February 2015

Tamil “Extremists” target Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of the TNA as “Traitors”

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.JeyarajTamil National Alliance(TNA) leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan MP and TNA National list Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran  won many hearts and minds by participating in the  official Independence day ceremony  held in Battaramulla on February 4th. The diplomatic community in Colombo   hailed it as a commendable  symbolic gesture towards ethnic reconciliation in a land torn asunder by decades of communal strife and bloodshed. The small step taken by Sampanthan and Sumanthiran was praised as a giant leap for national unity by all progressive sections of Sri Lankan society desiring justice, equality,harmony and amity. Sadly what was regarded as a  great leap forward three weeks ago appears to be regressing into a great leap backwards in political terms  now. Sampanthan and Sumanthiran who were toasted for their praiseworthy […]

Doctor found not guilty of FGM on patient at London hospital

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Jury acquits Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena of subjecting a mother to female genital mutilation after he delivered her baby at Whittington hospital in 2012 A hospital doctor has been acquitted of carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) on a patient, in the first prosecution since the practice was outlawed in England and Wales 29 years ago. A jury took less than 30 minutes to find Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, not guilty of subjecting a mother to FGM after he delivered her baby. A second man, Hasan Mohamed, 41, was also found not guilty of aiding and abetting the doctor. First FGM prosecution: how the case came to court Read more Dharmasena was charged with committing FGM by stitching up the mother following the birth of her […]

British Tamil Forum unhappy

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Manjula Fernando The decision to defer the human rights report on Sri Lanka by six months by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, received mixed reactions from different stake holders here in the domestic front as well as elsewhere. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad The Government immediately welcomed the reciprocation while two key sponsors of the March 2014 resolution which mandated the investigation and report, the US and the UK, aligned with High Commissioner Prince Zeid’s decision on the basis of giving time to a new government in office. However, diaspora groups like the British Tamil Forum have expressed disappointment. The Tamil National Alliance, too responded in a similar tone initially, with the party’s hardliner and member […]

Tamils show displeasure to TNA & Govt

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By J. Yogaraj The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says passing the resolution has nothing to do with the TNA having a smooth relationship with the Central Government. This cannot be accepted. You show one face to the Northern Province and a different face to the Central Government. Already the TNA has got a strained relationship with Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi Districts. When Mavai Senathiraja went to those places on routine political work, people had shown their displeasure and anger. Posters were put up by Jaffna University students to show their agitation against R. Sampanthan and M. Sumanthiran on the matter where these parliamentarians have attended the 67th Independence Day celebrations without getting the permission of the TNA Executive Committee. Moderate Tamils fear that at any stage […]

Thirteen Things That Will be Said and Left Unsaid by Mangala Samaraweera at the UN Human Rights Council

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan – The Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Mangala Samaraweera, is scheduled to speak on the opening day of the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council – UN HRC, in Geneva, on 02 March 2015. With my experience of Sri Lanka and the UN Human Rights forums, I predict that the following will be said. Many facts and realities will not be disclosed to this august forum. 1 –       Mangala Samaraweera will inform the UN HRC that a new President has been elected by all communities – Singhalese, Tamil and Muslims. He will also say that the Tamils’ leading political party, the Tamil National Alliance – TNA, fully supported the new President. But he will not mention that the new […]

Jaffna’s Water Contamination: Is the Chunnakam Power Plant Responsible?

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Protests were held in Jaffna last week against alleged crude oil leakage by Chunnakam power plant. The protests which included students of schools, as well as hunger strikers demanded that action be taken to resolve the issue of leakage of crude oil by the Thermal power plant, which is alleged to be the cause of water contamination in wells in Jaffna. The protesters say that almost 400,000 litres of crude oil has been leaking from the Chunnakam thermal power station and seeping into local water supplies. They also demand the power station be closed based on these allegations; an immediate visit by the Minister of Energy and Power in order to resolve the situation; and a permanent solution to prevent contamination of water. Allegations Denied […]

Karuna Says 1990 Massacre Of Policemen Was War Crime

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Member of Parliament Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman stated that the massacre of more than 600 unarmed policemen after they had surrendered to the LTTE can be considered as a war crime. Taking part in the live political talk show ‘Sathyagaraya’ on ITN, he said that while massacres that took place under Pol Pot in Cambodia and using chemical weapons against the Kurdish people in Iraq could be considered war crimes, the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka did not see war crimes committed by Sri Lankan Forces. LTTE could not be considered as a liberation movement as it had kept thousands of civilians as hostages at gunpoint in the last stages of the war. However, the Sri Lanka Forces rescued them and […]

