News Archives
  • Expert Gives His Take on Religious and Political Tensions in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Apr 06, 2018 14:25:15 GMT ] [ Sputnik News ]

        With Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe facing a no-confidence motion that could lead to political instability in the island nation, Sputnik spoke with Mahinda Deegalle Professor of Religions, Philosophies and Ethics at Bath Spa University for insight into the ongoing religious and political tensions in the country... I think that in Sri Lanka the tensions are not visible; a month ago there was unrest in certain areas regarding the Muslim communities. If we are talking about the Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindu conflict, this manifested itself in the country initially in the 1980’s, as the Tamils were striving for an independent nation, but the Muslims and the current tensions concerning them is quite different. [ Full Report ]

  • Did India influence no-trust vote against Sri Lanka PM?

  •    [ Apr 06, 2018 14:21:46 GMT ] [ ORFO Online ]

        As was only to be anticipated, a section of the twitterati in Sri Lanka have claimed that Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu and US Ambassador Atul Keshap had talked to TNA leaders, R Sampanthan and M A Sumanthiran, for the three-party combine back Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the no-trust vote of 4 April 2018 in the Parliament. If they had talked to know which way the wind was blowing, it was a part of their legitimate brief and mandate – especially of High Commissioner Singh, who represent Sri Lanka’s immediate neighbour. If the twitteratis implied that HC Singh had sought to influence the TNA, then there is no evidence to the effect. [ Full Report ]

    - Dogfight politics Finding principled politics through LG Councils and the NCM - Daily Mirror
    - Retaining confidence: on Sri Lanka surviving the no-trust vote - Hindu
  • Recruiters order Sri Lankan women to take birth control before working in Gulf

  •    [ Apr 06, 2018 14:19:06 GMT ] [ Guardian ]

        Sri Lankan women who take up domestic work in the Middle East to support families devastated by conflict are being targeted by recruitment agents who order them to take contraceptives before leaving. Six recruiters licensed by the Sri Lankan government said they could provide an employer with a “three-month guarantee” that a maid would not become pregnant. An agent from Gulf Jobs in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, said: “Before we can send a maid, there is a medical check-up by the government and no one can influence that. But once the medical test is done … there is a device we can give in them. If you want it, we can arrange it.” [ Full Report ]

  • Colombo strengthens impunity for genocidal Sinhala commander

  •    [ Apr 04, 2018 18:35:30 GMT ] [ TamilNet ]

        Jaffna High Court Judge Manickavasagam Ilancheliyan on Monday gave green signal to proceed with the cases of habeas corpus seeking a senior commander of the SL Military to produce three of twenty-five Tamil youth, whose whereabouts are not known after the SL Army at Naavatkuzhi detained them 22 years ago in 1996. The first respondent is Major General Duminda Keppettiwalana, who commanded the Sinhala soldiers of the military camp at Naavatkuzhi in 1996 when he was a captain. He has been systematically protected and promoted by Sarath Fonseka, the former SL Army commander and a partner of the current regime in Colombo. [ Full Report ]

  • NCM against PM defeated

  •    [ Apr 04, 2018 18:32:50 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The No-Confidence Motion (NCM) on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was defeated in Parliament a short while ago. A total of 76 MPs voted for the motion while 122 voted against it. Twenty-six MPs were not present in the chambers at the time of the vote. The vote at 9.30pm today was the culmination of a 12-hour debate that began this morning with many MPs speaking for and against the Motion. [ Full Report ]

  • China-India Geopolitical Competition: First Maldives, Next Sri Lanka?

  •    [ Apr 02, 2018 14:39:41 GMT ] [ Geo Political Monitor ]

        Acting as a junction between the rich East Asian and European markets, the Indian Ocean is of paramount importance for world trade. Consequently, any event causing instability in this maritime region can have a profound impact not only on the security environment of South Asia, but also on the global economy. As such, comparing the two most recent and notable events affecting the area, namely the Maldivian political crisis and the Sri Lankan ethnic clashes, offers precious insight into the complex and ever-shifting security dynamics of the Indian Ocean. [ Full Report ]

  • Minister Mangala visits Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu

  •    [ Apr 02, 2018 14:34:37 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who is on a three-day visit to the Northern Province, spent Saturday visiting and interacting with communities in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. The Minister met some 40 women’s groups at the Puthukudiyirippu Divisional Secretariat, spoke with the fishing community and other small and medium scale entrepreneurs. He announced a series of measures by the Government to improve livelihoods and alleviate indebtedness in vulnerable war affected communities in the region. Minister Samaraweera, a long time disappearances activist, also made an impromptu stop at a protest by families of the disappeared in Kilinochchi, appealing to them to end their demonstration and seek assistance at the newly established Office of Missing Persons. [ Full Report ]

