January 2015

Wimal Among the Accused

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Nirmala Kannangara   Among the list of names of Ministers and MPs in the former regime accused of bribery or corruption, former Housing and Construction Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s name is in the forefront. Weerawansa whose sole income when he was a member in the JVP was the earnings he got from running a communication center at Mawaramandiya in Kadawatha. However from the time he extended his support to the Rajapaksa administration in 2008, Weerawansa became a millionaire from unknown source of income claims Kaduwela Mayor G.H. Buddhadasa. Meanwhile Weerawansa is also accused of getting a diplomatic passport for his wife Shashi Weerawansa although ministerial spouses are not entitle to hold the prestigious red passport. It has come to the light how Shashi Weerawansa has […]

JVP starts its own probe

25th January 2015 // 0 Comments

A Committee to gather information on allegations of corruption, misuse of funds and murders by members of the previous government would be set up by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a party source said. The JVP has been expressing disappointment over the delays in taking action on those in the previous regime that were alleged to have involved in corruption, misuse of funds and even murder. The party said that it would help provide redress to those affected as well. The committee comprises JVP Members of the Western Provincial Council Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa Lakshman Nipunarachchi and Member of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Hemantha Kumara. Dr. Jayatissa told a media briefing that the committee expected to gather information on corrupt deals including giving State contracts […]

Appoint A Competent Authority To Jaffna Uni: JUSTA

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The Jaffna University Science Teachers Association (JUSTA) has called for the appointment of a competent authority in order to revive the university structures and rid the establishment of the malpractices that was steeped in for the past few years. JUSTA while noting the abuses of power and malpractices that were committed by the university administration during the past few years, has noted that it is time to reintroduce the autonomous structures to the university as well as to ensure that accountability is promoted. “This the university cannot presently do by itself in the deteriorating state of the structure,” they have noted. The organisation has highlighted several irregularities and malpractices that occurred during the Rajapaksa regime to which includes: The Vice-Chancellor’s attempt to coerce the academics […]

Sirisena Can Take The Cue From Obama

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By C P Thiagarajah – Sirisena can Take the cue from Obama to build Two Nations in Sri Lanka Mr Barak Obama is an epitome of modern democracy. In would have been a sheer impossibility for a person of a mixed race from African American to become the president of USA about a decade ago. But he did it in 20 January 2009. He won a second time on 20 January 2013 also showing that Americans really are a true democratic nation above race religion and all petty classification and groupings that appear in tick boxes in a census survey form. Obama in his sixth address, on the State of the Union on January 20th 2015 emphasised that a state should work for the liberty […]

Peace between Tamils and Muslims

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By S.Gurunathan The Rajapaksa regime dug its grave by deliberately attacking the religious sentiments of the minorities. They attacked Mosques and other places of worship, said General Secretary of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) K. Thurairajasingham. He was speaking at an event held at Amir Ali Vidiyalayam in Eravur last week. The event was presided over by the Principal of the school, Abdul Gafoor. He added that the mother tongue of Tamils and Muslims in the North and East was Tamil language. In the past, all leaders and important persons, while addressing political meetings in Eravur and other villages, addressed the crowd as Tamil speaking people. In the past Tamil and Muslim political leaders participated on the same platforms. “Now, dissension has arisen between […]

IMPLEMENTING THE THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT: THE FIRST STEP OF A LONG JOURNEY

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu In his first trip abroad to India, the new Foreign Minister has stated that the new government is committed to implementing the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Similarly, in his first address to Parliament after the formation of the government, the Prime Minister stressed the need to develop a solution to the ‘national problem’, adding that any such solution ‘would not be detrimental to the unitary status of the country.’ Like Phaedrus, the people of the North and East especially can be forgiven for thinking that the mountain went into labour to deliver a mouse. But this is what we have to work with in the present conjuncture, and the wise thing […]

EPDP wants 13A

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) is of the stance that the problems of Tamils should be solved with the proper implementation of the 13th Amendment in the North and East, Leader of the Party Douglas Devananda said. “The new government should implement absolute power sharing in the North and East. We have been emphasizing on absolute power sharing for the past 25 years,” he said. He also said that EPDP welcomes that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken a move to fully implement the 13th Amendment and give absolute power sharing to all provinces. “The TNA is misguiding people. They said the 13th Amendment is pointless and said they wouldn’t approach it,” he said. “However, the EPDP always ensured that through implementing […]

