26 Reports

Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 June 2020, 23:29 GMT]
Former SL Minister Milinda Moragoda, who conspired with western powers to create an ‘international safety-net’ for Colombo during the Norway-led peace process, is now demanding the Sinhala political parties to make their stand on the provincial councils. Mr Moragoda, whose Pathfinder Foundation is advising SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has urged the political parties to repeal the 13th Amendment, reported Colombo-based EconomyNext on Monday. The move to do away with the PCs was aimed at the deterritorialisation of the Tamil homeland, commented Tamil political observers in Jaffna. The rulers of the occupying unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka were also looking for creative ways to de-legitimise the validity of the 1987 Indo-Lanka accord to re-negotiate external powers’ strategic access to strategic Trincomalee harbour, they further commented.
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India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 June 2020, 22:06 GMT]
“This is a good time for India to up its investment in the Quad. The appearance of privileging BRIC/RIC meetings over engagement with likeminded partners is discordant,” tweeted Alice G Wells, who was in charge of South Asian affairs at the US State Department until 01 June 2020. Her comment came on Sunday, four days after the virtual Russia-India-China (RIC) ‘strategic’ triangle meet convened by Russia to influence India towards adopting a multilateralist line above the US-oriented “rules-based order”.
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Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 June 2020, 22:11 GMT]
The US should continue to seek opportunities to work ‘Sri Lanka’ and Myanmar, “including through the maritime security initiative and with other allies and partners such as India and Japan,” according to Satu P Limaye, the vice president and director of East West Center in Washington. The expert on the Indo-Pacific region observed that the US had reopened full relations with Myanmar in 2012. “[B]ut they are quite limited on the security front,” he told New Delhi-based The Sunday Guardian on Saturday. Compared to Myanmar, ‘Sri Lanka’ has received more attention, he added.
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Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 June 2020, 21:24 GMT]
Russia convened a 'special' virtual Russia-India-China (RIC) ‘strategic’ triangle meet on Tuesday to influence India, which has embraced 'major strategic partnership' with the US-led Quad. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reminded India of RIC countries’ “stabilising role in global affairs” through establishing what he called as establishing “true multilateralism”. In his remarks, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was talking about “reformed multilateralism,” but in the context of India seeking permanent membership of the UN Security Council through rectifying the “uncorrected” 75 years of “historical injustice”. There was no direct mention of the violent standoff between China and India along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh's Galwan valley. But, Lavrov commented that it was up to India and China to resolve the issue in a bilateral dialogue.
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Pompeo talks about US reposturing troops, mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 June 2020, 23:53 GMT]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, responding a question on the recent decision by US President Donald Trump concerning the reduction of the US forces present in Germany, said the judgement was about how the US was going to posture its resources around the world. “[I]n certain places there will be fewer American resources. There’ll be other places – I just talked about the threat from the Chinese Communist Party, so now threats to India, threats to Vietnam, threats to Malaysia, Indonesia, South China Sea challenges, the Philippines. We’re going to make sure we’re postured appropriately to counter the PLA. The remarks of the US State Secretary and former CIA Director in an online meeting with German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum came on Thursday, a day before US Defence Secretary Mark Esper was set to visit London and Brussels.
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Devananda circumvents court order, manipulates Jaffna fishers to allow poachers from South

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 June 2020, 23:36 GMT]
Former Tamil paramilitary operative Kathiravelu Nithiyanada Devananda alias Douglas has hijacked several fisheries cooperative societies in Jaffna using his political power. Mr Devananda is the SL Minister of Fisheries in the “caretaker” cabinet of Rajapaksa regime. The EPDP leader is deploying the hijacked organisations to suppress the Tamil fishers in Jaffna who oppose exploitative and environmentally destructive sea cucumber poaching. The SL Minister is engineering violation of court orders issued two years ago, grassroots activists in Jaffna complain. Devananda has also manipulated a church to back the controversial move.
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Sinhala encroachment of pastureland continues unabated in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 June 2020, 22:03 GMT]
Sinhala settlers have again encroached into the pasturelands in the interior Batticaloa putting up huts even though the SL Forest Department and SL Mahaweli Authority officers were claiming that they had evicted the intruders earlier this month. Nimalan Kandasamy, who represents Dairy Farmers Association in Koa'ra'laippattu South and Ea'raavoor-pattu said the new intruders were probably workers brought by the Sinhala colonists who were never evicted. The trouble-making settlers among the Sinhalese must be permanently expelled from the area to control the menace of encroachment, he said.
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Ex-councillor: Poverty-stricken Tamils at receiving end of SL military brutality in North

