31st January 2015

Ban hopes Lanka works with UN

31st January 2015 // 0 Comments

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes Sri Lanka works with the UN on the investigations over the war despite launching a new domestic investigation. Ban’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that the UN is trying to verify how Sri Lanka will cooperate with the UN on the investigation. The Government had yesterday announced it will launch a domestic investigation into the war and obtain the assistance of foreign experts if required. “We’ve seen those reports.  Obviously, we’re trying to figure out what it means in terms of cooperation with the UN human rights investigation.  And we hope that there is positive movement in the cooperation between Sri Lanka and the UN system on the investigation of what happened,” Stéphane Dujarric said when asked about the Government announcement. (Colombo Gazette)

Sri Lankan military must be removed from North, Wigneswaran tells UK minister

31st January 2015 // 0 Comments

The removal of the Sri Lankan military from the Tamil areas is the most important issue at present, the chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran told the UK’s Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire during a visit to Jaffna on Thursday. Speaking to reporters afterwards about his meeting with Mr Swire, Mr Wigneswaran said he had also warned of the change in the ethnic demography of the Tamil areas due to state sponsored resettlement of Sinhala people. Asked by the visiting UK delegation what change the Northern Province had experienced since the new government, Mr Wigneswaran said: “I told them the new government appears to be giving us some benefits [such as] the changing of the governor [to the […]

Sri Lanka to Free Tamils and Return Their Land

31st January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan government pledged Thursday to free hundreds of minority Tamil detainees and return much of the Tamil land in the north and east that the military seized and continues to hold years after the end of the country’s bitter civil war. The promises represent the most significant efforts yet announced by the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena to heal the still-festering wounds of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. This month, Mr. Sirisena defeated the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in what many analysts said was a surprising upset. Thousands of civilians were killed in the final weeks of the war, waged by separatist Tamil rebels who had long felt marginalized by the dominant ethnic Sinhalese group. Continue […]

TNA has no faith in a local probe

31st January 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it has no faith in a domestic probe on the war and wants the outcome of the UN investigations to be made public. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne had said that the Government will look at a domestic mechanism to investigate the war and obtain foreign expertise if required. However TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that past experiences had shown that a domestic probe had not gone far and so the Tamil community will await the outcome of the UN led investigation. Premachandran said that there was an attempt to delay the report on the UN investigations on Sri Lanka from being submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in March. He said that the United States and the United Nations […]

Tamils have no trust in local inquiry by Sri Lankan govt says TNA spokesperson

31st January 2015 // 0 Comments

The spokesperson of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said the Tamil people have no trust in a local inquiry process by the Sri Lankan government into mass atrocities committed against the Tamils at the end of the armed conflict, rejecting the new government’s pledge to launch another domestic commission to investigate the allegations. Stating that the UN inquiry, which is underway and due to publish its findings at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva next month, was “trustworthy and acceptable to all”, the spokesperson, Suresh Premachandran, said the “the current Sri Lankan government must firstly accept that report [by the UN inquiry]” and cooperate with future steps by the council. Speaking to local journalists on Wednesday, Mr Premachandran said: “Everyone in Sri Lanka […]

Way To Prosecute US Citizen Gotabaya

31st January 2015 // 0 Comments

By Ryan Goodman – One Way Sri Lanka Can Shield its ex-Defence Secretary from a U.S. Criminal Prosecution Last week, Sri Lanka’s Justice Deputy Minister responded to an Op-Ed that I published in the New York Times, in which I described reasons that the United States can and should pursue a criminal investigation of U.S. citizen and Sri Lanka’s ex-Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In this post, I respond tothe Deputy Minister’s statement that his administration would protect Mr. Rajapaksa from a criminal trial by the United States, if it ever came to that. Here are the key parts of the Deputy Minister’s remarks, published in the state-owned newspaper Daily News: “It is true according to the said U.S. war crimes statute enacted in 1996, that nationality requirement is easily satisfied in terms of […]

Sri Lanka to re-apply for EU trade concession

31st January 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO – The Sri Lankan government on Friday said it will seek to obtain trade concession from the European Union which was withdrawn under the previous government. The EU Trade concession known as GSP plus was withdrawn as the previous government headed by Mahinda Rajapakse failed to comply with certain human rights related regulations. “We will send a high level delegation for discussions with the EU members but right now we are looking at the various alternatives,” Deputy Economic Development Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva told Xinhua. The EU withdrew the trade concession for Sri Lanka in 2010 and the move caused widespread panic in the economic and garment sectors with many garment factories being forced to shut down, raising the island’s unemployment levels. The […]