27th January 2015

Wigneswaran calls for release of Tamil political prisoners and return of occupied Tamil land

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The chief minister of the Northern Provincial Council, CV Wigneswaran and a delegation of Northern Provincial Councillors, called for the release of 6500 acres of Tamil land taken by  the Sri Lankan military and release of registered and unregistered Tamil political prisoners. The delegation made the demands noting that several unregistered political prisoners were being held in secret captivity during a meeting with the newly appointed Resettlement Minister DM Swaminathan in Colombo on Saturday. Mr Swaminathan assured the Tamil delegation that the appropriate actions would be taken to resolve the issues, reports the Uthayan.

UN Human Rights Chief Urged To Visit Sri Lanka

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has today urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, to visit the island of Sri Lanka to get information for the Office of the High Commissioner’s Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) report to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in March, 2015. Noting that the newly appointed Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has stated that he is willing to engage with the United Nations probe, TGTE’s Prime Minister Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran urged in his letter to the High Commissioner that this is a “window of opportunity” that should not be missed. The letter further states that the Investigation Team would have already recorded evidence from the victims and reliable third […]

My husband was arrested for investigating First Lady: ex-DIG’s wife

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Former DIG Vass Gunawardena’s wife, Shyamali Priyadarshani Perera, today alleged that her husband was arrested under “false charges” due to him spearheading an investigation into a conspiracy to sell 100kg of gold belonging to the treasury and its direct links to the former First lady. Speaking to reporters after filing a complaint with the Bribery Commission this morning, she said that her husband had received information through the army intelligence unit regarding an attempt to illegally sell 100 kilograms of gold, worth around Rs 500 million, belonging to the state treasury. Shyamali Perera claimed that her husband, who was then the DIG Colombo (North), had revealed to her that the investigation had uncovered the involvement of First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and that he was ordered […]

Sri Lanka’s International Reset

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

The election result opens the door to reforms in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy. As the dust settles following an unexpected result in Sri Lanka’s recent presidential election, the focus has gradually shifted from discussions on what was behind the incumbent’s loss to what lies ahead with the new administration. President Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign focused mainly on domestic affairs, related to corruption and government reform, yet requires a firm pivot towards prioritizing external affairs as well. Post-conflict Sri Lanka and its Ministry of External Affairs, over the past five years, has depended on haphazard and reactive arrangements, to say the least. In fact, the country lacked any coherent message on relevant issues with contradictory statements being made by local politicians and diplomats. This article attempts to […]

The Mighty Fall Of Rajapaksas

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By R Hariharan – The recently concluded Sri Lankan presidential elections belied PresidentMahinda Rajapaksa’s confidence as he was beaten by Maithripala Sirisena, former health minister and a long- term colleague of his. People seem to have preferred “unknown angel” Sirisena to “known devil” Rajapaksa, as he described himself in an election rally. Rajapaksa was so confident of winning the people’s mandate for a third term that he advanced the election by two years before his second term ended. But Sirisena, general sec- retary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), emerged as a challenger on the eve of the election announcement. According to the official results, Sirisena won by a 3.7 percent margin over the more crafty Rajapaksa and was preferred by 51.38 per-cent of the […]

UNHCR, European Union to Help SL Tamils Return Home

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR) and the European Union (EU) have undertaken to help the Sri Lankan government repatriate Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu and resettle them in the Island Nation, the Lankan Ministry of Resettlement has said. Assurance of aid was given to the Lankan Minister for Resettlement, D M Swaminathan, when he met local representatives Gulam Abbas and Igor Ivancic of the UNHCR, and Jaime Royo-Olid and Libuse Soukupova of the EU, here last week, a Ministry statement said. The EU has already built 23,000 houses in the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces and an additional 3,000 houses are to be built. The EU has set aside Euro 14 million for this project in 2015. There are still […]

What really happened on 8 January night? CaFFE observation report

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

It has been now revealed that there was an attempt by the Rajapaksa Government to prevent the election results being announced on 9 January. Although what really transpired in these fateful hours can only be known with certainty after the relevant mandated and legitimate institutions conduct a proper investigation, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) would like to present an account of what its staff, observers and other stakeholders of the organisation observed in the late hours of 8 January and the early hours of 9 January.                         Rumours of a military takeover Two days prior to the election, several leaders of the Opposition and other reliable sources informed CaFFE that there is […]

