March 2015

US hopes Lanka keeps promise

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The United States (US) today said it looks forward to receiving the report on Sri Lanka during the September session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and hope to see evidence in it of the Sri Lankan government’s actions to promote human rights, reconciliation, and accountability in Sri Lanka, consistent with its promises of cooperation noted in the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Speaking at the UNHRC after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein presented his annual report in which he spoke about Sri Lanka, the US delegation at the UNHRC said that it welcomes the High Commissioner’s leadership in engaging with the Government of Sri Lanka, which led to the extension of the release of the investigation’s report on Sri […]

Maithripala gets diaspora boost

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

A leading Tamil Diaspora group has welcomed the steps taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to address several concerns in Sri Lanka and urged the government to reveal its blueprint to achieve a political solution by negotiating with the elected Tamil representatives. The London based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) welcomed the democratic transition process initiated by the new government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, which includes the increased space presently available for freedom of expression and rule of law. GTF said the 100 day program initiated by the government that aims to crystallise the new governance norms through constitutional amendments is of huge significance for the long term future of Sri Lanka. “The appointment of civilian governors for the Northern and Eastern Provinces is a […]

TN Fishermen Abducted by Lankan Counterparts, Released

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Armed Sri Lankan fishermen abducted seven of their counterparts from Tamil Nadu early today off Kodiakarai allegedly for ransom but released them by evening, police here said. The fishermen from Pamban near here who were in a country boat late last night were intercepted while fishing off Kodiakarai in Nagapattinam District and taken away by the Sri Lankans to an unknown location in the island nation. Later, the Lankan fishermen using the mobile phones of abducted fishermen called up their relatives and told them they would released only if ransom was paid, though the amount was not specified, Q Branch Police Inspector Kennedy said. However, police here received information that the seven fishermen were released this evening, he said. The Inspector did not know the […]

Delay In Addressing Tamil Problem Can Only Give Scope For Hard-Line Attitudes From All Sides To Re-Emerge: GTF

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has today called upon President Maithripla Sirisena to address concerns of the war affected Tamil people and to work towards meaningful political resolution. Issuing a statement the Tamil  diaspora organisation said; “GTF does not underestimate the mammoth task the government faces in several fronts and its notable achievements within a two month period. Nevertheless, we are also concerned that any delay in addressing the Tamil problem can only give scope for hard-line attitudes from all sides to re-emerge, and this will make the task of achieving meaningful progress more difficult in the future.” We publish below the statement in full; GTF welcomes the democratic transition process initiated by the new government under the leadership of President Sirisena, which includes the […]

EU is to help families in the east

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Responding to the impact of the floods that hit various parts of Sri Lanka in late December, the European Commission is providing €238,000 (approx. 36,000,000 LKR) to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families in the Eastern part of the country. Triggered by prolonged heavy rains related to the North-East monsoon, the flooding badly affected standing crops throughout the region, jeopardizing the food security of the local households. The EU’s humanitarian assistance will directly benefit some 7200 people in the districts of Batticaloa and Ampara. This funding will mostly provide unconditional cash grants to the most vulnerable families, particularly agricultural workers who have lost their source of income, as well as those who are not physically able to work. In addition, farmers whose crops […]

CEA submits preliminary report on Jaffna ground water pollution

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Ifham Nizam The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has submitted a preliminary report on the ground water pollution in some parts of the Jaffna Peninsula. President Maithripala Sirisena took take up the matter  on Tuesday when he visited Jaffna. He told the officials present that the issue of water pollution had to be taken very seriously and everything possible done to remedy the situation and prevent contamination. CEA Chairman Professor Lal Dharmasiri told The Island that tests had been conducted on more than quarter of samples and his institution was concerned about the situation though there was no need for panic. However, Prof. Dharmasiri added that no final decision could be made until the release of the report the following week. Tests took about five hours […]

Without Any Promises Made To Them, Tamils Risked Their Future

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Rev. S.J. Emmanuel – Historic contribution of The Tamils for the democratic transition The last regime not only did the Mullivaikal massacre and went further to eradicate the roots of Tamil existence but also changed the governance of the country by constitutional changes and plundering of the state. A wise coalition of leadership in the south brought out a common-candidate and the regime change was democratically effected with the contribution of all – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Tamils, encouraged by the courageous call of their leaders to participate in the elections and effect a democratic transition, did not only make a historic contribution in saving the country from a fast deteriorating regime that was arrogantly dictatorial and corrupt to the core. This change also […]

North experienced the bombs the guns and the land mines first hand.

