60 Reports

Kurdish civilians killed in ‘Sri Lanka style’ attack

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 December 2011, 07:26 GMT]
In a deadly strike that was carried out in Uludere of Sirnak province in Turkey’s Southeast region on Wednesday, Turkish F16’s killed at least 36 Kurdish civilians. While the ruling party AKP’s spokesperson called the attack an ‘operational mistake’ and the government has claimed that there will be investigations in to the matter, the PKK said in a statement that the strike was “the result of the all-out war concept developed by the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government against our leader, movement and people. This is the continuation of the system of arrest and torture that aims at intimidating our people”. Even as the PKK called for an uprising, there have been huge protests by the Kurdish people in Turkey’s capital and other places.
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Murder, rape dog Sri Lanka tourist sector

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 December 2011, 04:13 GMT]
Reports from the Sri Lanka media state that the southern tourist town of Tangalle near Hambantota "is now all but deserted after foreign visitors fled" following the murder of a 32-year old British tourist after a bar brawl at the resort. Prosthetic expert Khuram Shaikh, from Milnrow, Rochdale, was taking a break from his Red Cross assignment in Middle-east, when he was killed, and his Russian girlfriend was severely injured during the altercation. The alleged killer, Vidanapathirana, 24, the chairman of Tangalle village council, a close associate of Rajapaksas, surrendered after absconding for a day, according to reports. Meanwhile, BBC reported five youths were arrested attempting to rape a swedish tourist Friday in Negombo, where tourists guides have complained to Police that incidents of sexual harassment of tourists occur regularly in the resorts.
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LLRC Report, an apologia for Sri Lanka Army, says New York Times

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 December 2011, 03:47 GMT]
Noting that "regarding the war’s terrible final weeks, it [the LLRC Report] is largely an apologia for the army," a report appearing in New York Times Saturday says that "while the commission makes sensible recommendations and exposes grave atrocities committed by the Tigers against ordinary people, it also demonstrates that government troops shelled no-fire zones in order to neutralize rebel attacks from within," and adds, "Sri Lankans no longer need to pretend that the army didn’t shell zones where civilians were encouraged to gather, or subscribe to the fantasy that no innocents died when shells landed on or near hospitals."
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ITAK activists threatened by SLA intelligence operatives in Mullaiththeevu

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 December 2011, 14:34 GMT]
Activists of the Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) in Mullaiththeevu of Vanni, who were engaged in organizing party activities this week have been threatened with death by intelligence operatives of the Sri Lanka Army, sources in Mullaiththeevu told TamilNet. The intimidation by the occupying SLA has come following the leading activists of the ITAK Mr.C.V.K.Sivagnanam and Mr. Kunanayagam, went to the district distributing forms to enrol members to the party. The SLA intelligence personnel have targeted the activists of the party in Mullaiththeevu for accepting these forms.
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UPFA goons attack on Mullaiththeevu district accountant draws protest

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 December 2011, 08:17 GMT]
The employees at Mullaiththeevu District Secretariat on Thursday staged a token strike protesting against the attack by UPFA goons on the accountant of the District Secretariat of Mullaiththeevu on Wednesday. A five-member group of Colombo's ruling UPFA Wednesday around 7:30 p.m. entered the office of the accountant, S. Jeyakumar and attacked him. Mr. Jeyakumar has been voicing against the political interference and against the misappropriation of the funds taking place in the district, informed sources told media. The sources alleged involvement of various personalities associated with Rajapaksa establishment with vested interests, ranging from SL minister Rishad Bathiutheen to the Mullaiththeevu coordinator of North East Housing Rehabilitation Project (NEHRP) and the Puthukkudiyiruppu SLFP organiser for intervening in the affairs of the District Secretariat.
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SL ‘special agents’ ransack human rights activist's apartment in Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 December 2011, 02:25 GMT]
Sri Lankan investigation officers claiming to be from the ‘Special Unit’ on Wednesday evening ransacked an apartment where a Tamil human rights activist from the East was residing in Colombo. The agents clad in civil and uniform entered the room of the human rights activist around 10:00 p.m. and took away documents and files without mentioning the intention of the action and without providing any list of what they have taken from the apartment, informed sources said. The Human Rights activist, who was formerly a progamme officer of a Belgium-based international organisation, was living in the apartment with his Sinhala room mate. The Sinhala friend was taken away by the investigating officers, detained for almost 20 hours and harrassed, informed NGO sources in Colombo told TamilNet Thursday.
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SLA soldier shoots dead traveller on Poonakari Road

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 December 2011, 14:29 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army soldier, manning a check post on Poonakari Road, shot and killed a traveller on motorbike Thursday around 7:00 a.m. after demanding the traveller to hand over his motorbike, sources in Poonakari told TamilNet. The SLA soldier was reportedly killed in friendly-fire when he later confronted fellow soldiers, the sources further said. Tension prevailed in the area and the road remained closed for hours. Although the dead body of the SLA soldier was sent to Jaffna hospital and transferred to Palaali military hospital, the information or identity of the slain traveller is yet to be made public. SL military officials are yet to reveal details of the episode and journalists were blocked from reaching the site.
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SL military governor builds expensive bungalow, diverts aid to Sinhala colonists

