Ranil stresses Hambantota port is not being sold to China

The Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this week reiterated that there were no plans to sell Hambantota port to China, it would only be leased. "There is no preliminary draft regarding handing over the Hambanthota Port to anyone," Mr Wickremesinghe was quoted by Colombo Page as saying to parliament on Wednesday. He explained that the port deal was entered into because Sri Lanka could not pay the loans previously borrowed from China and that the new port deal was part of an agreement to have the loans written off. The deal has faced significant backlash within the some Sinhala...

Families of disappeared protest for 24th day in Maruthankerny

Families of the disappeared have been protesting in Maruthankerny, in Vadamaradchi East, for the twenty-fourth day.

Draft of Sri Lanka's revised anti-terror legislation leaked

A draft of Sri Lanka's Counter Terrorism Act was leaked on Thursday by unknown sources. See here for leaked copy. The government has been under pressure to introduce a new bill to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act in order bring its counter-terror legislation in line with international standards. The issue was also highlighted in the UN resolutions co-sponsored by Sri Lanka at Geneva. The previous draft of the CTA was widely criticised for being more draconian than its predecessor.

Tamil identity under the spotlight at student event featuring M.I.A.

British Tamil students discussed Tamil identity and the experience of growing up Tamil at a panel event hosted by student groups in London.

Sri Lanka's parliament adjourned over UN resolution debate

Sri Lanka's parliament was adjourned today after joint opposition MPs complained at not being allowed given sufficient time to speak during the UN resolution debate, the Daily Mirror reported. The paper reported that speaker Karu Jayasuriya adjourned the debate after what it described as a "tense situation".

Thousands protest Musali land-grab gazette

Mannar locals have been protesting against a gazette notification declaring private land including the area of Musali as nature reserve.

Only an independent mechanism with international actors can deliver justice - Mayor of Toronto

The Mayor of Toronto has said that only an independent mechanism with international can deliver justice to the Tamil people. Writing in the Toronto Star on his recent visit to the Northern Province, Mayor John Tory, also commented on the “extraordinary military presence” in the North, adding “when you ask, you are told most of these bases are located on land forcibly taken from Tamil citizens,” and that “this unilateral use of formerly privately owned land, combined with the suffocating military presence itself, causes immense anxiety on the part of the people of northern Sri Lanka and...

UK home office guidance on Sri Lanka inaccurate and dangerous - Freedom from Torture

New UK home office policy advise on Sri Lanka is misleading and downplays ongoing human rights violations, Freedom from Torture has said. The charity which provides rehabilitation and therapy for torture survivors in the UK has said it is deeply concerned by the new policy and has called for an urgent review. Sri Lanka was the top country of origin for torture survivors referred to the organisation in 2016, and referrals included survivors who have been detained during the current government’s tenure. Ann Hannah, Freedom from Torture’s Director of Policy and Advocacy said: “This guidance is...

Tamil Nadu fishermen to protest over Sri Lankan impounding of boats

Fishermen in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu said they would picket Katchatheevu in protest on April 25 at Sri Lanka's impounding of their fishing boats, the Times of India reported. Demanding the release of their boats, the fishermen association's head, N J Bose said, "foreign secretary S Jaishankar, who will be visiting Sri Lanka on April 7, should take up this issue with Sri Lankan authorities to secure the release of Indian fishing boats". Earlier this week the Sri Lankan government released 18 of the 38 fishermen currently detained.

PEARL releases report on impunity and the Kumarapuram massacre at Human Rights Council session

People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) released its most recent report, "Impunity reigns in Sri Lanka: the Kumarapuram Massacre and Acquittals" during a side session during the Human Rights Council session in Geneva on March 20.