When one war criminal met another

Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently made a trip to Sudan and met his counterpart, the ICC wanted Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, Sudan’s Minister of Defence. Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein had an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court earlier this year, for 21 counts of war crimes and 20 counts of crimes against humanity. Photograph: Sudan's Ministry of Defence Whilst Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence failed to publish photographs of the two meeting, Sudan meanwhile released the above photograph, praising a successful meeting. Rajapaksa also met with other...

Withstanding the test of international vicissitude

The Chinese minister of National Defence, General Liang Guanglie met President Rajapakse in Colombo on Wednesday. The president thanked China for standing by Sri Lanka during difficult times and for “cultural cooperation” and “forthcoming economic assistance” . Reports suggest that China is planning to pledge US$ 100 million to fund Sri Lankan Army projects in the northeast of the island. Gen Guanglie is leading a 23-strong delegation - made up of several high-ranking military officials - on a five day visit to Sri Lanka and is expected to visit military facilities in the north of the island. “Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, China-Sri Lanka friendship has withstood the test of international vicissitude and we have always maintained good cooperation,” the General said, speaking at during an event at the defence college in Colombo. “We all know that since the beginning of its reform and opening-up, China's overall national strength and international influence have grown remarkably." "Some people in the international community suspect that China would take the road of expansion with force, and have been actively spreading the ‘China Threat Theory’.”

Attacked Tamil detainee transferred to Colombo

The Tamil detainee, Sundaram Satheeskumar, who was attacked in Galle prison last week, was transferred to Colombo National Hospital for medical treatment, reports Uthayan. Satheeskumar who was left in a coma after the attack, suffered extensive bleeding around his brain due to a significant head injury.

Former cadres reveal accounts of continued rape

Sexual abuse and rape of former female LTTE cadres by Sri Lankan Army troops remains rampant in the North-East, as harrowing accounts from victims and medical professionals have revealed. Former LTTE cadres told TamilNet of how rape and sexual abuse routinely took place in the detention camps that the Vanni population was herded into in after the Mullivaikal massacre of 2009. The abuse has not ceased, with the women reporting that such assaults were regular occurrences whenever they were “summoned” by Sri Lankan soldiers for “interrogation”. Describing her ordeal as “sadistic” , one former...

Tourism head appointed as market regulator

Former chairman of Sri Lanka’s tourism, Nalaka Godahewa has been announced by the government as the new market regulator for the country - the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). His predecessor, Tilak Karunaratne, resigned in early August citing widespread market malpractice and impunity. Many investors have claimed that stock exchange is over regulated and Godahewa’s “market friendly” charisma has hopes to succeed. But some have noted that regulations will be difficult to enforce even under the new chief as investors are powerful enough to fend off any probes.

The victor's tutelage

After three years of rehabilitation and reconciliation through the state discliplined media and having the military on your doorstep, Sri Lanka recently took to doing a spot-check, looking for the tell-tale signs of those who just refuse to learn the 'truth'. Tamil students in the North sitting a GCE Advanced Level preparatory examination paper were asked to identify "who among the following is inappropriate to the word terrorism: 1. Bin Laden, 2. Pirapaharan, 3. Saddam Hussein, 4. Colonel Gaddafi, 5. Mao Zedong," reported TamilNet. The 'correct' answer being Gaddafi and Mao Zedong. The...

TN parties slam Delhi’s defence of training Sri Lankans

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha and other party leaders have slammed Union Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, for saying that India would continue to provide training to Sri Lanka since it was a friendly nation. “I am surprised to learn that the Government of India has openly declared that the said training will go on since Sri Lanka is a friendly country. "This betrays the total insensitivity on the part of the Government of India towards the views of my Government as well as the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu,” Jayalalitha said in a letter to Prime Minister...

Interviews for formal executioners

Sri Lanka’s Prison Department will be interviewing over 150 candidates to find two executioners, reports Colombo Page . The death penalty has not been implemented since 1976. With 357 prisoners currently on death row, and 1164 since 2004, many have served over 15 years in prison just waiting for their sentences to be carried out. The department is now faced with the challenging task of whittling down 178 eager candidates to fill just two roles – hangman and assistant. The shortage of formal executioners on the island has of course never been of detriment to the Sri Lankan state, which has...

Government fears 'copycat' travel advisory warnings

Having been baffled, incredulous and frustrated by the UK FCO's travel advisory warning, the Sri Lankan government now fears that other countries could follow suit with "copycat" advisory warnings. Speaking to the Sri Lankan Sunday Times, the External Affairs Ministry's Secretary, Karunatilleke Amunugama, said , “The foreign missions will be told to brief their respective governments accordingly, as it was now safe to travel to any part of the country with all previous restrictions removed,” “What is feared most at present, following this travel advisory is that, other nations may come up...

EU to give Sri Lanka €60 million grant for 'development'

The Sri Lankan Economic Development Ministry has announced it is to receive a grant worth €60 million for its District Development Programme. According to the Daily Mirror , the announcement was made by the head of the EU delegation, Bernard Savage during a meeting with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse on Monday. The money will go to projects selected by the Sri Lankan government and implemented by UN and World Bank agencies. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Subinay Nandy was also present at the meeting and said its agencies would cooperate with governmental...

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