Politician accused of murder reinstated in post

Sampath Chandrapushpa, who is accused of murdering a tourist last year, has been reinstated by the ruling party into his post as chairman of Tangalle’s Pradeshiya Sabha. Chandrapushpa is in remand custody over last year’s Christmas Eve murder of Khuram Zama Shaikh, a British national from Manchester, in The Nature resort, Tangalle. Shaikh's girlfriend, Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna was also allegedly raped in the incident. Colombo Page reports that Chandrapushpa was told in writing on July 29th by the UPFA that his position as Chairman and full party membership had been restored. The...

Barely alive, yet his legs chained together - Father Sakthivel

Photograph Uthayan Speaking to mourners of the Tamil political prisoner, Dilrukshan, Father Sakthivel described seeing him in hospital in the days before his death - in a coma, but still with his feet chained together.

'Most of the LLRC recommendations' have been addressed says Sri Lanka

Apparently - according to Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission Chief Pratiba Mahanamathe who in turn quoted the presidential secretary - "most" of the LLRC recommendations had been addressed.

Knowing your place

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakeem has issued an “unreserved apology to all Buddhists of Sri Lanka” over remarks made in a campaign meeting in the Eastern Province. Hakeem reportedly congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa for defeating “terrorism” and called on him to eliminate what he termed “yellow robed terrorism”, referring to attacks on mosques led by the Buddhist clergy. The comments outraged the Buddhist clergy and prompted a swift retraction from Hakeem. Extracts from his statement have been reproduced below.

Colombo recalls its high commissioner to Malaysia

Kalyananda Godage, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia has been recalled abruptly by Colombo after he was accused of sympathetic involvement with Tamil organisations in Malaysia. Mr. Godage came out of retirement at the age of 76 to take up this position. His service will come to an end at the end of August after serving only eight months. Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, took an exception to Godage’s request for answers, that were posed by Tamil groups during a meeting in Colombo.

Increase refugee intake, but process offshore says Australian panel

An Australian report, ordered by the government, concluded that it was necessary to introduce disincentives for those seeking asylum in Australia, Canberra should introduce off-shore processing, but increase the overall intake of refugees to 20,000.

HSBC bank in London apologises for display of SL flag

HSBC in London has “unreservedly” apologised after displaying the Sri Lankan flag in its New Malden branch, following protests from the local community. The display drew objections from the Tamils in London, who remonstrated that the display brought back memories of rape, torture and massacres endured at the hands of a genocidal state. Complaints from the local community, with the support of local parliamentarian Mr Edward Davey, have led to apologies from the bank and the removal of the flag. A HSBC spokesperson said , “The flags were meant with the very best intentions and the bank...

‘Debt-ridden’ SL electricity board seeks more loans

The Minister for Power Champika Ranawaka is seeking approval from the Sri Lankan cabinet to raise the borrowing limit of the state owned Ceylon Electricity Board to Rs 74.2 billion, reported LBO . He said the funds will be used to meet increasing fuel needs, settle debts and pay independent power producers. Ranawake told cabinet members that CEB currently owed Rs 16 billion to independent power suppliers and another Rs 15 billion to the state owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the Sunday Times reported. Ranawaka said the CEB was in “severe financial crisis”, even though fuel surcharge...

Sinhala nationalists protest TESO gathering

Sri Lanka’s nationalist organisations demonstrated against the Tamil Eelam Supporter’s Organisation (TESO) conference which was due to take place today in Chennai. Participating in the demonstration march in Colombo, chairman of the Sinhala nationalist ‘Patriotic National Movement’ Gunadasa Amarasekara told Colombo Page that he thought the conference was an attempt to divide ‘Sri Lanka’ by Tamil Nadu politicians. Demonstrators are reported to have burnt effigies of DMK leader Karunanidhi and TNA leader R Sampanthan. Amarasekara added his objection to the Indian government allowing the use of...

Tamils protest against Sri Lanka at London2012 on final day

Marking the final day of the London 2012 Olympics, Tamils stood in solidarity with the hunger striker, Gobi Sivanthan, and protested against Sri Lanka's inclusion. Crowds gathered to the spot in Stratford, by the Olympic stadium where Sivanthan had been on hunger strike since 22nd July, as he broke his protest fast at 4pm of the final day, as planned.