Truth and justice are un-deferrable

28th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The news that the Human Rights Council has agreed to a request made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to postpone publication of the report of a UN investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka was cheered by some in Sri Lanka.  Elsewhere there was chagrin, for example an outfit calling itself Sri Lanka Campaign has expressed disappointment. Let’s begin with the disappointment. Well, let’s begin with the disappointed.  It is no secret that the Sri Lanka Campaign is a misnamed outfit. From its inception they have been anti-Sri Lanka.  The bleeding hearts they bare their breasts to show the world about victims of conflict steer do not shed even a shade of red about LTTE atrocities apart from the by now par […]

Missing TAMIL’s issue In Maithri’s Modi Meet

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By N Sathiya Moorthy President Maithripala Sirisena’s maiden overseas visit after assuming office to the northern Indian neighbourwill be noted more for what was left unsaid in public than said. Official pronouncements and announcements on the visit did not refer to the two T-words’ the Tamil issue and the Thirteenth Amendment. The Indian grace in this regard in particular should go a long way in sending out clear signals to the stake-holders in Sri Lanka, where their own venues and avenues for finding a solution should like inside the united Sri Lanka and not outside. It’s not as if the Indian leadership would not have referred to the two issues of inherent concerns to the nation at the bilateral talks. Yet, they did not find […]

SLFP-UNP talks over con. reforms deadlocked

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando Having briefed a parliamentary group chaired by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe as regards the SLFP’s constitutional proposals on Thursday afternoon in Parliament, the SLFP discussed the same with President Maithripala Sirisena later in the day. President Maithripala Sirisena chaired the Central Committee meeting of the SLFP at the party headquarters. Well informed sources said that the SLFP had stressed that the repealing of executive presidential powers should coincide with far reaching electoral reforms whereas the government insisted that doing away with dictatorial powers should receive priority during the 100-day project. The government and the SLFP hadn’t been able to reach agreement on proposals, sources said. The SLFP had also called for what one senior member described as strong provision to prevent elected members from switching […]

Lanka Parliamentary Elections Only After Reforms: Cabinet Spokesman

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The next Sri Lankan parliamentary elections will be held only after the Maithripala Sirisena government completes all the constitutional and electoral reforms which it had promised to carry out in the run up to the January 8 Presidential election, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said here on Thursday. “People are more interested in  reforms than in any mid-term elections to parliament.At any rate, the present parliament has more than a year of life left, ” he pointed out. The government had earlier said that it will carry out all the promised reforms within the first hundred days of the Sirisena regime, dissolve parliament on April 23, and hold mid-term elections in June. The present parliament was elected in April 2010 and the next elections are […]

SSA praise Tamil Organisations in South Africa

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

NEW DELHI: Almost a year after Prabhakaran’s death and the decimation of the LTTE, Sri Lankan intelligence agency had requested its South African counterpart to probe whether LTTE cadres, had held a military training camp in their country in May 2010 which was suspected to have been attended by individuals from Australia, Canada and UK. Interestingly, South African intelligence had rejected it saying the information could not be confirmed while maintaining that such allegations have been made since 1998. The secret intelligence cable is part of the spy files from intelligence agencies all over the world that were leaked to Al-Jazeera English TV Channel. The State Security Agency (SSA) of South Africa on June 9, 2010 had told the head of foreign Liaison that “Our […]

Sri Lanka: Press Ahead on Rights Reforms

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s new government should advance a reform agenda to address past and ongoing human rights problems in the country, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena. The government has already undertaken important new initiatives, such as reviewing cases of detainees under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, lifting restrictions on media reporting, ending Internet censorship, and removing nongovernmental organizations from Defense Ministry oversight. However, many important human rights concerns still need to be addressed. Among them are the use of torture by police, the protection of minority communities, the independence of government oversight committees, and the repealing of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Holding accountable those responsible on both sides for violations of […]

