March 2015

Preme Minister Ranil refuses to meet Tamil Chief Minister Wigneswaren.

27th March 2015 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando In the wake of the government giving up a section of the Jaffna High Security Zone (HSZ) last Monday (March 23), Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe will undertake a three-day visit to examine the situation in the Northern Province. The Premier will commence his visit today (March 27) with religious observances at Naga Viharaya. The Premier will briefly meet Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians representing the Northern Province, security forces’ top brass in the North, civil society organizations as well as senior officials handling resettlement and rehabilitated ex-cadres of the LTTE. Representatives of northern fisheries societies, too, will meet the Premier. Except for 49 ex-LTTE cadres held at a rehabilitation camp at Poonthottam, the previous government released all those who had surrendered or captured […]

Ranil lists immediate priorities for Sri Lanka

27th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Calls for genuine reconciliation and rebuilding along with greater national unity Proper legal action against widespread corruption Urgent constitutional and electoral reforms; hints next Parliament after general election will have to think of a new Constitution Says the interim Govt. has delivered thus far on its promises and some will take time Rs. 400 b payment pending as compensation for land acquisitions for highways; Estimates overall unpaid bills by Govt. to be Rs. 1 trillion Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday shared with editors and owners of media the list of immediate priorities for the country in the national interest, noting that the interim Government had thus far delivered results whilst some would take more time. In his first formal interaction with the media since assuming […]

Election 2015: Cameron and Miliband face TV grilling

27th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Election 2015: Cameron and Miliband face TV grilling David Cameron and Ed Miliband have been put on the spot over immigration, the EU and spending plans in the first set-piece TV broadcast of the election. The PM said he had “turned the economy around” while the Labour leader said he was “tough enough” to be PM. Jeremy Paxman began the Channel 4/Sky programme by grilling Mr Cameron about food banks and zero hours contracts. Mr Miliband said his relationship with brother David was “healing” after their bruising leadership battle. At the end of Mr Miliband’s interview, host Paxman was caught on microphone asking at the end: “Are you OK, Ed?” The programme was not a direct debate between the two leaders. Rather, each man faced […]

Ex-Lankan President to head task force for reconciliation of Tamils

27th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will head a special presidential task force to identify urgent reconciliation needs of the minority Tamil community, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday. “We are focused in achieving communal and religious harmony,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said. The new government has set up a dedicated office for reconciliation under the Chair of 69-year-old Ms. Kumaratunga, the country’s first woman president. The Presidential Task Force on Reconciliation (PTFR) would identify urgent reconciliation needs that require immediate solutions. The PTFR would also consider proposals from citizens for the purpose. Ms. Kumaratunga was the fifth President of Sri Lanka, who served from 1994 to 2005. In November last year, she formally announced her return to active politics. The Tamil Tigers were engaged […]

British envoy, denying involvement of UK or US intelligence agencies

27th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Two British Universities will be set up in Sri Lanka next year under an overseas plan to enable Sri Lankan students to pursue studies here and for those who cannot afford to proceed to UK for higher studies. Students will be able to read for a British degree while in Sri Lanka, said the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin addressing the British Scholars Association recently. Referring to education, he said there were 8000 Sri Lankan students studying in the UK some time ago but the numbers had dwindled owing to prohibitive costs and due to bogus colleges being closed down in the United Kingdom. However 28 universities in the UK offer several course to students. He said Sri Lanka had the highest […]

What Queen told Maithri about Tamil protesters……… and the Racist Mahinda.

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

What Queen told Maithri about Tiger protesters… President Maithripala revealed an interesting episode of what Queen Elizabeth told him during his recent visit to Britain to the media heads when the latter met the President last week at a breakfast meeting. When he met the Queen, the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora in London had been protesting outside. “Don’t those who protest outside know that there is a new government in Sri Lanka?” the Queen had asked Maithri. By this statement, the Queen posed two views; that she was opposed to the protest outside by the Tamil Diaspora and was eager to know what the new Sri Lanka Government would do to help the Tamils. Maithri understood the statement in the correct perspective. Even British Premier David […]

