22 Reports

Uprooted Rohingya people dangerously prone to Corona pandemic in Bangladesh

[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 March 2020, 21:58 GMT]
“The mazy hills around Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh are more densely populated than the most crowded cities on earth, with 60,000 to 90,000 people jammed into each square kilometre,” says a news report by the Reuters on Saturday. The news report quoted Rohingya activists on the ground expressing fear that just one case of Covid-19 could spark massive spread of the pandemic like wildfire in the world’s largest refugee settlement, where more than one million Rohingyas reside without necessary facilities. Bangladesh has imposed country-wide lockdown, including the refugee camps, since Tuesday. The Rohingya refugees have been instructed to stay inside their makeshift camps.
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New Delhi's prolonged Kashmir-lockdown causes concerns amidst Corona pandemic

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 March 2020, 20:07 GMT]
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has demanded the regional grouping SAARC place the COVID-19 Emergency Fund under the disposal of the Secretary-General of SAARC. New Delhi offered an initial contribution of US $10 million, which was followed by Colombo offering $5 million, Malé $2 million, Dhaka $1.5 million, Kathmandu $1 million and Thimphu $100,000. While the heads of states of seven countries took part in a video conference, Pakistan deployed Dr Zafar Mirza, a ministerial rank special assistant to its prime minister to represent the country. Dr Mirza was urging India to relax the lockdown in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. In the meantime, news reports from Srinagar said anxiety and fear were high in the Indian-administered Kashmir as the speed restriction imposed by New Delhi on internet services continues under the pandemic outbreak.
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Monk praises Gota for releasing SLA soldier from death row, celebrates genocidaire soldier as “hero”

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 March 2020, 23:38 GMT]
While all attention remains focused on the lethal Corona pandemic, SL President Gotabaya has chosen to silently release a Sinhala soldier, Sunil Ratnayake, who was sentenced to death in 2015 for one of the brutal massacres committed on Eezham Tamils. In a genocidal act, eight Tamil civilians, including a five-year-old child and two teenagers, were massacred by Ratnayake and five other soldiers at Mirusuvil in Jaffna on 19 December 2000. Ratnayake, a non-commissioned officer of the SL Army, was the only soldier to be punished by the court. The case was put off several times to facilitate escape routes to commissioned rank officers, except Ratnayake, whom the system intended to release at a later opportunity, as it has happened now, Tamil rights activists in Jaffna commented. In the meantime an extremist Sinhala Buddhist monk celebrated the release posting a video comment on Facebook.
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Island-wide Corona infection estimated at 550 with spread risk to 19,000 persons

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 23:06 GMT]
With 101 medically confirmed cases so far, the number of actual Corona-infected persons circulating within the peoples in the island could be around 550, according to a situation report issued by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) on Wednesday. The Colombo-based association estimated the contact-risk by these possible 550 patients at 19,000 individuals at present. It identified districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, and Puththa'lam as high-risk areas. If the curfew is lifted, social distancing would be considerably affected, the report said proposing to extend the lockdown to 07 April.
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US escalates tensions in South China Sea amidst Corona pandemic, Chinese media blame

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 16:26 GMT]
The US Seventh Fleet has claimed in a Facebook post on Monday that its guided-missile destroyer, USS Barry, launched a live missile during an exercise in the Philippine Sea on Thursday last week. In the meantime, Hong Kong-based newspaper, South China Morning Post (SCMP), which is owned by a Chinese multinational technology company, described the development as an “unusual drill” on Tuesday. The paper said military observers in Beijing believed that it was a “signal to the PLA that American forces can counter advanced threats.” Also, the English version of the paper operated by the Communist Party of China (CPC), Global Times, on Sunday blamed the Trump Administration as increasing efforts to escalate tension in the South China Sea region in an attempt to “shift attention from its failure in containing COVID-19 and the plummeting stock market.”
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Colombo set to receive more concessional loans from China

