March 2015

“Govt. playing power games with local govt. institutions”

31st March 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) said that the Central Government was playing power games by applying undue pressure on Provincial Councils to tow the line of the government in lieu of extending the terms of local government institutions. PHU General Secretary and Western Provincial Councillor, Udaya Gammanpila added that the government had extended the term of local government institutions by six weeks on account of disciplined behaviour on the part of provincial councillors, following which they would further extend the term. We thwarted the undemocratic attempt to place the administration of local government institutions under commissioners, he remarked. “Only Chief Ministers can take such decisions. Without the express will of the majority, Chief Ministers cannot be removed. The Parliament has no power. […]

Three navy personnel arrested AGAIN over Nadarajah Raviraj killing

31st March 2015 // 0 Comments

Three navy personnel have been detained and are being questioned by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over the killing of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj in 2006, the police spokesman said. Two of them are no longer serving in the Sri Lanka Navy, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. Raviraj, who represented the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) from Jaffna district, died in hospital after being shot by unidentified gunmen in Colombo on November 10, 2006. He was shot as he left his house in Colombo for work. One of his guards, Sgt. Lakshman Lokuwella, was also killed in the attack. Mr Raviraj, a former mayor of Jaffna and a lawyer by profession, had his own law firm: “Raviraj and Associates”. He was a native of Chavakachcheri in the […]

TNA confident in CBK headed Commission

31st March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan expressed confidence in the ability of the Special Presidential Commission headed by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to find a suitable solution by the end of this year, to the issues confronting the Tamil people. “We have clarified to the former President all matters relating to the problems faced by the people of the North and East and urged that such issues be immediately addressed meaningfully. When Kumaratunge became the President in 1994, she was very keen about settling the grievances of the Tamil people and she also mooted a suitable political solution to those issues. We were however, unable to see anything come out of it” he said. There are continuing changes in the […]

No final decision on diaspora ban

31st March 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government says a final decision has not yet been taken on lifting the ban on some diaspora groups or individuals listed by the former Government. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that the issue is sensitive and needs to be dealt with carefully and will also need the support of Parliament. Earlier this month the Government said it will review the ban on some diaspora groups and individuals as there is no tangible evidence to link them to the LTTE. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had told Parliament that the previous government used the UN Regulation No. 1 of 2012 under UN Security Council resolution 1373 to list 424 individuals and 16 entities under Extraordinary Gazette1854/41 of 21 March 2014 in the run up to […]

State Minister willing to join TNA if….

31st March 2015 // 0 Comments

By M. Sasikumar State Education Minister Velusamy Radhakrishnan said, at a simple ceremony at the opening of a state-of-the-art computer lab of Poovarasankulam Maha Vidyalaya in Vavuniya that he would join the Tamil National Alliance if the party was declared to be the leading opposition party and its leader nominated the Leader of the Opposition. “If the TNA receives this status I will also sit with them in the opposition and support them” he said. He observed that most parliamentarians, especially those from the major parties, were not likely to accept the TNA as the opposition. “We cannot become the Prime Minister or President of this country. But we can at least become the Opposition Leader ” he said. He said he and his party […]

A British woman has died in Sri Lanka

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

A British woman has died in Sri Lanka – reportedly killed after falling from a train. The Foreign Office has confirmed a British national died in Payagala yesterday but has yet to provide any more details. Sri Lanka media is reporting that the victim was a 25-year-old woman who was on a train heading towards the city of Colombo at the time of the tragedy. The Sri Lankan Daily Mirror reports that she was sitting on the footboard of the train and fell to her death. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Sri Lanka on March 29. “We are providing consular assistance.”

Prime Minister’s Visit To Jaffna & The 13A

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sumanasiri Liyanage – Much acclaimed three day visit of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to Jaffna and the Northern Province has, in my opinion, raised a substantial issue with regard to good governance. This visit happened immediately after the troika’s (President Maithripala Sirisena, the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike) visit to Jaffna to attend the ceremony of handing over of 425 acres of land owned by the people in Kankasanturai, Myleddy and Palaly. Although this was, as I reiterated in this column, a much delayed exercise, the new government should be commended at least for taking first step in resettling people in their own land from which they were forcefully displaced for 30 years. We believe the rest of the […]

