51 Reports

RSF calls for condemnation of Sri Lanka over media rights violations

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 February 2012, 02:20 GMT]
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in a media release issued Tuesday, called on members of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) "to pass a resolution condemning the Sri Lankan government’s violations of freedom of information and to demand an end to threats and violence against news media and human rights defenders in Sri Lanka." The release also referred to TamilNet's struggle against the modern electronic form of suppression of media freedom saying, "[s]ince 25 February: Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks (DDoS) have been disrupting web traffic of TamilNet.com. The service provider is struggling to keep the website online."
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Namal Rajapaksa demands 10 acres of Ilmenite-rich land in Kokku'laay

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 February 2012, 23:48 GMT]
SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son Namal Rajapaksa, has been recently demanding the Village Officer of Kokku'laay in Mullaiththeevu district, to hand over to him 10 acres of land belonging to Tamils to construct a mineral separation plant near the river mouth in Kokku'laay in Mullaiththeevu district, informed civil sources in Mullaiththeevu district told TamilNet. Mr. Namal Rajapaksa was prepared to give any amount to acquire the lands.
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Marie Colvin remembered in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 February 2012, 21:06 GMT]
Tamil journalists from various media organizations came together on Monday in Jaffna with civil society members and student representatives of various faculties of the Jaffna University, to pay tribute to the slain war correspondent in Syria, Marie Colvin, who had been in the island covering the conflict earlier. Paying floral tribute, the event, organized by Nimalarajan Memorial Foundation, remembered the late Marie Colvin as a Journalist Friend of Tamils. Meanwhile, remembering Marie Colvin in the diaspora, the London-based International Association of Tamil Journalists came out with a tribute last Thursday, saluting her courage, discipline and commitment to her work and to humanity.
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DDoS attack disrupts TamilNet web traffic

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 February 2012, 23:14 GMT]
Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack (DDoS), identified by the service provider of TamilNet as originating in an orchestrated way from certain affluent parts of the world, has been disrupting web traffic of TamilNet.com since Saturday. The attack on the independent media reporting to the world on Tamil affairs coincides with the opening of the 19th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in Geneva on Monday, where the USA and Sri Lanka have already pitched positions in hijacking the focus of issues concerning the cause of genocide-affected Eezham Tamils. TamilNet has been forced to seek expert services in regularising the web traffic. As a media arguing for Eezham Tamil public to take up the issues into their hands, TamilNet depends on the support of nobody other than the Tamil masses and the alternative world.
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SLA, paramilitary, force Tamils in Batticaloa to take part in anti-UN protests

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 February 2012, 22:26 GMT]
SLA operated paramilitary operatives, dispatched by the occupying Sri Lanka Army in Batticaloa, visited the Village Development Council (VDC) leaders in various villages in the district on Monday instructing the heads of the VDCs to have at least 150 people to get on board the buses they would be bringing to transport civilians against their will to march from Batticaloa Hindu College to the Clock Tower in Batticaloa city. The heads of VDCs were told that they would have to resign their posts if they failed to meet the demand. The people, gathered against their will were then taken to Batticaloa city and were forced to burn the effigy of US President Barack Obama and to chant slogans against the UNHRC session taking place in Geneva.
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SL colonial governor coordinates anti-UN demonstration of SLFP, EPDP in North

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 February 2012, 16:41 GMT]
Occupying Sri Lanka’s colonial governor, Maj. Gen. G. A. Chandrasri was seen coordinating the two factions collaborating with the Rajapaksa regime, the Angkayan-led SLFP and Douglas Devananda-led EPDP, in staging a simulated demonstration in Jaffna and Vanni against UNHRC discussing Sri Lanka in Geneva on Monday. The simulation forced in sections and individuals waiting for benefits from the Colombo regime. An attendance register was maintained for the participants. However, a media clip that captured comments of a passing-by youth street vendor, universally encapsulated the game on the island. The youth told the unemployed graduates in the ‘demonstration’: “I am not educated like you to perform this act.” The youth has not said that to the ‘demonstrators’ alone, commented media circles witnessing the scene in Jaffna.
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Second generation Eezham Tamils in Canada assert Tamil sovereignty at Youth Conference

