161 Reports

Mahinda Rajapakse to engage in election campaign in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 March 2010, 21:09 GMT]
President Mahinda Rajapakse is expected to arrive in Jaffna Thursday to address a public meeting to be held in Duraippaa Stadium Thursday arranged by Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), an ally of ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), EPDP sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, Varatharaja Perumal, the leader of Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Front (EPRLF Varathar faction) and the former Chief Minister of North-East provincial council, arrived in Jaffna Wednesday, sources in Jaffna said.
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Tamil Nadu government blocks protest march against Eezham Tamil Woman refugee’s suicide

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 March 2010, 20:44 GMT]
Tamil Nadu government blocked the protest march that was to be staged Wednesday against the forced death of the Eezham Tamil woman refugee, Ms. Kumar Pathmathevi, sexually abused by three Tamil Nadu policemen, by the Protection Committee for Human Rights (PCHR) led by Periyar Dravidar Kazhakam Leader Kolaththoor Mani, sources in Tamil Nadu said. On being refused permission by Tamil Nadu police to stage the protest march Koalththoor Mani held a press meet Wednesday in which he exposed the said sexual abuse by three Tamil Nadu policemen which made the Pathmathevi to commit suicide. He accused the authorities for failing to take action on the policemen who sexually abused Patmathevi.
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Thanthai Chelva remembered on his 112th Birthday in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 March 2010, 15:09 GMT]
Jaffna Bishop of South Indian Diocese, Rt. Rev. Jebanesan, the president of Thanthai Chelva Trustee Board, garlanded the statue of late leader Mr. S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, located in the Chelva mausoleum in Jaffna town Wednesday around 9:30 a.m, in the first event of the day in remembering Thanthai Chelva on his 112th birthday. Mr. S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, founder of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK), fondly called by Tamils as "Thanthai" (father), was remembered by several others who turned up later to garland the statue and offer flowers at its feet, sources in Jaffna said.
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Batticaloa district tops in election related violence

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 March 2010, 13:57 GMT]
Twenty four complaints related to election violence have been recorded from the Batticaloa district, twenty reported from Kandy district, thirteen from Matale district and 12 from Kanthalaay DS division in Trincomalee district, according to a report submitted by the police at a press briefing held Tuesday.
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Belated regret by UK for arms deal with Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 March 2010, 06:31 GMT]
“In the case of Sri Lanka, arms were exported during ceasefire periods, which, in retrospect was regrettable,” the report released Wednesday by the British House of Commons said. It also mentions that, “[t]he final offensive raised “grave concerns” for human rights,” and adds that the British Government had been concerned about the Sri Lankan situation “for quite a long period of time”. “[t]he review and subsequent revocation of nine extant licences for exports to Sri Lanka is to be welcomed,” the report said in conclusion. Considering the thousands of innocent Tamils killed during the Sri Lanka armed forces’ offensive on Vanni and their continuing distress, the belated regret expressed in diplomatic terms does not in anyway help to erase the cause of the regret, representatives of Tamil civil organizations in UK said.
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59,000 police, 20,000 army personnel to be deployed for election duty

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 March 2010, 17:27 GMT]
Fifty-nine thousand police personnel and twenty thousand soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army are to be deployed on the polling day that falls on April 8 for election duty and to maintain law and order, according to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mahinda Balasuriya.
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2 suspects produced in court over journalist Lasantha killing

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 March 2010, 17:21 GMT]
Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) officials Tuesday produced two suspects allegedly involved in the killing of Sunday Leader founder editor Lasantha Wickremathunge and the alleged abduction and attacks of Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon and Deputy Editor of the English weekly Nation Keith Noyhar, in the Colombo additional Magistrate court. The additional Magistrate Sujeeva Nissanka ordered continuous detention of the suspects under the detention order issued by the Ministry of Defence, legal sources said.
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Elderly woman knifed to death in Valikaamam

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 March 2010, 16:32 GMT]
Unknown persons broke into the house of an elderly woman living alone in A’laveddi in Valikaamam Monday midnight inflicted injuries to her chest and neck with sharp objects killing her, sources in Jaffna said. Many elderly persons, forced to live alone in their houses in Jaffna peninsula due to family members being uprooted from their places, fall victims to robbers, the sources added.
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TNA says it does not uphold ‘One country, two Nations’ policy – JU Student Union

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 March 2010, 16:02 GMT]
Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) representatives held discussions individually with the candidates of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF) contesting forthcoming parliamentary elections Tuesday in which the candidates were requested to spell out their political principles, the stand and activities they intend taking after the election, the media report released by Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) said. The discussion was organized by JUSU representatives so that the doubts prevailing among the Tamils about the political policies of both parties could be cleared. TNA did not accept TNPF’s doctrine of ‘One country, two Nations’ but upheld the policy of ‘One Country with Two Nationalities’, the report quoted TNPF candidates.
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Eezham Tamil woman in Tamil Nadu refugee camp commits suicide due to sexual abuse by 3 policemen

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 March 2010, 18:13 GMT]
A Tamil woman from Sri Lanka held in the Refugee camp for Sri Lankans in Karoor district in Tamil Nadu died Sunday night in Karoor government hospital where she had been admitted two weeks ago when she had set herself ablaze unable to bear being sexually molested by three Tamil Nadu policemen. Ms. Kumar Pathmathevi, 28, had said in her statement to a feminist human rights activist that the policemen took her to a private house and molested her instead of taking her to the police station to be interrogated about her husband Kumar who was wanted in a homicide case. Various civil organizations in Jaffna peninsula as well as in Tamil Nadu are in uproar against the police cremating the body of Pathmathevi, against the law of the country.
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Foundation stone laid for star tourist hotel in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 March 2010, 17:23 GMT]
The Governor of Sri Lanka Central Bank, Ajith Cabrala, participating as the chief guest in the ceremony, laid the foundation stone Monday in Nalloor Muththiraichanththai area in Jaffna for a star tourist hotel which he said will soon be completed construction at the event, sources in Jaffna said. Gnanam and Subas hotels in Jaffna had been occupied for the last fourteen years by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which had converted both private hotels into a major military base of its 512 Division. The government which had refused to handover both hotels to their rightful owners is staging this event in order to show that it is actively promoting development in Jaffna peninsula so as to entice voters, civil society organizations in the peninsula observed.
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Court orders arrest warrant for EPDP person in abduction, homicide case in Chaavakachcheari

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 March 2010, 17:01 GMT]
Chaavakachcheari Magistrate, P. J. Pirabakar, Monday directed the police to arrest Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) member Jeevan, the prime suspect in the abduction and killing of Thiruchelvam Kapilthev and ordered action to be taken to prevent the suspect leaving the country, sources in Jaffna said. One of the fellow students of the victim arrested and detained had said in his statement to police that the said Jeevan was the key person in plotting the abduction and killing of Kapilthev, the sources added.
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Police seek candidates’ assistance to arrest election violators

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 March 2010, 15:07 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police Election Desk has received 201 election related complaints including intimidations and violation of election laws till Saturday and 128 suspects have been taken into custody. Police are now seeking the assistance of candidates of political parties and independent groups contesting the general election to trace 185 more suspects involved in election violence, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gamini Navaratne said.
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Young man beaten to death in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 March 2010, 05:00 GMT]
Persons connected to Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) assaulted Thangarasa Krishnagoapal Saturday night at a liquor bar in Vavuniyaa who died of excessive bleeding Sunday due to injuries in Vavuniyaa government hospital where he was admitted by persons who were at the liquor shop at the time of the incident, sources in Vavuniyaa said. The victim was attacked by EPDP member Jeyaraj and EPDP student organization members, according to the statement given to police by the Krishnagopal at the hospital before he died.
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Appoint Prof. Boyle to UN advisory panel, Tamil Groups urge Ban Ki Moon

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010, 22:56 GMT]
Key expatriate Tamil organizations, the US-based Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), and Global Tamil Forum (GTF), in a press release issued Sunday following the announcement by UN Secretary General to appoint an advisory panel on Sri Lanka's war-crime issues, said "[w]e appeal to the Secretary General, that in the interests of fairness to the victims that the Secretary General consults the Tamils also in appointing the advisory panel," adding, "the USTPAC and the Global Tamil Forum strongly recommend Professor Francis A. Boyle to the advisory panel."
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30 members elected for Swiss Council of Eezham Tamils

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010, 22:54 GMT]
14 of the 22 members elected for the national assembly of Swiss Council of Eezham Tamils (SCET) on Sunday were 2nd generation youths and 8 more members were elected to form Canton based councils in the elections held across the country, said initial reports from the Tamil Elections Switzerland (TES). Two non-Tamils were among the 22 member national council. The polls were organised by second generation Tamil youth and manned by around 70 non-Tamil election officials in 17 booths across the country. The election was conducted in an exemplary way was the remark of Urs Egger, a Free Democratic Party (FDP) politician, according to TES spokesman Thayatharan Deivendran. 41 candidates contested in the elections for the first country council of Eezham Tamils.
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UK backs Burma tried in UN war crimes tribunal

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010, 18:35 GMT]
"Britain is backing moves to refer Burma's military leaders to the international criminal court for investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity. The move is part of a heightened campaign to force the junta to embrace genuine democratic reforms," UK's Guardian said quoting diplomatic and government sources. Britain's ambassador to the UN, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, said the UK supported a recommendation by the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma that The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) opens a war crimes investigation, the paper added.
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Dengue claims 63 in first three months, 16 in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010, 18:15 GMT]
More than eleven thousand people had been inflicted with dengue fever between 1st January and 25th March this year, and more than 63 have been reported dead. The Jaffna district reordered sixteen deaths, highest in Sri Lanka, and second is Colombo with thirteen deaths. The rest of the death occurred in Gampaha, Kandy, Matara and Negombo, according to the Dengue Task Force meeting held at Health Ministry Friday.
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Suresh Premachandran accuses EPDP men for abduction, killing of student in Chaavakachcheari

