Army increases random searches in Mullaitivu

The Sri Lankan Army has stepped up its random search operations in Mullaitivu reported Uthayan on Tuesday. Residents have complained that the searches have become even more regular than previously, with numerous bicycles, motorcycles and cars being searched. Amidst this heavy army presence, three Tamil men were found murdered in Visuvamadu, Mullaitivu district this week.

Iranian funded project for Southern development begins

The Sri Lankan President inaugurated a development project in the Southern Province of Uva earlier, which the government is funding with the help of a US$540 million loan from Iran. The multi-million dollar project is expected to provide irrigation and hydropower to the south eastern region of the island, as part of a large aid deal announced in 2008. The project is to be constructed by the Hardish Engineering Company of Iran and will take 5 years to complete. See more on Sri Lanka and Iran's relationship here .

Australia detains Tamil asylum seeker with mental health concerns

The family of a mentally ill Tamil asylum seeker being held at Villa Wood Detention centre in Australia, New South Wales, are calling for an urgent review of his case, reported ABC news. The asylum seeker, Pradeep, fled to Australia by boat, having been aassaulted by the Sri Lankan army. Professionals believe his mental health concerns, including severe psychosis, were as a result of the assault. The asylum seeker’s lawyer, George Newhouse, outlined that his client’s psychological illness was due to the bashing he received in Sri Lanka, which resulted in a 1 month coma. Describing the...

SL launches 'aggressive campaign' to attract US tourists

Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the US and Mexico, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, is mapping out plans to draw in 100,000 American tourist to the island by 2016 in part of an attempt to increase tourist traffic flow to Maldives and India. He said , “We are working on an aggressive campaign to attract 100,000 American tourists to the island by 2016.” In 2011, there was a 22 percent increase in tourists from North America to the country to 49,057 travelers compared to the year before. According to the tourism office, first six months of this year has also showed a 20 percent increase to 27,355 compared to...

Sri Lankans squabble over lack of coaches at Olympics

The Sports Minister of Sri Lanka and captain of the Olympic delegation to the 2012 Games have clashed over the lack of coaches sent to accompany to athletes at the Olympic Games in London. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that the Olympic Committee went against his advice, commenting, "I told the Olympic Committee to allow Niluka's father to travel to London. I also advised the shooting association to send Mangala Samarakoon's coach but I was told by the OC that it was too late as they have already sent the list." Recently the Sri Lankan opposition party, the UNP, criticised the...

3 found murdered in Visuvamadu

Three Tamil men were found murdered on the same night in Visuvamadu, Mullaitivu district, reported Uthayan on Monday. The body of Vijayakumar, a 33-year-old Tamil man from Visuvamadu itself was found hung from a tree. The body of Sivarasa, a 45-year-old Tamil man and father of five from Pokkanai, was found with its neck severed by an axe, after having been set alight. The body of Arunachalam Ramanathan, a 73-year-old Tamil man, was also found murdered and burnt. TamilNet reports that all three men were colloborating with the Sri Lankan Army in the sexual harrassment of Tamil women. See here .

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...

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