May 2015

Four SLFP Ministers resign

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

  Four SLFP Ministers resign May 21, 2015  11:03 am SLFP Parliamentarians Dilan Perera, C.B. Rathnayake, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Pavithra Wanniarachchi have resigned from their respective ministerial portfolios. They announced the decision at a press conference held in Colombo this morning. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, State Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Dilan Perera, State Minister of Public Administration & Democratic Governance C.B. Rathnayake and State Minister of Environment Pavithra Wanniarachchi were sworn in on March 22 along with 22 other MPs. Pointing out that three reasons were behind their move, Mr. Perera referred to the decision to allow the term of 234 local bodies to get lapsed on May 15 and hand over the administration to special commissioners; “ridiculous criticism” of Prime […]

Law Faculty Dean rescued from angry mob Navy and Army to the rescue

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Jaffna correspondent Dean of the Colombo Law Faculty V.T. Tamilmaran was surrounded by residents in Punkudutivu accusing him of helping one of the ten suspects involved in the brutal murder of Sivaloganathan Vithya. He was rescued from angry residents by Army and Navy personnel on Tuesday. Tamilmaran who hails from Punkudutivu had gone there to assess the situation, as one of the suspects accused in the murder is said to be known to him. The suspect who had returned from Switzerland recently, had managed to escape Police custody when he was admitted to the Jaffna Hospital. The protestors accused that it was with the help of Tamilmaran that the suspect had escaped. Tamilmaran denied the accusations saying that he had nothing to do with […]

Lanka student finds green way to tackle oil spills

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

A 24-year-old Sri Lankan post-graduate student in Chemistry at the University of Maryland USA, has discovered an agent which will clear oil spills in the sea without damaging the aquatic environment. The student, Jasmin Athas, working under the supervision of Professor Srinivasa Raghavan, an alumnus of IIT Madras, found that a mixture of two food-grade molecules, Lecithin and Tween 80, is an effective emulsifier and is able to disperse crude oil in sea water. In a paper published in July 2014 in Langmuir, the journal of the American Chemical Society, Athas reports that Lecithin and Tween 80, blended in a 60:40 ratio to create smaller droplets of oil than current dispersants like Corexit 9500A. The L and T combine allows for more efficient dispersion, Athas […]

Business community stages hartal in North

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

Swiss national arrested over killing Vidhya remanded Swiss national named Mahalingam Sasikumar was arrested according to the complaint lodged by the businessman Thuwarageswaran and suspect was arrested while at Wellawatte on Tuesday………………..  READ ALL Business community stages hartal in North The business community in the North staged a hartal today to protest against the alleged rape and killing of 18-year-old Pungudutivu Maha Vidyalaya student in Jaffna. Shops in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna Districts put up shutters and the businessmen joined the hartal campaign. Three wheeler operators in the Vavuniya and Jaffna districts also joined the hartal……………..  READ ALL 130 people remanded over Jaffna clash The Jaffna Magistrate today remanded 130 people till June 3 over the violence which erupted in Jaffna yesterday. The police had […]

Jaffna rises against rape- 9 suspects arrested

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

Jaffna rises against rape- 9 suspects arrested By Chandrasena Marasinghe, Madawa Kulasuriya (Vavuniya) and Mirudhula Thambiah Jaffna residents protested opposite the Jaffna Courts complex yesterday (20) demanding the death sentence for all those responsible for the rape and murder of 18-year-old Sivaloganaadan Vithiya, a student of the Jaffna Kayts Punkuduthivu Maha Vidyalaya. The angry demonstration was unleashed on the streets leading to the Court before the suspects were driven into the Court premises. One of the suspects was arrested whilst in hiding in Wellawatte, Colombo. Police Anti-Riot Squad personnel had to use tear gas to disperse the protesters who attempted to clash with Police who had cordoned off the area surrounding the Courts complex, by attempting forcible entry into the Courts Complex. Two vehicles parked inside the Courts […]

Truths of Civil War Key to Harmony in Sri Lanka

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena set the right tone for the sixth anniversary of the end of the civil war in the island nation when he said that the truth of what happened in the conflict needed to be established and justice delivered. He was unequivocal when he said, “We were all happy when the war ended. But can we be happy with the developments post-war? We were not able to win hearts and minds of the people. The true reconciliation could only be achieved by winning hearts and minds.” This kind of a statement was unthinkable until a few months ago when Mahinda Rajapaksa was in full command in Colombo. He celebrated the end of the war as “Victory Day” for five years, while […]