War widows ‘fish’ upon a star! Bringing back a bit of glitter into their lives

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

BY ZAHRAH IMTIAZ Chavatkaddu is a fishing village in Jaffna, much like any other fishing village in the area, except for one thing, their village celebrity and spokesperson is a war widow. SailaIthayaraj, a petite an energetic woman, is well known in these areas as the widow who has been changing the lives of widows in her area through the organization ‘Tharaka Widows Activity Centre’. Tharaka (Star) at first glance is no more than an old house which has had a fresh coat of paint, much like its occupants, the widows in the village. These women who once used to be shunned by their village as widows, now proudly run their organization. Here, they rule the roost and call the shots. “See this fan here?” […]

US plans to help Sri Lanka on governance, accountability

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The US government said that Sri Lanka was facing the problems of corruption, cronyism and divisive policies that threatened to divide and destabilise the country. Colombo: The US government said on Tuesday that it was exploring the possibility of increasing its assistance to the Sri Lankan government to help it tackle issues like governance, accountability, commerce and “much more”. Addressing the house foreign affairs committee subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal said that after the “dramatic opening” created by the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January, the US is willing to assist the new government. The US government cut down its grants and spending in Sri Lanka over the past […]

Mahinda Government sold arms and ammunitions to Ukrainian Terrorists!

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The government said yesterday that Minister of External Affairs (MEA), Mangala Samaraweera, will be appointing a high level committee to investigate… …allegations against former Lankan Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, on selling arms and ammunitions to Ukrainian rebels. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ajith P. Perera, at a media briefing at the ministry said Weeratunga, who is a nephew of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had served eight years as the Ambassador to Russia, the longest an individual had served as an ambassador. “Minister Samaraweera will be appointing a committee comprising high level officials to investigate the allegations against Weeratunga, the former Ambassador to Russia, on selling arms to Ukranian rebels,” the minister said. He added that the Ukrainian Government had initially informed the Ministry of External […]

New situation has created problems for the middle classes

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

New situation has created problems for the middle classes. Unlike workers, middle people in the bourgeoisie society are looking for fundamentals. Proletarians are more pragmatic, they can identify the tricks played by the masters and they wait for the final results. Also, they cannot afford to cry after lost dreams and they have to take positions according to the balance of forces in the class struggle. Many in the middle sections of the urban society trusted the lawyers who drafted the 19th amendment. Suddenly trust placed on Jayampathi and Weliamuna means nothing. They only draft but the power to finalize rests with others. Neither the Manifesto nor the personal assurances constitute the final definitive statement. When one see the real balance of forces they are […]

THREE CURRENT AND FORMER PRESIDENTS OF SRI LANKA HAVE PLEDGED NO ACCOUNTABILITY

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Calling the High Commissioner to voice his disapproval COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, March 24, 2015 /EINPresswire.com/ — On March 24th, 2015, the Prime Minister of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) sent a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Honorable Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, bringing to his attention and raising concerns about the statements of the three Sri Lankan Presidents denouncing the international investigation. The letter strongly urged the Commissioner to voice his disapproval at such statements. In the letter, it is stated inter alia Former President, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse(2005-2015) stated in an interview for Time magazine, that he opposed the international investigation, as you are well aware. He stated: “It is like Cassius Clay fighting a school boy…they [the international community] […]

Lalith-Kugan case: Rambukwella and Handunnetti summoned

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

A Jaffna court on Wednesday (25) issued summons to former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and Parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti to appear before court on 30 July. The Jaffna Magistrate issued the order when the Habeas Corpus inquiry into the disappearance of Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan was taken up for hearing. The Court of Appeal earlier granted approval to hold hearing on a petition filed by the relatives of missing activists, Lalith and Kugan, requesting that they be produced before the court. The two individuals had disappeared on 9 December, 2011 in Jaffna. The petition claimed that the former Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, speaking to media had stated that the two activists are in custody, and that their location cannot be disclosed. The motorcycle which Lalith and […]

Military was due to release a total of 1,000 acres in the first stage but………

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday released part of military-occupied land in Jaffna, but his predecessor had begun the process and even signed title deeds just two days before his defeat at elections. Despite the high-profile ceremony involving President Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, the former strongman transferred land to Tamils even though they were not given possession. A day after Sirisena released 425 acres from a former high security zone in Jaffna, the authorities there issued “Ran Bima,” or golden land, deeds to Tamils who had lost their ownership records during decades of war. Rajapakse had signed the deeds on January 6, 2015, just two days before the election but it was registered at […]

