British Tamils remember Black July

Amongst the London2012 Olympics tourists by Whitehall in Central London, Tamils came together to remember the massacre of Black July. Holding a silent vigil, Tamils held a minutes silence and lit candles in remembrance.

Defence Secretary urges the media to report crime ‘responsibly’

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called for the media to be more 'responsible' when reporting about incidents of crime. Speaking at the Government’s information Department seminar on crime and national security, Rajapaksa outlined that ‘improper’ reporting of crime related reports would ruin Sri Lanka’s ‘image’, and have a negative impact on tourism and investments in the country. The Defence Secretary stated that there had been no statistical increase in the countries crime rates, despite a police spokesman’s recent claim that incidents of rape and abuse had substantially...

Minister denies threatening magistrate

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen, accused of intimidating a Mannar magistrate, has refused to resign from his position over the allegations. The Minister claimed that the judge was lying about receiving telephone threats regarding a court ruling against resettled fishermen in the Mannar district. As the country’s lawyers and judges boycotted judicial duties in protest of an attack on Mannar’s court complex, Bathiyutheen was named as an initiator of the violence. Legal action against the Minister has been planned by Judges Association of Sri Lanka (JASL) and...

SL karate team asked to leave India following protests

Three Sri Lankan karate fighters, due to participate in an international karate tournament in India, were asked to return to Sri Lanka by event organisers on Sunday amid protests by activists in Tamil Nadu, reports NDTV. Appealing to event organisers, activists protested against the inclusion of Sri Lankan karate fighters in a sports tournament, when the Sri Lankan government continued to oppress Tamils in the island. According to the Indian police, the Sri Lankan participants had just arrived in Chennai when organisers asked them to leave. The tournament was to take place in Pollachi, a town...

Judges and lawyers boycott Sri Lankan courts

The Sri Lankan courts were said to be at a standstill on Friday as lawyers abstained from work across the country, resulting in cases presented before the Supreme Court, Court of appeal, High court and district court being postponed until next week. A statement from the Asian Human Rights commission has outlined plans by lawyers and judges in Sri Lanka to boycott legal proceedings in protest of an attack on the Magistrate’s Court and High court in Mannar. The attacks on the Magistrate’s courts were allegedly instigated by a government minister after he contacted the Magistrate to discourage...

Increasing crime blamed on ministerial impunity

The JVP has said that the increase in the country’s crime rate is a consequence of the government's failure to take action against law-breaking senior government members. Central JVP member K D Lalkantha said that this failure has led junior government members to adopt the attitude that they are also above the law, citing the recent cases of sexual abuse by ruling party members . Speaking at a gathering in Kegalle, Lalkantha said : "When government ministers act against the law there's no action taken against them. It creates an impression among junior members that they too would have the...

23 Indian fishermen arrested by SL Navy

Reports have alleged that 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen have been arrested and 5 boats seized by the Sri Lankan Navy, in yet another frequently occurring attack on Indian fishermen. The fishermen were fishing near the Katchatheevu Island in the Palk Strait when attacked, with reports that 20 other boats were also assaulted and had their nets confiscated. Just last month Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concerning the “unrelenting, harsh attitude of the Sri Lankan Navy”. Singh labelled the use of force against fishermen “ totally unacceptable ” in November last...

Tamils protest against Sri Lanka's participation in the Olympics

Published 23:15 BST Marching in Stratford, by the site of the London 2012 Olympics, London Tamils remembered the events of Black July 1983 and protested against Sri Lanka's inclusion in the Olympics on Sunday. The protest also marks the beginning of a 21-day hunger strike by activist, Gobi Sivanthan, by Stratford High Street station.

Uthayan editor interrogated by CID

The editor of the Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper was interrogated for four hours by Sri Lanka's intelligence services - the CID, on Thursday, reported the news site Lanka Truth. See here . According to reports in the English language Sinhala press, the editor, was interrogated over an article published regarding the Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya. A spokesperson for the Sri Lankan police, Ajith Rohana said a special CID team from Colombo, had been drafted in to record a statement from Premanand regarding the story. It remains unclear exactly which article the CID took such interest in,...

Only criminals are abducted in white vans says Gotabhaya

According to an article published by LankaTruth on 18th July, when asked by a Sri Lankan newspaper about white van abductions, Sri Lanka's no nonsense defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, replied that 'only criminals are abducted by white vans'. Clarifying the definition of "criminal", Gotabhaya explained 'only those who had raped ten or fifteen women has been taken in white vans'. Incredulous that the government could be blamed for the removal of such "criminals", Gotabhaya asked, 'if people find that removing criminals too is a crime how could anyone find solutions for such issues he had...

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