20th July 2014

This Divided Island; Stories From The Sri Lankan War

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

Samanth Subramanian talks about his new book, This Divided Island that chronicles Sri Lanka’s brutal past and uncertain present.  This Divided Island; Stories From The Sri Lankan War Samanth Subramanian Penguin Rs499 320pg What was the impetus to write this book? In part, it was a sort of proximity I felt to the war. I am not from Sri Lanka, but I grew up in Madras and am Tamil, and so the war always felt very near, like a permanent presence in that state’s political atmosphere. So we in Tamil Nadu perhaps followed it more closely than most. In part, though, it was also simple journalistic curiosity, a quest for stories. Here’s this war, stretching over three decades, of which we know little, given how […]

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 […]

Why is the Government unable to make its position clear to the people.

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

Ramaphosa visit: What’s really happening? What was there to hide if it was merely to exchange views? Government sent a delegation secretly to New York to meet Darusman and company to argue Sri Lanka’s case.  Fending off Indian pressure to implement the 13th Amendment “and more” as promised to them by the President  Buy time with the international community, to give the impression that it has taken its demands for greater autonomy to the minority Tamils in the North seriously – at least till the next election. The visit of the Acting President of South African is shrouded in mystery; and the more the Government tries to explain the visit, the more curious it gets. They say that foreign experts usually rush in to find […]

War crimes issue: “India and Sri Lanka can find an amicable solution”

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

India will not see any need to take the issue of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka to an international forum if Sri Lanka properly addresses the core issues relating to the North and East, according to BJP ideologue Seshadri Chari. Commenting on a range of issues relating to Indo-Lanka relations Dr. Chari in an email interview with the ‘Sunday Times’ said India and Sri Lanka could find a solution to the ‘vexed issue’ of war crimes allegations through bilateral efforts. Dr Chari who heads the Foreign Affairs Policy Cell of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in Colombo as part of a five member BJP delegation that has been invited by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) to hold a discussion on […]

Govt. Commission to probe ‘war crimes’

20th July 2014 // 0 Comments

President issues proclamation without telling ministers, scope of Paranagama commission broadened; three foreign advisors appointed After resisting for almost five years, the UPFA Government has eventually capitulated to the relentless Western spearheaded international pressure to conduct a domestic inquiry into alleged war crimes during the final stages of the separatist war in May 2009. The move came this week as President Mahinda Rajapaksa trained his guns on three of his ministers at their weekly meeting on Thursday. This was over their different actions. In the crossfire were Ministers Rauff Hakeem, Bandula Gunawardena and Navin Dissanayake. Significantly, the domestic inquiry mechanism will not be a new one. Instead, Rajapaksa has extended the “scope of the mandate” of the existing three-member commission of inquiry probing disappearances. It […]