Sri Lanka: Press Ahead on Rights Reforms

[ HRW ][ Feb 28 14:51 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s new government should advance a reform agenda to address past and ongoing human rights problems in the country, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena. The government has already undertaken important new initiatives, such as reviewing cases of detainees under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, lifting restrictions on media reporting, ending Internet censorship, and removing nongovernmental organizations from Defense Ministry oversight. [ full story | comments ]

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Thousands protest in Jaffna rejecting domestic probe, demanding release of UN report [ more ]

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Tamil “Extremists” target Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of the TNA as “Traitors”

Tamil National Alliance(TNA) leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan MP and T...

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Sri Lanka: Press Ahead on Rights Reforms

Sri Lanka’s new government should advance a reform agenda to address...

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Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visits

Sri Lanka is concerned with the roughly $5 billion in Chinese loans it...

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Tamil “Extremists” target Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of the TNA as “Traitors”

[ Daily Mirror ][ Feb 28 15:07 GMT ]

Tamil National Alliance(TNA) leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan MP and TNA National list Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran won many hearts and minds by participating in the official Independence day ceremony held in Battaramulla on February 4th. The diplomatic community in Colombo hailed it as a commendable symbolic gesture towards ethnic reconciliation in a land torn asunder by decades of communal strife and bloodshed. The small step taken by Sampanthan and Sumanthiran was praised as a giant leap for national unity by all progressive sections of Sri Lankan society desiring justice, equality,harmony and amity. [ full story | comments ]

Missing persons hearing starts in Sri Lanka amid protests

[ PTI ][ Feb 28 14:46 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Saturday began a three-day hearing on missing persons cases amid protests by Tamil groups who are demanding a credible investigation into such issues. The presidential commission investigating cases of missing persons in Sri Lanka has started its hearing in the country's eastern Trincomalee province. "The relatives of those who have forcibly disappeared are tired of going before various mechanisms set up by the government of Sri Lanka from time to time," Tamil Civil Society Forum (CSF) said in a letter to the commission. [ full story | comments ]

Reprieve for Sri Lanka as UN rights council defers report on violations till Sept 15

[ Times of India ][ Feb 28 14:36 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisawa got the good news that his country has been given a six-month reprieve by the UN Human Rights Council during his visit to India this month. The UN Human Rights long-awaited report on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the LTTE conflict during the former Rajapaksa government would be published in September instead of March 2015 to give the new government time. This will be relief also for India, which had been voting against the previous Sri Lanka government, and supporting the US in its resolutions in the Human Rights Council, but now wants better relations with Sri Lanka under a new regime. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka says China to be consulted on any project re-think

[ Reuters ][ Feb 28 00:29 GMT ]

Sri Lanka will not make any decision on Chinese projects it is reviewing until it consults China, Sri Lanka's foreign minister said on Friday, pledging that his new government would welcome Chinese investors. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that China has invested in, including a $1.5 billion "port city" project in Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

CTC Strongly Condemns the Burning of Effigies and Pictures of TNA Leaders

[ CTC ][ Feb 28 00:27 GMT ]

The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) strongly condemns the burning of effigies and images of TNA leaders, Mr. Sampanthan and Mr. Sumanthiran. We believe these acts are aimed at weakening the democratically elected leadership of Tamil people in Sri Lanka and thereby silencing the democratic wishes of Tamil people. In the last presidential elections, the Tamil people voted in large numbers to bring about change, as per the advice of these very TNA leaders. In the past few weeks, they have started working with the new Sri Lankan government and international community to address the many issues faced by Tamils, some of which have been in existence since the independence of Sri Lanka 67 years ago. [ full story | comments ]

A New Era for India-Sri Lanka Relations?

[ The Diplomat ][ Feb 26 17:30 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent visit to India was aimed at mending bilateral relations that had deteriorated under his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on account of the latter’s close embrace of China. During Sirisena’s visit, India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements that are expected to strengthen bilateral co-operation. However, whether these can counter effectively China’s enormous presence in the island seems doubtful. India is still a long way from matching or reducing China’s role in Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

UN defends its decision to defer Lanka war crime probe report

[ PTI ][ Feb 26 17:28 GMT ]

The UN Human Rights Council today defended its move to defer the release of a report into alleged war crimes committed during Sri Lanka's civil war as a "very rational" decision taken in a "relatively unique" case. The President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Joachim Rucker said that the decision to defer the release of the report on the human rights violations in Sri Lanka to September of this year was "very rational". [ full story | comments ]

