October 2014

Presidential Poll. chandrika Tells Ranil Quit

5th October 2014 // 0 Comments

In a dramatic turn of events involving the top rung of political entities, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK), who had talks with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in London, had advised the latter to quit the contest, likely to be held in January, to elect a President, well informed sources in London disclosed. Kumaratunga had told Wickremesinghe that the time was opportune to scrap the executive presidential system and it was wise to move towards finding a common candidate acceptable to all political parties. Earlier, Wickremesinghe, on meeting the former President, had expressed his desire to contest the next presidential election and sought her support for his candidature. Dismissing Wickremesinghe’s request, Kumaratunga had instructed the UNP leader to concentrate on the move to field a […]

If BBS wins then the 13A will be deleted from the constitution

5th October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam I am not a diaspora nor a dual passport holder though I spend half my time in Los Angeles and the other half in the North during the last four years and North and East during 1994 to 2007. I have met members and leaders of both major parties since 1994 till 2007. Having moved closely with many of the diaspora and the people in the North, I can assure you that the diaspora matters and the people in the North and East and most of the Tamils in other parts depend on the diaspora to help them articulate their aspirations and regain their rights. The Rajapaksa regime and the UNP and the supporters of both parties understand the dynamics. No matter […]

Angry President Accepts Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom Nonis’ Resignation

4th October 2014 // 0 Comments

An infuriated President Rajapaksa on Friday accepted the resignation of Chris Nonis as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom. His acceptance came from Rome where he had visited the Vatican on a special flight to meet Pope Francis. Rajapaksa was furious that Nonis, a dyed in the wool Catholic, had persuaded Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith (who also went to Rome) not to allow Sajin Vass Gunawardena, Monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs, to meet the pope. This is when Rajapaksa, Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris and a host of others had an audience with the Pope. Vass Gunawardena, though he was part of President Rajapaksa’s delegation, was thus prevented from meeting the Pope. This angered Rajapaksa and he […]

Sajin Vaas denies assaulting Chris Nonis

4th October 2014 // 0 Comments

Kshenuka complains, MR orders probe External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena has denied assaulting Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Britain Dr Chris Nonis. MTV/MBC broadcasting corporation announced through ‘News First’ that MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena had told the channel that he only had an argument with Dr Chris Nonis. Dr Chris Nonis had earlier told the channel that he had resigned from his post over an alleged assault incident but refused to comment further. Nonis had reportedly been assaulted at a function in the US by MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena. MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena had yesterday called for a press briefing to brief the media on the allegations raised against him over the alleged incident but cancelled the press briefing at the last minute as he […]

Sri Lanka seeks help from the U.N. to resettle asylum seekers

4th October 2014 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Sri Lanka has asked the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, for help to resettle scores of mainly Pakistani asylum seekers in another country, saying many are economic migrants and a threat to the security and health of the Indian Ocean island. According to the UNHCR, at least 88 Pakistanis have been deported since Aug. 1 in what the agency said was a breach of international law. It has called for an end to the deportations and demanded access to 75 detained people awaiting deportation. Samantha Jayasuriya, a Sri Lankan envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, told the UNHCR the United Nations had not dealt with asylum seekers whose applications had been turned down, leaving them to be a burden […]

Jayalalithaa brings the Chief Minister shivers

4th October 2014 // 0 Comments

The judge in the Jayalalithaa corruption case makes the very interesting observation that it could not be believed that being the Chief Minister of a State, she was unaware of the large-scale activities carried on by persons living in her own house. The judgment adds it is proved in evidence that substantial funds accumulated the first accused, Jayalalithaa, were credited to the account of Jaya Publications and from the said account it was diverted to the other accounts [of the companies] and ultimately was utilized for acquisition of huge assets… and that delving into the background of the individuals, the other three accused, on their own, did not have any substantial income to acquire such huge properties. If ever there was an indictment of corruption […]

In Sri Lanka, ‘fear and insecurity’ for journalists, activists

4th October 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan TV journalist Kapila Chandana Kuruppuarachchi thought he was just doing his job when he tried to cover a clash between backers of rival political parties in late September. Instead, he says, a mob of pro-government supporters chased him for almost a kilometer before pelting him with stones. He was hospitalized with major bone and tissue damage to his face, which will require at least two surgeries to repair. “These thugs are supporters of a government minister and they severely attacked me,” Kuruppuarachchi told ucanews.com by phone from a hospital, where he has been recovering since the assault. The vicious assault was the latest in a line of threats, intimidation and outright attacks against journalists and human rights lawyers that activists say are part […]

