Exporters to EU must be educated on Brexit – GM ECCSL Srinath

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Rathindra Kuruwita and Umesh Moramudali Europe has been one of our biggest export markets for decades, and it still is, even after the loss of the GSP + concession in 2010. Ceylon Today spoke to Srinath Fernando, General Manager of European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) to discuss the current situation of the EU market, the issues faced by our exporters and what the government should do to take advantage of the probable resumption of the GSP + concession. ?: First of all tell us what the ECCSL does? A: ECCSL was established in 1996 and its mandate is to promote trade between the European Union and Sri Lanka. There are 28 EU countries and only five have embassies in Colombo. The majority […]

Our people and our nation deserve genuine #Accountability & #Justice.

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Our people and our nation deserve genuine #Accountability & #Justice. Don’t forget our courageous brothers and sisters who gave their life for our motherland. If we are sincere, sacrifice our sleep, sacrifice our comforts, sacrifice our enjoyment, at least sacrifice small things, don’t put the blame conveniently on others, don’t try to find fault in other organisations, don’t point our fingers on anyone and say traitors, because none of us qualify to do that. We are fighting against a state which is protected by powerful states and institutions. Genuine commitment is required from every Tamil. Without contributing time and energy you can’t expect others to accomplish difficult tasks. All are volunteers, all activists have the same problem as you. Let’s unite and dedicate our time more on winning friends […]

Sri Lanka Echocardiogram project – 5th to 9th July 2017

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Dear Friend, Areas affected by the war in the North and East of Sri Lanka are still recovering from the three decade long civil war that ceased in 2009. Local health care provision, whilst making tremendous achievements against all the odds, is still sub-optimal. In particular, the whole of Northern Province, with a population of over 1,000,000 is served by only 3 cardiologists – 2 in Jaffna district and 1 in Vavuniya district. However, there is no cardiology or echocardiogram (echo/ ultrasound scan of the heart) service in the other three districts of the Northern Province (Mannar, Killinochi and Mullaitivu). The Health Ministry of Northern Province has requested Assist RR  to help reduce the work load on the three cardiologists by providing free echocardiogram clinics in the […]

Lycamobile still keen to buy Hutch

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Lycamobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) operating in 21 countries worldwide from London is still keen to purchase Hutch mobile in Sri Lanka. “We have made a very sound offer to the company and we were about to go ahead with the deal,” an official from Lycamobile said. He said they are still keen to go ahead. Lycamobile owned by a Sri Lankan first made an offer to buy the local company last year. While the deal was about to the inked Sri Lanka Telecom Mobile came forward with an offer which was US$ 8 million more than the quoted price of Lycamobile. This offer was hotly challenged by the some of the board members saying it was not realistic. This controversy led to […]

Sri Lanka clinches continued C’Wealth trade support in London

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka has clinched continued support for its international trade work from the Commonwealth. Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen is representing Sri Lanka at the inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting (CTMM) that opened in London on 9th March.  Sri Lanka’s Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama and many other Trade Ministers from the Commonwealth joined the meeting. “I am pleased that talks with the Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of Commonwealth on March 9th in London were successful. We are set to receive continued positive support from the Commonwealth to our international trade work as a result”, the minister said and added: “Sri Lanka’s historic relations with the Commonwealth stands further enhanced with this pioneering London event. Especially the “Agenda […]

Budget 2017: Will Philip Hammond’s Critics Have The Last Laugh? How the jokes turned sour!

9th March 2017 // 0 Comments

It had all started off so well. As he delivered his first and last Spring Budget, it became rapidly clear that Philip Hammond had swapped his usual funereal tone for an upbeat tempo. Often eyed suspiciously by Brexiteer ministers for his Remainer scepticism about the sunlit uplands of quitting the EU, the Chancellor had sought to combine his safe-as-houses demeanour with a bit of gusto. Ditching the nervousness that highlighted his Autumn Statement, and perhaps taking his cue from the PM laughing like a drain in PMQs, Hammond instead leavened the statistics with jokes. Jokes about his own longevity in the job. Jokes about Jeremy Corbyn being stuck down a black hole (top trivia alert: Stephen Hawking and Hammond went to the same Oxford college). […]

UK company to invest $150 mn in Kanthale sugar plant revival

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Hiran H.Senewiratne UK investor SLI Developers will invest US$ 150 million in the revival of the defunct Kanthale sugar plant, which was inoperative for mare than 24 years. The feasibility study will be done by a German company, “Bosch”, on behalf of the investor, Board of Investment (BOI) chairman Upul Jayasuriya said. “The company signed the agreement with BOI in 2015 August and will go ahead with its operations once the land is released by the Agriculture Ministry. India’s leading sugar company will collaborate to provide technical assistance, Jayasuriya told the media at the BOI office at the World Trade Center last Friday. “This is going to be a joint venture project that will be formed as MG Sugars Lanka (Pvt) Limited and 51 […]

