Lord Naseby has misled the Lords over Sri Lanka. He must withdraw his allegations

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Peter Oborne Peter Oborne is the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator. Veteran political correspondents like me recall Michael Morris, Deputy Speaker of the Commons from 1992-97, with a great deal of affection. He carried off the role with plenty of brio and style. Michael Morris has since been deservedly elevated to the House of Lords, where he has taken the name of Lord Naseby. As sometimes happens, he has gone sharply downhill since entering the upper house. Most troublingly he has become an apologist for the Sri Lankan government. There is nothing wrong with standing up for unpopular or controversial causes: indeed it is admirable. However, it is essential to adhere scrupulously to the facts when it comes to an event as grave and sensitive as […]

New UN Human Rights High Commissioner expected to be tougher than Pillay

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

 Reports suggest UNHRC commissioner to name investigation panel on SriLanka on June 10. Contrary to expectations, Jordan’s Prince Zeid al Hussein is most likely to be a much tougher opponent than his predecessor, Navi Pillay, the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Prince Hussein’s appointment couldn’t have come at a worse time for Sri Lanka, well informed sources told The Sunday Island yesterday. The longtime diplomat would give up his post as Jordanian Permanent Representative to the UN in New York to take up the Geneva posting, they said. Responding to a query, they recalled the circumstances under which the Jordanian diplomat adopted an extremely hostile approach towards Sri Lanka during a post war issue. “We are concerned about the latest development,” an official […]

Govt. to implement 13-A without police powers, rejects TNA demand

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The government said yesterday that it did not have an issue with implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with the exception of police powers. The constitution of the country since  14 November 1987 says it should give powers to provincial councils but racist Sri Lankan government has NOT implemented the constitution since 1987 but had been saying it has no problem in implementing it. Asked during the weekly Cabinet Press briefing in Colombo if land and other provisions of 13A with the exception of police powers would be implemented, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle said that the contentious issue was the Tamil National Alliance demand for a Police Commissioner to be appointed by the Northern Province Chief Minister; that could not be granted due to security […]

TNA Seeks Public Support And Diaspora ‘Involvement’ To Make PSC Submissions

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance, Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party in the North, has decided to seek public support and the involvement of Tamil Diaspora to formulate a solution to the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka. The solution, the TNA says, would e submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee as a written submission, although the party will not take part in its proceedings. TNA Media Spokesperson and Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandra said suggestions could be mailed them to . “Or else, one can visit the TNA office and present suggestions,” Premachandra said. However, the party has not announced a ‘deadline’ for presenting solutions. At the meeting between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Sri Lankan President emphasized the need of the Parliamentary Select […]

Hold Gotabhaya accountable for war-crimes, writes NYU Professor of Law

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Porf. Goodman states that ‘Gotabaya’ can be charged in the US. It is felt, if he tries to oppose it then, US is entitled to hold onto all his properties and finances unless he agrees to face the charges! Also, GoSL can be pressured to hand over ‘Gotabaya’! Then if the Mahinda tries to interfere then, he could be charged as an associate in the charges! In the first of these two Tamil Net links, Prof Ryan Goodman, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law is of the opinion Gotabhaya as a US citizen could be charged in the US courts for crimes against the Eelam Tamils by ordering the killing of Tamil political leaders and the shelling of the ‘No Fire […]

Darusman To Replace Navi Pillay As UNHRC Chief: Tougher Times Ahead For SL

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka is to face tougher times on the human rights front with Marzuki Darusman, one of the members of the UN Experts Panel who probed into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, is tipped to be appointed as the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights after Navi Pillay’s retirement in August. Navi Pillay succeeded Louise Arbour as the UN Human Rights Chief in Jul, 2008 and has held the for nearly 06 years. Darusman is an Indonesian lawyer and a politician who also has years of experience at the UN, particularly on the human rights front. After fifteen years as a member of the People’s Representative Council with President Suharto’s Golkar party, Darusman served as the country’s prosecutor general from 1999 to 2001. Darusman has served on several national […]

Tamil Canadians convene in Ottawa to call for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Canadians convene in Ottawa to call for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka Ottawa –The National Council of Canadian Tamils calls upon the Canadian government to implement targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka through the implementation of the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). Tamil Canadians convened in Ottawa from Monday May 26-Thursday May 29, 2014, for the first annual Tamil Freedom Lobby Week. Tamil community organizers, activists and student leaders from across the country met with parliamentarians to press for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka, guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. “Sri Lanka operates with complete impunity in both its past and current violations of international humanitarian law. Five years after 2009, Sri Lanka made no meaningful effort to end violence against the island’s […]

