22 Reports

Families of missing Tamils in Vanni turn their protest against EPDP

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 31 December 2019, 17:41 GMT]
The families of Eezham Tamils subjected to enforced disappearances at the hands of the occupying Sinhala military in the genocidal war up to 2009 have turned the focus of their protest against SL Minister Douglas Devananda, who has been a close ally of the Rajapaksa regime. Mr Devananda's EPDP was a former Tamil paramilitary group, operated by the occupying Sinhala military. The families have been irked by the attempts by Devananda to dilute their continues protests that have passed one thousand days this month.
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Sinhalese have right of return to North, says lawyer from South rejecting Tamil rights

[TamilNet, Monday, 30 December 2019, 22:03 GMT]
The North is “just as much the historical habitation of the Sinhalese as it is of the Tamils”. And, the Tamils “do not have a right to sovereignty and self-determination adverse to the rights of the Sinhalese and other groups in the island,” writes Attorney-at-Law Dharshan Weerasekara, a Sinhalese, in an article ‘clarifying’ a judgement delivered by the SL Supreme Court in 2014. The denial of Tamil homeland and Tamils right of self-determination comes as the cabinet led by SL Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa also refused to allow the Tamil version of the SL ‘national anthem’ at the forthcoming ‘independence day’ celebrations on 04 February 2020. “Sinhalese have moral and historical rights in the North and East of the country, and this would include the right of return,” the Sinhala lawyer claimed in his response.
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China, Russia claim technical advancements, stage joint naval drill with Iran in IOR

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 December 2019, 21:51 GMT]
The news of Russia deploying Avangard hypersonic missile, capable of transporting nuclear warheads at 27 times the speed of sound, into combat duty and China launching its heaviest communications satellite on a new powerful rocket, caught the attention of military analysts across the globe on Friday. In the meantime, China and Russia engaged in naval drills with Iran in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman, located to the east of Pakistan, another nuclear power and an ally of China in South Asia. The technological ‘advancements’ made by China and Russia and the zero-sum attitude of the USA, including its withdrawal from crucial disarmament treaties, are going to escalate the militarization of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The militarization drive affects not only the states but also the peoples without a state of their own in South Asia.
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India's CAA deepens “geopolitical schisms” in South Asia, say 14 regional activists

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 December 2019, 20:05 GMT]
Fourteen academics, rights activists and writers from South Asia, including the renowned Sinhala academic Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda, have issued a joint statement condemning the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Hindu nationalist BJP in India. They were identifying themselves as “South Asian citizens” in issuing the statement. The CAA has the potential of “deepening geopolitical schisms” among the countries of South Asia, which should be striving for peace and mutual understanding, the statement issued by the fourteen South Asians said.
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Russian FM to visit Colombo before proceeding to New Delhi

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 December 2019, 23:28 GMT]
After conducting joint naval training with Iran and China in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman in December 2019, Russia is dispatching its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Colombo on 14 January 2020. He will proceed to New Delhi on the following day. In the meantime, China, Russia and Iran are conducting a four-day naval drill between Friday and Monday. The trilateral training is the first of its kind and comes amidst escalating tensions between the US and Iran since 2018. China is sending a guided-missile destroyer, Xining, to the drill, stated China's Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian in a statement on Thursday.
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Colombo prepares to trade off China-renegotiations for Quad scaling-down UNHRC Resolution in 2020

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 December 2019, 23:19 GMT]
Susil Premajayantha, the SL State Minister for International Relations, has gone on record on Tuesday stating that the new SL government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa was preparing to propose ‘amendments’ to the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 of 2015 during the March 2020 UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva. “We have fulfilled 17 out of 20 conditions in the resolution. Sri Lanka has a new government with a new mandate. Therefore, we have every right to prevent any untoward impact on our nation from any quarter,” the minister was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror on Wednesday. Three of the four Quad partners, Australia, Japan and India are going to be the geopolitical powers with active membership of the UN Human Rights Council in 2020.
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New SL Governor warns Tamils and Muslims in East: ‘One Country, One Law’

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 December 2019, 23:56 GMT]
The SL Governor to Eastern Province, Anuradha Yahampath, recently appointed by SL President Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has gone on record stating that her duty was to see whether the unitary status of the SL State gets threatened from the province. “You can have cultural differences and values. But, we all are citizens of Sri Lanka. For marriage, we have to have one law. A lot of Muslim women met me and stressed the need for it. I stand up for one country, one law,” the Sinhala nationalist governor was quoted as responding in an interview to Daily Mirror on Sunday.
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Gotabaya: Only concerned about security aspects of Hambantota