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Butterflies have returned to North The civil war affected the whole country of Sri Lanka in one way or the other, but the North experienced the bombs the guns and the land mines first hand. People suffered. They suffered more than anyone who only felt the horrors of war through the news could ever imagine. They lost friends, family and sometimes their own limbs. They went through unimaginable hardship. Some broke. Others remained strong and moved on in life. The Travelling Chaos duo travelled to Jaffna twice, and was able to experience what difference two years can make. In December 2013, Jaffna, was still struggling to get on its feet. Not a single house remained untouched. Most were in the process of being partially built […]

Muslims Want Their Land Back

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Nearly six years after the end of the war, there still are many who are still displaced from their original homelands and are unable to return to their homelands. Land is a key issue requiring attention through a variety of measures which should pay due attention to individual’s land rights and claims, and the history of the land. Land issues are a matter of grave concern to the Tamil-speaking people, both the Tamil people and the Muslim people in the North and the East. The TNA has on many occasions highlighted the land issues and the occupation of the security forces on these lands. They have pointed out that the Government through its armed forces on grounds of security has continued to hold in its […]

Chief Minister Wigneswaran makes reference to two nations

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

When Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran received President Maitripala Sirisena in Jaffna on Tuesday, many perceived it as a novel gesture of goodwill for reconciliation between the north and the south. But, Justice Wigneswaran unnerved such positivists when he mentioned, in his address, the concept of two nations in one country. President Matripala Sirisena visited Jaffna on Tuesday for the first time after his ascendency to the topmost political post, and addressed the District Development Co-ordinating Committee meeting.  The Chief Minister used to boycott key functions in the north, graced by the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the past. Therefore, his presence was seen as a development and fostering of understanding between the centre and the provincial administration. Yet, Mr. Wigneswaran’s remarks about two […]

President says no hidden deals with TNA and Muslim parties

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated that he has not signed any hidden agreement with the Tamil National Alliance and Muslim political parties, as accused by some political opponents. “The only agreement I signed is with the people of this country, there are no other agreements with either Tamil or Muslim political parties,” President Sirisena told the Eastern District Committee meeting held at the Trincomalee District Secretariat on 3 March. The President pointed out the importance of building unity, peace and brotherhood among all the communities in the country and said he would ensure the right of every citizen to live with equal rights. During the meeting President further said that we should make efforts to make the new era created with the blessing of every […]

Ready for fishermen’s talks on March 12: Colombo

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

After an apparent push from New Delhi on scheduling talks between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka at the earliest, Colombo has suggested that the next round of discussions be held on March 12 in Chennai. The decision follows a meeting between Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha and Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera in Colombo on Tuesday. “The Indian High Commissioner requested us to schedule the talks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka later this month,” Minister Perera told The Hindu . The Palk Bay conflict was one of the key bilateral issues that President Maithripala Sirisena raised in New Delhi during his visit last month. Mr. Modi then emphasised the need to facilitate early resumption of […]

Govt to investigate into reports on Swiss account holders

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sandasen Marasinghe, Disna Mudalige and Irangika Range Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament on Tuesday that the government would investigate into reports on Swiss accounts of Lankans with the assistance of Parliament, Prime Minister and the President and would inform Parliament of the results. The minister responding to a special statement by Democratic Left Front Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said as per Section 15(1) of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act No 6 of 2006, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has the power to receive reports from any institution, a law enforcement agency, a government agency or any agency of another country relating to suspicious transactions. Relating to newspaper reports regarding Sri Lankans holding accounts in Switzerland, no such institution or law enforcement agency has reported any […]

