June 2015

Sri Lanka says war crimes probe delayed by elections

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s proposed war crimes investigation has been delayed by several months until September as the government focuses on impending parliamentary elections, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said Wednesday.  Samaraweera said he hoped the composition of the investigating team along with its terms of reference would now be finalised just before the UN Human Rights Council’s session in September in Geneva. “We are working out the contours of a domestic mechanism to look into human rights abuses and war crimes,” Samaraweera told reporters in Colombo. “This will be in place before the September sessions in Geneva.” President Maithripala Sirisena came to power in January promising reconciliation and accountability following alleged atrocities during the island’s separatist war that ended in 2009. But Samaraweera said the government’s schedule […]

Gota could lose civil rights in ‘MiG deal’ probe – Mangala

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

  Gota could lose civil rights in ‘MiG deal’ probe – Mangala  Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today welcomed the the US State Department report which had revealed the existence of the LTTE’s financial network and said that it reflected the “failure” of the former government. “It’s a welcome report. This report I would say is a reflection of the total failure of the strategy of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration,” he said responding to a question from media. The US State Department’s 2014 Country Reports on Terrorism has said that despite its military defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan government in 2009, the LTTE’s international network of sympathizers and financial support persists. “LTTE’s financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2014,” the report […]

Nine New Ambassadors Appointed, Including Two Former Army Commanders

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The Foreign Affairs Ministry today confirmed the appointments of new ambassadors to nine countries.   Former Chief of Defence Staff Jagath Jayasuriya had been appointed as the Ambassador to Brazil, Retired General Daya Ratnayake is the new envoy to Pakistan. Former Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Seneviratne had been appointed to Thailand. H.U. Dissanayake to Vietnam, R.D. Rajapaksha to Sweden, A.H.M. Saadique to the Netherlands, Dr. W.M. Karunadasa to Qatar, Y.K. Rohanjith to Iran P. Selvaraj to Israel.

Anyone can go to court against the ”Diaspora Festival”

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Minister Mangala Samaraweera today said he welcomed any party to institute legal action against the Diaspora Festival being planned by his Ministry to be held by the end of the year.“Be it Warnasinghe or any other party, anyone can go courts against the festival. If that happens, I will not even seek the assistance of a lawyer, I will represent myself in courts to defend the event,” he said addressing the media at the Information Department last morning. Minister Samaraweera criticised those shed a negative light on the festival simply due to the use of the term ‘Diaspora’. “As pointed out many times earlier as well, the term Diaspora does not refer to LTTE activists. It refers to Sri Lankans of all communities and ethnicities […]

Governor’s appointment valid, notes legal: CBSL

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) today said it wishes to inform the general public of the position on the validity of the appointment of the present governor, and validity of the currency notes issued by the Bank on 2015.02.04, in view of frivolous allegations appearing in certain media. An extract of the statement is reproduced below. It is re-iterated that the appointment of Mr Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran as the governor of the Central Bank has been done in compliance with law as well as the established practice. The provisions of section 11 of the Monetary Law Act specifically sets out the circumstances where a person becomes disqualified for appointment as the governor, and the present governor’s appointment has not been tainted with any […]

The 20A: Why Minorities, Especially Muslims, Oppose?

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Latheef Farook – Muslims living scattered all over the island, with special concentration in the east but often in small pockets in the predominantly Sinhalese areas, fear that their representations in the parliament will be reduced considerably under the proposed 20th amendment to the constitution on electoral reforms. Thus they oppose the draft amendment in its present form gazetted on June 12. One should not forget that it was repeated constitutional changes depriving the minorities of their legitimate rights contributed a great deal to the subsequent ethnic war which turned the country into one of the worst killings fields in Asia. Thus constitutional changes need to be studied carefully and should ensure that all communities are provided equal representation. This is the reason many […]

Why US interest to trace stolen SL money?