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 February 2012, 05:38 GMT]
Eezham Tamil youth activists from Canada resolved to continue the struggle for Tamil sovereignty at the ‘Eelam Tamil Youth Conference-Canada 2012’ organized by the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) and the Tamil Youth Organization-Canada (TYO-Canada) at Toronto City Hall, Toronto this Sunday. After three presentations from the organizers and an interactive discussion, nine resolutions were passed in the conference which received unanimous approval from the participants. The resolutions, which welcomed the Tamil Sovereignty Cognition declaration “as a principled approach to resolving the national question of Eelam Tamils”, highlighted the nature of genocide of Eelam Tamils in their homelands. Rejecting the territorial integrity of the unitary Sri Lankan state, the resolutions also called for a boycott of those diaspora organizations that principally lent legitimacy to the same.
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Peace academic denounces US-LLRC formula, urges alternative mechanism for justice

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 February 2012, 10:53 GMT]
“The US support given to UNHRC’s proposal for an accountability mechanism for Sri Lanka would not go beyond requesting GoSL to implement LLRC recommendation which legitimised war to protect the state and reduced human rights violations to the ‘misbehaviour ‘of individual soldiers,” writes Jude Lal Fernando, academic of the Trinity College, Dublin. Establishing what took place was not mere war crimes or crimes against humanity but was intended genocide by Sri Lankan state, and arguing why justice will not come from the powers that conceal the truth and stifle justice and recovery, the academic who was earlier involved in the Dublin Tribunal urges alternative international community to pursue an international independent accountability mechanism.
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HRW's Sri Lanka torture report will help UK asylum seekers, says TAG

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 February 2012, 00:35 GMT]
Credible new evidence of Sri Lanka’s torture of recent deportees from Britain, disclosed recently in a report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), a premier Rights group based in New York, will significantly bolster ongoing litigation to halt the UK’s deportations, said Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), in a litigation update released today. HRW said the UK should suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and immediately review its policies and information about the country’s rights situation used to assess their claims." About 100 Tamil asylum seekers are scheduled for deportation from the United Kingdom on February 28, 2012.
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Nambiar opens mouth after killing of Marie Colvin

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 February 2012, 22:58 GMT]
Refusing to comment officially, but speaking to Inner City Press (ICP) later Friday, UN Secretary General’s Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar conceded that Marie Colvin had urged him to personally go and witness the surrender of Nadesan, Puliththevan and others. He had planned to go along with US diplomat Bob Blake, but the ICRC was not able to go by sea route and the SL government had refused to give him permission, Nambiar said, adding, “there was no way we could just force our way in.” Accusing the ICP for involving him in the genocide, Nambiar said, "Marie Colvin was involved in the same...now that she has passed away I would like to place on record my own" position, and "appreciation for the intrepidity with which she pursued her own vocation. She talked to me, you know that,"
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TNA plans boycotting UNHRC, requests people to remain ‘calm’

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 February 2012, 19:30 GMT]
Reliable sources informed on Saturday that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) plans issuing a statement on Monday about its non-participation in the UNHRC sessions open in Geneva on that day. The sources also said that the TNA genuinely fears that if the present unstable situation continues, violence could recur and the civilian population could again be the victims. According to thinking in the TNA circles, it is imperative that in the present situation calm should be maintained and nothing should be done which could exacerbate tensions. The reason for TNA boycott is its disappointment in expecting any positive commitment of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC towards addressing the aspirations of Eezham Tamils, despite the TNA’s commitment to solutions within a ‘united and undivided’ Sri Lanka, informed sources said.
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Halt deportations of Tamils, Sri Lanka tortures Tamil deportees: Human Rights Watch

