Jaffna Uni students boycott classes and launch signature campaign in support of Tamil political prisoners

Jaffna University students have been boycotting classes since last Friday in solidarity with the hunger-striking Tamil political prisoners in Anuradhapura.

Tamil political prisoners continue hunger strike despite severe deterioration in health

The health of three hunger-striking Tamil political prisoners has further deteriorated. The three detainees of Anuradhapura prison have been hunger-striking for over 28 days, in opposition to the transfer of their cases from Vavuniya High Court to Anuradhapura. All three were forcibly admitted to hospital by prison officials where they were placed on saline drips. However the three still refuse food.

UN expert - Sri Lanka's delays in transitional justice raise questions about govt's determination

The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff highlighted the insufficient progress made by Sri Lanka as he concluded his trip to the island, and said that delays in the implementation of transitional justice measures "raise questions in many quarters about the determination of the government to undertake a comprehensive transitional justice programme." In a statement published on Monday, Mr Greiff also said that the "slow progress on pre-conditions for transitional justice erodes trust in the Government’s capacity...

Sri Lanka's expressway construction halted after delay in Chinese loan

The construction of the Central Expressway has come to a halt in Kadawatha due to an ongoing delay in a US $1.1 billion loan from China's Exim Bank, the Sunday Times reported. “If we don’t receive the loan by February or March next year, we will have to look for other options,” the Road Development Authority (RDA) chairman Nihal Suriyaarachchi told the Sunday Times. confirming there was a delay in the loan, Sri Lanka's Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella told the paper, "We have taken up the matter with the Chinese Ambassador in Colombo and hope to expedite the loan through diplomatic...

Eastern and Jaffna Unis jointly demand release of Tamil political prisoners

The student unions of the University of Jaffna and of the Eastern University have demanded the release of Tamil political prisoners who have been detained for years without charge or trial under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. In a joint statement, the two unions expressed solidarity with the hunger-striking political prisoners at Anuradhapura prison and put forward several demands with a view to tackling the political prisoners issue. Under demands requiring immediate action, the students called for the transferral of the hunger-strikers' cases from Anuradhapura court to either Vavuniya or...

New constitution is to fulfill terrorists' aims - Gotabhaya

The former Secretary of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said individuals pushing the new constitution were trying to fulfill the aims of "terrorists", Adaderana reported on Sunday. "The same politicians, who stated that terrorism could not be defeated by military means during the war, are now attempting to divide the country," Mr Rajapaksa told a gathering in Colombo. "Certain individuals are attempting to fulfill the ambitions of the terrorists through the proposed new constitution," he added.

Mangala says plans to widen FTA with India

Sri Lanka's foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera told the IMF annual meeting in Washington, that the government had plans to widen its Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with India and Pakistan, as well as signing new agreements with Singapore and China. “Measures are being taken to boost market access through deepening and widening the current Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with India; invigorating the FTA with Pakistan; signing new economic partnership agreements with China and Singapore. This will result in preferential access to markets with over 3 billion people, which is expected to boost...

Tamil man killed in Ariyalai shooting

UPDATED: 16:51 BST A Tamil man has died after being shot in Ariyalai, creating a tense situation in the area with Sri Lankan army and Special Task Force troops deployed. 24-year-old Don Bosco Rikman, a fisherman from the Uthayapuram village of Ariyalai East was shot earlier this afternoon by unknown persons. A friend of Mr Rikman who was travelling with him by motorbike at the time of the shooting said that he was shot from behind by two persons on a motorbike. Mr Rikman died from excessive blood loss shortly after 9pm local time at Jaffna Teaching Hospital. Details surrounding the shooting remain unclear. Police at the scene told locals and observers that the bullet had been removed by unknown persons.

1 year on, Jaffna University remembers two students killed by police

Staff and students at the University of Jaffna paid tribute on Friday to the two students killed a year ago by Sri Lankan police.

Eastern Province governor attempting to oust Tamils and Muslims from important local government positions

A senior Eastern Provincial Council official has alleged that the Eastern Province’s governor is attempting to replace Tamils and Muslims serving in several important local government positions with Sinhalese. The senior official said that high-level Tamil and Muslim officials in the East had unofficially been asked to resign by governor Rohitha Bogollagama. The governor plans to fill the positions in agencies such as the housing authority with his political friends from other districts, the official said, and cut down the number of Tamils and Muslims in authoritative positions in the East.