SPECIAL NEWS

Sri Lanka ex-leader’s brother ‘led death squad’: court

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Former Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother Gotabhaya directed a top-secret death squad which targeted journalists and dissidents, a court was told Monday. Criminal Investigations Department (CID) told the Mount Lavinia magistrate’s court that Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who was Sri Lanka’s defence secretary during his brother’s rule, directed a secret unit which is accused of assassinating a newspaper editor in January 2009. The CID said it found evidence that the death squad was controlled by Gotabhaya Rajapakse who has already publicly denied involvement in the killing of former Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga. “Testimony from the former army commander (Sarath Fonseka) shows that there was a special secret unit outside his authority and controlled by Gotabhaya Rajapakse through the then chief of national intelligence Kapila Hendawitharana,” […]

South supports Tamil demands

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Panchamee Hewavissenti Several progressive organizations and individuals in the South have extended their support to the demands of the people in the North and East, such as to release their lands from the possession of the security forces, providing information on the missing people and the abrogation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The protest which commenced outside Fort Railway Station last week included several progressive organizations and university students. “The government has pledged these affected people in the North and East that they would solve their problems. It is unfortunate, however that this government operates in the same manner as the former regime. They have been unable to give a satisfactory solution to these war affected people. We came here in support […]

Exporters to EU must be educated on Brexit – GM ECCSL Srinath

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Rathindra Kuruwita and Umesh Moramudali Europe has been one of our biggest export markets for decades, and it still is, even after the loss of the GSP + concession in 2010. Ceylon Today spoke to Srinath Fernando, General Manager of European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) to discuss the current situation of the EU market, the issues faced by our exporters and what the government should do to take advantage of the probable resumption of the GSP + concession. ?: First of all tell us what the ECCSL does? A: ECCSL was established in 1996 and its mandate is to promote trade between the European Union and Sri Lanka. There are 28 EU countries and only five have embassies in Colombo. The majority […]

Mahinda is confident that US President Trump will help him cover up the war crimes.

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

BY SHIVANTHI RANASINGHE Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera crossed swords with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa over his recent statement. The latter called for politicians in Sri Lanka Freedom Party and United National Party in government to protect our country from dangerous amendments to the Constitution. Samaraweera disagrees. Ex-President’s statement titled, ‘Constitutional and Legal Reforms to Destroy the Nation’ cautions these proposed amendments as, “firstly, punishing the armed forces for winning the war, secondly devolving more and more power to the provinces until the Central Government ceases to be relevant, thirdly, destroying the ability of the Sri Lankan State to respond adequately to a breakdown in law and order, fourthly, demoralizing and breaking the will of the majority of the population and the armed forces, and fifthly, […]

UN Human Rights Council Urged to Debate a Special Sri Lanka ad hoc Tribunal, as Recomended by UN Rights Chief: TGTE

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

“TGTE submitted a proposed draft Resolution for promoting Justice, Accountability and Human Rights in the island of Sri Lanka” GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 20, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Today the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) sent to all Member States at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) a proposed draft Resolution for promoting Justice, Accountability and Human Rights in the island of Sri Lanka, along with a letter calling for their support and careful consideration of the proposal. The letter signed by TGTE’s UN Representative, Suginthan Murugaiah, stated that while the TGTE was cognizant of the fact that it did not enjoy the standing of a member state to the UNHRC, the proposal for an alternative draft Resolution was being made from the victims’ perspective, urging […]

Lycamobile still keen to buy Hutch

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Lycamobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) operating in 21 countries worldwide from London is still keen to purchase Hutch mobile in Sri Lanka. “We have made a very sound offer to the company and we were about to go ahead with the deal,” an official from Lycamobile said. He said they are still keen to go ahead. Lycamobile owned by a Sri Lankan first made an offer to buy the local company last year. While the deal was about to the inked Sri Lanka Telecom Mobile came forward with an offer which was US$ 8 million more than the quoted price of Lycamobile. This offer was hotly challenged by the some of the board members saying it was not realistic. This controversy led to […]

Talking Ethnic Reconciliation With Tongues Still Tied To The Past

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

by N. Sathiya Moorthy The problem is that the West does not have the courage to accept that were wrong on and in Sri Lanka If anything, now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of Sri Lanka The more they all think of any possible return of Mahinda R greater are the compulsions for them to stick together The Sinhala, Tamil and the unmentioned Muslim voters all want a permanent end to the ‘national question’ Yet another UNHRC session has come and gone. As always, nearer home and afar, Sri Lankan stake-holders to the ethnic issue have said their periodic piece(s). It means nothing to anyone concerned, or anyone who is concerned. There is a difference, though. Over the […]

