Tamil diaspora groups dismayed by outcome of Trinco 5 case

Tamil diaspora organisations are dismayed at the reports that 13 Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) and police personnel charged with executing five Tamil youths in Trincomalee on 2 January 2006 were acquitted of all charges last week. The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), the British Tamils Forum (BTF), the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and the US Tamil Action Group (USTAG), believe that last week's ruling on the 'Trinco 5' case is emblematic of Sri Lanka not delivering justice for serious crimes committed against Tamil civilians. President of USTAG, Seetharam Sivam said, "Sri Lanka has...

EU and Sri Lanka engage in counter-terrorism dialogue

The EU and Sri Lanka held an informal counter-terrorism dialogue today, chaired by Gilles de Kerchove, the EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator. . Challenges relating to violent extremism and terrorism were discussed. The EU delegation underlined the importance of efficient coordination of counterterrorism effortts with a focus on the prevention of violent extremism and the importance of counterterrorism responses to be in line with human rights obligations. The EU presented Sri Lanka with a support package worth EUR 8.5 million which will focus on law enforcement, rehabiliation and disengagement...

Eastern University student succumbs to Zion Church attack injuries

A 22-year old Tamil student from Batticaloa passed away from injuries sustained in the Easter Sunday attacks this week, as the death toll from the bombings rose once more. Karunagaran Umasankari, a second year arts student at Eastern University, was attending a service at the Zion Church in Batticaloa on Easter Sunday when a suicide bomber triggered an explosive device at the premises. At least 31 others were killed with her, including fourteen children.

India commits Rs. 300 million grant to renovate Jaffna Palaly airport

India has granted a 300 million rupee grant to support the renovation of the Jaffna Palaly airport which is expected to be a centre for business and tourist traffic between Sri Lanka’s North and India. Earlier, the Indian ministry of external affairs (MEA) had stalled the development of the airport due to concerns over political instability. Read more here: India foreign ministry hesitates over Palaly airport due to 'political climate' Civil Aviation authorities plan to develop the airport by building a 3.5 km runway which will carry a single-aisle aircraft into Jaffna; it will be used for...

‘Tamil politicians have forsaken us’ say Keppapilavu protestors after 863 days of protest

The villagers of Keppapilavu who have been calling for the released of their occupied land for more than 863 days criticised Tamil politicians, stating that they have been “forsaken”. Speaking to reporters in Mullaitivu, where the Sri Lankan security forces have continued to occupy private Tamil land, protestors slammed leaders from the Tamil National Alliance as well as the governor of the Northern province Suren Raghavan. “In the past, TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah has said that if the people’s lands are not released, he too will join the people in their protest,” said one...

Residents fear permanent displacement as Sri Lankan army builds new vihara in Vali North

Reports have emerged that the Sri Lankan army is building a vihara on occupied land in the so-called 'High Security Zone' of Valikamam North, leading residents to fear that they will not regain their lands. While parts of Valikamam North have been released to their Tamil owners over the last two years, thousands of acres still remain occupied as a HSZ. Residents also stated that the lands were being released illogically, for example that while homes were returned, access roads still remained blocked, and military occupation continued to hinder the residents’ return to their normal livelihoods...

1 soldier dead, 8 injured in Keppapulavu crash

A Sri Lankan soldier has died and eight others were injured in an accident in Keppapulavu, Mullaitivu on Sunday. The military vehicle’s driver lost control after speeding round a bend in the Keppapulavu army camp area. Three of the injured were admitted to Mullaitivu district hospital, while five were admitted to the military hospital.

India says pressing Sri Lanka to fulfil commitments to Tamils

The Indian government is pushing Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitments to Tamils, according to a minister responding to a question in the Lok Sabha concerning the protection of Tamil interests. In his written response on June 10, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan emphasised that India has consistently called upon SL to fulfil its commitments and that the end of the civil war a decade ago brought a unique opportunity to provide a last peace to the island. In the minister’s statement he writes: "We have emphasised to the Sri Lankan government on the need to take forward the...

Militarisation: Sri Lankan army hands wheelchairs to disabled Tamils in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan army continued with its militarisation of the Tamil North-East as it handed out wheelchairs to disabled Tamil civilians in Jaffna last week. The army held a ceremony at a Hindu temple in Chulipuram, Jaffna, as it oversaw a donation of both wheelchairs to elderly and disabled Tamils, and bicycles to schoolchildren. The latest such event comes as the military continues to exert its massive presence across the North-East, with a continued intrusion of civilian life in the region. Earlier this year the Society for Threatened Peoples, detailed the pervasive militarisation that...

Facebook increases investment to curb hate speech in Sri Lanka

Facebook has increased its investments in Sinhala and Tamil language experts in order to curb online hate speech and other malicious content from Sri Lanka, as attacks on Muslims have risen since the Easter Sunday bombings earlier this year. In a press statement, a Facebook spokesperson said: “We have invested heavily on Sinhala and Tamil language expertises as we have promised. We significantly ramped up our language expertise in Sri Lanka through hiring more experts after the Digana riots.” The Digana riots was an anti-muslim riot in Kandy which destroyed at least 8 homes and 50 businesses...

Pages