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Sri Lanka Timeline - Year 2015



January 5

The campaign for the upcoming presidential polls in Sri Lanka ended with sporadic violence having marred the final day. Three opposition activists were injured when unidentified gunmen shot and injured them while they were engaged in putting up a dais for the opposition leader, Maithripala Sirisena, on the final day of campaigning in the southern town of Kahawatte in Ratnapura District.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Sri Lankan government again to ensure a peaceful election that is inclusive of minorities. Responding to a media query on the election violence in the run-up to the election Presidential election on January 08, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said the Secretary General's call to the Government to ensure that the elections are peaceful and that they're inclusive, including for minorities is much more important now on the backdrop of the election violence.

A clash between supporters of the UPFA and the NDF at Rambukkana in Kegalle District had left four government supporters injured and one Opposition supporter injured. The NDF supporter with cut injuries was admitted to the Kegalle hospital while the four injured UPFA supporters have been admitted to the Rambukkana hospital. Five persons have been taken into custody in connection with the incident along with a firearm they had in their possession, Police said. Three vehicles and several shops were also attacked.

January 6

The CMEV said there had been a rise in major incidents of election violence between November 20 and January 5 whereas the number of incidents of election violence seemed to have dropped when compared to the previous elections. The CMEV Coordinating Secretary D.M. Dissanayake said it had documented 420 incidents of election violence with 237 categorised as major incidents while 183 as minor incidents. He said the highest number of major incidents was reported from Jaffna District with 22 incidents followed by Badulla, Kurunegala and Kandy with 19, 18 and 17 incidents respectively. Dissanayake said CMEV had recorded 26 incidents involving firearms and 03 incidents of petrol bombings. He said CMEV had recorded 132 incidents of gross misuse of State resources for election purposes with excessive use of State media by the incumbent and very limited airtime for opposition candidates.

Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu from the CMEV at a media briefing, said that concerns have been raised that voter intimidation on election day will lead to a low voter turnout, especially in the North. Saravanamuttu said that communities and political leaders have raised concerns about the vote in the north in particular and about the deployment of security forces that could have an adverse impact on the voter turnout.

January 7

The victim of the shooting incident at an opposition rally in Kahawatta on January 5, succumbed to his injuries. The victim, one of the three people, who were shot by the supporters of the Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara, has been treated in the Intensive care Unit at the Ratnapura Hospital for the past three days. The other two persons who received gunshot injuries are still receiving treatment at Ratnapura hospital.

Sri Lanka's Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya said the Police are empowered to use maximum force if anyone tries anything unlawful at the polling stations during tomorrow's presidential election. Addressing a media briefing, the Election Commissioner the Police had been given authority to use maximum power, even shooting a violator, if any one tries to intimidate or attempts to obstruct a voter using their right to vote.

The Sri Lankan government said the UN recent call to the government to ensure that the elections are peaceful and inclusive, is "gratuitous and inappropriate." Issuing a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said Sri Lanka notes with concern the recent remarks by the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General of the UN recalling the Secretary-General's call to the Government to ensure that the forthcoming Presidential elections are peaceful and inclusive. "The Spokesperson's comments are gratuitous and inappropriate," the statement said.

January 8

A high voter turnout was reported at the just concluded 2015 Presidential elections, based on information provided by returning officers in the Districts. Officials said that Pollonaruwa recorded 80 percent voter turnout by 4pm as the deadline to cast votes ended with Nuwara Eliya also recording 80 percent, Anuradhapura recording 76 percent, Trincomalee 72 percent, Kurunegala 77 percent, Puttalam 71 percent, Batticaloa 60 percent, Badulla 61 percent, Matara 73 percent, Kandy 75 percent, Hambantota 70 percent and Puttalam 70 percent.

The local election monitor, CMEV has received a report that ruling UPFA Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena and a group of supporters have hit two women in Attanagalle electorate of Gampaha District. The women were assaulted by the Deputy Minster and his supporters at around 1.00 pm near the Yatiyana Junior School polling center. The Deputy Minster and his group of supporters have been roaming the area in 7 vehicles, the CMEV report says.

Despite hospitals being alert to possible emergencies during the Presidential polls that lasted from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., no incidents were reported. Director of the National Hospital, Dr. Anil Jasinghe when contacted said that the hospital had not received any patients with injuries sustained during voting. The Hospital had functioned normally despite large number of its employees taking time off to cast their vote.

January 9

Sri Lanka's incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat, said his official media unit, following clear signs of his opponent Maithripala Sirisena's victory in the presidential elections. Rajapaksa vacated Temple Trees, his official residence, following a meeting with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, assuring him of smooth transition. With final result yet to be declared, Sirisena is expected to be declared winner by around 4,00,000 votes.

CMEV has received a report that North Central Chief Minister S.M. Ranjith and his supporters had assaulted opposition supporters in Senapura, Mihinthale. The assailants have carried wooden rods and guns. The victim, Wimalasiri A.H.M. has been admitted to the Senapura Hospital. No complaint has been lodged. The CMEV said three explosions have so far been reported on the day of polls. The first was in Point Pedro reported and a second incident involved an explosion from Beruwala targeting a house of a Muslim businessman. No injuries were reported. The third incident is from Vavuniya where a grenade exploded near the Polling Station at Nelukkulam Kalaimagal Maha Vidyalaya. No injuries were reported and the police are investigating. It has been reported in Jaffna that the members of the government ally, EPDP were intimidating TNA party members.

The winner of the 2015 Presidential Election Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in, as the 6th Executive President of Sri Lanka. Sirisena took oaths as the new President before Supreme Court Justice K. Sripavan at the Independence Square in Colombo. In his address to the nation following the swearing-in, the new President said he has no intention to seek a second term and said Sri Lanka will have friendly relations with every country. Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe took oaths as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka before Executive President Maithripala Sirisena at the same venue.

January 11

In Kandy District, after the swearing-in ceremony, the seventh President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena expressed his gratitude to those who voted for him and he was thankful to everyone who assisted to hold a peaceful election. He said it is time for a transformation society - to bring about a humane society with good governance and respect to law. He also said that this would be the only time that he would contest the Presidency.

