Justice minister accuses UN Rapporteur of dictating to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's justice minister, Wijedasa Rajapaksha rejected the statement made by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism on Friday, accusing him of dictating to the country. In a rebuke to Mr Emmerson criticism of the government's for failing to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act despite promising to do so, Sri Lanka's justice minister was quoted by Reuters as saying it needed more time to deal with the abuses. "He can't dictate like this, we can't make laws immediately. They have to go through parliament," Mr Rajapaksha told Reuters. "There is a process. He must...

Sri Lanka's former navy spokesperson remanded after arrest over enforced disappearances

Sri Lanka’s former Navy Spokesperson Commodore D K P Dassanayake has been remanded after being arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department ( CID) in connection with the disappearance of 11 Tamil youth. Dasanayake was arrested on Wednesday and accused of aiding the abduction and enforced disappearances of the youths from 2008-2009. The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court granted Commodore Dassanayake bail until July 19. He is currently reported to be hospitalised due to deteriorating health issues. See more here.

UN Rapporteur: Sri Lanka done 'almost nothing' on accountability; warns of Security Council referral

The Sri Lankan government has done “almost nothing” to hold human rights violators in the military to account said Ben Emmerson, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism on Friday, warning it was laying down conditions that may “reignite conflict”. In a press release at the end of a five-day visit to the island, Mr Emmerson criticised the Sri Lankan government for its failure to implement a UN Human Rights Council resolution that it co-sponsored in 2015 and was quoted by Reuters as saying, 'Sri Lanka could face a range of measures, including a referral to the UN Security Council, if it fails to meet commitments it made under a 2015 UN resolution.'

UN urges Sri Lankan military to return appropriated land and end civilian activities

A United Nations (UN) committee called on Sri Lanka’s military to end its involvement in commercial or civilian activities and begin returning appropriated private lands. The UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) concluding observations on the fifth periodic report review on Sri Lanka, released in June, expressed concern that “the military still controls substantial areas of private and public land in the North and East of the country and continues to engage in commercial activities, including farming, tourism, coffee shops and hotels.” “The first challenge comes...

TNA MP files FR petition against pre-fabricated homes for IDPs

The TNA MP M A Sumanthiran on Thursday filed a Fundamental Rights petition against the Sri Lankan government's plan to build 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for Tamil IDPs in the North-East. An Interim Order was sought in order to stem the progress on the project. The project, which is in collaboration with the Arcelor Mittal Construction France, has been criticised by locals, civil society activists and the TNA who have called for traditional brick houses to be built. “We don’t want those steel cages,” Mr Sumanthiran told parliament last November. “We don’t want prefabricated houses. We...

Former navy spokesperson remanded over disappearances of 11 Tamils

The former Sri Lankan navy spokesperson, who was arrested over the abduction and enforced disappearance of 11 Tamil youths in 2008, has been remanded by Fort Magistrate until July 19th, the Daily Mirror reported. Commodore D K P Dassanayake was arrested on Wednesday. The leader of the PHU has defended the former navy spokesperson and said the arrest "was merely an attempt made by supporters of the LTTE to get back at the individuals who helped defeat the LTTE using the government."

Ranil thanks new army commander for ‘measures’ in Jaffna

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met with the newly appointed Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake this week, thanking him for his work during his time as Jaffna Commander.

Torture of Tamils in Sri Lanka continues into 2017 - ITJP

Torture and rape of Tamils in Sri Lanka has continued into 2017 found the International Truth and Justice Project’s (ITJP) latest report “Unstopped: State Torture & Sexual Violence in 2016/17." Commenting on the continuation of torture under the Sirisena government, which came into power in January 2015, ITJP Director Yasmin Sooka said, “It is hardly surprising that Sri Lanka’s white van abductions continue as those in charge of past system crimes have been promoted and rewarded by this Government, which reassures perpetrators that they will never be held accountable... In addition...

Chief Minister Wigneswaran condemns deadly shooting of Tamil man by Sri Lankan police

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province has condemned the deadly shooting of a Tamil man by Sri Lankan police. Speaking to journalists about the killing of Yogarasa Thines in Vadamaradchi, Chief Minister Wigneswaran said: “Even if the murdered youth had done something wrong, there would have been many ways to have stopped him. They could have shot the wheels of the vehicle he was in. Or they could have informed police officers based in the opposite direction. None of this was considered and instead a young man has been shot and killed.” “This is the wrong approach. The police officers...

TNA leader visits Kilinochchi disappeared families on Day 143 of protest

The TNA leader and Opposition leader R. Sampanthan visited families of the disappeared in Kilinochchi, on the 143rd day of their protest on Wednesday.