19 arrested after clashes between Sinhala and Muslim residents in Galle

Nineteen people were arrested by the Sri Lankan police after clashes broke out between Sinhala and Muslim people is parts of Galle yesterday, with reports of Muslim homes and businesses being attacked. Police imposed a curfew in Kurunduwatta, Maha Hapugala, Welipitimodara, Ukwatta, Ginthota and Piyandigama Grama Sevaka Divisions amid tensions in the region. The Law and Order minister Sagala Ratnayaka on Saturday urged people not to be "misled" by what he described as "false propraganda." "Under the instructions of the President and the Prime Minister, curfew was imposed in the area from last...

Sri Lanka pledges commitment to UNHRC resolution 30/1, fails to commit to time-bound action plan and Rome statute ratification

Sri Lanka reiterated it’s commitment to UNHRC resolution 30/1 on reconciliation accountability and justice whilst stopping short of accepting calls for a time-bound benchmarked action plan for its implementation in the final draft summary report of its Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council. The draft UPR summary report tabled on Friday afternoon said that 177 of the 230 recommendations made during the interactive dialogue of Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic review on Wednesday, “enjoy the support of Sri Lanka.” A total of 53 recommendations, including calls for a timebound...

Liberalisation agenda non-negotiable says Mangala

Sri Lanka's finance minister, Mangala Samaraweera reiterated his endorsement of the 2018 budget, stating that liberalisation was "non-negotiable". His comments come after the country's Minister of Ports and Shipping, Mangala Samarasinghe criticised the budget's proposed plan to allow 100% foreign ownership in the shipping sector as "completely wrong". Stating that he was "willing to listen to suggestions where there may be mistakes to correct", Mr Samaraweera was further quoted by Economy Next as saying, "but the main theme of the budget, ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ and liberalisations are non-...

Curfew in Galle amid reports Muslim homes, businesses attacked by Sinhala mobs

Sri Lankan police instituted a curfew in Galle on Friday night, amid reports that a number of Muslim homes and businesses in Gintota were attacked by Sinhala mobs. Police spokesperson, Ruwan Gunasekara was quoted by Ada Derana as saying a curfew was imposed until 9am on Saturday in Kurunduwatta, Maha Hapugala, Welipitimodara, Ukwatta, Ginthota and Piyandigama Grama Sevaka Divisions. According to the paper, riot police and Special Task Force officers were deployed to the area to bring the mobs under control. Sri Lanka's Home Affairs minister Vajira Abeywardena attempted to downplay the reports...

Jaffna police told to stay on duty until Maaveerar Naal is over

Police in Jaffna had their leave cancelled until further notice due to authorities claiming that a clash could break out around the time of Tamil National Remembrance Day (Maaveerar Naal). The order was issused by the Northern Province's Senior DIG Roshan Fernando on Wednesday evening, the Daily Mirror reported. Previous years have seen the large scale deployment of police officers and armed military personnel across the North-East in the run up to Maaveerar Naal. The deployment is viewed with suscipion by Tamils who feel it is an attempt to intimidate residents and dampen remembrance events.

Sri Lankan president denies reports of secret detention centres

Sri Lanka's president, Maithripala Sirisena on Friday once against rejected reports of secret detention centres on the island. Meeting with families of the disappeared, Mr Sirisena said , "there is no such secret detention centers for the present government and no one is held in custody". Mr Sirisena also pledged to "provide swift solutions for the issuses faced by the family members of the missing persons". However, the families remained critical of the government's emtpy promises and failure to take any meaningful action on the issue. Families told the Sri Lankan president that they are “...

Families of disappeared 'deeply frustrated by continued inaction' by Sri Lanka

Tamil families of the disappeared told the Sri Lankan president that they are “deeply frustrated” and had been “let down repeatedly by broken promises”, as they called on the government to ensure lists of surrendees, detainees under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), and all other indefinite detainees, be released within 20 days. Meeting Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena for the third time since their protest began 270 days ago, relatives of the disappeared said the president had not fulfilled promises made in a meeting in June of this year. “In Kilinochchi alone, five mothers...

10 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

Ten fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested by Sri Lankan navy personnel on Thursday for allegedly fishing off the coast of Neduntheevu, The Hindu reported. The men from Akkarapettai, Nagapattinam, were taken to Kankesanthurai by the navy. The arrest is the latest in the ongoing issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan navy personnel. Last month the chief minister of Tamil Nadu wrote to the Indian premier, Narendra Modi, urging him to intervene and secure the release of dozens of fishermen currently detained in Sri Lanka.

India will take up removal of Thondaman's name with Sri Lanka - Swaraj

India's external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj assured Tamil Nadu politicians that she would take up the removal of Thondaman's name from government institutions in Sri Lanka with Colombo, PTI reported. Savumiamoorthy Thondaman was the leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress and Tamil of Indian origin in Sri Lanka. The leader of the DMK, Stalin expressed his objection to the Sri Lankan government's removal of Mr Thondaman's name in a letter to Ms Swaraj, accusing Colombo of acting against the Indian Tamil population on the island. He also tweeted: "Requested the MEA @SushmaSwaraj to raise...

Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary denies reports of recent rape and torture

Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary on Tuesday denied reports published this month by the Associated Press of recent rape and torture of Tamils by security forces, calling the allegations "baseless and unfounded". "The government of Sri Lanka is for zero tolerance with regard to sexual abuse and so on," Kapila Waidyaratne was quoted by The Associated Press as saying. "The investigations that have been carried out have been concluded and closed," Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary added. The reports published by AP stem from interviews with 20 Tamil men and a review of 32 psychological reports, whose...

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