June 30, 2009 Comments Off on Latest Inner City Press reports
June 30, 2009 Comments Off on IMF loan still not approved for SL
– Sri Lanka tapped the IMF for aid in March 2009.
– The loan has been put off due to political pressure from USA, Britain and other Western nations over Colombo’s handling of the final stages of a battle against Tamil separatists and charges that thousands of civilians were killed.
– USA, the main shareholder in the IMF and whose approval is key to the release of the money, has welcomed the end to the Sri Lankan fighting but urged Colombo to meet the needs of 300,000 war displaced people who remain in temporary government shelters and has also supported calls for a probe into alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan government troops.
– UN has also been at odds with the Sri Lankan government over its treatment of the displaced persons. Colombo has arrested two United Nations employees, both ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils.
– Human rights organizations claim Sri Lankan authorities have taken thousands of Tamils from the camps for the displaced.
– Some rights campaigners compared the plight of the Tamils in the camps to that under Nazi Germany.
Read full article here.
June 30, 2009 Comments Off on Signs of a military regime…
BBC : Sri Lanka’s expanding peacetime army
It is just over a month since Asia’s longest civil war in modern times came to an end, with the Sri Lankan government’s declaration that it had finally defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels (LTTE) on the battlefield and killed nearly all their leaders. Yet the army chief says he wants the army, already 200,000, to increase in size by 50%.
BBC : ‘Tamil unit’ for Sri Lanka’s army
Sri Lanka’s army is to establish an ethnic Tamil regiment for the first time, the minister for national reconciliation has told the BBC.
THE sign on the army spokesman’s wall rang the first alarm bells.
Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara had pinned his statement of faith to a map used to brief journalists visiting Sri Lanka: “It’s the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press,” it began. It went on to say the soldier, not politicians, “ensures our right to Life, Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
Read article from source.
June 29, 2009 Comments Off on SL gives a whole new meaning to "shooting the messenger"
Times Online : Sri Lankan astrologer arrested after predicting President Rajapaksa’s exit
A popular Sri Lankan astrologer has been arrested after predicting that the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, would be ousted from office and replaced by his own Prime Minister by September.
Opposition supporters decried the arrest of Chandrasiri Bandara as evidence of a growing crackdown on political dissent that has accompanied the army’s defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last month.
June 29, 2009 § 1 Comment
A blow to Sri Lankan tourism?
The United States of America has warned its citizens traveling to or living in Sri Lanka about the potential for continued instability.
1) “The Department of State warns American citizens traveling to or living in Sri Lanka about the potential for continued instability, including possible terrorist attacks.”
The Sri Lankan government claimed on 19 May that it had defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The above statement suggests that the USA believes this is not the case.
2) “…specifically warns Americans against travel to the Northern Province and most of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka due to the presence of uncleared land mines and the possibility of renewed insurgency.”
3) “Armed paramilitaries remain active in the Eastern Province.”
4) “Consular assistance to American citizens detained in the north and east may be significantly delayed.”
5) “American citizens of Sri Lankan origin may be subject to additional scrutiny upon arrival and while in the country.”
6) “…foreigners of Sri Lankan origin may be detained without their embassy being notified.”
7) “The activities of journalists, researchers, aid workers, and volunteers receive particular attention. The Government of Sri Lanka encourages Sri Lankan citizens to report foreigners who are suspected of carrying out activities not consistent with the national interest and/or their visa category.”
To read full travel warning click here.
Why not boycott Sri Lanka? Visit boycottsrilanka.com.
Australia’s advice to its citizens traveling to Sri Lanka is: Reconsider your need to travel
June 28, 2009 Comments Off on Reactivaction of Discredited Press Council Law a Step Backward for Sri Lanka
Committee to Protect Journalists – With press council, Sri Lanka revives a repressive tool
Article from 2006 – Committee to Protect Journalists – Sri Lanka: CPJ concerned by move to reinstate state-controlled Press Council
Guardian – Fears for press freedom in Sri Lanka
June 28, 2009 Comments Off on "Still waiting…" – Mercy Mission Team
Sunday 28 June: Still awaiting permission from Port authorities in to unload in Chennai
NEW videos from the MERCY MISSION ship:
Click here for Uthayan interview [8am 25 June]
Click here for Kristjan interview [8am 25 June]
Click here to read official press release by Mercy Mission team here.
June 28, 2009 § 1 Comment
Ms. Karen Parker, Chief Counsel, Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
Mr. John Argue, Amnesty International Canada, Coordinator for Sri Lanka
Prof. Aparna Sundar, Canadian Academics for Tamil Rights, Ryerson University
Dr. R. Sri Ranjan, Professor, University of Manitoba, President, Canadian Tamil Congress
Dr. R. Lambotharan M.D., President, International Medical Health, Organization (IMHO), Canada
June 27, 2009 § 2 Comments
With great relief and joy, we informed you a few days ago of the news that Sri Lanka had agreed to allow the Mercy Mission to off-load its contents (food, aid and relief material sent by Tamil diaspora to their loved ones in the Vanni).
However, we have been informed that
“As of Friday evening (26 June 2009) Mercy Mission has yet to be formally notified of the 24 June decision and statement by the Indian and Sri Lankan governments. There has also not been ANY movement at the ground level and the MV Captain Ali remains anchored five (5) miles off the Port of Chennai.
The situation on the ship is now critical. The crew and passengers have been onboard for 51 days without respite and in very harsh, stressful conditions. The passengers, Uthayanan Thavarajasingam and Kristjan Gudmundsson have formally requested that the authorities allow them to disembark and to take the next flight to London and Iceland.”
Click here to read official press release by Mercy Mission team here.
June 27, 2009 Comments Off on In the news today…
Catholic Culture : Six priests imprisoned in Sri Lanka: possible war-crime witnesses?
Six Catholic priests are being held in detention by the government of Sri Lanka, along with others who may have witnessed brutality by government troops in their last successful offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels.
Associated Press : Sri Lanka detains ethnic Tamil lawmaker
Sri Lanka has detained an ethnic Tamil lawmaker who was one of few witnesses to the bloody end of the island’s 25-year civil war last month, over alleged links to the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, his colleague said Tuesday.
BBC : S Lanka camp young ‘malnourished’
The high rate of malnutrition reported among children in camps for displaced people in Sri Lanka is a cause for concern, a senior UN official says.
Medecins Sans Frontieres : Vavuniya district, Sri Lanka: Treating the wounded and medical emergencies remains a priority
“The current restrictions on access to the camps is limiting and slowing are ability to respond to the medical needs of the internally displaced persons,” said Severine Ramon, MSF coordinator in the MSF field hospital.
The Boston Globe : Boston’s Tamils gather to protest abuses
Boston’s Tamil community is holding a fast and a vigil this afternoon and evening at Copley Square to protest what Tamil leaders say are continuing abuses of civilians since the final offensive by the Sri Lankan military against Tamil rebels last month.