27 Reports

Tamils boycott Trinco sittings of domestic commission on missing persons

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 February 2015, 17:52 GMT]
The first day sittings of the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons commenced at Kuchchave'li Divisional Secretariat auditorium Saturday morning. Only four or five Tamil complainants gave evidence as the majority of Tamil complainants boycotted the sitting with the demand of international investigations into the complaints. The Tamils who boycotted the sitting on Saturday were seen in front of the Kuchchave'li Divisional Secretariat, holding placards written in Tamil. They were demanding that the victims should be heard by a UN team and not by any commission appointed by the government in Colombo.
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Bathiudeen dictates affairs of Palmyra Development Board

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 February 2015, 23:57 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr Rishad Bathiudeen (Rishard Badurdeen), who has been notorious for causing dissension between Tamil-speaking Muslims and Tamils belonging to other religions in Mannaar and Vanni under the rule of former SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa, is continuing the same course also under the new regime, sources in Mannaar said. He has virtually hijacked the affairs of the Palmyrah Development Board (PDB), which comes under D.M. Swaminadan, the SL Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs, reliable sources at the PDB said. Earlier, the PDB came under Douglas Devananda of the EPDP, who was the minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development.
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Key Tamil organisations to boycott domestic hearings by SL Presidential Commission

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 February 2015, 16:41 GMT]
The Tamil Civil Society Forum and the Welfare Organisation for the Forcibly Disappeared Persons have jointly decided not to appear and give evidence before the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons, a statement issued by the TCSF said on Thursday. “We cannot afford to continue to appear before this commission giving it a stamp of legitimacy. We seek a credible inquiry and we are convinced that this can only be made possible through international means,” the statement issued in Jaffna on the 24th of February 2015 said adding that many questions have been raised about the terms of reference and capacity of this commission to act on the issue of enforced disappearances.
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Tamil activists protest in front of US embassy in UK

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 February 2015, 19:49 GMT]
Hundreds of Tamil activists gathered outside US embassy on Tuesday to protest against the OISL deferral mooted by the USA, the key actor behind the UNHRC discourse on Sri Lanka. Endorsing the petition drafted by the Tamil Coordinating Committee - UK, the protesters demanded immediate referral of Sri Lanka to the UN Security Council and urgent action to stop ongoing structural genocide of the Eelam Tamil nation. The protesters also burnt the photos of TNA's Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan and the nominated parliamentarian of the alliance M.A. Sumanthiran, blaming the duo for deceiving Tamils from achieving international justice.
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USA, key actor behind deferral of OISL report: Mavai Senathiraja

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 February 2015, 14:00 GMT]
ITAK leader Mavai Senathiraja, who attended the demonstration in Jaffna organised by the University society and the public organisations in Jaffna on Tuesday was questioned by the journalists on ITAK/TNA position on OISL deferral and on the reports of Sumanthiran backing domestic investigation mechanisms with OHCHR/international monitoring. Responding, Mr Mavai Senathiraja said: “The United States of America, who brought the resolution [in the UNHRC] is the key actor involved in the act [of the postponement]. On this matter, our Tamil people have now expressed their feeling. We will reiterate the importance of timely releasing the OISL report, as scheduled, in March. Our leaders have already talked to them [US diplomats]. However, we will convey the feelings of our people to them again.”
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Protesters demand international prosecutions, decry supervision of domestic mechanisms

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 February 2015, 11:31 GMT]
“While it is true that the Tamil people voted in large numbers for President Sirisena, we wish to emphasise that this was merely an anti-Rajapksa vote. We did not vote with the hope of any substantive change resulting from regime change,” said the appeal by the organisers of the massive protest in Jaffna on Tuesday. More than 5,000 students and people from all walks of life in Jaffna took part in the first largest demonstration after the end of genocidal war in Vanni on Tuesday. “International supervision of any domestic mechanism will only serve to waste time,” the appeal by the Jaffna University society said. The procession, which started at the University of Jaffna ended at the remains of the foundation of Thileepan monument at Nalloor.
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4,000 poverty-stricken Tamil families deprived of Samurdhi assistance in Moothoor

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 February 2015, 18:45 GMT]
3,898 families of genocide-affected Eezham Tamils from 11 Tamil villages in the Moothoor division of Trincomalee district have been completely deprived of Samurdhi poverty alleviation food stamps for 106 months under the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, civil sources in Trincomalee said. The distribution of food stamps and other poverty alleviation benefits were stopped since March 2006, before the SL military launched military onslaught destroying the Tamil villages.
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OISL deferral has dashed Tamils' hope on permanent settlement: NPC Councillor

