SRI LANKA NEWS

“Student – People standing” called by the IUSF fails to take up the repression of minorities at all

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

UNP leader Ranil is campaigning against intervention of the IMF in Lanka to cut down social warfare including in education , health , pensions, provident fund etc. In addition he defends 13th amendment and insists LLRC recommendations should be implemented. In this scenario any left oriented mass movement has to stand more consistently and clearly for this anti- global capitalist and democratic position. Unfortunately the “Student – People standing” called by the IUSF fails to take up the repression of minorities at all. No one called to the stage to represent the democratic struggle on minority issues. Those TU leaders participating in the movement should raise this issue immediately with the IUSF www.nssp.info tp 0777875758 contributions: NAVA SAMA SAMAJA PARTY, 17BARRACKS LANE, COLOMBO 2A/C NO: 8004893301, […]

Can Prince Zeid be labelled a Tiger?

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Jordan on a special official tour early this year. He was not seeking the support of Jordan to vote in favour of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where a resolution was passed against Sri Lanka in March as Jordan was not among the voting States of the UNHRC this year. However, now we have an inkling about the President’s sudden tour. It is revealed that the reason may be the President wanted to meet Prince Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan, who is to replace Navanethem Pillay as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, after the latter’s retirement. President Rajapaksa was using his Medamulana diplomacy to build up a connection with Al-Hussein through his Jordan tour. In 2012, […]

Sexual violence against Tamils ‘systematic’, ‘part of policy framework’ – Yasmin Sooka

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Yasmin Sooka, co-author of the UN Panel of Experts report into mass atrocities in Sri Lanka and the ‘An Unfinished War: Torture and Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka 2009—2014‘report, called on Tuesday for international action to stop ongoing sexual violence by the security security forces against Tamils, which she stressed was “not random” but “systematic”. In an interview with the Tamil Guardian during the global summit on ‘End Sexual Violence in Conflict’ taking place in London this week, Ms Sooka stressed that five years after the war, sexual violence “is still happening in Sri Lanka and we have to draw attention to it so we can put a stop to it”. “I was shocked by the witness statements and the testimonies, because the kind of things that were done, were so depraved,” […]

William Hague to investigate claims of Tamil rape victims being deported

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Pledge follows allegations UK is sending back Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have been abused by security forces. William Hague has said the government will investigate claims that Tamil asylum seekers are being deported from the UK to Sri Lanka despite evidence they have been subjected to rape and sexual abuse by the country’s security forces. Link to video: Angelina Jolie: prosecutions can prevent future sexual violence in conflict Refugees, their lawyers and advocacy groups made the allegations on Tuesday on the opening day of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, hosted by the UK, which has faced accusations of hypocrisy over the issue. Lawyers even reported an acceleration of deportations of Tamils in recent weeks, which they believed has been triggered […]

Wings of Security forces in secret camps for torture and sexual violence on Tamil Girls – Time To Act on Sri Lanka

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Why has the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict forgotten the Sri Lankan survivors?  But regrettably, Foreign Secretary Hague has forgotten about the courageous survivors of sexual violence in Sri Lanka. Yet Sri Lanka, where rape has been used as a weapon of war for many years of brutal civil conflict, is not being examined. Refugees are being deported from the UK back to Sri Lanka to face further torture or even death. Horrific crimes are being committed with total impunity by police and armed forces. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict begins today, June 10-13, 2014, on the banks of the Thames here in London. The Summit is organized by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for […]

Jaffna Press Club Condemns Govt. Suppression; Three Tamil Journos Fled The Country In Last Two Months

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Jaffna Press Club strongly condemns attempts by the State to prevent the knowledge -based development workshops for Tamil speaking journalists tarnishing them with a racist brush in circumstances where the threats against journalists and media organisations from the North of Sri Lanka are already at a very high level. An investigative journalism training workshop organised by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) for journalists from the North-East was once again disrupted by state assisted goons. The workshop was disrupted by a group of more than hundred persons who carried out a protest against it.  On the 22nd of May, 2014, the same workshop organised by TISL at Girithale, in Polonnaruwa, for journalists of the North-East was suspended after the direct intervention of the security forces.  […]

Executive President (benevolent dictator) no solution to minority woes

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

It is reported that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) stands against the abolition of the Executive Presidency. This newspaper on Monday quoted the General Secretary of the SLMC, Hasan Ali as saying what the country needs is a benevolent dictator, who is capable of managing volatile ethnic relations. He argued that a ‘complete democracy’ would lead to the tyranny of the majority, thereby subjugating the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. Hasen Ali was both right and wrong.  That the majoritarian impulses often curtail the rights of the minorities has been seen, both in Sri Lanka and abroad. While the colonial rulers were mulling about granting greater rights of self governance to locals of then Ceylon, the minority leaders – most notably, those representing the […]

