US grants Iran sanctions waiver to Sri Lanka

The United States has granted extensions on waivers of US sanctions placed on Iran to 20 countries, including Sri Lanka. The waivers, originally granted in June, mean that these countries will not be hit with penalties by the US, as they continue to reduce their imports of iranian oil. Other countries who were granted extensions on waivers include China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and Taiwan, Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Japan. Announcing the waivers, US Secretary of State Hillary...

Ongoing concerns on rule of law - US

In statement published Friday, the US State department expressed concern at the impeachment trial of Sri Lanka's Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake, as "part of a disturbing deterioration of democratic norms in Sri Lanka." Statement : "The United States remains deeply concerned about actions surrounding the ongoing impeachment trial of Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. As Embassy Colombo’s statement noted earlier today, we urge the Government of Sri Lanka to guarantee due process, and to ensure that all investigations are conducted transparently and in accordance with the rule...

GTF deplores attacks on students

Deploring the attacks on Jaffna University students, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), called for the immediate releas of students detained by the Terrorism Investigative Division (TID). In a statement GTF said, "GTF supports the mass protests denouncing the security forces, which was staged in Jaffna by the key Tamil parties, supported by like-minded democratic political forces in the South, trade unions and many civil society organisations. In addition, the solidarity shown by student unions in Eastern University, Ruhuna, Peradeniya Universities in Southern Sri Lanka and Youth organisations overseas, with the plight of those at Jaffna University, underlines the desire to end the State’s repression of the Tamil people in the area." "The Government’s response has been to increase heavily armed military personnel around the Jaffna University, spurring arbitrary security checks and raising fear that there could be more arrests of University students on false charges under the sweeping powers granted to military under Terrorism laws. State authorities and security personnel have used these laws to criminalise dissent, supress politicians, human rights activists, journalists, trade unionists, restrict freedom of expression and commit human rights abuses with impunity."

18yr student abducted in Jaffna by Terrorism Investigation Dept

An 18 year old student was abducted by the Terrorism Investigations Department (TID) whilst in Valveddithurai (VVT), in Jaffna, reports TamilNet. The studnet, Arulampalam Dhishokraj is believed to have been abducted on Wednesday. The parents of Dishokraj received a telephone call from the TID the next day, informing them that their son was in custody.

Sri Lanka prominent in rise in global expropriation

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), run by the World Bank, has said the risk of expropriation is rising in several countries, highlighting Sri Lanka as one of the countries where it is prevalent. "Expropriation—which was an important threat to foreign investors in the developing world a few decades ago, but had since abated—is becoming more prevalent," MIGA said in a new report released today. "Several new direct expropriations occurred in 2011-2012, notably YPF S.A. in Argentina partly owned by Repsol YMP S.A. (Spain) and Transportadora de Electricidad, a power transmission...

6 more students arrested by Terrorism Intelligence Dept

Six more students were arrested by the Terrorism Intelligence Department on Thursday reports Uthayan and TamilNet . Five of them were handed over by the Dean of the Medical Faculty, Prof. Balakumaran, the other - a student within the Science faculty - was handed over by his father.

Sri Lanka announces CHOGM dates

The Sri Lankan government has announced dates for the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting due to be held in the country, amid increasing calls for a boycott of the meeting from world leaders. Sri Lanka announced that the meeting will be held from November 15th-17th 2013 in Colombo. The announcement comes as earlier this month, the Canadian Prime Minister reiterated his threat of boycotting the meeting unless there was " significant progress on political reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights". The British Foreign Affairs Committee also called for Prime Minister...

Tamil MP confirms assassination attempts

Tamil politician, M K Sivajilingam, has confirmed that the Sri Lankan government has made at least 3 attempts to assassinate him, after details of alleged attempts to murder him were revealed. His comments come after a former Sri Lankan Army Captain told Canadian officials that he was ordered to place explosives at the home of the politician, who at the time was with the Tamil National Alliance. Speaking to the National Post , Sivajilingam said, “At that time, especially during the wartime, the Sri Lankan government made several attempts to kill me”, “I escaped so many attempts. Definitely...

Jaffna Uni receive 10 'wanted' students list from police

Published 10:07 GMT According to emerging reports from civil society activists in Jaffna, the Sri Lankan police have sent a list of 'wanted' students to the authorities at Jaffna University. The list is reported to include 5 students from the medical faculty, and presidents of the Jaffna University Student Union, Science Union and Management Faculty. The police have demanded that the 10 students be handed over for further investigations.

Sri Lanka to protect... forests in the North

The Sri Lankan government said that it will declare forests in the Northern and Eastern provinces as conservation areas, reported Colombo Page. Noting the severe damage to forests in the North, the government announced that it planned to increase forest coverage. The proposed 2013 budget allocates funding to help expand the forests to cover at least 35% of the land. The government commitments towards forest conservation in the North come as, Tamil students in the North and across the world, condemning the violent silencing and imprisonment of university students in the North, called for the...