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 December 2011, 12:22 GMT]
The estimated cost of the modern bungalow now under construction in the Old Park for the use of Major General (retired) G.A.Chandrasiri in Jaffna has exceeded 190 million rupees, informed sources in Jaffna told TamilNet. For comparison, the annual expenditure for the education of the Northern Province stands at 250 million rupees. Questioning the need for such an expensive bungalow for the SL military governor in Jaffna, civil officials in Jaffna blamed G.A. Chandrasiri for meddling with the disbursement of aid in the province. G.A.Chandrasiri, has directed that fifteen sewing machines out of 65 that were allocated for distribution among war widows in the five districts of the Northern Province should be distributed to encroached Sinhalese families in Kaithadi-Naavatkuzhi in Jaffna district.
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Muslim woman knifed to death in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 December 2011, 12:14 GMT]
The body of a 69-year old Muslim woman, Vellaikutty Vellai Umma, was recovered with cut injuries on her neck on December 26 in her house located along S.L. Hajiar Road in Ward 5 of Vaalaichcheanai in Vaalaichcheanai police division in Batticaloa district, police sources said. The woman went to her daughters’ house at Buhari Road in Oaddamaavadi, and was later found dead with cut injuries with pointed weapon.
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Protestors force SL military to open cremation ground in HSZ

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 December 2011, 18:51 GMT]
Resettled Tamils in the eastern part of Kaangkeasanthu'rai (KKS) on Tuesday staged a spontaneous protest against the Sri Lanka military demanding the right of the dead to be cremated in their own cremation ground. The protestors threatening to carry the casket of one of their relatives to the cremation ground blocked the main access route of the SL military, demanding the occupying army to open the route to the cemetery. Although the SL military blocked more than a hundred villagers, who attempted to take forward the casket to the cremation ground, the military hierarchy was forced to allow the villagers to reach the cremation ground through an alternative route as the protest lasted for more than 3 hours. The elected TNA members of the civic body in KKS joined the protest, which is described as first of its kind agitation in the SL occupied Jaffna.
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LLRC criticisms escalate as Colombo threatens legal action

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 December 2011, 14:27 GMT]
Questioning the need for "a seven-man presidential Commission costing millions of rupees for platitudinous recommendations that the government will ignore," Prof. Kumar David, in an opinion column in Lakbima says, "[t]his game [LLRC] is not being played for reconciliation with the Tamils; it is being played to get the human rights and international agencies baying for blood off the government’s back," and notes, "[i]f GoSL wants to settle the national question it knows what it needs to do and could have done so a long time ago; no need for commissions. End the military occupation of Tamil areas and close down the High Security Zones, implement full devolution of power, and release Tamil youth held in illegal detention for years. For starters, these few steps will do more than a hundred commissions of inquiry."
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Maldives President on SL trip tipped to endorse LLRC report

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 December 2011, 12:54 GMT]
In what appears to be a move to further strengthening diplomatic relationship between Maldives and Sri Lanka, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is on an invited trip to the island. While official sources have attributed the trip to other reasons, informed media circles in Colombo told TamilNet that Mr. Nasheed is there to endorse the LLRC report, which whitewashes the Colombo regime from all charges of genocide and war crimes, which was released by Sri Lanka recently. This visit of the leader of the tiny Asian country is a first step to getting the regional power India to officially approve and to market the LLRC report that is already coming under heavy criticisms from many quarters, observers said. The blessings of New Delhi-Washington powers are observed in such shadow wars of diplomacy even as protests in support of the demands of the Eezham Tamils are intensifying in Tamil Nadu.
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Indian aid to war-affected Tamils diverted to Sinhala colonisers

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 December 2011, 08:02 GMT]
Sri Lankan Colonial Governor of the Northern Province, Major General (retired ) G.A.Chandrasiri, has diverted a portion of India-donated aid, meant for ‘resettled’ Tamil civilians in the five districts of North, once again as in the case of the India-donated tractors. This time, 2,000 bicycles were donated to each district. G.A. Chandrasiri has diverted 500 of 2,000 bicycles allocated to Jaffna district to Sinhala colonisers who have occupied the Ma'naalaa'ru division in Vanni. Even the aid provided by India to the people of North, as a public relations maneuver in camouflaging its anti-people collaboration with the genocidal Colombo's structural genocide on the country of Eezham Tamils, is being exploited by the SL military-led civil administration, commented civil officials in Jaffna.
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Continuous rain devastates Batticaloa, Ampaa'rai, normalcy disrupted