SRI LANKA: The Island of mass graves

4th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The following article was published as the editorial of the latest issue of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives by Nilantha Ilangamuwa Sri Lanka is once again on the edge of a political crucible in terms of its international relations as well as in its domestic politics. The country is ignoring calls for an independent and credible investigation into alleged wartime atrocities while at the same time carrying out atrocities against its own people. None of the elected or appointed officials have been able to fulfil even the basic requirements of their offices, but instead put all their efforts into finding loopholes to escape the situation and to justify what they have done. Mass Graves are not a new phenomenon in Sri Lanka as over 30 – 40 […]

SL Minister accompanied by Pakistani officials threatens Tamil villagers in Vavuniyaa

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 June 2014, 21:06 GMT]Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishard Badurdeen, who has been inciting conflicts among the Tamil-speaking people in Mannaar and Mullaiththeevu districts, has now threatened more than 40 Tamil families living in Paarathi-puram village in Vavuniyaa to vacate from their village, news sources in Vavuniyaa told TamilNet. Accompanied with five Pakistani officials and British trained Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF), the SL minister has gone to the village last week claiming that a factory is going to be built at Paarathipuram and that the Indian origin Tamils living there since 1977 should vacate from their settlement. The Upcountry Tamils were settled at Paarathi-puram in 1977 when they faced anti-Tamil pogroms in the South. The living standard of the families […]

Tamil Eelam Football Team At “World Football Cup 2014”

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

A football team representing “The Tamil Eelam Football Association” will play their first match of the 2014 ConIFA World Football Cup today against Arameans Suryoye. However, there is no recognized ‘country’ in the world named ‘Tamil Eelam’. FIFA also does not recognize a country by the name of ‘Tamil Eelam’. The players trained for the first time since their arrival from their training camp in Norway on Sunday, with all the players fit for the big match. According to Pro-Eelam website Tamil Guardian, this is the third tournament that the Tamils are taking part in after a respectable 7th place finish in the team’s debut in the VIVA World Cup in Kurdistan 2 years ago, and an incredible 3rd place at a friendly tournament on […]

Sri Lanka: War Remembrance, Reconciliation And Nonviolent Resistance

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Nirmanusan Balasundaram – May 2014 marked the 5th year of the brutal end of the armed conflict in the island of Sri Lanka. The foremost stakeholders of the final phase of the war, the Tamil nation, the Sinhala nation and the international community seem to have different interpretations of the disturbing developments, unfolding since the last phase of the war. In its narrative, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) keeps obstinately insisting that they liberated the Tamil people from the grip of terror. Though, this year marks the 5th year of the cruel end of war, what it actually means for the Tamil people and the reality on the ground totally contradicts the GoSL narrative. While understanding the GoSL’s empty promises and false hopes, a section […]

Leo Seemanpillai took his own life as he gave up hope of refuge

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

Leo Seemanpillai met his new ”mum”, Cathie Bond, almost a year ago on a cold night in Geelong. Cathie, a retired art teacher and volunteer, was handing out ”welcome packs” to new asylum seekers, distributing food and toiletries, undies and socks, ”to give them some dignity”. Leo was her helper at each house, unloading the car and interpreting. The 29-year-old had been on the Bellarine Peninsula for a few months and although barely settled in his new life, he wanted to help others. Cathie drove him home. Remembrance: Leo’s Australian ”mum” Cathie Bond (centre), Sue Longmore and Veronika Quinton. Photo: Justin McManus ”On the way there – and this was typical of Leo – he rings ahead to his friends, ‘Get the tea ready, get the […]

Say ‘No’ To Sri Lanka, And Dilmah Tea

2nd June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Trevor Grant – It was a scene that has been played out many times since the brutal end to the civil war in the Tamil homeland. Last year the Sri Lankan defence secretary and accused war criminal,Gotabaya Rajapaksa, stood alongside one of Sri Lanka’s richest men, Merrill Fernando, cutting a ribbon to open a new war memorial that purports to be about peace and reconciliation but, in reality, glorifies the murderers of at least 70,000 innocent civilians in 2009 and enhances the process of genocide and ethnic-cleansing in traditional Tamil lands. Partly-financed by Fernando, it is yet another triumphalist edifice built by a ruthless regime that is under an official UN investigation for war crimes and crimes against humanity and which, five years after the war, […]

