Russia faces threat of further sanctions

21st July 2014 // 0 Comments

Britain, Germany and France agreed on Sunday they should be ready to ratchet up sanctions on Russia over the downing of a Malaysian jet carrying 298 passengers when European foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Tuesday. Meanwhile rebels in eastern Ukraine on Sunday took control of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines plane even as U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site. The rebels also have allegedly recovered the black boxes from the plane and will hand them over to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a rebel leader said. Reflecting the continued international pressure, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron in statement demanded […]

This Divided Island; Stories From The Sri Lankan War

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

Samanth Subramanian talks about his new book, This Divided Island that chronicles Sri Lanka’s brutal past and uncertain present.  This Divided Island; Stories From The Sri Lankan War Samanth Subramanian Penguin Rs499 320pg What was the impetus to write this book? In part, it was a sort of proximity I felt to the war. I am not from Sri Lanka, but I grew up in Madras and am Tamil, and so the war always felt very near, like a permanent presence in that state’s political atmosphere. So we in Tamil Nadu perhaps followed it more closely than most. In part, though, it was also simple journalistic curiosity, a quest for stories. Here’s this war, stretching over three decades, of which we know little, given how […]

Mass murder in the sky: Stop this madness

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

f proof was required that the world has plunged into an era where judgment has fled to brutish beasts and world leaders have lost their senses, the two latest catastrophes provide the proof.One was the mass murder in the sky of 298 passengers and crew of a commercial airliner flying over war-torn Ukraine. The other was a shocking United Nation’s report that up to 60,000 children have been killed, injured or displaced during the ongoing and the last two Israeli offensives in the Gaza Strip.According to most independent journalists, the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17, the latest Boeing 777 model was shot down by a powerful 70 kilogram surface-to-air radar-controlled missile allegedly fired by Ukrainian separatists. The airliner was flying at about 32,000 feet but […]

Refusal to name war crimes probe team highlights UN hypocrisy – GL Foreign experts’ role clarified

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando External Affairs Miniter, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government of Sri Lanka couldn’t accept a secret investigation team tasked with inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the eelam war IV. Prof. Peiris was responding to yesterday’s The Island exclusive headlined ‘UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team’ with strapline ‘OHCHR’s and Pillay’s positions contradictory.’ How could there be any faith in a mechanism when those investigated wouldn’t even know the identities of those handling the inquiry, Prof. Peiris said. OHCHR spokesperson, Rupert Colville declined to divulge the names of the members of the investigation team, though British national Sandra Beidas was named as its coordinator. Minister Peiris asserted perhaps the anonymous inquiry team was even worse than […]

TNA has no faith on Mahinda’s probe

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it has no faith in the Presidential Commission on missing persons even after the government broadened its mandate to investigate civilian deaths during the war. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran noted that the mandate of Presidential Commission had been expanded only after the UN Human Rights office launched an investigation on the war. Premachandran also recalled that the government had on previous occasions appointed commissions and named international international experts to overlook the investigations yet those attempts ended in failure. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had this week expanded the mandate of the Presidential Commission on mission persons and appointed three international experts to advice the commission. In a Gazette notification, President’s Secretary Lalith Weerathunga had said that the President is of the opinion that the […]

Foreign Advisors: A Move In The Right Direction

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

Losing The Peace: Why The LLRC Report Is Not Implemented  Scepticism Over Latest Probe? The Government announcement last week that the mandate of the Presidential Commission on missing persons had been expanded to investigate civilian deaths during the war and the appointment of three internationally acclaimed experts to advice the commission came as a surprise to many. Some fear if the advice of the three prominent experts are highly critical then they may just end up in the bin like the International Independent Eminent Group of Persons (IIEGP) in 2008. IIEGP, which was appointed by the Government, had terminated their observations from the Presidential Commission of Inquiry owing to what it said was the lack of political will on the part of the Government to […]

Why is the Government unable to make its position clear to the people.