Pope Brings Hope For Tamils

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam The visit of Pope Francis to the north last week brought hope for the Tamils who had long suffered as a result of a brutal war and an uncertain post war climate. Pope Francis visited the historic Madhu church for a mass, as part of his Sri Lanka visit, and was greeted by thousands of Tamils who lined the streets and also attended the mass at the church. Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph, speaking to The Sunday Leader, said that he was deeply grateful to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for agreeing to include Mannar in the Pope’s itinerary. Rajapaksa had invited the Pope to visit Sri Lanka at the time he was President of Sri Lanka and his Government was involved in making […]

Abolish PTA – MER

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody Calling for the immediate release of political prisoners stating that they had already served their sentences, the Movement for Equal Rights (MER) also demanded that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) be immediately abolished and the military be relegated to barracks. Convener of the Movement for Equal Rights Ravindra Mudalige said that steps must be taken to resettle all remaining internally displaced persons. The extra army personnel recruited must be given training and the necessary support so as to employ them as the work force in various sectors, he explained, adding that the militarization and the neo-liberal capitalism practised (by big investors) in the North and East under the guise of national security and economic development should be stopped. Sinhala, Tamil […]

TNA ON FM’S WAVELENGTH – TNA MP

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Will provide boost for national reconciliation efforts CHAMIKARA WEERASINGHE Speaking on the Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) stance on President Maithripala Sirisena’s 100-day programme, TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said yesterday “the TNA will support the government and also extend its maximum cooperation to the government in finding a solution to the national problem.” He said; “We are pleased that Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps that the President Maithripala Sirisena-led government will take to achieve national reconciliation, during his recent tour of India.” Samaraweera said there are lots of proposals to achieve national reconciliation, including the Thimpu proposals, the Mangala Moonesinghe proposals and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s (CBK) proposals among others. There is no need to reinvent the wheel via […]

‘Palihakkara worse than retd. Maj. Gen.’

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

‘Palihakkara worse than retd. Maj. Gen.’ LTTE groups oppose appointment of civilian governor By Shamindra Ferdinando France-based head of Tamil Centre for Human Rights S.V. Kirubaharan has strongly opposed the appointment of one-time Foreign Secretary H. M. G. S. Palihakkara the Governor of the Northern Province. Kirubaharan in an article posted on his website under the caption, Future of Tamils under President Sirisena, Foreign Minister Samaraweera and Northern Governor Palihakkara, has alleged that the life under the former Foreign Secretary would be worse than that of the incumbent Maj. Gen. (retd.) G. A. Chandrasiri. Palihakkara has accepted the post, though he is yet to receive the appointment. Kirubaharan has also found fault with Palihakkara for being a member of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). […]

Europe unleashes new trade push on Sri Lanka

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka- left) meets the Geneva delegation led by Xuejun Jiang (Chief-Office for Asia and the Pacific, ITC, Geneva-seated immediately left to Minister Bathiudeen) as RDS Kumararatne (DG-DoC-seated immediately right to Minister Bathiudeen) looks on   As a new economic era dawned on Sri Lanka, the EU has lost no time and moved fast to enhance its engagement with the country’s global trade platform to advance it to the next levels-and Sri Lanka’s trade with EU, the country’s largest export market, crossed $3.2 Bn in 2014, as revealed on 21 January. “This latest initiative matches very well with our new government’s vision and a great start! Therefore on behalf of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, I extend […]

Over 1,000 Sri Lankans sought asylum in Switzerland last year

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

People from Sri Lanka made the third largest number of asylum requests to Switzerland in the year 2014, according to government figures. A total of 1,277 Sri Lankans requests for asylum in the “happiest country” in the world, up 87 percent from the previous year. The number of requests for asylum by refugees in Switzerland rose in 2014 by 11 percent to 23,765 from the previous year, the highest rate in more than a decade. The increase was the result of numerous crisis and conflict zones around the Mediterranean and in Africa, the state secretariat for migration (SFM) said in a release issued on Thursday. People from the North African country of Eritrea made the largest number of asylum requests — 6,923, up 170 percent […]

It was not because of the Tamils and Muslims.

