Indian foreign secretary discusses fishermen arrests with Sri Lanka PM

The Indian foreign secretary, Vijay Gokhale discussed the ongoing arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy during a visit to Colombo on Friday where he met with the Sri Lankan prime minister. Mr Gokhale discussions with Mr Wickremesinghe came as 16 Tamil Nadu fishermen who had been detained were ordered to be released by a Jaffna court. Indian projects on the island were also discussed with Mr Wickremesinghe saying that they would commence this year.

Protesting Keppapulavu families - 'government is continuously betraying us'

Keppapulavu families accused the Sri Lankan government of "continuously betraying us" as they prepared to mark 500 days tomorrow of their ongoing protest against the military's occupation of their land. "This government keeps telling us that more time is needed and is making us wait on the streets," protesters told reporters today. "In this situation we are no longer prepared to believe in these promises," they added.

Hundreds of unseen photographs from Mullivaikkal massacre released

Hundreds of new photographs from inside Mullivaikkal in 2009, where tens of thousands of Tamils were slaughtered in a Sri Lankan military offensive, have been released by TamilNet this week. The photographs, taken from inside the infamous No Fire Zones, show the aftermath of Sri Lankan military shelling.

Tamils ‘very concerned’ about progress on accountability and justice acknowledges US ambassador nominee

The nominee for the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz acknowledged that “the Tamil community is very concerned about progress made towards reconciliation, accountability, justice,” in her testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last month. Responding to questions posed by the committee on the “reconciliation prospects between the Tamil and Sinhalese communities”, Ms Teplitz said, “ there remain significant differences ”. “ The Tamil community is very concerned about progress made towards reconciliation, accountability, justice, specifically commitments made by the...

Sri Lanka military organises Kilinochchi hospital ‘clean up’

The Sri Lankan military organised a clean up of the grounds of a hospital in Kilinochchi in May, almost 9 years after the area was heavily bombarded by the very same security forces.

Sri Lanka plans 3rd international airport in Trinco

The Sri Lankan government is reportedly planning to build a third international airport in Trincomalee, local papers reported on Thursday. The airport appears to be part of plans to re-develop Trincomalee as a tourism hub, which the government says will be completed by 2050. The Sri Lankan prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe said, "when you look back at Sri Lanka's history, we were a hub in the Indian Ocean where there were several ports." "Countries in the Bay of Bengal region will fast develop within the next 20 years. By 2050 the population in this region is expected to reach 3 billion...

Militarisation: army runs cataract clinic in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan military ran a cataract clinic in Jaffna this month despite ongoing calls from civil society organisations and the NPC to stop taking part in civilian affairs. Over 150 locals were examined at Palali military hospital on July 4, with around 20 undergoing treatment the following day. The rest are to reportedly receive their treatment in Colombo. The event was organised by the army commander deployed in Jaffna.

Sri Lankan Navy pillaged Vali West divisional council’s funds by threatening officials

Since 2003, the Sri Lankan Navy has used threats against local government officials to have their electricity bills paid by a Jaffna divisional council. Valikamam West divisional council (prathesa sabai) has paid out over 7 lakh rupees of local funds to foot the Navy’s electricity bills, which included electricity for the navy camp and power used to extract water from the Ponnalai Water Supply Scheme. Member of Vali West council, N. Ponrasa said in the council’s sitting on Tuesday that the Sri Lankan Navy should reimburse all the money paid out by the council in 15 years. The council’s...

Sri Lankan cabinet approves military involvement in drug enforcement

The Sri Lankan cabinet has reportedly approved a special provisions bill that will allow the involvement of the Sri Lankan armed forces in drug enforcement across the island. The bill , a joint proposal by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Minister of Law and Order Ranjith Madduma Bandara, will see an increased military involvement in drug prevention activities. “We were told that the Philippines has been successful in deploying the army and dealing with this problem. We will try to replicate their success,” said Sri Lankan government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne. The move comes...

British MPs launch motion on ending arms sales to Sri Lanka

British parliamentarians have launched an Early Day Motion on the UK’s weapons sales to Sri Lanka, calling for the immediate end of all arms exports to Colombo. The motion, brought forward by Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey, “notes that Sri Lanka remains of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's list of countries with serious human rights concerns and that an estimated 200,000 military, police and intelligence personnel remain in Sri Lanka's north-east region resulting in a repressive militarised environment”. The motion goes on to state that it “believes licensing arms exports to Sri Lanka...