Jaffna students speak on military intimidation

Students at Jaffna University have spoken out at the recent attack on the Secretary of the Student’s Union and the ongoing military intimidation in Jaffna, which attempted to prevent them from holding a remembrance event for those killed in Mullivaikkal earlier this month. In a piece by Young Asia TV, a student who concealed his identity said, “ Inside the university, those associated with the military and those who can be considered as military intelligence, roam freely without revealing their identity. There have been many situations like this. Even though we have notified the University...

Heavy military presence around Jaffna University

According to reports there has been a heavy military presence surrounding Jaffna University since Monday night. See here and here . Despite ongoing tension between Jaffna University students and Sri Lanka's security forces, the Sri Lankan army spokesperson, Brigadier Ruban Vanikasurya, claims the military presence is due to a request made by the university administration and university student leaders to Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe for 'security'. Many students meanwhile continue to speak of intimidation by the military. See Jaffna students speak on military intimidation (30 May 2012...

British Tory MPs due to visit Jaffna – Daily Mirror

A delegation of British Conservative MPs is expected to visit Jaffna to look at concerns about high levels of military personnel, reported the Daily Mirror . Presidential advisor Arun Thambimuttu said ten Tory Members of Parliament, including former defence secretary Liam Fox, MP for Croydon South Richard Ottaway and MP for Enfield North, Nick De Bois, were invited to visit the north of the island during a recent meeting in London to monitor the situation themselves. David Amess (Southend West), Guto Bebb (Aberconwy), Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan), Alan Duncan (Rutland and Melton), Sheryll...

HRW: UK should 'immediately suspend' deportations

In a statement released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the UK government to " immediately suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and review its policies in assessing these claims " and highlighted that the next scheduled deporation is due to take place on Thursday. Noting the Sri Lankan security forces long-standing use of torture against those it deems to be linked the LTTE, HRW said there was a " growing evidence indicates that Tamils who have been politically active abroad are subject to torture and other ill-treatment ". Citing the recent cases of...

Iran invites Mahinda to Tehran for NAM summit

Iran invited Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa to Tehran on Tuesday, to attend the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in August 2012, reported the Colombo Page. The invitation by Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was delivered by the Iranian deputy minister of foreign affairs, Abbas Aranghchi, whilst on an official visit to Sri Lanka where he met his counterpart, Neomal Perara. Aranghchi was accompanied by an Iranian business delegation seeking to increase Iranian-Sri Lankan trade ties.

Peiris 'summons' British High Commissioner - The Island

The pro-government newspaper, The Island, reported on Monday, that the external affairs minister, G.L. Peiris "summoned" the British High Commissioner John Rankin, to "protest against the UK envoy contradicting President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Victory Day speech". The newspaper added, "Ministry sources told The Island that Prof. Peiris had expressed displeasure over Rankin disputing President Rajapaksa’s claim of scaling down of the military presence and the non-involvement of the military in civil administration in the Northern Province." See article here . On Saturday, Rankin criticised the on...

World Bank lending to Sri Lanka set to double

The World Bank will lend more than twice as much to Sri Lanka over the next 12 months from July, reports Bloomberg . Sri Lanka will receive $500 million during that period. Bloomberg reports that currently, Sri Lanka borrows $200 million annually under concessionary terms. Earlier this year, the former deputy governor of Sri Lanka's Central Bank, W. A. Wijewardena, warned that the economy was heading for trouble despite an official predicted growth forecast of 7.2%. The AFP news agency wrote at the time, "Sri Lankan economist and former central bank deputy governor W. A. Wijewardena believes...

Gotabaya talks strategy

The Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has denied allegations of human rights abuses, refused to devolve police powers, justified increased militarisation and stated that the North of the island should not be viewed as a predominantly Tamil area, in interviews to both the BBC and Sunday Leader. When asked by the BBC about the North being a mostly Tamil area of the island, the defence secretary replied, " Why should be that? Why should be that? If you are a Sri Lankan citizen you must be able to go and buy the properties from anywhere." Slamming reports of abductions and disappearances as “wrong allegations” , the defence secretary accused BBC’s Charles Haviland of reading “some website, no?” When Haviland responded that “They’re not wrong allegations, because I’ve met the victims”, Rajapaksa replied, “Don’t get angry! Usually I get angry, so you don’t get angry. Ok don’t get angry. I am the secretary of defence, I have investigated this. You don’t take the words from these people, take the word from me. Further stating Sri Lanka had defeated terrorists, Rajapaksa went on to say, "All this we have stopped... but you don't talk about that. You are supporting the terrorist cause!" See the full report from the BBC here . Being interviewed by the Sunday Leader , Gotabaya Rajapaksa also talked about the possibility of Tamil militancy and refused to answer any questions on released former army commander Sarath Fonseka, and when questioned responded, “I don’t know. You have to ask the President. I am not interested! I have not known any of these things. I have a lot of work to do… you can see I am not sleeping…" “I don’t know … I don’t know! I don’t want to comment! I will stop the interview if you continue with this!”

Major Tamil party calls for North-East merger

The largest party in the Tamil National Alliance, the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi, has called for the merging of the Northern and Eastern provinces into one administrative unit at its annual General Council meeting. The meeting, held ahead of Sunday’s 14th annual convention, also resolved to call for an end to state-sponsored colonisation schemes, equal rights for the Tamil people and for progress in resettlement and development, in both the North and East. A leaked cable from the US embassy revealed that international diplomats were unhappy with a 2006 decision by the Sri Lankan Supreme...

Just one story…

The Sunday Times has reported on the plight of a 16-year old child, born to a widowed mother who was repeatedly raped as she was forced into sexual slavery in a holiday resort in the South of the island. The girl was trafficked from Batticaloa after a smuggler promised to send her abroad, but instead she was sent to a holiday resort in Hikkaduwa, where she was repeatedly raped by a tourist. Chief Inspector Sumith Gunaratne commented that the ‘modus operandi’ of the agent of the prostitution racket was to search the North and East for war-orphaned minors, in order to force them into the sex-...

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