175 Reports

Tamil political prisoners’ fast continues for the 4th day

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 July 2009, 17:12 GMT]
The fast unto death by Tamil political prisoners in Welikada prison that began Tuesday continues for the fourth day. About two hundred Tamil political prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and being held under detention on Defence Ministry orders without being produced in court or without any indictment against them are participating the fast, prison sources said.
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Armed forces not given due recognition - SCOPP chief

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 July 2009, 17:08 GMT]
The activities of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) came to an end Friday. SCOPP Secretary General, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha said Friday in a farewell message that the armed forces have not received enough recognition for the work they have done for the people in the country.
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Increase of typhoid, hepatitis reported in internment camps

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 July 2009, 16:56 GMT]
An increase of Typhoid fever and viral Hepatitis has been reported in the internment camps of Vavuniyaa where hundreds of thousands of Vanni civilians in Sri Lanka Army custody are being detained against their wish, health authorities in Vavuniyaa said. Meanwhile, local NGO workers complained that doctors from South who do not converse in Tamil have been deployed inside the internment camps, creating a difficult situation for the Tamil people to communicate using their language.
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Police recover bodies of 2 youths killed in Delkanda

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 July 2009, 09:53 GMT]
Police recovered the bodies of two youths killed, one in Delkanda and the other in Ratnapitiya, with hands tied and face covered in cloth, Thursday morning, police spokesman, Ranjith Gunasekara said.
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Youth shot dead in Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 July 2009, 09:39 GMT]
Peliyagoda police shot and killed a youth alleged to belong to the underworld Wednesday morning at Peliyagoda, sources in Colombo said. The killed youth had been taken into custody by police Tuesday evening in Maligawathe area in Colombo, the sources added.
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Raameasvaram fishermen expected to identify the bodies washed ashore in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 17:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and Indian Navy (IN) authorities informed Jaffna Fisheries Societies that they would sail the relatives and friends of the Rameasvaram fishermen whose corpses were washed ashore in the islets of Jaffna recently, to Kaangkeasanththu’rai harbour Friday. They are expected to identify the six bodies which lie in Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) mortuary Friday, fisheries society sources in Jaffna said.
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Colombo remembers Alfred Duraiappa, setting hands of the clock backwards

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 17:45 GMT]
Ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) observed the 34th death anniversary of assassinated Alfred Duraippa, former Mayor of Jaffna, Thursday at his grave in Alfred Duraippa Stadium in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. Sri Lankan Minister of Vocational and Technical Training, Piyasena Gamage, and the former Chief Minister of Western Provincial Council, Reginald Cooray and other prominent members of SLFP laid flowers at the grave and garlanded the memorial monument, the sources added.
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Army officer appointed as Commissioner of Rehabilitation

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 11:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse has appointed Major General Daya Ratnaike as the new Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, the government information department announced Thursday. He is the latest recruit from the military to the civil administration by Mr. Rajapakse.
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Indian government assists disintegration of Tamil homeland

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 11:09 GMT]
Government of India on Wednesday announced 66 million SL Rupees scheme to 'develop' communication between the eastern coastal cities, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, in such a way that the two traditional Tamil cities will be effectively linked to the Sinhala districts than with each other. While even the shortest coastal road link between the cities are neglected of development for decades now, the Indian plan is to help Colombo running rail-buses between the cities through the colonial cum Sinhala state railway track that goes in a circular way through the Sinhala districts outside of Eastern Province.
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APRC to find new facilitator due to closure of SCOPP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 10:33 GMT]
The Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) which is to wind up its activities 31 July will no longer facilitate the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) to conduct its meeting from 1st August. "We have to look for a new organization to facilitate our activities such as seeking arrangements to conduct future meetings", APRC Chairman and Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Tissa Vitharane told media.
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Police launch war against underworld criminals

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 10:30 GMT]
All police stations in the country have been ordered to arrest leaders of underworld gangs of criminals wanted in connection with abduction, extortion, drug trafficking, murder and other crimes. Meanwhile, Police Headquarters has instructed its senior police officers in Colombo to arrest nine underworld leaders wanted in connection with possession of illegal arms, extortion, drug peddling and other crimes.
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SLA promotes 3 Brigadiers as Major Generals, 46 Colonels as Brigadiers

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 10:26 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) promoted three Brigadiers to the rank of Major Generals and 46 Colonels as Brigadiers. These officers had served in Vanni war front during the military operations against the Liberation Tigers. Former General Officer of Command (GOC) of the 55 Division, Brigadier Prasanna Silva, present 53 Division GOC, Brigadier Chagi Gallage and Director Operations of Army Head Quarters, Brigadier Shavendra Silva have been promoted as Major Generals, sources in Colombo said.
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Tamil political prisoners in Welikada begin fasting demanding their release

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 July 2009, 06:53 GMT]
A group of Tamil political prisoners currently being detained in Welikada prison for many years without any inquiry and not being produced in court began fast unto death campaign Wednesday demanding their release or to indict them in court. The campaign is being conducted in the Welikada prison complex. However Sri Lankan prison authorities denied that no such fasting is held inside the prison complex.
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Minister accused of lifting ban on trawler fishing in Jaffna for political gain

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 July 2009, 20:37 GMT]
Fisheries societies in Jaffna accused Minister Douglas Devananda for lifting the ban on trawler fishing in the peninsula seas for his political gain. Meanwhile, incidents of Sinhalese trawler fishermen, now allowed to fish in the peninsula seas, attacking local fishermen and damaging their fishing boats and equipments have increased in the last few days, fisheries societies sources in Jaffna said.
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Young couple knifed to death in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 July 2009, 20:04 GMT]
Unidentified armed men broke through the roof of a house in Koa’ndaavil East in Jaffna and killed a young couple with sharp bladed weapons Tuesday night during Sri Lanka Amy imposed curfew hours, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, number of robberies in Jaffna has risen in Jaffna in the last few days where people have been also attacked with knives, the sources added.
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3 TNA candidates in Vavuniyaa polls receive death threats - CMEV

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 July 2009, 11:56 GMT]
The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said Wednesday that it received complaints that three candidates of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) contesting the election to the Vavuniyaa urban Council have been issued with death threats.
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Free civilians from detention camps, HRW tells Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 July 2009, 11:49 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government should immediately release the more than 280,000 internally displaced Tamil civilians held in detention camps, Ney York-based rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), again demanded Wednesday. “The government has effectively sealed off the detention camps from outside scrutiny. Human rights organizations, journalists, and other independent observers are not allowed inside,” HRW said. Condemning the mass detention as “outrageous”, HRW cited comments by Walter Kälin, the UN secretary-general’s representative on internally displaced persons, that: “Prolonged internment of such persons would not only amount to arbitrary detention but it also aggravates the humanitarian situation needlessly.”
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'Sathosa' opened in Jaffna for the third time

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 18:10 GMT]
Bandula Gunawardena, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Trade, Marketing Development Cooperative and Consumer Affairs, declared open a branch of Lanka Sathosa, a branch of the CWE, in Jaffna Windsor Theatre Tuesday, sources in Jaffna said. Sathosa was opened in Jaffna twice before but had been closed down as the government failed to send goods to keep it functioning, the sources added.
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SLA refuses to lift curfew during Nalloor temple annual festival

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 17:32 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities refused to lift the night curfew imposed in the peninsula in response to the request of the Saiva Organizations which wanted the curfew lifted during the Nalloor Kanthasuvami temple annual festival which began Monday so that devotees from all parts of the peninsula could attend the festival conveniently, sources in Jaffna said.
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Attend to Vanni IDPs’ problems first – Jaffna University Students Union

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 17:10 GMT]
“We strongly criticize the Tamil politicians who seek votes without attending to the problems faced by the Vanni people held in the internment camps in Vavuniyaa,” Jaffna University Students Union (JUSU) said in a press release Tuesday in Jaffna. “We are deeply dissatisfied with some Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians who do not attend to the immediate problems of the Vanni IDPs,” JUSU said in its press release.
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8 Tamil youths arrested in Colombo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 13:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka police took into custody eight Tamil youths Tuesday morning in a search conducted in Ettiyawathe in Colombo. The arrested youths are from Jaffna, their relatives said.
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Rajapaksa grants amnesty to SLA deserters during Buddhist rite

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 11:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on the occasion of Esala Perahera, the Sri Lankan Buddhist festival that commemorates the scared tooth of Buddha, has granted an special amnesty for 1,933 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) deserters including SLA officers released from several prisons, Sri Lankan police authorities said Tuesday.
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Sri Lankan port yet to clear Mercy Mission supplies

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 11:09 GMT]
Sri Lankan port authorities in Colombo are refusing to hand over the humanitarian supplies of Tamil diaspora Mercy Mission, stating that the Indian authorities are yet to produce necessary documents including the Bill of Lading, Sri Lankan Red Cross officials in Colombo said. Meanwhile, customs authorities in Colombo said though the government has waved off the import duty, the Sri Lankan Red Cross has to pay demurrage for harbouring the cargo in the port.
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Sinhala IDP families to be resettled in Weli-Oya sector by August 31

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 10:34 GMT]
Government has decided to resettle thousands of Sinhala families displaced from the Weli-Oya - Pathaviya sector under the 180-day “Vaddakin Vasantham”(Uthuru Vasanthaya) Program before August 31, Presidential Secretariat sources said Monday according to media reports. Displaced families would be resettled in the Weli-Oya Divisional Secretariat areas such as Kalyanapura, Morawewa, and Gajabhapura before August 31, said Media Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat, Senaka Ubeysinghe, Monday.
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US ‘deeply concerned’ by Sri Lanka’s camps, wants resettlement

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 01:04 GMT]
A top United States official Monday visited the most presentable of the squalid, militarized camps in which Sri Lanka has interned three hundred thousand Tamils. “The United States remains deeply concerned about a range of issues where further progress is essential,” Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration from the US State Department Eric P. Schwartz said. “In particular, the vast majority of displaced persons remain confined to camps, and my visit to Manik Farm and my conversations with displaced persons underscored for me the hardships they are enduring,” he said.
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Eastern Provincial Minister surrenders to courts in assault case

