Increasing militarisation: Sri Lankan Navy opens new buildings at Jaffna base

The Sri Lankan navy declared open several newly constructed buildings at its base inside the Kankesanthurai High Security Zone in Jaffna earlier this year.

Gotabhaya lodges complaint over UNHRC statement on disappearances

Sri Lanka’s former defence secretary has lodged an official complaint with the National Police Commission, over a statement delivered at the UN Human Rights Council which implicated him in the disappearances of Tamils, reports The Island. Mr Rajapaksa and former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda each lodged complaints after a Tamil woman spoke at the UNHRC, stating that a senior Sri Lankan Criminal Investigation Department (CID) identified as “Nishantha” informed her that the pair were behind several disappearances. The woman’s brother had been abducted and made to disappear. Mr Rajapaksa...

Sri Lanka's parliament debates no-confidence motion

Sri Lanka's parliament began debating the no-confidence motion against the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe today, after it is presented to parliament by MP Dinesh Gunawardane. The SLFP has decided to abstain from voting on the motion, whilst the JVP has opted to vote in favour of it. The TNA, SLMC and ACMC said they would be voting against it.

TNA support for Ranil should be conditional on meeting Tamil demands says Tamil civil society

The Tamil National Alliance should capitalise on the leverage they hold in potentially defeating a no-confidence motion being brought against Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, and set Tamil political demands as condition for their support, Tamil civil society members have said. In a press conference at the Jaffna Press Club on Tuesday, representatives of nine civil society organisations put forward the following demands as suggestions for conditions of the TNA’s support for the Prime Minister: Immediate repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act Unconditional and immediate release of Tamil political...

Sri Lankan Army attempting land-grab of Muslim land in Batticaloa

The Sri Lankan Army is attempting to seize around 25 acres of land belonging to Muslims in Eravur, Batticaloa. The army is planning to use the land in Punnaikuda to establish an artillery division. The landowners have demonstrated fierce opposition to the land-grab attempts and brought the issue to the attention of the Minister for Urban Development and leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Rauff Hakeem.

TNA take Karaveddy divisional council with UNP backing

The TNA has won control of the Karaveddy divisional council (prathesa sabai) with the support of the UNP, keeping out an SLFP-EPDP alliance. The United National Party’s two members supported the Tamil National Alliance’s candidate for council chair, adding to the nine votes held by the TNA. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party was the joint-second largest party in the council with seven members, who were hoping to wrest control of the council with the backing of the EPDP’s three members. The TNPF who have seven members abstained, as well as the TULF with three members.

Buddhist monks hold ceremony for Sri Lankan soldiers in Batticaloa

A Buddhist ceremony was held at the Sri Lankan army’s headquarters in Batticaloa earlier this year, to “invoke blessings” on Sri Lankan soldiers.

Sri Lanka’s CID seeks AG advice for astrologer who predicted president’s death

Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) informed a court in Colombo that it was seeking the advice of the Attorney General in proceedings against an astrologer who predicted that Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirsena would die. The CID had informed the court that investigation had been completed against the astrologer over his prediction, and that they were now consulting with the Attorney General for “for further action on the suspect”, according to ColomboPage . Investigations were ordered against the astrologer in 2016, with Sri Lanka’s Media Ministry secretary Nimal Bopage...

Former soldier arrested over anti-Muslim attacks

A former Sri Lankan soldier was among four suspects arrested last week in relation to anti-Muslim attacks in Kandy. The suspects were arrested by Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) officers, Adaderana reports. Politicians, police officers and Buddhist monks are reported to have taken part in the attacks last month, which saw Sinhala mobs set fire to two mosques as well as Muslim businesses and homes in the areas, with reports that at least 8 homes and 50 businesses were burnt in the attacks.

Sri Lanka's coalition govt continue crisis talks

The two sides of Sri Lanka's coalition government, the SLFP and UNP continued talks today over the looming parliamentary debate on a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and UNP leader, Ranil Wickremetunge. According to Sri Lankan press reports, the president urged Mr Wickremetunge not to take the motion lightly, stating that his chance of surviving it was only 50 percent. Today's talks follow several meetings yesterday including between the president and a high level UNP delegation, as well as the president and United National Front (UNF) ministers. One UNF minister was quoted by...