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 February 2015, 23:22 GMT]
The international community has opted for the deferral of the OISL findings without understanding the grave impact of the act of postponement, said Northern Province Councillor K. Saraweswaran in a video interview to TamilNet this week. More than its findings on the war crimes, the timely release of the report itself was anticipated to open the door for a sustainable and permanent political solution to the Tamil national question in the island. The deferral has dashed that particular hope that prevailed among the Tamil people in the North-East, he said.
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Protesters condemning OISL delay burn effigy of Sumanthiran

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 February 2015, 15:06 GMT]
Condemning the recently announced deferral of the OISL investigative report by the OHCHR in Geneva, voicing against the talk of UN converting the international investigation into a domestic one, and demanding immediate response on the fate of the thousands of missing persons, Women’s Organisation of Missing Persons' Families in Jaffna staged a protest on Saturday in front of the Bus Stand in the city. The protestors, numbering more than 250, blamed New Delhi and Washington for buying time and space for the Sri Lankan State, with the intention of shielding the crime of genocide. At the end of the protest, an effigy of nominated TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran was burnt by a section of youth from the ITAK, who blamed the Colombo-centric elements within the TNA for collaborating with the global actors discarding the fundamental principles of the Tamil cause.
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Whereabouts of 700 Tamil prisoners detained in Trincomalee questioned in SL Parliament

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 February 2015, 14:05 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran on Thursday questioned the SL Minister for Public Security at the Sri Lankan Parliament on the fate of 700 Tamils, who were alleged to have been kept in a detention camp inside the Trincomalee Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) complex under the past regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Around 35 families were also detained in that camp known as ‘Gota camp’ the TNA parliamentarian said.
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Tamil civil society seeks clarification from Zeid on reasons cited for OISL deferral

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 February 2015, 13:07 GMT]
The High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein needs to clarify as to how he envisages OISL receiving new information, given the fact that the Sri Lankan Government does not promise cooperation with the OISL inquiry. The possibility of the OISL inquiry receiving important new information will only be credible if the OISL team is given access to Sri Lanka and given full freedom and access to engage in evidence gathering. But, SL Foreign Minister’s letter to the High Commissioner dated 13 February 2015 does not promise engagement with OISL specifically, Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) said in a statement issued on Friday. “Why should the SL Government's willingness to act on present day human rights issues be a bar to releasing a report on accountability for the past,” the TSCF has further asked in the statement.
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Victims not convinced by reasons cited for postponement of OISL findings: JUTA

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 February 2015, 05:35 GMT]
We were expecting at least some justice through the release of OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) report, originally scheduled to be released this March. The people on the ground, especially the victims, are dismayed to learn the news of the postponement of the OISL report. The reasons cited for the postponement of the report do not seem to be victim-centric and the people on the ground feel betrayed, said Lecturer A. Rajakumaran, the head of Jaffna University Teachers Association (JUTA) in an interview to TamilNet on Thursday. The JUTA has called for protests on 24th February against the postponement of the OISL report.
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Victims demand immediate action against Colombo's squad in Ampaa'rai

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 February 2015, 11:02 GMT]
The families of forcefully disappeared Tamil victims in Ampaa'rai district have demanded immediate arrest and action against Karuna Group paramilitary operative, K. Pushpakumar alias Iniyabarathy, who was the Ampaa'rai district coordinator of Mahinda Rajapaksa's UPFA and a member of the Eastern Provincial Council. After the entire Ampaa'rai district was brought under the control of the occupying Sri Lankan military in 2007, more than 200 Tamil youth have been reported missing in the district after arrest or abduction by Sri Lanka military operated squads. Iniyabarathy has been the key paramilitary operative operating a squad for the genocidal SL military in the district. Iniyabarathy is blamed for the assassination of veteran Tamil journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan in May 2004. Incumbent SL president Maithiripala Sirisena was also having a hand in the paramilitary operations in the East.
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Missing persons' families vow to step up protests in North-East

