8th February 2015

SLMC seeks unity with the TNA

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) today invited the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to form a national unity government in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC). SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said that at a time when President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are looking to work together in a national unity government, the SLMC would like to set an example by forming a similar government at provincial level. He said that while the TNA has been invited to be part of the EPC government by accepting portfolios in the Council, the United National Party has also been invited and they have said they will consider the offer. The TNA has been at odds with the SLMC on the EPC, demanding that they should have the […]

TNA Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran in Geneva to Lobby for Release in March of UN War Crimes Report Against Sri Lanka.

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By P.K.Balachandran M.A.Sumanthiran, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, is currently in Geneva lobbying at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for release of the UN’s investigative report on allegations of war crimes committed in the last phase of the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV in North Sri Lanka. The TNA is trying to counter the US move to postpone the presentation of the report which has been prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at the request of the UNHRC. The “strong” report castigating Sri Lanka, is due for presentation at the March session of the UNHRC. But the US and its allies are wanting a postponement of the presentation to September, to give the new liberal-democratic and pro-Western government […]

Heroic Saga of an Eastern Warrior: Lt. Col Kausalyan – Batticaloa-Amparai LTTE Political Chief

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj  (Former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) political commissar for Batticaloa and Amparai districts Eliyathamby Nagenthiran Lingarasa alias Kausalyan was assassinated on February 7th 2005. This article published in “The Sunday Leader”then is reproduced to denote his 10th death anniversary…..DBSJ) It was the third day of March last year. Around 125 to 150 senior stalwarts of the Batticaloa – Amparai Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were gathered at “Thenagam” conference hall at Karadiyanaaru in Batticaloa District. Former Eastern commander of the LTTE Vinayagamurthy Muraleetharan alias “Colonel” Karuna was holding the floor. The man who had led the Tigers in the east from 1987 wasrevolting against his leader Velupillai Pirapaharan. Many of those present could not believe their ears. Karuna “Amman” was related a litany […]

Eastern Tiger Political Chief Kausalyan, TNA Amparai Dist Ex-MP Chandranehru and 7 Others Shot Dead 10 Years Ago

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj (Former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) political commissar for Batticaloa and Amparai districts Eliyathamby Nagenthiran Lingarasa alias Kausalyan and Tamil National Alliance (TNA)ex-parliamentarian from Amparai district Ariyanayagam Chandranehru and seven others were assassinated along the Batticaloa-Polonnaruwa road on February 7th 2005. This article published in “The Sunday Leader” at that time is reproduced here without any changes to denote the 10th anniversary of the incident…..DBSJ) The time was around 7.45 p.m. on Monday, February 7. The Toyota Hiace van, numbered 57 – 1020 going along the Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa road or A-11 highway slowed down as a vehicle with blinking lights was parked ahead on the right side of the road. With the lights signalling to go ahead, the van […]

Govt Attempting To Hide Rajapaksa Corruption?

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Swarnavahini had been instructed to delay telecasting the raid of a super-luxury meditation center that had been constructed for the use of Rajapaksas,this week. Deputy Minister and UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake had accompanied a group of journalists from Swaranavahini on the raid that had been carried out on February 3, along with the Police. However, the raid had not been permitted to be telecasted in the news until Friday (6). When inquired, Ramanayake had been informed that the delay is due to ‘instructions from the top’ (ඉහලින් ආපු නියෝගයක් ). Ramanayake said the super luxury meditation center located in Imbulgoda, Kadawatha is spread over eight acres and over Rs. 1000 million must have been spent on constructing the premises that is equipped with ebony furnishings, […]

Over 2,000 important files missing at the Ministry, says Ravi

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Over 2,000 important files missing at the Ministry, says Ravi Minister Ravi Karunanayake says he received information that over 2,000 important files of the Finance Ministry have gone missing. Karunanayake added that he will complain to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and request to initiate an inquiry on this regard. According to the Minister, the missing files contain important information on alleged questionable deals and believed to have contained details about misuse of public property and funds as well. It was reported several top officials responsible for these files have been identified and they will likely be questioned by the CID, on this matter. Hard Drives Missing In Temple Trees Computers: “Dissappeared” Soon Before MR’s Exit Asian Mirror is now in a position to reveal […]

