‘Sri Lanka has been elevated’ claims speaker of parliament after HRCSL rating

The speaker of Sri Lanka’s parliament claimed that the “our country has been elevated before the world as a decent and respected nation”, following an “A” status accreditation for the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) earlier this month. "I believe that our country has been elevated before the world as a decent and respected nation," said Karu Jayasuriya, who also serves as chairman of Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Council. "Especially it is a confirmation in the country and internationally that Sri Lankans are citizens of a free society with justice and equality,” he added. “This is...

Vadamarachchi fishermen threatened by Sri Lanka Navy intelligence after protest

Fishermen from Vadamarachchi have been threatened by Sri Lankan Navy intelligence officers following a protest against encroachment of their fishing areas by fishermen from other districts. The fishermen of Vadamarachchi East held a protest on Sunday, in opposition to hundreds of structures to farm sea cucumbers put up on the coasts of Thalaiyadi, Maruthankerny, Sembiyanpattru by fishermen from the North Western Province. The protest organisers were then subjected to death threats and threatening telephone calls from navy intelligence officers, Vadamarachchi East fishermen said at the...

Health, environment and economy of North-East devastated by explosive weapons - AOAV

Photograph: AOAV The health, economy and environment of the predominantly Tamil North-East in Sri Lanka have all suffered from the use of explosive weapons, said Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) in a report released this week.

Attacks on religious minorities continue ‘unabated’ in Sri Lanka says US State Department

File photograph: The Sri Lankan military gathered at the foundation laying ceremony of a new Buddhist Vihara in Muthur, Trincomalee last month.

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka accredited “A” status by GANHRI

The Global Alliance of National Human Right Institutions (GANHRI) has given the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) an “A” status accreditation this month. GANHRI considers the Member National Human Rights Institutions’ (NHRIs) compliance with the United Nations Paris Principles when issuing status accreditations. An ‘A’ accreditation is required in order for NHRIs to become voting members and to hold governance positions in GANHRI. The HRCSL issued an official statement today informing its citizens of the designation: “Of the 120 HRIs reviewed as at January 2018, only 77 were...

Sterlite factory in Thoothukudi to close after months of protest

India’s largest copper plant situated in Tamil Nadu is to close, after months of bloody demonstrations, which saw Indian police shoot dead 13 protestors last week. The plant in Thoothukudi is run by London-listed Vedanta Resources, and has faced increased pressure to close after police used lethal force last week. The killings led to UK’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, labelling it a “massacre” and for Vedanta to be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange, to “prevent further reputational damage to London's financial markets from this rogue corporation”. Tamil Nadu’s chief minister...

An island divided

As Tamils across the North-East mourned the 9 year anniversary of the Mullivaikkal genocide on May 18 and remembered the tens of thousands of Tamils killed, the Sri Lankan state instead marked the occasion to commemorate the end of “terrorism” and praise Sri Lankan troops. See a short clip by 47 Roots below.

Man dies after being hit by speeding police motorbike in Jaffna

A 65 year old man has died after being hit by a Sri Lankan police motorbike on May 25 in Vaddukoddai, Jaffna. Velupillai Mahendran had finished his shopping and was walking home via a pedestrian crossing when he was hit by a police officer on a motorbike. Witnesses said the motorbike was travelling above the speed limit. Mr Mahendran was taken to Jaffna teaching hospital where he was receiving treatment for critical injuries. However, he died yesterday.

Protest in Jaffna against rising prices and taxes

Tamils protested in Jaffna today against the rising prices of basic day to day items and taxes.

Former LTTE cadres interrogated by TID, Ranil pledges action

Sri Lanka's prime minister, Ranil Wickremetunge pledged to look at the ongoing investigations by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of former LTTE cadres who are now members of the Crusaders for Democracy political party. Crusaders for Democracy's secretary, Kathir was called to the TID's 4th floor office in Colombo on May 14 where he was questioned from dawn till dusk. He was released on the condition that he should be able to respond to a summons at any time in future. The party leader, Venthan has since received a summons, ordering him to attend an inquiry at the 4th floor...