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UK Parliamentarians and academics discuss ethnocratic nature of Sri Lanka in Houses of Parliament

20th July 2017 // 0 Comments

British parliamentarians and academics discussed Sri Lanka’s ethnocratic nature at a book launch in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday. Government and Politics in Sri Lanka: Biopolitics and Security, authored by Dr Sriskanda Rajah was released at the Houses of parliament to a fully packed parliamentary committee room. The book, which focusing on Sri Lanka’s post-colonial policies and democratic structure argues  that Sri Lanka functions as an ethnocracy leaning on authoritarianism, was discussed amongst a panel of academics and Members of Parliament. Speaking at the event the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell stressed the importance of discussing the characteristics of the Sri Lankan state that allow for the oppression of Tamils adding that Tamils must be allowed to determine their own future. Liberal […]

What You Need To Know: Facts on the Enforced Disappearances Bill

20th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: The following is a note prepared by the Spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mahishini Colonne. This was in response to an interview conducted with Former External Affairs Minister G L Peiris, in which he made several claims about the bill to give effect to the International Convention to Protect All Persons from Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. The interview made several incorrect assertions, including that the Bill will be subjected to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Below is the full text of Mahishini’s response, addressing some of the concerns flagged, and providing some facts about the bill.  Why is there a need to criminalise ‘enforced disappearances’? Sri Lanka has had a history of allegations of ‘enforced disappearances’, white van abductions etc. This is evidenced […]

Expose` : Navy criminal team that killed innocent students for extortion payments ! hitherto unrevealed bloody nightmare !!

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Wimal Dheerasekera http://www.lankaenews.com/news/1953/en (Lanka-e-News -05.March.2017, 11.45PM)  There is only  one genuine norm that is  followed when going to war. It is to crush the enemy in front of you , or  if that is not possible , to die fighting  the enemy . On the other hand if the enemy is crushed, the victor  is the one who caused the defeat . In which case  the victorious soldier  earns the recognition of ‘war hero’ . Otherwise , the coffin is wrapped in the national flag and interred. In this engagement , how many were killed or got killed are  not  reckoned   as crimes. While that should be  the genuine aim and objective of a war , killing innocents exploiting the war and under […]

Wartime disappearances : ”Ex-Commander among 50 navy officers grilled” is a Eye Wash

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake, remanded in connection with wartime disappearance of 11 persons, neither functioned as Director Naval Operations (DNO) nor supervised special teams, commanded by two Lt. Commanders, R. P. S Ranasinghe (since then promoted Commander) and H. M. P. C. K Hettiarachchi allegedly responsible for the disappearances during the previous administration, according to navy headquarters records as well as statements given by senior retired and serving navy officers to the police. Ranasinghe was the senior officer in charge of naval intelligence in the East whereas Hettiarachchi was attached to reconnaissance team assigned to the then Navy Chief Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda.The former navy spokesman Dassanayake was produced in court last Friday (14). Besides, Dassanayake functioned as Acting Director, Maritime Special […]

Indian woman held in Sri Lanka for Buddha image on dress

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Released after she signed a statement and apologised Sri Lanka police on Monday detained and questioned an Indian tourist who was wearing a dress with a print of the Buddha on it. Wearing the image of the Buddha remains a sensitive matter in the island where a majority practise Buddhism. In 2014, a British tourist was deported for sporting a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm. The 26-year-old tourist was on the island on a family holiday at a resort near Bentota, along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Before the group’s departure from Colombo on Monday, some of them were shopping at an upmarket mall in the capital. “Just as we were about to make the payment at the counter, three cops came […]

Former Homagama Magistrate testifies against Gnanasara Thera Contempt of court case

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Chitra Weerarathne Magistrate R. K. Dissnayaka yesterday testified as the first witness at the contempt of court proceedings against the Venerable Galabodaatte Gnanasara Thera. He was the Homagama Magistrate on Jan. 25, 2016, when the Thera committed the alleged offence. At present, he serves as the Colombo Additional Magistrate. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya led the evidence. Magistrate Dissanayake said the Thera had stood before his court and said, “War heroes are being jailed. LTTEers are freed. Bail should be given to the war heroes.” The priest who was not a lawyer, had been advised by a court officer to keep silent, but he went on disturbing the court, the Magisrate said. The Thera demanded that some officers attached to the military intelligence […]

JO MPs want to ditch power hungry Rajapaksa

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Skandha Gunasekara UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday claimed that several Joint Opposition (JO) MPs were sending out feelers to the Party seeking to ditch the Rajapaksa-led Joint Opposition and cross over to President Maithripala Sirisena’s camp in the SLFP. “Many in the Joint Opposition are fed up with protesting and carrying out demonstrations. They have indicated that they want to join us,” Amaraweera added. The Minister made this observation while addressing a meeting of SLFP organizers in Embilipitiya. He said, several JO MPs had opined that continuous protests carried out by the JO against the government have proved to be negative. “These JO MPs have said, the JO protests had not benefited them in anyway and they are disposed towards supporting President Sirisena […]

Sinhala Police officers accused of killing Tamil Jaffna Uni students bid to move case out of North, East! Why?

