September 2014

‘Military takeover’: Defence Ministry responds to CBK

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando The Defence Ministry yesterday alleged that an attempt was being made to discredit the military in accordance with an overall political strategy meant to undermine the government. A senior Defence Ministry spokesperson told The Island that some politicians had been discussing the post-war role of the military in a disparaging manner. The official was responding to recent statements attributed to former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Mrs. Kumaratunga was quoted as having said the country was facing the threat of being taken over by the military. The former President expressed concern whether the military would intervene when the people tried to bring about a change. Kumaratunga said that many others felt the same way. “I have strong fears over this. Today, even the roads are […]

Sri Lanka president uses U.N. speech to assail war crimes probe

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa assailed the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday in his address to the U.N. General Assembly, calling its probe into Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war disproportionate and politically motivated. Sri Lanka has refused to cooperate with the Human Rights Council’s investigation into the deaths of some 100,000 people since it was announced in March, despite mounting international pressure to issue visas to U.N. investigators. “Post-conflict Sri Lanka has also become an unfortunate victim of ill-conceived agendas of some in the Human Rights Council,” Rajapaksa said in his address to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, adding that the body was overlooking Sri Lanka’s “substantial progress” since the war ended in 2009. “There is an obvious lack […]

New evidence of torture by Sri Lanka’s security forces

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

An ethnic Tamil survivor of alleged torture at the hands of Sri Lankan security forces poses for a photograph in London, October 2012. Photo by Will Baxter. New evidence has emerged that Sri Lanka’s security forces have perpetrated acts of torture and sexual violence against ethnic Tamils as recently as last year, according to a UK-based rights group. In a report released Wednesday, Freedom From Torture (FFT) said that its doctors have documented 40 new cases of post-war torture and sexual abuse. Victims included both men and women. “The overwhelming majority of these cases are ethnic Tamils, and the key factor that led to their detention and torture appears to be a real, or perceived, connection to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),” the report said. “Our […]

Liking violence: A study of hate speech on Facebook in Sri Lanka

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka BriefThe Centre for Policy Alternatives, the institutional anchor of Groundviews, released today a report co-authored by Shilpa Samaratunge and I on hate speech online, looking at Facebook in particular. The report is the first in Sri Lanka to focus on hate and dangerous speech in online fora, contextualising the growth of this disturbing digital content with increasing violence against Muslims and other groups in Sri Lanka. As the blurb on the front cover of the report avers, The growth of online hate speech in Sri Lanka does not guarantee another pogrom. It does however pose a range of other challenges to government and governance around social, ethnic, cultural and religious co-existence, diversity and, ultimately, to the very core of debates around how we see and […]

Jayalalithaa files two more cases against Stupid Swamy

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa filed two more defamation cases against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in a city court on Tuesday for his alleged remarks against her on a social media platform. The City Public Prosecutor filed the cases in the Principal Sessions Court for Dr. Swamy’s “defamatory and baseless” comments on Twitter on September 17 and 20. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday filed two more defamation cases against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for his comments on Twitter. City Public Prosecutor (CPP) ML Jegan filed the cases on behalf of Jayalalithaa before the Principal Sessions Court. Swamy’s comments in Twitter on September 20 allegedly ridiculed her, the CPP contended. He submitted that Jayalalithaa was respected and supported in high esteem by the people of […]

GTF News Update – 24th September 2014

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Freedom from Torture – the UK based medical foundation for the care of victims of torture – documents 40 new cases of post war torture from Sri Lanka – mostly Tamils – in the last 8 months: http://www.freedomfromtorture.org/news-blogs/8068   –NEWS–   THE GUARDIAN Tamil asylum-seekers being deported from UK despite evidence of torture <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/23/tamil-asylum-seekers-sri-lanka-torture>   THE ISLAND  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Implementing 13 A as important as defeating terrorism – BJP tells SLMC <http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=110840>   THE NATION  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** BBS meets BJP <http://www.nation.lk/edition/latest-top-stories/item/33559-bbs-meets-bjp.html>   THE HINDU  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Jayalalithaa files two more cases against Swamy <http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jayalalithaa-files-two-more-cases-against-swamy/article6438513.ece>   COLOMBO GAZETTE  **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** India confirms Modi, Mahinda US meet <http://colombogazette.com/2014/09/23/india-confirms-modi-mahinda-meeting/>   COLOMBO PAGE Sri Lankan President to address the UN General Assembly […]

