Ruling MP dead as violence flares across Sri Lanka

Amarakeerthi Athikorala, a member of the government-aligned Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), is reportedly dead amidst the carnage unfolding in Colombo as supporters of the Rajapaksa regime clash with anti-government demonstrators. “The MP fled the scene and took refuge at a nearby building,” a police official told AFP by telephone. “Thousands surrounded the building and he then took his own life with his revolver.” At least 100 people have been injured as police move to crack down on demonstrators through the use of tear gas and water cannons. Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapksa, has...

International outrage as violence erupts in Colombo

Responding to mob violence against peaceful demonstrators in Colombo, western diplomats have issued stern condemnations and stressed the need to “hold the perpetrators of violence to account”. The statement comes as military troops have taken to the streets and have used tear gas and water cannons. US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung tweeted: We condemn the violence against peaceful protestors today, and call on the government to conduct a full investigation, including the arrest & prosecution of anyone who incited violence. Our sympathies are with those injured today and we urge calm...

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns as violence erupts

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned as violence erupted in the capital this morning. Rajapaksa handed his resignation letter to his brother and Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa after Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) supporters violently assaulted peaceful anti-government demonstrators who have occupied Galle Face in Colombo for 32 consecutive days this morning. Effective immediately I have tendered my resignation as Prime Minister to the President. අගමැති ධූරයෙන් ඉල්ලා අස්වීමේ ලිපිය ජනාධිපතිතුමා වෙත යොමු කළෙමි. — Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) May 9, 2022...

LIVE - Violence across Sri Lanka as homes burn and PM resigns

Mob attacks have broken out in Colombo as anti-government protestors were attacked and security forces fired water cannons, with reports of further violence and hundreds injured across the South of the island. Armed troops have been deployed in Sri Lanka's capital with reports that pro-government supporters have also been attacked, as assaults were reported by both sides across the South. Protests are still continuing with the homes of several politicians set ablaze. As many as 100 people are reported to have been injured so far. At least 3 deaths have been reported.

Sri Lankan security forces step up surveillance around Mullivaikkal memorial

Sri Lankan security forces have stepped up their presence around the Mullivaikkal memorial site today in the lead up to May 18, also known as 'Tamil Genocide Day'. Investigators and army personnel were seen at the site where tens of thousands of Tamils were trapped and massacred by Sri Lanka's states forces in the final days of the armed conflict. Locals living near the memorial were questioned by military investigators about what arrangements have been made to commemorate the day. This is the latest attempt by the security forces to intimidate and block any Tamil commemorative events. Sri...

Illegal Buddhist structure constructed in North East with military aid

Construction of illegal Buddhist structures continues in the northeast homeland with the assistance of the military. Thissa Raja Vihara, a Buddhist temple, is being built in Thaiyiddi Jaffna - what is privately owned land that is being occupied by the Sri Lankan army. During a coordinating committee meeting, the Vali-North Pradeshiya Sabha (the local elected authority) opposed the construction of the Buddhist structure and consequently did not give permission to continue with the Sinhalization-project. A litigation challenge is pending in court, challenging the legality of the construction...

Sri Lanka's tea exports hit 23 year low

Sri Lanka’s tea exports have dropped to a 23 year low as the country is in the midst of its worst economic crisis in living memory. Tea, Sri Lanka’s biggest export, brought an estimated $1.3 billion annually before the island was hit with its current economic crisis. France 24 reported that in the first quarter of 2021, 68.9 million kilos were exported which had fallen to 63.7 million kilos in the first quarter of 2022. Export earnings for the first quarter also declined from $338 million in 2021 to $287 million in 2022. This is the lowest recorded export since the first quarter of 1999, when...

Sri Lankan politician claims chemical gas canisters used on Tamils are now being fired on protestors in Colombo

1.0 I have been informed by a very reliable source that the Government is using chemical gas cannisters which were bought down during the LTTE civil war. The reason for this is because the Government does not have money to import standard issue cannisters. — Rehan Jayawickreme (@RehanJayawick) May 7, 2022 Sri Lankan politician Rehan Jayawickreme has claimed that chemical gas canisters used on Tamils during the armed conflict are now being used on anti-government protesters in Colombo. In a series of tweets , Jayawickreme wrote that a “reliable source” had informed him that "the government is...

Elections, reduction in military spending and federalism needed to solve current crisis says TNPF leader

Speaking in parliament this week, the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) leader, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam emphasised that Sri Lanka's economic and political crises will not be solved without an election, demilitarisation and a federal state structure. Ponnambalam highlighted that the demonstrators who have been protesting predominantly in the capital "are not going to leave the streets" until there is an election and "until the people feel confident in the members" in Sri Lankan parliament. "For as long as you postpone an election, the political crisis that currently prevails will become...

Still searching for Stephen Sunthararaj

On this day 13 years ago, Stephen Sunthararaj, an activist who had exposed the trafficking of Tamil children into international prostitution rings, was abducted and forcibly disappeared in Colombo by armed men in military uniforms. As part of his work he had told the then United States Ambassador in Colombo about prostitution rings run by government aligned paramilitaries in Jaffna. The paramilitaries were trafficking children into sex rings in India and Malaysia with the help of immigration officials.

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