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 June 2020, 23:11 GMT]
The occupying SL Army fired gunshots at 24-year-old Tamil man at a close distance between 25 and 50 meters distance on Saturday, says former civic councillor Sutharsing Vijayakanth, who is the general secretary of Progressive Tamil National Party. The soldiers fired when the victim, Ramakrishnan Nakarasa, was fleeing from the chasing SL Army after his motorbike was stuck in the sand. The four men, who were released on bail, witnessed the incident, he said after talking to them on Sunday. The SL Army was twisting facts on the episode in its report to the SL Police, Vijayakanth said. The SLA was claiming that it fired after the late Ramakrishnan had pulled down a soldier while riding a motorbike.
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Tamil man killed, Sinhala Army opens fire at motorbike rider at Mukamaalai in North

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 June 2020, 23:53 GMT]
Occupying Colombo’s Sinhala soldiers opened fire at a 24-year-old Tamil man, who didn’t stop his motorbike when the SL Army stopped him at Mukamaalai in Pazhai in Ki'linochchi district on Saturday evening. The victim, Nakarasa Ramakrishnan, was seriously wounded with four gunshots hitting his head and neck, the residents said. Then, the SL soldiers denied transportation to medical treatment for the seriously injured man for one hour, resulting in his death on the way to the hospital. In the meantime, SL Police was trying to twist the incident as something that happened when Mr Ramakrishnan attempted to grab the weapon of an SL Army soldier. A total lie, the villagers claim. The gunshots were fired targeting the victim’s head when he failed to stop, they said. The incident has occurred 300 meters away from A9 Highway near the war-time Forward Defence Line.
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Dr Amir Ali: SL Archaeology aims to obliterate Tamil traces, shrink territory of Muslims in East

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 June 2020, 23:30 GMT]
In Israel and India, archaeology is used as a weapon to disenfranchise a whole community, writes Dr Amir Ali, a renowned academic based in Australia, in a guest column of the Colombo-based Daily Financial Times on Friday. “What the Sri Lankan archaeologists did was no different from what Israeli and Western archaeologists accomplished in Palestine,” he observes. “From the time of independence, archaeology has been a powerful tool in the hands of Sinhalese nationalists to obliterate any vestiges of an ancient Tamil civilisation in Sri Lanka,” writes Dr Ali from the School of Business and Governance in Murdoch University, Western Australia.
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Colombo steps up surveillance harassment on organisations operating in East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 June 2020, 21:02 GMT]
The intelligence wing operatives of the occupying SL military in the East have warned representatives of the community-based organisations in the East not to engage with human rights-related issues unless the organisations have a specific reference to human rights in their statutes. Two leading activists involved in coordinating more than 200 organisations in the three districts in the East told TamilNet on condition of anonymity that the SL intelligence officers were demanding the organisations to document statutes and were questioning how their activities conform to the stated objectives. The intelligence operatives were also asking whether their organisations receive funding from Tamil diaspora or any other foreign source.
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SL military cordons off Jaffna islet with war-time like harassment, families fear reprisals

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 22:12 GMT]
The occupying SL Navy, Army and Police have completely cordoned off Analai-theevu islet off Jaffna after a group of residents confronted SL Navy personnel, whom they suspected as harassing Tamil women sexually last week. In the resulting dispute, Sinhala Navy sailors assaulted the Tamils. An SLN officer and his assistant, who tried to restrict treatment for civilians who had injured in the violence meted out on them by his troopers, was attacked outside the hospital by Tamil men who were angry at the conduct of the occupying Sinhala Navy. Following the episode on 09 June, the Tamil families are subjected to relentless harassment by the SL Navy, Army and Police who are on a hunt to arrest the suspected attackers, who have gone underground. The SL Navy is not allowing journalists in Jaffna to inspect the situation and civilian contact with the outside world remains cut off.
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Former NPC Councillor urges mobilisation to protect contiguity of Tamil homeland

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 June 2020, 11:58 GMT]
Occupying Colombo’s Department of Forest is silently demarcating thousands of acres of lands in Mullaiththeevu in addition to what it has seized already the district. The latest land grab aims at converting 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres). One-third of the lands have been already demarcated, informed civil sources in Mullaiththeevu said. In the meantime, former Northern Provincial Councillor Thurairasa Ravikaran blamed the latest appropriation as being part of a broader agenda of genocidal demographic proportions that aim to wedge the geographic contiguity of the Tamil homeland in the North-East of the island.
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Dairy farmers feel harassed after exposing Sinhala encroachment in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 June 2020, 16:41 GMT]
An Information Officer attached to the Media Unit of Batticaloa District Secretariat was harassing the dairy farmers who had met journalists and rights activists in Chengkaladi division on 01 June to complain about the encroachment of pasturelands by Sinhala colonists. Within three days of the meeting, the Information Officer wrote a letter to the Regional Director of Health Services in Batticaloa exerting pressure on the latter to take action regarding the meeting. The District Secretariat officer, S.V. Jeevananthan, who is a Tamil, was acting in a biased manner, the dairy farmers who had to travel 60 km to meet the RDHS officials in Batticaloa on Friday told media on Monday. Mr Jeevananthan was blaming the organisers of the meeting of failing to comply with the measures against COVID-19 spread. He was citing social media posts about the meeting.
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Sea cucumber poachers from South enter Jaffna triggering tensions once again

