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Thursday, June 4th, 2009

3 June 2009
(IFJ/IFEX) - Free expression advocates from around the world gathered this
week in Oslo, Norway, at the International Freedom of Exchange (IFEX) General Meeting. Thirty IFEX members
signed on to the following letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, calling on him to "stop the war on journalists":

Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa
President
Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka
c/o Office of the President
Temple Trees
150, Galle Road
Colombo 3, SRI LANKA

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

From

June 2, 2009


 prominent Sri Lankan press freedom campaigner was abducted and beaten in Colombo yesterday in the latest in a string of assaults on government critics.

Poddala Jayantha, the secretary of the Sri Lankan Working Journalists, said that he was pushed into a van by a gang of men, who beat him and shaved his beard and hair before dumping him by the roadside. He suffered head and leg injuries.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Even after declaring victory in Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, the country’s leaders seem unable to distinguish between the enemy — the brutal but apparently vanquished Tamil Tiger separatists — and innocent bystanders. Despite appeals from Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, and from others, the government has not given international aid organizations full access to government-run camps, where an estimated 280,000 civilians are said to be in desperate need of food, water and medical care.

Sarath Fonseka
Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

THE Sri Lankan army will recruit an extra 100,000 soldiers to crush any attempt to revive the Tamil Tiger movement, triggering accusations the Government plans a military occupation of the Tamil-dominated north.

Telegraph Camp Child
Monday, May 25th, 2009
The Sri Lankan government has been accused of launching a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" following its victory over the Tamil Tigers in the country's 26 year civil war.
MR and Forces Commanders Nov 2005
Monday, May 25th, 2009

As the President's motorcade passed slowly through Colombo Monday, 20-year-old university student Chaturi Waidyasekera pressed her head to the ground, then rose and chanted, “Praise our king”

MR and Ban Ki-Moon
BBC
Sunday, May 24th, 2009
The Menik Farm camp in northern Sri Lanka has a distinctly military air for a place which is housing more than 200,000 people displaced by the fighting. There is barbed wire everywhere, and camouflage-clad soldiers who are not at all keen on journalists speaking to those inside the camp.
Ban and Children
Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, pressed Sri Lanka’s government on Saturday to grant international relief agencies “unhindered access” to refugee camps housing hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamils from Sri Lanka’s civil war.

Gotabhaya Grinning
Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Troops and leaders of the United States and United Kingdom should be accused of war crimes before Sri Lanka is made to face any kind of war crimes tribunal, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has stated in an interview with Nitin A. Gokhale, Senior Defence Editor of India's NDTV Channel.

Camps Oxfam Pic
Friday, May 22nd, 2009

COLOMBO— Sri Lanka’s government ignored mounting calls by international relief organizations on Friday for greater access to the country’s swelling refugee camps, as the military continued to weed out suspected former Tamil Tiger rebels hiding among civilians.

MR with injured soldiers
BBC
Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Sri Lanka says more than 6,200 security personnel were killed and almost 30,000 wounded in the final three years of the war with the Tamil Tigers. 

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa revealed the figures on state TV - the first such official statement.

It is thought at least 80,000 people have been killed in the 26-year war.

Times Safe Zone Satellite
Friday, May 22nd, 2009

US military satellites secretly monitored Sri Lanka’s conflict zone through the latter stages of the war against the Tamil Tigers and American officials are examining images for evidence of war crimes, The Times has learnt.

The images are of a higher resolution than any that are available commercially and could bolster the case for an international war crimes inquiry when the UN Human Rights Council holds a session on Sri Lanka next week.

Athula Kahandaliyanage
Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Sri Lanka rejected criticism of its aid for civil war refugees as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to visit the island today to promote reconciliation after the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels.
Karuna Amman
Friday, May 22nd, 2009
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Telegraph, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, alias Colonel Karuna, said president Mahinda Rajapaksa had made a mistake when he claimed no-one died at the hands of the army.
Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Sri Lanka’s rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Standard & Poor’s because of depleting foreign-exchange reserves and delays in receiving a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

“The underlying pressures on Sri Lanka’s external liquidity position have intensified,” said S&P, which rates the island’s long-term foreign currency debt at ‘B’, five levels below the investment grade.

Prabhakaran to Truck
Thursday, May 21st, 2009

When Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, declared victory over the ruthless Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a speech to parliament on May 19th, he should have addressed a full house. In fact, over 20 opposition chairs in the 225-seat chamber were frostily vacant. Keeping away were members of the Tamil National Alliance, the largest group of parties representing the Tamil minority, elected in the north and east of the island.

Basil and Ban
Thursday, May 21st, 2009

COLOMBO- The United Nations pressed Sri Lanka's government on Wednesday to give aid workers unfettered access to the war zone in the country's north and allow them to evacuate any civilians still trapped there after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers rebel group.

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

I met Neelan Tiruchelvam, a prominent activist who had entered Sri Lankan politics, on my first trip to the island nation 15 years ago. Over several cups of tea he patiently explained the complexities and risks for ethnic Tamils who were critical of both the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He believed that as a member of parliament, he could help bring peace to the country, mired in a brutal civil war since the mid-1980s. In 1999, a Tiger suicide bomber blew him up outside his Colombo home.

Prabhakharan on Stretcher
Thursday, May 21st, 2009

NEW DELHI — The Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Tuesday savored a victory that had eluded every Sri Lankan head of state before him: he declared on television that after more than 25 years, his troops had defeated one of the world’s most enduring guerrilla armies on the battlefield.

Mahinda Rajapaksa and Hu Jintao
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
THE pitiless success of Sri Lanka's military offensive delivers one salutary lesson: if you have China as an ally, you can afford to ignore pressure from anywhere else.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Government has won China's financial, military and diplomatic support - along with the confidence to brush off Western protests.