The former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, who was in Sri Lanka under protective custody, rejected the reports that he fled the country after the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at last week's elections. Speaking over phone, from his orphanage at Kilinochchi in the North, the former arms procurer for the LTTE said he is still there and have no plans to leave the country.

January 19

Marxist party JVP filed a petition in court seeking the arrest of a former top leader of the LTTE Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP. The JVP filed the petition in the Court of Appeals seeking to arrest KP, who was in protective custody under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Government. JVP parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said KP has to answer many questions and he needs to be arrested for his activities. KP was an international arms smuggler who procured massive loads of weapons worth billions of dollars for the terrorist organization that ravaged a deadly war for 30 years. He was involved in arms smuggling operations across Asia, Canada, US and Europe.

January 21

Former Army Commander of Sri Lanka Sarath Fonseka has been fully pardoned by the President Maithripala Sirisena. The former Army general who led the decisive war against the LTTE to end the terrorism in Sri Lanka was stripped off of his ranks and rights by the previous Government. President's Media Division said that "Fonseka has been acquitted of all charges filed against him under the previous Government and has been granted complete amnesty by President Maithripala Sirisena."It also said that the President Sirisena pardoned the former General by the powers vested in him under Article 34 of the Constitution. Accordingly, Fonseka's rank will be restored and will be entitled to all military and social privileges without any legal barrier. He will be awarded back his medals and honors.

January 23

The Chairman of the PCICMP, Maxwell Paranagama has sought a time with the President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss the future proceedings of the Commission. Paranagama said that the Commission plans on making an interim report on the inquiries they have currently completed. According to the Chairman, the Commission is continuing to function without break amid the election of a new President and currently investigations into filed reports and received evidence are underway.

The new Sri Lankan Government has decided to terminate a mandatory military style leadership training program initiated by the previous Government for school principals and university entrants. New Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the Government is ending the program that was compulsory for the students entering the country's universities under the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration. Report said that previous Government's mandatory leadership training program for undergraduates was highly unpopular among the students and parents, and has been seen by intellectuals as a militarization of the education sector.

January 25

The Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka on January 27 will take up a Writ Application filed by the Marxist party, JVP seeking an order to arrest and prosecute former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP. The petition was filed in the Court of Appeal on January 19 and has sought Writs of Mandamus to arrest KP and produce him in Court to investigate the offences committed by him and to initiate judicial proceedings against him. The petition demanded the arrest and trial of the former LTTE leader who is believed to be the head of the international wing of the terrorist organization. KP is currently operating a NGO under military protection in the Northern Province.

TNA said that there is no need to appoint new commissions with regard to the war in Sri Lanka and the national question. TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said that rather than appointing new commissions, it is more important to enact the recommendations made by the committees that have been appointed so far. TNA has also said they do not expect a new PSC to be appointed over the national issue. TNA is also a stakeholder of the NEC and is engaged in implementing the 100 day programme of the new Government.

January 27

The Appeal Court of Sri Lanka issued notice on the Attorney General to appear before the Court on February 5 in connection with the writ application filed by the JVP against former LTTE Leader, Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP.

January 28

President Maithripala Sirisena said more attention would be paid to national security and a well-structured plan would be implemented to ensure national security for the welfare of the country and the people. The President said that every effort would be initiated in strengthening the national security within the democratic framework according to the constitution. He added that precise understanding of issues that poses in various faces nationally and internationally has to be addressed in a constructive manner while formulating appropriate solutions. President requested the Security Council to submit new proposals and recommendations in addition to the programme now being implemented on national security as it the expectation of the government to implement a programme to strengthen national security locally and internationally.

A Government spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne said that Sri Lanka is planning an investigation into accusations of human rights abuses in the final stages of civil war amid international frustration at the failure to look into numerous civilian deaths. “We are thinking of having our own inquiry acceptable to them to the international standards,” Rajitha Senaratne said in Colombo, referring to the UN. “It will be a new local inquiry. If we need, we will bring some foreign experts,” he added. Rajitha Senaratne also said that the new Government was looking at releasing political prisoners, mainly suspected members of the defeated LTTE.

The new Government plans to return private land seized by the military in the civil war-ravaged north and release several hundred detainees in an apparent move toward reconciliation with ethnic minority Tamils. Governemnt Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the Government of new President Maithripala Sirisena will ease its military presence, and that unlike the previous administration that was defeated in the January 8 election, does not believe military action alone can prevent a resurgence of the rebels. Rajitha Senaratne said, "We don't think you can stop an LTTE resurrection (just) with an army, so spending on security will be very moderate."

Rajitha Senaratne said that he has sought an inquiry into information that former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is using two serving army officers to train 400 soldiers to whip up a bogey about an LTTE revival in the run up to the April parliamentary elections. Senaratne said that this army unit is being trained by two serving officers, Brig. Harendra Ranasinghe and Col. Mahinda Ranasinghe of the Army Training School. According to Senaratne, the idea is to get 400 Tamil speaking Sinhalese soldiers to go to the North in disguise and provoke the army. The ensuing clashes would help show people in the Sinhalese-speaking South, that the LTTE have become active in the Northern Province and that the Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe Government is unable to tackle it. The LTTE-revival card could help former President Mahinda Rajapaksa win the elections. Senaratne said that to ensure national security, the Sirisena regime would rely on political engagement with the minorities and not on the military.

January 29

Following the recommendations of the LLRC, Sri Lanka's new Government at the Independence Day celebrations this year prepares to expresses sympathy and reach out to the victims of the country's three-decade long civil war. Report said that the Cabinet of Ministers has approved a joint proposal made by the acting Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera and the Minister of Home Affairs and Fisheries Joseph Michael Perera to make a statement on Peace at the 67th Independence Day Celebrations to be held on February 4. The Ministers, taking into consideration the LLRC recommendations, have proposed to express sympathy and cooperation with the war-affected in the country and to pledge that it will be dedicated in unity to prevent recurrence of such situations in the country in the future.