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 March 2020, 22:05 GMT]
SL Cabinet Spokesman and Minister in Colombo’s Rajapaksa regime has told Daily Mirror that China Development Bank (CDB) would be extending an additional USD 700 million as a concessionary loan in addition to USD 500 million loans received last week. The credit is expected in May, the news report said. “We can use it for infrastructure development, budgetary support and debt servicing,” the Daily Mirror quoted the SL Minister as saying.
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India, France carry out joint surveillance mission from Reunion Island

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 March 2020, 22:51 GMT]
New Delhi conducted its first joint naval patrol with France from the Reunion Island last month, the Hindu reported on Saturday. The Indian Navy was deploying a Boeing P-8 Poseidon to carry out surveillance missions with French Navy personnel on board, the report said. According to Zinfos974, a Reunion news website, French Air Force and Navy took part in the five-day-long surveillance mission with three flights of seven hours each. The engagement was a Maritime Domain Awareness operation, and intended to combat “terrorism and maritime piracy,” the website reported on 05 March. The military aircraft returned to India on 03 March. Both the news reports described France as a strategic partner of India.
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Trump Administration politicises MCC assistance: US policy analyst

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 March 2020, 19:34 GMT]
The Millennium Challenge Corporation “issued a blow to its own model by using its programs in Kosovo as a political bargaining chip,” writes Sarah Rose, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Global Development, a think-tank based in Washington DC. Describing the last week development as an unprecedented move, the CGD analyst writes that the US foreign policy goal of exerting pressure on Kosovo to remove its tariffs on Serbian goods was “decidedly out of sync with the agency’s model.” The MCC, a US government agency intended to independently work to reduce global poverty through economic growth since its inception in 2004, has come under fire as being a strategic tool to advance foreign policy interests also in the Indo-Pacific and a hot topic in Kathmandu and Colombo.
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Bay of Bengal study notes development disparity between North-East and South

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 March 2020, 21:34 GMT]
All the successive regimes in Colombo have focused on improving the economy of the Sinhala South after the onslaught on Eezham Tamils in 2009. The SL State, which deploys ‘development’ coupled with geopolitics to sustain the protracted genocide against the nation of Eezham Tamils, has a particular focus on shipping when compared to other maritime industry sectors such as fisheries, tourism and energy, reveals a study conducted by One Earth Future (OEF), a non-profit foundation based in the USA. “Sri Lanka” stands out as an emerging global hub and a “regional leader” in shipping, the OEF’s Stable Seas program observes in the study published on Monday. Although the report fails to identify SL State’s structural discrimination against the stateless Eezham Tamils, it doesn’t miss to note the disparity on Human Development Index (HDI) between the coastal districts of North-East and the South.
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China Development Bank extends syndicated loan to Colombo by $500 million

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 March 2020, 22:57 GMT]
Upon the request of the SL Government, Beijing has upsized a syndicated loan with a ten-year tenure and a team from the China Development Bank (CDB) was in Colombo to sign the deal with the SL Government, the Daily Financial Times reported on Wednesday. The fresh funding from China would significantly assist Colombo in managing its debt financing, the news report opined. The latest upsizing adds a new extension to the initial $1 billion syndicated loan. The original loan was of an eight-year tenure from 2018. This has been expanded with a ten-year tenure and “more attractive terms”, the Daily FT reported earlier in the day.
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Gotabaya appoints Silva as head of SL operation centre to prevent corona outbreak

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 March 2020, 22:51 GMT]
SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who commanded the genocidal war on Eezham Tamils in 2009, has appointed his war-crimes alleged genocidal commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva to “spearhead the National Operation Center for Prevention of COVID- 19 Outbreak,” in the island on Tuesday. In his address to the people on the current status regarding measures against the Coronavirus outbreak, Mr Gotabaya said: “We have faced and won over challenges before. We are ready to face the challenges.” He was making an indirect reference to the 2009 genocidal onslaught against Eezham Tamils as a previous challenge. During the 2004 Tsunami catastrophe, it was the LTTE that received widespread recognition as the force that effectively and quickly responded in helping the people on the ground while the SL military was preoccupied with assessing the possible losses occurred to the LTTE.
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Australia upgrades air defence boosting strategic military ties with US to deter China in Indo-Pacific