  • More IDPs in Jaffna get housing facilities

  •    [ Apr 02, 2018 14:33:08 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        The second phase of the 'Nallinakkapuram' Housing Complex which provides 25 new houses for war affected families were handed over last week by Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake in Jaffna. The 25 beneficiaries were also provided with ownership documents. The housing project is an extension of the Keeramalai Housing Project and was completed as the second phase of the project. Construction work was carried out as a collective effort of the Joint Project Management Team (JPMT), comprised of Army, Navy, Air Force personnel and members of the beneficiaries. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lankan Buddhist minister denied entry into Hindu temple in India

  •    [ Apr 02, 2018 14:31:54 GMT ] [ BD News ]

        The Sri Lankan Minister of Buddhist Affairs Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, was not allowed to enter the 11th century Lingaraja (Shiva) temple in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the East Indian state of Odisha. Perera told the media on Sunday that the temple authorities barred his entry because he is a Buddhist and not a Hindu. The ‘embarrassing’ incident occurred on Mar 16 when he was on a tour organised by the Kalinga International Foundation he said. “I was surprised by the incident as hundreds of Lankan devotees including Buddhists visit Hindu temples in Tirupati and Kerala. The Sri Lanka High Commissioner to India was also in the delegation that visited the temple.” [ Full Report ]

  • India, China at cross purposes in Sri Lanka, both face Lankan anger

  •    [ Apr 02, 2018 14:30:11 GMT ] [ Dhaka Tribune ]

        Many in Sri Lanka are voicing dissent – questioning the wisdom of handing over “national assets” of the island nation to China and India in the guise of regional economic development 15 15 SHARES Massive infrastructural development projects in South Asia sponsored by China and India – involving billions of dollars – are attracting sharp criticism. China – with its far bigger investments and outreach – has been facing greater political resistance to its transport connectivity and energy sector related projects in Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, Sri Lanka is where the two most populous Asian countries have crossed each other’s path. [ Full Report ]

  • Kin of Sri Lanka's war missing demand roadmap, answers

  •    [ Apr 02, 2018 14:27:47 GMT ] [ UCA News ]

        Rights organizations and the families of people considered "forcibly disappeared," such as those who have been missing since the end of Sri Lanka's long civil war, are pressing the United Nations for answers to unresolved war crimes. Many have been waiting three years since the U.N. adopted a resolution calling on Colombo to investigate allegations of war crimes. Now patience is running thin and they are demanding a roadmap and fixed deadlines. Relatives have been staging demonstrations since January 2017 at roadside huts in several war-hit cities in the north and east of the country. They have stepped these up in recent weeks leading up the 37th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which ran from Feb. 26 to March 23 in Geneva. [ Full Report ]

  • Judge slams immigration officer’s ‘overzealous approach’ in Tamil refugee case

  •    [ Apr 02, 2018 13:24:03 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        A federal judge has criticized an immigration officer for imposing a virtually “impossible standard” in assessing the danger faced by a failed Tamil refugee if he was to be deported to Sri Lanka. The case involves GTA man Suresh Nagarasa, who claims he was tortured by Sri Lankan authorities on two occasions, a statement that is backed up by letters from a Sri Lankan legislator and justice of the peace. Despite the claim, an immigration officer, identified by the court only as “B. Au,” concluded Nagarasa had provided “insufficient evidence” that his life would be at risk and that it would safe for him to return. [ Full Report ]

  • New guide to help practitioners document conflict-related sexual violence crimes in Sri Lanka

  •    [ Mar 29, 2018 19:47:19 GMT ] [ IICI ]

        Sexual violence in Sri Lanka, as elsewhere, is a complex and pervasive problem set in a context of deeply entrenched impunity. This has been reflected in horrific fashion through widespread sexual violence against both women and men committed by state actors, including during periods of conflict. Investigations and accountability of those responsible are almost non-existent and survivors often face insurmountable barriers to justice. REDRESS and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) have today launched a guide to assist practitioners gather evidence of conflict and atrocity-related sexual violence in Sri Lanka, helping to overcome some of the key barriers to tackling impunity for these crimes. [ Full Report ]

  • Power struggle: Sri Lanka president cuts PM’s duties

  •    [ Mar 29, 2018 13:15:19 GMT ] [ SCMP ]

