Sri Lanka has missed a ‘historic opportunity’ for transitional justice and holds a ‘dismal record’ on accountability - UN Special Rapporteur

Reporting on the developments towards transitional justice since his first visit in March 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, noted that Sri Lanka appears to have missed a “historic opportunity” for sustainable peace due to the government’s “lack of commitment”

TNPF organiser summoned over Thileepan remembrance

Sri Lankan police have summoned the Batticaloa Organiser of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) over attempts to commemorate the anniversary of Lt Col Thileepan’s fast unto death, as the security forces continue their crackdown across the Tamil homeland. The TNPF said that Dharmaratanam Suresh has been summoned by police for questioning, in a tweet released earlier today. “To add salt to injury, we continue to get served with documents in Sinhala despite us making clear that we need them in Tamil or English,” the party added. The latest incident comes as police denied permission for an...

British Tamils protest against Sri Lanka’s defence attaché

British Tamils protested outside the prime minister’s office at Downing Street last week, calling on the UK to arrested and investigate Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché Brigadier BDSN Bothota for genocide. Dozens of protestors gathered in London last week, calling for Bothota to be declared a ‘persona non grata’. Bothota commanded a leading unit of the Sri Lankan military during the final phase of the armed conflict in 2009, when Sri Lankan troops massacred tens of thousands of Tamil civilians. Despite his possible involvement in mass atrocities, Bothota has continued in his role in London. The...

Vavuniya locals protest EPDP MP’s ‘demeaning’ comment

Local Tamils in a Vavuniya village took to the streets early this week protesting against a statement made by Dileepan, an Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) parliamentarian, who they claimed insulted the village at a recent meeting of the provincial coordination group. Dileepan, an MP from the Achipuram constituency, reportedly stated that Achipuram is a village ‘rife with drug abuse’. This statement struck the residents of Achipuram as demeaning and dozens demonstrated against Dileepan demanding that he apologise to the people who elected him. Placards with messages such as ‘Don’t...

Tamil Canadians ‘Walk for Justice’ and demand action from PM Trudeau

7 Canadian Tamils have concluded their “Walk for Justice” this Monday, after walking over 400 km within 14 days to the Capital on Parliament Hill, demanding justice for enforced disappearances of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka hits back at UN over war crimes reports

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry has slammed the United Nations over reports that senior military officials oversaw crimes against humanity and labelled the reports as “unacceptable”, as Colombo defended its pardon of a Sri Lankan soldier who was convicted for war crimes. “The Government rejects the references made to false and unsubstantiated allegations levelled against senior military officials being appointed to key positions of institutions,” said Sri Lanka’s representative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday. “‘In the absence of any substantive proof, Sri Lanka considers...

Sri Lankan police crackdown on remembrance of Thileepan

Sri Lankan police have banned activities commemorating Lt Col Thileepan’s fast unto death in Vavuniya, as part of a crackdown on remembrance across the North-East. Prabhakaran Janujan, a Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) member of the Vavuniya Municipal Council said that Vavuniya Police have denied permission for an event that was to be held in Vavuniya today, Wednesday 16 September. He further stated that several arrangements had been made for the commemoration including a march to take place from Vavuniya to Nallur, despite a previous polie ban, when the Senior Superintendent of Police...

Touring the killing fields - Sri Lankan army takes cadets and foreign troops on tour 

Sri Lanka’s military took a delegation of foreign military student officers and their families on a tour of the North-East last month, as it continued to foster its military relations around the world. The delegation, consisted of officers from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Another delegation of 46 Officer Cadets from the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) also toured the region, which continues to be occupied by the military.

Core Group raises concerns over ‘new domestic process’ for reconciliation

Speaking on behalf of the Core Group, which includes the UK, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, and Montenegro; Rita French, the UK International Ambassador, reiterate the group’s ‘profound disappointment’ over Sri Lanka’s withdraw from UN Resolution 30/1 and expressed scepticism over the ‘new domestic process’ for addressing issues of reconciliation. In her statement she notes that whilst Sri Lanka has proposed “a new domestic process”, “previous such processes have, regrettably, proved insufficient to tackle impunity and deliver real reconciliation”. The Core Group further noted that they...

Arrests in Jaffna as Sri Lankan police block Thileepan commemorations

A Sri Lankan policeman walks past the Thileepan memorial in Nallur after security forces removed decorations that had been set up to commemorate Thileepan's hunger strike. Sri Lankan police in Jaffna have arrested at least one Tamil politician and removed decorations that had been set up in Nallur to mark the 33rd commemoration of Lt Col Thileepan’s hunger strike this morning. M K Shivajilingam, a former northern provincial council member, was arrested this morning as he attempted pay tribute to Thileepan in Nallur. The arrest comes after security forces reportedly destroyed arrangements made for the remembrance in the early hours of Tuesday, September 15, which marks the beginning of the week-long commemoration.