SLMC to demand EPC CM post

21st July 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rathindra KuruwitaThe Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will demand that the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) hand over the chief ministerial position, of the Eastern Provincial Council to the SLMC as agreed prior to the election. SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali said, the UPFA leaders agreed to hand over the position to the SLMC after two and a half years. Thus, the position needs to change hands by 2015. The SLMC won seven seats at the election held in September 2012; UPFA won 22 seats including the SLMC seats. The Opposition has 15 seats making SLMC the determining factor in forming a government in the Eastern Provincial Council. The SLMC General Secretary added that the demand has nothing to do with alleged recent issues, between the SLMC […]

Sri Lanka’s NGO crackdown triggers free speech fears

21st July 2014 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan government crackdown this month on NGOs has sparked claims that President Mahinda Rajapakse, paranoid that he could be toppled, is again attempting to silence critics and tighten his grip on power. The defence ministry this month banned non-governmental organisations from holding press conferences, awareness campaigns, training for journalists, workshops and disseminating press releases on everything from voter rights to exposing corruption. The ministry, which has regulated local and foreign NGOs since soon after the end of the island’s civil war in 2009, said the order was necessary to stop them operating “beyond their mandate”. But NGO workers, many of whom have long suffered harassment and intimidation in Sri Lanka, said the order was a new crackdown on dissenting voices ahead of possible […]

Sri Lankan Tamil Party Calls for Formation of Secular National Front

21st July 2014 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan Tamil party on Sunday called for the formation of a new secular national political front with participation from majority Sinhalas and minority Muslims to find a credible solution to problems of the Tamil people. The move came during the convention of the Eelam  People’s Revolution Liberation Front (EPRLF), a constituent party of the Tamil National Alliance, in Jaffna. TNA sources said its leader R Sampanthan told the  convention that neither the Tamil people nor the Tamil politicians are demanding a separate Tamil state. It is the wish of all Tamils that a lasting political solution be given to address the grievances of Tamil people in the north and east. Suresh Premachandran, a TNA senior and the leader of  the EPRLF said […]

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 […]

Protest against Rajapaksha’s visit to Commonwealth games in Scotland.

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

While the Sri Lankan government officials remain tight-lipped on President Rajapaksa who is accused of War crimes in killing of more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in May 2009 in Sri Lanka  participation at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland on July 23, Tamils in UK are busy organising a demonstration opposite the Stadium. The Tamil Youth Organisation in UK has asked Tamils to gather at Barrow field Street, Glasgow on at 3.30 pm on the day of the opening. They have arranged 30 centres in England, Wales and Scotland to pick Tamils who are willing to participate in the demonstration with free transport.  There are four centres in London itself for demonstrators to assemble for transport to the venue, including South West, South East, North West […]

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 […]

Two different attitudes have been adopted by the government with regard to the administration of the Northern Provincial Council.

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw The Northern Province Governor, G.A. Chandrasiri, and Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, were seen in public for the first time at a function at Vembadi Girls High School, Jaffna on Thursday since Chandrasiri was reappointed as Governor, Northern Province by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, last week.The two gentlemen with garlands around their necks walked happily talking to each other towards the school auditorium to the beat of the school band without showing any signs of indifference over the reappointment of Northern Governor’s issue. Governor Chandrasiri was a career military officer whereas Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was a senior member in the army cadet platoon during his school days at Royal College, Colombo. Governor Chandrasiri served as Jaffna Security Forces Commander and it was during his period the LTTE […]

Crime and Punishment!

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

Zoysa demands expulsion of PS Chairman from SLFP; Keheliya tight-lipped Former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana and three others were sentenced to twenty years of rigorous imprisonment, yesterday, for the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh and raping of his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna in 2012. The accused were sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment on two counts of murder and rape and the judge ruled that the jail terms run concurrently.The verdict was delivered after a marathon three and half-month trial at the Colombo High Court. Earlier, the case was transferred from Hambantota to Colombo after the witnesses for the prosecution were allegedly threatened and intimidated.The four accused earlier pleaded innocence and can appeal against the sentence. So can the Attorney General […]

The underside of Black July

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

1948 – months after gaining independence, the Government of Sri Lanka disenfranchises 33% of Tamils, removing their right to vote …61 years on, the discrimination continues… 1958 – hundreds of Tamils are murdered in the first of many vicious racial attacks …51 years on, the violence continues… 1983 – over 3000 Tamils are murdered and 150,000 made homeless in Sri Lankan State sponsored anti-Tamil riots …26 years on, the genocide continues… Today – the Government of Sri Lanka has withdrawn from a peace-agreement and entered into war, thousands of Tamils have ‘disappeared’ and Tamil journalists, aid workers, human rights activists and politicians have been assassinated …as the world watches on, the eradication of a people continues…….….  BLACK JULY Don’t turn a blind eye! Lend your voice The underside of Black July Today, no one talks about the critical role […]

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 […]

Khuram’s brother, UK hail judgment

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

‘I never really know what justice really means when I have lost my brother’ The brother of a Red Cross worker murdered after confronting a violent mob of rapists in Sri Lanka has said he can finally grieve properly after four killers, including a politician, were jailed. Khuram Shaikh, 32, was shot and stabbed in the early hours of Christmas Day 2011 after trying to stop a group of armed, drunken men who gang raped a woman. The aid worker, from Rochdale, who had been working in Gaza fitting prosthetic limbs, was on holiday with his girlfriend in the southern resort of Tangalle when he was killed. Ruling party member Sampath Vidanapathirana was yesterday jailed for 20 years for the fatal attack, despite claims that […]

Do not touch us as it would be a move tantamount to digging their own grave.