Suspect in Keith Noyahr abduction once nominated for diplomatic post by Rajapaksha

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Major Prabath Bulathwatte from military intelligence, who was arrested last month by the CID for his alleged role in the abduction and torture of senior journalist Keith Noyahr, was once nominated for a high-profile diplomatic post by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Chief of National Intelligence Kapila Hendawitharana, the Daily FT learns.The nomination was made in January 2010, shortly before the presidential election where former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was challenged by then General Sarath Fonseka. The news was first revealed by a source connected to efforts to defend the former officials against accusations of involvement in the attack of Noyahr, before being independently corroborated.  According to several sources, Major Bulathwatte and his family, who had already been issued diplomatic passports, visas and air […]

Anton Balasingham Predicted A Bloody End For The LTTE

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Pitasanna Shanmugathas – Pitasanna Shanmugathas On March 4th 2017 Anton Balasingham Stanislaus would have been celebrating his 79th birthday. Within the LTTE, Anton Balasingham was the political ideologue—a man who advocated pragmatic solutions. Prabhakaran was the military mastermind. When I interviewed Erik Solheim he described their relationship “as that of a husband and wife,” always needing each other but at the same time always fighting with one another. “Together, when [Balasingham and Prabhakaran] combined their forces, they were a strong team. Separately, neither of them could lead the struggle.” Balasingham, for the latter part of his life, would spend all his energy attempting to convince Prabhakaran that the ethnic conflict can only be solved under a united Sri Lanka. A separate state was not […]

We Welcome Human Rights Boss Zeid’s Report, But Sri Lanka Lacks Credibility: TNA

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has welcomed the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations. Sampanthan Issuing a statement today the TNA said: “The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomes the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations. While the report acknowledges some areas of progress, such as discussions on constitutional reform, it is critical of the government’s failure to deliver with respect to a number of critical issues. The TNA shares the concerns of the Report that confidence building measures such as land releases, release of prisoners, repeal of the PTA, reform of the Victim […]

Demonstration Called Off, Sampanthan Praised Sirisena For Resolving Puthukkudiyiruppu Land Issue

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

“Puthukkudiyiruppu land matter has been resolved. The land is to be returned in 3 stages the first stage on 4th March and the second and third stages in a few months. The commitments made should be honoured.” says Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan. Maithripala and Sampanthan | File photo Sending a letter to the President, Samapanthan said: “In view of possession being handed over at Kepepulavu – Pillaikudiyiruppu – The persons who were demonstrating against being kept out of their lands, have called off their demonstration. I am particularly thankful to you and other authorities for the expeditious action taken to hand back this land.” We publish below the letter in full: His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka […]


5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Hunger Strike in UK day 11 – ஏழாவது நாளாக தொடரும் அறவழி போராட்டம் 0:23 Hunger Strike in UK day 7 – ஏழாவது நாளாக தொடரும் அறவழி போராட்டம் ** Hunger Strike Protest in front of 10 Downing Street ** In support of our people protests in Tamil Eelam & demand the UN not to extend the time for Sri Lanka on implementation of resolution 30/1 and Justice, Peace and permanent solution (Tamil Eelam) for Tamils. TGTE have organised Hunger Strike Protest in front of 10 Downing Street during the 34th Session of UNHRC. Date: Wednesday 01/03/2017 Time : Continued (No time limit) Location: In front of 10 Downing Street, London, UK, SW1A 2AA Station: Westminster Under Ground Organised & Supported by : TGTE & Other Organisations For further […]

UK says give Sri Lanka time to fully implement resolution

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

The British Government told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today to give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution. British Minister for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alok Sharma, told the Council during the high-level segment he welcomes Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s constructive engagement at the UNHRC. “We must give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution and post-conflict measures required to embed stability, reconciliation and justice,” he said. Sharma later had talks with Samaraweera on the sidelines of the 34th session of the UNHRC underway in Geneva. “Discussed the need to embed stability, reconciliation & justice in #SriLanka,” Sharma tweeted on his meeting with  Samaraweera. In his speech to the Council, Sharma said it was a […]

UK parliament debates Sri Lanka’s progress in human rights issues

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

James Berry (Kingston and Surbiton) (Con)   Share this contribution I beg to move, That this House has considered human rights in Sri Lanka and the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gapes, not only because it will be wonderfully fair and impartial but because I know that you take an interest in the issue. It is also a pleasure to be joined by so many members of the all-party parliamentary group for Tamils, in which I have seen, since my election, genuinely cross-party work on an issue of importance to many of our constituents. It is timely that we are holding this debate the day after the opening of the 34th session of […]

