SRI LANKA: Half a million people could be affected by conflict in 2008

[IRIN] The UN and NGOs working in the conflict-ridden north and east are warning of a mounting humanitarian toll in 2008 due to the escalation in hostilities between Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Agencies should be prepared to assist “up to 500,000 conflict-affected individuals comprising IDPs, returnees and…

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More Tamils ‘abducted by police’

[BBC] Police in Sri Lanka are abducting Tamils in Colombo “like dogs”, a leading human rights campaigner says. Convener of the civil monitoring committee (CMC) and leader of the Western People’s Front (WPF) said: “since 12th February seven people were kidnapped by white van in Colombo”. According to Mano Ganeshan, MP, the number of abductions…

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Sri Lanka arrests six in connection with news Web site

[CPJ] The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s brazen public call yesterday to censor the media and reintroduce criminal defamation laws. The comments were published in a Sinhala-language interview by Sri Lanka’s largest weekly, Sunday Lankadeepa, according to Free Media Movement spokesman Sunanda Deshapriya and veteran Sri Lankan…

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Rights groups eye jailed Tamil ex-rebel

[BBC] A renegade former commander of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels has been jailed for identity fraud in the UK. The BBC’s Jill McGivering watched Col Karuna’s sentencing and asked human rights groups for their reaction. Isleworth Crown Court is an unimpressive modern building, set midway down a leafy residential street in suburban London. But…

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