‘LTTE ideology remains’ warns Sri Lanka’s defence secretary

Sri Lanka’s new defence secretary warned that “LTTE ideology” remained active, as he pledged that Sri Lanka’s military would have a “bigger role to play” in years to come. Kamal Gunaratne, who stands accused of overseeing war crimes himself, told troops at Sri Lanka’s new army headquarters that “still we have to remember that LTTE ideology continues to remain”.

Families of disappeared rally across North-East

Families of the disappeared rallied across the North-East today to mark International Human Rights Day. Families demonstrated in districts across the Tamil homeland, supported by Tamil politicians and members of the public.

Sri Lanka's 'death threat' brigadier rewarded with new military post

An infamous Sri Lankan brigadier has been rewarded with a new post in the military, just days after a British court ruling found him guilty of threatening Tamil protestors in London. Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was appointed as the new Director of Real Estate and Quartering at the Sri Lankan Army Headquarters on Monday.

Switzerland warns Sri Lanka’s media of harming 'relationship between countries'

Switzerland’s government has released a statement criticising Sri Lanka’s media, warning that the “current media coverage in Colombo might harm the relationship between the two countries”. A spokesperson from the Swiss foreign affairs department added that media coverage around the case may also hamper progress in investigations, after an embassy employee was abducted, molested and threatened at gunpoint in the southern capital last month. Sri Lanka’s media have published the name of the victim, and a media scrum has been present outside Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department, where...

ITJP releases dossier of evidence against Sri Lanka’s new Secretary of Defence

Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence, Kamal Gunaratne, commanded an important military division in the Vanni which "the United Nations says there are reasonable grounds to say war crimes were committed by the men under his command" said the International Truth and Justice Project in a 100-page dossier outlining Gunaratne’s involvement as a military leader in 2009. The dossier is a compilation of testimonies, reports by the UN and NGOs and abstracts from Gunaratne’s autobiography. In 2015, the OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL) found that Gunaratne was the 53 Division Commander in 2009. “It...

Singapore’s government celebrates 2,000 year old Tamil community in new book

Singapore’s Minister for communications and information launched a new book describing how there has been a thriving Tamil community within Singapore dating back more than 2000 years, at an event celebrating Tamil history on Saturday. The book entitled ‘From Sojourners to Settlers – Tamils in Southeast Asia and Singapore', explains the significance of the Tamil population in shaping Singapore's identity and many of its successes. "Today, Tamil is one of our four official languages, and community and state-supported efforts to promote the Tamil language and culture continue with vigour,”...

Sri Lanka orders Swiss embassy employee to undergo medical examination

Sri Lanka’s judiciary has ordered the embassy employee to undergo a medical examination as part of their investigation into the employee’s abduction and assault on November 25. Swissinfo reported that the employee is not medically fit to recount the incident but a judge has ordered for her to be produced before the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer today. The embassy employee has previously refused a medical examination by the Sri Lankan authorities. She was later questioned for a second time by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). A travel ban imposed on the employee earlier this...

Sri Lanka bans ‘pottu’ in passport photographs

The Sri Lankan government announced a controversial new law prohibiting women from wearing a ‘pottu’ - a coloured dot worn by many Tamil women on the centre of the forehead - from all official passport photographs. According to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the ban has been implemented to abide by the international practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) where photos must match an individual’s natural look. Many Tamil women across South Asia, as well as many diaspora Tamil, have been wearing a ‘pottu’ on their forehead as per their religious and...

Tamil diaspora behind Swiss incident and British court ruling, claims Sri Lanka’s defence secretary

Sri Lanka’s defence secretary has accused the Tamil diaspora of forcing the Swiss embassy into acting after one if its embassy staff was abducted, and claimed the diaspora influenced British politicians into ensuring a Sri Lankan soldier was found guilty by a British court of violating the Public Order Act last week.

Sri Lanka maintains a moratorium on death penalty until March 2020

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has decided to postpone a decision on the use of the death penalty to execute four drug offenders until 20 March 2020. This decision was reached today after the court heard a petition from NGOs, human rights groups, and Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission who are challenging the demands of the former President Maithripala Sirisena. Sirisena has previously vowed to implement the death penalty to excuse a drug offender before he left the office and has consistently called for the use of the death penalty despite human rights concerns. Read more here: Sri Lankan...