19th November 2014

Celebrate Prabhakaran’s 60th birth anniversary: Vaiko

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Chennai, Nov 19 (IANS) MDMK leader Vaiko Wednesday called for grand celebrations Nov 26 to mark the 60th birth anniversary of the slain Tamil Tigers leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Vaiko urged people to burst crackers and offer special prayers at 7.18 p.m. — which he said was the birth time of Prabhakaran. The celebrations should take place wherever Tamils live around the world, he said in a statement. It should “echo the cause of Tamil Eelam”, he said. Prabhakaran was born into a middle class family in the coastal town of Velvettiturai in Jaffna peninsula on the northern tip of Sri Lanka. He founded a militant group called Tamil New Tigers in 1972 and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1976, and waged a […]

For Mannar Bishop, Joseph Vaz led John Paul II and Francis to Sri Lanka

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

At the 2014 AsiaNews International Symposium, Mgr Rayappu Joseph talks about the challenges and work of the Catholic Church in his country. Francis will be the first pope to visit the Tamil North, which has suffered 30 years of civil war. He insists on the need to “overcome tensions and polarisation between different communities”. Vatican City (AsiaNews) – John Paul II’s visit in 1995 and Francis’ visit in 2015 are linked by a “blessed coincidence,” embodied by the figure of Fr Joseph Vaz “who brought the Catholic faith to Sri Lanka and proclaimed the Word of God in defiance of persecution under Dutch rule,” said Mgr Rayappu Joseph, bishop of Mannar. Scheduled to be one of the speakers at the 2014 AsiaNews International Symposium on […]

Sri Lanka’s civil war Giving voice to the voiceless – M.I.A

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War. By Rohini Mohan. Verso Books; 368 pages; $26.95 and £16.99. Available from Amazon.com andAmazon.co.uk Maya Arulpragasam is a British-born rapper of Sri Lankan heritage, better known as M.I.A. Her background is rather different from that of most people working in the music industry. Her father was heavily involved in the fight to defend the rights of the minority Tamil community in Sri Lanka, and M.I.A. spent her early life in the northern, Tamil-dominated part of Sri Lanka. During the 25-year civil war, which saw fighters struggling to create a Tamil homeland before final defeat in 2009, she returned to Britain with her mother and siblings. M.I.A. can speak to an audience of millions […]

When UN peacekeepers commit atrocities, someone has to act

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Sexual exploitation, child abuse, corruption and torture. These are just some of the many crimes committed by United Nations peacekeepers. Such abuses have the potential to undermine and even delegitimise the work of the UN, yet they regularly go undetected or unpunished. A culture of impunity pervades, largely because of deficiencies in the laws governing peacekeeping operations. UN peacekeeping troops have legal immunity from prosecution in the host state. The country that sent the troops to the host state in the first place is supposed to prosecute its soldiers for any crimes they commit there. But in practice, many don’t have the laws needed to conduct trials for acts committed abroad. Others systematically fail to uphold their obligation to prosecute. UN peacekeepers are essentially free […]

Increasing fear Rajapaksa not playing a straight bat

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Ashok Malik Why are India-Sri Lanka relations in such trouble? The recent case of five Indian fishermen who were initially sentenced to death and then released (pending an appeal) for alleged smuggling of contraband is a case in point. The episode is scarcely the root of all problems but different perceptions of it point to a trust deficit. Similarly, the docking of Chinese nuclear-powered submarines and warships in Colombo, too, caused concern. When spoken to by Indian officials, the Sri Lankan defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (brother of the country’s president), is said to have been evasive and to have dissimulated, until irrefutable evidence was presented. This too has broadened the trust gulf. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. In the past few years, […]

Man arrested at BIA for molesting a British woman

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

A 47-year-old man was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning for allegedly molesting a British woman in onboard a SriLankan airlines flight. Police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohna said that the suspect has been identified as a Sri Lankan born British citizen who is a resident of Batticaloa. The person was arrested following a complaint lodged by the British woman with the airport police post. According to the police, the incident had taken place while the 27-year-old woman was on her way with her boyfriend for a three week visit in Sri Lanka. An investigation is underway on directions from SP Jayantha Liyanage, and the suspect will be produced in the Negombo Magistrate’s Court, today.

Lankan refugees attempt mass suicide

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

NPC adopts motion on Tamil detainees The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today adopted a motion calling for the release of Tamil political prisoners who have been in jail for several years without a proper trial. The motion was submitted by the chairman of the council C.V.K Sivagnanam and was adopted unanimously. In the motion, the NPC called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Justice Minister to release the detainees. It noted that several Tamil political prisoners have been in jail for between 8-15 years without their case being taken up for hearing. Most prisoners were arrested on suspicion over LTTE links but have not been charged even five years after the war ended, the motion noted. The motion also recalls that Northern Province Chief Minister […]

People’s Faith In The JHU Will Increase?

