April 2015

‘Cold war’ that is brewing between the Tamil CM and the Sri Lankan PM

4th April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw Catholic Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Thomas Savuntharanayagam generally briefs the media, and local and foreign dignitaries who meet him in Jaffna, on trends in the Northern Province including humanitarian issues in the peninsula. Bishop Rev. Savuntharanayagam, being a religious dignitary who has personally experienced the long-drawn-out traumatic experiences with death and destruction caused by the three decades of war in the peninsula, is considered as a man whose thoughts, criticism and opinions on issues emanating from that war, are much sought after. As a consequence, it’s almost always open sesame at his official residence, Bishop’s House, Jaffna. When Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived at the Bishop’s House to meet Rev Savuntharanayagam the surrounding area was immediately put under a heavy security cover, […]

Wigneswaran: A Judicial Politician With A Mission On His Own

4th April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Thambu Kanagasabai – After retirement from the Supreme Court Bench, Justice C.V. Wigneswaranwas hesitant to enter the political field which was once said to be an asylum of scoundrels. However his deep dedication to the causes of which culminated in a genocidal war propelled him to plunge into politics. There was a fresh breathing with his entry which was welcomed by the Tamils, as he would live up as an honest and bold politician quite differently from many others. When I met him at his residence in Colombo in October 2013 after he won the elections and became the Chief Minister, I posed the question of his political conduct would be in the further? he said “Do not consider me like other politicians and I […]

”Cooperative federalism and the 13th Amendment and beyond” – BJP

4th April 2015 // 0 Comments

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in a resolution passed on India’s foreign policy, at its ongoing two-day national executive meeting in Bengaluru, said that India’s policy on Sri Lanka had suffered several ups and downs in the last three decades due to a short-sighted approach by the previous government, guided by domestic political ambitions, the IANS news agency reported. These, it said, “damaged our bilateral relations leading to strategic problems in the immediate Indian Ocean neighbourhood”. The resolution said Modi’s “determined effort at repairing” the ties “has resulted in a flurry of activity on both sides”, including new President Maithripala Sirisena making his first overseas visit to India, which marked a “major diplomatic victory for us”. It said the government has rebuilt ties with […]

Lanka NGO Rescues War Widows from Despondency

4th April 2015 // 0 Comments

CHAVATKADDU (JAFFNA): Among the deep and seemingly indelible scars of the 30-year war in North Sri Lanka is the existence of an estimated 40,000 widows in the Northern Province – the scene of an alleged massacre towards the end of the conflict. Among the victims of the senseless destruction, those widowed were the most affected. Widows were forced to become family breadwinners overnight even while carrying the stigma of being a “social ill omen.”  Economic deprivation and social rejection combined to push these women into deep depression. “Worst of all, their families began to go to seed,” pointed out Saila, a war widow, who runs Tharaka Widows’ Activity Center at Chavatkaddu, a fishing village in Jaffna district. The confidence that 37-year-old Saila exudes today, was created […]

‘Don’t be fooled by Sri Lanka’s makeover’

3rd April 2015 // 0 Comments

PANAJI: Sri Lankan architect and urban designer Madhura Prematilleke said one mustn’t be fooled by the makeover Sri Lanka received post the three decades of civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamil minority.He was speaking at the recently held international Z-axis conference on architecture in Panaji. “The authoritarian regime with the four Rajapaksa brothers at the helm initiated a massive programme of physical infrastructure as a post-war chest thumping project, leaving minorities out. Boundary walls of public buildings were removed. New parks, walkways, water fronts, bird watching zones, flower markets, floating markets were all built at lightening speed in the mock classical style chosen by the dictators, brushing aside all opposition. The spectacle of glitz and glamour was meant to divert citizens’ attention away […]

We Will Teach You A Lesson: Sexual Violence Against Tamils By Sri Lankan Security Forces

3rd April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Charles Sarvan – ‘We Will Teach You a Lesson: Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces’, Human Rights Watch publication, 2013. Approximately 130 pages. ISBN: 1-56432-993-3. This is a difficult document to read. Shakespeare’s Macbeth speaking figuratively said that he had eaten too much of horrors. So it is with reading one testimony, “eating” one horror, after another. An emotional revulsion sets in; a wish to set a mental distance, if not escape. What the ‘Report’ records is morally sick, and the sickening is to be avoided with repugnance, if not with aesthetic distaste. For example, when one reads that a sharp needle was inserted in the penis of men. “In one case, this was used to insert small metal balls into […]

US says Sri Lanka failed after war

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

The United States (US) says the opportunities that existed in 2009 to bring the country together were not seized and after 30 years of war, Sri Lanka struggled for five more years to achieve reconciliation. Tom Malinowski, US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor said that Sri Lanka has a chance now to achieve reconciliation, justice and true peace. In a statement issued while on a visit to Sri Lanka, Malinowski said that for 30 years, Sri Lanka experienced some of the evils that now bedevil other deeply troubled parts of the world – including terrorism, driven by a fanatical ideology, employing suicide bombing, hurting most of all the people it falsely claimed to defend. “Cruelty on one side hardened hearts on the other; abuses and grievances mounted on […]

Prabhakran is my Leader, but Modi is my Political Model, Says Sri Lankan Tamil MP