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 December 2011, 07:07 GMT]
More than one hundred villages in fourteen DS divisions in the Batticaloa district are under water since the outbreak of torrential rain with gale, according to district secretariat sources. About seven hundred and fifteen have been displaced and sought refuge in Chiththaa'ndi Mahaa Viththiyaalayam as the houses in wards 3rd and 4th in Chiththaa'ndi village in Ea'raavoorpattu Chengkaladi DS division are under water. 75 percent of houses in Vellaave'li, Paddippazhai, Vavu'natheevu, Ea'raavoorpattu, Chengkaladi, Koa'ralaip-pattu South, Koa'ralaip-pattu, Koa'ralaip-pattu North, Koa'ralaip-pattu West and Ma'nmunaip-pattu North are under rain water.
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SL military appropriates 54 acres of Palaali Training College

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 December 2011, 20:46 GMT]
Sri Lankan Defence Ministry has set afoot plans for grabbing the lands of Palaali Teachers Training College, one of the two key academic institutions of Tamil teachers in the North, for military purposes. The latest move by Colombo to appropriate the 54 acres of the land situated near the Palaali airport in the High Security Zone and to possibly annex the personnel of the institution with Koappaay training college, has drawn severe reactions from the educationalist and academic circles as well as the civil society in the North.
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SLFP on collision course with EPDP in Jaffna Municipal Council

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 December 2011, 21:35 GMT]


The internal crisis in the ruling party of the Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) has reached climax to capture the administration of the Municipal Council in Jaffna from Douglas Devananda's EPDP. The latest move is reported to have the blessings of SL presidential sibling Basil Rajapaksa, who is also the SL Economic Development Minister. The councilors opposing the JMC Mayoress Yogeswary Patkunam, who was chosen by Mr. Devandanda, are now aligning with the SLFP group backed by Mr. Basil Rajapaksa. EPDP councilor Manuel Mangalanesan, who was attacked on Thursday had also announced that he would be joining the SLFP group after another EPDP member, Nishanthan, had joined the SLFP.
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Rajapaksa strengthens blueprint of Sinhalicisation in East

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 December 2011, 11:52 GMT]
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has re-appointed former Sri Lanka Navy Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Mohan Wijewickrama as the Governor of Eastern Province for the second term on December 22. Wijewickrama's re-appointment is considered as a move by Mr. Rajapaksa to keep the civil administration of the Eastern Provincial Council under the control of Sri Lankan military. The former SLN officer is being in charge of implementing ‘Mahinda Chindana’ policy and ‘development’ agenda of structural genocide in the areas where Tamil speaking people live in majority.
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SLA steps up harassment on University students in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 December 2011, 12:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army deployed hundreds of soldiers around the University of Jaffna Thursday evening harassing the students by checking everyone at the two main entries to the University throughout the evening and night. The latest move comes following the death threats issued to 8 named student activists and three lecturers of the Jaffna University. The students who were at the office of the Jaffna University Students Union (JUSU) were questioned by the SLA forcing them to leave the site. Checking was carried out at the entry to Balasingham male hostel, situated 300 meters away from the University and the SL military personnel were deployed on all the four sides of the University premises.
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Kevu'liyaamadu encroached by Sinhalese, Tamil farmer attacked

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 December 2011, 10:39 GMT]
Sinhalese encroachers, who have occupied the grazing lands of in the border of Batticaloa and Ampaa'rai districts, have attacked and broke the hand of a 40-year-old Tamil farmer who took his cattle for grazing lands allocated for the purpose at Thevu'laala-ku'lam in Paddippazhai DS division in Batticaloa district on December 07. The injured farmer, Thiayagarajah Moothavan, who has been admitted at the Gonakelle hospital in Ampaa'rai general hospital, complained that a ten member gang attacked him when he was taking cattle to grazing land allocated for the Batticaloa dairy farmers. 480 Sinhalese families had encroached high lands and paddy lands owned by Tamil families in Suvaamimalai and Kevu'liyaamadu in Paddipazhai DS division. Meanwhile, Muslim farmers facing competition by the Sinhalese in Ampaa'rai district are also encroaching the lands of Tamils in Batticaloa.
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‘Failure to confront UK deportations is failing humanity’

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 December 2011, 07:03 GMT]
While various human rights and media outfits across the world are day by day realizing the full extent of the genocidal actions of the Sri Lankan state, whether the United Kingdom’s deportation of around 50 Eelam Tamils despite protests from various organizations is not an endorsement of a war criminal state, wondered diaspora activists in the country. In the same spirit, British journalist Emanuel Stoakes came down on the left parties in the country for not paying the sort of attention the issue deserves, in an article on the New Statesman on Wednesday. Criticising the general silence on the Eelam Tamil issue, he opined that there needs to be more people pushing for accountability of the Rajapaksa regime and for rights of the asylum seekers not to be deported. There are still about 100 Eelam Tamils in the UK who are awaiting deportation, sources in UK told TamilNet.
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Rajapaksa exacerbates tension between Tamils, Sinhalese: US Republican

