March 2015

ICRC helps Lanka probe missing

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has reiterated its commitment to the Sri Lanka government’s efforts to clarify the fate of persons who went missing during the past conflict and offered concrete proposals to establish an independent domestic mechanism for it. An ICRC statement issued today said that during his five day visit to Sri Lanka which ended last Friday, ICRC director of operations Dominik Stillhart met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and senior officials. “The ICRC’s experience from its work with families of missing persons in other countries is that their needs are multifaceted”, said Stillhart. “Their priority is the need to know the fate and whereabouts of a missing relative, without which they have no closure […]

‘Two Billion rupees as defamation charges’ sent by Sri Lanka’s finance minister to Gotabaya

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Mar 24, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s finance minister, Ravi Karunanayake has threatened to send a letter of demand to former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for what he calls ‘false charges’ being leveled against him. In a media release issued on Tuesday by minister Karunanayake, he says he will send a letter of demand to Rajapaksa demanding two billion rupees for the defamation. “Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has provided false information about the construction of my house in a newspaper interview. I replied him by challenging him to declare his assets if he can. I have done so by presenting all the reports of my assets,” “It is about a month now without any reply. That’s why I’m sending a letter of demand today […]

Delaying implementation of LLRC will not help Sri Lanka – Sinhala Buddhist vote and LLRC

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka has a tried and tested legal system bequeathed to it by the British. It has produced eminent jurists in the calibre of Neville Samarakoon (QC), who as Chief Justice (CJ), withstood the might of his once good friend, President J.R. Jayewardene by delivering judgments against him, despite Jayewardene’s record steamroller five-sixths majority in Parliament and his audacity to say the only thing he cannot do is to “make a man a woman and a woman, man.” Samarakoon wasn’t killed because he took that stand, nor was he impeached, though there were moves to implement the latter by Jayewardene, which, however, wasn’t fully executed by him. Samarakoon was allowed to retire gracefully upon reaching the age of 65, the retirement age of CJs in […]

What JR couldn’t, Maithri did!

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s two main political parties, the SLFP and the UNP, for the first time in history, has united to form a national government (see this newspaper’s yesterday’s lead story). The first time the formation of a national government was mooted was by then then opposition leader J.R. Jayewardene at the height of the JVP insurrection in April 1971. However, this proposal was rejected by the then Prime Minister and SLFP/UF leader Sirima Bandaranaike. The next time the proposal to form a national government was made was 17 years later in 1988. That time too the request was made by Jayewardene, then the country’s Executive President. It was a period when the whole island was literally on fire. The IPKF was in the North and […]

Udayanga of arms deal fame at large

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shaahidah Riza Former Russian envoy Udayanga Weeraratunga who was accused of selling arms to pro-Russian rebels by the Ukrainian Government has not yet been found, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Ajith P. Perera told Ceylon Today, yesterday. Weeratunga, reportedly the nephew of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also ran a tea business from the embassy premises Perera said. The pro-Russian rebels have been fighting largely in the province of Donetsk, the eastern part of the country. Although a ceasefire was called and the Minsk Accord was implemented on 15 February, the situation is said to be volatile. Weeratunga had served as Ambassador to Russia for nine years till the current Foreign Minister recalled all politician appointees overseas. During his tenure as ambassador, Weeraratunga was also […]

TN Leaders Hail Singapore founder Lee as Champion of Tamils

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Singapore founder Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91 – Adaderana CHENNAI: State’s political leaders condoled the death of Singapore’s revered leader Lee Kuan Yew, claiming him as their own, one who supported the liberation struggle of Eelam and condemned the Sri Lankan government for committing genocide. DMK leader M Karunanidhi recalled Lee’s support for Tamils and said the Singapore leader had asserted that Tamils in Sri Lanka would attain their goal of a free nation. The DMK leader also said Lee was behind the declaration of Tamil as one of the three national languages of Singapore. PMK founder S Ramadoss in his message said Lee was concerned about the rights and security of Tamils in Singapore. Lee opined the only solution to the Sri Lankan […]

Follow UN Conventions on Restitution of Refugee Properties: Wigneswran to Sirisena

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V.Wigneswaran, has asked the Sri Lankan government to follow the Pinheiro Principles and other UN conventions on the restitution of properties of displaced Tamils. He was speaking at a function in Jaffna in which President Maithripala Sirisena gave back to civilians, 425 acres in Jaffna peninsula which the army had appropriated. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga were present. The grant of 425 acres is the first installment of 1000 acres to be given back. But more than 5000 acres fertile land still remain under military occupation and are being used for cultivation of crops. Wigneswaran pointed out that the military has not paid rentals nor compensation for using the civilians’ lands for so long. Houses […]

