Government to announce North election date

The government is to announce that elections in the North will be held on 7th September, reports Uthayan . The move is seen as a pre-emptive attempt to diffuse the criticism Sri Lanka is expected to receive at the upcoming UNHRC session, as well as controversy surrounding the Commonwealth summit due to be held in November in Colombo.

Tamil Nadu breaks its silence

Speaking at a function in Chennai, The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalilitha broke her silence over the killing of 12 year old Balachandran, calling it an “inhuman act of extreme cruelty,” urging for those accountable to face international trial. The evidence of the killing of Balachandran and systematic killing of other Tamils “ reveals the mindset of the present government in Sri Lanka ” she said . Labelling the killing as a “ war crime of the gravest nature and an unforgivable act ,” Jayalalithaa urged the Indian government and other nations to hold discussions with the other nations to...

Rewarding 'war heroes'...

The Chairperson of the Defence Ministry, Ioma Rajapaksa, handed over the keys of a newly constructed house to its owner, a ’war hero’, at a function today. New housing for ‘war heroes’ , a part of the Seva Vanitha initiative, have been constructed under the direction of Secretary of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabaya Rajapasa. The ministry of Defence and Urban Development published on their site that the initiative looks to “uplift the living standards of war heroes and their families,” including educational scholarships, interest free loans and life skill assistance programmes. The...

Sri Lanka's Authoritarian Turn - ICG

In its latest report, the International Crisis Group (ICG), reiterated the call for international action, arguing that the Sri Lanka government has "crossed a threshold into new and dangerous terrain". Alan Keenan, ICG's Sri Lanka project director said: “The Rajapaksa government’s politically motivated impeachment of the chief justice last month reveals both its intolerance of dissent and power sharing and the weakness of the political opposition” “By incapacitating the last institutional check on executive power, the government has crossed a threshold into new and dangerous terrain. It is...

General Fonseka says army knew nothing

Commenting on the evidence of the execution of Vellupillai Prabhakaran's son Balachandran , the former commander of the army has said that the army had "no information" as to the whereabouts of Prabhakaran's family. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Fonseka said : "After the final battle which went on from 2009 May 17 night, 18 and 19th till about 10 o clock, we only recovered Prabakharans body together with about 400 other terrorist dead bodies, and his elder son’s body, his elder son Charles Anthony. These two bodies were personally identified by the present member, I think, of the cabinet...

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador from SL

In an escalating diplomatic row following the execution of a Sri Lankan maid in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabi has recalled its ambassador from Colombo. The official news agency SPA said : "Based on the decision by the Sri Lankan government to withdraw its ambassador from the kingdom, the [Saudi] foreign ministry has recalled its ambassador in Sri Lanka for consultations."

IPI calls for inquiry into journalist shooting

The International Press Institute has called for an inquiry into the shooting of a Sunday Leader journalist, reported the Guardian . The organisation, dedicated to press freedom called for an "swift and comprehensive investigation". Meanwhile, Sri lankan police have "run into a blank wall", regarding the attempted murder. See our earlier post: Surprise, surprise... (16 February 2013)

Estonia calls for international investigation

Speaking on a visit of the country last week, Estonia's Foreign Minister has called on Sri Lanka to be open to an international investigation on alleged human rights abuses. Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet spoke to the Sunday Leader , and commented, “Estonia, an EU member country, opened itself up for international investigations in 1991 after it gained independence from Russia (former Soviet Union), despite the fact how painful such investigations were”. Estonia is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council and will vote on the upcoming resolution on Sri Lanka at the next...

Army dismisses new evidence of crimes

The Sri Lankan Army has dismissed newly presented evidence of the murder of Balachandran Prabhakaran, which shows him alive and in Sri Lankan Army custody, stating they expect the furore over war crimes to "die down". Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya confidently rejected any allegations of human rights abuses, stating , “ This is not the first time such unsubstantiated allegations are leveled against the Sri Lankan forces. Interestingly, these come up as we near UNHRC meeting and die down thereafter.” “Unfortunately, it appears that the parties who float such baseless...

EU to support accountability in Sri Lanka at HRC

The European Union has stated they will support efforts to ensure accountability in Sri Lanka at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council session. In a statement released by the Council of the European Union, it was stated that, "The EU will also support efforts aimed at keeping the issues of accountability and reconciliation as well as the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka on the agenda of the Human Rights Council." Apart from Sri Lanka, the report stated the EU would also examine the human rights situations in Syria, North Korea, Iran, Mali, Burma, Belarus, Democratic...

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