TNA gathers public support for probe

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has begun holding public meetings to gather support for the international investigation over alleged human rights abuses said to have been committed during the war. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that meetings are being held in all the districts in order to explain to the Tamils the importance of the investigation which was authorized by the UN Human Rights Council in March. He said that the investigation is expected to begin in around two weeks time and the TNA wants to prepare the public to give evidence to the commission which will conduct the investigation, if required. The UN Human Rights Council had in March adopted a U.S. sponsored resolution which calls for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed between 2002 […]

America fears alienation of Tamils

29th May 2014 // 0 Comments

The continuing centralization of development and political activities by the Sri Lankan Government may further alienate ethnic and religious minority communities — including Muslims, Christians, and Hindus — and fuel expanding fears over the governments commitment to equal political rights and civil liberties, the U.S Government has said. The US noted that while it has been five years since the end of Sri Lankas 26 year civil war, circumstances are more challenging than they were a year ago. Although Northern Provincial Council elections were held in September 2013, there has been little movement on reconciliation or accountability by the Government of Sri Lanka, the U.S Government has said in a report to Congress. “Indeed, the positions of many in the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamil populations […]

Papal visit to ‘bless’ genocidal Sri Lanka next year

29th May 2014 // 0 Comments

 Papal visit to ‘bless’ genocidal Sri Lanka next year While the new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosting Rajapaksa to his swearing-in on Monday has enraged Tamils, Pope Francis on the same day has announced to media about his visit to Sri Lanka, the very State of which is accused of genocide, on-going genocide, and has been rejected by Eezham Tamils since 1972. The Papal visit would give recognition to the genocidal State, blunting the calls for genocide investigation, and for that matter any international investigation at all against the State and the Rajapaksa regime, Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island commented. The Pope’s announcement has been received with delight, reported Asian Catholic News Source, UCA News, with a cliché, “Sri Lanka’s ‘great joy’ […]

Look at the positives side not the discrimination of the Tamil community by us

28th May 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda says critics should look at the positives in Sri Lanka following the end of the war and not just look at the non implementation of the 13+ political package he promised before the killing of more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians by the Army in May 2009. The Tamil community has been cheated and discriminated by the sucessive Sinhala governments for 60 years since the independence received from British rule.  The Tamil youth took arms after their political leaders failed to stop the discriminations by the Sinhala leaders who played the race card to stay in power. The President recalled that Sri Lanka suffered during the brutal war but is now on the fast track of development but he refused to talk about the […]

North CM, Aussie envoy hold talks

28th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had talks with the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ms Robyn Mudie in Jaffna today. The Australian High Commissioner was in Jaffna on a visit when she met Wigneswaran to discuss the latest developments in the North. A wide range of issues were discussed but the details were not immediately made available to the media. Australia has been a strong critic of attempts to launch an international investigation in the country over the human rights issue. However recently the Australian Government had said it will push Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and to engage with domestic and international stakeholders to advance an effective and transparent reconciliation agenda. Brett Mason, Parliamentary Secretary to […]

The Return Of India: New Realities For The Govt & The TNA

28th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By Dayan Jayatilleka – Something happened. Things just changed. Unnoticed by the Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan civil society intelligentsia which was engaged in “much wailing and gnashing of teeth” (as the Bible has it), and “how many angels can dance on a pinhead” type disputations (convoluted and obfuscatory, with much lost in translation), the tectonic plates just shifted. The five post-war years were largely wasted because the South and North, the Sinhalese and Tamil political elites represented by the Government and the TNA adopted political postures that were exceedingly unrealistic but did not appear to be so. The mutual and shared unrealism was possible because of one factor and that factor has just changed; it no longer exists. Thus in an overarching,  parabolic, strategic sense the worst may be over, though in […]

Media Not Allowed To Cover Sumanthiran Cross-Examining Gotabaya

28th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka Tuesday prevented media from covering the court proceedings when the President’s brother, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapakasa was cross-examined by Lawyer MA Sumanthiran. Yesterday, the defamation case filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa against Lasantha Wickrematunge and the Sunday Leader on its reporting on MiG 27 purchase by the Defence Ministry was taken up at the District Court of Mt. Lavinia before Judge Gihan Ranawaka. Earlier Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave evidence-in-chief on the 22nd of May. The Cross Examination was started on the 27th May by Lawyer MA Sumanthiren. In a strange twist the Police debarred media personnel from entering the Courts to cover the proceedings. On earlier occasions it was evident that an entire media entourage was encouraged and prosecution Counsel Ali Sabri PC was seen and quite openly giving […]

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