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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,” […]

‘SL needs to implement 27 conventions for GSP+’

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka needs to ensure that there is no serious failure on its part to implement the 27 international conventions at the desired level to be qualified for the GSP plus concession, Commerce Director General Sonali Wijeratne said. “Looking at the regulations which are applicable to the European Parliament and Council, the facts of the case and the experience of others countries that have also thought of applying under various conditions, Sri Lanka has an excellent case.” According to Wijeratne, Sri Lanka has to look at a compendium of other issues as to how long Sri Lanka can actually keep GSP plus concession going on by ensuring that there is no serious failure on the part of Sri Lanka to implement the conventions at the […]

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 […]

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, […]

M.A. Sumanthiran on Sri Lankan Politics, Tamil Affairs, and Indo-Lankan Ties

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Diplomat‘s Taylor Dibbert speaks to noted Sri Lankan parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran. By Taylor Dibbert March 20, 2017 M.A. Sumanthiran is a Sri Lankan lawyer, parliamentarian and member of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), a Tamil political party. The Diplomat‘s Taylor Dibbert spoke with Sumanthiran about Sri Lankan politics, Tamil affairs, and India-Sri Lanka ties. The Diplomat: Sustained militarization and land issues pose significant challenges for civilians residing in Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern Provinces. How much progress has been made in these areas since Maithripala Sirisena assumed the presidency in January 2015?  M.A. Sumanthiran: Not much. There was significant movement initially, with about 400 acres being released in Palaly [in the North] immediately and the whole of Sampur in the East. Thereafter it has come […]

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 […]

Our people and our nation deserve genuine #Accountability & #Justice.

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Our people and our nation deserve genuine #Accountability & #Justice. Don’t forget our courageous brothers and sisters who gave their life for our motherland. If we are sincere, sacrifice our sleep, sacrifice our comforts, sacrifice our enjoyment, at least sacrifice small things, don’t put the blame conveniently on others, don’t try to find fault in other organisations, don’t point our fingers on anyone and say traitors, because none of us qualify to do that. We are fighting against a state which is protected by powerful states and institutions. Genuine commitment is required from every Tamil. Without contributing time and energy you can’t expect others to accomplish difficult tasks. All are volunteers, all activists have the same problem as you. Let’s unite and dedicate our time more on winning friends […]

Sri Lanka Echocardiogram project – 5th to 9th July 2017

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Dear Friend, Areas affected by the war in the North and East of Sri Lanka are still recovering from the three decade long civil war that ceased in 2009. Local health care provision, whilst making tremendous achievements against all the odds, is still sub-optimal. In particular, the whole of Northern Province, with a population of over 1,000,000 is served by only 3 cardiologists – 2 in Jaffna district and 1 in Vavuniya district. However, there is no cardiology or echocardiogram (echo/ ultrasound scan of the heart) service in the other three districts of the Northern Province (Mannar, Killinochi and Mullaitivu). The Health Ministry of Northern Province has requested Assist RR  to help reduce the work load on the three cardiologists by providing free echocardiogram clinics in the […]

Colombo Press Conference: Tamil Victim’s Appeal to UN Human Rights Council

16th March 2017 // 0 Comments

When: March 14th (Tuesday) • Time: 3:00 pm • Where: Center for Society & Religion (CSR) COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, March 13, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Colombo Press Conference: Tamil Victim’s Appeal to UN Human Rights Council • When: March 14th (Tuesday) • Time: 3:00 pm • Where: Center for Society & Religion (CSR) Address: Deans Road, Maradana, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka. Contact: K.S.RATNAVALE & S. Mahendran Phone: +94-77-729-8300 • NOTE: Tamil victims will visit Embassies of: United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and France about their appeal. TAMIL VICTIMS APPEAL to UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL We, whose daughters, sons and husbands were killed, disappeared, sexually assaulted or raped by Sri Lankan Security Forces are appealing to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) not to give any extension […]

Annual World Bank report 2017 Inbox x

16th March 2017 // 0 Comments

‘’ The report identifies high levels of poverty in key districts in the north and east of the country, including Mullaitivu (28.8 percent), Mannar (20.1 percent) and Batticaloa district (19.4 percent). At 20.8 percent, the data from Monaragala district in Uva province also offers cause for concern. Within Batticaloa, estimated poverty rates run as high as 45 percent in Manmunai West and 38 percent in Karalai Pattu South. Across the board, poverty rates are disproportionately high for vulnerable groups such as youth and ethnic minorities; and unemployment is high for youth and women …. Social assistance programs need attention and important knowledge gaps remain. ’’ – Sri Lanka Poverty and Welfare: Recent Progress and Remaining Challenges, 31 January 2017, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2017/01/31/srilanka-poverty-welfare-recent-progress-remaining-challenges   ‘’The research finds that […]