Sri Lankan President Mobbed in New York / UN by Tamil Demonstrators Shouting “Your Next Stop is Int’l Criminal Court”

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan President Mobbed in New York / UN by Tamil Demonstrators Shouting “Your Next Stop is Int’l Criminal Court”   Due to this rally, Sri Lankan President avoided using the main entrance of the UN UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK:  September 24, 2014: As Sri Lankan President was speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, thousands of Tamils rallied outside the building protesting his troops killing of tens of thousands of Tamils and sexually assaulting and raping Tamil women. Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) organized this rally, which attracted people across United States and Canada. Demonstrators also raised the issue of Sri Lanka’s denial of UN war crimes investigators visa to that country and threats to potential witness to the UN probe. […]

Implementing 13 A as important as defeating terrorism

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

BJP tells SLMC By Shamindra Ferdinando The Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) has reiterated India’s longstanding call for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution. The BJP’s General Secretary, Muralidhar Rao has strongly emphasized the importance of having the 13th Amendment implemented when he met SLMC leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem at SLMC headquarters, Dharussalam on Sunday evening. Rao was accompanied by BJP Overseas Affairs and Global Convener Vijay Jolly. The BJP delegation met Minister Hakeem on the sidelines of the 8th general assembly of International Conference of Asian Political Parties held in Colombo. SLMC General Secretary M.T. Hassen Ali, Deputy Leader and the Eastern Provincial Council Minister, Hafiz Nazeer Ahamed and Director of International Affairs, A. M. Faiz were also […]

Enemies Of The President’s Promise

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – In May 2009, Sri Lanka seemed on top of the world. Under PresidentMahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan government and forces had defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which had dominated Tamil politics in Sri Lanka. It had survived conflict with not just successive Sri Lankan governments, but even the might of India. Though the Tigers had been banned by several countries, there was some sympathy for them in many Western nations who could not distinguish between them and the Tamils of Sri Lanka, who they felt had been badly treated by successive Sri Lankan governments. Fuelled by a powerful diaspora that sympathized with and even supported the Tigers, several Western nations had tried to stop the war being fought to a conclusion. When this […]

Dear Mr. President, I Will Not Vote For You In The Next Election, I Am Sorry!

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By Hema Senanayake –  “The military is being used to spy, tap phone lines and even hack email accounts…My friends are questioned by the CID the very next day, if they happen to visit me. This is not a harassment that I alone go through, but by anyone who bears views opposing to that of the present governing parties.” If this was told before the UNHRC by the person who told this recently, the UNHRC would admit it as a truthful testimony. This has been said by former president Chandrika Kumaratunge in a recent interview with the weekend edition of the Aththa newspaper. Not only the UNHRC, the people in the Uva province is increasingly believing it. Repression is what Sri Lankan people hate the most. The Minister Vasudeva […]

Tamil asylum-seekers being deported from UK despite evidence of torture

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Report submitted to UN suggests there has been no let-up in mistreatment of those linked with Sri Lanka rebel group Tamils during a rally denouncing genocide in Sri Lanka at the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva, Switzerland earlier this month. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/AP The UK continues to deport Tamils seeking political asylum to Sri Lanka, despite strong evidence that the security forces systematically use torture against those suspected of dissident activity five years after the end of the country’s civil war. A new report by the Freedom From Torture advocacy group, based on medical evaluations of victims, found that many were subjected to branding and two thirds of those examined suffered rape or other sexual torture. The report, which has been submitted […]

Lanka oral update moved to tomorrow

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

The oral update on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which was scheduled to take place today, has been postponed to tomorrow, the Sri Lankan Mission in Geneva said. The text of the oral update is already on the website of the UN Human Rights Council, and it notes that a fundamental and far-reaching accountability process in Sri Lanka, addressing both past and ongoing violations, is absolutely necessary for Sri Lankans. In the oral update, which will be formally communicated to the UN Human Rights Council at its ongoing regular session tomorrow, OHCHR says, notwithstanding the commendable progress the Sri Lankan Government has made in resettlement and reconstruction, a far-reaching accountability […]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa meets his stooge Sharma

24th September 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has had talks with Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma (who is suspected of helping the Sri Lankan government to cover up the War crimes committed by its leaders) ahead of a Commonwealth meeting in New York later this week. The President’s office said that Sharma discussed ongoing Commonwealth matters with the President, including the meetings in the US later this week to discuss reforms pertaining to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British Prime Minister David Cameron, to foreign leaders who have been critical of the human rights situation involving Sri Lanka, will also attend the Commonwealth meeting in New York. Canada’s special envoy to the Commonwealth, Hugh Segal, has accused Commonwealth secretary […]