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010, 17:15 GMT]
Suresh Premachandran, former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna district parliamentarian, accused Eealm People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) men, an ally of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), for the abduction and killing of Thiruchelvam Kapilthev, a 17-year-old student of Chaavakachcheari Hindu College in a report released Sunday in Jaffna. Suresh Premachandran accused the police to have willfully ignored the statements of the three students arrested and detained in this case where the involvement of EPDP members is mentioned.
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US refuses Sri Lanka requests for military training over rights concerns - paper

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010, 14:43 GMT]
The United States has turned down a request by the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry to provide advanced training for military officers, citing human rights concerns, the local Sunday Times reported. The paper has learnt that three lists containing names of senior Sri Lankan officers were submitted to the US State Department for training at US military academies. US Embassy spokesperson Jeff Anderson told the paper facilities for such training programmes required certain assurances including the safeguarding of human rights.
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"Current International law trumps archaic doctrine of state sovereignty"

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010, 13:19 GMT]
Warning that "[t]o denigrate those who criticize us [Sri Lanka] or to demonize those who seek to hold us to account, is only to lay bare our own culpability," a former Sri Lankan Secretary of Justice, in an article in the weekend Island, points out that Sri Lanka's politicians and political commentators are invoking erroneously the doctrine of State Sovereignty which has long been eroded under the weight of customary international law, wherein firstly, "the international community could presume to judge, or even legitimately express its concern at, a government’s treatment of its own citizens," and later the Charter of the United Nations made "a government’s treatment of its own nationals" into a matter of "legitimate concern of the international community."
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Sydney launch of CJPD's book on Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 22:41 GMT]
“Sri Lanka 60 Years of 'Independence' and Beyond" a publication by Switzerland based NGO, Center for Just Peace and Democracy (CJPD), and edited by Program Director at CJPD, Ana Pararajasingham, was launched at the popular Gleebooks bookshop in the heart of Sydney Friday. John Murphy, Member of the Australian Parliament, David Feith, an academic attached to Monash University, and Professor Bruce Kapferer who were contributors to the publication, and Gordon Weiss, the former UN diplomat, attended the event.
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Resettled families in Vanni suffer in unrelenting rain

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 18:45 GMT]
Vanni uprooted faimiles resettled in haste by the Sri Lanka government without any basic facilities or proper structures have sought refuge under trees as persistent rain, gale and floods had destroyed their temporary tents and tin-roofed shacks, sources in Vanni said. There are no solid buildiings for them to seek shelter in as all of them have been razed to the ground by the Sri Lankan Army during the last phase of the war on Vanni, the sources added.
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Body of abducted student for ransom in Thenmaraadchi recovered

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 18:00 GMT]
Chaavakachcheari police recovered Saturday the body of the 17-year-old student who was abducted from his house in Madaththadi in Chaavakachcheari North on 14 March for a ransom of 30 million rupees, from the backyard of a house on Dutch Road in Chaavakachcheari, sources in Jaffna said. The body was recovered from the plantain garden in the backyard of one of the three friends of the victim arrested and detained in Jaffna prison, the sources added.
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New generation takes lead role in forming country council of Switzerland

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 16:30 GMT]
More than 40 candidates, including talented Tamil youth of the second generation have come forward to participate as candidates in the elections for the country council of Eezham Tamils in Switzerland across 26 cantons of Switzerland. The voting to elect 25 representatives of the Swiss Council of Eezham Tamils (SCET) and its federal units is scheduled to take place in 19 cantons between 10:00 a.m. and 17:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Tamil Elections Switzerland (TES), a coalition formed by seven Tamil organisations in the country, has also come up with an experimental mechanism for allowing the voters to appoint and vote for their favourite candidates at the same time. In addition to those who have already nominated as candidates, each voter will have the possibility of adding two possible candidates for the respective Canton, the organisers said.
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India keen on direct involvement in the North

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 13:36 GMT]
Economic and Commercial Counselor of Indian High Commission (IHC) in Sri Lanka, Santosh Jha, accompanied by his assistant Dinesh Kumar, met Jaffna Government Agent (GA), K. Ganesh, Friday at Jaffna Secretariat to discuss matters related to finding a suitable location in Jaffna to open a branch of Colombo IHC, sources in Jaffna said. Though it is said that the aim of opening a branch in Jaffna is to expedite issuing visa, the real motive is to extend India’s activities directly in the North in the context of Chinese presence and involvement in Jaffna peninsula, civil society circles in Jaffna said.
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Confederation of nations, solution to save Trincomalee: Varatharajan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 12:23 GMT]
Demographic genocide of Trincomalee cannot be stopped unless the two-nation reality in the island is recognised. Tomorrow even Jaffna will have the fate of Trincomalee, warned S. Varatharajan, the main candidate of Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) for the Jaffna District. Based on official census, the economic teacher came out with a graphic presentation showing how the percentage of Tamils dropped in Trincomalee district from 66 to 33 percent and the percentage of Sinhalese went up from 3 to 33 percent, even before 1981. “This is why we advocate a confederacy of two nations as a solution,” he said.
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Uprooted Champoor families undergo hardships in welfare centres

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 12:07 GMT]
Two thousand and five hundred members of seven hundred and ninety four uprooted families from Champoor in Moothoor East have been undergoing untold hardships without drinking water and water facilities for bathing purposes in temporary shelters which are located in Ki'liveddi, Paddiththidal and Ma'nalcheanai in Moothoor Divisional Secretariat (DS) division.
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100 arrested, 234 on the run for election related violence

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 05:28 GMT]
About one hundred persons have been taken into custody for election related violence including intimidation and breaking election laws since nominations were handed over for the forthcoming general election and about 234 persons are evading arrest, according to Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gamini Seneviratne, who is in charge of the Election Unit.
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Monitors to be allowed to observe counting in April poll

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 05:25 GMT]
The Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake Friday announced that election monitors would be allowed to be present and supervise counting in counting centres in the forthcoming general election. He made this announcement at a conference he had with representatives of political parties Friday in his Election Secretariat in Rajagiriya. One member from each monitoring group would be allowed to be present in each counting centre, he added.
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CMEV reports malpractice in postal voting in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 March 2010, 05:22 GMT]
The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) reported several instances of illegal canvassing near postal voting centres located in government buildings as postal voting concluded in Sri Lanka Friday. Field monitors of the CMEV reported an incident in which two women claimed to be representatives of Basil Rajapakse, brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is contesting in the Gampaha district on the UPFA ticket, collected details of individual postal voters at Mirigama Education Office.
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Jaffna Campus holds convocation after three years

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 March 2010, 11:12 GMT]
Chancellor M. Sivasuriya presided at the convocation ceremony of Jaffna University Friday morning which will continue for three days with five separate segments every day, in order to accommodate the 3,972 graduating students, sources in Jaffna said. This convocation takes place after a period of three years as the University administration and its Student Union had decided not to hold any ceremonial events in the university while their fellow students caught in Vanni suffered in the war which broke in the latter part of 2006.
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Fate of 100 Vanni detainees taken away by SLA not known

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 March 2010, 10:52 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers had blind folded one hundred Vanni youths and young family men detained Kaithadi Palmyra Development Board Special IDP detention centre in Jaffna peninsula and taken them away in vehicles in the last one week, according to complaints made by family members of the persons taken away to Jaffna Human Rights Commission (HRC) and International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). SLA soldiers had taken 70 of the above IDPs in the first instance and 30 in the second, and the SLA authorities refuse to reveal any information of their whereabouts or what had happened to them, the complainants said. The SLA authorities also refuse to reveal the number of IDPs detained in this detention centre, sources in Jaffna said.
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Postal voting begins in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 March 2010, 09:58 GMT]
Postal voting for the forthcoming general election began Thursday in all the twenty two electoral districts. Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake has instructed the Returning Officers and Certifying Officers to ensure postal voting is completed in two days and the sealed packets of votes be handed over to the postal offices.
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Nambiar, Kohona assembling Ban's expert panel on war-crimes

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 March 2010, 04:19 GMT]
United Nations expert panel to advise Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the accountability process required to address the alleged war crimes committed by Colombo and the LTTE, is being assembled by Moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar and Sri Lanka's UN representative Palitha Kohona, two officials widely believed to be complicit in the extra-judicial killing by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers' of civil and political officials of the Liberation Tigers who surrendered to the SLA during the final days of the war in May 2009, Inner City Press (ICP) reported.
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French Ambassador to Sri Lanka visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2010, 18:23 GMT]
The French Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Ms. Christine Robichon, accompanied by two key officials of the embassy visited Jaffna peninsula Thursday where she first met Jaffna Government Agent (GA) K. Ganesh at Jaffna Secretariat. She later went to the French Friendship Cultural Centre (FFCC) located in Thirunelveali to observe its activities, sources in Jaffna said.
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Remnants of Thileepan memorial monument dumped in Nalloor garbage dumping grounds

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2010, 10:55 GMT]
The gang of Sinhalese army soldiers and hooligans who demolished Monday night the memorial pillar erected in memory of Thileepan in Nalloor took the remnants of demolished memorial pillar and the remaining structures Tuesday night in vehicles and dumped them in Jaffna Municipal Council garbage dumping ground in Nalloor, sources in Jaffna said. People of Jaffna already grieved and enraged by the defilement fear similar fate befalling the memorials of Tamil personalities in the peninsula, the sources added.
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EPDP continues to obstruct political parties from campaigning in the islets of Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2010, 10:37 GMT]
The election campaign activities that were planned to be carried out in the islets of Jaffna by political parties including United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and other independent groups contesting Jaffna electorate Wednesday with police protection were given up at the last minute as Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) men continue to obstruct anyone other than the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its allies engaging in election campaign in the islets of Jaffna which is held in the complete control of Sri Lanka Navy, sources in Jaffna said.
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UNP files petition challenging Elections Commissioner's conduct

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2010, 10:16 GMT]
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) general secretary Tissa Attanayake Wednesday filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal challenging the conduct of Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake. The petitioner has sought an interim order of the Commissioner of Elections to inform court of any person or institutions that refuse to obey and respect guidelines in conducting elections.
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District Election Commissioner, deputies to be monitored