January 30

Sri Lanka appointed Justice K Sripavan, an ethnic-Tamil, as its new Chief Justice, days after his predecessor Mohan Peiris was asked to resign following an uproar in the parliament over allegations he tried to help the former President retain power illegally. The President’s office said in a statement that Justice Sripavan took oath as the 44th Chief Justice before President Maithripala Sirisena.

January 31

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera said that the new Government has no intention of lifting the ban imposed on the several Tamil Diaspora groups for their alleged involvement with the LTTE and over attempts to revive terrorism in the country. He said that the new Government hopes to maintain the ban imposed on the organisations that were alleged to have links with the LTTE. During the previous regime the LTTE and 15 Tamil Diaspora groups including the TGTE, GTF and BTF were banned in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Army said that it has recently enlisted 34 Tamil youth from war-torn North as tradesman. Report said that SFHQ-MLT recently enlisted 34 Tamil youth to the SLAVF from Mullaitivu area in Mullaitivu District of Northern Province.

Sri Lanka's new Government will soon arrest LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP and the decision will be available by the end of this week, a reliable source informed. According to the report the file which contains unpublished details of secrets revealed by KP is to be presented to the Government by the intelligence units. During his previous interrogations, it had been revealed that it was KP who had provided weapons, aircrafts and other equipment for the LTTE to attack the state armed forces. According to reports, it has also been revealed that KP had purchased "Slime" type aircrafts from a Bangladeshi agrarian company and has brought them from Indonesia to Mullaitivu in Northern Province.

The JVP has filed a petition at the Court of Appeal requesting the immediate arrest of KP as well as urging the authorities to reveal what happened to the immense wealth of the LTTE that was controlled by KP, under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime

February 1

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the new Government will investigate the LTTE activities over the past few years including its funding and alleged links it had with the previous Government. He said that the Government wants to know what happened to the funds of the LTTE. He said “This is part of our probe on corruption. The former Government always accused us of having links with the LTTE but it was they who had links with the Tigers.” He said that investigations will include obtaining information on the LTTE ships, gold and money yet to be found even after the war. The Prime Minister said that the public in the North have said they have evidence to share over the LTTE and so that evidence will also be obtained. “This is a large scale investigation,” he added.

Wickremesinghe also said that when the European court ruled in support of the LTTE the former Government did not take steps to assist the EU to reverse the court ruling. He said “We have said we will assist the EU to ensure the ban on the LTTE in the EU remains”. He also questioned the previous Government’s failure to handover Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP to India. KP is wanted in India over the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Minister of State for Plantation and Industry K. Velayutham said that the election of Maithripala Sirisena as the Sri Lankan President has offered a hope to the Tamils in Sri Lanka and they are able to move freely without the Army’s interruption. After meeting DMK leader M Karunanidhi in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, he said he had explained the situation after change in leadership and efforts were on to withdraw the Army from the Tamil areas and camps. Velayutham said one of the priorities of the new Government was to rehabilitate the IDPs and those who were in the camps.

February 2

Families of missing and detained persons in war-torn Northern Sri Lanka staged a protest in Kilinochchi in Kilinochchi District of Northern Province urging the new Government to establish the whereabouts of their family members disappeared during and after the war. Family members of missing Tamil youth, carrying placards with names and photographs of the missing and detained, staged a protest in front of the District Secretariat in Kilinochchi.

February 3

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma said in Colombo that the Commonwealth is pleased with the measures the new Government of Sri Lanka is considering to address the accountability and reconciliation needs and it extended support for the vital domestic processes. He welcomed the new Government's intent to establish a credible domestic investigation mechanism that respects international humanitarian law and assured the practical Commonwealth support and expertise to implement the necessary measures including fuller implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.

The protesters complained that the new Government is occupied with changing the governance in the south and neglecting the pressing issues of Tamil people in the North. They appealed to the President Maithripala Sirisena to take measures to address the issue and called authorities to publish the details about the missing persons and the detainees for the families to know about them. They also urged the new President to release all Tamil political prisoners from the prisons if legal action is not resorted against them.

TNA said it will not support a domestic investigation launched by the new Government over the war between the LTTE and State SFs that ended in May 2009. TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran, during discussions with US US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, has stressed that an international probe is the only way justice will prevail for the Tamils who have suffered the war. According to Premachandran, the TNA had also informed Biswal that the newly elected Government of President Maithripala Sirisena had not properly addressed the Tamil issue, especially in areas such as resettlement as lands occupied by the army in the north continued to remain vacant. He has added that the Government is slow in releasing the lands of the Tamil people. However, the TNA has expressed its gratitude to the Government's effort in implementing the new Government's 100 day programme.

February 4

TNA officially participated in a National Independence Day celebration after several decades. According to reports, main Tamil political parties had not attended a National Independence Day celebration since 1972. However, senior TNA Leader, MP R. Sampanthan and parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran participated in the 67th Independence Day celebrations held at the Parliament grounds in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte in Colombo.

February 5

A Sri Lankan Court issued an order preventing the former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP from leaving the country. The Court of Appeal issued the order barring Pathmanathan from traveling overseas. The Court granted the motion of order as a sub decision based upon a petition filed by the Marxist party, JVP. The Court had informed the Department of Immigration and Emigration asking them not permit Pathmanathan to leave the country until the end of the trial.

Sri Lankan Government presented the regulation under the UN Act to locally ratify the ban on al Qaeda as a global terrorist outfit. The Gazette notification had been signed by former External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris on December 14, 2014. According to the regulation, this organisation is continued to be designated as a terrorist outfit. It is prohibited for any individual to aid and abet the al Qaeda. The financial intelligence authorities of Sri Lanka are authorised to seize funds and assets of this terrorist outfit.

The Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Cabinet has approved the setting up of a special PTFR according to a cabinet paper presented by President Maithripala Sirisena. The Minister said the President has decided to appoint a special Task Force to cater to the need to build a united and integrated nation, while healing the wounds of mistrust and social and cultural stress generated from extended conflicts and violence between different communities in Sri Lanka. The seven members Task Force will inquire into issues related to ethnic reconciliation and suggest remedial measures to bring about ethnic harmony.