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 December 2011, 12:04 GMT]
Instead of pursuing genuine reconciliation, which is essential for the country's long-term stability, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to exacerbate tensions in his country, particularly those between Tamils and Sinhalese, New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm told Roll Call Newspaper online Wednesday. “A prime and alarming example of this is the attempts by Rajapaksa's regime to whitewash horrible actions by the government in the final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war, where 10,000 to 40,000 ethnic Tamils were slaughtered by government forces made up almost entirely of ethnic Sinhalese,” said the former FBI agent and U.S. Marine.
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Thousands displaced, stranded by floods in Vanni

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 December 2011, 15:05 GMT]
More than twelve thousand people earlier uprooted during the war and later allowed to resettle but forced to reside in temporary huts as they were not provided with government assistance to construct news houses, are now seeking refuge in temporary transit camps due to flood caused by torrential rain with gale that is continuing since last week in Vanni region in the Northern Province. The civil authorities have come over a new challenge this year as they lack buildings in Vadamaraadchi East and the remaining areas of Vanni to even house the people temporarily.
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7 divisions flooded in Batticaloa district, more rains expected

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 December 2011, 11:55 GMT]
Seven DS divisions, Vavu'na-theevu, Chengkaladi, Ma'nmunaip-pattu, Koa'raip-pattu, Koa'raip-pattu West, Kaaththaankudi and Ma'nmunaip-pattu North in Batticaloa district have been affected badly due to the ongoing torrential rain with gale, according to District Secretariat officials.
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Intelligence agencies on man-hunt for genocide witnesses

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 December 2011, 06:39 GMT]
Through fraud, finance and force, the intelligence agencies of Sri Lanka in collusion with their counterparts in ‘friendly’ countries are pursuing and silencing certain crucial witnesses to the genocide that happened in the stages of war leading to Mu’l’livaaykkaal. An upcoming documentary by a British channel is being used as a ruse to draw out such witnesses and target them. To such ends, a selected group of Tamils are operated by such agencies through threats or bribes to act as decoys to win the trust of witnesses and to trap them, reliable sources from India told TamilNet. A number of witnesses, who gave eyewitness accounts have already been arrested and handed over to Colombo through formal deportation from India.
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TNA demands internationally mandated mechanism for war-crimes accountability

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 December 2011, 15:30 GMT]
Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, parliamentary group leader of Tamil National Alliance, in a forceful articulation of the stand of the TNA on the report from the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) said that the report “categorically fails to effectively and meaningfully deal with issues of accountability, and added that “the findings of the LLRC offend the dignity of these victims [deposed before the LLRC]," according to a report appearing in the Hindu. In a previous statement nominated TNA MP, and attorney, M.A. Sumanthiran told Sunday Leader that "the Commission has severely contradicted itself by concluding that the civilians had not been deliberately targeted by the security forces in the final stages of the war."
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US wants to see 'LLRC gaps' filled domestically by Colombo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 December 2011, 12:11 GMT]
While Human Rights groups and Tamil parties in the island as well as the diaspora groups slammed the LLRC report by Rajapaksa-appointed Commission of Colombo, the US State Department said “the report has addressed a number of the crucial areas of concern to Sri Lankans” and saw the accountability issue as a domestic one without calling for international investigations. “We urge the Sri Lankan Government not only to fulfill all of the recommendations of the report as it stands, but also to address those issues that the report did not cover,” was the response by the US State Department as reported by New Delhi based Headlines Today on Tuesday.
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TNPF slams LLRC report

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 December 2011, 05:00 GMT]
In a press briefing held in Jaffna following the public release of the LLRC report, the by the Tamil National People Front (TNPF) said it totally rejects the report and added that the report is a deliberate attempt to whitewash the egregious crimes committed against the Tamil people. "The report places the blame on the LTTE and other tamil groups. We can no longer remain patient. There is urgent need for the International Community to conduct an independent investigation. What happened is genocide. While the war ended two and a half years ago, structural genocide against Tamil people is continuing, and International community should not hesitate to raise its voices," Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, vice president of TNPF told the media.
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Champoor uprooted Tamil families live in fear due to continuous rain

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 December 2011, 12:49 GMT]
Uprooted 1,486 Tamil families forced to stay by the Colombo authority in structures called temporary welfare centres at Mallikaith-theevu, Paddith-thidal, Ma'nat-cheanai and Kaddai-pa'richchaan in Moothoor DS division without being allowed to resettle in their traditional villages in Champoor area are facing untold suffering due to the incessant rain with gale now being experienced in the Trincomalee district for about one week.
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LLRC, a farcical attempt at accountability: paper

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 December 2011, 16:59 GMT]
Noting that the "LLRC has for too long been the international community's fig leaf, used by governments across the world, including the US and the UK, to stall calls for accountability and a credible investigation into allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide," the Tamil Guardian in its analysis of the report, points out that the report exposes the lack of mandate and the will to investigate international crimes the world was expecting to see, and asserts that "International law is uncompromising in this regard - responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide goes to the very top. In the case of Sri Lanka, the defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the then head of the army, General Sarath Fonseka, and the commander in chief - the president - Mahinda Rajapaksa are principally answerable."
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Rajapakse case, a legal pioneer, reaches historic milestone, says Fein