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2010, 10:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake has given consent to deploy two observers at the Elections Secretariat in Rajagiriya in Colombo and two each at the all District Secretaries where District Returning Officers are located to monitor their movement and activities on the polling day on the forthcoming general election. Accordingly, two monitors, one from PAFFREL and the other from CMEV will be allowed to stay at the Elections Secretariat in Colombo and at all the District Secretariats, election department sources said.
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Tissainayagam wins British Press award

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2010, 03:28 GMT]
Senior Tamil Journalist J.S Tissainayagam currently in bail after being incarcerated in Sri Lanka for nearly twenty two months as part of a 20 years in prison sentence, won the prestigious International journalist of the year during the award ceremony held at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, on Tuesday, 23 March. "International journalist of the year recognises the courage of an overseas journalist who has battled against oppression and who has helped a British national newspaper report. Nominees are provided by the Foreign Press Association and the World Association of Newspapers," the British Press Awards website said.
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Confederation of nations, manifesto option of TNPF

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 March 2010, 02:03 GMT]
The election manifesto of the Tamil National Peoples' Front (TNPF) comes out with an option for confederation of Tamil and Sinhala nations in the island, said former MP Selvarajah Kajendren to Tamil media on Wednesday. While stressing on Tamil homeland, nationalism, self-determination and nation of identifiable sovereignty as political aspirations, the other distinguishing features of the election manifesto of the TNPF were demand to repeal the 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, inclusion of the diaspora in the political processes of Eezham Tamils and an outlook to involve the international community in providing security and support to the political struggle of Tamils. The All Ceylon Tamil Congress led by Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, which came out of the TNA alliance recently is the major constituent of TNPF.
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45,969 IDPs eligible to vote

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 09:50 GMT]
About forty five thousand nine hundred and sixty seven internally displaced voters are eligible to cast their votes in the forthcoming general elections that is set to be held on April. Of them fifteen thousand eight hundred and eighty seven IDP voters are from Vanni electoral district, according to a communiqué issued by the Elections Secretariat.
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Sri Lanka denies Akon visa for ‘defaming Buddhism’

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 01:39 GMT]
Sri Lanka has refused US rap star Akon a visa for a planned concert next month, following Sinhala protests that a music video of his was offensive to Buddhists. Stone throwing extremists on Monday protested outside a media network sponsoring the concert. Sri Lanka’s decision comes after the powerful Buddhist clergy expressed its displeasure. In the music video, shot around a pool party with a number of swimsuit wearing women, the statue of Buddha is occasionally seen on the pool house’s roof. Akon has denied intent to cause offense and protested the violence against the TV station.
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Bangladesh, first in South Asia to ratify Rome Statute

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 00:13 GMT]
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh Monday became the first country in the South Asian sub-region to ratify the Rome Statute becoming the 111th member of the group of Nations to abide by the laws of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and thereby, actively cooperate in areas such as providing evidence of war-crimes and crimes against humanity, surrendering indicted individuals and holding national trials. The Coalition for International Criminal Court (CICC), a non-profit organization, praised Bangladesh's membership as "an important step in the path to end impunity in a region vastly under‐represented at the Court." Of the 195 States of the world, 37 remain only signatories, and 47 remain Non-signatories.
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Sinhalese soldiers, hooligans destroy Thileepan memorial in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 10:45 GMT]
A gang of Sinhalese army soldiers and hooligans went on rampage Monday night, demolishing the memorial pillar of Lt. Col. Thileepan (Rasiah Parthipan) located behind the historic Nalloor Kanthasuvami Koayil on Point Pedro-Nalloor road, residents of the area said. Lt. Col. Thileepan began his fasting on 15 September 1987 in front of the Nalloor Kandasuvami temple placing five demands to the Indian government but died as India failed to meet the demands, on September 26, 1987.
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Italian Eezham Tamils conduct referendum, form country council

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 00:04 GMT]
Eezham Tamils in Italy successfully conducted a referendum on independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam and simultaneously elected a 20-member country council Sunday. 98.8 percent of those who voted said 'yes' to Tamil Eelam in a turnout of around 75 percent of eligible Eezham Tamil voters in Italy, the organisers of the polls said. Youth figured prominently among those elected to the Council, Ms. Sinthuja Nagendram in her twenties getting the largest number of votes in the national list. The polls organised by an independent election commission of Eezham Tamils in Italy were nationally supervised and monitored by an Italian federation of NGOs, COCIS (Co-ordination of Non-governmental Organisations for International Development Co-operation). In Italy, Sinhalese expatriates are large in numbers compared to Tamils who make only less than a tenth of them.
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Police seek politicians’ help to arrest election violators

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 2010, 17:37 GMT]
One hundred fifty eight suspects are evading arrest for violating election law. The Sri Lanka Police have now appealed to all political parties to extend support to them to arrest these evading suspects, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gamini Navaratne told media Monday.
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Commissioner allows 10 local monitoring groups to observe elections

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 2010, 17:34 GMT]
People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) have been given clearance by the Commissioner of Elections to enter the polling stations and have their observers in the polling stations on the day of the elections. Eight more organizations are allowed by the Commissioner of Elections, to have their agents in polling stations.
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‘Sinhala Only’ in a government office opening event in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 2010, 17:15 GMT]
Local media reporters in Jaffna peninsula staged a walkout Monday from the official opening of Sri Lanka Foreign Employment (SLFE) branch in Nalloor in Jaffna Monday when it was conducted in Sinhalese language only. Tamil Minister Douglas Devananda was also present at the event along with Northern Province Governor, G. A. Chandrasiri. Meanwhile, the Governor and the Minister later participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new building of Jaffna Municipal Council in its original premises. The government is fervent in opening various offices and laying foundation stones for new buildings in an attempt to entice the voters of Jaffna peninsula, civil society circles in Jaffna observed.
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Popular TV station Sakthi, Sirasa attacked

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 2010, 17:04 GMT]
A popular television station MTV came under attack by an armed group led by a notorious Deputy Minister Mervin Silva Monday evening. MTV office located in Braybrooke Place has been badly damaged in the attack. MTV runs Sakthi TV in Tamil, Sirasa TV in Sinhala and MTV in English. The minister who led the group was not seen at the site when the attack took place. The attack continued till the police arrived at the scene, MTV sources said
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EPDP men alleged of attack on UNP campaigners in the islets of Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 2010, 16:37 GMT]
United National Party (UNP) chief candidate for Jaffna electorate Ms. Vijayakala Maheswaran registered complaints with Jaffna Election Officer that persons of Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) had attacked UNP candidates and supporters when they were pasting election campaign posters in Suruvil, Oorkaavattu’rai in the islets of Jaffna Sunday. Meanwhile, EPDP officials denied the allegation saying that the attackers were not their party men but ordinary civilians, sources in Jaffna said. When the islets of Jaffna is said to be under the full control of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) there is no possibility of ordinary civilians attacking them, the UNP candidates and supporters said.
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2 resettled Vanni IDPs gone missing in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 2010, 16:19 GMT]
A 17-year-old student from Sangkaanai in Jaffna peninsula and a family man from Naaranthanai in the islets of Jaffna, both Internally Displaced Persons brought from Vavuniyaa camps and resettled in Jaffna district by Sri Lanka Army, had been reported missing by their family members to Human Rights Commission (HRC) Jaffna office. The mother of the student and the wife of the family man had made the complaints to HRC.
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TID interrogates 700 civilians under ER

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 March 2010, 11:51 GMT]
About seven hundred civilians are being detained by the Terrorism Investigations Division (TID) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka Police under the Emergency Regulations, Colombo media reported quoting TID sources. Most of the detainees were arrested during the last months of the war. The State of Emergency was extended by the dissolved parliament during the first week of this month.
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EPRLF releases election manifesto in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 March 2010, 18:03 GMT]
Eelam People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRLF) released its election manifesto Sunday around 10:00 a.m in a press meet at EPRLF Pathmanaba faction office on Hospital Road in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. EPRLF and People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) are jointly contesting in Jaffna and Vavuniyaa districts in the forthcoming parliamentary election. The EPRLF election manifesto was released by Sritharan, the leader of EPRLF Varathar faction. A political solution based on the right to self- determination in the Tamil provinces, creating a true democratic atmosphere and implementing speedy economic development are the main propaganda aspects mentioned in the manifesto.
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JVP opens office in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 March 2010, 17:15 GMT]
Somawansa Amarasinghe, the leader of Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), opened the JVP office for Jaffna peninsula Sunday afternoon in Uduppiddi-Valveddiththu’rai area on Jaffna-Point Pedro road, sources in Jaffna said. The JVP leader said that while governments of United National Party (UNP), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had killed innocent Tamils and subjected them to untold difficulties in the past, JVP had not killed a single Tamil. He further stressed that JVP is not a racist party as some call it. JVP is opening its office in Jaffna after 27 years. Prior to 1983 when Rohana Wijeweera led JVP there were JVP offices in Jaffna, Chu’n’naakam and Ki’linochchi.
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Britain names Sri Lanka as a country of concern

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 March 2010, 07:16 GMT]
Sri Lanka is the only country added on the annual human rights report by Britain this year as a country of concern by the Foreign Affairs Committee, according to British Foreign Office. The Annual report on Human Rights 2009 presented 17 March to British Parliament says, ‘Since the last report, we have added one country of concern. We agreed with the Foreign Affairs Committee’s recommendation to include Sri Lanka. This reflects our concern about allegations of serious conflict violations, as well as the deteriorating status of the rule of law and freedom of expression.’
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Government engaged in rebuilding courts in North

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 March 2010, 05:08 GMT]
Sri Lanka Chief Justice, Asoka de Silva who arrived in Jaffna Saturday accompanied by Justices Balapatabendi, K. Saravanabavan and S. Amaratunge officially opened the newly built court complex in Nedunththeevu in the islets of Jaffna Saturday evening. The Chief Justice will lay the foundation stones for the court complexes in Mallaakam and Chavakachcheri court premises Sunday, sources in Jaffna said. The government had already taken steps to erect new court buildings in Vanni though people had not been permitted to resettle in those areas, the sources added. The active and urgent interest of the government to build police stations and court complexes in places where people are not permitted to resettle reveal its motive to consolidate its authority in the north, legal society sources in Jaffna said.
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Sri lanka boycott draws Congressman's attention

