Buddhist monk-led mob steals statue from Hindu temple

A Buddhist monk led a mob into a Saiva temple in the Amparai district last week, where they forcibly removed a statue of a deity. The temple, in the village of Paanama, was stormed last week and the statue of Pillayaar taken, in what has been a reported spate of similar incidents. The move was allegedly carried out with assistance from the chairman of Paanamai Preathesiya Saba, the brother of a Buddhist monk. Photograph courtesy of Thinakkathir See our earlier post: 'Buddhists Behaving Badly' (03 August 2012)

Tamils protest in Jaffna against the deaths of political prisoners

Photograph Twitter @rkguruparan Protesters gathered by Jaffna bus stand, demanding justice to the murdered Tamil political prisoners - Nimalaroopan and Dilrukshan. See here for report on Uthayan. Despite the presence of police officers and intelligence officers within and around the crowd, protesters gathered in this morning. Shouting slogans such as "the deaths of Nimalaroopan and Dilrukshan need justice", and "we'll send the murderous regime home", protesters held banners and placards demanding that the those responsible be punished.

Human Rights activists call for UN inquiry over prison deaths - BBC

Human rights activists in Sri Lanka have blamed the government for the deaths of Tamil detainees after violence in a Vavuniya prison and called for an UN-led investigation the deaths, reported the BBC on Wednesday. A total of 28 activists have issued a statement, saying the deaths of Nimalaroopan and Dilrukshan were caused by torture, inflicted by prison officers, after detainees protested over the disappearance of a fellow Tamil inmate. "We, the civil society, have lost confidence in domestic mechanisms in being able to deal with such situations," they write.

Chinese power plant fails again

The power cuts imposed across the country due to continuing problems at the Chinese built Norochcholai power plant have been extended for another fortnight. Sri Lanka has lost around 17% of its capacity to meet demand for electricity due to the failure.

Sri Lankan Minister’s call to arms

Senior government Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has stated that more money should be spent on defence in order to combat local and international threats to Sri Lanka. The former Prime Minister reportedly said that the police and armed forces needed to be equipped with modern weaponry in order to defend the country. According to the Daily Mirror , Wickramanayake said, “There are many elements operating locally and internationally, trying to disturb the peace we have gained. A political party had adopted a resolution stating that the country should be divided.” “These things should be taken seriously, and the country should allocate more funds for defence."

Amnesty 'appalled' at Australian report

In a statement , Amnesty International slammed the recently released report by an Australian expert panel on asylum seekers. Highlighting the fact that the panel were " ignoring altogether the fundamental right to seek asylum or the realities of why vulnerable people flee from horrific circumstances ", Amnesty said it was " appalled " by the recommendations. Amnesty International’s refugee spokesperson, Dr Graham Thorn, said, “Sending asylum seekers to places like Malaysia, Nauru and Papua New Guinea is unacceptable and a complete outsourcing of Australia’s human rights obligations .”

Offshoring lacks transparency and accountability - TAG

Commenting on the recently released report by an Australian expert panel on asylum seekers, Jan Jananayagam of Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) told Tamil Guardian, "Offshore processing defeats the spirit of the refugee convention - which is to offer safe haven to those fleeing persecution. Instead offshoring creates gulag-type settings in some parts of the world on our behalf." "Offshore agreements send a signal to partner countries that it is acceptable for them to continue to refuse to sign the refugee convention, thus undermining its international scope."

Politician accused of murder reinstated in post

Sampath Chandrapushpa, who is accused of murdering a tourist last year, has been reinstated by the ruling party into his post as chairman of Tangalle’s Pradeshiya Sabha. Chandrapushpa is in remand custody over last year’s Christmas Eve murder of Khuram Zama Shaikh, a British national from Manchester, in The Nature resort, Tangalle. Shaikh's girlfriend, Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna was also allegedly raped in the incident. Colombo Page reports that Chandrapushpa was told in writing on July 29th by the UPFA that his position as Chairman and full party membership had been restored. The...

Barely alive, yet his legs chained together - Father Sakthivel

Photograph Uthayan Speaking to mourners of the Tamil political prisoner, Dilrukshan, Father Sakthivel described seeing him in hospital in the days before his death - in a coma, but still with his feet chained together.

'Most of the LLRC recommendations' have been addressed says Sri Lanka

Apparently - according to Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission Chief Pratiba Mahanamathe who in turn quoted the presidential secretary - "most" of the LLRC recommendations had been addressed.