Prez rattled by denial of visas to Army

15th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Maithripala Sirisena, has explained his position pertaining to post-war accountability issues and alleged attempts made by his opponents to exploit the situation at the expense of political stability. It would be pertinent to mention that the President addressed the Army top brass at the auditorium of the Army Hospital, Narahenpita, last Thursday afternoon, as his Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera delivered the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s third budget. President Sirisena’s absence in parliament during the presentation of the budget raised many an eyebrow as he was present on previous presentations by the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Among the audience were Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva and Director General, Infantry, Maj. Gen. Chagi Gallage, both of the […]

Sri Lanka President shifts gear on war crimes

12th November 2017 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – President Maithripala Sirisena, who had previously maintained that Sri Lankan troops never committed excesses, acknowledged at the weekend that some troops were responsible for crimes at the behest of politicians. Addressing military officers at the army hospital auditorium, the President said no one will be punished for prosecuting the war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, but those who carried out excesses  will be punished. Deviating from his earlier stance that he will not allow a single soldier to be tried for war-time atrocities, the President drew a distinction between battling Tigers and carrying out criminal acts at the instigation of politicians. “There is something that you should accept according to your conscience. There were things outside the control of the military. They were […]

UN’s Sooka questions Coca Cola, Why did it sponsor War Criminals?

12th November 2017 // 0 Comments

UNSG’s Panel of Experts (PoE) Yasmin Sooka called wartime General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the celebrated 58 Division Maj. Gen Shavendra Silva a notorious war criminal. The PoE comprised former Attorney General of Indonesia Marzuki Darusman, Steven Ratner of the US and Sooka. The 58 Division led by General Officer Commanding (GoC)  Maj. Gen Shavendra Silva led the Sri Lankan Army from northwestern Mannar to the final battlegrounds across the Vanni and had killed thousands of Tamil Civilians. The 58 Division is accused of Rape and taucher on the Tamils during this battle which fales under War crime and human rights violations. ITJP questions Coca Cola’s Gajaba Super Cross sponsorship…/5721-itjp-questions-coca-cola-s-gajaba-super-cross-spons…  Moreover the media in Sri Lanka has quoted Major General Silva as saying the funds … In addition, Shavendra Silva’s alleged role in war […]

Partnership Dialogue commences, US reiterates support for implementation of UNHRC resolution

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The second Sri Lanka- US partnership dialogue commenced in Colombo today, with the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon meeting with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, Prasad Kariyawasam. “Sri Lanka and the United States recalled their co-sponsorship of a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2017, reaffirming Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in pursuit of lasting peace and prosperity,” a joint statement released on Monday read. “The United States expressed support to Sri Lanka in the implementation of commitments as agreed in the Human Rights Council resolution, such as truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, that includes providing closure to the families of the missing, and implementing appropriate reforms to enhance the […]

Don’t Be Fooled by Sri Lanka’s UN Engagement – Colombo remains unserious about transitional justice.

28th October 2017 // 0 Comments

Pablo de Greiff, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, recently visited the island nation of Sri Lanka. De Greiff met a range of people during his two-week visit and traveled throughout the country. He’s visited on previous occasions and will present a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2018. A recently released statement of his (that could have been stronger in certain areas) is worth reading in full. Toward the start of it, de Greiff makes a few preliminary observations and then notes the following: Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month. However, the fact that this list of achievements does not include most of the priority measures […]

Highest Military To Civilian Ratio In Mullative: 1:2

15th October 2017 // 0 Comments

A new report challenges government’s demilitarisation process and reveals, Mullative district, with a population of 130,000 has an estimated 60,000 security forces, giving it an extremely high (1:2) force to population ratio. The report released last week, authored by Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) and People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) says; “From a quantitative perspective, the military has an extremely inflated presence in Mullaitivu District. Based on the number of brigades and their constituent troops, this report estimates that at least 60,000 Sri Lankan Army troops are currently stationed in Mullaitivu District; 25% of the approximately 243,000 active military personnel in the whole country. To put this figure in perspective, according to the Mullaitivu District Statistical Handbook in 2014, Mullaitivu District has 130,322, or approximately […]

The story of a North Korea-backed rebellion in Sri Lanka

11th October 2017 // 0 Comments

DPRK backing for an ultra-leftist insurgency in 1971 ended in the expulsion of their diplomats In part due to the DPRK’s continued missile and nuclear tests, several governments have recently expelled North Korean ambassadors and diplomats from their countries. This is not a new phenomenon. North Korean diplomats have a long history of being thrown out of their host countries, with one of the most egregious examples of DPRK diplomacy taking place on the small South Asian island nation of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, in 1971. In early April that year, a radical insurrection swept across Ceylon. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), translated as People’s Liberation Front, sought to establish a “pure socialist government” along Marxist-Leninist lines on the island. But soon after the JVP […]