Sellamma returns home after Army occupation

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

We first met 83 year old grandmother Sellamma when she was part of a protest fast outside the Puthukudiyiruppu Divisional Secretariat. At that time, her land and house across the road had been occupied by the Army for eight years. She was protesting along with her neighbours, mostly women, whose lands and houses had also been occupied by the Army. Even after a meeting with the Prime Minister in the early stages of the protest, they had vowed not to give up their protest, until their houses and lands were handed back to them. After a month’s protest, Sellamma and some of her neighbours, were successful in forcing the Sri Lankan government and its’ Armed forces to return some parts of their village back to […]

In Post-war Sri Lanka, Returning IDPs Face Fresh Challenges

13th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Shiran Illanperuma Staff Writer  Reporting from Keppapulavu, Mullaitivu Displaced since the last stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war, returnees from the northeastern village of Pilakudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu are busy building makeshift tents where their houses used to stand. Just a few metres away, behind barbed wire, Air Force cadets can be seen ‒ playing sports on parts of the village they still occupy. Less than a week ago, following 30 days of relentless protest and an order from President and acting Defence Minister Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lanka Air Force released 54 acres of land it had been occupying, in the Keppapulavu Division of Mullaitivu, since the end of the civil war in 2009. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion for a beleaguered […]

Political Influence Threatens To Derail Lasantha Murder Probe

13th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Ashanthi Warunasuriya  Political influence is threatening to derail the investigations into the murder of the The Sunday Leader Founder Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Investigators revealed that while there was considerable progress in the investigations, interference by the highest political and military echelons of the country may force the investigations to face a deadlock. Intelligence sources revealed to The Sunday Leader that while some VIPs/VVIPs and high profile individuals have been linked to the murder following the interrogation of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) intelligence sleuths, the interference of political and military stalwarts have prevented the Police from taking action against the VIPs in question. Investigations have revealed the final orders to murder Wickremetunga had been issued by a Colonel, who was a former intelligence operative and attached to the Commando Regiment. The Colonel is […]

NM was dead right in 1955-56 to stand against Sinhala Only

13th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Backbone needed to defy not capitulate to bigotry The UNHRC process; the blind leading the blinder by Kumar David His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena is no Lincoln or Lenin; not even an NM. You need a backbone to stand up and defy racists, not to capitulate to them. Does a Sinhala politician need a backbone to cringe and do the bidding of chauvinists? SWRD would have required a backbone to persist with the B-C Pact, but not to surrender to saffron bigots and shred it. If Dudley had a spine he would have stood with the Dudley-Chelva Agreement; instead he proved another invertebrate. Sirisena says “he is neither disposed to doing things the foreign NGO way, nor inclined to help bring charge sheets against the […]

Sri Lanka risks censure as president falters on war legacy

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Colombo (AFP) – President Maithripala Sirisena came to power in Sri Lanka promising justice for war crimes, breaking from his hawkish predecessor and presenting the island with its first real shot at a lasting peace. But that optimism has been sorely tested as Sirisena, having missed a two-year deadline to investigate war-era abuses, declared he would never prosecute his soldiers, rejecting outright fresh UN calls for an international trial. “I am not going to allow non-governmental organisations to dictate how to run my government,” he said a day after the UN criticised Sri Lanka’s “worrying slow” progress in facing its wartime past. “I will not listen to their calls to prosecute my troops.” His defiant tone marked a sharp shift from the conciliatory approach that […]

CID DIGS SKELETONS

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Trincomalee student killings Karuna’s UK criminal conviction for fake diplomatic passport The CID is actively investigating several violent crimes and other serious offences that were not pursued by the police under the former regime, the Nation reliably learns. While public attention has been focused on the investigations into attacks on media personnel following the surprise arrests of five army spies last month for the abduction and torture of former Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr, court records reveal that the investigations include a probe into the use of a false passport by former LTTE deputy leader Karuna Amman to travel to the United Kingdom in 2007. The CID informed court last month that Karuna travelled to the UK using a false diplomatic passport, and that officials […]

