Indian minister defends training of SL Army officials

An Indian minister has defended the decision to continue the training of officers form the Sri Lankan Army. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Sudarsana Natchiappan said consequences on the strategic relationship between Sri Lanka and India have to be considered. “I appreciate the feelings of those who have organised demonstrations against providing training to Sri Lankan Army officials [in Indian military facilities]. But you should not forget that they have the option of approaching China if India turned its back on them. It will not augur well for India, a close neighbour of...

Commonwealth leaders 'should feel sick' over Colombo summit - FT op-ed

Writing in the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman said leaders of Commonwealth nations should "feel sick about accepting hospitality from a government with so grim a rights record". See extracts below, for full article click here . The world is so busy cheering on the emergence of democracy in Myanmar that it is in danger of averting its eyes from the assault on democracy in another Asian state – Sri Lanka. In fact, the sins of the Sri Lankan government are not merely being ignored. They are about to be rewarded. This November Colombo is set to play host to the prestigious Commonwealth heads of...

Govt to ban sale of land to non-SL citizens

The Sri Lankan government is working towards the prohibition of state or private land to non-Sri Lankan citizens. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president, and the Minister of Finance and Planning, has submitted proposed legislation to a Cabinet of Ministers to impose the restrictions, reports the ColomboPage. According to the news site, the ' transfer of state or private land by way of a sale, donation, gift, or by any other disposition to a person who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka will be prohibited ' and ' further a sale cannot be sold or transferred to a company incorporated in Sri Lanka where...

SL warned UK of 'LTTE threats' against cricketers

The Sri Lankan government warned the British government and Scotland Yard of a 'possible threat to Sri Lanka's cricket team from the Tamil Tiger terrorist supporters in England', according to a report in the Sunday Leader. The External Affairs Ministry's Secretary, Karunatalika Amunugama, has requested a report into the possibility of 'security lapses' which allowed Tamil protesters to disrupt the Sri Lanka's cricket match against India at Swalec stadium in Cardiff. Amunugama said: "The ministry has asked the High Commissioner Dr. Chris Nonis to raise the issue with the British authorities"...

UNP member applies for SLFP nomination

The UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member for Chavakachcheri, Kumar Sharvendran, has applied for the SLFP nomination to contest the proposed Northern Provincial Council election to be held later this year. Sharvendran is one of 53 applicants that was interviewed for the position on Saturday, including TNA Jaffna Municipal councillor Remedius Mudiappu, and Daya Master, as well as businessmen and lawyers. Minister A.H.M Fowzie, who was on the interview panel said: “We are excepting more TNA and UNP local council members to join the SLFP before the polls.”

Protesters 'got the medicine they deserved' - SL cricket spokesperson

According to, Sri Lankan cricket spokesman said that the Sri Lankan cricket fans had given the Tamil #BoycottLKA protesters "the medicine they deserved". See here . Extract below: '... at the London Oval raged Sri Lankan fans had given them the medicine they deserved when LTTE sympathisers tried to spoil their victory party after the match to a point of hammering them till they ran , an SLC spokesman told ‘The Nation’ yesterday'

A brief encounter with Lasith Malinga

After bumping into Sri Lankan cricket player Lasitha Malinga, a Tamil Guardian reporter asked him a few quick questions.

Canada and Sri Lanka locked in High Commission dispute

Sri Lanka and Canada are locked in dispute regarding posting of envoys as High Commissioners in their respective capitals. According to the Sri Lankan Sunday Times , the Canadian government has made it clear that it will not accept Sri Lanka’s agreemo for a new High Commissioner in Canada until Sri Lanka accepts the credentials of Shely Whiting, who has been designated as the Canadian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka.

Holding CHOGM in Sri Lanka “absolute sham” – Dr Saravanamuttu

The Executive Director of the Colombo-based Centre for Policy Analysis has slammed the hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka later this year. Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu called the awarding an “absolute sham” and criticised that Sri Lanka, a government accused of war crimes, will be the chair of the Commonwealth. Speaking at the London School of Economics, Saravanamuttu detailed continuing abuses committed by the Sri Lankan state, saying the government’s actions were sustaining the sources of the continuing conflict. Although the war ended in 2009, the country was far away from a post-conflict situation, he said. Quoting a source from Jaffna, he said that “things look better but feel a lot worse”.

Arrest of NGO chief politically motivated?

The recent arrest of the head of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a German NGO working in Sri Lanka, was initially said to have been made due to a “compensation issue” with a former employee. However a report in The Nation , has revealed that concerns had been raised about the work the NGO does on the island, including attending Tamil political meetings, which, according to the paper, would be an “act of interference in the internal affairs of a country”. The arrest of Nora Langenbacher, the head of the NGO,drew protests from the German foreign ministry. “It is reported that this individual attended a meeting organized by the Bishop of Mannar recently where strategies were discussed to develop a common political program for the Tamil Community. Political analysts point that this is an act of interference in the internal affairs of a country and not mandated by agreement or convention,” the article in The Nation said. “Earlier this year, the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which is the main opposition party in the country, submitted a motion on Sri Lanka’s human rights issues to the German Federal Parliament, concurrent with the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. The motion was defeated despite the efforts of the SPD. It has reportedly come to the knowledge of Sri Lankan authorities that the FES played an important role in drafting the said motion. Sources indicate that the FES has been sending confidential reports to the SPD concerning the post-conflict situation in the island.”