Alleged war criminal's appointment confirms lack of will for justice - Adayaalam, PEARL

The appointment of the alleged war criminal, Major General Shavendra Silva as Sri Lanka's new Chief of Staff confirms the government's "lack of political will to address accountability and justice", the Jaffna based research group, Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research, and the Washington based group, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), noted in a joint statement. "Silva’s appointment is indicative of a deep-rooted lack of political will on the part of the Sri Lankan government to pursue accountability and justice. Sri Lanka has rejected all calls for accountability since the end...

Jaffna youth found dead after assault

A Tamil youth was found dead on Sunday night, after what locals say was an assault by unknown men. Vasuthevan Amalkaran, aged 22 and from Katkovalam, Vadamarachchi, is understood to have been attacked by sharp instruments by his house, before the assailants escaped from the area. The reason for the attack is not known. Sri Lankan police are investigating the incident.

20 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka navy

The Sri Lankan navy has arrested at least twenty Tamil Nadu fishermen on Sunday for allegedly poaching fish, PTI reports. The fishermen were detained off the coast of Neduntheevu during the early hours of Sunday morning. Their boats have been impounded and the men taken to Karainagar for investigation. Last month over 3000 Indian fishermen were chased away by the Sri Lankan navy and eight fishermen arrested. The arrest and chasing away of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy remains a regular occurence despite attempts by India's Central Government to attempt to resolve the issue.

Gotabhaya hints at Sri Lankan presidential election run

Sri Lanka’s former defence secretary, accused of orchestrating the military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils, has hinted at running in the island’s upcoming presidential elections Gotabhaya’s spokesperson tweeted that Rajapaksa addressed a gathering of “key activists” this weekend, where he spoke of the importance of a presidential election and said he was “ready to take own any challenge if the people, too, are ready”. A video from NewsFirst shows Gotabhaya stating in Sinhala, “We know that this is a very important year. A presidential election should be held. I am ready for...

Two Tamil youths arrested over burning tyres during Batticaloa hartal

Two Tamil youths were arrested in connection with the burning of tyres during the hartal which took place across the Batticaloa District on Friday in protest of the appointment of former UPFA MP Hizbullah as governor of the Eastern Province. The youths aged 19 and 23 were arrested by Kattankudy police and were due to be produced in court. There were also reports of vandal attacks on Muslim-owned businesses which stayed open during the hartal.

Ranil denies federal solution and pledges to uphold Buddhism in new constitution

Sri Lanka’s prime minister has vowed to ensure that Buddhism will continue to hold “foremost” place in the island’s constitution and denied that there had been any federal proposals for power sharing to Tamil provinces, as he presented an experts’ report on the proposals to draft a new constitution. Presenting the report Ranil Wickremesinghe declared: "there is no federal proposal in this. All have accepted the unitary character, although they may have different views on its terminology”. "There were no plans to divide the country," he added. "This report consists of proposals made by all parties including the chief ministers of provinces."

Batticaloa High Court validates Pararajasingham murder confessions

The Batticaloa High Court ruled last week that the confessions of the two main suspects in the murder of TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham were made voluntarily and admissible in court. Judge M.Y.M. Irshadeen granted permission to the prosecution to produce the confessions of Rengasamy Kanaganayagam alias Kajan Mama and Edwin Silva Krishnanantharajah alias Pradeep Master. Lawyers for paramilitary leader and former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Sivanesanthurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, had refuted the confessions which linked Pillayan to the murder. TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham was...

Sri Lanka has failed to investigate and prosecute for war crimes - Amnesty International

The promotion of Shavendra Silva to chief of staff of the Sri Lankan army “highlight(s) the urgent need for thorough, impartial, independent and effective criminal investigations into war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Amnesty International in a statement this week, accusing the government of failing to investigate war crimes. “Vetting of military personnel is furthermore needed as an important feature of postwar security sector reform to guarantee against future violations,” continued the statement, released in the wake of Silva’s appointment. “While the government has made some...

Colombo sending ‘clear message to international community’ with appointment of Silva - GTF

The Sri Lankan government has sent a “clear message to the international community that the country cares little about its views and the potential consequences of its failures in faithfully implementing the UNHRC resolution” with its appointment of Shavendra Silva as the army’s chief of staff, said the Global Tamil Forum in a statement this week. Stating that the appointment of Silva has “sent shock waves through the Tamil community, and to all those interested in human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka” the diaspora organisation called on the international community to “face up to these...

PTA claims Tamil lives while Sri Lankan war criminals promoted - TNA MP

The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has claimed the lives of many Tamil youths, while war criminals in Sri Lanka walk free, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP has said. Speaking in Parliament last week, Amparai district representative K Kodeeswaran said it was unjust that Tamil political prisoners were still wasting away in detention while war criminals were being promoted into high positions in Sri Lanka. "The PTA has severely affected our Tamil people. Our youths have been brutally murdered through this act," Kodeeswaram said. "Yet those who committed war crimes walk free," he said...