The PTFR aims to identify the immediate problems that required to be solved and recommend solutions in order to achieve reconciliation and to alleviate the hardships caused to citizens as a result of the conflict. It would study and make recommendations with regard to persons under detention as a result of the conflict, and all other matters relating to rebuilding harmony and effective reconciliation. Senaratne also said that according to the IG of Police, there are 275 Tamil prisoners who have been in jail for long without being charged. The PTFR would study these cases and determine whether they can be released.

TNA has welcomed the decision to set up the PTFR. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the Government should see to it that the steps suggested by the PTFR are implemented and that the PTFR does not become a devise to delay implementation of measures already agreed upon.

February 9

Families of missing persons in Northern Province held a protest in the Jaffna town in Jaffna District calling on the new Government to intervene in finding out the whereabouts of their loved ones who had gone missing during the civil war. Family members, carrying photographs of their missing loved ones, held a march before holding a protest outside the Jaffna District Secretariat in Northern Province. According to reports, several politicians including representatives from the TNA have taken part in the demonstration.

February 10

The NPC adopted a resolution calling for an international investigation into alleged acts of genocide committed against the Tamils during the civil war. Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran presented an amended version of the resolution calling for an international inquiry on genocide against Tamils committed by the successive Governments since the country's independence from the British in 1948. The resolution notes that the obligation to prevent and punish genocide under the Genocide Convention is not a matter of political choice or calculation, but one of binding customary international law. In the resolution, the NPC has urged the team appointed by the UNHCHR to investigate the war in Sri Lanka, to comprehensively investigate and report on the charge of genocide in its submission to the UNHRC in March 2015.

Minister of Housing and Samurdhi, Sajith Premadasa said in the Parliament that there are illegal armories in the Hambantota District in Southern Province. He said that the illegal armories with weapons, ammunition and grenades have been found in Beliatta and Weeraketiya in Hambantota District. The Minister informed that a request has been made from the State Minister of Defense to investigate the illegal armories found in Hambantota. According to Premadasa, the illegal armories were being operated by a MP representing the District.

February 11

Sri Lanka is seeking a delay of several months in the release of a UN report on the investigation of alleged war crimes committed during the country's three-decade long war. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera during his visit to Washington said that the new Government is seeking a delay in releasing the report of the UNHRC mandated investigation by several months until the Government had time to establish a mechanism to deal with the issue. Samaraweera said that "Once the report is finalized, we are hoping they can refer it to our domestic mechanism for action." "We are hoping they could hold on to it until our mechanism is in place - maybe August, you know, or so," he added.

Government has decided to release lands extending to 1,000 acres in the Northern HSZs in several stages to civilians. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the proposal presented by President Maithripala Sirisena as the Minister of Defense. As a first step 220 acres of land in the Valalai Grama Niladhari Division of the Valikamam East Divisional Secretariat Division is to be released to establish a pilot village for the resettlement of 1,022 families displaced by the Civil War. Each family will get 20 perches of land and financial assistance to construct a house. It has also been proposed to establish a school, a pre-school, a hospital, religious places of worship, community centers and build other infrastructure activities. The remaining 780 acres of land will also be used in the future to resettle the people displaced by the war.

While a large extent of land from the 11,639 acres were under the control of the SFs during the period of the war, 6,152 acres in the Palaly area is being maintained by the SLA and the SLAF as an HSZ. Cabinet has also decided to release the lands under the control of the SLAF in the Panama area in the Eastern Province to landless people in the area except the land in an extent of 25 acres in which buildings are now being constructed.

February 12

US Secretary of State John Kerry told the visiting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Mangala Samaraweera that the US is excited about the 100-day plan that the new Government of Sri Lanka has put forward to move the country in a new direction. Mangala Samaraweera met Secretary of State Kerry at the Department of State for an hour-long discussion. "This is an exciting moment for all of us here because Sri Lanka on January 8th had an historic election in which there has been really a vote for change, a vote to move Sri Lanka in a new direction, to open up greater accountability and possibility for the preservation of human rights, for democracy, for fighting corruption and putting together a government that will speak for and to the people," Secretary Kerry said.

According to a leading survey, Sri Lanka did not show any improvement in press freedom in 2014 although there were no journalists were killed and ranked among the 20 worst countries in the world for media expression. The annual World Press Freedom Index for 2015 compiled by Paris (France) based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Sri Lanka 165th out of180 countries. Although Sri Lanka's rank did not change from that of last year score declined from 59.13 in 2014 to 60.28 this year (2015), 100 being the worst. The RSF in its report said Sri Lanka's Government attacks the foundations of journalism by systematically obstructing the activities of NGOs that support the media.

February 13

President Maithripala Sirisena told the diplomatic community in Colombo that if “credible and firm” evidence is found by the proposed inquiry into allegations that Sri Lankan SFs committed human rights violations during the fight against the LTTE, action would be taken against the guilty. The President also invited the UNHCHR to visit Sri Lanka. Sirisena said the Government needed time to bring about unity and reconciliation as it had assumed office only a month ago. Referring to Tamils living in the Northern Province, he said ‘doubts and mistrust’ between ethnic groups should be removed.

Democratic Party (DP) Western Provincial Councilor Susil Kindelpitiya handed over information to the CID regarding 13 alleged disappearances and 'white van' abductions that had allegedly taken place during the previous Government. Kindelpitiya said that after Maithripala Sirisena assumed the office of the President, several families in Colombo had visited him and expressed their grievances over the alleged abduction of their family members. In his letter to the Director of the CID, Kindelpitiya had also requested for investigations to be carried out based on the recent revelation made by former Minister Mervyn Silva, alleging that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was the architect of the 'white van' culture in Sri Lanka.

February 15

TNA leader R. Sampanthan said that the UNHRC report on the probe on alleged violations that had taken place during the war should be released during the UNHRC sessions in March as scheduled. Sampanthan noted that the UNHRC probe would have been completed in an unbiased manner and the report should be published in March as agreed in 2014.

