British murder convict a lucky prisoner

6th August 2014 // 0 Comments

By Norman Palihawadana Tangalle Paradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidana Pathirane convicted of the murder of British national Khuram Sheikh and sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama recently was not being given any work involving hard labour at the Welikada Prison in clear violation of the verdict, prison sources said.  “It is sheer discrimination as other prisoners who have been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment are made to do hard labour,” they said.   Meanwhile, the Attorney General has filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal seeking an  enhanced punishment to those convicted in the British national’s murder on the grounds the High Court verdict was insufficient.

France, Germany, UK and Switzerland joins US call for freedom of assembly

5th August 2014 // 0 Comments

US calls for Sri Lankan Govt to enforce rule of law The embassies of France, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland today strongly condemn the disruption of a meeting in which families of disappeared Tamils were briefing Colombo-based diplomats and civil society activists. Issuing a joint statement, the embassies stated that “an organized group including monks” had disrupted the civil society meeting, on the theme “Sharing and listening session with families of the disappeared” organized by Families of the Disappeared in the Centre for Society and Religion, on the 4th of August 2014. The organized group made forced entry into the room where the discussions were taking place, shouting violently, it said. Over 30 family members of disappeared persons having travelled from the Northern Province, members […]

Rajapakshe supporters threaten American and European diplomats

5th August 2014 // 0 Comments

 Thugs & Monks invaded the witness giving place illegally and traspassing the property but the police asked the people who gave the witness to attend the police station. This should have been an humiliating experience for any civilised country, but not for the Sinhalese government. Men and women were invited to make representations for their missing loved ones. While they were doing so, thugs who were Buddhist monks dashed into the meeting place and disrupted the gathering. These are regular happenings in Sri Lanka and would have been passed off as one of those many incidence, but for the presence of US, UK. EU and Swiss diplomats. In the presence of these diplomats the Buddhist thugs dared to attack the Tamils, who risked their lives […]

AG wants Khuram murder sentences enhanced

5th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The Attorney General yesterday filed an appeal in the High Court stating that the sentences imposed on the convicts of British aid worker Khuram Sheikh’s murder were not sufficient.While requesting to amend the punishments given to the convicts the AG also suggested that these convicts should be given death sentence or life imprisonment as they committed the murder using weapons as members of an unlawful assembly.The petition also noted that the Judge had reiterated that fourth accused in the unlawful assembly had used a firearm and that in cases of unlawful assembly an offence committed by one applies to all in the group.On July 18, four convicts including former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana who were found guilty of killing British tourist Khuram […]

U.S. Embassy accuses racist Sri Lankan police

5th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The US Embassy in Colombo has accused the Sri Lanka police of supporting a mob in its efforts to shut down a meeting in Maradana today where families of disappeared persons from the civil conflict were sharing their stories with civil society groups and members of the diplomatic community. A statement by the US Embassy in Colombo said that the meeting that included U.S. Embassy officials was interrupted by angry protesters, including a group of monks. The mob forced its way into the meeting on the grounds of a Colombo Catholic church, where families of disappeared persons from the civil conflict were sharing their stories with civil society groups and members of the diplomatic community. The U.S. Embassy is concerned that the initial reaction of the local police […]

Sri Lanka needs to go ‘faster’ on rights: Cameron

3rd August 2014 // 0 Comments

Cameron said Rajapakse wanted more time to address the claims Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron urged Sri Lanka Saturday to move “further and faster” to address allegations of war crimes, saying the issue would remain high on the international agenda. “The Sri Lankan government needs to go further and faster on human rights and reconciliation,” Cameron told a press conference at an ongoing Commonwealth summit in Colombo. “I accept it takes time but I think the important thing is to get on the right track,” added Cameron who paid an historic visit on Friday to the island’s war-torn north. “This issue is not going to go away, it’s an issue of international concern.” The UN and rights group say as many as 40,000 civilians may […]

C4′s Macrae willing to share war info

3rd August 2014 // 0 Comments

The producer of the controversial documentary videos on Sri Lanka aired by Britain’s Channel 4 television, Callum Macrae, says he is prepared to fully co-operate with the UN led investigation on the war in Sri Lanka. Macrae had produced a series of videos related to the war, including the ‘No-Fire Zone’ series which alleges war crimes were committed during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka. Macrae says that while the proceedings of the investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sri Lanka is entirely confidential he will be happy to fully co-operate with the investigators when appropriate. The OHCHR investigation is to look at allegations that war crimes had been committed during the war in Sri […]