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Jathika Hela Urumaya Chairman Athuraliye Rathana Thera has said that the decision by the JHU to leave the government will increase the faith of the people ‘by a thousandfold.’ Speaking with Sirasa TV yesterday, hours after the crucial decision was announced, he maintained that “we relieved ourselves from our responsibilities with the Alliance Government. We have taken a political decision where the JHU will act independently in the Parliament.” He also added that people including scholars, intellectuals and the public by their thousands have embraced them with respect after the decision was announced. Rathana theta also reiterated that the party has not taken a final decision so far to support the common candidate of the opposition. “First of all,” he added, “we need to know […]

Thinking of visiting Sri Lanka? Think again.

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Tourism In Sri Lanka Is Part Of “Stealth Militarisation”; Sri Lanka Campaign Warns Tourists Of Ethical Risks Re-launching their #ThinkAgain Ethical Tourism Campaign today, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice have claimed that tourism to Sri Lanka is being used as cover for the military’s takeover of civilian life in Sri Lanka. The launch coincides with the conclusion of TBCAsia, an international Travel bloggers conference, which is taking place in Colombo. The Sri Lanka Campaign’s#ThinkAgain initiative encourages tourists to Sri Lanka to think carefully about the ethical choices involved in their holiday to Sri Lanka – particularly in terms of the risk they face that the money they spend will help line the pockets of alleged war criminals and help contribute to a worsening […]

Maithripala Is Offered Prime Minister Post Amidst Crossover Rumours! EXCLUSIVE

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

As a surprise move just hours ahead of the possible announcement of the presidential election, Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena has been offered the position of Prime Minister, a highly placed government source told Asian Mirror, under the strict conditions of anonymity. However, the minister, who is one of the most senior-most members of the cabinet, has still not responded to the offer positively. The offer has been made by one of the top-most echelons of the government, this evening.  The position has been offered amidst rumours that Minister Sirisena is preparing for a crossover, probably to be the common candidate of the opposition. However, no official party has confirmed such a move.  There were multiple requests from various sections of the […]

Sri Lanka releases all 5 Indian fishermen on death row

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

The five fishermen had been freed without any conditions and would be sent to India within two or three days. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Wednesday released the five Indian fishermen facing death penalty after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa commuted their sentence, television reports said.   The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the issue a few days ago. Earlier, India had also filed an appeal in the Lankan Supreme Court challenging the high court verdict awarding the death sentence to the five Indian fishermen for alleged drug trafficking. Emerson, P Augustus, R Wilson, K Prasath and J Langlet, all hailing from Tamil Nadu, were arrested in 2011 and were sentenced to death by the Colombo […]

“I Feel Sorry For The President”; Rajiva To Follow JHU Path

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

UPFA National List Parliamentarian Dr. Rajiv Wijesinha today said he would not be in a position to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa if the government did not respond to his proposals. Speaking to ‘Asian Mirror’, Dr. Wijesinha said his proposals with regard to strengthening good governance and democracy have been sent to the government months ago. “But, my letters have not elicited any response,” the Parliamentarian said. The Parliamentarian said in no uncertain terms that he would not President Rajapaksa at the upcoming if the UPFA failed to respond to his proposals. “I have no issue with the President. He is a good man. But, those who have surrounded him are a bunch of crooks,” Dr. Wijesinha told in a brief telephone interview ‘Asian Mirror’ this […]

Save The SLFP From The Rajapaksa Dynasty

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Granville Perera – It is time that all those who believe in the ideals of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) immediately gather around any opposition candidate who would genuinely work towards abolishing the executive presidency and save the future of the SLFP. Those who fail to act now will realize that a 3rd Term for Mahinda Rajapaksa would ensure that Gota will succeed him and the baton would be passed on to Namal and there is no hope for any in the SLFP to climb up the ladder of executive office for the next twenty five years or more. What would be the fate of the SLFPers who have toiled all their lives to bring the party back in to power, especially surviving […]

“JHU Proposals Had Important Points”: GL Gives A New Twist To Controversy

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

In a new development, External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris has underscored the significance of the JHU proposals presented to the government while saying there were many important points among the 35 proposals. The External Affairs Minister said that the JHU decided to step down from ministerial positions, soon after the government started to consider the JHU proposals. However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa previously asserted that the government was not in a position to go for a hasty constitutional amendment. The President also added that the constitution was not a “magazine” to be amended every month, according to whims and fancies of certain parties. “However, this move by the JHU will not hinder President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory for a third term Presidency”, Peiris said yesterday addressing […]

