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 […]

Different rules for Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka

17th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Government to celebrate the Killing of more than 40,000 Tamil civilianS and more than 1000 LTTE Leaders and their family members who surrendered with WHITE FLAG after UN negotiated the surrender on 19th May as VICTORY DAY. Tamils banned from remembering their siblings or children killed and made to disappear in thousands by Sri Lankan forces on 18th May as Maveerar day. Police Intelligence personnel have received information to the effect that various commemorative events have been planned in the North to honour the LTTE leaders who were killed by the Sri Lankan forces under the guise of observing War Heroes (Maaveerar) week which falls later this week. The UN reported that more than 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by the Sri Lankan forces in month of […]

UN to review Sri Lanka’s rights record in November

15th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s human rights record will come under review in November during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Burundi, Korea and Bolivia forma a Troika which will review and submit a report on Sri Lanka in November.  The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States.  The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations […]

Khaitan brothel raided Sri Lankan arrested – KD 5 per person

15th May 2017 // 0 Comments

KUWAIT CITY, May 14: A man and a woman of Sri Lankan nationality were arrested from a brothel in Khaitan area. According to security sources, when Farwaniya security men received a tipoff about a Sri Lankan expatriate who turned his apartment into a brothel, they monitored his movements. After confirming the information, they raided the apartment and arrested him and a woman with him. During interrogations, the suspect confessed that he brings clients to his apartment and offers them with services of flesh pleasure at a cost of KD 5 per person. He also revealed that he has been involved in this business for three months. The two suspects were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary measures. Meanwhile, securitymen arrested an Egyptian expatriate for […]

Duality of Dual Citizenship

15th May 2017 // 0 Comments

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas and Cassendra Doole The issue pertaining to the matter of dual citizenship held by Parliamentarians, former and current, has attracted much public attention since it emerged in Parliament a fortnight ago. The matter that only concerned MP Geetha Kumarasinghe has now extended to other Parliamentarians and Provincial Councillors. And on a countless number of times Kumarasinghe has claimed that she is “clueless” about the technicalities of the issue. Thus, Ceylon Today made an in-depth inquiry into the pros and cons of this issue with the assistance of Peoples’ Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). The PAFFREL stance is that all Parliamentarians, policymakers, lawmakers and others involved in the legislative process should not choose to have dual citizenship while being in […]

Accused wife killer, set free on trial delays, ready to be deported to Sri Lanka

12th May 2017 // 0 Comments

MONTREAL — The first murder suspect in Quebec to be set free after the length of his criminal proceedings exceeded the legal limit told immigration and refugee authorities Thursday he wants to be deported back to Sri Lanka. Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingam, a refugee from Sri Lanka who was charged with murdering his wife, told the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada during his detention hearing he no longer fears returning to his home country. “I don’t have any kids, I don’t have anything in Criminal Code or immigration code,” he said. “So I don’t know why I’m still in jail. That’s what I’m thinking … to go back to my country.” Thanabalasingam, 31, was charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of his 21-year-old wife, Anuja […]

Macron’s Big Win: Vital Lessons For Sri Lanka

12th May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Lukman Harees – Lukman Harees After the most thrilling and tumultuous election campaign of recent times, the French have defied populism and made history. Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old leader of the fledgling En Marche! (On the Move!) party, soundly defeated Ms Marine Le Pen by 66% to 34%. The defeat of Le Pen, the ‘unsinkable’ stalwart of the xenophobic right, undoubtedly offered great comfort to all those who have worried of the almost meteoric rise of the far right movements in the recent past in the West. There was a fear that the French would choose nationalism. It’s been a difficult moment – the country was so divided. The atmosphere of the election – while not exactly civil war – was of a deep […]

Sri Lanka will get GSP+ without making any improvement on its human rights track record. Why should they?

