14th March 2015

Video: We Have Already Located Rajapaksas’ Stolen Assets Worth Few Billion: Mangala

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Minister Mangala Samaraweera says that stolen assets of the Rajapaksas, worth a few billion have already been located. In an interview with The Hindu, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera made these remarks as he spoke of the new government seeking assistance from several countries and various international agencies in locating the stolen assets of the Rajapaksas. “We have located a few billion already but it’s not as easy to get to those through an internal mechanism. . .,”he says adding the new government has requested the help of India as well as several other countries to SL in the process. While stating that no one would stop former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from returning to politics if he wishes to do so, Minister Samaraweera said the […]

Narendra Modi Reiterates India’s stand for United Sri Lanka and Devolution Through 13th Amendment Implementation

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Suhasini Haidar India stands for a “united Sri Lanka”, but wants an “early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment” that provides for devolution in the Tamil majority Northern and Eastern provinces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Colombo on Friday. Mr. Modi, who was speaking at the historic Presidential secretariat after talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena also referred to “going beyond” the 13th amendment, that would “contribute to the process” of building a “future that accommodates the aspirations of all sections of society, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community”. The Prime Minister’s comments came a day ahead of his visit to Jaffna and Talaimannar, the first Indian Prime Minister to make that journey. The strong statement is likely to be welcomed in […]

The 13th Amendment: Is It The Best Model To Share Power?

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dinesh D. Dodamgoda – As soon as Mr. Maithripala Sirisena became the President of Sri Lanka, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the British Tamil Forum (BTF) issued statements and reminded President-elect the need to “urgently” address the minority’s concerns. BTFstated that only a political solution recognising the right to self-determination of the Tamil nation in Sri Lanka can address core issues of autonomy to the Tamil people,de-militarisation of the Tamil areas and cooperation with the UNHRS’s international inquiry. The TNA and the BTF statements indicate a solution that aims at sharing power on the basis of the principle of “territoriality”. Territoriality uses geographical areas to create and administer autonomous regions. The principle of territorial power sharing was initially recommended as a second tier of […]

Gang Rape Of 16 Year-Old In Wanni by Police?

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has commenced investigations into the gang rape of a 16-year old girl – who subsequently fell ill and died- in Wanni, following media reports and an online petition that was initiated due to the inaction of the law enforcement authorities over the incident. Children’s Affairs State Minister Rosy Senanayakereleasing an update on her official Facebook page over the incident said the NCPA Chairman has notified her that a Police Officer form the NCPA has already visited the Mankulam area and is currently monitoring and helping the Police investigation. The Karadanayagakulam Police, which holds jurisdiction over the investigation, has taken steps to record a statement from the grandmother and it has been revealed that the doctor who performed the autopsy […]

Sirisena’s move is only half commendable

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s plan to consult, but not involve, the United Nations as it proceeds to conduct an internal inquiry into alleged war crimes and human rights abuses, committed during the army’s offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is a measure that is half commendable. Sirisena’s latest move follows his decision to rehabilitate citizens displaced by decades of conflict and release land previously owned by Tamils but taken over by the state during its military campaigns back to their rightful owners. All noteworthy decisions. But the country’s Tamil minority needs more assurances and an inquiry endorsed by the international community will catapult Sri Lanka back into the global mainstream. International reputation counts a lot and Sri Lanka is poised to […]

NPC wants land, police powers

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Indian PM in Jaffna, wants unity The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has called for land and police powers to be given to the provinces, similar to the Indian system of devolution. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Sri Lanka, had called for the early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the constitution. However Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran told Modi today that the 13th Amendment cannot be the final solution. Speaking at the Jaffna Library this evening during Prime Minister Modi’s visit, Wigneswaran said that Sri Lanka needs a devolution system similar to that seen in India. “The current 13th Amendment framework and the existing Sri Lankan constitution architecture that had evolved since the first republican constitution of 1972 without the […]

Protest staged during Indian PM’s visit to Sri Lanka

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, March 14 (Xinhua) — A protest was staged in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna town on Saturday when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a landmark visit to the area as part of a two- day visit to Sri Lanka. Families of those reportedly missing in the Sri Lankan war staged the protest calling for India’s intervention to put pressure on the government to find those missing. The protesters also urged India to address the fishermen issue and put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to hand over lands in the north to the Tamil civilians. Modi was on a landmark visit to Jaffna on Saturday where he spoke at the Jaffna Library and also inaugurated a housing project there. During the visit, Modi […]

