10th February 2015

Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today adopted a resolution calling for an international investigation into alleged acts of genocide committed against the Tamils.

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today adopted a resolution calling for an international investigation into alleged acts of genocide committed against the Tamils. NPC member M.K Sivajilingham told the Colombo Gazette that the resolution, which he had attempted to submit to the council on several occasions over the past one year, was amended and proposed to the Council today by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. The Tamil National Alliance had earlier felt that the resolution was too strong and should be amended and held back till the UN-led investigations on the war in Sri Lanka concludes. Sivajilingham said that the 11 page amended resolution was unanimously passed by the NPC after a debate and statements were made in the council today. The resolution notes […]

Sri Lanka’s Duty on War Crimes

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

It was just one month ago that Sri Lanka surprised the world by electing opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena as president, rejecting the authoritarianism, corruption and dynastic politics of the administration of the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Sirisena has moved swiftly to usher in a new chapter of hope for Sri Lanka. So as not to reopen old wounds too soon, his government is now seeking a delay in the release of a report that is scheduled to be presented next month on a United Nations inquiry into war crimes and other human rights abuses committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war that ended in 2009. The government is also lobbying for support from the United States and the United Nations for a proposed domestic tribunal on […]

92 Lankans have Swiss accounts

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan citizens hold US$ 58.3 million in Swiss bank accounts. According to ‘Swiss Leaks,’ those comprise 129 bank accounts covering 92 clients. The maximum amount of money associated with a single client connected to Sri Lanka was US$ 10.7 million. Sri Lanka is ranked 112th among the countries with the largest US dollar amounts in the leaked Swiss files. The largest was Switzerland with US$ 31.2 billion. Second is UK (US$ 21.7 billion) The third largest country with the highest value in Swiss bank accounts is Venezuela, a third world country, mired in corruption and social and political unrest (US$ 14.8 billion). Fourth is the world’s largest economy the USA (US$13.4 billion). India has US$ 4.1 billion worth of Swiss bank accounts. It’s ranked […]

Former president should be brought to book – Ranawaka

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa should be brought to book as he is the prime suspect in all cases of large scale corruption, said Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka this evening. Speaking at a seminar organised by the Anti-Corruption Front at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Mr. Ranawaka said the present regime should be firm in dealing with those who face corruption charges and penalise everyone who had been involved in fraud and corruption in the recent past — right from the top to the bottom. “We cannot afford to be lethargic about overcoming corruption,” he said; stressing that the racketeers who were involved in large scale corruption and fraud were trying to find a way out. He said some of them may try […]

No ulterior motive – Hakeem

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Cyril Wimalesurendre KANDY – Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) decision to establish an all-party administration in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) was devoid of any ulterior motive, SLMC leader and Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Minister Rauf Hakeem said in Kandy yesterday (09). Minister Hakeem was speaking to media after calling on the prelates of Malwatte and Asgiriya temples to mark his assumption of office at the new ministry. The SLMC invited other the parties including the TNA to join hands with it to from the administration of the eastern provincial council to forge unity in the province in keeping with the policy of the present government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Hakeem said. Those two leaders […]

ITAK says Sampanthan and Sumanthiran violated norms

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Senior Vice President, Prof. C.K. Sittrampalam, said that the Party Central Committee should take action against TNA leader and Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan and Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran for violating ITAK norms as they have failed to inform the Party about their participation at the 67th Independence Day celebrations. Speaking to Ceylon Today Prof. Sittrampalam said the ITAK should soon summon the Central Committee to discuss on this issue and he has forwarded a statement in this regard. He further stated that grievances of Tamil people are yet to be solved and in such a situation participation in State functions should be informed. “They have participated in the Independence Day celebration without the consent of the Party. They […]

Exploring International and Domestic Modalities for Truth and Justice in Sri Lanka

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The ‘Declaration of Peace’ by the Government of Sri Lanka at the 67thIndependence Day Celebrations held on 4th February 2015 is a notable shift in its recognition of the past and the need for healing and unity. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) made a similar recommendation, as did the United Nations Secretary General’s Panel of Experts (PoE). Recognizing the past is the first in a process needed to address past violations, provide answers regarding missing persons, initiate independent mechanisms to hold alleged perpetrators to account and end the culture of impunity. A month after President Maithripala Sirisena took office, statements from ministers and media reports indicate to an establishment of what is termed a ‘credible domestic process’ to investigate the past. It is […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Ministerial Candidate Against Ranil Wickremesinghe

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Vasudeva,Dinesh,Wimal and Udaya Want Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Ministerial Candidate Against Ranil Wickremesinghe By Lahiru Pothmulla Four political allies of the United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) today expressed sentiments in favour of fielding former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate at the forthcoming general elections. They said there was no other hope to defeat incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and added Mr. Rajapaksa had already secured 5.8 million votes in the January Presidential Election. “This is not a battle against President Maithripala Sirisena but a move against Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who was appointed against the Constitutional proceedings,” MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara told a news conference held in Colombo. Legislators of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya and the National Freedom Front took part in […]

