Army boasts of increased militarisation

Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya has praised the Sri Lankan Army for not reducing its size despite the war ending three years ago, reported the state-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation . Stating that the troops were consolidating national security, the Brigadier also commented that security measures had not been relaxed, noting that Sri Lanka was unlike any other country in the world. Navy media spokesman commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya also stated that the Navy was continuously conducting 24-hour patrols along the coast to prevent “terrorism”, adding that the number of naval...

All the action in Sri Lanka’s Action Plan

When Prof. G. L Pieris, Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister, meets Mrs. Clinton, US Secretary of State tomorrow, he will have in his hand a piece of paper. The ‘Action Plan’ he will present was hastily put together in an attempt to deflect growing international criticism of Sri Lanka’s treatment of the Tamil people. However, the title of the document is misleading. The ‘Action Plan’ is not actually a blue print for forthcoming action. Instead, and as Sri Lanka’s past record of promised ‘action’ on the Tamil question indicates, all the ‘action’ in the ‘Action Plan’ will be done with its presentation. In other words Sri Lanka’s ‘Action Plan’ to resolve the Tamil issue is simply to present the ‘Action Plan’ and then carry on much the same as before.

Sri Lanka’s offer to Australia

The Sri Lankan envoy to Australia Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe has told Australian newspaper The Age that Tamil refugees deemed a security threat by Australian officials are needed back home. Dozens of Tamil refugees have been given adverse assessments by the Australian Security and intelligence Organisation (ASIO), which makes it impossible for them to settle in Australia. The refugees are unable to appeal the assessment by the ASIO and are stuck in a legal limbo. Admiral Samarasinghe told The Age that the refugees are welcome in Sri Lanka. ''Help is required in Sri Lanka now. Those who have got a negative assessment, please come back to Sri Lanka. Even if you have been sent out from the place, you will be treated justifiably and fairly and you will be permitted to meet up with your families. Of course, law of the land will prevail.''

Former BBC journalist slams media's coverage of Mullivaikkal

Writing on the website , former BBC correspondent in Sri Lanka, Frances Harrison, slammed the failure of journalists to expose the truth of Mullivaikkal. Excerpts reproduced below: "How is it possible in this world of satellites, rolling news and internet we have no idea how many human beings really perished, even rounded up to the nearest thousand?" " It is because as journalists we have failed to get close to the truth ." "Those aid workers who spoke out were forced to leave the country. Record numbers of journalists were killed and exiled in a deliberate attempt to...

Posters of resistance emerge at Jaffna Uni

Photographs Tamilwin Posters, condemning the massacre of Mullaivaikal and the affirming the Tamil nation's determination to seek justice and fight for their rights, emerged overnight at locations around the University of Jaffna, Tamilwin reports . According to unverifiable photographs published on the news website, the posters carried messages saying, "Mullaivaikkal is not the end of us", "we will give our rights a voice and fight for justice", "embracing our suffering we will attain our dreams", "even though people have died, our aspirations have not", and "this is the day that with the assistance of the international community, the voice of the Tamil nation's rights was suppressed."

Promises promises

As the external affairs secretary meets Hiliary Clinton, and international attention focuses on Sri Lanka's failure to make meaningful progress on accountability, transparency and justice, the Sri Lankan state have made announcements over the past few days pledging to carry out tasks that have eluded them for three years. On Sunday the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) announced that a mechanism has been estabilished that will "provide of the details of the detainees and those who are already released by the Terrorist Investigation Division". The Ministry of Defence said the information...

Peiris rejects ‘foreign-owned’ process for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has warned the United States from pushing foreign solutions as an answer to domestic issues the country is facing. External Affairs Minister GL Peiris was addressing the Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars on Tuesday as part of his four-day official visit to the US and stressed the need for a home-grown solution. "We are conscious of the opportunity that has now presented itself. We also realise that the process that we have in mind must be a domestic process. It can't be donor-driven or foreign-owned. That will be unhelpful in implementing the reforms that are required...

Refugees in Australia driven to attempt suicide

There has been an increase in suicide attempts by refugees in Australia’s detention centres, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Tuesday. The concerned refugees are all stuck in a legal limbo, due to them being deemed security threats by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). A total of 47 refugees have been given adverse security assessments by the ASIO, which makes it impossible for them to be released or resettled in Australia. These refugees are not permitted to see evidence against them or to know the criteria used to assess them. Two Tamils have attempted suicide in...

Presidential instructions

Photograph Colombopage Meeting the heads of private and state owned media institutions on Tuesday, Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed Sri Lanka's media not to use the media to 'incite communal hisharmony' and to act with a 'sense of responsbility'. Expressing appreciation towards the media institutions that he said had 'acted responsibly' during the UN Human Rights Council, Rajapaksa commended them for 'considering the well-being of the country' and stressed that media reporting on 'highly sensitive issues' should 'create reconciliation rather than emotional tension'.

Rajapaksa lauded for 'not giving in' to international pressure

In a book called 'Gota's War', Mahinda Rajapaksa was praised for refusing to consider a ceasefire at the behest of the international community, whilst India was blamed for the rise of armed resistance during the 1980s. The book, written by the Sinhala journalist working at the pro-government newspaper The Island, praised the determination by the Rajapaksa brothers to end the armed conflict through military means. As characterised by the title, the book pays particular attention to the role of Gotabhaya in steering the campaign. Speaking at the launch of the book, the Presidential Secretary,...