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 […]

Hon Sampanthan meets the German Delegation

8th April 2017 // 0 Comments

04th April 2017 Press Release The Leader of the Opposition and the TNA, Hon. R. Sampanthan MP met with the delegation led by the President of the German Bundestag Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert, at the Opposition Leader’s office in the Parliamentary complex today (04th April 2017). At the meeting, Mr. Sampanthan briefed the delegation on the constitutional making process, including matters related to electoral reforms and power-sharing arrangements and stressed the importance of the international communities’ involvement in achieving the aspirations of the minority communities. German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mr. Rohde, Mr. Michael Rimeel, Ms. Saskia Leuenberger, Ms. Gelsomina Beatrice and Mr. Stepehen Wirts were also present at the meeting, which lasted over an hour.

Landmark State Terrorism Action in Spanish Court Against Syrian Officials – TGTE

8th April 2017 // 0 Comments

TGTE buoyed by possible similar action overseas on Sri Lankan perpetrators of genocide and war crimes COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, April 4, 2017 / — The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) welcomes the landmark legal proceedings for state terrorism initiated by a judge in a National Court in Spain against Syrian vice president Farouk al-Sharaa, head of National Security Bureau Ali Mamlouk, head of air force intelligence Jamil Hassan, and other senior officials. Amb. Stephen J. Rapp, a former US Ambassador at large for the Office of Global Criminal Justice and now a non-resident fellow at the Hague Institute of Global Justice who helped to file the case, said that “we could have international arrest warrants in a month or two against these individuals.” The […]

Sri Lanka insists not to agree to a war crimes probe on its soldiers.

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government on Monday said that while it will investigate certain crimes which took place during the war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military, it will not agree to a war crimes probe. Government spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told reporters in the Northern Jaffna town that if there is a war crimes probe then the Tamil Tigers, also known as the LTTE, must also be investigated. “Who do we investigate in the LTTE? Are there any leaders? We will go for a good settlement,” the Minister said. It is an open secret that more than 1000 LTTE Leaders and their family members who surrendered with White Flag after UN negociated the surrender were killed by the Sri Lankan forces. The recent outcome […]

Costs and consequences of violent disruptive political protests

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan economy would have been vastly different if not for the series of violent eruptions throughout the post independent period. In the nearly seventy years after independence the economy was disrupted by the ethnic riots of 1958, the 1971 youth insurgency, the communal clashes of 1977, the ethnic riots of July 1983, LTTE terrorism of over three decades, and the protracted civil war of 27 years. The JVP insurgency of 1988-89 crippled the economy and economic growth fell to its lowest level. Impact These eruptions of violence were serious economic shocks and setbacks. They harmed the economy in many different ways and retarded the country’s economic development. They disrupted the normal functioning of economic activities in the country, decreased production in several sectors […]

A Question of Political Will: Unpacking de Silva’s Comments on Foreign Judges

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Recently, Groundviews compiled a timeline of all the statements made by the Government in terms of the participation of foreign judges in a judicial mechanism. The timeline shows that over the past two years, there have been contradictory statements from within the same Government on this score. The inclusion of foreign judges has become an increasingly contentious topic, particularly following the recent UNHRC session in Geneva, which saw Sri Lanka co-sponsoring a resolution amounting to a technical rollover, allowing two more years to fulfill the provisions laid out in the UNHRC resolution. Most recently, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka U R de Silva, speaking to the media, opposed the inclusion of foreign judges in a judicial mechanism. “Our position is that it […]

Killing Lasantha And Attacking Journos: Was It Gota Or Fonny Or Both?

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

Torture survivor journalist Keith Noyahr informed the Sri Lankan government via Interpol that he would not participate in the ongoing investigations until they arrest the persons who gave the orders for his abduction out of fear for his life, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. The Keith Noyahr abduction in 2008 took a decisive turn when the journalist made a written complaint to the Criminal Investigation Department a few months ago. Noyahr fled the country with his family to Australia no sooner he was released from hospital without making a detailed statement of his abduction and assault. The CID who were thick into the investigations into the murder of Senior Journalist Lasantha Wickremetunge, assault of Editor Upali Tennakoon were poised to make a breakthrough after much painstaking leg work. They had unraveled the hitherto mystery […]

War Crimes Being Pivot Of Transitional Justice Stalls Progress

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera – Jehan Perera The government achieved its main goal at the UN Human Rights Council at the session just completed in March. It was able to obtain a two year extension to deliver on the promise it made at a previous session of the UNHRC in October 2015. There is a consensus that the government’s performance has been inadequate. The government itself has not denied this. Not one of the four reconciliation mechanisms that the government promised to establish are yet operational. Only one of them, the Office of Missing Persons, has received parliamentary assent, but it is still only on paper. The OMP has yet to be operationalized. In the meantime, the fate of missing persons continues to remain as unknown […]

