February 2015

Abbott’s close link with Rajapaksas was ‘a mystery’ says PM Ranil

22nd February 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s close relationship with the Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksas was ‘a mystery’ to Sri ­Lankans, and that Australia’s ­new Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, would be unlikely to get the warm welcome received under the previous ­government. In an exclusive interview with The Australian, the veteran polit­ician also said that the Australian government’s silence on alleged human rights abuses was the price it paid to secure co-operation from the former Rajapaksa government on stopping asylum-seeker boats. In a weekend interview at the Prime Minister’s official Temple Trees residence in Colombo, Mr Wickremesinghe confirmed the involvement of “people connected to the previous government” in people-smuggling operations. “It was being done by people with Rajapaksa connections, but once this […]

Wimal Weerawansa’s wife arrested

22nd February 2015 // 0 Comments

Shashi Weerawansa, wife of former Minister Wimal Weerawansa, who was under investigation for allegedly submitting forged documents to get a diplomatic passport, has been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said. “The CID apprehended Shashi Weerawansa at a private hospital in Malabe, this evening (22),” SSP added. A manhunt had been launched to locate Weerawansa, after the CID officers found that the suspect has fled her residence in Kaduwela, since last Friday. Earlier, the police too sought the Attorney General’s advice in this case. The CID initiated the inquiry as they received information that Weerawansa had allegedly obtained the diplomatic passports by submitting birth certificate with forged names and dates of birth. Shashi sick; probe delayed Responding to reports […]

Lanka notes no protests in India

22nd February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government has noted that there are no more protests in India against Sri Lanka following the defeat of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government. Deputy Minister V. Radhakrishnan said that usually there are black flag protests when a Sri Lankan Minister or leader visits India but when President Maithripala Sirisena visited India everything was calm and peaceful. “We would like to see ties between both countries strengthen further,” the Deputy Minister said at an event in Kandy. The Deputy Minister noted that India is involved in several housing projects in Sri Lanka, including in the north and estate areas. He said that with the scheduled visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka next month, ties between both countries are expected to further strengthen. Modi will […]

President says freedom is for all

22nd February 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena today assured that under his leadership people of all communities and religions will be able to enjoy freedom. Speaking at an event in Kaduruwela, the President said that Sri Lanka is now at peace following the defeat of the LTTE. The President said that he is committed to ensure an environment prevails were all can live in peace and without fear. “It is our responsibility to meet the expectations of the people,” he said. He noted that at the last Presidential elections, he was able to win with the support of the Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese communities in the country. The President said that the people wanted a new Government and a new leader who will serve them and the country and so […]

Rajiva Wijesinha To Resign Tomorrow?

22nd February 2015 // 0 Comments

State Minister of Higher Education Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha stated that he will take a decision on resigning from his post tomorrow. Speaking to local media, he said that if he does not get a response to the letter he sent the President by tomorrow, he will have to take a decision. His main grievance is the instructions given by Cabinet Minister for Higher Education Kabr Hashim without his knowledge to several individuals including former Chairperson of University Grants Commission Prof Kshanika Hirimburegama. Wijesinha had said that he was going to resign last week. However he did not do so. Meanwhile he told media that Minister Kabir Hashim has agreed that he should be appointed to the Cabinet. Wijesinha also said that Hashim promised to resolve […]

SLFP , not Wimal Weerawansa will decide on its Prime Ministerial candidate

22nd February 2015 // 0 Comments

222 buses transported people to Nugegoda pro Mahinda rally by Zacki Jabbar The “Official SLFP” and not small organizations such as the one headed by Wimal Weerawansa would decide on who its prime ministerial candidate would be , a leading member of the party said yesterday.  Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, who along with President Maithripala Sirisena now wield considerable influence in the SLFP, told the “Sunday Island” that last weeks rally in Nugegoda organized by the NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa and two other left parties calling for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to be named the SLFP’s next Prime Ministerial candidate would not be able to apply any pressure on the “Official SLFP”.  “Who is Weerawansa to decide on who our Prime Ministerial […]

Sri Lanka to discuss new war crimes probe with UN

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s newly-elected government will next month look to win UN backing for a domestic probe into alleged war crimes under former leader Mahinda Rajapakse, an official said. The investigation, which the new administration had promised after winning January elections, comes after the previous regime resisted a UN inquiry into claims that up to 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed under Rajapakse’s command in the final months of a war that ended in May 2009. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will travel to Geneva next month to meet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the foreign ministry said in a statement. It gave no details, but an official said the new Sri Lankan administration was keen to get his backing for the […]

Credible war crimes investigation will help regain respect – Govt.

