October 2014

What’s In A Ban On A Non Existent LTTE ?

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Kusal Perera – “After three decades of pain and anguish, today, Sri Lankans of all ethnicities, living in all parts of Sri Lanka, are free from LTTE terror and no longer live in a state of fear.” – HE the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa at the General Debate of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, 23rdSeptember, 2011 “I think the major victories were achieved after 18 May 2009. We had to take care of the civilians, demine the land and resettle people in villages. We also had to rehabilitate and socialize the 12,800 surrendered LTTE cadres. Further 5,000 captured are languishing in jail. Demilitarization of the paramilitary forces such as EPDP, PLOTE, TELO, was another need. We could not let them keep arms after we […]

On The Rajapaksa Budget, His Thinking On Tamil Issues And Our Position

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

By R. Sampanthan – We tabled a Position Paper in January 2011 setting out our position. I table that Position Paper and kindly request that it be included at the end of my speech. The Position Paper defined the position of the TNA in regard to a political solution at the bilateral talks that took place between the Government and the Tamil National Alliance. The Government delegation agreed to respond to enable the commencement of a meaningful discussion. They kept on postponing. I wish to explain in some detail what happened when the Government did not come up with their position at the bilateral talks. The speech made by R. Sampanthan on 30th October 2014 Mr. Presiding Member, I am happy to follow my good Friends, […]

The Rise Of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Democracy, Terrorism And The Muslim Factor In Sri Lanka

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Nishthar Idroos – Winds heralding another round of elections loom high. Astrologers, fortune-tellers,  and every political soothsayer are busying themselves to make the kill. It’s that kind of season once again in Sri Lanka. The time to lubricate the palms big time if you’re someone or anyone endowed with the incomprehensible science of planetary movement. All of this can happen only in the resplendent island of Sri Lanka. Television channels compete with each other showcasing supposedly eligible and competent souls-of-clairvoyance confidently deciphering the science to the laity. Supposed god-men  escorted to the palace in utmost secrecy for on-the-spot consultations. Those opting for greater accuracy venture the quick flight over the Palk-straits to consult professionals whose names have reached the “stars”. Government and opposition politicians […]

Govt. falsely accusing UK UNP branch members of being LTTE’ers

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Zacki Jabbar The UNP on Wednesday accused the government of using a recent picture of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe meeting some members of the UK UNP branch in London, to allege that they were LTTE’ers. General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake MP said that the four persons in the photograph with Wickremesinghe were Harsha Kannangara, Roshan Samantha, Dharsahan Daniel and Indika Kumara, all office bearers of the UNP UK branch. The Rajapaksa regime was so bankrupt that it was disseminating blatant lies to shore up its dwindling vote base in the run up to the Presidential Election, he noted. The MP pointed out that it was the UPFA government that had helped the LTTE by not challenging its appeal against a 2006 European Union(EU) ban […]

Sri Lanka downplays India’s concerns on death sentences to fishermen

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

Protests continue in Tamil Nadu over death sentence to 5 fishermen Pro-Tamil groups tried to lay a siege to the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai, but police foiled their attempt. Around 200 activists were detained, police said. The angry protestors burnt effigies of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, condemning the death penalty to the fishermen hailing from the state. Protests were also held outside the office of Sri Lankan Airways here. Small political outfits burned effigies of Rajapaksa and Sri Lankan national flags in Kumbakonam and Tuticorin respectively, police said. Advocates boycotted court proceedings in Kumbakonam…….……READ ALL Sri Lanka downplays India’s concerns on death sentences to fishermen Sri Lanka on Friday downplayed India’s concerns over the death sentences handed down to five Indian […]

Slain Tiger’s mother stopped from leaving for Canada: HC Shelly Whiting responds

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Shelley Whiting yesterday issued a statement challenging front-page news item headlined ‘Slain Tiger’s mother stopped from leaving for Canada’ published in The Island issue of the October 22. She, however, declined to discuss the specific case mentioned in the article. The following is the statement issued by the Canadian High Commissioner: “There is absolutely no basis for insinuations attributed to a senior security official suggesting that there is a diplomatic initiative to relocate Tiger relatives. This is categorically false. Let me be absolutely clear: there is no Canadian diplomatic initiative to relocate relatives of the LTTE. To suggest so is erroneous, inaccurate and baseless fear mongering. Canada has long recognised that there were multiple parties to […]

