WORLD NEWS

Economic sanctions by the US and EU! If Sri Lanka can survive this, it can survive anything.

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

With the appointment of the 12-member team by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the encirclement of Sri Lanka is just about complete. The Western steam roller has been set in motion and Narendra Modi is in power in India with a plainly-to-be-seen desire not to alienate Jayayalitha Jeyaram of Tamil Nadu even though he does not need her support to keep the government going. Never before in Sri Lanka’s post-Independence history have we been encircled like this – not even in 1987. In 1987 when Sri Lanka for the first time faced direct intervention by India, we were not really encircled, it was just one country – India – browbeating us. What we are facing now is a real encirclement with […]

Whether Sri Lanka cooperates or not – The UNHCR inquiry

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Whether Sri Lanka cooperates or not, the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) mandated investigation into alleged human rights violations here, with a probable focus on the closing stages of the long war, will go forward. The Mahinda Rajapaksa administration will no doubt get parliamentary approval later this week for its non-cooperation strategy. While parties like the TNA, who have made no secret of the fact that they support the UNHRC initiative, inspired in large measure by the Tamil diaspora in North America and Western Europe, will get pilloried by government MPs in the usual fashion. These tub-thumpers are seemingly oblivious to the fact that the notorious KP, the LTTE’s chief arms procurer and Prabhakaran’s self-proclaimed successor, is cocooned in the North with every comfort for […]

Tamil cricketers seek asylum in Australia

13th June 2014 // 0 Comments

11 June 2014 Last updated at 00:34 BST Padded up and steeled for action in a suburban league in Sydney, Ocean 12 are a sporting team like no other. The team is made up of Tamil asylum seekers, released from immigration detention on temporary visas and competing for a place in the finals of a global cricket competition. But ultimate victory lies beyond the game of cricket, and in the hands of the immigration authorities who will decide if they can stay permanently and build a new life in Australia. Phil Mercer reports. Read more Australia asylum seekers find refuge in cricket

. There is a price still on the heads of human rights activists Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen Mahesan.

13th June 2014 // 0 Comments

With less than a month before the UN investigation is officially launched, the Government is still grappling with how to respond to one of its most existential crises After months of stony silence on the subject, President Mahinda Rajapaksa finally addressed the question of a controversial UN investigation his Government will be facing during a function in Medirigiriya, Polonnaruwa on Tuesday. And he passed the buck. It will be Parliament that will be the final decider on Sri Lanka’s cooperation with the UN investigators, President Rajapaksa said, since it was in the Legislature that the people’s will resided. “They want to come here and investigate things. They want to dig this and dig that. They want to go everywhere. To find out if we have […]

The Ease Of Negotiating With Sympathy

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha –  Prof Laksiri Fernando, in responding to my account of discussions about a Senate, has reminded me about publishing the proposals, as I had mentioned, and I will send them in as soon as I am back in Colombo. However, while I do not recall promising to publish my correspondence with Mr Sumanthiran – which is not in fact of any great significance – perhaps it would be useful, given current controversies, to publish the draft he and I prepared about land matters. What we realized, which is why I proposed that we look at the matter quietly, was that the issue was causing much controversy based on dogma. TheTNA insisted that the 13th Amendment conferred land powers on the Provincial Councils, the government relied on the Constitutional provision that land grants […]

Government missed the chances to strike a deal with the moderate Tamil nationalists by implementing the 13th amendment.

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

International Inquiry: Putting The Cartwright Before The Horse By Dayan Jayatilleka – In her farewell address to the UNHRC, Madam Navi Pillay drew attention to the need for healing the wounds of Sri Lanka’s civil war, which she rightly noted, had yet to be done. To this intent and purpose she commended cooperation by the Government of Sri Lanka with the comprehensive international inquiry that her office has undertaken. What is bitterly ironic is that the healing of wounds cannot take place by means of a lacerating external inquiry or even an overly extensive and premature internal one. The international inquiry will do just the opposite of assisting any process of healing. It will generate resentment and hatred among the overwhelming majority of the people of Sri Lanka. The appointment of […]

Sri Lanka takes on Beyani’s report

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Government has raised objections to some comments made by Dr. Chaloka Beyani, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) during his visit to Sri Lanka last year. A Government report noted that no person who met Dr. Beyani, during his visit to Sri Lanka were threatened or intimidated at any point, and there have been no reports or complaints to that effect. In a report to the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Sri Lankan Government said that the Special Rapporteur had even acknowledged that IDPs had shared their experiences with him during his visit even in the presence of security and other officials. “Hence the comment contained in the Report that the Special […]

SRI LANKA: What is the future of a country with zero respect for law enforcement?

