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January 24, 2018 [GMT]
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Sri Lanka court stops impeachment proceedings against top judge
[Sunday 2012-12-23 22:00]

Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal on Friday halted a parliamentary committee's impeachment proceedings against the country's first woman chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake, who had sought a writ order to declare the findings of the panel illegal. The Appeal Court noticed the parliament speaker and parliamentary select committee members to appear before it on January 3 and asked them not to act in derogation of the chief justice until the court concludes its hearings. The hearing was with regard to a plaint filed by Ms. Bandaranayake on December 19 seeking an order to quash the findings of the committee, which probed impeachment charges against her. A lawyer for Ms. Bandaranayake said the Appeal Court held that if quashed by it the findings of the panel would be null and void and the panel should advise themselves of this eventuality when taking further action.

Jaffna academic says Sinhala politicians fueled LTTE's formation
[Sunday 2012-12-23 09:00]

A Jaffna academic has blamed the Sinhala politicians, including the late Ranasinghe Premadasa, of fueling the formation of the LTTE. Prof. S. Siri Satkunaraja of faculty of mathematics has responded to an allegation by Jaffna commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Haturusinghe that the Tamil people and the Jaffna university community who had supported the LTTE should be held responsible for 30 years of destruction of the country. He made the charge during a meeting with university authorities and parents of arrested undergraduates at the Palali military base on December 21. Successive government had undertaken a lackadaisical approach with regard to the basic issues of the Tamils and that had caused the entry of the LTE into the scene, the academic has responded. He has added that the failure to address the root cause will result in the country having to continue suffering the repercussions of that approach. He went onto say that the science faculty student under arrest was personally known to him and that he had no connection to terrorist activities.


CJ will not enter active politics - Lawyers Collective
[Saturday 2012-12-22 12:00]

Responding to state media attacks on the Chief Justice and the Judiciary, the Lawyers Collective urges the Government to refrain from unfair, malicious and false propaganda. "It is because the accusations brought against the Chief Justice in a politically motivated impeachment have been rightly rejected by the public, that the Government is resorting to numerous unfair strategies to tarnish the image of the Chief Justice and the Judiciary, in general." says the Lawyers Collective. Issuing a statement the Lawyers Collective says; "We have noted that various politicians are disgracefully inviting the serving judges, including the Chief Justice, to enter politics, which the Lawyers Collective considers an insult to the Judiciary. Contrary to the insinuations of the Government, we are confident that the Chief Justice would not enter active politics.

Deaths from weather hazards rise to 25
[Thursday 2012-12-20 12:00]

The death toll from extreme weather related hazards is still rising, with the figure presently standing at 25, said the Disaster Management Centre. Also, 13 persons have gone missing and 36 others sustained injuries due to floods, earth slips etc., it said. More than 267,000 members of over 69,000 families have been affected, and close to 19,000 persons rendered homeless are housed at 102 temporary camps.


The Regional Municipality of York recognizes January as Tamil Heritage Month:
[Wednesday 2012-12-19 22:00]

During its Council meeting on December 13, 2012, The Regional Municipality of York recognized January as Tamil Heritage Month. Moved by Regional Councillor Jim Jones, and seconded by Regional Councillor Jack Heath, the recognition came in response to a request made by Markham Tamil Organization (MTO).
Based on 2001 Census data, Tamil is one of the common languages spoken at home in York Region. It is estimated that over 26,000 Tamil Canadian families have chosen York Region as their preferred place to live, work and play. This number is on a steady rise adding to the vibrant diversity, economic and social fabric of York Region.

C. J. files petition in Court of Appeal
[Wednesday 2012-12-19 13:00]

The Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike filed a petition in the Court of Appeal challenging the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee today(19). The C.J's lawyers Messrs Neelakandan & Neelakandan filed th petition on her behalf. The petition demands that a writ of certiorari be issued declaring null and void the PSC Report and its findings. Further, the petitioner prays that a interim injunction be issued on acting on the report and its findings.


