence for Eezham Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka began Sunday. Polling stations opened at 10:00 a.m. across London and report once again an incessant stream of eager voters. Those who had been at work Saturday were keen to partake in the democratic process. Voters accompanied by their small children, elderly ladies dressed in sarees and grandfathers leaning on walking sticks dropped their votes into ballot boxes.
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Swiss journalist visa reinstated

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 January 2010, 12:35 GMT]
Karin Wenger of Swiss Public Radio has been allowed to stay by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, Colombo media sources said quoting the Government Information Department. Wenger was one of more than one hundred foreign journalist in Sri Lanka to cover the Presidential elections.
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SL foreign minister visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 January 2010, 02:39 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama paid a sudden visit to Jaffna Saturday where he said that he has come to explore the possibility of establishing an office of the Foreign Ministry for expatriate Tamils in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, it is being said in the media circle that Rohitha had been sent to Jaffna by President Mahinda Rajapakse to pacify Minister Douglas Devananda who had announced his resignation of his post of minister for being the cause for Mahinda Rajapakse’s defeat in the president election in Jaffna district.
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First day of British Referendum draws to a close

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 January 2010, 02:00 GMT]
As the first day of voting in Britain's referendum comes to an end, preliminary reports indicate that several thousands of British Tamils have cast their vote, reports TamilNet UK correspondent Saturday. The referendum is to re-mandate the fundamentals of the Vaddukoaddai Resolution passed in 1976, which Tamils overwhelmingly mandated in the 1977 general elections proclaiming their desire for an independent and sovereign state in the contiguous North and East of the island of Sri Lanka. An important achievement of the referendum is that it has made the determined people to righteously defy the 'taboo' on Tamil Eelam imposed by an amendment to the constitution by Colombo in 1983, conspired by New Delhi in 1987, insinuated into the peace communique by the West in Oslo in 2002 and endorsed by Karunanidhi in 2009, diaspora circles in UK said.
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CID continues to detain editor of Sinhala weekly

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 January 2010, 16:36 GMT]
Chandana Sirimalwatte, editor of "Lanka" a Sinhala weekly newspaper has been detained further with regard to an article over a mansion in Kataragama owned by a ministry secretary. Srimalwatte was taken from his office by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday morning.
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Swiss journalist to be evicted from Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 January 2010, 16:25 GMT]
Sri Lankan authorities are to cancel the visa of Karin Wenger, a journalist attached to Swiss Public Radio based in New Delhi, who was in Sri Lanka to cover the recently concluded Presidential elections. Colombo was irked by the journalist's probing questions at a government press briefing which had caused "discomfort" to the government minister speaking at the briefing, according to political analysts in Colombo.
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New Chief of Staff appointed for SLA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 January 2010, 14:53 GMT]
Former military spokesman Major General Daya Ratnayake has been appointed the Chief of Staff (CoS) of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) with immadiate effect on Saturday, defense sources from Colombo said. Major General Daya Ratnayake was earlier the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation.
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Brisk early voting in UK referendum

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 January 2010, 13:24 GMT]
Initial reports indicate close to a thousand votes have been cast in the first hour of voting in the referendum being held in the UK this weekend. British Tamils are holding the referendum to re-mandate the Vaddukoddai Resolution passed in 1976, demanding an independent state of Tamil Eelam for the Tamils living in the island of Sri Lanka.
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EPDP supporters set fire to SLTB bus in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 January 2010, 10:33 GMT]
Eelam People’s Democracy Party (EPDP) supporters set fire to a Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) bus Saturday morning in a shutdown protest demanding Minister Douglas Devananda not to resign his post, sources in Jaffna said. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers forced open the few shops in Jaffna town which had been closed in fear of EPDP supporters who had called for the shutdown protest, the sources added. Minister Douglas Devananda, the leader of EPDP, had told his supporters that he was going to resign his minister post for being the reason for Mahinda Rajapakse’s defeat in Jaffna peninsula in the presidential election, the sources added. This is but a political stunt in view of the parliamentary general election expected in April or May, political observers in Jaffna said.
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SLA, SLN restrictions in Jaffna peninsula imposed again

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 January 2010, 04:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) which had relaxed their various restrictions in Jaffna peninsula prior to president election have begun to impose them again actively, sources in Jaffna said. These restrictions include the checking of passengers travelling within the peninsula and to the islets of Jaffna besides access to their places in the SLA High Security Zones (HSZs), they said. People of Ezhuthumadduvaa’l in Thenmaraadchi who were told by Minister Douglas Devananda and SLA officials that they would be permitted to resettle in their places immediately after the presidential election were turned back when they tried to go to their homes Friday.
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British Politicians express support to Tamil referendum

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 January 2010, 17:16 GMT]
Robert Evans, former Member of European Parliament from Britain and Labour politician, urged the diaspora Tamils in UK to participate in the referendum this weekend, saying that the message should go to Mr. Rajapaksa and the Colombo government should know what the diaspora thinks. Meanwhile, Conservative Parliamentary candidate Andrew Charalambous, strongly supporting the referendum, said: "If I had a chance to vote or I were a Tamil, I would be the first to vote." He called for loud expression and said the referendum should be recognised within Sri Lanka itself. Mr. Charalambous urged the diaspora to vote to show the International Community that Tamil Eelam is alive and is a physical reality.
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'Lanka' weekly news paper editor arrested

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 January 2010, 15:26 GMT]
Chandana Sirimalwatte, the editor of the pro Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Sinhala language weekly 'Lanka' was taken into custody by the police Friday morning in connection with an article carried in the paper on January 26.
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STF searches Fonseka’s political office in Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 January 2010, 14:11 GMT]
The office of the defeated opposition common presidential candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka was under siege Friday afternoon by Special Task Force (STF) of Sri Lanka Police. About two hundred STF personnel surrounded the office of Fonseka which is located near Royal College in Colombo along Rajkeeya Mawatte. Some masked STF personnel entered the office and started searching the premises, sources in Colombo said.
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UK referendum committee releases poll-procedure handbook

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 January 2010, 12:45 GMT]
Presenting systematically the procedures for conducting the referendum in UK this weekend, Tamil Referendum Committee (TRC) has released a 24-page handbook, worked out by a group of young legal practitioners. Meanwhile, 66 polling stations has been announced throughout the country. In the polling booths outside of the M25 limits of London city, the voting will take place only on Saturday. Inside M25 limits, polling will take place both on Saturday and Sunday. Voters are requested to check the timings of individual polling booths by seeing details in the official website, the organisers said.
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"Referendum on Eelam is our right and responsibility"

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 January 2010, 04:42 GMT]
"Diaspora Tamils live in established liberal democratic states with freedom of the press and where the rule of law is invariably observed. This weekend’s referendum in Britain provides us with a chance to prove that the demand for Tamil Eelam is, as it always was, the well reasoned conclusion of rational, free-thinking, independent individuals. By endorsing an independent statehood, we demonstrate our commitment to our people in the island and make clear and that there can be no peace or reconciliation without a just solution, without freedom and equality for the Tamil nation; and that it is stability, not chaos we seek in our homeland," comments Sivakami Rajamanoharan, member of the TYO-UK (Tamil Youth Organisation – United Kingdom), on the forthcoming referendum in UK.
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Youth killed, dumped in well in Ki’linochchi

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 January 2010, 03:05 GMT]
Ki’linochchi police recovered the body of a youth, hand and legs bound behind, tied to a stone and dumped into a well in Aananthapu’ram in Ki,’linochchi where some people have been permitted to resettle, sources in Ki’linochchi said. The youth, staying with his parents in one of the camps in Vavuniya, had gone to his brother’s place in Aananthapu’ram Sunday and had been reported missing since then to Ki’linochchi police.
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Tamil civilian arrested in Colombo

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 January 2010, 22:50 GMT]
A Tamil civilian Subramanian Siva Kumar was arrested by the Terrorism Investigations Department (TID) in Colombo, according to the Director of the TID. He told media persons in Colombo Thursday evening that the suspect has been identified as a hardcore cadre of the LTTE.
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Tamils pay tribute to Holocaust victims

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 January 2010, 03:56 GMT]
American Tamils join the world humanitarian community in remembering and paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust at the hands of Nazi Germany, honoring survivors and supporting the recognition of this day internationally, said United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) in a press release issued Monday. Noting that the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is of special significance to Tamils, the release added, "[t]he 2009 onslaught by the mono-ethnic Sinhala Sri Lankan armed forces claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians under the guise of a “humanitarian operation”...The plight of Tamils continues, with internment, separation of children from their parents and the holding of people in detention under secret conditions."
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No manipulation in presidential election results: Premajayantha

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 13:24 GMT]
The government of Sri Lanka led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa Wednesday denied any kind of involvement in the manipulation the presidential election results. The Secretary General of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government and a senior minister in Rajapaksa cabinet, Susil Premjayantha at a news briefing held Wednesday evening denied the allegation that a senior presidential advisor had been seen in the office of the Commissioner of Elections.
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Mahinda Rajapakse declared sixth executive president of Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 13:20 GMT]
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake declared Wednesday evening that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been elected sixth executive president in Tuesday’s presidential election. President Rajapaksa polled 6,015,934 (57.88 %) per cent of the vote against the 4,173,185 (40.15 %) secured by opposition common candidate Sarath Fonseka.
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Fonseka urges Commissioner of Elections to ensure his security

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 10:08 GMT]
Former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and the opposition presidential candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka has urged the Sri Lankan Commissioner of Elections to take steps to ensure his security, claiming there were attempts to arrest him. The movement of Fonseka remains restricted as troops have surrounded the hotel. Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa continued his lead by a majority of 1.8 million votes when final counting was in progress. He polled 5,885,836 (57.88) against Gen Sarath Fonseka's 4,082,363 (40.15) counted till 3:00 p.m.
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Freedom of movement of Fonseka restricted: Sri Lankan opposition