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 July 2009, 16:45 GMT]
The Eastern Provincial Minister of Agriculture Mr.Thuraiappah Navaratnarajah and two others were allowed in personal bail in a sum of rupees One Hundred Thousand each when they surrendered in Kalmunai Magistrates’ Court Monday through his lawyer in an assault case. According to police reports to court the provincial minister and two others were alleged to have assaulted a Muslim civilian with their hands, legs and guns. The incident had taken place on July 13 when the victim had been driving his three-wheeler along Maruthamunai-Kalmunai road.
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SL Appeal Court fixes order in MPs’ petition to visit internment camps

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 July 2009, 16:38 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal Monday fixed the order for August 24 in a petition filed by leading opposition parliamentarians seeking the court to order the authorities concerned to allow them to visit camps located in Vavuniyaa where hundreds of thousands of Vanni internally displaced people are detained by the Sri Lankan military.
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TNA accuses government of using state resources in JMC election campaign

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 July 2009, 16:36 GMT]
Ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) conducted Sunday a large scale procession of vehicles organized by Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) in Jaffna town in which more than a thousand supporters participated, canvassing people to vote for the Betel symbol of UPFA, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which has also entered into the fray, accused UPFA and its ally EPDP of using government vehicles for election campaign. TNA also accused the police for being partial to UPFA in carrying out duties related to Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, the sources added.
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173 detained students in Vavuniyaa camps qualified to enter university

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 July 2009, 16:34 GMT]
One hundred and seventy three students currently being detained in camps described as internment camps in Vavuniyaa, are qualified to enter the Vavuniyaa campus of the Jaffna University for the forthcoming academic year.
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New SLA Commander meets North-East commanders in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 July 2009, 02:34 GMT]
The newly appointed Commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, met all the Security Forces Commanders of Jaffna, Vanni, Mullaitheivu, Killinochchi, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampaarai and other senior Field Commanders in the North and East, for the first time after his assumption of duties, at the Vanni Security Forces headquarters located in Vavuniyaa Saturday. During the conference special attention was drawn to the security situation in different regions in the North and East, media reports said.
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SLAF to commence passenger flights to Jaffna without AOC

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 July 2009, 02:22 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) said Sunday it would continue to operate domestic passenger flights to and from Colombo and Jaffna despite objection by the Civil Avian Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) that it should obtain Air Operations Certificate (AOC) to do so. The flights are scheduled to commence from Monday.
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Australia, Sri Lanka to cooperate on people smuggling issues

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 July 2009, 21:01 GMT]
“The Australian Government is appreciative of Sri Lanka’s cooperation on people smuggling issues and we wish to emphasise the importance Australia places on working with regional partners to combat irregular migration and people smuggling” Senator Evans said, according to a press statement issued by the Australian High Commission in Colombo Friday. Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, visited Sri Lanka from 22 to 24 July and was accompanied by Australia’s Ambassador for People Smuggling issues, Peter Woolcott.
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Political struggle will continue until Tamil aspirations are met -Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 July 2009, 18:43 GMT]
"Tamil militancy was a part of the political struggle of the Tamil people to achieve the right to self-determination in the traditional homeland of the Tamil people in the northeast. The Sri Lanka government says that the armed struggle has been completely defeated. But the political struggle of Tamil people would go on till the legitimate political aspirations of the Tamil people are achieved," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group, addressing a meeting in Vavuniyaa Saturday in support of the TNA candidates contesting the elections to the Vavuniyaa Urban Council under the banner Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchchi (ITAK).
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JMC election candidates complain of police malpractice

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 July 2009, 13:01 GMT]
Candidates contesting Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election raised complaints about police and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Jaffna assisting ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) persons pasting election campaign wall posters displaying the images of President Mahinda Rajapakse and Minister Douglas Devananda even during SLA imposed curfew hours in Jaffna town, in a meeting held by police authorities in Jaffna Sunday at Vembadi Girls’ College in Jaffna to discuss security arrangements for the contestants, sources in Jaffna said.
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Restrictions continue in Jaffna peninsula despite promises

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 July 2009, 06:26 GMT]
Residents of Jaffna peninsula, following a media announcement that the Defence Ministry restrictions on obtaining CDMA telephones has been completely lifted, had been given the phones on application to the agents including Sri Lanka Tele Communication Ltd (SLTC), Dialogue and Lanka Bell. But, the phones have not been issued connection due to a new restriction imposed by the Defence Ministry, sources in Jaffna said. An official of the SLTC said that the Defence Ministry has called for the full details of the applicants and the connections could be given only after obtaining ‘clearance’ from the Defence Ministry.
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Resettlement of IDPs within 180 days not possible – SL Minister

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 July 2009, 06:21 GMT]
Sri Lanka Minister of Electricity and Energy, Aluthananda Gamage told media in Jaffna Saturday that it will not be possible to resettle Vanni IDPs in Ki’linochchi within 180 days. Aluthananda Gamage, who is staying in Jaffna to campaign in the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council also said that the opening of the A9 route to public will be considered only after decisions are made in a Defence Ministry conference on the issue. Meanwhile, Basil Rajapakse, brother of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse and his advisor, had inaugurated the bus service from Jaffna to Colombo Wednesday declaring that the service will be conducted every other day in a week in a much publicized event.
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Southern PC to be dissolved August first week

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 13:05 GMT]
The Southern Provincial Council is to be dissolved during the first week of August and elections held in September. This would be followed by holding elections to the remaining local bodies in the Jaffna district, a government spokesman said Saturday.
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Supreme Court calls for AG’s report

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 12:51 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday directed the Attorney General to report on August 6 the position of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) about releasing internally displaced families from Vanni region now being detained in several camps in Vavuniyaa to ensure their right to live anywhere according to their wish. “It is unjust to detain IDPs in camps contrary to their wish,” the Supreme Court pointed out to the Deputy Solicitor General when it took up a Fundamental Rights petition filed by a relative on behalf of a four member family now being illegally detained in Veerapuram centre of the Vavuniyaa Kovil Kulam main camp for inquiry Friday. These camps are described by human rights organizations and activists as ‘internment camps’.
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NCCL official remanded for allegedly defaming armed forces, SL President

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 12:43 GMT]
Colombo Magistrate Friday further remanded Mr. Jayampathy Shantha Nihal Fernando of Moratuwa, the Executive Secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of the National Christian Council (NCCL) till August 7 for allegedly circulating false allegations against the Armed Forces, Sri Lankan Government and President Mahinda Rajapakse.
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Madu pilgrims to be registered at checkpoint to enter church premises

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 12:39 GMT]
All pilgrims attending the annual feast of “Our Lady of Madu” will have to be registered at a checkpoint that would be set up at Madu Road Junction, Police Spokesman Ranjit Gunasekara told media in Colombo. Madu Church festival is to begin on August 14. He said the registered names of pilgrims would be computerized by the Sri Lanka Army. Those leading the pilgrims are expected to submit three copies of name lists giving details of persons in their respective groups.
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Islamic factions clash in Beruwala, 3 killed

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 07:57 GMT]
Three Muslim civilians were killed and seven others injured in a clash between two Islamic factions, Tawjeed and Ahla Sunnat Jamatt in Beruwala of Kalutara district Friday night, Sri Lankan Police said. Most of the shops in the predominant Muslim town Beruwala, remain closed on Saturday.
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SLN imposes new restrictions on visitors to Mannaar

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 04:37 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLA) authorities in Mannaar have directed all persons visiting Mannaar Island to surrender their national identity card and to obtain a special pass at the Mannaar Fort sentry point before entering the town. This directive has caused difficulties for the visitors to transact business and other official activities with banks and other government departments, civil society sources complain.
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2 Tamil youths arrested in Colombo

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 04:23 GMT]
Seeduwa Police took into custody two Tamil youths Thursday on their arrival from Singapore. The vehicle in which they were travelling from Katunayake International Airport (KIA) was stopped at a road block in Seeduwa area and checked. Police said the youths were taken in for questioning and have recovered several digital cameras and cell phones which were in their possession.
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Genocide Studies Center holds Sri Lanka event in Minnesota campus

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 01:17 GMT]
During an event on Sri Lanka's civil war sponsored by Center of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Human Rights Center, and the Genocide Intervention Network-Minnesota, and held Wednesday at the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Dr. Ellen Kennedy, the Interim Director for the Center of Holocaust and Genocide Studies spoke of the 25 million IDPs in 25 countries with 425,000 IDPs in Sri Lanka alone. "IDPs own country is responsible for the well being of the IDPs, but it is mainly the same country by its own action creates the IDPs," she said.
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US, UK, France abstain, IMF vote to approve Sri Lanka loan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 July 2009, 00:10 GMT]
Despite opposition from the US, UK, and France, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Friday approved a $2.6B loan to Sri Lanka, of which approximately $322m will be made available immediately, wire reports from Washington D.C. said. "The U.S. position was based on an assessment, in the current circumstances, of the ability and commitment of the government to carry out necessary policy adjustments during an IMF program," a U.S. Treasury spokesperson said. A British Government source said that that it was “not the right time to go forward” with the loan, because Sri Lanka is forcibly detaining nearly 300,000 mostly Tamil refugees in internment camps and spending a large proportion of its wealth on its military - even though the country’s bloody 26-year civil war ended in May, British daily, The Times reported.
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1200 Southern police personnel to be engaged in JMC election duties

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 18:53 GMT]
Sri Lanka government has taken steps to bring 1200 police personnel to Jaffna in vehicles along A9 route to be engaged in election duties in the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, police high officials in Jaffna said. This announcement comes amidst accusations raised by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that the government is planning to use these police personnel in unfair ways to conduct the election to achieve its own ends, sources in Jaffna said.
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Postal voting in Jaffna, Vavuniya local elections on July 27, 28

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 14:44 GMT]
Postal voting in the forthcoming elections to Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniyaa Urban Council is to take place on July 27 and 28. 183 government servants are qualified to cast their votes in Vavuniyaa Urban Council and 335 out of 473 are qualified for postal voting in Jaffna Municipal Council, election department sources said.
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Sweden decides to close embassy in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 13:14 GMT]
The Government of Sweden Thursday decided to close its Embassy in Colombo and the Consulates-General in Kaliningrad, Canton, Los Angeles and New York. “The closure of the Embassy in Colombo is to be completed by 31 March 2010 at the latest. In connection with the Government's review of development cooperation in 2007 a decision was made to end Sweden's bilateral development assistance to Sri Lanka.
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Chomsky: Sri Lanka, a Rwanda-like major atrocity the West didn't care

