Freeing soldier convicted for massacre dashes hopes for accountability in Sri Lanka - The Hindu

The Hindu said there has been “justified outrage” after a Sri Lankan soldier on death row, who had been convicted over the murder of Tamil civilians, was pardoned by Sri Lanka’s president. “It hardly needs emphasis that the exercise of the power of pardon is an act of compassion, and not a tool for political or electoral messaging,” said The Hindu.

Opposition calls on Sri Lankan government to reconvene Parliament

Former opposition MPs have called on the Sri Lankan government to reconvene Parliament, nearly a month after Parliament was dissolved, The Hindu reports. Former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that, “funds have been allocated for government through the Vote on Account until the 30th of April. From that day onwards until the new Parliament is convened again, the President does not have powers to approve additional expenses.” He highlighted that after this date, the President would not be able to approve funds to tackle the coornavirus outbreak on the island. Tamil National...

No decision on curfews to be made at a regional level

Sri Lankan President, and accused war criminal, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has mandated that decision on lockdowns will be made at the highest levels of government and that no regional authority should make this decision.

British High Commissioner meets war crimes accused Sri Lankan commander

Britain’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka met with Shavendra Silva, the war crimes accused head of the Sri Lankan military, as the two discussed the island’s coronavirus outbreak measures. Sarah Hulton met with Silva at the Sri Lankan army’s headquarters last week, as the military continues to lead Colombo’s response to the outbreak. Silva is currently barred from entering the United States over his involvement in mass atrocities. Before being appointed to the head of Sri Lanka’s army, Silva oversaw a military division that was involved in shelling hospitals and executing surrendering Tamils,...

Sri Lanka to clamp down on social media critics

C.D Wickramarathna, Sri Lanka’s acting Inspector General of Police, has instructed Sri Lanka’s CID (Criminal Investigation Department) and police to pursue legal action against those on social media criticising government officials on the pretence that it obstructs their duties.

206 people arrested within 6 hours for breaching curfew

Sri Lanka’s police have arrested 206 people with a 6-hour span on Sunday for violating the island-wide curfew intended to curb the spread of coronavirus.

US concludes month long training with Sri Lankan navy

The United States military celebrated the end of a month-long training exercise with the Sri Lankan navy this week, which continued to take place despite the head of the Sri Lankan army being subject to travel sanctions over his role in overseeing war crimes. The Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) took place at the Sri Lankan navy’s occupying Special Boat Squadron base in Trincomalee this month. Dozens of Sri Lankan naval troops were involved with the exercise which included at least 6 trainers from Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 1333 of the US Army. “The four-week long...

Pardon exhibits “entrenched discrimination and persecution of Tamils” – ATC

The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) have condemned the presidential pardon of Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake, insisting the “pardon of convicted murderer of Tamils proves justice only possible through international criminal tribunal.” Rathnayake, was sentenced to death for killing eight Tamil Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Mirusuvil, Jaffna on December 2000, after being convicted in June 2015 and had his sentence upheld in April 2019 at Sri Lanka’s supreme court.

British tourists urged to return home from Sri Lanka due to coronavirus outbreak

The British High Commission in Colombo have urged British tourists currently in Sri Lanka to return home while commercial flights are still available. In a tweet , the High Commission advised that British visitors to leave now before the potential shut down of borders and hotel closures. “If you decide not to travel now, you may not be able to return later if flights are suspended. Lots of airlines have closed operations, and the options are becoming increasingly limited,” the High Commission wrote in an earlier tweet . “This is an unprecedented, and fast-moving situation. Not leaving Sri...

Tamil journalist attacked in Kilinochchi, despite military enforced curfew 

A Tamil journalist in Kilinochchi was attacked by a group of unknown persons at his office yesterday, even as Sri Lanka’s security forces patrolled the streets and enforced a curfew in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Nadarasalingam Thusanth was at his office when a group of unknown persons burst in and began to attack him with swords.