March 2015

Prime Minister denies existence of secret detention camps

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

‘Those not among prison population either perished during war or living overseas’ by Shamindra Ferdinando Accusations that Tamil youth were being held in secret detention camps were baseless, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a gathering of Buddhist clergy at Rukmale Sri Dharmaloka Vijayaloka Mahaviharaya on Sunday (1). Among the invitees at a felicitation ceremony for newly appointed Mahanayake Thera Ven. Iththapane Dharmalankara was Rt. Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. Premier Wickremesinghe emphasised that all those who had been taken into custody were being held in legally run facilities and, therefore, all detainees could be accounted for.   The UNP leader said instructions had been given for preparing a full list of persons in custody in a bid to dispel fears expressed in some quarters as regards […]

Top UN political official urges Sri Lanka to seize ‘historic moment’ for reconciliation

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The United Nations will stand with the people and leaders of Sri Lanka as the country forges ahead along the path to reconciliation, the Organization’s top political official said today, as he voiced encouragement at the Government’s ongoing commitment to promote accountability and human rights following the nation’s three decade-long civil war. Addressing reporters in the capital of Colombo during the conclusion of his four-day visit to the Asian country, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, applauded Sri Lanka for its democratic elections and peaceful transition and reiteratedSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s claim that the island nation was entering a “moment of historic opportunity.” Mr. Feltman acknowledged that Sri Lankans had suffered during the country’s long conflict and that despite the work of many commissions, the […]

SF calls on people to create atmosphere of trust to combat separatism

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

General Sarath Fonseka stated that the majority in the country needed to assume the responsibility of creating an environment of trust in order to combat ideas of separatism while slamming politicians for stirring racial tensions to gain political advantages. The General made these comments while conducting a forum yesterday at the Kingsbury Hotel under the theme ‘The Untold Story by General Fonseka’, which recounted in detail the final Eelam War. When questioned about elements of the Diaspora still harbouring the thoughts and dreams of creating a separate state within Sri Lanka and how this could be combated, General Fonseka stated that instead of trying to combat them and eliminate those sentiments through fear and intimidation, the people of the country needed to create an atmosphere […]

Watford Costco car park death: Man admits manslaughter

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

A man has admitted killing a shopkeeper who fell from a moving van in Watford. Prasanna Arulchelvam, 34, was found with head injuries at a Costco store car park in the town in May 2013 and died 11 days later. Michael McInerney, 33, of no fixed address, denied murder but the prosecution at Luton Crown Court accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter. Two men were jailed in October for Mr Arulchelvam’s manslaughter. Michael McInerney, 33, denied murder but admitted manslaughter Mr Arulchelvam, known as Nick, came to England from Sri Lanka in 1998 and lived in Grandfield Avenue, Watford, with his wife Shayanthy, 30, and their young son. He died on 6 June 2013 in St Mary’s Hospital in London after being attacked outside the […]

‘Two Nation’ Claim By Chief Minister Wigneswaran

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dayan Jayatilleka – “It is my humble view Sir, if we are to progress as one Country with two nations…”  – (‘Your Excellency Our President, We Need One Country With Two Nations’- CV Wigneswaran, Colombo Telegraph, March 3, 2015) It became known as the Two Nation theory. That was the basis on which Jinnah fought for and obtained the partition of India and Pakistan, with all the carnage that entailed. The two nation theory thus became a dirty word in neighboring India. Chief Minister CV (“Genocide Judge”) Wigneswaran has just enunciated it in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena on the latter’s first post-election visit to Jaffna. Of course, in order to be fair by Chief MinisterWigneswaran, it must be said that the Tamil political mainstream first […]

ITAK pushes Govt – Seeks immediate political solution to Tamil issue

5th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah   The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) passed a resolution, at the party’s central committee meeting, urging the government to find an immediate solution to the national question. ITAK has passed various other resolutions too, to be implemented immediately. Accordingly, the party passed resolutions to urge the new government; to consider releasing the lands of Tamil people in the North and the East, also the release of all political prisoners and to strengthen the investigation into missing persons, in keeping with the promises given during the presidential election. They also pressed on the government, to immediately resettle the war affected people living in welfare centres various parts of the North and East. It was discussed during the ITAK central committee meeting that […]