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 December 2011, 15:38 GMT]
An historic legal milestone was passed last Friday in the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) lawsuit against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the extra-judicial killings of six Sri Lankan Tamils pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, attorney for the plaintiffs, Bruce Fein said. A lawyer representing President Rajapaksa from the mega-law firm Patton Boggs LLC tacitly acknowledged receipt of the complaint and summons filed by the Plaintiffs in a motion to request the District Court to ask the U.S. Department of State for its views about the lawsuit. "The motion filed by President Rajapaksa formally brings him into the case, where for the first time he will be accountable to the rule of law, not the rule of the jungle," Fein added.
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Sri Lanka Court admits as evidence confession taken under torture

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 December 2011, 02:15 GMT]
Ruling on the 1999 case involving the attack on former President Chandrika Kumaratunge, Colombo high court admitted as valid evidence defendant's confession taken under alleged torture and issued a guilty verdict, legal sources in Colombo said. Velayutham Varatharajah, the main suspect in the case, told reporters that despite the presence of medical evidence that he was tortured during Police custody the High Court ruled the confession taken under duress as admissible evidence against him.
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JVP dissidents protest against Jaffna abductions of HR activists

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 December 2011, 20:45 GMT]
Around 200 people, who were brought from South by the JVP dissident group, “Movement for People’s Struggle” staged a protest in Jaffna Saturday in front of Jaffna Bus Stand, demanding the release of Lalith Veeraraj, the Jaffna district organisor of the group and his friend Kugan Murugananthan. Sri Lanka soldiers and policemen equaling the number of the protestors were deployed at the site of the protest between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the motorbike of the abductees has been recovered two days earlier, along the borders of SL military High Security Zone in Achchuveali surrounding the Palaali military base.
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Rajapakse accepts Court summons, asks US to confer immunity

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 December 2011, 19:35 GMT]
After avoiding service for more than 9 months, and despite statements by Colombo that Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse is not answerable to US Courts, Rajapakse-appointed counsel from the lobby firm of Patton Boggs filed a motion with the District Court of District of Columbia for "enlargement of time to respond to the complaint" related to the legal action, 11-cv-00235, by three Tamil plaintiffs sponsored by Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group. Legal observers expressed surprise at the filing, which, in addition to effecting waiver of service, also attempts to set the time window for response pleading tied to a discretionary act by Judge Kotelly on seeking view of the US State Department.
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LLRC has failed, IC should call for International Investigation: HRW

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 December 2011, 04:19 GMT]
“The serious shortcomings of the 388-page report, which was posted on a government website on December 16, 2011, highlight the need for an international investigative mechanism into the conflict as recommended by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts in April,” said New York based Human Rights Watch Saturday. The LLRC report disregards the worst abuses by the SL government forces, rehashes long-standing recommendations, and fails to advance accountability for victims of Sri Lanka’s civil armed conflict, the HRW further said.
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UK Courts refuse stay on deportation, TAG appeals to European Court

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 December 2011, 03:54 GMT]
Ruling on the case filed at the Queens Bench Administrative Court by Tamils Against Genocide (TAG-UK) Tuesday challenging the British deportation policy on the grounds that the policy has not been reviewed in light of recent evidence that asylum returnees to Sri Lanka face imminent torture at the hands of Sri Lanka Government, Mr Justice Mitting refused stay and refused permission for judicial review of deportation policy reasoning that the claim can only succeed on "individualized applications," and not on the grounds of a challenge to the failure to review policy, legal sources in London said. The Appeals Court agreed with the lower court decision. TAG said that the case is being appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has jurisdiction over such asylum cases.
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Political prisoner alleges abuse by prision guard to make false confession

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 December 2011, 17:27 GMT]
Navaneethan, a guard in Batticaloa Prison, who allegedly receives instructions from SL Deputy Minister Vinayamoorthy Muralitharan, has been threatening a political detainee at the prison to to give a confession saying that he shot and killed Satchi master inside the prison on 15 July 2004. The victimised political detainee, Gunaseelan, made a complaint Wednesday when he was present in front of the Batticaloa Magistrate. The Magistrate directed the officer in charge of the Batticaloa prison to arrest the prison guard, legal sources in Batticaloa said.
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Death threat issued to 8 student activists, 3 lecturers of Jaffna University

