UK policy on Sri Lanka ‘timid and inconsistent’ - Foreign Affairs Committee

An influential group of MPs has criticised the British government for its approach with Sri Lanka and its stance during the allocation of the 2013 Commonwealth heads of Government Meeting. The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee slammed the UK’s “timid” and “inconsistent” approach on Sri Lanka in a report , and said the government could and should have taken a more principled stand. “On the information available to us, the policy followed by the FCO during discussions at the 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Port of Spain on venues for future Commonwealth Heads of...

MPs blast 'timid' government over Sri Lanka summit - Channel 4

Read full report here .

'Height of hypocrisy'

In a statement released this week, Human Rights Watch has called upon the Commonwealth not to award Sri Lanka with chairmanship of the organisation, stating it would be the 'height of hypocrisy'. Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, stated , “It’s bad enough that the Commonwealth has allowed a government accused of massive rights abuses and war crimes to host its summit,” “But to effectively put the Commonwealth in the hands of an unrepentant government that doesn’t meet the Commonwealth’s official values on democracy or human rights would be the height of hypocrisy.” Stating the...

Cameron will send ‘strong message’ while in Sri Lanka – British envoy

Britain’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin said on Wednesday that Prime Miinster David Cameron will use his visit to Sri lanka next month to pressure the government to make “concrete progress” on human rights issues and accountability for war crimes. "The British government will come with a clear message that Sri Lanka needs to make concrete progress on human rights, reconciliation and a political settlement," Rankin told the Foreign Correspondents' Association in Colombo. "The end of the physical conflict was of course only the beginning," he said, adding that the next tasks are "...

Prime Minister calls on hunger striker to end fast

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to the President of the DMK, M Karunanidhi, calling on hunger striker Thiagu to call off his fast, stating a decision to attend the upcoming CHOGM has yet to be decided. Thiagu, General Secretary of the Tamil National Liberation Movement, has been on hunger strike since the 1st of October. Writing to the DMK Chief, Singh stated, "I wish to inform you that a decision on the issue of my participation in the CHOGM conference will be taken only after considering all relevant factors, including the sentiments of your party and the Tamil people."

"The only thing that will be separated is their heads from bodies"

Speaking at a Sri Lankan military gathering in the Northern Provincial area of Vanni, Sri Lanka’s Army Commander, Daya Ratnayake, issued a stern warning to individuals or parties that attempted to divide the country. Outlining that underground members of terrorist organisations and intelligence operatives were still actively trying to destabilise the Sri Lankan state, Ratnayake, said , “Our message to the Society is that anyone can live in a democratic society within the framework of democracy but if anyone attempts to step outside the boundaries of democracy and takes extreme measures to...

Tamil prisoner death case dismissed as it would ‘encourage’ more riots

A case brought by the parents of Ganesan Nimalaruban, who died last year in a Vavuniya prison, has been dismissed by the Supreme Court. Nimalaruban died along with another inmate after riots by Tamil detainees, during which several prison guards were taken hostage. Prison officials say Nimalaruban died of heart disease, however his family and lawyers say that his body had physical injuries. The de facto Chief Justice Mohan Peiris is reported to have dismissed the case before hearing any evidence, saying that lawyers have a responsibility to the country and that bringing such cases against...

Tamil vote for self-determination must be respected - TNPF

Speaking at a Jaffna press conference at the Jaffna Press Club on Monday, Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam praised the people of the North for demand for self-determination expressed by their votes at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections last month. Listen to press conference in Tamil here: Standing by the TNPF’s decision to boycott the election, Gajendrakumar said that the Tamil people of the North were to be praised for rejecting Sri Lankan rule in the Tamil homeland, and for expressing their enduring desire for the right to self-determination, despite all the obstacles and hardships they have faced in the four years since the end of the armed conflict. " We also view this [election result] as something special. As you well know, our party boycotted this election completely ." " But despite that, we did not ask the Tamil people to boycott the election or to act in a way that we instructed. As you well know we did released a written statement, that only a few media outlets covered. In that way, we left the election to the conscience of the people ." " As far as we are concerned, even today, the [Tamil] people have clearly expressed their aspirations, namely, firstly, they have categorically rejected the Sri Lankan state's conduct and rule within the Tamil homeland . Secondly, with regards to Tamil political aspirations, even today, they have once again, resolutely voted for the right to self-determination, seeking the reaffirmation of our nationhood, and unanimously, for the freedom of a nation ; in a vote that has no historic precedence ." " We bow our heads to their [Tamil people's] act " Gajendrakumar said that his party would work to keep the people actively engaged in politics, outside of election time.

Further land appropriation in the North-East

The Sri Lankan military has continued the land grab and colonisation of the North-East reports Tamilnet . Resettled Tamil farmers have had their agricultural land taken by the Sri Lankan military, who have been involved in resettling people form the South to form a new village in the North-Eastern region of Kokkuth-thoduvaay. The latest round of land appropriation and colonisation comes after the Tamil North-East voted overwhelmingly for an end to military presence and land appropriation.

SL to follow same regulations as Australia for CHOGM journalists – Rambukwella

The Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has said that Sri lanka will follow the same guidelines as employed by the Australian government during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth 2 years ago. Rambukwella said background checks are currently being performed on foreign journalists who have applied to enter the country to cover CHOGM. The CHOGM 2013 Task Force Secretariat in Colombo will be making the final decisions in this regard, he said. "We are not particular about any individual media channels or organisations coming to cover the summit, but the...