Senior British MP responds to Chunnakam, Jaffna water pollution

Responding to a question posed by a British MP, Elliot Colburn, on investigations into Chunnakam, Jaffna water pollution, Nigel Adam’s, the UK’s current Secretary of State for Foreign Common Wealth and Development Affairs claimed that tests have been conducted and that residents have been offered compensation. He further stated that the UK government would “continue to engage with local government in the North to ensure these concerns around water management and quality are understood and that measures are taken to ensure clean water”. In April of last year, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court found...

Heavy rain causes severe damage to Mannar villagers’ homes

Heavy rains in the North-East caused severe flooding and extensive damage to homes across villages in Mannar, last week. Low lying villages such as Santhipuram, Jeevapuram, Jimron Nagar, Emil Nagar and Ezhuthur in Mannar were flooded and homes were severely damaged due to the lack of efficient drainage systems. The land, that was provided by previous divisional secretaries and land officers in the villages near the canals, was completely submerged by the rainwater. The current flood situation has left many families in a position where they are at risk of having to relocate if the situation...

MP Wigneswaran facing case from Sri Lankan Appeal Court 

Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal will hold a hearing for MP C V Wigneswaran from September 15th until the 17th, relating to his time as Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council. A writ application was filed against the newly elected parliamentarian, over the alleged failure to implement a court order delivered in 2017. Previously the Chief Minister for the Northern Province, Wigneswaran was instructed to reinstate former Provincial Council Minister B Deniswaran, Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Commerce, Rural Development, Road Development and Motor Traffic for the Northern...

SLPP approves proposal banning cow slaughter in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), led by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, approved a proposal banning cow slaughter in the country, in a move that further showcases the regime’s Sinhala Buddhist nationalist sentiments. Rajapaksa made this decision in his capacity as Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, though beef imports would reportedly remain unaffected. When discussing the proposal, Rajapaksa said , “This is a proposal that exists since the time of nationalist leader Anagarika Dharmapala. No government was able to legislate against it.” Dharmapala...

‘Hindi Theriyathu Poda’ - Kollywood joins growing opposition to Hindi-imposition in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Kollywood celebrities joined a growing campaign across Tamil Nadu this week, as social media platforms were buzzing with tens of thousands of tweets and messages, highlighting the widespread opposition to Hindi imposition in India. The hasthag “Hindi Theriyathu Poda” (I don’t know Hindi, go! / #ஹிந்தி_தெரியாது_போடா ) was trending on Twitter across India, after popular music director Yuvan Shankar Raja and actor Shirish tweeted a picture of them wearing T-shirts that read “I am a Tamil Pesum Indian” (I am a Tamil-speaking Indian) and “Hindi Theriyathu Poda”.

Fire on oil supertanker off Sri Lanka extinguished after four days

A fire on a fully loaded oil supertanker off Sri Lanka’s coast broke out last Thursday in the engine room and was doused on Sunday.

30th anniversary of Eastern University disappearances and massacre commemorated

A vigil was held in Batticaloa on Saturday, where locals marked 30 years since the enforced disappearance and massacre of 158 Tamils from the Eastern University. Relatives of those who were forcibly disappeared demonstrated with placards and photos of their missing loved ones at the commemoration organised by the Batticaloa families of the disappeared. The remembrance took place in front of the Vantharumoolai campus of Eastern University and marked the events of September 5, 1990, when Sri Lankan soldiers surrounded the campus, rounding-up and arresting 158 Tamils that were sheltering there...

24th anniversary of Krishanthi and the Chemmani massacre commemorated

The 24 th remembrance day of Krishanthi Kumaraswamy, the Tamil schoolgirl who was kidnapped, gang raped and brutally murdered by Sri Lankan soldiers in 1996, was commemorated on Monday. Tribute were also paid to her family and other victims of the massacre at the Chemmani mass grave.

Convicted murderer on death row sworn in at Sri Lanka's parliament

Premalal Jayasekara, a Sri Lankan politician who is currently on death row for murder, took his oath as a Member of Parliament earlier today. The politician from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party (SLPP), was convicted of murdering an opposition activist after opening fire at a 2015 election rally, just days nominations for the parliamentary polls had closed in August. As such, he was allowed to contest and won his seat. Opposition parliamentarians wore black scarves as a sign of protest as Jayasekara entered parliament earlier today, having been escorted directly from prison...

Sri Lankan cardinal echoes call to ban political parties based on ‘religion or language’

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Sri Lanka’s top Catholic official, has backed calls for a ban on all political parties “based on religion and language,” a move that has previously been proposed by Sri Lanka’s prime minister and one that may have dire consequences for the island’s Tamils and Muslims. “I urge the government to ban all parties based on religion and language,” Ranjith said in a homily last week. “This is not a matter of politics, this is a matter of humanity,” he continued, adding, “It is wrong to base a political party on religion and language.”