1000 days of protest: No action or information on Sri Lanka’s disappeared says Tamil diaspora groups

In a joint statement the Australian Tamil Congress, British Tamil Forum, Canadian Tamil Congress, and US Tamil Action Group have called upon the international community to launch a “special independent investigation” to support the families of the disappeared, who have continued their protest for 1000 consecutive days. Relatives of the disappeared have "received no new information about the fate of their loved ones and no action has been taken against the perpetrators. Since the start of the campaign, 53 mothers and fathers of the disappeared have passed away, two of them this week, without...

26 arrested during voting period

Ruwan Gunasekara, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan police have reported that 26 people have been arrested for violating election laws during the voting period. Gunasekara claims that this has been a relatively peaceful election and reports that; “Among the arrested, eight were nabbed for taking photos of the ballot papers while 18 were arrested for roaming near polling centers".

Sri Lankan army ordered to remove roadblocks for Tamil voters

Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ravi Seneviratne, has instructed the army remove roadblocks to allow Tamils to access polling stations; this request was initially denied. Eventually the army was forced to abide by the Electoral Commissioner demands, however TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran has told Daily Mirror that people in the north were familiar with roadblocks and that this would not hinder them. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he told reporters; "SDIG Seneviratne who arrived in the North last morning has instructed the army to remove all the roadblocks to enable the people to reach...

International rights organisation issues urgent appeal against targeting of Tamil lawyer

The international human rights organisation Front Line Defenders has issued an urgent appeal against the targeting of human rights lawyer and head of law at Jaffna University, Dr Kumaravadivel Guruparan. Last week Guruparan was barred from practising as a lawyer by the Sri Lankan University Grants Commission (UGC) at the instigation of the Sri Lankan military. The move is seen as a direct reprisal for his representation of victims in the Navatkuli Habeas Corpus case, related to the disappearance of 24 Tamil youths from military custody in 1996. Front Line Defenders released an urgent appeal...

Turnout as high as 83% in North-East districts - early reports

As votes are being counted for Sri Lanka’s presidential election, turnout reached as high as 83% percent in some of the Tamil districts in the North-East, according to early figures. See turnout figures from districts in the North-East below.

Tamil man stabbed as voters attacked in Kegalle

A Tamil man was stabbed and other Tamil voters attacked in Kegalle, as voting took place across the island in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections. The attack has led to tension in the Deraniyagala and led to at least one person being admitted to hospital. The stabbing reportedly occurred after a group of unknown persons broke into a house, whilst others were attacked after refusing to vote for a specific candidate. See more from BBC Tamil here . Sri Lanka’s Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) reported at least 139 election-related violations across the island, between the open of...

Polls close in Sri Lanka as tens of thousands Tamils cast votes

Polls in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections has now officially closed, with tens of thousands of Tamils across the North-east having cast their votes. Turnout was reportedly above 50% across many districts in the North-East, as votes begin to get counted. Across the island, turnout is expected to be at around 80%.

Over 100 election violations by midday of Sri Lankan elections

There were at least 139 election related violations across the island, between the open of polls at 7am and 1pm, according to the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). The majority of violations were illegal campaigning as well as intimidation and influencing of voters. The highest number of violations were reported in the Southern district of Matara, the Western district of Gampaha and the North-Western district of Puttalam. High numbers of violations were also reported in the Southern district of Hambantota, the North-Central district of Anuradhapura and Monaragala district in the...

Tensions high as Tamils vote in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections

Tens of thousands of Tamil voters have cast their ballots early across the North-East amidst a ramped-up security presence and heightened tensions, as Sri Lanka’s presidential elections were underway on Saturday. Tamil voters have reportedly begun stocking up on supplies and groceries, amidst fears of violence in the wake of a close election between the two leading candidates Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa.

Gunmen fire on displaced Muslim voters

Unidentified gunmen fired shots and pelted stones at a bus carrying displaced Muslim voters as it travelled to Mannar on Saturday, despite the massive Sri Lankan security presence in place as Sri Lanka’s presidential elections began to get underway.