On her own two feet, after Sri Lanka’s crippling war

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Selvanayagi lost her arms in Sri Lanka’s war 27 years ago Few students in Vadamarachchi, part of Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula, had heard of Visual Basic until Sebastian Selvanayagi started offering a course in it at her modest computer centre. “Even basic programming languages haven’t come to our village in a big way,” she said, entering a small room in her home, in Vetrilaikeni in Vadamarachchi East, where five desktop computers are kept. As her office assistant switched one of the systems on, Ms. Selvanayagi sat down and quickly typed the password with her toes. That is how she has been typing for more than 20 years now — placing the keyboard under the table — after she lost both her arms in intense shelling […]

The battle after the war

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Life continues to be a struggle for 45-year-old Kathir, a former Tamil Tiger combatant, and his family. Kathir was one of the 12,000 Tiger cadres who underwent a rehabilitation process soon after the end of the war. Kathir was lucky to be released after a year of rehabilitation. “I was disabled due to the war and therefore my time at rehabilitation centres was just one year,” he said. However, getting back to normal life was not as easy as Kathir had thought. “The people accepted me back into society. I never felt alienated by the people. But life was not the same,” he said. Describing his first year after being rehabilitated, Kathir says it was the most traumatizing part of his life. “It was a […]

Spiraling incidents of military intimidation in the North: Ruki Fernando

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

There have been increased incidents of military intimidation in the last couple of weeks in areas like Pilakudiyirippu (near Keppapulavu), Paravipaanchan in Kilinochchi, and Puthukkudiyiruppu – former military held lands which have been released to former residents after sustained protests, human rights activist Ruki Fernando said. This culminated in the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) questioning Fernando during a visit to Pilakudiyirippu on March 9, he added. “I was talking to a few of the residents when two people in civilian clothing came up to me. They asked me who I was and why I had come. When I in turn asked them who they were, they informed me that they were from the air force camp next to the village,” Fernando said. He added […]

Sri Lanka’s Future With A ‘Karuna’ In Politics

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman for his latest move in forming a new political party, the Tamil United Independent Front -Thamilar Aikkiya Suthanthira Munnani. According to Karuna Amman, the purpose of forming a new party is to provide livelihood opportunities to former LTTE cadres and to assist widows of LTTE cadres and war victims. The party will be based in the East –Batticaloa- and be more focused on issues pertaining to the North and Eastern parts of the country and the people living therein. However, some sections of society believe people like Karuna Amman, who worked against the democratic process and particularly against the sovereignty of the country should not be part and parcel of a political party. Lacille de Silva – Former Secretary to […]

GTF wants UN rights body to closely monitor Sri Lanka

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) today welcomed the report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights backed the observation that ‘stronger, tangible results needed to be forthcoming without further delay to prevent any further dissipation of hard-earned trust.’ While acknowledging the Sri Lankan Government’s constructive engagement with United Nations’ human rights mechanisms; visible progress on constitutional reform process; positive developments on the broader human rights agenda; and commendable efforts on consultations towards establishing transitional justice measures, the report was emphatic that the ‘fulfilment of transitional justice commitments has been worryingly slow and the structures set up and measures taken were inadequate to ensure real progress.’  The report was categorical that the Government has not moved fast enough with tangible measures – […]

UNP makes light of UPFA question on Tamil Diaspora using internet to spread racism

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said in Parliament that a group of Joint Opposition (JO) members had joined hands with LTTE cadres to stage a protest against him while he was in Australia when the Deakin University conferred an honorary degree on him. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that the JO activists and LTTE extremists had protested against him and they were together shouting at him using public address systems. The Prime Minister said so while responding to a question raised by UPFA MP Padma Udayashantha Gunasekera, who demanded to know what action the government would take against those who spread racism and promoted ethnic disharmony via the Internet. The MP said that there were propaganda campaigns aimed at spreading racism in violation […]

Tamil’s Have Come To The Very End Of Their Frustration

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By R. Sampanthan – R. Sampanthan I raised this question, because our people have come to the very end of their frustration. Today, in the blazing sun, in the rain when it is rainingand in the night when there is dew, they are protesting with their families. Their wives, their children, their infants are all joining in the protest and it is unbearable. This situation cannot continue. It must be brought to an end and we want the Government to realize and take very early action to bring this situation to an end. The Speech made by Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan on the 8th of March 2017: ආරක්ෂක හමුදා සන්තකව පවතින ඉඩම් මුල් අයිතිකරුවන් වෙත නිදහස් කිරීම படையினரின் வசமுள்ள […]

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