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 March 2010, 04:26 GMT]
Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) from 12th Congressional district in New Jersey stopped at the Tamil protesters' "Boycott Sri Lanka" campaign rally in Princeton New Jersey Saturday, and inquired about the current situation of Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka, organizers of the protest campaign said. The Congressman also showed interest in educating himself on the details on Sri Lanka's garment industry and the extent of the presence of the big U.S. apparel manufacturers in Sri Lanka. Organizers of the Saturday's campaign, the US-based activist group, USTPAC, said the campaign-day was successful with protesters holding rallies in Boston (MA), Raleigh (NC), Baltimore (MD), New York, Atlanta and San Francisco (CA)..
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Prof. Boyle: PCIJ precedent brings GoSL's war-crimes within UN jurisdiction

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 March 2010, 20:58 GMT]
Quoting a landmark 1923 decision on rules governing international agreements by the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), Professor Boyle, an expert in international law, referred to Colombo's claim that UN is infringing on the sovereignty of a member state, and said, "I am not going to spend a lot of time here refuting this erroneous and disingenuous interpretation of international law and the requirements of the United Nations Charter by the GoSL (Government of Sri Lanka) and its Foreign Minister. There is one definitive answer to their objection. Namely, the GoSL Army undoubtedly inflicted numerous violations of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 upon the Tamils in Vanni a year ago, and in particular but not limited to gross violations of Common Article 3 thereof, which constituted war crimes. Sri Lanka is a contracting party to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949."
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Excise, police aiding 'kasippu' trade in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 March 2010, 17:43 GMT]
Distilling and selling of illicit liquor (kasippu) flourishes in many parts in Jaffna peninsula as excise and police officers, being bribed, turn a blind eye to this illicit trade which is even provided with men with grenades to guard the kasippu joints, according to accusations raised by civil society sources in Jaffna. Vaddukkoaddai police arrested a youth Saturday at the toddy tavern in Moo’laay under suspicion and recovered a hand grenade in his possession. When produced at Mallaakam courts he testified that he had been posted there to guard the brewers and sellers from the police and excise officers, sources in Jaffna said.
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Dengue deaths toll increases to 63

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 March 2010, 16:48 GMT]
The highest number of fourteen deaths due to dengue has been reported from Jaffna district, eleven from Colombo district and seven from Gampaha. The death toll has risen to sixty three in the island. There were twelve deaths in February and the rest in January but no death has been reported in the month of March till Friday, according to Epidemiology Unit sources of the Health Ministry
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Rajapaksa to address election rally in Trincomalee, army tightens security

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 March 2010, 16:42 GMT]
Trincomalee town has been put under red alert from Friday night by the Sri Lanka Army as the President Mahinda Rajapakse is scheduled to address the main election rally in Trincomalee Mc Heyzer Stadium Sunday morning in support of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidates contesting the forthcoming general election.
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9 injured in head-on collision on A9 road in Chaavakachcheari

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 March 2010, 18:22 GMT]
A vehicle from Colombo carrying passengers to Jaffna along A9 road and another vehicle on its way to Colombo from Jaffna met in a head-on collision, injuring nine persons in Chaavakachcheari , sources in Jaffna said. The injured persons are Tamils who were travelling to Jaffna to attend a funeral. They were first admitted to Chaavakachcheari government hospital and later transferred to Jaffna Teaching Hospital for further treatment.
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“All military camps in Jaffna peninsula will be scrapped if UNP wins” – Ranil

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 March 2010, 16:25 GMT]
Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of United National Party (UNP), who arrived in Jaffna accompanied by his wife said that all the military camps in Jaffna peninsula will be scrapped except Palaali Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp, in the UNP election campaign meeting held in Jaffna Veerasingham Hall Friday. “High Security Zones are no longer necessary in the peninsula and the people evacuated from these places will be immediately resettled in their own properties if UNP becomes the ruling party in the general election,” he further said.
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Election related violence escalating

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 March 2010, 11:49 GMT]
Election related violence, mostly in the south of the country, is reported to have been escalating. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Gamini Navaratne who is in charge of election unit said so far he has received one hundred and twenty two elections related complaints till Thursday. About fifty percent of complaints are connected to intra-party rivalry due to canvassing for preferential votes, he added.
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Sri Lanka’s partnership with UN liable to go sour – SL Foreign Minister

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 March 2010, 08:59 GMT]
Unless Sri Lanka’s unique context and rising public anger against the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s proposed move to appoint a Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability issues relating to Sri Lanka are taken into consideration, the move has the potential to dent or sour the excellent partnership Sri Lanka has been enjoying with the UN since Independence, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said, according to Foreign Ministry sources in Colombo.
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Cutting UN ties will earn Sri Lanka rogue status, says Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 March 2010, 00:28 GMT]
"If the Government of Sri Lanka ruptures relations with the United Nations, then it will turn itself into a pariah state along the lines of apartheid South Africa or the genocidal rump Yugoslavia, both of which the United Nations General Assembly suspended from participation in the activities of the United Nations for their criminal behavior. In fact and in law, the same principles should apply here.," said Professor Boyle, commenting on Colombo's recent warning that "ties with the United Nations (UN) is in danger of going sour if the present conflict with UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon over his move to appoint a panel on Sri Lanka is not resolved."
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Government engaged in Sinhalese colonization in Kokkaavil – Suresh Premachandran

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 2010, 18:17 GMT]
Suresh Premachandran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) former Jaffna parliamentarian and a TNA candidate contesting Jaffna electorate, accused Sri Lanka government of systematically colonizing Kokkaavil in Mullaiththevu district along A9 road with Sinhalese, in the TNA election campaign meeting held Thursday in Chuzhipuram-Tholpuram area, sources in Jaffna said. He also accused Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officers and soldiers of dismantling the vehicles abandoned by Vanni residents when they were driven to Mu’l’livaaikkaal and selling the parts in Vavuniyaa and Anuradapura making huge profit.
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SLMC complains against illegal TV, radio in Eastern province

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 2010, 11:19 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Thursday lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Elections that two ministers of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) are operating an illegal television and a radio transmission in the eastern province which conduct election propaganda.
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“1978 Constitution places me above the Law” - Sri Lanka's President

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 2010, 11:15 GMT]
“Republic Constitution of 1978 brought by the then J. R. Jayawardene government places me above the Law. Accordingly judiciary cannot take action against me. The consititution empowers me to punish any soldier of the Sri Lanka Army who works against the country,” Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse said Tuesday while addressing an election rally in support of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollogama held at Kotte, according media reports from Colombo.
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SL government begins to wipe out traces of Tigers in the North

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 2010, 10:25 GMT]
Sri Lanka government has begun clearing all Liberation Tigers landmarks in the North in an attempt to wipe out any trace of the Tigers, government sources told media in Colombo Thursday. Tourism Ministry Secretary George Michael confirmed that the government had begun clearing some LTTE landmarks in the north in line with the government’s policy to not highlight former LTTE landmarks for local or foreign tourists.
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“Mahinda’s Sinhala regime will swallow Eastern Province in 10 years” – Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 17:53 GMT]
“Mahinda Rajapakse’’s Sinhala regime plans to take over the Eastern Province under its complete control by wiping out Tamil representation but Tamil National Alliance will certainly defeat this insidious plan,” R. Sampanthan, leader of TNA, said addressing the first TNA election campaign meeting in Jaffna district held Wednesday at Aavarangkaal, sources in Jaffna said. “In the context of Tamil representation being reduced in Eastern Province TNA can only get maximum representation in the North and therefore all the voters in Jaffna district should help to achieve this by casting their votes to TNA,” Sampanthan appealed.
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EPDP obstructs other parties campaigning in the islets of Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 14:57 GMT]
Candidates contesting Jaffna district electorate allege that supporters of Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), a constituent party in the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), obstruct other political parties from electioneering in the islets of Jaffna which are under the complete control of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN). EPDP is trying to secure a seat in the parliamentary election in the islets of Jaffna with threats and physical harm to the contestants and supporters of other political parties, the candidate of a national political party who had been to the islets for election campaigning told TamilNet.
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Election violence on the increase – CaFFe

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 09:44 GMT]
Election related violence has risen to eighty-six since the closure of nomination for the forthcoming general election that is scheduled to be held on April 8, according to Keerthi Tennakoon, spokesman for the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFe), an election monitoring group. The violence included nineteen cases of damage to property, thirty assaults, 321 election violations and thirteen cases of abusing state property.
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4, 15,432 public servants eligible for postal voting

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 09:40 GMT]
4,15,432 government servants are eligible for postal voting in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka. 4,77,110 public servants applied for postal voting. Applications of 61,678 of them were rejected for various reasons. However there is an increase in the number of public servants eligible for postal voting by 14, 314 than during the presidential election held on January 26 this year, election secretariat said.
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Expert panel for Sri Lanka will not infringe on sovereignty – Ban Ki-moon

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 07:09 GMT]
The panel of experts being set up by the United Nations as part of an accountability process following the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka will not infringe on the country’s sovereignty, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday. Mr. Ban told journalists that the establishment of the panel is in line with a joint statement he issued with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his visit to the country last May after Government forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), according to UN News Centre press release Tuesday.
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Eastern University to resume suspended functions

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 06:01 GMT]
The suspended educational activities of the students of all the faculties of Eastern University will commence from 22 March, Acting Vice-chancellor of Eastern University, Professor Premkumar said to media. The decision to resume educational activities was taken by the University Senate as normalcy is restored, he added.
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IDPs accuse SLA soldiers of plundering their properties in Ki’linochchi

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 05:25 GMT]
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Pachchilaippa’l’li Divisional Secretariat area in Ki’linochchi district who had been to their places accused occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers of plundering their properties and taking the spoils in their vehicles to South during night time. Parts of houses like doors, door frames, windows and felled valuable timber are being taken away to the South by the soldiers, they said. Besides, the fertile coconut plantations in the area which remain unaffected by war are being plundered and the proceeds take to Jaffna peninsula by the soldiers, they further said.
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TNA candidates meet SLA officers in Ki’linochchi

