2017-10-06 • Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka says getting older shouldn’t stop you from living your life to the fullest, launches new dairy product to support healthy living
• To support heathy living, Anchor Life becomes first specialised adult low fat dairy product in Sri Lanka with added plant sterols to focus on cholesterol reduction
To help Sri Lankan adults live their lives to the fullest, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, the company behind Anchor, has launched another country first with its latest dairy innovation focused on heart health.
Anchor Lifelow fat milk powder has been specially formulated with plant sterols to help reduce blood cholesterol and provide Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibre, and other important vitamins and minerals for heart health. It is the first specialised adult dairy productin Sri Lanka to include an ingredient that reduces blood cholesterol.
The dairy co-operative introduced Anchor Life on the back of an Adult Market Usage and Attitude study in 2015,undertaken byTNS,which revealedone of the key health concerns among ageing Sri Lankans washigh cholesterol, among other issues such as blood pressure and high sugar intake.
Alongside this research, Fonterra pollednearly 5,000 Sri Lankans on how they perceived getting older as impacting their lives. A concerning 48 per cent of those surveyed reported that age has been a barrier to pursuing what they love. Interestingly,most respondents (53 per cent)said they stopped following their heart ataround 30 to 40 years, believing that reaching this age did impact their lives.
Managing Director of Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka and the Indian Subcontinent, Sunil Sethi, said understanding these growing health concernsrevealed a need to provide Sri Lankans with more support around healthy ageing, and, in particular, heart health.
“This is a new space for Anchor and in fact, for the entire country as it is the first specialised adult dairy productin Sri Lanka with added plant sterols to focus on cholesterol reduction,” saidMr.Sethi.
Mr.Sethi said the latest dairy product is part of Fonterra’s ongoing commitment to meeting the evolving, nutritional needs of Sri Lankans throughout their life stages.
In line with the recent World Heart Day last week, Mr.Sethi introduced the new innovation today during a panel discussion with cricketing legend Mahela Jayawardene, where panelists focused on the importance of combining good nutrition with healthy lifestyles for better heart health.
Kicking off the panel, Mahela Jayawardena encouraged Sri Lankans to continue to follow their hearts, despite their age. An entrepreneur, husband, father, and still ever present in the cricketing world, Mahela shared why he continues to follow his heart. Having retired from playing international cricket, he shows no signs of slowing down and shared his passionon encouraging others to also live lives to the fullest.
Also joining the panel was Fonterra Brand Sri Lanka Director for Research & Development, Food Safety, Quality and Nutrition for Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, Manish Singh.
“At Fonterra, we know that age does not have to be a barrier to following your heart, and that signs of slowing down with age should not stop you from living life to the fullest. This inspired us to look at a product that would support these nutritional requirements,” said Mr.Sethi.
by Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) and People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), October 4, 2017Clicking on each pin will open up more information about the structure in question. Locations of structures were determined based on six months of desk research and field research, and only pins that were verified physically are included.
Two years after the Sri Lankan government co-sponsored UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 30/1 and six months after it renewed its commitments in HRC Resolution 34/1, the Sri Lankan government has continued to fail to fulfil its pledges to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
A key commitment made in the HRC resolutions and a critical component of the conversation around transitional justice is meaningful security sector reform. Despite calls by numerous international bodies and repeated calls by Tamil politicians and communities, the Sri Lankan government has yet to undertake a comprehensive process to demilitarise areas in the North-East. As a result, the North-East remains under a military occupation that represses fundamental freedoms and contributes to on-going ethnic conflict.In Mullaitivu District, where the last phase of the armed conflict was fought, the military’s presence has become even more entrenched over the past two years.
This report accompanies an interactive online map produced by the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) and People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), illustrating the extent of militarisation in Mullaitivu District by documenting military structures and installations and Buddhist viharas.From a quantitative perspective, the military has an extremely inflated presence in Mullaitivu District. Based on the number of brigades and their constituent troops, this report estimates that at least 60,000 Sri Lankan Army troops are currently stationed in Mullaitivu District; 25% of the approximately 243,000 active military personnel in the whole country.
