Chinese fishermen released

37 Chinese fishermen, arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on Monday , have been handed over to Chinese embassy officials in Trincomalee. The men were arrested after they were caught fishing without permission of the coast of Batticaloa, prompting the Chinese embassy to urge for the immediate release. Two Sri Lankans on the trawlers were also arrested and released on bail. "The fault is not with the (Chinese) crew. The case is against the (Sri Lankan) owner now," Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya told Reuters. "We have handed over the Chinese crew to officials from the Chinese embassy,"

British Tamil hunger striker completes day 17

The British Tamil hunger striker, Gobi Sivanthan, 17 days into his fast, protesting against Sri Lanka at the London 2012 Olympics.

Woman raped by SL army 'willingly participated' say police

A woman allegedly raped by three Sri Lankan Army soldiers on Sunday, "willingly participated" said a spokesperson for Haputale police, SP Ajith Rohana. The three soldiers were arrested on Monday, after being apprehended by railway security officers whilst on a train to Badulla. According to the Sinhala news site, Adaderana, Rohana said, 'initial investigations had later revealed that the alleged rape victim had willingly participated'. The soldiers were on their way to Diyatalawa military base for training.

SL navy detains 37 Chinese fishermen

The Sri Lankan Navy detained 37 Chinese fishermen on Sunday night, prompting China to call for their immediate release, reported the China's state news agency, Xinhua. "The Chinese embassy ... has urged Sri Lankan authorities to handle the issue in accordance with the law, sort out the truth and release the Chinese fishermen as soon as possible," reported Xinhua. According to Xinhua the fishermen were on board two trawlers by the coast of Batticaloa. Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror states the trawlers were 13 nautical miles off the coast of the island, and therefore in breach of a China-SL agreement...

‘Resettlement and development’ and 'appalling conditions'

The director of the Coordination and Response Division of the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), John Ging, made a number of comments following a 3 day official visit to Sri Lanka. The UN official visited the North-East, where many people still lack basic services and facilities, following the Sri Lankan government onslaught in 2009. According to OCHA people in the region have asked for basic assistance such as sanitary facilities, clean water, shelter, electricity and livelihoods support. Commenting on the situation, Ging said: “In 2012, it is absolutely unacceptable that tens of thousands of people are living in such appalling conditions without access to the most basic services,”

US retailer pulls out of Sri Lanka

American retailer J Crew has decided to pull orders from Sri Lankan manufacturer Mirrai PVT Ltd failed to follow industry regulations and correct violations, reported the Sunday Times. The move was hailed by IndustriALL Global Union, who commented that the move showed that codes of conduct were "more than paper tigers". The union attempted to meet company owners and labour authorities to discuss corrections of serious violations, but their attempts were rebuffed. The buyer, J Crew were then asked to look at the violations, and when Mirrai PVT Ltd continued to refuse to make the necessary...

Over 3500 families remain uprooted in the Amparai district

Civil officials in the Amparai district have stated that over 3,500 families have been driven from their land, with over 12000 acres of land being seized from the Tamil population, reported TamilNet on Sunday. Since 2007, over 20 Saiva temples have been destroyed, with suspected backing by Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) commandos. Reports from the district have indicated that newly constructed Buddhist Stupas have cropped up on land appropriated from Tamils. Rauf Hakeem, the Minister of Justice in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government recently assured a foreign envoy that steps would be taken...

Gota tells the army to 'remain vigilant'

The Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa instructed the army to remain alert of groups working to "destabilise" the country reported Xinhua. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said , “We know that there are remnants of the LTTE still operating outside Sri Lanka, and there are others even within Sri Lanka who may try to destabilise the peace. It is very important that we remain vigilant about such threats,” “We must ensure that peace and stability continues, enabling us to build a better future for all Sri Lankans.”

Remain 'vigilant' of CEPA and 'Mighty India'

The secretary of the Patriotic National Movement of Sri Lanka (PNM), condemned the resumption of India-Sri Lanka talks on CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) and stressed it should not be signed. Warning that the CEPA agreement would pave the way for "mighty India" to exploit the Sri Lankan market, PNM stressed that 'businessmen and intellectuals' should be "vigilant". The PNM was formed in 2003, out of popular Sinhala nationalist support against the then peace process, and is allied to the National Freedom Front - a party within the ruling coalition. The PNM's initial was...

UNP councillor arrested for obstructing police

The UNP councillor for the Southern Province, Krishantha Pushpakumara was arrested for obstructing police officers in the Akmeemana region. Sri Lankan police have arrested a total of five local government politicians within 24 hours - two on charges of assault, including a health minister that assaulted a doctor.