Why has India not stopped SL Navy killing Indian fishermen?

June 21, 2010 § 1 Comment

NDTV – Blood on water
After the death of Prabhakaran, peace still evades thousands of Tamil refugees living camps in Sri Lanka. And they are treated like Prisoners of War every single day.

Boycott successful; IIFA Awards flop

June 21, 2010 § 1 Comment

Did calls to boycott IIFA Awards contribute to the event’s failure? Or was it just mismanagement by the governments of India and Sri Lanka?

Hindustan Times – IIFA: The award goes to mismanagement

…Sections of the government, the local media and opposition politicians are fuming over the expenditure incurred by Sri Lanka for the event — some 1 billion LKR — and the treatment some of them got in the hands of the Indian organisers…

Will India arrest Mahinda Rajapaksa's toy-boy?

June 12, 2010 Comments Off on Will India arrest Mahinda Rajapaksa's toy-boy?

Douglas Devananda, a Sri Lankan MP notorious for being pro-SL gov’t (regardless of which party is in gov’t!) is facing three criminal cases, all registered in the late-80s in India, and is a proclaimed offender and an absconder accused since 1994. He is currently in India as part of the Sri Lankan presidential delegation. Will India obey its own laws and arrest him or play footsie with Sri Lankan President’s toy-boy and let him go?

The Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa is in India and many are shocked by who is accompanying him on the red carpet. A man who has been declared a proclaimed offender and an absconder by a Sessions Court in Tamil Nadu .

The Times of India – HC to hear plea on Lankan minister’s arrest on Monday

CHENNAI: Even as the Chennai police commissioner told reporters here that the Delhi police had been informed that Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda was a proclaimed offender and that Delhi’s response was still awaited, the Madras high court adjourned to Monday a PIL seeking the minister’s arrest.

Douglas is facing three criminal cases, all registered in the late-80s in India, and he is a proclaimed offender and an absconding accused since 1994. The minister is at present on a visit to India as part of the Lankan presidential delegation.

When a PIL filed by advocate P Pugalenthi came up for hearing, the first bench comprising Chief Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam adjourned it to Monday. M Radhakrishnan, counsel for the petitioner, said it was the public duty of the government to bring Douglas to justice. “He has to be arrested, and the government must do it,” counsel submitted.

In his petition, Pugalenthi said Douglas was declared a proclaimed offender by a sessions court here in 1994 in connection with a shootout-cum-murder case in 1986. He faced two other cases of kidnapping for ransom and criminal intimidation. Pointing out that Douglas had been an absconding accused for over 16 years now, he said the government must arrest and prosecute him for the pending cases.

When reporters raised the issued, city police commissioner Rajendran said the Chennai police were still awaiting a response from their counterparts in New Delhi. “We are still awaiting the response from the Delhi police. We have informed them that he (Devananda) is a proclaimed offender in the country,” the commissioner said.

According to him, the Chennai police had sent a message to Delhi police informing the latter about the three criminal cases, including the 1986 murder case, pending against Douglas. However, he declined to comment on reports quoting the ministry of external affairs officials that Douglas was not on any watch list in the country. Asked whether the Lankan minister would be arrested, he said, “I can’t predict that.”

SL IDPs, war-crimes "smokescreen" & more

October 29, 2009 Comments Off on SL IDPs, war-crimes "smokescreen" & more

Tamilnet: Vanni IDPs in Jaffna not allowed to go to Vanni

28 October 2009

The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Vanni origin detained in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) detention camp in Raamaavil in Thenmaraadchi have to stay in the camp if there are no relatives in Jaffna to take them over, according to Jaffna Secretariat sources. Though the government campaigns that Vanni IDPs will be resettled in their own villages, in reality they are not allowed to return to their homes, NGOs in Jaffna said. More

Tamilnet: 60 transferred IDPs arrested from transit centres in Trincomalee

27 October 2009

Sri Lanka Army Intelligence personnel have been ‘screening’ the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were being transferred in recent days from Vavuniyaa internment camps to transit centres in Trincomalee and have arrested 60 IDPs for interrogation and ‘rehabilitation’. More

AFP: Sri Lanka’s war-crimes probe a smokescreen: activists

28 October 2009

Sri Lanka’s agreement to probe war crimes allegations related to its defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels is a smokescreen to avoid an international inquiry, a human rights group said Wednesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Sri Lanka of trying to buy time and questioned the sincerity of the government’s decision to investigate the allegations detailed in a US State Department report.

“The government?s committee is merely an effort to buy time and hope the world will forget the bloodbath that civilians suffered at the end of the war,” HRW Asia director Brad Adams said. More

HRW: Sri Lanka: Domestic Inquiry into Abuses a Smokescreen

27 October 2009

The Sri Lankan government’s proposal to create a committee of experts to examine allegations of laws-of-war violations during the conflict between the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is an attempt to avoid an independent international inquiry, Human Rights Watch said today.

