Sri Lankan arrivals to Australia by boat have increased from 211 in 2011 to 2992 in 2012.
A report on the Australian Opposition's call for Australia to reach an agreement with the Sri Lankan government to point blank send Sri Lankan asylum seekers back to "where they came from".
Sri Lankan prison guards shot and injured scores of protesting inmates in Colombo’s Welikada Magazine Prison, the country’s biggest incarceration facility, last Wednesday. The riot and its bloody suppression underscore the brutal conditions in the prisons and the anti-democratic nature of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government.
***EDITOR'S PICK*** ON THE AFTERNOON OF 19 MAY 2009, at around 1:20 pm, a ration shop accountant named Sivarajan ran to the front of the winding lunch queue in the Anandakumaraswami Zone 3 refugee camp to serve rice and sodhi, a watery concoction of chillies and coconut milk. Swarna, a former militant, sat in her tent nearby, yelling at her mother for having told an army man from the morning shift that their family belonged to Mullaitivu, on the northeastern coast, where the war between the Sri Lankan Army and the separatists—“Tigers,” she called them—was still raging. At that moment, they got a text message on their mobile phones from the government’s information department. Addressed to all Sri Lankans, it proclaimed, in Sinhala—a language neither Sivarajan nor Swarna could read—that Velupillai Prabhakaran, the man who led a 26-year-long separatist battle for a Tamil Eelam (state), had been killed by the army in a lagoon just a two hours drive north of where they were. So when the news was announced in Tamil over a loudspeaker that evening, they did not believe it. When it finally sank in, they realised—neither with remorse nor relief, but mere wonder at its very possibility—that in an instant the war they had been born into had left their lives. Nothing would ever be the same again.
***LANKA SOLIDARITY STATEMENT*** We welcome the Report’s contributions to political discourse, but even its most critical conclusions reveal its irredeemable limitations: like the many commissions of inquiry before it, it is neither a truly investigative body, nor empowered to hold political elites to account. Nevertheless, the Report, which contains the testimony of thousands of citizens and surveys the political challenges confronting Sri Lanka, invites further discussion and debate.
The gap between headline statistics of falling poverty and rising income levels and the reality for many poor and vulnerable groups in Sri Lanka was highlighted recently in a discussion facilitated by the Law and Society Trust.
If Sri Lanka wants true reconciliation, the government must take responsibility for civilian deaths during the civil war.
As journalists, politicians and public waited for Sarath Fonseka to exit the Colombo High Court after his sentencing Friday, authorities smuggled him out the back, forced him down the steps and roughly bundled him into the van taking him back to jail. But if they were hoping for a quick getaway, it was not to be.
EDITOR'S PICK: In 2009, a young boy flees Sri Lanka's civil war carrying a violin. In 2011, BBC reporter Priyath Liyanage tries to find him. Follow links for the full radio clip.
"SRI Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa - who was due to arrive in Australia last night - has had a charge laid against him in a Melbourne court accusing him of war crimes in his country's civil war".