WORLD NEWS

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 […]

13A and separation of Temple from State

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The sacred constitutional principle of the separation between the Church and the State (or the Temple and the State to that effect) refers to the distance in the relationship between the State and the organized religion. The wall of separation between the Church and the State, as Thomas Jefferson called it, evolved after centuries of temporal intervention into the affairs of the State and vice versa in Ancient Greece, Medieval Europe and pre-revolutionary France. Such a relationship resulted in the Church wielding enormous power over the State and indulging in the persecution of ‘infidels.’  After the Reformation, Renaissance and a spree of revolutions, Western Europe and the United States struck a demarcation between the Church and the State, thereby limiting the influence of organized religion in […]

Navi Pillay’s appoints dangerous investigation panel: Dayan Jayathilaka

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Jordan’s Prince Zeid to replace Pillay The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, following consultations with the Chairmen of the regional groups of Member States, has informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. If approved, he will replace the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay who’s term ends in August.Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein is currently Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post he held previously for six and a half years, from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico. He also served as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent […]

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 tnaproposal@gmail.com . “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 […]

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