SPECIAL NEWS

Judges was in the habit of giving judgments to suit the previous regime! – President Maithiri

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Many believe that Mahinda Rajapaksa was dislodged, after a decade in power without serious challenge, by his former health minister Maithripala Sirisena, only in a closely contested presidential race. Though the result evoked surprise and only reluctantly accepted by Mahinda, the writing on the wall was become evident in the course of the campaign. Desperate ruling alliance supporters became increasingly violent towards the end of the campaign. At the end, the common opposition comprising all sections of Lankan ethnic groups won over the ruling United Progressive Freedom Alliance by a margin of more than 300,000 votes. Actually, Rajapaksa decided to go for snap elections to avoid the risk of facing a much stronger anti-incumbency sentiment two years later. Cunningly, Mahinda observed the definitive decline in his […]

Lack of willingness on the part of the judiciary over a period of more than sixty-years to uphold the rights of minorities when public security was at stake.

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

By Jayantha de Almeida Guneratne, Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena and Gehan Gunatilleke – When multiethnic and multi-religious societies are confronted with challenges that test the limits of coexistence, governments may be tempted to resort to populism or political expediency. Sri Lanka’s relatively short post-independence history is unfortunately riddled with examples of such compromises. Minorities have been victimised throughout this country’s history. They have had nowhere to turn, except perhaps towards the only institution that is tasked with checking power: the judiciary. Sri Lanka’s judiciary has been called upon time and again to vindicate minority rights in the face of overwhelming oppression by the other organs of government. This study has essentially sought to examine the judiciary’s record in rising to and meeting this enormous challenge. At the […]

TNA warns violence against Tamils an imminent danger

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has warned that ethnic violence against Tamils is an imminent danger until there is a political resolution to the conflict. TNA leader R. Sampanthan told Parliament today that ethnic violence was unleashed against the Tamil people when they made political demands that would enable them to live as equal citizens in the Country.  He said the armed conflict by Tamil youth emerged only after several decades of ethnic violence against the Tamil people. “The Conflict was also internationalized, and the issue has been in the international domain. Several resolutions were adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the resolution adopted in October 2015 comes up for review in February /March 2017. Our Neighbour and parent Country India offered […]

Tamil leaders losing patience?

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

TNA leader says he’s ‘extremely unhappy’ with the way Tamils are treated by govt. After two years of engaging the Sri Lankan government on reconciliation and constitutional reform, the country’s Tamil polity seems to be losing patience, if Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan’s address in Parliament is any indication. On Wednesday, the veteran Tamil leader attacked the government that, he said, was treating the minority Tamils the same way the previous governments did. Pointing to two key issues — land and disappeared persons — the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader said: “Let me be frank. I am extremely unhappy with the way our people are treated by this government with respect to their land.” Over the last three weeks, families in Mullaitivu district — that […]

UN Rapporteur notes mounting frustration in Sri Lanka

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

The UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Rita Izsák-Ndiaye says there is mounting frustration in Sri Lanka with the pace of progress in the accountability process. In a report on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) ahead of its 34thsession in Geneva, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye said that to achieve peaceful coexistence after the long, devastating civil war, a comprehensive, well-planned and well-coordinated truth, reconciliation, healing and accountability process must take place, and it cannot be done overnight.  However, almost two years after the change of Government, the Special Rapporteur notes the mounting frustrations with the pace of progress. “It is important for the Government to put in place some immediate, important and concrete measures to clearly demonstrate its political will and commitment […]

Mahinda Slams CBK For Revealing ”Sri Lanka military held Tamil Girls as sex slaves in Rape camps”.

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has exposed shocking details of sexual exploitation by the army against Tamil women in the former war torn areas. The report accused the Sri Lanka military for holding women as sex slaves in rape camps. Former President and Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has condemned former President Chandrika Kumaratunga over her allegations that there was widespread sexual exploitation by the army against Tamil women in the former war torn areas. Rajapaksa Issuing a statement today Rajapaksa said: “the statement made by Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga to foreign correspondents in Colombo last week to the effect that war widows in Sri Lanka now face ‘widespread’ sexual exploitation by members of the army among others, is a matter of grave concern. The rape and […]

The Whole Country Must Know The Truth

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

By R. Sampanthan – R. Sampanthan I would submit with respect that this is a Matter of urgent public importance, and that is the reason for raising this matter today in the House at Adjournment, to enable the whole country to be kept informed of the truth in regard to the processes and everything relating thereto. Hon. Speaker Parliament of Sri Lanka Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. ADJOURNMENT MOTION Question relating to matter of Public importance to be raised on 22nd February 2017 at the conclusion of questions by Mr. R Sampanthan, Member of Parliament, Leader of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and Leader of the Opposition All people who lived in Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or any other difference, whether Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim […]