British MPs Call For Speedier Implementation Of UNHRC Resolution 30/1

6th October 2017 // 0 Comments British MPs call for speedier implementation of UNHRC … British parliamentarians attending the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva have called for action to ensure that Sri Lanka fulfils its commitments … British MPs Call For Speedier Implementation Of UNHRC Resolution 30/1  British parliamentarians attending the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva have called for action to ensure that Sri Lanka fulfils its commitments set out in the council resolution 30/1 which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka two years ago. Theresa Villiers, Conservative MP and former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said she was attending the council on behalf of her constituents and wanted to see resolution 30/1 implemented. “That would mean the repeal […]

Vaiko supporters protest in Madurai against abuse by Lankans

28th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Condemning the alleged attempt by a few Singhalese to assault their general secretary Vaiko at the recently held United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting at Geneva, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadre staged a demonstration in Madurai on Wednesday, The Hindu newspaper reported. Led by party’s Tirunelveli City district secretary K.M.A. Nizam, the party cadre raised slogans against the attempt to attack Vaiko.  They said the Singhalese were targeting Vaiko as he was “unmasking on the international platforms the atrocities unleashed” by them during the ethnic war in Sri Lanka to decimate the Tamils of the island nation. “Such intimidatory tactics being used by the Singhalese to silence Mr. Vaiko will never succeed. In fact, he will proceed further with more vigour to take the […]

Ongoing UNHRC session: What’s in store for Sri Lanka?

28th September 2017 // 0 Comments

UNHRC resolution A/HRC/30/1  in Geneva. It has been two years since Sri Lanka cosponsored the resolution “Promoting democracy, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” pledging in the meantime to implement a comprehensive Transitional Justice (TJ) process. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister at the time, Mangala Samaraweera even engaged with hardline Tamil diaspora representatives and other groups at a side event held at the Palais des Nations. The pledges made so eloquently then by Samaraweera remain in the air today. The wave of hope this Government seemed to inspire when first elected into power seems to be gone. Frustration and complaints are taking over both the formal and informal discussions at the UN Human Rights Council. Though in general there remains a soft corner for Sri Lanka, due to its […]

Why Geneva wants new Constitution to address accountability issues?

28th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando President Maithripala Sirisena’s meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid-Hussein, on Sept 22, 2017, on the sidelines of the 72 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), underscored Sri Lanka’s pathetic failure to counter a high profile propaganda project that brought about Geneva Resolution 30/1, on Oct 1, 2015. Sri Lanka created history by co-sponsoring a resolution against itself in spite of it being severely inimical to its interests. The unprecedented resolution has paved the way for a new Constitution, in addition to implementing four specific measures meant to address accountability issues, namely (1) a judicial mechanism with a Special Counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international human rights law (2) […]

While Sri Lankan President was addressing the UN – a mock Prosecution of Sri Lanka was held outside for War Crimes

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

While the Sri Lankan President was addressing the UN General Assembly, a mock prosecution was held outside the UN against Sri Lanka for committing Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Three judges presided the hearing. Prosecution and defense attorneys presented their arguments. Several UN officials, diplomats and general public observed the proceedings with interest. Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) organized this event. BELOW, PLEASE FIND THE PROCEEDINGS: Bailey: The International Justice and Peace Tribunal is in session now. [3 Judges enter the courtroom] Presiding Judge: We take Case Number – 001-17, International Civil Society v. Sri Lanka The Prosecutor: My name is Logeswaran. I represent the Petitioner in the investigation of the charges against and prosecution of Sri Lanka pursuant to the Genocide […]

Lankan woman feels she is best to lead Maryland

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

As a woman, a Sri Lankan immigrant, one of the chief architects of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative, and wife of the CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, Krishanti Vignarajah is the antithesis of the current administration. But that’s a major part of the reason why she announced her candidacy for governor of Maryland earlier this month. “I am running for Governor because I am worried my daughter and all children in Maryland will not have the same opportunities my parents gave me when they brought our family here when I was a baby girl,” Vignarajah declares on the front page of her website. “The deficit in leadership from our current Governor could not come at a worse time.”  She adds, […]

Buddhists in Sri Lanka support ”Ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslim In Myanmar”.