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

CA grants another date to file counter objections By S.S. Selvanayagam The Court of Appeals on Monday granted another date for five police officers who had been arrested in connection with the shooting of two Jaffna University students to file a counter objection on 3 August in regard to their appeal. The accused police officers are seeking the court to transfer their case out of Northern and Eastern provinces. They are also seeking the court to issue an interim order restraining the continuation of their case in the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court until the final determination of their application. The matter came up before Court of Appeals President Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya.  Counsel for the appellant police officers requested another date to file counter objections. The police officers […]

Curse of the caste in North Issue should be addressed immediately

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Vanni District Parliamentarian Charles Nirmalanathan commenting on the recent caste issues in the Northern Province said that during the period of the LTTE they did not allow any sort of caste related problems to affect the communities in the North and East. They were 100 per cent against it. The LTTE Leader vehemently opposed such caste dominance. “I will also not accept such caste dominance. Therefore, it should be immediately addressed,” he said. Following are excerpts of the interview: ? Why did you condemn the Mullaitivu District Secretariat in a series of issues in the region, especially in the ongoing deforestation? A: Deforestation first began in Kulamurippu in the Mullaitivu District. According to the Forest Department statistics, around 300 acres of forest […]

Who permitted UN Rapporteur meet LTTE detainees?: MS

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have asked at today’s Cabinet meeting as to who gave permission for UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson to meet LTTE suspects in prison. Mr. Emmerson who concluded his mission in Sri Lanka accused it of using torture against people detained under the Anti-terror Act and that its progress on human rights, reforms and justice remained woefully slow. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe criticized the UN official for with regard to the allegations he had levelled at the government. It had been revealed that the Foreign Affairs Ministry had given permission for Mr. Emmerson to meet the LTTE detainees. (Kelum Bandara)

Arrest of Britisher over Buddha tattoo: A case of supreme delays

18th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Arguments  concluded on June 10, 2015 Highlights chronic delays prevalent in courts islandwide Daily News to file RTI’s to find causes for delays in courts Highlighting the issue of chronic delays and archaic procedure within the Justice system, the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Naomi Coleman, the Britisher who was arrested for adorning a Tattoo of The Buddha, was postponed close to a dozen times, after Judgment was reserved on June 10, 2015. The case was re-fixed on July 4, 2017, for argument on October 26, 2017. The case which drew international media attention was argued and concluded on June 10, 2015. Written submissions were filed a month later. However, the presiding Judge who reserved Judgment in the case retired as a Judge of the […]

Mahinda sold Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka now owes $58.3 billion to foreign lenders.

18th July 2017 // 0 Comments

On May 29, the BBC asked, “Is Sri Lanka up for sale?” According to the BBC, “Sri Lanka is allowing Chinese firms to take over key assets, as it struggles to repay loans it was given by China”. In 2007, the EXIM Bank of China began funding Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port. The port was completed at a cost of $1.3 billion. The Chinese financed and built the 900MW Norochcholai Power Plant at a cost of $1.35 billion. In 2010, Beijing lent Sri Lanka $200 million to build an airport. In 2012, China lent an additional $810 million. In 2011, the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium was built at a cost of Rs700 million. In 2013, the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (near Hambantota) was built at […]

More on ‘clash’ between Justice Minister and UN official

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake involved in the disappearance of 11 persons during the closing stages of the conflict.  Government Minister pointed out that British Premier Theresa May’s recent vow to protect officers and men fighting terrorism at the expense of human rights laws (so he was correct in protecting Rajapaksha family from the War Crimes committed by them)   Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, had a heated argument with Ben Emmerson, QC, Special Rapporteur at the onset of a meeting over latter leveling unsubstantiated allegations at law enforcement authorities and the judiciary. Emmerson had a series of meetings over the past few days after his unexpected encounter with the Justice Minister early this week. At his meeting with the Justice Minister Emmerson accused […]

