7th June 2014

Sri Lanka’s curse is rulers

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

There hasn’t been any country in the world other than Sri Lanka that has belittled Visual & Performing Arts. A politician in Sri Lanka had asked what can a person do with Visual & Performing Arts and had said it cannot even be eaten. This is how they see it. Children do not have a world of their own. What exists for them is a world of robots and their lives are ruled by such robots. Bridges and Expressways could be constructed in this country but a man who can travel on them cannot be built. Look at Nelum Pokuna Theater. It has been constructed with the highest technology. But where is aesthetic value? Aesthetic value comes with human feelings. There are actors and technicians but […]

GTF challenges GoSL to face UN probe

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said yesterday that the proposed UN probe would give an opportunity to establish the circumstances under which the war was brought to an end on the Vanni east front five years ago. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran told The Island that the government shouldn’t shun the investigation. Instead, the government should participate and facilitate the process. In an exclusive statement, Surendiran said that as President Rajapaksa always maintained that his government had nothing to hide, there was no reason for the GoSL not to cooperate with the UN. In fact, the UN-led process would help the GoSL to address the accountability issues for once and for all. Recalling statements attributed to President Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as well […]

Government tells different stories to different Parties including to India and the Sri Lankan public. PSC is only a waste of time.

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Communist Party Leader, D.E.W. Gunasekera, said he has decided not to participate in future proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), appointed by the government to find a solution to the ethnic problem, as there was nothing more to discuss among ministers.  However, he said he would participate only if the TNA and SLMC became involved in the discussions. Gunasekera also invited all Opposition political parties to participate in the discussions. They are duty bound to find a solution to this cancer, which has caused immense damage to this country during the last 30 years, he said.Gunasekera also reiterated that the SLFP and UNP, even at this late stage, should make a genuine, concerted effort without any pre-conditions to find an acceptable solution to the national […]

13A and separation of Temple from State

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The sacred constitutional principle of the separation between the Church and the State (or the Temple and the State to that effect) refers to the distance in the relationship between the State and the organized religion. The wall of separation between the Church and the State, as Thomas Jefferson called it, evolved after centuries of temporal intervention into the affairs of the State and vice versa in Ancient Greece, Medieval Europe and pre-revolutionary France. Such a relationship resulted in the Church wielding enormous power over the State and indulging in the persecution of ‘infidels.’  After the Reformation, Renaissance and a spree of revolutions, Western Europe and the United States struck a demarcation between the Church and the State, thereby limiting the influence of organized religion in […]

Cracks within UPFA widen as Pillay finalises probe team

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Our Political Editor President tells SLFP ministers to consult him before attending functions after Ven. Rathana Thera launches movement for Pure Tomorrow A mixed bag of political developments this week forced the UPFA leadership to go into high gear. After the weekly ministerial meeting last Thursday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa asked members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to stay behind. He had some strong words of caution. He said Ministers in the SLFP should first check for themselves before taking part in events organised by other partners of the alliance. If there was anything controversial, they should check with the leadership. This was the way to maintain unity within the alliance, he said. Though Rajapaksa did not explain why he was declaring some events […]

Navi Pillay’s appoints dangerous investigation panel: Dayan Jayathilaka

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Jordan’s Prince Zeid to replace Pillay The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, following consultations with the Chairmen of the regional groups of Member States, has informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. If approved, he will replace the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay who’s term ends in August.Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein is currently Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post he held previously for six and a half years, from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico. He also served as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent […]

Lord Naseby has misled the Lords over Sri Lanka. He must withdraw his allegations

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Peter Oborne Peter Oborne is the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator. Veteran political correspondents like me recall Michael Morris, Deputy Speaker of the Commons from 1992-97, with a great deal of affection. He carried off the role with plenty of brio and style. Michael Morris has since been deservedly elevated to the House of Lords, where he has taken the name of Lord Naseby. As sometimes happens, he has gone sharply downhill since entering the upper house. Most troublingly he has become an apologist for the Sri Lankan government. There is nothing wrong with standing up for unpopular or controversial causes: indeed it is admirable. However, it is essential to adhere scrupulously to the facts when it comes to an event as grave and sensitive as […]

New UN Human Rights High Commissioner expected to be tougher than Pillay

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

 Reports suggest UNHRC commissioner to name investigation panel on SriLanka on June 10. Contrary to expectations, Jordan’s Prince Zeid al Hussein is most likely to be a much tougher opponent than his predecessor, Navi Pillay, the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Prince Hussein’s appointment couldn’t have come at a worse time for Sri Lanka, well informed sources told The Sunday Island yesterday. The longtime diplomat would give up his post as Jordanian Permanent Representative to the UN in New York to take up the Geneva posting, they said. Responding to a query, they recalled the circumstances under which the Jordanian diplomat adopted an extremely hostile approach towards Sri Lanka during a post war issue. “We are concerned about the latest development,” an official […]

SL to skip sexual violence in conflicts Summit

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government has declined a British invitation to attend a global summit meant to end sexual violence in conflict following a spat with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) over a controversial precondition that participation was strictly subject to all participants endorsing a declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict. The four-day conference attended by over 1,000 delegates from well over 100 countries is scheduled to begin in London on June 10. The event is jointly hosted by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and the Special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie. With Yasmin Sooka (a key member of the UN Panel of Experts which recommended in March 2011 an international war crimes probe targeting Sri Lanka) […]

Govt. to implement 13-A without police powers, rejects TNA demand

7th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The government said yesterday that it did not have an issue with implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with the exception of police powers. The constitution of the country since  14 November 1987 says it should give powers to provincial councils but racist Sri Lankan government has NOT implemented the constitution since 1987 but had been saying it has no problem in implementing it. Asked during the weekly Cabinet Press briefing in Colombo if land and other provisions of 13A with the exception of police powers would be implemented, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle said that the contentious issue was the Tamil National Alliance demand for a Police Commissioner to be appointed by the Northern Province Chief Minister; that could not be granted due to security […]