Rain of shrimps in Tissamaharama
[Wednesday 2012-12-19 11:00]

It had rained shrimps to Yodhakandiya area in Tissamaharama today (Dec. 19).Yesterday afternoon, the Ruhuna University's agricultural faculty at Kamburupitiya experienced a rain of Hunga and Lula fish species.


UN Referendum for Tamils' Rights to Self-Determination: Towards Geneva and Beyond:
[Wednesday 2012-12-19 11:00]

The 22nd session of the Human Rights Council will commence on the 25th February to 22nd March 2013. This will be a crucial period for the Eelam Tamils as they believe justice will be served for the crimes committed against them. But at the same time Tamil’s demand are not constrained to justice against war crimes but also a permanent political solution.

MP Parm Gill Expresses Concern Regarding Abuses of Civil Liberties in Sri Lanka
[Tuesday 2012-12-18 12:00]

Brampton, ON - Member of Parliament Parm Gill expressed concern over the arrests and detention of student demonstrators at Jaffna University in Sri Lanka, and the violation of civil liberties that has occurred. "A number of my constituents have expressed their concerns about the events that have taken place at Jaffna University," said MP Gill. "I share their concerns for the treatment of the students involved."

Vavuniya land for permanent army camps too
[Tuesday 2012-12-18 09:00]

Permission has been granted for providing land for setting up permanent army and police camps in Kanakarayanakulam, Puliyankulam areas by the Vavuniya District Land Development Committee. This decision was taken last Sunday at the district Development meeting held under the Chairmanship of District Secretary, Mr. Bandula Harischandra at the Vavuniya District Secretary's office. Accordingly, the police will be allocated a land of 05 acres in extent, and another of 05 acres in extent for the army.Meanwhile in Kanakarayankulam, Police have been allocated 02 cares and the army 07 acres.

Australia & Sri Lanka talks - to fight people smuggling
[Monday 2012-12-17 13:00]

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced a four-point plan to fight peoples smuggling to be discussed with Sri Lankan government and naval authorities, including increased on-water co-operation, intelligence sharing and reducing incentives for smuggling ventures. Senator Carr is in Colombo for the inaugural Joint Working Group on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime, chaired by Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. "There is a message from these talks to people in Sri Lanka - by getting on thatboat you risk your life, you'll lose your money and you will be sent back home,"Senator Carr said. "We're setting a clear agenda for intelligence sharing, naval co-operation andhelping rebuild Sri Lanka - all designed to reduce people smuggling. "I welcome Sri Lanka's strong support for anti-people smuggling activities, andlook forward to increased co-operation in destroying the people smuggling business model."

37 Tamils arrested in Jaffna
[Sunday 2012-12-16 11:00]

The Sri Lankan police are to carry out more arrests in Jaffna over the protest while 37 Tamils already arrested are to be produced in court and charged. The families of 33 people arrested have made complaints to the Human Rights Commission regarding the arrests. But it was not clear on what basis the arrests were being made. It is learnt that receipts are being issued to the families following the arrests. They have all been sent to Vavuniya, Welikanda and other remand prisons and we do not know what they plan to do with them, Jaffna sources said.


106,000 people missing in Sri Lanka, alleges BBC journalist
[Sunday 2012-12-16 10:00]

A BBC journalist has said that around 106,000 persons were missing in LTTE-controlled areas after the war and the Sri Lankan government should explain it. Frances Harrison made the allegation in Chennai, South India, during the launch of a Tamil translation of a book she had authored on the conflict in Sri Lanka. Having worked as a BBC correspondent in Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2004, Frances Harrison said she had accessed World Bank population data in this regard to substantiate her claim. "The number may not include (LTTE) detainees or those who had left the country but the government has to explain (the dip in the population in Tamil-dominated areas)", Indian Express quoted her as having said.

Australian FM in Colombo to halt people smuggling Sri Lanka gets A$ 34 million in educational aid:
[Sunday 2012-12-16 09:00]

By Zacki Jabbar

The Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in Colombo yesterday that his government was determined to stop the people smuggling racket at its source, which has seen around 6,000 Sri Lankans trying to enter Australia this year. Carr was speaking at a ceremony at St Anthony’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya in Colombo 3, during which he also announced that his government will be providing Sri Lanka with educational aid totaling A$ 34 million spread over a five year period.

Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on the situation in Jaffna, Sri Lanka:
[Friday 2012-12-14 23:00]

"News is slowly emerging of an attack on the men's and women's dormitories at Jaffna University, with some fifty students being sent to hospital, and many arrested without warrants. Sri Lanka's civil peace is still under threat from its own government. The United States government has issued a call for a respect for civil liberties and pluralism. Canadians can hardly do less in the face of continuing attacks on journalists and others expressing their opinions.

13 Tamil girls to Army hospitalized
[Thursday 2012-12-13 11:00]

Thirteen of the 100 Tamil girls forcibly recruited by the Army, suffering from severe mental stress, were admitted to Kilinochchi Hospital around 11.00 pm on December 11, reports said. TNA MP Sridharan had tried to visit them at hospital, but had been denied permission by the military. Thereafter, he had called the hospital director over the phone to inquire about their health, but the latter had told him that he had been ordered by the military not to say anything about their condition. However, parents are permitted to visit them at the hospital, where a special area has been allotted for them. At the time of the recruitment, the girls had been told they would be required to do office work only. Ten girls had fled the Army during training while eight others have been suffering from mental stress for about a week.


Australian Foreign Minister due
[Wednesday 2012-12-12 12:00]

Australian Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, will travel to Sri Lanka over December 14-17, 2012 for talks with Sri Lanka's leadership including External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L. Peiris. Talks will cover aid, economic development, human rights and people smuggling issues. Australia provides AU $47 million a year in aid to Sri Lanka, with a focus on education and the rebuilding of economic infrastructure following the end of the civil conflict in 2009. Past aid contributions include clearing of unexploded ordinance and land mines, rebuilding of around 5,000 homes and 23 schools and delivery of water and sanitation to nearly 44,000 people. Sri Lanka is also an important regional partner in the fight against people smuggling, having disrupted more than 60 separate people smuggling ventures this year involving around 2,900 people.(release)


No acting CJ will be appointed - president
[Monday 2012-12-10 12:00]

No acting chief justice will be appointed until the final decision is taken with regard to the impeachment of the incumbent Shirani Bandaranayake, said president Mahinda Rajapaksa today (Dec. 10). He has told members of the Bar Association and heads of several state corporations at a meeting to summon around 1,000 pro-government lawyers for a protest against the CJ. He has criticized such lawyers for keeping silent while enjoying positions and privileges given them by the state. On the occasion, the president has explained about the impeachment and documents pertaining to it, including the PSC chairman's decision, were distributed among the participants. He has instructed the corporation chairmen present to arrange accommodation at Colombo hotels for the pro-government lawyers who will be attending a BASL meeting on December 15.

High-level UN team in Sri Lanka to observe implementation of LLRC
[Sunday 2012-12-09 12:00]

A high level delegation of permanent representatives to the United Nations is visiting Sri Lanka to observe the progress on the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations and other post-war developments. The delegation led by Japan included permanent representatives from Nigeria, Romania Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York. Top diplomats of Italian, Brazilian missions and South Africa's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Geoff Doidge, accompanied the delegation.

U.S. Embassy Urges Transparency and Due Process:
[Sunday 2012-12-09 12:00]

The United States Embassy remains very concerned about the state of the Sri Lankan judiciary and the impeachment process of the Chief Justice. We urge that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating the Chief Justice ensure any investigation be conducted transparently, guarantee due process, and is conducted in accordance with the rule of law.

Britain locally failing in nation building advises others: - The Guardian
[Sunday 2012-12-09 12:00]

"Communal rioting in two cities. Bricks and bottles thrown and civic buildings wrecked. Flags torn down and 15 police injured. Local politicians forced to go into hiding. It happens all over the world, but this week it happened in the United Kingdom, evidence of continuing lack of community concord in Northern Ireland," says an article appeared in The Guardian on Thursday. "The Troubles in Northern Ireland are not on a par with those afflicting states in the Middle East. But they remain unresolved and reflect a real British failure at local "nation-building". Belfast is still the only city outside Israel that must erect walls to keep warring communities apart. The lack of communal accord should evoke modesty from London towards the similar troubles of others. How dare we lecture them on reconciliation," the article questioned.