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 December 2011, 14:10 GMT]
“There will be ‘maximum punishment’ [assassination] for those who disturb the ‘freedom’ that we gave to Tamil people by shedding our blood,” say posters and notices distributed by helmet-wearing unknown operatives who entered the premises of the University of Jaffna Thursday. The poster, titled “last warning” and issued in the name of “Naam Ilangkaiyar Security Force” (We Sri Lankans Security Force), names 8 students from 4 districts and 3 lectures of the University of Jaffna. The elected leadership of the student union this year and the newly elected leaders for the coming year are named in the list. One of the students is Mr. S.Thavapalasingham who was recently attacked by a group of men believed to be SL military intelligence operatives and one of the lecturers is Mr. S. Raveendran, who was abducted in Colombo in March 2009 and released after two weeks.
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Colombo-backed drug traffic destroys future of Tamil students in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 December 2011, 21:51 GMT]
Religious leaders and civil society groups have joined hands to work against Colombo's planned distribution of drugs among Tamil youth in Jaffna. It has been revealed in a recent survey that around 28 students of both sexes in a leading mixed school in the peninsula were engaged in distributing drugs. The shocking information came to light following the detection of a student who was responsible for the distribution of drugs, and that led to the identification of persons who are engaged in trafficking drugs into the peninsula.
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TAG files legal challenge to UK deportation policy

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 December 2011, 03:27 GMT]
Tamils Against Genocide (TAG-UK), an activist group that assists in obtaining legal redress to war-affected Tamil civilians, filed a legal action in the British Queens Bench Administrative Court Tuesday claiming that UK government’s policy to proceed with the deportation of failed asylum seekers to Sri Lanka was a breach of legitimate expectation of policy review following serious concerns of returnee safety revealed in the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) report and the submissions by independent NGOs including Freedom From Torture (FfT) and Amnesty International to UNCAT, legal sources in London said. The British Government has reportedly organized a chartered flight to return nearly fifty failed asylum seekers to Sri Lanka on 15th December.
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SLGA in Jaffna blamed for manipulating statistics of uprooted people from HSZ

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 December 2011, 21:51 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Government Agent in Jaffna, Imelda Sugumar, has gone on record last week drastically reducing the number of uprooted persons from the SL military-occupied High Security Zone in the district, from 66,905 persons of 14,004 families as reported by her secretariat last year, to 36,442 persons of 10,170 families this year. Ms. Sugumar was citing ‘latest figures’ from December 06, 2011. In reality, the resettlement has gone at a snail's pace and there are still around 60,000 people waiting to resettle in their lands still occupied in the name of High Security Zones. The GA and Jaffna SL military commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe, in December 2010, went on record arguing that mine-clearance in HSZ area would take another 10 years. One month ago, Mahinda Hathurusinghe was giving the figure of people remaining to be resettled as numbering only around 18,000.
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Abducted JVP organiser in Jaffna feared killed

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 December 2011, 18:02 GMT]
Lalith Veeraraj, the Jaffna district organiser of the Movement for People’s Struggle, a JVP dissident group and his friend Kugan Murugananthan, who were reported missing in Achchuveali on Friday are feared killed, according to the MPS faction of the JVP which staged a press conference in Jaffna on Saturday. Lalith Veeraraj has been involved in bringing out the news regarding the missing persons, political prisoners and abductions in Jaffna, Ki'linochchi, Mullaiththeevu, Mannaar and Vavuniyaa during the past months and had been warned several times by the SL intelligence operatives not to get involved in the missing persons issue.
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UK Tamil groups to campaign jointly for Sri Lanka's war crimes probe

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 December 2011, 00:33 GMT]
Several Tamil activist groups, Tamil affiliates of British political parties, and Tamil journalists confederation in the UK in a meeting held at the British Parliament building at 7:00 p .m. Thursday organized by the British Tamil Forum (BTF) to mark the forth coming Human Rights Day, resolved to combined forces to pressure the international community to conduct an dependent investigation into war-crimes committed during the Sri Lanka's civil war, sources in UK said.
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Two human skeletons found in Kokkuvil, Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 December 2011, 19:38 GMT]
Two human skeletons packed into bags and dumped at an abandoned bush land, have been found Saturday when the workers hired by the owner of the land were clearing the land located near Potpathi Lane in Kokkuvil. The SL military has used the area for years after the LTTE had closed down its political office near the locality.
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UK to return refused Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 December 2011, 17:44 GMT]
Despite ongoing concerns over risks of torture in Sri Lanka, including to Tamils returning to Sri Lanka, the UK government continues to remove refused Sri Lankan asylum seekers, with a charter flight planned for 15 December, a UK-based activist group, Freedom from Torture (FfT) said. The group has recently launched a public action calling on the UK government to take urgent steps to ensure that they are not returning anyone to a serious risk of torture in Sri Lanka following its publication of forensically-documented evidence of ongoing torture in Sri Lanka.
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Sri Lanka exclusion zone likely contains mass graves: British MEP

