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In today’s news – Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu receives death threat

August 22, 2009

Business Standard  – US to provide $8 mn for Tamil IDPs

AFP – US warns of conditions in Sri Lanka camps

The Telegraph UK – Sri Lanka accuses Indian film star of Tamil Tiger links

Reuters – Sri Lanka army to speed demining, scale back expansion

AFP – Sri Lanka to step up mine clearing: army

BBC – Sri Lankan army in refugee call

Sri Lanka’s new army chief says the 250,000 people displaced by the recent conflict – currently in government camps – should be rapidly resettled.

Lieutenant-General Jagath Jayasuriya, appointed last month, admitted there were obstacles in the way of this.

The new army chief said the country was entering a new post-war era and that even if the military increased slightly in size, it would have to retrain.

The remarks appear to be more dovish than much of what has come out lately.

Tamilnet – Global vigilance needed amid Sri Lanka’s post war rhetoric: Australian Senator

BBC – Top Sri Lanka academic threatened

Center for Peace Alternatives – Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, CPA Executive Director, receives death threat

20th August 2009, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu this morning received an anonymous death threat written in English, posted to his residence. According to the contents of the letter, Dr. Saravanamuttu WILL (emphasis in original) be killed because Sri Lanka stands to be deprived of the European Union’s GSP Plus benefits in October, with resultant job losses, due to information supplied by Dr. Saravanamuttu to Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU’s Commissioner for External Relations. A scanned copy of both the letter and the post-marked envelope have been uploaded to our website – 

We unreservedly deplore this despicable attempt at causing fear through the use of threats of physical harm, and through such acts, to stifle free expression, dissent and debate. We are equally concerned over the increasing emasculation of the civil society space for the discussion of public policy choices. 

It is contemptible that CPA’s position, held consistently and publicly with regard to the policy and legal issues involved in the extension of the GSP Plus scheme has been distorted so as to contrive a rationale for this letter. 

CPA has consistently argued that the GSP Plus benefits MUST be renewed, and that Sri Lanka should use the opportunity to also strengthen its human rights protection framework by complying with international law. We regret that our constructive contribution to this public policy debate has been perversely distorted and deliberately misunderstood in some quarters. 

Dr. Saravanamuttu and the CPA will be lodging complaints with the relevant authorities for speedy investigation and necessary remedial action in this matter.

The Telegraph UK – Sri Lanka accuses Indian film star of Tamil Tiger links

Times of India – Parties reject LTTE funding charge

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