Ruwan rejects Mahinda’s claims on LTTE flag

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena today rejected allegation made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a group of opposition Members of Parliament who had stated that the LTTE flag was hoisted in parts of the North at a time when the nation commemorated the sixth year of defeating separatist LTTE terrorism. The Ministry of Defence quoted Wijewardena as saying that reports received from intelligence agencies stated that no such incident were staged in the Northern or Eastern Provinces. Wijewardena said the rumours are being spread by certain persons with vested interests. “No incidents of this nature had been reported from the region and this reflects the disapproval of the people of the North and East in the resurgence of terrorism, states the State Minister. […]

Lanka’s domestic war crimes probe to get underway next month

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

RELATED NEWS Sri Lanka’s ex-President Rajapaksa vows political return Sri Lanka’s Health Minister to challenge President Rajapaksa Rajapaksa, family may face anti-corruption probe in Sri Lanka Rajapaksa, family reported to Sri Lanka anti-graft watchdog Sri Lanka’s new govt to probe Rajapaksa’s ‘coup’ bid:spokesman Sri Lanka will begin next month its domestic probe into the alleged human rights violations during the final stages of decades-long war with the LTTE to meet the UN deadline, President Maithripala Sirisena said today. “We will start the work of the local mechanism by next month,” he said.The probe would be conducted in line with the local laws, Sirisena told reporters. Sirisena said that his government would welcome UN Human Rights Council guidance on its own mechanism. “The guilty would be […]

Violent protests break out in Sri Lanka over alleged rape, murder of school girl

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, May 20 (Xinhua) — Over 120 people were arrested by Sri Lankan police on Wednesday after violent clashes erupted between protestors and the police outside a northern court over the alleged gang rape and murder of a school girl. Police were forced to use tear gas to disperse the violent protestors who were demanding the highest punishment be meted out to the nine suspects who were arrested by police over the incident. The protestors were also demanding the suspects be handed over to them. Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunesekare told Xinhua that six police officers were injured in the clash. “The Inspector General of Police (IGP) has ordered the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to carry out the investigations into this incident. The protestors are […]

Probe continues over alleged coup attempt

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government today said that it was still investigating allegations of an alleged coup attempt during the January 8 Presidential Elections. President Maithripala Sirisena said that in his opinion there was no ‘conspiracy’ but some sort of discussion had taken place in an attempt to prevent the new government from taking power. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had filed a police complaint alleging that former President Mahinda Rajapakse and some members of his government had attempted to stage a coup by using the military and the police. Rajapakse however denied the claims and said that the discussion held at Temple Trees was only to ensure a smooth transfer of power to the new President. “The investigations into this incident are still continuing,” President Sirisena said. He said […]

‘The truth and not justice against the racist’ – Nelson Mandela and Tamil Chief Minister Wigneshwaren

21st May 2015 // 0 Comments

Maithri’s or Wiggy’s approach? President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at the ‘Ranaviru Commemoration Parade 2015’ held in Matara on Tuesday said that the reconciliation proce… Naming and Shaming Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister and TNA politico C. V. Wigneswaran made a statement when he went to pay his respects to the war dead … Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister and TNA politico C. V. Wigneswaran made a statement when he went to pay his respects to the war dead at Mullivaikkal, Mullaitivu on Monday (18 May). It was at Mullivaikkal that LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s body was found and where the LTTE fought its last battle. He said that Tamils don’t want to punish the perpetrators, but they are only seeking the truth about what transpired. […]

Mayor of City of London enthusiastic over Sri Lanka’s prospects

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Calls for political, institutional reform to smooth way for British investments, PPP Welcomes opportunity to engage with Sri Lanka following result at last presidential elections Says SL has got more qualifications per capita than almost any other emerging economy Meets Finance Minister, CB, SEC chiefs and Colombo Mayor By Channa Fernandopulle Sri Lanka must unlock pent-up growth through concerted political and institutional reform with an emphasis on education and closing the skills gap, according to visiting Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow. Speaking exclusively with Daily FT, Yarrow expressed great optimism over the nation’s economic prospects given its well-educated population and encouraging post-war growth. However, he stressed that the effective resolution of human rights issues and a general election would be […]

Sirisena Manages To Put Mahinda Rajapaksa In Tight Spot: Alan Keenan

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka appeared to turn a new leaf with the election in January 2015 of President Maithripala Sirisena. This put an end to rule of this country of 21 million people by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is closely associated with a brutal 2009 victory over the Tamil Tiger insurgency and authoritarian government. Alan Keenan, International Crisis Group’s senior analyst discusses how much President Sirisena, previously a minor figure in Rajapaksa’s government, has changed politics on the South Asian island. We publish be the interview done by the International Crisis Group. You recently returned from Sri Lanka. It’s now been four months since Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena came to office. Did the political atmosphere in the country feel different from before? Alan Keenan: Absolutely. The most striking change is that […]

Committee probing prison murders record statement from Gota

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

The three-member committee appointed by the Government to probe the alleged murder of 27 inmates at the Welikada Prison in 2012 yesterday met with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The committee had recorded a statement over the matter from the former Defence Secretary. The committee had reportedly spent close to six hours with Rajapaksa, taking down his statement. Eye witnesses of the Welikada Prison riot have publicly claimed that they were executed by members of the security forces after the riot. The Welikada prison riot, which occurred on 9 November 2012, resulted in 27 deaths and injuries to over 40 people including law enforcement personnel as well as the loss of 250 rifles.

