March 2015

Minister Weerawansa resorted to all sorts of malpractices at the election

22nd March 2015 // 0 Comments

He’s a callous politician by Jaliya Wijeyekoon The protracted political conflict between Kaduwela Municipal Mayor, G.H. Buddhadasa, and National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader and Former Housing and Common Amenities Minister, Wimal Weerawansa, which has been simmering for several years has now reached explosive proportions, with both of them now entering a new round of verbal warfare. The conflict has its genesis in the 2011 Local Government Elections, where Wimal Weerawansa fielded a mayoral candidate of his choice from his party to contest against Buddhadasa, the incumbent mayor Minister Weerawansa left no stone unturned in his quest to secure victory for his candidate. Buddhadasa, more experienced in area politics countered this with an aggressive campaign of his own and secured victory topping the preferential vote list. […]

”Ask Mahinda or Gothapaya” says New Minister – Fate of nearly 12,000 LTTE cadres sent for rehabilitation are Killed.

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

Minister of Resettlement D.M Swaminathan said yesterday there were now only 49 LTTE cadres undergoing rehabilitation in camps and 11,951 LTTE members among who surrendered with White flag and sent for rehabilitation by the Sri Lankan Government is NOT known to the New Government. After UN negotiated a White flag surrender with the Sri Lankan government it is accused of killing LTTE Leaders and their family members within days of surrender.  Inner City Press asked Palitha Kohona about his role in what are called the White Flag murders of surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders in May 2009. Kohona’s first answer included the suggestion that “I think you need to talk to Mr. Nambiar.” Video here. UN chief of staff Vijay Nambiar said of Kohona, as well as […]

India, US assisting probe on Mahinda

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

India and the United States are assisting Sri Lanka in the investigation to trace huge amounts of money allegedly stashed away in foreign accounts by family members and aides of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Economic Times reported. Sri Lankan investigators who began an investigation into financial deals sealed by the Rajapaksa government had traced $2 billion in Dubai banks, an official source from Colombo said, according to the Indian media report. Of this, one account of a Rajapaksa family member allegedly has $1.064 billion, other two by two different persons have $500 million each in two separate accounts, the source said. India along with the US have been approached to assist in the investigation to trace this huge amount. Both New Delhi and Washington are assisting with […]

” Urgent Appeal to United Nations : Refer Criminals of Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court “

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

” Urgent Appeal to United Nations : Refer Criminals of Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court “ We, the undersigned people from around the world, urgently petition the United Nations to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to establish a similar credible 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 mete out justice to the Tamil people. 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 referral to the ICC and to delay […]

No threat to Indian PM in Jaffna

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

India has denied reports of a security breach when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Jaffna during his Sri Lanka visit. Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin, responding to a question posed to him by an Indian journalist on the alleged incident, said that newspaper reports of a security breach was fiction masquerading as fact. “Shubhojit, every morning when I get up and open newspapers sometimes there is fiction masquerading as fact. Today I came across not one but more than one. But one of the stories that you mentioned was fiction masquerading as fact was the story you mentioned about. Let me tell all of those who were there, there was no such information available. However, if you do not believe me, videotapes are available. I […]

US delegation happy with Lanka

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

A US delegation, which visited Sri Lanka to assess the climate for religious freedom, other human rights, and tolerance, have noted progress on the issues in Sri Lanka since the country’s 2015 election. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said that it was encouraged by statements made by officials with whom they met, and in particular welcome comments in support of national reconciliation among all Sri Lanka’s religious and ethnic communities. USCIRF Commissioner Eric P. Schwartz said that during their recent three day visit, USCIRF had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Foreign Affaris, Mangala Samaraweera, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Buddha Sasana Karu Jayasuriya, and Minister of Muslim Religious Affairs Abdel Halim Mohamed Hasheem, as well as representatives from Sri Lanka’s diverse religious communities, […]

Singing the National Anthem in Tamil Hailing “Mother Lanka” as “Sri Lanka Thaaye”

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Once upon a time there was a Beautiful Island with wonderful people that was regarded as God’s own country. After gaining Independence from a colonial power the modern nation with an ancient civilisation adopted a national anthem of its own.The anthem was written in the language spoken by the majority of its inhabitants. Subsequently it was translated into the language widely spoken by three of its minority communities. While the song in the language of the majority received pride of place, provision was made for both versions of the anthem to be sung whenever or wherever necessary. The melody composed for the original was the same for the translated version also. Both versions of the National anthem were sung or played in all […]