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 February 2012, 01:26 GMT]
Citing own research and medical verification of rape and torture of recently deported Eezham Tamil asylum seekers from the United Kingdom at the hands of Sri Lankan CID at the airport and at the hands of Sri Lanka Army at various check-posts in the island, the New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Saturday urged the British authorities to immediately suspend further deportations from UK to Sri Lanka. The HRW expressed particular concern about the next scheduled deportation from the United Kingdom of about 100 Tamil asylum seekers, scheduled for February 28, 2012. “The Sri Lankan government has a long record of torture and mistreatment that has not ended with the end of the long war with the LTTE,” said Brad Adams, the UK-based Asia director of the HRW.
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Channel-4 wins trophy for Sri Lanka's war-crimes documentary

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 February 2012, 05:51 GMT]
ITN for Channel 4 scooped the trophy for best international coverage for the documentary Sri Lanka's Killing Fields at the prestigious Royal Television Society (RTS) awards in UK, BBC reported. Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, a special one-hour investigation which features devastating video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Sri Lankan government forces and the Tamil Tigers, was first broadcast on 2nd December 2010, edited versions were replayed on 4th and 5th December during Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa's visit to London.
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War-crime allegations lead to Shavendra's ouster from UN post

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 February 2012, 04:45 GMT]
Louise Frechette, a Canadian official who chairs the special advisory group (SAG) at the United Nations in New York, said in a statement released at the UN Head Quarters today, that she has advised Major General Shavendra Silva of Sri Lanka, that "his [Silva's] participation is not appropriate or helpful for the purposes of this Group [SAG]. He [Silva] will not participate in its deliberations." Shavendra Silva, who was recently rescued from a civil litigation in a New York court over war-crimes allegations, is the second Sri Lanka Military Commander, after deputy Counsel in Sri Lanka’s embassy in Germany, Jegath Dias, to be barred from high level positions outside SriLanka for alleged complicity in war-crimes against Eezham Tamils.
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Rajapaksa secretly inaugurated China project in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 17:57 GMT]
SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his last trip to Jaffna on 06 February, ceremonially declared open a renovated hospital and a swimming pool, both of which were criticised by local media, especially the diversion of funds intended to reconstruct schools in Vanni to the completion of modern swimming pool in Jaffna. However, Mr. Rajapaksa had also inaugurated a China backed controversial project in Maathakal under the eyes of Sri Lanka Navy, without any public knowledge, informed sources in Jaffna now reveal. The controversial project to install windmills and solar panels along the coastal stretch from Thiruvadi-nilai to KKS and lease the occupied land of Eezham Tamil families, deprived of resettlement, to a Malaysian corporate of Chinese connections for 20 years was the one secretly inaugurated by the SL President together with the SLN.
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Veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin killed in Syria

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 11:53 GMT]
Renowned journalist Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times (UK), who is familiar to Eezham Tamils for her coverage on the conflict in the island, has been killed in shelling in Syria together with French photographer Remi Olchlik on Wedensday, agency reports said. The courageous journalist lost one of her eyes in 2001 in Sri Lanka Army shelling while working in the island. She was the only journalist to be present in besieged town of Homs in Syria, covering the conflict there, where she was slain. The shocking news of her death comes a few hours after her coverage on “sickening scenes” from Syria.
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Sri Lanka plans ‘foreign’ enclave to balance India in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 February 2012, 19:19 GMT]
While the uprooted Eezham Tamil civilians from Moothoor East of Troncomalee district are languishing in temporary shelters and with their relatives and friends, the colonial Colombo government has sent land surveying teams with a plan to grab the remaining lands in the vicinity of the already seized area for Indian coal power plant in Champoor. Informed sources in Trincomalee told TamilNet Monday that SL presidential sibling Basil Rajapaksa, who is the economic ‘development’ minister in Colombo, has allocated 6,500 acres of the occupied land to a foreign power for the construction of an ‘industrial zone’ surrounding the 1,500 acres of land already allocated to Indian coal power plant. Recently, the SL military was bragging in Jaffna about their ‘diplomacy’ in giving KKS harbour construction to India and giving rest of the northern coast to a Chinese corporate.
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Colombo demarcates new Batticaloa villages for Sinhalicisation