Keith Noyahr Abduction; Hickory Dickory, Gota In The Dock

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

In a dramatic turn of events the investigation into the abduction of Keith Noyahr, the Criminal Investigation Department has found that the abductors had made phone calls to Gotabaya Rajapaksa just after the abduction. Former secretary to the MOD – Gotabaya Using the newly imported equipment the CID has managed to trace the call log details of the abductors’ and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Keith Noyahr was abducted and mercilessly assaulted in 2008. He fled the country with his family and out of sheer fear did not even make a statement to the Police. The abductors blindfolded him and carried him to the store house situated within a large land in Dompe. His hands and feet were tied and then strung on to a pole akin to hauling a dead carcass. […]

Make Tamil mandatory for Sri Lankan lawmakers: Minister

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

Mano Ganesan, who comes from the minority Tamil community, said legislators who can converse in only one of the two languages face difficulty in understanding the problems of all communities. Knowledge of Tamil language should be made legally compulsory for all Sri Lankan lawmakers so that they can understand the problems of all communities, a minister today said. Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan said Sri Lankan parliamentarians should have bilingual capability, meaning they should know Tamil besides Sinhala, spoken by the majority of the population.   Ganesan, who comes from the minority Tamil community, said legislators who can converse in only one of the two languages face difficulty in understanding the problems of all communities. “Therefore, they must be asked […]

Jaffna comes to Colombo

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

By Randima Attygalle The Jaffna Food Festival at the Cinnamon Grand, while dishing out true flavours of the north also showcases a unique culture and emphasises the empowerment of women Guests at the festival at Nuga Gama Jaffna Cal thosai with Nandu (crab) curry anyone?  How about Paalappam (coconut milk hoppers) or Palakkottai curry (jakfruit seed curry) with steamed red rice and vilai meen kulambu (mullet fish curry)? Rava Laddu or panipinatu for dessert? More than a gastronomic delight, ‘Jaffna Festival’ which opened at the Nuga Gama of the Cinnamon Grand last Thursday is a slice of Yalpanam’s vibrant culture, replete with craft, dance and music. Traditional Jaffna cuisine known as Yarlpana Samayal known for its blend of aromatic spices and sweet temptations, plays on […]

Decision On GSP On May 15

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam  The European Union (EU) is to decide on Sri Lanka’s application for Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) on May 15. This was communicated to Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran by the EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Tung-Laï Margue during a meeting in Jaffna last week. Wigneswaran said he was informed by the EU envoy that the decision on GSP plus for Sri Lanka is to be taken on May 15. The European Commission last month proposed that a significant part of the remaining import duties on Sri Lankan products should be removed by the European Union in exchange for the country’s commitment to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour conditions, protection of the environment and […]

CBK’s remarks on ‘war widows’ irk military

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON President Maithripala Sirisena instructed officials to provide an allowance of Rs 10,000 per month for all farmers who are affected by the prevailing dry weather and also instructed relevant authorities to appoint a committee comprising District Secretaries, Grama Niladharis and Samurdhi Officials to collect comprehensive information on affected families. After getting the relevant information, this allowance will be given from next month till the Yala season begins. This was decided on and instructions issued when he met relevant Heads of Departments, to review the effects of drought on the farming sector in the country, at the President’s Official Residence last Thursday (16). A large number of complaints have been received from the public regarding land reclamation to the President; thus he told […]

Thajudeen Murder: Ex-Crimes OIC Released On Bail Despite Concealing Evidence

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera was released on bail today by the Colombo High Court despite covering up the murder of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen. Wasim Thajudeen The court which released the suspect on a cash bail of Rs. 100,000 and three personal sureties of Rs. 1 million each, ordered that the ex-Crimes OIC hand over his passport to the Court. Perera was granted bail when his revision bail application was taken up today. Perera was arrested by the CID in April last year on charges that he had concealed evidence with regard to the murder of Thajudeen. Following a statement by Perera last year, Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake was arrested subsequently in May 2016 by the CID for also concealing information pertaining to […]

Major Prabath Bulathwatte, Sgt Duminda weeraratne and Sgt Hemachandra Perera of Military Intelligence Arrested Over Attack on Ex-Newspaper Editor Keith Noyahr.