Sirisena visit opens new chapter in India-Lanka ties

[ DNA ][ Feb 25 16:16 GMT ]

India’s relations with Sri Lanka, which had been marked by too many points of friction in recent times, especially in the last phase of the UPA and the Mahinda Rajapaksa regimes, seems to be on the upswing again. The high-level exchanges -- which would see Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sri Lanka next week close on the heels of Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena’s four-day visit to Delhi in February – reflect the urge for a closer, warmer relationship on both sides. This new chapter that has opened under the new leadership in both countries holds out hope of better days for the bilateral relationship if the challenges are faced squarely while seizing the opportunities that would be mutually beneficial. [ full story | comments ]

19th amendment to Sri Lankan Constitution next month: JVP

[ PTI ][ Feb 25 16:12 GMT ]

The nineteenth amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution primarily aimed at abolishing executive presidency in the country will be tabled in Parliament next month, a top leader of the ruling coalition said on Tuesday. "We made every important decisions on Tuesday in achieving greater democracy, establish rule of law," said Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the JVP or People's Liberation Front. "We decided to present in parliament the 19th amendment aimed at abolishing executive presidency, establishing independent commissions," Dissanayake said. [ full story | comments ]

The mobile technology helping Sri Lanka cope with climate change

[ Reuters ][ Feb 25 13:34 GMT ]

Floods and landslides linked to climate change have battered parts of Sri Lanka in the past two years, disrupting food output, but scientists believe a new programme to install low-cost weather stations based on open-source technology could help farmers adapt to increasingly wild weather. New Mobile Weather Stations, made mainly from local parts, are starting to give farmers quick access to rainfall data, so they can better plan for floods or other extreme weather, Yann Chemin, a scientist leading the new initiative, said on Tuesday. The easy-to-make sensors cost about $250 to produce compared with about $10,000 for standard weather stations, he said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visits

[ Reuters ][ Feb 28 14:48 GMT ]

Sri Lanka is concerned with the roughly $5 billion in Chinese loans it has and will send its finance minister to Beijing to discuss the issue, the foreign minister said on Saturday, as he also ruled out future Chinese submarine visits to the country. New Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that China has invested in, including a $1.5 billion "port city" project in the capital Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

Jaffna may be on PM Modi’s Sri Lanka visit itinerary

[ Hindustan Times ][ Feb 28 14:42 GMT ]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may visit the Tamil-dominated Jaffna region during his trip to Sri Lanka next month. The PM is scheduled to reach Colombo from Mauritius on March 12. There is, however, no word on whether he would visit Maldives which is currently in turmoil over the arrest of former president Mohamed Nasheed, sources in South Block said. A Modi visit to the former stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is likely to have immense political significance for Tamil Nadu where elections are due next year. The BJP is trying to enlarge its presence in the southern state. [ full story | comments ]

No foreigner in war crimes probe: Sri Lanka

[ IANS ][ Feb 28 14:34 GMT ]

Sri Lanka Friday said it won`t invite foreign experts in its probe into allegations of war crimes and maintained that the inquiry will take place within the country`s legal system. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera told Xinhua that preliminary discussions into the conduct of the domestic inquiry had already begun and the government would finalize a structure soon. "The domestic inquiry will be 100 percent local. We will only use the assistance of local judges, local laws and the local court system. However, we will ensure that the domestic inquiry will meet international standards," Perera said. [ full story | comments ]

86 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

[ PTI ][ Feb 28 00:28 GMT ]

As many as 86 Indian fishermen have been arrested and their 10 fishing boats seized by the Sri Lanka Navy for allegedly poaching in the country's waters, naval officials said on Friday. They were arrested on Thursday night off the eastern coast of Mullaithivu, Naval spokesman Commander Indika Silva said. The Indian fishermen will be handed over to the police at the port city of Trincomalee. [ full story | comments ]

UN Feltman's Visit to Sri Lanka Expands to Jaffna, Amid Protest of Delay

[ ICP ][ Feb 26 20:22 GMT ]

Nine days after the UN Human Rights Council under Joachim Rucker granted HCHR Zeid's request to withhold the already delayed report on war crimes in Sri Lanka, the UN on February 24 added Jaffna as a stop to the Sri Lanka visit by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's highest political official Jeffrey Feltman. This comes two days after Inner City Press asked Feltman would go to Jaffna, site of protests of the delay, and was told "Colombo only." But what will Feltman say, in Jaffna? What would Zeid say? [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's new leaders demand speedier police action