Mangala In Geneva: Backstabbing The Armed Forces

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dayan Jayatilleka – “…The Government has invited Mr. Pablo de Greiff, the Special Rapporteur on truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence to visit Sri Lanka for consultations. He has proposed to visit us at the end of this month. We also look forward to receiving the Working Group on Involuntary and Enforced Disappearances…”–Mangala Samaraweera (Text of the statement delivered at the High Level segment of the UNHRC, March 2, 2015, Geneva.) Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the unelected (and therefore, less than legitimate) Government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has just done the equivalent of Jihadi John on the Sri Lankan armed forces. Jihadi John is the ISIS executioner who stands behind captives, makes a speech and cuts their […]

Refer Sri Lanka To International Criminal Court: TGTE Tells UNHRC

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has urged the United Nations to refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court (ICC) or to establish a similar international judicial mechanism for investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan State. “We firmly believe that neither a domestic mechanism nor a hybrid mechanism will meet out justice to the Tamil people” said the Prime Minister of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran. “The call by the new Sri Lankan government for a domestic or hybrid mechanism to replace any international judicial process is an attempt to deflect the call for the referral to ICC and to delay any meaningful actions on accountability. Efforts to establish […]

Kerry hails UNHRC on Sri Lanka

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

US Secretary of State John Kerry, today hailed the role played by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Sri Lanka. In his speech during the High Level segment of the 28th session of the UNHRC, which began today, Kerry noted that there is an opportunity for change in Sri Lanka. “Consider the indispensable role the HRC has played in encouraging leaders to live up to their promises and commitments in countries such as Burma and Sri Lanka, where there are opportunities for real change,” he said. In his speech, Kerry noted that the more the international community understands about specific human rights violations, the greater the pressure will be on bad actors to change course. “And eventually – not always overnight, but eventually – […]

Sri Lanka’s Tamil party to discuss reforms with Indian PM

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Tamil party to discuss reforms with Indian PM Colombo, March 2 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party on Monday said it will seek to discuss devolution of powers to the provinces when it meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sri Lanka. Modi is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on March 13, his first since taking office last year and which will also be the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister to Sri Lanka in over 25 years. India has been backing devolution of powers to the provinces in Sri Lanka under an agreement reached between India and Sri Lanka in 1987 as part of a solution to the ethnic conflict. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) legislator M.A. Sumanthiran said they […]

Mangala’s Full Speech At UNHRC

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Mangala’s Full Speech At UNHRC By Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva Mar 2, 2015 Mr. President High Commissioner for Human Rights/ Madam Deputy High Commissioner Excellencies Distinguished Delegates Ladies and GentlemenIt is an honour for me to be here today, representing the Government of Sri Lanka following the historic Presidential election that took place in my country 48 days ago on 8th January 2015. As this august assembly would be aware, 81.52% of the registered voters in Sri Lanka from all parts of the island including the former conflict affected areas in the northern and eastern provinces exercised their franchise at this election. It was the largest ever voter turnout in the country’s history. Despite calls from some both within and outside the […]

Can South Africa Succeed Where India And Norway Had Failed?

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

By N Sathiya Moorthy Now that a new Government has settled down to work in Colombo, an official South African team is back in the country, trying to take forward their post-war truth and reconciliation efforts from where they had left under the predecessor regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. All told, the present double-barrel gun comprising President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should be the welcome change that any peace facilitator in Sri Lanka could do with yet the South Africans’ job is more difficult than in the past. Technically at the very least, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe duo represents a broad national consensus that was not possible or even attempted in any serious manner by the Rajapaksa leadership. There are issues that President Sirisena would […]

Situation of IDPs unchanged for last SIX years.

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah   Kilinochchi Sencholai Children’s Home Director, Kumaran Pathmanathan, aka KP, said the living standards in the camps for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have not changed during the past six years and the situation in the welfare centres remain the same, as the last time he visited them. He made the comment at a sports event, organized by the Kannaki Sports League on Sunday (1) in Chunnakam-South. Pathmanathan was the chief guest at this event. “Many do not know my identity. When I was invited, even I was confused whether I could participate in the function. I’m clueless about my whereabouts, and you may know of my situation through newspapers,” he said. He added, “When I first entered Jaffna I wanted to […]

State to prepare missing persons’ final list

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

State to prepare missing persons’ final list Inter-ministerial committee already appointed Committee to coordinate with ministries, relevant bodies The government is in the process of preparing a final list of missing persons during the final phase of war, with the assistance of the United Nations and several other parties, External Affairs Ministry highly placed sources told the Daily News yesterday. There are various documents with regard to ‘missing persons’ prepared by various parties on an unofficial basis and that has already created a lot of confusion over the matter. Several parties have come up with conflicting statistics and now the government is compelled to clear the air on this issue. That is why the government has decided to finalise one list with which we can […]

