No starting point to resolution

Writing in The Hindu, Kumaravadivel Guruparan, a lecturer in law at the University of Jaffna and civil society activist, argues that " Sinhala nationalists and Tamil political parties are engaged in a wholly nonsensical and misleading debate over the 13th Amendment ", whilst " the Tamil people have been reduced to mere spectators ". See here for full article. Extract reproduced below: "The TNA is under pressure from India to accept a solution based on the 13th amendment, and does not want to be seen as rejecting something that President Rajapaksa is reluctant to offer. As a result, Tamil...

India expresses serious concern over detained fishermen

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam, to receive a formal demarche made against the large number of fishermen held in Sri Lankan custody, reported the Hindu . The demarche reflected India’s exasperation over the absence of any movement on the release of Indian fishermen despite several high level interventions, including discussions with Sri Lankan Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa.

UNP calls for international investigation into Weliweriya protest attack

Sri Lanka's main opposition, the United National Party, has called for an "independent international inquiry" into the killings of unarmed protestors by the army in Weliwariya last week. "We cannot accept the government getting one of its henchmen to probe the killings," UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake told reporters in Colombo. "Innocent civilians have been massacred." Unequal in death - Tamil Guardian Editorial (05 Aug 13)

Sri Lanka-US joint air force exercise in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan Air Force and the United States Pacific Air Force are currently holding joint exercise codenamed “Exercise Pacific Angel” in the Jaffna peninsula. The program is aimed at enhancing disaster responses, according to ColomboPage . Both militaries will also host a Health Services Outreach and Engineering Civil Programme on the peninsula. Engineers from both forces will renovate three schools in the Jaffna district, which “will provide benefits to the local population, while allowing both multinational responders and Sri Lankans to practice providing emergency medical assistance and...

Army must not investigate itself - Amnesty Int

Amnesty International criticised the decision to allow the army to police the demonstrations at Weliweriya and has said hat the army should not be allowed to investigate itself. Amnesty International’s Asia Director, Polly Truscott said: “The Sri Lankan army should have never been policing unarmed demonstrators in the first place, and having them investigate their own alleged abuses is simply ridiculous,” “Sri Lankan authorities must urgently initiate an effective investigation into this tragic incident. The investigation must be independent, impartial and conducted with the professionalism,...

Karunanidhi calls for CHOGM boycott

The DMK leader M Karunanidhi has called for the Indian government to boycott the forthcoming Commonwealth heads of government Meeting in Colombo. "Our party chief M Karunanidhi has asked the government to boycott the November conference of CHOGM. We cannot have normal relations with a government that is insensitive to the demands of Sri Lankan Tamils," DMK spokesman and MP TKS Elangovan told the Economic Times .

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.

Unequal in death

The shooting of unarmed protesters by a state’s military, as took place in Weliweriya this week , is horrific. The profound perversity of a state turning its military apparatus on the people it purports to protect is universally felt. The Tiananmen Square massacre, Bloody Sunday and even Egypt today, are cases in point. The insurmountable inequity of force and the ensuing bloodshed of the unarmed protesters form a chilling reminder of a state’s simmering potential to abuse its monopoly on violence. The outrage and shock that has reverberated through Sri Lanka’s south following the Weliweriya incident is thus well placed. Yet as with the killings of other dissenting individuals, this tragedy highlights the intractable fallacy of an equal or inclusive ‘Sri Lankan identity’. In Sri Lanka, even death is no equaliser. The killing of a dissenter is defined by ethno-political identity, both that of the individual and their demands.

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport to become repair centre

The failed Mattale Rajapakse International Airport will become a Maintenance and Repair Centre, reported The Sunday Leader . Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, Prasanna J. Wickramasuriya, claimed that the centre was needed in order to make Sri Lanka a regional aviation hub. “If we have a MRO center in the country we can repair and maintain not only our own Sri Lankan and Mihin Air aircraft but also could provide the service to the other regional airlines, which is a money spinning industry,” said Wickramasuriya. However unnamed sources told The Sunday Leader that...

RSF condemns military attacks on journalists at Weliweriya

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Sri Lankan military's attack against journalists covering the incident at Weliweriya . In a statement published on Monday, the press freedom group, said: “We are very disturbed by the repeated use of violence against journalists in Sri Lanka,” “At best, the police take no action when journalists report that they have been the targets of violence. At worst, the army itself, equipped with lethal weapons, organizes and executes these attacks , as it did in Weliweriya.” “These unacceptable incidents show that, although the civil war is now over in Sri Lanka, violence by the armed forces is still far from being brought to an end and that freedom of information is still in great danger .”