Government refuses to back probe

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Government has reiterated its categorical rejection of the Human Right Council Resolution 25/1, and said it will not cooperate with the OHCHR-driven so called “comprehensive investigation” emanating from it. Sri Lanka has observed that the Government is firmly committed to continuing its ongoing processes of reconciliation, nation building and accountability, and towards this end, will continue to work with countries and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations that are genuinely interested in the welfare of the Sri Lankan people. Sri Lanka’s position on the “comprehensive investigation” was outlined by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation Ravinatha Aryasinha on the opening day of the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council that opened in Geneva today. This […]

GTF News Update – 10th June 2014

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The 26th Session of the UN Human Rights Council started yesterday. The opening statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, including remarks on Sri Lanka, can be found here: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/UNHRC-26-Opening-Statement-Human-Rights-Council.pdf The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict started today in London. Concerns have been expressed at the fact that the situation in Sri Lanka is not on the event’s agenda. Full information on the Summit can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/global-summit-to-end-sexual-violence-in-conflict-latest-updates  –NEWS–  COLOMBO GAZETTE  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** US, UK urge Lanka to support probe <http://colombogazette.com/2014/06/10/us-uk-urge-lanka-to-support-probe/>   CEYLON TODAY  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Silvia Cartwright on UNHRC Probe Panel <http://www.ceylontoday.lk/16-65982-news-detail-silvia-cartwright-on-unhrc-probe-panel.html>   THE ISLAND  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Sexual violence in conflict: GL explains why SL won’t attend London conference <http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=104836>   DAILY FT  **COMMENTS CAN BE […]

Political solution acceptable to Tamils needed to stop genocide agree Conservative MPs

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

British Conservative MPs condemned the genocide faced by Tamils in Sri Lanka, pledging to work towards a political solution that would end the oppression, at the first Conservative Party community event of the 2015 election campaign. Speaking at a summer fundraising event held by the British Tamil Conservatives on Friday, the MPs addressed several Tamil supporters, as well as professionals and entrepreneurs, over a light dinner. Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow, said Tamils continued to face genocide at the hands of the Sri Lankan state, a view that was endorsed by the other MPs present. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and MP for Barnet, Theresa Villiers, stressed that a ‘political solution acceptable to Tamils,’ would be required to address the ongoing rights […]

Mahinda’s Appeal To The World Must Be Understood!

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Mahinda’s Appeal To The World Must Be Understood! Assertive Indian foreign policy needed!   | by Rajasingham Jayadevan   ( June 9, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) A fine toothcomb is not needed to understand President Mahinda Rajapakse’s psyche on the resolution to the historical conflict with the Tamils. His two prong strategy to the issue gives a very clear message. Some say it is his split approach to respond to the two distinct audiences dissimilarly. The first is his belligerent portrayal to the local audience and then the much desperate appeal to the outside world. The million dollar question is, is it really a cat and mouse game or a genuine offer to the world to help him overcome his own difficulties at home? If the […]

India’s call for ‘full implementation’ of 13-A

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

 Dear Chief Minister (NPC) Please see article written by Neville Laduwahetty who is a lawyer profession.This is the type of Goebbelsian propaganda carried out by Sinhalese racists like this writer is meant to hoodwink India and the international community. There is no comparison with powers enjoyed by the states of India with powers enjoyed by the Provincial Councils. Under 13 A which created the provincial Councils all powers are vested in the non-elected Governor and not in the elected Chief Minister and the Council. There is a long list of subjects under the concurrence list which allows the centre to act roughshod over the Council. It is not Police powers alone, what about land powers? Does the PC enjoy power over land? If so how come the Sinhala army is grabbing land – both private […]

Hakeem slams ex-military Governors

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

 President Gives Green Light To Wimal – 12 Proposals To Be Discussed At Length Wimal keen to push the Government like dog’s owner Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem today slammed the appointment of military Governors to the Northern and Eastern provinces. Speaking at an event in Yatinuwara in the Kandy District today, Hakeem said he fails to understand why retired military officers have been appointed as Governors to the North and East while in the South the Governors are civil officials. “What I feel is happening is that while on one hand we allow the minorities to enjoy their powers in the provinces on the other hand we are taking that away,” he said. Hakeem noted that having former […]

