The challenge of forming an all-party government

Sri Lankan President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is facing stiff opposition to his calls for an all-party government, with Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna rejecting any cabinet positions whilst the Samagi Jana Balawegaya remained divided. Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Professor G.L. Peiris maintained the need “for all parties to arrive at a consensus on a program prior to its implementation”. Whilst former presidential contestant, and Rajapaksa party acolyte, Dullas Alahapperuma lashed out at the administration, claiming, that the protests “cannot be made to disappear through repression...

Following Indian pressure, Sri Lanka seeks to delay Chinese military ship expedition

Following continued opposition from Indian officials, Sri Lanka has requested an indefinite delay to a Chinese military ship that had planned to dock in Hambantota port. The public U-turn follows the president’s inaugural speech in which heaped praise upon the Indian government for giving us “a breath of life” and slammed previous decisions to withdraw from Indian-led investment projects unilaterally. Sri Lankan President, Ranil Wickremesinghe, also spoke on the need to put “ineffective” state enterprises into private hands. Whilst Chinese officials have insisted that the Yuan Wang 5 is a...

Tamils in Jaffna launch signature campaign demanding arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The National Forum of Tamil Culture launched a petition in Jaffna yesterday, demanding the arrest of former President and war criminal Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa is accused of overseeing the military offensive which saw the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils in 2009. At the time, Rajapaksa was serving as defence secretary and oversaw the bombing of makeshift hospitals, widespsread sexual violence and the execution of surrendering Tamils. S. Nishanthan, the coordinator of the National Forum of Tamil Culture said that signatures were being collected across the Jaffna district. Earlier...

Tamils commemorate Muttur massacre in France

All images courtesy of Thaarakam Tamils in France held a memorial event to mark the 16th anniversary of the Muttur massacre, where 17 aid workers from the French NGO, Action la Contre Faim (ACF), were summarily executed by the Sri Lankan security forces.

Sri Lankan athletes forced to hand in passports after teammates reported missing from Commonwealth Games

File photo: Sri Lankan army athletes Sri Lankan athletes who are currently competing in the Commonwealth Games in the UK have had been forced to turn in their passports after their team mates absconded from the athletes' village earlier this week. While two members of the judo team who "went missing" on Monday have reportedly been spoken to by police but Sri Lankan wrestler Yoda Pedige Shanith Chathurangahas not been found. “We have asked all athletes and officials to submit their passports to our respective venue officials in all the villages after the incident,” a Sri Lankan team spokesman...

Remembering the Muttur massacre 16 years on

Image courtesy of Action Contre la Faim (ACF) On August 4 2006, Sri Lankan security forces summarily executed 17 aid workers from the French NGO, Action la Contre Faim (ACF), in Muttur, Trincomalee. The killings, which have since been dubbed as the 'Muttur massacre', took place at the organisation's compund where the ACF team were based as they provided humanitarian assistance to the survivors of the catastrophic tsunami in 2004. The bodies of 15 aid workers were found lying face down with bullet wounds to their heads and necks, two days after the massacre. On August 8, two more bodies were...

‘We can live without fear’ - Permanent Australian residency granted for Bileoela Tamil family

Australian authorities have finally granted permanent residency to the Nadesalingams, an Eelam Tamil family of asylum seekers who have faced years of legal battles to avoid deportation to Sri Lanka. The family – Priya, Nades, Tharni and Kopi – were removed by Australian authorities from their home in Biloela almost four years ago. This week, Australia’s Immigration Minister Andrew Giles announced they had been granted permanent residency. “At last we feel peace,” said Priya in a statement . “I am so grateful to minister Giles for granting us this permanency. “Now I know my daughters will get...

Gotabaya's ouster and Ranil Wickremesinghe's arrival - Challenges before the people of Sri Lanka

Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the 2019 presidential election. It is no secret that it has succeeded in instilling Islamophobia among the Sinhalese population. 6.9 million voters – mostly Sinhalese Buddhists – elected him. They celebrated the victory with loud cheers and by serving milk rice, saying that they have got a solid leader for the country. Following his win, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by Mahinda Rajapaksa won a landslide victory in the 2020 parliamentary elections, gaining a two-thirds majority. Mahinda became the Prime Minister and the Rajapaksa family ascended the throne...

Demonstrations in Jaffna and Batticaloa demand release of Southern protestors

Demonstrations took place in Jaffna and Batticaloa today demanding the release of the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin and other protestors who have been arrested by Sri Lankan authorities in a crackdown that has taken place in the South in recent weeks. The demonstrations come just days after Stalin was arrested by Sri Lankan security officers. He is the latest in a series of arrests that have targeted anti-government protestors, since Ranil Wickremesinghe took office as Sri Lanka’s president. Protestors in Jaffna held banners condemning the arrests and demanding...

Posters in Jaffna call for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be arrested for genocide

Protests have been put up across Jaffna this week demanding that former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa be arrested for genocide. The posters, spotted at several points across the peninsula, were put up by the National Forum of Tamil Culture. Rajapaksa is accused of overseeing the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils in 2009, when as defence secretary he launched a military offensive that bombed hospitals, saw widespread sexual violence and executed surrendering Tamils. He is currently in Singapore, having fled Sri Lanka last month, where authorities have faced repeat calls to...

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