28th September 2014

Overplaying the ‘China Card’?

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Sri Lanka earlier this month was widely seen as heralding a new chapter in bilateral relations between the two nations. During his visit, which was the first to Sri Lanka by a Chinese President in 28 years, Xi pushed for the country’s cooperation on China’s initiative to create a Maritime Silk Road (MSR) for the 21st century. The ambitious project aims to establish a lucrative sea-trade route between China and other countries in the region and beyond. The initiative was first proposed by President Xi during a speech to the Indonesian Parliament in October, last year. The original proposal called for the establishment of such a route to increase maritime cooperation between China and member states of the […]

Govt Rides On Modi now!

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu made a lot of noise on Sri Lanka ahead of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but it seemed Sri Lanka had the last laugh. Last week was a crucial week for Sri Lanka both at the UNGA and the UNHRC. A day after President Mahinda Rajapaksa explained his position on the UNHRC during his speech at the UNGA, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) explained its position on the investigation on Sri Lanka. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansier, on Thursday, presented the oral update related to the investigation on the war in Sri Lanka. Pansier submitted a summary of the oral update and said that while commending […]

Timing of Jayalalithaa case targets Dravidian polity

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK Chief Ms J Jayalalithaa has been sentenced on Saturday to 4 years of imprisonment, Rs. 100 crore fine and has been debarred from contesting elections for six years after the completion of the prison term by a special court of India, in a 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. Last month, New Delhi’s Central Bureau of Investigation filed a new telecommunication corruption case against a former DMK minister and a Malaysian corporate owner of Eezham Tamil origin, in addition to earlier cases on DMK leaders. The New Delhi government stridently opposes and blocks any UN or international scrutiny on crimes committed in the island of Sri Lanka. Ms Jayalalithaa, personally as well as through Tamil Nadu State Assembly, has been demanding […]

Probe To Continue

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam and Waruni Karunarathne The investigations into the war on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will continue despite a split seen at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last Thursday when Sri Lanka was discussed once again, OHCHR officials said. The investigations team of OHCHR is collecting testimonials as part of the investigation and had last week translated the document calling for submissions from English to Sinhalese and Tamil. OHCHR informed the UNHRC last week that the investigation on Sri Lanka is facing a real challenge going to a climate of intimidation and threat. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansier, said the threats undermines the prospects for Sri Lanka’s own domestic […]

Inquest finds Lankan’s death accident

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan political refugee died in his London cell accidentally following failures by staff at Pentonville Prison to care for him due to budget cuts, an inquest has heard, the Islington Tribune reported. Inadequate training and lack of communication and information sharing at the Caledonian Road prison contributed to the death of Satheeskumar Mahathevan, a jury at St Pancras Coroner’s Court ruled. The 31-year-old supermarket cashier, who fled Sri Lanka’s civil war as a teenager in 1999 in fear of his life, was found hanged in his cell on April 16 and died three days later. The jury ruled that he had not committed suicide and returned a majority verdict of accidental death. It is the latest in a series of criticisms aimed at […]

Government hails ruling against Jaya

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

The Government hailed the court ruling against the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, which will effectively see her being forced to resign. Ties between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu have been strained over the years, particularly on a long standing conflict between fishermen of both countries, fueled in recent times by accusations raised by Jayalalithaa. Jayalalithaa was today found guilty by an Indian court in a disproportionate assets case which has resulted in her losing her post as Chief Minister and being sentenced to jail. Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the judgment showed how corrupt the Tamil Nadu politician was and is a good lesson both for her and corrupt politicians even in Sri Lanka. Senaratne said that Jayalalithaa, who was often vocal on the […]

How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Secrets How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder By Trevor Grant With a foreword by Geoffrey Robertson QC Author Trevor Grant in conversation with Julian Burnside AO, QC, and official launch of Sri Lanka’s Secrets, 14 August at Readings Bookshop, Carlton, 6 for 6.30pm As the civil war in Sri Lanka drew to its bloody end in 2009 the government of this island nation removed its protection from UN officials and employees, who, along with other international observers, were forced to leave the conflict zone. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his inner circle wanted, it seemed, a war without witness. The end result was the deliberate slaughter of an estimated 70,000 innocent civilians. However, many survivors, and some who died, were able to capture […]

Jayalalithaa Given Prisoner No 7402 and Housed in VVIP Cell No 23 with Bed,Fan and Bathroom Facility in Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara.

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

If Ms Jayalalithaa can get an acquittal in a higher court, she will still have a chance of making a comeback: If she fails, it may prove difficult to remote control the party for 10 years. By Imran Gowhar Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who has been convicted in the disproportionate assets case, has been allotted the VVIP Cell number 23 in the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara. She has been given prisoner number 7402. Sources said the cell is located next to the women’s barrack. Jail authorities said the occupant was entitled to a bed, fan and separate bathroom facility. Ms Jayalalithaa was provided with a white sari as a convict. Her dinner included a Ragi ball, 200 grams of rice and two chapathis. However, […]

Cho. Ramaswamy says Legal Avenues are Available to Jayalalithaa and that she may come out Unscathed in the Future.

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By B. Kolappan & B. Aravind Kumar Every time her political rivals have written her off, Tamil Nadu’s three time Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has made a comeback. And so while AIADMK’s political rivals believe that Saturday’s verdict against Ms Jayalalithaa would be a permanent setback and weaken her hold over the party, political analysts refuse to endorse this assessment. Veteran journalist and political analyst Cho Ramaswamy said though the judgment was a blow to her now, there was a lot of sympathy for Ms Jayalalithaa among the people. “The considered opinion of the legal experts is that legal avenues are available to her and she may come out unscathed in the future,” said Mr Ramaswamy, a long-time friend. Mr Ramaswamy went on to say that […]

Ms.Jayalalithaa Still has Avenues of Appeal Open to her -The Hindu

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu”of September 28th 2014 Under the Heading “The Long Road to Justice”) The conviction of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case by a Special Court in Bangalore is a significant vindication of a vital constitutional principle — that the rule of law be upheld for all citizens including persons in high public office. Too often have members of the political class managed to get away with the abuse of power, betraying the trust of the people who voted them to office. Ms. Jayalalithaa is the first serving Chief Minister to be convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act; before her only a handful of political leaders have had to face jail terms in corruption cases. […]

Narendra Modi and Mahinda Rajapaksa Talk in New York “About Various Issues” but 13th Amendment “Issue was not Discussed in the Meeting”.

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa held talks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York yesterday with the two leaders discussing key issues, including bilateral and regional, media reports said. This was the second meeting between the two leaders after Mr. Modi was sworn-in as India’ Prime Minister in May this year. “The meeting was cordial and good. We talked about various issues,” Mr. Rajapaksa told PTI after emerging from the 30 minute-long meeting. Asked about India pushing for expeditious implementation of the 13th Amendment, the President said, “The issue was not discussed in the meeting”. The 13th Amendment introduced provincial councils with specified powers based on the provisions of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. Mr. Rajapaksa had earlier met with PM Modi in New […]