UK Parliamentarians and academics discuss ethnocratic nature of Sri Lanka in Houses of Parliament

20th July 2017 // 0 Comments

British parliamentarians and academics discussed Sri Lanka’s ethnocratic nature at a book launch in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday. Government and Politics in Sri Lanka: Biopolitics and Security, authored by Dr Sriskanda Rajah was released at the Houses of parliament to a fully packed parliamentary committee room. The book, which focusing on Sri Lanka’s post-colonial policies and democratic structure argues  that Sri Lanka functions as an ethnocracy leaning on authoritarianism, was discussed amongst a panel of academics and Members of Parliament. Speaking at the event the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell stressed the importance of discussing the characteristics of the Sri Lankan state that allow for the oppression of Tamils adding that Tamils must be allowed to determine their own future. Liberal […]

What You Need To Know: Facts on the Enforced Disappearances Bill

20th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: The following is a note prepared by the Spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mahishini Colonne. This was in response to an interview conducted with Former External Affairs Minister G L Peiris, in which he made several claims about the bill to give effect to the International Convention to Protect All Persons from Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. The interview made several incorrect assertions, including that the Bill will be subjected to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Below is the full text of Mahishini’s response, addressing some of the concerns flagged, and providing some facts about the bill.  Why is there a need to criminalise ‘enforced disappearances’? Sri Lanka has had a history of allegations of ‘enforced disappearances’, white van abductions etc. This is evidenced […]

Indian woman held in Sri Lanka for Buddha image on dress

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Released after she signed a statement and apologised Sri Lanka police on Monday detained and questioned an Indian tourist who was wearing a dress with a print of the Buddha on it. Wearing the image of the Buddha remains a sensitive matter in the island where a majority practise Buddhism. In 2014, a British tourist was deported for sporting a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm. The 26-year-old tourist was on the island on a family holiday at a resort near Bentota, along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Before the group’s departure from Colombo on Monday, some of them were shopping at an upmarket mall in the capital. “Just as we were about to make the payment at the counter, three cops came […]

Who permitted UN Rapporteur meet LTTE detainees?: MS

19th July 2017 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have asked at today’s Cabinet meeting as to who gave permission for UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson to meet LTTE suspects in prison. Mr. Emmerson who concluded his mission in Sri Lanka accused it of using torture against people detained under the Anti-terror Act and that its progress on human rights, reforms and justice remained woefully slow. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe criticized the UN official for with regard to the allegations he had levelled at the government. It had been revealed that the Foreign Affairs Ministry had given permission for Mr. Emmerson to meet the LTTE detainees. (Kelum Bandara)

Mahinda sold Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka now owes $58.3 billion to foreign lenders.

18th July 2017 // 0 Comments

On May 29, the BBC asked, “Is Sri Lanka up for sale?” According to the BBC, “Sri Lanka is allowing Chinese firms to take over key assets, as it struggles to repay loans it was given by China”. In 2007, the EXIM Bank of China began funding Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port. The port was completed at a cost of $1.3 billion. The Chinese financed and built the 900MW Norochcholai Power Plant at a cost of $1.35 billion. In 2010, Beijing lent Sri Lanka $200 million to build an airport. In 2012, China lent an additional $810 million. In 2011, the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium was built at a cost of Rs700 million. In 2013, the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (near Hambantota) was built at […]

A peace dividend of no enforced disappearances

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Harim Peiris Recent weeks have witnessed a political debate over the presentation by the government of the enabling legislation for the enactment of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. Much of the criticisms of the proposed Act seems to stem from misinformation and a misconception about what the proposed Act is all about and what it seeks to achieve. 1. This is for the future not the past The first point which must be noted with regard to the enabling legislation for the protection from enforced disappearances, is that it is for the future and not for the past. There is no intent or provision in the law to make it retroactive, the law will only be valid […]

SL Government Minister says the UN stand here unfair and unacceptable!

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, had a heated argument with visiting UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Ben Emmerson, QC, over UN intervention here as regards promotion and protection of human rights. Sri Lanka in December 2015 extended a standing invitation to the UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders. Emmerson began a five-day official visit here on July 10 to gather first-hand information about what the UN described as post-war initiatives in the area of counter-terrorism and assess how they affect the people. Minister Rajapaksa strongly questioned the UN official resulting in an unprecedented fiery argument early this week, well informed sources said, adding that the meeting took place at the Justice Ministry. Sources said Emmerson had been somewhat […]