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

FOR PUBLICATION AHRC-ART-044-2014 June 11, 2014 An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission SRI LANKA: What is the future of a country with zero respect for law enforcement? by Basil Fernando The major problem affecting all Sri Lankans now, and which is likely to affect future generations, is the complete failure of law enforcement and resulting lawlessness. While virtually everyone is aware of this problem, it is not subject to conversation. For the few who are vocal on matters of public interest, the sole concern seems to be regime change. This is, of course, something any reasonable person would agree with. However, the survival of the regime itself rests on the breakdown of law enforcement in every area of life and on the regime’s […]

Can Prince Zeid be labelled a Tiger?

11th June 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Jordan on a special official tour early this year. He was not seeking the support of Jordan to vote in favour of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where a resolution was passed against Sri Lanka in March as Jordan was not among the voting States of the UNHRC this year. However, now we have an inkling about the President’s sudden tour. It is revealed that the reason may be the President wanted to meet Prince Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan, who is to replace Navanethem Pillay as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, after the latter’s retirement. President Rajapaksa was using his Medamulana diplomacy to build up a connection with Al-Hussein through his Jordan tour. In 2012, […]

US, UK urge Lanka to support probe

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Unites States and Britain today urged the Sri Lankan Government to support the investigation into the war in Sri Lanka. Envoys of the US and UK, speaking at the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council currently meeting in Geneva, said the Sri Lankan Government must ensure access to those involved in the investigation. The US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Keith Harper thanked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay for organising the investigation on Sri Lanka through her office. Harper said the investigation signals the importance of promoting justice, accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. “We urge the Sri Lankan government to cooperate fully with the investigation, including granting access to investigators, and preventing retaliation against those who […]

Minister Wimal will block South Africa mediation!

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Minister Wimal Weerawansa is trying to gain credit for himself by claiming that it was he who had blocked the entry of the LTTE’s international forces to the island by disrupting a discussion that had been due to take place between the governments of Sri Lanka and South Africa to resolve the northern issue, said president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Quoting a report by the State Intelligence Service, the president has said to so several ministers. “That Wimal is going to create a scene once again. I have not even though of discussing with South Africa. He is trying to be a hero and gain credit by claiming he had blocked that. Everything this fellow does is madness. He was not at the last cabinet meeting saying […]

Solheim Speaks on White Flag Killings, Kohona, UN Theater

10th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Matthew Russell LeeUNITED NATIONS, June 9 — On Sri Lanka, the UN has entirely stonewalled Press questions about the new White Flag killings report and the light it sheds on current UN official Vijay Nambiar and former UN official, now Sri Lankan Ambassador Palitha Kohona. Now Erik Solheim of Norway has given an interview and said:Solheim: On 17 May, 2009, the Norwegians and others received calls by Pulidevan and Nadesan who wanted to surrender. We told them it was too late for us to arrange anything and advised them to hoist a white flag. On 18 May, we were informed they were killed. Q: However, Dr. Palitha Kohona declared, after the war, that the LTTE senior militants shot and killed Prabhakran and his immediate […]

Mahinda’s Appeal To The World Must Be Understood!

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Mahinda’s Appeal To The World Must Be Understood! Assertive Indian foreign policy needed!   | by Rajasingham Jayadevan   ( June 9, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) A fine toothcomb is not needed to understand President Mahinda Rajapakse’s psyche on the resolution to the historical conflict with the Tamils. His two prong strategy to the issue gives a very clear message. Some say it is his split approach to respond to the two distinct audiences dissimilarly. The first is his belligerent portrayal to the local audience and then the much desperate appeal to the outside world. The million dollar question is, is it really a cat and mouse game or a genuine offer to the world to help him overcome his own difficulties at home? If the […]

GTF news update for 7th to 9th June 2014

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

  In an interview with The Island newspaper, GTF Spokesperson, Suren Surendiran, calls on the of Government of Sri Lanka to engage with the impending OHCHR investigation: http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=104644 DAILY MIRROR SRI LANKA  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Govt. was notified about UN team: OHCHR <http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/48168-govt-was-notified-about-un-team-ohchr-.html>   DAILY FT  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Preparations for UN inquiry gather steam <http://www.ft.lk/2014/06/09/preparations-for-un-inquiry-gather-steam/>   THE ISLAND  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** New UN Human Rights High Commissioner expected to be tougher than Pillay <http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=104727>   COLOMBO PAGE Norwegian peace envoy says ready to testify at any international tribunal on Sri Lanka <http://www.colombopage.com/archive_14A/Jun08_1402237959CH.php>   AL JAZEERA  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Crime among Sri Lanka soldiers on rise <http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/06/crime-among-sri-lanka-soldiers-rise-2014636328915708.html>   THE HINDU  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** 17,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugee children left in limbo <http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/17000-sri-lankan-tamil-refugee-children-left-in-limbo/article6090441.ece> […]

