Transferred Tamil political prisoners attacked in Anuradhapura

Six Tamil political prisoners, who were transferred from Vavuniya prison to Anuradhapura prison in amidst of the recent attacks, have been attacked by prison officials, reported Uthayan on Saturday. Families of the attacked prisoners told TNA MP P.Airyenthiran that four have been injured severely, with one in a very critical condition. Families state that the injured are yet to receive adequate medical attention. Expressing concern over the continued attacks against Tamil political prisoners, MP Ariyenthiran called for the attack to be investigated and for the injured to receive treatment...

Sri Lanka opposition figure calls for end to arbitrary rule

The deputy leader of Sri Lanka’s main opposition party, Karu Jayasuriya of the United National Party, has called for an end to arbitrary rule stemming from the constitution. Legal analysts say that the 1978 constitution, which made the president the sole appointing authority and disciplinarian, was a key factor in allowing the current arbitrary rule to exist. According to Lanka Business Online , Jayasuriya did not apologise for the UNP’s responsibility in enacting the constitution when they were in power , which paved the way for ‘an unrestrained state’. Analysts say the new system led to a...

EU expresses concern over SL media raid

The Heads of Mission of the European Union has expressed its concern over Friday’s raid on opposition websites. “Freedom of the media is a vital element in democratic societies and journalists must be able to carry out their legitimate work without fear of harassment or intimidation. "Any action intended to intimidate independent journalism and or limit freedom of expression is in contradiction to UN human rights standards," the EU said in a statement. The statement comes a day after the US called for an end to harassment of media in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile the government has warned media...

US calls for end of media harassment

The US has called on Sri Lanka to end media harassment, after police shut down opposition websites on Friday. In a press release , issued on Saturday, the US Embassy in Colombo said it is following the case closely. “We have raised on several occasions our deep concern over efforts to suppress independent news media, including the blocking of news websites, intimidation, and disappearances of journalists. “The United States believes that an uncensored and independent media available to all citizens is an indispensable part of any vibrant democracy and we call for an end to the harassment of...

Britain should review proscription of 'terrorist' organisations – report

A report by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation , David Anderson Q.C., has recommended the British government to review its policy of proscribing and de-proscribing organisations. In his detailed report, presented to parliament in June, Mr Anderson said that organisations that cannot be proven to be ‘concerned in terrorism’, taking current, active steps to ‘commit, participate in, prepare for, promote or encourage Terrorism’, should not be proscribed and be ‘promptly de-proscribed’ . Mr Anderson further recommends that proscriptions of organisations should expire after a set...

Menon refuses to judge Sri Lanka's post-war efforts

India’s National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon refused to commit to a stance on India’s satisfaction with the peace and reconciliation process, while speaking to Indian reporters on Friday. Speaking after talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse, External Affairs Minister G L Peiris, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse and TNA leader R. Sampanthan, Menon told journalists that he “discussed recent developments, bilateral relations and areas of common concern" and that he was briefed about "steps being taken by the Government of Sri Lanka on political reconciliation and settlement". "While...

SL police raid news website offices

Sri Lankan police have raided offices of two news websites on Friday. The offices of Sri Lanka Mirror and Sri Lanka X News, which are housed in the same building, were sealed and nine people, mostly journalists, were arrested. The defence ministry said that the websites were carrying false information. "The CID sealed the offices of two websites carrying false and vulgar reports," "People responsible for feeding information to the Internet through this office are being investigated." It said in a statement. The sites concerned are supportive of the opposition and highly critical of the...

UK 'will consider all options available' says FCO

Reiterating the need for "progress" on the implementation of the UNHRC resolution by the "end of the year", the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it "will consider all options available to press the Sri Lankan Government to fulfil its obligations." Responding to a letter sent by British Tamils Forum (BTF) objecting to Mahinda Rajapaksa's UK visit, the FCO said: "We have consistently called for a credible, thorough and independent investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by both sides during the conflict." "The UK continues to monitor the situation in the north and east of the country and we consistently raise concerns over access for NGOs and seek further progress on scaling back of high security zones ." "We pressed for and welcomed the resolution on Sri Lanka agreed at the UN Human Rights Council in March, and we have called on the Government of Sri Lanka to play its part in implementing the resolution. " "With international partners, we will continue to encourage Sri Lanka to make early progress , including during the Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council in October." " We expect to see progress by the end of the year and will consider all options available to press the Sri Lankan Government to fulfil its obligations ." In a statement, BTF asserted that the FCO's response to their letter had "exposed the spin" by the Sri Lankan President’s spokesman, Bandula Jeyasekara, who had claimed that Cameron and Rajapaksa "had held a 'cordial' meeting and that the President had briefed the Prime Minister 'on the development in the country."

Jayalalitha writes to Singh as more fishermen are attacked by Sri Lankan Navy

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling on him to "impress upon Lanka the need to instruct their navy to exercise restraint and refrain from harassing innocent Indian fishermen pursuing their livelihood", after more attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy. In the incident near Kachatheevu on Tuesday, 10 boats were attacked, according to Jayalalitha. "The Sri Lankan Navy is reported to have chased the fishermen and cut the ropes and damaged the nets of 10 boats, resulting in a huge loss to the fishermen," her letter said. In...

Rupee traded at near record low

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka brought the rupee exchange market to a halt on Tuesday, as banks stopped quoting spot prices against the US doller, after the traders were told not to trade the rupee beyond the 133 level. On Monday, the Sri Lankan rupee traded at a near record low of 132.90 to the dollar, with a state bank selling dollars at that level. Speaking to Reuters , four currency dealers said that on Tuesday, the Central Bank had instructed traders not to trade above 133.00, prompting many banks to stop quoting spot prices. A dealer at the exchange market said, "The whole market is...

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