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 February 2012, 22:27 GMT]
The Colombo government has been engaged in creating new villages for Sinhalese who are being brought down from the south to the Eastern Province. The SL government authorities have set aside around 25,000 acres of land in Vavu'natheevu in Batticaloa district under the pretext of allowing members of the so-called Sri Lanka Civil Defence Force, who are Sinhala home guards trained to colonise Tamil land by the Sri Lankan military, to do cultivation. Hundred percent of the paramilitary home guards in the unit receiving the lands in Batticaloa are Sinhalese.
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Women groups protest against SL militarisation move in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 February 2012, 23:54 GMT]
The occupying Sri Lanka Army in Mannaar has been allocated a vast area of lands in Ezhuththoor GS division of Mannaar Piratheasa Chapai (PS), where uprooted families, most of them who had lost one of their parents in the war and are from Mullaiththeevu, Ki'linochchi, Vavuniyaa and Mannaar districts, have been provided lands to resettle. The families, mostly run by females, have come together and shown their objection to the move to construct SL military cantonment, obstructing the normalcy needed for the families. The resettled women have formed civil groups and urged the civil authorities at all levels to take immediate step to stop the move which would threaten the peace of life in their new village.
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Court to decide if US can save Rajapakse from war-crime charges

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 February 2012, 02:38 GMT]
The United States Department of State, in its response to three Tamil plaintiffs' opposing arguments to the US's suggestion of immunity for Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse from alleged war-crimes, said that the plaintiffs have asked the Court to "ignore the substantial and unanimous body of authority recognizing the controlling nature" of US's immunity determination, and that US's earlier submission adequately explained why the Court should recognize Rajapakse's immunity from the suit. Plaintiff's attorney said the US Government has failed to adequately address why the Court should pre-empt judicial review when under TVPA "an individual" has allegedly committed "universally repugnant" crimes, and is insolently insisting on the dispositiveness of US's determination on immunity. A ruling is expected from Judge Kotelly soon.
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Ban under fire for silence in Shavendra's UN appointment

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 February 2012, 06:42 GMT]
While Navi Pillay, U.N.'s chief of human rights, advised U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month to seek the removal of a former Sri Lankan officer, Shavendra Silva, from a top peacekeeping advisory committee for alleged complicity in war-crimes, other rights groups blasted Ban for the silence on the controversial appointment. Philippe Bolopion, the U.N. representative for Human Rights Watch, said "[t]he responsibility for this puzzling appointment lays squarely with the Asia Group, but ultimately Ban Ki-moon established the panel and has to safeguard the reputation and credibility of the United Nations."
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EU refrains from welcoming LLRC, calls for UN Commission

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 February 2012, 03:04 GMT]
The European Parliament on Thursday, among its resolution specifying its position on UN Human Rights Council's 19th session to be convened in Geneva this month, resolved on Sri Lanka that it “[s]tresses the need to further support efforts to strengthen the accountability process in Sri Lanka and continue to call for the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry into all crimes committed, as recommended by the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka; invites the Sri Lankan Government to send an invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” The maneuverings of Sri Lanka supporters to replace the call for UN commission with a note welcoming LLRC were defeated by the members of Labour and Left parties (GUE and S&D).
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Buddhist monk on Sinhalicisation project in Batticaloa causes ethnic disharmony

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 February 2012, 23:55 GMT]
Venerable Ambitiya Sumanarathna Thera, the head of the Buddhist temple in Batticaloa, who conducted a fast-unto-death campaign in the year 2010 demanding Colombo to post Sinhala officers to all government departments in the predominantly Tamil-speaking district, has been waging a new fast-unto-death campaign from Tuesday this week. The new campaign is targeted against Tamils, who have been demanding resettlement in their occupied lands by documenting their land deeds. The monk, putting forward a false claim that officials in Batticaloa were issuing false land deeds to Tamils, claimed that the lands belonged to Sinhalese. He ended the fast-unto-death campaign after Colombo's paramilitary operative and a deputy minister in Rajpaksa's cabinet, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, met the prelate and promised to forward his appeal to SL President on Wednesday.
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Abductions on rise in Colombo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 February 2012, 22:48 GMT]
An abduction was reported in front of the Court complex on Monday and a body of a male was dumped and burnt near SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa's private residence in Boteju Mawatha in Colombo 05 on Tuesday while the fate of a leading Tamil businessman who was abducted on Saturday still remained in the hands of the abductors who have claimed 100 million rupees ransom from his family.
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Occupying SL Army, Police jointly attack Tamil youth in Vanni

