27th July 2014

‘More Questions Than Answers’ – Suren Surendiran

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

While the Government feels it has achieved something more by expanding the mandate of the Missing Persons Commission to investigate war crimes and appointing three foreign experts to oversee the probe, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) feels it is not enough. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran says more questions than answers have surfaced following the Government announcement. He also notes that historically such Sri Lankan commissions have failed to meet the expectations of the families of the victims and the international community. Excerpts of the interview: By Easwaran Rutnam Q: What does the GTF think about the new mandate given to the missing person’s commission? A: The view remains the same that only an impartial independent international investigation can establish the truth and serve justice. The predicament […]

Losing diplomatic war

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

In marked contrast to the hysterical screeching by Government leaders that there shall be no domestic or international inquiry into the last days of the military campaign to defeat the LTTE in May of 2009, we are now faced with both. The silence by these same leaders to last week’s decision to hold a domestic inquiry is deafening in comparison. There has been no official statement by the Government up to date on the Gazette that was issued on July 15 expanding the scope of the Commission on Disappearances to encompass a mandate to investigate allegations of International Humanitarian Law violations (read ‘war crimes’). One can understand the Government’s embarrassment at the volte-face but it has only itself to blame and some explaining to do […]

‘There Is Definitely Hope For Tamils’ – Maxwell Paranagama

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

According to the Chairman of the Missing Persons Commission Maxwell Paranagama, the Commission, under its new mandate, despite the doubts of some Tamil political parties, is quite confident of handling investigations effectively on both missing persons and allegations of civilians killed during the war. Maxwell Paranagama told The Sunday Leaderthat the Commission is answerable only to the President but to no one else, and it is beyond their mandate to share any information or work with the UN led commission.   Excerpts of the interview: By Waruni Karunarathne Q: Can the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons under its new mandate handle investigation into both missing persons and civilians’ death? A: According to the new mandate, we are to investigate whether armed forces or the LTTE had violated the International Humanitarian Law and […]

India told Sri Lanka to resolve Tamil issue for better trade, says Seshadri Chari

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

SINGAPORE: India has told Sri Lanka that it needs to resolve the Tamil issue for making progress in bilateral trade and commerce, a senior BJP leader has said. “We have told them (Sri Lanka) that you should resolve the Tamil issue if you want trade and commerce between Colombo and New Delhi (to progress),” Seshadri Chari, National Convener of Foreign Policy Cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party, told PTI. He made the remarks after addressing a Singapore forum on “Prime Minist ..  Read more at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/39053806.cms?&utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Solheim Ready To Testify

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

Former peace envoy willing to share information with Government Commission By Easwaran Rutnam Former Norwegian peace envoy, Erik Solheim, says he is ready to testify before the Government Commission of Inquiry tasked to investigate the war. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Solheim said that he has nothing to hide and is willing to share whatever he knows with the Government Commission. Earlier, Solhiem had offered to testify before the UN led investigation which has already commenced investigations into the war. Now that the domestic Commission on Mission Persons has been asked to investigate the war, Solheim says he will come forward and share information if required. “The information I may be able to provide is for sure also available to the domestic probe and the […]

Govt. busted millions in lobbying

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN The Government has gone after several US based lobbying firms squandering over USD 100 million in order to defend its status in the global arena, especially the US.It is said that the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa currently pays four US lobbying firms to defend the country and four are under contract or active accounts in the US. The latest additions with the Foreign Agents Registration Act contracts in the US are the Madison Group and Beltway Government Strategies. Besides these two firms Thompson Advisory Group LLC (TAG), whose contract ended on 15 March 2014 was paid Rs 100 million, approximately US$ 800,000, at the rate of US$ 66,600 per month for its services till March 2014. Another lobbying expense of US$ 348,000 was […]

Diaspora Can Make Submissions

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne The Sri Lankan Diaspora will be able to make submissions to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Missing Persons which has now been asked to investigate the war. Chairman of the Presidential Commission, Maxwell Paranagama told The Sunday Leader that the Commission on Missing Persons will publish a notice inviting the public to make submissions. “Even the Diaspora is allowed make submissions to the Commission and testify before the Commission,” he said. However, he also said he was not able to say exactly when the Commission will complete the hearings and compile its report. “I cannot tell exactly when we will be able to finish our work under the new mandate. We have to hear each and every case individually,” Paranagama said. […]

GL contradicts his ministry

27th July 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Diaspora in the UK protested against President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was visiting the country on the invitation of Queen Elizabeth, two years ago. This protest forced Mahinda to return to Sri Lanka with his group of supporters which included Army commanders involved in killing more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in Month of May 2009 in Mullivaikkal. President Mahinda and his Army are also accused of killing more than 1000 LTTE Leaders and their family members who surrendered with white flag after UN negotiated the surrender. This UN negotiated surrender and killing of surrendered LTTE Leaders by Sri Lankan Army after the surrender has made UN negotiations worthless in future to other conflicting parties around the world as UN officials involved in negotiation have gone silent, who are believed to […]