Displaced Muslims still searching for safe homes in Sri Lanka

Displaced Muslims who were forced from their homes in the wake of anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday attacks, are still to be resettled more than three months after the bombs, reports The New Humanitarian. Some 228 people are still searching for safe shelter according to the UN’s refugee agency, which has been attempting to relocate the displaced. “Every effort that was made to relocate people was received with a lot of hostility,” said Menique, the head of UNHCR’s Sri Lanka office. Approximately 90 people are living in a “government-run facility in Vavuniya… where...

EU offers to help counter violent extremism in Sri Lanka

The European Union (EU) expressed its willingness to support Sri Lanka in countering violent extremism and to support improvements in coordinating the country's counter terrorism efforts. . Federica Mogherini, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, met with Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana in Thailand and expressed the EU's solidarity with Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday bombings. Addressing the 26th session of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on August 2 2019, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, stressed the need for concerted global efforts...

Slain young journalist remembered in Jaffna

Sahathevan Nilakshan, journalist and popular student leader, murdered aged 22 while still a media student, was remembered in Jaffna on the twelth anniversary of his death on Thursday. On August 1 2007, Nilakshan, an up and coming Tamil journalist was shot and killed by suspected Sri Lankan military intelligence personnel. At a time when the Jaffna district was on lockdown due to military-imposed curfew, and the city’s streets were heaving with troops, so-called unidentified gunmen were able to approach Nilakshan’s home in Kokkuvil, a busy suburb less than 5km away from town. The perpetrators...

‘Sri Lanka remains in crisis’ admits Mangala

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fiannce and Media Mangala Samaraweera admitted that the island “has been in crisis, remains in crisis and will continue to be in crisis until we can create a just and equal Sri Lanka,” in a speech to parliament last week, where he called for federalism. “Following the attempted coup and Easter Sunday bombings, many of our fellow citizens ask why our country continues to veer from one crisis to another,” said Samaraweera. “They are right to do so. The history of Sri Lanka is a history of crisis.” He went on to add, “The stakes could not be higher. It is our inability to...

Tamil villagers protest as faltering housing scheme leaves them in debt

Mullaitivu locals protested in front of the National Housing Development Authority this week, after a much touted housing scheme has left residents mired in debt. Local Tamils gathered outside the office and said that a special housing scheme has still not fully paid for the construction of new houses in the area as originally promised by the government. Following floods in Mullaitivu in December last year, a government scheme for 5,000 residents was announced pledging to construct new houses at a cost of Rs. 750,000. However after just one instalment, payments suddenly stopped, leaving many...

Sri Lankan Prime Minister proposes to end death penalty

Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has introduced a bill to abolish the death penalty in the lead up to the execution of four drug convicts. The proposed bill would abolish the death sentence in the future and commute the sentences of those already on death row to life imprisonment. The bill was introduced to parliament on Thursday and will take a vote in 14 days if no one challenges it will pass. This, however, is unlikely as President Sirisena is a vocal opponent claiming that those who oppose executions oppose building a decent county. The Washington Post further reports that...

No progress on ACF killings shows international judicial assistance is needed

Human Rights Watch reports that Sri Lankan authorities have continued to fail to hold accountable the responsible for the ACF massacre, where 17 aid workers were summarily executed by Sri Lankan troops in Muttur in 2006. Human Rights Watch, Legal and Policy Director, James Ross reports that the continued failure to deliver justice for the victims of this massacre shows “the need for the government to seek international judicial assistance to prosecute these and other killings”. In 2016, the then-high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, stated that it was necessary for the...

UNP promises jobs for votes in Jaffna - Sunday Times

The United National Party has pledged jobs to unemployed graduates in Jaffna if they voted for the party in upcoming elections, reports Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times. Sri Lanka’s State Minister for Education Vijayakala Maheswaran has reportedly been registering details of unemployed graduates and others who are seeking government jobs at her office at Palaly Road. “Those who registered said they were assured by the State Minister that if the UNP returned to power, they will be given appointments immediately,” said the Sunday Times. “All they had to do was to vote for her party.” See more here .

‘Sinhala speaking men’ with Sri Lanka’s Attorney General intimidate Tamil lawyers in court

Sinhala speaking men dressed in civil uniform photographed Tamil lawyers who appeared at the Chavakachcheri Magistrate Court earlier today, in an apparent act of intimidation as the Navatkuli Disappearances habeas corpus inquiry was underway. One of the men was then seen getting into a car belonging to the Deputy Solicitor General representing the Sri Lankan army, said Senior Lecturer & Head of Jaffna University’s Department of Law, Kumaravadivel Guruparan on Twitter.

Buddhist monks lead rival prayers at Kanniya on Tamil fast day

Buddhist monks in Trincomalee led prayers at the Kanniya hot wells, with hundreds of Sinhalese followers attempting to crowd out Tamil devotees who were commemorating an important fast day at the spring’s Hindu temple. Rituals to mark Aadi Amavasai, the July new moon fast which Tamil Hindus observe to honour their deceased fathers and forefathers, have continued at Kanniya’s temple in recent years despite intense Sinhalisation of the area. However this year rival rituals led by Buddhist monks led to difficulties for the Tamil devotees in accessing the area and carrying out their normal...

Pages