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 18:40 GMT]
Sri Lanka's occupying Sinhala army and police brutally attacked a number of Tamil youth below the age of 25, who were passing by the road in Nedung-kea'ni in Mullaiththeevu district on Tuesday night. The unprovoked and random attack followed some complaints of Sinhala road workers from the South, news sources in Vanni told TamilNet. Sometimes back a similar attack took place in Vanni after a confrontation between some Sinhala visitors from the South and the local people. Such attacks by the colonial forces were to remind the Eezham Tamils in Vanni of their subjugated status, the sources further said.
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Australian Tamils critical of Rudd's response to LLRC report

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 13:15 GMT]
While the Australasian Federation of Tamil Association (AFTA) said it is disappointed to see Australia’s response to LLRC "lacks either the persuasive language or open caution to Sri Lanka for its failure to address alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights," Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) said it is "concerned that Mr Rudd has continued to call on Sri Lanka to investigate itself. The Tamil community has no confidence in the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation and deliver justice to the victims of the war. We cannot expect justice when an investigation is initiated by a party to the alleged crimes," ATC release said.
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White-van abductors demand 100 million ransom

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 01:41 GMT]
Speaking in broken Tamil, a man claiming to have abducted the Colombo-based Tamil businessman Ramayasamy Prabakaran on Saturday, has demanded ransom of 100 million rupees over phone call, family members have told media Monday.
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EPC puts off debate on controversial ‘land grab’ bill

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 01:37 GMT]
The Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) on Monday put off the debate on the proposed "Town and Country Planning Ordinance Amendment" till February 28 as majority members of the opposition raised objection to the amendment bill. This controversial amendment allows the central government to acquire any land for ‘development’ and ‘religious purposes’ without the consent of the provincial council.
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Colombo-backed group attacks Muslim journalist in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 01:24 GMT]
Puvi Rahumathulla, the chief editor of a weekly magazine “Vaara Uraikal” published from Kaaththaankudi in Batticaloa district was attacked by a group of persons Friday while he was distributing copies of his magazine, according to complaints lodged with the Kaaththaankudi Police.
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Muslim trader reported missing in Ea'raavoor

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 01:20 GMT]
42-year-old Mohamed Ismail Ibrahim, a father of four children and a resident of Ea'raavoor has been reported missing since he left home on a business tour on February 4, according to complaints lodged at Welikande and Ea'raavoor police station by his relatives.
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Pakistan seeks Colombo’s help in deploying genocidal model

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 February 2012, 11:38 GMT]
A high level team of Sri Lankan officials who visited Pakistan were actually on a mission to help Pakistan combat and crush the Baloch freedom fighters or Sarmachars demanding independence from the failing state in South Asia, said an Examiner feature by Ahmar Mustikhan on Monday. Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa was on a two-day visit to Islamabad and signed three MoUs with Pakistan. But secret talks held during the visit were on Pakistan getting Colombo’s ‘expertise’ in crushing Tamil Tigers for deployment against the Balochistan movement, and this matter should be immediately reported to the International Criminal Court, the feature further said.
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SLAF fighter jet crashes in North Western Province

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 February 2012, 11:19 GMT]
A Russian-built MiG-27 fighter jet used by the Sri Lanka Air Force against civilian targets in the country of Eezham Tamils during the war, crashed Monday in the North Western Province. The SLAF deployed Russian built fighters to carry cluster bombs on LTTE and civilian targets in Vanni, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity throughout the war.
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Colombo threatens Tamils in contact with visiting US delegation

