Tamil nation will fight on for self-rule - TNA MP

Speaking in Tamil during parliament on 21/12/11, TNA MP, Mavai Senathirajah, stated the TNA will never succomb to the Sri Lankan state's oppression. See video for speech in full, extracts translated below. Demanding that Tamil IDPs must return to their homes, and their villages, Senathirajah asserted that once there, the Tamil people will continue to fight for self-rule. "In the last election and the elections before that, we received a mandate from the public to hold talks with the government," said Senathirajah. He continued, "Mr Samanthan had talks with the government to fulfil the will of...

British tourist murdered on Christmas Eve after row with local politician

Several journalists have faced death threats and intimidation after reporting on the murder of a British tourist in southern Town of Tangella on the 24th of December. Eyewitnesses have reported that Sampath Vidanapathirana, chairman of the Tangalle Pradesheeya Sabha (regional council), had been seen arguing with the couple at the Nature restaurant in Medilla, shortly before the attack took place. The victim, 27-year old International Committee of the Red Cross volunteer Kuram Shaikah Zaman, died after being shot at and stabbed with a sharp weapon. A woman, reported to be the victim’s 24-year...

'From combatants to criminals'

Crimes by former and current members of the Sri Lankan security forces are on the increase, the Sunday times reports. The paper details in its article several crimes committed, including the killing of MP Bharatha Lakshman and grease devil attacks in the Tamil homeland. Extracts from the report: "Investigations into recent crimes, have revealed a disturbing trend of the involvement of members of the armed forces who have deserted as well as those still serving. "From the killing of MP Bharatha Lakshman, grease devils who instilled fear in elderly women, to the murder of a popular doctor in...

Fonseka ignored in Sri Lankan 'epic'

Incarcerated, former commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Sarath Fonseka, is to be ignored in the write-up of the new chapters of the Sri Lankan epic, the Mahavamsa, The Sunday Leader reports . Three new chapters are going to be added to the chronicles of Sri Lankan history, which covers "the life and times of the people who forged Sri Lanka, from the coming of Vijaya in 543 BCE to the reign of King Mahasena (334 – 361); from the 6th Century BC to the 4th Century AD." Another volume, the Culavamsa covers the period from the 4th Century till the British colonisation. The new chapters will include...

Keep your eyes on the road

Motorists across Colombo are in danger from giant electronic billboards of Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, warned the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). Rajapaksa's cut outs and billboards could distract unsuspecting motorists the CMC asserted. Billboards after all have a notorious history of leading motoring eyes astray, with ads for Sloggi and Wonderbra said to have resulted in road traffic accidents. The CMC believe that the business men are behind the recent spate of electronic Rajapaksa cut outs popping up by the road side and at roundabouts. It remains unclear what features of...

'Act decisively' on devolution of power - India

India expects Sri Lanka to "act decisively" to achieve a "political settlement based on the devolution of power' announced the External Affairs Ministry in a statement made Sunday on the release of the LLRC report. Urging resettlement and normal civilian life, India continues to avoid the issue of accountability and justice. The ministry's spokesperson, Vishnu Prakash, said, "The LLRC report has underlined that the present situation provides a great window of opportunity to forge a consensual way forward towards reconciliation through a political settlement based on devolution of power ." "...

Public services corruption in Sri Lanka - survey

Political parties and police are amongst the most corrupt in Sri Lanka, according to a survey of South Asian countries by Transparency International. The anti-corruption organization surveyed six countries and found that more than one in three people said they pay bribes when dealing with public services. “ In previous surveys of this nature, only Sub-Saharan Africa had a higher rate of bribe-paying ,” Transparency International said in its press release .

Presents for the privileged

Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, presented members of the military with new houses on Saturday. The ceremony, held in Kalutara, is the seventh phase of the 'Api Venuven Api' housing project aimed at giving Sri Lanka's military families houses. Construction work has been undertaken by the army itself. Floods add to IDP woes in Vanni (21 Dec 2011) 2012 budget fosters militarisation (21 Nov 2011) ‘Resettlement’ in Sri Lanka – what the figures show and conceal (29 Oct 2011) India to rebuild Vanni schools, but promised houses yet to materialise (10 Oct 2011) So much for ‘resettlement...

LLRC recommendations ignored already

A huge project to develop the Sri Lankan capital Colombo is going to be implemented by the Sri Lankan military, in an attempt to minimise costs to the government. "The construction work will be entrusted to the engineering services divisions of the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force so that construction costs would be kept to the minimum," Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said on Thursday. Several parts of Colombo are marked for modernisation, including several markets and bus stand complex. Referring to the recommendations in the recent LLRC, which suggested the removal of the military from...

International investigation is the 'right policy for US' – House of Representatives member

An independent international investigation is the “right policy for the US”, said New York’s member in the US House of Representatives Michael Grimm, writing in Capitol Hill’s Roll Call newspaper. A former FBI agent and US Marine, Grimm commented that President Mahinda Rajapakse had “callously squandered” chances for peace and instead had worsened tensions on the island. “A prime and alarming example of this is the attempts by Rajapaksa's regime to whitewash horrible actions by the government in the final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war, where 10,000 to 40,000 ethnic Tamils were slaughtered...

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