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 10:06 GMT]
The main opposition parties United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Wednesday evening at a hurriedly convened press briefing announced that they have decided to request the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure freedom of movement and adequate security to the common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka.
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2 including monk killed, curfew in Gampola, Nawalapitiya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 10:02 GMT]
Election related violence broke out in Gampola Wednesday morning. Two persons including a Buddhist monk were killed in a hand grenade attack between rival political parties in a suburb Thambiligala in Gampola.
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Rajapakse leading by one million votes in 80 electorates with 2.9 million votes

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 08:17 GMT]
The incumbent Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has polled 2,960.507 (60.27%) votes and General (retd) Sarath Fonseka, common opposition candidate received 1,690,990 (37.99%) votes in eighty of a total of 160 electorates so far results announced. Mahinda Rajapakse is leading by 1, 097, 034 votes.
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SL forces surround Fonseka's hotel

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 05:17 GMT]
Heavily armed Sri Lankan forces have surrounded Wednesday Cinnamon Lake hotel in Colombo, where opposition presidential candidate and former Sri Lanka Army General (retd) Sarath Fonseka was residing with opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and JVP leader Somawanse Amarasinghe. Sarath Fonseka, who is trailing in the presidential contest against his former Commander-in-Chief Mahinda Rajapaksa was scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday morning, but journalists were not allowed to reach the hotel and were waiting at Sri Sittampalam Gardiner Mawatte. In the meantime, Sri Lankan military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara has alleged that Sarath Fonseka was harbouring SLA deserters inside the hotel. Military has also been deployed around media outlets in Colombo.
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Rajapakse polls 59.63% votes, Fonseka 38.54% in 35 electorates

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 02:52 GMT]
In the thirty five electorates seats of 160 seats announced up to 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, Sri Lanka's current President Mahinda Rajapaksa won twenty seven electorates and the rest went to General Sarath Fonseka.The total votes polled by Mahinda Rajapakse has risen to 1,285,074 (59.63) against Gen Sarath Fonseka’s 830,554 (38.54) votes.
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UPFA to file legal action against Fonseka: Premjayantha

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 18:34 GMT]
Susil Premjayantha, general secretary of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and a senior minister in the government led by incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa Tuesday evening said that his party would challenge the victory of General (retd) Sarath Fonseka in Court of Law if he becomes elected president. He made the announcement after the closure of presidential poll and after counting of postal votes began.
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Fonseka leads in North-East, Rajapaksa in South in postal vote count

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 18:26 GMT]
Former SLA Commander General (retd) Sarath Foneseka has received 3,173 postal votes in Jaffna while SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa received 892 votes. Jaffna MP M.K. Sivajilingam got 293 votes. Meanwhile, reports from Batticaloa also indicate that Fonseka was leading in the count of postal votes.
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Voter turnout 18 percent in Jaffna, 55 percent in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 12:11 GMT]
While more than 70 percent all-island average turnout was reported in Colombo only 18 percent have voted in Jaffna, according to Jaffna Election Official S. Kuganathan. However, reports from Batticaloa said turnout was unusual this time, registering 55 percent.
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Genocide a national policy of Sri Lanka, says Tamil Nadu professor

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 11:59 GMT]
Genocide is a national policy to State in Sri Lanka since independence, says Professor Dheeran in Tamil Nadu in an article sent to TamilNet, citing the various facets, stages and sequences of State-orchestrated genocide against Tamils in the island, denying land, suffrage, polity, economy, culture and ultimately free physical existence. Eezham Tamils have more reasons to claim independence than many other such cases. The twist of the national question by the International Community only resulted in removal of guarantee against genocide. It paved way for China’s entry. The new equations provide new opportunities for the recognition of Tamil Eelam. The diaspora, free and powerful enough, should be steadfast in the only goal of liberation. Referendum is an international way to achieve it and efforts of re-mandating Vaddukkoaddai Resolution follow that line, he writes.
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SLA take-over of buses disrupt IDPs transport to booths in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 10:38 GMT]
Voter turnout remained low in Ki'linochchi until 2:00 p.m. Only 27 persons had voted at a voting booth where 949 eligible voters were registered. Meanwhile, buses that were scheduled to transport the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Vavuniyaa camps to voting booths were taken by the Sri Lankan military, disrupting the transport of the voters. Following complaints to Election Commissioner, more than 5,000 IDP voters have been transported in buses that were brought from Jaffna, election officials in Vavuniyaa said.
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Only 5 percent voted in Jaffna till noon

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 08:26 GMT]
In Jaffna, only 5 percent voting took place until noon Tuesday and 25 percent may vote all together, reports from Jaffna said citing election officials. In the meantime, 30 percent turnout was registered in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampaa'rai, where turnout is expected to reach 60 percent. Ki'linochchi and Mullaiththeevu registered the lowest voting between one and two percent until noon.
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Democratic elections, a mockery in Sri Lanka: Pandian

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 06:51 GMT]
When there is an ongoing genocide and thousands of Tamil speaking people are still kept in concentration camps, when people are denied freedom of movement, when arrests, disappearances and rapes are being reported on a daily basis, when independent media is not allowed to visit and document the plight of the Tamil people, and when the country is behind an iron curtain, holding elections is a mockery, said D. Pandian, the state Secretary of the Communist Party of India in Tamil Nadu. The war was not conducted by the Sri Lankan government alone. It was aided by the Indian government. "As an Indian citizen, I am ashamed that the country of Buddha and Gandhi helped a murderous government to slaughter innocent people," he further said.
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Active voting in Jaffna despite intimidation

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 05:38 GMT]
Despite a few incidents of bomb explosions, attacks on TNA supporters’ houses Monday night and burning of tyres on some roads in Jaffna people are actively engaged in casting their votes in the presidential election, sources in Jaffna said. Voters who were few in the morning later came in groups to cast their votes and voting continues without any mishaps, the sources added.
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Polling cards delivery in Jaffna peninsula incomplete

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 03:20 GMT]
Polling cards of the registered voters have not been delivered completely in Jaffna as many of them are not at their addresses due to displacement and being evicted from the High Security Zones, civil society sources in Jaffna said. Many voters were seen searching for the registration particulars of their votes at Jaffna Secretariat until the last moment on Monday.
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TNA accuses EPDP for voter fraud in the islets of Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 03:04 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna parliamentarians accused Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) for having taken large number of persons to the islets of Jaffna with the intention of committing voter fraud, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, EPDP men have instructed the post masters in the islets of Jaffna to issue polling cards to persons without calling for their identity documents and that EPDP supporters have collected the polling cards of many persons in many parts of Jaffna peninsula, TNA parliamentarians further accused.
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TNA parliamentarian’s office attacked, bomb blasts heard, in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 January 2010, 02:40 GMT]
Masked men in two white vans arriving at the office of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran in Jaffna town around 7:00 p. m Monday stoned his office while some others attacked the houses of TNA supporters around the same time in Achchuveali, Aavarangkaal and in Vadamaraadchi and Thenmaraadchi, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, more than four bomb explosions and gunshots were heard around from 3:00 to 3:30 a.m Tuesday in some areas in Jaffna town, the sources added. The bomb blasts are said to be caused by persons trying to place the blame on Liberation Tigers for allegedly boycotting the presidential election.
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70% of relocated Vanni IDPs in Jaffna not allowed to reside in their homes

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 17:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka Armed Forces in Jaffna district have not permitted the Vanni IDPs brought to Jaffna district in the name of resettlement to live in their own houses, Jaffna NGO sources said. Particularly the IDPs in the islets in Jaffna are forced by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to stay in makeshift shelters located in private lands near their camps, the sources said.
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Ballot boxes dispatched to polling booths in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 17:40 GMT]
Ballot boxes for the Tuesday presidential election are being sent with police and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) escorts from the District Secretariats in Jaffna and Vavuniyaa in the presence of election officers to the polling booths from Monday morning. Meanwhile, government has declared Wednesday, the day following presidential election day, as public holiday and countrywide curfew is expected to be imposed on Thursday, according to instructions given to police authorities, sources in Jaffna said.
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Court rejects CID application to search Wickremesinghe official residence

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 17:01 GMT]
Colombo Magistrate Ms Chandani Meegoda Monday rejected an application by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to issue a warrant to search the official residence of the leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe. The CID cited reports of defamatory posters against SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa and weapons had been hidden inside the office residence of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe.
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Journalist reported missing, election related complaints reach 950

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 17:00 GMT]
Prageeth Eknaligoda, journalist working with the Lanka e news website has been reported missing since Sunday night, according to a complaint lodged with the police by the Lanka-e news website editor.
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Australian of the Year demands release of refugees

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 16:28 GMT]
Mental health expert Patrick McGorry has slammed the Australian Government’s policies of mandatory detention of asylum seekers on offshore facilities, labelling the centres "factories for producing mental illness" and urging Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to free refugees, including hundreds of Tamils, currently being detained there.
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99.2 percent voters consent Tamil Eelam in Holland

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 04:57 GMT]
In the referendum held in Holland on Sunday on the formation of independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka, 2,750 voters participated and 99.2 percent of them aspired for it. 2,728 said yes, 9 voted no and 13 votes were invalid. The poll organised by an independent group of the diaspora in the Netherlands was conducted in 15 centres across the country under the supervision of non-Tamil election officials.
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Referendum conducted in exemplary way in Switzerland

