Sri Lanka: UN review highlights ongoing human rights abuse and impunity

[ AI ][ Oct 31 13:53 GMT ]

The UN Human Rights Committee review of Sri Lanka has once again highlighted the vast disconnect between Sri Lanka’s promises to Sri Lankan citizens and the UN to improve human rights protection in the country and to tackle the grave reality of ongoing abuse and impunity. The Committee expressed concern about a wide range of human rights issues, including Sri Lanka’s continued application of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA); impunity for human rights violations by State and non-State actors; arbitrary arrest and detention, extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, and sexual and gender-based violence against women. [ full story | comments ]

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Deadly Landslide Hits Central Sri Lanka [ more ]



Sri Lanka: UN review highlights ongoing human rights abuse and impunity

The UN Human Rights Committee review of Sri Lanka has once again highl...


Sri Lanka landslide: Hopes fade for '100 buried'

Hopes are fading for victims of a landslide which may have buried more...


Sri Lanka Mudslide: Tragic Stories Emerge

A hugely destructive mudslide at Sri Lanka's Koslanda tea plantation i...



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Sri Lanka downplays India's concerns on death sentences to fishermen

[ PTI ][ Oct 31 14:00 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Friday downplayed India's concerns over the death sentences handed down to five Indian fishermen for alleged drug trafficking, saying India is "clearly aware" of legal systems in the country. Responding to a question, Keheliya Rambukwella, Sri Lankan Minister for Information, said India understands Sri Lanka's prevalent laws. He said India's concerns raised on Thursday's verdict should not present Sri Lanka with any problems. The five fishermen, all hailing from Tamil Nadu, were apprehended in 2011 by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of smuggling of drugs in the seas off northern Jaffna's Delft islet. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka landslide: Hopes fade for '100 buried'

[ BBC ][ Oct 31 12:24 GMT ]

Hopes are fading for victims of a landslide which may have buried more than 100 people in central Sri Lanka. Hundreds of troops have been using heavy equipment to dig through tonnes of mud that buried the tin-roofed homes of workers at a tea plantation. It is still not clear how many people are trapped in the disaster which was caused by heavy rain. The authorities have evacuated hundreds of people from nearby villages due to fears of fresh landslides. [ full story | comments ]

India to appeal against Lanka court's death sentence to five fishermen

[ Rediff ][ Oct 31 12:20 GMT ]

India's external affairs ministry has said that the government will appeal against the judgment of a court in Sri Lanka to sentence five Indian fishermen to death. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said the Indian High Commission in Colombo will appeal to a higher court against the judgement of the Colombo High Court. New Delhi, he said, feels the fishermen are not guilty and will pursue all legal process to prove their innocence. The Colombo High Court had on Thursday sentenced five Indians and three Sri Lankans to death on charges of drug smuggling. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Mudslide: Tragic Stories Emerge

[ Sky News ][ Oct 30 14:37 GMT ]

A hugely destructive mudslide at Sri Lanka's Koslanda tea plantation is thought to have left no survivors. There were widely conflicting reports about how many people had been buried alive under the rubble and mud, with initial estimates saying more than 250 people have died. Government minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the number was less than 100, adding: "I have visited the scene and from what I saw I don't think there will be any survivors." [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Comments - India and the ECJ judgement annulment of the LTTE's inclusion in the EU's list of terrorist organisations - Col R Hariharan

[ SAAG ][ Oct 29 15:07 GMT ]

If anyone still expects India to support "Tamil Eelam" they should revisit India's record against the creation of Tamil Eelam as an independent entity. Support for united Sri Lanka is an article of faith in India's Sri Lanka policy. It is also commitment India made in the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement 1987. Every Indian prime minister has reiterated this commitment to Sri Lanka. I agree with you that all those committed atrocities in the Eelam war (why last days only?) should be punished. But that should include the LTTE including remnants who have sought refuge abroad. [ full story | comments ]

Sex scandal allegation rocks Sri Lankan cricket

[ Deccan Chronicle ][ Oct 29 14:52 GMT ]