Norwegian peace envoy says ready to testify at any international tribunal on Sri Lanka

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

June 08, Colombo: Former Norwegian minister and peace envoy Erik Solheim, once a key negotiator in Sri Lanka’s Oslo-mediated peace process, said he is willing to be a witness at any recognized international tribunal on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lanka during the war. “I will be a witness before any recognized international tribunal if I am asked to do so,” Solheim told Ceylon Today in an exclusive interview. He added that he has been asked by the UN, USA and others on different occasions to be a witness in an inquiry on alleged human rights violations. Pointing out that during the war, tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed and hospitals were shelled, the former peace envoy said such atrocities cannot be […]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa – War Criminal, Coward Or A President-In-Waiting?

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Muhammed Fazl – With international pressure building up and a successful prosecution taking shape against him, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa cashing in on the wave of success of his brother PresidentMahinda rajapaksa in local elections, is rushing to seek legitimacy and public support for a top job that could fall vacant in the near future. The sudden decision would have risen either from insecure complexities or as a precautionary measure of having immunity usually granted to serving heads and deputy heads of States against possible convictions in an International War Crimes Tribunal. It is also no secret that Mr. Gotabaya harbors great ambitions to fill the shoes of the President in the event the position becomes vacant, either due to an unexpected death […]

Challenging Modi In Colombo

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Tisaranee Gunasekara – “I know what to give and what not to give.” – Mahinda Rajapaksa (The Hindu – 5.7.2009) During an extensive interview with ‘The Hindu’, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was asked about his oft-repeated ‘13th Amendment plus’ promise. “Even tomorrow I can give that…”[i] he replied promptly. That was July 2009. During the next five years, President Rajapaksa promised 13+ and denied promising 13+, again and again. The Rajapaksas and their acolytes (including theBBS) were elated when Narendra Modi won. They seemed to have believed that Mr. Modi’s Hindu supremacism would make him bond with his ideological blood-brothers in Colombo. Mr. Modi’s non-dependence on Tamilnadu increased Colombo’s elation. The invitation to attend his swearing-in seemed the definitive vindication of this optimistic outlook. “We are at ease. Now Mr. Modi can take […]

Peace would have been won without bloodshed

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Former Norwegian politician, Erik Solheim, who became a household name in Sri Lanka as a peace envoy who tried and failed to make peace between the Tamil Tigers and the government, in an exclusive interview with Ceylon Today, said the war was won at a tremendous cost and that he would stand as witness before any recognized international tribunal, if asked to do so, on war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan Government.  Solheim, who is now the Chair of the Development Assistance Committee in the USA, is planning to launch a book, early next year, on his mission as a peace envoy during the bloody civil war, highlighting the ‘actions’ of the politicians and the Tamil Tigers involved in the process.  Excerpts of the interview:By […]

13A is not an Appendix – M.A. Sumanthiran

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

BY ANANTH PALAKIDNAR  In an interview with Ceylon Today, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran, said the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is not an Appendix. “The government should abide by the Constitution and ensure the full implementation of the Amendment before thinking of revisiting it to consider devolving police powers to the provinces. Following are excerpts:Q:What is your take on the recent views expressed by the government and several other political parties and individuals on the 13th Amendment?A: First of all, I would like to emphasize that the 13th Amendment to the Lankan Constitution was mainly introduced to devolve powers, in order to reach a political solution to the Tamil question in the North and East. It is not an Appendix. Therefore, the 13th Amendment, […]

A do and don’t do list for the new High Commissioner

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

David Petrasek is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa. The Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein (“Prince Zeid”), has just been nominated as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The outgoing High Commissioner – Navi Pillay of South Africa – served for six years. The High Commissioner is expected to take the UN lead in protecting human rights worldwide, even as he must also support the work and respond to the demands of the politically driven UN Human Rights Council. Reporting to the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner is also expected to act as an independent voice, able to speak out even (perhaps especially) when it’s inconvenient […]

13th Amendment, UNHRC and India.

8th June 2014 // 0 Comments

highly placed UPFA sources say they do not expect an Uva poll to take place until August. As for a presidential poll, these sources said, it would be in February next year. This is after the visit of Pope Francis to Colombo in January. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is set to attend the 69th UN General Assembly sessions which begin in September. Thereafter, the senior member said, he would have to present the Government’s budget. Immediately thereafter he would have to take part in the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) summit in Kathmandu, Nepal, in November. In terms of the SAARC Charter, that absence of any head of any one state of a member country makes a summit invalid. Yet, the broader backdrop in […]

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