[ AFP ][ Feb 26 17:30 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's new government on Thursday slammed the police for dragging their feet over high-profile cases including the murders of journalists and corruption under the previous regime. Law and Order Minister John Amaratunga demanded concrete action on high-profile cases as he publicly rebuked the head of the police force for failing to investigate the 2009 killing of prominent anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, among others. Amaratunga said his government came to power at January elections pledging action against criminals and corrupt individuals under former president Mahinda Rajapakse, but police have failed to show results. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka's Opposition voices support for ex-president

[ IANS ][ Feb 26 17:27 GMT ]

A group of Sri Lanka's opposition members Thursday launched a petition in capital Colombo to name former president Mahinda Rajapakse as the prime ministerial candidate of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in the upcoming parliamentary elections, an official said. Opposition member and provincial councilor Udaya Gammanpila told reporters that the petition aimed at collecting one million signatures in order to get the former president back into politics, Xinhua news agency reported. Gammanpila also said that the petition with a million signatures would prove to the new government that a majority continued to support Rajapakse to head the nation. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka to learn reconciliation experience from South Africa

[ IANS ][ Feb 25 16:15 GMT ]

A high-level delegation from South Africa will brief Sri Lanka this week on South Africa’s experience in reconciliation and nation-building, Sri Lanka’s deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday. The delegation led by South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo is undertaking a five-day visit to Sri Lanka. Mfeketo will meet her counterpart and other important role-players in Sri Lanka during the course of her visit. South Africa has been asked to share with Sri Lanka its experience in terms of reconciliation and nation-building. [ full story | comments ]

UN Ban's Feltman to Visit Sri Lanka But Not Jaffna, Zeid Delay Protested

[ InnerCity Press ][ Feb 25 13:53 GMT ]

"Mr. Feltman will then travel to Sri Lanka on Saturday. There, he plans to meet with senior officials of the Government of Sri Lanka, political parties and civil society groups. This will be his first visit to Sri Lanka, and he looks forward to discussing with Sri Lankan leaders various issues of mutual concern." [ full story | comments ]

PM Narendra Modi’s Sri Lanka visit to push soft power & project India’s Buddhist links

[ ET ][ Feb 25 13:33 GMT ]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to visit Sri Lanka's ancient capital Anuradhapura during his trip to the island nation next month, a move aimed at pushing India's soft power and projecting the country's Buddhist links in the region. Officials said that Modi could reach Colombo on March 12 or 13 as part of a four-nation tour and pay a visit to Jaffna on March 14, adding that the prime minister is also planning to visit Trincomalee where India is constructing a power plant. [ full story | comments ]


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Featured News

[Daily Mirror - Feb 28, 2015 15:07:25 GMT]

Tamil “Extremists” target Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of the TNA as “Traitors”


[HRW - Feb 28, 2015 14:51:05 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Press Ahead on Rights Reforms


[Reuters - Feb 28, 2015 14:48:40 GMT]

Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visits


[PTI - Feb 28, 2015 14:46:39 GMT]

Missing persons hearing starts in Sri Lanka amid protests


[Reuters - Feb 28, 2015 0:29:54 GMT]

Sri Lanka says China to be consulted on any project re-think


[The Diplomat - Feb 26, 2015 17:30:57 GMT]

A New Era for India-Sri Lanka Relations?


[AFP - Feb 26, 2015 17:30:07 GMT]

Sri Lanka's new leaders demand speedier police action


[DNA - Feb 25, 2015 16:16:27 GMT]

Sirisena visit opens new chapter in India-Lanka ties


[Daily Mail - Feb 25, 2015 4:21:30 GMT]

Myuran Sukumaran's mother pleaded with Julie Bishop to save her son


[Dalje - Feb 24, 2015 18:57:53 GMT]

Tamils hold anti-UN protest in northern Sri LankaTamils protest in Sri Lanka


[New York Times - Feb 24, 2015 18:52:13 GMT]

Sri Lanka Premier Starts With Fixing Civil War Ills


[ABC News - Feb 24, 2015 18:50:28 GMT]

Bali Nine: Indonesian president Joko Widodo says executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will not be delayed


[Tamil Guardian - Feb 24, 2015 18:40:29 GMT]

Thousands protest in Jaffna rejecting domestic probe, demanding release of UN report


[Washington Post - Feb 23, 2015 15:19:31 GMT]

Children of Sri Lankan refugees born in India uncertain about future


[Forbes - Feb 23, 2015 15:18:27 GMT]

Sri Lanka's China Dilemma