Racist Gammanpila on Maithri Govt., Tamil separatism and Rajapaksa’s return

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader and former Provincial Councillor Udaya Gammanpila claims the present Government had ‘mega lies about mega deals’ and accuses the coalition of cheating people to fraudulently secure their vote. “That is the biggest fraud that took place in this country. Therefore people are now impatiently waiting for the Parliamentary election to punish those cheaters for deceitfully stealing their vote,” asserted Gammanpila, in an interview with the Daily FT. Speaking on alleged files and information on former Government members in the possession of the ruling party, he said: “They said they possess files and information. They addressed the people with a lot of confidence. What are the so-called major corruption deals they have exposed so far? Are Tissa Attanayake and Mrs. Weerawansa the […]

Human Rights and 50 days of Sri Lanka’s new Presidency

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

It’s now 50 days since Sri Lanka’s new President took oaths on 9th January 2015. This is an attempt to reflect on the first 50 days of the new Presidency. It’s not meant to be comprehensive assessment of the 50 days, but a reflection based on my personal experiences, what I’ve seen and heard in my travels around the country interacting with various people and also what I’ve read. There were three striking things for me in terms of the oath taking ceremony itself. First, unlike previous regime’s ceremonies, it was a simple ceremony. Second, the new President had opted to be sworn in by the senior most serving Supreme Court Judge, and ignored the unconstitutionally appointed de-facto Chief Justice of the time. Third, it […]

Lanka’s main Tamil party cracks whip on hardliners

3rd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party has censured two hardline members for their anti-party activities, including “unwarranted and unacceptable” criticism of its leaders. The Tamil National Alliance central committee condemned the conduct of lawmakers Suresh Premachandran and Ananthy Saseetharan for criticising party leader R Sampanthan and senior member MA Sumanthiran. The party resolution yesterday said Premachandran and Saseetharan were involved with a protest held in Jaffna on February 21, where an effigy of Sumanthiran was burnt. Sampanthan and Sumanthiran, regarded as moderates in the TNA, have been criticised by hardliners for taking part in the anniversary of Sri Lankan independence in February. It was the first time Tamil leadership participited in such celebrations after the promulgation of Constitution in 1972. The Tamil parties have been protesting […]

Author Trevor Grant on How The Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murder

2nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Author Trevor Grant on How The Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murder An interview with author Trevor Grant, he recently wrote an insightful book pertaining to the ongoing human rights violations in Sri Lanka- the book is entitled, “Sri Lanka’s Secrets How The Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murder”. The book can be purchased via. Amazon or directly on the book’s publishing website. Amazon: http://www.amazon.ca/Sri-Lankas-Secre… Monash Publishing: http://www.publishing.monash.edu/book… Visit our Facebook social group for more updates on the ongoing human rights violations in Sri Lanka:https://www.facebook.com/groups/34462…

If they don’t take me seriously, why do they come to me? – ‘Most respected Tamil living in Sri Lanka’ Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph

2nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan The most outspoken Bishop in Sri Lanka, Dr Rayappu Joseph of Mannar says a purely domestic inquiry will not be perceived by Tamils as impartial, at least at this stage. Also, what should be done now as first step is to cooperate with the UN investigation and discuss next steps after that report is published. Following are excerpts: Q Where have the Tamils gone wrong in resolving the national issue? A: Tamils have historically asked for recognition of their identity as a community, equality with all other Sri Lankans, asked for federal or such system of power-sharing and engaged in democratic and peaceful struggles. It is only when these were not being realized, and their efforts met with violence and armed […]

Tamil Kings Cut out, History Rewritten, Claim Lankan Tamil Students

2nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

KATCHATHEEVU: Five years after the end of the ethnic war in Sri Lanka, Tamil minority students are still unable to acquire knowledge about the legacy of Tamil kings of yore through their History textbooks in schools. Instead, they get to learn only about the glory of the Sinhala kings and their contribution to the growth of Buddhism in the island nation. “Our History textbooks up to Class X emphasise that the Sinhala kings alone are the legitimate rulers of Sri Lanka and only their clan has the ability to govern the country. If Tamil-speaking students requested their teachers to enlighten them on the Tamil kings and their contribution, the fellow Sinhala classmates mock them,” rued a student, who came with his family to the St […]

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