Integrating into Sri Lanka

Last week was the gorvernment's much hyped about Social Integration Week . True to form, the event kicked off with an example of what integration is in Sri Lanka - the national anthem sung in Sinhala only. The week was said to ensure a 'united nation' and 'reintegrate all ethnic groups as one nation, free of ‘petty’ social and cultural differences.' And free too of the 'petty' differences in language of course.

Rights groups criticise Australia's handling of Tamil refugees

Australia's handling of Tamil asylum seekers arriving boat, has been criticised by human rights organisations base in the country, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The executive director of Human Rights Law Centre in Australia, Phil Lynch, criticised the country's close liaison with Sri Lanka, including security and military cooperation. Lynch said , ''At best, this undermines the spirit of the Refugee Convention, which gives people the right to flee persecution and seek protection. At worst, it involves Australia, at least indirectly, in exposing people to torture, cruel treatment and...

23 Tamil Nadu fishermen to be remanded till Aug 6th

The Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday night, will be remanded in custody until August 6th. The twenty-three men were presented to a court in Mannar today and said to be detained at Anuradhapura prison. Local fishermen groups in Rameswaran have urged an indefinite strike till all the fishermen are released. B Jesuraja, the district secretary of Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association said , "The families of those five fishermen suffer untold miseries with their breadwinners locked up in Sri Lankan prisons. Our government agencies have certified that...

SL military surround Nimalaroopan's funeral

Photographs Tamilwin Sri Lankan military, intelligence and police officers descended upon the funeral proceedings of Nimalaroopan - the Tamil political prisoner who was murdered whilst in custody - on Tuesday, reports Tamilwin. Mourners were unable to pay their respects freely as security personnel surrounded the event.

Sri Lanka orders more military helicopters

The Sri Lankan government has ordered 14 more Mi-171 helicopters, according to Russian company Rosoboronexport. The purchase is part of a $300million loan 10 year loan signed with Russia to buy equipment for the Sri Lankan armed forces. The government has previously armed the transport helicopters and used them during the war, according to Defense Industry Daily . The Sri Lankan air force spokes person Captain Andrew Wijesuriya has claimed previously that the helicopters will be used for tourism purposes.

British Tamils remember Black July

Amongst the London2012 Olympics tourists by Whitehall in Central London, Tamils came together to remember the massacre of Black July. Holding a silent vigil, Tamils held a minutes silence and lit candles in remembrance.

Defence Secretary urges the media to report crime ‘responsibly’

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called for the media to be more 'responsible' when reporting about incidents of crime. Speaking at the Government’s information Department seminar on crime and national security, Rajapaksa outlined that ‘improper’ reporting of crime related reports would ruin Sri Lanka’s ‘image’, and have a negative impact on tourism and investments in the country. The Defence Secretary stated that there had been no statistical increase in the countries crime rates, despite a police spokesman’s recent claim that incidents of rape and abuse had substantially...

Minister denies threatening magistrate

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen, accused of intimidating a Mannar magistrate, has refused to resign from his position over the allegations. The Minister claimed that the judge was lying about receiving telephone threats regarding a court ruling against resettled fishermen in the Mannar district. As the country’s lawyers and judges boycotted judicial duties in protest of an attack on Mannar’s court complex, Bathiyutheen was named as an initiator of the violence. Legal action against the Minister has been planned by Judges Association of Sri Lanka (JASL) and...

SL karate team asked to leave India following protests

Three Sri Lankan karate fighters, due to participate in an international karate tournament in India, were asked to return to Sri Lanka by event organisers on Sunday amid protests by activists in Tamil Nadu, reports NDTV. Appealing to event organisers, activists protested against the inclusion of Sri Lankan karate fighters in a sports tournament, when the Sri Lankan government continued to oppress Tamils in the island. According to the Indian police, the Sri Lankan participants had just arrived in Chennai when organisers asked them to leave. The tournament was to take place in Pollachi, a town...

Judges and lawyers boycott Sri Lankan courts

The Sri Lankan courts were said to be at a standstill on Friday as lawyers abstained from work across the country, resulting in cases presented before the Supreme Court, Court of appeal, High court and district court being postponed until next week. A statement from the Asian Human Rights commission has outlined plans by lawyers and judges in Sri Lanka to boycott legal proceedings in protest of an attack on the Magistrate’s Court and High court in Mannar. The attacks on the Magistrate’s courts were allegedly instigated by a government minister after he contacted the Magistrate to discourage...