A walk in Colombo’s Somalia

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shaahidah Riza Weligoda slums, also known as ‘Somalia,’ is just behind the Colombo Harbour in Mattakkuliya, walking distance from the Madampitiya Cemetery, where over 3,500 families live congested, more than two families sharing a small shack. Ceylon Today paid a visit to Colombo’s Somalia. “These people live in abject poverty and are not disturbed by all the nefarious activities that take place here. It is a haven for drugs and similar crimes. They are immune to arrests and prisons,” said a social worker who greeted us. The director of an NGO, a social worker, who wished to remain anonymous and is committed to transforming the lives of slum-dwellers, introduced us to two others, who were born and bred in the area; Ryan and Rilwan. […]

Tamil community optimistic of a just solution

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil community is confident that a National Government to be formed after the next Parliamentary Election will resolve the ethnic issue within two years, TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said. Addressing the media yesterday in Colombo, the MP said that President Maithripala Sirisena during his Presidential Election campaign had promised to resolve the ethnic issue within two years under a National Government. “From the way this Government acts we are confident that the present government is sincere and is showing a keen interest in resolving the national issue,” Sumanthiran added. Addressing the media conference organised by the Balaya Beda Eksath Weeme Viyaparaya the TNA member pointed out the Report issued by the Lesson Learn and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) had also focused on the importance of […]

SLMC calls for a political solution

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) says real peace can be experienced in Sri Lanka only once a political solution is presented. SLMC leader and Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem said that while the war has ended there needs to be a political solution which meets the needs of all communities. Hakeem said this when he met a high level South African delegation in Colombo today led by South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo. The SLMC leader and Nomaindia Mfeketo discussed a wide range of issues at the meeting, the Ministry of Urban Development and Water Supply said. Hakeem told the South African delegation that the public had taken a very important decision at the last Presidential elections and […]

I left due to threats from Gota: Ex-SSP

27th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Police Media Spokesman Prishantha Jayakody,who arrived from Australia a short while ago, claimed that he fled the country because of threats byformer Defence Secretary GotabayaRajapaksa and some of his henchmen.He said he was compelled to leave under political pressure and fears for his life.“I served as the Police Media Spokesman and as Ratnapura SSP in Ratnapura but I had to leave the country because of severe political pressure I faced. When I refused succumb to these pressures I received death threats from former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and some of his sycophants.I’m back after one year and seven months because there is good governance now and I believe things will be different with the situation in the country […]

Defend The Right Of NPC To Pass Genocide Resolution

25th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Siritunga Jayasuriya – United Socialist Party (CWI-Sri Lanka) unequivocally defends the right of the Northern Provincial council in its attempt to bring the focus of the world on the Brutal war that killed 100’s of thousands of innocent Tamils in the North & the East of this country. Especially this resolution was passed by the NPC in the circumstance where the new Maithri government is pressurising the human right council in Geneva not to present the report in March and postpone the their sub- committee report till next September. While the Governments of Mahinda and the present one led by Maithripala wants to hide this terrible sitiation under carpet, but it is a fact that humongous acts of War Crimes did happen, especially during […]

President of Uruguay Mr. Jose Mujica the former Tupamaros Guerilla leader, A Role Model For President Sirisena?

25th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mano Ratwatte – Indian media experts write in patronizing and condescending tones about how Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Mr. Sirisena should emulate PMModi or use Modi as a role model? I think not. Indians and Modi should look at Mr. Sirisena and use him as a role model. They do have one similarity in the sense neither was well known until thrust into the limelight by elections. Modi was a local figure in Gujarat (served 3 terms as Chief Minister) until he took over the election commission leadership of the BJP in 2013. Ironically, Mahatma Gandhi was a Gujarati; yet Gujarat remains one of the most ethno-religiously divided states of India even today Modi was born to an underprivileged caste family of Grocers […]

No faith in domestic probe – Bishop of Mannar

25th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Bishop of Mannar, Dr Rayappu Joseph, today said that a domestic investigation into allegations of human right violations cannot be trusted and that is the reason the Tamil people placed their faith in an international probe by the UN. “However, we were deceived by the United Nations,” he said, speaking to reporters following a protest held in Jaffna against the deferring of the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka. The protestors handed over a letter to the Rt Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph, requesting him to submit it to the UN Human Rights Council. Last week, the Geneva-based human rights body agreed to temporarily hold off its consideration of a long-awaited report into alleged rights violations during the conflict in Sri Lanka for six months, until […]

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