SRI LANKA NEWS

Punish perpetrators of war crimes, atrocities – NGO pack

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Collective of Civil Society Organizations has urged the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to inquire into war crimes allegations in accordance with Geneva Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the government. Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana on Tuesday (April 18), Akalanka Hettiarachchi (Aluth Parapura) emphasized that all those who had perpetrated crimes during the war and post-conflict should be dealt forthwith. The military brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009. Sri Lanka co-sponsored Geneva Resolution in Oct 2015. Last month, Sri Lanka co-sponsored another resolution reiterating her commitment to the 2015 resolution. On the basis of Sri Lanka’s commitment, Geneva granted time till March 2019 to fully implement the 2015 resolution. Hettiarachchi accused National Freedom Front […]

Retired top officers contradict each other in CID cross-examination

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Retired top officers contradict each other in CID cross-examination Use of ‘sharp object’ to kill The Sunday Leader Editor was known soon after assassination by Shamindra Ferdinando Wartime Director Operations, Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH), the then Brigadier Kumara Herath has told the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera had told him that The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga had been killed with a sharp object soon after the incident which occurred on the morning of January 8, 2009 at Attidiya, Dehiwela. Initial media reports said Wickrematunga had been shot dead. Herath, who had retired recently in the rank of Maj. Gen, said that Air Marshal Perera had summoned him to his office after being informed of […]

Accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka demands an independent international investigation.”

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Publicly declining to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that has been tasked by the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa to inquire into war crimes allegations, London headquartered Amnesty International (AI) joined the International Crisis Group (ICG) and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) to flay Sri Lanka.  The LLRC commenced sittings in Aug 2010.  In a joint statement issued on Oct 14, 2010, the three organizations called for a genuine, credible effort to pursue political reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. Declaring that the LLRC had failed to meet what they called minimum international standards for commissions of inquiry, they said: “There is little to be gained by appearing before such a fundamentally flawed commission.”  “Accountability for war crimes in […]

TNA hold talks with military heads on releasing land

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had talks with the military today on releasing private land held by the military. The meeting was headed by TNA leader R. Sampanthan.  TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran said that the Defence Secretary, Army Chief and officials from the Navy and Air Force attended the meeting. Sumanthiran said the TNA was informed at the meeting that the Army will follow any order on the land matter issued by the President or Defence Secretary. The TNA was also informed that the Army is prepared to withdraw from any land not required for security reasons.

US must not ignore Sri Lanka’s human rights violations

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Though largely unnoticed in Washington, the United States has been making a big push to strengthen ties with the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka. This policy shift began during Barack Obama’s tenure and, thus far, has continued since Trump assumed the presidency. Public remarks from U.S. government officials (about the current state of affairs in Sri Lanka) have been misleading and even inaccurate. Unfortunately, the continuation of excessively congratulatory remarks from the Trump administration would probably discourage needed reform in the country. To be clear, Sri Lanka experienced a big political change in January 2015 — when longtime authoritarian Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated in his quest for an unprecedented third term. U.S.-Sri Lanka relations during Rajapaksa’s tenure soured due to rising authoritarianism and […]

Government’s Land Grab: The Bigger Picture

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Ameer Ali – Dr. Ameer Ali President Sirisena’s gazette notification to declare lands occupied by the IDP Muslims in the Mannar District on the pretext of widening the perimeter of the Wilpattu National Park and protecting the environment should be viewed not simplistically as an anti-Muslim measure but more than that it should be considered in the overall context of policies embedded in the ruling neo-liberal economic paradigm. In this light the battle for revoking that notification should be fought not only by the victims of the President’s decision alone but by the general public. Under the ruling paradigm, zealously advocated by its international patrons such as the IMF, World Bank and the U.S., and which champions the cause of free market, private enterprise, […]

Resolving Internal Conflict Requires A Different Approach

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera – Jehan Perera Countries re-emerging from decades of violent internal conflict are encouraged, sometimes against their will, into following an internationally prescribed trajectory of transitional justice. This is a concept that has taken root within the UN and international human rights systems after decades of being honed by practitioners and academics in the field. The basic idea of transitional justice is that accountability and punishment are necessary if there is to be sustainable peace, democracy and justice in those cases of protracted conflict in which there have been large scale violations of human rights. Colombia is one of the countries at the cutting edge of transitional justice. Its government has reached a peace agreement last year with FARC, a long standing guerilla […]

