January 2015

UK report says Lanka still short

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

There was no overall improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka during the last three months of last year, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an update on Sri Lanka’s human rights situation, as the island continued to remain as a country of concern. The update notes that the UN Human Rights Committee examined Sri Lanka’s fifth periodic report from 7-8 October 2014. The committee’s observations covered a wide range of issues, including investigations into abuses during the conflict, counter-terrorism measures, unlawful use of force, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and persecution of journalists and human rights defenders. The update also noted that there had been reports of violence following the proclamation in November 2014 of presidential elections. […]

Dr. Wickremebahu to National executive council

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News- 19.Jan.2015, 11.00PM) It has been decided to include Dr. Wickremebahu Karunaratne in the historic national executive council that was launched on the 15 th of this month for charting the course of the future of the country , according to reports. Dr. Wickremebahu who has a PhD degree from the University of Cambridge on a rare subject in Sri Lanka , is a staunch socialist and an intellectual. It is learnt that he will be participating in the next meeting of the council scheduled for 20 th of this month. Meanwhile , JVP leader Anura Dissanayake is getting ready to bring forward two proposals before the apex committee of the council that takes decisions , Dissanayake has disclosed. The two proposals are : To […]

No to Federal System Setback for Tamils

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: In a move which may disappoint the minority Tamils, Sri Lanka’s new government has categorically ruled out adoption of a federal constitution for the country. In his maiden speech in Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe disregarded the Tamil National Alliance’s long-standing demand for a federal constitution and made it clear that Lanka will remain a unitary state in which power will be devolved to the provinces without disturbing the country’s unitary constitutional framework. Wickremesinghe said that the (India-inspired) 13th Amendment of the constitution, which devolves a modicum of powers to the country’s nine provinces, will be implemented within the framework of the existing unitary constitution. Thus, the government of President Maithripala Sirisena has allayed one of the entrenched fears among the country’s […]

India’s new Lanka agenda

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

The smallest of diplomatic gestures are sought to be analysed from the prism of China-India rivalry on the island nation of Sri Lanka. The fact that India’s high commissioner in Colombo could meet the new President, Maithripala Sirisena, within hours of his victory and the Chinese envoy could not for more than six days, has been much commented upon. Then there was a report that the Colombo station chief of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing, played a crucial part in forging anti-Rajapaksa coalition, leading to his expulsion just ahead of the voting, which led to much speculation and vehement denials from both India and Sri Lanka. That Sri Lanka’s new foreign minister but old hand in diplomacy, Mangala Samaraweera, made New Delhi […]

Sirisena Government Probing Defense Ministry’s Shady Deals

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government has ordered investigations into the shady deals of the Ministry of Defense under the stewardship of the former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, one of the brothers of defeated Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Stating this at a media briefing here on Wednesday, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the discovery of huge caches of sophisticated arms and ammo from a vessel in Galle and at a conference center in Colombo, has revealed that the Ministry of Defense under Gotabaya Rajapaksa may have been involved in unlawful and questionable dealings with a political dimension. The Military Spokesman said that the vessel and the arms belong to a Lankan Defense Ministry-owned sea security firm Rakna Lanka Ltf (RALL) involved in anti-piracy operations on […]

Sirisena-Ranil Govt. scores half a century

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

Three-month term only but six  More ministerial types appointed bringing total to 51 Their term may be limited to three months but there has been more clamour for ministerial posts judging by six new appointments made yesterday. The Government announced the appointment of a new Cabinet Minister, a State Minister and four Deputy Ministers. Abdul Halim Mohammed Hazim was named Muslim Religious Affairs Minister, Mohamed Thumbi Hassan Ali State Minister of Health and Ranjan Ramanayake Deputy Minister of Social Services Welfare and Livestock Development. Other deputy ministers were Wasantha Aluwihare as Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Amir Ali Sahabdeen as Deputy Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Development and Mohammad Shariff Thoufeek as Deputy Minister of Internal Transport. Following is the full updated list […]

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy: introducing balance and proportion

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

In this handout photograph received from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) on January 19, 2015, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera (L) shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Sri Lanka’s new foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera met his Indian counterpart in New Delhi January 18 during a visit to improve strained ties after elections in the island toppled longtime strongman Mahinda Rajapakse. AFP It need hardly be said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa years were characterized by lopsidedness and imbalance in this country’s foreign policy conceptualization and implementation. Needless to say, not many dared openly criticize these ‘trajectories’ in Lankan foreign policy for fear of reprisals of one kind or another. It ought to come as a huge relief to knowledgeable sections […]