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Tuesday decided to conduct an inquiry into the claims that the team management and national selectors of the Sri Lanka’s women’s cricket team needed to be sexually pleased by the Sri Lankan eves to get into the team and then retain their places, according to reports. The news rocked the Sri Lankan cricket and has forced SLC to launch an immediate inquiry into the matter.As per reports, the four-man panel will carry out an inquiry on Thursday and is likely to ask the Sri Lanka’s women’s team management and players to provide evidence. [ full story | comments ]

Commonwealth chief calls for reduction of army role in northern Sri Lanka

[ PTI ][ Oct 29 14:41 GMT ]

“The steps that needed to be taken to empower the people affected by the conflict include addressing legitimate concerns about restricted and monitored movement of both the citizens of the province and those visiting them for lawful purposes,” Mr. Sharma said after visiting Jaffna, the erstwhile bastion of the LTTE. “A continued reduction of the military role in civilian life in the (northern) province was important to see legitimate concerns of Tamils being addressed,” he added. [ full story | comments ]

DMK unable to cash in on Jaya's political set-back in Tamil Nadu

[ Rediff ][ Oct 29 13:30 GMT ]

The political damage suffered by Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK at the hands of the judiciary should have been a natural political boost for her chief competitor in the state the DMK. That, however, has not happened. N Sathiya Moorthy looks into what parts the players in Tamil Nadu’s political theatre will play in the next assembly polls. If the already demoralised Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadre beaten by the shocking parliamentary poll debacle in May 2014 thought that the political set-back suffered by rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram, in the light of a Bangalore court ordering a jail-term for her in September was a boon for their leadership, it’s not to be. [ full story | comments ]

Heena Solanki used acid to kill herself and her two children

[ BBC ][ Oct 28 14:39 GMT ]

A mother poisoned herself and her two young daughters by drinking acid, an inquest has heard. Heena Solanki, 34, was found dead alongside Jasmine, nine, and Prisha, four, at their home in Ruislip, west London, in April last year. She had taken the substance from a locked cupboard at the school where she worked as a lab technician. West London Coroner's Court heard Mrs Solanki was struggling to get on with her live-in parents-in-law. Police and paramedics who went to the scene were forced back by the fumes from the substance, the court heard. [ full story | comments ]

Scarpitti cruises to another election win in Markham

[ ML ][ Oct 28 10:17 GMT ]

Among regional councillor candidates, Nirmala Armstrong finished in a solid fourth place position with unofficial results showing she will join incumbents Jim Jones, Jack Heath and Joe Li as Markham's regional council contingent along with the mayor. Incumbent Colin Campbell has been re-elected according to unofficial results in Ward 5 with more than 55 per cent of the votes cast in the ward or 3,527 votes. His nearest rival was Raj Subramaniam with 1,313 votes or just over 20 per cent with all 12 subdivisions reporting. In Ward 7, incumbent councillor Logan Kanapathi has held off a challenge from former councillor Khalid Usman. With all 11 subdivisions finally reporting, Kanapathi had 5,473 votes or 47 per cent compared to Usman's 3,539 or just over 30 per cent. [ full story | comments ]

UN Human Rights Committee asks Sri Lanka to repeal Constitution's 18th Amendment

[ ANI ][ Oct 31 12:24 GMT ]

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, while welcoming several measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure human rights of its citizens, has asked the government to repeal the 18th Amendment to the Constitution approved by the parliament in September 2010. Presenting the Concluding Observations on the fifth periodic report of Sri Lanka, the UN human rights treaty body, which reviewed Sri Lanka on October 7 and 8, said the committee is concerned by the 18th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution which, inter alia, discontinues the Constitutional Council and empowers the President to dismiss or appoint members of the judiciary and other independent bodies. [ full story | comments ]

US to assist Sri Lanka in landslide rescue and relief efforts

[ PTI ][ Oct 31 12:22 GMT ]

The US State Department has confirmed that it has received an official request from the Government of Sri Lanka for assistance in rescue and relief efforts at the site of a major landslide that has devastated the village of Koslanda- Meeriya Bedda in northern Badulla district. US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele Sison, has requested the assistance from Washington, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said at the media briefing on Thursday. [ full story | comments ]

Commonwealth head urges Sri Lanka to ease military role in north

[ Reuters ][ Oct 30 15:28 GMT ]

