Indian parliament passes controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill despite uproar

The lower house of the Indian parliament, Lok Sabha, passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) on Monday which lets India grant citizenship to non-Muslim minorities fleeing persecution in neighbouring Muslim countries. After 12 hours of deliberations, the bill was approved 311 to 80 votes by the Lok Sabha and moves onto the upper house, the Rajya Sabha, where a favourable vote will ratify the CAB to be recognised as law. The heavily disputed bill will be established to give citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and...

Floods devastate North-East with deaths and displacement reported

Tens of thousands of people have been affected by heavy floods that have struck this North-east this month, leaving homes devastated, and several dead or missing. Official Sri Lankan government figures state that 42,782 have been affected by the floods in the Northern Province, and 88,011 in the Eastern Province, making it the hardest hit across the whole island.

Swiss embassy employee arrives at CID for third consecutive day

The Swiss embassy employee arrived at Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for the third time to record her statement regarding her abduction and assault on November 25. The victim was also produced before the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) for the second time. Earlier today, Switzerland's government released a statement criticising Sri Lanka’s media, warning that the “current media coverage in Colombo might harm the relationship between the two countries." A spokesperson from the Swiss Foreign foreign affairs department added that media coverage around the case may...

UNP joins Sri Lankan outrage over Conservative Party manifesto

Sri Lanka’s United National Party (UNP) joined other senior Sri Lankan politicians in condemning the Conservative Party manifesto in Britain, calling for it to be amended just days before the UK’s general election. UNP National Organiser and Member of Parliament Navin Dissanayake claimed that the “Conservative party should understand that Sri Lanka was one of the few countries which backed the UK in its war against Argentina in the 1980s”. “Therefore we request the Conservative Party to remove the pledge to work on a two-state solution in Sri Lanka,” he added. Sri Lankan politicians have been...

‘LTTE ideology remains’ warns Sri Lanka’s defence secretary

Sri Lanka’s new defence secretary warned that “LTTE ideology” remained active, as he pledged that Sri Lanka’s military would have a “bigger role to play” in years to come. Kamal Gunaratne, who stands accused of overseeing war crimes himself, told troops at Sri Lanka’s new army headquarters that “still we have to remember that LTTE ideology continues to remain”.

Families of disappeared rally across North-East

Families of the disappeared rallied across the North-East today to mark International Human Rights Day. Families demonstrated in districts across the Tamil homeland, supported by Tamil politicians and members of the public.

Sri Lanka's 'death threat' brigadier rewarded with new military post

An infamous Sri Lankan brigadier has been rewarded with a new post in the military, just days after a British court ruling found him guilty of threatening Tamil protestors in London. Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was appointed as the new Director of Real Estate and Quartering at the Sri Lankan Army Headquarters on Monday.

Switzerland warns Sri Lanka’s media of harming 'relationship between countries'

Switzerland’s government has released a statement criticising Sri Lanka’s media, warning that the “current media coverage in Colombo might harm the relationship between the two countries”. A spokesperson from the Swiss foreign affairs department added that media coverage around the case may also hamper progress in investigations, after an embassy employee was abducted, molested and threatened at gunpoint in the southern capital last month. Sri Lanka’s media have published the name of the victim, and a media scrum has been present outside Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department, where...

ITJP releases dossier of evidence against Sri Lanka’s new Secretary of Defence

Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence, Kamal Gunaratne, commanded an important military division in the Vanni which "the United Nations says there are reasonable grounds to say war crimes were committed by the men under his command" said the International Truth and Justice Project in a 100-page dossier outlining Gunaratne’s involvement as a military leader in 2009. The dossier is a compilation of testimonies, reports by the UN and NGOs and abstracts from Gunaratne’s autobiography. In 2015, the OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL) found that Gunaratne was the 53 Division Commander in 2009. “It...

Singapore’s government celebrates 2,000 year old Tamil community in new book

Singapore’s Minister for communications and information launched a new book describing how there has been a thriving Tamil community within Singapore dating back more than 2000 years, at an event celebrating Tamil history on Saturday. The book entitled ‘From Sojourners to Settlers – Tamils in Southeast Asia and Singapore', explains the significance of the Tamil population in shaping Singapore's identity and many of its successes. "Today, Tamil is one of our four official languages, and community and state-supported efforts to promote the Tamil language and culture continue with vigour,”...