Remembering Black July 1983

Today we mark thirty-four years from the horrors of the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, when Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then UNP government and state forces. Armed with electoral rolls, Sinhala mobs targeted Tamil homes and businesses looting and ransacking property. Driven from their homes, particularly in Colombo, over 3000 Tamils were massacred, whilst thousands more were effectively deported by the state to the North-East. Eye witness reports described mobs chasing Tamils down the street with knives and setting them alight alive. Many hundreds of women were raped. Tamil political prisoners locked up in Welikada jail, deep within the island's south, were also targeted as prison guards allowed Sinhala inmates to slaughter them.

Law and Order Minister pressures Sri Lanka police to wrap up high profile murder and corruption investigations

Sri Lanka’s police has been given its final warning to speed up investigations into high profile murder and corruption charges levelled against the former regime, reports Sri Lanka’s Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka has outlined his intention to apply pressure to see at least 10 high profile cases, including the Lasantha Wickremeatunga assassination. Reports also suggested that the large scale corruption cases against senior officials in the previous Rajapaksa government will also be brought to a close.

Accountability needed in Sri Lanka – Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

Canada’s Prime Minister reiterated the need to establish a process of accountability in Sri Lanka, in a message released to mark the Black July pogrom of 1983, in which thousnads of Tamils were killed. ““Between July 24 and 29, 1983, anti-Tamil pogroms were carried out in Colombo and other parts of Sri Lanka resulting in thousands of deaths and the displacement of countless victims,” said Justin Trudeau. “As we pause to reflect on the dark days of the Sri Lankan Civil War, we must continue to work to heal the wounds of all those who suffered,” the statement added. “Canada welcomes...

‘We cannot indefinitely wait’ - TNA tells UN senior UN official

The Tamil people are “not satisfied” with progress made by the Sri Lankan government Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan told the United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, as they met in Colombo earlier this week.

Eastern Provincial Council nominations in Oct 2017

Nominations for the Eastern Provincial Council will be called on 2 October 2017, the National Elections Commission announced on Saturday. The Council's term will end 26 September 2017. Thirty-seven councillors will be elected for the Eastern Provincial Council. The last election for the EPC was held on 8 September 2012. Nominations for the North-Central and Sabragamuwa Provincial Councils will also take place in October.

US calls for 'swift justice' in Jaffna judge shooting

Condemning the suspected assassination attempt of a Jaffna High Court judge, Ilancheliyan, the United States embassy in Sri Lanka called for the perpetrators to face "swift justice". "Deeply concerned by shooting involving #Jaffna High Court Judge Illancheliyan. We call on govt to ensure perpetrators face due,swift justice," the US embassy tweeted on Sunday. The United States ambassador, Atul Keshap tweeted : "Heartfelt condolences to the policeman's family. This despicable attack is an assault on the judiciary, rule of law, & impartial justice." The judge’s car was shot at by two...

Two suspects arrested over Jaffna judge shooting

Two men were arrested on Sunday over their suspected involvement in the shooting of a Jaffna High Court judge on Saturday. Judge Ilancheliyan managed to escape unharmed but one police officer was killed in the incident. The identities of the suspects remains unknown. “This is a threat to the judiciary,” Judge Ilancheliyan told journalists, adding that he believed the attack to be related to any number of dangerous cases that he has been overseeing for the past eight months. The judge called for the Sri Lankan president and justice officials to take the incident seriously and ensure the...

Judge Ilancheliyan's police bodyguard dies of injuries from shooting

One of two of Jaffna High Court judge Ilancheliyan’s police bodyguards has died in hospital, succumbing to bullet injuries sustained while protecting the judge from an attempt on his life in Nallur yesterday. 51-year-old Sgt. Hemachandra died shortly after midnight, despite the efforts of the Intensive Care Unit at Jaffna Teaching Hospital. In an emotional tribute to his police escort of 17 years, Judge Ilanchelian wept and bowed down to Sgt. Hemachandra's family. A bullet wound sustained in the stomach had caused blood leakage to his lungs, with the police sergeant dying of excessive blood...

Sri Lanka to benefit from tariff free exports of travel goods to US market

Exports of travel goods from Sri Lanka will be duty free entry to the United States following a decision by the US to approve the inclusion of travel goods from all General System of Preferences (GSP) beneficiary countries, reports Xinhua News. Sri Lanka was included in the expanded US General System of Preferences scheme on July 1 according to a statement released by Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry on Friday. “Following this concession, Sri Lanka’s travel goods exports to the United States will have the potential to regain the market share previously enjoyed by Sri Lanka by making the country...

Police given 2 months to complete investigations into high profile crimes by Rajapaksa regime

Sri Lanka's police have been given a two month deadline by the Ministry of Law and Order to complete investigations on high profile cases committed by the former government, Economy Next reported. According to the paper Minister Sagala Ratnayaka is taking a "hands on approach" to ensure progress after Mr Sirisena urged him "to deliver or depart". The cases are expected to include the assassination of a prominent Sinhala editor, Lasantha Wickremetunga and the murder of Wasim Thajudeen.