SL military, Resettlement ministry jointly deceive uprooted Valikaamam Tamils

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 April 2017, 23:29 GMT] A section of officials attached to Jaffna District Secretariat and the Divisional Secretariat of Thellip-pazhai, have deceived around 114 families of uprooted Tamils living in the so-called welfare centers to opt for buying alternative lands elsewhere in Jaffna. The officials, operating under ‘ministerial instruction’ from Colombo to collaborate with the designs of the occupying SL military at Palaali in Jaffna, have been locking some of these families telling them that they would ultimately receive their lands in Valikaamam North in future, but until that time comes, they should move out of the welfare camps into lands they purchase with the money offered by SL Resettlement Ministry as a ‘temporary’ measure. Although the landowners of welfare camps are demanding […]

‘The Tamil Nadu factor’: demanding justice for genocide in Sri Lanka

18th April 2017 // 0 Comments

From politicians to protestors, the people of Tamil Nadu are making waves in Indian politics, rallying around the need for justice for the war crimes committed against Sri Lanka’s Tamils. Protests began in Tamil Nadu in January 2017 against the banning of the ancient sport jallikattu, where people try to tame a raging bull. Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images. All rights reserved.Just prior to the United Nations Humans Rights Council’s (UNHCR) March 2017 hearings on war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war, the main political party of Sri Lanka’s Tamils, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), had urged the UN to pressure the Sri Lankan government to expedite its investigations. Instead, the consensus resolution passed on 23 March provided the Sri Lankan government with a further two years […]

Will The ‘Minorities’ Come Together, Then Stand Up For Their Collective Rights?

18th April 2017 // 0 Comments

by N Sathiya Moorthy  ‘Minorities’ in the country seeking equal rights would not want to give one another the same even among themselves Though post-Independence, the common refrain of Sri Lankan Tamil (SLT) leaders is that the Sinhalas would not give equal rights The Muslims and Upcountry Tamils, could co-exist within a larger minorities group, but on their terms  Rohana Wijeweera and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike The irony of the Sri Lankan ethnic situation is that the ‘minorities’ in the country seeking equal rights would not want to give one another the same even among themselves. For the same reason, they would not want to come together and put up a collective face upfront, which alone could help their collective interests and combined rights. Though post-Independence, the […]

Vijay Mallya arrested by Scotland Yard in London

18th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Scotland Yard arrested fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Tuesday morning and a London court granted him bail within hours, beginning the legal process to send him to India that may be drawn over months, if not years. The 61-year-old flamboyant businessman, who called himself “The King of Good Times”, was the subject of an extradition request from India for alleged financial irregularities such a loan defaults and money laundering. He left India for Britain on March 2 last year after a consortium of 17 banks accused him of defaulting on more than Rs 9,000 crores, mostly loans taken for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. He was arrested after he appeared at a central London police station on Tuesday morning. The Westminster magistrates court granted him […]

UK General election on 8th of June.

18th April 2017 // 0 Comments

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on 8 June. She said Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum. Explaining the decision, Mrs May said: “The country is coming together but Westminster is not.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party wanted the election, calling it a chance to get a government that puts “the majority first”. The prime minister will refuse to take part in televised leader debates ahead of the vote, Number 10 sources said. Mr Corbyn said Mrs May should not be “dodging” a head-to-head encounter, and the Lib Dems urged broadcasters to “empty-chair” the prime minister – hold a debate without her. Live TV debates took place for the first […]

”British helped us kill the LTTE” says Mahinda

18th April 2017 // 0 Comments

India had helped Sri Lanka fight the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) even without being asked to, says former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an exclusive interview to  www.wionews.com posted on Monday. “They (India) helped us! We didn’t have to ask! Because I was fighting your war, India’s war, not my war, actually,” Rajapaksa told the Indian interviewer, Padma Rao Sundarji.  “The LTTE killed your prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi and so many other people in India and on your soil, not ours. So in that way, it was not only my war, it was an Indian war, it was a humanitarian war. India helped us in every possible way,” he asserted. “ We didn’t want to publicize it, tell the […]

TNA continues to beg the SL Government to release the Lands occupied by SL forces to owners!

17th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Prison Reforms D.M. Swaminathan has said that the investigation into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka could be carried out within the jurisdiction of the island and no foreign investigators would be admitted to look into the issue in the island. A Tamil leader said that Sri Lanka refused to let foreign investigators to investigate the alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan forces on the minority Tamil community as the truth of war crime by the SL Forces will be exposed to the world. The local investigaters fear the SL Forces and will find no fault on the SL forces. The 114 Sri Lankan soldiers who were sent back to Sri Lanka from Haiti suspected of being involved […]

UN, US want Sri Lanka to punish peacekeepers accused of rape but the government will not do it!