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2010, 20:55 GMT]
Former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians Mavai Senathirajah and Suresh Premachandran, held a meeting with Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officers in Ki’linochchi Tuesday where they brought to their attention about TNA candidates as well as contestants of Tamil National United Front (TNUF) being obstructed from canvassing among the resettled people in Ki’linochchi district recently, according to Suresh Premachandran. The SLA officers have now agreed to allow candidates to meet the resettled people in Ki’linochchi and canvass among them but whether the SLA soldiers manning the check posts will carry out the instructions of their superiors is yet to be seen, he added.
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Koapaay Teacher trainees boycott lectures

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2010, 16:50 GMT]
Nearly 300 teacher trainees of Koapaay Government Teachers’ Training College (GTTC) began a boycott of lectures Tuesday demanding better basic facilities and the removal of their principal alleging that he is involved in malpractices swindling college resources, sources in Jaffna said. Ninety-five percentage of the teacher trainees are Muslims from Eastern Province of whom many had sought refugee with Tamil families in the peninsula because of the lack of basic facilities, the sources added.
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Election campaign gains momentum in Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2010, 16:28 GMT]
Election campaign activities by contesting political parties and independent groups have gained momentum in Jaffna peninsula and leaders of political parties including President Mahinda Rajapakse of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), R. Sampanthan of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Ranil Wickremasinghe of United National Party (UNP) and Somaratne Amarasinghe of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are expected to come to the peninsula to engage in electioneering, sources in Jaffna said.
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Fonseka appeares before Court Martial

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2010, 11:58 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army's former commander General (retd) Sarath Fonseka on Tuesday appeared before for his first Court Martial along with his lawyer Mr. Rienzie Arsakularatnam at Navy headquaters.
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Colombo accuses Amnesty of bias

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2010, 11:51 GMT]
Responding to Amnesty International's media release that a leaked list in Colombo "reveal[ing] the names of 35 leading journalists and NGO officers of interest to the country’s secret services," was "believed to be compiled by the Sri Lanka Intelligence Unit," Sri Lanka's Defence Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said that "gross allegations were being made against the [Sri Lanka] government, and organizations such as AI were continuing this trend," and "accused AI of being biased despite the [Sri Lanka] government having discussions with them in the past."
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Sri Lanka undemocratic – Former Chief Justice

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2010, 05:34 GMT]
Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Siva charged that Sri Lanka had become an undemocratic country by betraying all its human rights principles which it had signed with the international community over the years, when he spoke to journalists in Colombo Monday. Silva stressed that by arresting Sarath Fonseka the government had gone against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
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‘Vanni Mouse’ wins best fiction award in international film festival

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 March 2010, 18:01 GMT]
A Tamil short film directed by a diaspora Eezham Tamil winning the best award in an international festival is seen as a first with the short film titled ‘Vanni Mouse’, which has won the best film award in the fiction category in the nine-day 11th International Short and Independent Film Festival (ISIFF) at the Shaukat Osman auditorium of Central Public Library in Dhaka on Friday. Commenting on the award, Barrister S. J. Joseph of Eelavar Cine Arts Council, based in London told TamilNet on Monday that this was the first time an Eezham Tamil artist being awarded at an international film festival.
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Teenage student abducted for ransom in Thenmaraadchi

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 March 2010, 17:15 GMT]
Unidentified men arriving at the house of a popular merchant in Madaththadi in Chaavakachcheari North abducted his son, a 17-year-old student of a leading educational institution in Jaffna, Sunday night around 11:00 p.m, according to complaints lodged by his father with Chaavakachcheari and Jaffna police stations. The abductors kept demanding 300 million rupees as ransom to release the boy using various phones from the time of abduction until Monday dawn and had threatened to kill the boy if the money is not paid, the merchant said. The abductors had mentioned the names of some political parties contesting parliamentary election in Jaffna district while demanding ransom, he further said.
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Protest held in Colombo against Sarath Fonseka court martial

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 March 2010, 16:33 GMT]
Hundreds of supporters of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) led by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Monday held a protest in Fort in Colombo demanding the scrap of military tribunal appointed by President Mahinda Rajapakse to charge the defeated common opposition presidential candidate General (retd) Fonseka.
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Thellippazhai govt. hospital allowed to operate again in its original building

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 March 2010, 14:39 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Jaffna Commander, Major Gen. Mahintha Kathurusinghe and Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh officially handed over Monday afternoon the original building of Thellippazhai government hospital to its administration which had been functioning in government buildings outside the SLA High Security Zone (HSZ) in Thellippazhai for the last 20 years. SLA had taken over the hospital building during the war in 1990, sources in Jaffna said.
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Government blamed for not helping resettled IDPs in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 March 2010, 07:08 GMT]
Sri Lanka government fails in its duty to offer assistance to the resettled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Jaffna peninsula, civil society organization said. This has become evident with Jaffna Government Agent’s statement that the UN organizations continue to assist the resettled IDPs supplying dry food rations through World Food Program (WFP) while financial help is given to them by Asian Development Bank through NECORD, they said.
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No election related violence in Jaffna – Police Chief

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 March 2010, 06:49 GMT]
Jaffna Police Chief, Uthaya de Silva, said that there were no election related violence worth mentioning so far in a meeting held in Jaffna town with the representatives of the political parties and independent groups contesting parliamentary elections, sources in Jaffna said. The political parties and the independent groups co-operate sufficiently with the police, he added.
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Devotees observe Sivaraathitri in Keerimalai Nakuleasvarar temple

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 March 2010, 06:15 GMT]
Around 5000 devotees observed ‘Sivaraathiri Poosai’ Saturday night at the historically famous Nakuleasvarar Koayil in Keerimalai which is located in the High Security Zone (HSZ) of occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA), after a period of 20 years, sources in Jaffna said. During the past few years SLA had allowed only a limited number of devotees to observe Sivaraathiri night worship in the temple on condition that they should leave the HSZ only on the following day under SLA control, the sources added.
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International observers to monitor counting in general election

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 March 2010, 15:54 GMT]
International monitors will be deployed at all counting centres in the twenty-two electoral districts during the forthcoming general election that is scheduled to be held on April 8, Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake told party leaders at a meeting held Friday in his secretariat. He added that he is prepared to invite international monitors to observe counting of votes at counting centres following a request made by the main opposition United National Party (UNP).
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Eastern, South Eastern universities temporarily closed

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 March 2010, 07:04 GMT]
The university administrations of Eastern University and South Eastern university in the Eastern Province have closed the universities temporarily due to conflict situation among student groups, sources in Batticaloa said. The conflict arose between the representatives of the Student Union who forced Eastern University Vice-chancellor, Professor Pathmanathan to resign his post and the students who had demanded the Student Union to be dissolved, the sources added.
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Government allows 15 NGOs to help resettled IDPs in Mullaiththeevu - GA

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 March 2010, 06:45 GMT]
Sri Lanka government has allowed around fifteen Non-government Organizations (NGOs) to assist the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Mullaiththeevu district in Vanni to create livelihoods for them, Mullaiththeevu Government Agent (GA) Ms. Imelda Sukumar said in an interview to the national Tamil daily Virakesari. Projects constructing 2700 houses in the two divisional secretary areas have begun and the President’s Work Committee has issued permission to around 15 NGOs to involve in helping the resettled IDPs, she added.
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Holy relics of St. Anthony flown to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 20:39 GMT]
Thousands of devotees participated in the procession in which the holy relics of St. Antony flown to Palaali airport in Jaffna were taken in procession to Maanippaay St. Antony’s church Saturday, sources in Jaffna said. The sacred relics of St. Antony were brought to Sri Lanka from Italy on the occasion of the 175th jubilee anniversary of the St. Antony’s Church, Kochchikkadai in Colombo, sources in Jaffna said.
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Student Unions in Jaffna set up ‘People’s Parliament’

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 20:36 GMT]
The first session of the ‘People’s Parliament’, an organization launched by the representatives of various student unions in Jaffna peninsula, at Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna Saturday had to be cancelled as candidates or representatives of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) failed to turn up, the organizers of the event said. The organizers had invited the candidates of political parties and independent groups contesting forthcoming parliamentary election in Jaffna district electorate with the aim of offering an opportunity for the public to raise questions on their election manifestos and future plans and have their doubts cleared directly by the candidates.
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Demand US to reveal more inculpatory war crimes evidence, urges Boyle

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 18:13 GMT]
While applauding the U.S. Government for revealing significant amount of details that point to complicity of Sri Lanka Government in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, Professor Francis A. Boyle of University of Illinois College of Law, urged American Tamils to "pressure the relevant agencies of the United States government to produce as much evidence in public as they possibly can against the Rajapaksas, Fonseka, the GOSL General Staff, etc." Prof. Boyle noted that "[t]he United States government did this once before against the Serbian genocidaires Milosevic, Karadzic et al. for what they did to the Bosnians and the Kosovars. The United States government can certainly do the same against the GOSL genocidaires against the Tamils," Prof. Boyle said.
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Asian group faults UN rights chief for silence on Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 14:35 GMT]
Noting that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is "mandated to promote and protect human rights for all," and therefore, "the OHCHR [should] lead global human rights efforts to speak out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide," the Hong Kong-based Asian Center for Human Rights (ACHR) said in its weekly review that "UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay has failed to adequately address grave human rights violations in Sri Lanka, not least in the final days of the war with the LTTE."
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Fonseka will not attend court martial, lawyers to challenge its legality

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 07:21 GMT]
General (retd) Sarath Fonseka will not appear before the Court Martial that is to begin March 16. Instead a team of lawyers will attend on behalf General Fonseka and would challenge the legality of the composition of the Court Martial. They would argue that there is no provision in the Army Act to court martial Fonseka and such ‘trial’ is illegal, according to Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake to media.
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ITAK concludes 4 day electioneering in Moothoor area

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 07:13 GMT]
Ilangkai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) led by its President and the chief candidate for the Trincomalee electoral district concluded its four day electioneering in the Moothoor east, Verukal and Eachchilampaththai divisions Thursday night. The electioneering began on Monday and ended on Thursday night at Cheanaiyoor with an election rally, TNA sources said.
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No IDP resettlement in 57 GS divisions in Ki'linochchi district - GA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 06:59 GMT]
No resettlement of internally displaced families has taken place in fifty-seven Village Officer Divisions that come under the Assistant Government Agent divisions of Karaichchi, Ka'ndaavalai and Pachchilaipaa'l'li in Ki'linochchi district, according to Government Agent Ms .S. Ketheeswaran to media.
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US rights report adds to Colombo's woes over war-crime accusations