10th May 2017 // 0 Comments

True to form, Sri Lanka ditches international pledges on anti-terrorism laws Within days after successfully hoodwinking the international community, especially its European allies, in regaining the GSP+ trade concessions, Sri Lanka has got unanimous cabinet approval last week to repeal and replace the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) with another draconian one. Despite making repeated pledges at international forums including the UN Human Rights Council that the Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) would be in tandem with the best international standards and practices pertaining to anti-terror legislation, the proposed act is worse than the PTA in its spirit and words. It seeks to give excessive powers to the executive, military, and police in the name of preventing and countering terrorism, without proper checks and balances, […]

Mahinda’s war general faces investigation over Killing in Brazil Embassy!

8th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Few criminal acts by Mahinda administration. Sri Lankan missions abroad was safe havens for criminals who carried out murder of journalists and other human rights abuses.  Key suspect in the Lasantha Wickrematunga assassination had been given a job in the Sri Lankan embassy in Berlin. Death squad leader had been nominated as a second secretary to the Sri Lankan embassy in Thailand Two STAFF involved in the murder had been given promotions and sent to the United States from Brazil by Mahinda Administration. Retired army major general and author of “Road to Nandikadal” Kamal Gunaratne is under investigation over the murder of an employee at the Sri Lankan embassy in Brazil , foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera announced in parliament. “Road to Nandikadal” the book gives a catalogue of […]

Constitutional proposals contrary to promises given by Prez, PM-NJC

8th May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The National Joint Committee (NJC) has alleged that recently unveiled constitutional proposals are at variance with repeated assurances given by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding matters of crucial national importance, including the status of Buddhism. The NJC alleges that controversial proposals are contained in an interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly tasked with the constitution making process. Constitutional affairs expert Manohara de Silva, PC, said that in the wake of strong public criticism of the Report on Public Representations on Constitutional Reform (Lal Wijenayake Committee) and reports of Six Sub Committees, the government had reassured that foremost place would be given to Buddhism. Addressing the media at the National Library and Documentation Services […]

Consensus on contentious issues not included in draft framework-TNA

8th May 2017 // 0 Comments

   COLOMBO GAZETTE – TNA slams draft framework of Counter Terrorism Act <  >  ADA DERANA – TNA expresses shock over proposed Counter-Terrorism Act <  >  SUNDAY OBSERVER – Counter Terrorism Act needs to be more HR compliant – Prof. Nihal Jayawickrama <  > Consensus on contentious issues not included in draft framework-TNA <  > By Shamindra Ferdinando The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday alleged that those who had been responsible for formulating controversial policy and legal framework relating to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) conveniently ignored consensus reached on some crucial issues at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security. The TNA said that contentious issues had been taken up at the committee following representations made by the party. Jaffna District MP and TNA […]

EU-Lanka discuss implementation of 27 int’l conventions

8th May 2017 // 0 Comments

The European Union mission in Colombo yesterday said that discussions were continuing with the government of Sri Lanka in respect of implementation of 27 International Conventions entered into by Sri Lanka. The EU was responding to a statement issued by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran denouncing proposed policy and legal framework relating to the planned Counter Terrorism Act (CTA). Asked whether EU would take up the issue with the government as it had specifically called for bringing in new legislation in place of PTA ahead of the resumption of GSP plus facility to Sri Lanka, Colombo based Counsellor Paul Godfrey said: “We remain in discussion with the Government of Sri Lanka about the progressive implementation of the 27 international conventions that successive governments have signed […]

Tamil-Canadians urged to invest and support Sri Lanka

3rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

Tamil-Canadian business owners from Toronto who visited their Sri Lankan homeland have returned urging fellow community members to invest in the island and support its Government, Inside Toronto reported. Their appeal — unthinkable during the three decades of Sri Lanka’s civil war — came after March meetings with Sri Lankan leaders who, the investors say, admit the Government was partly responsibility for the war and the suffering it caused. “They feel the guilt now. They’ve been contributing, and we’ve been contributing,” Kula Sellathurai, co-chairperson of the Canada Sri Lanka Business Convention, told an April 23 news conference in Scarborough.  “They don’t want to see a second generation go through a war.” The 21 potential investors, on a trade mission with Don Valley East MP Yasmin […]

