8th November 2014

On the spot reporting – Buried Alive & standing on his child’s grave

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Arunadale Wijeratne and thyaga srimali bandara “Forgive us for wading in mud over the land where you were buried,” a father says. We may be standing on his child’s grave. The heartbeat of the dead is silenced now, but the heartbeat of the living can be heard louder exposing acutely personal emotions. Those who were killed do not hear the heartbeat of the living. The living people also do not hear the heartbeat of the dead. A wailing mother mutters something They don’t want food, or water. They are weeping for the dead as if to send messages to the dead through the soil under which they are buried. Death is not begged and it is not an offering given to beggars. But, death has become beggars’ […]

“Don’t Engage In Cheap Political Games” TNA Slams Sri Lankan Government

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance has today condemned the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. Sampanthan – Mahinda – Colombo TelegraphIssuing a statement the TNA said; “The Tamil National Alliance reiterates firmly its denial of any involvement with the individuals referred to in the said statement pertaining to the investigation being conducted by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Tamil National Alliance specifically states that it has nothing whatever to do with the said individuals pertaining to the said investigation or otherwise. It is ludicrous that the Government in support of such purported involvement seeks to rely allegedly upon photographs taken at public functions on public occasions. “The statement of the Ministry of External Affairs is indicative of the depth of the desperation […]

Take steps for Rajapaksa removal, TNCC chief urges Modi

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

“Mr. Modi knows how to do this. It is the duty of a super power to remove anti-people government. India is a super power,” he said. TNCC president EVKS Elangovan on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps for the removal of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and install a new leader who would protect the interests of Tamils in the Island nation. “Mr. Modi knows how to do this. It is the duty of a super power to remove anti-people government. India is a super power,” he said. Commenting on the death sentence awarded to five Tamil fishermen by a Colombo court recently, he said Mr. Rajapaksa was behind the judgment and there was no democracy in Sri Lanka. “I do not […]

Appeal against TN fishermen death sentence in Sri Lankan Supreme Court on Monday

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu has sent a cheque for Rs. 20 lakh towards the cost of legal expenses to the Indian High Commission in Colombo. An appeal is likely to be filed in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Monday against the death sentence awarded to five fishermen from Tamil Nadu. Indicating this, an official release issued on Saturday stated that steps were on to move the Supreme Court. Chief Secretary Mohan Verghese Chunkath and Secretary of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries S. Vijayakumar ascertained the status of the case with officials of the Ministry of External Affairs. The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had hired top lawyers to appear on behalf of the fishermen. On the direction of Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, a cheque […]

G.K. Vasan faces fishermen’s ire

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

The protesters said the previous UPA Government could have found a solution to enable fishermen fish in the Palk Strait and traditional areas without any problem as they were in power for a long time Former Union Minister G K Vasan, who quit the Congress, on Saturday faced the ire of fishermen, who are on an indefinite stir, when he visited them to express his solidarity with them on their demands, including release of five fishermen sentenced to death by a Lankan court. Some women posed questions to Mr. Vasan, asking him why he was coming now to meet them after quitting the Congress and what was he doing for them when he was Shipping Minister and advised him not to come and seek their […]

MPs sleeping in Parliament discussed

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Parliamentarians were today advised against sleeping in the House during sittings after the issue came up during a speech made by UNP MP Ajith P. Perera. The UNP MP held up an image appearing in a Sunday newspaper showing Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva sleeping while President Mahinda Rajapaksa was presenting the 2015 budget in Parliament. However Minister John Seneviratne said making such comments in Parliament by pointing at a particular MP is unfair and should not be allowed as MPs tend to fall asleep during sessions, and that is nothing out of the ordinary. The UNP MP then agreed that several MPs fall asleep when important sessions are underway in Parliament and not just one or two MPs. Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakody then noted […]

Minister Rishard Bathiudeen was in mortal fear of Basil

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – This did not mean it was not sincere about reconciliation. Basil I think honestly believed that rapid development of the North would make everyone happy. Certainly he seems to have been surprised when the election results were announced, and winning less than a quarter of the vote clearly upset him, even though the confidence he had expressed previously, that government would do well in several places, may have been bravado. The problem was, he did not consult those whom he thought he was helping, rather like the devoted lady in Trollope who did everything in terms of her passion for Phineas Finn, but never thought of asking him what he might want. Thus, when the Northern Task Force was set up initially, there […]

