Muslims appeal to President over Dambulla mosque

The Dambulla dispute maybe resolved by intervention from the president, reports The Sunday Times. Representatives of Muslim political parties hope to discuss the situation directly with the president in the hope a solution maybe found. See also: At the mercy of the King (30 Nov 2011)

Army collects information on 'ex-LTTE'

The Sri Lankan army has been collecting information on young Tamil men and women who it claims are former LTTE cadres, reports Tamilwin. Upto 500 young men and women, including 200 in Trincomalee have been targeted. All in the name of 'rehabilitation'. See also: Security forces to search for 'ex-LTTE' returning from abroad (24 Apr 2012) Army collects personal details of NGO employees in Batticaloa (22 Apr 2012)

The same old story

Speaking to the BBC, the senior Buddhist monk who led the protest against a mosque in Dambulla has stated that footage from the protest has been “ technically manipulated ”. The footage showed a mob of 2,000 Sinhala protestors, led by the monk Inamaluwe Sumangala thero, violently attacking a long-standing mosque in the area while security forces stood by. It also showed a monk disrobing and exposing himself in front of the mosque, expressing his outrage that the mosque had been built in the area. Screenshot from News 1st TV, showing a Buddhist monk exposing himself in front of Dambulla mosque...

Sri Lankan Muslims indignant over Dambulla incident

Muslims in Ampara and Batticaloa districts demonstrated for a second day through strike action, over the desecration of a mosque in Dambulla. According to reports in the BBC , demonstrations were halted by the Sri Lankan military. In a separate incident the office of the Mosque Federation in Kattankudi was set on fire last night in an arson attack. Meanwhile, Muslims by the Dambulla mosque held an a special prayer session on Friday. One worshipper said, "There was a special dua [prayer] which basically implored the almighty to protect us, and the country from evil influences,” Following the...

Army continues to deny cluster bomb use

Despite the United Nations having released more evidence of cluster bomb use in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Army has continued to deny their use. Noting that it was “not the first time such allegations have been hurled at us”, Brigadier Wanigasooriya said , “We have on previous occasions as well said the Sri Lankan Army did not use cluster bombs during the civil war and we stand by it.” “At the same time, we must make it clear that this is not an official accusation made by the UN. A UN official had mentioned in an email he sent, that Sri Lanka had used cluster bombs during the civil war. This...

Defence ministry decrees 'war heroes' month

The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development declared the month of May (specifically, 30th April to 30th May) as the 'Ranaviru Month' (War Heroes Commemoration Month) for the Sri Lankan armed forces and police force. A parade will take place on 18th May at the Galle Face. President Rajapaksa is scheduled to attend. G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister will be unable to attend, due to a prior engagement .

Petition against the word "Tamil" taken to Supreme Court

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against a number of political parties that use the word “Tamil” in their names, claiming that it violates the Constitution of Sri Lanka. Referring to parties such as the Tamil National Alliance and the Tamil United Liberation Front, the petition states that naming these parties using the word “Tamil”, means that establishing a separate state is within their aims. The petition states that the parties infringe upon the 6th amendment of the constitution and calls for a ban on the use of the word “Tamil” in political parties. The petition was filed...

More evidence of Sri Lanka’s use of cluster munitions and white phosphorous bombs

Following a UN demining expert’s discovery this week of unexploded cluster munitions used by Sri Lankan forces during the island’s war, a medical worker has told Associated Press of seeing civilians' wounds caused by the outlawed weapons. Many of the thousands of civilians wounded in the government offensive against the Tamil Tigers also had burns consistent with those caused by incendiary white phosphorus bombs , the medical worker also told AP. White phosphorus is not specifically banned under international law, but human rights groups say its use in heavily populated civilian areas could...

Britain hails Sri Lanka trade links

British High Commissioner John Rankin , speaking at the recently held Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association AGM, said: “Despite challenging times for Western economies, I believe that the prospects for bilateral trade between the UK and Sri Lanka remain bright. In 2011, Sri Lankan exports to the UK totalled over US $ 1.2 billion and imports from the UK were worth some US $ 245 million. That made the UK Sri Lanka's second largest trading partner by volume . “ And there are over 100 companies in Sri Lanka with UK affiliations including major companies in the garment sourcing sector such as...

Authorities halt temple construction work in Trincomalee

The Urban Development Authority ordered that recent development work at a 60-year-old Pillaiyar temple in Trincomalee be demolished, citing the need for "road development work". The Urban Development Authority is under the Ministry of Defence, overseen by the President’s brother Gothbaya Rajapakse. See Seized “state land” to be sold commercially (14 Oct 2012)