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 December 2011, 15:41 GMT]
Richard Howitt, a British Member of European Parliament (MEP), after leading a delegation socialist MEPs to Sri Lanka where they were allowed to visit to the edge of the demarcated Exclusion zone, said "he believes there are many bodies of dead civilians buried in exclusion zones where the final fighting of the civil war took place in 2009," BBC reported. Howitt said that there should be full access to the exclusion zone.
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Missing persons' parents stage protest amidst harassment by SL military in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 December 2011, 10:12 GMT]
For the first time in Jaffna, kept under the iron fist of occupying SL military, parents and relatives of the missing persons, braved SL army barriers and harassment by the occupying soldiers and riot police and staged a protest in front of Jaffna Bus stand on Wold Human Rights Day seeking global attention on the plight of those reported missing since the end of Vanni war in 2009. The SL military and police blocked the organisers from Colombo, the Civil Monitoring Commttee of missing persons, at Veampadi in Jaffna, for hours blocking them from reaching the site of the protest. The protestors managed to intuitively stage the rally without the organisers, political observers in Jaffna said. In the meantime, a JVP dissident group member, Lalith Weeraraj, who was on his way to the protest site has been reported missing at Aavarangkaal. The SL Police attacked reporters covering the protest.
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SLA grabs 3,500 acres of land in Batticaloa for Sinhalicisation

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 December 2011, 17:28 GMT]
The occupying Sri Lanka Army in Batticaloa declared on Wednesday that it has taken over around 3500 acres of graze land located in Koa'ralaipttu South DS division in Batticaloa district for military purposes proclaiming the area as High Security Zone (HSZ). The SL Army has ordered the dairy farmers to remove their cattle immediately away from the lands. The said land was declared graze land by gazette notification in the year 1978. While the Batticaloa SLA Brigadier has said that the graze land area declared HSZ had been taken over by the SLA for military training purpose, Tamil farmers in the area complain say that the SLA move in declaring the area as HSZ was aimed at agricultural colonization by the Sinhalese with military protection.
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Abductions escalate in North, families urged to approach Co-Chair Ambassadors in Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 December 2011, 09:51 GMT]
21-year-old Tharsan Kannuchamy, who was earlier released after detention by the Sri Lanka Army following Vanni war, has been reported missing since Monday this week, according to a complaint lodged by his family with the SL Police in Chu'n'naakam in Jaffna. Mr. Tharsan was last seen leaving for work to a shop in Jaffna from Uduvil, where his family has recently settled after living in the nearby town of Chu'n'naakam. SL Police and Red Cross declining to take complaints, helpless human rights workers now advise family members of the abducted to report matters to the Ambassadors of the Co-Chair countries that are accountable to the war and post-war in the island.
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Translate political strength into solution: TNPF’s Kajendren

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 December 2011, 15:46 GMT]
The LTTE left endowing us with enhanced political strength in the international arena. It will be a folly if we don’t know to effectively translate that into political solution addressing to our aspirations, said the Secretary General of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), Selvaraja Kajendren, while remembering the slain Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, N. Raviraj on Wednesday in Jaffna. The present TNA tries to project an image that the Tamils are now weak and they should not demand anything as in the past. This is a wrong projection. It is the political strength and righteousness the LTTE left with us that now makes the IC to poke its nose with seeming sympathy. Their real interests are different, but the space has to be used with firmness and not with naivety on our part, Kajendren said.
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Abductions on rise in Vanni, Red Cross joins SL Police in refusing to register complaints

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 December 2011, 07:47 GMT]
A 23-year-old Tamil youth was abducted Tuesday night by armed men who came in a white van while the youth, Ganeshamoorthy Rathan, was talking to his friends along roadside in Kaadduvinayaakar temple area of his native village, Mu'l'liyava'lai of Mullaiththeevu district. Mr. Rathan was brought to his house and instructed to park his bicycle at his house. When the mother of the victim suspected that her son was under pressure by unknown men who accompanied him, the men pulled out a gun and said they were from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the SL Police and instructed Mr. Rathan to get into the van. When the family members went to the SL Red Cross office situated in Mullaiththeevu, the officials at the office refused to accept the complaint and said they do not register such complaints.
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Tension prevails as SLA terrorizes Tamils confronting Sinhala thugs in Vanni

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 December 2011, 02:44 GMT]
Scores of Tamils, including women and children, were injured and terrorized by the occupying Sinhala army at Ira'naimadu junction in Ki'linochchi on Tuesday night between 8:00 and 10:30 p.m., following 4 Sinhala thugs were confronted by the local people. Four Sinhala men from South who came to a Tamil shop at Ira'naimadu junction on Tuesday night threatened the shopkeeper and attacked him. When the people of the locality retaliated, the Sinhala men escaped into an SL military camp. Around 30 Sinhala soldiers who came in support of the thugs indiscriminately attacked the people of the locality and all people passing by the junction. The attack continued for nearly two hours.
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SLA threatens villagers protesting illegal sand mining in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 December 2011, 23:29 GMT]
The commander of the occupying Sri Lanka Army camp at Mu'rakkoddaagncheanai and the police officer-in-charge from Ea'raavoor station on Monday dispersed the villagers from Chantha'na-madu-aa'ru who gathered in front of Chiththaa'ndi Murugan Temple to protest against illegal sand mining allegedly being carried out by a paramilitary person of Pillayan group, who is also a member in the civic body of Chengkaladi Piratheasa Chapai (PS).
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SL Police backed robbery group exposed in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 December 2011, 23:01 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Police in the city of Mannaar has been backing a 10-member gang to fuel communal hatred among the sections of Tamil speaking people in Mannaar, legal sources in the city told TamilNet Tuesday. The ploy has come to light after the gang leader with Muslim name, allegedly a convert from Hindu background, has been caught following a number of criminal acts in the city. Known by one name, Rahman, has been harassing Tamil women and has been allegedly behind a number of robberies while sharing the ‘income’ with senior SL police personnel in Mannaar police station, sources in the city said.
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UK lobbyists wrote Rajapakse's UN Civil war speech - paper

