Rajapakse’s secretary claims Jaffna people want Army

The Secretary to the Sri Lankan President, Lalith Weeratunge has claimed that the people of Jaffna have made “fervent appeals” to keep the army on the peninsula. “Many lands have been returned, and ones that are needed for public purposes will be retained. The HSZ has shrunk by almost 60%. Many peace loving residents of Jaffna have made fervent appeals to retain the Armed Forces because of their post conflict welfare activities,” Weeratunga said in a Twitter interview today. Responding to tweets under the hashtag #AskLW , Weeratunge responded to a few selected tweets, using Mahinda Rajapakse’...

Underwhelming announcement, no police powers

Still smarting from India's vote at the UNHRC, Sri Lanka has informed India of the decision not to devolve police powers to the provinces. Retaliating to allegations that Sri Lanka was retreating on its promise to implement the 13th Amendment, Gothabaya Rajapaske said that "India let us down in Geneva, very badly."

Cannot supress Sinhalese rights to land - Gota

Gotabhaya Rajapakse has said that the rights of Sinhalese to purchase land in the North cannot be suppressed. According to Uthayan , Gotabhaya also declared that no province belonged to any race. He made no comment however, on how such vast availability of lands for sale came to be.

More coverage of yesterday's attack on Tamil activists by Sri Lanka fans at Oval

More photos and videos have emerged of the violence in London yesterday, as Sri Lankan cricket fans hurled racist abuse and attacked Tamil activists who were campaigning outside the Oval cricket stadium. Find full coverage of the event here: Sri Lankan cricket fans attack #BoycottLKA activists in London (18 June 2013) The video below was sent to Tamil Guardian by an activist, which shows Tamil activists being beaten and dragged into the road by a mob of Sri Lanka cricket fans. The Sri Lanka fans hurled racist abuse at the Tamils, with police struggling to cope as hundreds more swarmed around the small group of activists. See more photos of Sri Lanka cricket fans attacking Tamils, as an elderly Tamil man and child take cover on TamilWin here . The cricket fans were screaming "F*** Tamils!" and "One nation!" as police reinforcements arrived and attempted to herd the Sri Lankan fans away from the Tamils. Bottles and rocks were then launched towards the 20 or so activists, as the Sri Lankan fans continued to chant.

British Council hosts international education event in Colombo

The British Council will hold a global education forum in Colombo, with attendees from several countries coming together to discuss international higher education issues. “Global education dialogues are organised around the world to bring together key policy-makers and influences so that they can reflect on and debate the challenges and opportunities facing international higher education,” the British Council said in a statement. Over 100 participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the UAE and the UK are expected to attend. Sri Lanka as a venue for...

UK university students condemn racist attacks

University Tamil societies from across the UK have released a statement condemning the racist attacks outside the Oval on Monday. 21 Tamil societies joined together to denounce the attacks and commend the peaceful campaign of the activists, while questioning the lack of response from police forces to assaults. "We the British Tamil youth are shocked by such racially motivated attacks and the malicious and spiteful slogans such as "F*** Tamils” and other expletives hurled at the peaceful men and women, several of whom sustained injuries from the incident. At this time we commend the Tamil activists caught up in the violence, for remaining steadfast in their purpose as peaceful campaigners even in the face of such violence and abuse."

Assaulted #BoycottLKA activist calls for calm

Following the violent scenes of Tamil 'Boycott Sri Lankan Cricket' activists being assaulted by Sri Lankan cricket fans , on Monday night outside the Oval in London, Tamil Guardian spoke to one of the organisers, Thusiyan.

Dr. Sivashankar released

A Tamil doctor, who was arrested in December 2012 after attempted to release a Tamil woman from a Sri Lankan military base, was released on Monday morning. Dr Sivashankar was released by the Mullaitheevu Magistrate, N. Ganesaraja, without charge. See: Doctor arrested by SL military (30 Dec 2012) and our editorial: Ruling the Law .

CHOGM to depict 'correct image of SL'

The Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, Karunathilake Amunugama said that through the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the 'correct image of Sri Lanka could be depicted to the international'. The Secretary of Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Charath Herath, said that over 700 journalists would be visiting Sri Lanka this November, and 'it is expected to escort these journalists to different areas of the island to show the correct condition of Sri Lanka'. Last week, the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa asserted that 'LTTE-linked groups' had ensured that "despite...

'Australia's practice of returning Sri Lankans is reckless'

Writing in the Guardian's 'Comment is free' section, Emily Howie - a lawyer with the Human Rights Law Centre and a leebron fellow at Columbia university - said the new 'enhanced screening' is jeopardising Sri Lankan asylum claims, and described Australia's deportation of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka as "reckless". See here for full opinion. Extract published below: "Australia's practice of returning Sri Lankans is reckless. Not only does the country turn a blind eye to the harm that the they may face on return, it does so on the basis of a diminished understanding of individuals' claims for asylum and without adequate monitoring back in Sri Lanka."