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 February 2015, 11:28 GMT]
Carrying the clothes and photographs of the Tamil youth, who are reported missing after arrest or abductions by the occupying Sri Lankan forces in Batticaloa district, the family members of the missing persons staged a day-long fast in front of Gandhi park in Batticaloa city on Monday. After the entire district of Batticaloa was brought under the control of the Sri Lankan military in 2007, around 300 Tamil youth have been reported missing till 2010, the organisers said. The white-van squads operated by the genocidal military occupying the Tamil homeland have been behind most of the abductions.
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Mannaar fishermen protest against Indian poaching

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 February 2015, 17:45 GMT]
Tamil-speaking fishermen in Mannaar staged a large protest on Monday demanding immediate action against the exploitation by the Indian poachers in the territorial waters of the North. The protest, participated by fishermen from more than 40 coastal villages of Mannaar district, brought parts of central Mannaar to a standstill for more than 2 hours as the Colombo's Sinhala Government Agent (GA) of Mannaar didn't allow the Additional GA to go and receive the petition from the protesters, news sources in the city said. The fisher families have been severely affected by the continuous destruction caused by the Indian trawlers to their fishing nets and the mothers and wives of the fishermen are forced to go for daily wage work, the protesters complained. The fishermen are also concerned about the fishing environment getting permanently destroyed.
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Don't delay OISL report, TCSF urges UN Rights Chief

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 February 2015, 15:18 GMT]
The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) on Thursday urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to proceed with the release of the findings of the OISL inquiry and in the event of finding of serious crimes being committed recommend to the relevant UN agencies and member states of the UN to take all steps necessary for international criminal prosecutions to be initiated. The network of more than 100 civil activists from the North-East, also referred to the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council on the 10th of February 2015 also expressing disbelief in the credibility of domestic mechanisms delivering on accountability, truth and justice.
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NESoHR welcomes genocide resolution by Northern Provincial Council

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 February 2015, 12:20 GMT]
North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR) has welcomed the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council on Tuesday. “This resolution is a clarion call both to the International community and to the peoples around the world to fight for justice of the oppressed Tamil peoples,” the NESoHR said in the statement. The Chief Minister of the NPC has rightly called upon the U.N. Security Council to refer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try the perpetrators of the Genocide of Tamils as it is the only way in which it could be brought before the ICC since Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, which created ICC. In this respect he has sought the OISL to take the necessary steps, the NESoHR statement further said.
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Wigneswaran calls for international investigation on genocide

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 February 2015, 08:22 GMT]
In a key development, the Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council (NPC), Justice CV Wigneswaran, on Tuesday called for real international investigations on genocide against Tamils committed by the successive governments since Ceylon's independence from the British in 1948. Passing a resolution in the council that demanded international investigations on genocide, the Chief Minister has called for criminal prosecutions at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and urged the on-going OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) to investigate the claim of genocide and recommend appropriate investigations and prosecutions by the ICC. “This Council urgently calls upon the international community to create conditions suitable and sustainable to protect the Tamils of the NorthEast Provinces in Sri Lanka from genocide,” the resolution said.
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ITAK leader on election campaign faces animosity in Mullaiththeevu

[TamilNet, Monday, 09 February 2015, 21:08 GMT]
Mavai Senathirajah, the leader of Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK), was forced to retreat from Mullaiththeevu on Sunday after facing strong objections from the Tamil public following the controversial conduct of TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan and nominated parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran in Colombo before and after the recent SL presidential elections. The duo has failed to secure any concession from Maithiripala Sirisena before going public with urging Tamils to vote for him and they have hurt Eezham Tamils sentiments by partaking in the so-called Independence Day celebrations in Colombo without achieving anything tangible in resolving the Tamil national question, the people complained.
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SLMC, SLFP jointly seize EPC, want TNA to follow suit

[TamilNet, Monday, 09 February 2015, 09:42 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Muslim Congress (SLMC) led by Rauff Hakeem has seized the governance of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) with the backing of the SLFP. Fearing a possible TNA-UNP alliance in the future, the SLMC has offered the post of chair and a ministerial portfolio at a meeting that took place in Colombo on Sunday, informed TNA sources told TamilNet.
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ITAK youth wing leader urges Tamils not to be deceived by deviators

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 February 2015, 13:01 GMT]
There is no change in Sri Lankan military deployment in the Tamil homeland. On the contrary, the SL military seems to be enthusiastic about setting up bigger noticeboards than before along the border of Valikaamam North ‘High Security Zone’ said VS Sivakaran, the youth wing leader of Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) in a video interview this week. “However, a section among Tamils are being deceived to expect that there will be positive changes and that the SL military deployment would be reduced under Maithiripala Sirisena,” Sivakaran said. “But, this is not going to happen,” the ITAK youth wing leader said. The USA and India wanted to reverse the Chinese influence in the island. They needed a regime change, which they got. But, this has taken place at the expense of the political aspirations of the small nation of Eelam Tamils, he said.
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Sampanthan, Sumanthiran exploit ITAK to deviate from Tamil cause: Prof. Sitrampalam