2nd July 2014 // 0 Comments

 “Buddha Sasana Ministry Turns Buddhist Monks Into Political Stooges” – RW Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has accused the government of politicizing the Ministry of Buddha Sasana while creating divisions among the Sangha community of Sri Lanka. Addressing a public meeting in Galle, the Opposition Leader said the present government has turned the Ministry of Buddha Sasana into a political institution. He also alleged that the Ministry of Buddha Sasana only allocates funds for monks whose political allegiance lies with the government…………………… read all    BBS throw down the gauntlet!  BY RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY“UNP, Foreign Diplomatic missions and Muslim extremists behind Aluthgama incident”  The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday admonished the government, the Opposition and the police, to not touch them, as it would be a move tantamount to […]

Sinhala Army Remembered in Jaffna but Tamils are NOT allowed to remember their next of skin.

30th June 2014 // 0 Comments

ONE RULE FOR THE SINHALESE Commander and all ranks of Security Force – Jaffna, after an whole night pirith chanting and alms giving to Buddhists Monks, transferred merits to armed force members who were killed in the war against the Tamil minority who fought for a separate state due to discrimination by successive Sinhala governments of Sri Lanka. The Budddhists Monks invoked blessing to Commander of the Army, soldiers and members of civilian staff serving in the Army Friday (27) morning.  The Pinkama was organized with auspices of Commander Security Force Jaffna Major General Udaya Perera as the final leg of 18th Anniversary celebrations of Security Force Jaffna (SF-J). Monks headed by Ven. Naramdeniye Dhammawasa thero, Head of Boraluketiya Buddhist centre of Kamburupitiya, Matara chanted […]

Modi to meet TNA

30th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would hold talks with newly elected Indian Prime Minister   Narendra Modi in New Delhi next month, party officials said yesterday.The Indian government has agreed to afford an opportunity for the TNA to meet with the Prime Minister and the other leaders by the middle of July. However, the exact dates have not yet been confirmed.Shortly after Mr. Modi and his Cabinet of Ministers were sworn in, TNA leader R. Sampanthan sought a meeting with the new leadership of India to raise issues concerning the Tamil people.   Apart from seeking India’s active engagement for a political settlement, Mr. Sampanthan highlighted issues such as heavy military presence, land grabbing, alleged plan for   altering the demographic pattern in the north in this letter.    The […]

Next Year Will Mark Sri Lanka’s First Racial Riots Centenary

29th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan – We, Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR are deeply concerned about and strongly condemn the heinous violence that has been meted out this monthagainst the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Looking at history – ethnic violence, sectarian violence and cultural violence against the Tamils and Muslims in the island are nothing new. Impunity is deeply entrenched and has continued for many decades. The first racial riot in the island was in June 1915. It was between the Sinhala Buddhists and the Muslims – 136 Muslims were killed and 205 injured and raped. Nearly 85 mosques were damaged and more than 4,075 muslim-owned shops were looted by the Sinhala rioters, from Central province to the Western and North Western provinces. In 1974 tension intensified between […]

The ‘Talibanist Buddhists’ attacking Sri Lanka’s Muslims

29th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Bodu Bala Sena espouse hardline Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism and have been accused of inciting religious hatred against Sri Lanka’s minorities, including before June’s violent assaults on Muslim communities. By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai   COLOMBO, Sri Lanka  Post-war Sri Lanka was rocked by the worst violence it has seen two weeks ago. On June 15, communal clashes set the southern resort towns of Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala alight. At least three were killed, 88 injured, 64 houses, 39 shops and a mosque completely destroyed while numerous others were damaged, according to data compiled by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka. Overnight, 2,248 persons were instantly displaced in the worst religious riots in Sri Lanka’s recent history. The group accused of instigating the violence is Bodu Bala Sena, whose name translates […]

The Land Where Hope Was Killed And Despair Was Reborn

29th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajasingham Narendran – HOPE: Hope is a bird  With wonderful feathers Sits on the boughs of the soul And sings the song of how to remain alive It sings when the dream breaks It sings when ships over turn You are at the bottom and Far away is the beach At that time it teaches you How to ride from bottom to top How to swim to reach to the beach How to rebuild the broken wings of your dream Then you get an energy in form of a wind in the tune To be alive strongly better than before And it will continue to sing till you want to listen. (inspired by Dikinson) DESPAIR: Dreams I despair Loss of hopelessness Doubt my hopeless dreams Trapped in this […]

Abisekam Rituals in Temples: the Science behind It

28th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Abisekam Rituals in Temples: the Science behind It By Dr C P Thiagarajah-Secretary Katpaka Vinayagar Temple Trust   One of the main rituals performed on the deities in Hindu temples is abisekam or pouring water, milk and other liquids and scents. This is a form of hydration. This looks superstitious on first look for many who does not know the science behind many such practices. The truth and the reasons for hydration of idols of deities made out of metals or metal alloys, wood or stones will be revealed if one delve deep into Hinduism. Hinduism has been called the “oldest religion” in the world, and many Hindu orthodox treaties refer to Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma “the eternal law” or the “eternal way” beyond human origins. […]

Rankin meets Rauff

26th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The SLMC is under heavy pressure to take a tougher stand on recent violence directed at the Muslim community at Alutgama and Beruwala. Political sources told The Island that the SLMC seemed divided over the position taken up by party leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem that the party should continue its fight for Muslims’ rights, while being a constituent of the SLFP-led UPFA. British High Commissioner John Rankin yesterday joined a long list of diplomats to seek a briefing from Minister Hakeem on the current situation. HC Rankin was accompanied by Ms. Sarah Mann (Second Secretary Political). SLMC Deputy Leader and Eastern Provincial Minister Hafiz Nazeer Ahamed joined the discussion. Asked whether the UK had offered to help Minister Hakeem face threats posed by extremist organisations, […]

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