It Is Not Only The UN That The Government Must Answer To

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Dr Jehan Perera Even as it prepares for a decisive Presidential election, the government is getting into an escalated conflict with the UN system where it cannot possibly prevail.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has sided with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al-Hussein and not with the Sri Lankan government in their confrontation.  His spokesman has said “The Secretary General supports the views of High Commissioner Zeid and he agrees with High Commissioner Zeid that the Government of Sri Lanka should cooperate.  And we will continue to urge that they do so.”  The government’s position has been that the UN investigation in to war crimes is intrusive, biased and against the national sovereignty of the country and while the government will […]

Imagining A Muslim Eelam, As An Election Buffer?

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By N Sathiya Moorthy The recent demand of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) for a separate administrative unit comprising the community-majority areas may have been lost in the combined Opposition cacophony over the abolition of the Executive Presidency for one more time. Yet, the subsequent parliamentary reference to the Muslim demand may be as mischievous in intent as it could be substantial in content and contribution to the fate of the presidential polls, whenever held. The Muslim demand, shared by some other sections of the divided community polity, is not new. It’s as much political in nature as any other, particularly in election time. In election-time, it’s a talking-point for the competitive political leaderships of the community. The recent Bodu Bala Sena’s (BBS) attacks […]

New Tamil Diaspora Org Called ‘Non Resident Tamils Of Sri Lanka’ Formed

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

A new Tamil diaspora organisation has been formed to furtherance of the rights and wellbeing of Tamils of Sri Lankan origin world over. Seven leading Tamil activists in the United Kingdom who were engaged in diverse political and media activities have come together to form the campaign group under the name of ‘Non Resident Tamils (of Sri Lanka)’.  The group will be also known as ‘NRT (SL)’. According to the interim Chairman who is a well-known political analyst V.Sivalingam, ‘NRT is formed to embrace and represent the wider views of the Tamils overseas and campaign for democracy, good governance and justice. NRT will also endeavour to bring about speedy political resolution to the current impasse in Sri Lanka by engaging with all parties involved’. “The […]

Using Universities For Political Goals, How Dare You Speak Of Principles!

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By E. Saravanapavan – I rise to commend His Excellency the President on the commitment to Higher Education enunciated in this budget. In principle, the government is on the right track. New faculties are in the offing – an Engineering and Technology Faculty at Jayawardanapura University, an Information Technology Center at Kelaniya University, an Advanced Medical Faculty at Peradeniya University, and Electronics, Petroleum and Aeronautical Engineering Faculties at  Moratuwa University. A hostel construction program for 25,000 students will be embarked upon on an accelerated basis. The Mahapola Scholarship monthly allowance will be increased to Rs. 4,000 per student from January thereby making higher education a reality for poor children. Incentive payments for academic and non-academic staff will be initiated. Minister SB Dissanayake has promised us […]

Sri Lanka, Myanmar And The Buddhist Radical Groups: New Alignments?

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Roomana Hukil – Recently, hard-line Buddhist clerics in Myanmar and Sri Lanka stated that Buddhist associations from both countries will work together to protect Buddhism against the threat from the Muslim extremists around the globe. Last month, Myanmar’s Ashin Wirathu and Sri Lanka’s Galagodaththe Gnanasara met in Colombo to work towards “Buddhists around the globe to ally internationally.” Following this, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) expressed interest in seeking out to a similar partnership with India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) towards securing a ‘Buddhist-Hindu peace zone in Asia’ to counter radical elements. Are there divergences between radical Buddhist groups with respect to their attitudes and sentiments towards minorities in Sri Lanka and Myanmar? What impact do such fundamentalist collaborative ties have on the rest […]

JHU move won’t upset presidential campaign -GL

19th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the JHU’s actions wouldn’t hinder incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ongoing campaign, much less prevent his victory at the next presidential election. Prof. Peiris was addressing the media at the SLFP headquarters in the wake of JHU General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka and Western Province Minister Udaya Gammanpila giving up their ministerial portfolios over dispute with the SLFP. The External Affairs Minister said that the JHU move wouldn’t weaken the President’s position and, therefore, it was wrong to think it would undermine the UPFA’s presidential campaign. Commenting on the JHU’s proposals, Prof. Peiris said that the SLFP hadn’t rejected 35 proposals put forward by UPFA constituent but it needed time and space to […]

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