June 2014

Minister Mervyn Urges Sinhala Women To Contact him for further assistance If they Have Problems In Having Children

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Public Relations Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva has urged women to contact him if and when they have problem in having children.   “The Sinhala race is rapidly becoming a minority and my only only request to the Sinhalese is to produce children as much as possible to avoid extinction of their race,” the Minister said addressing a function in Wattala, which was organized by his ministry.  “There is no point in lamenting over this problem, We need to act fact. If any woman has a problem in having children, I kindly request her to contact me for further assistance,” the Minister, who also holds a ‘Doctorate’, said. “The United People’s Freedom Alliance, led by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, is one big family. The mother and […]

Jaffna Public Library has been rebuilt but it is still a reminder of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai JAFFNA, Sri Lanka  Jaffna Public Library has a painful history behind its pure white walls. It was burnt down during days of mob violence between May 31, 1981 and June 2.Sri Lankan state-sponsored authorities had been involved in days of violence in the country’s north, against ethnic Tamil political activists who were pushing for better representation in the Sinhala-majority country. Many considered the library one of Asia’s biggest and best at the time of the attack. It housed 97,000 precious volumes of books, and manuscripts that included centuries-old Ola leaf records. All were razed, turned to ashes within a period of mob attacks in Jaffna, under the United National Party regime of the time. Many Tamils who lived in the peninsula witnessed the attack, allegedly carried out by police and Sinhalese gangs, and most are unable to come to terms […]

Jaffna bishop: India needs to do more in rebuilding Lanka

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: The resettlement process currently on in Sri Lanka cannot move forward without India’s assistance and the country can do more to help the thousands who have been rendered orphans or widows or have been otherwise victimised, Rt Rev Daniel S Thiagarajah has said.The Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, who was in Chennai for the two-day visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, talking exclusively to TOI on Tuesday, said the people of the island nation had suffered long enough and “careful planning is needed for the resettlement” effort.“India has contributed so much to the rebuilding and being a good neighbour I hope help will keep coming,” said Thiagarajah. He lauded India’s assistance in setting up of the rail network which has proved to a boon to […]

Modi-Fying The Indian Stand On Ethnic Issue

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

N. Sathiya Moorthy If anyone thought that they could fool around with India’s new, ‘inexperienced’ and ‘un-tested’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi on foreign policy issues in particular, news reports about his post-inauguration meetings with visiting Heads of Governments from SAARC nations suggest otherwise. Not only were those meeting more than a courtesy call, PM Modi is also reported to have discussed bilateral issues with each one of them in some detail. It was no different when Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with Prime Minister Modi. Nor would it be any different as and when a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation calls on the new Indian Prime Minister, for which they have already sought an early appointment. The Indian position is a balanced approach – […]

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 […]

‘NO 13th Amendment’ GL answers Ranil

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris answers an oral question raised by the United National Party’s national leader and the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in parliament today (June 04) and reiterates that the so called ethnic or national issue should be approached via the Parliamentary Select Committee which was appointed for the purpose. Ruling party stalwart Nimal Siripala de Silva voiced the same three days ago and this the External Affairs Minister said that the Freedom Alliance government’s stance is very clear and it does not provide police powers to any provincial council in the country. The Opposition Leader quoting “media reports” in Parliament said that President discussed over the reconciliation with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their recent meeting in New Delhi. […]

Sri Lanka reacts strongly to Jayalalithaa’s genocide remarks on Tamil issue

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka on Thursday reacted strongly against the genocide remarks made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa against the country over the Tamil issue and said it will make formal objections to India over her comments. “It is very much in keeping with the character of this politician to make wild allegations against Sri Lanka,” the government spokesman and Minister of Information Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. He was reacting to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi which carried word “genocide” on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. She had demanded that India should sponsor a resolution in the United Nations condemning the genocide in Sri Lanka. “I request that India should sponsor a resolution in the United Nations condemning the genocide in Sri […]

Why SL should not antagonize Jayalalithaa

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, has been the target of Sri Lanka’s State and pro-government media since the day the results of the Indian general election were out. They jubilantly reported Jayalalithaa losing the grip she had on the centre due to the outright victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Many cartoonists in Sri Lankan newspapers also mocked Jayalalithaa. Government spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said the non-dependence of the Modi’s Government on Jayalalithaa was a victory for Sri Lanka. The government was elated when President Mahinda Rajapaksa was invited for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony amidst protests of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. The Rajapaksa Government has been criticizing the Tamil Nadu State Government led by Jayalalithaa for a long time. Tamil Nadu once protested a cartoon […]

Jayalalithaa’s wish list

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has, at her very first meeting with Narendra Modi after the latter’s assumption of duties as Prime Minister, submitted a 64-page memorandum containing a long wish list among other things. As regards, Sri Lanka, she has sought the Centre’s intervention to take over Kachchativu and conduct a UN-sponsored referendum on Eelam. These, she has been harping on for a long time without success. What is of interest, in our book, is her request that the new BJP-led government declare Tamil as an official language. One is intrigued. Why hasn’t either she or any of her predecessors like M. G. Ramachandran or even M. Karunanidhi been able to sort out that issue all these years? Has she taken it up […]

Mahinda to Modi ”No devolution of powers to Tamil’s”