SL military enslaves Eezham Tamils along border villages of Batticaloa district

3rd October 2014 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 October 2014, 22:19 GMT] The occupying Sri Lankan military has effectively enslaved the gagged Eezham Tamil families in the border villages of Paduvaankarai region. Seven years after the end of war in East, the livelihood of the villagers has worsened than during the times of the war. While the resources are being exploited by the intruding Sinhala colonists and fishermen on one hand, the Tamils are being provided only one option of becoming second class citizens serving the interests of the occupying SL military, Tamil activists in Batticaloa said urging immediate focus from the global Tamils on the deteriorating situation of Eezham Tamils in Paduvaankarai. One of the worst exploited villages by the Sinhala militarisation in Paddippazhai division of Paduvaankarai region is […]

Minister calls for probe on Nonis issue

3rd October 2014 // 0 Comments

Government Minister and leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Champika Ranawaka, today called for an impartial investigation on the issue concerning Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to London, Chris Nonis, if there is a formal complaint made at the External Affairs Ministry. Speaking to reporters at a media briefing, Ranawaka said that Nonis played a crucial role for the country during the Commonwealth summit held in Sri Lanka last year where he made statements countering allegations raised against the Government. There have been reports that the High Commissioner had been assaulted by External Affairs Ministry monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena at a function in the US recently. Ranawaka said that if the High Commissioner had formally raised the issue with the External Affairs Ministry then the incident should be investigated. […]

Sri Lanka war probe lost in translation

3rd October 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s domestic probe into the disappearance of thousands of civilians during and after the island’s ethnic war is being undermined by serious translation errors, a group of activists said Thursday. Testimony before the presidential Commission of Inquiry was marred by glaring mistakes in translating questions from English-speaking investigators to ethnic Tamil witnesses, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said. Sittings this week have been affected by errors that could undermine the quality of testimony before the commission, the CPA said, adding that witnesses were photographed by men said to be military intelligence officers. When one witness was asked in English whether he knew where shells were fired from during fighting, the question was translated into Tamil as: “Can you tell us the camps you […]

US denies softening stance on Lanka

3rd October 2014 // 0 Comments

The United States (US) has denied reports it has softened its stand on Sri Lanka with US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki insisting that there has not been a change of US policy on Sri Lanka. Psaki said that US Secretary of State John Kerry had met President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the recent visit to the US by the President for the UN General Assembly. Asked, during the daily press briefing at the US State Department if, at that meeting, the US had softened its stance on Sri Lanka as was reported in a local newspaper, Psaki said “absolutely not”. “I saw the same story. The only thing that was right was that the Secretary did speak with the Sri Lankan president on the margins of the […]

Tamil mother enraged and frustrated by Presidential Inquiry into Disappearances

2nd October 2014 // 0 Comments

A mother making a complaint at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Disappeared, stormed out after the commission hearing in Mulangavil asked her if she wanted to get involved in poultry farming. After leaving the hearing in frustration, shouting at the Commission officials in an enraged outpour, the mother said, “Who are you fooling, you cannot fool god. I want my child. My child came into army control I don’t know whether they shot him. They ( Sri Lankan Army) shot our children and are now looking for our children 5 years later. All this government does in Vanni is tell lies and kill the poor. No amount of chickens can substitute the worth of my son.” Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances lacks […]

UK Ministers and MPs rally behind Tamil calls for justice

2nd October 2014 // 0 Comments

The Chairman of the Conservative party, British government ministers and Members of Parliament voiced their support for the Tamil community in the United Kingdom and backed calls for justice for the Tamil people at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this week. Theresa Villiers Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Several politicians came to express their support at a reception hosted by the British Tamil Conservatives at the Castle Fine Art Gallery in the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, where the Conservative Party Conference is currently underway. Over 150 guests attended the event, including Theresa Villiers Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Grayling Secretary of State for Justice, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State Hugo Swire and Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps. Speaking […]

