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...

Families of persons handed over to the SLA are forced to accept death certificates

Sri Lankan Army officers from the operational camp of the occupying military in Vanni, have been enforcing the acceptance of death certificates on to families of missing persons in the Mullaitheevu district. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran noted that some of the families say that they personally handed over their living family members at a military check post during the final hours of the 2009 war and are now being forced to sign death certificates. Mr Premachandran went on to say “If these members were handed over to the SLA, then the Sri Lankan military...

Chinese power plant failure causes nationwide power cuts

The Sri Lankan electricity board has announced it will cut the electricity supply across the country for three hours a day, after the Chinese-built Norocholai coal power plant failed for the 5th time in 16 months. "We are facing difficulties in balancing the supply and demand," the ministry said in a statement. "The only alternative is to carry out power cuts across the country until further notice." The drought on the island has compunded the problem in electricity supply from hydro-power plants. During the Norocholai power plant's last failure in February, the Power and Energy Minister...

Integrating into Sri Lanka

Last week was the gorvernment's much hyped about Social Integration Week . True to form, the event kicked off with an example of what integration is in Sri Lanka - the national anthem sung in Sinhala only. The week was said to ensure a 'united nation' and 'reintegrate all ethnic groups as one nation, free of ‘petty’ social and cultural differences.' And free too of the 'petty' differences in language of course.

Rights groups criticise Australia's handling of Tamil refugees

Australia's handling of Tamil asylum seekers arriving boat, has been criticised by human rights organisations base in the country, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The executive director of Human Rights Law Centre in Australia, Phil Lynch, criticised the country's close liaison with Sri Lanka, including security and military cooperation. Lynch said , ''At best, this undermines the spirit of the Refugee Convention, which gives people the right to flee persecution and seek protection. At worst, it involves Australia, at least indirectly, in exposing people to torture, cruel treatment and...

23 Tamil Nadu fishermen to be remanded till Aug 6th

The Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday night, will be remanded in custody until August 6th. The twenty-three men were presented to a court in Mannar today and said to be detained at Anuradhapura prison. Local fishermen groups in Rameswaran have urged an indefinite strike till all the fishermen are released. B Jesuraja, the district secretary of Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association said , "The families of those five fishermen suffer untold miseries with their breadwinners locked up in Sri Lankan prisons. Our government agencies have certified that...

SL military surround Nimalaroopan's funeral

Photographs Tamilwin Sri Lankan military, intelligence and police officers descended upon the funeral proceedings of Nimalaroopan - the Tamil political prisoner who was murdered whilst in custody - on Tuesday, reports Tamilwin. Mourners were unable to pay their respects freely as security personnel surrounded the event.

Sri Lanka orders more military helicopters

The Sri Lankan government has ordered 14 more Mi-171 helicopters, according to Russian company Rosoboronexport. The purchase is part of a $300million loan 10 year loan signed with Russia to buy equipment for the Sri Lankan armed forces. The government has previously armed the transport helicopters and used them during the war, according to Defense Industry Daily . The Sri Lankan air force spokes person Captain Andrew Wijesuriya has claimed previously that the helicopters will be used for tourism purposes.

British Tamils remember Black July

Amongst the London2012 Olympics tourists by Whitehall in Central London, Tamils came together to remember the massacre of Black July. Holding a silent vigil, Tamils held a minutes silence and lit candles in remembrance.

Defence Secretary urges the media to report crime ‘responsibly’

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called for the media to be more 'responsible' when reporting about incidents of crime. Speaking at the Government’s information Department seminar on crime and national security, Rajapaksa outlined that ‘improper’ reporting of crime related reports would ruin Sri Lanka’s ‘image’, and have a negative impact on tourism and investments in the country. The Defence Secretary stated that there had been no statistical increase in the countries crime rates, despite a police spokesman’s recent claim that incidents of rape and abuse had substantially...