Explosive raid was a set up - Sritharan

Speaking out about the alleged discovery of explosives at his Kilinochi office, TNA MP Sritharan accused the government of spinning a charade. In a statement to Uthayan on Monday Sritharan also claimed that the raiders of his office did not have a court order or a police warrant to search his office. After a TNA member was arrested following the five hour raid, Sritharan also stated that selected pro-government media were invited to cover the event, with no independent media present.

Chief Justice sacked

After weeks of controversy over an impeachment motion and Supreme Court rulings, Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was sacked today by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. A letter signed by Rajapakse was delivered to Bandaranayake's office. In a statement, the Presidential office said: "The president has said in the removal statement that he was in agreement with the request for the removal of the chief justice from office made in the said address of parliament." See here for coverage by Reuters and The Independent , which described it as a "constitutional crisis". Commenting on the...

Australian protestors ‘intimidated’ - SMH

Several protestors, who have been demonstrating for a boycott of Sri Lanka’s cricket team, have said that they are being ‘stalked’ by individuals, suspected to have links with the Sri Lankan embassy, reported SMH . Former sports journalist Trevor Grant said he had written to Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr about the stalking. Mr Grant added that fellow Tamil protestors said that the men were connected to the Sri Lankan government. ''They say they have done this before, using the photographs and film for identification, in order to harass relatives back in Sri Lanka,'' he said. ''We have...

Body of male found in Vavuniya

The body of a Tamil male was found in Podunganpilavu pond in Vavuniya on Sunday, reports Tamilwin. Believed to be that of 31 year old, Aalakumalai Ganeshan from Suntharapuram, the body has been handed over to Vavuniya hospital for a post mortem.

Sri Lanka set to purchase refined oil from Singapore

The Sri Lankan state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is set to purchase refined crude oil from Singapore’s PetroChina International, after a deal received cabinet approval. The six-month tender looks set to last from December 2012 until May 2013, with Sri Lanka receiving 180 days credit. See the report from Lanka Business Online here . Sri Lanka has been under increasing pressure to purchase fuel from frequently used sources, after sanctions on Iran, the country’s previous highest seller. With the island’s sole fuel refinery only able to process Iranian crude oil, Sri Lanka has also been...

Compulsory conference was a farce

15000 Tamil graduate students were left disappointed after a conference promising appointments turned out to be a film screening of Sri Lankan state propaganda, reports Uthayan . Up to 50,000 graduates were told that the conference in Colombo was essential for academic appointment, although the students were expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. The conference turned out to be comprised of a film detailing how Sri Lanka was restored to democracy and various speeches from ministers. There was no mention of academic appointments throughout the entire conference, which was...

Drug imports from Indian company banned by health ministry

The Sri Lankan Minister for Health, Maithripala Sirisena, has suspended all drug imports from an Indian company called Biomet Pharmaceuticals of India. The decision was taken in response to the discovery of a fragment of glass in an intravenous Cloxacillin vial at Colombo South Teaching Hospital. Six hundred vials of the drug were subsequently removed from hospitals and an inquiry ordered by the Ministry of Health. Over 70% of pharmaceutical drugs used on the island are Indian imports.

Army 'finds' porn and explosives in TNA office

The Sri Lankan Army has reportedly discovered a stash of explosives and pornographic material in the office of Tamil National Alliance MP for Kilinochchi, reported the Daily Mirror . Military Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya was quoted as saying the MP's Coordinating Secretary had been taken into custody over the incident. See details in TamilNet's report . The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) has been at the forefront of a systematic campaign since November to intimidate Tamil university students and MPs amid protests and agitation in Jaffna. According to the accompanying...

Commonwealth Sec General, UK concerned about impeachment

Criticising the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma said the "Commonwealth, collectively, is profoundly concerned about this situation." "I strongly urge that time be taken to reflect and consider fully the constitutional and other ramifications of the differing positions taken by the Judiciary and Legislature before any decision is taken by the Executive on the impeachment of the Chief Justice." "I recognise that this is a matter for Sri Lanka, but am also conscious of our shared Commonwealth values and principles, to which Sri Lanka and all...

Sri Lanka recalls ambassador to Saudi Arabia

The Sri Lankan government has recalled their ambassador to Saudi Arabia in response to the execution of a maid, convicted of murdering her employer’s baby. Karunatilake Amunugama, secretary of the External Affairs Ministry, told Reuters , "(This is) to show our displeasure for not hearing the government's appeal to save Rizana Nafeek," "He (the envoy) has been recalled with immediate effect." Saudi Arabia was one of the 15 countries to vote against the March 2012 United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, joining others such as Cuba, China and Russia. The country was also a...

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