Country guidance case outlines perpetual human rights abuses, threats and cultural destruction

The Country Guidance Case on Sri Lanka, a process which reassessed the current guidance on Sri Lanka was released this week. The report recognised the on-going militarisation and repression of cultural identity, finding that, “The former Tamil areas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces are in effect occupied territory, with one soldier for every five members of the population. Militarisation is particularly heavy in the Northern Province.” And that, “President Rajapaksa has stated that these areas should not now be described as “Tamil areas”: the government’s intention appears to be to...

TAG expresses disappointment at Country Guidance exclusion of torture data

Speaking on the recently released Country Guidance ruling on Sri Lanak, Tamils Against Genocide’s (TAG) Advocacy Manager, Hettie Briscoe said , “Broadly we welcome this determination which marks a sea change from previous guidance. In it the Tribunal recognizes that the Sri Lankan state is extremely repressive and that-those who actively speak out against this repressive state, who call for accountability for war crimes and genocide, or who believe the ethnic conflict can be solved by the creation of an independent Tamil state are at risk of persecution including torture. We are however...

Buddhist group calls for veil ban

The Bodu Bala Sena has called for a complete ban on face coverings in public faces. The group said that the covering of faces is a big threat to the security of Sri Lanka and is now demanding that the government ban the practice, common amongst some Muslims in Sri Lanka. Read more here .

SL Navy arrests 21 Indian fishermen

The Sri Lankan navy arrested 21 Indian fishermen on Saturday, off the coast of Mannar, reports ColomboPage. According to the Navy the fishermen were poaching in Sri Lankan waters. They have reportedly been handed over to the Thalaimannar Police force.

Why are asylum seekers disbelieved? - TAG

Following on from a MEDACT conference on asylum seekers last month, Tamils Against Genocide have analysed British Home Office policy documents and guidance for asylum caseworkers, attempting to explain why asylum claims from Sri Lanka continue to be dismissed. Building on work by Professor Anthony Good, Professor Emeritus in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, TAG assessed Home Office policy, concluding, “The guidance is flawed, the consequences horrible to contemplate." Read the full post on the Free Movement blog here. See extracts below. "Why are asylum seekers so often disbelieved? How is it that clinical evidence of torture is oftentimes rejected on the grounds of ‘credibility’? Why has the UK judged so many Tamil asylum seekers not to be at risk, forcibly returning them to Sri Lanka where they have gone on to be tortured?"

SL launches website on reconciliation progress

The Sri Lankan government has launched an official website for the National Action Plan of the implementation of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations, reported Colombo Page . The website will exhibit examples of Sri Lanka’s alleged progress in implementing the recommendations of the LLRC. Speaking at the launch on Friday, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, the authority in charge of implementing the LLRC, stressed the need to make ‘progress’ on the LLRC recommendations visible.

CID arrests 12 STF citing Trinco5

According to reports , the Criminal Investigation's Department (CID) of Sri Lanka, has arrested 12 Special Task Force police officers for the the killing of 5 Tamil students in Trincomalee in Eastern Sri Lanka in 2006. One of the suspects is reported to include an Assistant Superintendent of Police. The Trincomalee Chief Magistrate U.L.M. Azhar has ordered that the suspects be remanded until July 18 at the Anuradhapura Prison.

SL invited to host more conferences

Mahinda Rajapakse has accepted an invite to host the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in 2014. The Secretary General of the organisation, Chung Eui-Yong said that many ICAPP members were enthusiastic for Sri Lanka to host due to its 'strategic' location. The aim of the conference is reportedly to build trust and understanding between different political parties across Asia.

Rajapaksa proclaims NPC election

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued a directive to the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to hold the Northern Provincial Council election. At the same time, the dissolution of the North-Western Province and Central Province has been approved and will come into effective on midnight on Friday. According to the Election Secretariat, elections for the three provinces will be held in late September.

Military educational scholarships allocated to the North-East

More than 1000 educational scholarships worth Rs. 6.3 million were awarded to school children in Kilinochichi announced the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence . The education exhibition, organised by Security Forces in Kilinochchi, brought up students from Southern Sinhala schools counterparts to take part in a joint exhibition of their artistic works. The Ministry of Defence described this new scheme as their phase of development in the Northern region. The announcement forms a stark contrast with Mahinda Rajapaksa's earlier statement of national educational priorities amidst worrying school...