Sri Lankan president postpones May Day following pressure from Buddhist clergy

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena declared that International Workers’ Day, commonly marked as May Day, will now be shifted from May 1st to May 7th, after pressure from various Buddhist lobby groups. The decision was made as May 1st coincides with the Buddhist festival of Vesak. Mr Sirisena announced the decision on his Twitter and told Heads of Media institutions this morning that political rallies and processions are not to be held on that date. The move comes despite the Ceylon Teachers Union stating that it was “a total disregard for the rights of the workers and their trade...

EPDP loses former stronghold of Delft

The paramilitary group, EPDP have lost their grip on power in Delft (Neduntheevu) to the TNA. The TNA candidate for chair of the Delft divisional council (prathesa sabai) defeated the EPDP candidate, causing the EPDP’s first loss on the islet in several years.

Thanthai Chelva remembered in Batticaloa

A ceremony was held in Batticaloa last week to mark the 120 th birth anniversary of S J V Chelvanayakam, fondly referred to as Thanthai (father) Chelva .

Renovated Kilinochchi school grounds re-seized by Sri Lankan Army

The Sri Lankan Army has re-seized land belonging to a Kilinochchi school after the school spent a substantial amount of money restoring the property.

9 Years Today - Thousands of Tamils occupy Parliament Square as SL gov shells No Fire Zone

6 April 2009 - Thousands of Tamil protestors occupy parliament square demanding international action as slaughter of Tamil civilians in North-East escalates 6 April marks the 9th anniversary of the parliament square protests. Following 2 weeks of protest outside British parliament the number of demonstrators escalated to thousands in response to the intensified shelling of Tamil civilians in the North-East of Sri Lanka. Thousands of protestors took to the streets and staged a sit down demonstration in front of the Houses of Commons. For an eye-witness account of the events see here . The demonstrations went on to be the largest ever protests outside parliament in its recorded history. Photographs: T h e Guardian Medical officials in the Vanni reported continuous shelling of the No Fire Zone, where an estimated 100,000 Tamil civilians were trapped.

Sri Lanka minister denies agreement on demands between TNA and Prime Minister

Sri Lanka’s Minister for National Dialogue Mano Ganesan announced that Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister did not agree to the Tamil National Alliance’s demands when soliciting the party’s support to defeat the no-confidence motion. Mr Ganesan was speaking journalists after a function in Dehiwalal, Colombo, reports He later tweeted "I did not decline. I only said that no new conditions were discussed or agreed. All what discussed between PM and TNA are those what were discussed right throughout last years and at the time of the commencement of the constitutional process." Mr Ganesan’s...

IDPs given houses with military checkpoints remaining nearby

Displaced families given army-built houses in Varuththalai Vilaan, Telippalai this week, expressed concern over the coninued functioning of military checkpoints close to the new housing scheme. Thirty houses military built houses were handed over to families displaced from areas including Valikaamam North at an event yesterday. Residents were also forced to take out loans in order to invest in suitable windows, doors, bathroom fittings, as the Rs 800,000 allocated by the government for the houses was insufficient for adequate quality goods.

Resettlement ministry pledges to release 650 acres in Vali North by April 16

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Resettlement yesterday pledged to release 650 acres in Valikaamam North by April 16. The pledge was announced by the Ministry's secretary, Ponniah Suresh, at an event yesterday where 30 houses built by the military were handed over to displaced people of Varuththalaivilaan. The section of Point Pedro road, which was recently opened only for the use of public buses, would be made open for civilians on April 16, Mr Suresh told those gathered at the event. Families from Vali North have protested for a number of years against the military's prolonged occupation of their...

Sri Lankan Army land-grab of Muslim land in Batticaloa stopped after SLMC pressure on Ranil

The Sri Lankan Army’s attempted land-grab of Muslim owned land in Batticaloa has been stopped after pressure from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. The leader of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem reportedly laid down the cancellation of the land-grab of 25 acres of Muslim-owned land in Punnaikuda - Eravur as a condition for supporting the Sri Lankan Prime Minister to defeat the no-confidence motion brought against him on Wednesday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have spoken to the relevant officials to ensure that the current attempts at seizing the lands were stopped and that no future...

Sri Lanka needs to make progress on GSP+ commitments - EU ITNA delegation

A six member delegation of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) highlighted the need for Sri Lanka to make progress in implementing international human rights conventions relevant to GSP+ tarde concession, reports Colombo Gazette. The delegation, who are on a 3 day visit to Sri Lanka, met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and key parliamentarians to follow up on the country’s commitments made in exchange for access to the European Union (EU) market. The delegation also met members of civil society. Chaired by Jan Zahradil,the delegation included the INTA...