Sri Lanka Buddhism ministry announces death sentence for drug traffickers

Sri Lanka's Minister of Buddhasasana announced on Tuesday that the cabinet had decided to implement the death penalty for those convicted of drug trafficking. Making the announcement, the Buddhasasana minister, Gamini Jayawickrama Perara said "as the Ministry of Buddhasasana, I never take decisions on my own. My Chief advisers are Mahanayakas, Anunayakas and Lekakadhikari Theras including the Maha Sangha" All the Maha Sangha, senior Buddhist clergy, have agreed to the decision, the Colombo Page reported. The decision would include those convicted and in prison already over the past fifteen...

Buddhist monk arrested for strangling police officer to death

A Buddhist monk was arrested today for allegedly strangling a police officer to death. The officer is understood to have been investigating the monk over an allegation of paedophilia when he entered the temple in Ratnapura the monk was believed to be, after the monk ignored the court summons. Local papers reported the monk pushed the officer, who had arrived alone, to the ground and strangled him with his bare hands. The officer was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sri Lankan minister to visit North-East to 'defuse pro-LTTE mindset'

Sri Lanka's law and order minister, Ranjith Madduma Bandara is to visit the North-East on Thursday in order to "defuse the pro-LTTE mindset in the area", his deputy said at a news conference. The deputy minister of law and order, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha and the Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara are to accompany Mr Bandara on his visit to the Northern province. “We will gather all stakeholders and will try to resolve matters,” the Mr Jayamaha said. “There is only a pro LTTE mindset among the people in the area and that will be got rid of sooner or later. It will not be easy but we...

Sri Lankan military, police harass Jaffna temple workers over Tamil Eelam display at festival

Members of a Jaffna temple board have been harassed almost daily by Sri Lankan security forces, police and intelligence personnel since their deity was displayed with a Tamil Eelam-shaped backdrop on the final night of the temple's annual festival (thiruvizha).

Swiss court decides LTTE not a criminal organisation

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court decided last month that it would not hand down jail terms to 13 Tamils accused of fundraising for the LTTE, stating that there was not enough proof to consider the group a criminal organisation. Eight of the thirteen accused Tamils were acquitted of all charges, whilst the remainder were given suspended prison terms for fraud. The judges ruled that the “hierarchical link between the LTTE and WTCC was not sufficiently established” and that “there was not enough concrete proof to consider the LTTE as a criminal organisation.” See more from Swiss Info here .

Militarisation of Tamil schoolchildren continues in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan army continued its much criticised militarisation projects with Tamil schoolchildren in Jaffna earlier this year, as it organised a science and technology “innovation” exhibit, with dozens of schoolchildren in attendance.

Nilaveli residents protest inaction of Sri Lankan police over murder of Tamil man

Trincomalee residents protested on Sunday expressing anger at Sri Lankan police for failing to take action after a Tamil man was murdered in the district last week.

Tamils protest against plans to build army camp at Jaffna Fort

Tamils protested on Sunday against plans to build an army camp inside Jaffna fort. Sri Lanka's Archaeology Department which runs the historic building recently granted the army permission to build on its premises.

Army commander orders troops to condemn 'acts obstructing reconciliation'

Sri Lanka's army commander, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has ordered the army to condemn what he described as events or any acts which 'obstruct reconciliation'. "It has been observed that at times, opportunistic politicians, and some retired military officers as well as civil activists, while criticizing the reconciliation process carried out by the Government and the Army and appreciating the terrorists' activities, conduct lectures and meetings to damage the trust peace loving people in the North and East have placed in the government and the military and to poison their minds with...

4 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

Four fishermen from Mandapam, Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on Sunday near Neduntheevu for allegedly poaching. The men were taken to Kangesanthurai along with their boats. The latest arrest comes just days after the Sri Lankan navy arrested 12 fishermen last week.