Former LTTE cadre commits suicide in military run camp

Suganthy Sivalingam, a former senior LTTE cadre, committed suicide by self-immolation on Thursday night at a military run 'resettlement' camp in Vadamaraadchi, Tamilnet reports . She had been subjected to severe mental torture during her detention at the military's 'rehabilitation' camp. Following an injury in 1999, she served with the LTTE medical services until the final stages of the armed conflict in 2009 when she was detained by the Sri Lankan military.

2 SLA soldiers dead after shots fired in Jaffna

Two soldiers from the Sri Lankan Army were found dead after exchanging gunfire with each other in Jaffna, early on Friday. The two soldiers were attached to the 51 Division and were on duty at a sentry post situated on Stanley Road. A dispute arose and one of the soldiers shot the other before turning the gun on himself. The incident between a Private and Lance Corporal, took place in the militarised Jaffna town centre, at an expansive sentry point adjacent to a Buddhist vihara.

Chinese lanterns flood Sri Lankan markets for Vesak

As the Buddhist festival of Vesak is observed on Saturday, Sri Lanka’s traditional lantern market, which usually flourishes during this period, has found itself under competition from a new rival; the Chinese. Cheaper, readymade and easier to store, demand for Chinese-made lanterns has taken off in Sri Lanka, leaving the domestic market in the lurch. The recent influx of the foreign goods has led to traditional lantern traders calling for the Sri Lankan government to intervene and protect them against their Chinese rivals. Bandula Perera, a local lantern maker, said , "I have around 100...

Sampanthan attempts to defend himself

Commenting on recently taken photographs of waving the Sri Lankan flag with UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, the leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan defended his actions to Charles Haviland, BBC correspondent for Sri Lanka. According to tweets posted by Haviland on Saturday, Sampanthan dismissed concerns regarding his actions stating that it was the national flag. Haviland's tweets have been reproduced below: "TNA's Sampanthan: Some concerned that #lka [Sri Lankan] flag design didn't take in minority consent, but it's nat [national] flag & I'd no difficulty in holding it." "TNA Sampanthan...

US official reviews demining efforts in North-East

Walter D. Givhan, US State Department official on political-military affairs reviewed demining efforts in the North-East over the past week. Discussing the situation with local NGOs, Givhan reviewed the challenges faced and ongoing support needed. During his visit to the island, Givhan also visit senior military officials in Colombo, incluing, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Army Commander General Jagath Jayasuriya and Navy Commander Vice Admiral D.W.A.S. Dissanayake. In a statement released by the US embassy, 'military bilateral relationship and support towards demining' were...

Press in Sri Lanka remains ‘Not Free’ - Freedom House

The annual press freedom report from US-based NGO Freedom House, has found that media freedom in Sri Lanka has fallen, with the country continuing to be classed as “Not Free”. Sri Lanka remains ranked just one place above Afghanistan in the Asia-Pacific rankings and behind states such as Iraq in the global rankings. Classified as “Not Free”, Sri Lanka joins countries such as China, Iran, North Korea and Somalia. See the full rankings here . Last month a report from the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Sri Lanka as the 4th in its global impunity index, stating the country had made...

Sri Lanka slams both London’s leading mayoral candidates

As voting gets underway to decide London’s next mayor in the UK on Thursday, Sri Lanka has come out to condemn both leading candidates in the election. The Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka has claimed that both candidates have “made strong rival pitches for the support of the pro-LTTE organizations". Citing both current Mayor Boris Johnson and leading opposition candidate Ken Livingstone’s statements appealing to Tamil voters, the website stated, "Tamil expatriates around the world are conducting an extensive propaganda campaign targeting the Sri Lankan government over human...

Rajapaksa pilots Sri Lanka's airlines

The future plans of Sri Lanka's national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines and the 100% government owned, low-cost airline, Mihin Lanka, were discussed during a meeting chaired by the President at Temple Trees on Thursday. Instructing Mihin Lanka to grant concessions to Buddhist pilgrims travelling to South India , President Rajapaksa also urged officials at Sri Lankan Airlines to work with Sri Lanka's overseas missions to improve its reputation. Plagued with accusations of corruption and financial mismanagement from its outset, Mihin Lanka was recently said to cost the economy Rs. 13 billion from...

Sampanthan campaigns at May Day rally

Sampanthan joins Ranil and raises his national flag. Photograph R. Sampanthan, the current leader of the TNA, joined the leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremasinghe to campaign at a May Day rally held in Jaffna on Monday. See here for more photographs.

Activists in New York demand 'Justice for Trinco 5'

Over 700 activists attended Amnesty International's annual 'Get on the Bus for Human Rights' event in New York on Friday, calling for justice, accountability, and an end to human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia and Tibet. Activists called on the Sri Lankan government to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the Trinco-5 killings of Ragihar Manoharan and his fellow four students in Trincomalee on 2nd January 2006. J.S. Tissainayagam, a former Sunday Times journalist imprisoned by the Sri Lankan government in 2008, spoke at this year's event, detailing the Sri Lankan government's failure to deliver justice and his own ordeal during detention.