Australia ‘talking rubbish’ about breaking people smugglers’ business model, lawyer says

17th May 2016 // 0 Comments

RELATED STORY: ‘We just wanted to wave, say hello’: Cocos Islanders say boat arrivals flown away RELATED STORY: Sri Lankan would-be migrants returned by Australia ‘may be’ in detention MAP: Sri Lanka A human rights and refugee lawyer in Sri Lanka has accused Australia of breaching international obligations over the recent return of a group of asylum seekers who reached the Cocos Islands. Key points: Lawyer says Australian Government “talking rubbish” about breaking people smugglers’ business model Says most Sri Lankan asylum seekers buy their own boats Accuses Australia of breaching Refugee Convention Lakshan Dias is representing some of the 12 men, women and children who reached the Cocos-Keeling Islands in early May and were subsequently flown back to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Two […]

Jaya writes to PM Modi over demolition of church by Sri Lanka

14th May 2016 // 0 Comments

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over reports indicating that the Sri Lankan Government plans to demolish and reconstruct the ancient St Anthonys Church on the island of Katchatheevu, which holds great significance by Tamil fishermen who have been visiting the church since centuries. In the letter, she states that the fishermen who mostly belong to the Roman Catholic faith are extremely concerned that they have not been consulted regarding the proposed reconstruction. “St Anthonys Church on Katchatheevu Island holds considerable religious significance for the fisherfolk in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu including Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli. They have traditionally undertaken pilgrimages to the island for the annual festival of St Anthonys for several […]

Events to mark remembrance of victims of final war begin

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Events to mark the remembrance of victims of the final war began today. Northern provincial council members and families of those killed during the final stages of the war attended the event held in the North today. The events which began today will be held for a week at different locations with the final event set to take place at Mullivaikal. Northern Provincial Council member M.K Sivajilingham said earlier that there was an attempt to block the events but yet the events will go ahead as planned.  Sivajilingham said the main event will be staged in Mullivaikal on May 18. In the past the authorities had attempted to prevent the Mullivaikal commemoration events from being held as it was seen as paying respects to LTTE cadres during […]

Going Beyond The 13th A & Towards Cooperative Devolution

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – Dr. Laksiri Fernando Discussions have started on devolution and/or federalism in the context of constitutional reforms and the present is an attempt to clarify some of the important issues in the form of ‘questions and answers.’ The purpose is to deviate from abstract debates and bring concreate substance to the discussions as far as I can contribute. Question: What do you mean by going beyond the 13th Amendment? Answer: I basically mean four things. (1) Reducing the concurrent list (2) eliminating the ambiguities between the national list and the provincial list (3) reducing the powers of the Governor and (4) creating a framework for making sufficient fiscal and administrative resources available to the provinces. Question: Why not completely replace devolution and […]

Maithri trashes TNA’s ‘federal’ solution -And rubbishes Jayalalithaa’s ‘Eelam’ cry

29th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Gagani Weerakoon President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday vowed he will not allow, support or even acknowledge any proposal that would jeopardise the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Addressing the heads of media institutions at President’s House in Colombo yesterday (27) he said anybody could pass any resolution, but it is the government that has to endorse them. He made these remarks when journalists asked about the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council calling for a federal solution. “Anybody can pass resolutions. But, the government will never allow Sri Lanka to be divided or jeopardize the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. Apart from the resolutions passed at Provincial Council level, how many Acts have been passed into the Constitution over the […]

Independent Tamil Eelam only solution, we will fight to attain it: Jayalalitha

25th April 2016 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 April 2009, 22:13 GMT] A separate Tamil Eelam is the only solution that will permanently put an end to the problems of the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka, said Tamil Nadu former Chief Minister and principal Leader of the Opposition, Ms. Jayalalitha at a election rally in Salem city Saturday. In a powerful, moving speech, she resolved to fight to attain independent Eelam. Ms. J. Jayalalithaa  “I met Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar who has just returned from the war-zone in the Vanni. He gave me CDs and photographs of the atrocities. My heart boils when I looked at it,” the AIADMK leader said. If this pathetic situation of the Tamil people has to be removed, if […]

Jayalalithaa promises to take steps for separate Tamil Eelam for Sri Lankan Tamils

25th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Chennai: Making a pitch for votes in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa on Saturday made a promise to take steps for creation of separate Tamil Eelam for the refugees.  Addressing the huge gathering, the state Chief Minister said, “I have demanded dual citizenship for the refugees, so that they can get jobs easily.” “I will take steps for creation of separate Tamil Eelam for Sri Lankan Tamils where they can live an independent and respectable life. I have continuously demanded an independent international investigation on the people who committed genocide,” she added. Jayalalithaa was campaigning in Tiruchy today. She had earlier moved a resolution in the House, stating there should be an impartial, international and independent probe for the alleged war crimes and […]