Thundering wakeup call from voiceless people of Sri Lankla

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

Don’t blame the Koslanda victims“The minister said the Plantation Industries Ministry Secretary has already taken measures to find out why these plantation workers failed to follow the instructions of the NBRO….” But, the question that begs an answer from the Minister is where the poor workers were supposed to go? If, the NBRO, three years ago, had forewarned that the disaster area was landslide susceptible, what did the government do to alleviate the situation? Did they take measures to provide those plantation workers with alternate accommodation in safe areas? Did they also, if they had made such arrangements, also ensured, that not only their lives, but their livelihoods would also be protected? If such arrangements were made, why didn’t those victim plantation workers move across […]

UNP accuses govt of NOT allocating funds for Northern and Eastern provinces

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith UNP National List MP D. M. Swaminathan on Wednesday (Oct. 29) accused President Mahinda Rajapaka of not allocating funds for the Northern and Eastern Provinces through the Budget 2015. MP Swaminathan was participating in the second reading stage debate on budget 2015. The UNPer demanded to know why Northern and Eastern Provinces were being treated as ‘no man’s land’. Swaminathan alleged that the government had deprived the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) run Northern provincial Council of required funds. The government’s policy as regards the Northern Provincial Council was contrary to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and, therefore the current situation wasn’t acceptable, he said. While noting that Budget summery had tabulated Rs. 56 billion as “Provincial Tax sharing and devolve revenue”, […]

Opposition lays the blame on govt.

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

 Bishop of Badulla decries bid to blame Koslanda victims Heavy rains disrupt search for Sri Lanka landslide survivors by Saman Indrajith The government could make excuses but it should accept the responsibility for its failure to save the lives of people who perished in the Koslanda disaster, Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga said in Parliament yesterday. Chief Opposition Whip, addressing Parliament soon after the Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister made a special statement on the scope of the disaster and the action taken by the government, said that the Opposition wished to convey sympathies to those who had lost their near and dear ones on Wednesday. He said that it was the first time a landslide had destroyed so many lives […]

TNA says will agree for conditional talks

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it is ready for conditional talks with President Mahinda Rajapksa to reach a political solution to the Tamil issue. TNA leader R. Sampanthan told Parliament today that his party is ready to negotiate with the President based on three statements the President had made following the end of the war. The three statements include one made following a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when the latter had visited Sri Lanka. In the joint statement President Rajapaksa had expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, as well as to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance this process and to bring […]

UN Committee raises several concerns

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

The UN Human Rights Committee, while taking note of some positive developments in Sri Lanka, also raised several concerns and proposed recommendations in its concluding observations made today on the fifth periodic report of Sri Lanka. The Committee considered the fifth periodic report submitted by Sri Lanka at its meetings held on 7 and 8 October and today made available its concluding observations. Among the positive aspects noted by the Committee are the legislative and institutional steps taken by the State party on corporal punishment, penal code, protection of the rights of persons with disabilities ande adoption of the National Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. The Committee however raised  concerns over the 18th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution […]

Court Dismisses Legal Action Against Tamil Provincial Councilors Seeking “Genocide Probe”

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

The Court of Appeal today dismissed a writ application filed by a resident of Nugegoda who sought a writ of mandamus order directing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the attorney General (AG) to take legal action against 33 members of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) for urging former UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanidan Pillai through a letter to determine if genocide has taken place in Sri Lanka. Bench comprising Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda (President) and A.H.M.D. Nawaz maintained that petition cannot be entertained because a police complaint has not been made against the respondents.The petitioner Polwatta Gallage Ravindra Niroshan of Nugegoda stated that he was genuinely concerned for the continued safety of the security of the country particular […]

Will cause further divisions in country – BASL

31st October 2014 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) charged the approval process required for travel to the North as yet another inhuman and unjustified attack on the minorities. “This is an irritant and will cause a lot of national and international problems for the government. When the task is to get these communities into the mainstream and integrate them, such moves will only create further divisions,” BASL Standing Committee on Rule of Law Chairman and Lawyers for Democracy Convenor Lal Wijenayake told Ceylon Today. Describing the move as an economic blockade, he questioned the re-establishing the Colombo-Jaffna Yal-Devi train operation when free movement had been curtailed.  These enforced regulations would create and aggravate the already established view, among the international community, that […]

Did Gotabaya Precipitate The Crisis With Chris Nonis?

