'Danger ahead' - The Guardian editorial

The Guardian writes that a clear and present danger is posed by the return of a Rajapaksa presidency, in its editorial on Thursday. In their article, they note that Gotabaya has been subject to lawsuits relating to torture, fraud and corruption. They also note his time as Defence Secretary during the final stage of the armed conflict where an estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians were slaughtered in its final months. Gotabaya is accused of being complicit in crimes against humanity, war crimes and the routine use of sexual violence and torture. Read more here: 'It never goes away' says Tamil...

TNPF calls on Tamils to ‘reject the election’

The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) called on the Tamil people to “reject” the upcoming Sri Lankan presidential election in a statement last week, stating that both leading parties had rejected Tamil demands. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has openly rejected Tamil demands, whilst Sajith Premadasa has ignored them entirely said the TNPF. “There can be no doubt that the structural ethnic cleansing of the Tamil nation will intensify,” it added. “It is obvious that we, the people, will not get any benefit from voting for either candidate in this election.” “Therefore, we call on the Tamil people to...

267 Sri Lankan prisoners freed following Swedish killer’s pardon

Current president, Maithripala Sirisena, freed 267 prisoners over the age of 65, following the outrage sparked by the pardon of the killer of a Swedish teenager. Earlier this week, inmates at Welikada prison, Sri Lanka’s biggest high security prison, demanded their freedom after Sirisena pardoned Jude Jayamaha, who was sentenced to death in 2005 over the murder of Yvonne Jonsson. In order to reduce the outrage prompted by Jayamaha’s release, Sirisena issued a pardon for 267 prisoners who were serving time for offences other than rape and murder, France 24 reports. “We have now got orders from...

Petrol bombs flung at home of Sajith supporter in Batticaloa

The home of Sajith Premadasa supporter was reportedly attacked with petrol bombs on Sunday night, with less than a week to go until Sri Lanka’s presidential election.

"Sri Lanka Election Sparks Fear of Return to Violent Past"

Alan Keenan, project director for Sri Lanka at the International Crisis Group (ICG) warns that the return of a Gotabaya presidency has already heightened fears amongst minorities and will lead to losses in terms of "reconciliation and accountability for atrocities and human rights violations". Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Defense Secretary during the final stages of the war which witnessed a litany of human rights violations as well as hundreds of people surrendering to the army during the final stages of conflict to never be seen again. Rajapaksa has been accused of being implicated in the deaths of dozens of journalists as well as their exile.

‘We were offered ministerships for support’ says Wigneswaran

The former chief minister of the Northern province stated his party was offered three ministerial posts in Sri Lanka’s cabinet, in exchange for the support of one of the leading candidates ahead of the island’s presidential elections on Saturday.

Two campaigners searching for disappeared children pass away

Two fathers who were active in the Mullaitivu protests by families of the disappeared have died this week. Vellaiyan Azhagan whose two sons were fallen LTTE fighters was searching for his daughter Kalaichelvi who had disappeared after surrendering to the Sri Lankan army at Mullivaikkal. He died suddenly aged 69 on November 10 after a brief illness. Another father, Paramasamy Sriskandarasa died of a heart attack on November 11. He had been searching for his son Yugen who was disappeared from a military checkpoint. Sriskandarasa also had another son who was a fallen fighter. Dozens of have died...

Tamil youth managing sound system arrested for TNA rally broadcast of LTTE songs

Sri Lankan police today arrested a Tamil youth who was handling audio arrangements for a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) election campaign rally after LTTE songs were reportedly broadcast at the rally. The TNA had organised a rally in support of presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa in Kalmunai – Amman Kovil Road on Wednesday afternoon. Organisers reportedly made the request to play the LTTE’s revolutionary songs through the event’s speakers as the rally had failed to attract locals. Kalmunai police arrived immediately after the matter was reported and arrested the youth that was managing the...

Excavation of Sri Lanka's killing fields brings up more remains

Excavation efforts in Mullaitivu last month revealed more skeletal remains, including that of at least one human skull, more than a decade on from the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils in the area.

‘In the south, hopes on Gotabaya run high’ - The Hindu

With less than a week to go until Sri Lanka’s presidential elections, in the Sinhala south of the island, former defence secretary and front running candidate Gotabaya Rajapkasa, has widespread popularity, reports Meera Srinivasan for The Hindu. Writing ahead of the elections, Srinivasan says, “In the island’s southern hinterland, almost every local, including those supporting Mr. Gotabaya’s main opponent Sajith Premadasa, assert that “a majority here will vote for Gotabaya”. Past election results are proof enough for that sentiment. Even in 2015, an election that former President Mahinda...