Paavai Stands Tall as Reminder of Eelam Martyrs

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

THANJAVUR:The imposing figure of Tamil Paavai (Tamil Woman) with a lamp in her hand, carved from a single stone of 60 tonnes and kept on a 15-foot high pedestal stands at the centre of Mullivaikal Memorial in Vilar near Thanjavur. The Tamil Paavai pays tributes to the 1.4 lakh ethnic Tamils killed in Mullivaikal in Sri Lanka on May 17, 2009 during the final phase of Eelam war. Scenes of the tragedy are etched on a 55-ft long, 10-ft high frieze on the left side of the Tamil Paavai. The 20 martyrs, including Muthukumar, who immolated themselves in Tamil Nadu are depicted in another frieze on the right side of the Paavai. In a casket on the pedestal stand glass pots, containing the blood-stained earth […]

Valalai (Jaffna): Re-militarisation of released villages with façade of resettlement

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Valalai[1] is a Tamil village of about 233 acres[2] that was occupied by the military for nearly 25 years and before it was handed back to villagers in March 2015 by President Sirisena. Yet, more than 50 days after that handover, villagers don’t see hope for resettlement as almost nothing has been provided for them to resettle into. I met a few villagers who had already decided to stay there in makeshift tents and huts and few others who had visited for the day. I was told that only about 10 out of 155 families[3] are staying there and that a few others visit for the day. A few people, including members of the Catholic Clergy, told me that they had seen several buildings that […]

Sinhalese say District Councils and no more. The Tamils says Regional Councils and no less. I say Provincial Councils

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dayan Jayatilleka – It’s out in the open now, the discrepancy in the views of the President and the Prime Minister about the timing of the elections. The Prime Minister hopes for July, while the President’s circle prefers September. I suspect it may be about astrology, but in Sri Lankan politics, the broad timing of the decision is not astrological –not even President Rajapaksa’s decision to go for an election two years ahead of schedule—but the fine tuning is. In other words, unlike in personal matters where the soothsayers’ word is law, Sri Lankan politicians make a political decision about the rough timing of the election on political grounds and from within your collective political unit (party, faction, family etc.) but your astrologer then […]

The Aim Today Is To Win The Peace

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

By Ranil Wickremesinghe Winning a war or revolution, only to lose the subsequent peace is one of the grim political truths of our time. In Iraq, a quick military victory over Saddam Hussein’s regime soon gave way to insurgency, civil war and the rise of the murderous ISIS. In Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, the hopes unleashed by the Arab Spring have similarly turned into an often violent despair. Today, a half-decade after the end of its 36-year civil war, Sri Lanka is at a crucial moment in its own efforts to consolidate peace and secure its long-term benefits. Newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena and I, as prime minister, are determined to win that peace, and to help our country become a prosperous Asian island […]

True Reconciliation Requires Compromise – V Anandasangaree

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

Perhaps the most senior politician in active politics today, with of over fifty five years of service, V Anandasangaree is very patriotic and he loves the country and its people. However he feels that even under the present circumstances he is ignored and sidelined. Having won the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh award for tolerance and nonviolence in 2006, he believes that all Tamil parties should unite and work for the Tamil people who had suffered enough during the war. Anandasangaree feels that today none of the Tamil politicians are genuinely concerned about the people and they are all only interested in promoting themselves. He said that true reconciliation can only be achieved through compromise and peaceful dialog. As a senior politician in the country, his advice to […]

More Than Words: A Few Thoughts On The Challenges Facing The President

19th May 2015 // 0 Comments

By Lionel Guruge President Maithripala Sirisena is quoted as having made a few statements at the events he attended in the past few weeks. Spanning three broad themes, these are all equally important for the citizens of Sri Lanka. The first statement, made at St. Johns College, Nugegoda in commemoration of their century centennial, was the need to conduct a large colloquium on the topic of education in Sri Lanka. The second statement, made during the opening ceremony of the Magampura museum, was that what Sri Lanka needs is political harmony. This comment was made focusing on the appearance of both Sajith Premadasa and Mahinda Amaraweera on the same political stage. Last but certainly not least, whilst addressing students at Law College President Sirisena proclaimed […]

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