21st October 2014

Unfinished war in Sri Lanka threatens paradise regained

21st October 2014 // 0 Comments

By Nita Bhalla and Shihar Aneez JAFFNA Sri Lanka (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In the fishing village of Oori, two mothers await news of their young daughters who were taken to a care home three months ago after their alleged rape by members of the Sri Lankan navy. In a lawyer’s office in the town of Mannar, a middle-aged woman sobs uncontrollably as she recounts her five-year struggle to find her son, one of thousands of cases of young men and women who disappeared after being picked up by soldiers. While in the city of Jaffna, a fisherman, displaced from his village after the military took his land, remembers the good life he once had as he sits in the ramshackle tenement he now shares […]

Govt. passes new laws restricting sale of land to foreigners

21st October 2014 // 0 Comments

Two separate regulations for freehold and leasehold transactions By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent New laws were passed yesterday in Parliament making necessary provisions to stipulate restrictions on the sale of land to foreigners. The new regulations cover foreign companies and certain institutions with majority foreign shareholdings subjected to certain exemptions. According to the Government, new laws were needed to continue development policies being promoted in the backdrop of a globally-integrated environment where prudent use of land is a must. Moving the Bill, Minister of International Monetary Co-operation and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Sarath Amunugama highlighted the requirement of a national policy to regulate land in Sri Lanka. “The proposed laws will limit the ownership of the lands of this country to […]

Govt. foisting Tiger labels on UNP to serve election agenda

21st October 2014 // 0 Comments

Senior politician accuses regime of nursing and nurturing brutal LTTE members Calls allegations against UNP Leader ‘outright lies’ LTTE  enforced a boycott to ensure the defeat of an UNP candidate at the 2005 presidential election and make Mahinda WIN. The United National Party has hit out against allegations by the Government that the main opposition party had been involved in a recent court ruling lifting sanctions against the LTTE in the European Union, calling it petty politicking for the forthcoming election season. UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya said in a statement issued yesterday that the European Court of Justice ruling relaxing the terror controls on the LTTE was a failure of the Government, which should appeal the ruling legally by making submissions to the […]

A parting of ways

21st October 2014 // 0 Comments

JHU parliamentarian Athureliye Rathana Thera announced last week that his party would do everything in its power to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election unless the Constitution was amended, curbing the powers of the presidency and reintroducing the 17th Amendment. Yet back in 2001, the JHU was the only party in Parliament that voted against the 17th Amendment. In this interview, C.A. Chandraprema speaks to Rathana Thera about his party’s change of heart with regard to the 17th Amendment and the political options available to it once it parts company with the UPFA. Q: In a ruling coalition differences can emerge among coalition partners. There is nothing unusual in that. But what is curious is the 180 degree turn that you seem […]

JHU strategy for presidential election

21st October 2014 // 0 Comments

There is a common belief that the Jathika Hela Urumaya’s (JHU) days with the UPFA have now been numbered. People think that the JHU would quit the UPFA soon after announcement of the presidential election. However, they are confused about options available for the JHU after quitting the UPFA. Hence, let us explore the options available for the JHU. The presidential election held in 2005 was extremely crucial for Sri Lanka since it marked a paradigm shift in its national policies adopted hitherto as Mahinda Rajapaksa who being elected President, decided to militarily defeat Tamil terrorism instead of reaching a negotiated settlement. Despite the widely accepted belief that the LTTE cannot be defeated militarily, the UPFA government was able to eliminate it within a span […]