[TamilNet, Friday, 06 February 2015, 11:39 GMT]
The lacuna of inner democracy in the present day Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) is being exploited by TNA Parliamentary Group Leader Mr R. Sampanthan and TNA's nominated parliamentarian Mr M.A. Sumanthiran to deviate Tamils from their cause and struggle, accused Vice President and Senior leader of the ITAK, Professor S.K. Sitrampalam in an interview to TamilNet this week. Professor Sitrampalam also spoke on the danger hatching in any move of postponement of the Geneva process, futility of the 13A - unitary outlooks and Sampanthan participating the ‘Independence Day’ in endorsement of the British designed unitary system and Maithiri regime's strict adherence to it.
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UN investigation key to resolve Tamil question: Suresh Premachandran

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 February 2015, 22:47 GMT]
“Be it Ranil Wickramasinghe, Chandrika Kumaratunga, the new president Maithiripala Sirisena, or whoever it may be [in the South], they don't have a basic idea of how to resolve the Tamil national question, because they are always talking about a unitary constitution,” said Tamil National Alliance Spokesman Suresh Premachandran in an exclusive interview to TamilNet this week. In order to change the existing SL Constitution from unitary into a united form of government, one needs international leverage. That leverage is only possible through proceeding with international pressure in tandem with the regime change in tandem. Therefore, the much-anticipated OISL report should not be postponed, Mr Premachandran told TamilNet.
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Tamils protest on SL ‘independence day’, remind UK of its moral, legal responsibility

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 February 2015, 23:29 GMT]
The grassroots activists of Eezham Tamils in UK commenced a torch relay towards Geneva from London on the so-called independence day of Sri Lankan State on Wednesday. The Tamil activists have also launched a signature campaign recalling the role of the United Kingdom in the genocide of the Eelam Tamil nation by: (a) Forcibly transferring Eelam Tamils' sovereignty to the Sinhala nation in 1948 and; (b) Internationally aiding Sri Lanka, including by training the armed forces of the Sinhala state, to carry out its protracted campaign of genocide against Eelam Tamil nation. The torch will travel across UK for next 10 days, then France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland to reach Geneva on 16th March, nine days ahead of OHCHR discussion on Sri Lanka.
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Missing-persons' families stage protest, denounce LLRC-based outlook

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 February 2015, 12:12 GMT]
Tamil families of forcibly disappeared persons in Ki'linochchi staged a protest on Monday in front of the District Secretariat urging the new Sri Lankan President to establish the whereabouts of their family members, whom they had handed over to the Sri Lankan military at the end of the genocidal onslaught in Vanni in 2009. The mothers of the Tamil youth, who were abducted and made disappeared by the so-called white van squads of the SL military, also joined the protest. The protesting families complained to media that they were disappointed by the inaction so far since Maithiripala Sirisena came to power in the South. In their appeal to SL president, they denounced the LLRC-based outlook in addressing the accountability of the Sri Lankan State.
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Ananthy Sasitharan responds to ITAK ‘interdiction’ letter

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 February 2015, 21:04 GMT]
Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthy Sasitharan has requested the leadership of Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) to provide evidence in the form of records of debates, decisions and the names of participants to document that a democratic decision was arrived at before Mr R. Sampanthan went public on 03 January 2015 with the decision to explicitly support a particular candidate in the SL presidential elections. Ms Ananthy Sasitharan further stated that she had articulated her stand according to her conscience, protecting the decades-long fundamental principles of the Tamil politics and in the belief that internal democracy existed within the party.
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Sivanesan Memorial Hall declared open in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 February 2015, 18:40 GMT]
A memorial hall has been declared open in Jaffna on Saturday in commemoration of Maamanithar K. Sivanesan, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian who was assassinated in a targeted claymore explosion by the Deep Penetration Unit of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on 06 March 2006 inside LTTE-controlled Vanni. Sivanesan worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of the deprived sections of population among the Eezham Tamils for a long time. He played also a key role in the democratic mobilization of the Tamil masses at the grassroots level.
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