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 December 2019, 23:15 GMT]
SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was only seeking to ensure the security aspects of the Hambantota port and he doesn't intend to renegotiate the commercial deal as a whole, reported Xinhua, the state-operated news agency of China this week. "I am now not here to renegotiate the agreement as it is a commercial contract and I am not worried about the commercial aspect. But I am concerned about the security aspect as to whether there are any security lapses. That is what I am discussing with China,” Xinhua quoted Gotabaya Rajapaksa as saying on Thursday.
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Indian Navy Chief on 4-day visit to discuss maritime relations in Colombo with Trinco visit

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 December 2019, 23:52 GMT]
The Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral Karambir Singh, is on a four-day visit to Colombo from 19 to 22 December 2019 to “consolidate and enhance the bilateral maritime relations between India and Sri Lanka,” a news release from the Indian Navy said. Admiral Karambir Singh was also scheduled to attend the passing out parade of midshipmen at the Naval & Maritime Academy, Trincomalee on Sunday, the report said. Upon his arrival to the island on Thursday, Karambir Singh called on SL Defence Secretary Major General (retd) Kamal Gunaratne.
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US widens military ties with India involving three naval commands, Army and Air Force

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 December 2019, 23:07 GMT]
The Defence and Foreign Ministers of India and the USA, who met in Washington DC on Wednesday for their second annual US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue resolved to enhance cooperation between the Indian Navy and the US Navy Fleets under three commands, the US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command and Africa Command. The ministers “discussed ways to enable closer Army-to-Army and Air Force-to-Air Force ties and to explore cooperation between Special Operations Forces,” a joint statement said. Both the countries also entered an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) to the already existing defence cooperation to expand the exchange of classified military information between the US and Indian defense industries, including the private sector. In addition, the US President Donald Trump made a ‘rare break from protocol’ to meet the Indian ministers at the Oval Office, the Hindustan Times reported.
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Understanding post-2013 US-India partnership: Human rights second to geopolitics

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 December 2019, 23:44 GMT]
“[W]hen I entered the Foreign Service, the Quad was the U.S., UK, France, and Germany. Today the Quad is something very different reflecting the new world realities that we confront,” said Alice G. Wells, the principal deputy assistant secretary at the US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, delivering special remarks on 60-year diplomatic relations between the USA and India last week. “The formation of the Quad about 2.5 years ago, which consists of the U.S., India, Japan, and Australia and met for the first time at the Ministerial level on the margins of the UN General Assembly, is an important step forward in aligning like-minded powers behind the principle of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and just I think a few weeks ago India hosted a successful counter-terrorism tabletop exercise among Quad partners,” the US top-diplomat on South Asia observed.
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SLAF Chief attends US Air Force meet while Gota claims not taking sides in great power rivalry

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 December 2019, 22:59 GMT]
The Commander of the SL Air Force (SLAF) Air Marshal Dambure Liyanage Sumangala Dias has taken part in the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium (PACS 19) at the invitation of Commander of the United States Air Force Pacific Command Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. The participation has taken place while his Commander-in-Chief, SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a US citizen was waging propaganda to the effect that the Indian Ocean must be kept as “a zone of peace free of any conflict”. The SLAF Commander was attending a series of panel discussions on regional security, domain awareness, multi-domain operation, interoperability and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, according to the news reports from the US Air Force.
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US report: South Asian countries prefer economic, but not military China-ties

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 December 2019, 22:11 GMT]
AidData, a research lab of the Virginia-based public research university, known as William & Mary, in the USA has conducted a data and interview-based research quantifying China’s public diplomacy in South and Central Asia (SCA). Beijing’s aspirations may be global, but it takes a particular interest in cultivating closer relations within China’s “greater periphery,” including the 13 countries of SCA, the report released on 10 December argues. “South Asian countries appear to be more willing to pursue economic, rather than security, ties with Beijing, given the sensitivities of being in India’s backyard,” the report notes adding that Beijing’s people-to-people diplomacy often takes a backseat to its elite-focused efforts.
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Jaffna villagers agitate against exploitative sand traders from South

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 December 2019, 22:47 GMT]
In what was described as the first-initiated protest against the SL authorities in Jaffna after Gotabaya Rajapaksa assuming office as the SL President in the South, the Tamil residents from Valikaamam East blocked the A9 Highway for more than one hour at Puthukkaadu Junction on Saturday. The protesters were agitating against the exploitative sand mining escalating without any control in Jaffna. They demanded the SL Police to block the southern sand traders who were dispatching their tipper vehicles to transport the excavated sands from Jaffna. The SL Police had to promise the protesters of setting up a new point to control the sand transport to end the protest.
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SL TID inspections cripple NGO consortium in Ampaa'rai

