TNPF makes significant gains amid TNA win in North

The Tamil National People's Front made significant gains in local government polls in the North, particularly in the Jaffna district, while the Tamil National Alliance held most of its wards across the province. Running under the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, TNPF won the most seats for Jaffna's two largest urban councils Point Pedro and Chavakachcheri. While the TNA, under Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi, kept hold of the Jaffna Municipal Council with 16 seats, the ACTC came a close second with 13 seats.

No justice: Kumarapuram massacre 22 years on

Today marks 22 years since the Kumarapuram massacre when Sri Lankan army corporals went on a murderous rampage through the Trincomalee village, raping and killing 24 Tamils. The victims included two young girls who were raped before being murdered. Survivors of the massacre identified the soldiers, who reportedly screamed "Death to the Tamils", as they drunkenly proceeded towards the village in 1996. Though six former Sri Lankan army corporals went on trial for the killings in 2016, they were all acquitted of the 101 indictments they each faced. The High Court judge overseeing the case...

Ranil-Sirisena under pressure to step down

The Sri Lankan president and prime minister face mounting calls to step aside after early results showed a resounding defeat for Maithripala Sirisena's SLFP and Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP at the local government election held yesterday, and a sweeping victory for the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. At a press briefing this morning, the leader of the Joint Opposition, Dinesh Gunawardane said the unity government had "no option but to resign", arguing the mandate given to it by the 2015 election had expired yesterday. Colombo papers reported today that Mr Wickremesinghe is also under...

Ongoing navy occupation of most of Myliddy preventing fishing and resettlement

Myliddy residents have complained that fishermen are unable to restart their livelihoods properly as Myliddy harbour remains partially occupied by the navy. The Myliddy resettlement committee also accused the Sri Lankan government and navy of spreading false propaganda about having released the harbour.

Rajapaksa's SLPP on its way to sweep the south in local government polls

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) claimed victory in Sri Lanka’s local government polls, with early results suggesting the recently formed breakaway of the SLFP swept a majority of local government wards in the south. The party was claiming victory early yesterday evening, before official results were announced, with Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Namal tweeting, “Thank you to the people of Hambantota and those around the country for this resounding victory for the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. The people have spoken their minds. They want change.” According to the Sunday Times...

Militarising the youth: Tamil students in Batticaloa sent on military training

The militarisation of education in the Tamil homeland continues, as high school students in Batticaloa are sent on military training by the Sri Lankan Army.

Sri Lankan president reiterates ‘unity and national security’ at final push for polls

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena told an election rally this week that “the unity and national security of the motherland will be secured” as he made a final push for votes ahead of local elections on Saturday.

Sri Lankan police ‘will not hesitate to shoot’ anyone obstructing election

Sri Lankan police warned that they “will not hesitate to shoot” those obstructing a “free and fair” election this morning. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying, “police will not hesitate to shoot anyone who attempts to loot ballot boxes or act in a manner that will obstruct the holding of a free and fair election”. As many as 3,000 patrols from the Special Task Force (STF) and the Civil Defence Force (CDF) had been deployed across the island, he added, stating that they would be patrolling until Sunday evening. See more from the Daily Mirror here .

TNA joins Tamil diaspora in calling for expulsion of Sri Lankan Brigadier

The Tamil National Alliance has joined several Tamil diaspora groups in calling for Sri Lanka’s Defence Attache to Britain to be expelled from the country, after he motioned a death threat to Tamil protestors last week. The letter, sent to the UK’s Foreign Secretary, calls for Brigadier Priyanka Fernando to be declared a “persona non grata” not only for making a throat slitting gesture last week, but also for his role as a military commander in the Sri Lanka army, where he has been implicated in mass atrocities committed during the military offensive in 2009. “Given the slaughter of the...

Navy officer arrested over girl's death in Pungudutivu granted bail

A Sri Lankan navy officer, who was arrested after a girl was killed last month in Pungudutivu during an accident with a navy vehicle, was released on bail on Thursday. The nine year old girl was on her way to school on her uncle's motorbike when the collision took place on January 24. The victim, Kesana Thirulangam was killed at the scene. Her uncle was admitted to hospital with serious injuries. The bail hearing took place in Kayts Court on Thursday before the Justice A M M Riyal.