European parliament votes in favor of granting GSP+ to Sri Lanka

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Apr 27, Brussels: The European Parliament Thursday has voted to defeat a resolution tabled to deny granting the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences, Plus known as GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka again. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said that Sri Lanka won the vote in Brussels after 436 MEPs voted against, 119 voted in favor and 22 abstained for the motion to deny GSP plus for Sri Lanka. An European Parliamentary group tabled the resolution in the 751-member European Parliament against granting the GSP+tariff concession to Sri Lanka saying that Sri Lanka’s government’s reform efforts are not adequate to grant the tariff concession. The group, Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) of 52 Members of European […]

US must not ignore Sri Lanka’s human rights violations

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Though largely unnoticed in Washington, the United States has been making a big push to strengthen ties with the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka. This policy shift began during Barack Obama’s tenure and, thus far, has continued since Trump assumed the presidency. Public remarks from U.S. government officials (about the current state of affairs in Sri Lanka) have been misleading and even inaccurate. Unfortunately, the continuation of excessively congratulatory remarks from the Trump administration would probably discourage needed reform in the country. To be clear, Sri Lanka experienced a big political change in January 2015 — when longtime authoritarian Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated in his quest for an unprecedented third term. U.S.-Sri Lanka relations during Rajapaksa’s tenure soured due to rising authoritarianism and […]

Vijay Mallya arrested by Scotland Yard in London

18th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Scotland Yard arrested fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Tuesday morning and a London court granted him bail within hours, beginning the legal process to send him to India that may be drawn over months, if not years. The 61-year-old flamboyant businessman, who called himself “The King of Good Times”, was the subject of an extradition request from India for alleged financial irregularities such a loan defaults and money laundering. He left India for Britain on March 2 last year after a consortium of 17 banks accused him of defaulting on more than Rs 9,000 crores, mostly loans taken for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. He was arrested after he appeared at a central London police station on Tuesday morning. The Westminster magistrates court granted him […]

TNA continues to beg the SL Government to release the Lands occupied by SL forces to owners!

17th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Prison Reforms D.M. Swaminathan has said that the investigation into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka could be carried out within the jurisdiction of the island and no foreign investigators would be admitted to look into the issue in the island. A Tamil leader said that Sri Lanka refused to let foreign investigators to investigate the alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan forces on the minority Tamil community as the truth of war crime by the SL Forces will be exposed to the world. The local investigaters fear the SL Forces and will find no fault on the SL forces. The 114 Sri Lankan soldiers who were sent back to Sri Lanka from Haiti suspected of being involved […]

Will government allow the 200 million worth of health development projects offered by Lyca Group?

17th April 2017 // 0 Comments

 A village developed by Lyca for Sri Lankans affected by the war  was inaugurated on Wednesday and as a first step they  handed 150 houses and Lycamobile’s chairman Subaskaran Allirajah promised another 450 houses will be built and given to war effected families in North and East of Sri lanka. ‘Lyca’s Gnanam village’: Houses handed over to the beneficiaries ‘Lyca’s Gnanam village’ consisting of 150 houses have been handed over to the families. The keys were handed over to the beneficiaries by the guests such as Gnanambikai Allirajah, the co-founder of Gnanam Foundation, Lycamobile Chairman Philanthropist Mr.Subashkaran Allirajah, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance R. Sampanthan and other guests. ‘Lyca’s Gnanam village’: Guests arrive for the handing over ceremony The guests for the handing over of the ‘Lyca’s […]

Sri Lankan government to oppose any ”international inquiry on sex abuse in Haiti by SL Soldiers”

15th April 2017 // 0 Comments

It is said that the Sri Lankan government will oppose any ”international inquiry on sex abuse in Haiti by SL Soldiers” after receiving a copy of the internal UN report that 134 SL soldiers had sex with children in Haiti. Although 114 of the peacekeepers were sent home, none was ever jailed for the abuse as expected by all. SL government has never taken serious steps to punish the SL forces for sexual abuses and it is rumered that this is because most of the government parliamentarians are involved in sexual abuse and the SL forces are aware about it. In May 2009 hundreds of Tamil girls were sexualy abused by the SL Forces with the blessing of Rajapaksha and even the new government parliamentarians are refusing to hold […]

1 2 3 109