Muslim Congress Aligning with UPFA to Form Eastern Province Administration Strikes Serious blow to Tamil-Muslim Reconciliation

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Muslim Congress Aligning with UPFA to Form Eastern Province Administration Strikes Serious blow to Tamil-Muslim Reconciliation By Latheef Farook In the east of the island the destiny of Tamils and Muslims remains intertwined and, inevitably, they share both adversity and prosperity. Thus it goes without saying that it is always in the interest of the two communities for their political parties to work together. Under such circumstance the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, SLMC, entering into an agreement with the United Peoples Freedom Alliance, UPFA, to form the Eastern Provincial Council Administration with a controversial Muslim as Chief Minister, without Tamil participation, is a serious blow to Tamil-Muslim Unity which is bound to have serious consequences. For centuries Tamils and Muslims in the east lived together […]

Mangala, Swire hold talks in UK

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had talks with British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire in London today. Swire said that he had a good meeting with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, building on the discussion they had in Colombo. Swire was in Sri Lanka last month where he called on President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and other senior ministers – including the Minister for Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs D M Swaminathan – to discuss the new government’s reform programme and areas of potential co-operation. He also met the new civilian Governor of the Northern Province H M G S Palihakkara, local politicians and members of civil society in Colombo. The British Minister had also visited Jaffna and met Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. At the end of […]

Demo by families of the missing

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Families of those reported missing during and soon after the war staged a demonstration in Jaffna today seeking the intervention of the new Government to find those missing. The family members of those missing staged a protest walk and later demonstrated outside the Jaffna District Secretariat. Several politicians, including those from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) took part in the demonstration. The family members, who had yesterday staged a similar demonstration in Mullaitivu, held placards and cried during the protest. They also handed over a petition to the District Secretariat to be handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena. (Colombo Gazette)

SLMC is to contest with the UNP

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLFP), which was earlier part of the UPFA Government, before backing President Maithripala Sirisena at the last Presidential elections, said that it will work with the United National Party (UNP) at the Parliament elections. SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, speaking to reporters in Kandy today, said that an agreement had already been reached with the UNP on the Parliament elections. “We had reached a Memorandum of Understanding before the Presidential elections,” he said. Hakeem said that the SLMC will also look at supporting a National unity Government after the Parliament elections. He noted that President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are keen to ensure a National unity Government where all political parties are represented, is in place for at least two years. […]

Right to Return: An unresolved issue in Jaffna

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Last week I had a view of another lagoon—in Jaffna. On Thursday, early in the morning, I took the Chinese built train to Kankasanturai that ran on Indian tracks after Vavunia. The train took more than seven hours to reach Jaffna, my destination. This time I travelled by train after 35 years; my last train journey to Jaffna was in July 1980, during the time of the general strike. Extending the railway to North is undoubtedly commendable. My last visit to Jaffna on A9 was in 2011 for the demonstration and rally organized by the FUTA. Since 2011, things have changed considerably— new constructions in Kilinochchi, better roads, housing schemes by the Indian government. While we were passing Kilinochchi, I asked my Taiwanese friend who […]

Ethnic nationalism remains a potent force until supplanted

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera In the immediate aftermath of the change of government and government policy following the presidential election there has been a flurry of visits to Sri Lanka by representatives of foreign governments. The representatives of the foreign governments who are currently visiting Sri Lanka come with a broad mandate to get acquainted with the new situation and to assess the prospects for sustained change. Sri Lanka has several unique factors that give it an importance that is disproportionate to its size. Its strategic location in the Indian Ocean and its large and active Diaspora in many countries would be two of the issues that cater to the self-interest of those countries. There are also more altruistic explanations too. The peaceful transition from an […]

Exploring International and Domestic Modalities for Truth and Justice in Sri Lanka

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The ‘Declaration of Peace’ by the Government of Sri Lanka at the 67thIndependence Day Celebrations held on 4th February 2015 is a notable shift in its recognition of the past and the need for healing and unity. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) made a similar recommendation, as did the United Nations Secretary General’s Panel of Experts (PoE). Recognizing the past is the first in a process needed to address past violations, provide answers regarding missing persons, initiate independent mechanisms to hold alleged perpetrators to account and end the culture of impunity. A month after President Maithripala Sirisena took office, statements from ministers and media reports indicate to an establishment of what is termed a ‘credible domestic process’ to investigate the past. It is […]

Sri Lanka’s geopolitical importance to the United States

10th February 2015 // 0 Comments

An analysis of Nisha Biswal’s visit to island nation During late January and early February 2015, Sri Lanka witnessed the visits of many foreign officials to the country. Prominently featured among them were the visits of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, Hugo Swire, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Kamalesh Sharma. What is significant about these visits is that all three occurred within a matter of a few days and are the first visits by foreign officials since the presidential elections were held on January 8th this year. Of the three visits mentioned above, it is perhaps noteworthy to further look at the two […]