Malaysia’s High Court takes over case of men charged with supporting LTTE

Malaysia’s High Court will now take over the case of six Tamil men, who have been charged with posting supportive material of the LTTE on Facebook. The charges come with serious implications under Section 130J(1)(a) of Malaysia's Penal Code, which can lead to punishments such as a 30 years jail sentence or even a life sentence. In addition, as the defendants were arrested under the 2012 Security Offences Act, they were denied the ability to record their plea. Read more from The Malaymail here .

Sinhala Buddhists monks call on public to support Rajapaksa

Senior Sinhala Buddhist monks called on the public to support Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week, as he met with members of the clergy in Colombo. “The Maha Sanga invoke their blessings and provide guidance towards the efforts being taken by the President to lead the country on the right path to make Sri Lanka a developed and prosperous nation,” Elle Gunawansa was quoted as saying, as monks blessed Rajapaksa on Friday. The Maha Nayaka of the Amarapura Dharmarakshitha Chapter, Thrikunamalaye Ananda, meanwhile stated that “Everyone must support the plan of action launched by...

TNA willing to join UNF to form majority says Sumanthiran

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have expressed their willingness to join the United National Front (UNF) to form a majority in Parliament if required in the upcoming elections, the Sunday Times reported. Speaking at their media office in Kayts, TNA spokesman M A Sumanthiran reportedly said that the TNA would assist the UNF in order to strengthen the rights of Tamils in the North and East through devolution of power. He also believes that the TNA will gain more seats in Parliament in the next general election.

Travel ban imposed on Sri Lanka’s former Health Minister over ‘white van’ comment

A travel ban has been imposed on Sri Lanka's former Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne over his 'white van' comment. Prior to the Sri Lankan Presidential elections, Senaratne held a media conference with someone who alleged to be involved in ‘white van’ abductions. In this conference, Minister was present with an individual who claimed to drive the white vans and another individual who alleged to have been a victim of an attempted abduction. During the conference, which was held on 10 November, the former minister stated that under their government they would launch an investigation into...

BJP warns Tamils may be ‘chased away’ from Sri Lanka if given citizenship in India

The BJP’s Tamil Nadu state secretary warned that if citizenship was granted to Eelam Tamil refugees then Sri Lanka would become a “a complete Buddhist land” and claimed that the DMK was conspiring with Sri Lanka’s prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. K T Raghavan, the state secretary for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s incumbent party, accused the DMK of failing the Eelam Tamils and noted that it had also previously denied Paravathi Amma, mother of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, entry to Tamil Nadu for medical treatment. “Rajapakse has come back to power now,” said Ragahavan. “If Sri...

China ‘highly appreciates’ Sri Lankan declaration not to renegotiate port deal

The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka said it “highly appreciates” a statement from Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who declared his government would not renegotiate a deal over the Hambantota Port, which was handed to China on a 99-year lease in 2017. Rajapaksa stressed that the deal was a commercial agreement and though his government would not renegotiate it, they would be examining the security of the port to see if additional clauses are needed in their agreement. The Hambantota Port has been cited as an example of the dangers of 'debt-trap diplomacy’, with the inability of the Sri...

1000 days, how many more?

On February 20 2017, Tamil families of the disappeared started their roadside protest across the North-East, starting off in Kilinochchi, followed by Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu and Maruthankerny. Families of the disappeared marking 1000 days of their protest in Vavuniya It has now been over 1000 days since the beginning of their roadside protest but this has been preceded by decades of struggle and suffering. Tamil families have been determined to find out the truth about their loved ones despite facing increasing intimidation and surveillance by the Sri Lankan military and police. The...

Tamil man reported missing after being summoned by TID

A Tamil man from Jaffna who had been summoned to Sri Lanka’s Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) has been reported as missing by his family. 38-year-old Paramu Vijayakumar was summoned to the TID office in Colombo on the 6th of December. His wife said that Vijayakumar had left for Colombo but has not been seen since. When she went to file a missing persons complaint at her local police station in Valvettithurai, they reportedly told her they had been in contact with the TID and no summons had been issued for her husband. Sri Lankan police are reportedly conducting further investigations.

Tamils in Jaffna protest against illegal sand mining

Tamils in Jaffna staged a protest in the city centre last week, demonstrating against illegal sand mining that has stepped up across the North-East in recent months.

Sri Lanka criticises Fitch after ratings downgrade

The Sri Lankan government has criticised Fitch Ratings after the agency downgraded the Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of Sri Lanka from ‘Stable' to ‘Negative’, directly citing new Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s actions. The ratings agency had blamed a “significant shift in fiscal policy” in Colombo for the downgrade but Sri Lanka’s finance ministry claimed “erroneous assumptions” had been made, reports Xinhua. "Taking all into consideration, the best estimate of the budget deficit would be around 5.5 percent of GDP in 2020, as against the Fitch's projection...