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – In the course of the frenetic travel programme I had set myself before the usual budget period, I had just two days in Sri Lanka last week. They were packed, with Parliament, and an overnight stay with a cousin visiting after several days, and the 92nd birthday of my most distinguished aunt, but also a couple of interviews as well as meetings with two ambassadors. Though I feel increasingly despondent, I continue to defend the war record of the government, and indeed feel that some of the absurdities now occurring spring from the bitterness felt with regard to unfair attacks on us. But when I reiterated how fundamentally wrong the Darusman Report had been, one of them asked very simply why we had […]

Like LTTE wartime clearance – Sumanthiran

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Skandha Gunasekara and Gagani Weerakoon TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran compared the newly implemented travel restrictions in the North to the era when the LTTE held sway in the province. The recently imposed travel restriction to the North can be compared to those that were in place during the war, when the LTTE held military control over the north of the county, Sumanthiran said. Speaking at Tuesday’s (28 Oct.) budget debate, Sumanthiran said that during the war, the now fallen LTTE Leader Prabhakaran controlled the North, a person needed to apply for a ‘visa’ to travel to that region. Today’s situation too necessitates a separate permit to travel to the North. “During the time of the LTTE, people had to obtain a ‘visa’ to […]

‘Lankan Government Stooge’ and the C’wealth: Reading between the lines

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

“This erosion of democracy and fundamental freedoms is no longer only Sri Lanka’s crisis. The fate and future credibility of the Commonwealth is inextricably bound to the actions of its Chair in office…It is your crisis too.” Mangala Samaraweera, in a letter to C’wealth SG Kamalesh Sharma, April 2014   President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma during their meeting this week For 11 months in 2013, Kamalesh Sharma, the Commonwealth Secretary General was Sri Lanka’s main man. In his hands lay the fate of the prestigious Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, the biennial summit that attracts over 50 heads of state presiding over former British colonies. Withstanding immense pressure, the threat of funding cuts and intense media scrutiny and humiliation, […]

The Mystery Of Presidential Election Date

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Dr Jehan Perera The government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has announced that Presidential Elections will be held in January. He has also said that he knows the date but will not reveal it. In not giving the date of the election the Minister is only following proper procedure. The Minister would be privy to government thinking and decision making with regard to the holding of elections as soon as possible. But the choice of date of election is legally vested in the Election Commissioner who is expected to act independently.  Previous experience of dates selected for presidential elections shows that they have been called between 52 and 61 days after the incumbent President gave notice that elections will be held. This puts the prospective […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa And The Seven Dwarfs

30th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – Enemies of the President’s Promise Chapter 2 Happy Part 1 During the conflict period, relations with India had been handled not by the Foreign Ministry, but by three trusted confidantes of the President. These were his Secretary, Lalith Weeratunge, and two of his brothers, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa. These two, both younger than the President, were neither of them Ministers at the time (as opposed to the oldest brother, Chamal, who was a long standing member of Parliament and a senior Minister). It was the two younger brothers however who were considered the most powerful members of the government. Gotabaya was virtually a Minister in fact, since he was Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, with the President being the Minister, and […]

350 Buried alive with 2 Hindu Temples

29th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah and Menaka Indrakumar More than 350 persons went missing and six bodies were found, following a massive landslide, at the Koslanda Estate in the Meeriyabadda area of Haldummulla in the Badulla District, yesterday morning. The landslide occurred at around 7:30 in the morning burying more than 150 line room housing units, according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) Spokesman, Pradeep Kodippili. “Line houses from No.7 -12 collapsed, including three houses of estate supervisors. Two Hindu temples, two garages, four grocery shops, a house of an estate midwife, the estate ward and two government office buildings were completely damaged and buried underneath the mud,” he said. He added that two teams from Colombo were sent to the crisis hit area, and a team from […]

Commonwealth chief calls for reduction of army role in northern Sri Lanka

29th October 2014 // 0 Comments

Due to travel restrictions imposed in the northern provinces earlier this month by the Sinhala Government, all foreign passport holders now require a permit before travelling to these areas controlled by Sri Lankan forces. All movements of the visitors are watched by Military men in plain cloths on the street. Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma who visited Jaffna yesterday has called for scaling down Sri Lankan Army’s role in the war—ravaged northern province to address the “legitimate concerns” of the Tamil population living in North of Sri Lanka. “The steps that needed to be taken to empower the people affected by the conflict include addressing legitimate concerns about restricted and monitored movement of both the citizens of the province and those visiting them for lawful […]

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