5th February 2015

67 Years of Independence, Nation Building and the Future of Tamils in Sri Lanka

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sri Lanka will Celebrate its Sixty-seventh Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom this Wednesday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka / has faced many challenges and problems in the past 67 years. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, external military intervention, assassinations of heads of state, terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear apart the country. What Sri Lanka can be proud of as Asia’s oldest Democracy is the fact that despite many formidable challenges and crises the country continues to be democratic.Flawed but Democratic!On January 8th this year the Sri Lankan people did the nation proud by […]

Is Sirisena/Wickremesinghe Administration not too Concerned about Devolution of Power and Future of Provincial Councils?

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sam Samarasinghe and Chandrasiri Seneviratne In the first three weeks of its tenure the Sirisena/Wickremasinghe administration has generally adhered to the principles of good governance in their effort to implement the One-Hundred Day Programme. President Sirisena’s interview on Rupavahini TV last weekend further buttressed his good governance credentials. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minster Ranil Wickremasinghe have, on more than one occasion, urged the public to constructively criticize their action. This article is written in that spirit. It deals with two issues. The first is the allocation of ministerial functions and appointment of ministry secretaries. The second concerns provincial governors and provincial councils. Ministries Government Gazette (Extraordinary) number 1897/15 dated Sunday January 18th, 2015 carries the names of 31 ministries and the respective […]

Norway And Other Countries Should Help ‘New Sri Lanka’: Solheim

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The “New Sri Lanka” needs political support, aid, tourists and investments, former Norwegian Peace EnvoyErik Solheim said to the Norwegian Public Service Radio and TV broadcaster, NRK. He said Sri Lanka had come out of a long period of authoritative rule and that Sri Lankans should be proud that they showed their country had even deeper democratic roots than most people thought. He said he is happy, as are many of his friends in Sri Lanka, and he sees that Sri Lanka has a golden opportunity. During a recent radio interview Solheim elaborated that freedom of expression can be strengthened, and torture and disappearances in the country brought to an end. Coming to terms with the dark side of the history could build a foundation […]

TNA condemns Sampanthan attending Independence Day celebrations

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

  TNA condemns Sampanthan attending Independence Day … www.colombomirror.com/?p=2331 Sri Lanka’s major Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance vehemently condemned its leader Rajavarodayam Sampanthan and its national list parliamentarian M.A Sumanthiran for attending the government’s 67 Independence Day celebrations at the national Parliament grounds today. This is for the first time since the enactment of Sri Lanka’s1972 constitution that a senior leader from the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) or the Tamil Arasu Katchchi or the Tamil National Alliance attended an Independence Day celebration of Sri Lanka……………………. Rift in TNA Over Sampanthan and Sumanthiran Attending … dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/38150  He added that this independence day was different from the past. … of Independence, Nation Building and the Future of Tamils in Sri Lanka »  … Sri Lanka […]

Tamil Chief Minister Wigneswaran says he will reject Sri Lanka’s Independence Day until Tamils free

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran said he would continue to boycott events for Sri Lanka’s independence day until the Tamil people were free. “I will only take part in such events when the Tamil people get freedom,” Mr Wigneswaran told the Thinakkural newspaper on Tuesday, the day before the state’s 67th anniversary of gaining independence from British colonial rule. “I have not taken part in any Sri Lankan independence day events ever since the Sinhala Only Act was introduced,” he added. According to Ceylon Today, the event was attended by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M A Sumanthiran and party leader, R Sampanthan. The event has been previously rejected by Tamil politicians who have condemned the celebration as meaningless […]

History by TNA at national event

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) created history today by taking part in the national independence day celebrations at Parliament grounds in Kotte, the first time since 1972 when it was decided that Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political parties will boycott independence day celebrations. TNA leader R. Sampanthan, who was among those who agreed in 1972 to boycott national independence day celebrations, attended today’s event. His participation at the national event after 43 years boosted President Maithripala Sirisena’s call for national unity and reconciliation. The TNA had boycotted national independence day celebrations in the past on the basis that Tamils in Sri Lanka had yet to experience true independence. (Colombo Gazette) Sampanthan defends decision to attend Sri Lanka’s Independence Day event The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader, R Sampanthan defended his decision to […]

Sri Lanka: Hope for Minorities?

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Any optimism felt by the country’s beleaguered minorities remains tempered. A new president, Maithripala Sirisena, has brought a new wave of hope to Sri Lanka, yet it is still a moment of somewhat tempered optimism for the minorities who constitute almost 30 percent of the population of this post-conflict country. Sirisena, with his election motto of ‘”compassionate governance,” is walking a tightrope of balancing different political parties whilst aiming to fulfill several ambitious objectives, which include addressing war-crimes allegations through an independent domestic mechanism, establishing independent commissions to secure the impartiality of the judiciary, and cracking down on corruption. However, the key question remains: Does Sirisena have the political will and capability to actually resolve the fundamental problems that drove the country to almost three […]

Tamil Nadu asks envoy in Lanka to expedite release of boats

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has sought the help of the Indian envoy to Sri Lanka to get the boats of Indian fishermen released. In a letter, state fisheries secretary S Vijayakumar has asked high commissioner Y K Sinha to secure the release of the boats without procedural wrangles. “I request you to clarify the procedure by which the owners of the 81 boats can obtain the quick release of their boats. The boats were released earlier along with the fishermen but now the Lankan government wants the owners to claim their boats,” said Vijayakumar. “Though Tamil Nadu has been seeking release of the boats, we have come to know that they have been berthed precariously and several of them have been damaged,” said the […]

Modi may visit Jaffna, Kandy or Anuradhapura too

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent NEW DELHI, February 4: When Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo in mid-March on the first stand-alone bilateral visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime Minister in 28 years, he may utilise the opportunity to visit Jaffna and either Kandy or Anuradhapura as well. A top Indian diplomatic source told The Island today: “It all depends on how much time Mr Modi will get to spend in Sri Lanka.” The Jaffna Peninsula was where the worst destruction took place during the three-decade-long civil war that ended with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. Much of it was caused by the LTTE itself. If he gets to go to Kandy, he will worship at Sri Dalada Maligawa, […]

UN: Sri Lanka should protect migrants from abuse

5th February 2015 // 0 Comments

UN migrant rights specialist tells Anadolu Agency that Sri Lanka needs to protect its migrant workers “abuse, exploitation and harassment.” By Dilrukshi Handunnetti COLOMBO, Sri Lanka With nearly 2 million of its citizens working abroad and their remittances providing the island’s largest single source of foreign exchange, the protection of Sri Lankan migrants is an urgent issue, according to the U.N.. Abuse of workers abroad and reports about the mistreatment of migrants captured by Australian authorities at sea mean there is a spotlight on the Sri Lankan government’s new “action plan” for dealing with returning and reintegrating migrants. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrants, Francois Crepeau, told Anadolu Agency that Sri Lanka needs to take specific measures to better protect people on the move; from […]