Australian government charging thousands for repatriation of dead Tamil asylum seeker

The Australian government is demanding thousands of dollars to return the body of a dead Tamil asylum seeker to his family in Sri Lanka. The cousin of 32-year-old Rajeev Rajendran, who took his own life on Manus Island after four years in detention, said he was told by the Australian High Commission in Colombo that the family would have to pay 9 lakh rupees, around 6000 USD to repatriate the body to Sri Lanka. “We don’t know how we will find this amount of money,” the cousin, Mathy, said. “Why would they do this to us? They have taken our dear Rajeev from us – is this not enough? But now they...

Sri Lankan soldier's body found in Mullaitivu camp

The body of a Sri Lankan soldier was recovered at an army camp in Mullaitivu on Monday morning. The body was discovered in the infantry camp on the Mullaitivu-Manalaru highway and was taken for post-mortem at the Mullaitivu District Hospital. Mullaitivu police have said they are investigating the incident.

Basil Rajapaksa denies Sri Lankan troops committed war crimes

Former Sri Lankan minister Basil Rajapaksa denied reports that Sri Lankan troops committed war crimes, whilst speaking in Jaffna on Sunday. Mr Rajapaksa, the former Economic Development Minister, was speaking at a public meeting of the Jaffna branch of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. "Our troops did not do war crimes,” said the former minister. “There may have been individuals who did the crime." He went on to slam the current Sri Lankan government and the Tamil National Alliance, accusing them of not acting on Tamil grievances. See more from PTI here .

Tamil refugee found dead on Manus Island

A Tamil refugee who fled Sri Lanka has been found dead at an Australian offshore detention centre on Manus Island. The man had apparently killed himself, having known to have made at least one previous suicide attempt. He was also known to have a history of mental health problems. Abdul Aziz Adam, a fellow refugee told The Guardian , “three days ago he attempted to kill himself but his friends save[d] him ... they took him to the hospital”. “But unfortunately there’s not enough medical care and this morning the nurse and doctors confirmed that he ... [was found dead] next to kitchen”. The...

British MPs call for speedier implementation of UNHRC resolution 30/1

British parliamentarians attending the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva have called for action to ensure that Sri Lanka fulfils its commitments set out in the council resolution 30/1 which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka two years ago.

TNPF begin signature campaign for justice for massacred Tamil children

A signature campaign calling for justice for all the Eelam Tamil children killed by the Sri Lankan army took place in Jaffna on Sunday morning. Dozens of locals signed a banner which displayed the child victims of several massacres perpetrated by the Sri Lankan military forces. The campaign was organised by the Tamil National People’s Front’s youth chapter ahead of Universal Children’s Day in November.

Tamil fisherman killed in Sri Lankan Navy boat crash

A Tamil fisherman died when a Sri Lankan Navy boat crashed into a fishing boat in the waters of Karainagar, Jaffna on Saturday night. Another fisherman is seriously injured and is receiving treatment at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. Local fishermen have accused the navy personnel of sailing while intoxicated and expressed anger about the navy’s encroachment of fishing waters. The crash caused the fishing boat to capsize, killing 38-year-old Kanapathipillai Ketheeswaran, a father of three from Karainagar. Thavarasa Sathiyaraja from the same area, was injured and taken to hospital by navy...

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit Sri Lanka

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is set to visit Sri Lanka later this year. The visit by the Working Group will take place from the 4th to the 15th of December 2017. The announcement of the visit comes after United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non‐Recurrence Pablo de Greiff’s visit to Sri Lanka next month.

Buddhism will hold foremost place in Sri Lanka assures prime minister

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that a proposed constitution for the island would continue to ensure that state holds a duty to protect and foster Buddhism in remarks made on Saturday. Speaking to members of the United National Party (UNP) on Saturday, Mr Wickremesinghe said that “all are in agreement that Buddhism should be given the prominence as stated in current constitution (sic),” reports ColomboPage. He went on to reiterate that “no room would be allowed to divide Sri Lanka” and assured the unitary nature of the island. The prime minister also reportedly stated...

Further 5 arrested in connection with attack on Rohingya refugees in Mount Lavinia

A further 5 people have been arrested on Saturday in connection with the storming of a UN safe house in Mount Lavinia on Tuesday where 31 Rohingya refugees had been sheltering, the Colombo Page reported. The arrests following the initial arrest of a 34 year old suspect, a resident of Moratuwa. He is understood to be a member of the Bodu Bala Sena. He was brought before Mount Lavinia magistrate's court on Saturday and is to be detained until an identification parade on October 9.