February 16

UNHRC agreed to postpone the release of report of war crimes committed during civil war by six months. The report was scheduled to present the investigative report on the investigation mandated by the UNHRC at its 28th session in Geneva on March 25. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein recommended delaying publication of the report from March until the council's 30th session in September as Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera during his visit to Washington on February 11 seek a delay in releasing the report of the investigation by several months until the Government had time to establish a mechanism to deal with the issue.

TNA expressed displeasure at the UNHRC decision to postpone the submission of war report. The TNA continuously called for the release of the report on the scheduled date on March 25 while the Government sought support from the international community to postpone the report. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the decision to postpone the report will be a setback to resolve the Tamil issue in the island.

February 17

The PCICMP will conduct its next public sittings to hear cases of missing in Trincomalee District in Eastern Province from February 28 to March 3. According to report, since the establishment of the Commission on August 15, 2013 by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Commission to date has received in excess of 20,106 complaints inclusive of approximately 5000 complaints from relatives of missing SFs personnel.

Australian authorities have returned four Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lankan authorities in mid-sea. The Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the Australian and Sri Lankan Governments have worked together again to disrupt a people smuggling venture. According to the Minister, a suspected illegal entry vessel (SIEV) carrying four Sri Lankan nationals was intercepted by BPC North-West of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands on February 9. The four Sri Lankan nationals were transferred at sea from a vessel assigned to BPC to Sri Lankan authorities last Tuesday (February 17), the Australian Minister said.

February 18

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe ordered the release of copies of the Indian magazine, Frontline detained at the Colombo airport by Sri Lanka's Customs Department in January. The copies were of the special edition of the magazine marking its 30th year, which republished a 1987 interview with slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran, along with other interviews and articles from its archives. An official statement from the Prime Minister's office said that the interview with Prabakaran would not create any threat to national security.

February 19

The Attorney General's Department of Sri Lanka requested more time from the Court of Appeal to decide on former LTTE Leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP. Deputy Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath informed the Appeal Court that the Attorney General's Department required more time to decide on the nature of action to be taken against KP. He made this submission when a petition filed by the Marxist party JVP seeking KP's arrest was taken up for hearing. The case has now been put off till February 26.

February 20

TNA has alleged that a secret military camp, named Gota, in the naval base in Trincomalee was in operation and held 700 Tamils and 35 Tamil families. TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran had told the BBC Sandeshaya that the Tamil people are of the belief that there were many more of such camps.

February 21

Chief Minister of the NPC C. V. Wigneswaran has expressed concern over the delay in releasing Tamil political prisoners by the Sri Lanka Government. Wigneswaran said that he fears the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to release prisoners because he does not want to anger the Sinhalese majority ahead of parliamentary elections. "I'm talking of a history of not living up to promises in the past. The prime minister wants to play for time because the elections are coming," he claimed.

February 22

Member of NPC M. K. Sivajilingam has reportedly written to UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein saying the Tamils see the delay to release the report based on the probe on the war in Sri Lanka as a failure of the UN system to protect and listen to the victims of mass atrocities. Sivajilingam has said the Tamil people hoped that the UN system will not victimize the Tamils once again by delaying or denying them full and complete justice. "The Tamil people are highly disappointed and dismayed by your announcement on February 16, to delay the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) Report until September 2015. The Tamil people had been anxiously waiting with high hopes for the release of the Report, but this unexpected delay has caused serious concerns to the victimized Tamil population, and we strongly believe justice delayed is justice denied," Sivajilingam has stated in his letter.

February 24

Thousands of Tamils in Jaffna city in the Northern Province staged a massive protest against the UNHRC's decision to defer the report of the UN investigation on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during the war. Thousands of students of the University of Jaffna along with the residents staged a protest march from the University. At the end of the protest march, the president of Jaffna University Teachers Association, A Rasakumaran handed over an appeal on behalf of the organizers of the protest to Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph requesting him to hand it over to the relevant UN agencies. The appeal, addressed to the UNHCHR Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, requested the UN official to have the findings of the investigations published as scheduled. The appeal stressed that the Tamils in the North have no faith in any domestic mechanism that the current government may establish to investigate the injustices caused upon them by previous governments and another domestic mechanism will only waste time.

A Colombo Court has ordered Balendran Jeyakumari, who has been searching and campaigning for the release of her son, to continue to be held in detention custody till March 10, as per the request made by the TID. Jeyakumari, who was arrested on March 13 2014 on suspicion of harbouring former rebel cadres at her home in Kilinochchi in Northern Province, was transferred to the Welikada prison only last week, where she was allowed to meet briefly her 13-year old daughter Vibushika, who is also in the protective custody in Kilinochchi. According to the published report, her son, Balendran Mahindan was alive and was going through the government's "rehabilitation program" at an unknown 'rehabilitation' centre. Several local and international human right organisations have campaigned for her early release.

February 25

The UK based Amnesty International (AI) organization has noted that several human rights violations have taken place in Sri Lanka last year (2014). The organization in its annual report has called on the new Sri Lankan Government to take measures to address those violations. AI said that Sri Lanka faced a catalogue of endemic human rights issues in 2014. "Unlawful detentions and torture by SFs were carried out with impunity as the authorities continued to rely on the Prevention of Terrorism Act to arrest and detain suspects without charge or trial. Human rights defenders and family members of people subjected to enforced disappearance were threatened and arrested, and fatal attacks on religious minorities went unpunished," the AI report said. Political violence and intimidation - mainly against political opposition supporters and civil society activists - were reported in the run-up to the snap presidential election called for January 2015, it noted. It also said that UN-led investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the conflict raised hopes for victims waiting for truth and justice, but this will require the full cooperation of the new Sri Lankan Government.

The UNHRC defended its move to defer the release of a report into alleged war crimes committed during Sri Lanka's civil war saying that it was a "very rational" decision taken in a "relatively unique" case. The new President of the UNHRC Joachim Rücker said that the decision to defer the release of the report on the human rights violations in Sri Lanka by six months to September was "very rational".