Valikamam water contamination issue

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By M.Sasikumar Valikamam-South Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman T.Prakash said the people should be made aware of the water contamination in the area due to the oil leak. They should be clearly advised as to whether they can or cannot consume the water for drinking purposes since the committee interim report states that the contamination had not reached health threatening levels. He said the people were confused as to whether the water was safe to drink or not. He added that as a safety precaution the authorities were providing the people with safe drinking water until an announcement is made by the authorities. “Until people receive proper instructions from the health authorities we will continue providing the people with safe drinking water. The people should learn to […]

Get It Right Now Or Pay The Price

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By M.A. Sumanthiran – Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, as I rise to speak on this Order that has been placed for approval, I cannot but recollect the time when the Hon. Minister of Justice and Labour Relations himself, seated on this side, opposed the extension of this Order when it came up two years ago. In fact, that Order had lapsed before it came up for extension and it was he, who pointed out to the House, that that Order could not be extended because it had lapsed and the Order had to be remade and that is why a bill had to be brought again, the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act, No. 2 of 2013. The original Act having lapsed, the Hon. […]

Tamil Chief Minister Wigneswaran Angered by Shoddy Resettlement

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran asked recently whether it was the security forces that were given first priority in the process of land resettlement for internally displaced persons. He suspected the military and government were in fact agreed on this issue. “The government announced action to resettle IDPs from Valikamam North within three weeks. But after the passage of one full month the people are yet to be resettled in their own lands. This makes us doubt that the people will be immediately resettled,” he said. He added that even recently several people had been allowed to visit their lands in Ottakapulam, Vasavilan, Thenmoolai and Vadamoolai , but they were shocked to find security personnel in the area. They still occupy these […]

dual citizenships from Yesterday

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Pranavesh Sivakumar Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunga said the issuing of dual citizenships which was suspended by the previous regime from 26 January 2011 is now made public that anyone can now…apply from yesterday (23) onwards. The new procedures have been laid down and the said amount to be paid has also has been laid down. The condition from which the citizenship retention and dual citizenship would be granted. “The conditions are now available to all who were deprived of obtaining their dual citizenships for the last so many years. We regret about what had taken place in the past, however, this was a promise given by the President and the Prime Minister in the 100 day programme […]

19th A before Parliament today

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Daya Perera and J.T. De Silva Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe will present the 19th Amendment, which seeks to curb certain powers of the Executive Presidency to Parliament today (24). In addition to the establishment of independent Commissions, the 19th Amendment will also re-establish the Constitutional Council which would make key appointments including those to the apex, superior Courts of the Judiciary. A Council of State will also be set up under the 19th Amendment. Proposals concerning various injustices meted out to Sri Lankan Trade Union activists put forward by Opposition Leader, Nimal Siripala De Silva will also be discussed at today’s sessions. Joint Cabinet adopts 19A in toto Rasika Jayakody The Cabinet yesterday decided to adopt the 19th Amendment to the constitution without amendments. […]

Sri Lanka should devolve power beyond the 13th Amendment – Hidden message of Narendra Modi

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Sri Lanka was the first official visit of an Indian Prime Minister for the last 28 years. It was presented as a diplomatic victory of the present government. However, the unpleasant incident that took place 28 years ago along with the message hidden in statements made by Modi in Sri Lanka justifies the absence of Indian Prime Ministers for the last 28 years. Rajiv Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Sri Lanka. He visited Sri Lanka in July 1987 to sign Indo-Lanka Accord. Protests triggered by his visit caused the deaths of 67,000 youths along with destroying government property and killing government officers. Before his return, Rajiv Gandhi was attacked by a sailor […]

So let’s play the devil’s own game

24th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shyamon Jayasinghe – This time it is a different strategic manipulation. The master stroke of picking Maitripala Sirisena as Common Candidate had an air of ethical quality: given that Maitri had to risk his neck and given that the then President must be stopped in his damaging track it had been a kind of relief operation. This time, the ethical air has to be evoked with some difficulty and amidst immense controversy. Official sources urge that a National Government has be formed with the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party within one fold, under the President. The idea of National governments is both salutary and sine qua non in times of crises. War is the typical occasion. Sri Lanka has, for […]

15 year old Pakistani girls sent to Sri Lanka and forced to work as Sex Workers!

22nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

The special investigation unit of the Department of Immigration and Emigration says an extensive investigation had been launched into a racket where young Pakistani girls are forced to work as sex workers in Sri Lanka. It has been revealed that Pakistani girls aged between 16 and 15 have been sent to Sri Lanka to work as sex workers. Last week a group of investigators attached to the Department of Immigration and Emigration arrested five Pakistani girls in the age group between 16 and 25 during a raid in Colombo. Meanwhile the investigations into the racket revealed that the girls have reached an agreement with the leader of the racket based in Lahore before providing their services to foreign customers in other Asian countries. It is […]

Sri Lanka accused of selling arms to Ukraine rebels

22nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Udayanga Weeratunga, Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia, has been accused by Ukraine of involvement in arms sales to separatist rebels fighting troops in that country. The Government of President Petro Poroshenko has made a complaint to the Foreign Ministry in Colombo in this regard providing details of Mr. Weeratunga’s involvement, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the Sunday Times. “We will conduct a full investigation into this matter,” he said. Accusations against Mr. Weeratunga, the Sunday Times learns, deal with the sale of assault rifles and other small arms. Mr. Weeratunga, who was residing in the Ukranian capital of Kiev and owner of Club Lanka, a restaurant that served Sri Lankan dishes, was appointed Ambassador to the Russian Federation by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Weeratunga […]

Leading Politicos To Be Arrested

22nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga says a few leading politicians will be taken into custody within next two weeks. These politicians have been alleged to have committed financial frauds, corruptions and accused of lack of transparency in State affairs. The minister said that the recording of statements from some opposition politicians has already been completed. Furthermore, the minister has instructed the IGP to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the human limbs found at some locations in the Colombo area in recent past. The Minister said that there is a suspicion that these brutal acts are being carried out by the opposition to raise allegations against the government. Asked for a comment on the recent transfers of police personnel, […]

MCM Awards 2015 – 9 Awards Won by ‘Echo8’ Productions’s “ETHILIKAL” Team at Midlands College of Media’s

22nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

NINE  Awards was Won by  Echo8 Productions‘s “ETHILIKAL” Team at Midlands College of Media’s MCM Awards 2015 in Leicester,UK. *Best Film 1st Prize  *Best Director – (Prem Kathir) *Best Script – (Prem Kathir) *Best Cinematography – (Sayan Moorthy/Pressana Selvaratnam) *Best Editing – (B Surendran) *Best Music – (Girishh Gopalakrishnan) *Best Sound Designs – (Prathap Kumar) *Best Actor Lead – (Ramesh Thirugnanam) *Best Actress Lead – (Shahela Rani) “எனக்கு கலையுலகில் அங்கீகாரம் பிரேம்கதிர் மூலமாகத்தான் கிடைத்தது” – நடிகர் சுவிஸ் ரமேஷ் ! * பந்தா, திமிர், இதெல்லாம் கிலோ என்ன விலை?” என்று கேட்குமளவுக்கு இருக்கிறது நடிகர் சுவிஸ் ரமேஷின் பண்பான பேச்சு. “நான் எதையுமே சாதிக்கவில்லை. நான் சாதாரணமானவன்” என்று அடிக்கடி சொல்லிச் சொல்லியே எங்கள் மனதில் நீங்காத இடம்பிடித்துவிடுகிறார். * 28 வருடங்களாக நடிப்புத்துறையில் இருக்கும் ரமேஷின் சொந்த இடம் புங்குடுதீவு. ஆனால் வளர்ந்தது படித்தது எல்லாமே கொக்குவிலாம். * பல்கலைக்கழகத்துக்கு தெரிவாகியிருந்த போதும், நாட்டுச் […]

President, PM, CBK in Jaffna tomorrow

22nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

President Mathripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga are scheduled to fly to Jaffna tomorrow morning on an important symbolic visit to the North, to distribute title deeds of lands in the former High Security Zones being returned to families displaced by the war. Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M.Swaminathan, who will accompany the national leaders on their brief visit to Jaffna, told the Sunday Observer that the ceremonial distribution of the title deeds is part of the expedited program of post-war reconciliation. Land title deeds to all other displaced families will be presented before the end of March Minister Swaminthan said. The problem of property demarcation and basic utilities faced by the families who already visited their […]

The inside story: How Maithripala Sirisena spent election night on a Dodangaslanda estate

22nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

‘There were plans to destroy my whole family’ – President tells Sandeshaya by Suresh Perera With President Maithripala Sirisena’s revelation to Sandeshaya, BBC’s Sinhala Service in London, that there were plans to “destroy his whole family” if he lost the presidential poll, political sources recalled how the then common candidate was escorted under cover of darkness to an estate owned by a close friend in the Kurunegala district. Just days after the January 8 presidential election, The Sunday Island learnt how the drama unfolded at Dodangaslanda, a sleepy village at the far end of Kurunegala bordering the Matale district, but political sources politely declined to discuss details as the President himself had not referred to the episode earlier. During his recent visit to London, President […]

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