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 March 2010, 00:08 GMT]
The "2009 Human Rights Report" on Sri Lanka released by the United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, criticized the Sri Lanka Government, paramilitaries working with the Government, and the Liberation Tigers for gross human rights violations. On torture, the report said, "reports of secret government facilities where suspected LTTE sympathizers were taken, tortured, and often killed." The report adds fuel to the recent accusations by high-level officials of the United Nations that Sri Lanka is balking on investigating allegations of war-crimes, and calling for an international investigations.
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SLA soldiers obstruct ITAK candidate from campaigning in Ki'linochchi

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 16:00 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers manning the check posts along the roads do not allow him to go the places where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are resettled in Ki'linochchi district, Sivagnanam Sritharan, the candidate contesting Ki'linochchi district in Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) ticket and the principal of Ki'linochchi Maha Viththiyaalayam said, in the press meet held Friday at the ITAK office on Martin Road in Jaffna where the ITAK election manifesto was released. He was forced by the soldiers to reveal the names of the persons he wants to meet and as this would put them in danger he had not given their names, Sritharan said.
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TNA releases election manifesto

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 12:08 GMT]
Federal solution based on shared sovereignty and right to self-determination in a contiguous north and east of Sri Lanka was the highlight of the TNA manifesto released Friday. While irreversibly committing on federal solution, the manifesto is ambiguous on the nature of the sovereignty of Eezham Tamils and their right to self determination, said Tamil political circles in their immediate responses. The term shared sovereignty is used to describe structures such as the European Union as well as federal structures with or without the right to secession. The manifesto refrains from either asserting to Tamils exercising their right to self determination to decide the national question in an internationally monitored arrangement or including the unavoidable diaspora in the political process of reaching a solution, the political circles commented further.
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Eastern University VC resigns, student union dissolved

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 09:05 GMT]
Eastern University student union was dissolved Thursday while Vice-chancellor, Professor N. Pathmanathan of the university, has resigned from his post, sources in Batticaloa said. University students, including some of the representatives of the student body, had forced Professor Pathmanathan to relinquish his post, the sources added.
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UNP Jaffna electorate chief candidate releases election manifesto

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 06:02 GMT]
The chief candidate of United National Party (UNP) for Jaffna electorate in the forthcoming general election, Ms. Vijayakala Maheswaran, said that her party is prepared to put forth a solution to the ethnic issue based on the Oslo Declaration that was considered in the talks held between UNP and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Oslo, in a press briefing where she released her election manifesto Thursday at her party office in Thirunelveali in Jaffna. Srijayanan, the news editor of Tamil National daily Virakesari, a candidate in the UNP list of nomination for Jaffna electorate, was present at the press meet.
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Sinhalese street vendors invade Jaffna town

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 05:44 GMT]
The shops in Jaffna town shutting down before evening 6:00 p.m by its owners due to their bitter experiences during the war and the people of Jaffna peninsula remaining indoors in the night has become habitual until now when Sinhalese traders from the South have turned Jaffna town into night time street markets. This night trading has suddenly cropped up to cater to the needs of thousands of Sinhalese tourists pouring into Jaffna after the opening of A9 road to Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, Jaffna Traders Association blamed Jaffna Municipality administration for turning a blind eye to this unlawful enterprise.
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Dissolved parliament to meet second time on April 6 to extend emergency

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 04:51 GMT]
The dissolved Sri Lanka parliament is to be reconvened for the second time on April 6 to extend the State of Emergency for another month. The dissolved parliament was reconvened last on March 9 to ratify the gazette notification issued by the President Mahinda Rajapakse extending the State of Emergency for another month. According to the constitution, the gazette notification should be ratified within ten days by the parliament.
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Fonseka to be produced before Court Martial on March 16

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 04:47 GMT]
General (retired) Sarath Fonseka who unsuccessfully contested the January presidential poll will be produced before court martial on March 16 and 17 on seven counts under the Army Act. The bench of the court martial comprises Major General H. L. Weeratunge (Chairman), Major General A. C. R. Wijetunge and Major General D. R. A. Jayatilake, according to Military Spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe.
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ITAK engaged in setting up offices in Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 March 2010, 19:03 GMT]
Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) is actively engaged in opening its offices in various parts of Jaffna peninsula and the first office was opened Thursday in Pa’ndaitharippu, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, it is reported that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) stands split into two factions - one which constitutes of former TNA Jaffna parliamentarians and the other which includes new comers to the election arena, the sources added.
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Chinese representatives discuss road development projects in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 March 2010, 16:34 GMT]
Two Key representatives of Chinese government who visited Jaffna Thursday met Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh at Jaffna Secretariat and discussed the projects of broadening five main streets in Jaffna peninsula with Chinese aid, sources in Jaffna said. The representatives, along with the GA and the Director of Planning, inspected the Pa’n’nai causeway bridge located on Jaffna-Oorkaavattu’rai road which had not seen maintenance or repair in the last 30 years due to war. The projects of broadening of Jaffna-Oorkaavattu’rai road into a two-way street and the renovation of the bridge on it have been prioritized, Jaffna Secretariat sources said.
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SL Supreme Court: Voting rights of IDPs should be ensured

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 March 2010, 16:25 GMT]
Sri Lankan Supreme Court Thursday directed that the rules and regulation laid down by the SL Elections Commissioner pertaining to the voting rights of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) during the presidential election be implemented fully.
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UN investigation can serve as leverage to establish ICTSL, says Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 March 2010, 03:28 GMT]
Commenting on the United Nations report that UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon's appointed experts will establish standards for Sri Lanka's accountability concerning "possible breaches of international humanitarian law...," Professor Francis A. Boyle of University of Illinois College of Law said, "[t]his language of "international humanitarian law" means that the United Nations will be getting into investigating war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the GOSL against the Tamils, which is an encouraging sign. In other words, the United Nations will be investigating international criminal responsibility by the Rajapaksas, Fonseka, the General Staff, et al," Boyle added.
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Jaffna Technical College principal compels students to campaign for Mahinda Rajapakse’s party

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 14:27 GMT]
Jaffna Technical College Students Union (JTCSU) raised accusation against Yogarajan, their principal and President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Alliance candidate in the parliamentary election, for compelling them to campaign for Mahinda Rajapakse’s Alliance. Yogarajan had welcomed Namal Rajapakse, President Mahinda Rajapakse’s eldest son and his ‘Blue Warriors’ group accompanying him when they arrived in Jaffna Tuesday to canvas votes for his father’s party, JTCSU said.
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China lends Sri Lanka $290m for development

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 12:30 GMT]
China has completed arrangements through its funding arm, Exim Bank, to provide $290m in concessionary development loans to Sri Lanka, Reuters reported. $190m of the loan is to develop a second airport in Matara and the other $100m is to improve the railways. China was the largest foreign funding source for Sri Lanka in 2009 with $1.2 billion followed by the Asian Development Bank with $424 million, according to the same report. The 2009 funds were allocated to build roads, coal power project in the Eastern province, and a port in Sri Lanka's President's electorate in Hambantota.
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UK Foreign Affairs Under Secretary arrives in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 12:19 GMT]
British Permanent Under Secretary for Foreign affairs, Sir Peter Ricketts, arrived in Colombo Wednesday early morning on a two day visit, Colombo media reported. He immediately called on Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama.
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Sarath Fonseka to be tried over 5 charges under Army Act

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 10:58 GMT]
Retired Major General Sarath will be tried over five charges under Army Act at a court martial within next few days, Military spokesman, Major General Prasad Amarasinghe told media Monday. He added that the summary of evidence over charges against General Fonseka made in compliance with provisions of the Army Act was completed and handed over to Army Commander over the weekend.
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IDPs in Moothoor complain to ITAK leaders about their uncertain future

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 10:50 GMT]
Trincomalee electoral candidates led by Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) leader Mr. R. Sampanthan, Tuesday visited the camps in Ki’liveddi and Paddiththidal in Moothoor DS division where hundreds of internally displaced Tamil families from Champoor, Kooniththeevu, Choodaikkudaa and Navaratnapuram in the High Security Zones declared by the Sri Lanka Army after the eviction of LTTE in April, 2006, are lodged. The visit by ITAK candidates was a part of their election campaign for the forthcoming general election, sources in Trincomalee said.
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JVP will oppose any power devolution to North, East provinces

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 09:28 GMT]
The Sinhala Marxist party Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) former parliamentarian, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that JVP will oppose if a new political constitution devolving powers to the Northern and Eastern provinces is to be created, in a press briefing held in Colombo Tuesday. “Minister G. L. Peiris recently said that the government intends implementing its newly drafted political constitution following the parliamentary elections and I call upon the government to make public this new political constitution,” Anura Kumar Dissanayake said adding that JVP will never permit the country to be divided.
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Chinese involvement in Jaffna peninsula gains momentum

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 08:16 GMT]
While India is said to be seriously considering opening a branch of its High Commission for Sri Lanka in Jaffna, Chinese contractors are actively engaged in planning the broadening of five major roads in the peninsula in keeping with the agreement entered with Sri Lanka President, Mahintha Rajapakse, sources in Jaffna said. A conference presided by Jaffna Government Agent was held Tuesday at Jaffna Secretariat to discuss matters related to road development projects in Jaffna peninsula with Chinese funds. Top officials from the Northern Province Street Development Commission Board (NPSDCB) explained the proposed projects to the participants in the conference. Divisional Secretaries, representatives of Traders’ Union and other civil organizations were invited to the above conference, the sources added.
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SLA consolidates its grip on Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2010, 06:33 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander Lt. Gen. Jegath Jeyasooriya officially opened the SLA Civil Administration Head Office Tuesday and inaugurated its Website in a public building on Jaffna Hospital road, taken over by SLA for this purpose, sources in Jaffna said. In the past SLA civil administration offices had been used by the government to control and subjugate the people of the peninsula militarily, the sources added. These offices were alleged to have been involved in the disappearances of the young men and women who had gone to these offices as well as the killings of them on the roads and elsewhere, the sources further said.
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Colombo NGOs register complaint over threatening web report