February 26

The AG of Sri Lanka requested six months to present a comprehensive report to the Court of Appeal on former LTTE leader and arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP. According to the Attorney General's Department, the 193 incidents mentioned in the petition against KP have to be examined properly and time was required for the matter. The Court of Appeal at the last hearing directed the Attorney General's Department to inform of its proposed action on KP at today's hearing. However, the Department has now sought more time.

February 27

Newly appointed Commander of the SLA, Lieutenant General Chrishantha De Silva, during a visit to Kandy in Central Province has assured that national security will be given highest priority and will not be compromised at any cost. He said the Army will maintain security even in the north. "I will give the highest priority to National Security. The army has a responsibility towards the National Security of the country," De Silva said. The Army Commander said that discipline of the army will also be given priority. However, he added that there is confidence that Sri Lankan soldiers will not violate the code of conduct in the army.

February 28

TNA has expressed the party's lack of faith in a domestic probe into issues related to the war crimes. TNA leaders met with UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who is currently in Sri Lanka, and discussed several issues including the proposed domestic investigation on the war promised by the new Government. TNA Spokesperson MP Suresh Premachandran said that the TNA had informed Feltman that the party did not have faith in a domestic probe. Feltman however had told the TNA that the Government had given an assurance that the domestic probe will meet international standards. He had informed the TNA that the UN is willing to work with the new Government on the investigation and other issues.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka, Ajith P. Perera said the domestic investigation into some of the allegations over the war will not be completed by September, 2015. The Deputy Minister said that it will be difficult to complete the legal process before the September sessions of the UNHRC as only the structure and laws will be in place before September. The UNHRC has agreed to defer a report on Sri Lanka which was to be submitted to the Council during this month's (March) session to September.

Although there was no violence and there is an apparent reduction of threats against journalists in Sri Lanka after the January 8, 2014 election, significant challenges to press freedom are still remaining in Sri Lanka, an international media organization said. The international media mission, which represents the IFJ, the International Press Institute and International Freedom of Expression Exchange, said the continued surveillance of journalists and media organizations in the north of Sri Lanka must cease. The mission said all journalists acknowledged there have been no cases of over violence since the January 8 elections and that there has been an apparent reduction in threats, but significant challenges to press freedom are remaining. These challenges include the self-censorship due to uncertainty about the political future of the country; restrictions on access to information; and continued surveillance and monitoring of journalists.

March 1

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the accusations that Tamil youth were being held in secret detention camps were baseless. Wickremesinghe emphasised that all those who had been taken into custody were being held in legally run facilities and, therefore, all detainees could be accounted for. He said instructions had been given for preparing a full list of persons in custody in a bid to dispel fears expressed in some quarters as regards secret detention camps. According to the report, the Prime Minister didn't mince his words when he declared that those missing but not listed among those in government custody had either perished during the conflict or were now living overseas. Authoritative sources said that Sri Lanka's efforts to track down missing persons living overseas hadn't been successful due to Western countries' refusal to cooperate. Sources said that a joint effort was needed to establish the whereabouts of those who had assumed new identities and citizenship in other countries.

March 2

Police have questioned several Sri Lanka Navy personnel of an investigation unit of the Navy on disappearances of children. The Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said that statements have been recorded from seven Navy personnel regarding the disappearance of 10 children during the 2008-2009 period. In 2010 the CID had commenced investigations into complaints received over the disappearance of some youth and their parents between the period of 2007 and 2009 in Colombo and in Trincomalee. Rohana said the CID has interrogated the officer in charge of the investigation unit of the Sri Lankan Navy, Commander D. K. P. Dassanayake, who was also the former Navy spokesman, in this connection. It has also been revealed that the officials of the investigative unit had taken ransoms in large measure from the parents of the children. The activities of the infamous unit were reported to have centered on Trincomalee and Fort.

Police arrested a former leader of the LTTE Sea Tiger Women's Wing, identified as Murugesu Jayaganesh Pakeerathy alias Murugesu Bairahi alias Burugesu Pahiradiat at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo while she was about to leave for France. Police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said that the TID of the Police had launched investigations over reports that Murugesu Bairahi had arrived in Sri Lanka. The 41 year old former Sea Tiger was arrested by the TID when she was preparing to leave the country and is currently held on detention for 72 hours. Police informed that Murugesu Bairahi headed the women's wing of the LTTE Sea Tigers from 1997-2000 and that she had fled to France in 2005. Police further said the investigations had revealed that she had returned to Sri Lanka last month and was staying in Parathion in the North. The suspect has been produced at the Colombo Magistrate Court.

March 3

Government has assured an international media delegation visiting the country that the long-awaited Freedom of Information bill would be tabled this month and passed in parliament before the upcoming general election. The International Media Solidarity Delegation during its five-day visit to the island called on the Sri Lankan government to ensure that critical media reform measures are made permanent and media freedom to be an absolute priority of the new administration. The Government has also assured the delegation a commitment to tackle impunity for crimes against journalists, which according to the journalists, is a long-running and festering blight on Sri Lanka's reputation globally. Government representatives have said that they had already requested the IG of Police, N.K. Ilangakoon to carry out thorough investigations into journalist killings, with priority given to the 2009 murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga and the 2010 disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda.

South Africa had told the former Sri Lankan Government that the LTTE was not operating in South Africa as was alleged at the time, Al Jazeera said quoting a secret cable. According to the report the previous Sri Lankan Government was told quite plainly that, at least in the case of South Africa, the LTTE posed no threat at all, according to a secret intelligence agency cable (PDF) obtained by Al Jazeera's investigative unit. In the cable, dated June 9, 2010, South Africa's State Security Agency (SSA) replied to a request for information about several cases of purported LTTE activity in South Africa, from a suspected "military training camp" held in May 2010 to suspicions that local Tamil organizations were raising money for the LTTE and allegations that the LTTE was in contact with former members of the South African military. In every case, South African intelligence concluded that there was no sign of LTTE activity or support in the country. "The LTTE does not have any offices or known representatives in South Africa," the cable states. However, Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Al Jazeera, by phone and by email, about the cable and the statements made subsequently by government officials. The office of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the new minister had not been briefed on the issue and could not comment.