Remarks on the Occasion of the 67th Anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Antony J. Blinken Deputy Secretary of State Washington, DC February 5, 2015 As prepared for delivery. Thank you, Ambassador Kariyawasam. It is a privilege and a joy to celebrate Sri Lanka’s National Day with all of you. This year the whole world is celebrating with Sri Lanka. Following January’s elections, you have every reason to hold your heads high and take pride in what you have already accomplished in this young year. We all know democracy is a work in progress. You have to look no further than America’s own journey to see that fact. We marched for civil rights and risked life and limb so all peoples could finally enjoy the right to vote. We still struggle with questions of race and economic opportunity. […]

More Time For Probe On Missing

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne The mandate of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Missing Persons has been extended till August 15, 2015. Secretary of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Missing Persons, H. W. Gunadasa told The Sunday Leader that the commission will continue its work as usual and will commence public sittings to complete the instigations into the rest of the complaints lodged with the commission. Gunadasa said that the Presidential Secretariat had informed the Commission to continue its work for another six months. He added that the Commission will hold the next public sitting during the latter part of this month. The Commission was established under Gazette No. 1823/42 to address the grievances of the families of the disappeared and its mandate was expanded to investigate […]

Thirty thoughts on the First 30 days

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

1. The President: Excellent; no two words about this. Maithripala Sirisena is not loud in his manner nor speech but is strong and gives the impression he brooks no nonsense. So we really are in good hands. Objectively comparing him with former presidents, to me he tops the list. He delegates; he listens to advice; he prioritizes the welfare of the nation and its people. Remember he said he was the servant of the people. He is completely free of vaulting ambition and power will not go to his head, even if he holds the position of executive president for the full five years.   2. The Prime Minister – faring very well. He neither tolerates fools nor sycophancy; thus we are assured of a […]

President Sirisena’s 67-year question and the 100-Day Plan

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

by Rajan Philips “We have failed in the essential task of nation building,” said President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her speech to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence. That was in 1998. Seventeen years later, on Independence Day last week, President Maithripala Sirisena soul searchingly spoke of our “great responsibility and duty … today to ask where we have gone wrong, and how we could correct those errors, (and)… as we look at the path we have trod in the 67 years of freedom, and especially since 2009, can we be satisfied with what has been achieved after the restoration of peace?” For his part, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe drew attention to the dissipation over the years, of the level of unity that prevailed […]

Bypassing Cabinet, Rajapaksa paid Rs. 1.39b to US firms and middleman

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Presidential Secretariat, under the previous UPFA Government, paid a staggering Rs. 1.39 billion to a middleman and two public relations agencies in the United States to promote Sri Lanka and lobby on behalf of the former Government. Though the Cabinet of Ministers did not approve the payment, the Presidential Secretariat had directed in writing that the amount be approved by the Central Bank’s Monetary Board and remitted directly to those concerned, according to revelations that have surfaced so far into investigations carried out by the Ministry of Finance. More startling revelations are unfolding as the investigation continues. About US$ 4.5 million (or Rs. 587,120,850) has been paid to Imad Zuberi, the middleman who helped arrange a string of US public relations companies to promote Sri Lanka. […]

Worldwide hunt for assets of UPFA leaders

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Worldwide hunt for assets of UPFA leadersWeliamuna joins Mangala to meet World Bank’s StAR unit to recover plundered wealth Measures to trace the foreign assets of top politicians and officials of the former UPFA Government will get underway in Washington DC next week. For this purpose, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and eminent lawyer J.C. Weliamuna, a former local head of Transparency International, will meet officials of the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery Unit (StAR) in the US capital. They left Colombo yesterday. Mr. Samaraweera’s main mission is a meeting on February 12 with US Secretary of State John Kerry. He is seizing the opportunity together with Mr. Weliamuna to meet StAR officials and place before them preliminary details of persons whose stashed-away assets the National Unity […]

Govt. to extend controversial detention law by 2 more years

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The new Government is to extend for two years a controversial law which allows the Police to detain for upto 48 hours persons arrested without a warrant on charges of murder and other serious crimes. The Minister of Justice has issued a Gazette notification to extend for another two years the operation of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act No. 2 of 2013, a law that was opposed by the UNP when it was introduced by the previous government. The Act was certified by the Speaker on February 6, 2013 and its two year period of validity lapsed this week. The validity of the law can be extended with a Gazette notification, following which it will have to be approved by Parliament. […]