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 10:40 GMT]
Prof Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT, said Thursday during a United Nations forum on Responsibility to Protect (R2P), that what happened in Sri Lanka was a major Rwanda-like atrocity, in a different scale, where the West didn't care. "There was plenty of early warning. This [conflict] has been going on for years and decades. Plenty of things could have been done [to prevent it]. But there was not enough interest." Chomsky was responding to a question that referred to Jan Egeland, former head of UN's Humanitarian Affairs' earlier statement that R2P was a failure in Sri Lanka, where Inner City Press (ICP) noted that nearly 20,000 Tamil civilians were killed.
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All accused acquitted in Udatalawinna Muslim massacre case

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 07:42 GMT]
A five member bench of the Supreme Court Friday acquitted four army personnel including a lieutenant earlier sentenced to death in the Udatalawinna massacre of ten Muslim civilians during December 2001 general elections. In this case earlier eight persons were charged including the then Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte and his sons Rohan and Chanuka. The court made the acquittal order when it took up the appeal filed by four army officers.
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Vanni IDP family files FR seeking release from “internment camp”

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 07:35 GMT]
A Fundamental Rights violation petition has been filed in Sri Lanka Supreme Court Thursday seeking the release of a four-member family displaced from Vanni and currently being detained in one of the several camps in Vavuniyaa and to order two million rupees as compensation for illegal detention. Seventy-year-old Kanapathipillai Ehambaram of Naachchikudaa filed the FR petition on behalf of her daughter, son-in-law, and two grand daughters now being detained in a camp located in Vavuniyaa Koayil Ku'lam, legal sources said.
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Permission denied for travel from Colombo to Jaffna via A9

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 04:34 GMT]
“The Defence Ministry has not still granted permission for people to travel by bus from Colombo to Jaffna via A9 highway. Those who wish to travel to Jaffna from Colombo should do so by air or by sea,” Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) media spokesman, told Colombo media Thursday.
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Depression setting among Vanni IDPs in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2009, 04:30 GMT]
Number of people suffering from some form of depression in the centres which are described by human rights organizations and activists as ‘internment camps’ is on the increase, Colombo media reported quoting a medical officer working in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) centres. The medical officer did not want to be named.
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Grass root organisations form Global Tamil Forum

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 July 2009, 23:57 GMT]
A number of grass root Tamil organisations across the world on Thursday launched an initiative in forming Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said Suren Surendran of British Tamil Forum, which is one of the constituent organisations of the Forum. The Tamil diaspora is united in restoring the sovereignty of Eezham Tamils in their homeland and bring the perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice, Mr. Surendran told TamilNet. The Forum will work for the benefit of Eelam Tamils based on the principles of the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution that recognises Self-Determination of Eezham Tamils in creating an independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam in the traditional homeland of Eezham Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka, said Dr. Sampavi Parimalanathan, a diaspora activist in Australia.
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Sri Lanka’s policies contradict IMF loan’s goals - HRW

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 July 2009, 21:44 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government’s policies threaten post-conflict reconstruction, reconciliation, and stability and undermine the very purposes for which the IMF’s proposed loan is to be used, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday. The human rights pressure group said as “minimum benchmarks”, the IMF should make disbursement of funds conditional on Sri Lanka “allowing [diplaced] people to choose for themselves whether to stay in the [government] camps and full access for independent monitors.”
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Government trying to win JMC election using unfair means – TNA parliamentarian

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 July 2009, 16:20 GMT]
“Sri Lanka government plans to bring 80 Sinhalese officers from South to serve as Junior Polling Officers in the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election while there are sufficient Tamil speaking government officers in Jaffna to conduct the election; it is obvious that the government intends to win the election by rigging as it had done in the East,” Suresh Premachandran, Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, said in a press meet held in the TNA Thamizharasuk Kadchchi (TK) office in Jaffna. TNA chief candidate Mudiyappu Remedias participated in the press meet.
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3 washed ashore bodies in the islets of Jaffna identified

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 July 2009, 15:33 GMT]
Three of the six bodies washed ashore since Sunday in the islets of Jaffna have been identified as belonging to fishermen from Raameasvaram in Tamil Nadu, according to the identity cards found on the recovered bodies. Meanwhile, fishermen returning from the sea in the islets Thursday said that another body was sighted in the sea and that it would reach the shore Thursday night or Friday morning.
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Arbour to head ICG

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 July 2009, 11:28 GMT]
Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, becomes the President of the International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels headquartered organization, recognised as one of the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advisory group on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict, a media release issued by the ICG said Wednesday. During Ms Arbour's UN post, she visited Sri Lanka on a 5-day mission in October 2007, when Colombo blocked her from visiting the East. Arbour then spoke of the "weakness of the rule of law," and the "absence of vigourous investigations and prosecutions" on the large number of disappearances.
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Opening A9 route, an election gimmick – Mudiyappu Remedias

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 19:23 GMT]
“Though the Government of Sri Lanka had control of the A9 land route to Jaffna eight months ago it had kept it closed until now when it opens the route for public use as an election gimmick to lure voters in but no one can fool the people of Jaffna, Mudiyappu Remedias, the chief candidate of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), contesting Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, said in an interview to TamilNet Wednesday
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5 buses take passengers from Jaffna through A9 route

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 11:23 GMT]
Basil Rajapakse, the brother and advisor of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, inaugurated the opening of A9 route to public use Wednesday around 10:30 a.m by waving a flag for the convoy of five buses that carried 210 passengers from Jaffna to Mathavachchi, heavily escorted by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in an event held at Duraippa Stadium in Jaffna. Minister Douglas Devananda and the Governor of Northern Province, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri were present on the occasion, sources in Jaffna said.
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Dengue detected among IDPs in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 10:09 GMT]
For the first time seven persons were admitted to Vavuniyaa general hospital Tuesday on a single day suffering from Dengue fever, according to hospital sources. Six of the thirteen patients admitted to Vavuniyaa Hospital on that day had also been detected suffering from Japanese Encephalitis. The dengue patients are said to be inmates from Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps located in Vavuniyaa. These IDP camps where hundreds of thousands of Vanni displaced persons are held are described as internment camps by human rights organizations and activists.
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Galle MC opposition leader shot dead

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 08:34 GMT]
Unknown gunmen riding on a motor cycle shot and killed Galle Municipal Council opposition leader (UNP) Dushantha Senaviratne Wednesday morning around 7:00 a.m. while he was on his way to a shop nearby his residence at Bellgaha Kandiya in Galle town, Police said. The UNP had selected Mr. Seneviratne to contest in the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council election, party sources told TamilNet.
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Colombo denies visa extension to AP's Sri Lanka bureau chief

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 00:17 GMT]
Associated Press reported Tuesday that AP's bureau chief in Sri Lanka, Ravi Nessman, left Sri Lanka Monday after Colombo refused to extend Nessman's journalist visa. "We find this failure to renew Ravi's visa disturbing," John Daniszewski, AP's senior managing editor for international news, was quoted as saying in media reports. Colombo reports said that Nessman broke news of private U.N. reports outlining civilian death tolls, and also revealed the "first word of a government document from January outlining a plan to keep hundreds of thousands of displaced" Tamil civilians in the camps for up to three years.
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Colombo should end the farce, free doctors - New York Times

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 17:43 GMT]
In a devastatingly incriminating article on Sri Lanka's conduct of war and the holding of 300,000 Tamil civilians in internment camps, New York Times in an op-ed piece Tuesday said, the doctors who "worked heroically to save lives and alert the world to the humanitarian disaster endured by civilians trapped in the fighting," should be freed. Also, noting that "[t]he army was indiscriminately launching artillery shells and air strikes into mixed areas of insurgents and innocents and the Tigers shot at people who tried to escape," the paper added, "Sri Lankan government now risks losing the peace with its approach toward ethnic Tamils displaced by the conflict. Colombo needs to alter course if the country is to begin overcoming years of animosity and avoid having old hatreds and current antipathy turn into the next Tamil rebellion."
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Vavuniyaa hospital security tightened

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 17:15 GMT]
The deployment of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers at Vavuniyaa general hospital has been suddenly stepped up from Monday. SLA soldiers and police personnel are seen in every nook and corner of the hospital monitoring movement of each individual, civil sources say. All the entry and exit points of the hospital have been placed under the strict surveillance of the Sri Lankan forces.
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New political formation of LTTE claimed

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 16:42 GMT]
Addressed as originating from the headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, an Executive Committee on Tuesday, announced restructure of the organization and the leadership of Selvarasa Pathmanathan in taking up the future course of the movement. “We have set up a head office for our liberation movement and formulated various sector-based working groups and an executive committee," a press release on behalf of the Executive Committee said adding that the details will be shared in due course. Meanwhile, LTTE watchers said that the new formation has the burden to prove its credibility with the grass root at home and among the diaspora that aspire not incumbencies but a strong mass organisation to address the national cause.
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Prayers held in Keerimalai for the souls of Vanni victims

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 15:42 GMT]
The Federation of Saiva organizations in Jaffna peninsula observed the annual Aadi Amaavaasai Day, the day on which children perform religious rituals to pacify the souls of their late fathers, in Keerimalai Nakuleasvaram temple in Jaffna peninsula Tuesday, in memory of all the people who lost their lives in the war on Vanni Tamils waged by the Sri Lanka government, sources in Jaffna said.
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Altogether 4 bodies washed ashore in the islets of Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 15:11 GMT]
Oorkaavattu’rai police recovered a male body washed ashore each in Pungkudutheevu and Ezhuvaitheevu beaches in the islets of Jaffna Tuesday in addition to a male body washed ashore each in Pungkudutheevu and Ezhuvaitheevu Sunday, sources in Jaffna said. The four recovered bodies may belong to the fishermen from Raameasvaram in Tamil Nadu gone missing on the seas recently, police said. Oorkaavattu’rai magistrate, Ms. Joy Mahatheva, has directed the police to inform the Indian High Commission in Colombo and the fisheries societies in India and Sri Lanka to take necessary action to find whether the dead bodies belong to Indian fishermen.
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Another amnesty for Muslim groups to surrender arms

