Sri Lanka to lobby foreign missions over travel advisories

The Sri Lankan government had advised its ambassadors to lobby the UK, Canada and Australia over travel advisories that it feels "placed the country in poor light and threatnes to scare off foreign visitors", the Sunday Times reported. "These advisories fall short of diplomatic protocol that is enjoyed among friendly nations, and this should never be the case. We will be seeking to rectify this at the very earliest," the paper quoted a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying. UK The UK's advisory highlighted the ongoing presence of the military in the North-East, with "...

Sri Lanka introduces screening for tourists from 7 countries

The Sri Lankan government has introduced screening for tourists from Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon prior to the issuing of visas. The minister of internal affairs, S B Navinna was quoted by the Sunday Leader as saying, "the screening will be carried out in light of national security concerns." According to the paper the screening will include ISIS links for those coming from Syria and Egypt, illegal immigrants from Nigeria and Ghana; and refugees from Pakistan.

Weerawansa says former navy spokesperson arrested over disappearance of 'terrorists'

The leader of the National Freedom Front and MP Wimal Weerawansa condemned the arrest of the former Sri Lankan navy spokesperson saying that he was a talented officer who had been arrested over the disappearance of "terrorists". Commodore D K P Dassanayake was arrested this month of the disappearance of 11 Tamil youths in 2008. "Commodore Dassanayake was one of the two officers who got the opportunity to get ‘Field Promotions’ twice in the Sri Lankan Navy’s history. He has been arrested over an incident where several terrorists had gone missing,” Mr Weerawansa told a press conference,...

UN rapporteurs lack calibre and diplomacy - Sri Lanka's justice minister

Rejecting the conclusions of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson following an official visit to Sri Lanka, the country's justice minister, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe described Mr Emmerson as someone who "lacked cailbre and diplomacy" and accused him of using "false facts" about the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Also critical of the previous visit the UN Rapporteur, Monica Pinto, Mr Rajapakshe said, “she also said Tamil are mistreated. These are the type of special rapporteurs who visit Sri Lanka today." "They lack caliber and have hidden agendas. They think...

Senior police DIG arrested for helping Vithya murder suspect evade arrest in Sri Lanka

Senior Deputy Inspector General Lalith Jayasinghe has been arrested for allegedly helping a suspect in the murder of schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vithya evade arrest in Jaffna. The incident sparked widespread condemnation in the North-East. The trial is set to be in Jaffna, after a request by the defendants to be transferred to Colombo sparked strong opposition from the local community. See more here.

Sri Lanka's new Defence Sec meets Buddhist clergy, assures protection of 'war heroes'

Sri Lanka’s new defence secretary, Kapila Waidyaratne assured the protection of war heroes in a meeting with senior Buddhist prelates of the Asgiiriya, Malwathu and Ramanna chapters.

Tamil journalist issued multiple summons by CID over broadcast of press conference

A Tamil journalist was summoned to Colombo by Sri Lankan intelligence last week and is facing ongoing investigation over the broadcast of a politician’s press conference. Jaffna-based broadcast and print journalist T. Pratheepan was summoned to appear in Colombo by the Criminal Investigation Department last week to testify in relation to the broadcast of a press conference by Northern Province Councillor, M. K. Sivajilingam, in a ‘racial conflict-inciting manner’. The press conference in question took place at the Jaffna Press Club in May, in which Mr Sivajilingam spoke in Sinhalese about...

Buddhist ceremony at Elephant Pass to honour Sri Lankan soldier

A Sri Lankan soldier who died in the 1991 Battle of Elephant Pass was honoured with an all-night Buddhist ceremony by the military in Jaffna this week.

Sri Lankan navy and air force carry out exercises at Trinco beach

The Sri Lankan navy and air force carried out a series of military exercises at Thiriyai beach in Trincomalee this week, mobilising troops, boats, helicopters and a fighter aircraft.

Sri Lankan military holds medical clinic at Tamil school

The Sri Lankan army organised a medical clinic at a Tamil school in Poonakari on Wednesday, with several senior military officers overseeing proceedings.