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

After Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential election, he made his first visit to India to meet Indian Premier Narendra Modi. At that meet, Maithri appealed to Modi to assist him to recover monies stolen by certain Sri Lankan politicians of the previous administration hidden in other countries. He also asked Modi to help set up a financial intelligence unit in Sri Lanka. He told Modi that he had information that such stolen funds had been deposited in St. Martin’s Island, Hong Kong and Seychelles. He also informed Modi that investments had been done in Dubai, Uganda and Kenya with stolen funds from Sri Lanka. In addition, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited United States and appealed to Washington to help detect stolen funds deposited overseas by […]

Regime-change plan of the West in crisis

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Like how the activities of the diplomatic missions of the West during the Sri Lanka presidential election on 8 January burgeoned, at the presidential elections in the Maldives in 2008, the activities of the diplomatic missions here in charge of the Maldives and Sri Lanka too intensified. It is the western countries that united the split opposition when the presidential election was held in the Maldives in 2008 which restored democracy in that country. At that time the Diplomatic Mission of the West here in charge of the Maldives nursed great hopes of a political change in the Maldives. Nasheed, the common presidential candidate of the Maldives also visited Sri Lanka frequently at that time with a view to securing assistance of the diplomatic missions […]

Relevance of Wiki Leaks and Sri Lanka

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Relevance of Wiki Leaks and UN’s 20-year confidentiality clause by Shamindra Ferdinando After having consulted, either the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), or UN headquarters, in New York, or both, the UN mission, in Colombo, in April, last year, said that the issue of confidentiality of sources/eyewitnesses needed to be considered at a later stage. The Colombo mission was responding to a query by The Island whether the UN would review UNSG Ban ki moon’s Panel of Experts (PoE) recommendation, pertaining to confidentiality of sources/eyewitnesses for a 20-year period, with effect from the date of the release of the report. The recommendation was made in PoE’s report, released on March 31, 2011. The Island raised the issue with Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator […]

Former Navy Commander involved in White Van abductions

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda was aware of the abductions of children by commandos of the Sri Lanka Navy. Sub Inspector Nishantha Silva of the CID told Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday that information has surfaced to the effect that the former Navy Commander and several high ranking officers of the Navy were aware of abductions which took place on September 17, 2008 in Dehiwala. When the case was taken up for hearing yesterday at the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court, SI Nishantha said the duty of the higher authorities of the Sri Lanka Navy would have been to release the abducted children without detaining them in torture houses if they found that the children were not involved in any criminal activity. It has […]

Obama Asked to Support the Referral of Sri Lankan Crimes to the ICC

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The following letter was sent to President Obama to help bring Sri Lankan government crimes to ICC. June 23, 2015 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, We at Tamils for Obama are supporting this suggestion that the matter of Sri Lankan government crimes and the investigation thereof not be sent to the Sri Lankan government for further investigation (investigating themselves!)  and prosecution. This has been tried many times and nothing  useful has ever resulted. The ICC is a neutral third party  that was created for the purpose of investigating matters of this kind, and we hope that you will support the referral of this matter to the ICC. These Sri Lankan crimes against Tamils  have […]

Breaking News: Over two Lakhs signed (www.tgte-icc.org)

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Please Join www.tgte-icc.org Over two Lakhs signed..the power of Numbers…is a Movement….” Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court “ Thank you for forwarding this e mail to your friends and families….It works.. We will reach MILLION signatures www.tgte-icc.org Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court We, the undersigned people from around the world, urge the United Nations to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or to establish a similar credible International Judicial Mechanism for investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed against the Tamil people by the Sri Lankan State. According to the UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka, there were “credible estimates” of civilian casualties of 70,000 Tamils during the first six months in […]

Fallen troops remembered as flag flies above Harrow’s Civic Centre for Armed Forces Day

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Silence fell as the mayor of Harrow raised a flag to show the borough’s support for the men and woman who serve in the armed forces. Mayor of Harrow Councillor Krishna Suresh hoisted the Armed Forces Flag on Monday, June 22 as part of Harrow’s commemorations for Armed Forces Day. The mayor led the ceremony outside the civic centre, which included prayers, the National Anthem and a speech from the Deputy Lieutenant John Purnell. They were joined by Leader of the Council Cllr David Perry, along with the 131 Independent Commando Squadron (Royal Engineers), veterans from the Royal British Legion, the Gurkha community and members of the public. Cllr Krishna Suresh said: “I am proud to have raised the Armed Forces flag for Harrow today […]