        Sirisena took away the central bank, the policymaking National Operations Room and several other institutions from the control of Wickremesinghe, who had held them since coming to power in January 2015. The changes were published in a government gazette notice issued Wednesday which transferred the responsibilities to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. There was no official explanation for why the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had been taken away from the prime minister’s control. In 2015 a central bank governor appointed by Wickremesinghe, Arjuna Mahendran, was accused of insider trading. Sirisena appointed a special inquiry which cleared Wickremesinghe of any wrongdoing. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka's UNP backs Wickremesinghe in no-confidence motion - BS
  • Sri Lanka prison chief Emil Lamahewage arrested over 2012 Welikada Prison riot in Colombo; 27 people had died in incident

  •    [ Mar 29, 2018 13:11:07 GMT ] [ First Post ]

        Sri Lanka police Thursday arrested a top prison official over a massacre of 27 inmates that became an icon of grave rights abuses under former president Mahinda Rajapakse. Prisons Commissioner Emil Lamahewage was arrested in connection with the November 2012 bloodbath at the Welikada high-security prison in Colombo, police said.A police inspector was arrested on Wednesday for involvement in the killings at Welikada which happened when Lamahewage was the prison superintendent. The arrests followed a reopening of the case in July last year following media reports that the killings were ordered by senior members of the former regime. [ Full Report ]

  • Trump re-authorises GSP for SL, other countries

  •    [ Mar 29, 2018 13:09:05 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        US President Donald Trump has re-authorised the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which expired on December 31, 2017, for the GSP beneficiary countries including Sri Lanka. Following the expiry, the GSP eligible imports to the US from Sri Lanka and other GSP beneficiary countries were subjected to non-preferential duties from January 1, 2018. In a statement, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka today said President Trump signed a Budget Bill on March 23, that included the re-authorisation of the GSP programme through December 31, 2020. “Both Sri Lanka and Maldives are eligible for this programme which enhances the trade relationship between the US and international partners,” it said. [ Full Report ]

  • Mothers of Sri Lanka's 100,000 'disappeared' desperately looking for answers

  •    [ Mar 28, 2018 12:59:24 GMT ] [ ITV ]

        Amnesty International says the ranks of the disappeared number 100,000. A UN team that investigated the practice said it was done systematically and on a massive scale. In Tamil areas in northern Sri Lanka, relatives of the disappeared have been staging roadside protests for more than a year in their quest for answers. They say the government has turned a blind eye to the issue. [ Full Report ]

  • Violence Plagues Sri Lanka

  •    [ Mar 28, 2018 12:57:56 GMT ] [ LA Times ]

        Religious violence runs rampant with the houses of Muslims being burned down by Buddhist groups. Mobs have also destroyed businesses, shops, and mosques in the fervor. The situation has become extremely dire, and the Sri Lankan inhabitants are reminded once again of a time in which religious violence tore the country apart. In response to the increasing violence, the government briefly blocked all social media throughout the country, imposed a curfew, and even declared it a state of emergency. This signifies that the military can interfere when necessary and get involved in helping end the violence. This announcement occurred after around 11 establishments in Kandy were burned in a hate crime. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Will ‘Redouble’ Its Efforts on China, India Free Trade Deals

  •    [ Mar 28, 2018 12:56:20 GMT ] [ Bloomberg ]

        Sri Lanka will “redouble” efforts to strike a free trade deal with China and conclude and expanded trade pact with India as part of the island nation’s strategy of becoming an Indian Ocean hub for investors and multinationals, the country’s top diplomat says. Colombo inked a comprehensive free trade deal with Singapore in January and now has the bandwidth to finalize deals with Sri Lanka’s two largest trading partners “as quickly as possible,” said foreign secretary Prasad Kariyawasam in an interview. “Since we have now done the trade deal with Singapore, we can redouble our efforts to finalize an expanded trade deal with India and China,” said Kariyawasam, the country’s former ambassador to the U.S. and top envoy to India. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka determined to agree free trade deal with China and India despite local scepticism - SCMP
  • Sri Lanka to postpone May Day celebrations due to Vesak festival

  •    [ Mar 27, 2018 14:14:52 GMT ] [ Xinhua ]

        Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday said the government would hold May Day celebrations on May 7 this year instead of May 1 due to the Vesak Festival. Speaking at an event in the capital Colombo, Sirisena said the cabinet had approved to move the May Day celebrations following a request made by the Buddhist clergy. He said this year's Vesak would be celebrated on April 30 and May 1 and due to this all May Day rallies and events would be celebrated later in the week. Vesak is a holiday traditionally celebrated by Buddhists in various countries. [ Full Report ]

    - May Day celebrations moved to May 7 - CDN
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