Govt responds to US concern over impeachment

Rebuking a statement by the US expressing concern at the impeachment of Sri Lanka's Chief Justice , the government's spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella, said that he would understand the accusations if "jungle law" had been practised, "but that is not the case". Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Rambukwella said , “If jungle law has been practiced in this instance I can understand all these allegations and counter-allegations regarding the motion but that is not the case. We as legislators have acted completely within the framework provided in the Constitution” “Should a democratic country use the...

'Expeditiously' address fishermen issue says India

The case of five Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lanka custody was pushed by India's newly appointed External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday. Speaking to GL Peiris on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation meeting, Khurshid is understood to have stressed that the issue be addressed "expeditiously" before it becomes an "irritant" in India-Sri Lanka relations. An official sourse told OutLookIndia, "The issue of Indian fishermen and the difficulties they face when they are apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy and Sri Lankan Coast Guards were raised. "...

TNA MP’s brother-in-law murdered

The body of the brother-in-law of TNA MP for Vanni, Selvam Adaikalanathan, has been found dead reported the Daily Mirror . 53-year-old Sinnathurai Inthireswaran’s body was found by police on Thursday who stated that he had been robbed prior to having been murdered. Inthireswaran had gone missing on October 30th. His brother-in-law Selvam Adaikalanathan, an MP for the Tamil National Alliance in Vanni and president of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) had registered a complaint with the police the day he had gone missing. Adaikalanathan identified the body on Thursday.

The perks of being a journalist in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan journalists received interest free vehicle loans, courtesy of President Mahinda Rajapakse, according to the Department of Government Information . Over five hundred journalists had been selected for the scheme, with the first phase inaugurated earlier today. The president is behind the implementation of the plan, as a relief loan scheme for senior journalists. 500 free laptops will also be provided to all of the journalists. The loans will be provided by state banks for up to Rs 1.2 million, with the interest covered by the treasury.

Tamil undergrads attacked by Sinhalese students

Tamil undergraduates at the Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL) have faced physical attacks from Sinhalese students at the university, reports TamilNet. The students were attacked on a campus bus after a picture of the Buddha was found torn at the front of the vehicle. The Sinhalese undergrads that were culpable for the attacks are yet to face repercussions for their actions. The 25 Tamils, who are now a minority in the once predominantly Tamil university, claim that the campus administration has not acted on their complaints. Tamil students concluded that this impunity was a result of the...

Keppapulavu IDPs face harsh conditions amidst rains

As the torrential rains and gusts, caused by Cyclone Nilam, battered the North-East, the recently uprooted families have been hardest hit. The 178 families from Keppapulavu, who were forced to move in September from a camp to what was little more than a clearing in a forest, have had their makeshift shelters battered, reports Uthayan. Not having received any food aid since being forced out, the families are now unable to prepare food, having had their makeshift roofs and walls swept away by the rain.

Professionals body reiterate call for 13A repeal

The President of the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA), Benedict Ulluwishewa, has reiterated that they would support a repeal of the 13th Amendement. Speaking to The Island , Ulluwishewa said that the body was to discuss and propose an 'alternative mechanism to the hotly disputed piece of legislature'. To mark May 18th this year, the OPA passed a resolution that called for the repeal of the 13th Amendment. Last week, the defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, defended his calls for the repeal and highlighted the widespread support he had, including within the OPA, which has over 50,000 professionals as members. See related articles: Anti-13A campaign blessed (29 Oct 2012) 13A saga continues (25 Oct 2012)

More ‘boatpeople’ deported

A group of 26 people who had arrived at Cocos and Christmas islands by boat have been deported, announced Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen. Bowen said of the deportees: "They did not make any case, any claims, which meant Australia had any international obligation to them.” Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard said on Thursday that people attempting to enter Australia without a credible claim should be returned to where they came from. It is also reported that the opposition spokesman for immigration, Scott Morrison said it was “about time” the government sent Sri Lankans home...

Tamil diaspora orgs call for ‘decisive action’ at Sri Lanka’s UPR

Tamil diaspora organisations have condemned Sri Lanka’s “ abysmal lack of progress ” in implementing recommendations made by the UN’s Universal Periodic Review process in 2008, and demanded " decisive action ". In a joint statement released on Thursday, ahead of Sri Lanka's UPR, British Tamils Forum, Canadian Tamil Congress and the United States Political Action Council, said that the ground reality is one of “ ongoing militarisation, enforced disappearances, torture, violence against women and a lack of independence of media and human rights institutions ”. Speaking on behalf of the three...

'Crisis of impunity in Sri Lanka' - ICJ

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), a body of 60 eminent judges and lawyers across the world condemned the lack of justice for victims of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and the "climate of impunity" in a report released on Thursday - 'Authority with Accountability: The Crisis of Impunity in Sri Lanka' . Speaking ahead of Sri Lanka's UPR, ICJ's Asia Director said, "Victims and survivors of major human rights violations do not receive redress, and perpetrators are not brought to justice. The absence of justice removes an important deterrent to future perpetrators ." “ This...