Sirisena and Duterte agree military cooperation in series of bilateral deals

The Sri Lankan president signed a series of deals including on military exchange with the Philippines on Wednesday. The deals were signed during bilateral talks in Manila with the president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte.

IMF to visit Sri Lanka next month for talks

Officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are to visit Sri Lanka next month in view of talks to resume its program. “We agreed that a strong policy mix, with effective implementation of that agenda, is key to strengthening confidence, while putting Sri Lanka on a sustainable, high-quality growth path that would benefit its people," the IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde said in a statement following a meeting with Sri Lanka's finance minister, Mangala Samaraweera in Washington. "The IMF remains ready to support the Sri Lankan authorities in these endeavors and an IMF team is...

Vavuniya families of disappeared call on US, EU for action

Families of the disappeared in Vavuniya held a rally on Tuesday urging the United States and European Union to push the Sri Lankan government to provide answers over the whereabouts of their loved ones. Holding the US and EU flag, protesters urged action, highlighting that their demonstrations have been ongoing for 694 days.

Thai Pongal marked at Danish parliament

The Tamil festival of Thai Pongal was marked in parliament in Denmark on Monday with the minister of culture joining Danish Tamils to celebrate. Celebrations included dances and the making of traditional pongal (sweet rice).

300 bodies and counting in Mannar mass grave

The chief investigator at the Mannar mass grave confirmed that the number of bodies excavated has now reached 300, as the toll from the island’s largest mass grave site continues to grow. Judicial Medical Officer Dr S Rajapaksa confirmed the new figure as excavation work continues, with the area they are now investigating expanded. Work began at the grave site in May last year. The remains of at least 23 children have been identified amongst the bodies discovered so far, with samples being sent to Florida for carbon dating studies. As well as signs of torture, observers had been disturbed by...

Sri Lankan brigadier that threatened Tamils faces private prosecution in London

A Sri Lankan brigadier who was caught on video threatening Tamil protestors in London faces court proceedings, after a private prosecution was brought against him. Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was filmed motioning a death threat to Tamils in London last month, running his finger across his neck whilst dressed in full military uniform. He was attending a celebration at the Sri Lankan High Commission in the UK to mark ‘Independence Day’ at the time, whilst British Tamils held a demonstration outside with placards and Tamil Eelam flags. Fernando is accused of violating the Public Order Act by using “threatening or abusive” behaviour.

Remembering Colonel Kittu

Today marks 26 years since the death of Sathasivam Krishnakumar alias Colonel Kittu, and nine other LTTE cadres, who committed suicide after being surrounded by Indian navy warships in 1993.

China offers US $300m loan as Sri Lanka struggles for finance - Reuters

The Bank of China has offered Sri Lanka a loan of US $300 million, which could be increased up to a total of US $1 billion, as Sri Lanka struggles to regain international confidence following last year's political crisis, Reuters reported. The news wire cited a source as saying Colombo was considering the offer due to "difficulty in borrowing money after recent rating downgrades". Sri Lanka plunged into crisis last October after the president replaced the prime minister and dissolved parliament. Financial institutions responded with stalled loan agreements and a downgrading of the country's...

Thai Pongal celebrated by Tamils worldwide

The Tamil festival of Thai Pongal was celebrated around the world and across the Tamil homeland on Tuesday. The secular festival gives thanks to the sun and for the harvest, and dates back in its current form to at least as far back as the Medieval Chola empire. Tamil households and workplaces in the homeland and across the world celebrate by boiling milk and rice - the eponymous 'pongal' - in a clay pot, often accompanied by various other treats and seasonal fruits. The overflow of the milk symbolises abundance and prosperity for the year to come. Our warmest Thai Pongal wishes to Tamils...

Canadian Prime Minister recognises success of Tamil community on Thai Pongal

Canada’s prime minister Justice Trudeau recognised the “many contributions Tamil Canadians have made to the success and prosperity of our country,” as he marked Thai Pongal this week. “This week, the Tamil community in Canada and around the world will celebrate Thai Pongal, the four-day harvest festival,”said a statement from the prime minister’s office. “As we mark the end of the harvest season and the start of the New Year, we also celebrate Tamil Heritage Month. During this special time, we recognize the many contributions Tamil Canadians have made to the success and prosperity of our...