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 March 2010, 12:02 GMT]
Executive directors of two NGOs, the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Colombo-based think tank, and Transparency International, Sri Lanka (TISL), have written a protest letter to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse complaining about a news report in a Colombo website which said that "[Sri Lanka] state intelligence agencies have been compiling a list or lists of individuals supportive of the opposition, and that CPA's Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, and TISL's Weliamuna have been placed on that list. While noting that CPA "cannot independently ascertain the veracity of this report," the letter said, if the report is true then "there are reasonable grounds for fear about the physical liberty and safety of the individuals concerned."
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SLA harasses resettled IDPs in Vanni

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 March 2010, 11:21 GMT]
Vanni Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) allowed to resettle in some areas in Ki’linochchi and Mannaar districts are being subjected to severe restrictions and harassment by occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA), sources close Jaffna Bishop's House said. This information was gathered from the group of Catholic Bishops of six districts who visited the said areas in Ki’linochchi and Mannaar recently, the sources said. The Bishops, however, are reluctant to officially disclose this situation in Vanni due to fear, the sources added.
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Emergency extended in Sri Lanka by another month

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 March 2010, 10:56 GMT]
The State of Emergency was extended by another month by the Sri Lanka’s parliament Tuesday. Ninety three parliamentarians of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its constituent parties voted for the extension and twenty parliamentarians from the main opposition United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) voted against. The dissolved parliament was summoned by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse to ratify his gazette notification issued last week to extend the emergency. According to the Constitution, the gazette notification should be ratified within ten days.
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Government suppresses protest demonstration of IDPs in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 March 2010, 06:00 GMT]
A protest demonstration demanding immediate resettlement of people displaced from Valikaamam North occupied by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) as High Security Zone (HSZ) organized by the Welfare Organizations for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on 1 March in front of Jaffna Secretariat had to be given up due to the strong opposition to it by Jaffna Government Agent (GA) K. Ganesh, the representatives of the welfare organizations said. The GA had refused to accept the memorandum of the protestors saying that the matter of resettlement should not be made a political issue in the context of the forthcoming parliamentary election, the organizations further alleged.
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Ban Ki Moon concerned over Sri Lanka's lack of progress

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 March 2010, 04:09 GMT]
Expressing concerns on the lack of progress on "political reconciliation, the treatment of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the setting up of an accountability process in Sri Lanka," United Nations Secretary General, confirmed that he intends to move forward on a group of experts which will advise him on setting the broad parameters and standards on the way ahead on establishing accountability concerning Sri Lanka, a UN News Center report said. "The accountability concerns possible breaches of international humanitarian law or abuses of human rights carried out during the conflict," the report said. Earlier, High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Navi Pillay, called on Sri Lanka to investigate the allegations itself, albeit with outside help.
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International Women’s Day observed in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 March 2010, 18:08 GMT]
Around 500 women including many feminists from South observing International Women’s Day went on an awareness march Monday around 9:30 a.m from Jaffna Secretariat, sources in Jaffna said. Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh officially inaugurated this event which highlighted the plight of women gone missing and arrested women exposed to violence in the prisons including women militants, the sources added. Action Committee Against Gender-based Violence had organized this event.
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ITAK begins three day election campaign in Moothoor Tamil villages

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 March 2010, 16:07 GMT]
Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) Monday began a three day campaign by holding election meeting in every Tamil village in the Moothoor East, Verukal DS division, Moothoor DS division in Trincomalee district. ITAK leader and the chief candidate for the Trincomalee district Mr.R.Sampanthan is leading the campaign with other six candidates in the list.
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Nirupama Rao meets SL President Rajapaksa

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 March 2010, 09:20 GMT]
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday morning at the President's House. Both discussed several issues relating to the resettlement of the internally displaced people after the war. Sources in Colombo said the talks between the two also touched the subject on finding a political solution to the ethnic question. However no official communiqué was issued up to now on the talks.
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Time for International Criminal Tribunal on Sri Lanka, says Boyle

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 22:03 GMT]
Dismissing the response by Colombo that Ban Ki Moon had not appointed panel of experts on other countries where there are "continuing armed conflicts on a large scale, involving major humanitarian catastrophes and causing the deaths of large numbers of civilians due to military action," as "simply untrue nonsense," Francis A. Boyle, professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, said that during the past year alone UN Human Rights Council had authorized Goldstone Commission investigation into Israel war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza. Noting that the "United Nations is just beginning to do the right thing for the Tamils," Prof Boyle urged that "Tamils around the world could do the same thing for establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Sri Lanka (ICTSL)."
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32 journalists from Trincomalee district visit Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 18:05 GMT]
A group of thirty-two journalists from the communities of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim from Trincomalee district visited Jaffna peninsula Sunday under a program arranged by National Peace Council (NPC) aimed at promoting understanding between communities, sources in Jaffna said. The group of journalists visited the offices of Uthayan, Yarl Thinakural and Valampuri Tamil dailies published in the peninsula.
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Pilgrims to Paalaitheevu St. Antony’s church suspect presence of Chinese navy

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 15:11 GMT]
Pilgrims who returned from Paalaitheevu after attending the lent period prayers in St. Antony’s church Sunday said that they had seen many Chinese Tents and food packets with Chinese writing on them during the annual festival held Saturday and Sunday. Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) occupies many of the pilgrims’ halls behind the church and no one was allowed to enter them, the devotees said. Chinese navy presence in Kachchatheevu has been confirmed by Tamil Nadu journalists who had participated in the St. Antony’s Church festival recently, according to a Tamil daily in Tamil Nadu.
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ADB assists resettled IDPs in Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 12:43 GMT]
In the context of Sri Lanka government failing in its duty to provide assistance to the resettled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Jaffna peninsula as promised, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has stepped in to help the IDPs, paying each of the 16,831 IDP families with the second stage payment of 25,000 rupees, sources in Jaffna said. It is alleged that the government is yet to pay the first stage of payment of 5,000 rupees to some of the IDP families, the sources added.
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Magistrate courts to be built in Vanni where IDPs are yet to be resettled

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 11:36 GMT]
Sri Lanka government is actively engaged in building police stations and magistrate courts in the districts of Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu in Vanni where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are yet to be resettled, sources in Vanni said. Secretary to the Ministry of Justice made a sudden visit Wednesday to Ki’linochchi and Mullaitheevu with the view to find locations for the magistrate courts to be built. He was accompanied by Buddhist Priest Rev. Athamba Buthara Kalyanasitha Thero and the magistrates of Vavuniyaa, Mannaar and the magistrates appointed to Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu, the sources added.
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Indian Foreign Secretary arrives in Colombo on three day visit

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 03:44 GMT]
Three member delegation led by Indian Foreign Secretary Ms Nirupama Rao arrived in Colombo Saturday night around 10:30 on a three day official visit. She is scheduled to meet Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse and other government leaders and hold discussion on the resettlement of internally displaced Tamil families, and prospective political solution to Tamil national question, informed political sources in Colombo said.
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US Supreme Court ruling on "sovereign immunity" key to war crimes litigation

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 March 2010, 01:55 GMT]
The central issue discussed in the March 4th morning arguments heard by the panel of nine United States Supreme Court judges in the case Samantar v. Yousuf was not if the the former Somali defense minister Samantar was responsible for torture, war-crimes, and rape in his native land but whether Samantar has immunity under the Foreign State Immunity Act (FSIA) preventing alleged victims from bringing him to court in the United States on tort claims. The courts ruling which is expected in June, will set an important legal precedent, and will likely determine if alleged war criminals can use US as a safe-haven, legal sources in Washington D.C. said.
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Experts to advise Ban Ki Moon on Sri Lanka's alleged war-crimes

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 March 2010, 16:00 GMT]
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to ask a panel of experts to advise the world body on "accountability issues" relating to possible human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, Reuters reported quoting spokesperson Martin Nesirky as saying. Ban has said an investigation of war crimes allegations should be handled by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Navi Pillay, who has called on Sri Lanka to investigate the allegations itself -- albeit with outside help, Reuters added. Calling the action "unwarranted" Sri Lanka said, "[n]o such action had been taken about other states with continuing armed conflicts on a large scale, involving major humanitarian catastrophes and causing the deaths of large numbers of civilians due to military action."
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Chinese 'pre-fabricated structures' in Kachchatheevu

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 March 2010, 07:04 GMT]
The presence of Chinese in Sri Lanka owned island of Kachchatheevu, considered as a threat to the security of India, is confirmed by a group of journalists and social activists from Tamil Nadu. More than thirty pre-fabricated structures with Chinese names were found on the island of Kachchatheevu located on the sea boundary between India and Sri Lanka by Tamil Nadu journalists and social activists who participated in the recent annual festival of Kachchatheevu St. Antony’s Church, according to Dinamalar, a Tamil Nadu daily. The pre-fabricated structures, however, were unoccupied but evidence of people living in them was observed by the visiting journalists from Tamil Nadu who were not permitted to photograph them by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers. The presence of Chinese in the island of Kachchatheevu is seen as a threat to the security of India by its citizens, Dinamalar added.
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Sampanthan warns of ‘hidden agenda’ of Sri Lanka government

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 March 2010, 06:00 GMT]
“Sri Lanka government does not want any area in the island where minority community lives in majority. Hence the government led by President Mahinda Rajapakse is implementing its ‘hidden agenda’ to colonize such areas with Sinhalese to reduce the majority of minority community,” Mr. R. Sampanthan, leader of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) and the chief candidate for the Trincomalee electoral district, said addressing representatives of Tamil civil groups in Trincomalee.
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Unacknowledged suffering can return to haunt history, says NPR