The government made its proposal in response to a report by the US State Department, published on October 22, 2009, that detailed hundreds of incidents of alleged laws-of-war violations in Sri Lanka from January through May. According to conservative UN estimates, 7,000 civilians were killed and more than 13,000 injured during that period, the final months of fighting. More

Zee news: UN official says will investigate Sri Lanka’s execution tape

28 October 2009

The UN Special Rapporteur on arbitrary executions has said he is initiating inquiries into the video tape showing incidents of alleged extra judicial killings by the Sri Lankan Army.

“I have begun to commission some analysis of that video tape because I do think it is incumbent upon me and I think I owe it to the government of Sri Lanka to try to probe more deeply,” Philip Alston told journalists here.

In August, footage surfaced showing a Sri Lankan soldier shooting at point-blank range a bound and blindfolded Tamil rebel. The video also shows eight bound corpses – reinforcing allegations about executions by Sri Lankan Army. More

Newstodaynet: Eelam the only solution: Vaiko

28 October 2009

In a fiery speech, MDMK general secretary Vaiko today declared only an independent state of Eelam would be a permanent solution to the long sufferings of Lankan Tamils who were now lodged in refugee camps in the island nation.

Speaking at an awareness meeting organised by Lankan Tamil Protection Movement, MDMK chief said at at time when the world nations have expressed sympathy and concern for the plight of internally displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was taking part in functions that eulogise him.

He cited a reported in London-based Times that said more than 20,000 bodies of Lankan Tamils were left to rot in the open land and corpses have spread out with bones sticking out on the surface. ‘Wheres the Indian media is under duress not to report such incidents in war-torn Lanka,’ he charged. Vaiko said more than a lakh of Lankan Tamils were killed during the ethnic genocide and it was claimed in posters that a four-day visit by Tamil MPs from India to Sri Lanka had given freedom to refugees in the internally displaced camps. ‘Those who are responsible for such posters must be sent to mental asylum,’ he said. More

In other news…

October 18, 2009 Comments Off on In other news…

truthhour : Sri Lankan Refugees: Victims or Pawns?
They form the single biggest mass of refugees today, and they face an uncertain fate as a factor in a geopolitical game involving two Asian giants and allied players. For the about 400,000 fugitives from tiny Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking areas of less than 18,000 square kilometers together, the outlook has only become more unsettling over the past few weeks. More

The promise of Indian citizenship

October 3, 2009 Comments Off on The promise of Indian citizenship

As demonstrated by recent geopolitics, sheltering refugees torn by conflict places special and tough demands on a country’s resources and society. But a declaration of political will, with an altruistic, moral stand at its core, has its own rewards. When Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi promised to take steps to ensure that the Centre would grant citizenship to the one lakh-plus Sri Lankan refugees who have sought shelter in the state for the last 25 years, did he think things through? This is the question that many in Chennai’s political circles are asking after he made the announcement at the valedictory function of the Anna birth centenary on September 26. 

The statement has caused ripples in Sri Lanka, which is yet to find a solution to the 2.60 lakh Internally Displaced People forced into living in camps after its victory over the LTTE. Lanka-watchers fear that Karunanidhi, in trying to burnish his pro-Tamil credentials (which took a beating after the momentous events in Sri Lanka), may have got carried away and played into the hands of chauvinist forces in Sri Lanka. “The move may encourage Sri Lankan rulers to drive ethnic Tamils out of their country,” says Ashok Gladston, an expert on refugees at Chennai’s Loyola College.

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business standard

Govt to consider proposal on citizenship to SL Tamil refugees

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the Centre would consider a proposal by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to grant Indian citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in the state.

“We have received a letter (from the state government) in this regard and the Centre would look into it,” Chidambaram told reporters here after meeting Karunanidhi.

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Protesters break into SL HC

October 3, 2009 Comments Off on Protesters break into SL HC


Suspected Tamils breach Sri Lankan mission in Delhi

About 10 suspected Indian Tamil protesters broke into the compound of the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in New Delhi on Friday, police said.

No-one was injured and the intruders left before police arrived. The Sri Lankan High Commission was closed for a public holiday.

“Some persons entered the compound. Before the police came they left the place,” Rajan Bhagat, a spokesman for New Delhi police said by phone, adding police did not know what the protest was about.

India is home to around 60 million ethnic Tamils who have historical and cultural links with the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.

The fate of Sri Lanka’s Tamils has often sparked protests in India, including from sympathisers of Tamil separatist militants who were defeated by Sri Lanka’s military earlier this year.

More than 260,000 Tamils live in camps in northern Sri Lanka, displaced during the 25-year war between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Colombo is under pressure from the West to resettle the displaced, but Sri Lanka says it must first weed out potentially thousands of militants among them.

There were no staff in the High Commission at the time of the intrusion.

“It is difficult to confirm who they were, but we believe they are from an anti-Sri Lankan government lobby group based in Tamil Nadu,” Sugeeswera Gunaratne, first secretary at the mission, said by telephone.

He did not want to comment on whether the intruders were Tamil Tiger sympathisers.

Ministry for External Affairs said security had been beefed up around the compound and that action would be taken against the protesters.

(Editing by Dean Yates)

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