Sri Lanka seeks UN, India help to evacuate its citizens from Yemen

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankans who are caught up in the war in Yemen COLOMBO, March 30 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lankan government has sought the help of the UN and India to help evacuate Sri Lankans who are caught up in the war in Yemen, a government official said on Monday. A spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Xinhua that 120 Sri Lankan nationals who were currently employed in Yemen were being housed at a location close to the Indian Mission in the capital Sanaa and they are expected to be moved out across the border to neighboring Oman in the next few days. “The government is taking every possible measure to bring back the Sri Lankans stranded in Yemen. We came to know that […]

Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran boycott Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The boycott is ostensibly over the military presence in the North.  Sri Lanka needs to come out squarely with what happened during the ‘last stages’ of its war against the LTTE. National security  an excuse to deny the Tamil people their basic rights and uplift the lives of people from poverty to prosperity. Wiggy’s boycott of Ranil Yesterday this newspaper reported that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) led by its Chief Minister (CM) C.V. Wigneswaran had boycotted meeting Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe during the latter’s current visit to the North. The boycott is ostensibly over the military presence in the North and the Premier’s comment to a foreign media institution that the CM is not supportive of the Central Government (CG). At face value, CM not […]

Pakistani female teenagers for sex in Sri Lanka

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Lahore Politician Involved In Lankan Racket The Special Investigation Unit of the Immigration and Emigration Department recently succeeded in revealing a full-scale human smuggling racket in which attractive female teenagers were being smuggled into Sri Lanka from Pakistan to be employed in the sex trade. Following the raid carried out recently, in which five Pakistani female teenagers between the age group of 16 and 25 were arrested, it has now come to light that a gang including a powerful regional politician in Lahore was involved in the human smuggling racket. The investigation revealed that four Pakistanis were involved in sending girls to Sri Lanka. No sooner than the Pakistani female youngsters were arrested, two people including the main suspect in the racket had fled the […]

Asylum Seekers: No Place To Call Home

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

People belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan who had been subjected to violence, inhuman treatments and prosecution based on their religious faith had been increasingly seeking help from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) in Sri Lanka. They were hoping that the UNHCR would assist them to settle elsewhere in the world where they can breathe freely. However, despite their hope, many Pakistan asylum seekers in Sri Lanka claimed that their applications have been rejected by the UNHRC after hearing their cases. During the last couple of years, Sri Lanka had been one of the popular destinations of these asylum seekers who sought for a shelter until the UNHCR processed their applications. However, the previous government of Sri Lanka developed a hostile approach […]

NEW BAN imposed by the EU on the LTTE as a terrorist organisation – imposed through verdict no: 2015/521 issued on March 26

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera has said the fresh ban imposed by the EU on the LTTE as a terrorist organisation is a grave blow against the attempts made by top leaders of the Rajapaksa regime to acquire the wealth amassed by the terrorist organisation in EU countries. Speaking at a press briefing held a short while ago the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said if the lifting of the LTTE ban last year was allowed to continue, it would have created a grave situation as the frozen wealth and assets would have been invested and deployed in activities to help revive the LTTE. The fresh proscription had been imposed through verdict no: 2015/521 issued on March 26, that banned the LTTE as a terrorist […]

CM Wigneswaran’s de-militarisation, rehabilitation-related concerns are genuine

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By N Sathiya Moorthy Pro-LTTE, pro-separatist websites could not have done a greater disservice to the larger Tamil cause just now than projecting Northern Province Chief Minister Justice C V Wigneswaran as our new national leader. It may in a way be a greater disservice to Justice Wigneswaran, too, who may not share their present views about him, and mostly definitely, their cause for a separate Tamil State. Despite being suave and gentlemanly, Wigneswaran has always been straight and forthright in his views, particularly on the Tamils’ problems and their solutions. Before his entering active politics and becoming Chief Minister at one-go, the very same sections that now hail him used to criticise him for being a Colombo elite who did not (have to) face […]

HAKEEM BACKS SAMPANTHAN- OPPOSITION LEADER TUSSLE

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sinhala Racist elements say that Sampanthan a Tamil is NOT suitable to hold the position of Opposition leader although the TNA has the highest number of MPs in the Opposition By Lakshmi Jayakody Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan is the most qualified to become the Opposition Leader, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said. SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali said Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and SLMC MPs hold ministerial portfolios. Thus the TNA has the highest number of MPs in the Opposition and only racist elements can say that Sampanthan is not suitable to hold the position of Opposition leader. Ali added that Sampanthan should not be denied the position because he is a Tamil, adding that this kind of thinking […]

