Women Action Network condemns Rajapaksa's statement on disappeared

Following President Rajapaksa’s statement that the thousands of forcibly disappeared and missing Tamils were ‘actually dead’, The Woman’s Action Network (WAN), which is comprised of nine women’s group working across the North and East, have released a statement condemning the President’s statement describing it as an “affront to mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters of the disappeared” who have protested for over 1,000 days to know the fate of their loved ones.

Buddhist monk urges escalation against 'malevolent' Tamil diaspora

A prominent Sri Lankan Buddhist monk and academic has urged the government to escalate its efforts to ‘dismiss the Tamil Diaspora’ and instead write a ‘victor’s history’ of Sri Lanka. Medagoda Abhayatissa, a Sinhala Buddhist monk and professor in Pali at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura made the comments in an interview with Sri Lankan newspaper Daily News. The monk said the previous government had been prone to “give in to the malevolent scripts of the Tamil Diaspora”. “An effort should be made to dismiss the Tamil Diaspora from this role of writing Sri Lanka’s history in line with...

Canada Supreme Court affirms acquittal of Tamil men charged with human smuggling over Sun Sea arrival

The Supreme Court of Canada has effectively upheld the acquittal of three Tamils who were charged with human smuggling following the arrival of a ship carrying hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers to British Columbia. In a decision on Thursday the court rejected the government’s application for an appeal hearing on the case. In August 2010, the Canadian navy intercepted the cargo ship MV Sun Sea carrying 492 Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. Lesly Emmanuel, Nadarajah Mahendran and Thampeernayagam Rajaratnam were charged with violating the Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act by organising,...

RSF calls for protection of Tamil journalists after death threats

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for “proper police protection” and a “thorough investigation” after journalists in Batticaloa received death threats yesterday, amidst a ramped up climate of harassment of media workers in recent months. A number of journalists from the Batticaloa district were issued death threats, with leaflets of their photographs circulated warning that they will soon be executed. The press freedom organisation tweeted that it “demands proper police protection for the seven journalists and a thorough investigation into these unacceptable death threats”. “The...

‘The Ongoing Search for Sri Lanka’s Disappeared’ – 47 Roots & PEARL

In light of the Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s declaration last week that the thousands of forcibly disappeared and missing Tamils “are actually dead”, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) and 47 Roots released a video calling on government officials around the world to take action. “Much like Sirisena, Rajapaksa attempts to deny accountability to the families without providing details of how they died,” said the organisations. “For over 3 years, Tamil families of the disappeared have been protesting for the Sri Lankan government to release the list of detainees (past...

Accused Sri Lankan war criminal in Singapore for international conference

Shavendra Silva, the head of Sri Lanka’s army and a man accused of overseeing war time atrocities, was in Singapore this week, as he took part in an international military conference despite his chequered human rights record. The Sri Lankan commander was in Singapore to participate in the 8th International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton Forum, also known as the ‘Shangri-La Dialogue Sherpa Meeting’. He was joined by other defence and military officials from more than 25 other countries, as they reportedly discussed “counter-terrorism strategies” and “security challenges”. According...

More Sri Lankan officers granted bail over abduction and murder of Tamils

At least 13 Sri Lankan soldiers, including the former navy media spokesperson, have been granted bail, despite having been charged over the abduction and possible murder of 11 Tamil youth, after they were forcibly disappeared in 2008 and 2009. A three member Sri Lankan Permanent High Court panel granted bail to the accused, which includes former spokesperson Commodore DKP Dassanayake. They stand accused of involvement in the abduction of the eleven Tamil youth, who were held in navy bases at Trincomalee and Colombo before being almost certainly murdered. Earlier this month, the main suspect...

Rohingya ICJ ruling is ‘ray of hope’ for genocide survivors - PEARL

The International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) landmark ruling that ordered Myanmar to enact measures to halt the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya is “a ray of hope for victims and survivors of genocide around the world, including Tamils” said People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) in a statement applauding the decision. “PEARL welcomes this legally binding ruling, which is a blow to impunity and a demonstration of international, namely South-South, solidarity,” the statement read. “The orders were sent to the UN Security Council, which is enabled to ensure the implementation of the...

TNA MP Parajasingham's assassination case further adjourned

The case hearing for the investigation into the assassination of former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Joseph Pararajasingham ruled that the case will be adjourned until February 25 th 2020.

Tamil journalists sent threats of 'death punishment' in Batticaloa

A number of journalists from the Batticaloa district were issued death threats, with leaflets of their photographs circulated warning that they will soon be executed

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