British MP meeting Rajapaksa is 'unthinkable' - Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Ministry of External Affairs has slammed comments from British MP Simon Danczuk, who earlier sought to confront Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh. The Daily Mirror headlined Sri Lanka as having labelled the notion of a meeting " totally inappropriate " and further quoted them as saying, “For any visiting delegate below the level of a Head of State or Government, a meeting with the President would be a privilege, as it would not be in keeping with accepted diplomatic protocol and is unthinkable in Western countries. Hence...

Canadian politicians join Tamils in marking Black July 1983

In statements published on Tuesday, thirty years on from the anti-Tamil pogrom of 'Black July' in 1983, Canadian MPs and politicians remembered the horrors of what took place along side Tamils in Canada. Employment and Social Development Minister of the Federal Party, Jason Kenney said , “Thirty years ago today in Sri Lanka, violent mobs of armed extremists began carrying out attacks against the country’s Tamil population. Hundreds of Tamils were killed and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed in the ensuing riots." “In the years since the Black July pogrom, July 23 has become a day of mourning and remembrance for members of Sri Lankan Tamil communities around the world, including the 200,000-strong Tamil community in Canada." "As we reflect on the violence that began on this day in 1983 across Sri Lanka, I take the opportunity to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to promote and uphold our fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.’’ “I stand with the Tamil-Canadian community in commemorating the senseless destruction and tragic loss of life during Black July.”

British Tamils remember Black July

Over 200 British Tamils staged a demonstration outside Number 10 Downing Street today, in remembrance of 1983 Black July massacre . Marking the 30 th year since the deadly pogrom of 1983, Tamils from 3 generations yielded placards and banners that highlighted the on-going genocide of the Tamils in the North-East of Sri Lanka. Banners displayed to the public that the events of Black July were a small fragment of the unabated destruction faced by the Tamil nation in the North-East.

Benefits of hosting CHOGM outweigh expenses – Peiris

The External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka, GL Peiris, has urged the public to look at the benefits that hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting would bring, after criticism about the cost of the event. “Good things cannot happen without expenses. It involves expenditure of resources, “If you are asking about how much CHOGM is going to cost, you must also ask how much it is going to bring into the country, “If you look at the recent history of CHOGM summits, Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 and Perth, Western Australia in 2011, how much money was brought into those countries...

UK MP to confront Rajapaksa on Brit murder case

A British MP, Simon Danczuk, who is part of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation due in Colombo this week, asserted that he would confront the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, regarding the murder of a British citizen, Khuram Shaikh. Danczuk told The Daily Telegraph : "I'm going to confront the president of Sri Lanka on whether he thinks this behaviour is becoming of a Commonwealth nation." "The perception is that they're trying to cover it up. My guess is that [it's because] the alleged murderer is a local politician who delivers for the ruling party, which delivers for the president and helps them remain elected," "The British government should think twice about who we send to CHOGM if justice is not done before then, and whether it should include the Prime Minister," Shaikh, a Red Cross aid worker, was murdered whilst on holiday in Sri Lanka on Christmas Day in 2011. His partner reported that she was gang-raped and beaten unconscious. However, earlier this month, Sri Lanka's Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, refuted her reports, and told Parliament that the partner of the murdered British citizen, Khuram Shaikh, was not subjected to any rape or sexual violence. Gunawardena said that she 'had only received serious injuries as a result of being assaulted'. See related articles: SL minister refutes rape testimony of murdered Brit's partner (12 July 2013) Sri Lanka rape victim will ‘go on to the end’ for justice (21 Apr 2013)

Jaffna student detained and tortured

Further evidence of torture and forced detainment in the North-East surfaced in the public domain today. According to Lankasri News , a group of unidentifiable police personnel, arrested and detained a 26 year old Jaffna University student, Devarasa Pradheban. Pradheban was detained for 3 days under allegations that he was a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Pradheban was returned home with numerous obvious signs of torture on his body.

Japan grants SL aid to strengthen electoral process

The Japanese embassy announced on Friday that it would grant US$ 88,667 in aid for "The Project for Mobilization of the Citizenry to Participate in the Electoral Process to Strengthen Democracy" which would include voter education in the Northern Province and election monitoring in the proposed provincial council elections. The embassy said, “Supporting the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to strengthen democracy, this project is aimed at encouraging local people in the North to exercise their first-ever franchise at provincial level since 1988 and to ensure the conduct of free and fair...

Global hate speech database up and running

The Sentinal Project, an organisiation that works to combine genocide research information technology and risk management to prevent genocide, have released a new database to help the process. Hatebase , a new crowd sourced database of multilingual hate speech, will create a bank of words and phrases that researchers can use to detect early stages of genocide. Users will be able to log on to the website and add examples of hate speech that they come across in their communities or online. Highlighting the importance of unveiling prevalent hate speech around the world, executive director of The...

SL ready to share humanitarian experience

The Sri Lankan Ambassador at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has said that his country was prepared to share the country’s experience in humanitarian work. Ravinatha Aryasinha said post-conflict approaches used by Sri Lanka could be deployed in managing humanitarian situations in other countries as well. Read more here .

Ranil pleads with UNP MP ready to jump ship

In an attempt to stop one of his UNP MP's from jumping ship to the government, the leader of the opposition, Ranil Wickremasinghe, met MP Dayasiri Jayasekara on Friday. According to ColomboPage , UNP sources said the discussions, which lasted over an hour, were "fruitful". Meanwhile earlier this week, a government MP, Economic Development Deputy Minister S.M.Chandrasena, asserted that one quarter of all UNP MPs were ready to cross over to the SLFP. Previous such ministers who have slipped over to the SLFP from the UNP include the current Minister of External Affairs, G.L Peiris. Recently, a...