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

MEANWHILE IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE Post-mortems are for losers, and I have had to listen to hundreds of pundits explaining to me what went wrong.   I am sick of it.  I am the guy that lost.  I died.  I should know better than any mother’s son or daughter what did me in.  So here goes, once and for all, the whole A-Z of it. It was not the end-result of some sophisticated conspiracy orchestrated by certain pernicious sections of the international community.  I didn’t say any foreigners voting, and didn’t hear of such a thing either.  But jokes aside (and forgetting all that I said during the campaign), this was as Sri Lankan as it can get.  Oh, yes, I know that it thrilled people […]

Trying to shoo the Eagle away

24th January 2015 // 0 Comments

JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake MP has argued that but for help the LTTE got from the US-led West, Sri Lanka’s war would not have dragged on for nearly three decades. He has stressed the need for arresting and interrogating former LTTE arms procurer KP to expose the US which he blames for double standards and causing trouble all over the world while pretending to be a peacemaker. Why the JVP leader has, all of a sudden, fired a broadside at the US is not clear. Perhaps, he wants to look more anti-imperialist than his rivals in the Frontline Socialist Party led by Kumar Gunaratnam by bashing the West. Why should the JVP keep telling the media that KP must be arrested? A member of the […]

Mangala Samaraweera Reveals the Real Political Agenda of the new Government in India.

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

By DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Who and what do we take more seriously? Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise made to the Sri Lankan parliament of ‘the implementation of the 13th amendment within the unitary state’, or that which his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has disclosed in New Delhi, India, while “talking to a select group of journalists”? I’d go with the latter, not only because of the venue, but also because Mr. Samaraweera is known to be the bridge between Mr. Wickremesinghe and his influential political ally and partner, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. The Foreign Minister has given us the first clear inkling of the real political agenda of the new Government: “Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps President […]

Change of govt. likely to affect bogus SL asylum seekers

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando  The Home Office closely monitored the situation in countries that generated asylum seekers to the UK, including Sri Lanka, and provided accurate, objective, sourced and up to date country information for the use of those officials involved in the asylum decision making process, a spokesperson for the British High Commission said yesterday.  She was responding to a query by The Island whether the Home Office would be reviewing its position consequent to the change of government in Colombo.  The spokesperson said: “All asylum and human rights applications from Sri Lankans are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with the UK’s obligations under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights […]

Nedumaran seeks a merged N-E

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

The new government in Sri Lanka should merge the Northern and Eastern provinces and accord the right to land and policing rights to the local government, if it wanted to win the faith of Tamils, founder of Tamil Desiya Munnani P. Nedumaran, said on Wednesday, according to The Hindu newspaper. Addressing reporters in Madurai, he said that he would take the promise of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on implementing the 13th Amendment with a pinch of salt. “Such a move should get Sri Lankan Parliament’s ratification to make it legal or else it will face the same fate as in the past,” he said. All the Sinhalese people, who were settled in Tamil areas, should be evacuated, he said. The present government too took […]

Weerawansa Blames Basil For Election Defeat

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Leader of National Freedom Front Wimal Weerawansa said that former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s conduct was a main reason for the defeat of his brother former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the recent presidential election. He made this comment to BBC Sandeshaya when questioned about Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s comment in parliament that Wimal Weerawansa helped defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa. Weerawansa countered by stating that he actually helped increase the votes for Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has said that Basil Rajapaksa centralized the authority of many functions towards himself and therefore it was hard to break the opposition argument on family rule. He added that Mahinda Rajapaksa could not prevent his brother from doing this. Weerawansa has also added that Basil Rajapaksa prevented reforms and changes from […]

Sri Lankan Muslims call on investigation into religious killings

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) — A Sri Lankan minority party on Thursday called upon the newly elected president to reinvestigate religious killings which had occurred in the country under the previous regime. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Party (SLMC) said that while the government had a tight schedule under its 100-day policy program, it would request the president to reinvestigate Muslim killings and attacks led by Sinhala extremist monks last June, soon after the April general elections. “The government has a lot to do in its 100-day policy program. But we want a reinvestigation into the killings and attacks soon after the April polls,” SLMC General Secretary and newly appointed State Minister of Health, M. Hassen Ali told Xinhua. Hassen Ali further said that his […]

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