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 02:53 GMT]
99.49 percent of 16,441 Eezham Tamil voters who participated in the referendum in Switzerland Saturday and Sunday mandated the formation of an independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka. The referendum was organised by a coalition of 2nd generation Eezham Tamils in Switzerland and the task of conducting the ballot process was undertaken by an independent election commission that was headed by M. Pagani, ex-Mayor of the city of Biel and participated by journalists, politicians and members of Young Socialist Party (JUSO) of Switzerland. Well-covered by the Swiss media, Pia Holenstein, a member of the federal parliament, described the process as something neatly organised and is exemplary.
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“Vote to empower parliament” - Jaffna University Student Union

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 2010, 02:53 GMT]
“We extend our full support to change the presidential system of governance by voting in the presidential election,“ Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) said in a press report released Sunday titled ‘Let’s vote to empower parliament’, sources in Jaffna said. “We do not have any hope in either of the principal candidates in this election but taking the past experience into consideration and on realizing the value of the lives lost, we lend our full support to bring in a change in the government,” the report further said.
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Overwhelming turnout of voters in Germany, 99% mandate Tamil Eelam

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 January 2010, 23:00 GMT]
99.2 percent of voters said yes to Tamil Eelam in an impressive turn out of more than 90% of eligible Eezham Tamil voters for the referendum in Germany on Sunday. International Human Rights Association in Bremen conducted the referendum on the question of forming an independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka. 23,089 voters participated in the poll in 110 centres across the country and 22,904 of them said yes. 136 voters said no and 49 votes were invalid.
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Commonwealth Union observers arrive in Colombo

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 January 2010, 13:36 GMT]
A Commonwealth Expert Team (CET) with former Jamaican Foreign Minister K.D. Knight has arrived in Colombo to observe Sri Lanka’s presidential poll that is scheduled to be held on January 26.
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Chandrika Kumaratunga extends support to Fonseka

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 January 2010, 13:29 GMT]
Chandrika Kumaratunga, former executive president of Sri Lanka is reported to have extended her support to General (retd) Sarath Fonseka Sunday in the forthcoming presidential poll when the latter met her at her ancestral home in Attanagalla, according to initial reports reaching media sources in Colombo. No further details regarding the meeting between Chandrika Kumaratunga and Fonseka surfaced. General Fonseka travelled to Horogolla Sunday morning to seek her support.
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“Tamils’ votes indispensable to send Mahinda home” - Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 January 2010, 03:55 GMT]
“The votes of Tamils are of great value in this presidential election,” Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader, R. Sampanthan said Saturday in a big election campaign meeting held Saturday around 3:00 p.m in Nalloor Chaddanaathar Koayil area, in which nearly four thousand people from various parts of the peninsula participated, sources in Jaffna said. “After considering various pressing issues including the resettlement of Vanni people in their places we decided to offer our support to Sarath Fonseka,” he said. “He agreed to consider our demands favourably while Mahinda was not prepared to give in on any of them and therefore we decided to support Sarath Fonseka in this presidential election,” Sampanthan further said.
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SLN permits worship in Ma’ndaitheevu St. Peter’s church after 20 years

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 15:03 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) occupying Ma’ndaitheevu in the islets of Jaffna since 1990 allowed people to worship in St. Peter’s Church in Ma’ndaitheevu Friday, sources in Jaffna said. Jaffna Bishop, Rt. Rev. Thomas Soudaranayagam and the SLN top officials stationed in the islets of Jaffna were present on the occasion, sources added. However, only a group of people permitted to resettle in Ma’ndaitheevu were allowed to participate in the mass. Meanwhile, Jaffna Bishop stressed that the armed forces should vacate the surroundings of the church so that residents could observe their religious rites freely.
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Police search Karu Jayasuriya's ancestral home

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 12:52 GMT]
An armed police team Friday night searched the ancestral home of the wife of Karu Jayasuriya, who currently holds the post of the Deputy Leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) on an alleged report that arms and printed matters of defamatory nature were stored in there house. But nothing had been found as alleged in his residence, according to Karu Jayasuriya to media
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Stiff sentences for pair convicted in New York arms deal

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 12:51 GMT]
Eastern District Court of New York Friday sentenced two Sri Lankan Tamils, Sathajhan Sarachandran and Nadarasa Yogarasa, to 26 years and 14 years in prison respectively, in connection with their attempt to purchase weapons for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in the U.S.A. Defendants were Caught in an FBI undercover sting operation attempting to purchase surface-to-air missiles, missile launchers, and hundreds of AK-47 automatic rifles, the press release said. Material support to to any organization designated as an FTO is illegal in the U.S.
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Exiled journalists condemn state media abuse in presidential election campaign

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 11:38 GMT]
Journalists for Democracy (JDS), a Germany-based media advocacy group consisting of members exiled from Sri Lanka on Saturday warned that the withdrawal of the competent authority appointed to monitor state media during the pre-election period was a clear indication of the inability of the nominally democratic institutions to restrain the ruling party practice of using every weapon in its arsenal to bring down democracy in Sri Lanka. With only a couple of days to go, JDS is afraid that the multitude of unfavourable developments, including the inability of institutions set up to guarantee fairness to citizens in Sri Lanka, will lead to an election where democracy and free expression will become an inevitable casualties.
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Six Fonseka election offices destroyed, JVP complains

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 11:35 GMT]
Armed gangs believed to be supporters of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Friday night destroyed six election propaganda offices of common opposition candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka in separate incidents in the Gampaha district in the western province, according to Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) media spokesman.
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Asian observers arrive in Colombo to monitor presidential poll

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 11:33 GMT]
Forty members of the Asian Association of Election Authorities (AAEA) from thirteen countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan and Papua New Guinea arrived in Colombo Friday to monitor presidential poll that is scheduled to be held on January 26.
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300,000 fake ballot papers in circulation, DIG warns

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 11:31 GMT]
More than three hundred thousand fake ballot papers are in circulation in several parts of the country with three days left for the presidential election, scheduled to be held on January 26.
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Tamil female undergrad arrested in Peradeniya University, now held in Boosa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 January 2010, 02:56 GMT]
Rasiah Dwaraka, the Tamil female undergrad of the Arts Faculty of the Peradeniya University arrested by the CID officials while she was in the lecture hall attending class in November last year is found held in Boosa detention camp, according to Upul Premaratne, Convener of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF). She was earlier a resident of Kilinochchi.
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SLA harass relatives, friends visiting resettled IDPs in Ki’linochchi

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 January 2010, 05:41 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers restrict and harass the relatives and friends of the small number of Vanni Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) allowed to resettle in Ki’linochchi, the IDPs said. SLA soldiers inspect the National Identity Cards of the relatives and friends of the IDPs visiting them besides registering their particulars. Meanwhile, the soldiers subject the IDPs to severe interrogation after the visitors had left and these harassments have made the IDPs to request their relatives and friends not to visit them.
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HRW calls for international investigations into war crimes

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 January 2010, 04:57 GMT]
Noting that the "verbal acrobatics" of Sri Lankan officials in an attempt to "dismiss the shocking mobile phone video...showing Sri Lanka soldiers summarily executing naked and bound [Tamil] captives" evokes memories of Orwell's 1984, Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch's emergencies director and an expert in humanitarian crises, in the Thursday edition of Guardian, warns that Sri Lankan officials cannot hide the reality of what happened during this brutal conflict and its continuing impact on Sri Lankan society, and that Sri Lanka's aggressive denial of its crimes only results in escalation of lost credibililty. HRW urges Ban Ki-moon to establish "an independent international investigation to establish the truth of what happened in Sri Lanka, an essential step toward accountability for the serious crimes committed there."
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Muslim presidential candidate supports TNA, SLMC decision

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 January 2010, 04:50 GMT]
M. S. Iliyas, former Jaffna parliamentarian and one of the presidential candidates, said that he welcomed Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) decision to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa by supporting Sarath Fonseka in the presidential election, in a press meet held Thursday in Jaffna Veerasingham Hall. Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and various political parties of the country have decided to bring in a change of government despite their differences, he added.
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Tamils of Switzerland, Germany, Holland vote on independence this weekend

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 January 2010, 04:04 GMT]
Eezham Tamil diaspora in Switzerland goes for referendum on independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam this Saturday and Sunday. A similar ballot will take place in Germany and Holland on Sunday. The democratic exercise on the eve of the presidential elections in Sri Lanka gains significance as it demonstrates the mainstream diaspora is unaffected by the highly publicised political prospects of the elections of ‘united Sri Lanka,’ Tamil observers in Europe said. The enthusiasm seen in the younger generation of the diaspora is particularly a challenge to politics of deviation harping on strengthening Colombo-centric system to find solutions to the crisis, they further said.
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Sri Lankan Police harass Wickramabahu supporters in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 January 2010, 03:49 GMT]
Chu’n’naakam police arrested Manicakasothy Abimanasingham, the Jaffna District organizer of presidential candidate Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne and three of his supporters Thursday around 8:00 a.m in Chu’n’naakam while distributing campaign pamphlets. Meanwhile, three other supporters of the candidate had been assaulted by police earlier, the sources added. Dr. Wickramabahu Karunartne condemned the police arrests and assault adding that it is a high handed act as election campaigning is permitted until Saturday.
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Tiran Alles residence comes under grenade attack

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 January 2010, 03:20 GMT]
Unknown attackers lobbed a grenade Friday early morning at the residence of Tiran Alles, a leading businessman currently holding the post of General Secretary of the Mahajana Wing of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Mr. Tiran Alles managed to escape from the attack, but his house and vehicle caught fire during the explosion, Police said. Tiran Alles is one of the campaign managers of the opposition common candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka.
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Eyewitness to Lasantha assassination located: SL Police

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 January 2010, 14:22 GMT]
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Sri Lanka Police in its report to Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court Thursday said that they have located a person who had witnessed the killing of journalist Lasantha Wickremathunge, the editor of the Sunday Leader. The eywitness is under interrogation, the CID further informed the court, legal sources said.
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Rajapaksa, Fonseka fail in articulating political proposals: Friday Forum

