Crisis talks for Sri Lankan government after election fallout

Sri Lanka’s government is in a crisis after coalition parties failed to reach a consensus on the way forward, following a massive defeat to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at local government elections this week. Both Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are in dire straits after their parties suffered heavy losses at the polls. Crisis talks have taken place between the two, but no outcome has been announced thus far. Talks in Colombo earlier today led to reports that a “special committee” will be formed to submit reform proposals within the...

TNA - we will not join govt until solution to national question is imminent

The Tamil National Alliance on Thursday rejected reports it would join the unity government, after Sri Lanka's coalition government plunged into crisis following its poor performance at the local elections this weekend. "We will not join with the government until a solution to the national question is imminent, the TNA spokesperson, M A Sumanthiran was quoted by Athavan News as saying . The weblink to the article was subsequently tweeted by the TNA's official Twitter account. "We will support the government side which attempts to take progressive action on the achieving a solution to the...

3 Hindu shrines vandalised in Mannar

Three Hindu shrines across Mannar were vandalised last night, just one day before Hindus celebrate Maha Sivaraththri. The Vigneswaran temple in Thalaimannar, built in 1988 by the Indian Peace Keeping Forces, was broken into. Three statues have been stolen.

Sri Lankan military base constructs new entrance

Sri Lanka’s military in Mullaitivu declared open a new entrance to its 59 Division Headquarters earlier this month.

A militarised Thai Pongal across the Tamil homeland

Sri Lankan troops across the North-East continued to impose themselves on civilian life in the region, with several divisions involving themselves in Thai Pongal festivities last month.

Former LTTE cadre to be deported from Australia despite UN call

The Tamil Refugee Council has spoken out against the Australian government’s decision to deport a former LTTE cadre to Sri Lanka, stating that it “puts at risk his safety and possibly his life”. The move to deport the Tamil asylum seeker named as Shantaruban comes despite the UN committee against torture issuing an interim measure request last year, formally asking that Australia “refrain from returning [Shantaruban] to the Republic of Sri Lanka while his complaint is under consideration”. “Members and suspected former members of the LTTE continue to be disappeared, detained, tortured and...

Justice remains crucial - PEARL on Kumarapuram massacre

Reconciliation and lasting peace will elude Sri Lanka for as long as there is no accountability for massacres and atrocities, the advocacy group PEARL has said. In a statement marking 22 years since the Kumarapuram massacre, the organisation said “justice for this case, amongst many, remains crucial for healing processes to commence.” Reiterating the barriers to justice within the Sri Lankan judicial system, as found in the organisation’s 2017 report on the massacre, PEARL said: “Nearly nine years after the end of the armed conflict, security forces continue to intimidate victim-survivors...

UNP '1000 Vihara pledge' was pledge to use state money to sow conflict - NPC member complains to election commission

A United National Party election pledge to build a thousand Buddhist shrines in the North-East will create conflict and resentment, a Northern Provincial Council member has said. Filing a complaint with the elections commission, NPC member M. K. Sivajilingam said that the pledge to spend 500 million rupees building a thousand Buddhist viharas in the Tamil homeland was a pledge to use state money to sow conflict and resentment.

Kumarapuram massacre remembered 22 years on

Trincomalee residents remembered the Kumarapuram massacre, in which Sri Lankan army corporals went on a murderous rampage through the village 22 years ago, raping and killing 24 Tamils.

Election results send Sri Lankan rupee to record low

Sri Lanka’s rupee hit a record low on Monday after local government election results from the weekend filtered through, showing former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party achieving a significant victory. The rupee traded at a record low of 155.00 on Monday, ending at 154.95/155.05 per dollar on Monday. Reuters reported that it also surpassed its previous all-time closing low of 154.60/70 hit on Tuesday. Reuters also quoted a currency dealer as stating, “there were selling on (treasury) bonds by foreigners due to the political uncertainty and also the EU listing of Sri Lanka on a...