Wikremesinghe overshadowed by Sirisena in Modi trip (Update)

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Colombo, Mar.14 (ANI): Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe has had to take a back seat to President Maithripala Sirisena during the crucial and high profile trip of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country. Today, while President Sirisena was with the Indian Prime Minister during his visit to the sacred city of Anuradhapura, standing next to Mr. Modi was President Sirisena when the Buddhist monks chanted hymns at the sacred Maha Bodhi tree. Mr. Modi’s counterpart, Ranil Wickremesinghe, was meanwhile, sitting with his pals and watching a schoolboy’s cricket match at the Sinhalese Cricket Club. He also did not go to Jaffna. He stayed away from the Indian media covering the Indian Prime Ministerial visit, quite aware that his controversial interview to an Indian TV […]

Modi Bonds with Lankan Tamils with Aplomb

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: On the second and final day of his visit to Sri Lanka, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi bonded with the Tamils of the Northern Province with aplomb. The speeches which he made were extempore and in Hindi, but the Tamil audiences were not complaining as his words, delivered with panache, had a ring of sincerity. The audience went into raptures when Modi began his speech with a full throated “Vanakkam” (greetings)  in Tamil. They clapped lustily as he unreservedly acknowledged the sufferings the Tamils had gone through during the 30 year war, and assured them that India is committed to alleviating their sufferings and will never let them down. He praised the Tamils for their resilience and faith in a bright and meaningful future. […]

Be patient with Sri Lankan govt.: Modi to Tamil leaders

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Sri Lanka’s Tamils to be patient with the new government in Colombo, The Hindu learns from sources. He met senior leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) — the main party representing the island’s northern Tamils — in Colombo on Friday. Pointing to the “beginning of change” in the country following the victory of President Maithripala Sirisena in the January elections, Mr. Modi reportedly said the TNA should “help that change take place,” and not derail the process. Mr. Modi urged the TNA to ensure that the party spoke in one voice, asking its “think tank” to come up with a different strategy to engage with the newly-formed government, TNA sources said. Speaking to The Hindu, TNA spokesperson Suresh […]

Be sensitive to the Sinhala voice

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

The lead story on this newspaper’s yesterday’s edition was the TNA’s request for Indian Premier Narendra Modi’s intervention to solve the island’s national or Tamil question. Modi was in Sri Lanka on a whistle-stop two-day visit which ended today (Saturday, 14 March). Regarding the national question, it seemingly affects the sensitivities of the Tamils living in the North and the island’s majority Sinhalese in the first place, simultaneously. It doesn’t affect only one community. It also has an impact on the Tamils living in the Eastern Province (EP), the single largest ethnic population in that province, though the Muslim and Sinhala populations together comprise over 50% of the EP’s population. To state the obvious, Tamils however comprise well over 50% of the population in the […]

‘We are going after Rajapaksa’s stolen assets’

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Colombo seeks Delhi’s help in probe against Rajapaksa In the first government response to the outrage in India over Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe’s controversial comments on the “right to shoot” fishermen who trespass, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera defended the comments. He spoke on the comments, India-Sri Lanka talks, and the legal process against former president Rajapaksa in an interview to Diplomatic Editor Suhasini Haidar. PM Ranil Wickremsinghe had called PM Modi’s visit a “ceremonial visit”. Given that no big agreements were signed today, would you agree that it is just that? SL FM Samaraweera: It is a ceremonial visit, but it has a greater significance because it is a unique visit. This is the first time an Indian PM is making a state […]

‘Rajapaksa should be tried for war crimes’

14th March 2015 // 0 Comments

Cadres of Tamil nationalist parties staged a demonstration in front of the Railway Station here on Friday condemning the United Nations for postponing the war crimes investigations against Sri Lanka. Many speakers at the protest demanded that the former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be tried for his role in the killings of Tamils in the island nation. Manithaneya Makkal Katchi leader M.H. Jawahirullah alleged that during his term Mr. Rajapaksa’s actions had caused killings of more than 1.50 lakh Tamils in the island. After sustained international pressure, the U.N. Human Rights Commission conducted a detailed investigation into the killings and was supposed to submit its report on March 25. “But we suspect that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maitripala Sirisena […]