Head of German NGO arrested in Colombo

The bureau chief of the German NGO, Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, was arrested in Colombo on Thursday and released on bail, with conditions not to leave the country. The foundation, which has worked to promote democracy in Sri Lanka for over 50 years and is close to the main German opposition, has condemned the arrests. No further information is currently available. German NGO interrogated by SL police (24 May 2013)

Govt collects info on Sinhalese in Jaffna

The government of Sri Lanka is amassing proof of pre-1983 Sinhalese presence in Jaffna, reports Uthayan . Details on Sinhalese families and workers resident in Jaffna before 1983 is being compiled through the district secratariat, where each divisional secratariat has been directed to gather information from every village in the province.

Board of Intellectuals to investigate NGOs

The Sri Lankan government has appointed a Board of Intellectuals to investigate charges and allegations made against NGOs and their activities, reports the government's own news portal. According to News.lk, this is to ‘thwart certain NGOs from hatching conspiracies to effect regime change by engaging in politics in the guise of doing social work in the country.' See here . See also ' Head of German NGO arrested in Colombo ' (14 June 2013)

Gotabhaya's bogeymen...

Addressing a lecture on 'Sri Lanka’s National Security Concerns' at Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa spelled out the biggest threats to the state's national security at present: 1. The possible re-emergence of terrorism 2. The emergence of other extremist groups 3. The creation of ethnic divisions and communal violence 4. The challenges of maritime security and border control 5. The growth of organised crime 6. Foreign interference in domestic affairs 7. Non-traditional threats through technology driven new media, including social media . Outlining the current 'threat' faced by Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya said: "The threat of terrorism re-emerging still persists. One of the main reasons for the LTTE’s success during its heyday was its extensive international network, which has been in operation for many decades." "As a result of the July 1983 riots, a large number of Tamil people left Sri Lanka and travelled to countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and parts of Europe. These countries granted asylum to these immigrants, and later granted them citizenship. As such, there is a large population of immigrant Sri Lankan Tamils in other countries . A small minority of this population supports the LTTE even to this day . Extremist elements within this community, together with LTTE agents and operatives, including trained terrorists who fled Sri Lanka at various times during the war, comprise the LTTE’s international network."

Intimidating SL fans caught out

Video footage of #Boycottlka campaign activist intimidation has been sent to Tamil Guardian in the aftermath of the #Boycottlka campaign, outside the Oval cricket ground on 13 th of February. Sri Lankan fans heckle Tamil activists and members of the public

Govt to present 19A as urgent bill next week

Sri Lankan government to present the 19th amendment as an urgent bill to parliament next week, said Media Minister and cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella on Thursday. The bill will seek a repeal of provisions in 13th amendment that allows for the merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces, which is 'critical because the merger of provinces could pose a threat to the authority of the central government' said Rambukwella.

Minister Weerawansa calls for referendum to secure 13A repeal

Minister Weerawansa called for a referendum on abolishing the 13th amendment if the government could not be confident of securing the two-third parliamentary majority needed to repeal it. Stating that the changes proposed by the government to the 13th Amendment were insufficient, Wwerawansa said that all provisions allowing separatism must be abolished. Weerawansa, also leader of the National Freedom Front said : “We promised the people at our May Day Rally that we will make sure to have land and police powers and all other provisions which support separatism be abolished before the Northern polls in September. We held a 10-day countrywide petition signing campaign calling for the abolishing of the 13th Amendment. More than one million people including UNP, SLFP and JVP provincial councillors and Pradeshiya Sabha Chairmen supported us in this worthy course,”

TNPF: 13A is not a starting point, interim or final solution

TNPF press conference 13/06/13. (Left to right: General Secretary Selvarajah Kajendran, President Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, and Party Organiser Vis va Manivannan ) At press conference on Wednesday, the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) slammed the notion that the 13th Amendment could be used in any way as a basis towards a political solution. Speaking at the event, organised by the Jaffna Press Club, TNPF President Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said: " It [13th Amendment] cannot be used as a starting point. It cannot be used as an interim solution. It cannot be used as a final solution. There is no room for even any discussion on the possibility of using the 13th Amendment as part of a political solution ." Calling on the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) not undermine the Tamil nation's political aspirations by standing as a coalition party in the Northern Provincial Council election, the TNPF urged the TNA to put forward individuals as independent candidates, as means of safeguarding the Tamil people against the possibility of government parties or paramilitaries winning the election.

Family abducted by white van in Batticaloa

A family of four was abducted by a group claiming to be from the army in a white van on Wednesday in Batticaloa, reports Tamilwin . The van was reportedly intercepted after villagers alerted the police, and the drivers on interrogation claimed that they were going to a nearby military camp, and the family was being taken based on a 'personal grudge'. A military spokesperson accused external groups of carrying out such calculated abductions to frame and ruin the 'good reputation' of the security forces.

#BoycottLKA campaign steps up to the crease in London

The #Boycottlka campaign moved to the Kennington Oval in London, today. In the lead up to the highly anticipated International Cricket Champions Trophy match between England and Sri Lanka, several activists handed out leaflets amongst large crowds outside the Oval Activist explains the importance of a boycott of Sri Lanka