Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka accredited “A” status by GANHRI

The Global Alliance of National Human Right Institutions (GANHRI) has given the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) an “A” status accreditation this month. GANHRI considers the Member National Human Rights Institutions’ (NHRIs) compliance with the United Nations Paris Principles when issuing status accreditations. An ‘A’ accreditation is required in order for NHRIs to become voting members and to hold governance positions in GANHRI. The HRCSL issued an official statement today informing its citizens of the designation: “Of the 120 HRIs reviewed as at January 2018, only 77 were...

Sterlite factory in Thoothukudi to close after months of protest

India’s largest copper plant situated in Tamil Nadu is to close, after months of bloody demonstrations, which saw Indian police shoot dead 13 protestors last week. The plant in Thoothukudi is run by London-listed Vedanta Resources, and has faced increased pressure to close after police used lethal force last week. The killings led to UK’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, labelling it a “massacre” and for Vedanta to be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange, to “prevent further reputational damage to London's financial markets from this rogue corporation”. Tamil Nadu’s chief minister...

An island divided

As Tamils across the North-East mourned the 9 year anniversary of the Mullivaikkal genocide on May 18 and remembered the tens of thousands of Tamils killed, the Sri Lankan state instead marked the occasion to commemorate the end of “terrorism” and praise Sri Lankan troops. See a short clip by 47 Roots below.

Man dies after being hit by speeding police motorbike in Jaffna

A 65 year old man has died after being hit by a Sri Lankan police motorbike on May 25 in Vaddukoddai, Jaffna. Velupillai Mahendran had finished his shopping and was walking home via a pedestrian crossing when he was hit by a police officer on a motorbike. Witnesses said the motorbike was travelling above the speed limit. Mr Mahendran was taken to Jaffna teaching hospital where he was receiving treatment for critical injuries. However, he died yesterday.

Protest in Jaffna against rising prices and taxes

Tamils protested in Jaffna today against the rising prices of basic day to day items and taxes.

Former LTTE cadres interrogated by TID, Ranil pledges action

Sri Lanka's prime minister, Ranil Wickremetunge pledged to look at the ongoing investigations by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of former LTTE cadres who are now members of the Crusaders for Democracy political party. Crusaders for Democracy's secretary, Kathir was called to the TID's 4th floor office in Colombo on May 14 where he was questioned from dawn till dusk. He was released on the condition that he should be able to respond to a summons at any time in future. The party leader, Venthan has since received a summons, ordering him to attend an inquiry at the 4th floor...

Excavation continues in Mannar after human bones found

Excavation continued at a construction site in Mannar yesterday after human bones were discovered earlier this month.

Wigneswaran urges Ranil to ensure land release

The chief minister of the Northern province, C V Wigneswaran urged the Sri Lankan prime minister to ensure all land occupied by the military in the region is released. In a letter to Mr Wickremesinghe, who is currently visiting the province, Mr Wigneswaran said that land belonging to the people should be released to them and government land should be released to the Northern Provincial Council. Mr Wigneswaran also urged the prime minister to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and release all Tamil political prisoners.

Former Sri Lankan ambassador to be indicted by US - Sunday Times

Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to the United States is due to be indicted over money laundering charges, reports the Sunday Times . Jaliya Wickramasuriya, who served as Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Washington from July 2008 to May 2014, is wanted by Sri Lanka’s Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) over the alleged misuse of government spending. It is alleged that there were irregularities in the purchase of a building to house the Sri Lankan in Washington DC. He is also accused of accepting a US$ 332,000 “commission” during his tenure as ambassador, a transaction that US officials also spoke to him about.

BBS monk found guilty of threatening disappearances activist

The head of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has been found guilty of threatening disappearances activist Sandhya Eknaligoda, by a Sri Lankan court last week. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera was guilty Ms Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, inside the Homagama court premises in January 2016. The monk is now due to be sentenced on June 14.