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 February 2012, 23:56 GMT]
Some of the eyewitnesses in Vanni, who met the visiting US delegation headed by Stephen J Rapp, the ambassador-at-Large for war crimes at the US State Department, on Thursday and Friday, have been harassed by the occupying Sri Lanka Army in Mullaith-theevu after the US delegation had left the region, sources in Mullaith-theevu told TamilNet Sunday. The SL Army has questioned a parish priest, inviting him to their camp consecutively for three days, and at least five parents who had allegedly complained about their missing sons and daughters have also been questioned by the SLA. While diplomatic circles in Colombo wonder at what the USA is up to in the island, Tamil circles are worried at pre-emption hatching in the establishments of the USA and India.
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Human skeletons recovered from well in Valikaamam North

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 February 2012, 16:40 GMT]
Recently resettled civilians in Kollangk-kaladdi of Valikaamam North in Jaffna have located human skeletons inside a well while clearing it for their use, sources in Valikaamam told TamilNet Sunday. A skull was located. But, the number of the recovered skeletons indicates that some of the victims had been decapitated, before they were dumped into the well, the sources said. It is believed that the victims were civilians abducted by the Sri Lanka Army operated squads and those who went to check their properties inside the SLA occupied territory after year 1992, when the SLA seized the village of Kollang-kaladdi.
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Tamil trader abducted in Colombo

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 February 2012, 23:51 GMT]
A Tamil businessman of up-country origin, who owns an electronic business (Panorama Electronics) in Colombo, has been abducted Saturday around 3:30 p.m. in front of his house on Peniquick lane in Colombo 6, according to his family in Colombo. The victim, Mr. Ramasamy Prabakaran, had been earlier detained by the Sri Lankan police for 28 months without any inquiries and was released last September by the SL courts, the sources further said. Around 7 armed men, who came in vehicle, carried out the abduction.
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US delegation visits Vanni on fact-finding mission

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 February 2012, 23:47 GMT]
Ahead of a scheduled visit by Robert O’ Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for the South and Central Asian affairs to Colombo, a team led by Stephen J Rapp, the ambassador-at-Large for war crimes at the US State Department, was on an official visit to the occupied Tamil homeland on Thursday and on Friday. The delegation was collecting witness testimonials from the war-crimes affected civilians in Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi districts. Despite the heavy deployment of SL military intelligence operatives, the people were narrating how cluster and chemical munitions were deployed by the Sri Lankan military against civilian targets.
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Without truth, reconciliation not possible - paper

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 February 2012, 12:23 GMT]
Francis Harrison, former BBC foreign correspondent whose book of accounts of survivors from Sri Lanka’s civil war is to be published this summer, says in an article in the Dawn, that there are "signs that the international community is gearing up for action to hold Sri Lanka accountable for alleged war crimes committed by its forces at the end of the brutal civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009," and adds that "Tamil survivors also want the truth acknowledged before they can move on with their shattered lives. Without the truth, reconciliation and forgiveness are simply not possible and the grievances that led to conflict in the first place remain dangerously unresolved."
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US Court dismisses Shavendra case on grounds of immunity

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 February 2012, 20:15 GMT]
While acknowledging "the gravity of the allegations made by the plaintiffs," Judge J. Paul Oetken concluded that Silva's diplomatic immunity precluded the court from looking at the merits of the plaintiffs' claims, a press release issued by the attorneys of the Tamil plaintiffs who filed the case said. Despite serious allegations of war crimes, Silva has recently been "selected" as an advisor for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Senior Advisory Group, and Professor Francis Boyle, an expert in international law, has opined that "Ban Ki Moon to appoint a presumptive war criminal to his Staff would be ultra vires his powers under the terms of article 101(3) and thus a violation of the Charter itself."
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SL Minister Devananda threatens to attack journalists of Jaffna daily

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 February 2012, 16:45 GMT]
“I told my [paramilitary] boys to beat up these journalists. But, the boys are not paying attention. It seems I have to go in person and do it to make these journalists behave,” was the newest controversial comment by SL Minister and EPDP paramilitary leader Douglas Devananda on Thursday evening at a meeting held at Jaffna District Secretariat, where he was talking to unemployed graduates who were demanding employment. The spontaneous comment by Mr. Devananda came when SL military governor's secretary informed him of a news item that appeared in the Jaffna edition of Thinakkural exposing the diversion of funds allocated to development of schools in Vanni to the highly showcased construction of swimming pool which was declared opened by SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
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Village liquidated in Mullaiththeevu

