Sri Lankan intelligence officer files a complaint against ITJP with UN and EU

Sri Lanka’s State Intelligence Services (SIS) Major General Suresh Sallay filed a formal complaint with the United Nations and European Union last week, claiming that the Executive director of the International Truth and Justice Project, Yasmin Sooka had made "defamatory remarks" in a press release outlining his role in detaining a Tamil doctor. His complaint comes after a Letter of Demand was sent to Sooka earlier this month demanding 1 Billion Rupees as damages, claiming that Sallay’s reputation had been “slandered”. Sallay’s lawyer, Pasan Weerasinghe, claimed Sooka’s remarks are defamatory...

‘Strengthen security in Jaffna’ - Sri Lankan defence secretary tells troops  

Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused defence secretary told troops stationed in the Tamil North to “take measures to strengthen security to maintain law and order in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu and Vauniya,” as he concluded a trip to Jaffna this week. Kamal Gunaratne led a high-level defence delegation to Jaffna to reportedly “review the security situation” and was accompanied by the head of the army Shavendra Silva, navy Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, air force Commander Air Marshal Sumangala Dias, acting Inspector General of Police, C. D. Wickramaratne, and the heads of the Sri Lankan security...

Sinhala Buddhist ceremony for occupying Sri Lankan navy in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan navy held a large scale Sinhala Buddhist ceremony in Kankesanthurai this week, as it announced the opening of a berthing facility at its occupying military base. Senior Sri Lankan navy officers were flanked by Kandyan drummers as they paid respects to Sinhala Buddhist monks at the ceremony, as the military inaugurated the new construction. The facility, which cost Rs. 94 million , saw Sri Lankan soldiers dig through layers of limestone along the Jaffna coast over the last year. The jetty they built is 100m in length 70m in width and 12ft in depth. Much of Kankesanthurai remains...

Tamil man shot dead by Sri Lankan army soldiers

Updated 1800 GMT A 24-year-old man has died after being shot and killed by Sri Lankan army soldiers earlier this evening, with locals taking to the streets to protest his murder. The incident occurred this evening in Muhamalai, at approximately 6:15pm. The deceased man has been identified as Thiraviyam Ramalingham from Ketpeli, Point Pedro. Details have emerged suggesting that the military killed Ramalingham as they apprehended him over reported illegal sand mining. He was reportedly with four others at the time, when the military approached and opened fire. Ramalingham was shot, whilst the...

UN Special Rapporteur warns of Sri Lanka’s ‘climate of intimidation’

UN Special Rapporteur, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, has stated that the increasing surveillance in Sri Lanka in 2019, particularly after the Easter Sunday attacks, “is clearly aimed at creating a climate of intimidation," and warned that the North-East remained "heavily militarized". Voule’s report notes that despite the end of the armed conflict over a decade ago, areas of in the north and east remain heavily militarised. His report is based on his visit to Sri Lanka from 18 – 26 July 2019. He notes that the surveillance structure has expanded in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombing and...

Australian MP grateful for overwhelming Tamil support after vicious hate campaign for May genocide statement

Australian State MP Hugh McDermott revealed that he was subject to threatening messages of violence and a vicious hate campaign launched by the Sri Lankan government condemning his decision to release a statement in solidarity with the Tamil community on Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day in May this year. While he was “shocked at first” at the hate comments he received for his statement, McDermott was thankful for the support of the Tamil community and said he was “very very lucky that the Tamil community rallied behind to show that I wasn’t alone.”

Japan grants Rs. 1.36 billion to Sri Lanka for medical equipment to combat COVID-19

Japan is to grant Sri Lanka Rs. 1.36 billion in support of the country to secure medical equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The government of Japan has agreed to grant 800 million Japanese Yen which is equivalent to 1,360 million rupees. The money will be spent on medical equipment such as MRI scanners, CT scanners, Bedside x-ray systems, central monitors, bedside monitors and defibrillators etc, reports the Colombo Page. This grant comes despite raised concerns over Sri Lanka’s human rights record as Sri Lanka's president has established a presidential task force, which has been...

Former Sri Lankan President denies responsibility for Easter Sunday bombings

During an interview with BBC Sinhala, Sri Lanka’s former President, Maithripala Sirisena, denied responsibility for the Easter Sunday bombing which left over 250 people killed. According to a Sri Lankan parliamentary select committee report , the country’s security forces were given intelligence that showed that an attack was due to take place on Easter Sunday but may have permitted it to ‘create chaos and instil fear’ ahead of presidential elections. That election led to the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa who blamed the previous government, stating that they ‘diluted the service ’ and must be...

World Bank grants Sri Lanka $56 million despite concerns over human rights

The World Bank is granting Sri Lanka 56 million US dollars to Sri Lanka despite concerns over the country’s human rights record, Sri Lankan Minister Bandula Gunewardene reported. Minister Gunewardene claims that the money is for several programs to fight against Covid-19. The grant was initially submitted by alleged war criminal and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as Finance Minister. Approximately, 17 million will be dedicated to regional development programmes; a further 15 million will be dedicated for educational modernisation; an additional 9 million will be dedicated...

TNPF organiser detained under false pretense

Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) Mullaitivu District organiser was detained under false pretenses on Thursday. Thilakanathan Kinthujan, was detained by four officers of Mankulam police, citing an arrest warrant for 'distracted driving'. The TNPF tweeted that Kinthujan was "detained for allegedly using his mobile phone while driving a bus, when he neither possesses a heavy vehicle license nor drives a bus." He was later released after his lawyers intervened. There has been a recent surge in surveillance, intimidation and harassment of members and activists by Sri Lankan security forces...

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