LTTE not entitled to cemeteries - SL commander

Responding to resolutions taken by various Pradeshiya Sabais earlier in the week to restore Maveerar Thuyilum Illangal - martyr cemeteries - in Kilinochchi, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Mahinda Hathurasinghe said that a 'banned terrorist organisation' like the LTTE could not lay claims to tombs or monuments. According to Tamilwin , the security around the Thuyilum Illam lands was intensified overnight after the decision, including by barbed wire and increased troop presence.

Tamil Nadu spurns Cameron's decision on CHOGM

Photos: Traders in Tamil Nadu held a protest agaist Britain earlier this week, following British Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirming that the UK would be attending CHOGM in Colombo next month. [ more ]

Anti-Halal protest prayer

A Buddhist organisation in Sri Lanka is reinvigorating their campaign against halal meet by holding protest prayers, reported ColomboPage . The Bodu Bala Sena is holding the prayer meeting outside a temple in Kandy which houses a tooth relic, purportedly belonging to the Buddha. The BBS said it is restarting their anti-halal campaign as the government has not taken sufficient action to address their concerns.

Tamil asylum seekers face significant harm - Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission found today that asylum seekers were at the risk of being returned to harmful situations in Sri Lanka, under the current government’s ‘enhanced screening process’. The Commission president, Professor Gillian Triggs, further noted, in their latest report, that Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees did not meet international standards of law. The report concluded , “The Commission is concerned that the enhanced screening process may not contain sufficient safeguards to protect people from being removed to a country where they face a real...

Casino controversy

An Australian gambling tycoon’s plans to build a $400 million resort in Sri Lanka have been delayed after protests by Buddhist leaders and some political parties, reports Reuters . The Sri Lankan government announced on Tuesday that it will be altering the tax concessions initially granted to James Packer’s Crown Ltd both because politicians opposed special tax concessions, which local entrepreneurs did not receive, and also because Buddhist leaders complained that the inclusion of a casino in the plans would be detrimental to Sri Lankan culture. Speaking on behalf of Tamil Refugee Council,...

Tamil Nadu students rally against CHOGM

Students from various organisations have been organising a range of rallies and protests this month, against the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting due to be held in Colombo, urging countries across the world, to boycott the event. [ more ]

'Malaysia a disturbing partner for SL' - HRW

Human Rights Watch has called upon the Malaysian government to drop charges against an activist for holding a screening of 'No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka'. Lena Hendry from the group Pusat KOMAS, was held under charges from the the Film Censorship Act after screening the film on the 3rd of July at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Malaysia. HRW reported that the Sri Lankan government communicated with the Malaysian government in an attempt to halt the screening of the film. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch stated, “Malaysia’s...

Sri Lankan rights activists call for CHOGM boycott

Two prominent human rights activists in Sri Lanka, who have survived death threats and assassination attempts, called on leaders including David Cameron and the Prince of Wales to boycott a key Commonwealth summit next month. The executive director of Transparency International, whose family in Sri Lanka was forced into hiding in 2008, called the decision to hold the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo as “shameless.” Comparing the Sri Lankan rule to Zimbabwe he said, “What’s the difference? The rule of law is collapsing in Sri Lanka.” A widely acclaimed, Sri Lankan activist...

Record amount allocated to Sri Lanka’s latest defence budget

The Sri Lankan government has again raised its defence to a record Rs253bn ($1.95bn) in 2014, over 4 years after the end of military operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The latest figures were presented in parliament on Monday, and the defence and police budget make up nearly 12% of the government’s total spend of Rs2.54 trillion, which is slightly lower than the Rs2.56 trillion allocated for the current year, according to AFP . Although the overall budget is lower in 2014 than in 2013, the defence spending has increased from Rs249bn to Rs253bn in 2014. The full budget is...

British Shadow Foreign Sec calls for change in approach to Sri Lanka

Writing in The Guardian today, the British Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, called on David Cameron to reverse his approach with Sri Lanka. Elaborating on his demand and providing assurance of the Labour party's intention of supporting the Prime minister, Alexander reiterated that Cameron must: Boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Set out a clear action plan to support improvements in human rights in Sri Lanka. Add voice to the growing calls for a full and independent UN-led investigation. Seek urgent assurances from Sri Lanka that it will respect the principles of...