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

Ramaphosa visit: What’s really happening? What was there to hide if it was merely to exchange views? Government sent a delegation secretly to New York to meet Darusman and company to argue Sri Lanka’s case.  Fending off Indian pressure to implement the 13th Amendment “and more” as promised to them by the President  Buy time with the international community, to give the impression that it has taken its demands for greater autonomy to the minority Tamils in the North seriously – at least till the next election. The visit of the Acting President of South African is shrouded in mystery; and the more the Government tries to explain the visit, the more curious it gets. They say that foreign experts usually rush in to find […]

Govt. Commission to probe ‘war crimes’

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

President issues proclamation without telling ministers, scope of Paranagama commission broadened; three foreign advisors appointed After resisting for almost five years, the UPFA Government has eventually capitulated to the relentless Western spearheaded international pressure to conduct a domestic inquiry into alleged war crimes during the final stages of the separatist war in May 2009. The move came this week as President Mahinda Rajapaksa trained his guns on three of his ministers at their weekly meeting on Thursday. This was over their different actions. In the crossfire were Ministers Rauff Hakeem, Bandula Gunawardena and Navin Dissanayake. Significantly, the domestic inquiry mechanism will not be a new one. Instead, Rajapaksa has extended the “scope of the mandate” of the existing three-member commission of inquiry probing disappearances. It […]

Solheim says Pope can do what Cameron did

3rd July 2014 // 0 Comments

Eric Solheim, the former Norwegian peace envoy, has protested against a proposal by Tamil Diaspora leaders that Pope Francis should cancel his Sri Lanka tour in view of the prevailing situation in the country. The pope should visit the country and point out the issues that need to be pointed out, says Mr. Solheim in a twitter message, according to BBC Sandeshaya. He has responded to a question by Suren Surendiran of the Global Tamil Forum, who has asked as to whether the Pope should cancel the tour as a mark of protest against violence being unleashed against the Muslims in the island. In his response on, Solheim says the Pope could do what British Prime Minister David Cameron had done at the Commonwealth summit […]

Possibility of sanctions surface…

2nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

Govt. Parliamentary Group pow wow at Chaaya BeyBY RAVI LADDUWAHETTY The possibility of sanctions being imposed on Sri Lanka in the wake of the ongoing probes by the United Nations Human Rights Council for alleged human rights abuses and war crimes in Sri Lanka had surfaced during the Government Parliamentary Group meeting chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday.This was one of the key points which were raised by a group of SLFP members, senior political sources told Ceylon Today. There was also some views expressed on the possibility of Sri Lanka’s war crimes being referred to the United Nations Security Council as pointed out by a member and others said that China and Russia, like before, will come to Sri Lanka’s rescue. It was also pointed […]

Govt. ‘blatantly misinformed’ UNHRC about Aluthgama clashes: Muslim Council

2nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

Council fires letter to External Affairs Minister Alleges Govt. informed Council in Geneva that violence was instigated by Muslims Govt. statement in Geneva similar to versions propagated by ‘anti Muslim interests’ Geneva statement missed golden opportunity to stand against hate speech, violence: Council By Dharisha Bastians A prominent Muslim civil society group has taken issue with official Government statements to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva about the communal violence in Aluthgama, charging that the version of the clashes relayed to the international rights body mirrors the ‘anti-Muslim propaganda’ by vested interests in Sri Lanka. In a letter addressed to External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris last week, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said “blatant misinformation” had been disseminated by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission […]

EU and Muslims calls for LLRC full implementation

2nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

The European Union (EU) today called for the full implementation of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and advancing a sustainable political solution saying they are essential for peaceful growth and stability in Sri Lanka. “We welcome the appointment by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, of three renowned experts – Martti Ahtisaari, Silvia Cartwright and Asma Jahangir – to assist the investigation team for Sri Lanka led by her office. We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to fully cooperate with the investigation to address accountability issues as an important step for fostering genuine reconciliation. It should also allow all stakeholders to engage without fear of reprisals,” the EU said in a statement from Brussels. The EU statement said that Sri Lanka has come […]

Two More US Firms To White-Wash Rajapaka Regime

2nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

Despite bragging about their disregard for US policies and its hypocrisy, Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry has hired two more firms specialising in government relations to white-wash its image in the US. According to reports by Kevin Mccauley, the External Affairs Minister has signed Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) contracts with the ‘Madison Group’ and ‘Beltway Government Strategies’. The contract with Madison Group, on which the Sri Lankan government will spend a whopping $18,000 worth of public money per annum as well as expenses and bonuses for their performance, has been signed to assist the EAM in ‘creating a situational awareness of current affairs’ in the country. Beltway Government Strategies based in Los-Angeles has been hired to ‘retain and manage firms to engage in government […]

Gota Caught Lying In Interview

2nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

In a revealing interview published in today’s Daily Mirror, Sri Lankas Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa was caught contradicting himself on two occasions, pertaining to the alleged assault of a Buddhist monk on the day of Poson Poya, and his power extending to the Police force. The interviewer asks the Defence Secretary why the Police did not prevent the rally from taking in place, and while justifying the decision of the Police, Rajapaksa asks the Interviewer why he perceives the inception to be the rally, when there was a “buddhist monk assaulted” The interviewer then asks Rajapaksa if the assault was true, to be met by a stoic answer by Rajapaksa who says the monk was intact assaulted. Soon after, in the next question […]

Deception is the brand name of the government of the Rajapaksa brothers, and professor G.L. Pieris is its brand ambassador.

2nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

By Chandra Kumarage – ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.’ Walter Scott, Marmion. ‘When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the State,’ Euripedes, Orestes. The government of Sri Lanka has again used Parliament to adopt a resolution rejecting the appointment by the OHCHR to probe the human rights violations including war crimes alleged to have been committed by the Armed forces of the GOSL during the last phase of the war with the LTTE in April-May 2009. The resolution states, ‘To demonstrate its commitment to protecting democracy and human rights and protect the people’s democratic rights and human rights, the government will undertake to conduct impartial investigations into the following incidents and submit a report […]

New UN rights probe intensifies pressure on SLanka

30th June 2014 // 0 Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new U.N. investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka will intensify international pressure on its government and could probe the purported responsibility of senior Sri Lankan officials with U.S. ties. As many as 40,000 civilians may have died amid government shelling in the final five months of the conflict in 2009, according to a previous U.N. report. Government forces have also been accused of executing ethnic Tamil rebel leaders who tried to surrender. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced Wednesday a heavyweight panel including a Nobel laureate and a former judge on a U.N.-backed tribunal trying former Cambodian leaders for genocide and war crimes, to advise a 10-month investigation by her office. Its goal, laid out […]

Sri Lanka wants killing of more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in May 2009 as war victory recognition

30th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka Buddhist leader warned of ‘end’ to all Muslims Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Galagoda Atthe Gnanasara threatened to destroy Muslim businesses and asked his audience to fight against the minorities. Part of the audience shouted back saying yes, they will do it. The defeat of terrorism and the advent of peace and stability have brought about significant benefits not only for the people of Sri Lanka but for the whole South Asian region, and it is only right and proper that the magnitude of these benefits should receive recognition, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, said in Colombo today. He was delivering the keynote address at a symposium on establishing a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment for the Indian Ocean […]

Gnanasara Thera Banned From Entering US!

30th June 2014 // 0 Comments

BBS concerned over US visa cancellation Gnanasara Thera Banned From Entering US! The Bodu Bala Sena alleges that the US State Department has taken measures to cancel its General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera’s visa to the United States. Speaking to Asian Mirror, BBS Chief Executive Officer Dilantha Vithanage said an official of the US Embassy had contacted Gnanasara Thera and informed him of the decision made by the US State Department. The United States had granted Visa to Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera before he formed the Bodu Bala Sena Organization in 2012. “It was valid for a period of five years and now the US has cancelled Gnanasara Thera’s visa after three and a half years,” he said. The BBS Chief Executive Officer also said that […]

Threats to the lives of a minor who was gang raped and her father; a police officer suspended and transferred for taking action against the rapists

29th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received informationthat a 13 year old girl was brutally gang raped during an entire night, by six infamous criminals who belong to a political party. The station head officer (SHO) has been suspended and thereafter transferred for filing charges of gang rape and assault against the rapists. The rapists have been identified in court by the victim and the court had ordered the arrest of the perpetrators. However, local police have ignored the orders of the court to arrest the suspects due to the nexus between the criminals and police officers. One perpetrator was handed over to police and the criminals are trying to exonerate all other suspects by converting the FIRs into C class reports, a term […]

Witnesses to UN team will be punished in Sri Lanka.

29th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The government is closely focused on harshly punishing any Sri Lankans who witness before the Navi Pillay-appointed probing committee, the ‘Irida Divaina’ reports. It is said that the witnesses to UN who discloses the killing of more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians by the Sri Lankan Army in May 2009 and the killing of Tamil Leaders who surrendered with White Flags after UN negotiated the ‘White Flage surrender’ are to be punished under the Terrorism Prevention Act and the Official Secrets Act. It is also said that People who expose the raping of Tamil girls by the Army as seen of Tamil TV News reader Isaipriya to the UN team will be punished. It is believed that if these witnesses are in Sri Lanka they will […]

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