Jaffna Student's Union president surrenders to HRC
[Sunday 2012-12-09 11:00]

President of the Jaffna University Students Union V. Pavanandan and another student activist surrendered to the Jaffna office of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission yesterday (Dec. 08). Coordinator at the office Kanagaraj confirmed they took custody of the two students, adding that it was being looked into how they should be produced before courts. The TID has informed the university administration and the parents of the two students that they would be permitted to visit them. Following a notification by the military that 10 others should surrender, five of them were handed over to the TID through the dean of the university's medical faculty.


Remains of Thileepan memorial tower destroyed Top News
[Sunday 2012-12-09 11:00]

The remnants of a memorial tower in Nallur to the hunger striker Lt. Col. Thileepan were found destroyed this morning. Reports allege that a gang of unidentified people demolished the fallen tower last night, leaving only rubble. The memorial was erected at the exact spot of his hunger strike in 1987 that captivated the entire nation, but later partially destroyed.


C.J. was given time to resign - Minister Nimal Siripala
[Sunday 2012-12-09 11:00]

Once the report of the PSC is submitted to the Speaker a month's period is given to review the decision, during this period certain moves could be taken but this period is really made available for the Chief Justice to resign said Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva at the media conference held yesterday (8th). However, clause 107.2 of the Constitution states a judge "shall not be removed except by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament". In response to a query by Mirror, Attornney at law Upali Kmarapperuma states that point out that there is a contradiction in the presumption expressed by Minister Siripala and state that the government, from the beginning of the process, attempted to create a situation to make the Chief Justice to resign.

Paris protest in support of Jaffna university students Top News
[Friday 2012-12-07 14:00]

A protest has taken place in Paris, France to protest the crackdown and arrest of Jaffna university students. The TID yesterday arrested six medical students and took them to their Vavuniya headquarters, according to reports. It had told the vice chancellor that 10 others should surrender. Students are reportedly shaken by the medical faculty dean and another official handing over of five of the students to the TID. When they had gone to Kopay police to hand themselves over, they had been told to surrender to the Jaffna intelligence office. Students of the medical faculty have rejected a call by the management to end their class boycott. At present, nine Jaffna undergraduates are in TID custody.


'India's RAW is supporting CJ'
[Wednesday 2012-12-05 14:00]

Chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake has obtained support of India’s intelligence agency, RAW, lankacnews website claims quoting military intelligence.According to military intelligence, RAW is funding Neelakandan and Neelakandan legal firm which represents the CJ in the impeachment process.The website, run by a group supportive of minister Wimal Weerawansa, says this legal firm had appeared for the most number of cases on behalf of the LTTE. Also, RAW was behind the recent northern lawyers' protest against the impeachment. The website adds that the Indian high commission in Colombo has become an unusually busy place these days.


CID quizzes TNA youth organizer
[Wednesday 2012-12-05 13:00]

The CID has questioned Kilinochchi orgranizer of the youth organization of TNA, Arunachalam Satyananda.The police yesterday (Dec. 04) visited him at Kilinochchi Central College, where he is a teacher, and inquired from him about the activities and the membership of the TNA youth organization.A few days ago, CID questioned the parents of TNA Pallai organizer Subramanian Suren.According to the TNA, the CID is gathering information about its activists in Kilinochchi.


Australia Court stops deportation of 56 Tamils
[Tuesday 2012-12-04 14:00]

The deportation of 56 Tamil men was halted after a dramatic hearing at the High Court in Sydney late on Monday.The department agreed to halt the men's forcible deportation, expected to take place this morning (TUESDAY) and all parties will reappear in court on Thursday. A department spokesman said it was "not uncommon" for the department to face legal challenges of this kind, but no other deportations would be affected by the hearing. He said the department "will continue to remove unlawful non-citizens where it is in accordance with the Migration Act". The court action was brought by refugee advocate Ian Rintoul and Bala Vigneswaran from the Australian Tamil Congress.

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