Chinese sports equipment for distribution in north

The Chinese government has donated $50million worth of sports equipment to the government, for distribution amongst children in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi. An agreement was signed by China's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao and External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris at an event in Temple Trees, reported ColomboPage. The Chinese Ambassador said at the function that he toured several areas in the North, including Jaffna, some time ago and observed the change that has taken place in the areas affected by the conflict. Mr Jianghao stressed his government's support to uplift civilian life...

GL Peiris slams Western interference

Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister GL Peiris has criticised the raising of the impeachment of the former Chief Justice by countries like the UK, US and Canada, reported The Island . "We have the situation in which, for example, the prime minister of one country is specifically calling for the reinstatement of former CJ, "On no basis can one justify that. How can the Prime Minister of one country call for the reinstatement of the CJ in another country? That is almost impertinent." Peiris said that the hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting by Sri Lanka was decided in 2009...

Woman's body found near Kalmunai Vihara

The body of a young woman was found today washed up on the shore by the Kalmunai Vihara, reports Tamilwin. The body, found at 6am this morning, is that of 34 year old Muslim woman called Aathampaavaa Risaanaa. She was reported missing three days prior.

Former Commonwealth eminent person calls for SL suspension

A former member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group from 2010 to 2011, Sir Ronald Sanders, argues "it is time for the Commonwealth of Nations to suspend Sri Lanka from its councils", in an op-ed published in the Huntington News on Thursday. See here for his full piece. Extracts published below: "The Sri Lanka government has now seriously and persistently violated the principles to which every Commonwealth country has declared itself to be committed, and, according to the Commonwealth’s rules this is ground for suspension from its councils as a first step."

US State Dept delegation to visit Sri Lanka ahead of UNHRC

A US State Department delegation is set to visit Sri Lanka in the coming weeks to prepare for the United Nations Human Rights Council Session in March, reported Ceylon Today. The delegation will reportedly consist of three deputy assistant secretaries in good governance, democracy and human rights working under r Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O. Blake. Ceylon Today quoted embassy sources as saying, “Though it could not be pinpointed the visit instigated solely because of the impeachment, the latter played a bigger role in their basic needs expected...

TNPF member threatened by security forces and paramilitary over protest

A central committee member of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), Kandeepan Thangarajah, has been threatened by Sri Lankan security forces and paramilitary group EPDP over his presence at protests against sand mining. Speaking to local residents at the protest whilst Thangarajah was not present, Point Pedro police and members of the paramilitary group, EPDP, accused Thangarajah of instigating the protests and warned protesters that he would be arrested if the protests did not stop. Meanwhile, Thangarajah's wife has reportedly been receiving several phone calls from a Sri Lankan Army...

SL police question TNPF Jaffna office on protests

Members of the Gurunagar Jaffna police force visited the TNPF Jaffna office on two separate occasions yesterday, asking questions about future protests. On the first visit, the officers demanded to know if there were any protests planned in the near future, to which TNPF members reportedly replied no. Later in the day, the police officers returned asking whether the TNPF had been invited to partake in someone else's protest. It is not known which protest they were alluding to.

Political rights "Not Free" in Sri Lanka - Freedom House

In their annual survey on political rights and civil liberties, Freedom House ranked Sri Lanka as “Not Free”, downgrading them significantly. The report, entitled “ Freedom in the World 2013 ”, stated that Sri Lanka suffered one of the biggest declines this year, losing 9 points from 2009. The group cited “increasing corruption and an attempt to impeach the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court” as reasons for the country’s decline. Sri Lanka’s press has already been deemed “not free” by the US-basad group.

British Airways ‘unethical’ for promoting Sri Lanka – MP

The choice of Sri Lanka as British Airways’ top recommendation for travel in 2013 has been criticised as irresponsible and unethical by Labour MP Simon Danczuk. Mr Danczuk discouraged travel to Sri Lanka in his blog for the Huffington Post , citing the denial of justice to his constituent Khuram Sheikh, who was murdered in 2011, and international concern over human rights violations. See extracts below: He was shot and stabbed by a gang of drunken thugs at a hotel overlooking white sands and an azure sea shimmering under the sun. Fringed by palm trees with a warm sea breeze coming off the...

ICG calls for assertive action against Sri Lanka

The International Crisis Group has today released a report , accusing the Sri Lankan state of dismantling of its "independent judiciary system" and leaving "Sri Lanka's battered democracy on life support." The report also noted that Sri Lanka's insistence of investigating its own shortcomings and war crime allegations, were made implausible as one of the last 'independent' institutions, the court, is dismantled. See here for the TG view of Sri Lanka's previously 'functioning' independent judiciary system. Highlighting Sri Lanka's violations of basic Commonwealth principles, the report asserted that member states should call on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to put Sri Lanka on the agenda, whilst shifting the location of the next Commonwealth heads of government meeting, which is currently set to take place in Sri Lanka.