"Equally important are steps that empower the people of the province and those whom they elect as their leaders," Sharma told journalists on Wednesday at the end of a five-day trip in Sri Lanka that included a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a visit to the north's Jaffna Peninsula. "These include addressing legitimate concerns about restricted and monitored movement of both the citizens of the province in their daily lives and those visiting them for lawful purposes, and a continued reduction in the military security role in civilian life in the province." [ full story | comments ]

Boycott Sri Lanka campaign gains momentum in Australia

[ Weekend Leader ][ Oct 29 15:13 GMT ]

Australian billionaire James Packer, son of late media mogul Kerry Packer, has agreed to watch ‘No Fire Zone’ the Emmy nominated British documentary that documents the mass slaughter of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians in the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, the Tamil Refugee Council (TRC) said in a press release. “By building a casino in Colombo Packer is helping launder the image of the man, and the government, responsible for these atrocities. “We urge him to reconsider. Hopefully he can see beyond the profit motive and allow his heart to bleed for the Tamils.” [ full story | comments ]

Wellard strikes Sri Lankan dairy deal

[ Farm Weekly ][ Oct 29 15:00 GMT ]

THE dairy industry continues to make the news, with Wellard this week announcing it had secured two contracts that, in total, will supply 22,500 dairy cattle to Sri Lanka. The two Wellard contracts, which are worth almost $100 million, have been signed with the Sri Lankan Department of Economic Development (SLDED) and will involve up to five shipments of Friesian-Jersey cross heifers during the next two years. [ full story | comments ]

The great Game Folio

[ Indian Express ][ Oct 29 14:49 GMT ]

India cannot simply wish away the Chinese influence in the subcontinent. Drawing red lines or mounting public pressure on neighbours will not work. The only way to limit the scope and structure of China’s security profile in South Asia is to expand India’s own cooperation, including in the defence domain, with all neighbours. The UPA had indeed sought to deepen defence ties with India’s neighbours. But it was not a strategic priority for the foreign office, the defence ministry or the armed forces. [ full story | comments ]

Hundreds missing after Sri Lanka mudslides

[ AFP ][ Oct 29 13:36 GMT ]

Mudslides triggered by monsoon rains swept through a tea-growing region of Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people and leaving around 300 more missing, disaster officials have said. The landslides hit a tea plantation east of Colombo in the morning, with some homes buried in 9 metres (30ft) of mud, officials said. Soldiers were trying to dig through debris for survivors, but rescue efforts were hampered by damage to roads in the area which blocked earth-moving and other heavy equipment from arriving. [ full story | comments ]

UN Counter-Terrorism Committee delegation to arrive in Sri Lanka

[ ANI ][ Oct 28 14:41 GMT ]

A UN Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) delegation headed by its Executive Director Jean-Paul Laborde, is due to arrive in Sri Lanka today on a three-day visit. The team is expected to lay stress on the importance of having a comprehensive approach to countering terrorism in accordance with the principles of the rule of law, including human rights, as requested by the Security Council. The delegation will also visit Jaffna, reports the Colombo Page web site. [ full story | comments ]

Migrants’ tales: ‘I feel for those who were with me. They got asylum in the sea’

[ The Guardian ][ Oct 28 14:31 GMT ]

The boat sank quickly. One minute Fahad Abdul Kariem was wedged into the hold, legs apart so that another migrant could sit in front of him. The next, the Mediterranean swell was rolling the vessel, the motion aggravated by the scores of African and Indian migrants clinging to the roof canopy. And everyone was in the water. “I was under the boat when my hand caught a lifebuoy that I clung to as the last resort,” Kariem said of the shipwreck off Libya this summer. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka allays India's concerns over its ties with China

[ PTI ][ Oct 28 10:09 GMT ]

Amid reports of increase in its military ties with China, Sri Lanka today sought to allay India's concerns, insisting that it will do nothing to compromise the security of this country. Sri Lanka Navy chief Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, who is on a five-day visit here, maintained that there is no military presence of China in his country. "We have very good co-operation with India. We will never compromise on national security of India. India's security is our security," [ full story | comments ]

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