Key Western allies of govt to avoid SF Field Marshal ceremony

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

Rasika Jayakody Several prominent foreign ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo will refrain from attending former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka’s ‘Field Marshal’ ceremony tomorrow, highly placed Foreign Ministry sources told the Daily News. The heads of diplomatic missions from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the European Union will refrain from attending General Sarath Fonseka’s ceremony on Sunday, which will be held under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena. When contacted by the Daily News, the US Embassy sources said on Friday that the present US Ambassador would not attend the ceremony as he was only operating as an “acting Ambassador”. Therefore, the Embassy source said, the head of the US diplomatic mission in Colombo would not be […]

Release on bail of Ms. Balendran Jeyakumary after 362 days in detention without charge

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

Geneva-Paris, March 20, 2015 – The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, an OMCT-FIDH joint programme, welcomes the release of Sri Lankan human rights defender Ms. Balendran Jeyakumary after 362 days in detention without charges, but calls for all restrictions to be lifted and for an immediate and unconditional ending of any acts of judicial harassment. On March 10, 2015, the Magistrate Court of Hulftsdorf approved the bail application of Ms.Balendran Jeyakumary after 362 days since she was detained without any charges, following the payment of a 200,000 LKR bail ($3,300). However, she is still be subjected to some restrictions, including monthly police reporting and having her passport confiscated. Six other detainees were also released on the same day. On March 13, 2014, […]

A majority of the Sri Lankan people wanted democracy and an end to our ethnic problems, and therefore MR had to go

21st March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Izeth Hussain The recent visit of Prime Minister Modi seems to be generally seen as a triumphant deployment of Indian soft power, as a highly sophisticated exercise in Indian diplomacy. But I am left with an uneasy feeling about some of what actually transpired during the visit. The soft glove of Indian diplomacy was certainly much in evidence, but I and doubtless many others could sense behind it the iron fist of a regional great power dealing with a small and weak regional neighbor. The assumption behind the deployment of Indian soft power seemed to be that the small neighbor belonged to the sphere of influence of the regional great power. Consider the implications of former President Rajapakse’s charge that he was unseated from […]

”If you support Self-Determination for Tamils” – Lunch with Yogi

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sockalingam Yogalingam is standing at the forthcoming General Election on the principle of Self-determination. If you would like to support him you can do three things: a) * NLP’s Fund Raising Lunch * – Lunch with YogiYou have been cordially invited to a “FUND RAISING LUNCH” for the NLP’s Tamil General Election candidate. There will be various speakers on hand.Date : Saturday 21/03/2015 Time : 12pm – 4pm Place: Namaste Lounge, 66 Joel Street, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 1LL. (Opposite to Northwood hill Station) Ticket : £50 poundsYour support & participation is much appreciated. Thank you, Kind regards, Mr.Rajalingam & Team NLP Campaign Manager National Liberal Party (NLP) http://nationalliberal.org/peoples-power b) If you are unable to attend you can still help his campaign by donating via http://nationalliberal.org/the-party-organisation/donate and note SY […]

Sri Lanka police training deal ‘hideous collusion’

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

SCOTTISH Police are set to renew a controversial contract to train Sri Lankan security forces despite major concerns over the country’s human rights record. The Scottish Police College (SPC) has been engaged in the training since 2007 but the current contract is due to expire on March 31. However, in a move that has been condemned by politicians and human rights campaigners, the SPC have confirmed that they are close to sealing a new contract for 2015-2016 to further work to develop Sri Lanka’s National Police Academy. A recent British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) report found: “The human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued to be of concern in 2014, with little overall improvement.” The FCO reported that the main university students’ union, the […]

Missing Persons’ Commission accepted around 19,500 complaints but reviewed just 2,000!

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Niranjala Ariyawansha The report of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints of Missing Persons, scheduled to be handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, was put off for today, as the President was not available. Chairman of the Commission, former High Court Judge, Parakrama Paranagama, said the report will be handed over to the President during the next few days. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a three-member committee on 14 August 2013 to inquire into persons reported missing in specified areas, including the North and East of the island during the period 1990 to 2009. Paranagama said recommendations included in a report of a Presidential Commission are confidential, and cannot be revealed to media. To date, the commission, in its visits to the Northern […]

‘Delaying UN report – this Govt’s greatest achievement’ – Mahinda Samarasinghe tells Parliament