March 5

In an interview ahead of Indian PM Narendra Modi's visit to Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that Indian politicians might have developed "amnesia" over the fact that India had assisted former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the LTTE war of 2009. Lankan Prime Minister said "Without the help of India, President Rajapaksa could not have wiped out the LTTE. He got that help and he agreed to give concessions even beyond the 13th amendment ... But he did not do so ....". Asked specifically about the UPA's denials of help to Sri Lanka, especially because of opposition from its alliance partner the DMK, he said, "Amnesia, you know is very common among politicians."

Wickramasinghe accused the TNA Government in the Northern Province and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran of being "irresponsible" in passing a resolution for an international genocide investigation to look into allegations dating back to the 1970s. The Prime Minister said that in that case, not only would the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE had to be charged with killings, but so would the IPKF that went in to assist in the late 1980s. He said "Casualties took place under the Sri Lankan SFs, the IPKF and also by the LTTE ... But to say that it was only the Government of Sri Lanka is wrong."

The UNHCHR Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urged the Sri Lankan Government to design mechanisms that will work to address the human rights issues and not repeat the failures of the past. Delivering the Opening Statement at the 28th Session of UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland, the High Commissioner said the Member States were due to consider his report on the implementation of UNHRC resolution 25/1 on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, including the findings of the comprehensive investigation mandated by the Council at this session. The High Commissioner said he will present the report on the UN mandated investigation into the alleged human rights violations by Sri Lanka during the war at the 30th Session of UNHRC in September.

March 6

Sri Lankan authorities have extended the detention of a former Sea Tiger Women's Wing leader of the LTTE arrested earlier this week. Police on March 2 arrested the former LTTE leader Murugesu Jayaganesh Pakeerathy at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo while she was about to leave for France with her eight-year-old daughter, a French national. The authorities initially detained her for 72-hours pending investigations by the Unit TID and the detention has been extended to 90 days under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. SSP Ajith Rohana said "We have now got a detention order under the Prevention of Terrorism Act which means we can hold her for a period of 90 days." "We are hopeful of completing investigations very soon," he added.

March 9

The GTF has requested the British Government to persuade the new Sri Lankan administration to lift the ban on Tamil Diaspora groups imposed by the previous Government.  The GTF is among those groups included in the list of proscribed organisations. GTF President Reverend Father S. J. Emmanuel has requested the ruling coalition’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond, MP, to take up the issue with the visiting Sri Lankan delegation led by President Maithripala Sirisena. The President and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera are scheduled to meet British PM David Cameron on March 10. GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran confirmed their request to the British Government. Surendiran said that they strongly believed that the gazette notification bearing the number 1854/41, dated March 21, 2014 should be repealed.

Filmmaker Callum Macrae who exposed Sri Lanka's war crimes and took the famous picture of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran's son eating a snack just before he was shot dead will release a new Sinhala version of his award winning documentary "No Fire Zone" in the premises of the House of Commons (UK). According to report, Britain's relation with Sri Lanka may soon sour over the film. The launch will be attended by director Callum Macrae and will have the presence of British MPs - Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, Conservative MP Lee Scott and others from Parliament. The documentary was nominated for the prestigious Emmy award. The meeting will also be addressed by exiled Sinhalese writer Bashana Abeywardane. The release of the version will coincide with the visit of the new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to the UK and will take place a day before he is due to have dinner with the Queen.

A group of pro- LTTE British Tamils gathered at Westminster Abbey in London to protest the new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's participation in the Commonwealth Day celebrations held in London. According to the report, upon seeing the protesters, President Sirisena, who is the current Chair-In-Office of the Commonwealth, alighted from his official motorcade and greeted the protesters waving at them. The protest against the visiting President was organized by the British Tamils Forum (BTF). The President was attending the Commonwealth Day service held at Westminster Abbey. The event was attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and representatives of Commonwealth Nations.

March 10

A Sri Lankan court released the Tamil woman activist, Balendran Jeyakumari who has been held in detention for nearly a year for allegedly harbouring a LTTE fugitive. Acting Police Media Spokesperson, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said Colombo Magistrate Court released Jeyakumari on conditional bail after spending nearly a year in the Boossa detention camp. However, the Additional Magistrate has banned her from leaving the country as part of the bail conditions given to her by the Court. She is also required to report to police station closest to her residence every month, ASP Gunasekara said. The court also released six other activists along with Jeyakumari. Jeyakumari along with her 13-year-old daughter was arrested on March 13, 2014 in Kilinochchi for allegedly sheltering an LTTE cadre, named Gopi, who shot a Police inspector in Kilinochchi during an arrest.

Housing and Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa said that TNA Parliamentarians do not stand for a separate state and their purpose is to ensure fair and equal treatment for Tamils. Minister Premadasa said some politicians make allegations against the TNA claiming that they supported President Maithripala Sirisena during the Presidential election to divide the country. This is a political lie used to mislead voters, he said. The Minister said that “LTTE activists in London protest against TNA MPs Sampanthan and Sumanthiran by burning their effigies. Even TNA MPs have accepted the unitary nature of the state” "If Sampanthan and Sumanthiran wished to see a separate State and supported Maithripala Sirisena to fulfill this purpose, it is a big question for us as to why LTTE supporters in the UK are protesting against them? The cat is out of the bag and the truth is revealed. The TNA MPs do not demand for a separate state. They only want equal treatment for Tamils," said the minister.

TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran claimed that there are about 300 political prisoners in Sri Lanka. Sumanthiran was addressing the press following his meeting with Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath on the issue of LTTE detainees. However, Solicitor General Gamlath discounted this claim stating that it is unfair to claim that those who were taken into custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act or under the Public Security Ordinance as political prisoners. He emphasized those arrests were made within a structured legal frame work and hence there are no political prisoners in the country.

