One Country, One Law and One convicted racist monk

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed convicted extremist monk, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara to head a Presidential Task Force focused on achieving “One Country One Law”. Gnanasara was previously found guilty on two counts and sentenced to 6 months in prison for threatening the wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda; a critic of the then government in 2010. He was released from prison following a presidential pardon.

Illegal sand miners reportedly arrested in Mullaitivu

Sri Lankan police have arrested two illegal sand miners with tractors in Mullaitivu on Monday. The police reportedly caught the men in Kaiveli engaged in illegal sand smuggling activities based on a tip. Police are conducting further investigations and are taking steps to present the suspects before the Mullaitivu court. Sand smuggling has been a long-standing issue across the North-East, causing serious environmental damage across the region. The issue has also been a strong source of tension between Tamils and the Sri Lankan security forces as unarmed Tamil men have died in 2010, 2017 and...

Tamils still struggling to reclaim land from Sri Lankan army in Mullaitivu

The Sri Lankan military forces have failed to release Tamil land in Mullaitivu despite moving their army camp out of Puthukkudiyiruppu, with Tamil families in the area continuing to suffer from displacement. The displaced families asked, “it has been several months since the camp moved, why hasn’t our land been returned to us?" Tamil families resettled in Puthukkudiyiruppu in 2009, when the army seized 19 acres of land for the construction of the 682nd Brigade army camp. Forty-nine families began protesting in March 2017, after a month of protests the state promised to release their land in...

Sinhala farmers outraged by Rajapaksa's fertiliser policy

Sinhala farmers have taken to the streets in Medamulana to express their outrage at the President's blanket ban on the import of chemical fertilisers which have resulted in a plummeting of crop yields and further worsened the country's food shortages. During protests, they held black flags and beat and burned effigies of government figures. These follow weeks of unrest with Sri Lanka's opposition party staging a protest in parliament last Friday against the government's ad-hoc decision to ban chemical fertilisers. SJB MPs staged a protest within the Parliament chambers today (22), against...

Sri Lankan police brutally assaults civilian in Ratnapura

Video footage from The Morning Lk Following the brutal assault of a civilian by a Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) in Ratnapura, Sri Lankan police have launched an investigation stating that such incidents would seriously damage the reputation of the police department. The investigation follows the wide circulation of footage showing the SDIG kicking and beating the civilian while the civilian begs to stop the attack. When questioned on whether the SDIG, Ranmal Kodituwakku, was under the influence of alcohol, Sri Lankan police refused to confirm but said that they would investigate the...

Sri Lankan Army plants coconut trees on occupied Tamil land

The Sri Lankan army planted coconut trees in Northern Jaffna on occupied Tamil land, residents are raising concerns, whether the land will be returned to its owners. According to a statement released by the Vali North Resettlement Society, “soldiers are cutting down coconut trees on private property [then] preparing the same land to plant new coconut trees, they are trying to permanently seize the land.” Tamil residents who lived in the area were displaced for 31 years in friends and families homes. The association highlighted that, “not an inch of land in the north has been liberated since...

‘There is no middle ground’ – Sumanthiran speaks on devolution, development and police brutality in Sri Lanka

In an interview with the Sunday Morning, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran spoke on a range of issues affecting the Tamil homeland of the North-East including the implementation of the 13 th amendment; repeal of Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA); development issues; and continued police brutality.

‘The only way to secure the rights of Tamils is to give them the freedom they deserve’ – CV Wigneswaran warns against new constitution

Responding to the announcement of a new constitution and electoral system before the provincial elections, leader of the Tamil Makkal Thesiya Kootan (TMTK) CV Wigneswaran urged the government to respect the rights of Tamils to self-determination. He added that Sri Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhist leaders had always tried to undermine the concept of a Tamil homeland. “Everyone must admit that Tamils have the same rights as everyone else in Sri Lanka. The North and East of Sri Lanka are the homelands of the Tamils” he told Jaffna-based journalists. He further stated: “The war ended 12 years ago but the...

Another white elephant? Sri Lanka considers building Formula 1 track in Rajapaksa hometown

Sri Lankan government officials are reportedly in talks with Spanish and Japanese investors over plans a 5.6 km racing track in Hambantota, despite Sri Lanka's worsening economic crisis and damning human rights record. Sri Lanka is reportedly also considering a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth games following a previous failed attempt under Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2011 and ongoing controversy over the island’s human rights record. The report, which first appeared in the Sunday Times, suggests "the plan is to unload the racing cars at the Hambantota port with the Hambantota airport" both of...

Tamil MPs call for an end to ‘artificial alteration of Northern Province demography’

A collection of Tamil parliamentarians recently wrote a letter addressed to Chamal Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan Internal Security Minister, asking him to put a stop to the “artificial alteration of the demographic pattern” of the Northern Province. Referring to a putative attempt by the government to redraw the borders of the Vanni district, the letter stated, “This attempt to change the provincial borders have ulterior motive(s) to alter the demographic pattern and systematically weaken Tamils political strength.” The MPs also raised their disappointment that they were not consulted regarding...

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