Medical & Dental School Ranking 14/15 – Barts in the Top Ten

1st August 2014 // 0 Comments

Medical & Dental School Ranking 14/15 – Barts in the Top Ten Three different University ranking systems have placed Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry inthe top 10 institutes in the world and the UK. The Leiden Ranking 2014, the Guardian University Guide 2015 and the Complete University Guide 2015 have all ranked the medical and dental school (part of Queen Mary University of London) in the top tier, using a variety of measurements, showing that medical research and teaching at Barts is absolutely world-class. The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014 measures the scientific performance of 750 major universities worldwide. Using a sophisticated set of bibliometric indicators, the ranking aims to provide highly accurate measurements of the scientific impact of universities and of universities’ involvement in scientific collaboration. The CWTS […]

Ebola outbreak: fight against disease hampered by belief in witchcraft, warns British doctor

31st July 2014 // 0 Comments

A British doctor fighting the devastating Ebola outbreak in west Africa has told how belief in witchcraft is hampering the fight to stop the spread of the deadly disease. Benjamin Black, 32, a volunteer with the charity Médecins Sans Frontières in Sierra Leone, said that some of those in infected areas were not seeking medical treatment as they thought the disease was the work of sorcerers. Belief in witchcraft and traditional medicine is still prevalent in parts of west Africa, particularly the remote rural areas of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia where the outbreak has been concentrated. In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr Black, who completed a four-day stint earlier this week at an Ebola treatment clinic in Kailahun, near Sierra Leone’s northern border […]

For a Trilingual Sri Lanka: First-ever Conference on Promoting Bilingual Education

31st July 2014 // 0 Comments

The Bilingual Education Branch of the Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Education in partnership with British Council Sri Lanka recently organised the first-ever conference on promoting bilingual education to achieve a trilingual Sri Lanka. The programme was organised with a number of different objectives: To make different stakeholders aware of current practices in bilingual education at the local and global levels through research findings and other methods. To provide an opportunity to learn from different experiences and share good practices at the local and international levels. To develop a strategic paper on Bilingual Education based on the outcome of the conference as a supportive document for a bilingual education policy for the general education system in Sri Lanka. The Conference was attended […]

British Council join hands to teach migrant workers English

30th July 2014 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment in partnership with the British Council has launched a training program for outbound migrant workers to improve their proficiency in the English language, with a focus largely on speaking practice. The British Council which would formulate and carry our the study program with the involvement of its expert instructors, would also offer an internationally accredited qualification for those who complete the program successfully, SLBFE sources said. The program would be conducted at 15 SLBFE training centres islandwide and those following the course would also be directed to sit for the APTIS test conducted by the British Council. “The program offers a new approach to language learning, using information technology to provide a high-quality interactive learning environment for migrant […]

‘More Questions Than Answers’ – Suren Surendiran

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

While the Government feels it has achieved something more by expanding the mandate of the Missing Persons Commission to investigate war crimes and appointing three foreign experts to oversee the probe, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) feels it is not enough. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran says more questions than answers have surfaced following the Government announcement. He also notes that historically such Sri Lankan commissions have failed to meet the expectations of the families of the victims and the international community. Excerpts of the interview: By Easwaran Rutnam Q: What does the GTF think about the new mandate given to the missing person’s commission? A: The view remains the same that only an impartial independent international investigation can establish the truth and serve justice. The predicament […]

Diaspora Can Make Submissions

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne The Sri Lankan Diaspora will be able to make submissions to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Missing Persons which has now been asked to investigate the war. Chairman of the Presidential Commission, Maxwell Paranagama told The Sunday Leader that the Commission on Missing Persons will publish a notice inviting the public to make submissions. “Even the Diaspora is allowed make submissions to the Commission and testify before the Commission,” he said. However, he also said he was not able to say exactly when the Commission will complete the hearings and compile its report. “I cannot tell exactly when we will be able to finish our work under the new mandate. We have to hear each and every case individually,” Paranagama said. […]

GL contradicts his ministry

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Diaspora in the UK protested against President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was visiting the country on the invitation of Queen Elizabeth, two years ago. This protest forced Mahinda to return to Sri Lanka with his group of supporters which included Army commanders involved in killing more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in Month of May 2009 in Mullivaikkal. President Mahinda and his Army are also accused of killing more than 1000 LTTE Leaders and their family members who surrendered with white flag after UN negotiated the surrender. This UN negotiated surrender and killing of surrendered LTTE Leaders by Sri Lankan Army after the surrender has made UN negotiations worthless in future to other conflicting parties around the world as UN officials involved in negotiation have gone silent, who are believed to […]

