Military parades across Tamil homeland as Sri Lanka marks Independence Day, while Tamils protest

PEARL’s News Update 07 February 2019

NEWS

Military parades across Tamil homeland as Sri Lanka marks Independence Day, while Tamils protest
The military parades come as Tamils across the North-East, and in the diaspora around the world, marked Sri Lanka’s Independence Day as a ‘black day’ for Tamils on the island. Protests took place across several districts, with students at Jaffna University removing the Sri Lankan flag from the campus mast and replacing it with a black cloth, alongside banners calling for the military to leave the North-East – Tamil Guardian. Tamils in London protested outside the Sri Lankan High Commission – Tamil Guardian.

Tamil Lawyers Forum Urges UNHRC to Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court. Extention of Time will Deny Justice
In an appeal to UN High-commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet Jeria and to UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Tamil Lawyers Forum urged Sri Lanka be referred to International Criminal Court (ICC) and not to give any additional time to Sri Lanka, when Sri Lanka come up for review at the upcoming UNHRC Session in March 2019 – EIN News.

Sri Lanka’s debt- ridden independence
The country’s foreign debt is estimated at $ 55 billion. Chinese hold 14% of this debt, Japan accounts for 12%, the Asian Development Bank 14% and the World Bank 11%. Sri Lanka’s debt is 78% of its GDP – FT Lanka.

Vavuniya families of disappeared condemn TNA leaders’ inaction
Families of the disappeared in Vavuniya marked their 715th day of continous demonstration demanding answers for their disappeared loved ones. Marching with banners calling on the US and the EU to take action, mothers of the disappeared also condemned the TNA leadership. “Tamils get first freedom after removing panderers Sampanthan and Sumanthiran from Tamil politics,” a large banner read – Tamil Guardian.

SL to manufacture a 20-barrel MBRL
“A team comprising experts from the Sri Lanka Army, the local universities and Dr. Chandana Perera were able to manufacture the MBRL at a cost of Rs.7 million. The MBRL was manufactured according to international standards and can use shells or rounds used in the MBRLs made in China and Pakistan,” Brigadier de Silva said. He said the CRD had the capability to manufacture a 40-barrel MBRL at a cost of Rs.10 million but had initially focused on manufacturing the 20-barrel MBRL – Daily Mirror.

US ‘eager to build partnership with Sri Lanka’ says Secretary of State
The US Secretary of State said his government “remains eager” to grow ties with Sri Lanka, as he praised the island in a message released earlier this week. Marking Sri Lanka’s Independence Day Mike Pompeo said “Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions and constitutional processes have ensured your country’s continued advancement” – Tamil Guardian.

Militarisation
Protest against Sri Lankan army occupation of school in Amparai
Sri Lankan troops turn builders at Poonakari church
More Sri Lankan troops at a Tamil pre-school