A peace dividend of no enforced disappearances

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Harim Peiris Recent weeks have witnessed a political debate over the presentation by the government of the enabling legislation for the enactment of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. Much of the criticisms of the proposed Act seems to stem from misinformation and a misconception about what the proposed Act is all about and what it seeks to achieve. 1. This is for the future not the past The first point which must be noted with regard to the enabling legislation for the protection from enforced disappearances, is that it is for the future and not for the past. There is no intent or provision in the law to make it retroactive, the law will only be valid […]

UN special rapporteur visits Lanka’s Tamil political detainees

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

“I will seek to provide assistance in the discussion of the country’s counter-terrorism policy and legal framework, as well as in the preparation and drafting of relevant legislative acts, with a view to ensuring that measures taken by the Government are in compliance with international human rights law,” he had said before arriving in Sri Lanka colombo, Jul 13 For the first time, a special UN rapporteur today visited the Tamil political prisoners arrested under Sri Lanka‘s anti-terrorism laws in the Northern Province to get a first-hand information on their human rights situation. Ben Emmerson, the special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, is visiting the island nation since July 10 on a five-day trip following an invitation by the Sri Lankan government. His visit is aimed […]

SL Government Minister says the UN stand here unfair and unacceptable!

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, had a heated argument with visiting UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Ben Emmerson, QC, over UN intervention here as regards promotion and protection of human rights. Sri Lanka in December 2015 extended a standing invitation to the UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders. Emmerson began a five-day official visit here on July 10 to gather first-hand information about what the UN described as post-war initiatives in the area of counter-terrorism and assess how they affect the people. Minister Rajapaksa strongly questioned the UN official resulting in an unprecedented fiery argument early this week, well informed sources said, adding that the meeting took place at the Justice Ministry. Sources said Emmerson had been somewhat […]

New Constitution will save our soldiers from their war crimes

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Prageeth Sampath Joint Opposition and SLFP Member of Parliament Prasanna Ranatunga says that they have clearly set forth their stand that the Unitary State and the prominence accorded to Buddhism in the Constitution cannot be compromised in the new Constitution. Excerpts: Q: Why are you getting ready for a snap election? A: We are ready for elections at any moment but the government is afraid of them. Q: Why did you launch your campaign in Trincomalee? A: It is only one of our planned rallies. Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people were urging us to hold a rally there. Q: While you are struggling to topple the government, they call off the elections. What is the reason for that? A: Government is afraid of the […]

Sri Lanka’s Difficulty With Truth

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

War is messy, leaving in its wake, not just death, injuries and destruction, but persistent distrust. To heal, there needs to be communication, understanding, and above all a sense of righting wrongs. In this, Sri Lanka’s Government is faltering, despite promises to its own people, as well as to the international community. Sri Lanka’s three-decade war with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) killed an estimated 100,000 civilians, left many more injured and displaced, and widened a seeming unbridgeable rift between the minority Tamil and Muslim communities, and majority Sinhalese communities. After an October 2015 pledge to the United Nations Human Rights Council to address justice and accountability, Sri Lanka’s Government in 2016 embarked on a nation-wide consultation to find ways to deliver […]

Discrimination of Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka and Struggle for Recognition

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Dr G K Nathan The Island at the Southern tip of Indian subcontinent is known by different names: Sri Lanka, Ceylon, Eelam etc., where Sinhala and Tamil people have lived for many millennia, but Sinhala language is the latest of the two in comparison with Tamil language, which is one of the few oldest living languages. Looking back, Indian subcontinent, Australia and Sri Lanka were part of the Lemuria continent  in the Indian and Pacific Oceans; it is also called Kumari Kandam in Tamil. The Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 revealed, along Tamil Nadu coast, part of archaeological remains that were swallowed by the rising ocean, many thousands of years ago. Also emerging recent archaeological evidence of old Tamil civilization in the West coast of Indian Sub-continent and in current […]

Assistance to Flood Affected Communities as a Measure of Confidence Building Mechanism Among Peoples

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

PRESS RELEASE   14 Friday, July 2017   ‘Assistance to Flood Affected Communities as a Measure of Confidence Building Mechanism Among Peoples’: Joint Statement by Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and the Global Tamil Forum   The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in partnership with Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement conducted medical camps over ten days, in the floods affected rural villages of Kalutara and Matara Districts, concluding on the 11th of July 2017. Having witnessed from overseas, the devastation caused by the recent floods in the South of Sri Lanka, and the agony and personal loss suffered by the people, Sri Lankans living overseas who are members of the GTF felt that they must come to the assistance of their brethren in Sri Lanka, in their time of need. Although […]

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