To put this figure in perspective, according to the Mullaitivu District Statistical Handbook in 2014, Mullaitivu District has 130,322, or approximately 0.6 % of the Sri Lankan population. This means there is now at least 1 soldier for every 2 civilians in Mullaitivu District – in effect, a military occupation. This excludes the numbers of Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force troops in the District, which are unable to be calculated with publicly available information.The military’s occupation of land in Mullaitivu District is concomitantly significant. Comparing figures obtained officially from Divisional Secretariat offices through the Right to Information Act, unofficially from government sources, and from local sources it is evident that officially obtained government numbers significantly downplay the actual amount of land occupied by the military. ACPR and PEARL also found that the military’s extensive use of land demarcated as state forests and forest reserves is an under reported facet of the militarisation of the Vanni that requires further study. Hence on a careful analysis of the methodology used by the different actors in making their claims with regard to land occupied by the military and information available on the scale of the military presence, ACPR and PEARL are able to conclude that the claim of 30,000 acres of land being held by the security forces in Mullaitivu is credible. A key step in the demilitarisation process should include a comprehensive and transparent survey of lands occupied by the military in the North-East.The issues that result from this extensive militarisation are more than just quantitative, however. The militarisation of Tamil regions is concerning for a plethora of reasons explored in this report. The Sri Lankan military stands accused of atrocity crimes against the very population in which it is immersed. Tamils must live next door to—and, in some cases, work for—those who bombed, shelled and brutalised their families and communities, all with impunity. The military’s presence facilitates land grabs and displacement and keeps families in ramshackle ‘temporary’ shelters as it utilises—and even profits from—privately owned Tamil land. This has a clear impact on livelihoods and economic growth in the region, as military-run businesses compete with private businesses on unequal terms. In fact, the military is one of the largest employers in Mullaitivu, ensuring a disturbing dependency of Tamil communities on the military for economic survival. The entrenchment of the military and security forces in Mullaitivu creates a pervasive and constant culture of fear and surveillance. It also further marginalises Tamil women. This report addresses each of these issues in turn.The government’s security concerns allegedly motivates the military’s overwhelming presence throughout the North-East including in Mullaitivu. However, its encroachment into all facets of civilian life (economic, political, and otherwise) reflects the Sri Lankan state’s more insidious goal: the further breakdown of the island’s Tamil communities. The military has normalised its presence across Tamil areas, making Tamils accept and internalise the military’s presence in their everyday lives. For example, the military manages pre-schools, farms, hotels, and other operations, penetrating numerous aspects of Tamil community life.The consequences of such omnipresent militarisation are widespread. Tamils must fear for themselves and their children as they encounter security forces on roads, in markets, and in schools while their community development is continuously obstructed. Trust within Tamil communities is inhibited by uncertainty over who may be reporting to the military. The military’s extensive presence inhibits freedom of speech and freedom of thought, since the military’s shadow hovers over all political activities, suppressing engagement in civic fora. It has become so engrained in Tamil society in the North-East that it no longer needs to be visibly seen for its presence to affect the community. The normalisation of the military’s presence in various aspects of life in the North-East has led to Tamils internalising this oppression.The disproportionate presence of the security forces in the North-East is argued as being essential to prevent another armed insurrection from within the Tamil community against the State. This is a cynical argument which is deployed to normalise militarisation while being oblivious to the shared perception of the Tamil community which regards the Sri Lankan security forces as an occupying force. The perception leads both to internalisation of oppression and fuels further resentment between the majority Sinhalese and Tamils. Only a serious and genuine effort at security sector reform and demilitarisation will lead to sustainable peace and stability. The government should undertake genuine security sector reform to transition its security forces to the post-war environment that has now existed for eight and a half years.As close observers of Sri Lanka know, the government will not willingly engage in security sector reform. The international community must prioritise issues around demilitarisation in all of its conversations with Sri Lanka regarding its transitional justice process. This is especially true as the international community prepares to review Sri Lanka during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and continues to monitor Sri Lanka’s implementation, or lack thereof, of HRC Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1. The continued militarisation of the North-East is having devastating impacts on Tamil society and further entrenching ethnic tensions. Thus, militarisation is a critical issue to address in the interests of sustainable peace and non-recurrence of armed conflict.
by Thambu Kanagasabai,, LLM [Lond.]