Sri Lanka’s NPC not for special powers, says chairperson

25th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Our demand for federalism should not be misconstrued as something in favour of separatism, says council chairperson The Northern Provincial Council (NPC), which has reiterated the position of Tamil parties for a merger of the North and the East, is not for special powers to be provided to the proposed State, according to its chairperson C.V.K. Sivagnanam. On the significance of the resolution adopted on Friday, Mr. Sivagnanam told The Hindu that “our demand for federalism should not be misconstrued as something in favour of separatism. Let the Central government share power with all the States or Provinces uniformly.. We expect other Provinces to fall in line with us so that we all can have greater powers.” The Council’s proposals on constitutional reforms were essentially […]

Jayalalithaa: Karuna gifted island to Sri Lanka

16th April 2016 // 0 Comments

AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa on Friday accused DMK leader M. Karunanidhi of being instrumental in the handing over of the Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka. Addressing a huge gathering at Aruppukkottai in Virudhunagar district, Ms Jayalalithaa ridiculed the DMK promise of retrieving Katchatheevu, which is featured in the party’s election manifesto. Dealing with the subject in elaborate fashion, she listed out the efforts she has been taking since 1991 to get back the islet, traditionally used by fishermen of the southern districts. Mr Karunanidhi, who she claimed colluded with the then Congress government at the Centre in making Katchatheevu over to Sri Lanka, was branding the TN fishermen as “greedy persons” for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line for fishing, she said. Katchatheevu was handed […]

Will India topple Ranil’s government too?

16th April 2016 // 0 Comments

India maintained strict silence on Ranil’s visit to China. Only India is aware of the secret behind that silence. Subsequent to Mahinda’s defeat, his brother former Defence Secretary Gotabaya said at a conference that Indian Defence Adviser Ajit Doval had told him to halt the Colombo Port City (Chinese) Project. Gotabaya said, his brother’s government got involved in problems with India because of the decision the government took not to halt this project. If Doval had told Gotabaya to halt the Colombo Port City Project then there is no reason for them not to tell the same thing to either Maithri or Ranil. However, during his tour of India it was reported that India had given their approval for the project. The maintenance contract for […]

Tamils in Jaffna protest against Sri Lankan military land grabs

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Protestors staged a sit in at the Jaffna Government Agent District Secretariat office in Jaffna today, demanding the Sri Lankan military halt ongoing land surveys. The protest began after a reported attempt by the Sri Lankan military to survey 16 acres of land in Anaikottai, in the northern peninsula. Upon hearing news of the surveying taking place, Tamil protestors, including politicians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), arrived at the scene. TNA Northern Provincial Council member Balachandran Gajatheepan said the military had also attempted to seize land owned by the Sivapoomi Trust, a charity organisation that supports handicapped children. As protestors gathered, the military began videotaping the demonstration. “Our land is our culture,” said M K Shivajilingam Northern Provincial […]

Sri Lanka relaunches controversial Sinhala settlement scheme in North-East

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government has opened a new village in the Tamil North-East of the island, as part of a revival of a controversial Sinhala colonisation program. The ‘Village Reawakening’ program was declared open by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa at Weli Oya today. Houses were constructed on land gifted to villagers by the Sri Lankan government and with loans provided at concessionary rates of interest. The scheme is an apparent relaunch of a program started by Mr Premadasa’s father, former president Ranasinghe Premadasa. Weli Oya has been the site of a Sri Lankan government orchestrated project for decades, where Sinhala farmers from the South were settled to the North-East. Last year the army declared open a community hall, built for […]

Country Will Be More United Under A Federal System – Mavai Senathirajah

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

by Camelia Nathaniel Jaffna District MP and Leader of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) – the main constituent party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) – Mavai Senathirajah says Tamil people are willing to work with the government and the Sinhala people to establish a lasting peace in the country. In an interview with The Sunday Leaderhe said that there are some political forces who are trying to rouse communal hatred. He further said the Tamil people do not want war, but they want a political solution to their issues and the right to live as equal citizens of this country. Following are excerpts of the interview: Q. With the recent discovery of the suicide vest in Chavakachcheri, there are concerns that terrorist activities […]

The Biggest Leak ever! –Panama Papers!