Election Results And Executive Presidency

22nd January 2015 // 0 Comments

N Sathiya Moorthy The none-too-unanticipated situation in which the smooth power-transfer in government is being followed by a similar leadership-change in President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has a message for the parliamentary polls, due anytime before March 2016. Considering that the re-united SLFP has decided to sit in the Opposition could mean that the nation may have returned to the days of the cohabitation era of 2004-05, when SLFP’s President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) and UNP’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe wrecked the boat from within. The SLFP merger has ensured that at least in name the party has a longer stint at the presidency, since CBK came to power first in 1994, to be followed by Rajapaksa and now Sirisena. President Sirisena […]

TN parties hail Sri Lanka’s announcement on 13th Amendment

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

RELATED NEWS  Leaders condole Tamil magazine group chief’s demise Transport unions commence indefinite strike in TN Governor, Jaya, Karuna greet people on Pongal TN parties flay noose for fishermen; ask Centre to save them Convene all-party meet on inter-state issues: TNCC to TN Govt   DMK and several other parties in Tamil Nadu today welcomed the announcement made by newly-elected Sri Lankan Government that it would implement India-backed 13th Amendment to the Constitution on devolution of power to achieve reconciliation with the minority Tamil community in the island nation. Expressing joy over Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement on the issue yesterday in Lankan Parliament, DMK President M Karunanidhi said it had given a “huge confidence to the world of Tamils”. “The new regime should […]

Mangala promises demilitarisation of North, domestic war crimes probe … calls upon TNA to join govt.

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent NEW DELHI, January 20: Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has outlined a series of steps President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government will undertake to achieve national reconciliation in the civil war-ravaged island-nation. Talking to a select group of journalists here on Monday, he said the new government will demilitarise the Northern Province, order a domestic probe into the excesses reportedly committed during the last phase of the so-called Eelam War IV in 2009, and take suitable steps to provide relief and justice to victims of the civil war that tore the country apart for nearly three decades. He also said the government will soon initiate a dialogue with the one-million-strong Sri Lankan diaspora scattered across the globe […]

From Bullets to Ballots: The Face of Sri Lanka’s Former War Zone

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

Many in the Vanni struggle due to a combination of poverty, war-related injuries and untreated trauma. Credit: Amantha Perera/IPS VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka , Jan 20 2015 (IPS) – In four months’ time, Sri Lanka will mark the sixth anniversary of the end of its bloody civil conflict. Ever since government armed forces declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 19, 2009, the country has savored peace after a generation of war. Suffocating security measures have given way to a sense of normalcy in most parts of the country, while steady growth has replaced patchy economic progress – averaging above six percent since 2009. But these changes have largely eluded the area where the war was at its worst: the Vanni, […]

Ranil promises radical constitutional reforms to solve ‘national problem’

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

UNP leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing parliament on opening day of the new session. President Maithripala Sirisena sits next to the Premier. (Pic by Sudath Silva) by Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged in Parliament yesterday to bring about radical reforms to the Constitution to find a solution to the national problem within the first 100 days of the new government. “I specially mention that the solution would not be detrimental to the unitary status of the country. We will introduce the 19th Amendment to the constitution repealing the provisions of the 18th amendment to establish independent commissions and bring about a solution to the national problem. The new amendment will preserve the unitary status and the provisions of the 13th amendment […]

Missing Persons Commission says 2,000 complaints need serious investigation

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

Missing Persons Commission says 2,000 complaints need serious investigation by Sulochana Ramaiah Mohan A separate file with 2,000 complaints on missing persons awaits serious investigation, says the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons (PCICMP).Chairman of the Missing Persons Commission, Maxwel Paranagama, told Ceylon Today the separate file for investigation is ready as it comply with international humanitarian law and human rights law. A team of experts in that area is also needed. “There are some areas linked with international laws and we need to investigate those complaints separately,” he said. He added this is not the final set of complaints that needs investigation. He reiterated that he had informed the former regime, the UPFA, about another investigating panel that is required. “We […]