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith A credible internal investigation into the last phase of North East conflict would help regain the lost respect and dignity of the Sri Lankan security forces, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday. The minister said so responding to a series of questions raised by Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva on previous day. Opposition Leader De Silva demanded to know from the government in parliament whether the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had, in a letter to the Head of the United Nations Human Rights Council, promised that Government of Sri Lanka would bring those accused of alleged war crimes before justice. The minister said that the government was negotiating with relevant authorities to pave way for the members of the Sri […]

Achieving National Reconciliation, Peace & The 13A

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Varatharaja Perumal – Removing the impediments in the 13th amendment is imperative to achieve national reconciliation and peace Territorial integration may be achieved by the armed forces, but national unity of communities can be achieved only by the appropriate political process. Absence of war here indicates only the silence of guns and not the attainment of sustainable peace. De-communalized nation, democratized political system and demilitarized State are imperative to rightly put Sri Lankan political economy in a progressive path through which Sri Lanka can achieve true independence and sustainable development. Majoritarian arrogance and ambitions have thrown this country into the orbit of political vicious circle that persistently enlarges the crisis, chaos and conflicts. Sri Lanka is a multi-national country which has been divided ethnically, religiously […]

Three Threats To Constitutional Reform In Sri Lanka

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

“To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind. – Edmund Burke (1790) Reflections on the Revolution in France   With just over a month after the installation of the new government and its commencement of the 100-day reform process, the situation can best be described as mixed. For the time being at least, we have seen off both separatist and state terrorists from the public square, we have a government whose policy is informed by common sense and moderation, and there is […]

Canadian Tamil girl Jessica who won gold (£25,000) at Super Singer event donats all to orphanage

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

Yesterday the Vijay TV’s Super Singer Junior Season 4 final event was held in a grand manner at the Thangavelu Engineering College in Perungudi in Chennai. After lot of eliminations for the the final round 6 children Barath, Anushya, Jessica, Spoorthi, Haripriya and Sirisha were selected. According to the people voting and judges the Title winner for the Super Singer was won by Spoorthi. Also she has won a apartment worth 70 lakhs. The second place was won by Sri Lankan Tamils ​​living in Canada Jessica and she recieve the prize of 1kg gold. The third place was won by Haripriya and she got Rs.10 lakhs. The second prize winner of Super Singer a Sri Lankan Tamil girl residing in Canada donated the gold prize […]

‘Heroin smugglers used diplomatic passports, VIP channel at BIA’

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

Link between Gampola gang and Canadian Lankan held for smuggling 36 kgs of heroin to be probed by Shamindra Ferdinando Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera yesterday alleged that some of those who had received diplomatic/official passports during the UPFA administration were believed to have exploited the facility to smuggle in narcotics through the Bandaranaike International Airport.  Responding to a query by The Island, Perera claimed that they had used the VIP channel for that purpose for years. The Kalutara District MP emphasised the responsibility on the part of the police to check with the Immigration and Emigration to establish the identities of those who had received diplomatic passports through political influence. The DM said that it would be of pivotal importance to identify those […]

Sri Lankan Tamils and the International Community

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Izeth Hussain I wonder whether the Sri Lankan Tamils are in a unique position compared to other ethnic groups all over the world. They can be assured of the sympathy and support of their fellow Tamils in Tamil Nadu, though the extent of that sympathy and support can vary greatly over a period of time. That fact could mean that although the SL Tamils are a minority in the national context they are in a majority over the Sinhalese in the regional context. This is said to be one of the reasons why the Sinhalese are a majority with a minority complex and the Tamils a minority with a majority complex. This is regarded as one of the reasons why the SL Tamil ethnic […]