Spy cables reveal Sri Lanka hyped up Tamil Tiger postwar threat

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Exclusive: Sri Lanka played up concerns of LTTE regrouping in South Africa despite contrary intelligence report by Jyoti Thottam In November 2010, a Sri Lankan member of Parliament expressed his dismay when a small statue of a leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was erected on private property in a Paris suburb. It was an alarming sign, said Sarath Weerasekara, a retired rear admiral in the Sri Lankan navy, that the LTTE, an armed separatist group that Sri Lanka defeated decisively in 2009, might be regrouping in other countries. “Its one leg is in America and the other one in France,” Weerasekera said in a statement in Parliament. “The head is in Norway and the other body parts in Australia or South […]

Modi to address SL parliament

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Sri Lanka Parliament on March 13, political sources said today. Mr. Modi will make a three-day state visit to Sri Lanka from March 13. This is the first state visit by an Indian leader after 1987. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was the last to make a state visit to Sri Lanka. In 2013, the then Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Sinavatra addressed Parliament. It is learnt that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed Government members to attend the session on that day of the address by Mr. Modi. He said a parliamentary address would be the highest honour to be accorded to a visiting state leader. Mr. Modi will also visit Jaffna during his visit. Meanwhile, Indian […]

Zeid warns Lanka on rights probe

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein today warned the Sri Lankan Government not to repeat the failures of the past. Speaking at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, after presenting his annual report, al-Hussein urged the authorities in Sri Lanka to consult deeply with the people, especially the victims, in order to design mechanisms that will work and not repeat the failures of the past. He told the UN Human Rights Council today that a report on Sri Lanka was to be presented during the ongoing session but he had recommended that the report be postponed till September. The High Commissioner said the decision was taken after serious reflection and acting upon the suggestion of the investigations group of experts. He […]

Northerners still in the doldrums

6th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By P. Krishnaswamy reporting from Kilinochchi and Pudukudiyiruppu Yet living amid poverty, devastation and social trauma after 30 years of war, the people of Vanni look with hope to the central government and provincial administration for industrial and commercial development to resume their progress to prosperity. A vehicle sales centre in Pudukudiyiruppu The writer visited some of the interior areas of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts to meet families for a first hand report on their present condition, their main requests and requirements and what they have to say about the 100- day program of the Unity Alliance Government . Price reduction All families, selected at random, welcomed the price reductions on food items, fuel and cement under the 100-day program of the Government and said […]

Probe on bribe to US Congressmen

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government is to launch an investigation into claims that the former Government had collected funds through institutions based in the United States to pay some US Congressmen to back Sri Lanka on the human rights issue. Janatha Viumukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned the Government in Parliament today over the claims. Responding to this, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that, according to the documents in the hands of his Ministry, funds had been collected for the Congressmen but it was not clear if the money had been given to them or if they had taken the money and not done what was expected from them. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe later said that collecting money for US Congressmen is a violation of US laws. […]

UK reiterates backing for report

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The British Government has reiterated its support for the report on Sri Lanka compiled by an investigations team appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said that his Government also feels it is right to give the new Sri Lankan Government time before the report is presented to the UN Human Rights Council. The report was to be presented to the Human Rights Council this month at the ongoing 28th session but it was postponed to September. While most foreign Governments back the move, the Tamil Diaspora, including those based in London, have raised concerns over the report being postponed. The Sri Lankan Government has asked for time to address the human rights concerns before the […]

Arrested ex-Women Sea Tiger chief has French connection?

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka arrests France-bound woman over rebel links Ex female LTTE leader arrested? By Shamindra Ferdinando Women Sea Tigers parade on M’tivu coast Ex-senior Sea Tiger cadre Jeyaganesh Murugesu Pakeerathy (41), who was taken into custody at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on Monday (2) has been granted French permanent resident status. The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) arrested her soon after her arrival at the airport to leave for France. Pakeerathy is a mother of an eight-year-old child. Authoritative sources told The Island that having permanent residence is a privileged status which allowed a recipient to live in France indefinitely. Sources said that Pakeerathy carried a Sri Lankan passport though her husband Subramaniyam Jeyaganesh alias Samiraj had received French citizenship. Those having French permanent residence aren’t eligible […]

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