Norwegian peace envoy says ready to testify at any international tribunal on Sri Lanka

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

June 08, Colombo: Former Norwegian minister and peace envoy Erik Solheim, once a key negotiator in Sri Lanka’s Oslo-mediated peace process, said he is willing to be a witness at any recognized international tribunal on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lanka during the war. “I will be a witness before any recognized international tribunal if I am asked to do so,” Solheim told Ceylon Today in an exclusive interview. He added that he has been asked by the UN, USA and others on different occasions to be a witness in an inquiry on alleged human rights violations. Pointing out that during the war, tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed and hospitals were shelled, the former peace envoy said such atrocities cannot be […]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa – War Criminal, Coward Or A President-In-Waiting?

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Muhammed Fazl – With international pressure building up and a successful prosecution taking shape against him, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa cashing in on the wave of success of his brother PresidentMahinda rajapaksa in local elections, is rushing to seek legitimacy and public support for a top job that could fall vacant in the near future. The sudden decision would have risen either from insecure complexities or as a precautionary measure of having immunity usually granted to serving heads and deputy heads of States against possible convictions in an International War Crimes Tribunal. It is also no secret that Mr. Gotabaya harbors great ambitions to fill the shoes of the President in the event the position becomes vacant, either due to an unexpected death […]

Challenging Modi In Colombo

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Tisaranee Gunasekara – “I know what to give and what not to give.” – Mahinda Rajapaksa (The Hindu – 5.7.2009) During an extensive interview with ‘The Hindu’, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was asked about his oft-repeated ‘13th Amendment plus’ promise. “Even tomorrow I can give that…”[i] he replied promptly. That was July 2009. During the next five years, President Rajapaksa promised 13+ and denied promising 13+, again and again. The Rajapaksas and their acolytes (including theBBS) were elated when Narendra Modi won. They seemed to have believed that Mr. Modi’s Hindu supremacism would make him bond with his ideological blood-brothers in Colombo. Mr. Modi’s non-dependence on Tamilnadu increased Colombo’s elation. The invitation to attend his swearing-in seemed the definitive vindication of this optimistic outlook. “We are at ease. Now Mr. Modi can take […]

Peace would have been won without bloodshed

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Former Norwegian politician, Erik Solheim, who became a household name in Sri Lanka as a peace envoy who tried and failed to make peace between the Tamil Tigers and the government, in an exclusive interview with Ceylon Today, said the war was won at a tremendous cost and that he would stand as witness before any recognized international tribunal, if asked to do so, on war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan Government.  Solheim, who is now the Chair of the Development Assistance Committee in the USA, is planning to launch a book, early next year, on his mission as a peace envoy during the bloody civil war, highlighting the ‘actions’ of the politicians and the Tamil Tigers involved in the process.  Excerpts of the interview:By […]

13A is not an Appendix – M.A. Sumanthiran

9th June 2014 // 0 Comments

BY ANANTH PALAKIDNAR  In an interview with Ceylon Today, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran, said the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is not an Appendix. “The government should abide by the Constitution and ensure the full implementation of the Amendment before thinking of revisiting it to consider devolving police powers to the provinces. Following are excerpts:Q:What is your take on the recent views expressed by the government and several other political parties and individuals on the 13th Amendment?A: First of all, I would like to emphasize that the 13th Amendment to the Lankan Constitution was mainly introduced to devolve powers, in order to reach a political solution to the Tamil question in the North and East. It is not an Appendix. Therefore, the 13th Amendment, […]

GTF challenges GoSL to face UN probe

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said yesterday that the proposed UN probe would give an opportunity to establish the circumstances under which the war was brought to an end on the Vanni east front five years ago. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran told The Island that the government shouldn’t shun the investigation. Instead, the government should participate and facilitate the process. In an exclusive statement, Surendiran said that as President Rajapaksa always maintained that his government had nothing to hide, there was no reason for the GoSL not to cooperate with the UN. In fact, the UN-led process would help the GoSL to address the accountability issues for once and for all. Recalling statements attributed to President Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as well […]

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