Will implement 13th Amendment within a unitary state: Ranil

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government will implement the 13th Amendment to its Constitution within a unitary state, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has said. Implementation of the 13th Amendment — born out of the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 — has remained a long-pending demand of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main party representing the island’s Northern Tamils. The Amendment envisages substantive devolution of political powers to the provinces. In his first parliamentary address after assuming charge as Prime Minister — following the Sri Lanka’s January 8 presidential elections — Mr. Wickramasinghe said: “We will implement the 13th Amendment within a unitary state.” Given that the TNA backed President Sirisena in the elections, the Northern Tamils — who voted against President Rajapaksa in large numbers — would […]

Douggie misses the bus

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

Douggie who once strutted about like a vein peacock in the North has now been reduced to a crestfallen pathetic figure.   Losing his long-held Ministerial portfolio was bad enough. And the worst possible too has happened. He lost his electorate too. After all, Douggie is a politician and didn’t someone say that politics is the art of the possible? He met the former Madam. And he didn’t cut corners in approaching the subject.  “Madam, we supported you when you were in office. Later we had to throw in our lot with the deposed Big Boss. But that is a thing of the past. We wish to extend our support to the new incumbent,” he explained. The former Madam who gave a patient hearing to […]

Three Good Speeches One Promise Kept and One Postponed – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/61705/three-good-speeches-one-promise-kept-and-one-postponed#sthash.cL5dXoQ4.dpuf

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

The One-Hundred-Day Programme of President Maithripala Sirisena (MS) was launched last week with three good speeches; one of two promises largely kept and the third postponed, hopefully to be fulfilled sooner rather than later. President Sirisena made three good speeches during the last seven days, the first during his swearing-in ceremony, the second in Kandy and the third when his Cabinet of Ministers sworn-in. His continued emphasis on the principles of good governance, uncompromising opposition to corruption and to the cause of national unity is indeed heartening. President Sirisena promised to accomplish two major political goals in the first week of his new administration. One was the formation of an “all-party” Cabinet with UNP’s Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister.  The other was the appointment of […]

13A subjected to Unitary Character

21st January 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his first parliamentary address after assuming office in the new administration headed by President Maithripala Sirisena — said the Government would preserve the unitary character of the Constitution when introducing constitutional reforms. He outlined the plan for the execution of the 100-day programme and said the Government would introduce the 19th Amendment to the Constitution for the establishment of independent commissions which were rendered worthless under the 18th Amendment. The Prime Minister said fresh constitutional reforms would be enacted to transfer the executive powers to the Legislature and the Cabinet during this period. “We will introduce these reforms while preserving the unitary character of the Constitution. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution will be implemented subject to that principle,” he […]

Inside Story Of The Election Night Coup Unfolds – A Detailed Version

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

How the Attorney General Yuvanjan Wijayatilake and a handful of fellow public servants had prevented theMahinda Rajapaksa led election night coup, the Colombo Telegraph can reveal today. A detailed version of the event took place is sent to Colombo Telegraph by the lawyers close to the AG. We publish below the detailed version in full; By now the narrative of a peaceful transition of power between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the newly elected government has largely taken root. Newspapers, television airtime and the Internet are abuzz with photographs of President Rajapaksa humbly leaving Temple Trees even before the final election results were announced. There are no pictures of the sequence of events that took place in the corridors of power in the preceding hours, […]

“Sri Lanka is Committed to Implementing the 13th Constitutional Amendment”-Mangala Samaraweera in India.

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Suhasini Haidar The new Sri Lankan government will take a different position from the Rajapaksa regime when it comes to dealing with the international community on allegations of human rights violations, visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has told the Indian government. “Our government will take a new approach to the U.N. Human Rights Council process in Geneva. We will offer a domestic mechanism for this, which could be supported by international agencies,” he said. Asked if President Maithripala Sirisena, who was the acting Defence Minister for a short period during the end of the LTTE war when most of the atrocities are believed to have occurred, would himself explain the Army’s actions, Mr. Samaraweera said: “My President will cooperate fully with a […]

Future of Tamils Under President Sirisena, Foreign Minister Samaraweera and Northern Governor Palihakkara

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan, France Those who are in politics can continue on their path, through political means using diplomacy and those who are involved in the field of human rights should continue even though there is a change of regime. Those who are used to exchanging birthday greetings, meeting and taking photographs, maintaining personal friendships with Sri Lanka political leaders will continue their support for anyone of their choice. We respect their rights. But we are not ready to get caught to any mirage until we see justice for the victims.   Any international affair concerning human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity is always against a State rather than against a political party or parties, which form a government. This is a […]

1 3 4 5 6 7 16