HRW Urges UK to Suspend Deportations of Tamils to Sri Lanka due to Reports of Returnees being Tortured

(London, May 29, 2012) –The United Kingdom should immediately suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and review its policies in assessing these claims, Human Rights Watch said today. The next scheduled deportation of Tamils from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka is due to take place on May 31, 2012. Investigations …

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Revival of community courts in Rwanda to strengthen reconciliation

By Moara Crivelente The ethnic aspect which is usually defined as a cause of conflict between Hutus and Tutsis – either historically fundamented or discursively constructed, and instrumentalized by political leaders – has deep roots with which society has to deal. A photograph of the three-day exhibition titled Lessons from Rwanda: An Account of the …

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Why and How People in Tamil Nadu are Protesting Nuclear Energy

By S.P. Udayakumar We have been fighting against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) since the late 1980s. This Russian project was shelved right after the Soviet Union’s collapse and taken up again in 1997. The Indian government and Russians have constructed two huge reactors of 1000 MW each without the consent of or consultation …

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Text of Presidential Address by Rajavarothayam Sampanthan at 14th National Convention of ITAK in Batticaloa

My greetings to all respected delegates of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi I sincerely welcome you all – the life and vitality of our party – to our National Convention here in Batticaloa. As those in service to the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, which has become the political symbol of the Tamil Nation, with its …

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Sarath Fonseka: Historic confluence of twin processes

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj The “release” of General Sarath Fonseka Former Army commander and erstwhile contender for the 2010 Presidential stakes from jail due to remission of his prison sentences by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has infused fresh excitement into the Sri Lankan Political scenario. Photojournalists in anticipation to cature release of release of General Sarath Fonseka-pic …

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The State of Human Rights in Sri Lanka – 2012: Amnesty International Annual Report

Head of state and government: Mahinda Rajapaksa Death penalty: abolitionist in practice Population: 21 million Life expectancy: 74.9 years Under-5 mortality: 14.7 per 1,000 Adult literacy: 90.6 per cent The government continued to arbitrarily detain, torture or ill-treat people and subject people to enforced disappearance. It failed to address most instances of impunity for violations …

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An Appeal to the people of India regarding the PMANE protest over Koodankulam

Dear Fellow Citizens of India , This appeal is a reflection of our collective frustration and instead of being sent to the Govt, it will be presented before people of India. It is already endorsed by eminent Indians like Prashant Bhushan, Aruna Roy, Binayak Sen, Vandana Shiva, Lalita Ramdas, Partha Chatterjee, Praful Bidwai, Achin Vanaik, …

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Shared cultures and heritage for conflict resolution: A South Asia perspective

By Dr.Sudharshan Seneviratne “A stage of resignation envelopes the community. The long shadow of the gun has not only been the source of power and glory, but also of fear and terror as well. In the menacing shadow play, forces complementing each other, dance in each other’s momentum. The paralyzing depression is not due to …

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Colombo needs to internalize the investigation into the cause(s) for failures, and not externalise the excuses

By N. Sathiya Moorthy It could not have come at a better time, or worse. President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga’s speaking/reading about ‘home truths’ in Sri Lanka’s relations with neighbouring India coincided to the week with the conclusion of ‘Eelam War IV’ and the end of the LTTE. His references to India’s role in the Sri …

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Being a Treasure Hunter would have been a lot more fun than this Writing Job

by Namini Wijedasa I have missed my vocation in life. I should have been a treasure hunter. I fault my parents for this. They never told me it would be so easy, or so painlessly lucrative. All you need is a good archaeological site (and we’ve plenty of those), some basic implements—and a backhoe. These …

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Over 500 people on indefinite hunger strike since May 1st in protest against Koodankulam nuclear plant

By Sam Rajappa THE manner in which the authorities have been trying to crush the agitation of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, which is no longer a mere protest against generating electricity by using nuclear energy to boil water, is shocking. It is a life-and-death struggle for the very survival of government of the …

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‘Tamil Tigress’ by Niromi de Soyza: An unfolding saga describing the Best and Worst of the Tigers

