Sinhalese burn Tamil Eelam flag in Sri Lankan ‘war victory’ celebration

Sinhalese in a Colombo suburb burnt a Tamil Eelam flag this weekend, as they celebrated Sri Lanka’s military offensive 9 years ago which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Tamils.

Sri Lankan president denounces war crimes accusations and hits out at Tamil diaspora

Maithripala Sirisena denied Sri Lankan troops had been accused of war crimes by the UN Human Rights Council and instead struck out at the Tamil diaspora, in a speech in Colombo this weekend. The Sri Lankan president was quoted by his official media outlet as stating, “our security forces have not been accused of war crimes in the resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council as certain media and extremist parties falsely depict”. “Such accusations are made by the parties who support the LTTE and living abroad and those who are against the government and security forces,” he continued...

Debt crisis will worsen next year - Sri Lanka's finance minister

Sri Lanka's finance minister, Mangala Samaraweera on Sunday warned the country's debt crisis is only set to get worse. "This crisis will further worsen next year," Samaraweera told journalists. "$ 4,285 million have to be paid in 2019 and of which $3,315 or 77% of the repayment are for the debt obtained during the tenure of the Rajapaksa regime." "Although this government was destined to shoulder such a heavy debt burden in 2015, it has been able to take steps to implement development activities at a fast pace than that of the Rajapaksa regime thereby assuring more direct benefits to the...

Thousands attend Tamil Nadu rally remembering Mullivaikkal genocide

Thousands participated in a rally at Marina beach in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on Sunday to remember Tamils who were killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces during the final stages of the conflict in 2009. The rally took place despite police efforts to prevent participants from marching. Hundreds of officers were deployed to the area. Over 500 people were arrested during the event, Indian newspapers reported. See here and here .

Remembering Balraj – Reserved hero

Today marks 10 years since the death of Brigadier Balraj, a senior commander with the LTTE, who passed away from a sudden heart attack in 2008. Brig. Balraj was famed for his courage, leadership and skills on the battlefield. His body was laid to rest with full military honours, at the Mulliyavalai Heroes Cemetery in Mullaitivu. The cemetery has since been destroyed by Sri Lankan security forces. Read more on the famous fighter in our piece, written at the time of this death, ‘ Reserved hero: Brigadier Balraj ’ reproduced below. In over two decades of service with the Liberation Tigers of...

Four men arrested in Jaffna by STF

Four men were arrested in Jaffna by Special Task Force officers on Sunday for alleged involvement in the 'Ava gang'. During the raid, STF officers reportedly seized weapons, including two swords. The four men were produced before Kodkamam magistrate today.

OMP to set up 12 regional offices

Sri Lanka's Office of Missing Persons (OMP) is to establish 12 regional offives, the body's chairman, Saliya Peiris told journalists. Speaking after the OMP's second sitting in Matara on Saturday, Mr Peiris said, "the OMP is not limited to the missing in the North and it will also inquire into missing persons in the South, including 5,100 missing soldiers and police officers during the war." "There is no proper list of those who have disappeared since the 1970s and therefore, the OMP will compile an informative database to assist them during their inquiries," he was quoted by colombo Page as...

Sri Lankan minister - new laws to protect Buddhist sites

Sri Lanka's minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the government was looking to introduce changes to the law to 'protect' Buddhist religious sites. The laws would give authorities the power to penalise individuals who vandalise Buddhist sites, he added. "It is incumbent for all citizens to protect these places and the president has instructed me to take action to protect them," he told journalists, the Daily Mirror reported.

Blood donation drive in Jaffna in memory of genocide victims

Members of the Tamil People's National Front (TNPF) held a blood donation drive on Sunday, in memory of those who had been killed by Sri Lankan state forces during the final stages of the armed conflict in 2009.

Muttur remembers Mullivaikkal massacre

Locals gathered in the town of Muttur in Trincomalee on Friday, to mark 9 years since tens of thousands of Tamils were massacred by Sri Lankan state forces.