Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport to become repair centre

The failed Mattale Rajapakse International Airport will become a Maintenance and Repair Centre, reported The Sunday Leader . Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, Prasanna J. Wickramasuriya, claimed that the centre was needed in order to make Sri Lanka a regional aviation hub. “If we have a MRO center in the country we can repair and maintain not only our own Sri Lankan and Mihin Air aircraft but also could provide the service to the other regional airlines, which is a money spinning industry,” said Wickramasuriya. However unnamed sources told The Sunday Leader that...

RSF condemns military attacks on journalists at Weliweriya

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Sri Lankan military's attack against journalists covering the incident at Weliweriya . In a statement published on Monday, the press freedom group, said: “We are very disturbed by the repeated use of violence against journalists in Sri Lanka,” “At best, the police take no action when journalists report that they have been the targets of violence. At worst, the army itself, equipped with lethal weapons, organizes and executes these attacks , as it did in Weliweriya.” “These unacceptable incidents show that, although the civil war is now over in Sri Lanka, violence by the armed forces is still far from being brought to an end and that freedom of information is still in great danger .”

20 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by SL Navy

The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 20 fishermen off the coast of Thalai Mannar on Saturday, reports The Hindu . The Sri Lankan Navy spokesperson, Commander Kosala Warnakulasooriya accused the fishermen of trespassing into Sri Lankan waters. Sixty-five Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested last week by the Sri Lankan Navy. Related articles from this year: SL Navy arrests 21 Indian fishermen (07 Jul 2013) Navy denies arresting Indian fishermen (15 Apr 2013)

SL teachers join lawyers in Weriweliya condemnation

The Teacher-Principal Trade Unions Joint Committee condemned the Weriweliya incident , and said that the government should take responsibility for it. The committee's swift public condemnation, in line with legal bodies, criticised the military's attack on 'unarmed civilians who were protesting for a basic human need'. Condemnation from the Sinhala polity, professional bodies and public has been swift. See more: Legal profession speaks out on civilian killings Usual suspects: Tamil diaspora provoked Weliweriya protesters says SL media Next day delivery.. See also our editorial on the incident...

Northern Provincial Council candidate found dead

An independent candidate who was contesting the Northern Provincial Council election was found dead on Friday afternoon reports the The body of V. Ramachandran was found inside a temple in Chunnaaham and was taken to Jaffna Teaching Hospital for a post mortem.

Protest organised to show discontent over government killing its people

A mass movement in Sri Lanka, the People’s Movement for Democracy (PMD), has organised a demonstration to show discontent over the killings of civilians at Weliweriya. The leader of the movement, parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said , “Let’s protest against the government that shoots the people.” Herath noted that workers, students and media personnel are fighting for their rights, deploring the government’s response of using terror squads to shoot people agitating for their rights.

British Tamils Forum urge TNA to be explicit on NPC limitations

In a statement released on Sunday, Days after the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) registered its nominations for the Northern Provincial Council election, the British Tamils Forum (BTF) has called on the TNA to be " explicit about the dangers posed by the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council election ", highlighting that the " TNA participation in the Council poses significant risks " and there was " a real danger of unwittingly playing stooge in the Sri Lankan state's campaign to regain legitimacy on the world stage ". See here for full statement. Extract reproduced below: "The TNA's decision to contest the Northern Provincial Council election cannot even be described as a low-risk, speculative venture – harmlessly undertaken on the off-chance that it succeeds. Rather, TNA participation in the Council poses significant risks. Complicity in propping up a Provincial Council system that provides token benefits – perhaps a bicycle here and a rice sack there – while perpetuating the Sri Lankan state's structural genocide of Tamils, could strike a devastating blow to the decades-long struggle by the Tamil people for their rights and freedom. There is a real danger of unwittingly playing stooge in the Sri Lankan state's campaign to regain legitimacy on the world stage: if Tamil participation in the Provincial Council is used to provide a distraction that undermines global campaigns for an international independent inquiry into the crimes committed by the Sri Lankan state and recognition of the Tamil people’s right to self-determination.

The fiasco begins

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) expressed disappointment over the president’s stance on land and police powers to provinces today. The party leader, R.Sampanthan, speaking to media, outlined that President Mahinda Rajapaksa continually changed his stance on devolving police and land powers. “He (the president) does not seem to have a steady decision. The TNA is observing his comments and at the right time will come out with a response to the President,” he said . Rajapaksa recently stated that land and police powers would stay with the government as the idea had not been implemented since...

Chinese-built port to open in Colombo tomorrow

A Chinese mega-port built in Colombo will be opened tomorrow. The Colombo International Container Terminal cost $500mn to build and is 85% owned by state-owned China Merchant Holdings International. Independent shipping expert, Rohan Masakorala, said the port gives China a foothold on a strategic route, according to AFP . "Terminal investments are a good business which can give a very good return," said Masakorala, a former secretary-general of the Singapore-based Asian Shippers Council. "Through this investment, China is also securing the safety and efficiency of their main supply chain." "...

Next day delivery..

Less that 24 hours after the Weliweriya shooting the Army has announced that an internal inquiry will take place, the Colombo Crime Division has been ordered to investigate police actions, the Sri Lankan government has appointed a committee to investigate the grievances of the protesters regarding the contamination of the water, and the JVP has condemned violence against those protesting for a "basic human need". The army's internal inquiry was announced by the newly appointed Army Commander, Liutenant General Daya Rathnayake. The inquiry board will be headed by Major General Jagath Dias. See...