Connect to share and comment

Sri Lankans urged to search for President's missing macaws

Four macaws belonging to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse have escaped his tightly-guarded official residence in Colombo, his office said Wednesday as it appealed for help to trace the colourful long-tailed birds. "The president is very fond of these birds," an official in his office told AFP, adding that he also cared for other species at the colonial-era President's House in the capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka ruling party set for local election win

Sri Lanka's ruling party was headed for victory in local elections but with smaller than expected margins in a crucial mid-term test for President Mahinda Rajapakse, early results showed Sunday. The president campaigned for polls held Saturday for southern and western provincial councils, both in the ethnic majority Sinhalese heartland, which account for more than a third of the total electorate.

Sri Lanka leader releases Indian fishermen after U.N. vote

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's president ordered the release on Friday of 98 Indian fishermen detained for poaching as a "goodwill gesture" after New Delhi abstained in a vote on a U.N. resolution that approved an international inquiry into alleged war crimes on the island. India, Sri Lanka's largest trade partner, backed two prior resolutions, but on Thursday unexpectedly took a neutral stand on the demand for a probe into actions by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during the 26-year conflict that ended in 2009.

U.N. Human Rights Council calls for Sri Lanka war crimes probe

The U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday adopted a resolution calling for investigations into claims that government and rebel forces in Sri Lanka engaged in war crimes such as murders of civilians in the country's civil war that ended in 2009. The motion asking the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to launch a probe was backed by 23 countries including the United States. Twelve nations, including China, opposed the resolution and another 12 including Japan abstained.

UN rights council launches Sri Lanka war crimes probe

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday launched an inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, despite Colombo's fierce efforts to block an investigation. In a 23-12 vote, the council backed a Western-sponsored resolution which said it was time for a "comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka".

Sri Lanka rejects UN rights probe, president tells AFP

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse rejected Thursday's UN Human Rights Council resolution ordering a war crimes probe, telling AFP that he would instead press ahead with his own reconciliation plan. "We reject this," Rajapakse said. "This resolution only hurts our reconciliation efforts. It does not help. "But I am not discouraged. We will continue with the reconciliation process I have started," he added in a phone call. aj/co/mtp

Murder trial opens in Sri Lanka after Western pressure over delay

By Shihar Aneez COLOMBO (Reuters) - Six men went on trial in Sri Lanka on Wednesday on charges they murdered a British aid worker and gang-raped his Russian fiancee, following two years of international pressure to prosecute the defendants, who include a member of the country's ruling party. Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker based in Gaza, was shot and stabbed to death at a hotel while on holiday in 2011. Victoria Tkacheva was beaten unconscious before being sexually assaulted, according to hospital and police records.

Sri Lanka 'complicit' in torture of Tamils

The "highest levels" of Sri Lanka's government were complicit in raping, torturing and abducting ethnic Tamils following the nation's ethnic civil war, a report by rights groups warned Friday. Authorities carried out horrific sexual abuse on Tamils, including forced oral sex and anal rape as well as water torture, the report by the UK Bar Human Rights Committee and International Truth & Justice Project found. It comes ahead of next week's UN Human Rights Council debate on a US-led resolution calling for an international probe into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka arrests Tamil woman who pressed case for disappeared rebel son

By Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez COLOMBO (Reuters) - An ethnic Tamil woman who has become a prominent face in the effort to find out what happened to the tens of thousands who disappeared in the final stages of Sri Lanka's 26-year war has been arrested, the main Tamil party TNA said on Friday. Sri Lankan police said Balendran Jayakumari, a 50-year-old widow and mother of four, was arrested in Sri Lanka's former northern war zone of Kilinochchi on the charge of harboring a criminal who shot at a police officer to evade arrest.

Mass grave found in Sri Lanka ahead of UN rights meet

Another unmarked mass grave has been found in Sri Lanka's former war zone, police said Saturday, as Colombo braced for a US-led censure resolution at the UN rights forum next week. A family on Friday stumbled upon nine bodies buried in the garden of their home in the district of Mullaitivu, where the final battles of the island's protracted ethnic war were fought in May 2009, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. "Remains of nine people had been found so far and the skeletal remains were taken for analysis by the judicial medical officer in the area," Rohana told reporters.
Syndicate content