UK MP raises question on Major Silva's immunity

Addressing the UK House of Commons last week, the Labour MP for Mitcham and Mordem, Siobhain McDonagh, questioned the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’ decision not to declare Major General Prasanna Silva persona non grata. McDonagh said, "Three months ago a dossier about war crimes committed by the defence attaché at Sri Lanka’s high commission in London, Major General Prasanna De Silva, was sent to the Foreign Office. However, the Foreign Secretary has reportedly refused to strip him of diplomatic immunity so that he can be questioned about these terrible accusations ." "I hope we can have a debate about the case and about the abuse of diplomatic immunity, because if the attaché is allowed to leave without being questioned, that will undermine Britain’s proud reputation for not tolerating war criminals ." " If we are soft on Sri Lanka, other shady regimes will surely also begin to regard us as a refuge for people who commit atrocities ."

Government orders removal of mosque and Saiva temple

The Sri Lankan government has decided to demolish a mosque and a Saiva temple located in a Buddhist sacred area. Thousands of Singhalese, led by Buddhist monks, attacked the mosque in Dambulla on Friday, calling for its destruction as it was constructed illegally. The protest only dispersed after officials promised an answer by Monday. Videos show Buddhist monks addressing the crowds saying the campaign against the mosque was a success for "those who love the race, have Sinhalese blood and are Buddhists" . The BBC’s Charles Haviland reported a monk was seen exposing himself against the mosque...

Demilitarising the North 'unreasonable' - Rajapaksa

Responding to the Indian delegation currently visiting Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa said it would be " unreasonable " to expect Sri Lanka to remove the military from Northern province. Rajapaksa retorted , " Can I send them to India? " It was "deployment in Sri Lanka, not on foreign soil," he added. Rajapaksa's remarks come less than a month after a resolution was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council specifically calling for the demilitarisation of the North, as documented in the government's own inquiry, the LLRC.

Army collects personal details of NGO employees in Batticaloa

NGO workers and government employees in Kallady, Batticaloa were subject to questioning by the Sri Lankan military who were collecting personal information on employees, reported Tamilwin . According to reports foreign NGOs were particularly targeted. According to a senior employee at one NGO, who wished to remain anonymous, affected employees were very concerned by the army's actions.

Teachers campaign against building of army camp over teaching centre in Palali

Teachers in Palali launched a campaign this week, against the planned construction of a Sri Lankan army base over a teaching centre, reported Tamilwin . Led by Joseph Stalin of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union, a petition was launched following a meeting held this week. The petition demanded that the proprosed construction of an army base be halted, schools in the North is allowed to resume daily activities without hinderance and the transfer of 98 teachers from Vanni is carried out without further delay. The teaching centre was taken over by the Sri Lankan army, preventing lessons from taking...

Cracks emerge in JVP dissident party

Members of the newly formed Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), made of JVP dissidents, revolted against the party leader on Saturday. The FSP dissident group, led by MP Dimuthu Bandara Abeykoon and former Western Provincial Councillor Waruna Rajapaksa - neither of whom were elected into the FSP's Central Committee - criticised the party leaders for following the JVP's path, instead of providing an alternative.

UK Tamil hacked to death in Trincomalee

The body of Easwaradasan Kedeeswaran, a 28-year-old Tamil, was found in Aiyanagar in Trincomalee on Wednesday night, the Daily Mirror reports . He was attacked and hacked to death as he returned home that night. Kedeeswaran had been living in the UK, before moving to Trincomalee last year with his wife. He was making preparations to return to the UK soon to be with his wife, who had already left for the UK.

Those who talk of Eelam are terrorists - Gotabhaya

Responding to comments made by Tamil Nadu's DMK leader, Karunanidhi, that Eelam was an unfulfilled dream, Sri Lanka's defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said, “A much bigger population of Tamils live in Tamil Nadu in India than the Tamil population in Sri Lanka. If Karunanidhi wants a Tamil Eelam he can have it in Tamil Nadu. He should not come to make Eelams in Sri Lanka. This is a sovereign country. We consider those who talk about Eelam as terrorists ,” “There is no war now in Sri Lanka. There exists ethnic harmony and every one lives peacefully. Karunanidhi should not attempt to arouse...

Protesting Buddhist monks force mosque to cease prayers

Over 2000 Sinhala Buddhists, including over 300 Buddhist monks, protested outside a mosque in Dambulla, forcing mosque officials to cancel Friday prayers. The protesters were led by three Buddhist monks - Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera, Akmeemana Gunaratana Thera and Pallewela Hemaratana Thera. Having surrounded the mosque, the protesters shouted slogans demanding that the mosque be demolished. Worshippers inside were trapped and fearful that the protesters would destroy the building, reported the BBC . Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera told reporters that the mosque's construction area was within...

Jailed Tamils attacked by Sinhala prisoners in Galle

Tamil inmates at Galle prison were violently attacked by Sinhala prisoners with blades on the 14th April, reported Lanka eNews website . The website, which has been banned by the Sri Lankan government for expressing 'anti-government' sentiments stated that the mainstream Sri Lankan press had not reported on the incident. However, the prisons commissioner has confirmed that such an incident took place when the TNA MP, Ariyanendran, inquired. Ariyanendran has urged that all Tamils jailed at Galle be transferred immediately to Batticaloa prison due to the threat to their safety. Tamil prisoners...