Sri Lanka’s computer literacy rate is lower in North and Eastern Province

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s computer literacy rate highest in urban sector, lowest in Estates and Eastern Province Mar 30, Colombo: According to a National Survey conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics, the overall Computer Literacy reported in first half of 2016 for Sri Lanka is 27.5 percent. The survey results show an increase of 0.9 percent from 1st half of 2015 to 1st half of 2016. In 2016, at least one computer is available in 22.5 percent of households in the country. That is more than one out of every five households owns either a desktop or a laptop computer, the survey said. This percentage is 35.3 percent in Urban Sector and Rural is 20.7 percent and lowest is  Estate Sector 6.4 percent respectively. The highest […]

Sri Lanka appoints War Crime accused Major General Silva a new Army AG

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

Criticism as Sri Lanka appoints Major General Silva a new Army AG  Sri Lanka’s appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva, who is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Tamils, to the new position of Adjutant General of the army has sparked widespread criticism. Major General Silva, who commanded the army’s 58 division during the final stages of the ethnic conflict in 2009 where tens of thousands of Tamils were massacres by shelling and aerial bombardment of civilian areas, assumed his duties at a ceremony on Thursday at the army’s headquarters. “The appointment of Major-General Shavendra Silva, an alleged war criminal, as the chief administrative officer of the Sri Lankan Army is a slap in the face to tens of thousands of victims still […]

Another ”Fast unto Death?” Drama by MP Wimal will not have any impact on honest people

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

As expected Leader of the National Freedom Front MP Wimal Weerawansa ended his SECOND nine-day ”Fast unto death”  hunger strike yesterday (30), by drinking a glass of milk. National Freedom Front sources said that Weerawansa decided to end his fast after considering requests made by several parties, and former president Mahinda Rajapaksha who realised that the government was not going to cover up the fraud done by Wimal. By Bandara Former Leader of Hong Kong Donald Tsang was found guilty of accusations of corruption against him by the Court of that country. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. The accusation of corruption against the Hong Kong leader was that he could not explain how he managed to obtain on rent a luxury storeyed house […]

Foreign Judges can hear cases – Niran Anketell

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN Attorney-at-Law and Co-Founder of South Asian Centre for Legal Studies Niran Anketell who has litigated human rights, constitutional law, and civil cases in Sri Lankan Courts for over seven years speaks to Ceylon Today on the government co sponsoring the United Nations Human Right Council’s resolution 30/1. Anketell who also pursued a LL.M in International Legal Studies at New York University and worked at the International Co-Prosecutor’s Office at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) as a Fellow of the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice says Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke and C.V. Wigneswaran projected that the constitution does not allow foreign Judges, which is false. “The Constitution does not say we cannot appoint foreign Judges,” the human […]

Tamils for Trump: Hybrid Court for Sri Lankan War Crimes Should Be Held in India or UK, Not in Sri Lanka

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, March 30, 2017 / — Both Sri Lankan President Srisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wikramasinghe have refused to have a hybrid court in Sri Lanka due to constitutional impediment to the appointment of non-citizens to the highest court exercising criminal jurisdiction; in addition, these Sri Lankans have told the media that having a hybrid court in Sri Lanka might bring the war back in Sri Lanka. It is best to have the hybrid court for Sri Lankan war crimes outside of Sri Lanka. Similar to the hybrid court for Sierra Leone that was held at The Hague, this will assure the safety of the witnesses and the victims and the court will not be restricted by any Sri Lankan constitutional limitations. Rather, it will follow […]

GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner

30th March 2017 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT 30 March 2017, London GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) cautiously welcomes the unanimous adoption of the resolution ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ (34/L.1) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This resolution, in effect, reaffirms the full implementation of the Resolution 30/1 of 2015. The fact that the resolution was sponsored by forty seven   countries and twenty seven countries spoke at the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka is reflective of the strong commitment of the international community to peace, accountability, justice and reconciliation for all the peoples of Sri Lanka. We are grateful to every one […]

Too Clever By Half: Has Sri Lanka Trapped Itself In Geneva?

29th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka – Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka It’s been 8 years since the war, and Sri Lanka just signed off in Geneva on a resolution that said Zaid al Hussain, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should play a strengthened role in Sri Lanka. He might as well sit in Cabinet!  The new resolution, having praised Sri Lanka for its ‘positive engagement’ with the Office of the High Commissioner, which then should sit back with a sigh of relief and let this cooperative government do its obedient thing, actually adds a paragraph, specifically for the purpose of instructing Zaid to strengthen his advice and technical assistance. Usually when a country is ‘in compliance’ as they say, no further strengthening is included […]

Trump Takes Time, It’s Not UNHRC Is Giving Sri Lanka More Time

29th March 2017 // 0 Comments

by N. Sathiya Moorthy Sampanthan needs to be congratulated and thanked for drawing the Tamils away over that distinction in the post-war, post-LTTE era, and thus proving a point It’s becoming increasingly clear that the entire UNHRC process, or the UNHRC-like institutions are the America-led West’s own way to take issues away from the UN Minister of Defence and State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China, General Chang Wanquan with President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo and Donald Trump Whoever is in power, Sri Lanka could not have asked for more. A non-politician, Donald Trump as the US President needs time to study America and American policies overseas. So, Sri Lanka has got two more years at the UNHRC, as the incumbent Government in Colombo […]

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