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 11:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police announced another five-day amnesty period with effect from Monday to hand over all illegal weapons by Muslim militant groups in E’raavur police division in Batticaloa district. Using loud speakers, the police announced that any person, who is carrying illegal weapons, should hand over the weapons to the nearest Mosque within this period. The announcement added that soon after the end of the amnesty period, police and Sri Lanka military will commence to search for illegal weapons in the area. The earlier amnesty period ended on July 4.
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Court directs SLA Vanni commander to admit IDP girl to hospital

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 09:16 GMT]
The Supreme Court Monday directed the Commander of the Sri Lanka armed Forces Headquarters, Vanni to take steps to admit the 13-year-old child Sopika Surendranathan immediately to Anuradhapura General Hospital for medical treatment. The Bench comprising Justices Shiranee A. Bandaranaike, Saleem Marsuf and Jagath Balapatebendi made this order, subsequent to the submissions made by the Counsel for Sopika who is presently housed in the IDP camp.
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2 corpses of youths washed ashore in the islets of Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 July 2009, 18:46 GMT]
Oorkaavatu’rai police recovered Sunday the corpse of a young male found washed ashore on the beach of Pungkudutheevu, an islet of Jaffna, and handed it over to Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) mortuary. Meanwhile, a male corpse washed ashore on the coast of Ezhuvaitheevu, another islet of Jaffna, was recovered by Oorkaavatttu’rai police Monday and handed over to JTH mortuary. Both bodies, clad only in underwear, were covered with assault injuries, residents who saw the bodies said.
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Government yet to decide on 13 plus political solution – Minister Alagaperuma

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 July 2009, 16:32 GMT]
Sri Lanka Transport Minister, Dallas Alagaperuma, said Monday in a press meet in Jaffna that no final decision has been made by the government on the proposed 13 plus political solution to the ethnic issue, correcting Minister Douglas Devananda, who told the reporters that President Mahinda Rajapakse and the cabinet have accepted the 13 plus political solution. The press meet took place in the newly opened Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) office in Chu’ndukkuzhi in Jaffna to which more than a hundred media persons were brought from the South. Ministers Dallas Algaperuma, Douglas Devananda and Srisena Cooray were some of the political leaders present in the meeting.
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3 Tamil youths, travel agent arrested in Colombo

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 July 2009, 11:26 GMT]
Two Tamil youths who were waiting to take a flight to Cairo, capital of Egypt Thursday morning and another Tamil youth who arrived in Friday morning from Dubai were taken into custody at Katunayake International Airport by the Katunayake police. Police said they are being detained and are suspected to be LTTE cadres, sources in Colombo said.
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Delay in resettling Vanni IDPs lamentable – PCPG

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 July 2009, 04:41 GMT]
“No one is showing any interest at all in resettling the Vanni Internally Displaced Persons or consider their miserable lives, being detained in the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) internment camps,” representatives of the Peoples’ Committee for Peace and Goodwill (PCPG) Jaffna, led by Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, told Dr. Packiyasothy Saravanamuthu, the head of Colombo based Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Sunday at Jaffna Bishop’s house. A team led by the head of CPA arrived in Jaffna to attend to matters related to the monitoring of the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, sources in Jaffna said.
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Air of martial triumph unbefitting while controversy surrounds Tamil civilian deaths - NY Times

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009, 16:07 GMT]
Noting that "[t]he Tamil minority has suffered discrimination and violence at the hands of various Sinhalese-dominated governments through the decades. Tamils have sought, first peacefully, then violently, the right to a measure of self-rule in Tamil-dominated areas," the New York Times in a Sunday article said, "[m]any Sri Lankans see these soldiers as heroes, but given the controversy that remains over how many Tamil civilians were killed in the last weeks of the fighting, some people find the air of martial triumph unseemly."
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Police force public to attend UPFA election office opening in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009, 14:17 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police brought in their vehicles ten persons each from their local areas in Jaffna peninsula whom they had summoned to the police stations through the respective Village Officers, to the official opening of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) election office in Jaffna, Sunday around 9:30 a.m, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, Minister Douglas Devananda, leader of Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), an ally of UPFA, was a notable absentee in the event held in the newly opened UPFA election office located on Somasuntharam Veethi, Chu’ndikkuzhi, Jaffna, the sources added.
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Awakening North, an election gimmick? - Sunday Leader

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009, 11:37 GMT]
Noting that the loan scheme announced by the Sri Lanka Government to Northern small scale enterprises while soliciting donations for the diaspora for refugee relief, exposed the scarcity of funds to support Jaffna loans, an article in Sunday Leader, said that the loan announcement is likely an election ploy to woo Jaffna voters towards the ruling UPFA. Questioning the motives for recent actions by the Central Bank in not revealing the details of IMF Article IV consultation report, and suspending publication of weekly economic indicators, the article said the reluctance of the Government to set free the screened IDPs in the internment camps is likely driven by the need to mobilize "humanitarian aid from the donors and donations from the diaspora to bolster the foreign currency reserves of the government."
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Dayan Jayatilake sacked from UN ambassador post

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009, 10:52 GMT]
Mr.Dayan Jayatilake said he had been sacked from his post as Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at Geneva. Mr.Jayatilake told Colombo media that he had been sacked from July 17 - a fax came from the Foreign Ministry, terminating his contract with effect from August 20 and requesting his return. No reasons were given, Jayatilake said, according to Colombo media reports.
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Free election in Jaffna improbable – Manickasothy

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009, 04:31 GMT]
Abimanasingham Manickasothy, the chief candidate of the Independent Group II contesting Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, told TamilNet Saturday that with the paramilitary groups operating with the government blatantly breaching election regulations with the blessing of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the police by intimidating and issuing death threats voters will not be free to cast their votes to the candidates of their choice. Despite the promise of Jaffna district Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to remove all wall posters, paramilitaries, alleged to be allied with the government, paste election campaign posters of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) during curfew hours in places where the SLA is present, flouting election regulations, Manickasothy added.
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Disease outbreak keeps UN staff away from Vavuniyaa hospital

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009, 02:14 GMT]
Vavuniya-based United Nations staff providing relief services to the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) has been advised to keep away from the Vavuniya General Hospital due to an outbreak of meningitis and encephalitis, health officials in Vavuniyaa said. The UN warning to staff came amidst reports that hospital employees at Vavuniya had failed to inform authorities of the outbreak, the Sunday Times reported. Dr. Hemantha Herath, Health Coordinator of the IDP camps, told the newspaper, “It is only now that we are getting a regular feedback from the hospital. They have not done in-depth investigations into these cases.”
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Court explores relaxing restrictions on Jaffna to Colombo travel

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 16:33 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday, in a Fundamental Rights petition inquiry, directed the Attorney General to consider the relaxation of the procedure now being in force to obtain special permission from the defence ministry to travel from Jaffna to Colombo, legal sources in Colombo said. Senior Counsel, Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy, filed the FR petition that the restriction imposed on residents of Jaffna traveling from Jaffna to Colombo without special permission from the security forces is violation of fundamental rights, according to court documents.
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Capturing Jaffna market, the sole intention of Southern Traders – JTU

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 16:31 GMT]
“The traders and ministers from the South invading Jaffna peninsula are only interested in capturing the market in Jaffna peninsula; their visits are not in anyway beneficial for the people here,” Jaffna Traders’ Union (JTU) sources said Friday participating in a meeting with the 45 members of the National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) visiting Jaffna to explore possibilities of market opportunities. JTU met the Minister of Industrial Development, Kumara Welgama, in a separate meeting Friday, also held in the JTU office on Maanipaay road in Jaffna, where JTU members requested the lorries of Jaffna traders to be allowed to transport goods through A9 road to Jaffna as their repeated requests to several government authorities had been ignored, JTU sources added.
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Dissuade India from backing Rights violator Sri Lanka, Boston Globe tells Clinton

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 12:19 GMT]
"When it comes to regional issues, Clinton should make the case that the expanding US-Indian relationship gives Indian leaders more strategic flexibility. They can stop trying to match their Chinese counterparts in backing regimes, such as those in Burma and Sri Lanka, that have committed gross human-rights abuses against their own people. If a shared respect for democratic values forms the foundation for the burgeoning US-India partnership, Indian leaders should be able to heed any such counsel from Clinton," a Saturday editorial in Boston Globe said.
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People in Jaffna live in fear – Suresh Premachandra

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 07:32 GMT]
“The people in Jaffna live in fear of the government armed forces and the paramilitary groups operating with them. They are scared to air their views or to openly participate in election related activities,” Suresh Premachandran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna district parliamentarian, told TamilNet in a special interview Friday in Jaffna. “Though government ministers invading Jaffna continue to offer promises to the people of Jaffna they cannot be deceived as they fully well know that the promises will not be kept because the government does not have the money to fulfill the promises,” he further said.
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ACF calls for international inquiry into Moothoor massacre

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 03:55 GMT]
Action Contre la Faim (ACF), a Paris-based NGO, in a press release issued Friday said that the 17 of its staff members shot dead in execution style in Moothoor Sri Lanka in August 2006 is one of the "most serious crimes ever committed against an NGO," and accused Sri Lanka of failing to identify the people responsible for the killings after "[t]hree Years of obstructionism, smokescreens, and politicized proceedings." ACF called on the European Union to initiate an international inquiry into the "massacre."
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Tissainayagam judgement fixed for August 31

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 02:30 GMT]
The Colombo High Court judge Ms. Deepali Wijesundara Friday fixed the judgment for August 31 on the case against senior journalist Mr.J.S.Tissanayagam who was indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulations (ER), legal sources in Colombo said. Mr. Tissainayagam was charged on three counts including printing and distributing the publication North Eastern Monthly magazine, and the offences was stated to have been committed during the period between June 1, 2006 and June 1, 2007.
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Court orders detained UN workers to be produced before Medical Officer

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2009, 00:04 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Thursday directed the State to produce, before the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO), the two workers of the United Nations agency now being detained by the Sri Lanka police, and to submit the medical report within two weeks. Two UN workers, Charles Ravindran Navaratnam, 45, and Kanthasamy Soundararajan, 35, were arrested on June 13 when they were fleeing into the government controlled area from Vanni. Since then they are being detained without appearence before a court of law or before the Judicial Medical Officer, legal sources in Colombo said.
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US Congress places Rights barriers on Sri Lanka IMF loan