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

KILINOCHCHI: Successive Sri Lankan governments have dubbed Sivagnanam Sritharan, the outspoken Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP from Jaffna district, an LTTE agent. The fact that he is the brother-in-law of the dreaded LTTE military commander “Colonel” Theepan, only reinforced this view. Sritharan was also a bitter critic of India for its alleged indifference when thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in the last phase of Eelam War IV. But Sritharan has undergone a major political makeover, as Express discovered during an interview at his office in Kilinochchi.   “My Thalaivar (leader) is still Velupillai Prabhakaran,” Sritharan affirms. “But my political model is Modi,” he reveals. “Modi belongs to a long line of Indian leaders who I have looked up to, such as  Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, […]

67 Years of Injustice, discrimination and prejudice that have spawned hate and violence for many decades in Sri Lanka on Tamils

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

 Sri Lanka promises it would remedy the root causes of injustice, discrimination and prejudice that have spawned hate and violence for last 67 Years on Tamils. Will it?. The Government today assured the European Union (EU) that it will remedy the root causes of injustice, discrimination and prejudice that have spawned hate and violence for many decades in Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the Government is deeply committed to make its vision of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual Sri Lanka based on the principles of equality, justice and meritocracy a reality for all Sri Lankans. “Let me re-iterate that the Government is firm in its resolve to continue the historic journey that we undertook with the mandate of the people on 8th […]

Opposition for strong China ties

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

The Opposition has called for strong ties with China and warned the Government against attempting to derail the relationship between both countries. Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) leader Dinesh Gunawardena recalled a letter written to the United States by Singapore’s former Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew, where he had stated that it is better to have a good relationship with China than to try to preach to that country. Gunawardena noted that last November, China became the most powerful economy in the world, going ahead of the United States. “America was the most powerful economy in the world. But that is now over. Now even America is getting loans from China,” Gunawardena, who has recently won support to be named as the new opposition […]

Ranil-Chandrika or Maithri- Mahinda-Sajith?

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

On his three day trip to the North Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, promised a political solution to the ethnic question, without which he said, there would be no stability. Meanwhile, according to an interview given to Ceylon Today, “Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan expressed confidence in the ability of the Special Presidential Commission headed by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge (CBK) to find a suitable solution by the end of this year, to the issues confronting the Tamil people. ‘…When Kumaratunge became the President in 1994, she was very keen about settling the grievances of the Tamil people and she also mooted a suitable political solution to those issues. We were however, unable to see anything come out of it’ he said.” (‘TNA […]

PM’s Ranil and 13A

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sumanasiri Liyanage Much acclaimed three-day visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to Jaffna and the Northern Province has, in my opinion, raised a substantial issue with regard to good governance. This happened immediately after the troika’s (President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike) visit to Jaffna to attend the ceremony to hand over 425 acres of land owned by the people in Kankesanturai, Myleddy and Palaly. Although this was, as I reiterated in this column, a much-delayed exercise, the new government should be commended at least for taking the first step in resettling people in their own land from which they were forcefully displaced for 30 years. We believe the rest of the land in Jaffna and Sampur will […]

Govt. Lacks Credibility; We’ve No Reason To Believe In Sirisena’s Promises: Tamil Civil Society Forum

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) says the characterization of the last phase of the war by the President of the country as a “humanitarian operation” does not bode well with his Government’s promise of a credible inquiry. TCSL Co-Spokesman, Elil Rajan in a letter UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth has said; “We also would like to remind you that the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka in his speech to the UNHRC on the 2nd of March said that only UN assistance will be sought and not involvement. Hence in the absence of significant international involvement in the design and delivery of an accountability mechanism and given the attitude of the present Government towards the credible allegations against the armed forces we have […]

School children who have pieces of shrapnel embedded in their bodies as a result of getting caught to shellfire.

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered Mullaitivu District Secretary Rupavathy Ketheeswaran to make arrangements to immediately provide medical assistance to school children who have pieces of shrapnel embedded in their bodies as a result of getting caught to shellfire. A civil representative had informed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe during a discussion at the Mullaitivu District Secretariat that more than 1,000 war-affected children have shrapnel embedded in their bodies. Soon after hearing the shocking news, Premier Wickremesinghe had ordered the District Secretary to collect the details regarding those children. Last year, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Sivasakthy Anandan revealed that more than 1,200 school children were still moving around with shrapnel pieces inside them from the shells fired during the battles in the region. […]

Drifting without a leadership?

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

Happenings around are unenviable: zany events unfold in rapid succession; voters are bewildered, skeptical, disoriented. Worse- democracy is not standing tall, as desired.  Corrupt practices remain alive and made sophisticated. Are we drifting aimlessly without a leadership? Loosing moorings is sailing towards a sunset unknown. Time is insufficient to ponder. Corruption is endemic and was deemed inevitable during the last regime;present government has made it conclusive.In Parliament, the UPFA holds a disturbed and divided majority. Girls, boys and the monks in saffron hold on to their legislative seats,feeling a shade unsafe and insecure. At the SLFP, movement is away from their ancestral home at Darley Road taking the Southern Highway bound to Carlton House. Events move rapidly, too fast to reflect. A new prime minister […]

EU assures President over GSP

2nd April 2015 // 0 Comments

Expressing deep appreciation over the new government’s policies on improving human rights and strengthening democratic institutions, the European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka David Daly said the EU is seriously re-evaluating Sri Lanka’s request to grant the GSP+ concession once again for Sri Lankan exports to EU and to lift the restrictions imposed on the export of fish products. Daly explained that the legal processes were slow as the EU has to go through a rigorous evaluation process before taking the final decision. However, he acknowledged that the strong political weight thrown up by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe on these issues would be useful to speed up the process. The EU Ambassador said this when he called on President Sirisena at […]

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