Militarisation continues in Jaffna as soldiers give handouts to Tamil children and women

Despite ongoing criticism of their involvement in civilian affairs in the North-East, the Sri Lankan military responded to flooding in Jaffna, by photographing soldiers giving handouts to Tamil children and women in the region. Troops of 51, 52 and 55 Infantry Divisions mobilized in Jaffna in response to widespread flooding, reported the Sri Lankan army. Soldiers evacuated affected residents, provided relief items, cleared waterways, and managed traffic, which the army had showcased on its official website (see here and here ). Despite twelve years having passed since the end of the armed,...

British High Commission must listen to the 'victims of police abuses' - UK parliamentarians demand end to training of Sri Lankan police

Several Scottish and British parliamentarians have written to the British High Commission demanding that their Overseas Security and Justice Assistance project consider the 'victims of police abuses' and terminate the UK's training of Sri Lankan police officers. "We believe it is vital that the voices of human rights campaigners and those who have either fled from or are still suffering state-driven violence in Sri Lanka are heard" the joint statement read. The statement further raised concerns that Police Scotland's training for Sri Lankan officers was doing little but "providing political...

‘One Country One Law’ task force meets in Mullaitivu 

The third meeting of the “One Country, One Law” Presidential Task Force had its third meeting in the Northern Province today at the Mullaitivu Puthukkudiyiruppu Divisional Secretariat Conference Hall. The meeting was held with the participation of a working group headed by Galagodaaththe Gnanasara, an extremist Buddhist monk with a history of incendiary statements and incitement to violence , who serves as the chairman of the of the One Country, One Law Task Force. Only the community level members who have already been invited were asked for their views and suggestions on the same country,...

Top Russian security official and Sri Lankan president discuss 'extremism, terrorism and cyber threats'

Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Patrushev arrived in Sri Lanka today for a three-day visit where he is set to have high profiled discussions with the President and senior Sri Lankan military officials. The secretary was warmly greeted at the airport by the Secretary of Defence, Kamal Gunaratne and Commander of the Army Shavendra Silva, both of whom stand credibly accused of committing war crimes towards the end of the armed conflict which saw tens of thousands of Tamils killed. The secretary who led a Russian delegation then called on Gotabaya Rajapaksa...

‘International Community Should Refer Sri Lanka to the ICC ‘

The international community should stop providing financial and other support to Sri Lankan government mechanisms such as the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and instead refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court, writes J.S. Tissainayagam in International Policy Digest this month. “Meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in September, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, reiterated issuing death certificates for the disappeared in Sri Lanka,” said Tissainayagam.

Court imposes ban on Maaveerar Naal commemoration in Jaffna University

Following an injunction filed by Kopay police, the Jaffna Magistrate Court imposed a ban on the commemoration of Maaveerar Naal by members of the University of Jaffna on Friday. The ban order was issued to the defendants of the injunction earlier today. Amongst those mentioned in the ban include the President and the Secretary of the Jaffna Students Union and members of the college administration.

Ten Tamils remain in pre-trial detention over Mullivaikkal commemoration

Valaichenai Magistrate Court has issued an order today extending the remand of 10 Tamil men and women who were arrested earlier this year under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The case has been adjourned until December 9 as the group were not brought to court today. The group was arrested on May 18, for holding a vigil to mark Tamil Genocide Day and commemorate the genocide of Tamils committed by Sri Lankan security forces at the end of the armed conflict in 2009. At the time of arrest, Sri Lankan Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana, claimed the group was arrested for...

Sri Lankan police officer boasted of ‘nine murders’ say parents of murdered Tamil youth

The Sri Lankan police officer accused of beating a Tamil youth to death has boasted of at least 9 different murders claimed the murdered man’s parents, as a second autopsy revealed that there were at least 31 different injuries on their son’s body. Speaking to reporters after a hearing in front Batticaloa Magistrate AC Rizwan, 22-year old Chandran Vithusan’s parents named the officer responsible for their son’s killing as SI Mohammed. “He was the one that in front of our eyes beat [Vithusan],” said both his parents, as his mother broke down in tears. They added that he boasted of the killing...

Blow to Sri Lankan police as 3 Jaffna courts dismiss petitions to ban Maaveerar Naal

The Chavakachcheri, Mallakam and Point Pedro Magistrates Courts have dismissed applications filed by Sri Lankan police seeking bans on the Maaveerar Naal events within their respective jurisdictions. Police attempted to use both the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and current Covid-19 regulations to clamp down on commemorations of Maaveerar Naal in the Jaffna district. The applications were submitted by the officers in charge of 2 police stations within the boundaries of Chavakachcheri Magistrate Court, 8 stations within the boundaries of Mallakam Magistrate Court and 3 stations within the...

Sri Lanka’s OMP demands ‘20 documents’ from families searching for disappeared loved ones

Sri Lanka’s Office of Missing Persons (OMP) called for 20 documents from Tamil families of the disappeared last month, stating it was apparently required “to search” for their disappeared loves ones, despite having been in operation for several years. The call for documents comes after many Tamil families co-operated with the government mechanism despite their wariness that this was to be another façade by the state and a move to obfuscate accountability for the enforced disappearances.

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