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 December 2011, 01:05 GMT]
During a special undercover investigation by UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, executives from Public Relations firm, Bell Pottinger, were caught on camera boasting of employing 'dark arts' to burnish reputations of countries accused of human rights violations, and were accused of "reputation laundering" using contacts in high levels of the British Government. The Independent newspaper reporting on the investigation also revealed that Bell Pottinger wrote the UN's speech for Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, and quoted a senior executive saying that "[the speech] went a long way taking the country [accused of rights violations] where it needed to go."
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Strategic Batticaloa borderland appropriated for colonisation

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 December 2011, 22:44 GMT]
2,500 acres of lands in Mangka'la Aaru, located along Chengkaladi-Badulla A-5 road, a border village of Batticaloa district, are to be sold to Sinhala businessmen and to foreign investors, informed sources in Paduvaankarai told TamilNet. SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Colombo government has recently taken steps to survey the lands through its deputy minister and paramilitary operative Vinyagamoorthy Muralitharan. A team of SL government officials from Colombo are on the ground conducting surveying and demarcating the lands in question for the last one week, the villagers said.
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War crime litigations reach crucial phase in US courts

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 December 2011, 20:19 GMT]
Civil cases against Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse and Shavendra Silva, an ex-army commander and currently Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) are waiting next round of decisions from the District Court of District of Columbia and District Court of Southern District of New York respectively, legal sources monitoring the progress of the cases said. The Rajapakse case awaits decision if the court can "force" Rajapakse to answer and engage with the Court. Shavendra case awaits decision from the SDNY judge on Silva's Motion to dismiss.
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NZ assures support for IC justice and accountability to war victims

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 December 2011, 20:01 GMT]
“New Zealand remains willing to co-operate with the international community in considering appropriate investigative mechanisms to bring justice and accountability to the victims of the Sri Lankan war,” said New Zealand’s foreign minister Murray McCully, on Thursday, in a letter addressed to Tamil Forum in New Zealand. The UNSG panel report is likely to be discussed at the March Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, he further said in the letter.
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Unemployed Tamil graduates stage protest in SL militarized Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 December 2011, 18:13 GMT]
Hundreds of unemployed Tamil graduates Friday held a protest in front of the office of the SL Colonial Governor of Northern Province Maj. Gen (retd) G.A.Chandrasiri demanding immediate employment and condemning the lethargic attitude of the Colombo government in providing employment opportunities to the graduates in the North. The demonstration commenced from Va'n'nai Perumaa'l Kovil the city of Jaffna went through Stanley Road and Kandy Road to the final destination in Chu'ndukuzhi where the SL Governor’s Secretariat is located. Around 500 unemployed graduates participated in the protest. No government appointments are made in the North between 2005 till 2010, the protesters complained.
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US Pacific Command to build hospitals in the North through Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 December 2011, 12:08 GMT]
Directly treating ‘development’ as a military strategy to match with the Sri Lankan model, the US Pacific Command has decided to re-build four hospitals in the north at Oddusuddaan in the Mulaiththeevu district and at Muzhankaavil, Poonakari and Pazhai in the Ki’linochchi district. While the US Pacific Command will be providing the grant assistance, the SL government will make available Rs. 23 million to meet the levies, Colombo media reports said. Except Pazhai, the other three places have major military bases and cantonments of occupying Sri Lanka.
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West endorses ethno-military rule, military solution: Tamil civil groups

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 December 2011, 11:39 GMT]
Civil society organisations in the country of Eezham Tamils are enraged at foreign diplomats visiting their country confining the purposes of the visits primarily to meeting the commanders of the occupying Sinhala military but not the civil society. While genocidal Sri Lanka conjures ’normalcy’ has come to Tamils, the gesture of these diplomats is a tacit endorsement to the ethnic-shaded military rule and military solution. Those who delay international justice, sit on international responsibilities, and talk about ‘domestic’ solutions are not honest. They only mean ‘remote controlled’ military solution, and that is what in the minds of the core sections of the Establishments that deploy cosmetic talk of human rights as a cover, the civil groups accused. They are particularly enraged at the conduct of the US, UK and EU diplomats.
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