British Govt. Calls Upon Sri Lanka Again To Sign UN Declaration Of Commitment To End Sexual Violence In Conflict

26th July 2014 // 0 Comments

The British Government has expressed grave concerns over the culture of impunity prevailing in Sri Lanka forrape and sexual violence and has once again called upon the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to sign up to the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. These calls are made just days after a group of Naval officers attached to the Karainagar Navy camp accused of raping a 11 year-old for 11 days were released on personal bail earlier this week.The South Asia Department of Foreign and Commonwealth Office in UK in a letter to theTransnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) yesterday has expressed concerns over the reports of a culture of impunity for rape and sexual violence and a lack of support for victims in Sri Lanka both during […]

GTF News Update – 24th July 2014

25th July 2014 // 0 Comments

THE ISLAND **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** MR shuns C’wealth event in UK due to ‘security concerns’ <>   CEYLON TODAY  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Exec. Presidency cause of all evil – Sobhitha Thera  <>   THE NATION  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** NSC wants an impartial investigation over Aluthgama incident <>   COLOMBO GAZETTE  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** SC says no to ban on Muslim dress <>   COLOMBO GAZETTE  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** MRIA earned only Rs. 16,000 for May <>   BBC NEWS ‘Grave concerns’ over Australia asylum centre – top rights official <>   –STATEMENTS/LETTERS/REPORTS–   MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND PLANNING Notice to all Government officials, civil society groups and general public <>   EUROPEAN UNION Joint local statement on Restrictions on Non-Governmental […]

Publish The Report On Five Trinco Student Killings Immediately – Liberal Party

23rd July 2014 // 0 Comments

The Liberal Party in a statement to commend the government on expanding the scope of the Presidential Commission on Disappearances, has urged the publication of the Udalagama Report and for swift action to be implemented on its findings on the killing of five students in Trincomalee in 2006. Liberal Party General Secretary, Kamal Nissanka in his statement has praised President Rajapaksa on expanding the scope of the Commission on Disappearances pointing out although it has been worded in a ‘circumspect and circumlocutory fashion’. “It fulfills the long expressed need for an internal need into possible violations of law during the conflict,” he states. Nissanka has also interpreted the move as the President commends President’s determination to continue with the South African initiative despite Government Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s vehement objections against it. “The […]

Tamils from UK and Europe will be congregating in Glasgow to drive Rajapaksa

23rd July 2014 // 0 Comments

 Protest against Rajapaksha’s visit to Commonwealth games in Scotland. By Visvanathan The opening ceremony for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will be held today, 23 July 2014. Tamils from UK and Europe will be congregating in Glasgow  to drive Rajapaksa, the honourable guest for the games, out of the stadium. Please read. The tubes at the bottom are in Tamil. While the Sri Lankan government officials remain tight-lipped on President Rajapaksa’s participation at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland on July 23, Tamils in the UK are busy organising a demonstration opposite the Stadium. The Tamil Youth Organisation in UK has asked Tamils to gather at Barrowfield Street, Glasgow on at 3.30pm on the day of the opening ceremony. They have arranged 30 centres […]

Visas to UN team refused

23rd July 2014 // 0 Comments

India has refused to grant visas to the United Nations team appointed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to probe the alleged human rights violations during the last seven years of three-decade-long conflict in Sri Lanka, according to a report in Sri Lanka. It is understood that India and four other South Asian countries stand united in expressing their objection to the UN probe mandated by a resolution adopted at UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva last March. Prathiba Mahana-mahewa, commissioner of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, revealed in Colombo that India had rejected visas to the investigation committee to conduct the probe, Sri Lankan national news agency Lankapuvath reported Tuesday. The investigation team of three members appointed by […]

South Africa taken for a ride by President Rajapaksa

23rd July 2014 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan, France The present desperate situation of Rajapaksa’s regime has compelled it to seek the friendship of some popular and powerful countries. They have tried everywhere from NEWS – North, East, West and South, but are unable to find the right ones. They have found China, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela, etc., but these are in the same boat as the Rajapaksa regime, on human rights, war crimes or crimes against humanity. If we summarise the recent foreign visits by President Rajapaksa and his Minister of External Affairs, Prof G. L. Peiris, we see that they cover a very small circle of powerless countries – Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Maldives, Seychelles, etc. Among the countries whose friendships were sought […]

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