9th March 2015

Gotabaya’s passport impounded over floating armoury case

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Gotabaya’s passport impounded over floating armoury case Weerawansa Appears Before Bribery Commission Wimal Weerawansa’s white van freedom The Galle Magistrate’s Court on Monday (9) issued a directive to the Department of Immigration and Emigration to temporarily impound the passports of four persons including ex-Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Navy Commander Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detained a ship carrying 12 container loads of weapons on 18 January. The CID launched investigations into the floating armory belonging to Avant Garde Security Service found in the ship docked at the Galle Harbour and another armory belonging to Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited (RALL) at the BMICH. Earlier, the Colombo Magistrate impound the passport of Avant Garde Security Services Chairman, Major Nissanka Senadhipathi as […]

UK help to trace hidden assets – Mahinda’s Cabinet ministers have purchased properties in the UK.

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Names of account holders have transpired in preliminary investigation  Ex-Cabinet ministers have purchased properties in the UK using proxies. Rasika Jayakody Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has held negotiations with the Serious Fraud Office in London to seek assistance in tracing hidden assets in the UK, belonging to Sri Lankan politicians. Speaking to the Daily News, Rajapakshe said he visited the Serious Fraud Office, during his recent visit to the United Kingdom. “They expressed willingness to support us in investigating bribery and corruption. They said they were willing to come to Sri Lanka and have further discussions. In addition to that, they also offered to provide technical support,” he added. Rajapakshe said he also briefed the Cabinet and the Prime Minister on the progress of his […]

“GENOCIDE?” then there is a legal case for a separate state.

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Radhika Coomaraswamy When I heard that the Northern Provincial Council had passed a resolution on Genocide, I put my “head in my hands” again- something I did often during the previous regime. I asked myself, have we gone back to the beginning after all this violence and heartbreak? Tamil politics led by lawyers ( I am a lawyer so this is not said in contempt) has always emphasized legal concepts and theories even if they are far removed from the reality that Tamil people face in their day-to-day lives. We went from “nation” to “separate state”, now we are “two nations in one country”, and suddenly we have sprung the Genocide card which is one of the most difficult international crimes to prove because […]

Halfway down the track in this 100-day sprint to keep our election promises

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

So, we are just over halfway down the track in this 100-day sprint to keep our election promises. The public will remember that the coalition of forces determined to overthrow the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime came up with the sheaf of promises they said would be fulfilled in a hundred days. These promises included shaving off from the executive presidency all those extraordinary powers that the presidency had armed itself with, or at best, even abolish the executive presidency altogether. Now fifty days plus, are those who voted in large numbers to oust the incumbent in the belief that the election promises would be met, satisfied with the progress and do they feel that all the rhetoric of the election campaign about ending obvious corruption and […]

President to solicit British support for reconciliation

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena and the government are seeking British support for the post-war national reconciliation process to woo influential Tamil groups based in the UK. President Maithripala Sirisena and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera are in the UK for talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron to explore ways and means of securing the support of the Diaspora groups. The meeting will take place at No 10, Downing Street tomorrow (March 10) on the side lines of a series of events planned for observation of the Commonwealth Day. The Sri Lankan delegation led by President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in London via Dubai on Saturday. The delegation moved to London Hilton on Park Lane, where British authorities beefed up security. Acting Sri Lankan High Commissioner Dr. Chanaka Talpahewa […]

President Maithripala Sirisena to attend Commonwealth Day celebrations today

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena, as Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, will attend the Commonwealth Day celebrations in London on March 9, 2015. Sri Lanka is head of the Commonwealth following the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting hosted by Sri Lanka in November 2013. President Sirisena will take a new message of democracy and stronger Commonwealth relations following his election in the Presidential poll of January 08, 2015. He will convey the upsurge of Commonwealth values in Sri Lanka, with the new government launching an ambitious programme to strengthen democratic practices. The 100-day programme of the new government comprises many of the Commonwealth principles such as:- • Democracy • Human rights • Tolerance, respect and understanding • Freedom of Expression • Separation of Powers • Rule of Law […]

Modi’s visit spurs hopes of achche din in Jaffna

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Sri Lanka – first by an Indian PM in nearly 30 years and the first ever to Jaffna — has raised huge expectations among Tamils there.There is hope that something substantial will happen in de-escalating military presence in Tamil areas, returning land under military control and rehabilitation, and devolution of powers to northern areas. But Modi has so far played his cards close to his chest. He has been silent on the key Tamil demand of constitutional guarantees on powers to Tamil provinces and punishing those guilty of human rights abuses during the closing stages of the war. India has supported deferring the tabling of a report on the killings at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. […]