SL military squads intensify attacks on Tamil journalists in Vanni

23rd September 2014 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 September 2014, 21:19 GMT]Sri Lankan military intelligence operatives have intensified attacks on independent Tamil journalists in Vanni in recent days. A 33-year-old reporter from Paranthan, Sinnarasa Siventhiran, who files news stories at Uthayan’s branch office at Karadippoakku junction had a narrow escape from a squad that intended to kill him by throwing him in front of a vehicle on A9 Road Sunday night. Squads operated by the SL military have also assaulted two other reporters in recent days and threatened them not to complain or publish news on the attack. Two masked men stopped Mr Siventhiran, who was returning home in his bicycle on A9 road after filing stories at the office of the Tamil daily Uthayan. He is a teacher and files […]

Protest against Rajapaksa at New York

23rd September 2014 // 0 Comments

A protest rally is to be held on 24th September 2014 outside the UN headquarters in New York organised by self called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) during the visit of the Sri Lankan Presidents visit to the UN. Expatriate Tamil from US and Canada are expected to join this rally President Rajapakse is scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly on 24th September 2014. The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) announced today that a rally will be held outside the UN headquarters in New York to protest Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa’s visit to the UN General Assembly and to highlight Sri Lanka’s refusal to allow UN war crimes investigators access to that country as well as threats against witnesses to that […]

Solving Tamil question the Scottish way!

23rd September 2014 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw The iconic 007 James Bond actor Sir Thomas Sean Connery, who is a die –hard campaigner for the independence of Scotland, once said that he would not return to his homeland Scotland, until the region gains independence from the United Kingdom.Sean Connery, who had succeeded in campaigning for the creation of a Scottish Parliament in 1999, through his Scottish National Party, now seems to be rejected by Scotland forever with a majority of Scottish people rejecting his call for an Independent Scotland, at a referendum held on 18 September. The entire world was closely monitoring the Scottish referendum and the International political observers even said that if the Yes votes were cast in favor of a separate Scotland State it would be an inspiration […]

ANC formally approves moves in Lanka

23rd September 2014 // 0 Comments

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has formally approved efforts of the South African Government to mediate in Sri Lanka, South African media reports said today. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg today that the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) agreed to support government initiatives and the special envoys appointed to facilitate peace processes in Lesotho, South Sudan and Sri Lanka. Deputy South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, was in Sri Lanka in July this year and met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa for talks on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Deputy President Ramaphosa visited the country in his capacity as Special Envoy of President Zuma on Sri Lanka. In this regard, South Africa has been invited by the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil National Alliance […]

Biswal and G.L to discuss rights issues

23rd September 2014 // 0 Comments

US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal and External Affairs Minister, Professor GL Peiris will meet in New York today and discuss the Sri Lankan issue, the US State Department said. Minister Peiris is in the US with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and Commonwealth meetings. (Colombo Gazette)

CMAG likely to refer to Sri Lankan issue

23rd September 2014 // 0 Comments

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) is likely to discuss Sri Lanka, outside of its main agenda, when it meets on Friday in New York, for the second time this year. The group, which is comprised of nine Foreign Ministers, is tasked with assessing serious or persistent violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values. Fiji, which is currently suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth, will be on the agenda. Under Matters of Interest, the Secretary-General will also brief the Group on issues of concern in member countries under CMAG’s strengthened mandate to protect and promote the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values. Meanwhile, the 13th annual meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers will take place in New York alongside the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. […]

How then can you be in the panel of experts probing missing persons appointed by the President?

23rd September 2014 // 0 Comments

If the agenda doesn’t suit me, I will quit – Kaushal By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Q:Reading some of your comments in the media, you seemed to be ‘biased’ in your approach towards the Tamils, but highly supportive of the government’s approach. How then can you be in the panel of experts probing missing persons appointed by the President?A: I am not biased. What I say is, please respect a nation’s sovereignty. Mahinda Rajapaksa is a democratically elected President. I say this to all nations. It’s not about whether he is good or bad.Q:However, critics think you are a very good friend of the President and therefore your contribution would be biased. What have you to say?A: I invited the President to lecture at my ‘Khendra’ on […]

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