18th February 2015

C M Wiggie, UN & The International Community, Give Sirisena A Chance

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Hilmy Ahamed – The election of Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) renegade Maithripala Sirisena as the 6th Executive President of the Sri Lanka and the formation of a government under the moderate Political leader, Ranil Wickremesingheof the United National Party (UNP) as the 17th Prime Minister augers well for the country. The unexpected coalition and the marriage of convenience offers the best prospects for Sri Lanka to bring forth good governance, rule of law, minimize corruption and speed track reconciliation amongst its people after a decade of misrule. Sri Lanka, under the Rajapaksa Presidency slid down to its worst levels in history, in maintaining Law and Order, Independence of the Judiciary and Police, Violation of Human Rights, Corruption, Nepotism and Militarization of civilian activity […]

Don’t withdraw Army from North – Prof. Rohan Gunaratna

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By Zahrah Imtiaz Sampath* squints at the large screen before him, trying to watch the English movie on it. He is sitting, inside a large tent, waitingfor the State Minister for Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene to make his official state tour to the Army Camp in Palali. “Hats on and stand up when the minister arrives,” shouts the platoon leader. The minister has arrived and Sampath along with several of his officers and colleagues, from the Jaffna peninsula stand to attention to listen to him. Wijewardene quietens Sampath’s fears that the new government would not demobilize the current numbers in the forces. Later at tea, the minister who is in a mood to socialize with the soldiers met Sampath and asked him what resources he currently […]

Politics, Economics of HR report delay

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) has deferred until September of this year to table a report concerning Sri Lanka’s alleged human rights violations at the closing stages of its war against LTTE terrorists in May 2009 where scores of civilians were also killed. The report was originally to be tabled at Geneva next month at the UN’s HR sessions. The delay from Sri Lanka’s perspective is welcome in both a political and an economic sense. Political, because the new government, ushered in after President Maithripala Sirisena’s polls win a little over a month ago, is expected to face a general election in only another four months’ time in June. In the event that report was tabled as scheduled next month, it may have been […]

Full Text of August 1987 Interview with LTTE Leader Prabakharan That was Re-produced by “Frontline” in Feb 6, 2015 Issue

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

By T.S.Subramanian The signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement on July 29, 1987, in Colombo by Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan PresidentJ.R. Jayewardene marked a turning point in the history of Sri Lanka as well as in India-Sri Lanka relations. Under it, theIndian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was despatched to the island’s Northern and Eastern provinces. The situation went haywire with the beginning of a military confrontation between the IPKF and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from October 10, 1987, and a marked reluctance on the part of Colombo to implement the agreement. The IPKF-LTTE military conflict saw the death of about 1,200 Indian soldiers and 660 LTTE cadres. An LTTE suicide bomberassassinated Rajiv Gandhi when he was campaigning at Sriperumbudur, about 30 km […]

Prime Minister Intervenes To Release Frontline Magazines

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today (18) ordered to release the stock of ‘Frontline’ magazines which were being held by the Customs Department. The decision to seize the latest issue of Frontline magazines were in stark contrast to the policy of good governance in which media freedom is an integral part. The latest issue of the magazine, which has reproduced an interview done with Prabhakaran in 1987. Asian Mirror, quoting Media Ministry Secretary Karu Paranavithana, earlier reported that the latest issue of the Frontline magazine was stopped by the Customs Department for reproducing an interview with slain LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Paranavithana, yesterday (17) told media that the Customs officials sent a few copies of the magazine to the Defence Ministry, and then the Defence Ministry […]

UN will assess domestic proces

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

The United Nations (UN) says it will be carefully assessing developments related to the domestic accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon, said that Ban had encouraged the Government to engage continuously with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Haq was responding to a question on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decision to defer a report on Sri Lanka which was to be submitted to the Council during its 28th session next month, to September. “First of all, in terms of the next steps, the Secretary‑General is aware that the new administration is planning to set up a domestic accountability mechanism and will be carefully assessing developments,” Farhan Haq said. He recalled that the Secretary‑General met with […]

Report on SL must be published by September – UK

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

While urging the new Sri Lankan government to use ‘this’ time to work with the UN Human Right Chief and his Office, Britain today said that OHCHR’s report on Sri Lanka must be published and discussed by September 2015 and would stick to that. “The UK wants to see reconciliation in Sri Lanka. That’s why we argued last year for a UN investigation into alleged war crimes and it is why we supported the deferral of this report for six months,” UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office minister Hugo Swire said in a statement. Hugo Swire urged all sides to continue to work together to ensure that the OHCHR’s report on Sri Lanka, now due in September, is thorough and consistent. Speaking the day after the […]

Dramatic change in diplomacy – EDITORIAL

18th February 2015 // 0 Comments

One of the most important achievements of the new all-party National Unity Government is a major improvement in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and international relations as seen by the highly successful visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to India this week. Much credit for this needs to go to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who, through a new non-aligned policy and choosing the right people for important jobs, have dramatically changed Sri Lanka’s diplomatic service within five weeks. Earlier, the family-centred Rajapaksa Regime had appointed 75% of Sri Lanka’s envoys from outside the Foreign Service, with their main qualification being blind loyalty or servile flattery of the Rajapaksas. As a result of the new foreign policy, ties with India, the United States, […]