Vavuniya demonstration in solidarity with Mullaitivu land protests

A protest was held in Vavuniya last week run solidarity with the people of Mullaitivu, calling for the return of their lands.

Murdered journalist Sugirtharajan remembered in Batticaloa

Murdered journalist Sugirtharajan was remembered in Batticaloa following the 11th anniversary of his death on January 24th.

Former LTTE cadre found dead in Vavuniya

A former LTTE cadre was found dead in his Vavuniya home on Sunday. 31-year-old Ilangarasa Ilangovan, known as Kopu, had undergone rehabilitation and was living in Kothanda Nochchikulam, Vavuniya with his wife and three children. The death is being investigated by Vavuniya police.

ANBU video launch opens up conversation on childhood sexual abuse

A video series and publication supporting those impacted by childhood sexual abuse (CSA) within the Tamil community was released by Toronto-based non-profit organization Abuse Never Becomes Us (A.N.B.U.). The publication showcases the lived experiences of five individuals that were impacted by CSA. One contributor writes, “What I want is for you to believe me. Believe me when I say something horrible happened to me as a child. I want you to hear how these events have affected me and to take them seriously. I want you to know that my story is not a rare one. So many people in the Tamil...

3 army officers arrested over 2008 assault on Sri Lankan journalist

Three army officers were arrested on Saturday over the assault of a Sri Lankan journalist in 2008. Keith Noyahr, an associate editor of The Nation was abducted from just outside him home in Colombo and tortured before being released in May 2008. Major Prabath Bulathwatte, Sergeant Duminda Weeraratne and Sergeant Hemachandra Perera were summoned to the CID headquarters on Friday for questioning. See more here . This investigation is the latest in a string of inquiries by the Sirisena government into crimes against Sinhala journalists committed during Rajapaksa's presidency. Investigations into...

Sri Lankan army denies allegations of sexual exploitation of Tamil women

The Sri Lankan army has taken exception to a former president’s acknowledgment that Tamil war widows face sexual exploitation. On its website the army refuted allegations of sexual exploitation of Tamil women, made by former president Chandrika Kumaratunge, as a “baseless allegation”. Claiming to have a zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse, the army said on Chandrika’s claims, “regrettably, the author of this statement has made unsubstantiated and baseless assertions without specifying any incident of sexual exploitation or abuse.” “At a time when the Government is genuinely committed to the...

Pilavu day 19

Pilavu protests continued for the 19th day today despite pressure for protestors to stop and ongoing military surveillance.

Chandrika says Tamil war widows face sexual exploitation

The former president Chandrika Kumaratunge this week acknowledged that Tamil war widows continued to face sexual exploitation from those in power, including by army officers and local government servants. “There is a lot of sexual abuse still going on by officials, even Tamil officials and even at lower levels, the grama sevakas,” Ms Kumaratunge told Sri Lanka’s Foreign Correspondents’ Association. “Even to sign a document, they abuse the women and of course some people in the (armed) forces” continue to commit sexual abuse," she added. Despite the lack of adequate psychological support for...

Australian Tamils reject Ranil's claim safe to return to Sri Lanka 

Tamils in Australia this week rejected a statement made by the Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Canberra that it was now safe for Tamil asylum seekers to return to the country, saying instead that Sri Lanka was far from reaching such a point. "The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) would like to categorically state that Sri Lanka has not reached a point where every Tamil asylum seeker can just return without worrying about the consequences; indeed Sri Lanka is far from it," the ATC said in a statement. Acknowledging areas of reforms ATC said however that "the advances on issues...

Supreme Court finds Sri Lankan soldier's rights infringed, awards compensation

A Sri Lankan soldier that was detained for a over a year as a suspect in the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickramathunga, has been awarded compensation after the Supreme Court found his rights had been infringed. The soldier, K. Priyawansa, was attached to the Intelligence Unit, and challenged the legality of his arrest, decision to detain him and his prolonged detention. Priyawansa argued that his detention, which came as a result of being added as a suspect in the Lasanatha murder case, had violated his fundamental right to equality and to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. The...