Not to support Mahinda Rajapaksa at the planned forthcoming presidential election for a Third Term

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – It appears that not only the country, but also the Left parties, particularly the LSSP and the CP led by you, are facing a crisis as a result. This is inevitable. However, the question is how you would come out of this crisis, uniting the parties that you lead, and addressing the issues at hand, not based on short term benefits for the party or for yourselves, but for the best interest of the country and the people. In short, I urge you not to support Mahinda Rajapaksa at the planned forthcoming presidential election for a Third Term. It would be a disaster for the country. I make this appeal as a long term supporter of both your parties, the LSSP […]

UNP,JVP, JHU, Sobitha Thera join forces

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

A joint Opposition front is to be unveiled in Colombo next Tuesday with the government due to announce the date for the next national level election on Nov. 19. Informed sources said that the UNP, the JVP , the JHU and the Movement for Justice headed by Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha Thera would jointly unveil their ‘political programme’ at a meeting scheduled to be held at Muttiah Park in Colombo 2. Asked if the meeting had been called to announce the formation of the Joint Opposition Front (JOF) for the next presidential election, a spokesman for the group answered in the affirmative.”Yes, since all of us are committed to the abolition of the executive presidency, re-establishment of the Independent Commissions abolished by the 18th Amendment to […]

3,000 Lankan illegal immigrants missing in Britain

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

At least 3,000 Sri Lankans are among 50,000 illegal immigrants whom the British Immigration authorities have lost track of. The shambles in the British Border Agency, which was brought directly under the Home Office after a series of scandals rocked the institution, were exposed last week in a report by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons. The figure of 3,000 Sri Lankans is speculative as the immigration authorities have no clear idea of how many are here illegally. The figure of 3,000 has been suggested to Sri Lankan consular officers as a minimum they think are evading arrest and deportation. Immigration authorities who carry out raids on shops, restaurants and other business places have picked up Sri Lankans who have overstayed after […]

UN slams Government over war probe

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday criticized the continuing attacks by the Sri Lankan Government on the integrity of the UN Human Rights Office’s ongoing investigation into alleged grave human rights violations and abuses in Sri Lanka, and condemned the intimidation of human rights defenders and individuals who may wish to cooperate with the investigation. “This continuing campaign of distortion and disinformation about the investigation, as well as the insidious attempts to prevent possible bona fide witnesses from submitting information to the investigating team, is an affront to the United Nations Human Rights Council which mandated* the investigation,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “The Government of Sri Lanka has refused point blank to cooperate with the investigation despite being explicitly […]

Mannar Bishop meets Defence Secy Mullikulam displaced to be resettled soon

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Ananth Palakidnar Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, at a special meeting with Mannar Bishop, Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, has agreed to expedite the resettlement of fisher folk in Mullikulam in the Mannar District. The special meeting between the Mannar Bishop and the Defence Secretary was held at the Defence Secretary’s office in Colombo on Wednesday (5). Bishop Joseph told Ceylon Today, the Naval presence in Mullikulam was not yet removed. and the fisher folk numbering 232 families from the area still live in different locations without proper access to fishing areas. “Since the Defence Secretary is very much aware of the Mullikulam issue I requested him to expedite the process to resettle the fisher folk in their original places and to […]

Initial TNA-SLMC talks successful

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

BY Lakshmi Jayakody The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have reached an agreement to solve ‘minor’ issues cropping up between Tamils and Muslims in the Northern Province, through discussions. Consensus was reached at a meeting held between the two parties at SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem’s official residence on Wednesday (5). The two parties had discussed the political situation prevailing in the country. Pertaining to similar talks taking place between the two parties in the future, TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, said the initial meeting had been successful. When contacted by our sister paper Mawbima, SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali agreed with Sumanthiran’s views. He said, members of the two parties would tour the Northern Province prior to holding discussions again. […]

