More remands for Tamil pair held over Facebook post

A Sri Lankan court has issued yet another remand to two Tamils accused of sharing a Facebook post with ‘LTTE symbols’. BBC Sinhala reported that the two Tamil men, both residents of Ratnapura, were detained after a complaint was lodged with Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigation Department, after they shared posts on social media. The two men are now to be further remanded until February 21. Bail was denied.

More Sri Lankan troops leave on UN peacekeeping mission

The Sri Lankan army has announced that yet another contingent of troops will leave on a United Nations peacekeeping mission later this month.

UK PM appoints Sri Lanka trade envoy

The British prime minister this week appointed the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sri Lanka, MP Jayawardena as a new trade envoy to Sri Lanka. The role would be 'to support and enhance the development of Britain's trade and investment with Sri Lanka', the government said in a statement. His appointment was welcomed by the UK High commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris. Read more here .

'Historic' opening of road fails to deliver necessary access

A road which runs through the large army cantonment in the Palaly area was reported to have opened to the public with much fanfare on Tuesday – however only two Sri Lanka Transport Board buses were permitted to travel, while access to civilian vehicles or pedestrians remains prohibited.

Sri Lanka not accused of war crimes says president, Mangala sacked as FM for cosponsoring resolution

Sri Lanka's president reiterated his refusal to allow foreign judges into any inquiry examining human rights violations during the final stages of the armed conflict, whilst claiming that Sri Lanka had not been accused of committing international war crimes. "Sri Lanka has not been accused of committing any ‘international war crimes’ and reiterates that he will never allow the participation of foreign judges in the mechanism to investigate allegations of human rights violations," he told Derana 360° in an interview. “Therefore I told them not to send foreign judged to my country. There will...

British Police investigating incident involving Sri Lankan military officer - reports

The Metropolitan Police special branch is currently investigating the incident involving a Sri Lankan military officer gesturing a death threat to Tamils protesting in London, sources close to the UK government told the Tamil Guardian. "The Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police are interviewing complainants on an ongoing basis against Fernando with a view laying charges. If they succeed in laying charges ahead of Fernando's withdrawal, he faces the risk of being stripped of any diplomatic protection he has been afforded in the United Kingdom," the source, speaking on condition of...

'Cannot remove officer due to social media video' - Sri Lankan army

The Sri Lankan army commander today rejected the calls for the military officer, filmed making a throat slitting gesture to Tamils protesting in London, to be suspended, stating "they could not remove officials merely because of a social media video". "He is back to work but there will be an inquiry," Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake was quoted by Sri Lankan papers as saying. He went on to defend the military officer, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, describing the then Colonol "as an officia who rendered an immense service as the commanding officer of the 11th Gemunu Watch to rescue villagers in...

Sri Lanka's president revokes suspension of military official at London embassy

A Sri Lankan military official who was suspended by the state's Ministry of External Affairs, has been ordered by President Sirisena to resume his duties at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was suspended by the MEA yesterday after being filmed making a throat slitting gesture to Tamils protesting on Sunday. Sri Lanka’s army spokesperson announced this morning however that President Sirisena had intervened to revoke the suspension, instructing Brigadier Priyanka Fernando to resume duties, report sources from Reuters. The news comes amid mounting calls for...

Chair of cross-party UK MPs urges govt to expel Sri Lankan military official

The chair of the UK All Parliamentary Group for Tamils, MP Paul Scully, urged the government to expel the Sri Lankan military official who was captured on video motioning a death threat to Tamils protesting outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on Sunday. "I urge you to take immediate action and to withdraw the Brigadier Fernando's diplomatic papers and expel him from the United Kingdom," Mr Scully wrote in a letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. "Records show that Brigadier Fernando was a commanding officer of the 59th Division of the Sri Lankan army during 2008/2009 which stands accused by the OHCHR of repeatedly attacking civilian hospitals in the region causing large scale death and destruction. Brigadier Fernando was clearly active in the final stages of the war with command responsibility in which his division and the Sri Lankan military stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Sri Lankan president reiterates denial of secret detention centres

Sri Lanka’s president has once again declared that there were no secret detention centers on the island, contradicting reports by non-governmental organisations and a UN body which confirmed their existence. Speaking at an election rally in Jaffna Maithripala Sirisena said that he had met with the relatives of the disappeared and was “concerned about their problem of the missing relatives”. Protests led by women have been ongoing for almost a year, demanding the Sri Lankan government reveal the whereabouts of the disappeared, release a list of all those who surrendered to the military and for...

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