Increasing crime blamed on ministerial impunity

The JVP has said that the increase in the country’s crime rate is a consequence of the government's failure to take action against law-breaking senior government members. Central JVP member K D Lalkantha said that this failure has led junior government members to adopt the attitude that they are also above the law, citing the recent cases of sexual abuse by ruling party members . Speaking at a gathering in Kegalle, Lalkantha said : "When government ministers act against the law there's no action taken against them. It creates an impression among junior members that they too would have the...

23 Indian fishermen arrested by SL Navy

Reports have alleged that 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen have been arrested and 5 boats seized by the Sri Lankan Navy, in yet another frequently occurring attack on Indian fishermen. The fishermen were fishing near the Katchatheevu Island in the Palk Strait when attacked, with reports that 20 other boats were also assaulted and had their nets confiscated. Just last month Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concerning the “unrelenting, harsh attitude of the Sri Lankan Navy”. Singh labelled the use of force against fishermen “ totally unacceptable ” in November last...

Tamils protest against Sri Lanka's participation in the Olympics

Published 23:15 BST Marching in Stratford, by the site of the London 2012 Olympics, London Tamils remembered the events of Black July 1983 and protested against Sri Lanka's inclusion in the Olympics on Sunday. The protest also marks the beginning of a 21-day hunger strike by activist, Gobi Sivanthan, by Stratford High Street station.

Uthayan editor interrogated by CID

The editor of the Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper was interrogated for four hours by Sri Lanka's intelligence services - the CID, on Thursday, reported the news site Lanka Truth. See here . According to reports in the English language Sinhala press, the editor, was interrogated over an article published regarding the Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya. A spokesperson for the Sri Lankan police, Ajith Rohana said a special CID team from Colombo, had been drafted in to record a statement from Premanand regarding the story. It remains unclear exactly which article the CID took such interest in,...

Only criminals are abducted in white vans says Gotabhaya

According to an article published by LankaTruth on 18th July, when asked by a Sri Lankan newspaper about white van abductions, Sri Lanka's no nonsense defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, replied that 'only criminals are abducted by white vans'. Clarifying the definition of "criminal", Gotabhaya explained 'only those who had raped ten or fifteen women has been taken in white vans'. Incredulous that the government could be blamed for the removal of such "criminals", Gotabhaya asked, 'if people find that removing criminals too is a crime how could anyone find solutions for such issues he had...

Ruling and opposition parties in Sri Lanka disregard election laws

The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), an election monitor in Sri Lanka has accused the ruling UPFA and its ally the SLMC, and the main opposition UNP of violating election laws, by campaigning from vehicles on the final day of nominations, reported ColomboPage on Friday. According to CaFFE, supporters of the UPFA travelled in vehicles, including buses owned by the Ceylon Transport Board , in a procession from Akkaraipattu to Amparai.

Sri Lanka receives final IMF tranche, looks for further bailout

The International Monetary Fund has delivered the final instalment of a $2.6 billion loan, as Sri Lanka looks to seek out further loans from the fund to bolster their country’s foreign reserves. Announcing the completion of Sri Lanka’s longest engagement with the IMF and the single largest loan ever obtained by the country from a multilateral institution, the Central Bank said , "Sri Lankan authorities now look forward to the continued close engagement with the IMF and intend to discuss the possibility of financial support for its economic development agenda.” AFP stated that Sri Lanka will...

Gota’s catering services

The Ministry of Defence have announced their latest “commercial venture”, opening up catering services in the south of the country, as the military continues to expand its role in civilian affairs. Having opened in Battaramulla on Thursday, Rakna Lanka Catering Services is looking to expand and open many more outlets. The CEO of the 'Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd', retired Major General Egodawele said that the idea for the business was the “brainchild of Secretary Defence [Gotabaya Rajapaksa]” , who was also the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony. The military is involved in a whole host of...

Former LTTE members subjected to interrogation

Suspected LTTE members, who were taken into Sri Lankan government’s arbitrary arrest in 2009 and released after 'rehabilitation', continue to be harassed by Sri Lanka’s intelligence services – the CID, reports Uthayan and TamilNet. According to reports, 'rehabilitated' members have been identified by CID operatives, interrogated and even severely beaten. Last week, in Nadangkandal, CID operatives on motorbikes stopped two 'rehabilitated' LTTE members, before taking him to a school were he was severely beaten, reports Uthayan. The victims were warned against informing the media or human rights...

Sri Lanka owes over $15 billion in foreign loans

Sri Lanka has repayments of over $15 billion to make to foreign lenders for loans taken out in the last 15 years, according to a document submitted to parliament on Thursday. Lenders include China, to whom Sri Lanka will have to repay $4.9 billion for loans worth $2.96 billion, and the Asian Development Bank who will be repaid $4.64 billion after Sri Lanka borrowed $3.35 billion. The average repayment period for the Chinese loans is 12.2 years, while the ADB loan average repayment period is 21 years. See the report from Reuters here . See our earlier post: Who benefits from Chinese loans to...

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