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 December 2019, 22:13 GMT]
The normal operations of the office of the Consortium of Non-Governmental Organisations in Ampaa'rai district has been thoroughly disrupted by the frequent-inspections and questionings conducted by the ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division (TID) of occupying Colombo, the representatives of the member organisations in the district told TamilNet on Wednesday. The TID was questioning particularly about the activities or involvement of personalities of three NGOs, the Center for Human Rights and Development, Viluthu Centre for Human Resource Development and the Centre for Policy Alternatives. The TID harassment was continuing even after the officials of the consortium thoroughly established the fact that the three NGOs were not affiliated to them, the activists said.
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SL State Intelligence harasses another Tamil activist in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 December 2019, 22:43 GMT]
The SL State Intelligence Service (SIS), formerly known as the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), has been harassing 35-year-old Komahan Murugiah from Punnaalai, Jaffna after he denounced a fake news report regarding the Tamil Political Prisoners (TPPs). A Jaffna-based Tamil Television, Dan TV, alleged of orchestrating false propaganda in favour of SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had recently claimed that seven TPPs from Anuradhapura prison had been silently released. On Friday, Mr Komahan openly rejected the fake news and said all the six TPPs detained in Anuradhapura prison were still languishing there. After Komahan exposed the false propaganda, SL SIS officers started to harass him posing questions, rights activists in Jaffna told TamilNet on Tuesday.
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Veteran political analyst faces surveillance harassment in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 09 December 2019, 22:11 GMT]
Unknown persons who entered the residence of Jaffna-based Political Analyst and Senior Lawyer S.A. Jothilingam have ransacked the place while the 64-year-old activist was away on Sunday. The ransackers have gone through his possessions in all the rooms and taken away two smartphones used by the activist. The front door and the doors of the cupboards inside the rooms have been smashed. The incident was not an ordinary theft as the intruders didn't steal the money or other valuable items. Furthermore, the episode unfolded after two other suspicious events on Friday, according to the activist and his friends who went to help him on Friday night and Sunday.
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US think-tank lists India's strategic assets in Indian Ocean Region

[TamilNet, Friday, 06 December 2019, 13:47 GMT]
New Delhi is “heavily, albeit quietly,” expanding its naval and air power across the Indian Ocean, a study by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Washington DC based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) revealed on Friday with an interactive map that shows the various locations across the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) where India has recently made investments and expanded presence and access. The study lists four kinds of assets: Offshore military bases, coastal radar networks, access to foreign military facilities such as the French naval base on Réunion Island and strategic commercial ports as the deep-water East Container Terminal in Colombo, a joint venture by Japan and India. “From US perspective, this is all good news,” comments CSIS AMTI Director Gregory B. Poling in a video introduction of the study.
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India's former nuclear commander proposes tolerance limits for hot exchange with China

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 December 2019, 23:25 GMT]
A challenging China in the maritime domain [of India] cannot be allowed to pass without a strategic riposte and India would have to mark its ‘red lines’ in clear terms to China, write Vice Admiral (retd) Vijay Shankar, a former Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of India's Strategic Forces Command (SFC) and C-in-C of the Andaman and Nicobar Command in the past. The retired 70-year-old Vice Admiral has posted a piece in his blog suggesting four ‘red lines’. One of them is any Chinese attempt to offer military support to any future internal war against the Indian State. Another red-line is China establishing aggressive deployments capable of disrupting Indian energy and resource traffic.
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Chinese Op-Ed condemns US ‘security’ projection of ‘China threat’ in South Asia

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 December 2019, 21:28 GMT]
“China does not object to the development of cooperative relations between the US and other countries. However, some US steps in the guise of a response to the so-called China threat theory aim at affecting China's overseas security interests and interfering in the BRI. China is firmly opposed to such moves,”  Global Times, the English version of the paper operated by the Communist Party of China, said in an Op-Ed piece on Tuesday. “Sri Lanka has an important strategic position in the Indian Ocean, and its significance is increasingly valued by major countries. It will be the new [Gotabaya] government's strategic choice to strike a diplomatic balance and avoid being involved in the conflicts between great powers,” the piece further said.
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China, Pakistan send top diplomats to meet Gotabaya in Colombo

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 December 2019, 23:24 GMT]
Newly elected SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was visiting New Delhi to patch up Colombo’s relations with India, was also strengthening his trust with China and Pakistan upon his return to Colombo on Monday. Former Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao, was visiting Mr Rajapaksa as the envoy of Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Chinese News agency Xinhua reported that Colombo and Beijing have agreed to speed up cooperation on major economic projects. In the meantime, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was also timing his visit to Mr Gotabaya on the same day.
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Gotabaya seems to have bought 5 years from India to wage ‘development’ genocide in North-East

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 December 2019, 23:46 GMT]
Genocidaire Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the newly elected SL president has refused to implement the pending devolution powers such as police and land powers to the provincial councils in the North and East. “[Y]ou can’t do anything against the wishes and feeling of the majority community,” he told The Hindu during his stay in India. “Look, the 13th Amendment is part of the constitution and is functional, except for some areas like control of police powers, which we can’t implement. I am willing to discuss alternatives to that,” he told the paper. Only a day before the interview appeared, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed confidence at the presence of Mr Rajapaksa that the latter would be implementing the 13th Amendment to the SL Constitution.
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