Sumanthiran said that the law has taken a different course for those who helped the LTTE by providing them with food and water, and they are still in detention though 11,900 detainees have already been rehabilitated. According to Sumanthiran, the group under custody could be divided as (1) those against whom no legal action has been instituted (2) those whose legal battle is completed and (3) those against whom legal action continues."The Committee to be appointed by the Solicitor General will conduct its first meeting on March 16," sources said.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman who visited Sri Lanka from February 28 to March 3, expressed confidence over Sri Lanka's efforts towards reconciliation and cooperation. UN Political chief said that following presidential elections in January, a historic opportunity has now presented itself for Sri Lanka to set up a domestic process that is credible, accountable and up to par with international norms and standards for the benefit of the country's people, with the help of the wider international community. "The meetings and talks with the Government of Sri Lanka are so different than they used to be, so that leads us to greater expectations. There was suffering across all Sri Lanka, every community suffered and accountability must address the grievances in the North, but also allow that all [people] in Sri Lanka feel like all their concerns are being addressed," he said.

March 11

The CID of Sri Lankan Police, as directed by the IGP on the order of the Mount Lavinia Magistrate, will soon begin investigations into the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga. Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that preliminary investigations into the assassination of Wickrematunga were carried out by the Mirihana Police and later by the TID. As ordered by the IGP the CID has already sought the extracts related to their investigations from the Mirihana Police Station and the TID and CID would start its investigation after analysing these investigations, the spokesman said. Lasantha Wickrematunga, the chief editor of Sunday Leader, was assassinated on January 8, 2009 by four assailants who stopped him on his way to his office on Attidiya-Mt. Lavinia road, in a suburb of Colombo and opened fire at him.

March 12

President Maithripala Sirisena said that Sri Lanka does not want "any outsiders" in its domestic inquiry into alleged atrocities committed against the Tamil Tigers during the last stages of the country's civil war. "We are ready to get advice and their opinions for the inquiry, but I don't think we need any outsiders because we have all the sources for this," Sirisena said. This implies the UN investigators will not be able to participate in the domestic inquiry that the new government plans to set up within a month into the alleged war crimes committed during the nearly three decade-long military operations that crushed the LTTE in 2009.

Sirisena also said he hopes to set up a special investigative commission within a month to inquire into the alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the country's civil war. President Sirisena said an investigative commission will be appointed legally and it will be tasked with identifying what needs to be done to probe the alleged violations. If the commission found anyone guilty of committing war crimes they will be punished according to the country's law, Mr. Sirisena said.

British writer-filmmaker Callum Macrae has urged Indian PM Narendra Modi to "show courage and commitment" in pushing Sri Lanka to address war crimes ahead of his visit to Colombo. Macrae said "(The Sri Lankan Government should) allow a genuinely independent international process of justice - something which can command support and trust of all communities of Sri Lanka." The filmmaker, who took the picture showing LTTE 'chief' Velupillai Prabhakaran's son eating a snack before he was shot dead and helped expose war crimes, said he wants to persuade Modi to intervene. Macrae recently released a Sinhala version of his award winning documentary, 'No Fire Zone' that has been nominated for the Emmy Award. India has refused visa to Macrae and certification for his film for screening, explaining in part it might "strain friendly relations with Sri Lanka". Macrae called New Delhi's attitude a cause of concern. "The refusing of a certificate on the openly political grounds...was a shameful episode - as was, quite frankly, the refusal to grant me visa,'' he said.  "Now that both the Government in Sri Lanka and the Government in India have changed, I hope that the certification will be granted and that when I re-apply for a visa, it too will be granted.''

March 13

A Sri Lankan court released a former leader of the LTTE Sea Tiger women's wing on conational bail when she was produced in court. Police spokesman, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Attigala released the former LTTE leader Murugesu Jayaganesh Pakeerathy on a personal bail of LKR 200,000. The suspected LTTE leader was ordered to hand over her passport to the court and appear before a Police Station once a week.

Indian PM Narendra Modi, who arrived in Sri Lanka, urged the Sri Lankan Government to ensure early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and to go beyond that when finding a political solution. "We believe that early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment and going beyond it would contribute to this process," the Indian Prime Minister said at the Presidential Secretariat in the presence of the heads of the Sri Lankan Government.

Narendra Modi paid homage to the fallen soldiers of the IPKF in Colombo. He laid a wreath at the base of the tall column on which was inscribed the names of all the 1,500 Indian soldiers who were killed in the operations against the LTTE between 1987 and 1990.

March 14

Former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in an International Conference on Education in Dubai said that the whole country does not want an international probe into the alleged war crimes committed during the 26-year long war with the LTTE terrorists. Kumaratunga has said that both the Sri Lankan people and its politicians found the calls for a UN-led international investigation "insulting" by implying that the country could not carry out its own. She said that Sri Lanka is united against an international investigation into alleged war crimes.

The PCICMP is to hand in an interim report regarding the missing persons' cases to the President Maithripala Sirisena on March 18, the Secretary to the Commission, H. W. Gunadasa has said.  According to the official, the report has already been finalized and it will be handed to the President on March 18. The Commission has recorded statements from witnesses regarding 303 cases of disappearance during the first week of this month. The Commission has received 471 complaints. Since the Establishment of the Commission on August 15, 2013, the Commission up to date has received in excess of 20,106 complaints inclusive of approximately 5,000 complaints from relatives of missing SFs personnel.

The arrest at the Colombo Airport last week of a former woman ‘Sea Tiger’, Murugesu Jayaganesh Pakeerathy has exposed new global LTTE financing networks with continued links in Sri Lanka. The husband of Murugesu Jayaganesh Pakeerathy lives in France and is identified as the main financial controller of the LTTE’s Diaspora-based global finance networks. The husband, Subramaniam Jayaganesh, is suspected to be still maintaining close ties with the former Tiger leader and key ‘banker’ Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’ who was the LTTE’s main global funds coordinator. ‘KP’ currently lives in Sri Lanka following his arrest in Malaysia and controversial ‘rehabilitation’ by the previous regime despite many serious charges relating to terrorism arraigned against him. The sources said that the TID, which is currently questioning Murugesu found these international financial linkages. This has prompted a fresh probe into possible international LTTE financing networks that may still be linked with Colombo, Police sources said.

The court case against former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, arising out of a petition filed by the JVP, will be taken up by Court of Appeal this week.  At the last hearing, Justice Vijitha Malalagoda, asked for more information about KP’s global links.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.





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