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara Revealing that Sri Lanka was on the verge of being in a dreadful situation if the UN Human Rights Council had released its report on alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the war, Former Minister Mahinda Samrasinghe said, the greatest achievement by the incumbent government thus far, was convincing the UNHRC and US to postpone the resolution for another six months. “Various people may say various things but as a person who frequented Geneva and faced the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, I was aware of what was in store for us. If it was taken up in March 2015 as scheduled, the result would have been extremely dangerous for the country,” Samarasinghe said in […]

A strategic move to ensure power devolution

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Manjula Fernando Given almost all previous state visits by leaders of our giant neighbour that revolved round the issue of North and East Tamils, it is unwise to contemplate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would give this issue less prominence during the high profile visit to Sri Lanka which he concluded yesterday. Although the mounting China influence in its backyard may have prompted the Indian leader to undertake the visits to the three strategic island nations that dot the Indian ocean, he was expected to take up the issue of Tamil minorities and the devolution of power to the North and East at the highest level here. His itinerary for Friday included separate meetings with the Tamil political parties representing the up country Tamils […]

Sri Lanka tracking US$2bn hidden during last regime in Dubai: Minister

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka has found three bank accounts in a Dubai bank belonging to a ‘leading family’ connected to the former regime which had two billion US dollars in hidden assets, cabinet spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. “We have learned that some of the money has been withdrawn after the election was lost,” Senaratne told reporter in Colombo. He said accounts were found in Dubai National Bank. One family member had 1.046 billion dollars. A 600 million dollars had been withdrawn by a family member and another 200 million had been withdrawn by “broker who bought deals,” he said. Another legislator had over 500 million dollars in an account, he said. A secretary “to very important people” had a joint account with another […]

Worst Of MR-Sajin Cronies Still Run Foreign Ministry

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

In a tragicomic turn of events the worst cronies of the former regime and in particular the cabal that surrounded the corrupt and inept Monitoring Minister of the Foreign Ministry, Sajin Vass Gunawardena are still ruling the roost at the Ministry. In a supremely ironic twist Deputy Minister Ajith Perera, who championed good governance and accountability while in opposition has been compelled to defend the appointment of Kshenuka Seniwiratne, former Foreign Secretary and close confidant of MP Sajin Vass and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador to Thailand. The JVP and other political parties have raised concerns over this appointment. Kshenuka Senewiratne Senewiratne who has several family connections to the UNP went out of her way to prove her loyalties to the Rajapaksas’ during […]

Over 200 community members from Kayts come together – To mark Women’s Day

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Over 200 community members from the Kayts Divisional Secretariat Division in Jaffna, came together to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), at an event hosted by the Kayts Divisional Secretariat office in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This initiative is part of UNDP’s efforts to support the economic empowerment of women. Speaking at the event, Sundaram Arumainayakam, the Government Agent of Jaffna stated that “equality for women begins in their homes, which is then upheld by society and finally translated into women’s equality being achieved in the country”. He further noted that “realizing the importance and contribution of women, there has been an increased interest in women’s affairs on the part of the government’s 100 day plan”. “It is encouraging to witness on […]

Ranil The Caesarist Deals With L’Affair Arjun: Paradox Of Citizen Kane & Gamarala

20th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sarath De Alwis – Carl Sandburg – the Pulitzer winning biographer of Lincoln Carl Sandburg once noted that a politician should have three hats. “One for throwing in to the ring, one for talking through and one for pulling rabbits out if elected” Soon after the Presidential Election Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe threw his first hat into the ring. On Monday March 17th he used the second to speak through. No doubt if elected Prime Minister, he will use his third. Besieged by growing demands for accountability in the Bond trading fiasco Prime Minister Ranil Wiskremesinghe decided that attack was the best form of defense. Sadly his use of bombastic banalities as cluster bombs has not helped him to diffuse the crisis. The charge of ‘Ugly’ […]

UNHRC chief due in June

19th March 2015 // 0 Comments

UN Human Rights Commissioner Prince Zeid bin  Ra’ad, will visit Sri Lanka in June this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera informed Parliament. Mr. Samaraweera said this visit was in line with the UNHRC’s new focus on Sri Lanka. He also said Sri Lankan forces were slated to play a greater role in the UN’s peace keeping activities in the future. Mr. Samaraweera said it was necessary to clear the reputation of the Sri Lankan armed forces and to take action against the few members of the armed forces who had acted in such a manner as to tarnish the good name of the armed forces. He said it was important to have a domestic mechanism to look into human rights violations as pledged by […]

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