Tamils losing hope due to Sri Lanka govt inaction - TNA tells Australia FM

The Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan and spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran, met with Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, on Thursday to discuss the constitution making process and key issues faced by Tamils which were causing them to lose hope. The party said in a press release that Mr Sampanthan had cautioned that a failure of the constitution making process would have an adverse impact on the country, saying “we don’t want a Constitution that divides the country, but a Constitution that will address the root causes of the national question and eventually be a resolution to...

UK parliamentarians and academics discuss ethnocratic nature of Sri Lanka in Houses of Parliament

British parliamentarians and academics discussed the Sri Lankan state's ethnocratic nature at a book launch in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday. 'Government and Politics in Sri Lanka: Biopolitics and Security', authored by Dr Sriskanda Rajah focuses on Sri Lanka’s post-colonial policies and democratic structure and argues that Sri Lanka functions as an ethnocracy leaning on authoritarianism, and was launched with a discussion on Sri Lanka by a panel of academics and Members of Parliament. Speaking at the event the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell stressed the importance...

UK registers ‘serious concerns’ to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner after UN report

The British government expressed “serious concerns” to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner this week, after a United Nations Special Rapporteur report found torture was endemic, systematic and routine on the island. Responding to a question from the leader of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils Paul Scully, the Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom said the UK had expressed their concerns over the report’s findings to Sri Lanka’s representative in London. “The Minister for Asia and the Pacific, my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mark Field), has registered...

Southern Province governor calls for Sri Lankans to resist ‘federalism conspiracy’

The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Southern Province warned that there would be “stiff resistance” to federalism on the island, labelling any attempt to introduce devolution a “conspiracy”. Speaking at a Buddhist ceremony in Kandy, Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara said that he “would continue to speak the truth according to my conscience”. The Island reported the governor as calling on people to “oppose efforts being made to introduce federalism” and “warned that there would be stiff resistance if the government tried to create a federal state”. He was further reported as stating that “Sinhala rulers...

Sri Lankan military completes construction in Jaffna school

The Sri Lankan military announced that it had completed the construction of a new water facility at a Tamil school in Jaffna earlier this month.

EU tells Sri Lanka to ensure transparency, end corruption and cut duties

The European Union's ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Tung Lai-Margue, told Sri Lanka to ensure transparency in the financial sector, end corruption and cut duties in order to make the country appeal to foreign investors. “The conflict had a major impact on Sri Lanka’s economy but almost eight years have passed and the time is opportune for Sri Lanka to catch up," Mr Lai-Margue was quoted by Economy Next as saying at an event organised by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) and the European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka and Maldives. “Sri Lanka’s increase in duties...

UN Special Rapporteur violated Sri Lanka's sovereignty says NFF

The National Freedon Front (NFF) said it "vehemently" condemned the statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson on his visit to Sri Lanka this month, accusing him of violating sovereignty. The NFF's national organiser, Piyasiri Wijenayaka was quoted by Adaderana as saying the statement was “an interference to the internal affairs of a sovereign country and a hypocritical utterance of a representative of the neo-imperialists". "Turn your dirty, accusing fingers not toward us but towards your own countries, where the black people are beaten and...

Sri Lankan PM promises liberalisation of economy

Speaking at an event organised by the European Chamber of commerce, Sri Lanka's prime minister promised liberalisation of the economy prior to the next budget, expressing his support for breaking down barriers for competition. The event was entitled 'Sri Lanka-the next Asian Economic Miracle’. Stating that GSP+ was key to Sri Lanka's economic development, Mr Wickremesinghe was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying: “We have the ability to develop our economy and strengthen our democracy. Open market leads to open societies and we are committed to both. Now this is a challenge for Sri Lankan...

Sri Lankan President signs Office of Missing Persons Gazette

The Sri Lankan President signed the gazette for the Office of Missing Persons today. Announcing on his official Twitter account that he had signed the gazette, President Sirisena said “this marks another step forward in Sri Lanka’s path to sustained peace.” “OMP being gazetted is a significant step forward for the people of Sri Lanka,” the UN resident coordinator, Una McCauley said on Twitter. The US Ambassador, Atul Keshap, said “I’m happy [the President] signed bill and gazetted Office of Missing Persons; families waiting for answers hope for swiftest operationalization.” The President had...

UN to vet Sri Lankan peacekeeping troops

The UN is to ensure soldiers from Sri Lanka are vetted prior to joining the UN Peacekeeping force. Spekaing at a press briefing in New York, the deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying, “wherever we recruit soldiers from, in every country, we try to vet the incoming peacekeeping troops, to make sure that they're not involved in any such problems in their home country.” “And, of course, we will do that sort of vetting for Sri Lankan troops as we do for any other country,” he reportedly added. It remains unclear exactly what will be included in...

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