By Prof. V.Suryanarayan TAMIL TIGRESS: MY STORY AS A CHILD SOLDIER IN SRI LANKA’S BLOODY CIVIL WAR. | Niromi de Soyza (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2011), pp. 308, Price not mentioned. Writing about his literary career, Robert Frost once wrote: “I have never started a poem yet whose end I know. Writing a poem is …

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Protesting people on hunger strike against Koodankulam Nuclear Plant: Appeal to Indian Civil Society and International Community

by S.P. Udayakumar Let’s leave an Earth where our children and grandchildren can all play without worries.” – Yoko Kataoka, a retired baker from Japan. The indefinite hunger strike has been going on for the past 7 days. Some 25 men have been on the fast since May 1 and 302 women and 10 more …

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Kurunegala Anglican Bishop Emeritus Andrew Kumarage – An Appreciation

by Rt.Rev Kumara Illangasinghe It was with much sadness that we learnt of the passing on of our beloved Bishop Andrew Kumarage, the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Kurunagala, in the early hours of April 21, 2012. He was ailing for some time, but briefly and was a wonderful relief for some of us …

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Tea Industry as a whole is said to be profitable while most estate operations report loss

By Dr. U. Pethiyagoda As a sector of indisputable importance to the nation, the tea industry draws periodic comments and now seems such a time. Court Lodge Estate, Kandapola-pic by: UKInSriLanka The various assessments and comments are naturally, not wholly acceptable. In fact, my long held view is that the assumed profitability of the industry …

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Immediate investigation needed for Dambulla Mosque incident

by Javid Yusuf The incidents surrounding the Dambulla mosque and its aftermath have left the Muslim community shaken and uneasy. The Muslims have over centuries lived in harmony with their brother communities and enjoyed excellent relationships with both the Sinhala and Tamil communities. This state of being was rudely shaken on April 20th when the …

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Fighting Food Fascism: The Beef-eating festival at Osmania University

by Meena Kandasamy “The university and all teaching systems that appear simply to disseminate knowledge are made to maintain a certain social class in power, and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class…. The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear …

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‘I Used Myanmar As An Example, Just As Others Have Used Israel And Cuba As Examples’– Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka

By Dianne Silva Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Paris Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has come under scrutiny in recent days for his controversial remarks in the aftermath of the passing of the United States sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions, last month. Certain remarks that were misconstrued as having compared …

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Text of Letter sent to Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka by Ministry of External Affairs

Letter dated March 30th 2012 sent by Mr.W.A.S. Prasanna, Actg Director General (Overseas Administration) states thus: “Instances of administrative and financial irregularities resulting from your administration of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris have come to the attention of this Ministry. In this context, while noting the following instances, explanations on the same are hereby …

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Tamil Nadu State Govt delays implementing pledge given to PNAME about releasing imprisoned protesters and withdrawing cases

Text of a press Release issued by PMANE on April 1, 2012 The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) entered into a negotiation with the Tamil Nadu State officials on March 27, 2012 with the assistance of some credible and respectable mediators. Koodankulam: pic courtesy of: thehindubusinessline.com As per that mediation, the Tamil Nadu State …

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Dismantling a dictatorship peacefully in Myanmar

By Marwaan Macan-Markar (As Burma heads for an election on April 1st this analysis written in January is reproduced here due to its current relevance. The writer is a Sri Lankan journalist now working for IPS in Bangkok – DBSJ) BANGKOK, Jan 23, 2012 (IPS) – As he dismantles a 50-year military dictatorship without a …

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This is a struggle between powerful pro-mega development folks and powerless pro-sustainable development masses

by S.P. Udayakumar Dear Friends: Greetings! Pushparayan, the other 12 friends and I have become weaker and tired; but we are still able to sit up and talk to people. Today is the seventh day of the indefinite hunger strike. pic by: Eunheui Nobody from the State Government or the Central Government has bothered to …

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Fifteenth anniversary of the Muslim expulsion from Jaffna

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Fifteen years ago on this day (Oct 30th ) around 28, 000 men , women and children were expelled from Jaffna by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization. They were all Tamil – speaking Muslims living in the Muslim “vattaaram” or zone of Jaffna town. About 500 plus Muslims living in …

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