By DHARISHA BASTIANS and GARDINER HARRISJAN. 29, 2015
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan government pledged Thursday to free hundreds of minority Tamil detainees and return much of the Tamil land in the north and east that the military seized and continues to hold years after the end of the country’s bitter civil war.
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South Asia is one of the most disaster-prone and conflict-affected regions in the world, with Afghanistan and India belonging to the top ten countries with the highest number of reported natural disasters in a year1. The most common disasters in the region are floods, drought, landslides, avalanches and earthquakes.
By Shihar Aneez
COLOMBO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka is planning an investigation into accusations of human rights abuses in the final stages of a 26-year civil war amid international frustration at the failure to look into numerous civilian deaths, a government spokesman said late on Wednesday.
Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was ousted in a surprise election defeat this month, had refused to cooperate with any U.N. investigation into claims the army committed atrocities in the war that ended in 2009.
Colombo, Sri Lanka | AFP | Thursday 1/29/2015 - 06:21 GMT
Sri Lanka's new government on Thursday accused the military of trying to sow unrest to sabotage its efforts to bring about ethnic reconciliation in the war-ravaged north of the country.
Sri Lanka has promised to give greater autonomy to the mainly Tamil northern peninsula, which was worst hit by the decades-long civil war, and remained heavily militarised under the former administration.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Union (EU) have committed to helping the Sri Lankan government repatriate Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu and resettle them in the Island nation, Sri Lanka’s ministry of Resettlement said.
The EU has already built 23,000 houses in the Tamil-majority northern and eastern provinces, and an additional 3,000 houses are due to be built. The EU has allocated 14 million Euro for this project. There are still 26,056 internally displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka.
MANNAR, 28 January 2015 (IRIN) - Less than three weeks since Sri Lanka voted in a new president, rights activists and other NGOs say there are already encouraging signs that they may have more freedom to work under the new administration, including in the former conflict zone in the north.
Sydney, Australia | AFP | Wednesday 1/28/2015 - 06:30 GMT
Australia's detention of 157 asylum-seekers at sea for weeks in June was legal, the nation's High Court found Wednesday in a win for the government's hardline immigration stance.
In a tight 4-3 decision, the court ruled the government was entitled to hold the group of Tamils from Sri Lanka on a customs ship with a view to return them to India -- where they had set out from.
The ruling means they are unable to seek compensation for their month-long detention.
THE HUMEDICA AID MEASURES AFTER THE TSUNAMI 2004
by Lina Koch, 2014/12/26
It happened exactly ten years ago, on December 26th, when one of the strongest earthquakes ever measured in the Indian Ocean provoked a row of devastating tsunamis. What followed was one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of the modern era: 230,000 people lost their lives in the floods, 110,000 were injured, 1.7 million inhabitants of the coastline were without any shelter. These numbers and facts seem unreal, in reality however, they have involved countless painful fates.
Snapshot 21-27 January
Nigeria: Boko Haram attacks continue, with Borno state capital Maiduguri and nearby military bases targeted on 25 January. Security forces pushed BH back from Maiduguri, but further attacks are expected. BH also raided villages in Michika local government area, Adamawa state. There are reports that BH has forbidden the use of vehicles in areas under its control.
- NATURE OF EMERGENCY:
Torrential rainfalls have resulted in severe floods and landslides, causing displacement and damage to houses, livelihoods and assets in 22 administrative districts out of 25 districts in Sri Lanka.
More than 1.2 million people have been affected by torrential rains and floods from 18-31 December 2014, mostly in the Eastern, North-Central, North-Western, Central Provinces of the country.
The results of a UN-led Joint Needs Assessment have just been released and point to the need for urgent support to the most severely food insecure populations. This includes food assistance, enhanced access to clean drinking water, emergency shelter, restoration of livelihoods as well as reconstruction of damaged houses and infrastructure.
“Our government will take a new approach to the UN Human Rights Council process in Geneva. We will offer a domestic mechanism for this, which could be supported by international agencies“, said Sri Lankan Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. He also stressed that most of the tension with the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was caused by positions taken by the previous regime.
VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka , Jan 20 2015 (IPS) - 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.
Snapshot 14–20 January
Cameroon: 50,000 people are estimated displaced due to the recent increase in Boko Haram (BH) attacks in the northern regions. In the past week, an attack on a military base in Kolofata resulted in 143 BH killed, subsequently, BH kidnapped 80 people from one village – with three killed and 24 later released. The conflict has escalated regionally, with Chad pledging military support in Cameroon’s fight against Boko Haram.
Heavy rains across Southeast Asia have killed dozens of people and displaced tens of thousands in Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The area is bracing for more flooding as heavy rain is expected to continue over the next few days.
According to an Associated Press report, at least nine people were killed and 10 others were missing in mudslides triggered by heavy rains on Dec. 26 in the central hills of Sri Lanka.