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 June 2020, 23:01 GMT]
A group of eighty Sinhala poachers from South, backed by the SL military and the occupying Colombo's fisheries authorities have camped at the coastal public grounds at Koddadi in Point Pedro since Thursday. In the meantime, another group has arrived in Kudaarappu, Vadamaraadchi East in eight boats violating the Court order on Sunday, said Anantharasa Sureshkumar, a divisional councillor representing Naakarkoayil in Point Pedro Piratheasa Chapai. The intruding poachers claim that they have permits issued by the SL Department of Fisheries in Colombo. However, the practice is legally forbidden in the Beach Seine Fishing seashore from where dragnets (Karai-valai) are laid by the local fishers. The encroachment by sea cucumber divers was opposed by Tamil fishermen who fear environmental destruction as well as ethnic unrest and there have been violent episodes in 2018 in Vadamaraadchi East.
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Resentment between SL forces and Tamils escalates in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 June 2020, 19:20 GMT]
Frustration and resentment against the occupying SL military and the SL police are escalating in Jaffna peninsula as witnessed in various incidents in recent times. On Tuesday, a group of Tamil residents in Analai-theevu islet assaulted SL Navy officers, who were threatening their fellow residents receiving treatment at the local hospital after being attacked by SL Navy personnel in an earlier clash. The SL Navy imposed a travel blockade for two days and harassed the people. The dispute was reported after SL Navy men started to roam around the residential areas with suspicious intent, Tamil families in the islet said.
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US sanctions constitute attack against interests of victims of atrocity crimes: ICC

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 June 2020, 21:27 GMT]
US President Donald Trump imposed unprecedented sanctions and travel restrictions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel involved in probing the actions of US forces in Afghanistan. The sanctions regime was announced on Thursday. The ICC reacted within a few hours expressing “profound regret at the announcement of further threats and coercive actions, including financial measures, against the Court and its officials”. For some time now, the US has been threatening the Hague-based ICC not to proceed with its investigations into war crimes allegedly committed by Israel in occupied Palestine and by the US forces and the CIA in Afghanistan.
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Sinhala media questions Gotabaya’s alleged pro-MCC ‘connections’ with US

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 June 2020, 23:39 GMT]
Sinhala media in the South have started to raise questions on SL President Gotabaya’s intermediaries connected to Milinda Moragoda’s Pathfinder outfit, which wants to promote a slightly modified Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) project. The issue also gained focus, especially in connection with SL Police brutally suppressing a George Floyd protest held outside the US Embassy in Colombo on Tuesday. The role of four personalities, Senior SL Presidential Advisor Lalith Weeratunga, Additional Secretary to SL President Admiral (retd) Jayanath Colombage, SL Presidential Secretary P. B. Jayasundera and SL Ports Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Daya Ratnayaka was taken up in the live political programme, “Salakuna” on Hiru TV already on Monday.
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Pursue all legal avenues to confront encroachment of heritage sites: Former Land Commissioner

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 June 2020, 21:17 GMT]
Former Land Commissioner of Eastern Province Kathirgamathamby Kurunathan has urged Tamil politicians to confront illegal encroachments that violate the laws of SL State itself. The Divisional Secretaries are also duty-bound to take action against erecting Buddha statues and temples in Tamil and Muslim religious sites and in localities where no Buddhists reside. He was citing his own experience of legally thwarting the attempt by an intruding Sinhala-Buddhist monk. The latter had put up a Buddhist temple at Kaayang-kea'ni, where no Buddhists reside. The former Land Commissioner urged Tamil politicians and activists to pursue all legal avenues available to confront the encroachments.
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Gota's Task Force on Archaeology, a direct threat to Tamils and Muslims: Fr Rohan in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 June 2020, 22:16 GMT]
The freedom of belief and religion has become questionable and the “inclusive democratic rights” of all the citizens, particularly that of Muslims and Tamils, are made uncertain in the island. The SL government authorities have brought a “huge gap between Sinhala Buddhist majorities and the Tamil Muslim minorities” through their recent actions, commented Rev Fr Rajan Rohan, the secretary of Inter-Religious Forum in Batticaloa. The latest decision by SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, legalising a Presidential Task Force to preserve the archaeological sites under the command of SL Defence Secretary is received as a threat to the Tamil-speaking peoples, he said. “The Sinhala Buddhists are colonising the homeland of Tamils and Muslims,” he added.
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SL Army & Archaeology falsify heritage traces to meet Sinhala-Buddhist ideology: Saiva priest

