Britain offers support for ‘justice reforms’ in Sri Lanka

Britain’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton met with Colombo’s Justice and Human Rights Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva this week, with the United Kingdom reportedly offering support for “prison and justice reform” on the island. “Lots to discuss this morning with Justice and Human Rights Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, including prison and justice reform, the strong professional links between #UK and #SriLanka , human rights and accountability,” tweeted Hulton after the meeting. On the day of Britain’s general election last month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson released a...

Sri Lankan soldier arrested after alleged assault in Vavuniya

At least two men, including a Sri Lankan soldier, have been arrested after another soldier was allegedly assaulted in Vavuniya on Christmas Day. The two men are accused of assaulting the soldier, who was on duty at the Vavuniya Bogaswewa Army Camp. Sri Lankan authorities allege that a rifle was seized, with the injured soldier admitted to the Anuradhapura Military Hospital. It is unclear whether any shots were fired. One of the men arrested is a soldier who also served at the Bogaswewa Army Camp. Sri Lankan police are reportedly conducting further investigations. Bogaswewa is a Sinhala...

Tamil father of two gunned down on Boxing Day

A Tamil man was shot dead in Mannar on Thursday night by unidentified gunmen. The man has been identified as 41-year-old Maari Tharmarasa, a labourer and father of two children. Tharmarasa was found gunned down in a street in front of his home at approximately 9.p.m. local time, in Uyilankulam, Mannar. Sri Lankan police were called to the crime scene, who attended alongside Mannar District Magistrate E. Kayas Peldano. Tharmarasa’s body has since been moved to the Mannar Hospital for subsequent investigations, with initial examinations suggesting a locally manufactured weapon may have been...

More protests against illegal sand mining in North-East

Tensions around illegal sand mining in the North-East persist following controversal confrontations in villages such as Thottaveli in Mannar this month. Tamils in Mannar and Jaffna took to the streets on Friday to protest the issue and condemned local authorities' and police failure to stop the perpetrators. See also: Sri Lankan police protect sand miners and threaten protesting priest and villagers (Photos: above - Jaffna; below - Mannar) Local groups across the North-East have accused Sri Lankan police of ignoring or aiding illegal actual perpetrators while using the issue as an excuse to...

Sumanithran denies reports that TNA is willing to work with UNP

TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, has taken to Twitter to deny reports by the Island and Thinakkural have reported ‘FakeNews’ which claimed a willingness from the TNA to work with the UNP in the upcoming general election. The Island reported that Sumanthiran had spoken to reporters on Sunday, after meeting with TNA officials in Kayts, and claimed that he would secure an additional 16 seats which could support the next government. They further reported that the TNA would aid the UNP in a devolution projection which would exceed the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, that permitted the...

Migrant workers repatriated to Sri Lanka from Kuwait

At least 33 migrant workers who left Sri Lanka to find employment in Kuwait have returned to the island after concerns about their working environments forced them to leave. The Sri Lankan embassy in Kuwait had to co-ordinate with the Middle Eastern government to ensure the workers were kept in a safe house before they were able to leave the country. There are an estimated 100,000 migrant workers from Sri Lanka in Kuwait, predominately compromised of female domestic workers. A study into domestic workers by the Arab Times underlined the widespread mistreatment of domestic workers. The paper...

Sri Lanka claims it has not 'lost sovereignty' in Hambantota

Sri Lanka attempted to rebuff reports that it has lost sovereignty over the Chinese-controlled Hambantota Port, with a senior official insisting that Colombo still maintains oversight. Ravindra Jayawickrema, CEO of Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS), a subsidiary of port operator Hambantota International Ports Group (HIPG) reiterated that the port is controlled by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Act. Jayawickrema told Xinhua that “all ships entering the port have to gain approval from the Harbormaster in Colombo". “The pilots who bring the ships in and out of the port are direct...

Sumanthiran rebukes government’s Sinhala only anthem

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, M A Sumanthiran, has criticised the government for marring the national reconciliation process following their decision to sing the national anthem only in Sinhala at the upcoming National Day celebrations in Colombo, Adaderana reports . Earlier this week, the Sri Lankan government confirmed that its national anthem will be sung in Sinhala only for next year's independence day celebrations in Colombo. Sumanthiran reportedly said that the government's decision is a "true reflection of what the government wants to do in this country which is...

Sumanthiran criticises neglect of 'white van' investigations

Parliamentarian of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), M.A. Sumanthiran, called for the government to investigate allegations of white van abductions before making any arrests of personnel involved with disclosing allegations publicly, on Wednesday. This follows the arrest of former Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne, who had called a press conference on 10 November, which was attended by Anthony Douglas Fernando and Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake. These two revealed allegations about ‘white vans’, with one of them claiming that he was directly involved in the abductions. Colombo Additional Magistrate...

Eelam Tamil refugees in India driven to desperation

Eelam Tamil refugees living in India have expressed their disappointment at being excluded from India’s Citizenship Amendment Act after decades of displacement in Tamil Nadu - driving one man to request a mercy killing. Twenty-eight-year-old T. Yanadhan, who was born in Tamil Nadu after his parents fled Sri Lanka, approached the District Collectorate in Salem to officially request a mercy killing from Indian authorities, stating that he was better off dead than living stateless, reports HuffPost India.

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