From Bullets to Ballots: The Face of Sri Lanka’s Former War Zone

The war left tens of thousands disabledFrom Bullets to Ballots: The Face of Sri Lanka’s Former War Zone[ IPS ][ Jan 21 16:10 GMT ]

In four months’ time, Sri Lanka will mark the sixth anniversary of the end of its bloody civil conflict. Ever since government armed forces declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 19, 2009, the country has savored peace after a generation of war. Suffocating security measures have given way to a sense of normalcy in most parts of the country, while steady growth has replaced patchy economic progress – averaging above six percent since 2009. But these changes have largely eluded the area where the war was at its worst: the Vanni, a vast swath of land in the Northern Province that the LTTE ruled as a de facto state, together with the Jaffna Peninsular, for over a quarter of a century. [ full story |


Canadian Tamil Congress celebrates its 8th Annual Thai Pongal[ CTC ][ Jan 20 15:32 GMT ]

The Canadian Tamil Congress’ (CTC’s) 8th annual Pongal Dinner was celebrated on January 17th, 2015 at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel in Richmond Hill. Attended by close to 1,000 people, the event showcased Tamil arts, culture and highlighted CTC’s impressive achievements in 2014 (Video). The dinner was attended by several politicians, public officials and community leaders including the Federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Hon. Chris Alexander, Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister M.P. Paul Calandra, Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Ontario Minister Tracy MacCharles, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie… [ full story |


Power plays behind Sirisena’s surprise victory in Sri Lanka[ Al Jazeera ][ Jan 21 22:26 GMT ]

In late 2014, the Sri Lanka station chief for India’s foreign intelligence service left the capital, Colombo. His departure surfaced in a short item on Dec. 28 in a local newspaper, the Sunday Times, which speculated that “links with the common opposition” — that is, getting too close to the broad coalition of parties opposing then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa — led to the spy chief’s exit. [ full story |


SL military in Batticaloa continues to exploit families returned from Vanni[TamilNet]

The Sri Lankan State and its military intelligence in Batticaloa district continue to harass 1,080 families that survived the genocidal onslaught in Vanni in 2009. The families from Batticaloa returned to their native villages situated in 10 of the 14 Divisional Secretariat divisions in the district. The DS Secretaries in these divisions have also been instructed to refuse assistance to these families by the genocidal military. There is no change in the harassments on the ground despite the ‘changes’ taking place in Colombo, the families said. Even those affected by the recent floods have been neglected in the humanitarian assistance. Women-headed families continue to complain about targeted sexual harassments by the occupying Sinhala military in Batticaloa. Two of the 10 divisions where the families have resettled, Koa’ralaippattu South and Koa’ra’laip-pattu North are worst affected. Full story >>