London Should Bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games

24th June 2015 // 0 Comments

London should bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. It would promote London’s vibrancy and ambition and be good for tourism, for business, and for jobs. It would also be a further powerful rationale to provoke investment in public transport in our city. We cannot take our capital’s vibrancy and economic success for granted. A future Mayor needs to champion bringing major international sporting and cultural events to London to help promote the capital in the future. I have already made clear that London should bid for the European Capital of Culture in 2023, but after Glasgow’s great Games last summer, few will be in any doubt that London would benefit too from hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games. I have already been in conversation with the […]

International Women’s Day 2015

23rd June 2015 // 0 Comments

International Women’s Day, marked globally on 8 March, is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. This year’s theme, “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination. In marking this important day, the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Mr. Subinay Nandy, delivered an address on Friday, 6 March 2015 at ‘Celebrating Women: Towards an Inclusive Political Culture’, an event organized by International Alert Sri […]

Under President Rajapaksa’s second term Parliament was simply made a rubber stamp

23rd June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Nagananda Kodituwakku – In his 2005 Election Manifesto Rajapaksa, when campaigning for the Presidency for the first time, with full support of the JVP, promised to the people to abolish the Executive Presidency (page 97 – 2005 manifesto). Then again in his 2010 manifesto, when contesting for the second term,Rajapaksa promised to take ‘whatever measures’ needed to eliminate frauds, corruption and malpractices. But what he did after elected to the office was completely the opposite. For instance, he made the Auditor General redundant and irrelevant. For the last few years the Auditor General has not been able to audit public offices and publish its annual report, as no one seems to be taking him seriously. This disrespect to the office of the Auditor General […]

Ranil invites Richard Branson

23rd June 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has extended an invitation to iconic and flamboyant global business leader and philanthropist Richard Branson to visit Sri Lanka and explore prospects for investments. The invitation was extended last week when Wickremesinghe spoke with Branson over the phone. The initiative had been facilitated by a young entrepreneur who works closely with Branson and an advisor to Premier with strong links to the private sector. Analysts viewed the telephone call and invitation to Branson as a business-savvy move by Premier Wickremesinghe and the confidence the latter has about the prospects of his party winning the upcoming general election. An English businessmen and investor Branson is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies. According to the […]

No decision to remove army camps in North

23rd June 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government says no decision has been taken to remove more army camps in the North. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today that the army decides on removing army camps and so far no such decision has been taken. He said that if the army decides to remove more camps in the North then the Government will take measures to brief Parliament. The Prime Minister made the comment in response to a statement made by opposition Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa. Weerawansa alleged that there was a move to remove an army camp in Kodikamam in the North. The Prime Minister denied the claims and said that the only camp removed so far since the new Government took office was a Navy camp in Sampur, in […]

Former Navy Chief Karannagoda’s bodyguard involved in abduction case, abducted youths are currently detained in two navy camps in Trincomalee and Colombo

23rd June 2015 // 0 Comments

A bodyguard attached to former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda’s security detail is wanted in connection with an abduction of a group of individuals in 2009, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) informed the Colombo Magistrate on Tuesday (23). The CID apprised the Magistrate the preliminary inquiries into the abduction incident has disclosed that Sampath Munasinghe, who was a bodyguard attached to the former Navy Commander Karannagoda, has allegedly involved in the case. “A group accompanied by Munasinghe has abducted five youths in Dehiwala area in 2009. The suspects have also demanded a ransom of Rs. 10 million from the parents of the abducted youths. It has come to light that the abducted youths are currently detained in two navy camps in Trincomalee and Colombo,” a […]

Sri Lanka Parliament expected to be dissolved on Wednesday

23rd June 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed some minority political parties that the parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday even as it was meeting to debate key electoral reforms. Minority Tamil politician from the Tamil Progressive Alliance ( TPA) Mano Ganeshan told the press that the prime minister had indicated that the reasons to dissolve the parliament this week was because the mandate for the current government had expired in April and there were disagreements over key electoral reforms. President Maithripala Sirisena had maintained that he would dissolve the parliament and hold a parliamentary election to elect a new government only once the key electoral reforms which are part of the 20th Amendment to the constitution are passed. However, political parties in the island […]

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