Sri Lanka’s Difficulty With Truth

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

War is messy, leaving in its wake, not just death, injuries and destruction, but persistent distrust. To heal, there needs to be communication, understanding, and above all a sense of righting wrongs. In this, Sri Lanka’s Government is faltering, despite promises to its own people, as well as to the international community. Sri Lanka’s three-decade war with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) killed an estimated 100,000 civilians, left many more injured and displaced, and widened a seeming unbridgeable rift between the minority Tamil and Muslim communities, and majority Sinhalese communities. After an October 2015 pledge to the United Nations Human Rights Council to address justice and accountability, Sri Lanka’s Government in 2016 embarked on a nation-wide consultation to find ways to deliver […]

Assistance to Flood Affected Communities as a Measure of Confidence Building Mechanism Among Peoples

15th July 2017 // 0 Comments

PRESS RELEASE   14 Friday, July 2017   ‘Assistance to Flood Affected Communities as a Measure of Confidence Building Mechanism Among Peoples’: Joint Statement by Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and the Global Tamil Forum   The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in partnership with Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement conducted medical camps over ten days, in the floods affected rural villages of Kalutara and Matara Districts, concluding on the 11th of July 2017. Having witnessed from overseas, the devastation caused by the recent floods in the South of Sri Lanka, and the agony and personal loss suffered by the people, Sri Lankans living overseas who are members of the GTF felt that they must come to the assistance of their brethren in Sri Lanka, in their time of need. Although […]

9 Model villages in the names of accused ”War Criminals” in Sri Lanka

8th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa has, recently in Anamaduwa, announced plans to establish model villages in honour of those who spearheaded the country’s war against the LTTE. Premadasa said that model villages would be named after Sinhala commanders of Sri Lankan forces Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka Majors General Shavendra Silva, Major General Chagi Gallage Major General Prasanna Silva  Major General Kamal Gunaratne Major General Jagath Dias Retired Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya. Late Lieutenant General Denzil Kobbekaduwa Major General Vijaya Wimalaratne Minister Premadasa said that he intended to set up model villagers in memory of Generals Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Vijaya Wimalaratne. An irate Premadasa said some sinister political elements had propagated a diabolical lie that his late father, President Premadasa, had got Kobbekaduwa and Wimalaratne killed. He said history had […]


6th July 2017 // 0 Comments

*CANADIAN MAYOR REFUSES TO REMOVE PORK FROM SCHOOL CANTEEN MENU* and EXPLAINS WHY Muslim parents demanded the abolition of pork in all the school canteens of a Montreal suburb. The mayor of the Montreal suburb of Dorval has refused, and the town-clerk sent a note to all parents to explain why. Here’s that note: “Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that’s where they chose to immigrate. “They must understand that they have to integrate and learn to live in Quebec. “They must understand that it is for them to change their lifestyle, not  the Canadians who so generously welcomed them. “They must understand that Canadians are neither racist nor xenophobic, […]

USTPAC Calls for Tamil Unity to serve the war-affected NorthEast

5th July 2017 // 0 Comments

The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) would like to express our strong disappointment with recent events within Tamil polity in Sri Lanka.  Differences over policy and personalities are all well and good.  When these differences are on such public display and are destabilizing to the very few institutions in which Tamils can express their political aspirations, however weakly, our internal politics can become destructive and must be moderated. Tamils can have a larger impact on national and international events by working together in cooperation and unity.  As Benjamin Franklin noted, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” As supporters of democratically-elected representatives of the Tamil people, USTPAC strongly urges the leaders of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Chief […]


3rd July 2017 // 0 Comments A Pakistani judge has sentenced a man to be executed after he was expelled 17 times from 6 different mosques for excessive farting during the period of the Ramadan reports the Islamabad Herald this week. The Ramadan is the most important religious festival for Muslims and the judge declared that he had indisposed people of the faith and even caused 53 people at one time to leave the mosque during a prayer, a “blasphemous act” which should be punished “according to Allah’s will.” The judge was lenient, have admitted many experts in the region, as he gave the convicted man the choice of being beheaded or stoned to death. “The law is clear, he should be stoned to death, beheading is a very light […]

Over 1,100 bharatanatyam dancers pay tribute to Canada’s 150th anniversary

1st July 2017 // 0 Comments

Over 1,100 dancers perform. VIDEO- Aerial drone footage shows the spectacular dance. Over 1,100 Bharatanatyam dancers paid tribute to Canada as they performed in a spectacular red and white maple leaf flag formation in Toronto.Bharatha Mile 1000 was hosted by Canadian Tamil Arts and Cultural Organization. The Sri Lankan Tamil community come together to celebrate Canada’s 150 years, by combining the ancient traditional dance Bharatanatyam consisting over 1,100 dancers along with 150 singers. Aerial picture of the dancers in a Canada flag formation. (Picture courtesy Ninavukal) A young dancers sprints back to her position in the Canadian flag formation. (Pictures by Mahesh Abeyewardene) Over 40 dance teachers trained the students to participate in the iconic event held at L’Amoreaux Sports Complex, Scarborough on a bright […]

How the “Ceylon”Tamils From Sri Lanka Contributed to Singapore Over The Years ..