Fonseka snubbed at Koslanda welfare centres

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By S. Buvaneka, Haputale Corr (Left) Some of the relief materials left by Democratic Party members. (Right) Gen Fonseka speaking to landslide victims. Officials of the Disaster Management Centre providing relief to people affected by Koslanda landslide turned down relief material donated by Democratic Party (DP) Leader Retd Gen. Sarath Fonseka and his supporters yesterday.As the authorities did not accept the dry rations and other food items, Gen. Fonseka ordered his supporters to dump them opposite the entrance to the Sri Ganesha Vidyalaya in Koslanda. Gen. Fonseka and his supporters had met the affected people and spoken to them. Some of the victims of landslide were seen conversing with the DP leader. Gen Fonseka’s supporters asked those in charge of handing disaster relief why they […]

Koslanda tragedy Bahu questions Govt.’s relocation plan

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath  Jayakody How can a government, which, despite repeated pleas from the Koslanda landslide victims to be relocated, made years before the tragedy, now suddenly find alternative land to relocate them after the disaster? NSSP Leader Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne questioned. “These alternative lands offered are lands owned by the government, which they have not given to plantation companies. The people in these areas have been pleading for alternative lands since 2005. They were constantly left stranded. How come these lands are turning up now? This is unacceptable,” he told Ceylon Today. He added that Land and Land Development Ministry has been withholding substantial areas of land, suitable for building houses in Meeriyabedda and Koslanda itself, on areas which are believed to be not […]

India’s Assistant HC says Landslide survivors need long-term solutions

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Assistant High Commissioner of India, A. Natarajan, who visited the landslide hit Meeriyabedda village yesterday said, the survivors of the tragedy need long-term solutions. The Indian diplomat visited the affected areas to assess the assistance required by those affected by landslides. He said that he was informed by District Secretary (DS), Rohana Dissanayake, the government is looking for alternative land in Haldummulla to settle the 56 displaced families. “I visited the area on the request made by Indian High Commissioner, Y.K. Sinha, and I saw the displaced were highly distressed over the calamity they had faced, especially losing their loved ones,” he said adding, that according to the DS, only six children had lost their parents. “I met a brother and […]

Massive security for India-Sri Lanka ODI

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

HYDERABAD: Nearly 1,500 police personnel will be deployed for the upcoming one-day international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal on Sunday. Cyberabad police said 56 cameras would be installed in and around the stadium and a command control room will also be set up to monitor all the CCTV footage. “Spectators will not be allowed to carry bags, banners, cell phones, cameras, binoculars, match boxes, lights, helmets, cigarettes, perfumes, eatables or even water bottles into the stadium,” the police said in a press release. Separate teams will be deployed to check anti-social elements. Apart from that, a Quick Response Team (QRT) and Octopus commandos will be in place to meet any emergency. In view of the […]

DMK for special session on Sri Lanka

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

India’s DMK party has urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to convene a session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly to discuss important issues, including the death sentence awarded to five fishermen in Sri Lanka, the hike in milk prices and the proposal to hike power tariff. In a statement in Chennai, DMK party treasurer and the party’s Legislature party leader M.K. Stalin said as Tamil Nadu was witnessing one crisis after another, there was a need to discuss these issues in the Assembly. Stalin said that though Mr. Panneerselvam had assumed office as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the session of the House, normally held in October, has not yet been convened. “All political parties have urged the State Government and the Centre to prevail […]

Fresh moves by CBK

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who recently returned to the country from an overseas stay, is playing a ‘pivotal role’ in working out a common agenda to bring forward a candidate acceptable to all the parties in the opposition, Daily Mirror. However, it was not clear whether she would contest proposed snap presidential election as the common candidate or not. The parties in the opposition are busy with preparations for working out a common agenda for the election. It is learnt that the idea for a common candidate is gaining ground at the moment despite differences within some of the parties. Meanwhile, as part of this exercise to bring about common understating in the opposition, Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera who spearheads the National Movement for […]

The Two Bizarre Constitutional Questions!

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – It may appear that Mahinda Percy Rajapaksa has preempted Sarath Nanda Silva. But you never know. The latter may appear before the Supreme Court before the verdict on the 10th. An intriguing constitutional situation has arisen in this serendipity (does it mean strange?) Sri Lanka with two bizarre questions being referred to the Supreme Court by the former in his apparent capacity as the incumbent President. They were buddies few moons ago. Two questions are ordered alphabetically (a) and (b). Logically speaking, (b) should have come first which questions whether there is any ‘impediment’ for him “to be elected for a further term of office.” Rationality, however, does not appear to be of any concern for the existing regime. Both questions […]

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