Former president, Chandrika Kumaratunga, faces expulsion

Former President and patron of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Chandrika Kumaratunga, faces expulsion for extending her support to the New Democratic Front (NDF). President Maithripala Sirisena has called a meeting of the party’s Central Committee, its policy making body, to recommend her expulsion from the SLFP alongside party members who are backing her. Api Sri Lanka, a component of the SLFP, backed Ms Kumaratunga, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week to form the NDF and support presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. Read more here .

Sri Lanka cabinet approves compensation for 'persecuted' journalists, week before election

Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved the payment of compensation to 78 journalists who were subject to ‘harassment’ and ‘persecution’ between 2005 and 2015 during the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa. A committee will decide the compensation to be handed out. Several Tamil journalists reported receiving a form to apply for compensation in 2017 but refused to engage with the process, saying they wanted justice for the attacks against them as well as justice for over 40 of their colleagues who were assassinated and murdered during and after the armed conflict. “We never wanted their measly...

Premadasa to develop North and East with foreign aid if elected

Sajith Premadasa has said if elected as Sri Lankan president he will develop the North-East, the Tamil homeland, by holding donor conferences to obtain foreign aid for each province, ten years after the end of the armed conflict. Premadasa, whose campaign refused to engage with demands including a federal solution and an end to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) put forward jointly by several Tamil parties, made the conference pledge at an election rally in Mullaitivu this week. He said that there would be two conferences, one for the North and one for the East, despite the re-merger of...

Detention extended for Tamils arrested for archaeology dept complaint

Two administrators of a historic Tamil temple in a Vavuniya village who were arrested last week following a complaint by Sri Lanka’s archaeology department have had their detention extended by the Vavuniya court after the case was adjourned to November 16. The detainees Subramaniam and Akilan were arrested on November 1 after the archaeology department lodged a complaint claiming they had dug up underground bricks while cleaning the temple in the village of Maligai in the Omanthai area of Vavuniya. Locals have been outraged by the arrests and said the archaeology department was targeting...

Lotus Tower remains inaccessible to public and under military control

The Lotus Tower, the tallest tower in South Asia standing at 356-meter, remains closed to the public despite an official opening ceremony in September and will be run by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), which is under the control of the Defence Ministry. P R S P Jayatilake, Chairman of the TRCSL, has claimed that the use of the military will only be temporary but has not stated when it will be accessible to the public. Approval to establish a state-controlled enterprise which would operate the Lotus tower and its finances was granted in September however the...

Reporters Without Borders calls on SL presidential candidates to protect press freedom

The international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on Sri Lanka’s presidential candidates to protect press freedom following the firing of K.M. Razool, who refused to publish unverified anti-TNA propaganda. Razool was suspended from Capital FM under the accusation of “unruly behaviour”. There are suspicions of undue political influence with Capital FM’s Chairman, Vincendrarajan Sathasivam being the the father-in law of MP Angajan Ramanadan, SLFP’s (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) Jaffna District Organizer. Razool has gone on the record stating; “If my refusal to publish...

Sri Lankan military hands out artificial limbs to Tamils in Vanni as occupation continues

Tamil villagers in Vanni were handed out artificial limbs at a highly publicised Sri Lankan military ceremony complete with Sinhala Kandyan dancers last week, as soldiers continue to occupy last swathes of land a decade since the end of the armed conflict. The Vanni was hardest hit by Sri Lanka’s 2009 military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils and injured many more. To date, no one has been held accountable for the crimes committed during that final phase, in which hospitals were shelled and embargoes on medicine meant amputations were carried out without anaesthetic...

Tamil fishermen freed by India amid protests in Jaffna

The Indian government freed a group of 18 Tamil fishermen who had been arrested by the Indian navy last month, amid protests in Jaffna and calls from trade unions for their release.

Sri Lankan troops to be deployed on UN mission despite apparent ban

Accused Sri Lankan war criminal Shavendra Silva saw off a contingent of soldiers heading for a UN peacekeeping mission to Mali this morning, despite the global body announcing last month it would ban all “non-essential” Sri Lankan troops.

Witness in Chunnakam police station murder continues to receive threats

The main witness in the case of the torture and murder of a Tamil man by Sri Lankan police in Jaffna continues to receive threats as the case awaits further hearing in court. T Logeswaran who is a witness in the 2011 torture and murder of Sriskantharajah Sumanan by Chunnakam police has registered a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) after four masked persons went outside his home late on Thursday night, slammed his gates and shouted threats to his family and neighbours. Sri Lankan police officers were on duty around 500m away, Logeswaran said, but the individuals were able to...

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