11th April 2016 // 0 Comments

A machinery adopted by wealthy people around the globe to turn their black money into white money had been come into grips with hackers and was revealed to the world sometime back and since those data have come into the limelight as Panama Secret Documents, efforts taken by the wealthy around the world including Sri Lanka would be exposed in the future, it is reported. Mossack Fonseca, a firm of legal counsellors of Panama and which country is considered as a country which imposes low tax regulations had managed to creep through the freedom afforded laws of their land and had made extended invitations to individuals of numerous countries to join hands with them and  establish companies under various names and to make investments in […]

Sharma rejects soft-pedalling HR abuses by MR regime

24th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Outgoing Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma has rejected allegations of having soft-pedalled human rights abuses during the Rajapaksa regime, the Hindu reported on Tuesday. Criticism of the Commonwealth’s role and Mr. Sharma’s leadership peaked in the lead-up to CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka. Human rights groups and pro-LTTE organisations in Britain accused him of soft-pedalling the human rights abuses of the Rajapaksa regime, which in turn led to some heads of government boycotting the meeting. In an interview with the Hindu newspaper, Mr. Sharma had dismissed this criticism. “The most important point about the Commonwealth is that it engages with member states to advance the values template,” he said. “I made five visits to Sri Lanka, but you can’t keep on talking about it in […]

PWF demands release of Sri Lankan Tamil from Tiruchi camp

23rd March 2016 // 0 Comments

Dhayabara Raj continues his fast demanding release from camp Makkal Nala Kootani members staging a protest demanding release of arrested Sri Lankan Tamils in front of Tiruchi Central prison on Tuesday.— Photo: B.Velankanni Raj Even as Sri Lankan Tamil Dhayabara Raj lodged in the Special Camp here continued his fast demanding release, members of the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) staged an agitation seeking the release of the Sri Lankan Tamil. The PWF, comprising the Left parties, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, had called for an agitation in front of the Tiruchi Central Prison on Tuesday demanding the release of the fasting Dhayabara Raj from the Special Camp here. Accordingly, members of the front assembled near the jail corner and took out […]

Sri Lankan refugee alleges illegal detention at camp

22nd March 2016 // 0 Comments

K. Dhayabararaj, a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee lodged at the Tiruchi special camp who is on an indefinite fast since Thursday, has alleged that his family is under illegal custody at the Special Quarantine Camp in Mandapam, Ramanathapuram district. When contacted, his wife Udayakala claimed that she was suffering without money and food for her three little children and officials were not extending any help even as her health condition was deteriorating. The camp was closed to visitors and the family is held there for five months. However, police officers said the couple was facing a criminal charge in Sri Lanka and detained pending extradition process. “There is no question of an illegal detention…we have adopted the due process of law,” a senior police officer, […]

Geopolitics Of Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka Postwar Challenges In Reconciliation

22nd March 2016 // 0 Comments

By Asanga Abeyagoonasekera – President Sirisena who survived an assassination attempt several years ago, created the first sign towards true reconciliation by forgiving the LTTE rebel who was a key suspect. He even got the National Anthem to be sung in both languages Sinhalese and Tamil. These are positive signs of reconciliation. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe setup an advisory council for Young Global Leaders to advise him recently. From a close administration we have moved into an administration more outward and now we have media freedom restored fully, there are no blocked media sites. I see five challenges as a nation we need to overcome. Good evening, Prof. Sara De Vido, distinguished scholars ladies and gentleman, I was told it’s the first time a Sri Lankan […]

Sri Lankan refugees baffled over NGO questionnaire

18th March 2016 // 0 Comments

It seeks to know Sri Lankan refugees’ antecedents, passport details and future plans In a discreet move, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu have been served a questionnaire that seeks to know their antecedents, passport details and future plans. An NGO is believed to be involved in the survey though refugees apprehend that some other external agency might have initiated the process. According to a couple of refugees, the three-page questionnaire was delivered at their doorstep with an instruction that it be filled and returned on the spot. Volunteers engaged in the work reportedly claimed that the State police were aware of the exercise and even supported them. Several thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are settled inside and outside camps in Tamil […]

Indian politicians are bunch of Idiots!

16th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Did MR wilt under Indian Envoy’s warning? A close analysis of how the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime dealt with India and the contradictory policies and statements that emanate, at present, from former Ministers like Prof. G.L. Peiris amply demonstrate that they are playing politics for their advantage using proposed agreements between Colombo and New Delhi. The analysis records that former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to New Delhi under Mahinda’s administration, Prasad Kariyawasam made a controversial statement against Tamil Nadu urging the Central Government of India to take action against Tamil Nadu politicians who had links with the LTTE. New Delhi appeared disturbed by Kariyawasam’s statement. On the contrary the Rajapaksa administration endorsed the statement made by Kariyawasam claiming that the latter made that statement in the […]

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