Sirisena tells diplomatic community to lift travel advisories

Sri Lanka's president, Maithripala Sirisena, today urged states to remove their travel advisories against visiting the island. Speaking at the presidential secretariat today, Sirisena said the security situation in the country had come back to normal. A number of countries including the United States, India and United Kingdom issued advisories following the Easter Sunday suicide bombings by Islamist extremists, which killed over 250 people. "Within the next few days the threat of terrorism would be completely wiped out," he said. "Coupled with the decisions taken by the Government relating to...

Suicide bomber training camps found says STF

Sri Lanka's Special Task Force (STF) said it had uncovered a 'training camp' in Kathankudy used by Islamist extremist suicide bombers responsible for the Easter Sunday bombings.

Military items found during Chavakachcheri search operation

Military items including a uniform and cap were found inside a house in Chavakachcheri during a search operation in the Kovitkudiyiruppu area.

‘Structures of Tamil Eelam’ - a glimpse back at the de-facto state

Tamil youth in Switzerland have released a book documenting life in the Vanni during the ceasefire, as part of attempts to commemorate periods of self rule throughout Tamil history.

PTK traders mark May Day with black flags and closed shops in wake of bomb blasts

Traders in Puthukudiyiruppu marked May Day with a business strike in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks. The Mullaitivu town’s business community raised black flags and kept storefronts shut on May Day to protest the government’s failure to prevent the terror attacks which killed over 250 people in Batticaloa and Colombo on Easter Sunday. “Instead of acting when they should have when they received warnings, the government is increasing security after all these people are already dead,” one trader said. “Now they are just going to use this to target our innocent communities with more...

President tells media not to cover security operations

The Sri Lankan president today told the media not to cover search operation by the security forces. In a press release issued by the president's media division the media was told not to broadcast footage, arguing that the media publicity was unwarranted and inconviencing communities. Since the Easter Sunday bombings which killed over 250 people, armed military personnel and police have searched and raided homes, businesses and public premises, including in the North-East.

2 arrested over Negombo clashes

Two men have been arrested over violent clashes between Sinhala and Muslim groups in Poruthota, Negombo yesterday.

War crimes accused commander heads Colombo’s operational command

Sri Lanka has appointed Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage, a man accused of overseeing war crimes a decade ago, as head of the Overall Operational Command in Colombo in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks last week. Liyange was head of Task Force 3, during the Sri Lanka military’s 2009 offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils and saw the shelling of hospitals, widespread sexual violence and the execution of those who attempted to surrender. Task Force 3 was “particularly involved in the final weeks of the conflict” said the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka, a United Nations...

Sirisena pledges to ‘eradicate terrorism’ ahead of presidential elections

Sri Lanka’s president vowed to “eradicate terrorism” and press ahead with presidential polls scheduled for later this year, in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings last week. “Elections cannot be postponed, therefore before the elections I will bring about stability and I will eradicate terrorism,” Maithripala Sirisena told Reuters. Sirisena went on to acknowledge that “25-30 suspects” from the bombings remain at large, calling them “active members”. “We have already identified all active members of the group and it’s a case of now arresting them,” he added. The Sri Lankan president also...

Curfew in Negombo after reported clash between Sinhalese and Muslim group

Sri Lanka has declared a curfew in Negombo, after a reported clash between a Sinhalese and Muslim group in the town earlier today. Armed Sri Lankan troops were deployed to the scene as crowds began to gather along Thakkiya Road in Poruthota. Photographs and videos show a vehicle on fire, and at least two damaged trishaws on their side, as soldiers attempted to control the crowd. It is not yet clear what led to the clashes and whether a personal dispute contributed to the violence, however tensions in the region remain high. St Sebastian's church in Negombo was attacked by a suicide bomber on...