CID summons Catholic spokesperson, as Sri Lanka marks 5 years since Easter Sunday attacks

Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, the spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Colombo, was summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), just days before Sri Lanka marked the 5th anniversary of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings last week. The bombings, which occurred on April 21, 2019, claimed the lives of 268 people and injured more than 500 others. Speaking outside the CID headquarters in Colombo Fernando said that he had already made the same statement before and had no hope justice would be meted out for the attacks. “We have shared what we know plenty of times,” he said. “As far as I...

‘Use your weapon without fear’ - Sri Lankan minister tells Special Task Force

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles told officers from the notorious Special Task Force (STF) that it is “not a sin to eliminate” those accused of drug trafficking, as he urged troops to “use your weapon without fear”. "We will stand for you," he told the officers, as Sri Lanka’s police force introduced a new motorcycle squadron to purportedly tackle the trade of narcotics. "In any emergency situation, if you must use your weapon, use it to do the right thing. We will support you. It is not a sin to eliminate those who traffic heroin into the country and the underworld...

Heavy security in Jaffna as judge provides statement on 2017 assassination attempt

High Court judge Ilancheliyan appeared before Jaffna courts this week, where he provided a statement over a 2017 assassination attempt on his life, that saw a Sri Lankan police constable killed. Judge Ilancheliyan was flanked by a police escort along with paramilitary troops, while security was beefed up around the court complex. Ilancheliyan was fired at on July 22, 2017. He believes the assassination attempt is linked to his overseeing of dangerous criminal cases. The judge’s car was shot at by two individuals on Temple Road, close to the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, around 5.10pm. The two...

Sorbonne University holds first ever conference on Tamil rights

An event was held at the historic Sorbonne University in Paris last week, under the theme “The Rights of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka”.

UK government ‘concerned by increasing tensions' over land in the North-East

The UK government said it “continues to be concerned by increasing tensions around land" in the North-East in response to a question raised by Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Patrick Grady about the arrest of eight Tamils at Vedukkunaari Hill temple in Vavuniya last month. In her response , Anne-Marie Trevelyan the Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: "We continue to be concerned by increasing tensions around land in Sri Lanka, including at the Vedukkunaari Aadhi Sivan temple in Vavuniya. We welcome the release of the eight arrested Hindu worshippers...

Sri Lanka leases ‘world’s emptiest airport’ to Indian and Russian firms

The Sri Lankan government has leased out the Chinese-funded Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport to two companies, an Indian and Russian firm for the management of the airport once dubbed as “the world’s emptiest airport” for 30 years. The Sri Lankan government has leased out the Chinese-funded Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport to two companies, an Indian and Russian firm, as ongoing financial woes force it to transfer management of what was dubbed “the world’s emptiest airport”. The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) was constructed with financing from China’s EXIM bank...

'Don't dig our sand!' - Tamils oppose establishment of ilmenite mine and prawn farm in Vakarai

Tamils in Vakarai, Batticaloa, held a protest this week to oppose the establishment of an ilmenite mine and a prawn farm due to the impact they will have on their livelihood and the environment.

‘We can never return to Aragalaya’ says Ranil at launch of Indian hotel in Colombo

Sri Lanka’s president Ranil Wickrememsinghe said the island “can never return Aragalaya,” as he opened a new Indian-funded hotel at the site of the previous anti-government protests in Colombo. “Two years ago this was the site of a huge struggle,” said Wickremesinghe. “Today we have a huge hotel in its place”. Seated in the front row was former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was forced to flee the island as anti-government protests rocked the capital in 2022. Other senior political figures, including another former president Chandrika Kumaratunga was also present. Both stand accused of war...

Thanthai Chelva remembered in the North-East

SJV Chelvanayakam, fondly known as Thanthi Chelva, is being remembered in Batticaloa and Jaffna today to mark 47 years since his death. Chelvanayakam was responsible for spearheading the Vaddukoddai resolution, which was overwhelmingly ratified by the Tamil votes in the 1977 parliamentary elections. In Jaffna , Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) leader S Shritharan and former MP Mavai Senathirajah were present at a memorial event at the Thanthai Chelva Memorial Square. ITAK's youth wing held a memorial event in Batticaloa , where lamps were lit to commemorate the father of Tamil nationalism...

We are not racist, says racist Sinhala Buddhist monk

An extremist Sinhala Buddhist monk and lawmaker claimed that he has never used racist terms against Muslims, despite having repeatedly been racist and delivered hate speech against Muslims on the island. Member of parliament Athuraliye Rathana told parliament that he had “ never ” used derogatory terms against Muslims and “there has never been a single day where we… went against Muslims while engaging in politics”. Yet Rathana has a well-documented history of racism, particularly towards Muslims. In 2019, Rathana launched a hunger strike demanding the removal of a Muslim Minister and two...

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