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 January 2010, 14:01 GMT]
Friday Forum, a Colombo-based gathering which includes religious dignitaries, senior academics and others on Wednesday expressed concern that the two main presidential candidates Mahinda Rajapaksa and General (retd) Sarath Fonseka have failed to address the crucial issue of peace. "The failure to address this issue of great historical and national importance does not bode well for the future of our country. We may be condemned to the scourge of community tensions and a divided society for many more years to come unless sincere and meaningful political guarantees are made at this moment," the statement signed by Jayantha Dhanapala said.
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Pre-election violence escalating, 800 incidents reported, 300 arrested

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 January 2010, 13:57 GMT]
Sri Lankan Police has taken around three-hundred persons into custody in connection with pre- election related violence. The number of incidents of violence and unlawful activities has risen to eight hundred till Thursday afternoon, police officials in Colombo said.
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SL state media turned into propaganda outlets for Rajapaksa: RSF

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 January 2010, 13:49 GMT]
Reporters Without Borders, on Thursday said it had established that 98.5 per cent of the news and current affairs air-time on Sri Lankan state-owned TV stations Rupavahini and ITN on 18 and 19 January was given over to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his supporters. “The TV propaganda is deafening and the figures we are releasing today are worthy of the Burmese or North Korean regimes," the press freedom organisation said. Control of the state media has become crucial to the election campaign. The Commissioner of Elections has issued several reminders about the rules requiring balanced coverage and tried to introduce a Competent Authority to monitor the TV stations, but the president’s office resisted. The Sri Lankan supreme court’s ruling has also been ignored, the RSF said.
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Death threats to MP Kajendren, Jaffna University community

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 January 2010, 00:48 GMT]
A group calling itself ‘Tamil Protection Alliance to Save the Country’ issued Tuesday and Wednesday handbills threatening with death to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Selvarajah Kajendran and the Jaffna University community. The group which allegedly operates on the directions of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Intelligence Unit and a Tamil paramilitary-cum-political party last year issued similar death threats to 13 persons including representatives of Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU), faculty deans and lecturers and one of them had been shot and seriously injured.
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Colombo court releases 16 Tamil youths

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 January 2010, 18:15 GMT]
Sixteen Tamil youths were released Wednesday by the Colombo Additional Magistrate Mr. Mohamed Mackie on a no objection application made by Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police. The court ordered another eighteen Tamil youths to be sent for rehabilitation at Welikanda camp.
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14 member election monitoring team arrives in Colombo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 January 2010, 15:48 GMT]
A fourteen member international election monitoring delegation of the Asia Network for Free and Fair Elections (ANFFE) comprising observers from Japan, Thailand, Bangladesh and Burma arrived in Colombo Wednesday. The members of the delegation would be divided into seven teams, each team comprising two observers and will leave for the north and east and certain places in the south Thursday, Rohana Hettitarachchi with the People’s Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said.
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Government plans election-rigging in Jaffna, say Fonseka supporters

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 January 2010, 03:59 GMT]
Although the delivery of polling cards ended on Monday postmasters in Jaffna have been unofficially instructed to continue to issue the cards by high government authorities, according to postal department officials who wish to remain anonymous. IN addition, Sri Lanka's Minister Douglas Devananda and former Inspector General of Police, Chandra de Silva, are engaged in activities aiming at rigging the votes of people in K’linochchi district which falls under Jaffna electoral division, Sarath Fonseka’s supporters in Jaffna alleged.
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Mahinda inciting racial hatred between Sinhalese and Tamils - Suresh Premachandran

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 14:01 GMT]
“President Mahinda Rajapakse, on learning Tamil National Alliance (TNA) intention of supporting his rival Sarath Fonseka in the presidential election, is actively engaged in whipping up racial animosity between the Sinhalese and the Tamils,” Suresh Premachandran, TNA parliamentarian said in a press briefing held Tuesday in his Jaffna office. “Mahinda, Minister Douglas Devananda and other government supporters are deceiving the Tamils with their false promises,” he further said.
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4th pre-election related killing reported from Kurunagala

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 10:04 GMT]
A 27-year-old person was killed and four others wounded Monday evening in a grenade attack on the residence of a deputy minister in the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government.
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Trinco executions added to Sri Lanka's war crimes record in Dublin

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 01:17 GMT]
An affidavit containing the personal testimony of Dr Manoharan, the father of Ragihar, one of the five high school students shot dead in execution style in Trincomalee beach nearly four years ago by members of Sri Lanka security forces, and two detailed reports of evidence collected on the killings by a Rights Group whose members are in self-exile due to threat to their lives, were submitted as record of evidence to the Dublin war-crimes tribunal hearing concluded on the 16th of this month, US-based pressure group Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) said Tuesday.
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694 election related complaints, 289 persons arrested

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 January 2010, 16:05 GMT]
Two hundred and eighty nine persons were arrested and the number of pre-election related violence and complaints has risen to six hundred and ninety four till Sunday night, according to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mahinda Balasuriya. The IGP revealed these figures at a media briefing held Monday in Colombo.
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Fishermen agitate against trawler fishing in Jaffna peninsula seas

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 January 2010, 15:59 GMT]
More than 300 fishermen from Vadamaraadchi agitated Monday morning against trawler fishing by fishermen from South, India and local fish traders in the seas of Vadmaraadchi and Jaffna bay, sources in Vadamaraadchi said. Trawler fishing which had robbed fish resources of the peninsula and damaged the fishing nets of local fishermen had been suspended during the peace period. Now, persons who are close to the ruling party politicians have begun to engage in trawler fishing in the peninsula making millions of rupees monthly by sending fish to the South of the country along A9 route, representatives of the Federation of Fisheries Societies in Jaffna peninsula said.
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3rd pre-election related murder reported from Wariayapola

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 January 2010, 09:43 GMT]
A group of unidentified persons believed to supporters of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Sunday night killed a person while he was pasting posters in support of common presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka in Ambakawela in Wariayapola area in Kurunagala district.
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Polls predict narrow win for Fonseka

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 January 2010, 02:13 GMT]
"A secret poll taken by parliamentary researchers earlier this month and seen by The Sunday Telegraph forecast 5,373,751 votes for the [Sri Lanka's] president (48.3 per cent) and 5.493,809 for the general [Sarath Fonseka] (49.4 per cent)," the Telegraph said in its Sunday edition, adding that, while the ruling party insists its support is solid in village areas, Sri Lanka's voters are talking of momentum building up for General Fonseka.
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Weeratunge statement proves India's complicity in Sri Lanka's genocide, says Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 January 2010, 17:16 GMT]
If the statement of Lalith Weeratunga, a top aide to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, that Sri Lanka's use of heavy weapons was eventually stopped as part of a political deal with the Indian government, was true, "then it proves India’s complicity in the GOSL’s [Government of Sri Lanka's] genocide against the Tamils," says Professor Boyle, expert in International Law in a note sent to TamilNet. "The Government of India temporarily stopped the GOSL’s genocide against the Tamils, thus proving it could do so.... India therefore violated its obligation under article 1 of the Genocide Convention “to prevent” the GOSL genocide against the Tamils," asserts Prof. Boyle.
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Two die in Vavuniyaa bus crash

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 January 2010, 13:46 GMT]
A private passenger bus bound for Colombo from Jaffna went off the road and crashed against a tree Sunday morning around 1.30 a.m. in Vavuniyaa. The driver of the bus and a passenger were killed on the spot and nine others including a woman were injured in the crash, according to sources in Vavuniyaa.
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SLFP member arrested with weapons in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 January 2010, 13:43 GMT]
Batticaloa Police Saturday arrested a person who is claimed to a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), main constituent of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), on charges of abduction of a teenage girl and for having in his possession illegal weapons. He was earlier the secretary of a former member of the T.M.V.P and currently an official of the SLFP in eastern province.
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Matale UNP councilor's house comes under gunfire

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 January 2010, 13:36 GMT]
A group of unidentified men suspected to be supporters of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) opened fire at the residence of a United National Party (UNP) Municipal Council member in Matale town Saturday night. The UNP member was not in the house at that time. His family members who were inside, escaped without injuries, according to a complaint by the UNP spokesman.
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SLA holds greater part of Ki’linochchi as HSZ

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 January 2010, 02:19 GMT]
Normalcy has not been restored in greater part of Ki’linochchi district as Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has declared a large area of it as its High Security Zone, sources in Ki’linochchi said. Although Northern Province Governor, Major General G. A. Chandrasiri ordered all government offices to function from 1st January, many of them being located east of A9 road, have not been opened as they are caught within the HSZ, the sources added.
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Dublin verdict: Sri Lanka guilty of War Crimes

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 January 2010, 22:51 GMT]
Dublin war-crimes tribunal, conducted by Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) based in Milan, which held hearings on Thursday and Friday on war-crime charges on Sri Lanka from eye-witnesses and other material evidence, in the preliminary findings issued Saturday said, Sri Lanka Government is "guilty of War-Crimes" and "guilty of Crimes Against Humanity." The tribunal also concluded that the charge of Genocide requires further investigations. Eye witnesses included several escapees from the final week of Sri Lanka offensive in the Mullaitivu "No Fire Zone" where more than 20,000 Tamil civilians were allegedly slaughtered by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) training heavy weapons on them.
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2nd killing in election violence reported from Puththa'lam

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 January 2010, 15:33 GMT]
A United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter was shot and killed and four others injured in a clash between UPFA and United National Party (UNP) supporters Saturday afternoon at Mathurangkuzhi in Puththa'lam North Western Province. Sri Lankan Police said the dead was a supporter of the ruling UPFA. Four others were also injured in the shooting. Several buildings in the area were set on fire. The shops belong to the UNP supporters were set on fire by the UPFA supporters.
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Satellite imagery evidence of Hospital attack recorded in Dublin

