6 more students arrested by Terrorism Intelligence Dept

Six more students were arrested by the Terrorism Intelligence Department on Thursday reports Uthayan and TamilNet . Five of them were handed over by the Dean of the Medical Faculty, Prof. Balakumaran, the other - a student within the Science faculty - was handed over by his father.

Sri Lanka announces CHOGM dates

The Sri Lankan government has announced dates for the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting due to be held in the country, amid increasing calls for a boycott of the meeting from world leaders. Sri Lanka announced that the meeting will be held from November 15th-17th 2013 in Colombo. The announcement comes as earlier this month, the Canadian Prime Minister reiterated his threat of boycotting the meeting unless there was " significant progress on political reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights". The British Foreign Affairs Committee also called for Prime Minister...

Tamil MP confirms assassination attempts

Tamil politician, M K Sivajilingam, has confirmed that the Sri Lankan government has made at least 3 attempts to assassinate him, after details of alleged attempts to murder him were revealed. His comments come after a former Sri Lankan Army Captain told Canadian officials that he was ordered to place explosives at the home of the politician, who at the time was with the Tamil National Alliance. Speaking to the National Post , Sivajilingam said, “At that time, especially during the wartime, the Sri Lankan government made several attempts to kill me”, “I escaped so many attempts. Definitely...

Jaffna Uni receive 10 'wanted' students list from police

Published 10:07 GMT According to emerging reports from civil society activists in Jaffna, the Sri Lankan police have sent a list of 'wanted' students to the authorities at Jaffna University. The list is reported to include 5 students from the medical faculty, and presidents of the Jaffna University Student Union, Science Union and Management Faculty. The police have demanded that the 10 students be handed over for further investigations.

Sri Lanka to protect... forests in the North

The Sri Lankan government said that it will declare forests in the Northern and Eastern provinces as conservation areas, reported Colombo Page. Noting the severe damage to forests in the North, the government announced that it planned to increase forest coverage. The proposed 2013 budget allocates funding to help expand the forests to cover at least 35% of the land. The government commitments towards forest conservation in the North come as, Tamil students in the North and across the world, condemning the violent silencing and imprisonment of university students in the North, called for the...

Amnesty International calls for ‘urgent action’ over Jaffna students

Amnesty International has called for “urgent action” to release four students taken into police custody by Sri Lanka, as reports of more arrests emerged earlier on Thursday. In a statement released on Tuesday, the human rights group stated that, “There are concerns for their well-being given evidence of the persistent use of torture in TID custody” The group went on to say that during the peaceful protest that Jaffna University students held on the 28th of November, “At least 20 undergraduates were injured and beaten by riot police and officers in civilian dress”. See the full statement here .

Up to 25 arrested for 'terrorism' in Jaffna

As many as 25 people have been arrested for "terrorism" in the Jaffna peninsula and transferred to Vavuniya, reported the BBC. Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody told the BBC that 10 people were detained on Wednesday, but more are thought to have been arrested since. Jayakody said, "They were arrested at different places on the Jaffna peninsula and are now in Vavuniya... All the families have been informed." However, the BBC's Charles Haviland reported that at least one family was kept completely in the dark about their son's disappearance, only finding out he was arrested after complaining...

At least 7 more Tamils arrested by Terrorism Investigation Dept

Published 12:02 GMT At least another 7 young Tamils were arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Department in Jaffna on Tuesday afternoon, reported the Uthayan newspaper, citing officials at the Human Rights Commission. According to the paper, whilst 7 complaints were lodged by families of the arrested, the actual figure of arrests could be as high as ten. Uthayan went on to report that 5 Tamils were arrested by police in Koppay and 2 by police in Chavahavcheri under the PTA legislation, and remanded in custody before being moved to Colombo for questioning by the TID. All seven Tamils are reported to be originally from the Vanni.

EU delegation expresses concern about rule of law

The European Union’s delegation in Sri Lanka has expressed concern over recent incidents concerning the rule of law and individual freedoms on the island. In a statement , the EU said it looks towards Sri Lanka to ensure “that all citizens, including students, journalists and opposition politicians, are able to exercise their fundamental rights without impediment.” See full statement below. “The European Union Delegation in Colombo is concerned by a number of recent developments in Sri Lanka surrounding the rule of law and individual freedoms. "The European Union looks to the Sri Lankan...

Mannar Bishop calls for end to deportations back to North-East

The Bishop of Mannar has written to Australian authorities calling on them to halt deportations of people from the North-East of Sri Lanka, stating it was “ highly dangerous” for them to return. Revealing the fate of those who have been returned to the island following deportation, Bishop Rayappu Joseph stated that they were considered “traitors by the Government and its armed forces” and forced to become “informants”. In a letter dated 3rd of December, the Bishop Rayappu Joseph went on to say that those who are forced to return from Australia are subjected to “ restrictions, threats, intimidation, questionings, surveillance and other forms of harassments and discrimination by the military, police and intelligence officers”. His letter comes as more than 50 Australian asylum seekers filed an injunction against their scheduled removal from Australia, claiming that the Australian government has ignored their pleas that they face persecution upon return to the island. See the full text of the letter reproduced below.