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 July 2009, 01:41 GMT]
The language inserted in the Department of State Appropriations bill S.1434 soon to be passed in the United States Senate, has virtually blocked U.S. Treasury Secretary from authorizing the projected $1.9B IMF loan to Sri Lanka, unless Secretary of State Hilary Clinton certifies that Sri Lanka "is treating internally displaced persons in accordance with international standards, including by guaranteeing their freedom of movement, providing access to conflict-affected areas and populations by humanitarian organizations and journalists, and accounting for persons detained in the conflict," and Sri Lanka is promoting "reconciliation and justice including devolution of power to provincial councils in the north and east as provided for in the Constitution of Sri Lanka."
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United Sri Lanka is the steadfast aim of UNP – Tissa Athanayake, in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 July 2009, 10:32 GMT]
General Secretary of United National Party (UNP), the main opposition party, Tissa Athanayake, said that the UNP believes in one country with equal rights to all its people, in a press meet held Thursday in Jaffna City Hotel. Tissa Athanayake, accompanied by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene, UNP parliamentarian and UNP principal candidate in Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, A. S. Sathiyendra, explained the policy of his party to the media. “One of the main functions of the ICRC is family reunion of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Rajapakse’s government’s decision to stop ICRC’s functions and to expel it from the country needs to be vehemently condemned,” Dr. Jayalath Jayawardne said.
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Police, SLA partial to UPFA in JMC election

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 July 2009, 04:39 GMT]
Political parties and Independent groups contesting the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) elections accused the police and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for being partial to United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) in the issue of campaign wall posters, sources in Jaffna said. Though the police authorities had banned all wall posters and had ordered the removal of the posters, the police and the SLA had only torn and tarred the posters of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (TAK) political parties, leaving the UPFA posters untouched, the sources added.
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Daughter, parents attacked in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 July 2009, 04:10 GMT]
A gang of masked armed men, during curfew hours, forcibly entered a house in Kokkuvil West in Jaffna and attacked a daughter and her parents with sharp bladed weapons Wednesday around 1:00 a.m, sources in Jaffna said. The armed men ran away when neighbours rushed to the house on hearing the shouts of the family. All three attacked persons, seriously injured, are admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit and are said to be in critical condition, the sources added.
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10 IDPs die daily inside barbed wire camps in Vavuniyaa - JVP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 July 2009, 03:53 GMT]
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said Wednesday it has been receiving reports that due to scarcity of essential needs such as food, water and medicine, on the average, ten internally displaced people die every day inside the camps located in Vavuniyaa. "These people too are citizens of Sri Lanka. Those who are languishing inside the barbed wire camps are our fellow citizens. We call upon the Government not to forget the fact that they tjere arrived on the invitation of the government. It is disgusting to hear of the way the government treats them now,” said JVP leader Mr.Somawanse Amarasinghe addressing a press briefing Wednesday at the JVP head office in Battaramulla.
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Court refuses to withdraw arrest order on Eastern PC Minister

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 July 2009, 03:45 GMT]
Kalmunai Magistrate, N. M. M. Abdullah, Tuesday, refused to withdraw the arrest order he passed on Eastern Provincial Minister Thuraiappah Navaratnarajah and some of his escorts for alleged assault on a Muslim civilian Sunday, legal sources in Kalmunai said.
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Imprisonment of aid workers violates international law: UN Staff Union

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 July 2009, 20:15 GMT]
The Staff Union of the United Nations Secretariat (SUUNS) slammed the Sri Lankan Government for its illegal detainment of two aid workers and urged Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to demand for their release in a statement released Friday. Highlighting Sri Lankas responsibility “under international law to respect independence and work of UN Staff”, the statement labeled the “continuing detention and harassment” of UN staff as a violation of the “international instruments dealing with the privileges, immunities and independence of United Nations officials”.
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Time for silence is over - New York Times

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 July 2009, 15:41 GMT]
New York times in an editorial published Wednesday said that "[t]he [Sri Lanka] government's strict control on visits to the [internment] camps has also raised suspicions that it may be trying to block any investigation into possible government abuses committed in the last months of the war," and added, "[m]ost [donor countries and international organizations] have kept quiet so far about the Tamils' plight, evidently fearful that criticizing conditions in the camps could get them thrown out of the camps. The time for silence is over. The best way to help the Tamils is by demanding their freedom and an end to their long ordeal."
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Monks launch campaign against 13th Amendment

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 July 2009, 10:34 GMT]
The National Front of Buddhist Monks (NFBM) Tuesday launched a leaflet campaign to mobilize the masses against implementing the 13th Amendment at the Matara main bus stand in the south of Sri Lanka. The NFBM has planned to distribute one million leaflets in towns and villages across Sri Lanka. More than 30 Buddhist monks participated in the launching event.
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Campaign against free speech must end: CPJ

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2009, 23:17 GMT]
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York based media rights group, slammed the Sri Lankan Government for its anti media policies and accused the current administration of “continuing to silence its critics through harassment and threats” in a press release on Tuesday. Responding to the recent blocking of independent news websites in Sri Lanka and “smear campaigns” against various publications and individuals engineered to incite public outrage hatred, CPJ Asia program coordinator Bob Dietz urged the Governement to lift its censorship and cease its campaign against free speech.
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SL minister promises to fulfill President Rajapakse’s dream, in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2009, 15:14 GMT]
”President Mahinda Rajapakse’s present dream is to make goods available to Jaffna people at reasonable Colombo prices”, Minister of Electricity and Energy, Aluthananda Gamage, said in an event held at Nalloor Divisional Secretariat Tuesday, sources in Jaffna said. The visiting minister, accompanied by Minister Douglas Devananda, further promised that steps would be taken before 1st August to fulfill President Rajapakse’s dream, the sources added.
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Tamil civilian reported missing in Kinniya

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2009, 12:20 GMT]
A Tamil civilian, Sivasegaram Panchalingam, 35, a resident of Kinniya in Trincomalee district, has been reported missing since Monday morning after he left for work, according to a complaint lodged with the Kinniya Police by his wife.
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Court orders Police to arrest Eastern PC minister in assault case

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2009, 11:28 GMT]
Kalmunai Magistrate Mr.N.M.Abdulla, Monday, ordered the Crime Division of the Kalmunai Police to arrest and produce a provincial minister and his associates who were alleged to have been involved in an altercation with a Muslim civilian, in courts on July 27, legal sources said. Mr.Thuraiappah Navaratnarajah is the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC).
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4 border Sinhala villages brought under Batticaloa district administration

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2009, 08:42 GMT]
Four Sinhala border villages which were administered under Ampaa'rai district for the last eighteen years have now been brought under the administration of Batticaloa district. Sinhala villages, Gemunupura and Managalagama located along Batticaloa-Chengkaladi-Badulla highway have been annexed with Ea’raavoor Pattu-Chengkaladi Divisional Secretariat division (DS) and Keviliyaamadu and Pulugannaawa with Paddippazhai DS division. Both DS divisions come under the administration of Batticaloa District Secretariat.
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Mahanayake announces programme to renovate “destroyed” Buddhist sites in NE

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2009, 08:28 GMT]
Malwatte Mahanayake Thera Venerable Tibbotuwawe Siddhartha Sri Sumagalabhidana Thera Sunday announced that a programme is to be launched shortly in the North and East to renovate Buddhist religious sites, according to him, destroyed or damaged during the war.
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Thenmaraadchi IDP families seek resettlement in their villages

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2009, 05:10 GMT]
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) welfare organizations in Jaffna peninsula sent an appeal Monday to Sri Lanka Government authorities and to several International Humanitarian Organizations requesting the immediate resettlement of the IDP families displaced from Thenmaraadchi due to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) offensives in 1999, in their own villages, sources in Jaffna said. SLA continues to deny permission for the resettlement though the villages have been cleared of landmines, claiming that the villages are within its High Security Zone (HSZ), the appeal said.
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Death threats to Jaffna Uthayan daily continue

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 July 2009, 17:24 GMT]
Reporters, employees and agents of Uthayan Tamil daily published in Jaffna continue to be issued with death threats by post despite President Rajapakse’s recent assurance that he will not permit anyone to violate the freedom of the press, sources in Jaffna said. A group calling itself ‘Tamil Front Protecting the Country’ allegedly linked to a paramilitary group operating with Colombo had issued on 27 June a notice titled ‘Final Warning’ to Uthayan Tamil daily office in Jaffna warning that Uthayan staffers will be killed if they do not officially relinquish their posts with effect from 30 June 2009.
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UPFA involved in obvious breach of election regulations in Jaffna - TNA

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 July 2009, 05:07 GMT]
“The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its allied parties using great number of vehicles in election campaign in Jaffna and that too guarded by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the police is an obvious breach of election regulations,” Mudiyappu Remedias, the chief contestant of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), said in a meeting held Sunday morning at Vembadi Girls’ College in Jaffna by SLA and police authorities with the representatives of the parties contesting the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) elections. The meeting was convened to discuss arrangements to offer protection to the contestants, sources in Jaffna said.
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Colombo doctors to investigate outbreak of meningitis, encephalitis in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 July 2009, 17:29 GMT]
Six medical officers from Colombo are scheduled to visit IDP camps which are described as internment camps by human rights agencies in Vavuniya tomorrow to investigate a suspected outbreak of meningitis and encephalitis, reported from the Vavuniyaa General Hospital. Meanwhile the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has charged that a severe shortage of nurses and pharmacists in the Vavuniyaa camps is compounding health problems there.
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Notorious commander appointed Governor of Northern Province

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 July 2009, 17:05 GMT]
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed Chief-of-Staff of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri as the new Governor of the Northern Province. Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri was the former chief of the SLA in Jaffna, under whose command Jaffna witnessed hundreds of forced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations in the period from 2006 to 2008. Tamil political circles in Colombo commented that Mr. Rajpaksa, who claims to have crushed the de-facto state of Tamil Eelam, has appointed his military men in key posts in the occupied Tamil homeland to head civil services with a 'colonial mindset'. Earlier, in April, Rajapaksa appointed Chandrasiri as the Competent Authority Officer in charge of resettlement of Tamils from Vanni in alleged barbed-wire 'internment camps' in Vavuniyaa.
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Gotabaya labels popular Colombo attorneys as traitors