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 February 2012, 06:59 GMT]
Chooriya-puram village, created by the LTTE near Keappaa-pulavu in the Puthukkudiyiruppu division of Mullaiththeevu district, to accommodate landless peasants, has been liquidated by the occupying Sinhala military that is engaged in that locality in building a 1200-acre base, news sources in Vanni said. Around 500 families of the locality have lost their living space and are degenerating in their refugee life, either staying in camps or in the houses of relatives and friends. Around 100 families of the Chooriyapuram village, brought from the internment camps for resettlement, are stranded now.
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Colombo media movement shows sensitivity for linking it with TNA

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 February 2012, 23:54 GMT]
Colombo-based Free Media Movement (FMM) on Tuesday strongly reacted to news appearing in SL government-run ‘Dinamina’ on 03 February which had alleged that the members of the FMM had been in collaboration with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in campaigning at Geneva against the Colombo government. Totally disowning any link with the TNA, the language and tone of the FMM press statement only show the anxiety and extra-sensitivity prevailing in Colombo's media associations over the South perceiving any image of their sympathy with the aspirations of Tamil politics in the island. Even in the times of the LTTE, the Colombo media associations were not sensitive like this, political observers in Colombo said.
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Boyle: Appointing alleged war-criminals to UN posts, a violation of UN Charter

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 February 2012, 05:30 GMT]
While Ban Ki Moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky insisted that Ban is powerless to stop the proposed appointment of alleged war-criminal Shavendra Silva to an UN adviser position, Professor Boyle, an expert in international law, said, "U.N. Secretary-General has a Charter obligation to determine that the terms of article 101(3) have been satisfied before he appoints someone to the Staff irrespective of any alleged recommendation by the General Assembly," and therefore, "Ban to appoint a presumptive war criminal to his Staff would be ultra vires his powers under the terms of article 101(3) and thus a violation of the Charter itself."
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Illegal sand mining continues in East with Colombo backing

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 February 2012, 23:48 GMT]
Sri Lankan presidential sibling and ‘development’ minister Basil Rajapaksa, through an officer working in the Geological Unit of the District Secretariat of Batticaloa, has given permit to a Sinhala businessman N.T.I.Tilakaretna, a Sinhalese. The move was also backed by the Sri Lankan Government Agent in Batticaloa, according to civil sources at the Batticaloa District Secretariat. Tilakaretna has been allowing tractors to remove sand from the river after obtaining 2,000 rupees per tractor. Ten percent of the money goes to Basil Rajapakse and 5 percent is being given to the Officer-in-Charge of the SLA army camp at Mu'rakkoddaagn-cheanai, the sources further said.
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Tamil journalists blocked from attending Rajapaksa's meetings in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 February 2012, 12:10 GMT]
The wards of the Chaavakachcheari hospital, renovated with help from Red Cross societies from Finland and Ireland at different stages and that were already declared open, were declared once again opened by SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday. The ‘hijack’ move projected as a part of ‘grand opening’ under Rajapaksa's Vadakkin Vasantham (the spring of the North), was exposed by the local journalists, who discovered that the initial inaugural plaques with the names of foreign donors were hastily removed Sunday night and new plaques were installed. As the local journalists in Jaffna began questioning the episode, the SL establishment blocked the journalists from covering the visit of Mr. Rajapaksa to Jaffna Secretariat where he was scheduled to discuss his ‘development’ of North.
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NCET expects Norway to approach Eezham Tamils with fresh attitudes, personalities

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 February 2012, 08:47 GMT]
Peace comes from absence of fear, violence and social confrontations. Reconciliation comes from justice and parity between the parties. Development of a people comes from their right to conceive it and own it. How could Norway expect Eezham Tamils in Norway to contribute to peace, reconciliation and development within the Sri Lankan frame, amidst militarisation, colonisation, subordination, denial of justice and denial of ownership to development, asked Norwegian Council of Eezham Tamils (NCET) in a document it presented at a foreign-ministry-funded seminar in Oslo on Sunday. In its peace facilitation, Norway fielding fresh personalities with attitudinal change would immensely help to build its credibility, the document said. The seminar will be addressed by Norway’s development Minister, Mr. Erik Solhiem, when it continues for the third day on Monday.
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Fein: TVPA's plain language interpretation negates Rajapakse immunity

