Sri Lankan army threaten TNPF members in Point Pedro as they prepare for Maaveerar Naal

The Sri Lankan military harassed and photographed Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) members preparing Maaveerar Naal site in Point Pedro. Armed and masked soldiers wrote down licence plate numbers and threatened TNPF members despite, Point Pedro Magistrate Court dismissing applications filed by state police seeking a ban on Maaveerar Naal events, on Monday. TNPF members reported that as they returned to their respective vehicles, soldiers on motorcycles threatened to follow their cars. TNPF MP Selvarajah Kajendren who was arrested for commemorating the death of Lt Col Thileepan in...

‘We can abolish all the rights of those who are shouting’ threatens Sri Lanka President

Addressing the public, Sri Lankan President, and accused war criminal Gotabaya Rajapaksa, criticised the previous administration for spoiling the future of its citizens and threatened the opposition that “we can abolish all the rights of those who are shouting”, reports NewCentre.lk. The statement comes as the government has announced that it will introduce a new constitution and electoral system. Tamil parliamentarians have raised alarm over the prospect of a new constitution maintaining the need for the devolution of authority to the Tamil homeland. The statement further comes as Sri Lanka’...

Suspects face more than 23,000 charges over Easter Sunday attacks as trial begins in Sri Lanka

The trial has begun of the 25 men accused of planning the 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, which killed nearly 270 people and injured about 500 people when churches and luxury hotels were targeted by members of National Thowheed Jamath -(NTJ), a homegrown extremist Islamic group. The suspects are facing over 23,000 charges in total. Lawyers involved in the trial in the capital, Colombo, warned that the sheer scale of charges, and the thousands of witnesses listed in the case, could mean it drags on for up to a decade. The case will be heard before a special panel of judges, The Guardian...

Police Scotland will not renew training contract with Sri Lanka due to human rights concerns

Police Scotland has informed the UK High Commission in Sri Lanka that they will not extend their training contract with Sri Lanka’s police force in March 2022, when it is set to expire, due to ongoing human rights concerns. Making this announcement Iain Livingstone, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, told Scottish authorities: “Our training in Sri Lanka was suspended in early 2020. We have not deployed to Sri Lanka since that time, because the overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment (OSJA), require a review to accurately reflect the current security and human rights issues in the...

Jai Bhim: The film and the kerfuffle

"இடைவந்த சாதி எனும் இடர்ஒழிந்தால் ஆள்பவள்நம் தாய் தாய் தாயே!" - Bharatidasan. Four years ago, the Everglades swamp in Florida was hounded by a specific variety of snakes not autochthonous to its land. Following repeated failures to curb the exploits of the reptiles, the authorities flew in a few men from a community known as Irulas, supposedly experts in snake-catching, from a remote part of South Asia to assist them. They worked wonders. The Western media rejoiced at the mysterious ability of these tribal men to track the trails of snakes. “The Irula are world-renowned for their snake-...

UK Foreign Office concerned by continued deterioration of human rights in Sri Lanka

The UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has raised concerns over the continued deterioration of human rights in Sri Lanka which they maintain as one of their priority countries.

The aftermath of a tragedy – Photographs from Kinniya

Earlier today at least four schoolchildren and two others died after a makeshift ferry capsized in Trincomalee. Enraged locals attacked the home of a local parliamentarian, furious at construction delays of a new bridge that is supposedly being built in the area which led to the makeshift ferry being used. These photographs from Kanapathipillai Kumanan capture scenes of the aftermath in Trincomalee.

‘US joins Sri Lankan Tamil people in search for lasting peace’

Senior United States’ government officials continued their meetings with Tamils in Washington this week, with the State Department tweeting “the US joins Sri Lankan Tamil people in search for lasting peace & full voice in deciding their country’s future”. The Tamil National Alliance and members of the Global Tamil Forum met Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, who reportedly “underscore[d] human rights are central to US foreign policy in Sri Lanka,” according to the State Department. Asst Secretary Lu underscores human rights are...

Fury in Trincomalee as schoolchildren amongst dead in ferry capsizing 

At least four schoolchildren and two others are amongst the dead after a makeshift ferry capsized in Trincomalee earlier today, sparking anger from local residents in the region who attacked the home of a local parliamentarian. Sri Lankan police confirmed that the makeshift ferry in Kinniya was carrying mostly schoolchildren and teachers who were travelling to school, before it capsized around 0730 local time.

New tactics for troops as they intimidate Tamils ahead of Maaveerar Naal 

Sri Lankan soldiers in Jaffna continued their intimidation of Tamils ahead of Maaveerar Naal this week, as they photographed and harassed locals before seemingly joining them in cleaning efforts in Koppay this week. Earlier today, as locals began cleaning the surrounding roads, Sri Lankan soldiers came out of the base and looked ominously on. Soon after, uniformed and armed troops were seen photographing locals in what has become a frightening but familiar act of intimidation. In recent years, local Tamils have attempted to clean the outskirts of the now destroyed LTTE cemetery in Koppay,...

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