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 July 2009, 16:39 GMT]
A defence website run by Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapakse has labeled the attorneys appearing to defend Leader Publications (Pvt) which was charged with allegedly publishing a libelous article involving Secretary of Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapakse, as traitors. "A new team comprising of some who have a history of appearing for and defending LTTE suspects in the past, namely Srinath Perera, Upul Jayasuriya, S. Sumanthiran, Attorney-at-Law Viran Corea, Attorney-at-Law instructed by Athula Ranagala, Attorney-at-Law appeared for Leader Publications," the website further said.
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AG to file response to FR petition on “internment “camps

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 July 2009, 22:01 GMT]
Three member Bench of the Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday directed the Attorney General (AG) to file objections within two weeks in respect of granting leave to proceed, and interim relief to the Petitioners, in a Fundament Rights (FR) Violation petition against the detention of nearly three hundred thousand Vanni IDPs in State controlled "welfare centres" which have been described by human rights activists and organizations as "internment camps," legal sources in Colombo said.
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SLA Intelligence Unit behind abduction, murder of Bank official

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 July 2009, 21:24 GMT]
The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) arrested a captain and four soldiers from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Intelligence Unit, Friday, in connection with the abduction and murder of Peoples' Bank Kollupitiya branch assistant manager, Mr Gunasinghe Premathilake, police said.
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Seven Tamil youths reported missing in Batticoloa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 July 2009, 21:08 GMT]
Seven Tamil youths have gone missing in the Batticoloa district during June, and this has been reported by the relatives to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), Police and the Human Rights Commission, sources in Batticoloa said.
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Rulings on NE merger, P-TOMS by his predecessor according to constitution – CJ

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 July 2009, 08:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s new Chief Justice Asoka de Silva who succeeded controversial Sarath Silva has said he is going to bring radical changes in the judicial administration of the country. “I will announce reforms to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) that controls transfers and disciplinary action with the judiciary within next few weeks”, Justice Asoka de Silva told media, responding to two recent international reports on Sri Lankan judiciary. He said rulings on NE merger and Tsunami P-TOMS by his predecessor were given according to constitution.
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Amnesty calls for war crimes probe after doctors paraded

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 July 2009, 00:29 GMT]
Amnesty International Friday called for “a systematic and independent investigation of allegations of war crimes” and said such an investigation “must include confidential interviews with witnesses - most of whom are currently detained in government internment camps.” Responding to Sri Lanka’s parading of five Tamil doctors this week in which the men retracted accounts of mass civilians casualties they had issued amid a Sri Lankan government offensive, Amnesty pointed out that “the Sri Lankan authorities have a long history of extracting confessions by force and compelling detainees to give media interviews that support the government's position.”
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Murder of Australian Tamil twins a “tragic incident” say Police

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 16:08 GMT]
A mother has been charged with murdering her seven-month-old twins after an apparent murder suicide attempt on Monday. Selvin Ariyaratnam called paramedics after discovering his wife unconscious at their home in Perth, with the infants lying nearby. The trio was rushed to hospital, where the babies were pronounced dead hours later despite frantic efforts to resuscitate them. Ms Ariyaratnam, an Australian of Thai heritage, was charged with murder on Friday amid an outpouring of grief from across the nation.
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Fishing restrictions in Jaffna will continue – Fisheries Minister

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 15:46 GMT]
Sri Lanka Fisheries Minister and Aquatic Resources, Felix Perera, told representatives of the Fisheries Societies in Jaffna peninsula that the current restrictions on fishing in Jaffna lagoon and in the seas of the islets of Jaffna will not be lifted until new radars are installed between Mannaar and Poonakari, on being requested to lift the existing restrictions which continue even after President Mahinda Rajapakse’s public announcement that 24 hours fishing is permitted in the North, sources in Jaffna said.
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Abducted youth released in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 15:13 GMT]
Unidentified armed men alleged to be men of a paramilitary group operating with Sri Lanka Intelligence Unit who abducted Wednesday a 26-year-old youth from his house in Kokkuvil in Jaffna had later demanded a large sum of money from his relatives as ransom to release him, sources in Jaffna said. The youth, however, was released later due to influential persons intervening in the matter, the sources added.
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PTF Permission necessary to enter former Vanni war zone

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 14:05 GMT]
The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has directed those who intend to enter the former conflict areas in the North to transport goods and conduct other activities should obtain permission from the Presidential Task Force (PTF). All local and foreign non-governmental organizations should also obtain permission from the PTF to enter former conflict areas in the North.
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SL government establishes Coast Guard Department

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 14:00 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Parliament Thursday approved the bill to set up a Coast Guard Department (CGD) under the Ministry of Defence, Public Security and Law and Order replacing the Coast Guard Unit which operated under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The bill was passed with amendments.
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The Times calls for world boycott of Sri Lanka over detainees

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 11:59 GMT]
Expressing outrage at Sri Lanka’s treatment of Tamil detainees, The Times of London called Friday for the world to boycott the island until the detainees are released. “Sri Lanka wants no witnesses to what is now being done in these modern concentration camps. … None of [the IMF] money should be paid until independent aid agencies are guaranteed access to the Tamil camps and until Sri Lanka starts to release those detained. Other world bodies — the Commonwealth, the United Nations and even world cricketing organisations — should boycott Colombo until reconciliation begins,” the paper said in its editorial.
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Exorbitant charges by SLA to transport goods to Jaffna through A9 road

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 05:32 GMT]
Representatives of Jaffna Traders’ Union (JTU) accused the Government of charging excessively for the transport of goods by lorries from Colombo to Jaffna through A9 road and the consequent high price the people have to pay for the goods, in a meeting held Thursday at Jaffna Secretariat with a visiting team of Government Ministers, sources in Jaffna said. The Ministers, however, said that the extra charges have to be made in order to meet the expense of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which has to inspect the goods and escort the lorries from Oamanthai SLA check post, the sources added.
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Muslim IDP abducted in Puththa’lam welfare centre

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 04:15 GMT]
Unidentified armed persons arriving on three motor bicycles abducted an internally displaced Muslim person from a refugee camp located in Mohideen Nakar at Fourth Mile Post along Puththa’lam-Mannaar road Tuesday around 2.30 a.m, according to complaints lodged with Puththa’lam Police by his relatives.
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2 Muslims shot dead in Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 04:05 GMT]
Bullet ridden bodies of two Muslim persons were recovered Thursday morning by Colombo Police from two different locations in Colombo city. One body was recovered along Old Moor Street in Fort area by Kotahena Police Thursday 5.30 a.m and the other body at Maligaawatte near a bridge behind Kettarama stadium. Police spokesman Ranjit Gunasekara claimed that both men were wanted in connection with several crimes and suspected to be leaders of underground criminal gangs operating in Colombo district.
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‘1,400 dying each week in Manik Farm camp’ – The Times

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 03:37 GMT]
About 1,400 people are dying every week at the giant Manik Farm internment camp set up in Sri Lanka to detain Tamil refugees from the nation’s bloody civil war, senior international aid sources have told The Times. The shocking toll lends credence to allegations that the Government, which has termed the internment sites “welfare villages”, has actually constructed concentration camps to house 300,000 people, the paper said. Most of the deaths are the result of water-borne diseases, particularly diarrhoea, a senior relief worker told The Times on condition of anonymity.
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Little foreign interest in Colombo port - report

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 02:43 GMT]
China Merchants Holdings, which operates ports in mainland China, together with a top Sri Lankan conglomerate, Aitken Spence, were the sole bidders for a container terminal concession at Sri Lanka's Colombo port, press reports said this week. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), the world's leading port investor, developer and operator, said this week it had refused to bid because elements of its original bid in 2007 had been included in the Sri Lankan government’s second request for proposals this year, putting HPH at a disadvantage. Meanwhile, Colombo port’s future is reportedly threatened by India’s plans to develop Vizhinjam in the southern state of Kerala.
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Sri Lanka restricts aid visas, equates its camps with Italy’s

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 July 2009, 01:39 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe this week drew parallels between his government’s running of barbed-wire ringed militarized camps in which 300,000 Tamils are held with Italy’s management of camps for survivors of the L’Aquila earthquake. The state-owned Daily News also quoted Mr. Samarasinghe as saying Sri Lanka “would welcome all [foreign] help it can get if relevant organizations would fall in line with the national agenda.” On Thursday, the minister said future visa applications for foreign aid workers will be granted only if their work “could not be carried out by locals.”
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Navaali St. Peter’s Church victims remembered

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 July 2009, 17:37 GMT]
More than a hundred family members and friends gathered in front of Navaali St. Peter’s Church in Jaffna in remembrance of the 141 civilians killed and 347 seriously injured when Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombed the church on 9 July 1995 where people had sought protection during the Sri Lanka government offensive on Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. A boy who had been a year old when his father was killed in the Navaali Church bombing garlanded the memorial statue erected in front of Navaali St. Peter’s Church Thursday moving the people gathered to tears, the sources added.
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Sri Lanka bars Tea Board speaking to media

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 July 2009, 16:00 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Tea Board seems among the least likely of institutions to fall under a government campaign to control the free flow of information. But authorities have now barred its officials from speaking to the media, Reuters reported Thursday. Sri Lanka’s revenue from tea exports has fallen this year, despite world tea prices rocketing. Quoting official figures, AFP reported recently that Sri Lanka’s harvest had fallen more than 50 percent in the first three months of the year on the island’s drought-hit highlands. Tea is the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner after garments.
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Sri Lanka orders ICRC to reduce operations

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 July 2009, 11:05 GMT]
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday it had been ordered by Sri Lanka to scale down relief operations. As a result, the ICRC said it was withdrawing expatriate staff from the battle-scarred northeast, where it has been helping civilian war victims, AFP reported. The ICRC has had a strained relationship with the Sri Lankan government which accused the Geneva-based charity of inciting panic over civilian deaths, AFP added. As a first step, the ICRC will pull out of the Eastern Province, where rights abuses by government forces and allied paramilitaries are continuing.
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CPC seeks extension of Rajapakse’s presidency without election