Pranab Mukherjee’s mantra for internal as well as external reconciliation

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw What so hard for men to gain as friendship true? What so sure defence ‘gainst all that foe can do? The above excerpt from Dr. Rev G.U. Pope’s English translation of Thirukkural, a Tamil script which dates back to 200-800 AD by Saint Thiruvalluvar, highlights the true meaning of friendship and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee uttered the verses and explained its meaning in detail to Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the reception hosted at the Rashtrapathi Bawan last week. President Mukherjee is a great admirer of late Lankan Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, and he had even represented India as its Foreign Minister at the funeral of the slain Lankan Foreign Minister. President Mukherjee had been a pillar of strength to Sri Lanka during his […]

EPDP to go solo

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

EPDP leader Douglas Devananda said his Party had taken a decision to contest the forthcoming general election alone. He said that the party realized the reason for receiving less votes in the North, when discussing the issue with the public. It was said to be because the EPDP contested several elections together under an Alliance. Devananda pointed out that he cannot believe that his voter base had dropped so drastically, since he had engaged in providing great service, during the past few years, to the Northern Province. Devananda said taking into consideration the existing political situation at that particular time a decision will be taken as to whether the EPDP will contest alone during decisive elections such as the upcoming general election or from within […]

A Rs 10M CHOGM dinner for journalists

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara Rs 1,177,434,333 was spent, by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, on publicity and media coverage, in relation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013. This was revealed in Parliament yesterday. It was also revealed that a colossal sum of Rs 10 million was spent on a dinner for journalists. Accordingly, the funds, allocated through Treasury grants, were spent under nine categories, which were; for the construction and maintenance of the Media Centre, publicity programmes in electronic media, public awareness programmes, purchase of office equipment, creation of the official logo and newspaper advertisements, entertainment of local and foreign journalists, including dinners, allowances for the officers of the CHOGM Project Office, allowances for officers and other expenses. […]

Sri Lanka shares more info on Rajapaksa deals

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

Powerful figures in the previous government had stashed away $5 billion Rajapaksa family in real-estate projects in Dubai, Uganda and Kenya Government was very serious about pursuing corruption charges against the former president NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka has shared more information with India on the billions of dollars that its new government alleges members of the previous regime headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa had stashed abroad, to support the island nation’s request for New Delhi’s help to set up a Financial Intelligence Unit to trace the money. During his India trip earlier this week, new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told the Indian leadership about accounts in tax havens such as the St Martin Islands,Hong Kong, Macau and Seychelles where he claimed much of the money […]

JVP warns govt. against delay in taking action

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

“43 days have gone by since this government has been brought to power. No procedures have been taken within the 50 days of the 100 day programme of the government regarding serious frauds and corruption committed during the previous regime. The JVP would take to the streets with the people if such procedures are intentionally delayed. We have already arranged an agitation opposite fort Railway Station on the 26th.” This was stated by the Information Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath addressing a media conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (20th). The President of Inter Company employees’ Union Wasantha Samarasinghe too participated. Mr. Vijitha Herath further said, “The JVP is criticizing the government regarding the delay in investigating the […]

Alliance must get serious, work quickly and meet deadlines: Rajiva Wijesinha

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

The incident he faced as State Minister of Higher Education regarding the removal of the UGC Head and Faizer Mustapha’s resignation as State Minister of Aviation will not negatively impact the 100-day program but is a wakeup call for the whole alliance to realise that it needs to be more serious, says Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha. In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily FT, he also noted that the alliance gave a specific deadline to the people and there were very important pledges that it had done nothing about. “People are expecting us to fulfil these within the mentioned deadlines. We are here to respond to people and we must do so quickly,” he added. However, Wijesinha emphasised that the pledge of abolishing the executive presidency […]

Vijaya dispensed humanity to everyone he met

21st February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dilanka Gunathilaka The day was exactly 16 February 1988. It was a time the United National Party (UNP) and the youth power of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) were in a bitter clash. The unexpected, shocking assassination was a matter for joy for some who were in sympathy with the youth revolt. The victim was Vijaya Kumarathunga who was enjoying the love of the entire country. The dream star of Sinhala cinema fell dead; his beautiful face shattered while the entire universe was silenced for a moment. We met Vijaya’s closest associate Herman Weerasuriya at the house in Polhengoda in front of which Vijaya was shot dead. Herman had a stream of memories about Vijaya. He was Vijaya’s trusted friend. He let his memories […]

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