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Criminal Investigation Detectives yesterday arrested an Army officer and two Sergeants over the May 2008 attack on journalist Keith Noyahr. The arrests came after the trio were summoned to CID headquarters on Friday and interrogated. The trio are Major Prabath Bulathwatte, Sergeant Duminda Weeraratne and Sergeant Hemachandra Perera. The formal arrests were made yesterday after interrogation overnight. Two more soldiers from the Army’s Military Intelligence are now being interrogated. Probing the case was a CID Task Force that has been investigating a string of incidents – murders, abductions and assaults on media personalities. They included the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga, the disappearance of Lanka E-news journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda and the attack on Rivira Editor Upali Tennekoon. The three suspects were produced before […]

Are The Militant Sinhala & Tamil Diaspora In Melbourne Loosing Steam ?

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shyamon Jayasinghe – Shyamon Jayasinghe Before movements and institutions fall apart they become objects of laughter. Many thinkers of the past have commented on the valuable function of humour, laughter and mockery in social life, namely that they help to rectify and to correct course. Henri Bergson’s theory of humour amounted to this. Stendhall said that the aim of comedy in theatre is to expose man to the mockery of the audience and thereby induce corrective action. Charlie Chaplin has also remarked that the function of comedy is to sharpen our sensitivity to the perversions of society. The protest organised around the Federation Square at Melbourne city against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who arrived to deliver an oration before an audience of legal academics […]

Onus on Turnbull to Remember Sri Lanka’s Victims

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

This week, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is visiting Australia. Besides growing economic cooperation, apparently ‘enhanced cooperation on development and sport’ between the two nations is on the agenda. But let’s hope that beyond friendly cricket matches, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asks some hard questions about how the Sri Lankan government will provide accountability to victims and their families, still awaiting justice seven years after the horrific end to the country’s long civil war. Last year, the Sri Lankan government agreed to a 2015 United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that mandates the creation various transitional justice mechanisms, including a way to provide accountability for war crimes that envisions international involvement. This was a positive change in approach, and next month the the Sri Lankan government is due to report […]

The Jury Is Out: Armed Forces, Not India, Stalled JRJ’s ‘Jaffna Advance’

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

by N. Sathiya Moorthy It’s sad that based merely on speculative assessments that India’s ‘Operation Garland’ of air-dropping food and medicines to the civilian population, bilateral relations had been allowed to flounder It needs to be recalled that only a day before ‘Operation Garland’, India had sent in civilian boats filled with food and medicines, for the civilian population of Jaffna peninsula Contemporary military history of India clearly shows as to how prepared or unprepared was the nation’s military for the IPKF operations J. R. Jayewardene The routinely declassified documents of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), dating back to the Eighties, have shown that it was the Sri Lankan armed forces, and not the Indian neighbour, that had stalled then President, J. R. Jayewardene’s […]

Sri Lanka High Commission in London commemorates 69th anniversary of Independence

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Group photograph of the Chief Guest H.E. Dr. Ahmed Bin Abdulla Belhoul Al Falasi, the State Minister of Higher Education of UAE, H.E. Jeffry Suleiman Mohideen, Ambassador for Sri Lanka to UAE and Mr. Charitha Yattogoda, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and the Northern Emirates along with part of Consuls General based in Dubai   participated in the event    The High Commission of Sri Lanka in London commemorated the 69th anniversary of Independence with the representation of all the communities on 4 February at the High Commission premises. The program commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by High Commissioner Amari Wijewardene. The National Anthem of Sri Lanka was sung in Sinhala followed by the observance of two minutes’ silence in […]

The TNA Has Failed In Its Duty To The Tamils

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

By V. Anandasangaree – V. Anandasangaree The time has now come for the Tamils of Sri Lanka including those living abroad to wake up from their deep slumber to safeguard their rights and privileges that are eroding fast, due to mishandling and wrong approach of those who had undertaken to do so. It has lasted several years now with hardly any progress made. The curse of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka is that we have too many leaders who champion the cause of the Tamils but have no courage to check their members, making damaging statements detrimental to the Tamil cause. The number of such leaders keep on increasing, under the pretext of giving better leadership than those who are already in the field […]

No need for federal system- TNA

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance says it is ready to abandon the proposal on the formation of a federal system when formulating a new Constitution. Speaking to the BBC World Service, Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran said, the TNA is ready to provide the necessary support for a meaningful distribution of power which can be accepted by all, without focusing on a federal system. The MP said the public has misunderstood the meaning of distributing power through the federal system. MP Sumanthiran said the distribution of power through the federal system, was initially introduced by SWRD Bandaranayake. Accordingly the TNA believes the Sinhala community will approve a meaningful distribution of power. The MP stressed the importance of approving a new Constitution through a people’s mandate. MP Sumanthiran said […]

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