Ruling coalition party to campaign against PC land & police powers

A coalition party of the Sri Lankan government, the National Freedom Front (NFF), vowed to launch a campaign to demand that the proposed Northern Provincial Council election not be held before land and police powers were removed from the constitutional framework. Speaking at a press conference, NFF member Piyasiri Wijenayake said that after getting blessings from a Buddhist monk, the party would launch the campaign, collecting signatures from several key towns during 3rd to 12th of June. Wijenayake said : “ We will launch our campaign on June 3 from Kelaniya with the blessings of the Ven...

US limited training with SL due to ‘human rights abuses’

The United States limited ‘counterterrorism cooperation and training’ with Sri Lanka in 2012 due to allegations of human rights abuses, according to the State Department’s ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2012‘, which was released on Thursday. In the overview on Sri Lanka, the report stated , “Counterterrorism cooperation and training with the United States in 2012 was limited, however, due to statutory and policy restrictions based on concerns about alleged past human rights abuses committed by Sri Lankan security forces”. The report went on to say, “The Sri Lankan government claimed that it...

TNA MP rejects unitary state structure

Tamil National Alliance MP Mavai Senathirajah has said he does not believe a solution will be found under a unitary state. “Under a unitary rule, it is not possible to find solutions to the national question. Power sharing under a unitary system is questionable in today’s context of domination by Buddhist extremists,” he said while speaking at the Jaffna Press Institute on Thursday. According to the DailyMirror , Senathirajah said fellow TNA MP MA Sumanthiran was reported to have accepted the draft constitution proposed by the UNP, which details a unitary structure for the state. “The TNA...

UN urges UK to halt deportations of Tamil asylum seekers

The United Nations Committee Against Torture, expressed serious concern with the regards to the British government’s forced removal of failed asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, in a report released on Friday. The United Nations Committee has given the government 12 months to explain how it plans to make improvements in key areas of : the establishment of an inquiry into UK’s involvement in torture overseas; ensuring Sri Lankan asylum seekers are not forcibly returned when they face mistreatment at home; securing the release from Guantanamo of the British resident Shaker Aamer; and establishing...

China loans $2.2 billion to Sri Lanka

China has offered $2.2 billion in loans to Sri Lanka for infrastructure projects, as well as agreeing to sign a free trade agreement and enhance military ties, after talks during a 4-day visit by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his delegation. Reuters reported Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, as saying, "defence-related training, logistics and maritime security, and have agreed in principle to establish a free trade agreement”. In addition China agreed to loan $2.2 billion for infrastructure projects, which includes development of Colombo’s port. See our feature from 2010...

Sinhala Buddhist group to fast unto death to 'safeguard rights of Sinhalese'

The Sinhala Buddhist group, Sinhala Ravaya, pledged to fast unto death in order to safeguard the rights of Sinhalese, reports ColomboPage. The group said they would be demanding that the government abolition the 13th Amendment, guarantee Sinhala ownership in Northern and Eastern provinces, introduce a constitution founded on Buddhist law, halt animal slaughter, reject an 'all religion' concept, close all liquor stores, stop the conversion of Buddhists to other religions and 'eradicate' Muslim terrorism. See also: ‘One more step by Sri Lanka’s chauvinist Sinhala-Buddhists’ - J. S. Tissainayagam

Pune to host athletic championship after Chennai protests

Asia's Athletic Championship has been moved to the northern Indian city of Pune, after Tamil Nadu's capital Chennai refused to host the event earlier this year. "We did not consider Chennai as a venue once the government refused to host the event. Sports is one thing and public sentiments another. We should understand that it would not be possible to organize the meet there," said Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwala to the Associated Press . Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha said in February that Chennai would not play host to an event because of the...

Another Tamil politician summoned by TID

Yet another Tamil politician has been summoned by Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) earlier this week, with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy being called for questioning. Vinayagamoorthy’s call for interrogaition makes him the fourth TNA Parliamentarian to be summoned, with TNA MP’s S. Sritharan, Suresh Premachandran and Siva shakthi Anandan having previously been called, reported Ceylon Today . Earlier this month, several members of the TNPF were arrested by Sri Lankan security forces for holding a remembrance ceremony on May 18th,...

China to supply Sri Lanka’s first satellite

A Chinese company will provide Sri Lanka’s first communications satellite, after a contract was signed in the presence of President Xi-Jinping and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The deal is part of an agreement to expand bilateral trade, investment and cooperation in agriculture, space technology and infrastructure, said news.lk . The satellite to Sri Lanka will provide telecommunications and broadcasting services to Sri Lanka and its neighbouring countries and regions.

24 hour notice for Dambulla residents

Around 35 families were given 24 hours notice to vacate the Dambulla 'sacred' area to make way for development work. Residents says they have been denied compensation since they were allegedly living on state land. See Colombo Gazette.

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