More Tamil women recruited into Sri Lankan Army

The controversial recruitment of Tamil women into the Sri Lankan armed forces has continued, with another 45 Tamil women and 10 Tamil-speaking Singhalese women having been enlisted into the army on Monday. The women, from Batticaloa, Vanni, Mullaithivu and Kandy, will be deployed in “war affected developing areas for peace building and reconciliation processes”, reported the Defence Ministry’s website . “Under the patronage of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa directed the recruitment. The initiative and the...

Police apologise for Buddhist dog wedding

Sri Lankan police have apologised after they “married” nine sniffer dog pairs in a Buddhist ceremony. Police said the weddings were arranged to promote domestic breeding of sniffer dogs, but apologised for offending cultural sensibilities. The Culture Ministry condemned the ceremony, with minister T B Ekananayake saying the police had "contemptibly devalued" weddings in a devoutly Buddhist country. "This is not acceptable according to our cultural norms," Ekanayake said. "We are people who really value out traditional weddings - which are only done at auspicious times alongside the chanting...

Sudanese military in Sri Lanka to explore cooperation

Members of Sudan’s military are currently in Sri Lanka to explore training opportunities. The delegation, led by former secretary general of defence ministry Gen. (Retd) Abdel- Rahman Mohamed Zein, met with defence secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse and discussed joint military cooperation on Monday. The defence ministry’s website says that the parties discussed areas of mutual interest and bilateral relations at the meeting. Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir is accused of committing genocide and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Birds of a feather…

President Mahinda Rajapakse has criticised the use of the UN Human Rights Council by certain countries to attack countries like Sri Lanka and Belarus, during an official visit to Minsk. Rajapakse met with President Alexander Lukashenko, described as the “last dictator in Europe”, and briefed him on the current visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. Lukashenko stressed the importance of strengthening military and security cooperation between the two countries, and said it would be committed to enhancing relations in trade and the economy with Sri Lanka. President...

Court orders investigation into disappearances

A Colombo magistrate has reportedly ordered the investigation of over 2500 disappearances in the Northeast. While UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay begins her visit to Sri Lanka, the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) was ordered to launch a 'broad' investigation into the disappearances of 2550 people in the Northeast, a list of which has been confidentially submitted to the court.

Buddhist monks demonstrate against UN Human Rights Commissioner

Protesters gathered outside the United Nations head office in Colombo

Activists and journalists discuss Eelam Tamil issue in Delhi

The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) held a meeting in Delhi on 12th August, highlighting the plight of Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka and discussing future plans to campaign for Tamil rights. The meeting, titled " Human Rights Violations: Sri Lanka and the Tamils ", began with a screening of the 'No Fire Zone ' documentary, and was attended by activists and journalists from across the world. It was led by renowned Indian social activist Medha Patkar , at the Indian Social Institute , New Delhi.

Army refute media attack allegations

Dismissing allegations that they were involved in the attack of the Sunday Leader's associate editor, the Sri Lankan army said it "refutes all such allegations". In a statement, the Army's spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said: “Some statements/reports have even attempted to portray this as an attack on the media. This is far from the truth and we refute all such allegations. The Sri Lanka Army does not approve of any crime and particularly we regret this incident in which a senior journalist has suffered at the hands of a gang of thieves" Commenting on one the suspect, who is said to be Private K.P. Chamara Kumara, the Army's spokesperson claimed , "This soldier was arrested whilst in service in September 2009 for theft. After a summary trial according to the Army Act he was awarded 90 days detention on October 6 and whilst being held in detention at his Regimental Centre to be handed over to the Panagoda Detention Barracks (an Army correctional facility administered by the Military Police) he escaped from detention and deserted on October 8, 2009. On May 24, 2010 he surrendered. After due disciplinary procedure he was awarded 90 days detention in July 2010 and was detained at Panagoda Detention Barracks. Upon completion of the period of detention he was handed over to the Regimental Centre on September 9, 2010 and on October 6 2010 he became absent without leave and was later declared a deserter. On June 25, 2013 Hungama Police arrested this deserting soldier and he was handed over to his Regiment on July 9, 2013.

UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay arrives in SL

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay addressed press in Sri Lanka today, as she began her week long visit to Sri Lanka. At a press conference held on Sunday, she said : "I am here to assess the human rights situation and I am speaking to both the government and the civil society. And I'm traveling around the country as much as I can, and when I go back, I will be reporting on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka." "I have not come here to criticise. I have come to raise human rights concerns, and I frame myself within the human rights standards set for the whole world, by...

Madras Cafe pulled in the UK

The release of Bollywood film 'Madras Cafe' which opened on Friday was pulled in the UK by exhibitors Cineworld after protests by British Tamils. The film is currently not showing at any British cinemas, although the film's marketing officials said they were still hopeful for a later release. Cinemas in Tamil Nadu have also refused to screen the movie following widespread protests.