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 March 2010, 04:30 GMT]
During the popular Diane Rehm show in Washington's National Public Radio (NPR) Friday, responding to a question on the muted response of Obama administration to the slaughter of civilians in Sri Lanka, NPR's commentator Gjelten said, "When people feel that their suffering is not acknowledged and recognized by the international community, they tend to develop grudges, and they remember this. And they are scarred by that experience. One sobering lesson is that, when Nations feel historic grudge, it can come back to haunt history generations later... These grudges come back to the surface, and they can re-ignite in new conflicts."
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French UN comments wrong, misleading, says Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 March 2010, 00:12 GMT]
Responding to United Nation's France Ambassador, Gerard Araud's, comment on UN inaction on Sri Lanka's civilian slaughter that the UN Secretary General cannot intervene against the wishes of a UN member state, Professor Boyle, an expert in International Law and a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, told TamilNet that the French statement is "simply wrong and deliberately misleading," and explained that "article 100 of the UN charter made it quite clear that UN Secretariat, including the Secretary General, was completely independent of the Member States of the United Nations."
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Police collect information of Vanni IDPs living out of refugee camps in Tamil Nadu

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 March 2010, 18:37 GMT]
Tamil Nadu police and its intelligence unit personnel are actively engaged in collecting details of the persons internally displaced from Vanni during the later stages of war who had gone to Tamil Nadu in South India from the detention centres in Vavuniyaa, sources in Tamil Nadu said. Information is being gathered particularly of those who are living with their relatives and friends in Tamil Nadu. Involvement of Sri Lanka intelligence in this investigation is suspected as many Vanni IDPs from Vavuniyaa detention centres were abducted by SL intelligence department and forced into turning informers, sources in Vavuniyaa said.
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UN can't go against member states, says French envoy

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 March 2010, 12:17 GMT]
French Ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, when asked by the Inner City Press (ICP) on the Secretary Ban Ki Moon's inaction in Sri Lanka "on the slaughter of civilians in Sri Lanka," said "[t]he Secretary General can't go against member states which did not want to intervene." Meanwhile, Inner City Press in a previous story reported quoting reliable UN sources that Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, had solicited a "UN job for his son" from UN Secretary General's Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar.
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Government continues to deceive IDPs in resettlement in HSZs in Valikaamam – President of IDP Welfare organizations

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 March 2010, 11:47 GMT]
Sri Lanka government continues to deceive the people evicted from their properties in Valikaamam north and east in Jaffna, which were declared High Security Zones (HSZs) by Sri Lanka Army (SLA), without allowing to them to resettle in their homes as promised time and again by government ministers and officials, A. S. Nadarajah, the president of the Federation of Welfare Organizations in Jaffna peninsula told TamilNet Friday. Even the promises made by President Rajapakse and his brother Basil Rajapakse prior to the recent presidential election have not been fulfilled, he added.
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Police arrest Udappu residents in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 March 2010, 09:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police Thursday claimed that they had taken into custody twenty-five persons at Naavaladi in Batticaloa in an attempt to flee by boat to seek asylum in a foreign country, probably Australia. Twenty Tamils and five Sinhalese were in the group.
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Swiss Tamils set benchmark in political organisation

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 March 2010, 01:32 GMT]
Eezham Tamils in Switzerland will democratically elect their representatives to form Swiss Council of Eezham Tamils on March 28, announced Tamil Election Switzerland (TES) it its official website. The constitution of the council will be based on the democratic mandate given by the diaspora Tamils of Switzerland in a referendum held in January this year, the announcement further said. The democratic moves of Swiss Tamils for their political organisation have already received widespread appreciation from the Swiss media, political parties and from the members of the National Parliament. The council will follow Switzerland's federal model of cantons for its structure, said Thayatharan Deivendran, the spokesman of the election committee.
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Pilgrims to Paalaitheevu St. Antony’s church annual festival asked to register with SLN

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 March 2010, 18:41 GMT]
Jaffna Bishop House, instructed by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), has requested the devotees who wish to attend the annual two days festival of Paalaitheevu St. Antony’s church on the 6th and 7th of March to register their names and the particulars of their boats, with local SLN authorities. Devotees are being allowed to attend this festival of this church which is also known as the ‘Pilgrims Church’ after a period of five years, sources in Jaffna said.
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More than 100,000 children traumatised: Norwegian aid worker

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 March 2010, 18:03 GMT]
Redd Barna (Save the Children) aid worker from Norway, Vidar Strøm, has said that there are over one hundred thousand children who have been traumatised, to a greater or lesser degree, after being exposed to the war and then for the internment camps in the North. Redd Barna has gained access to the camps only after December 01 and is working to create child-friendly environment within the camps. "The goal is to make a very abnormal situation as normal as possible," Mr. Strøm told the official website of the organisation.
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15 SLA soldiers arrested over journalist Lasantha Wickremathunge assassination

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 March 2010, 10:48 GMT]
The inquiry into the killing of Lasantha Wickremathunge, Chief Editor of the Sunday Leader took a new turn with the arrest of fifteen soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) who earlier served in the SLA Intelligence Unit. They are now being detained by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) and being interrogated, police spokesman told media in Colombo.
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Orchestrated efforts suspected in silencing war witnesses

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 March 2010, 05:22 GMT]
Some recent 'abductions' of Eezham Tamil refugees who have come to Tamil Nadu after the war may have connections to orchestrated efforts in silencing war crime witnesses, allege informed media circles in Chennai. Within the last one month, a special group of people, released from the detention camps of Colombo, was sent to Tamil Nadu to carry out certain specific tasks, the sources said adding that the group includes some former LTTE members of key positions and those who were employed in the former Tamil Eelam civil administration, including the police.
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Sampanthan to lead ITAK electioneering in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 March 2010, 17:17 GMT]
The three-day election campaign of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) is to begin on March 17 and will continue till March 19 in the Jaffna electoral district. Mr.R.Sampanthan, ITAK President and the Chief Candidate in the Trincomalee electoral district is to lead the three-day campaign, ITAK sources said.
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Government engaged in setting up Sinhalese colonies in Vanni – Suresh Premachandran

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 March 2010, 15:34 GMT]
“Sri Lanka government is actively engaged in colonizing the Vanni districts of Mannaar, Mullaiththeevu and Ki’linochchi with the families of armed force personnel and Sinhalese people,” Suresh Premachandran, former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian and one of the TNA candidates contesting Jaffna electoral district, said in a press briefing held Wednesday at his Jaffna office.
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Dissolved parliament to be reconvened March 9 to extend Emergency

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 March 2010, 05:22 GMT]
The dissolved parliament is to be summoned on March 9 to extend the State of Emergency for another month. The State of Emergency now in force is to expire on March 5. President has been empowered to extend the State of Emergency for another month by issuing extra-ordinary gazette notification under the Constitution, but it has to be ratified by the parliament within ten days, parliamentary sources said.
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SLA systematically terrorises female detainees

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 March 2010, 21:45 GMT]
Torture of female detainees in special camps of the Sri Lankan Army in Vavuniyaa continues to the extent of making many of the detainees insane, reports reaching from Vavuniyaa said. The torture is mainly carried out by female soldiers of the SLA, according to information provided by reliable civil society sources, which claim that they have hard evidence to prove it if there is any credible international investigation.
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TULF releases election manifesto in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 March 2010, 15:39 GMT]
Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader, V. N. Anandasangari, released the election manifesto of TULF Tuesday at the party office in Stanley Veethi in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. He said that the Tamil parliamentarians elected in the last general election in Jaffna district had done nothing for the good of the Tamils and that they should withdraw from contesting so as to pave the way for TULF. Hundreds of TULF supporters were present on the occasion.
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100 Tamil youths taken to Boosa prison from Vavuniyaa detention camp

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 March 2010, 14:55 GMT]
Sri Lankan Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) arrested Friday 100 Tamil youths detained in Ne'lukku'lam Technical College detention camp in Vavuniyaa for further interrogation and later took them to Boosa prison in the south, according to information given to Human Rights Commission (HRC) Colombo. Recently two groups of young Tamil women from some detention centres in Vavuniyaa had been arrested on two separate occasions and taken to Boosa prison, sources in Vavuniyaa said.
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Ex-Somali defense minister in war-crimes trial in US

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 March 2010, 12:09 GMT]
U.S. Supreme Court will hear "war-crimes charges" against former Somali Defense minister and Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Samantar in a civil case this Wednesday, legal sources in Washington said. Samantar, 74, currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia, after fleeing his native country in 1991 to Rome, and then moving to the U.S. to join his wife and children in 1997. Samantar's five accusers say that Samantar bears command responsibility for a "regime of repeated rape, abduction, summary execution, and years long imprisonment in solitiary confinement" of many of their relatives. Samantar's attorneys argue that their client has immunity under Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act.
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ITAK begins election campaign in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 March 2010, 13:17 GMT]
The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Sunday evening inaugurated its election campaign in Trincomalee district in support of its candidates led by its President and former Member of Parliament R.Sampanthan. Mr. Sampanthan with other candidates S.Mathialagan, K.Selvarajah, (Trincomalee Urban Council Vice Chairman), K.Nageswaran, K.Thiruchelvam and M.Neminathan participated in the election rally. Former Member of Parliamentarian K.Thurairetnasingham presided over the rally held at Sivan Koayil Veethi.
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4,000 devotees attend Kachchaitheevu St. Antony’s church annual festival

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 March 2010, 11:39 GMT]
More than 4,000 devotees attended the annual festival of historically famous St. Antony’s church in Kachchaitheevu, an islet on the sea boundary between Sri Lanka and India, sources in Jaffna said. After period of nearly 23 years devotees from Sri Lanka and India had gathered at Kachchaitheevu to worship and participate in the festival, the sources added. Rear Admiral of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) for north, Weerasekara, was present at the festival which took place Saturday and Sunday.
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Tamil National Peoples Front launched in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 March 2010, 06:26 GMT]
It was announced that a new Tamil national political alliance called ‘Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF)' has been formed, in a press meet held Sunday at the Jaffna office of All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) party. Former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians Gejendrakumar Ponnambalam, S. Kajendren, Ms. Pathmini Sithamparanathan and TNA activists including ACTC chief candidate Sinnathurai Varatharajan for Jaffna electoral district were present at the press briefing. The new Alliance stated that it was based firmly on the concept of Tamil nationalism: Homeland, Tamil nationhood, Tamil sovereignty and Tamils Right to self-determination.
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