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 February 2012, 00:52 GMT]
In a forceful rebuttal to the U.S. State Department's suggestion of immunity to Sri Lanka President Rajpakse in the war-crimes charges against him in the case filed in District Court in Washington by three Tamil plaintiffs, Bruce Fein, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said, 'the sitting head of state immunity issue pivots solely on an interpretation of the words “an individual” in the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA)," "the plain language of the statute makes no exceptions irrespective of the office an individual might occupy or the circumstances of the crimes universally abhorred," but "[t]he Executive Branch insolently maintains that this Court must obey its directive to dismiss this TVPA case that rests upon universally repugnant crimes in violation of the law of nations," and " [t]o bow to that command would be to permit usurpation of the judicial power by the Executive."
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Pirapaharan postal stamp released in Norway

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 February 2012, 21:52 GMT]
Eezham Tamil activists in Norway on Saturday released stamps featuring LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan, the map of Tamil Eelam and some of the LTTE declared national symbols of the de-facto state of Tamil Eelam, including the Tamil Eelam national flag. The stamps were released in front of the Norwegian Parliament by Jeyasri Balasubramaniam, a candidate elected to represent the Eezham Tamils in two elections held in that country. The event coincided with the so-called independence day of Sri Lanka. On 4th February 1948, the British conferred dominion status to the island then called Ceylon and transferred power to a Colombo-centric, ethnic majoritarian and unitary system of government.
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Indian university confers honorary doctorate on Erik Solheim

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 February 2012, 02:05 GMT]
TERI University of India (The Energy and Resources Institute), which is a deemed university located in New Delhi, has conferred honorary doctorate on Norwegian Minister of Development Mr. Erik Solheim in its fourth convocation this year held on Wednesday. The deemed university, specialized in sustainable development, got accreditation in India in 1999. The university has affiliated centers in Japan, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, USA and UK, besides in some prominent Indian cities. Mr. Solheim is involved in international peace facilitation on behalf of Norway in several countries in the world. As Development minister, his office is part of the foreign ministry establishment of the Norwegian government, since Norway sees ‘development’ and ‘foreign relations’ intertwined in facilitating its interests.
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SL government will not deliver justice: HRW

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 February 2012, 23:59 GMT]
The acting Geneva Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch, Philippe Dam, has said in a statement issued by the HRW Thursday that justice and accountability will not come from the Sri Lankan government. “Only international action will address the suffering of victims,” Mr. Dam said urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to address the lack of accountability for wartime abuses during its March 2012 session. Sri Lanka has a long history of failed promises to prosecute serious human rights abuses, the statement by the HRC further said.
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Pro Rajapaksa gang abducts, threatens Kaaththaankudi civil activist

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 February 2012, 23:34 GMT]
A.C.M. Asam, a member of the Kaaththaankudi Good Governance People Movement was abducted last Friday by an armed men who came in motorbikes when he was returning home after seeing his ailing mother in the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital. Mr. Asam was later released after four hours, according to M.M.Abdur Rahuman, Soora council member of the movement at a media briefing held this week. Mr. Asam had exposed the fraud to the tune of 150,000 rupees that took place in the Kaaththaankudy UC. Asam had been threatened by the abductors not to work against Kaaththaankudi Urban Council chairman M.L.A.M.Hisbullah, who is a Deputy Minister in SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime.
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TID arrests two Tamil fishermen in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 February 2012, 02:51 GMT]
A group of persons, arriving in a white van and identifying themselves as from the Sri Lankan ‘Terrorism Investigation Division’ (TID), arrested two Tamil fishermen in Mannaar on January 19th, sources in Mannaar said. The TID officers had later had informed relatives of the fishermen after inquiry that TID police had detained the fishermen on reports that they had helped he LTTE.
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