13th February 2015

Opposition Leader Fires Fresh Salvo At Rajapaksa Supporters

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva fired a fresh salvo at the group supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stating that the 5.8 million votes obtained by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were not his personal votes. The Opposition Leader’s criticism was directed at the group who had asked “5.8 million voters of former President Rajapaksa” to gather at Nugegoda on the evening of February 18 for a public rally. “First of all I must say that the 5.8 million voters cast their votes in favour of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. These are not his personal votes. Any member of the SLFP contesting has a wide vote base. It is not a personal vote. It is true that the former President Rajapaksa had charisma, apart from being […]

TNA divided over Wigneswaran’s call for genocide probe

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando The Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) led Tamil National Alliance (TNA) run Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has reiterated its call for a UN investigation into what it calls genocide committed by successive Sri Lankan governments since 1948, in spite of Mavai S. Senathirajah, General Secretary of both organisations, ruling out a wider UN role here. National List MP Senathirajah last August dismissed a call by a group of 33 members of the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils for the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to expand its inquiry to investigate alleged atrocities committed by successive governments against Tamil speaking people since 1974. MP Senathirajah said that the party hadn’t authorised its members to call for a wider investigation. MP Senathirajah […]

Northerners losing faith in new Govt – Sritharan

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna District Parliamentarian, S. Sritharan, seeking international assistance towards solving the Tamil political problem said the new Sirisena Government is yet to make any effort to win the hearts and minds of the people. Sritharan met Deputy British High Commissioner, Laura Davis, at his office in Kilinochchi when the envoy visited the Northern Province a few days ago. Elaborating further on the post-election situation in the North, Sritharan said, “People in the North are losing hope gradually on the new regime. There is no change in the Army presence, Army camps and surveillance. There is no sign of resettling the IDPs.” Commenting on the political solution to the Tamil question, the parliamentarian said, for the past 70 years the Tamil political […]

Playing poker in Sri Lanka with killing of Tamil Civilians

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil question has been brought centre-stage with the elected council of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province passing a resolution accusing successive governments in Colombo of carrying out genocide against the minority community over six decades. Moved by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in the Provincial Council, the resolution demands that the  U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights investigate “historical” and “recent” instances of genocide and submit its report at the session of the Human Rights Council next month. It also asks the UN Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. Thirdly, it asks courts in countries with universal jurisdiction over the alleged events and perpetrators, “including but not limited to the United States”, to prosecute the crimes. The resolution roundly […]

Racist Opposition Leader slams NPC resolution

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The opposition (Rajapaksha supporters) today slammed the resolution adopted by the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) this week saying it is a threat to Sri Lanka’s national security and unity. They fear this will expose the killing of more than 40,000 Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan government forces in May 2009 and the killing of more than 1000 LTTE Leaders and their family members who surrendered with white flag after UN negotiated the surrender which is a ‘WAR CRIME’ by the Sri Lankan forces.. Opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the resolution raises concerns over the provincial council system introduced to Sri Lanka by India. He also said that the resolution can also be seen as an attempt to derail attempts by President […]

FM Samaraweera hopes for improved Sri Lanka-US relations

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sam Samarasinghe Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his first visit to Washington, D.C. after assuming office addressed a full-house gathering at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) on February 11. The central theme that ran through his speech was the need for improved relations between Sri Lanka and the US and the thesis that the new Sirisena administration had the democratic credentials to make it happen. CEIP, founded in 1910, is the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States. In the last few years Carnegie has established research centres in Russia, China, Europe and the Middle East to make it a global research network. The present writer has attended similar talks that other foreign ministers of Sri Lanka have delivered in […]

Consolidating Power After A Presidential Election

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

In the early weeks of November 2014, it seemed somewhat clear that Mahinda Rajapaksa was set to rule the country for at least another six years. But on 8th January 2015, when he finally went to cast his vote, even Mahinda appeared to have realized what the final verdict was going to be. Immediately after the defeat, Mahinda did try to suggest that all was not over yet, that he was ready to return, which may have caused some anxiety within the victorious camp. The ease with which he interacted with his ardent supporters at his home-constituency showed that the old ‘people’s politician’ was still in him. But in the process, Mahinda made the mistake of trying to play the racist card, by telling his […]

Lanka’s media freedom rated low

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Media freedom in Sri Lanka was rated low last year when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in power, according to the latest report by the international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders. The Reporters Without Borders, 2015 world press freedom index ranks Sri Lanka at 165 out of 180 countries, up 2 positions compared to 2013. In 2013 Sri Lanka was ranked 162 out of 178 countries but last year Reporters Without Borders saw no improvement in the media environment. Last month, in the wake of Sri Lanka’s presidential election, Reporters Without Borders and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) called on the new president, Maithripala Sirisena, to end the policy of violence against journalists that was pursued by his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and to combat impunity […]

Sri Lanka envoy meets Kerry, seeks stronger ties with US

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

NO POLITICAL PACKAGE ON SITE BY NEW GOVERNMENT. AFTER SIX YEARS SRI LANKA WANTS MORE TIME TO INVESTIGATE THE KILLING OF MORE THAN 40,000 TAMIL CIVILIANS BY ARMY? WASHINGTON (AP) ” Sri Lanka’s foreign minister expressed optimism Thursday of winning a delay in the publication of a U.N. report into alleged war crimes committed in the island nation’s civil war. Sri Lanka’s new government says it wants time to set up its own judicial mechanism to probe human rights violations that would follow up on the findings of the U.N. investigation, due in March. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was speaking after meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. Thousands of civilians are suspected to have died in the final months of the war in 2009 […]

Mangala to invite Ban Ki-moon to SL – NO POLITICAL PACKAGE FOR TAMILS?.

13th February 2015 // 0 Comments

 NO POLITICAL PACKAGE FOR TAMILS?. External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera today said alongside his invitation for US Secretary of State, John Kerry to visit Sri Lanka, he will also be inviting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit the country and added that discussions will also begin to institute a truth-seeking mechanism in a step towards promotion reconciliation. The Minister made this statement on Wednesday speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington on ‘Sri Lanka after the Presidential Election’. During his speech, the Minister said discussions would commence by the end of this month with officials from South Africa to institute a truth-seeking mechanism suitable for Sri Lankan circumstances that would function parallel to the accountability mechanism. “But unlike the South African […]