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 July 2009, 05:32 GMT]
The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Tuesday tabled a motion in the monthly meeting of the Central Provincial Council (CPC), to extend the current term of President Mahinda Rajapakse for another five years without holding fresh presidential election. Councillors of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) walked out of the meeting stating that the council should not take this motion for debate. The debate on the motion has been put off for another date, media sources said.
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Top security afforded to Alok Prasad in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 July 2009, 17:39 GMT]
Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Alok Prasad, who is on a two day visit to Jaffna peninsula with his retinue to study the situation in the peninsula spent his second day in worship and participating in religious events, sources in Jaffna said. The visiting Indian High Commissioner was afforded top security during the visits he made to Nalloor and Point Pedro in Vadamaraadchi during the day, the sources added.
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Vanni doctors forced to give false statement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 July 2009, 17:36 GMT]
5 Tamil doctors being held by the Sri Lankan authorities say they expect to be released, after being paraded to local and international media on Wednesday when they were made to claim that they had exaggerated civilian casualty figures in the final phases of the war at the request of the LTTE. Meanwhile, health workers who have escaped Vanni have slammed the international community for allowing the detainment of the doctors and questioned the validity of their statements in light of the 'precarious position' they face.
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More Moothoor IDPs transferred to Ki’liveddi

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 July 2009, 09:37 GMT]
Aaraiyampathi Vayiravar Koayil welfare centre in Batticaloa district was closed down Tuesday following the transfer of the final batch of 51 members of eighteen Tamil families displaced from Tamil villages located in the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) High Security Zone (HSZ) in Moothoor east in Trincomalee district during 2006 April military operation. They were transported in three State sector buses via Vaakarai and Verukal to Ki’liveddi Tuesday morning. They would be sheltered in welfare centres located in Ki’liveddi, Paddiththidal and Thillaangkear’ni till alternative lands are found for them, civil authority sources said.
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Second election related violence reported in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 July 2009, 05:07 GMT]
Unidentified armed men on motorcycles followed the Thamizharasuk Kadchi party contestant in the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) elections and forcibly took away Tuesday the wall posters and handbills from him at gunpoint at Hospital Road-Old Railway Station Road junction in Jaffna, an area guarded by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers day and night, according to the complaint made to Jaffna Election Officer. Meanwhile, Sunday night, on ‘Black Tigers Day’, unknown persons had smashed the temporary election office of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) located near Jaffna Bishop’s House in Kurunakar, sources in Jaffna said.
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SL parliament extends Emergency for another month

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 July 2009, 04:40 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s parliament Tuesday adopted a motion to extend the State of Emergency for another month by a majority of ninety two votes. One hundred and three parliamentarians voted for the motion. Only eleven members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) voted against. The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and National Freedom Front (NFF), a splinter group of the JVP voted with ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA).
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Indian High Commissioner on pulse reading mission in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 July 2009, 15:10 GMT]
Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Alok Prasad, arrived at Palaali Military Airport Tuesday morning accompanied by his deputy and political wing head and held several meetings in Jaffna with the representatives of academic circles, political parties, interreligious associations and civil organizations in Jaffna peninsula in an effort to read the pulse of the people of the peninsula, sources in Jaffna said. “The Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka have faith only on China while the Tamils had absolute faith on India which had committed a historical blunder by betraying the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” one of the civil society representative participant said, commenting on Alok Prasad’s visit to Jaffna.
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Devotees to Nainaatheevu temple inconvenienced, delayed

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 July 2009, 09:55 GMT]
Around a thousand devotees on their way Monday to attend the annual Thear (charriot) festival of Nainaatheevu Nakapoosha’ni Amman temple, a historically famous Saiva temple in the islets of Jaffna, had to undergo severe checking and undue delay at the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) check post at Allaippiddi, sources in Jaffna said. Only around 50 ordinary boats were used by SLN to sail the devotees from Allaippiddi to the Nainaatheevu, the devotees said.
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Former Tamil policeman knifed to death in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 July 2009, 09:30 GMT]
Unidentified persons forcibly entering the house of a former Tamil policeman attached to Batticaloa police station Tuesday early morning dragged him away and knifed him to death at a place around 100 m from his house in Thaazhangkudaa in Batticaloa district, his relatives said.
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SL Minister participates in Jaffna Technical College event

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 July 2009, 09:12 GMT]
With Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election in a month’s time, Sri Lanka government ministers and its key officials continue to visit Jaffna in an effort to gather support to the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidates in Jaffna and Minister Piyasena Gamage was in Jaffna Monday to participate in an event at Jaffna Technical College (JTC) related to the governments ‘180 Day Programme’ under its much publicized ‘Spring of the North’ project, sources in Jaffna said.
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Railways Dept rules out sabotage in Yarl Devi fire

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 July 2009, 03:32 GMT]
Sri Lanka Railways ruled out sabotage but said it has sustained damages in the region of 25 million rupees due to the fire that broke out Sunday morning in Thaandiku'lam bound Colombo Yarl Devi intercity express train. The fire destroyed two wagons including the canteen.
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SLA launches search operation in Eastern Muslim villages

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 July 2009, 03:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Police Sunday evening launched an extensive search operation in the Muslim villages in Ea’raavoor Pattu division in Batticaloa district for arms which had not been surrendered during the amnesty period that ended Sunday afternoon. Soon after the ceremonial surrender of some weapons by some militant armed Muslim groups at an event held Sunday in Kaaththaankudi Grand Mosque in the presence of the Eastern DIG Edison Gunatilake and Provincial Minister Mr. M. L. A. M. Hisbullah, hundreds of SLA soldiers backed by police personnel surrounded several Muslim villages in E’raavoor Pattu and conducted the search for hidden weapons.
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Unclaimed 14 Vanni IDPs corpses to be buried at state cost

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 July 2009, 03:12 GMT]
Corpses of fourteen displaced Vanni Tamil civilians including three children brought from Puthumaathth’alan in Mullaiththeevu district two months ago to Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital are to be given a common burial at State costs as none had come forward to identify or to claim them, according to a decision taken by the hospital authority Sunday.
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Sri Lanka ‘siphoning off’ refugee aid money – The Times

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 July 2009, 11:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Government is trying to siphon off millions of pounds of humanitarian aid by imposing a tax on all funding for aid groups, The Times newspaper reported Monday. Aid workers told the paper that Burma was the only other country that they could remember imposing such a tax — one of several new measures hampering their efforts to help victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war. Colombo is backdating taxes to 2005, the paper also said.
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34 Vanni IDPs die in 3 months due to brain fever

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 July 2009, 11:48 GMT]
Brain fever has been on the increase among Vanni Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) held in internment centres located in Vavuniyaa, according to medical sources in the district hospital. Thirty-four Vanni IDPs of the sixty-four afflicted by brain fever have died in three months. Majority of them who succumbed to brain fever were less than 24 years of age, medical sources said.
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Mullaiththeevu town declared HSZ: GA

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 July 2009, 10:31 GMT]
The Government Agent of Mullaiththeevu, Imelda Sukumar, on Sunday reportedly told a section of the uprooted Tamils of Vanni sheltered at the internment camp situated at "Sahanagama" in Pulmoaddai that the town of Mullaiththeevu has been declared High Security Zone by the Sri Lankan military, dashing any hope of resettlement in the coastal township of Vanni.
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Armed men rob elderly IDP in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 July 2009, 05:41 GMT]
Unidentified armed men arriving on a motor bicycle robbed several thousand rupees worth gold jewellery from an elderly Internally Displaced Person (IDP) who was released from a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) internment camp in Vavuniyaa and staying with his relatives at Veappangku’lam in Vavuniyaa on the pretext of searching his house. The robbery took place Saturday evening when the elderly IDP came to stay with his relative, media reports said.
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SL Attorney General conducts workshop in Jaffna for trainees

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 July 2009, 05:28 GMT]
“Sri Lanka’s Attorney General (AG) stressing on building up confidence among residents of Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka’s legal and judicial systems sounds not only discordant but also ridiculous when he has conspicuously failed to comment on or discuss the fate of more than a hundred civilians languishing in Jaffna Prison and in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Special Rehabilitation Camps in the peninsula without being brought to trial,” one of the magistrates in Jaffna peninsula who attended the meeting held by Attorney General, Mohan Peiris, at Palaali SLA Head Quarters Sunday around 9:30 a.m, said.
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Eastern armed Muslim groups surrender weapons

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 July 2009, 11:23 GMT]
Eastern Muslim armed groups Saturday afternoon initially handed over dozens of automatic weapons including sixteen T 56 rifles to the police in response to the amnesty period that ended on July 4 afternoon 3:00 p.m. The event took place in Kaaththaankudi Jumma Meera Mosque in the presence of the Eastern Deputy Inspector General of Police Edison Gunatilake and Provincial Minister M. L. A. M.Hisbullah.
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33 Tamil detainees held without inquiry for 13 years

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 July 2009, 11:19 GMT]
Thirty-three Tamil political prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in Welikada magazine prison for the last thirteen years without any inquiry or charges against them in the courts of law have appealed to human rights organizations to take up their cases with authority concerned and obtain their early release. All of them, including some women, are residents of North, East and upcountry areas. Their appeals are said to have been forwarded to the relevant government authority for immediate consideration, sources said.
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Limited passenger bus service via A9 highway

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 July 2009, 10:00 GMT]
Sri Lanka Defence Ministry is to allow passenger bus service thrice a week via A-9 highway between Vavuniyaa and Jaffna. Five buses would be allowed each day at the start, media reported quoting Defence Ministry sources said. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka armed forced sources said clearing of landmines along A9 highway is nearing completion.
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Fire in Yarl Devi train bound for Thaandiku’lam

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 July 2009, 09:50 GMT]
A fire broke out onboard Yarl Devi inter-city train bound to Thaandiku'lam in Vavuniyaa district Sunday morning around 10.30 a.m on its way from Anuradhapura to Saliyapura. The blaze damaged at least two compartments of the train including the canteen, sources in Vavuniyaa said.
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School principal shot dead in Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 July 2009, 12:18 GMT]
Unknown armed men shot and killed the principal of Parathipuram Tamil Mixed School and another man while the victims were travelling in a motorbike at Parathipuram in Vavuniyaa Saturday around 3:00 p.m., Police said.
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Southern fisherman encroach Northern seas

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 July 2009, 11:13 GMT]
Southern fishermen, with the help of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), have begun to encroach the seas of Jaffna peninsula using large number of trawlers to fish day and night, Fisheries Societies sources in Jaffna peninsula raised accusation. The Southern fishermen who are being afforded complete security arrangements by the SLN also visit the SLN camps along the coasts during day time in SLN boats, they further said.
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SLA soldier killed in confrontation with LTTE in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 July 2009, 09:53 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier was killed and two wounded in a clash that erupted at Kiraanku'lam in Batticaloa lagoon area in the early hours of Saturday, sources in Batticaloa said.
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Maavadiveampu IDP welfare centre closed