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 January 2010, 12:49 GMT]
Do the facts made available to the Dublin war-crimes tribunal on the available direct and circumstantial evidence that between 9 January 2009 and 25 March 2009, in areas in or nearby Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) Hospital, legally establish that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) committed, purposely, intentionally or knowingly, via act or omission, war crimes against Tamil civilians? - was the legal question presented to the tribunal. "The legal admissibility of evidence, currently available and to be discovered in the future, and the question of culpability of Sri Lanka of war-crimes, are likely to continue well beyond Dublin," said a spokesperson for the US-based pressure group, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), on the attack on the PTK hospital during the early months of 2009.
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Ruling party Matara Mayor extends support to Fonseka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 January 2010, 08:03 GMT]
Mayor of Matara Municipal Council, Upul Nishantha, Saturday crossed over from the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and extended support to General (retd) Fonseka. Mr. Upul Nishantha is the Matara district organizer of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the UPFA.
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Dengue fever spreads unchecked in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 January 2010, 07:49 GMT]
Dengue fever which has claimed the lives of 15 persons, including 13 children under thirteen, within the limits of Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) is spreading fast and unchecked due to negligence of JMC authorities, according to Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) sources. A 7-month-old child died due to dengue fever Thursday in Nalloor, the sources said.
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JHU faction quits party to support Fonseka

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 January 2010, 12:31 GMT]
Seven leading Buddhist monks holding important posts in the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a constituent of ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse pledged their support to Opposition Common Candidate General Sarath Fonseka in the forthcoming presidential election, reports from Colombo said.
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SL minister joins Fonseka

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 January 2010, 09:47 GMT]
Cegu Issadeen, a non-cabinet minister in the government led by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and one of the leaders of the National Unity Alliance (NUA) Friday morning rejoined the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, extending his support to retired Sri Lankan General Sarath Fonseka in the upcoming Presidential Elections.
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TNA MP Sathasivam Kanagaratnam released

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 January 2010, 09:39 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP for Vanni district Sathasivam Kanagaratnam was released on condition after being produced before Vavuniyaa Magistrate Alex Raja Wednesday night. Mr. Kanagaratnam was taken into custody while he was staying with his people in one of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) internment camps in Vavuniyaa, for displaced civilians from Mullaiththeevu.
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IDPs not allowed to enter their places in HSZs in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 January 2010, 03:08 GMT]
Following the announcement made by government ministers and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials, persons who went to observe ‘Pongal’ in their houses in the SLA High Security Zones (HSZ) in Ariyaalai North and Valikaamam North Thursday were chased away by SLA soldiers and police deployed at the Front Defence Line (FDL) positions in these areas, Internally Displaced Person’s Welfare Association representatives said. All promises of resettlement in Jaffna HSZs made by government ministers and SLA officials remain unfulfilled and empty promises made with the aim to get the IDPs to vote for Mahinda Rajapakse, they openly accused.
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Canada government greets Canadian Tamils on Pongal Day

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 January 2010, 19:46 GMT]
The Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, on Thursday greeted Canadian Tamils on the occasion of Thai Pongkal festival. The Minister's usage of the term Canadian Tamils for the greetings, avoiding any 'imposed national identity' is noted with significance by the Tamil media circles in the diaspora. Pongkal is such a unique festival uniting global Tamils and at the same time transcending them beyond the confines of the identities of India and Sri Lanka.
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NCET announces committees to spearhead democratic moves of Eezham Tamils

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 January 2010, 14:19 GMT]
The Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils (NCET) on the Tamil festival day of Pongkal, Thursday, announced initiation of three global committees: a Monitoring Committee to help and coordinate polls mandating Tamil Eelam as well as constitutions cum elections for people’s councils in various countries; an Exploration Committee to examine the possibilities of founding a diplomatic centre in Oslo to represent the people’s councils and a Representative Committee to discuss apex coordination or united functioning with other constructs that emerge with national thinking. The NCET statement named Mr. S Pradeep and Ms Krishanthi Sakthithasan of France as international coordinator and spokesperson respectively for the said initiatives.
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Dublin analysis complements Alston's findings on execution-video

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 January 2010, 11:56 GMT]
A point-by-point rebuttal to Sri Lanka experts' response on the authenticity of Channel-4 video is being presented to the War-Crimes Tribunal being held in Dublin on the 14th and 15th of this month, spokesperson for the US-based pressure group, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) said Thursday. The report complements UN Special Rapporteur, Prof. Philip Alston's, findings that the video is authentic. The rebuttals expose faulty assumptions, and erroneous conclusions made by Sri Lanka experts, whose "independence" was questioned by Alston, the report said.
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Tamils should not be deceived by Mahinda’s promise - LF Secretary

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 January 2010, 03:57 GMT]
“How can Mahinda Rajapakse government offer a permanent political solution to the Tamils when it refuses to release the Tamil political prisoners who are on hunger strike?” Samil Jayanithi, the secretary of Leftist Front, asked. “A political solution for the Tamils is nothing but a drama staged by the government to get the votes of the Tamils,” he added.
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TNA delegation leaves to New Delhi to meet Indian leaders

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 January 2010, 02:55 GMT]
A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) left Colombo Tuesday to New Delhi on the invitation of the Government of India. Mr. R. Sampanthan, TNA head of the parliamentary group, is leading the delegation. The TNA delegation is expected to take a flight to New Delhi from Chennai Wednesday evening and to hold talks with Indian leaders on Thursday, TNA sources said.
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People displaced from HSZs in Jaffna continue to be deceived

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 January 2010, 02:47 GMT]
Arranged by Minister Dougals Devananda, around 300 IDPs were taken by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers to Ariyaalai Wednesday saying that they can see their houses which had been caught in the High Security Zone (HSZ) during SLA occupation in 2000, representatives of IDP Welfare Organisations in Jaffna said. The IDPs, however, were not permitted to go beyond Poompukaar junction in Ariyaalai and they had to return with disappointment, they added. Though many promises had been given to the IDPs in an effort to get their votes for President Mahinda Rajapakse, so far no definite date or information had been given to them regarding resettlement in the HSZs, the representatives said.
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Force will be used if needed to evict refugees says Indonesia

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 17:25 GMT]
Jakarta will use any means necessary to end a standoff between authorities and a boat of Tamil refugees senior officials revealed on Wednesday, two days after authorities allowed Sri Lankan official’s access to several refugees being detained in an Indonesian detention centre.
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Australian Intelligence assessment leaves refugees in limbo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 16:00 GMT]
The rejection for asylum of 5 Tamil refugees, including a mother and two children, by the Australian Government due to undisclosed ‘security fears’ has left them in limbo amid a game of "political football" say human rights advocates, who have urged the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to reveal its security assessment, citing past failures by the organisation.
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4 injured in election clash in Polonnaruwa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 12:50 GMT]
Four civilians including two provincial media personnel were injured Wednesday morning in a clash that broke out between supporters of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the supporters of General Sarath Fonseka, common opposition presidential candidate in the Polonnaruwa town bus stand, police media spokesman said.
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Tissainayagam released from prison on bail

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 12:43 GMT]
Senior Journalist J.S Tissainayagam incarcerated for nearly twenty two months was released Wednesday morning on bail, legal sources in Colombo said. He was arrested on March 7, 2008 by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) under the Emergency Regulations (ER) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and charged for inciting communal hatred by writing articles to North Eastern Herald magazine. After trial the Colombo High Court convicted and sentenced him to twenty years rigorous imprisonment. Subsequently he filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal.
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Support for Mahinda in Jaffna declines

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 04:56 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) being reluctant to permit resettlement in its High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikaamam North, whatever support that President Mahinda Rajapakse had in Jaffna peninsula began to decline fast, sources in Jaffna said. Besides, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, Sivasakthi Ananthan had told ‘Valampuri’, the Tamil daily published in Jaffna, that SLA soldiers at Thellippazhai had demanded Ministry of Defence (MOD) permission from him to enter the HSZ and this had altogether dashed the hopes of the IDPs who had been time and again promised with resettlement.
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Polling cards for Vanni IDPs to be issued in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 02:54 GMT]
The Commissioner of Elections has announced that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Vanni held in the detention camps in Vavuniyaa will be issued with polling cards for the presidential election, from Tuesday at Vavuniyaa Maththiya Mahaa Viththiyaalayam. However, the Election Commissioner’s announcement did not say anything about the IDPs from Ki’linochchi district who are not permitted to resettle in their own places. Ki’linochchi district falls within Jaffna electoral district and this gives room for election rigging by the ruling party, according to allegations made by Tamil political observers in Jafnna.
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Patten: Sri Lanka to choose between two alleged war criminals

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 02:31 GMT]
Chris Patten, currently the co-chairman of the International Crisis Group, notes in a New York Times article that public in Sri Lanka is "faced with a choice between two candidates who openly accuse each other of war crimes," and adds, "[w]hoever wins, the outside world should use all its tools to convince the government to deal properly with those underlying issues to avoid a resurgence of mass violence....In short, this means not giving Colombo any money for reconstruction and development until we know how it will be spent. And if we see funds not being used as promised, it means not being afraid to cut them off until." Patten is a senior international figure and is the last British governor of Hong Kong.
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Shiranthi Rajapakse seeks Jaffna Bishop’s help

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 January 2010, 15:03 GMT]
Shiranthi Rajapakse, wife of President Mahinda Rajapakse, paid a visit to Jaffna Bishop’s House Monday evening where she entreated Jaffna Bishop, Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam to help get the people of Jaffna peninsula to vote for her husband in the presidential election, Bishop House sources said. She had also requested him to ask the peninsula residents not to refrain from voting in the forthcoming presidential election, the sources added.
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Thirumavalavan urges Tamils to refrain from celebrating Pongkal this year

