Tamil Nadu fishermen attacked by SL navy in Indian waters

The Tamil Nadu government asserted that there had been 167 attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy from 1991 - 2011, and those included attacks within Indian territorial waters. The attacks had resulted in the deaths of 65 Tamil Nadu fishermen, with 180 injured. See here and here . The state government's Advocate General Navaneethakrishnan made the submission before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court which included Justice PPS Janarthana Raja and Justice M Vijayaraghavan on Friday. According to The Hindu , the Centre's advocate, Additional Solicitor General M Ravindran, argued that there was 'no chance of the Sri Lankan Navy having entered the Indian waters as such movement by the warships would amount to waging a war.'

Navi Pillay urges Australia to rethink asylum policy

Commenting on the recently released report by a panel commissioned by the Australian government, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urged Australia to rethink its asylum policy, and " break an ingrained political habit of demonising migrants and asylum-seeker s". The panel's report, which recommended that off-shore detention be employed as it would disuade potentional asylum seekers, has received condemnation and criticism by rights groups Amnesty International and TAG (Tamils Against Genocide). Pointing out that there was " no empirical evidence that immigration detention deters irregular migration, or discourages people from seeking asylum ", Pillay said that UN Human Rights Office had " long-standing concerns about Australia's mandatory detention regime ", and reiterated that immigration detention " should always be applied as a measure of last resort, only permissible for the shortest period of time and only when no less restrictive measure is available ."

Chinese engineers flown in amid questions of sabotage

A team of engineers have had to be flown in from China in order to try and repair the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai, after a series of failures have led to power cuts across the country. The plant, built using a USD $455 million loan from China's EXIM bank, was constructed by Chinese workers from the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. Since having opened, a series of failures at the plant – deemed “quality issues” by the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board – have led to island wide power cuts. The repair work is expected to take at least four days. Their...

Another Chinese project launched

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has inaugurated the launch of yet another Chinese-funded project in the country, an irrigation project in North Central and Eastern Provinces. The project is estimated to cost US$210 million, with 85% of the funds being provided by China and the construction is set to be undertaken by the China CAMC Engineering Corporation. Photograph: ColomboPage Previous Chinese-constructed projects in Sri Lanka have shown a host of defects, with a $1.4 billion port in the President’s hometown needing further work after a massive seabed rock obstructed the entrance and...

Sri Lanka says ready to host Commonwealth conference next month

Sri Lanka is ready to host this years annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) next month, said the current chairman and Sri Lanka's speaker - Chamal Rajapaksa. The conference takes placed on 7th- 15th September in Colombo. Over 600 delegates from 54 countries are expected to take part.

Second sheriff runs out of town

A case of demand … and supply. The head of Sri Lanka’s market regulator resigned Friday, saying he come under pressure at the behest of powerful stock market players being investigated for stock manipulation. (See Reuters’ report ) Securities and Exchange Commission chief Tilak Karunaratne had been pushing for investigations into stock market malpractice, including so-called pump-and-dump deals in which investors are lured into apparently cut-price equities. "I don't even call them investors. They are crooks. The pressure from those crooks goes elsewhere and then in turn that party is exerting pressure on me ," Karunaratne told Reuters. Although he did not elaborate, he didn’t need to.

Allow Tamils to go to their homes says Jayalalithaa

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, urged Sri Lanka to allow the displaced Tamils to be allowed to return to their homes. In her Independence Day address, Jayalalithaa said , "At a time when we are celebrating the Independence day, Centre should at least now ensure that the Sri Lankan Tamils lodged in camps are sent back to their places of origin and ensured equal status on par with Sinhalas."

Ruling party child abuse accused released on bail

The Tangalle Magistrate’s Court has released a politician of the ruling UPFA and 9 others who were accused of raping a child, on bail. ColomboPage reported on Friday that Tangalle District Magistrate Yuresha de Silva released the suspects, including Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Anjana Liyanage, on a Rs 25,000 cash bail. 21 suspects were arrested over the rape of a 13-year old girl in a hotel, where she was abused over a period of 6 days. According to ColomboPage the case has outraged child right activists, who demanded severe punishment of the culprits. They called for rape to be made a...

The army taketh and the army giveth

The Sri Lankan army - the all-rounder, ever expanding security force - has found yet another civilian project to venture into - education. A new computer centre, a reading camp, books, stationary and seminars have been bestowed upon Jaffna, the army has proclaimed . And what of the teachers? What do they think of the army's boon? Teacher's complain about the destruction of Tamil youth's education in the north (11 Jul 2012) Teachers campaign against building of army camp over teaching centre in Palali (22 Apr 2012)

Foreign Office warns of ‘upsurge in nationalism’ in Sri Lanka

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned of an increase in anti-Britsh rhetoric and an ‘upsurge in nationalism’, and has warned its citizens to stay away from political rallies. In its travel advice it also noted an increase in reports of sexual attacks on minors.