7yr old rape victim identifies SL soldier as attacker

The 7-year-old victim of sexual assault from Nedunkeni, Vavuniya identified her attacker in court on Friday reports Tamilwin. A soldier was reportedly arrested in connection with the assault. The girl was abducted and raped on her way home from school on the 14th May. The attack sparked demonstrations in Vavuniya demanding the arrest of the rapist.

Army deny involvement in Hindu temple looting in Batticaloa

The Sri Lankan Army's spokesperson, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, denied that the Army was responsible for the recent spate of looting of Hindu temples in Batticaloa, reports Asian Tribune . Brigadier Wanigasooriya said: "These allegations are totally baseless and far from truth. However, investigations on a burglary that took place on 1 June at Pillaiyaar Kovil in Vellaveli have revealed that it has been carried out by a team of burglars from the area and yesterday [7th June] a suspect has been arrested in this connection and Sri Lanka Police in Batticaloa is conducting further...

Govt responsible for hate speech and physical attacks against Tamil newspaper - Tamil MP

The Sri Lankan government was responsible for a campaign of "hate speech backed up by physical attacks" against the Tamil Jaffna based newspaper, Uthayan, accused a Tamil MP. Listing the attacks against the newspaper, the TNA MP, MA. Sumanthiran, accused the government of being responsible, pointing out that armed attacks were taking place despite the heavy militarisation present. "The last seven years, attacks on this newspaper [Uthayan], the incidents are over 30. Three zero. I don't think any other media institution in this country has suffered this amount of attacks." "Two of their employees were shot dead, inside the premises. Gunmen came and opened fire, three others were seriously injured. Two died. That has not been inquired into. Nor has that crime been resolved. This was some time ago." "If one is to look at the recent incident, just this year alone, their newspaper distributor was attacked, then their distribution centre in Kilinochchi was attacked by armed personnel, and you know you can't have an armed group in Kilinochchi doing this kind of operation and getting away. The highly militarised environment in Kilinochchi... if that can happen, it can only be an act of the government. "

Only in Sri Lanka

During a parliamentary session, the former MP for Muslim Affairs, Mohamed Azwer, condemned criticism of the Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, DM Jayaratne, asserting that Jayaratne was a reincarnation of the Buddha. See video at 16:08. Mohamed Azwer's outcry against a TNA MP's criticism of Jayaratne's silence at attacks on the Tamil newspaper, Uthayan, has been transcribed below: "He [TNA MP] is calling the honourable minister of Buddha Sasana a *indiscernible* . He is a reincarnation of the Buddha . There are no *indiscernible* . He can't even inquire that.. You can't...

Sri Lanka to seek coal plant loan from Japan

Sri Lanka’s Power and Energy Ministry’s Secretary MMC Ferdinando has said that his government is in discussions with Japan for a $600mn loan to fund a coal fuelled power plant in the south of the island. "The cost is estimated at $600 million. This will be from a 40-year concessional loan. We have proposed a 600 MW capacity plant. But all will be decided after the feasibility study," the Secretary said. A Japanese team is due to visit Sri Lanka to conduct a feasibility study.

Christian shrine found destroyed in Jaffna

Photographs Adaderana.lk A Christian shrine in Jaffna, was found vandalised on Wednesday with its statue of Jesus smashed into pieces, reports Adaderana.lk . The shrine was located by the 5th avenue in Maniyanthorttam. Local residents have made a formal complaint to the Sri Lankan police.

India won't solve Sri Lanka's political problems - BJP

The delegation of Indian politicians from the Bharatiya Janata Party, currently visiting Sri Lanka, has said that India cannot solve the political problems on the island. Member of Parliament Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Tamils in Sri Lanka should not expect India to solve their problems and solutions will only be found if Tamils participate in domestic political processes. He did however kindly assure the Tamils that the "healing touch" that is needed, will be provided by India. It is not clear who, from the several Tamil groups and individuals the delegation met, gave Prasad the impression...

Main Tamil party need not be considered when solving the ethnic problem: Rajapaksa

Stressing that Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil issue “ cannot be imported” , President Rajapaksa told the visiting Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad, that all political parties must join hands to find an ‘all-inclusive’ settlement to the ethnic issue. Despite the Tamil National Alliance’s current role as the main representative of the North-East, Rajapaksa highlighted that the solution would not be a “Rajapaksa-Sampanthan agreement.” The six member BJP team, under the invite of Rajapaksa, is touring Sri Lanka and the North-East.

Sri Lanka exempted from Iran sanctions

Sri Lanka will be one of nine countries that have been granted exemptions from sanctions on Iranian oil purchases by the US State Department. In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said that China, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan have again qualified for an exemption to sanctions as these countries had significantly reduced purchases from Iran. Washington row with Sri Lanka over Iranian oil (26 May 2013)

IMADR reports lack of Freedom of Assembly

The NGO, International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), submitted a written statement to the UN Human Rights Council 23rd session on Freedom of Assembly in Sri Lanka. The statement points out that suppression of freedom of assembly is 'worst' in the Northeast, saying: "People of the North and East, are not permitted to peacefully commemorate, or even light a candle for the dead, or fallen LTTE cadres, particularly on May 18th (the day the war ended), or on November 27 (LTTE Heroes Day)." While detailing significant cases in the Northeast, including attacks on...