A Comprehensive International Investigation Only Way Forward: APPG Chairman

26th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG) has reiterated on the significance of an international investigation into the grave human rights violations that occurred during the final phases of the war in Sri Lanka, while pointing out that it has been made quite evident by now that the government of Sri Lanka will not deal with the accountability issues facing the Tamil community in a meaningful manner.   APPG Chairman and Ilford North MP Lee Scott had made these remarks during his meetings with the Ambassadors of US, Norway, Germany and the UK in Geneva as he joined the members of the British Tamil Forum at a UNHRC meeting. The BTF had been seeking to gather support for the international investigation […]

Parties fail to reach consensus on 19A Referendum needed – Opposition Leader

25th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to Parliament yesterday to curtail powers of the executive presidency. The Bill, if approved by Parliament, will make the Prime Minister the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers with powers to appoint its members. Right to Information has been included among the fundamental rights in the 19th Amendment. The Bill envisages the appointment of a Constitutional Council consisting the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, one person appointed by the President, five persons appointed by the President on the nomination of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, one person nominated by agreement of the majority of members of parliament belonging to political parties or independent groups other than […]

‘WAR CRIMES’ IN SRI LANKA

25th March 2015 // 0 Comments

What The International Experts Say – 4 Sir Geoffrey Nice and Rodney Dixon on Ban Ki Moon’s report on SL Sir Geoffrey Nice QC worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević. He has also worked for the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Rodney Dixon QC has prosecuted and defended cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Rwanda Tribunal (ICTR), the Special Court for Cambodia, the War Crimes Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. (This is an edited and abbreviated version of a legal opinion. The language and the title has been modified to suit a general readership. Reducing a detailed legal opinion […]

Devolution in India and Sri Lanka

25th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Neville Ladduwahetty The Island editorial of March 16, 2015 quotes Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran as having stated as follows during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Jaffna: “Thirteenth Amendment can never be the final solution. No wonder you referred to your firm belief in cooperative federalism yesterday in Parliament … Indian Constitution provides for the facilitation of sustainable development, internal security, law and order, policing and protection pertaining to lands and so on within the State. Our inability to function in our Province to the extent you are able to help Gujrat under the Indian Constitution needs to be understood…We need the services of a guarantor and it is our considered view that the Government of India under your stewardship is best […]

Lee Kuan Yew made Singapore Prosperous,Modern,Efficient and Practically Corruption Free

25th March 2015 // 0 Comments

With a sense of vision and a ruthless pragmatism, Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore as it transformed from a tiny island with no natural resources into a thriving economic success. He successfully channelled the energies of Singaporeans to create what has often been described as an economic miracle, a mixture of private and state capitalism. Mr Lee made Singapore prosperous, modern, efficient and practically corruption-free – and overseas investors flocked in. But while he was admired for his economic success, many expressed concern over his record on human rights. Lee Kuan Yew was born on 16 September 1923 in Singapore, the son of third-generation Chinese immigrants. His upbringing had a strong British influence and his grandfather dubbed him Harry Lee, a name by which he […]

If National Govt was Formed to Resolve the Tamil Crisis the Nation must Salute Maithri,Ranil and Chandrika

25th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Upul Joseph Fernando President Maithripala revealed an interesting episode of what Queen Elizabeth told him during his recent visit to Britain to the media heads when the latter met the President last week at a breakfast meeting. When he met the Queen, the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora in London had been protesting outside. “Don’t those who protest outside know that there is a new government in Sri Lanka?” the Queen had asked Maithri. By this statement, the Queen posed two views; that she was opposed to the protest outside by the Tamil Diaspora and was eager to know what the new Sri Lanka Government would do to help the Tamils. Maithri understood the statement in the correct perspective. Even British Premier David Cameron had posed the […]

Rijiju assures assistance to Sri Lankan refugees in India

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Gummidipoondi (Tamil Nadu), Mar. 24 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on Tuesday assured the government’s assistance to Sri Lankan refugees, who have been residing in Tamil Nadu for more than two decades. Rijiju was meeting the refugees in Gummidipoondi town, over 45 kilometres from Chennai. “Central Government is ready to extend whatever possible necessary help you want, but at the same time we need inputs from the state government, so it has to be a combined effort of the state and Centre,” Rijiju told the refugees. “We will seek report from Tamil Nadu Government, because all the policies for your welfare have to be taken together,” he added. “We wanted to see the humanitarian effort provided to you by the […]

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