‘You are taking us for jokers!’ – MA Sumanthiran slams 22nd Amendment

On Friday, Sri Lankan parliament passed the 22 nd amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution aimed at curbing the powers of the executive presidency. The 22 nd amendment passed with a two-thirds majority gaining 174 votes during its third reading. Responding to the passage of the bill, Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe applauded the amendment stating: "This amendment will not only help bring about the system change demanded by Sri Lankans it will also help in securing an IMF programme and other international assistance to rebuild the economy," Despite this, opposition MPs and human...

Rishi Sunak - Will Britain's new Prime Minister deliver justice for Tamils?

Rishi Sunak is set to become the next Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, after winning the Conservative Party leadership contest earlier today. In August of this year, Sunak reaffirmed his commitment to justice for mass atrocities committed in Sri Lanka and discussed the possibility of applying targeted sanctions on Sri Lankan officials just as the UK has on Russians.

Has inflation peaked in Sri Lanka?

Almost half of the Sri Lankan population has been forced to live under the poverty line, but Sri Lanka Central Bank Governor, Nandalal Weerasinghe has reassured the public that he expects inflation to ease and claimed that inflation peaked in September, hitting over 70%. According to the Sri Lankan government’s statistics department, the inflation rate has accelerated to 73.7% in September, up from 70.2% in August. Across this period, annual food price inflation increased from 84.6% to 85.8%. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food...

Jaffna International Airport to resume flights at the end of the month

Flights from Jaffna International Airport will resume from the end of this month Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said in Parliament this week. Responding to a question raised by opposition MP Buddhika Pathirana, Silva said the airport will be further developed with the financial assistance of India. “We developed the Jaffna airport to international airport standards. We obtained the necessary evidence through the Air Services Authority. Then we called Airline Services of India. Even though they had agreed to it earlier, after opening the airport, the flights did not arrive. It could...

Australia forcibly sends back 183 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka

Australia has forcibly sent back 183 asylum seekers who attempted to flee crisis-hit Sri Lanka. “We will stop any maritime people smuggling vessels seeking to reach Australia, and safely return those on board to their point of departure or country of origin, or if required, transfer them to a regional processing country,” Operation Sovereign Borders Rear Admiral Jones reportedly said.

A survivor’s success story

A survivor of the 1995 Navaly Church massacre who lost his sight when the Sri Lankan air force dropped 13 bombs on St Peter’s Church in Jaffna, graduated from the University of Jaffna this month. Sasiraj Selvanayagam was just 5-years-old when the attack took place. More than 140 sheltering Tamils, who were encouraged by the military to seek refuge at the church, were killed on the spot. At least 13 children were amongst them. “Before I could run bombs began falling," recalled Sasiraj, years later." Suddenly there was a tremendous explosion. That is all I remember till I woke up in hospital”...

‘You’re the right man to do this’ – US tells Ranil

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu met with Sri Lanka’s president Ranil Wickremesinghe this week, as he told him “You’re the right man” to lead the island. “With economic stability I think will come political stability,” said Lu, as he met with Wickremesinghe in Colombo. “You’re the right man to do this. This is a historic test… And I hope you can feel that you have [our] full support.” Wickremesinghe’s office claimed Lu told the Sri Lankan president “that he has a force backing him” and that Washington “would continue to assist Sri Lanka with their...

Tamil woman shot dead outside her home in Vavuniya

A 21-year-old Tamil woman was found shot dead outside her home in Vavuniya on Wednesday. The woman has since been identified as Thurairajah Pramila.

Relatives of Tamil political prisoners demand their release

The families of Tamil political prisoners who have been held in Sri Lankan prisons for over a decade called on the governor of the Northern Province to secure their release this week. The relatives voiced their demands to Jeevan Thiagarajah at the Governor's Secretariat in Jaffna on Monday. The families, who are part of the Voice of the Voiceless Organisation which was set up to advocate for the release of Tamil political prisoners, said that at least 46 Tamil political prisoners had been imprisoned from 10 to 26 years. Among those detained, 22 are under trial and 24 have been convicted and...

India’s massacre of Tamils at Jaffna Hospital commemorated

A commemorative ceremony was held at Jaffna Teaching Hospital this morning to mark 35 years since the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) massacred dozens of staff and patients at the hospital. At least 68 civilians, including 21 medical personnel, were killed by Indian troops as they stormed the hospital building on the 21 and 22 October 1987, throwing grenades and firing indiscriminately at staff and patients. The building had been shelled by artillery before the raid.