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 January 2010, 14:30 GMT]
Thol Thirumavalavan, the leader of the Viduthalai Chi'ruththaika'l Kadchi (VCK) in a message appealed the Tamils in Tamil Nadu to refrain from celebrating Thai Pongkal to express distress and agony on behalf of Eelam Tamils who have been suffering in the internment camps of Sri Lanka Army after the brutal massacre of their loved ones by the Sri Lanka Army in their own soil.
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Gunman opens fire on Fonseka supporters, woman killed, 10 wounded

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 January 2010, 14:17 GMT]
A 58-year-old mother of five died on the spot and ten civilians seriously injured when a gunman who arrived in a motor bike fired at a bus transporting supporters of common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka Tuesday afternoon in Tangalle of the southern province. Tension prevailed in the area following the shooting incident, which the Sri Lankan police described as the first ever election related killing reported from the Southern Sri Lanka.
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Australia urged to assess refugee claims without external influence

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 January 2010, 08:07 GMT]
Grave fears remain for the safety of 4 Tamils after their application for asylum in Australia was denied due to suspected links with Tamil militant groups, the Australian media has reported. The group faces the possibility of deportation despite being assessed as genuine refugees by the UNHCR, as advocacy groups and politicians urged the Rudd Government to assess asylum claims on individual merit without influence from intelligence organisations and the SL Government.
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Tamil refugees “interrogated” by SL Navy in Indonesia: The Age

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 January 2010, 06:51 GMT]
Authorities in Jakarta have allowed Sri Lankan Government officials access to several Tamil refugees currently being held within a detention centre in an attempt to force them back to Sri Lanka, amid growing concerns for their safety in Indonesian hands. Captain Kapil of the Sri Lankan Navy and two other officers were escorted by Indonesian immigration to a group of refugees who had recently agreed to disembark off a boat near the port of Merak with the promise of speedy resettlement, before proceeding to threaten the group and those remaining on board with the prospect of deportation to the infamous Boosa detention centre, according to The Age.
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“Tamils should vote for one who publicly recognizes their rights, aspirations” - Manickasothy

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 January 2010, 14:53 GMT]
“Tamil speaking people should vote for a person who publicly recognizes their rights and aspirations and openly tell the Sinhalese Nation and the world of his stand,” Mr. Manicaksothy, a prominent person in Jaffna peninsula, said in a report to media Monday, in support of Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne, a contestant in the forthcoming presidential candidate. “Then only the Tamil speaking people will be able to let their principles and stand known,” he further said in the report.
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President’s wife in Jaffna wooing votes for husband

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 January 2010, 14:22 GMT]
Shiranthi Rajapakse, wife of President Mahinda Rajapakse, arrived in Jaffna Monday to seek support for her husband in the forthcoming presidential election, accompanied by Thilak Kumara Udugama, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) organizer for Vanni and Jaffna district, sources in Jaffna said. Parents and relatives of persons gone missing after arrest by armed forces who attended Monday Shiranthi Rajapakse’s meeting at Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna in the hope of getting them found or released, were disappointed as she failed to address the issue, the sources added.
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Tissainayagam released on bail

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 January 2010, 11:45 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal Monday allowed Senior Journalist J.S.Tissanayagam on cash bail in a sum of fifty thousand rupees with a condition to surrender his passport, pending the appeal against his 20 year conviction, legal sources in Colombo said.
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Families evacuated from Thellippazhai HSZ deceived by government officials

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 January 2010, 04:57 GMT]
More than a hundred Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), evacuated from their places in Thellippazhai area by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for establishing High Security Zone (HSZ), who was informed by Jaffna Government Agent (GA), K. Ganesh, that they will be allowed to resettle in their places had to return with disappointment. Even, Sivasakthi Anathan, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian who too had come to the SLA Front Defence Line (FDL) in Thellippazhai hoping to see his house within the HSZ was not allowed entry into the HSZ, sources in Jaffna said.
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TAK passes 25 resolutions in its 60th anniversary meeting

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 January 2010, 04:23 GMT]
The General Committee of Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (TAK) met Sunday in Jaffna on the 60th anniversary of its formation and passed 25 resolutions unanimously on issues related to Tamils, sources in Jaffna said. TAK said that it continues to stand firm that the Tamil ethnic issue should be resolved on the principles based on Tamil traditional homeland, Tamil Nation and self-rule based on the right to self-determination. The leader of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan presided the meeting which was held in the I’lam Kalaignar Hall in Nalloor.
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British Minister calls for independent war-crimes probe

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 January 2010, 02:32 GMT]
A senior British Minister Friday said that the allegations of war crimes especially during the last phase of war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) including the killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge in Sri Lanka should be probed independently. British International Development Minister, Gareth Thomas MP made these remarks in his address at the First Anniversary of the killing of late editor of Sri Lanka’s weekly, Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickramatunge, during an event held at Mahatma Gandhi Hall, 41 Fitzroy Square London on Friday, 08 January 2010 between 07:00 – 09:00 PM. The event was organized by Tamil Legal Advocacy Project (TLAP).
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Remains of Pirapaharan’s father cremated in VVT

[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 January 2010, 13:20 GMT]
Late Thiruvengadam Veluppillai, father of LTTE leader Mr. V.Pirapaharan, was cremated at the central cremation grounds in Oo'ra'ni Valveddiththu’rai Sunday around 2:30 p.m with thousands of mourners participating in the last funeral rites, sources in Jaffna said. Thousands of people from all parts of the peninsula joined in the procession when the remains were taken from Pirapaharan’s home in Aaladi in Valveddiththu’rai (VVT) while black flags were flown and sombre music was played in VVT, despite the intimidating presence of a large number of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and policemen, the sources added. Thol. Thirumavalvan, the leader of Viduthalai Chi’ruththaika’l from Tamil Nadu and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Sivajilingam paid their last tribute at the cremation grounds.
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Sri Lanka's President fails to fulfill Jaffna expectations, "go home" tell students

[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 January 2010, 13:15 GMT]
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse who arrived in Jaffna Sunday on his re-election campaign failed to make any important announcement in matters regarding youths gone missing after arrest, the immediate resettlement of IDPs in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) High Security Zones (HSZs), and a solution to the ethnic issue, sources in Jaffna said. Government supporters in Jaffna and political leaders from the South had informed the local media that Mahinda Rajapakse will announce positive decisions in these pressing issues, but the speech delivered at Jaffna Duraippah Stadium Sunday side-stepped all issues of immediate interest to the people in Jaffna. At Aa’riyaku’lam Rajapakse was angered when protesting students shouted that they will never vote for him besides shouting "go home", journalists who covered the visit said.
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France to setup Genocide, War Crimes court

[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 January 2010, 11:23 GMT]
The French government announced Wednesday that it will set up a special judicial unit to investigate and bring charges against people accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity in France or abroad, the Washington Post reported. The move is likely to create tension between the French Government and other Governments, such as Sri Lanka, which are alleged to have participated in war crimes and/or genocide, legal sources in Washington said.
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Thousands pay last respects to Pirapaharan’s father

[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 January 2010, 03:43 GMT]
Thousands of people, including men, women, and children Saturday paid their last respects to the remains of late Thiruvengadam Vellupillai, father of LTTE leader Mr. V. Pirapaharan, at Theeruvli in Valveddiththu’rai (VVT) near the memorial monument of Lt. Col. Kumarappa, Lt. Col. Pulenthiran and Col. Kiddu. Mr. Velupillai passed away while he was being kept in isolation and illegal custody by the Sri Lanka Army at the age of 86.
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Election related violence escalates in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 January 2010, 10:11 GMT]
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gamini Navaratne, Saturday said the number of election related violence incidents has risen to three hundred and fifty eight till Saturday morning. Twenty eight violent acts were reported on Friday, Thirty eight suspects have been arrested and detained in this regard, he added.
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Santhanam Arulsamy appointed Member of Parliament

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 January 2010, 10:10 GMT]
Santhanam Arulsamy has been appointed a Member of Parliament to fill the vacancy created with the death of Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, according to an Extra-Ordinary Gazette Notification issued by the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake Friday midnight. Mr.Chandrasekaran was elected in the last general election from the Nuwara Eliya electoral district on the ticket of Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF).
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Sinhalese encroach into Kurangkuppaangnchaan Muslim village

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 January 2010, 10:06 GMT]
Sinhalese are being settled down in Kurangkuppaangnchaan, one of several predominant Muslim villages in the Ki'n'niyaa DS division in Trincomalee district. 22 Sinhalese youths were brought from the south to Kurangkuppaangnchaan last Tuesday and are being given lands earlier occupied Muslim farmers.
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TNA MP complains of Sinhala colonisation in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 January 2010, 04:28 GMT]
“Government has taken action to settle 107 Sinhalese families in the traditional Tamil areas in Batticaloa district within the last three months,” P. Ariyanethiran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Batticaloa parliamentarian, said in a report. He further said that a written complaint about the matter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had not produced any result.
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Magistrate concerned over cultural decadence, crime, in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 January 2010, 04:01 GMT]
District magistrate Mr. K. Ariyanaygam expressed grave concern over the alarming rise of cultural decadence, illegal activities and crime in Jaffna peninsula when he spoke to police and government officers Friday after having assumed duties as Mallaakam District magistrate, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, civil society representatives in Jaffna alleged members of Sri Lanka armed forces occupying Jaffna for the circulation of porno CDs and films among students, illicit sale of liquor and running brothels in Jaffna town.
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Fourth Tamil political prisoner on hunger strike admitted to Jaffna hospital

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 January 2010, 02:36 GMT]
One of the 25 Tamil political prisoners on hunger strike in Jaffna prison was admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital Friday as his condition grew critical. Three fasting prisoners who were admitted to JTH Thursday under similar condition are out of danger now but continue to receive treatment, sources in Jaffna said. Tamil political prisoners arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulation (ER) and held for a long time in remand prisons in the country are on hungers strike demanding their immediate release or legal action.
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Pirapaharan father's remains released, funeral in VVT on Sunday