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 July 2009, 05:29 GMT]
About 27 families displaced due to conflict from Eeralakulam village and staying in the Maavadiveampu welfare centre in Batticaloa district have refused to go to Pazhachchoalai welfare centre as instructed by social department officials. However they have gone voluntarily to reside with their friends and relatives. Hence the authorities closed down Maavadivembu welfare centre immediately after dispatching the final batch of Moothoor IDPs to Ki’liveddi centre, civil sources said.
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State, unclaimed, lands in Jaffna to be acquired for investment projects

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 July 2009, 05:22 GMT]
Retired Major Gen. Sunil Tennakoon, former Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander for Jaffna, said that action is being taken to acquire the lands belonging to the state and those unclaimed in Jaffna peninsula to be given to investors from foreign countries and the South, in a press meet held in Jaffna Secretariat Friday. Sunil Tennakoon, heading a team of officials of the ‘Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BISL), held the press meet along with the other members of the team.
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Moothoor HSZ displaced barred from resettling in own areas

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 July 2009, 00:44 GMT]
Lands in Kattaiparichchan village are being cleared to set up temporary structures to shelter displaced families from traditional Tamil villages of Kadatkaraichcheanai, Champoor, Koonitheivu and Soodaikuda in Moothoor east division which fall under the High Security Zone (HSZ) declared by the Government of Sri Lanka after the 2006 military operation.
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Tributes flow for Australian Tamil doctor killed in car crash

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 15:52 GMT]
Hundreds of Australians have paid tribute to Dr Nagaruban “Ruban” Armugam, a Tamil paediatrician tragically killed last week in a tragic road accident in Australia on 22 June. The 32-year-old Paediatrician was commemorated Monday at a moving funeral as tributes from politicians, colleagues, former patients and members of the community marked a week of mourning.
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5000 Vanni IDPs from internment camps moved to Anuradhapura

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 13:23 GMT]
The Sri Lankan military has relocated nearly 5000 Tamil civilians from Vavuniyaa and Cheddiku'lam internment camps and resetteld them in pre dominant Sinhala village Tharmapuram in Anuradhapu on Tuesday and Wednesday, civil sources said. The SL military officials had told the Tamil civilians that they would be re-settled in their native villages in Ki'linochchi or Mullaiththeevu within 14 days, but the Rajapaksa government, at an all party meeting in Colombo on Thursday, said that it needed time to clear the mines before any resettlement.
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Britain maintains warning against travel to Sri Lanka’s North and East

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 12:31 GMT]
Updating its travel advisory Wednesday, Britain warned its nationals “against all travel to the north and east of Sri Lanka, and to Yala National Park and the areas around it.” The new advisory was issued with an update on new surveillance measures at Bandaranayake International Airport related to A (H1N1) Swine Flu.
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Sri Lanka turning Manik Farm camp into permanent ‘city’ - report

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 12:11 GMT]
Despite assuring the international community that most Tamils interned in militarized detention camps would be resettled by the end 2009, the Sri Lankan government is turning Manik Farm, the largest barbed-wire ringed site, into a permanent detention centre, The Times newspaper reported Friday. Tamil refugees are being used as forced labour, UN sources told the paper. Aid workers say the site was fast becoming Sri Lanka’s second biggest city after the capital, Colombo. Whilst Sri Lanka blames mines for preventing resettlement, foreign demining agencies say that they have been given access so far to only about 30 sq km of the former Vanni conflict zone.
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113 ministers in Rajapakse’s cabinet

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 03:44 GMT]
The number of ministers in the Cabinet of ruling party United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by President Mahinda Rajapakse rose to one hundred and thirteen Thursday with the induction of two more ministers, Nandana Gunatilake and Piyasiri Wijenayake of the National Freedom Front (NFF), a splinter group of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). NFF is an ally of the UPFA since JVP broke away from the alliance, sources in Colombo said.
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Vavuniyaa-Horowopottana road re-opened for public transport

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 03:39 GMT]
The highway between Vavuniyaa and Horowopottana has been re-opened for public transport after several years of closure. Vavuniyaa Government Agent Ms. P. M. Charles said the route is now open for public transport including state and private sector bus services with effect from Wednesday, according to media sources.
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Kohona: ‘Victorious soldiers could have raped every single woman’

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 July 2009, 02:20 GMT]
Sri Lankan government officials are running a prostitution racket using Tamil women interned in at least one of the militarised camps for displaced people, The Australian newspaper reported Thursday. "It's been brought to the attention of senior government officials but no one seems to be doing anything about it," an aid worker, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, told the paper. In response to the accusations, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Palitha Kohona told the paper: "These (the military) are the guys who were winning the war - they could have raped every single woman on the way if they wanted to. Not one single woman was raped."
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Jaffna residents demand back money, jewelry from Central bank

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 July 2009, 16:30 GMT]
Representatives of civil organizations, NGOs, Traders’ Circle and other participants requested the President of Bank of Ceylon, Dr. Gamini Wickremasinghe, to expedite the return of all the money and jewelry belonging to Jaffna residents taken to the Central Bank in Colombo in 1996 for safe keeping, Wednesday evening at Uroville Hall in Muththirai Chanthai in Nalloor. Mr Wickremasinghe was presiding a seminar titled "The role of Bank of Ceylon in the Development of Northern Province," when the demand was made, sources in Jaffna said.
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UN hires lawyers to defend detained local UN staff

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 July 2009, 11:26 GMT]
Inner City Press (ICP) reported Tuesday that after a week of silence by the U.N. the U.N. spokesperson has revealed that "U.N. has hired a lawyer who has visited the U.N. staff and who are still detained in Colombo. Kandasamy "Saundi" Saundrarajan of UNOPS (Office of Project Services) and N. Charles Raveendran of UNHCR taken by the Sri Lanka Government and are under detention for more than a month.
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2 Tamil youths abducted in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 July 2009, 09:42 GMT]
Unidentified armed men arriving in a jeep abducted Friday night a Tamil youth travelling in a three-wheeler while on the same day armed men in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) uniforms took away a Tamil youth from his house in Koapaave’li in Batticaloa saying that he was to be interrogated, according to complaints made by the youths’ relatives to Chengaladi Prethesa Chapai President, S. Jeevarangan.
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Arms surrender deadline to Muslim groups in the east extended

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 July 2009, 09:28 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry Wednesday extended the deadline given to Muslim armed groups in the east to surrender their weapons to the security forces, by two more days. The deadline issued earlier was to expire on July 2. The deadline has been extended following requests made by parties concerned, police sources said.
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Rights Coalition urges Obama to initiate War Crime investigations

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 July 2009, 00:07 GMT]
A Coalition of six US-based Human Rights Organizations in a letter to U.S. President Obama wrote: "[t]o address abuses associated with the recent fighting [in Sri Lanka's north], there is an urgent need for an independent, international commission of inquiry into many credible allegations of laws of war violations, including possible war crimes, by both sides, as well as illegitimate detentions. Mr. President, we urge you to publicly call for an international commission of inquiry and to take necessary steps to achieve it. We also urge you to take steps for the full protection of internally displaced persons, including independent access to camps, former areas of conflict and to conflict-affected civilians by humanitarian and human rights organizations and the media."
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SLA opens Special Rehabilitation Camp in Kaithadi

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 2009, 17:38 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Jaffna has placed youngsters over 14 years of age, suspected to have been trained to handle weapons by Liberation Tigers in Vanni, in its newly opened Special Rehabilitation Camp (SRC) located in Kaithadi Saiva Children Home, sources in Jaffna said. Some young people who were held along with their families in Kaithadi Saiva Children Home, converted into an internment centre earlier, had been taken away by SLA to its Thellippazhai Special Rehabiltation Camp and no information about them is available, the sources said.
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3 Tamil civilians arrested in Colombo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 2009, 09:27 GMT]
Sri Lanka Terrorist Intelligence Division (TID) in Colombo took into custody Wednesday three Tamil civilians staying in a lodge located in Kotahena, sources in Colombo said. The arrested civilians are suspected to be escaped detainees from one of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) internment camps in Vavuniyaa, the sources added.
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Nirupama Menon Rao succeeds Shiv Shankar Menon

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 2009, 07:25 GMT]
Nirupama Rao, nee Menon, hailing from Kerala is named as India’s Foreign Secretary Tuesday, to succeed Shiv Shankar Menon who will be retiring on July 31. The 58-year-old diplomat is currently serving in China as India’s ambassador and before that she was High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, between 2004 and 2006.
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Politicized courts, Compromised rights, says ICG on Sri Lanka Judiciary

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 2009, 05:28 GMT]
"Sri Lankan judiciary is not working in a fair and impartial way that secures justice and human rights for everyone regardless of ethnicity. This risks undermining the government’s recent military victory over the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). A durable national reconciliation process is only possible if human and constitutional rights are fully restored," warned a report released by the International Crisis Group (ICG) Tuesday.
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NFF wants provincial boundaries redrawn

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 2009, 05:23 GMT]
The National Freedom Front (NFL), splinter group of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), and a close ally of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance led by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, has asked the government to immediately appoint a Special Delimitation Commission to redraw the boundaries of provincial councils. NFF has twelve members of the current parliament.
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Axe to fall on APRC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 2009, 04:35 GMT]
The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) set up in June, 2006 to work out proposals to solve ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka faces uncertain future after the Peace Secretariat (SCOPP) has been asked by the Presidential Secretariat to wind up its activities by the end of July. “APRC has been given one month notice to complete its deliberations and submit a final document,” SCOPP Director General Professor Rajiva Wijesinghe told the media Tuesday.
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Elie Wiesel: Sri Lanka's victimization of Tamil people must stop

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 2009, 02:42 GMT]
Holocaust surviver, Jewish icon, and Nobel laureate, Professor Elie Wiesel, in a message posted on his website said: "Wherever minorities are being persecuted we must raise our voices to protest. According to reliable sources, the Tamil people are being disenfranchised and victimized by the Sri Lanka authorities. This injustice must stop. The Tamil people must be allowed to live in peace and flourish in their homeland."
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