3 Hindu shrines vandalised in Mannar

Three Hindu shrines across Mannar were vandalised last night, just one day before Hindus celebrate Maha Sivaraththri. The Vigneswaran temple in Thalaimannar, built in 1988 by the Indian Peace Keeping Forces, was broken into. Three statues have been stolen.

Sri Lankan military base constructs new entrance

Sri Lanka’s military in Mullaitivu declared open a new entrance to its 59 Division Headquarters earlier this month.

A militarised Thai Pongal across the Tamil homeland

Sri Lankan troops across the North-East continued to impose themselves on civilian life in the region, with several divisions involving themselves in Thai Pongal festivities last month.

Former LTTE cadre to be deported from Australia despite UN call

The Tamil Refugee Council has spoken out against the Australian government’s decision to deport a former LTTE cadre to Sri Lanka, stating that it “puts at risk his safety and possibly his life”. The move to deport the Tamil asylum seeker named as Shantaruban comes despite the UN committee against torture issuing an interim measure request last year, formally asking that Australia “refrain from returning [Shantaruban] to the Republic of Sri Lanka while his complaint is under consideration”. “Members and suspected former members of the LTTE continue to be disappeared, detained, tortured and...

Justice remains crucial - PEARL on Kumarapuram massacre

Reconciliation and lasting peace will elude Sri Lanka for as long as there is no accountability for massacres and atrocities, the advocacy group PEARL has said. In a statement marking 22 years since the Kumarapuram massacre, the organisation said “justice for this case, amongst many, remains crucial for healing processes to commence.” Reiterating the barriers to justice within the Sri Lankan judicial system, as found in the organisation’s 2017 report on the massacre, PEARL said: “Nearly nine years after the end of the armed conflict, security forces continue to intimidate victim-survivors...

UNP '1000 Vihara pledge' was pledge to use state money to sow conflict - NPC member complains to election commission

A United National Party election pledge to build a thousand Buddhist shrines in the North-East will create conflict and resentment, a Northern Provincial Council member has said. Filing a complaint with the elections commission, NPC member M. K. Sivajilingam said that the pledge to spend 500 million rupees building a thousand Buddhist viharas in the Tamil homeland was a pledge to use state money to sow conflict and resentment.

Kumarapuram massacre remembered 22 years on

Trincomalee residents remembered the Kumarapuram massacre, in which Sri Lankan army corporals went on a murderous rampage through the village 22 years ago, raping and killing 24 Tamils.

Election results send Sri Lankan rupee to record low

Sri Lanka’s rupee hit a record low on Monday after local government election results from the weekend filtered through, showing former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party achieving a significant victory. The rupee traded at a record low of 155.00 on Monday, ending at 154.95/155.05 per dollar on Monday. Reuters reported that it also surpassed its previous all-time closing low of 154.60/70 hit on Tuesday. Reuters also quoted a currency dealer as stating, “there were selling on (treasury) bonds by foreigners due to the political uncertainty and also the EU listing of Sri Lanka on a...

Rajapaksa seeks snap parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka

Buoyed by his party’s victory at the local government elections this week, former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for fresh parliamentary elections stating that people had “voted against the division of the country”. “These results show people want a change now,” said Mr Rajapaksa, after his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) won control of 231 local councils out of a total of 340. "People have given a clear message: This government has no mandate ... and no moral right to continue." Mr Rajapaksa went on to state that the polls this weekend were a referendum on the current...

TNA concedes setbacks, calls on Tamil parties to unite towards federalism

The TNA has called for unity among Tamil parties in the face of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party’s landslide victories in the South. In an interview with Tamil media on Sunday, TNA MP and spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran said that they were pleased with the result in most districts of the North-East, while conceding that the party suffered setbacks in the Jaffna district. Mr Sumanthiran said that the South’s overwhelming vote for Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna cast a bleak outlook on the Tamil people’s political aspirations. A political solution could not be anything less than a federal...