Rajapaksa appoints commission to investigate previous regime's 'victimisation' of state officials

The Sri Lankan president has appointed a commission to look into the alleged ‘political victimisation’ of public officials during the previous government’s administration. The commission has been empowered by the president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to look into the ‘alleged political revenge’ on members of the armed forces and the police, as well as government officials and employees of state corporations. It will investigate the alleged victimisation carried out by the Bribery or Corruption Commission, Police Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) and Police Special Investigation Unit. See...

Sri Lankan navy truck kills Tamil man in collision

A Sri Lankan navy truck has killed one Tamil man and seriously injured another, after a road collision in Mullaitivu earlier this morning. The vehicle, from the Gotabaya Navy Camp in Mullaitivu, was driving near Vadduvakal Bridge on the Mullaitivu - Paranthen main road, when it was involved in a collision.

Tamil protesters demand release of political prisoners after death of Mahendran

A protest in Jaffna called for the release of Tamil political prisoners who have been jailed in prisons across the island, following the death of one Tamil man after 26 years of imprisonment.

Sri Lankan police massacre of Tamils at Jaffna conference remembered

The killing of eleven Tamils by Sri Lankan police officers at the 1974 World Tamil Research Conference in Jaffna was remembered today. Tamil politicians were joined by members of the public at the monument in Jaffna town erected in memory of the victims of the massacre. On January 10, 1974, the final day of the conference, Sri Lankan police officers, led by the Deputy Inspector of Police for Jaffna, Chandrasekara, opened fire at the audience, killing 11 civilians. Chandrasekara was later promoted to the post of Inspector of Police by the then prime minister, Srimavo Bandaranayaka. The...

Sri Lanka: Repeal Abusive Counterterrorism Law - HRW

Sri Lanka should replace the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) with legislation that respects international human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said. The call comes after the Sri Lankan president announced last week that his government would scrap plans to replace the law. The previous government’s promise to repeal the PTA playing a significant part in the granting of the European Union trade concession GSP plus in 2015, however the reforms were never implemented. “The EU, which offers Sri Lanka preferential trading terms in return for human rights guarantees,...

'India was assured of solution to Tamil National Question' - Sumanthiran tells Sri Lankan parliament

TNA parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran warned that the island may step “into naked majoritarianism” unless the equal status of all peoples on the island was respected, pointing out that repeated assurances had been made to India to the Tamil people that a political solution would be found to the ethnic conflict. “President Rajapaksa’s government repeatedly assured India and the rest of the international community that the Tamil National Question would be politically resolved after the war by means of greater devolution,” Sumathiran told Sri Lanka’s parliament last week. “The assurance given to...

TNA leader praises Gotabaya in reminder to keep promises to India

Tamil National Alliance leader R Sampanthan has praised Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused president, calling him someone “who is prepared to speak the truth and to do the right thing” in a speech to parliament earlier this week, where he outlined the international community’s role in a military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamil civilians. “The international community played a major role in the military defeat of the LTTE,” Sampanthan told parliament. “India played a major role.” He went on to name specifically name “Mr. M.K. Narayanan, the then National Security Adviser of India,...

Sri Lanka’s TID summon head of families of the disappeared organisation

Sri Lanka’s Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) have summoned the head of Vavuniya’s families of the disappeared association and her husband for questioning this week, as activists continue to report harassment from state authorities. Jeyavanitha Kaasipillai, head of the local families of the disappeared organisation, told reporters that this was the third time that she has been summoned for such an inquiry. However, now Sri Lankan authorities have also demanded that her husband be brought along for questioning at the TID headquarters in Colombo on January 13. “They are summoning me as our...

Sri Lankan intelligence erases Jaffna street art after threatening Tamil artists

Sri Lankan intelligence officers have erased a mural after they threatened local Tamil artists in Jaffna this week, following a youth street art initiative included a painting of a tiger on a wall in Valvettithurai. Street art initiatives have taken place across the island with many in the North-East using it as an opportunity to express various aspects of Tamil culture. In Jaffna, images of the famous Jaffna Library and other landmarks were painted on walls. However, as young artists began to paint a mural in Valvettithurai, part of which included the image of a wild tiger, Sri Lankan intelligence and police officials began to threaten them.

Buddhist vihara and monks' residences under construction at Kilinochchi university campus

A large Buddhist vihara and multiple residences for Buddhist monks are currently being hurriedly constructed at the Killinochchi Ariviyal Nagar campus of Jaffna University, as Sinhalisation efforts continue across the North-East.