Gun used to kill former LTTE policeman found, wife reports preceding threats

2nd lead The murder weapon used to shoot dead a former LTTE policeman at his home in Mannar on Wednesday night was found by sniffer dogs in Vellankulam on Friday morning, 200m away from the site of the shooting. The victim, 34 year old Naguleshwaran Krishnasuwamy was in his own backyard working towards constructing his own home on Wednesday night, when unidentified gunmen entered his house and shot him at 8.30pm. According to the Uthayan newspaper, the weapon is T-56 gun. This is the first time in recent months that a murder weapon has been recovered following the killing of a Tamil person by...

Man arrested by TID officers for distributing UN inquiry forms lost family in 2009

06:42 GMT The man arrested by Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) officers on October 24 in Kilinochchi for distributing evidence collection forms for the OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL), has been identified as a victim of war crimes. Sinnathampi Kirishnarajah The man, Sinnathampi Kirishnarajah, was a father of six children from Mulankaavil, in the Mullaitivu district, but lost his family in the final stage of the armed conflict in 2009, sources in Mullaitivu told Tamil Guardian. He was arrested and charged over the documents in his possession and his attempt to distribute...

Call for submissions as 'OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka' begins

The terms of reference for the UN inquiry on mass atrocities in Sri Lanka - ' OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) ', which begins work this week, were published on Tuesday, detailing the legal and time framework to be applied and how to submit evidence. Based on the resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in March this year, the OISL, led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to investigate the period covered by the LLRC, looking in to " alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties to the conflict ". The...

TNPF Kilinochchi organiser detained by military intelligence

19:45 BST The Tamil National People's Front's (TNPF) regional organiser in Kilinochchi has been detained by military intelligence officers said party leader, after officers arrived at the organiser's house this evening, instructing him to accompany them for questioning. "Kilinochchi Organiser Jega is currently being forced by military [intelligence] to leave his house with them for inquiry," TNPF leader, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam had tweeted earlier this evening stating that they feared he had been detained after he was not answering any calls to his mobile phone. "TNPF Kilinochchi Organiser Jega has texted party [General Secretary] S Kajendran saying he is currently being taken to Vavuniya by TID [Terrorism Investigation Division]" Mr. Ponnambalam tweeted moments earlier.

Sexual harassment by troops triggers surge in Murippu school dropouts

01:27 BST Sexual harassment by military personnel has led to a surge in girls dropping out of school in Murippu, Kilinochchi, local sources said this weekend. Murippu is a small village on the Akkarayalkulam-Kilinochchi road. Girls attending Murippu Mahavidiyalayam and Akkarayankulam School are subject to persistent sexual harassment from troops based at Murippu Army camp and adjacent cantonments, they said. Girls walking or cycling to school, and even those using private vehicles, are being subject to lewd comments and soldiers exposing themselves, the sources told Tamil Guardian. Military...

Troops, police ransack homes in massive search operation in Kilinochchi district - residents

Published 12:36 GMT Sri Lankan army troops and police are conducting an aggressive house to house search operation in Kanakampikaikilam, in Kilinochchi district, residents say. Large numbers of heavily armed police and soldiers arrived unannounced early Sunday morning and cordoned off the village, restricting access in and out of the area, before ransacking houses and seizing all personal documents, digital devices and computers. No reason was given for the search, which has spread panic amongst people, sources in Vanni told Tamil Guardian. The new search operations come amid prevailing anxiety amongst the populace caused by the heightened presence of the military in several parts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts in recent weeks, they added.

'Reconciliation is not happening in Sri Lanka, and the problem isn't a question of time'

Writing in the online site, OpenDemocracy , Sivakami Rajamanoharan, from the Tamil Youth Organisation UK (TYOUK), explains why reconciliation in Sri Lanka continues to fail. See here for original article on OpenDemocracy. Article reproduced in full below: 'Reconciliation is not happening in Sri Lanka, and the problem isn't a question of time' Three years since the armed conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended, the Tamil speaking areas remain gripped by repression, ethnic tension and widespread suffering, rather than emergent...

Self indulgent hypocrisy

When Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) called upon literary figures to boycott this year’s Galle Literary Festival, they were undoubtedly prepared to face the ire of the Sri Lankan state. What they would not have anticipated was the angry response provoked from event organisers and a small but prominent group of liberal advocates in Sri Lanka. What was particularly striking about the backlash was the hypocrisy inherent to the arguments about free speech and inter-ethnic harmony marshalled in defence of the GLF.

Amid the noise, a telling silence

How does a citizenry respond when their president, his family (also the core of their government), their opposition leader and leaders of their armed forces stand accused of committing war crimes against their fellow citizens and there is damning evidence to substantiate the claim? Anger, disgust, embarrassment? Maybe even a protest? Or a complete absence of comment…

Joy by Presidential decree

There appears to be no end to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s pompous self-regard. Having won the election and steam-rolled through the possibility of lifelong presidency, the president, through his ever obliging government, proclaimed the entire week, to be one of festivities, in order to commemorate his swearing in for a second term.