19th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By P/K.Balachandran Reflecting the sharp communal divide in the country, Sri Lankan Muslims and Buddhists have been holding counter demonstrations in the island nation, opposing each other’s stand point on the Rohingya Muslim issue in Myanmar. Both communities see the tragic events in Myanmar as a Muslim-Buddhist issue and not as a humanitarian or a human rights issue of humongous proportions. It was in the Muslim-majority areas in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province that Muslims began demonstrating against the merciless killing of Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Muslim movement then spread to Jaffna in the Northern Province, where the Muslims had themselves suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Tamil militants in 1990, when 90,000 of them were asked to leave in 24 hours. They trickled […]

Ethnic Cleansing of Myanmar – India, israel and China fully support

19th September 2017 // 0 Comments

“Textbook Example of Ethnic Cleansing of Myanmar Muslims” Says  UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Al Hussein India, israel and China fully support Aung Sann Suu Kyi’s gnocide of Rohingya Muslims Written by Latheef Farook Two weeks after Myanmar armed forces and their murderous thugs led by saffron butcher Ashin Wirathu began ethnic cleansing   Rohingya Muslims, the United Nations Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said on 11 September that “the situation in Myanmar is a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.  “This was predicted and could have been prevented,”  said Zeid Al Hussain who, told the UN Human Rights Council “the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, as Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators.” The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings – including […]

Fonseka should ‘shut up’ says former Sri Lankan president Mahinda

19th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said the former commander of the army should “shut up” (and not expose the war crimes committed by some of his close associates) , after stating he would testify against a military colleague accused of war crimes. Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan Army chief who vanquished the LTTE, on Friday said that he was prepared to testify in a court against his successor Jagath Jayasuriya in the war crimes investigation. “When I was the Commander I did receive certain complaints of crimes committed by Jayasuriya’s brigade mostly to do with crimes perpetrated on those detained during the war,” Fonseka told reporters in Colombo. In an interview to Ceylon Today, Mr Rajapaksa rebuked former army commander Sarath Fonseka’s comments. “Everybody […]

Will the Chinese build a colony in Sri Lanka?

15th September 2017 // 0 Comments

China emerging as a big player among the global investors in Sri Lanka raises concerns which the island nation should reflect on closely. As much as Sri Lanka needs to keep ends warm with India, the same approach is needed in its dealings with China, the biggest investor in the island. A huge work force from China is at present on Sri Lankan soil. They are at present working along with Sri Lankans at work sites and only time will tell whether the islanders will adopt the work ethics and commitment shown by the Chinese, when given a task. When expatriate workers seek employment they also consider other factors like entertainment But there are concerns that a prolonged stay by the Chinese here may give […]

Sri Lanka: 2 Years On, Scant Progress on UN Resolution

15th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Human Rights Council Should Seek Timeline for Action (Geneva, September 14, 2017) – United Nations member countries at the Human Rights Council in Geneva should press Sri Lanka to promptly meet the targets of the council’s October 2015 resolution for transitional justice, Human Rights Watch said today. Sri Lanka should put forward a time-bound and specific implementation plan on the four transitional justice mechanisms it agreed to establish as pledged in the resolution. The UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid al Ra’ad Hussein, in his opening remarks at the councilon September 11, 2017, highlighted Sri Lanka’s lack of progress, and called on the government to realize that its obligations are not a mere “box-ticking exercise to placate the council but as an essential undertaking to address […]

Army Holding about 85,000 Acres in North

13th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Calls for probe into SF’s allegations against Gen. JJ By Cyril Wimalasurendre, ‘The Island,’ Colombo, September 10, 2017 KANDY – Alleging that the army continued to hold about 85,000 acres of land in the North, Northern Province Chief Minister and former Supreme Court judge C.W. Wigneswaran, on Saturday, sought the intervention of most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera of Malwatte Chapter to shift troops out those lands. CM Wigneswaran claimed that only about 5,000 acres had been so far released to their original owners. The Chief Minister placed the strength of the army deployed in the Northern Province at 150,000. Asserting that there was no requirement to maintain such a large force in the Northern Province, Wigneswaran called for their removal.The Mahanayake thera told […]

Senate Committee rejects Trump’s proposed budget cut for Sri Lanka

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Citing the geographical and strategic location of Sri Lanka, a Senate committee has opposed Trump Administration’s proposal of a drastic 92 per cent cut in American aid to the island nation, the Press Trust of India reported. “Given the geostrategic importance of the country, the Committee does not support the President’s budget request for Sri Lanka, which proposed a 92 per cent reduction in assistance from the prior fiscal year,” the Senate Appropriations Committee said in a report passing the annual State appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2018, beginning October 1. The appropriations bill, which landed on the Senate floor yesterday for consideration, seeks USD 43 million for Sri Lanka. This includes USD 35 million as economic support fund, USD 6.8 million for non-proliferation […]

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