17th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The United Nations and the United States want Sri Lanka to punish UN peacekeepers accused of rape in Haiti. UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that troop contributors have a responsibility to certify that none of the soldiers that are being deployed from wherever they come from have ever been implicated in any sexual abuse, and so the UN would expect Sri Lanka and all other troop contributors to do the same. “As you know, there was no deployment of Sri Lankan peacekeepers for a long time.  The issue of impunity of peacekeepers who committed horrendous crimes, who violated the trust given to them and were not persecuted is one of the reasons, and one of the many reasons, this Secretary‑General and his predecessor have pushed […]

Will government allow the 200 million worth of health development projects offered by Lyca Group?

17th April 2017 // 0 Comments

 A village developed by Lyca for Sri Lankans affected by the war  was inaugurated on Wednesday and as a first step they  handed 150 houses and Lycamobile’s chairman Subaskaran Allirajah promised another 450 houses will be built and given to war effected families in North and East of Sri lanka. ‘Lyca’s Gnanam village’: Houses handed over to the beneficiaries ‘Lyca’s Gnanam village’ consisting of 150 houses have been handed over to the families. The keys were handed over to the beneficiaries by the guests such as Gnanambikai Allirajah, the co-founder of Gnanam Foundation, Lycamobile Chairman Philanthropist Mr.Subashkaran Allirajah, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance R. Sampanthan and other guests. ‘Lyca’s Gnanam village’: Guests arrive for the handing over ceremony The guests for the handing over of the ‘Lyca’s […]

British APPG seeks swifter progress on Sri Lanka resolution

15th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The British All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG) said that much swifter progress is needed towards the full implementation of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution 30/1 on Sri Lanka. The current chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils British MP, James Berry travelled to the Northern Province this month and visited the Nanthikadal lagoon in Mullaitivu.  “The APPG for Tamils will continue to keep human rights on the agenda in the UK and abroad,” Mr Berry said in a statement. “We will continue to demand that the Sri Lankan government fulfils its obligations to the international community, including finally setting up a justice mechanism with an impartial tribunal involving foreign judges to deal with human rights abuses during the civil war.” […]

Sri Lankan government to oppose any ”international inquiry on sex abuse in Haiti by SL Soldiers”

15th April 2017 // 0 Comments

It is said that the Sri Lankan government will oppose any ”international inquiry on sex abuse in Haiti by SL Soldiers” after receiving a copy of the internal UN report that 134 SL soldiers had sex with children in Haiti. Although 114 of the peacekeepers were sent home, none was ever jailed for the abuse as expected by all. SL government has never taken serious steps to punish the SL forces for sexual abuses and it is rumered that this is because most of the government parliamentarians are involved in sexual abuse and the SL forces are aware about it. In May 2009 hundreds of Tamil girls were sexualy abused by the SL Forces with the blessing of Rajapaksha and even the new government parliamentarians are refusing to hold […]

Sophisticated white-van abductions continue unabated in Jaffna

12th April 2017 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 16:21 GMT] A Tamil man, 35-year-old Thiraviyam Naguleswaran from Vaddukkoaddai in Jaffna, was missing for the last 10 days. Three days ago, his wife received a phone call from him. He was being detained at Anuradhapura, the frightened husband told his wife from the custody of his abductors. Mr Thiraviyam asked his wife not to file any complaint with the SL Police and to avoid alerting any human rights watchdog or media. His abductors were investigating him and he would not be released if there was any complaint made to human rights groups, he had told. His wife refrained from complaining or alerting media. But, on Wednesday, the circumstance of a pending court case at Mallaakam courts has exposed the […]

Tamils Leader Prabhakaran and Sinhalese Leader Wijeweera – nobody can question the sincerity to the cause both these leaders exhibited

12th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Vishwamithra – “Political leaders still think things can be done through force, but that cannot solve terrorism. Backwardness is the breeding ground of terror, and that is what we have to fight” ~Mikhail Gorbachev Rohana Wijeweera was a remarkable man. At the height of the cold war in the international arena, when the United States was in constant confrontation with the then Soviet Union in every possible global forum, Wijeweera played his logical role as the leader of the first revolutionary political party in post-Independence Sri Lanka. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which Wijeweera started as a cellish-organization driven by indoctrination-oriented transformation of the minds and political thinking of the rural youth in Sri Lanka within a very short time of three years (1968-1971), managed and […]

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