Sri Lanka could be let off the hook at UNHRC

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Despite heavy lobbying by human rights groups against giving any reprieve to Sri Lanka, the South Asian island nation is likely to be let off the hook at the current session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) due to exigencies of international politics, diplomats stationed in Colombo believe. The expectation here is that Sri Lanka will be given more time to meet its commitments contained in the UNHRC resolution which it co-sponsored in September 2015. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (R) and President Maithripala Sirisena stand next to each other during cricketer Kumar Sangakkara’s retirement ceremony, August 24, 2015. Reuters The Western nations, which enjoy disproportionate clout in the 47-member body, appear to be keen to see that the “accommodative” Sri Lankan government […]

Student ‘desperate to get back to studies’ after removal from UK is halted

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Home Office defers decision to remove Shiromini Satkunarajah to Sri Lanka until she completes her degree at Bangor A talented student who came within hours of being removed from the UK has said she is desperate to get back to her studies to catch up with the work she has missed while being held in police cells and an immigration detention centre. Shiromini Satkunarajah, 20, who was about to be put on a plane to her country of birth, Sri Lanka, told the Guardian she could not wait to get home to Bangor in north Wales, where she is expected to achieve a first-class degree. She thanked the tens of thousands of people who backed her campaign to stay, including fellow students across the UK, […]

“We are hopeful of a political solution” – GTF

28th February 2017 // 0 Comments

With the commencement of the UNHRC session featuring Sri Lanka’s case among others, Suren Sirendiran, the spokesperson for Global Tamil Forum, a leading Tamil Diaspora Organisation, articulates the implementation of its resolution, action regarding alleged war crimes and the way forward. The interview conducted by email:  Ahead of the UNHRC session, how do you analyze the progress made by the government in addressing your aspirations? Progress is dead slow and minimal. It is now obvious that Sri Lanka wouldn’t have made any significant progress by March 2017 in implementing the UNHRC resolution that it co-sponsored. Therefore, it is inevitable that Sri Lanka will request an extension to the timeline. It will only be conceivable that the member states will agree to extend, through a new […]

If the referendum is won by the Sinhalese with a majority of over 95 per cent

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

If the government opts for a Constitutional referendum, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will achieve its objectives regardless of the referendum results, the Joint Opposition Parliamentarian MP Keheliya Rambukwella a Mahinda loyalist said yesterday. Addressing the press, JO Parliamentarian MP Keheliya Rambukwella said the reason behind TNA calling for a referendum was because the TNA would benefit from it even if the referendum was lost. If the referendum is won by the Sinhalese with a majority of over 95 per cent, the TNA would complain to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) while stating that it was the reason why they were unable to live in harmony with the Sinhalese for 65 years TNA could also expose the abuse of power by successive Sinhale governments over […]

Failing the Victims: An Expert Assessment of Sri Lankan Government’s Transitional Justice Efforts – Geneva Press Club

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Geneva Press Club – Club suisse de la Presse, in collaboration with the Monitoring Accountability Panel (MAP). Press conference on the following topic: Failing the Victims: An Expert Assessment of the Sri Lankan Government’s Transitional Justice Efforts With: 1) Mr. Richard J Rogers MAP Member, Lawyer, International criminal law and Human Rights expert 2) Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi MAP Member, Lawyer, International criminal law expert When: Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 2:45 pm Where: The Geneva Press Club – Club suisse de la Presse Contact: Phone: +41 22 546 14 44 ; Email: NOTE: The event will be live streamed at:… On 28 February 2017, the Monitoring Accountability Panel (“MAP”) will issue its Second Spot Report, which will coincide with the 34th session of […]

Appeal to UK Prime Minister: Sri Lanka War Crimes – Refer Sri Lanka to UN General Assembly

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

“UK SHOULD NOT SPONSOR OR SUPPORT A ROLL-OVER RESOLUTION WITH AN EXTENSION OF TIME, AS REQUESTED BY THE SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT” LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, February 23, 2017 / — PLEASE VISIT THIS LINK TO SIGN THE APPEAL TO UK PRIME MINISTER: According to UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka around 70 thousand Tamils were killed in six months in 2009 and Tamil women were sexually assaulted and raped by Sri Lankan Security forces and have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. To address these issues, numerous resolutions on Sri Lanka were passed in UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) since the war ended, seven years ago. Time and space in good faith with encouragement were given to Sri Lanka to implement UN Resolutions […]

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