30th June 2017 // 0 Comments

By Ajit Kanagasundram The world today is desperate to attract foreign talent. Thirty percent of Silicon Valley startups are by Indians, and the same percentage is true of Microsoft employees, NASA employees and US physicians. Canada and Australia have long had a point system to attract talent and the US and the UK are thinking of adopting a similar system in place of their current family re-union system. Even Germany has a special Visa quota for software professionals from India. Singapore preceded all these countries by being open from the inception to foreign talent as it knew that they were required for it to meet its ambition to become a regional and then global hub for trade, manufacturing and finance.Lee Kwan Yew openly alluded to the […]

Australia deports group of Sri Lankans from Christmas Island

27th June 2017 // 0 Comments

The return of Sri Lankans from Christmas Island in Australia to Colombo overnight on a Government charter jet has fuelled speculation that Australian Border Force has inter­cepted a suspected asylum vessel in the past week, Th Australian newspaper reported. A plane chartered by the ­Department of Immigration and Border Protection has left the Australian territory in the early hours of last morning with about 20 people — some of them guards and interpreters — onboard. Sri Lankan nationals were led up the steps of the plane with a guard on each side. Christmas Island residents yesterday linked the deportations to an unusual spectacle last Thursday when two of the navy’s rigid inflatable vessels were seen towing a small boat close to the horizon. The last […]

Sri Lankan girls secretly auctioned in slavery market!

12th June 2017 // 0 Comments

The revelation that Lankan maids are being secretly auctioned into modern slavery has tarnished the Island nation’s image as well as the reputation of Lankan women at large. Apart from the large number of professionals and skilled workers gaining employment in Middle East countries in the past several decades, Lankan maids have also found jobs in Arab countries, in a big way, remitting home an estimated US $ 7,241.5 million (LKR 1,054.5 billon), thus being the single largest foreign exchange earner. However, the revelation made by Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Employment, W.J. Vithanage, to Ceylon Today, on the secret auctioning of Lankan maids, by dubious foreign and local handlers, together with middlemen, has clearly indicated that a well-organized mafia network is exploiting Lankan […]

UNHRC to discuss Rapporteur’s report on Sri Lanka on Monday

10th June 2017 // 0 Comments

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is to discuss a report on Sri Lanka on Monday. The UNHRC is to consider the report of the former Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers by the new mandate holder, Diego García-Sayán, on his mission to Sri Lanka. The report is to be discussed on Monday during the ongoing session of the UNHRC in Geneva. The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mónica Pinto, visited Sri Lanka from 29 April to 7 May 2016, at the invitation of the Government, to assess the situation and remaining challenges concerning the independence of judges, prosecutors and lawyers and the proper administration of justice. The visit was conducted jointly with the Special Rapporteur on torture […]

GSP plus: Renewed opportunities and policy imperatives

23rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

The European Union’s decision last week to restore the GSP plus concession allows Sri Lankan exports tariff free entry to its 28 countries. This could be a turning point in the country’s trade as the EU is a foremost market for the country’s exports. This opportunity must be seized to increase exports to the EU by adopting economic policies that would increase production of tradable goods. Background Sri Lanka became a beneficiary of GSP Plus in 2005. It lost this concession in December 2009, as the country could not meet the conditions of UN Conventions on civil and political rights, on torture and rights of children. The withdrawal of GSP plus was a serious setback to our exports. Our exports to the EU increased during […]

Understanding Tamil diaspora and their involvement in developing the north

20th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Diaspora is defined as the dispersion of people from their traditional homelands. There could be over 1.2 million Sri Lankan Tamils living in various parts of the world. The majority of Sri Lankan Tamils fled the country due to political and economic reasons. The number of Sri Lankan Tamils living abroad is even greater than the Tamils currently residing in the Northern Province. Tamil diaspora shaped the Sri Lankan political landscape through its financial and ideological support during the military struggle. Subsequently the term “Tamil diaspora” was associated with a negative connotation amongst majority of Sri Lankans. It was also perceived that the Tamils residing abroad had immense financial capacity and cared more about the Tamils residing locally. Eight long years have passed since the […]

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