‘Lanka needs to improve human and labour rights record’

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Top un rights rapporteur in Colombo The European Union delegation which began discussions on reinstating the GSP Plus trade concessions to Sri Lanka has called upon the government to turn commitment to reality in adhering to the United Nations conventions. “We want Sri Lanka to improve its record on human and labour rights, good governance and environmental concerns to be eligible for the new GSP Plus trade concessions,” EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka, David Daly told a media briefing last week. In 2010, the EU withdrew the preferential trade concession granted to Sri Lanka due to its failure to implement UN conventions. The former regime dismissed charges that it failed to comply with the eligibility criteria. Sri Lanka’s poor human rights and governance record were […]

What’s up Mahinda’s sleeve?

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while he was ensconced in power, thought his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga would dree her weird in retirement without troubling him. He did not know her. She bode her time and made a stunning comeback by engineering his downfall. He did now know what hit him! President Maithiripala Sirisena, having defeated Rajapaksa in January thought the latter would resign himself to his fate. He, too, thought wrong. His predecessor has bounced back to worry him. Mahinda is now becoming a movement as in his Opposition days. For the first time in several years he is seriously engaged in politics at the grassroots level the way he did while the SLFP was in total disarray from 1977 to 1994. If he had done so […]

‘The Inside Story Of How Maithri Defeated Mahinda’

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Arjuna Seneviratne – Review of “Revolution of the Era:The Inside story of how Maithri Defeated Mahinda” by Asoka Abeygunarwardana How David slew Goliath or how the opposition managed the impossible despite of itself (The translator’s job is to translate. It is up to others to review a work but in this case, my role as translator and my role as an independent citizen of Sri Lanka got admixed. Here therefore, is the strange phenomenon of a translator actually reviewing a work) I have never voted in an election despite the fact that it was my right and my franchise to do so. I refrained because I was not entirely convinced of the truthfulness of modern representative democracy when the word Demokratia (demos / kratos) […]

“How Ceylon/Sri Lanka Mishandled the Tamils” in the words of The Great Lee Kuan Yew

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

A political solution was the only way, one considered fair by the Tamils and the rest of the world. Compiled by Ananth Palakidnar The founding father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew will be laid to rest today. He had first travelled to Sri Lanka in 1956and remembered his stay at the Galle Face Hotel in his autobiography ‘The Singapore Story’. During his stay in Colombo he had dined with S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and also played golf with Dudley Senanyake. He remembered interacting with Sirimavo Bandaranaike and described the world’s first woman Prime Minister as a tough person. Lee had also visited the University of Peradeniya and played golf in Nuwara Eliya staying at ‘The Lodge’, the official residence of former British Governors. The following are excerpts […]

Sri Lanka pledges ‘Political Solution’ in war-torn North after 60 Years.

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged a “political solution” for the island’s war-torn north, where ethnic minority Tamils have long demanded greater autonomy. Related Stories India’s Modi visits Sri Lanka’s Tamil heartland AFP Modi urges security cooperation on landmark Sri Lanka trip AFP Ex-army chief becomes Sri Lanka’s first field marshal AFP Modi’s Sri Lanka visit seen as move to tame China influence Associated Press During a two-day visit to the Tamil heartland of Jaffna, Wickremesinghe also repeated his government’s promise of national reconciliation six years after the island’s ethnic war ended, his office said in a statement on Sunday. “If you want a stable and secure country, we must have a political solution (with Tamils) and move forward,” Wickremesinghe said in […]

UK girl finds her SL family after 18 years

30th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Growing up, Poppy Royal’s life was happy and secure. Her parents Cliff, now 68, and Jenny, 58, had adopted her at five weeks old, and never kept a secret of where she actually came from – Sri Lanka. “Mum and Dad adopted me and another Sri Lankan child, Joshua,” says Poppy. But growing up in a comfortable home in Oxfordshire was a world away from the life of her birth family, who toiled on tea plantations for desperately low wages. Cliff and Jenny took Poppy and Joshua to Sri Lanka when they were little, but Poppy was too young to ask questions about her roots. It wasn’t until she was 18 and studying anthropology at Manchester University that she felt the desire to trace her […]

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