11th April 2015

Tamara Kunanayakam Destroyed Records On Sri Lanka In The UN and in return she became an Ambassador to Sri Lanka

11th April 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan – It is just a few weeks since the UN Human Rights Council – UN HRC completed its 28th session. While some are relaxing, others are worried, some have mixed feelings and many of us are disappointed and frustrated! There are many reasons for our disappointment and frustration. One reason was obvious to the High Commissioner for Human Rights – HCHR, the President of the UN HRC and others. This was the fact that the investigation report on Sri Lanka, expected to be out during the 28th session, was postponed to the 30th session. From top to bottom all could see the determination of the HCHR that the report should be out in August. Another reason for our disappointment and frustration […]

The 19th Amendment, & The Dangers Ahead

11th April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesingha – The Supreme Court has given an excellent ruling on the gazette draft 19thAmendment to the Constitution. But I fear there is some danger that its verdict might be subverted, and it is essential that Parliament be vigilant. It may also be necessary to seek clarification as possible from the Court. Its intentions may be perverted, because it very properly looked essentially atthe Amendment as gazetted. There may be claims however that it also considered the amendments that were smuggled in as it were into its deliberations. But it has not ruled on these. With regard to the text before it, it was categorical in rejecting efforts to transfer the power of the President to the Prime Minister. The clauses it has […]

Fishermen protest continuing arrests by Lankan navy

11th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Seek Centre’s intervention The fishermen of Rameswaram staged a demonstration here on Friday, protesting against the arrest of fishermen and confiscation of their boats by Sri Lankan navy and urging the authorities to secure their traditional fishing rights in the Palk Bay. Led by fishermen leader P. Sesu Raja, members of all mechanised boats fishermen associations, assembled in front of the bus stand and raised slogans against the Lankan navy for intimidating the Indian fishermen when they ventured into sea. Addressing the agitators, Mr. Sesu Raja urged the Centre to prevail upon the Lankan government to secure the release of boats and fishermen arrested after the third round of talks with their Lankan counterparts in Chennai on March 24. He said when the Indian fishermen […]

“Failure to bring in 19A will be a complete reversal of people’s mandate”: Weliamuna

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If the present Parliament fails to bring in the 19th Amendment, President Maithripala Sirisena has a duty to dissolve it immediately and seek a mandate from the people to elect one which can change the Constitution, noted J.C. Weliamuna, leading human rights lawyer and former Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka. He pointed out that implementing 19A is everybody’s responsibility but now it is a matter that is in the hands of the 285 Parliamentarians. “Two-thirds of them have to support this, otherwise the President has no option but to dissolve this Parliament,” said Weliamuna, who is also an active member of the People’s Movement for a Just Society. He stressed that people in the Government who jumped at the last minute or who supported […]

Alarm bells over rising debt in N&E

11th April 2015 // 0 Comments

People in Sri Lanka’s war ravaged regions in the North and East are increasingly becoming indebted compared to those outside the region as financing needs especially for rebuilding basic amenities like houses have escalated post-war, a recent study showed. Average debt as a proportion of income in the three districts of the North and East, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Jaffna compared from year 2010 level to year 2013, has cumulatively seen an average increase of a staggering 146.77% despite Sri Lanka’s national average (overall) recording a mere increase of 20.83 percent, a study done by Centre for Poverty Analysis based on the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) statistics showed. According to the survey, debt as a proportion of income increased in Vavuniya District by […]

Fate of 19A in the balance

11th April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith A five-member committee was appointed at the SLFP group meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday to help bring about electoral reforms as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The committee headed by parliamentarian Prof. G. L. Peiris comprises MPs Mahinda Samarasinghe, Dilan Perera, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva. UFPA MP Ranjith Zoysa, addressing the media soon after the SLFP group meeting, said that the committee had been appointed by the President after SLFP MPs had informed him that they would never vote for the 19th Amendment unless it was coupled with electoral reforms. MPs Ranjith Zoysa, Dilan Perera, G.L. Peiris, S. B. Dissanayake, Mahinda Samarasinghe and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa expressed their views at the meeting; they […]

Govt. says no need for referendum to establish good governance

11th April 2015 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Paranagamage Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera yesterday said that the Government would establish good governance in the country without holding a referendum. He said that this would be done by abiding by the Supreme Court decision regarding the 19th Amendment Draft Bill after making the required changes to the Bill. “We will not consider the six chapters that require a referendum. However, after making the changes to the Draft Bill we will obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament and get the 19th Amendment implemented and after that we can establish good governance in the country,” Perera said. He said that the Government would not go for anything which required a referendum as they had clearly pointed out in President Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto. […]

58 former Ministers in Bribery net

11th April 2015 // 0 Comments

Police grills Shasheendra The Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) yesterday interrogated former Chief Minister of the Uva Province, Shasheendra Rajapaksa. If there was wrong-doing ‘Hold my cabinet responsible’ Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that certain persons were accusing him of wrong-doing adding that “supposing they are right in their acc… By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara The opposition UPFA charged yesterday that 58 ministers of the previous government are facing bribery and corruption charges of which 90 per cent were initiated by anonymous letters. Challenging the Police Chief, the CID and the Director General of the Bribery Commission on allegations brought against him, former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said it would have been easy for the government if it opened a branch of the Commission to Investigate […]