SL Police disrupt Tamil prisoner’s last rites and warn against funeral proceedings

The Sri Lankan Police have disrupted the last rites ceremony of a Tamil political prisoner who passed away on Wednesday, after spending weeks in a coma following an attack on Tamil prisoners by prison guards. The body of 37-year old Mariathas Nevis was handed over to his family in order to hold the last rites ceremony at around 5.30 yesterday evening in Passaiyoor, Jaffna Uthayan reported that Sri Lankan policemen entered the home where the last rites were being held and halted traditional instruments from being played at the ceremony. Furthermore, the policemen warned the family against...

Occupy and evangelise

The Tamil Buddhists Association of Jaffna has been trying to promote religious harmony between Hindus and Buddhists by distributing cloth to 100 schoolchildren from low income families, the Daily News reported. The Jaffna Vihara Chief has said that more would be done to spread the ways of the Dhamma to the North. The army is reported to be heavily involved in these activities. The Daily News quotes Colonel Amarasinghe of the 513 division as saying: "The Army is taking every step to promote and uplift the welfare of the people in Jaffna. Civilians too are showing keenness and enthusiasm to...

Tamil detainee attacked by jailers, dies

A Tamil political prisoner who had been in a coma for several weeks following an attack on Tamil detainees by prison guards at Vavuniya prison in June, died at 2:30am yesterday, reported Uthayan. The 37-year-old victim was admitted to Mahara hospital following the attack. The body was to be handed over to the victim's family today in order to have his last rites and funeral. The victim had been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in 2009 as he tried to flee the conflict, said his mother at the time of the attack.

TNA members attacked by Pillayan's paramilitaries

TNA members and supporters of MP Mahendralingam, were attacked by members of Pillayan's TMVP group on Wednesday morning, reported Uthayan. The TNA supporters were gathered at an election campaign event in Selvanakar, Batticoloa district, ready for the Eastern Provincial council elections in September. Last month, TMVP threatened residents Vaakarai and warned them against voting for the TNA in the elections. The attack was allegedly carried out by supporters of TMVP member Prasanthan, who initially began a verbal argument before physically attacking the TNA members.

Elderly Tamil woman found murdered in Koppai

The body of an elderly Tamil woman was found murdered in her home in Koppai this morning, reported Uthayan. The body, found beaten with open wounds and lacerations, is that of 70-year-old Kumarasami Mangayakarasi. Her jewellery, including earrings and bangles, were missing. Mrs Mangayakarasi lived alone in her home near Naasimar temple, Koppai Old Street. She is reported to have four children, who currently reside abroad.

Army increases random searches in Mullaitivu

The Sri Lankan Army has stepped up its random search operations in Mullaitivu reported Uthayan on Tuesday. Residents have complained that the searches have become even more regular than previously, with numerous bicycles, motorcycles and cars being searched. Amidst this heavy army presence, three Tamil men were found murdered in Visuvamadu, Mullaitivu district this week.

Iranian funded project for Southern development begins

The Sri Lankan President inaugurated a development project in the Southern Province of Uva earlier, which the government is funding with the help of a US$540 million loan from Iran. The multi-million dollar project is expected to provide irrigation and hydropower to the south eastern region of the island, as part of a large aid deal announced in 2008. The project is to be constructed by the Hardish Engineering Company of Iran and will take 5 years to complete. See more on Sri Lanka and Iran's relationship here .

Australia detains Tamil asylum seeker with mental health concerns

The family of a mentally ill Tamil asylum seeker being held at Villa Wood Detention centre in Australia, New South Wales, are calling for an urgent review of his case, reported ABC news. The asylum seeker, Pradeep, fled to Australia by boat, having been aassaulted by the Sri Lankan army. Professionals believe his mental health concerns, including severe psychosis, were as a result of the assault. The asylum seeker’s lawyer, George Newhouse, outlined that his client’s psychological illness was due to the bashing he received in Sri Lanka, which resulted in a 1 month coma. Describing the...

SL launches 'aggressive campaign' to attract US tourists

Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the US and Mexico, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, is mapping out plans to draw in 100,000 American tourist to the island by 2016 in part of an attempt to increase tourist traffic flow to Maldives and India. He said , “We are working on an aggressive campaign to attract 100,000 American tourists to the island by 2016.” In 2011, there was a 22 percent increase in tourists from North America to the country to 49,057 travelers compared to the year before. According to the tourism office, first six months of this year has also showed a 20 percent increase to 27,355 compared to...

Sri Lankans squabble over lack of coaches at Olympics

The Sports Minister of Sri Lanka and captain of the Olympic delegation to the 2012 Games have clashed over the lack of coaches sent to accompany to athletes at the Olympic Games in London. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that the Olympic Committee went against his advice, commenting, "I told the Olympic Committee to allow Niluka's father to travel to London. I also advised the shooting association to send Mangala Samarakoon's coach but I was told by the OC that it was too late as they have already sent the list." Recently the Sri Lankan opposition party, the UNP, criticised the...

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