4th October 2014

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 […]