Army rejects US human rights report

The Sri Lankan Army has rejected the claims laid out in the 2011 US State Department report on human rights, calling it ‘ yet another wild allegation ’. Stating that the report was just another attempt by international powers to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces, military spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said, “There are no unlawful killings taking place in Sri Lanka and also no paramilitary groups operating as mentioned in the report.” “We will investigate those complaints and take action where necessary” Wanigasuriya further went on to state that the carrying of weapons...

Minister accuses Fonseka of betraying country two days after pardon

Sri Lankan government Minister, Wimal Weerawansa, has accused recently released former General Sarath Fonseka of betraying the county with recent statements made to the media, two day after he was released from jail. The Minister, addressing the media in Colombo, was reported to have stated Fonseka was “betraying the country” , with the state-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation reporting Weerawansa as having said, “only the separatists will become happy about his statements” . Weerawansa, who earlier called for a boycott of American products including Google and subsequently accused ‘...

Hunger strike called off

Tamil political detainees have called off their hunger strike , after the government promised to deal with the grievances raised by them. The Sri Lankan Government has said it will establish four new special courts to deal with Tamil detainees swiftly. Over 200 political prisoners were on a hunger strike for six days, demanding that they either be charged or released from prison. Some of the detainees had been imprisoned for over five years without being charged. The government has now promised to commence legal proceedings within a month.

Murder of Canadian Tamil ‘solved’

The ‘killers’ of the Canadian Tamil, Anthonypillai Mahendrasa, have been caught, according to the pro-government newspaper, The Island . The newspaper claims that a police investigation discovered the ‘mastermind’ of the murder. According to the police, the murder was committed as the suspect believed the victim was carrying a lot of cash. Four men in total were arrested. The police allegedly recovered a laptop and two telephones, owned by the victim, as well as the axe and iron rods used in the killing. In a country where injustice for crimes committed against Tamils is endemic, for the...

Committee to find athletics “traitors” appointed

Following conflicting reports regarding the postponement of the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championship due to be held in Colombo, the Sri Lankan Sports Minister has announced that a committee to find “traitors” would be formed. It has been reported that the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) secretary Maurice Nicolas told Sri Lanka, that their elections for the Sri Lanka Athletics Association (SLAA) were not held fairly and were not recognised by the association, resulting in postponement of the games. However, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Sports has said the event would go ahead as scheduled...

Tamil political parties to hunger strike in solidarity with detainees

Members of the Tamil National Alliance and its constituent parties are to go on hunger strike in Vavuniya on Wednesday, to show solidarity with the over 300 reported Tamil detainees protesting across the island. According to Ceylon Today , TNA Spokesperson and the Jaffna District Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran stated that various parties, including the TULF, PLOTE, EPRLF, TELO TAK, TNLF and DPF would be on hunger strike on Wednesday, urging the government to release all Tamil political prisoners. The hunger strike, now entering its sixth day, has now grown to include an approximate 300...

Murder of Canadian-Tamil highlights ethnic violence

The recent murder of Canadian-Tamil Anthonypillai Mahendrarasa, has underscored the “enduring ethnic violence” in Sri Lanka, reported the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, after the slain businessman’s funeral last week near Montreal. Commenting that Mr Mahendrarasa felt that his Canadian citizenship would protect him when travelling in Sri Lanka, they noted how he told friend “They can't do anything to me”, despite their cautions regarding his travel plans. Rathika Sitsabaiesan, a Canadian-Tamil MP from Toronto commented, “Our Canadian brother, who is also Tamil, was murdered there, and this type...

Russia supports Sri Lanka against war crimes pressure

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticised pressure on Sri Lanka to allow an international probe into war crimes and human rights abuses, Russian media reported on Wednesday. Speaking at a meeting with Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister GL Peiris, Mr Lavrov stressed that Sri Lanka has already had a home-grown and trustworthy commission to look into war crimes. “We believe, attempts to force international investigation on Sri Lanka without the sovereign state’s permission and bypassing the UN Security Council are absolutely wrong, they also contradict our aspirations in the human...

Sri Lankan constitution burnt on 40th anniversary

A group of young Tamil activists burnt copies of the 1972 constitution, at the same spot where the mother of the LTTE’s leader, Parvathi Amma, was cremated, TamilNet reported today. Over 40 youths burnt the copies at Oorani cemetery in Valvettithurai on Tuesday afternoon. According to TamilNet, the youths raised some slogans and distributed leaflets to the public before leaving the scene. A draft of the constitution was burnt by ITAK leader SJV Chelvanayakam and others, 40 years ago in Jaffna. See full report on TamilNet .

TNA calls for reduction of military camps

The leader of the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan, has called for a removal of military camps in the Northeast of the island. Speaking to Tamil media, Sampanthan said his party would continue to campaign for a reduction in military presence. "The current ratio of security personnel in the north of the country is one soldier to every eight civilians. This is too much and we have highlighted the need to reduce the military presence to restore normalcy to this region," he said. Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission also recommended that army camps be removed; however...

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