Gasoline prices raised to record levels

Sri lanka's state run Ceylon Petroleum Company has increased fuel prices by 6.7% to help stem further losses, an official announced on Saturday. The announcement was quickly followed by the country's only private sector fuel retailer, Lanka Indian Oil Company, deciding that it would also raise prices in line with the CPC. Managing director of CPC Susantha Silva stated that by the end of October, the state run firm had run up losses of 75 billion rupees. HE further said that despite the hike in prices, the company would still be losing 5 rupees per litre. Similiar prices hikes occured in...

Sri Lanka must be held accountable – Bob Rae

The leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, Bob Rae, has issued a statement expressing concern about the student unrest in Jaffna and called for Sri Lanka to be held accountable for human rights violations. See statement below: “News is slowly emerging of an attack on the men’s and women’s dormitories at Jaffna University, with some fifty students being sent to hospital, and many arrested without warrants. “Sri Lanka’s civil peace is still under threat from its own government. The United States government has issued a call for a respect for civil liberties and pluralism. Canadians can hardly do...

Refugee advocates slam "terrorist" slurring

In a statement released on Friday, the Tamil Refugee Council have strongly rejected comments made by the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia that groups calling for a boycott of Sri Lanka’s cricket tour have “terrorist” connections. TRC spokesman, Mal Bala said, “The Admiral’s comments are not just laughable. It is insulting to these people to be told they are connected to terrorism”. Responding to comments by the High Commissioner that he has brought up the planned leafleting campaigns and protests against the cricket tour with “relevant authorities”, Bala responded, “Thanks to freedom of speech here we can do it. But if you did it in Sri Lanka you would quickly be disappeared into the bowels of a torture centre.” See the full text of the statement below.

Student found strangled, 3 more female students summoned by TID

A 21-year-old student from Jaffna University, Nadarasa Kiyani, has been found strangled to death in her house in Chunnakam, reports JDS. The body of Kiyani, a student of the Fine Arts Faculty, was found by her parents, with a bed sheet wrapped tightly around her neck. According to initial reports, the post-mortem has deemed the cause of death to be a heart attack. Meanwhile, the Terrorism Investigation Divison, have ordered three more female students, including the president of the Girls Hostel Students' Union, to report to the Jaffna police station immediately. JDS quoted one 'academic...

Protest in Vavuniya against Jaffna Uni arrests

Photographs Uthayan Tamils in Vavuniya continued the protests against the attacks, intimidation and arrests of students at the University of Jaffna today . Holding placards condemning the actions by Sri Lanka's security forces, the protesters demanded that all arrested students be released immediately.

Sri Lankan Army coerces Tamil women into joining

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), on Tuesday, forwarded a statement from the Women’s Action Network, expressing concern on the plight of Tamil women coerced into joining the Sri Lankan military, reported the BBC . Latest reports have also indicated that at least 20 of these women have now been admitted into Kilinochchi district hospital, with many unconscious. The statement outlines how the women were deceived and transported to military camps by the Sri Lankan army and forced by intimidation to stay. According to TamilNet the women were signed up under the pretence that they would be...

Boycott of cricket tour debated on Australian radio

Trevor Grant, former chief cricket writer for The Age, has appeared on Radio Australia calling on both Cricket Australia and the Australian government to ban future matches against Sri Lanka, until there is an investigations into the killing of up to 40,000 Tamils in “safe zones” during the latter stages of the armed conflict. He appeared on the show alongside Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe. The Admiral was the Sri Lankan Navy's Northern commander during 2009 and himself stands accused of participating in the shelling of civilians. Grant, who has been leading calls for Australia to boycott the Sri Lankan cricket team, said, "This cricket team is part and parcel of maintaining credibility for a government that has been called out on war crimes and crimes against humanity by the UN and continues to persecute Tamils in the Northern and Eastern regions, and what’s more has refused point blank to many requests for independent reviews of things going on in that country”. “We are taking a lesson from the anti-apartheid boycotts back in the 1970s. it has been proven that those boycotts in fact were probably the deciding factor in alienating South Africa so much that apartheid was killed.” “We are trying to create an awareness. We know that this tour cannot be stopped now, but we would like to ask fans to think twice now about going to the game and also we want to government and Cricket Australia to ban future matches against Sri Lanka until things change.” Listen to the full interview here . Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe meanwhile responded, "I categorically, totally deny baseless, unsubstantiated allegations of 40,000 deaths, crimes against humanity, various other allegations… This is a way of bringing discredit to the country, to people with vested interests… The rest of the world should hail Sri Lanka .”

US ‘violated’ rights of SL citizens – Minister

The Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has slammed US sanctions against Iran, saying they ‘infringe’ on the rights of Sri Lankans. Ranawaka is reported to have made the comments during separate discussions with the Russian and Iranian ambassadors. He told the Iranian ambassador to Sri Lanka that electrification of 1000 villages has been halted due to the sanctions. The minister also defended Iran’s right to nuclear power and said that Iran’s unity in the face of US sanctions is a good example to Sri Lanka. It is unclear from reports whether he was suggesting that his country...

Monks attack pastor and vandalise church

Buddhist monks led a mob of roughly 1000 people to vandalise a church and attack the pastor on 9th December, reported the Morning Star. According to the Morning Star, the monks had given the church one day's notice to close down, proclaiming to the pastor that permission from Buddhist clergy was needed for Christian worship. When the church refused, 80 monks led the mob to Jeevanalokaya Sabhawa church in the Weeraketiya area of the southern province of Hambantota on Sunday, and destroyed the church's furniture, equipment and vehicles, resulting in damages of upto US $4000. Despite the...

Japanese arrested for defacing SL flag

A Japanese national was arrested on Thursday by Sri Lankan police at Mount Lavinia for having printed 42 postcards with a panda replacing the lion on the Sri Lankan flag. The man accused of this shocking crime was reportedly arrested whilst he was in the process of mailing his goods. He will be produced in front of Mount Lavinia Magistrate on Thursday.