British opposition leaders commit to justice, accountability and Tamil self-determination

A future Labour government would be committed to the causes of achieving justice and accountability for the Tamil people, as well as recognising their right to self-determination, the party’s leading figures said this week at an event marking the tenth anniversary of Mullivaikkal in Parliament. “This is a sad occasion because we are commemorating the tenth anniversary of that terrible massacre,” said Labour leader and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn MP. “We need a recognition of the atrocities, an end to the ongoing human rights violations, accountability for the mass atrocities,” Mr...

UK ban of LTTE to be challenged in special tribunal

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has challenged the banning of the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the UK, citing that is being used to crack down political work of Tamils. In a petition to the British Home Secretary, TGTE members said that the ban on the LTTE is being misperceived as a ban on advocacy for a sovereign state of Tamil Eelam. Over the past ten years, there have been no violent activities carried out by the LTTE the statement added. The challenge to the UK’s ban on the LTTE will be heard before an independent tribunal especially constituted for this...

Hard-line Buddhists behind organised anti-Muslim violence says SL minister

A Sri Lankan minister this week said hard-line Buddhists were behind the recent days of anti-Muslim violence, describing the attacks as "organised" and "systematic". "These are organised attacks on Muslim business houses and premises," Navin Dissanayake, minister of plantation industries, said at a press briefing yesterday. The attacks were organised and systematically carried out in several locations by people brought form outside, he added. "They were organised thugs that have been brought to the areas from other areas. We have evidence and we can prove this," he said. Asked by a journalist...

CPJ condemns reinstatement of Army Major accused of journalist murder

The Committee to Protect Journalists this week condemned Sri Lanka's decision to reinstate an Army Major accused of the assassination of the Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickremetunge. Prabath Bulathwatte was arrested two years ago over a number of attacks against media workers and is currently on bail. However, the army commander last week announced he would be reinstated following the Easter sunday bombings by Islamist extremists. "Promoting to active duty an intelligence officer who has been implicated in the killing of one journalist and the torture of two others severely undermines Sri...

EU expresses concern over anti Muslim violence

European Union countries expressed concern yesterday anti-Muslim violence which has taken place in Sri Lanka this week.

Jaffna Uni protest arrests of students and tea shop owner

Students at the University of Jaffna protested today against arrest of two student union leaders and a campus hospitality worker under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) earlier this month.

Army says will investigate soldier who failed to act during mob attacks

As increasing eye witness reports and videos emerge of the collusion of Sri Lankan security forces with rioting Sinhala mobs responsible for the widespread anti-Muslim violence, the state's army has said it would be investigating the case of one soldier, accused of standing by whilst the mobs attacked.

Sri Lankan security forces colluded in anti-Muslim riots - JDS video

A video released by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka shows military and police personnel joining Sinhala mobs in anti-Muslims riots that have taken place in the island over recent days.

Sri Lanka's transitional justice process has failed say international rights lawyers

Leading international rights lawyers Yasmin Sooka of ITJP and Rupert Skilbeck of REDRESS spoke about the failure of the transitional process and the need for accountability in Sri Lanka, at a panel discussion entitled “Legal tools in the fight against impunity: the case of Sri Lanka” held by SOAS university's Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice last week. Introducing the event, the chair, Professor Mark Laffey, Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS university said that May18 marks ten years of "little to no concrete progress” in Sri Lanka, highlighting the...

China grants Rs 2600 million to Sri Lanka's security forces

The Chinese government is to grant Rs 2600 million to Sri Lanka's security forces following the Easter Sunday bombings, at the request of the president, Maithripala Sirisena, who is currently visiting the country. Beijing has also agreed to release 100 jeeps to the police alongside other equipment, the state owned Daily News reported. During a meeting between the two leaders yesterday, China's president, Xi Jingping said they would do everything they could to assist Sri Lanka to strengthen national security. Four Chinese scientists were among those killed during the suicide bombings by...