Full implementation of resolution 30/1 remains priority - EU/SL joint statement

The European Union and Sri Lanka agreed that the full implementation of UN Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 remained a priority. In talks between the EU delegation to the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Right and Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, both sides claim to have reaffirmed their joint commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights which included the full implantation of the October 2015 resolution. The statement also states that discussions took place on maintaining the freedoms of expression and the media, strengthening...

Ten soldiers accused of Siruppiddy murder to be acquitted

Ten Sri Lankan soldiers accused of the Siruppiddy murder – the abduction and murder of two Tamil youths in 1997 – are to be acquitted on the instruction of the Attorney-General. Out of fourteen soldiers remanded, ten were ordered for acquittal, and nine were released with the other having already died. After the murder in November 1997, sixteen soldiers attached to the Siruppiddiy army camp, including a Lieutenant, were arrested in connection. Having laid dormant for almost ten years, the case was reopened in January 2016 and murder charges filed against all sixteen soldiers. Two of these...

Former LTTE cadre arrested in Wellawaya

A former LTTE cadre who had undergone the Sri Lankan government’s “rehabilitation” program was arrested on Monday, with no clear charges laid out against her. The woman, reportedly a Mullaitivu resident, was arrested in Wellawaya, as Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena attended a ceremony in the region. Three other people who were with her have also been detained by the police. Officials have said the woman is now being questioned over the purpose of her visit to Wellawaya, but no further details on why she has been held have been released. See more from the Daily Mirror here .

Return land, restore dignity

Land is linked to identity, and identity is important to all communities regardless of whether they are from the North or the South. By Aingkaran Kugathasan, for Tamil Guardian | Colombo Subsequent governments in Sri Lanka have manipulated the issue of land for political and economic gains by; promoting the livelihood and well-being of one Community over another (in this case the ethnic majority), providing lands to transnational corporations (TNCs), acquiring lands for security purposes (High Security Zones: HSZ). Both private and state lands of people who have for generations been settled...

SL commander denies navy shot at Indian fishermen

Sri Lanka's navy commander on Sunday rejected reports that officers had fired shots towards Tamil Nadu fisherman and their vessels over recent weeks. His statement came after Tamil Nadu fishermen said one of their colleagues was shot dead by the Sri Lankan navy on March 6, and many fishermen boycotted the annual Kachchativu feast in protest at the attacks by the navy. “Indian fishermen had boycotted the feast due to an incident where they claimed that the SL Navy had fired at an Indian fishing boat in Sri Lankan waters, which is totally false”. Sri Lanka's navy commander, Vice Admiral...

Feast of St Anthony, Katchatheevu, marred by militarisation

Tamils attending the feast of St Anthony in Katchatheevu said the festival was marred by heavy militarisation as well as the absence of devotees from Tamil Nadu who usually attend in their thousands. The recent shooting, allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, of Tamil Nadu fishermen, one of whom died and another injured, led to their communities boycotting the feast. Tamil Nadu patrons usually make up a significant portion of devotees at the Catholic festival. Instead participants noted a higher than usual presence of Sinhalese visitors, as well as the attendance of thousands of Sri Lankan navy...

Army commander visits colonised village in Vavuniya

The commander of the Sri Lankan security forces in Vanni visited a Sinhala settlement in Vavuniya on Friday, where thousands of Sinhalese villagers were settled in 2013.

GTF urges implementation of resolution 30/1 with UN monitoring, through new resolution

The Global Tamil Forum reiterated its call for the full implementation of the UN resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015, adding that the ensure this a new resolution ought be adopted taking into consideration the UN High Commissioner for Human Right's recommendation that the process must include close international monitoring. "GTF calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to make every effort to implement all of the recommendations presented in the High Commissioner’s report, which include: ‘present a comprehensive strategy on transitional justice, with a time-bound plan’; ‘invite Office...

North-East heavily impacted by drought

Official data shows that the North-East of Sri Lanka has been worst hit by the ongoing drought. In the Jaffna district where majority of the rice cultivation is rain fed, crops are facing widespread destruction. The Department of Agriculture stated that almost 99 percent of rice cultivation was fully or partially destroyed. Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Amparai, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi are also areas that have been greatly impacted by the drought. Farmers are expected to lose a total of 545,717 metric tonnes of rice paddy this season. The government has promised 10,000 rupees per acre in...

Sri Lanka to renegotiate Hambantota port deal with China

Sri Lanka is to scale back the Hambantota port deal with China after widespread protests by local residents. The original deal was to transfer an 80% stake to China Merchants Port Holdings through a long lease. However, after protest by local community members and some politicians, it is expected that the deal will be renegotiated. “We have proposed several changes and we will end up with a situation which is far more favourable to the institution [Sri Lanka Port Authority],” said the Ports Minister, Arjuna Ranatunga. The port was built during Rajapaksa’s presidency and is included in the $8-...

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