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapakse has informed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that devolving of police powers to the provincial councils was not acceptable by the Sri Lankan government, Minister of External Affairs Professor G. L. Peiris informed Parliament today.Minister Peiris who was responding to a statement made by Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremsinghe who raised a question on the reports which said the Indian Prime Minister had told President Rajapaksa to work towards bringing about national reconciliation in Sri Lanka, by implementing a solution to the national issue by devolving powers, which went beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.Professor Peiris said President Rajapaksa explained the position of the Sri Lankan government during the bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi when the former visited Delhi […]

Revelations On “How Negotiations With The TNA Failed”

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – Those who are concerned with political reconciliation and long term peace in the country must thank Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP (UPFA) for his recent revelations, although those might be construed by the government circles as back stabbing and/or betrayal. Although the revealed documentation, limited to a five point discussion note and three sketchy communications between Wijesinha and Sajin Vas Gunawardane, again a UPFA MP but a monitoring one, does not expose any sensitive information, the narrative as well as the contents amply demonstrate the scant and lackadaisical manner that the most important negotiations with the TNA were conducted after the conclusion of the war in May 2009. It is not clear or revealed that how many rounds of negotiations or discussions were held altogether between the […]

Khuram Shaikh: Shot residue ‘matches weapons of accused’

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Gunshot residue found on the body of a British man killed in Sri Lanka matches weapons found in the possession of the accused men, a forensics expert told a court. Khuram Shaikh, a Red Cross worker from Rochdale, was found with gunshot and stab wounds on Christmas Day in 2011. The expert, Mr Gunatilleke, told the trial in Colombo the residue was found when he wiped a wound on his forehead. Sampath Vidanapathirana, a town council leader, and five other men deny murder. They also deny raping a woman. Mr Shaikh, 32, had been working in Gaza fitting prosthetic limbs, but was on holiday in the resort of Tangalle when he was killed. Mr Gunatilleke, a witness for the prosecution, said five spent bullets were […]

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 […]

ONE STEP FORWARD… Sinhalese Government’s conspiracy to divide the homeland Tamils and diaspora Tamils

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

THE UNHRC RESOLUTION AND ITS REPERCUSSIONS ONE STEP FORWARD…                 The Tamil Eelam liberation struggle and its solidarity movement now face the question: What is to be done?  To find an answer, we have to reckon with certain facts.                 The genocidal war against the people of Tamil Eelam reached its traumatic climax at Mullivaaikkaal on 2009 May 16, 17 and 18. And in this holocaust thousands of Tamils were massacred and the armed struggle for the liberation of the Eelam nation was totally crushed. The military hegemony over the Tamil Eelam areas has, in conjunction with Sri Lanka’s rigidly unitary constitution and the supremacist psyche of the Sinhalese people, brought about a situation where the democratic space for the Tamil Eelam people in their […]

JHU want executive presidency abolished

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Senior Minister D. E.W. Gunasekera yesterday said that the executive presidential system could be abolished through the passage of a simple constitutional amendment in Parliament with a two thirds majority. The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) MP Gunasekera insisted that even if the move to field a common candidate seeking a mandate to do away with the executive presidency succeeded, there was absolutely no guarantee he or she would do it. The winner would never give up executive powers and therefore every effort should be made to avoid another costly election, he said. The CPSL Chief was responding to Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) push for far reaching constitutional reforms including the abolition of the executive presidency. The JHU launched its […]

GOTABAYA’S ENTRY TO ELECTORAL POLITICS

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The news, based on an exclusive interview, that Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa may formally enter mainstream politics by contesting Colombo at the parliamentary election (Deshaya and Daily FT) casts a significant light — some may say shadow— on the character of the regime as it will emerge recomposed after that election which will almost certainly be in the first quarter of 2015. The declaration of willingness by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to toss his hat into the ring is a response to two factors; a challenge and an imperative:secession and succession. It is a combination of intra-clan dynamics, the logical progression of the increasing influence of the security establishment, and above all, an entirely predictable response to perceptions of external and ethnic siege from afar and the ‘near abroad’. We have the […]

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 […]

Official visit to North Western and North Central provinces

4th June 2014 // 0 Comments

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin, visited the North Western, North Central and Northern Provinces on an official visit from 27-29 May, 2014. All those to whom I spoke made clear their concern about and opposition to religious extremism. The High Commissioner visited Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Mannar and Puttalam. “A major highlight of my visit was paying my respects at different places of worship,” said the High Commissioner. “I visited the sacred Sri Maha Bodhiya and the Ruwanveliseya stupa in Anuradhapura, the historic Madhu church, the Thirukeetheswaram temple in Mannar and the Grand Mosque in Puttalam. At each of these places of worship, I had helpful discussions with faith leaders about inter-faith harmony and community relations. Sri Lanka is lucky to have communities representing […]

Sri Lankan government had intentionally targetted ‘no fire zones’ with cluster bombs.

4th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The British High Commission in Colombo declined to verify whether British lawmakers had consulted it as regards accountability issues in Sri Lanka during Eelam war IV before making statements in the British Parliament. The HC was responding to a query whether Siabhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden-Labour party) had consulted the diplomatic mission in Colombo before alleging in Parliament in September 2011 that the Sri Lankan military killed 60,000 LTTE cadres and 40,000 civilians during January-May 2009. The claim was made during a debate on human rights situation in the Indian sub continent in which British parliamentarians lambasted both India and Sri Lanka for human rights violations. MP McDonagh’s  claimed in parliament on March 25, 2014 that the Sri Lankan government had intentionally targetted ‘no fire […]

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