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 15:44 GMT]
The funeral of late Thiruvengadam Velupillai, father of LTTE leader leader Mr. V. Pirabaharan, is to take place in Valveddiththu'rai on Sunday. The mother of LTTE leader Mr. V. Pirapaharan, Vallipuram Parvathy, was Friday released from Sri Lanka Army custody and handed over to Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian and Presidential candidate M. K. Sivajilingam, SLA officials in Colombo said. The ailing 80-year-old mother was driven by road from Colombo to the northern Jaffna Peninsula in an ambulance.
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Amila Thero released on bail

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 10:58 GMT]
Horana Magistrate Friday released Venerable Dhambara Amila Thero, a Sinhala extremist monk leader, who extended support to General (retd) Sarath Fonseka and later arrested on a fraud charge.
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Sivageetha announces support to Fonseka

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 10:37 GMT]
Batticaloa Mayor Sivageetha Prabhakaran Friday resigned from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and joined United National Party (UNP) to support General (retd) Fonseka in the upcoming Sri Lankan Presidential elections. Ms. Sivageetha was earlier in the TMVP paramilitary group faction led by Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, the present chief minister in the Eastern Provincial Council. Later she joined the SLFP at the request of Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna, now a minister the Rajapaksa government who is also one of the vice presidents of SLFP.
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Tamil political detainees in Batticaloa on hunger strike

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 08:26 GMT]
15 Tamil political prisoners detained under the Sri Lankan Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency Regulations have joined the hunger strike campaign launched by the Tamil political prisoners in all the prisons throughout the island.
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Tamil political prisoners on hunger strike in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 07:30 GMT]
Around 55 Tamil political prisoners, arrested under the Sri Lankan Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulation (ER) and detained in Trincomalee prison for a long time without any legal action, have launched a hunger strike since Wednesday, sources in Trincomalee said. The prisoners on hunger strike have appealed to the relevant authorities to release them, in a letter sent to the media, the sources added.
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3 Tamil political prisoners on hunger strike admitted to Jaffna hospital

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 07:28 GMT]
Three of the 25 Tamil political prisoners in Jaffna prison who are on hunger strike demanding their immediate release, were rushed to Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) Thursday as their condition was critical, JTH sources said. They, however, are now out of danger but still under treatment, the sources added. The 25 Tamil political prisoners, including two women, have been in languishing in Jaffna prison for a long time without being produced in the courts.
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Sellasamy backs Fonseka

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 07:23 GMT]
S. M. Sellasamy, deputy minister of posts and telecommunication and a senior member and former general secretary of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) has expressed his support to General (retd) Sarath Fonseka at the upcoming Sri Lankan presidential elections.
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Video authentic, Alston calls for wider war crimes probe

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 January 2010, 06:56 GMT]
Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in a press meet today called for wider investigations into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka after three forensic experts hired by Alston and two previous independent analyses by Times On Line (UK), and a Colorado firm confirmed the authenticity of the video broadcast by Channel-4 in August.
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JVP councilor house attacked, Fonseka party office burnt down

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 January 2010, 13:52 GMT]
Unidentified armed persons believed to be supporters of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Wednesday, in two separate incidents, attacked the residence of a leading activist of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in Minuwangoda and burnt down the party office of the opposition common candidate General Sarath Fonseka located in Divulapitya, media in Colombo reported.
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Tamil teenager missing in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 January 2010, 13:50 GMT]
Fifteen year old Sebamalai Shelton Wuse, a student of Mannaar St.Xavier Maha Vidiyalayam, is reported missing since 2 January this year. He was studying in the Grade 9, according to a complaint made by his relatives to the Mannaar Police.
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Student Union demands release of Tamil students, Amila Thera

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 January 2010, 12:53 GMT]
Hundreds of students of the Inter-University Students Union (IUSU) held a protest Thursday afternoon demanding the government to release Tamil university students arrested as LTTE suspects and Venerable Amila Thera. The demonstration which commenced from the premises of the Colombo University was stopped by police at Ernest De Silva Mawatha to prevent the students from proceeding towards Temple Trees, Colombo media reported.
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LTTE leader Pirapaharan's father passes away in SLA custody

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 January 2010, 12:39 GMT]
Thiruvengdam Velupillai, the father of LTTE leader Mr. V. Pirapaharan, passed away following a brief illness in Panagoda Sri Lanka Army camp Wednesday night, Sri Lankan military officials in Colombo said. The headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a message Thursday conveyed its condolences to Mrs. Velupillai, children and relatives. The entire Tamil Nation laments for the demise of Mr. Velupillai, who preferred to be with the people during the war, the statement said. Mr. Velupillai was kept in isolation and illegal custody by the SLA and was denied of proper medical care at his grand old age, the LTTE further said.
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SLA high commands, government servants in Jaffna caught in dilemma

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 January 2010, 04:26 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) high officials and government department chiefs in Jaffna being summoned by Basil Rajapakse, the brother and senior advisor to President Mahinda Rajapakse, to participate in election campaign meetings in Jaffna to canvas votes for Mahinda Rajapakse are caught in a tight spot, unable to disregard the call of Basil Rajapakse, sources in Jaffna said. Welfare Union of Public servants in Jaffna expressed its deep concern on its members being called to attend election campaign meetings held in support of Mahinda Rajapakse by his brother Basil Rajapakse, the sources added.
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Basil Rajapakse announces election concessions in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 January 2010, 03:39 GMT]
Basil Rajapakse, the brother and senior advisor of President Mahinda Rajapakse, who arrived in Jaffna Wednesday, announced several concessions in an attempt to get Tamils to vote for Mahinda Rajapakse in the forthcoming presidential election. The concessions are being promised to counter the rising wave of support in the peninsula for the joint opposition candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka, political observers in Jaffna said. One of the concessions announced by Basil Rajapakse is the opening of A9 route, 24 hours a day, with effect from Wednesday midnight, sources in Jaffna said.
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Sampanthan: Majority of TNA MPs back Fonseka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 January 2010, 15:27 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentary group leader and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan on Wednesday said majority of 18 members of the alliance who were present at lengthy deliberations were of the view that the "only meaningful way" to thwart the desire of the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek a mandate to hold office for a further term would be urging the Tamils to vote for the joint opposition candidate General (retd.) Sarath Fonseka. The announcement by Mr. Sampanthan comes amid strong opposition from the Tamil diaspora against supporting either General Sarath Fonseka or Mahinda Rajapaksa as Tamils believe they are both implicated in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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Australian refusal of Tamil refugees triggers regional xenophobia: HRW

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 January 2010, 14:34 GMT]
A wave of anti immigration sentiment sparked by Australia’s collaboration with Sri Lanka & Indonesia to detain Tamil asylum seekers travelling on boat has swept like a “virus” across Asia charged Bill Frelick, Refugee Policy Director for Human Rights Watch (HRW). Accusing regional governments of lying to the U.N and defying international law by sending refugees back to their home nations despite the risk of prosecution, Frelick urged nations to remember that “granting asylum is a humanitarian act that should be entirely divorced from political relations between states”.
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More persons in Jaffna peninsula die of Dengue

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 January 2010, 03:18 GMT]
Eleven persons including two school children under ten years of age have died of dengue fever in Jaffna peninsula until Tuesday night, Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) sources said. The number of persons claimed by dengue fever may be more as the cause of the death of some patients has not been found out, the sources added. Lack of preventive measures, medicine, insufficient number of doctors and the disregard shown by the government are the causes for the spread of dengue fever in Jaffna penisula, civil society organizations said.
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Basil Rajapakse expected to visit Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 January 2010, 03:13 GMT]
Basil Rajapakse, the brother and senior advisor to president Mahinda Rajapakse, will be arriving in Jaffna Wednesday to engage in election campaign for Mahinda Rajapakse who is expected to visit Jaffna on 9 January, according to a press notification released by Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) Tuesday. Meanwhile, United National Party will begin its election campaign in Jaffna peninsula from 11 January, sources in Jaffna said.
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2 SLA soldiers commit suicide in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 January 2010, 02:43 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier shot himself to death in Point Pedro while another soldier took his life by taking poison in Palaali, police sources said. Incidents of suicide among SLA soldiers have increased in recent times and SLA authorities are conducting a survey to find the cause of the suicides, sources in Jaffna said.
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Fonseka’s Batticaloa meeting put off due to poor security

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 January 2010, 01:44 GMT]
Gen (retd) Sarath Fonseka, Common opposition candidate postponed his scheduled visit to Batticaloa Tuesday to address an election meeting in Batticaloa. However, he went to Ampaarai and addressed a meeting. Propaganda meeting in Batticaloa would be held on a later date, according to a spokesman of the opposition election campaign.
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Plunder for business, double enterprise of Sri Lanka Army

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 2010, 16:25 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army deployed in Mullaiththeevu has started dismantling and destroying the houses belonging to the Tamils, an eye-witness who recently visited Ki'linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts told TamilNet Tuesday. The SLA soldiers were seen shifting valuable timber used in buildings, windows and doors to other Sinhalese areas through Weli-ioya.
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Tamil political prisoners in CRP, Magazine prisons on hunger strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 2010, 13:32 GMT]
More than 360 Tamil political prisoners being detained in Colombo Remand Prison and in the Magazine prison in Colombo are on a wide scale hunger strike demanding the authorities to expedite their cases or release them on bail. 52-year-old Kanagasabai Devadasan, who was former State Film Corporation director, abducted and later detained at the New Magazine Prison in Welikada, launched his fast-unto-death campaign on January 01 demanding authorities to prosecute if there are any charges against him. Mr. Devadasan has also demanded that the case should be heard in Tamil.
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SL Parliament extends Emergency

