Stop digging for war crimes evidence - SL Justice Minister

The Sri Lankan government has urged the United States to reconsider its position on Sri Lanka, reports Colombo Gazette. Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem reportedly asserted that the international community, including the US, should look to supporting mechanisms like the Truth Commission instead of 'polarising' the country. Hakeem accused the US government of having a preconceived notion on Sri Lanka, made clear by the visit of Ambassador-at-large for war crimes, Stephen Rapp, and according to the Colombo Gazette, said that "digging for evidence to back war crimes charges on Sri Lanka will only...

Tamil bishops reiterate call for international independent investigation

Speaking to the Catholic News Service on Tuesday, the Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar and Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam Emmanuel of Jaffna reiterated reiterated their demand for an international, independent investigation into the final stages of the armed conflict. Stating that a "structural genocide" was continuing to take place due to "government-aided colonisation schemes," Bishop Joseph said, "The international community should conduct an investigation to establish the truth. ... We are not asking this to make revenge on anyone in the government. We only want this for the betterment of...

Ananthy Sasitharan may be rehabilitated to prevent separatist tendencies – The Island

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence has said it is seriously considering admitting Ananthy Sasitharan, a prominent and popular member of the Northern Provincial Council, to a rehabilitation centre, to prevent her from propagating separatist ideas, reported The Island . A senior Defence Ministry official told the paper that Ananthy Sasitharan had avoided rehabilitation after May 2009, and that maybe she would not have adopted “such a hostile stance towards the government”, if she had gone through the rehabilitation system of the Sri Lankan military. The official further said that although her...

Deputy Minister accuses bishops in North of being terrorists

Sri Lanka's deputy minister for workers relations, and former Sri Lankan Navy official, Rear Admiral Sarath Veerasekar, accused bishops in the North of being terrorists, reports Uthayan . Pointing to Bishop of Jaffna and the Bishop of Mannar meeting with the US ambassador at large for war crimes, Stephen Rapp earlier this month, Deputy Minister Veerasekar, said that there was only one definition of terrorist. “ Terrorists means everyone against the country, there's no other meaning to it ," he explained.

Video footage emerges of Buddhist monks' attack on churches

Video footage has emerged of the attack led by Buddhist monks on two Christian places of worship yesterday. According to the BBC, the Sri Lankan police say they have identified 24 people responsible for the attack, including eight Buddhist monks. The police spokesperson, Ajith Rohana, said the police "inaction" at the time of the protest, was apparently due to 'insufficient numbers'.

Sri Lanka accused of manipulating numbers

Sri Lanka's Joint Chambers of Commerce have called for an investigation into allegations that the government has manipulated statistics in order to boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers. The statement, released last week, noted that doubts had been cast over the credibility of the figures released by the government on the country's GDP. It stated, "If such doubts were to persist, it would lead to a lack of credibility on a range of published data & have serious implications on investor confidence & country ratings". "Therefore, The Joint Chambers of Commerce urge the authorities...

Church attacks by Buddhist monks to be investigated…by Ministry of Buddha Sasana

A police spokesperson has told media that all investigations of incidents at protests and demonstrations in regards to religion will be handed to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs. Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the ministry will be informed of this today. The ministry is responsible for all affairs relating to Buddhism, the religion given the foremost place by the Sri Lankan constitution. “The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana,” the...

'Sri Lanka does not deserve more time' - Labour MP

British MPs and local councillors of the London constituency Ilford North met with members of the Tamil community today to discuss the issue of seeking ‘Justice for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.' Left to Right: Jim Murphy, Wes Streeting & Mike Gapes (Photo:John Howard) Labour’s candidate for Ilford North, Wes Streeting chaired the event with local councillor T Jeyaranjan, the Shadow Secretary for International Development , Jim Murphy and Ilford South MP, Mike Gapes joining his panel. Opening the event, Mike Gapes outlined that the continued subjugation of Tamils by the Sinhala majority had been the main cause of the ethnic conflict which ended with the brutal atrocities committed against Tamil civilians. Gapes went on to stress that recent documentaries and credible reports proved that an international investigation into war crimes was required as the Sri Lankan government did not have the capacity to perform their own. Arguing that calls for an international investigation should be immediate Gapes said, “Sri Lanka do not deserve to be given yet more time to perform an independent inquiry by March.”

Check your caste privilege

The social, political, and economic arrangements of a society can place some people in a privileged position relative to others, particularly with respect to important goods, like institutional representation, economic resources, and even less tangible goods like “respect” and “welfare”. Since societal arrangements are not always brought into reflective awareness, it is unsurprising when even well meaning and well-intentioned members of privileged groups are unaware of how they may benefit from social arrangements relative to members of other groups. Many times have we experienced “upper-caste” Tamils unable and unwilling to recognize the privilege they hold vis-à-vis “lower-caste” Tamils in Sri Lanka and beyond. Sometimes they may well be aware of some of the difficulties faced by oppressed caste members. Sometimes they may even work for the betterment of other communities in the island, but this hardly ever translates into wider acknowledgment of the privilege centred around their “upper-caste” Tamil identity.

7 new Buddhist temples, 54 Army camps in Batticaloa since 2009

Seven new Buddhist viharas (temples) had been built in Batticaloa alone since the end of the armed conflict, along side a total of 54 Sri Lankan military camps, said P. Selvarajah of the TNA, reported Tamil Mirror. Speaking to journalists, he said that the rights of Tamils were being increasingly denied, with many Tamils being forced to relocate as their lands are appropriated by the Sri Lankan state. An area of land spanning 122,226 acres is to be acquired by the Ministry of Environment, uprooting Tamils who are resident within the zone.