20th January 2015

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 […]

Agreement Reached on Full Implementation of 13th Constitutional Amendment but Discussions on About Police Powers-Ranil Wickremesinghe

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

In an interview with the Indian network NDTV, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that the new governing coalition in principle has agreed to the implementation of the 13 amendment to the constitution. In addition he also said that the new government will deal with the United Nations differently and hoped to engage with the UNHRC in contrast with the previous Rajapaksa regime. PM Wickramasinghe however added that jurisdiction to punish those responsible for alleged war crimes will remain with Sri Lanka as the country is not a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The interview was broadcast as segments on an NDTV program on Sri Lanka post-election. transcript of the full interview on NDTV NDTV: You say that it’s a transitional […]

US Must Protect Democracy in Sri Lanka by Using the War Crimes Act Against its Naturalised Citizen Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to Prevent Return of Rajapaksas to Power

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Ryan Goodman Sri Lanka’s voters shocked themselves and the world this month by tossing out their president, who crushed the Tamil insurgency in 2009 and then led the country, along with his brother as defense secretary, to the brink of authoritarianism. The new president has promised to restore freedom of the press, independence of judges, and the rights of religious and ethnic minorities. Democracy advocates, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say this is the country’s most important chance to open a new chapter in more than a decade. But the country must make sure that members of the ousted regime do not return to power and that the new government can secure its authority. The United States — and only the United States […]

Gota Faces Risk Of Prosecution Under Jurisdiction Of US Laws

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

US Law Professor Ryan Goodman, in an article to New York Times, today says that former Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka, a US citizen, faces the risk of prosecution under US laws over alleged war crimes. “As a citizen, Mr. Rajapaksa can be held liable under the War Crimes Act of 1996, which puts war crimes anywhere in the world under the jurisdiction of United States courts if the perpetrator, or the victim, is a United States citizen. Put another way, the United States has a perfect justification to go after Mr. Rajapaksa individually,” Goodman said. The law Professor added that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a naturalized American citizen who used to live in Los Angeles, where he worked as a computer systems operator at Loyola Law […]

Sri Lanka’s new premier promises Tamils more autonomy – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/20/sri-lankas-new-premier-promises-tamils-more-autonomy.html#sthash.zA47woCh.dpuf

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s new government pledged Tuesday to devolve power to the country’s Tamil minority, in a step towards national reconciliation six years after a controversial military offensive crushed a separatist rebellion. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his first address to parliament since taking office, said lawmakers needed to bring a political conclusion to the conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels that ended in 2009. Critics say the previous regime failed to deal with the ethnic divisions that led to conflict on the island, whose Sinhalese majority has traditionally dominated positions of power. Wickremesinghe said his government would revive a 1987 constitutional amendment that promised a de facto federal arrangement for the island’s Tamil-dominated northern and eastern regions. “We will implement the 13th amendment […]

Sri Lanka’s Jaffna power firm says waste oil is sold, not dumped

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s Northern Power Company (Pvt) Ltd, an independent power producer connected to the stat-run distribution grid said it did not dump waste oil to the ground as alleged by residents but sold it for cash. The firm said alleged contaminated wells were two to three kilometres away from the plant in Jaffna’s Chunnakkam area and in any case no waste oil was discharged to the ground. The firm said in a statement that waste oil was sold for cash and used to fire furnaces and they would not dump it on the ground and forego potential revenues. The firm said at one time there was an ‘oil lake’ in the region from an older state-run plant which was then covered in […]

Open to new approach in Geneva: Sri Lanka

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

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 domestic investigation into […]

Mangala and Modi hold key talks

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in New Delhi today and discussed the future of ties between both countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the people of Sri Lanka for the successful conclusion of elections, which had been watched with great regional and international interest, the Indian Prime Minister’s office said in a statement. He congratulated President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wikramasinghe for the impressive victory, which was a vote for unity and change in Sri Lanka. He also expressed hope that President Sirisena’s victory will advance peace, reconciliation and development in Sri Lanka, and peace and progress in our region. Describing Sri Lanka as a truly close neighbour and friend, Prime Minister offered India’s continued support and partnership […]

Lanka is happy with talks in India

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The new Sri Lankan Government, today termed as “successful” talks held in India between Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the Indian Government. Samaraweera, who was in New Delhi for a two day official visit on the invitation of the Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj concluded his visit successfully yesterday, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said in a statement today. This is the first foreign visit undertaken by Minister Samaraweera after assumption of office on 12th January, and reflects the priority attached by Sri Lanka towards enhanced relations with India. During this visit, Minister Samaraweera held bilateral talks with the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Sunday (18/01) and called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday. The Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said […]

Sri Lankan Tamil party calls on new gov’t to share power

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s main ethnic Tamil political party called on Tuesday for the new government to resolve the longstanding ethnic conflict that led to the country’s quarter-century civil war. The leader of the Tamil National Alliance, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, told Parliament that the failure to resolve the issue has caused many of the nation’s ills. It was Parliament’s first session since President Maithripala Sirisena was elected Jan. 8. “The Tamil question needs to be addressed so as to evolve a permanent, reasonable, workable and durable solution within the framework of a united, undivided Sri Lanka,” Sampanthan said, adding that it would be in the interest of the whole country. The Tamil party has called on the ethnic Sinhalese-dominated government to share power […]

CID To Probe ”Money Deal Linked To LTTE and Mahinda which Influenced Election Boycott”

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is to commence an investigation on Parliamentarian Tiran Alles and the alleged transaction with the LTTE which led to an presidential election boycott in the North in November, 2005. Alles made a public revelation in 2010 saying Basil Rajapaksa personally handed over, at his office, Rs. 180 million to the then LTTE financial controller Emil Kanthan to ensure that the people of the north refrained from voting at the 2005 presidential election. Alles added that the deal took place at the request of the then presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa. Following a request by the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to introduce him to a person capable of doing a deal with the LTTE, Allaes said he had introduced Emil Kanthan […]

“ Weerawansa Destroyed Mahinda Rajapaksa” – Prime Minister

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his first speech in Parliament after assuming duties under the new government, accused Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa of ‘destroying’ former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He also urged Weerawansa not to spread hatred and “communalism” anymore. Wickremesinghe appealed everybody to unite to empower and strengthen the parliament, which was neglected by former regime which was fully controlled by the Executive President. The Prime Minister also pledged the Parliament to introduce constitutional amendments that would curtail the powers of Executive Presidency. He also stated that the new government would introduce independent commissions while implementing a political solution based on the 13th Amendment. However, the Prime Minister said, the unitary status of the country’s constitution will be maintained. “Lichchavi system, mentioned by Lord Buddha as […]

Stop the ‘Comedy of Crossovers…’

20th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Stop the ‘Comedy of Crossovers…’ The new Government of President Maithripala Sirisena has pledged good governance and stability of democracy. Political instability in political parties and governments stem from crossovers, performed by elected Members of Parliament. The country has a witnessed a number of crossovers in Parliament over the past decades beginning from 1951. The first crossover was S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. The legacy of crossovers has continued unabated, and the country witnessed the most number of crossovers over the past three decades. Crossovers certainly have a great effect on the political landscape and the State administration. Unlike in other countries, in Sri Lanka we see crossovers from both sides. Some members, having won elections from political parties and thrown into the opposition by voters, switch camps […]