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 2010, 13:07 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Parliament on Tuesday extended the state of Emergency in the island with a majority of 79 votes. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs voted against the motion while most of the parties that back presidential candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka were not present at the time of the voting.
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UNP office burnt down in Katana

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 2010, 05:50 GMT]
The Katana political office of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) was burnt down Monday morning believed to be by supporters of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). A gang arrived at the site first attacked the office with petrol bombs and later set on fire, according to the complaint lodged by the Katana UNP organizer Ms. Rosy Fernando with the Katana Police.
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SLN mini camp in Ampaa'rai closed

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 2010, 03:06 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) mini camp erected a month ago on the coast near Kaaraitheevu Veerapaththiran temple in Ampaa'rai district was closed down on request of many people who participated in the opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka freedom Party (SLFP) office on Kaaraitheevu beach Saturday. Sri Lanka President's Ampaarai district coordinator, K. Iniyabarathi who spoke at the event promised the people that the said mini camp would be closed within 24 hours, sources in Ampaa'rai district.
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2 injured in clash between rival political parties in Ea'raavoor

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 2010, 02:05 GMT]
A clash erupted Sunday around 9:00 a.m in Ea'raavoor between the supporters of ruling United People's Alliance (UPFA) and opposition party supporters in which a UPFA supporter and the secretary of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) treasurer were injured, sources in Ea'raavoor said.
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Ruling UPFA supporters attack children street drama

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 January 2010, 16:35 GMT]
A group of persons believed to be supporters of a minister in the President Mahinda Rajapakse led United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government Sunday evening attacked a political street drama staged by a group of children in Hiriyala in Kurunagala district.
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Tamil detainees in Welikada prison attacked, 2 injured

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 January 2010, 16:34 GMT]
Two Tamil detainees held under the Emergency Regulations (ER)and Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in Welikada prison were injured in an attack carried out on Sunday by another group of prisoners in remand for other various offences. The injured were admitted to the Prisons Hospital immediately for treatment, Colombo media reported quoting prison sources.
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Security measures to Sarath Fonseka in Jaffna withdrawn

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 January 2010, 03:45 GMT]
Sri Lanka government withdrew Sunday the customary security arrangements to Sarath Fonseka, the common opposition presidential candidate and the opposition political leaders who are presently in Jaffna to campaign for Sarath Fonseka, sources in Jaffna said. Jaffna Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander who was expected to receive Sarath Fonseka who had been the Chief of Sri Lanka Armed Forces did not turn up at Palaali airport while SLA high officials in Palaali military base kept themselves busy in their offices, the sources added. The Chief priest of Nagavikarai Buddhist temple in Jaffna was the only prominent personage present at the airport to receive Sarath Fonseka when he arrived with the opposition parliamentarians Saturday.
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Election clash in Nawalapitiya, 2 JVP activists injured

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 January 2010, 03:42 GMT]
Supporters of the Sri Lanka common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka and supporters of Sri Lanka government minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage clashed Sunday evening in Warakawa in Nawalapitiya, Colombo media reported. Several activists from all sides were injured, and two Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) supporters were admitted to the Kandy Teaching Hospital.
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Chandrasekaran funeral to take place Monday

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 January 2010, 14:36 GMT]
The funeral of the leader of the Upcountry People's Front and the Minister of Community Development and Social Inequity Eradication, Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, who passed away after a brief illness Friday morning in Colombo, will take place Monday evening with full State honors in Talawakelle Urban Council grounds in the Nuwara Eliya district, party sources in Nuwara Eliya said.
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SL Police open fire to avert election clash in Kiribathgoda

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 January 2010, 14:27 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police open fire and exploded tear gas canisters Sunday morning to avert a major clash between supporters of Sri Lanka's common opposition parties and the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) campaign of the non-cabinet rank minister Mervin Silva at Kribathgoda in Colombo district, media in Colombo reported.
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Families of persons gone missing in Jaffna confront Southern political leaders

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 January 2010, 04:39 GMT]
Family members of young men and women, who had gone missing after arrest by Sri Lanka Armed Forces in Jaffna, confronted the political leaders from South who had accompanied Sarath Fonseka when they came to attend an event in Jaffna Veerasingham Hall Saturday. Parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan had arranged a meeting with the persons whose children or relatives had gone missing and the people who had come for this meeting appealed to the Southern political leaders amidst tears to help find their children, sources in Jaffna said. The mental anguish of the people affected was palpable, and the leaders assured the relatives that they will take appropriate action, the sources added.
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"I will not accept partition of the country" - Sarath Fonseka, in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 January 2010, 04:25 GMT]
"I am not prepared to allow partitioning the country, be it proposed by the minority or majority community," Sarath Fonseka, the common opposition presidential candidate, said in a press meet held Saturday in Jaffna town. In response to a question Sarath Fonseka took pains to explain the difference between the role he had to play as a military officer in the past and his present role as a politician. He had to give priority to the safety of soldiers as the Military Commander and now as a politician he gives priority to the benefit of people, he added.
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Fourth Anniversary of Trinco Students' extra-judicial killings

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 January 2010, 19:35 GMT]
Dr Kasippillai Manoharan, the father of high school student Ragihar who with four of his friends were extra-judicially executed in what is widely believed to be pre-meditated killings by Sri Lanka military, told TamilNet today, at the fourth anniversary of the killings, that there is not even an iota of chance that he would receive justice from the Sri Lanka court system for his son's death, and that he is working with a select group of international organizations to bring war-crime charges against the culpable Sri Lanka military officials. Dr Manoharan who, with the surviving members of his family, was relocated to UK with the assistance of a UN organization, said that he will not rest until his son's killers are prosecuted in an international court of law.
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Hambantota political offices of Fonseka campaign burnt down

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 January 2010, 14:28 GMT]
Four political offices of the opposition common presidential candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka) were burnt down by unidentified persons believed to be supporters of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in Hambantota Saturday night, Colombo media reported. The destroyed offices were located in Hunugama, Ranagodamune, Barawakkumbura and Abeysekeragama in the Hambantota district.
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Sarath Fonseka visits Jaffna seeking Tamils' votes

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 January 2010, 10:24 GMT]
Main opposition presidential candidate and former Chief of Sri Lanka Armed Forces and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Jaffna Commander, Major General (retd) Sarath Fonseka arrived in Jaffna Saturday morning accompanied by the Leader of Opposition, Ranil Wickremasainghe, Parliamentarians Mano Ganeshan, Jayalath Jayawardene, JVP Samaraweera Amarasinghe, Anurakumara Disanayake, Hakeem and several other political personalities to engage in election campaign in Jaffna peninsula. Sarath Fonseka and his team made it a point to first visit Saiva temples in the peninsula before meeting the public and other important persons. Sarath Fonseka and his associates also visited Jaffna Bishop, Rt. Rev. Thomas Soundaranayagam at his residence where they spoke with the representatives of civil organizations in the peninsula, sources in Jaffna said.
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Tamils, Muslims should reject both Mahinda and Sarath - Wickremabahu Karunaratne

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 January 2010, 04:37 GMT]
Tamils and Muslims should not cast their votes either to Mahinda Rajapakse or Sarath Fonseka in the presidential election so that niether of them poll more than 50% of the votes cast, as a clear message to both, Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne, leader of the New Left Front (NLF), contesting the forthcoming presidential election said in a press meet held Friday in Jaffna Bastian Hotel. The defeat of Liberation Tigers has also affected the lives of the poor among the Sinhalese, he said.
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No likelihood of Vanni IDPs being settled east of A9 road

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 January 2010, 04:01 GMT]
Sri Lanka government is actively engaged in resettling Vanni IDPs along A9 road from Oamanthai to Maangku'lam in an attempt to show the outside world that it is resettling Vanni IDPs in their own places, in view of the forthcoming presidential election, sources in Jaffna said. Resettlement in areas located east of A9 road in Vanni will not be possible in the near future, according to sources in Northern Province Governor's office. The IDPs taken to areas along A9 road from Oamanthai to Maangku'lam have been only allowed to live in places close to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps and sentry posts while neither the government nor NGOs provide them with any assistance, thee sources said.
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UPF leader Chandrasekaran dies of heart attack

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 January 2010, 11:48 GMT]
Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, the leader of Up-country People's Front (UPF) and Minister of Community Development and Social Inequity passed away Friday morning in a private hospital. He was fifty-two years old. Mr. Chandrasekaran was admitted to the hospital following a brief illness.
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JVP woman MP waylaid, intimidated by UPFA supporters

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 January 2010, 11:41 GMT]
An unidentified group of persons believed to be supporters of the ruling United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Wednesday night around 11:30 p.m had damaged the vehicle of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Ms. Sujatha Alahakoon when she was returning home after attending a election rally in support of General Sarath Fonseka. The incident had taken place at Naula and she had also been intimidated by the gang, according to her complaint to Naula Police.
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Eezham explained of its etymology

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 January 2010, 00:01 GMT]
Over two thousand years Eezham was in continued use without any change in its form in Tamil to denote the entire island called Sri Lanka today. The strong possibility is that the identities He’la and E’lu derived from Eezham, says etymological column appearing in TamilNet Friday. The three early names for the island, Thampa-pa’n’ni, Eezham and Seeha’la, the first one in Prakrit and the other two in Dravidian, are perhaps generically related to one another in meaning. They are geographical and descriptive of the landscape and its metallurgical potentialities, the column further says. A re-appraisal at the end of the column on the 2000 years-old Thirupparangkun'ram inscription of a person of migrant lineage from Eezham to Tamil Nadu, traces the connections of his personal name to Sinhala Pol and old Tamil Pul, both Dravidian, meaning coconut.
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