President, Tamil Canadians for Human Rights Org
Toronto, Canada, September 26, 2017The current hot topic which has generated fire and heat among the military’s high ups and dragging the Sri Lankan government also to answerability is the war of words with allegations and counter allegations hurled against each other by the former Army commanders Sarath Fonseka and Jagath Jayasuriya who left Brazil on July 28, 2017 where he served as Ambassador from August 2015.
Born25 November 1996
Mankulam, Sri LankaDied13 May 2015 (aged 18)
Pungudutivu, Sri LankaKnown for Murder victim
Vithiya's family were displaced from Pungudutivu in 1990 as a result of the Sri Lankan Civil War and later ended up in Mallavi near Mankulam in the Vanni region. Vithiya was born on 25 November 1996 at the government hospital in Mankulam. She attended Nallaru Vidyalayam until grade 6. During the final months of the civil war in 2009 Vithiya was studying in Colombo but her family, who were still in the Vanni, were caught in the brutal fighting and ended up in the Menik Farm internment camps. Vithiya and her family relocated to their native village in Pungudutivu in 2010. Vithiya was a pupil at Pungudutivu Maha Vidyalayam studying Advanced Level. The islands off Jaffna peninsula, including Pungudutivu, had been under the control of the Sri Lanka Navy since 1990. During this time the islands became notorious for numerous cases of rape and murder, most of which were blamed on the navy and the government backed Eelam People's Democratic Party paramilitary group. High profile cases included the rape/murder of Sarathambal (1999), the rape/murder of Ilayathambi Tharsini (2005) and the Allaipiddy massacre (2006).
Vithiya usually went to school, which was about 2 km from her home, by bicycle along with two other girls who lived close by. However, on the morning of 13 May 2015, the two girls were ill and Vithiya's brother Nishanthan, who would otherwise have taken her to school on his motorcycle, had gone out. Vithiya left for school alone on her bicycle at 7.25am. School finishes at 2.00pm and normally Vithiya would be home by 3.00pm. When she failed to return home after school her mother Saraswathy and Nishanthan went to her school where they were told that she had not been school that day. A relative of the family who runs a boutique near the school also told them that he had not seen her that day. At 6.00pm Vithiya's family went to the police checkpoint at Kurikattavan, Pungudutivu to report her missing but according to Nishanthan and local residents the police weren't interested, instead making derogatory remarks about Vithiya insinuating that she had eloped with a lover. At 6.30 pm the family went to the police in Kayts, Velanaitivu to lodge a complaint about Vithiya's disappearance but it was not until 9.00pm that a female police officer took their complaint. The family returned home but as the police weren't searching for Vithiya they, along with other villagers, started searching for her. The villagers resumed the search at 5.00am. A group including Nishanthan and the family's two dogs were searching along an isolated road about 1½km from Vithiya's home when the dogs started barking. Vithiya's bicycle was lying on the ground and one of the dogs found her shoes Nishanthan discovered Vithiya's body in an isolated spot by a dilapidated building. She was barely clothed, her hands were bound behind her with her school tie, her mouth was gagged with a piece of cloth and her legs were spread apart and tied to two separate trees. Her school bag was nearby. Nishanthan called the police in Kayts at around 7.00am but they failed to arrive prompting Nishanthan to contact the police in Colombo using the 119 emergency telephone number. The police eventually arrived at the scene at 11.00am. Vithiya's funeral, which took place on 15 May 2015 at Manakkadu Cemetery, was attended by hundreds of people including local politicians. Her family have decided to move to Vavuniya where they have relatives and Vithiya's sister Nishanthini is studying at the Faculty of Business Studies, University of Jaffna.