[TamilNet, Friday, 13 March 2020, 23:22 GMT]
Australia, one of the Quad partners in the emerging Indo-Pacific military alliance of the US, has recently decided to spend A$1.1 billion to upgrade the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base at Tindal, which is located in its Northern Territory. When the upgrade is complete, the RAAF Tindal will be the “most potent military base south of Guam,” according to Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb AM, who is the director of Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University. The US Air Force would be able to operate its nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers from the expanded airfield in the future. In the meantime, the US has approved the sales of up to 200 Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs) of the type AGM-158C at the estimated cost of A$1.47 billion.
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US, UK conduct 24-day long Bay of Bengal military ‘interoperability’ training with Bangladesh

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 March 2020, 23:47 GMT]
The US and the UK military trainers on “small unit tactics and maritime tasks” have been training the Bangladesh Navy and Army on “counter-terrorism” and “interoperability” of all the three militaries in the Bay of Bengal, media reports from Dhaka said on Tuesday. The three countries remained committed to a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP) concept, according to the reports that cited US Ambassador to Bangladesh and the navy officers of the Bangladesh Navy. The training programme, code-named “Operation Monogram” and “Ex Thunder Fist” launched on 16 February, concluded in Chattogram (Chittagong) on Tuesday this week. The operation was the first-ever tri-lateral exercise involving US, UK and Bangladeshi militaries, news reports from Dhaka said.
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SL State-funded Buddhist vihara declared opened in Ki'linochchi campus of Jaffna University

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 March 2020, 19:52 GMT]
Occupying Colombo launched its plan to construct a grand Buddhist vihara inside the Ki'linochchi campus of Jaffna University in 2018. Following the controversial move, the administration of Jaffna University allocated lands for the construction of Christian, Saiva, Islamic and Buddhist temples. However, only the Buddhist temple was awarded large sums of money from the SL State as well as by the extremist Buddhist organisations in the South. The construction launched during the previous regime was accelerated within the last three months. On Saturday, the Buddhist temple, named Sarasavi Viharaya, was declared opened amid a grand ceremony by the Sinhala students as well as the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist groups from the South.
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Abduction-style TID detention said to be revenge against social, environmental activist

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 March 2020, 17:10 GMT]
SL ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division detained 40-year-old Selvarasa Uthayasivam, a father of four at Keavil in Vadamaraadchi East on 04 March as reported earlier. The TID was alluding to SL Human Rights Commission in Jaffna that the detention was linked to the arrest of four persons alleged of having explosives on the previous day. However, the neighbours of Uthayasivam told TamilNet on Tuesday that the SL TID had intentionally targeted Mr Uthayasivam for his environmental and social activism in recent times. Vadamaraadchi East coordinator of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement Ratnasingham Muralitharan said the detained family man was active against exploitative sand mining by the SL Army and the SL Navy. He had also opposed illegal logging activities carried out with alleged involvement of the SL Police.
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Australian, Russian frigates dock at Colombo port

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 March 2020, 17:19 GMT]
New Delhi has postponed the biennial multilateral naval exercise MILAN-2020 due to the ongoing deadly coronavirus outbreak. The drill was to be the biggest Indian-led maritime exercise involving navies from forty countries and was scheduled to take place between March 18 -28 off the coast of Visakhapatnam coast in the Bay of Bengal. In the meantime, the Royal Australian Navy, one of the countries to take part in the Indian-led war games, has sent its naval ship HMAS Parramatta to Colombo to engage with the SL Navy between 07 March and 11 March. Also, Russian Navy ship Admiral Vinogradov has arrived in Colombo Port on a four-day visit. Both the naval ships docked at Colombo port on Saturday.
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Colombo brings back EPDP terror assassins from exile

