Malaysia to sign trade deal with SL

Malaysia is planning to sign a memorandum of understanding with Sri Lanka regarding the oil and gas sector, reported the Daily News. Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Azmi Zainuddin said the MoU could help the Sri Lankan Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat to formalise business and investment opportunities with Malaysian firms. “We recognise the potential that Malaysian oil and gas companies could offer Sri Lankan companies in this sector. "Malaysian oil and gas companies have built their capabilities, resources, knowledge and relationships with business partners and vendors...

UN official calls for “greater attention” to resettled people

A visiting senior UN official to Sri Lanka has stated that more focus needs to be shifted towards the allocation of land and job creation of those who have been displaced by war. Dr. Ajay Chhibber, who is the UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific visited the island from earlier this week, as part of the United Nations Development Programme. Marking the conclusion of his visit he stated , "We need to pay greater attention to human needs of the people being resettled to enhance recovery." See our earlier posts:...

Tamils accused of 'conspiring' with diaspora to be prosecuted

Around 80 Tamils are to face prosecution by the Sri Lankan state after being accused of conspiring with activists in the country and in the diaspora to set up a separate state. These Tamils are accused of being “hardcore LTTE cadres” and will be prosecuted under the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act according to Additional Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath. He told the Daily Mirror , “The TID has gathered reliable information that these LTTE cadres have been in contact with LTTE activists and the Tamil Diaspora who are conspiring set up a transnational state of Tamil Eelam " Gamlath...

Senior member of the judiciary attacked after speaking out

A senior judge, openly critical of the Sri Lankan government, has been admitted to hospital after being stabbed several times. The secretary of the independent Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Manjula TIlakaratne, was assaulted by four armed men and robbed of his mobile phone. Reports suggest that it did not appear to be an act aimed at killing him. Tilakaratne recently issued a statement outlining the targeting and intimidation that the JSC was facing. He said, “the main objective of those behind the conspiracy, is to destroy the independence of the judiciary and rule of law.” The attack...

You will determine our means of resistance – Jaffna Civil Societies tell the UN

Jaffna Civil Societies have told the UN that the actions of the international community will determine Eelam Tamils’ future means of resistance. In a statement to the visiting UN delegation, the societies pointed out that Tamils are not willing to trust the Sri Lankan state and that development cannot lead to a permanent solution, but that a permanent solution would bring about development. The societies further stated , “Although there has been a need in this post-war period to carry out civil society services for people caught in the war, the Sri Lankan government has only hindered this...

2nd Lt Ajantha Mendis hailed by Army for cricketing display at T20 World Cup

The Sri Lankan army is “very happy” by the display of its own man in the Sri Lankan cricket team. 2nd Lieutenant Ajantha Mendis produced two of the best ever spells of Twenty20 cricket during Sri Lanka’s match against Zimbabwe. "Mendis is our man and he has made us proud,” said an army officer to a gulfnews.com reporter . He is also said to have remarked that he had worked with Mendis in the army. “It was the Sri Lankan Army that noticed Mendis’s talent and groomed him to be a top cricketer. In a match against the army’s under-23 team, Mendis produced a great spell and that was his turning...

Rajapakse and the ICC

Mahinda with ICC delegation (Picture: ColomboPage)

Navi Pillay undecided on visit to Sri Lanka

Speaking to the Sunday Leader, Ravina Shamdasani from the Communications Section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN, said that Navi Pillay was yet undecided about whether to visit Sri Lanka later this month or not. Shamdasani said , “Ms. Pillay is being briefed by the mission delegation and will make a decision on this (visiting Sri Lanka) in due course." The government of Sri Lanka invited Navi Pillay to the island stating it wanted her to see the 'development' for herself.

Sri Lankan lawyers condemn unacceptable judiciary system

The members of the Kegalle Lawyers’ Association have released a statement condemning the threats, intimidation and reported attempts to influence the Judicial Service Commission. It was this hostile environment that formed the basis of a resolution that was unanimously and unreservedly agreed upon by the association. The resolution condemned the current environment and called upon the Sri Lankan government to respect the independence of the Judiciary and implement the provisions of the 17th amendment, which would allow the formation of fully Independent commissions. The resolution called on...

'Still Counting The Dead' launched as one of many to come

Frances Harrison's book, ' Still Counting The Dead' was launched on Friday to a packed and diverse audience in London that included many activists, journalists, artists, and Tamils. The event included presentations on upcoming projects by visual artists and directors that intend to depict the suffering of Tamils in 2009 and to this day, through various mediums. Benjamin Dix revealed his current project of an animated graphic novel that follows the story of one Tamil man, Anthony, and this family, through the horrors of May 2009, to the displacement and confinement of Menik Farm through to seeking asylum in the UK and the psychological impact of the suffering he experiences. The graphic novel will be published online chapter by chapter. Christine Bacon from theatre company Ice and Fire, spoke of how she was inspired to produced a stage production based on 'Still Counting The Dead' after Frances Harrison sent her a few chapters of the book and she was instantly "completely gripped". Reflecting on her previous ignorance of the events of 2009, Bacon said it now motivated her produce this play as "the epic scale of human tragedy was astonishing". The director of the Channel 4 documentary 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields', Callum Macrae revealed plans for a feature length film and played the film's powerful yet harrowing trailer. Macrae said, "this film will be different to the others, we want this to be a call to action," and said he hoped it to be released by February next year. The launch event also saw a lively discussion chaired by HardTalk's Stephen Sackur, and included a panel consisting of the former Norwegian diplomat Erik Solheim, Yasmin Sooka of the UN Panel of Experts commissioned to report on Sri Lanka, and the International Crisis Group's Alan Keenan.

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