Posts Tagged ‘Colombo’

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Sri Lanka protest over UN war abuses resolution

Monday, February 27th, 2012

[BBC]

Protests are being held across Sri Lanka against plans by Western nations to sponsor a UN motion calling for a probe into abuses during the civil war.

[Full Story]

Many Sri Lankan Tamils giving up on country

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

[AP]

The assailants broke in after the fighting between ethnic rebels and the military erupted again into full-scale war, storming through his family’s home and calling his name. Thanabalasingham Surendran, a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority, fled to the capital, Colombo. But unknown “messengers from military intelligence” kept calling and demanding extortion money. So the shop owner paid a smuggler to get him out of Sri Lanka. As the government claims it is coming close to winning a quarter-century war with the Tamil Tiger separatists, many ordinary Tamils are giving up on their country.

[Full Story]

Tamil newspaper editor arrested in Colombo

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

[Reporters Without Borders]

Reporters Without Borders is extremely shocked by today’s arrest of N. Vithyatharan, the editor of Sudar Oli, a Colombo-based Tamil daily that is part of the Uthayan press group. He was forcibly arrested while attending the funeral in Colombo of a relative of the group’s chairman. The media minister told the organisation that he was being “treated well” by the police.

“Carried out without a warrant, this arrest was a violation of the rule of law,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The police must release Vithyatharan without delay. What is this respected Tamil editor accused of? Outspoken coverage of the situation in Sri Lanka, including the fate of its Tamil population.”

[Full Story]

India-Sri Lanka accord sabotaged by governments in Colombo: Kumaratunga

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

[India eNews]

Successive governments in Colombo have spiked the provisions of the 1987 India-Sri Lanka accord aimed at devolving powers to provinces in the island nation, former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga has said. Had the devolution of powers taken place earlier, Sri Lanka’s dragging ethnic conflict might have ended a long time ago, Kumaratunga told a panel discussion here Tuesday evening. Kumaratunga, who stepped down as president in November 2005, was referring to the 13th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution that followed the 1987 accord. The agreement sought to end Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka.

[Full Story]

Sri Lanka’s Tamils face hard future

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

[ AFP ]

Sri Lanka’s government says it is on the verge of defeating Tamil Tiger rebels and ushering in peace after decades of ethnic bloodshed, but the island’s main ethnic minority is as fearful as ever. Ethnic Tamil civilians reduced to submission by the feared Tamil Tiger rebels are equally apprehensive of government forces even as the military announced it hoped to finish off the guerrillas by April. Last year the authorities evicted hundreds of Tamils from Colombo, saying they were a threat to national security. The move was stopped following court intervention after charges that it amounted to collective punishment.

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Analysis: Sri Lanka’s media faces growing pressure

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

[CNN]

Journalists in Sri Lanka have come under a growing number of attacks and intimidation, with some fleeing the country or losing their lives, media analysts and rights groups say. On January 8, a prominent journalist who had been critical of the government was shot and killed by unknown assailants on the outskirts of Colombo. His death came days after masked gunmen besieged a privately owned television station and destroyed its equipment; and in another attack in January, a newspaper editor and his wife were stabbed on their way to work. While Sri Lankan authorities have denied any government involvement, the cases have prompted international criticism of Sri Lanka over the safety of journalists. There are also questions about press freedoms.

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Fear and defiance in Sri Lanka

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

[BBC]

As Sri Lanka’s military takes control of key territory held by the Tamil Tiger rebels, Chris Morris in Colombo reports on a deepening mood of determination and defiance on both sides of the conflict. Getting through to the Tamil Tigers isn’t easy these days. Their world is getting smaller. Surreptitious messages. Crackling phone lines. “Can I talk to him now?” “It’s difficult.” “Why?” “There’s heavy shelling. Please call again later.” Eventually I make a connection with the Tigers’ political leader, B Nadesan. He sounds remarkably calm for the spokesman of a group which has lost most of the land and all the main towns it controlled a year ago.

[Full Story]

Natalie Samarasinghe: Rulers in Colombo must reach out to the whole island

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

[ The Independent ]

“People throughout the country are brimming with patriotic fervour,” read the front page of yesterday’s Sri Lanka Daily News. It is unlikely that any of them are located in the Wanni region, where an estimated 250,000 civilians are trapped as the government advances on the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE), otherwise known as the Tamil Tigers. But it is difficult to verify much of what is reported on Sri Lanka. A successful raid on a LTTE training camp wiping out 50 cadres becomes the brutal bombing of 200 schoolchildren. The assassination of a leading newspaper editor becomes an international conspiracy to divert attention from the government’s military victories.

[Full Story]

Fresh media attack in Sri Lanka

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

[BBC]

The editor of a Sri Lankan weekly newspaper and his wife have been assaulted in Colombo in the latest of a series of attacks on journalists. Reporters on the Rivira weekly say four men on motorcycles blocked Upali Tennakoon’s car and attacked the couple with iron rods and other weapons. The pair are in a stable condition. The attack comes two weeks after top editor Lasantha Wickramatunga was shot dead. Meanwhile, fierce fighting continues as troops battle rebels in the north-east.

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Displaced Priests, Nuns In Battle Zone Appeal To United Nations To Stop The Fighting

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

[UCAN]

Catholic clergy and Religious, fearing a “great human tragedy” in northern Sri Lanka, have asked U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to call on their government to stop the war and put an end to the suffering of civilians. In a letter titled “SOS - Agonizing Cry of the People of Vanni,” Father James Pathinathar called for U.N. intervention on behalf of civilians trapped in the government military offensive against Tamil rebels in the Vanni jungle region, 250 kilometers north of Colombo. Father Pathinathar, parish priest of St. Peter’s Church in Mullaithivu, has been forced to take refuge at another church due to the fighting. He appeals for negotiations and a humane, just and lasting political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

[Full Story]

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