Paramilitary terrorise and intimidate Batticaloa voters

Paramilitary operatives are reportedly intimidating and threatening voters in the district of Batticaloa, TamilNet reported. Voters have been threatened that they will be driven out of the area if they are found to be voting for the TNA (Tamil National Alliance) party at the forthcoming election to the eastern provincial council. The armed men under the direction Pillayan’s TMVP, a constituent of the ruling party, UPFA (United People’s Freedom Alliance), have been roaming the village of Vaakarai, where over 7,500 Tamils are eligible to vote in the elections. Paramilitaries have been using...

Torture claims withdrawn by deported Tamil Asylum seeker after 16 hours of Sri Lankan Police custody ‘interrogation’

The first Tamil asylum seeker to be deported from Australia since the end of the 2009 massacre, Dayan Anthony, has withdrawn all claims of torture and mistreatment by Sri Lankan authorities , immediately after being released from 16 hours of interrogation in Sri Lankan police custody. Mr Anthony was released from Sri Lankan police custody and was presented at a media conference, warning of the ‘dangers’ of getting involved with people smugglers. Despite being made to attend a media conference immediately after 16 hours of interrogation, Mr Anthony insisted that he had been ‘well-treated’ by...

Tamils gather to protest against Rajapaksa invite to Olympics Opening Ceremony

Follow TamilGuardian on twitter for live updates. Published 17:57 (BST)

Sri Lankan state-owned oil firm appeal fails in London

Ceylon Petroleum Corp, the Sri Lankan state-owned oil company, failed in its appeal to have a London court ruling over turned. The ruling last year ordered the company to pay $162 million plus interest for non-payment of dues to Standard Chartered Bank. The company appealed against the ruling; however government officials announced on Friday that this had failed. "It has been reported that the order is against us," the island nation's Attorney General Palitha Fernando told Reuters . "First of all we have to see what the order was, then we are looking at (the) possibilities of appealing in the...

Defence Ministry may take control over prisons

The ever-growing Sri Lankan Defence Ministry may now also be taking over the Prisons Department, annulling the already existing Ministry according to reports. According to ColomboPage , sources stated that the move is being considered “due to the deterioration of discipline in prisons”. Just last week, a branch of the Ministry of Defence also announced their latest “commercial venture” – catering services. See our earlier post: Gota’s catering services (21 July 2012)

'Five years' to investigate killings

Investigations into the Sri Lankan Army’s killing of Tamil civilians in the run up to and during May 2009 could take up to 5 years according to Sri Lanka. The Associated Press reports that the government recommended for inquiries into alleged killings to be concluded within a year and for court proceedings to start up to four years after that. Although Presidential spokesman Lalith Weeratunga has claimed that the plan is part of the government’s keen intention to move forward, TNA lawmaker Suresh Premachandran dismissed the plan as one designed for “international consumption” . Premachandran...

Jaffna University opposes private universities

Academics at the University of Jaffna have accused the government of trying to destroy the country’s free education system. The Jaffna University Academics (JUA) said at a press conference about their industrial action, "Unbeknownst to the public, this government is going to change the face of free education. There will come a day when education in schools as well as at university will have to be paid for. It is with the purpose off deterring this that university lecturers continue to strike. By allowing the establishment of private universities, the government is aiming to reduce the quality...

Returned asylum seeker missing

A failed Tamil asylum seeker, known as Mr X for safety reasons has been reported missing since he was deported from Australia. Spokeswoman for Refugee Action Collective, Sue Bolton, said that Mr X’s family had waited outside the airport for more than 14 hours but received no news about his whereabouts. Mr X’s claims to asylum that he had been arrested by the army and tortured due to alleged affiliation the LTTE were rejected and he was deported from Australia on Wednesday, despite a UN appeal against his return. Expressing concern that the man has been detained by Sri Lankan police, Ms Bolton...

TNA requests international monitors for Eastern elections

The leading Tamil political party has called for international monitors to be deployed to monitor polls during the Eastern Provincial Council elections, after threats of violence and concerns over electoral fraud. The Tamil National Alliance filed the request with the Election Commissioner and have stated that the matter would be discussed on August the 3rd. The request comes after former MP M.K. Sivajilingam told the Daily Mirror recently that two candidates withdrew after receiving threats from groups linked to the ruling UPFA. Candidates K Thurairajasingham and Indrakumar Prasanna were...

Australia deports Tamil asylum seeker amidst fears for his safety

Australian officials have deported a Tamil refugee, suffering from mental illness. Amidst outrage by human rights organisations, the man was the first of around 150 Tamils who are expected to be deported to Sri Lanka, where they are facing torture on their return. Australian media, like The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have refused to identify the man for his own safety. ''If he goes there, they kill him,'' his tearful sister said to media after hearing he was taken to the airport. ''What sort of country do we live [in]? Please give him to me, I will look after him.'' According to The...

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