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 June 2020, 23:44 GMT]
The chief priest of Gayatri Amman temple, located in the suburb of Batticaloa city, has blamed the Sinhala military for planting false archaeological ‘traces’ in the vicinities of the camps in the district of Batticaloa. The tendency of planting pieces of evidence, which are then ‘excavated’ by SL Archaeology Department has been escalating throughout the past five years, said Sivasri V K Sivapalan Kurukka'l. The latest step in which the SL President appointed an all-Sinhala Presidential Task Force (PTF) headed by SL Defense Secretary has added woes to an already distressing situation. The efforts by religious dignitaries to bring inter-religious and ethnic harmony have been severely affected, not only in the East but in the entire island, he lamented.
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Forge unified buffer against SL State-backed alteration of Tamil heritage: Fr Ravichandran

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 June 2020, 18:40 GMT]
All the successive “Sri Lankan” governments in the island have been bent on altering the historiography of the entire island as a Sinhala-Buddhist country. The tendency was also seen during the previous regime. The latest appointment of the all-Sinhala and military-led SL Presidential Task Force is just another step in imposing Sinhala-Buddhist identity throughout the island, commented Jaffna-based rights activist, Rev Fr E Ravichandran on Friday. The pattern will be the same under any future regime. From Kantharoadai in the North to Kanniyaa in the East, there is a systematic pattern, which seeks to eradicate the Tamil heritage. The Tamil political parties, civil society groups and the Tamil diaspora must go beyond their internal differences and forge a unified buffer to defend the Tamil heritage and historiography in the North-East, he urged.
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Gotabaya institutionalises heritage genocide, Sinhala-military to supersede policing islandwide

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 June 2020, 22:08 GMT]
SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed an 11-member all Sinhala Presidential Task Force (PTF) for “Archaeological Heritage Management” in the Eastern Province. The PTF team comprises of SL military, extreme Sinhala Theravada Buddhist monks, director-generals of archaeology, surveying and land affairs, a Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police as well as handpicked academics who are all Sinhalese. The PTF is to be headed by SL Defence Secretary, Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne. Mr Gotabaya has also appointed another 13-member team comprising mostly of military commanders and intelligence directors as well as police and customs directors. The second PTF is to build “Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society,” which is also led by Kamal Gunaratne.
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Colombo pushes for Indian dispossession of Trincomalee oil tanks

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 June 2020, 22:20 GMT]
Colombo’s Minister of Power, Energy and Transport, Mahinda Amaraweera has met with Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay requesting India to obtain a few of the oil tanks from the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), according to a Daily Mirror report on Wednesday. “I requested Mr Baglay to help us obtain a few of the tanks from the IOC and received a positive response from him. He is of the view was that there needs to be an official-level dialogue between the two parties with the blessings of the Indian government because IOC is a private company,” the Daily Mirror quoted Mr Amaraweera as saying. In the meantime, a piece of news filed by the SL government-owned Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) on Monday said that Mr Amaraweera, in a meeting with the trade unions, was blaming Mr Baglay for not giving positive responses to a letter sent to him earlier in this regard.
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Israel’s arms exports target Indo-Pacific, Singapore deploys advanced airborne recon pods

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 June 2020, 23:08 GMT]
US-based DefenseNews has revealed that Singapore’s F-16 fighter jets have been spotted carrying a “hitherto unannounced airborne long-range surveillance capability”. The agency, in a report filed on 28 May, said photographs it had obtained were verified to depict Elbit Condor 2 Long Range Oblique Photography (LOROP) system. Israel-based company Elbit Systems has developed the Condor 2, which is a pod with Multi-Spectral (MS) sensing capability integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics used for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. India is having a close relationship with Israel and the company, Elbit Systems.
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Sixteenth remembrance of journalist Nadesan marked amidst harassment by SL Police

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 June 2020, 09:03 GMT]
SL military intelligence personnel in civilian clothes and SL Policemen in uniform were deployed at the entrance of Jaffna Press Club (JPC) on Sunday morning when Tamil journalists marked 16th-year remembrance of Tamil journalist, Naaddup-pattaa'lar Aiyathurai Nadesan. Around fifteen policemen and intelligence personnel were guarding the entrance of the JPC and the Stanley Road - Raasaavin Thoaddam junction for four hours, from 8:30 to 12:30, in rotation, journalists who attended the event in Jaffna said. The journalists had already gathered inside the premises and managed to proceed with the remembrance as planned.
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