A New Place Called The United Kingdom

2nd October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Kumar David – Forty-five percent wanted independence; that is serious. Gordon Brown, theeminence grise of the No-campaign, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg panicked, and promised Scotland enhanced devolution in a whirlwind campaign. They will have to deliver. The English Question and a new structure for the UK will have to be worked out, but constitutional change takes time. De facto, if not by name, a federal structure will be the outcome, but beneath lies economic decline from the 1980s onwards – the Thacherite transformation of the economy. Without economic recovery, Scotland cannot swing back into the British mainstream; but how can there be economic renewal, how can Britain rise again, when global, European and American capitalism is gasping? The rebuff of separation […]

Clarification And Investigation Into High Commissioner Nonis’s Resignation Is Vital: Prof. Wijesinha

2nd October 2014 // 0 Comments

Nonis Resigned But Don’t Quote Me: Media Minister Keheliya Clarifications and an investigation into the reports circulating with regard to High Commissioner Nonis’s assault and resignation is a must considering their implication for Sri Lanka’s international relations, UPFA MP and political analyst Professor Rajiva Wijesinha says. Professor Wijesinha, when asked about his opinion on the “Chris Nonis–Sajin Vass episode“, said; “The stories circulating with regard to High Commissioner Nonis’s resignation certainly need investigation as you suggest. What was reported of MinisterKeheliya Rambukwella’s comments on in his resignation suggests confusion and given the implications for our international relations, clarifications are vital.” He also suggested this incident is in relation to the comments he has made concerning a concerted attempt to remove the most efficient and loyal non-career diplomats in the service […]

Sri Lanka between US-India and China-Russia

2nd October 2014 // 0 Comments

Election Season, External Affairs & Modi-Obama By Dayan Jayatilleka –  Forget the state of Denmark—something is rotten in the state of Sri Lanka, and our enemies, the secessionists in the Tamil Diaspora must be laughing, as they well might. Three recent events indicate the future of Sri Lanka. Two are domestic and one, global. Of the two domestic events, one occurred in an international space. The three events are the Chris Nonis–Sajin Vass episode, the BBS–Wirathu nexus and the Modi-Obama meeting. Sri Lanka’s external defenses are crumbling, largely due to undermining emanating from the heart of the state itself, in the shape of bad policy and worse practices. One does not wish to speculate on or sensationalize the sad and shameful incident in New York. […]

Assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Britain – Sri Lanka Law.

2nd October 2014 // 0 Comments

The Government has still not launched a formal inquiry or investigation into the alleged assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Britain, Chris Nonis by MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena, Daily Mirror learns. The assault had reportedly taken place at the residence of Dilan Ariyawansa who hosted a dinner for the delegates attending the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Daily Mirror learns that the External Affairs Ministry has still not received a resignation letter from Nonis. (Hafeel Farisz) UNP parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella said today that a Sri Lankan High Commissioner had been assaulted for the first time in the history of this country and urged that the law should be enforced against those involved in this shameful incident. “The High Commissioner to Britain […]

US stance on SL softens

2nd October 2014 // 0 Comments

US stance on SL softens President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have told the Cabinet meeting that his discussions with US Secretary of State John Kerry had made him realize that the US had softened its stance on Sri Lanka. According to Government sources the President had said the meetings he had with Mr. Kerry and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York were fruitful.Describing the meetings as highly successful, he said India would not act in a manner that was unfavorable to Sri Lanka. The President said Mr. Modi’s only request was that the Sri Lankan Government should talk to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and explained why he rejected the TNA’s request to […]

Turned Back to Torture?

1st October 2014 // 0 Comments

A Dateline special investigation airs allegations that some failed asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka by Australia have been abducted and abused by Sri Lankan security forces on their return. Go Back To Where You Came From presenter, Dr David Corlett, goes undercover to hear horrifying stories of beating and torture of those accused of being associated with the defeated Tamil Tigers. One returnee describes having his fingernails torn out with pliers and being hung upside down and beaten. One woman claims she was raped and beaten by Sri Lankan authorities as she tried to flee her homeland. Dateline puts these claims to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia. Corlett also interviews Sri Lankans who have fled to the UK. These people and human rights experts describe a further catalogue of […]

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