Sri Lankan navy arrests 27 Tamil Nadu fishermen

Twenty-seven Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on Thursday, the PTI reports. The fishermen, from Nagapattinam, Thondi and Pudukottai were arrested for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The Sri Lankan navy has impounded four fishing boats, Pudukottai Assistant Director of Fisheries Kumaresen said. The arrest is the latest in a series of arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy, despite ongoing talks by both governments on the issue.

Delhi rejects Tamil Nadu's proposal to release Rajiv Gandhi case inmates

India's Central Government has rejected a proposal by Tamil Nadu for the release of seven people convicted over the assassination of the then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. In a letter that was formally accepted by the Supreme Court on Friday, the Centre said the case "an unparalleled act in the annals of crimes committed in this country". "The brutal act brought the Indian democratic process to a grinding halt inasmuch as the general elections to the Lok Sabha and Assemblies in some States had to be postponed,” the letter added. Tamil Nadu had launched the request for the release of those...

Joint Opposition says FTA with Singapore illegal

Sri Lanka's Joint Opposition said it would be filing legal action against the country's Free Trade Agreement with Singapore, arguing that it was illegal. “Government has claimed that a gazette notification containing a list of items for which tax and duty will be removed was issued, but such a document cannot be found. Therefore the FTA is illegal,” the Joint Opposition MP, Bandula Gunawardene was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying. "The items that are to be free of taxes under the FTA include animal sperm, elephants, tusks, fish species which are banned from being used as trade items,...

US signs MoU with Sri Lanka for Peace Corps to teach English

The United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Education that will see US Peace Corps come and teach English on the island.

Dayan Jayatilleke approved as Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Russia

Sri Lanka’s parliament's High Post Committee has approved Dayan Jayatilleke to be appointed as the government’s ambassador to Russia, despite opposition from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Mr Jayatilleke previously acted as Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva between June 2007 and October 2009. It was during that time that Sri Lanka launched a massive military offensive, killing tens of thousands of Tamil civilians. Mr Jayatilleke led the Sri Lankan government delegation that lobbied against calls for an international investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity.

NPC member Ravikaran arrested by Mullaitivu police

Northern Provincial Council member, T. Ravikaran, has been arrested by Mullaitivu police this evening. Police said he was arrested in connection with vandalism of government property, referring to a protest by Tamil fishermen outside the district’s office of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. During the protest on August 2nd, protestors demanded that officials come out and listen to their demands. When none came out, protestors broke a police barricade and entered the building.

Sampanthan remains Leader of the Opposition - Speaker

TNA leader R. Sampanthan will remain the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker announced on Friday, reports Colombo Page. The announcement comes following a consultation with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), currently officially a constituent of the Sri Lankan government, on whether it wanted to take up the Opposition post. Eight UPFA MPs who identify as part of the self-styled ‘Joint Opposition’, a collective of Pro-Rajapaksa parliamentarians, had written to the Speaker requesting the Leader of the Opposition post be given to UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardene, claiming he had the...

Sri Lankan police record 59 statements during investigation of Vijayakala Maheswaran’s speech

Sri Lanka’s Organised Crime Prevention Division (OCPD) announced that it had taken 59 statements from various individuals with regards to a speech made by United National Party parliamentarian Vijayakala Maheswaran. Ms Maheswaran was forced to resign her ministerial post after she faced a backlash from Sinhala politicians including from within her own party, for reportedly calling for a resurgence of the LTTE to tackle the rising gang violence in the North-East. The OCPD announced that 59 statements had been recorded by the Sri Lankan police, including from 14 government officials and 30...

Sri Lanka PM says returning refugees from Tamil Nadu will be provided for

Sri Lanka’s prime minister has said that his government will provide all the necessary facilities to resettle Tamil refugees returning from Tamil Nadu, reports DD News. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Wednesday that the Ministry of Resettlement is working on providing permanent land, housing, livelihood assistance and other facilities to the returning families. According to the Prime Minister, 9509 refugees have returned to Sri Lanka since 2010 with the support of the UN refugee agency.

Sri Lankan court bans journalists from photographing Mannar mass grave

A Sri Lankan court announced its decision to impose a ban on all journalists taking photographs at the mass grave site in Mannar. The court reportedly said that the ban on journalists is to prevent disruption of the excavation work. The mass grave is currently being excavated with more than 80 bodies having been discovered there already, including that of young children. An archaeologist at the site said some of the skeletons found had “deep and unusual” lacerations on their bones.