[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 March 2020, 23:42 GMT]
The military intelligence of occupying Colombo has allowed SL Cabinet Minister Douglas Devananda to bring back exiled assassins of his war-time paramilitary outfit EPDP back to the island and into Jaffna in the recent days, informed sources in Colombo said. Some of the EPDP terror operatives deployed by the SL intelligence establishment to commit targeted assassinations and abductions to destabilise the 2002 ceasefire towards the run-up to the genocidal onslaught in 2009 exiled during the previous Rajapaksa regime. These are the ones, now returning to Jaffna, the sources said.
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SL ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division resumes abduction-style arrests in North

[TamilNet, Friday, 06 March 2020, 21:07 GMT]
Leaked reports from SL’ Terrorist’ Investigation Division (TID) in Jaffna to local media earlier this week claimed that it had detained four Tamil youth from Poonakari (Pooneryn) with explosives at an uninhabited area in Vallipuram in Vadamaraadchi in Jaffna on Tuesday night. There was no independent verification of the incident. So far, no one has lodged any complaint with the Jaffna office of the SL Human Rights Commission, according to Thangavel Kanagaraj, the coordinator of the commission. However, he was able to confirm that 40-year-old S. Uthayasivam, a resident of Maruthangkea’ni in Valikaamam East, was being detained by the TID.
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Increasing pattern of Sinhala officials controlling civil affairs in North-East: Wigneswaran, Mavai

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 March 2020, 23:21 GMT]
The previous regime in Colombo was employing Sinhalese from the South to the vacancies of unskilled labourers in the North. For example, Sinhala youth were deployed in large numbers for the job of electricity meter reading in households in the North. However, the present regime has gone a step further installing Sinhalese also in the top positions of the civil administration in the North-East, observed former Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran. He was responding to a question from TamilNet on the recent trends of Sinhalicisation and militarisation of the civil administration in the occupied country of Eezham Tamils at the prolonged absence of the elected provincial councils.
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New Delhi lashes out against Geneva intervention on discriminatory CAA

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 March 2020, 16:12 GMT]
In an unprecedented move, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is set to prompt the Supreme Court of India to determine the compatibility of India’s discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) with the country’s international human rights obligations. On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry of Narendra Modi’s government lashed out at the OHCHR stating that “no foreign party” has any “locus standi” on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty and said it was an “internal affair” of India. The OHCHR move comes after pro-BJP Hindutva mobs launched violent attacks against Muslims, triggering sectarian violence that claimed dozens of lives and set scores of homes, shops and vehicles aflame at the Indian capital of New Delhi.
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Gotabaya dissolves SL Parliament, fixes elections to coincide with Easter attack anniversary

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 March 2020, 23:46 GMT]
SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has dissolved the SL Parliament using the executive powers vested with him to do so, six months earlier than its expiry, on midnight Monday. Fixing 25 April as the date for the new elections, Mr Gotabaya has issued an extra-ordinary Gazette notification specifying 12 - 19 March as the nomination period for 22 electoral districts in the island. Rajapaksa siblings aim at consolidating their power through securing a two-thirds majority in the 225 seat House to strengthen their autocracy as well as the collective autocracy, which is the unitary state of the Sinhala South against the occupied country of Eezham Tamils in the North-East.
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Colombo adopts Nepal’s approach on US MCC negotiations

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 March 2020, 23:31 GMT]
Unlike Nepal, the SL State is yet to sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement with the US. While Nepal is struggling to renegotiate the already signed contract, Colombo is trying to review the approved terms and conditions during the previous regime. SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would make a move in the direction of signing it after the forthcoming parliamentary elections, is the opinion prevailing among the hardline Sinhala nationalists, who are opposed to US-Indian interventions in the island. In the meantime, a committee appointed to review the proposed MCC Compact has submitted a “supplementary report” to SL Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday. The report has proposed “appropriate corrections” and “suitable amendments” before obtaining “concurrence of the citizens” as well as the “approval of the Parliament.”
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Latest 15 Reports