Our men dominate us, living in an economy run by women – CBK

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

I feel honoured that you have invited me today to speak about women and building inclusive societies where women have equal opportunities while commemorating International Women’s Day which falls in the next two days. We have talked of women’s rights, equal opportunities for women in every sphere and I would say, in a very insisted and continued manner for nearly two centuries, we have talked of equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunities in every sphere of life not only in the government but also in all other areas. We have talked of equal participation in international affairs and in peace-building we have done a lot of work on effective implementation of UNHCR 1325. There have been many international and national conferences, workshops, discussions and as […]

India must help ensure meaningful devolution to merged North-East says TNA

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) told India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, that the country must ensure a solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka through the meaningful devolution of power to a merged North-East. The TNA also urged India to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to release Tamil political prisoners and to address the issue of disappearances. Ms Swaraj, who arrived in Colombo on Friday for a two day visit in order to prepare for the Indian prime minister’s visit next month, met with the TNA leader, R Sampanthan, and MPs, Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, M A Sumanthiran and Selvam Adaikkalanathan, reported BBC Tamil. Raising the ongoing internal displacement of Tamils six years after the end of the armed conflict, the TNA said […]

Lanka PM indicates troops reduction in Tamil areas in future

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has indicated reduction of army presence in Tamil areas “as time goes on”. He, however, ruled out any immediate reduction in troops unless there is improvement in the situation. Wickramasinghe did not elaborate on what improvement meant. In an interview to Tamil Thanthi TV, he also conceded that there is lots of land under the state’s control that can be released in different parts of the country. Asserting that army is in all parts of Sri Lanka, Wickramasinghe said, “I don’t find any reason why the army should go out of any district in Sri Lanka, there are district head quarters in every part of Sri Lanka, and actually their structure is based on the India one.” Asked about […]

TNA calls for power devolution

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has reiterated that it wants powers devolved to the provinces, as part of the final political solution for Tamils. The TNA also supports the return of Tamil refugees from India and other countries, TNA leader R. Sampanthan said after talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj today. Sampanthan said that the TNA has also urged India to facilitate the return of the Tamil refugees living in India. Hundreds of Tamils had fled Sri Lanka during the war and sought refuge in other countries, including in India. Sampanthan said that the TNA also discussed with the Indian Foreign Minister the issue of devolving powers to the provinces in Sri Lanka. He said that the TNA made it clear to India that […]

‘Don’t return to Sri Lanka’ – M P Premachandran warns Tamil Diaspora

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Don’t return to Sri Lanka’ – Premachandran warns Tamil Diaspora by Mirudhula Thambiah Nearly 10 Tamils were arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) following their return to Sri Lanka from European countries – Australia, Italy, Middle East and Canada, at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, in the past two months. Most of these Tamils are those who had left the country during the war, yet due to the change in government, have decided to visit the country on the invitation and request by the new government. Even though these Tamils confidently travelled back to their home country, once they arrived at the airport, the situation and the treatment they received seemed surprising. They are either checked or interrogated for hours and arrested, if […]

Sri Lanka May Release Jeyakumari, Coinciding With Modi’s Visit – Reports

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit here next week, Sri Lanka is likely to release Jeyakumari Balendran who has symbolised the fight against the alleged disappearance of thousands of people during the final stages of the war against the LTTE in 2009, a report by PTI said. Jeyakumari – who was arrested last year by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime – is likely to be released next week, government sources said, adding the release is part of the Maithripala Sirisena-led new government’s attempt to move forward by taking everyone along. Jayakumari was leading a campaign to find her missing son and has come to symbolise the fight against the alleged disappearance of thousands during the last stages of the war against the Tamil tigers. […]

MS to meet Tamil diaspora, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Lanka

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena, who left for Britain on a three-day visit yesterday morning, will meet with members of Tamil diaspora groups in London, Foreign Ministry sources said. These include the British Tamils Forum and The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils. He will also hold talks with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka, chaired by Lord Naseby. His predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had avoided all meetings with Tamil diaspora groups and was routinely met with street demonstrations by pro-LTTE protesters in London. President Sirisena, as Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, will attend Commonwealth Day observances tomorrow. The occasion is marked by a range of activities, including a multi-faith ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London followed by a reception hosted by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma. Queen Elizabeth, […]

President Sirisena receives a warm welcome in London

9th March 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena received a warm welcome as he arrived at London Heathrow Airport commencing his three-day official visit to the United Kingdom on 07 March 2015. First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena is accompanying the President. Two Sri Lankan children welcomed the President and the First Lady at the airport. Her Majesty the Queen’s special representative Baroness Garden of Frognal was at the VVIP lounge at London Heathrow Airport, to welcome Sri Lanka President and the First Lady. President Maithripala Sirisena, as the Chairman of the Commonwealth, will attend the Commonwealth Day Celebrations on Monday (09). Already arrangements have been made to an audience with Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace and a special meeting with British Premier David Cameron at his official residence. Sri […]