Govt. has given priority to rule of law – Archbishop

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Ishara Mudugamuwa The government has undertaken the important task of ensuring the rule of law in the country and peace and harmony among different communities by appointing Ministers for Religious Affairs who believe in their particular religion, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said. He was addressing a ceremony marking the beginning of work of the Minister of Public Security, Christian Religious Affairs and Disaster Management Affairs John Amaratunga held at Archbishop’s House in Borella yesterday. The Archbishop said that there had been a situation before where especially the minority religious communities were feeling somewhat uncomfortable because of the activities of certain extremists groups in the country. “It was a happy moment to see different ministries given to people who believe in their […]

Gallant youth dives in and saves two of three

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Panchamee Hewavissenti A67-years-old woman of Vadamarachchi, Jaffna died in a most tragic manner. In a bid to save her grandson who had accidently fallen into a well in their garden, she unhesitatingly had jumped in to save the child. The boy’s sister too had jumped into the well seeing her grandmother do so, she followed suit in order to save both her grandmother’s and brother’s lives. All three of them got into difficulty in the end, but luckily they were spotted by a brave youngster of the same area and he was able to rescue the two children, who were fortunate enough to survive the ordeal unlike the unfortunate grandmother. This incident occurred at Kudaththanai, Wadamarachchi East area last week. The two children were […]

regime change and power sharing

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

Recent regime change in Colombo, Sri Lanka did not take place in vacuum. There was international support and networks to depose the former regime led by Mr. Rajapaksa who provided political leadership to defeat the Tamil Tigers and local political actors contributed to the scheme planned by powerful actors. One of the key developments with regard to deposing the regime apparently staged in Singapore. As TamilNet correctly pointed, there was agenda and that was coined as the 10 points formula. “The 10-points agreed between the Sampanthan polity and the regime changers including the new SL Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, at Singapore in 2013 follow: Singapore Principles 1. In describing the nature of the State what is important is the substance; the labels are secondary. 2. […]

Current political trend signals harmony among communities – M.A.Sumanthiran MP

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

by P.Krishnaswamy Tamil National Alliance (TNA) frontliner M.A.Sumanthiran MP in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer spelt out the TNA’s needs – their stance with regard to a lasting solution to the Tamil problem, the immediate measures that they have insisted over the livelihood and rehabilitation of the conflict-affected Tamils, the current controversy over the post of Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Provincial Council (PC) and the Government’s measures to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full. He said that the Maithripala administration which the Tamils exuberantly supported has already initiated measures to resolve their outstanding issues and expressed optimism that the current political trend signals harmony and mutual understanding among the different communities in the country. Excerpts of the interview: […]

There was Nothing in the 100 Day Program about Implementing 13th Amendment or Holding Domestic War Crimes Inquiry

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

By C.A.Chandraprema The bizarre situation that we have been experiencing for the past two weeks where the opposition UPFA has a clear majority in parliament but still chooses to remain in the opposition still holds. But last Friday’s SLFP central committee meeting attended by president Maithripala Sirisena indicates that this situation may not last long. A clear indication of this is that a firm decision was taken to act against SLFP provincial councilors who collude with the UNP to topple provincial administrations. The mere fact that S.B.Dissanayake a bitter enemy of Chandrika Kumaratunga has been appointed a vice chairman of the SLFP may be an indication that the SLFP is trying to unite all sections of the party and to go forward. The SLFP’s chosen leader […]

“Full Implementation of the 13th Amendment is no Lasting Solution”-MA Sumanthiran MP

27th January 2015 // 0 Comments

by P.Krishnaswamy Tamil National Alliance (TNA) frontliner M.A.Sumanthiran MP in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer spelt out the TNA’s needs – their stance with regard to a lasting solution to the Tamil problem, the immediate measures that they have insisted over the livelihood and rehabilitation of the conflict-affected Tamils, the current controversy over the post of Chief Minister (CM) of the Eastern Provincial Council (PC) and the Government’s measures to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full. He said that the Maithripala administration which the Tamils exuberantly supported has already initiated measures to resolve their outstanding issues and expressed optimism that the current political trend signals harmony and mutualunderstanding among the different communities in the country. Excerpts of the interview: Q: […]