Sri Lanka Brief
2011January
  • WOMEN’S PRISON CONDITIONS OVERCROWDED & INHUMANE

    Ranmali BandarageMonthly ‘visiting hours’ at the female ward of Sri Lanka’s notorious Welikada Prison are as traumatic for the inmates as they are for their family and friends. A tiny room, measuring 10 feet by seven feet, is divided in half by a mesh counter. On one side, mothers, fathers, children and relatives jostle for […]

  • TNA sets out conditions for continuation of talks

    The TNA said yesterday that they would not agree to set a date for the next round of talks with the government and that their willingness to continue participation in discussions with the government would be conditional, UPFA MP Sajin Vas De Gunawardane said in a statement.After a meeting between the TNA delegation and the […]

  • Colombo transfers Admin functions of East Tamil areas to Sinhala districts

    Sri Lanka government has been implementing a scheme to transfer administrative functions of Tamil districts in Eastern Province to the adjoining Sinhalese districts. As a first step the government has transferred the financial administration of Batticaloa District Coconut Development Board to Polonnaruwa located in the North Central Province. The government should immediately stop this transfer, […]

  • Sri Lanka condemned over aid workers’ deaths Read more >

    Sri Lanka condemned over aid workers’ deaths

    Picture of murdered aid workers Human Rights Watch has accused the Sri Lankan government of lacking the will to prosecute the security forces for the killings of 17 aid workers in 2006.There was widespread revulsion following the murders of the 16 Tamils and one Muslim in the north-eastern town of Muttur during the civil war.European […]

  • Groups ask Swiss to prosecute Sri Lankan diplomat

    By JOHN HEILPRIN GENEVA — Two advocacy groups asked Swiss authorities Thursday to pursue war crime charges against a former Sri Lankan army commander now serving as a European diplomat, reflecting still-simmering Western concerns about the South Asian island nations’ human rights record. The Swiss-based groups Society for Threatened Peoples and TRIAL said they filed a […]

  • Welfare of Lankan Tamils top priority:External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna

    Underlining that the welfare of Tamils in Sri Lanka is of utmost importance, India Thursday urged Sri Lanka to pursue a lasting political settlement that provides for harmonious co-existence of all communities, including minorities, in the island-nation.Making a suo moto statement in the Lok Sabha on “The Situation in Sri Lanka”, External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna […]

  • Polls chief defends his decision Controversy over Jaffna number of MPs down to 6:

    By Shamindra Ferdinando “Decision in line with recommendations by JRJ’s Delimitation Committee’Polls Chief Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday defended his decision to reduce the number of elected members allocated to the Jaffna electoral district in line with the latest electoral register.Deshapriya emphasised that the reduction of elected MPs from 9 to 6 had been effected in keeping with […]

  • Uthayan attackers still at large

    The two men who had assaulted chief news editor of the Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper, G. Kuganathan were still at large, police said.Police had deployed several teams into the area to arrest the two men who had arrived on a motorbike to assault the news editor. Inspector General of Police N.K. Ilangakoon has handed over […]

  • Sri Lankan pilgrims attacked in Chennai

    84 Sri Lankan pilgrims had come under attack in Chennai yesterday by goons describing themselves as ‘black tigers,’ family members of the Sri Lankans said.The Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai had transferred the pilgrims to a hotel in a safe area. Three of the 84 had been injured.     A relative of one of […]

  • Trade Unions demand Rs 10,000 increase Read more >

    Trade Unions demand Rs 10,000 increase

    National Trade Union Centre has started a struggle demanding a salary increase by Rs 10,000/-.  A spokesman for the Centre said that they will launch the struggle by an island-wide poster campaign.  He said with the increasing cost of living all public and private sector employees’ salaries should be increased by Rs 10,000 minimum. An average […]

  • SRI LANKA: War report a step forward, say activists Read more >

    SRI LANKA: War report a step forward, say activists

    Thousands of civilians died in the conflict Sri Lankan rights activists say the Defence Ministry report released on 1 August, acknowledging for the first time civilian deaths in the final days of the war, is a step forward, but caution that much depends on the government’s next move. “It’s a step in the right direction, […]

  • LSSP calls for power devolution

    LSSP leader, minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana says the results of the recent local government polls in the north are an indication that the people are not satisfied by solutions to economic issues only. He was speaking today (Aug. 03) at the swearing in of the newly-elected LG members in Colombo.  The LSSP leader added that the […]

  • Give North self-autonomy – Vasu Read more >

    Give North self-autonomy – Vasu

    The government should think beyond the 13th amendment to the constitution and give self-autonomy for the people of the North, said minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara. He has made the remark to ‘Virakesari’ newspaper which asked him for a response to a resolution adopted by Communist Party of India (Marxist) regarding self-determination for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Minister Nanayakkara […]

  • Army disrupts ‘Brotherhood’ cricket match Read more >

    Army disrupts ‘Brotherhood’ cricket match

    The Socialist Youth Union says that the Army has disrupted a cricket match organized by them in Dhramapuram, Kilinochchi yesterday (August 02). Issuing a press release, the SYU says that the match was organized to coincide with the Brotherhood day held on July 23. Several army officers had arrived while the match was underway and summoned to […]

  • Why Government Rhetoric and Propaganda Might Divide Sri Lanka

    In an interview Professor Rajiva Wijesinha gave The Sunday Leader concerning government responses to international pressure, he remarks that “people believe what they want to believe”. Wijesinha’s ironically astute observation sheds light on why government responses to war crimes allegations during the final stage of the Eelam War are not being rallied against locally. Leaving […]

  • Uthayan attack – Inquiry report with the President

    First report on the investigation into the attack on Uthayan paper Chief Editor, Mr Gnanasundaram Kuganathanhas been handed over to the President by the Inspector General of Police, Mr N K Ilangakoon yesterday (02). This has been informed to the media institutions by the Director, Media Unit Mr Bandula Jayasekara.  He has also mentioned to expect […]

  • Existing constitution is enough for unity, says Gotabaya

    Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that the existing constitution is more than enough for the people to live unified.He made this comment during an interview with Headlines Today, an Indian network. “We are a sovereign nation, and we have a very good legal system and which has been left by the British. We have the […]

  • Reducing MP seats for Jaffna is a political and not a technical issue

    ”Making a technical argument that the Election Commission in its capacity took only the prevalent delimitation principles into consideration may be valid technically. It is imperative to note that we still do not have reliable demographic data for the Northern and Eastern Provinces as the last all-island census of human population was taken in 1981 […]

  • Channel 4 suspect released

     By T. Farook Thajudeen A Bristish citizen charged with aiding and abetting Channel-4 make the controversial documentary on Sri Lanka which was aired recently intended to insult the armed force and the state was released after the court stated that the suspect was not involved in with the movie. When the matter was taken up […]

  • Rights group: Sri Lankan war report is a whitewash

    By BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI An international rights group on Tuesday called Sri Lanka’s report on its 26-year civil war an attempt to whitewash growing evidence of alleged government atrocities.Two years after the conflict ended, Sri Lanka conceded for the first time this week that troops caused civilian deaths in the last months of fighting against Tamil […]

  • Colombo unable to bury facts of ACF massacre

    Fifth anniversary of the massacre of seventeen staffers of the French NGO, Action Contre la Faim (ACF), by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers falls on the 4th of August. Later investigations established that the workers, trapped inside their Moothoor branch office residence of ACF located close to Moothoor Cultural Centre, were shot and killed […]

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