CPJ calls for press freedom in Sri Lanka

The Committee to Protect Journalists called for press freedom in Sri Lanka and urged politicians stop to halt the intimidation of journalists by publicly levelling accusations against them. The statement from the press freedom organisation comes after the editor of the New York Times, condemned the intimidation of journalists by Sri Lankan lawmakers following a report last month into Chinese control over of the Hambantota port. “Politicians have every right to dispute the findings of a news report, but publicly singling out Dharisha Bastians and Arthur Wamanan is a worrisome development in a...

UK calls for transitional justice and repeal of PTA at Human Rights Council

The United Kingdom has called for Sri Lanka to establish a transitional justice mechanism and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act. "In Sri Lanka, we are encouraged by further recent land returns, the Cabinet’s approval of a Bill to establish an Office of Reparations and steps taken to hold perpetrators of hate speech to account. However, much more still needs to be done," the UK mission said speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. "We urge the government to take the steps necessary to implement fully Resolution 34/1, including devolution through constitutional reform, the...

Black Tigers Day marked across the North-East

Pictured: Commemoration at Vakarai, Batticaloa Tamils across the North-East marked Karumpuli Naal today, commemorating the men and women of the LTTE’s Black Tigers.

Tamil govt officials under investigation for applauding Vijayakala's pro-LTTE comments

The names of Tamil government officials who applauded a Sri Lankan minister’s speech extolling the LTTE are to be identified and handed to the Jaffna District Secretariat for investigation. State Minister of Child Affairs, Vijayakala Maheswaran, said in a speech that the resurrection of the LTTE was needed to protect Tamil communities, to which Tamil government officials are reported to have applauded loudly. After backlash in the South about Ms Maheswaran’s comments, the district secretariat issued an order to all divisional secretariats to identify and report all such officials who had ‘...

Sri Lanka to shift navy base to Chinese-controlled port

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister announced that its southern navy base will be shifted to a port in Hambantota that has been entirely built and controlled by the Chinese. Ranil Wickremesinghe issued a statement on Saturday, as he sought to alleviate fears that the Hambantota port would be used by China’s military. The Hambantota port, built at a cost of a reported $1.5 billion, is currently under a 99-year lease to China Merchants Port Holdings after the Sri Lankan government struggled to make payments on the loan taken out for the project. “Sri Lanka also informed the Chinese that Hambantota...

‘Slow pace of progress on reform and justice in Sri Lanka’ - US ambassador nominee

Sri Lanka has shown slow pace of progress on reform and justice, said the nominee for the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz. In her testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last week, Ms Teplitz said that, “Sri Lanka has come a long way since voters in 2015 rejected the corruption, strife, and repression of the past and threw their support behind a reform, reconciliation, and accountability agenda.” She went on to state that, “However, the pace of progress on reform and justice has been slow, and, as anti-Muslim riots in March so painfully demonstrated, the work...

Political uncertainty causes Sri Lankan shares to hit 15-month low

Sri Lanka’s shares hit a 15-month low today, as political uncertainty ensured that foreign selling continued for a ninth consecutive session. Reuters reported that there was “continued foreign selling in blue chips, political uncertainty and concerns about lower economic growth dented investor appetite for risky assets” on the island, as shares continued to fall. Political uncertainty is the main reason that has kept investors on the sidelines,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO of Acuity Stockbrokers. Tuesday’s showing marks the 16th session in 18 that the Colombo stock index has declined, with...

Body of missing man found in Mullaitivu

The body of a man reported missing last month in Vavuniya has been found in Othiyamaalai, Mullaitivu. Rajagopal Kajamuhan from Nedunkerni, Vavuniya was last seen on May 17th at 10:30 when he left home to go to the shops. After he failed to return home his mother reported him missing to Nedunkerni police station. His motorcycle was found four days later near to the house. Two men have been arrested and produced before Vavuniya court in relation to his disappearance and death.

Mullaitivu residents stop further land grabs from Archaeology Dept

Residents in Mullaitivu on Tuesday stopped officials from the Department of Archeology from surveying in land in view of what they believe is an attempt to acquire further land in the region. The residents, who where accompanied by local councillors and members of the Northern Provincial Council, TNA and TNPF, arrived en masse as officials were setting up equipment to survey the land, and demanded that they leave immediately.

Sri Lankan president pledges ‘highest sponsorship’ for Buddhist Renaissance Fund

Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena stated that his government would ensure that “the highest sponsorship will be provided by the government to strengthen the Buddhasasana” at a Buddhist religious event at Tissamaharma on Saturday.