UNHRC review on Sri Lanka suspended

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan The review on the UN report on Sri Lanka will be put off for September this year, and will not be taken before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva this March as scheduled, highly placed sources told Ceylon Today. The US, the main sponsor of the resolution on Sri Lanka, is expected to ask the UNHRC to review the report in September when it will be taken up for discussion during the March session, the sources added. This comes after the new Government of Sri Lanka had urged the US to give ‘time’ to work on the resolution. The sources also revealed the Colombo-based foreign missions are sending commendable reports to Geneva on the new government and its […]

Former BBC producer to make film promoting reconciliation in Sri Lanka

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

A former BBC television producer is raising money to fund a film promoting reconciliation in Sri Lanka after decades of civil war. Chris Langdon, who lives in Lambolle Road, Belsize Park, recently returned from Sri Lanka having shot a trailer for Healing The Wounds, a film exploring the relationships between the country’s different communities since the war ended in 2009. The 57-year-old, who produced the reports of BBC world affairs editor John Simpson for years, is set to make the documentary with Croatian film-maker Daniel Ridicki over the course of the next year. On Wednesday, Mr Langdon screened the trailer at a special fundraising talk at Belsize Community Library in Antrim Grove. He said: “We were delighted with the political changes that have happened recently. […]

TNA, OISL team discuss report

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has had talks with the team from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights investigating Sri Lanka (OISL) in Geneva and discussed the report scheduled to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next month. TNA Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran has told the team headed by Sandra Beidas that the report should be presented to the Council as scheduled next month and not deferred. Meanwhile, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the TNA was aware of the fact that there will be a move to delay the report in order to give the new Government time to show what it hopes to do. “But here the Tamil diaspora and the Tamil National Alliance worked very hard to bring the resolution on […]

Lanka’s Govt. hopes to revisit past on its own terms -NY Times

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Lanka’s Govt. hopes to revisit past on its own terms -NY Times The new administration in Sri Lanka has suggested that it could accept the United Nations assistance in trying perpetrators of the worst crimes committed at the end of the war against the LTTE, states the New York Times. Since his election, President Maithripala Sirisena has announced several measures to promote reconciliation, including the release of private land occupied by the military during the war in the North and freeing LTTE suspects detained for many years. He also fired a former military official who was the governor of the Northern Province, replacing him with a civilian, says nyt in an article titled Sri Lankan Leader Calls for Unity Amid Ethnic Divide, on the New […]

Diaspora want UN team in Lanka

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil diaspora have called on the international community to demand Sri Lanka to allow UN Investigators into the island. The National Council of Canadian Tamils (Canada), Danish Federation of Tamil Associations (Denmark), Italian Council of Eelam Tamils (Italy), Maison du Tamil Eelam France (France), National council of New Zealand Tamils (New Zealand), Dutch Tamil Forum (Netherland), Norwegian Council of Eelam Tamils (Norway), Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils (Swiss), Tamil cultural centre- Belgium (Belgium) and the Council of Eelam Tamils in Germany (Germany) noted that the new government has categorically rejected any international prosecution of those who bore command control over the Sri Lankan forces during the war. “We reject any domestic investigation, given Sri Lanka’s well documented history of failed commissions of inquiries. Only […]

That one step by Sampanthan, one giant leap for reconciliation!

8th February 2015 // 0 Comments

That one step by Sampanthan, one giant leap for reconciliation! Sittrampalam angered by TNA presence – 67th Independence Day celebrations Sampanthan justifies participation at Independence Day celebrations Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan yesterday justified their participation at the 67th Independence Day celebrations held at the Parliamentary grounds as a gesture of goodwill for the positive measures taken by the government to promote reconciliation and amity between communities. “With the change of government, we have fresh hopes that the issues of Tamil people in the country will be solved,” he said. – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/sampanthan-justifies-participation-independence-day-celebrations#sthash.RASOxMAs.dpuf Sittrampalam angered by TNA presence – 67th Independence Day celebrations Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Senior Vice Presidentm Prof. C.K. Sittrampalam, said the party central committee should take action […]