Trade union members in Colombo demand release of Ceylon Teachers' Union leader

Hundreds of trade union members led by Coalition of Trade Unions & Mass Organisations protested in Colombo on August 4, demanding the release of General Secretary of Ceylon Teachers Union Joseph Stalin and all anti-government activists arrested by Sri Lankan police.

Trade, Constitutional Reform & the UNHRC – Britain’s High Commissioner meets with Sri Lanka’s PM

Amidst Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic collapse, Britain’s High Commissioner, Sarah Hulton, met with Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Dinesh Gunawardene and discussed a range of topics, including constitutional reform, trade, and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Glad to meet @DCRGunawardena to wish him well in the role of PM. Discussed the UNHRC process, prospects for constitutional & economic reforms, as well as avenues for strengthening - relations in the fields of education, culture, and trade & investment. pic.twitter.com/FzQCaTPlgX — Sarah Hulton OBE (@...

A ‘dependable friend and reliable partner’– US & India’s foreign secretary meet their Sri Lankan counterpart

India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, and US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, met with Sri Lanka’s recently appointed Foreign Minister, Ali Sabry, during the annual ASEAN regional forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. On Twitter, the Indian minister tweeted: A warm first meeting with FM Ali Sabry of Sri Lanka. Congratulated him on his new responsibility. Reaffirmed India’s commitment, as a dependable friend and reliable partner, to the economic recovery and well being of Sri Lanka. Neighbourhood First. pic.twitter.com/qTCtmFm89h — Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 4, 2022 The...

‘I know some of you voted for me,’ Wickremesinghe tells TNA

Sri Lanka’s newly appointed president Ranil Wickremesinghe told Tamil National Alliance (TNA) lawmakers yesterday that he knew some of the parliamentarians had voted for him, despite the coalition announcing it was backing another candidate the night before the ballot. In his first meeting with Tamil MPs, Wickremesinghe reportedly raised the issue of the vote which took place last month and was a secret ballot. The TNA decision to back Dullas Alahapperuma caused controversy both within the alliance and throughout the North-East, with rumours that several lawmakers broke ranks and voted for...

‘I am constitutionally bound to give Buddhism the foremost place’ – Sri Lanka’s President lays out roadmap for the future

Delivering his first speech in parliament as president of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe laid out a roadmap for Sri Lanka which vowed to upload Buddhism; authorised the police to “maintain law and order”; eliminate state enterprises; support controversial investments; tackle corruption; strength Sri Lanka’s export economy; and provide a “political solution” for Tamils.

Protestors demand release of arrested union leader

Protestors in Vavuniya staged demonstrations calling for the release of Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union, after he was arrested by Sri Lankan security forces yesterday. Stalin had been involved in protests calling for former Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down in recent months. His arrest, alongside a spate of other protest leaders comes amidst a crackdown by the newly appointed president Ranil Wickremesinghe, which has seen a range of those involved in the demonstrations to be detained – from leading activists to those who simply participated...

Sri Lanka needs to end unlawful crackdown on peaceful dissent - Human Rights Watch

In a recent statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW), condemned the Sri Lankan government for its use of emergency regulations to “harass and arbitrarily detain activists seeking political reform and accountability for the country’s economic crisis.” South Asia director at HRW, Meenakshi Ganguly, stated that “the Sri Lankan government’s crackdown on peaceful dissent appears to be a misguided and unlawful attempt to divert attention from the need to address the country’s urgent economic crisis.” Sri Lankan security forces have utilized numerous tactics including excessive force, intimidation,...

‘You must abolish the unitary system’ – TNPF MP slams Sri Lanka’s ‘fascist regime’

Speaking in parliament, general secretary of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), Selvarasa Kajendran, slammed the abuse of power by Sri Lanka’s president and stressed the need to abolish the “unitary system of governance in Sri Lanka and bring in a Federal Constitution based on the recognition of the Tamil nation”. In his speech, he further stressed the need to “immediately dissolve this parliament and go for fresh elections” as the president does not have “even an iota of trust in the current Parliament”.

Rights groups demand prosecution of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

In a letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, human rights groups and Tamil civil society organisations request for her to publicly, to call upon the government of Singapore to prosecute former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa under the principle of universal jurisdiction. The statement comes as Singapore’s foreign minister has released a statement detailing that the war crimes accused former president was not granted “any privileges, immunity or hospitality”. In their joint letter, the organisations highlight Bachelet’s repeated calls on member states to...

Heavy flooding in Kandy leaves at least 3 Tamils missing

A spate of heavy rainfall has led to flooding across the in the Nawalapitiya area of Kandy, with at least three local Tamils swept away in the waters and still missing. One of those missing has been identified as 45-year-old Jayalakshmi, a mother of 3 children who had attempted to cross a bridge on her way to work by the Kataboola estate using a rope. As she slipped and fell into the water, 52-year-old Sathyaseelan, a father of 3, and 36-year-old Chandramohan, another father of 3, tried to save her, but they too were swept away by the rapidly moving waters. Sri Lankan soldiers came to the...

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