Sixth Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution: Contradictory, Incoherent and Unconstitutional – Dr. Barbara Jackman

16th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is Challenging Sri Lanka at the UN Against it’s Sixth Amendment TORONTO , CANADA , March 14, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — At the International Conference held on Thursday March 9th at the Delta Hotel in Toronto Dr. Barbara Louise Jackman a highly respected authority in immigration and refugee law, with particular emphasis on cases involving national security, domestic and international human rights issues, torture, and the rights and protections afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s responsibilities under international treaties, described the 6th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution as a “schizophrenic clause with internal contradictions and an open violation of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. She pointed out that the amendment is not […]

EU asks for ‘concrete’ HR progress ahead of GSP+

16th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Recognises progress on several fronts including RTI, legislation on the Office of Missing Persons Detailed exchanges with PM and Mangala on constitution-making and repealing PTA     EU Working Group conclusions to be reported to EU-Sri Lanka Joint Commission  The European Union has underscored the importance of the Sri Lankan Government achieving “prompt and concrete” progress on human rights ahead of the decision on GSP+ expected in May, the EU said in a statement yesterday. Both sides released a joint press statement following the meeting of the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, which kicked off on Monday. The EU delegation to the Working Group called on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and met with Foreign […]

DMK dares Subramanian Swamy to prove charges on Katchatheevu

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Karunanidhi received money from Indira Gandhi to give Katchatheevu to Srilanka – Subramanian Swamy DMK had convened an all party meeting against the agreement immediately after the pact was signed and passed a resolution against the move, he said. DMK spokesperson T.K.S. Elangoan on Tuesday challenged BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to prove his allegation that DMK president M. Karunanidhi received money from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to agree for the granting of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka. Citing Karunanidhi’s statement on 18 April last year, he said the DMK had never agreed to part with Katchatheevu and the party had opposed it very strongly. DMK had convened an all party meeting against the agreement immediately after the pact was signed and passed a resolution against […]

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 […]

Is The New Constitution A New Con?

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Government has pledged us a new constitution, an inclusive constitution, an openly drafted constitution, a referendum approved constitution. Last year, the whole Government seemed to be participating in a thorough reshuffle of attitudes, principles, and expectations, with a minimum of stubbed toes. As  Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, stated at the 30th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), “The best guarantee for non-recurrence, a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people,” seemed to be well on its way to meet us. This article would not need to proceed any further had not the symptoms of cognitive dissonance set in. Now we have Mangala Samaraweera and President Maithripala Sirisena assuring the public that there will be and will not be a new […]

Can foreign judges et al be avoided? Debate over Geneva Resolution 30/1

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Amidst mounting pressure, on the political front, with the Joint Opposition (JO) relentlessly undermining his authority, President Maithripala Sirisena has apparently ended his ‘honeymoon’ with those who had brought him to power, just over two years ago. President Sirisena has thrown a coalition that had helped him to defeat war-winning President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the January 2015, presidential polls, into disarray. The President made his move at the onset of the 34th sessions of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Obviously, the change of the President’s stance was meant to consolidate his position, both in and outside parliament. The Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces assured loyalists that foreign participation in war crimes probe wouldn’t be allowed, under any circumstances. President […]

Dual citizenship Geetha cannot be an MP: AG

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Attorney General today informed the Court of Appeal that MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was still a citizen of Switzerland and according to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a person who has dual citizenship cannot be an MP. Deputy Solicitor General Janak De Silva informed Court that, according to clause 91(1) of the Constitution, she was not entitled to Parliamentary privileges and could not be a Member of Parliament. J.C. Weliamuna, counsel for the petitioners informed Court that the respondent Geetha Kumarasinghe had requested the Swiss authorities to relinquish her Swiss citizenship on August 25. But there was no documentary evidence to prove that they had revoked her Swiss citizenship. DSG de Silva said that though the respondent Kumarasinghe had asserted that she had given […]

ITAK’s arbitrary actions cause conflict in TNA – Sivasakthy Ananthan

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

BY Mirudhula Thambiah Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) Secretary and Vanni District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian N. Sivasakthy Ananthan said both leaders Sampanthan and Sumanthiran are taking the most crucial decisions in the TNA. They rarely discuss and obtain the opinions of others of the constituent parties. “We obtained a people’s mandate assuring a suitable political solution within a merged North-East; solution for enforced disappearances, political prisoners and lands. However, since of late the ITAK is arbitrarily making use of this mandate that we managed to obtain with the contribution of other parties; as the ITAK is taking decisions on their own it has caused conflicts within the coalition. They have forgotten their policy obligations,” he said. Following are excerpts of the interview: […]

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 […]

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