Police Scotland defends training contract with Sri Lanka

Photograph: Yardstick Films Police Scotland has come out in defence of a contract with the Sri Lanka, which included training of Sri Lanka’s notorious Special Task Force, despite continued concerns over the use of torture by security forces. In response to a freedom of information request submitted by The Ferret, Superintendent Shaun McKillop, head of Police Scotland’s International Development and Innovation Unit, defended the relationship with Sri Lankan security forces, that has reportedly stretched back to nearly 10 years. “The British High Commission review our training on a regular...

Reginald Cooray reappointed as Northern Province governor instead of proposed transfer to Kandy

Reginald Cooray has been reappointed as Governor of the Northern Province, instead of being transferred to a different province as was previously announced by the Sri Lankan government.

Tamil man employed in Colombo reported missing

A Tamil man working in Colombo has been reported missing after failing to return home to Kilinochchi over the new year holiday period. 46-year-old Velayutham Vikneswaran who works at a private company in Colombo was reported by his employers to have last been seen at work on April 11.

Petition for release of widowed Tamil political prisoner with young children sent to Sri Lankan President with 300,000 signatures

A petition calling for the release of a Tamil political prisoner who's wife died recently leaving two young children alone has gained 300,000 signatures and has been sent to the Sri Lankan President. Campaigns for the release of Anantha Suthaharan gained traction across the North-East last month after photographs of emotional scenes from his wife's funeral went viral on social media. The Ceylon Tamil Teacher's Union sent off their petition with 300,000 signatures from students, teachers and community members across the North.

‘Disappeared persons are in Sri Lankan detention camps’ claims released Tamil man

A Tamil man who spent almost 9 years in a Sri Lankan prison claimed that many Tamil youths who were forcibly disappeared remain in Sri Lankan custody. Navaratnam Nishanthan, who was released from Boosa prison in December, told reporters in Vavuniya that during his time in custody, he saw many others Tamils held at the detention centre. The 31 year old was arrested on April 26 2009 and held for almost 9 years. He was acquitted of all charges and released in December. “Many Tamil mothers claim that their children have been subjected to enforced disappearance, but many of their disappeared...

Iranian delegation to discuss Syria with Sri Lanka

A delegation from Iran, headed by the Iranian speaker of parliament, will arrive in Sri Lanka this week to discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria, according to reports. Iran's Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani told reporters that the trip to Asia, where the delegation will visit Vietnam and Sri Lanka, will discuss the conflict amongst other talks on bilateral co-operation. "One of the key issues to be discussed with Vietnamese and Sri Lankan officials is the Syrian situation," said Mr Larijani. Speaking on airstrikes carried out this week by US, UK and French forces, he went on to add, "...

Sri Lankan president lands in London and heads to Buddhist vihara

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena visited a Buddhist vihara in London, as the first official stop in his trip to the country.

US spending bill places strict conditions on Sri Lanka funding

The $1.3 trillion omnibus bill approved by the US Congress and signed off by President Donald Trump last month includes conditions on the funding available to Sri Lanka for the rest of the financial year 2018, including establishing a justice mechanism, addressing the plight of the disappeared, de-militarisation of the North-East and addressing the impunity of Sri Lankan peacekeepers involved in sexual abuse. A total of $35mn have been made available to Sri Lanka’s democracy programmes, particularly in the regions riven by ethnic and religious conflict. The funds will be made available “for...

Police brutality in Mullaitivu hospitalises Tamil man

A Tamil man has been hospitalised after being beaten by police in Mullaitivu, causing tension between police and locals in the Keppapulavu-Kalliyadi area. 30-year-old Kamalathas Mariyanayagam was handcuffed and beaten by police on the street in Puthukudiyiruppu. He was reportedly kept in handcuffs when taken to the hospital for treatment. Police alleged that he had provided information to sand smugglers about police activities. Locals were angered by the brutality, accusing the police of beating an innocent man while being hand in glove with actual sand smugglers and earning lucrative bribes...

Myliddy returnees find explosives in their lands, told to wait until after holidays for removal

Several residents of Myliddy who were able to return to their lands on Friday for the first time in 28 years have found live explosives in their properties, particularly in dry wells and water tanks.