Three brothers, in their thirties and forties, were arrested on 15 May 2015. They had apparently been in a long running feud with Vithiya's family. According to the police Vithiya had been abducted as she went to school on the morning of 13 May 2015. Five youths from Colombo were arrested in Poorikkattuvan on 17 May 2015. They had gone from Colombo to Pungudutivu on 13 May 2015 but later returned to Colombo, only to return to Pungudutivu for Vithiya's funeral. After the funeral they tried to return to Colombo but were arrested by the police. A ninth suspect, Mahalingam Sivakumaran alias Sashikumar or Swiss Kumar, was caught by villagers in Pungudutivu. He was admitted to Jaffna Hospital but managed to escape to Colombo in an attempt to flee to Switzerland. He was however arrested at a guest house in Wellawatte, Colombo on 18 May 2015. There are allegations that government minister Vijayakala Maheswaran and dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo V. T. Thamilmaran had helped Sashikumar in his attempts to evade justice. Both have denied the allegations. It has been alleged that Sashikumar filmed the gang rape. Several senior police officers involved in the investigation were subsequently transferred. The police investigation was taken over by the Criminal Investigation Department.
The murder prompted widespread anger and demonstrations across the country, particularly in northern Sri Lanka. School pupils in Pungudutivu staged protests on 14 May 2015. Local residents on the island blockaded roads with logs and burning tyres. There were also protests in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and the University of Jaffna. When eight of the suspects were brought to Jaffna Courts on 20 May 2015 a tense situation arose and stones were pelted at the courts as the protesters demanded that the suspects be handed over to them. The police were forced to use tear gas to disperse the protesters. 127 protesters were arrested. During the protest a Sinhalese police officer was heard blaming the protesters for the rape/murder, saying "You should make sure that your men behave". A hartal was observed in northern Sri Lanka on 20/21 May 2015 as a protest against the murder. Shops, businesses, private transport and even government offices were shut across the Northern Province. On 23 May 2013 Jaffna Magistrate’s Court banned protests within the city limits of Jaffna.
There have been protests across northern Sri Lanka by crowds angry at the rape and murder a week ago of an 18-year-old schoolgirl, Vidya Sivayoganathan.
In the main city, Jaffna, all businesses and schools shut down.A policeman was injured and tear gas fired after a court was attacked as some protests turned violent.Police have arrested nine suspects in the killing, but are still being blamed for failing to save the victim.Local people allege that Vidya, a student from Punguduthivu island near Jaffna city, was gang-raped before she was murdered.
School students protested in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya districts.Demonstrators want the immediate punishment of the arrested suspects, who also come from Punguduthivu.Some have taken matters into their own hands.Three of the suspects' houses in Punguduthivu had been attacked and burnt down by angry villagers.
Increasingly, people in northern Sri Lanka feel that criminals are gaining the upper hand and playing havoc as a result.There are a lot of rapes and murders.Impunity was on the rise under the previous government and has paved the way for crimes within the community.Local people feel that police have failed to take some crimes seriously enough at first.Nine people have now been arrested for the latest incident, but local people say that justice has yet to be properly implemented.This is the biggest shutdown in the north since 2000.Since the change of government in January, people now have the freedom to protest.Their tactic of drawing-down shutters is something that could not have been done under the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa.But demonstrations are different from those of the past which were politically motivated and sometimes involved Tamil Tiger rebels who controlled the area.Now it is the people, not political figures, who are demanding justice.
Another relative of an arrested suspect was attacked with sharp implements and admitted to Jaffna hospital.
Five suspects were also attacked on Monday by angry rickshaw drivers near Jaffna hospital when the police brought them there for medical examination prior to their detention.
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