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 Why Men Don’t Offer Their Seats To Women In Buse
Published On: 09 September, 2012 , The Sunday Leader
A year ago a friend of mine from Europe raised an alarming question during her short stay in Sri Lanka: “Why Sri Lankan men don’t give up their seats to women in public transportation?” I am compulsively obliged to defend my motherland Sri Lanka against such an accusation. I have never travelled to Europe; therefore I didn’t know the situation in Eastern Europe. However due to the prevalent Third World citizen mentality, I presumed that she speaks words of wisdom: “this sort of idiosyncrasy could only be seen in countries like Sri Lanka, and India”, I thought.
 Australian families reach out to boatpeople
Published On: 09 September, 2012 , AFP
After 22 days on a boat fleeing Sri Lanka and more than five months in detention, asylum-seeker Jeevan Nanthakumar recently unpacked his suitcases in the home of an Australian pensioner couple. Nanthakumar -- a pseudonym -- said he left his homeland and family in January due to "government problems and enemies in my village".

"I went to India then was on a boat for 22 days, five days with no food and no water," said the 26-year-old.

 Relations Between India and Sri Lanka Sour
Published On: 05 September, 2012 , Nytimes
Last week, while traveling down the coast of Tamil Nadu for my article about the fishing wars between India and Sri Lanka, I noticed pilgrims walking along the side of the road. They trudged along, despite the heat, as they walked kilometers on a pilgrimage to Christian shrines in the state of Tamil Nadu. What I had not realized is that some of the pilgrims visiting the state were from Sri Lanka.
 Horana’s Horror
Published On: 02 September, 2012 , The Sunday Leader
The man sat on the motor bike with his face covered with a helmet.  His bike parked at the turn from our house blocking our path prevented our motor bike from moving ahead. I quickly sensed that there was something wrong when my husband stretched out his left hand while accelerating with his right. His left hand was in a gesture as if to say ‘do not harm us’.  Maybe he knew by instinct that the man on the bike would harm us.”
 Missing And Forgotten
Published On: 02 September, 2012 , The Sunday Leader
Kumarasamy Pathmanathan has a question. “If the war is over and if there is no problem in the country, why are they arresting people?” Pathmanathan is one of the 300 people who showed up in the city of Vavuniya on Thursday, August 30, holding up pictures of a loved one who has gone missing. In his case, it’s his daughter, 31-year old Vasanthamala.
 Asylum Seekers And Their Search For A Life
Published On: 25 July, 2012 , The Sunday Leader
Hudson, who has been working with the refugees on Christmas Island in Australia for the last two years, explained that many of the asylum seekers who arrived by boat had chosen to risk their lives on the journey for a range of reasons. “They are desperate, they feel they have no future back in Sri Lanka and so they have looked to alternatives,” she said.
 Tamils: why we get on the boats
Published On: 20 July, 2012 , gloucesteradvocate
The homes here are built alike, low and squat, their thatched roofs tightly tied down against the monsoon's rains and wind. And from almost every one, someone has left for Australia. Some reach Christmas Island, phoning home to say they're safe. Others are caught before they can board a boat, or have their vessel stopped and turned around by Sri Lankan navy ships. Still others leave and are never heard from again.
 For the Blink of an Eye
Published On: 14 July, 2012 , Groiund Views

I almost always enjoy my time in Jaffna. Riding on the AC-bus to Jaffna is a no-brainer for me. It’s a long ride; the extra 450 rupees is worth it.

In Sri Lanka, I have witnessed fistfights, protests, vigorous debate after a car accident and even some mild vigilante justice after an incident of sexual harassment. I thought I had seen anger firsthand here; then I got on a Colombo bus headed for Jaffna that was supposed to have air conditioning.

 Rape And Also Be Damned
Published On: 09 July, 2012 , JDS Lanka
It was the fourth of July. Pavithra and I were at the Women and Children’s Bureau of the Tangalle Police, by 9am. The whole division was bustling with activity. We found out that four more suspects had been arrested in the morning, in connection with the rape of a school girl. The school girl had been waylaid and held for six days… and raped. The Officer in Charge of the Bureau, Sriyani and her team were diligently going about their investigation. There was a look of determination on their faces. We hung back to catch a glimpse of the four suspects.
 A 17-year old boy is physically and sexually assaulted by intoxicated police officers at Pallama Police Station for a crime that he did not commit
Published On: 05 July, 2012 , AHRC
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a 17-year old boy was physically and sexually assaulted by intoxicated police officers at Pallama Police Station for a crime that he did not commit. Mr. Chamara (name changed for privacy and security purposes) was accused of stealing jewelry from a neighbour. Despite repeated denials of this accusation, he was arbitrarily arrested by officers attached to the Pallama Police Station, detained and grossly assaulted, both physically and sexually.
 Donor interest in north waning
Published On: 09 July, 2012 , IRIN
Donor assistance is waning in northern Sri Lanka, where the critical priorities of food, shelter, protection and nutrition are not being covered, and many displaced people still need outside assistance more than three years after a decades-long civil war ended.“We’re now at a critical juncture in time,” Vincent Lelei, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) told IRIN in the capital, Colombo. “It’s imperative that donors remain engaged if we are to ensure the valuable gains that have already been achieved.”
 "Lot of talking and not much improvement" in the north
Published On: 03 July, 2012 , IRIN
Sri Lankan parliamentarians in favour of acting on the recommendations in a report into the final stages of the country’s civil war by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) are slowly gaining ground over those who are not, says a presidential peace process adviser.

The government’s initial reaction to the LLRC recommendations was positive, presidential adviser and parliamentarian Rajiva Wijesinha told IRIN, but others saw the report, released just over six months ago, as a call for regime change and were “highly critical”.
 The Grease Devil Is Not Real
Published On: 23 June, 2012 , guernicamag
During my first two days on Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Peninsula, I heard about the Grease Man from everyone who spoke English. He smeared his naked body in oil to evade capture, the villagers told me, and then snuck into homes to commit random acts of violence. Most people said he sexually assaulted women, or bit their necks and breasts. One boy told me he had knives for fingers, which he used to cut out people’s organs while they were sleeping. He hid in trees, the villagers believed, waiting for the right moment to pounce upon his victims—women drawing well water or children using the outhouse.
 Sri Lanka’s Muslims Under Siege?
Published On: 25 June, 2012 , thediplomat
The end of the civil war brought hopes that the country could become united. But attacks by radical Buddhists suggest Sri Lanka faces a new challenge to internal harmony. Colombo’s suburb of Dehiwala is probably best known for housing the Colombo Zoo. But late last month, it became the site of a wild protest at a small mosque, a protest that has many Muslim leaders in Sri Lanka worried.
 The Ongoing Search for Missing Relatives
Published On: 10 June, 2012 , Thesundayleader
Shanthi* recalls standing at the Vattuval checkpoint in Mullaitivu, waiting to board a bus with her family, on May 18 2009, when the war was finally drawing to a close. The military had been calling on all those who had been with the LTTE to surrender. Shanthi’s husband was one of them, and surrendered when the military called him away.“He was carrying our child, and they asked him to leave the child and go, so he went. I was standing there with my other two children. I never saw my husband afterwards,” said Shanthi.

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