Sri Lankan soldiers hold music show at occupying Jaffna military base

Whilst calls for the Sri Lankan military to vacate their military bases in the North-East continue, the army held a talent show at its military base in Palaly last month, the site of a massive High Security Zone which remains inaccessible to locals and landowners, nine years after the end of the war.

Sinhalese fishermen brazenly engaging in illegal and pollutive methods of fishing in Mullaitivu

Sinhalese fishermen are openly engaging in illegal and pollutive methods of fishing in Mullaitivu with no fear of legal censure. During a research trip to document the extent of Sinhalisation and land appropriation in Mullaitivu’s border villages, members of the Northern Provincial Council came across Sinhalese fishermen using tractors to pull their nets out of the water in Kokkulai. This method results in the pollution of the waters due to leakages in tractor fuel, with harmful effects on the sea life and underwater habitats. Tamil fishermen are prohibited from such methods and their fishing activities are strictly monitored by Sri Lankan armed forces, in particular the Navy. Journalists noted that the tractors used in the process were unmarked and bore no license number plates. A Tamil fisherman native to the area said that while Tamil fishermen held permits to sail only five boats in total, individual Sinhalese fishermen were granted permits to sail up to twenty-five boats.

Mother continues struggle for justice for murdered Tamil journalism student

Nilakshan's parents lay flowers at Jaffna Hindu College remembrance event in August 2017. The mother of an up and coming Tamil journalist was shot and killed by suspected Sri Lankan military intelligence personnel in 2007, has reiterated her calls for justice for the killing.

NPC protests Sinhalisation and land grabs in Mullaitivu under Mahaweli scheme

Councillors from the Northern Provincial Council staged a protest on Tuesday, after the council passed a resolution last week condemning state sponsored Sinhala settlements in Mullaitivu and across the Vanni.

Sri Lankan president pledges ‘every possible comfort’ for troops

Sri Lanka’s president vowed that he would provide the military with “every possible comfort and privilege”, as he addressed Sri Lankan Special Forces at a ceremony on Monday. Maithripala Sirisena was overseeing a passing out ceremony, where seven Officers and 189 other rank personnel were inducted into the military, when he made the pledge. His statement is the latest in a series of remarks made over the years reiterating his support for the military. He has previously vowed to protect them from an international war crimes tribunal for mass atrocities committed during the armed conflict.

Sri Lanka's debt sums to 80% of GDP - Moody's

Moody’s Investors Service has found that Sri Lanka’s debt sums to 80% of its national GDP, a ratio larger than instability ridden countries including Pakistan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia. The investors service said that a sustainable rebound in real GDP growth will be essential to support future gains in Sri Lanka, reports Sri Lanka aims to reduce its government deficit from 80% to 3.5% of its GDP by 2020.

Navy releases fraction of land at Vadduvakal camp

The Sri Lankan navy on Sunday released just 1.5 acres in Vadduvakal currently occupied by the Gotabhaya Navy Camp, which continues to span across 617 acres. The 1.5 acres belong to three individuals, who criticised the navy's decision to release such a small proportion of the occupied land. The past three years have seen a number of protests across the North-East calling on the state's armed forces to release land back to residents.

Pre-school teachers ordered to attend training at military camp

The Civil Security Department has ordered teachers working at its pre-school in the Vanni region to attend 20 days of 'leadership training' at the Theravil military camp. Teachers were given military uniform with instruction to arrive at the camp tomorrow dressed in this attire. "When we joined the pre-schools to work, they assured us that no military training would take place, but now they are ordering us to attend military training under the name of 'leadership training'," a pre-school teacher who has been ordered to attend the training told Tamil Guardian, speaking on condition of...

TNA will not field Wigneswaran at next election - The Island

The Tamil National Alliance will not field current Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran as a candidate for the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections, reports The Island. TNA parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran is reported to have announced the decision in Jaffna this weekend. Justice Wigneswaran has been sharply critical of the TNA’s decision to ally with the paramilitary EPDP to gain control of Local Governing bodies, stating that it was forsaking party policy for personal gain. Last year he beat back a no confidence motion at the northern provincial council, which was...

Militarised New Year celebrations begin in Poonakari

In the face of repeated calls for the military to withdraw itself from civilian activities, the Sri Lankan army decided to hold an event to mark the upcoming Tamil and Sinhala New Year in Poonakari last week.