Talks held on forming  broader Tamil body of polity & civil society 

Talks between Tamil political representatives, from both the TNA and the TNPF, and Tamil civil society groups were held in Mannar this weekend under the chairmanship of the Bishop of Mannar. Seeking to mitigate against the effects of the on-going structural genocide and arrive at a common policy on political solution for the Tamils, the notion of creating a broader Tamil body incorporating political representatives and civil society groups such as a Tamil National Council was discussed. A four member committee consisting of MA Sumanthiran of the TNA, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam of the TNPF, and...

Sinhala group force Cyclone Mahasen name change

The Sri Lankan Meteorology Department has apologised for naming a cyclone brewing in the Indian Ocean after a Singhalese king. Sinhala Buddhist organisation, Ravana Balaya, objected to the cyclone being named ‘Mahasen’, saying it was a “foolish decision” to name a destructive force after a Singhalese king. Ravana Balaya Secretary Ittekande Saddhathissa said his organisation would not object if the Meteorology Department re-named it "Cyclone Prabhakaran”. The cyclone continues to be called Mahasen by other countries around the Bay of Bengal.

SL opens first High Commission in Uganda

Sri Lanka's first High Commission in Uganda was unveiled on Monday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Rajapaksa is currently in Uganda to attend the 2013 Commonwealth Local Governments Conference. Vellupillai Kananathan, the serving Consul General of Sri Lanka in Kampala, will be the first High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Uganda. External Affairs Minister GL Peiris said: "Our countries share many things in common. They have both emerged from the shadows of colonialism. We must work together to achieve our objectives."

The Sri Lankan opposition party...

The main opposition party in Sri Lanka, the United National Party (UNP), plans to hold religious events in an attempt to seek divine intervention that will save the country from the current government. The party will hold the events in places of Hindu worship over a duration of 60 days , finishing at Point Pedro in the Tamil North.

Ban on International Bar Association lifted

The International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has been allowed into Sri Lanka, after previously being refused access into the country. The Sri Lankan government relented, allowing the organisation to come and make an "objective and impartial analysis of the reality of contemporary Sri Lanka", reported ColomboPage . Earlier this year, the visas of four members of the IBAHRI were revoked by Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry, after the impeachment of the former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The IBAHRI also warned that the Sri Lanka was facing a constitutional...

India will never hurt Sri Lanka’s interests – Ashok Kantha

The outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Colombo, Ashok K. Kantha, has said that India would never act against the interests of Sri Lanka, the state-owned Sunday Observer reported. “India will never do anything which will hurt Sri Lanka’s interests. The vote in Geneva was not a vote against Sri Lanka,” Kantha said. “The fundamental interests of Sri Lanka and India are interlinked and there was no contradiction in these interests, “We see progress and that gives us confidence. The big picture of our relationship is very positive. There are occasional differences. We may have different...

SL to introduce new electronic national identity card

Sri Lanka will be introducing a new electronic national identity card for all citizens reported the Colombo Page. The cards will be issued by Sri Lanka's Department of Registration of Persons, via 331 special units, said the department's Commissioner General, R.M.S Sarathkumara. The new e-card will include the holder's bio data, finger prints and blood group.

Hit-and-run suspect hid in Army camp

A man accused of killing 2 Swiss Tamil children and their cousin in a car accident in Colombo reportedly drove his vehicle into a secured military camp to hide, before eventually being arrested by the police. The suspect is accused of knocking down the victims at a pedestrian crossing in Colombo, before driving the severely battered vehicle into a military base near Cinnamon Gardens. The car was reportedly not stopped at the main gate, and only when senior police officials called the military establishment was the driver and vehicle surrendered. The victims were named as 16-year-old Janani...

UK replaces India as largest tourist source in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has grown by 7.7% in March, after growth of 10.9% in the first two months. The island saw a total of 98,155 foreign visitors, with the largest proportion from Western Europe, however the arrivals from neighbouring India slumped. Arrivals from Western Europe rose 10% in March to 44,008, with numbers from the UK rising by 8.8% to 13,088, replacing India as the largest source of tourists. South Asian arrivals fell by 6.7% to 19,261 with arrivals from India dropping by 18.1% to 11,789. Sri Lankan Airlines recently cut the number of flights to Tamil Nadu after a drop...

1983-2009 displaced to be allowed to vote in North elections

The Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved a new law that would allow those who were displaced from the North between 1st May 1983 and 18th May 2009 to vote at the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections, reports the Daily Mirror. Voting rights will only be given to those who have not registered else where however. The Justice Minister and Sri Lankan Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader, Rauff Hakeen received the submission from Cabinet.