6th June 2015

Committee reviewing ban on diaspora

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

A committee is reviewing the ban on some diaspora groups and individuals, the Foreign Ministry told the Colombo Gazette. The former Government had gazetted the listing of the groups and individuals but the new Government said there was a requirement to review the ban in order to take the reconciliation process forward. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said that following the Al Qaida terrorist attacks in September 2001, the Security Council of the United Nations, acting under Chapter 7 of its Charter, adopted resolution 1373 on 28 September 2001 which is a wide-ranging comprehensive resolution setting out steps and strategies to combat international terrorism. The resolution which is binding on all States called on countries, among other steps to be taken, to prevent and suppress […]

SLMC asks Prez, PM to grant administrative et-up for Tamil speaking people in Ampara

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

calls for tangible action before dissolution of parliament   By Shamindra Ferdinando The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is pushing for a full-fledged administrative set-up for Tamil speaking people in the Ampara District in case the President Maithripala Sirisena-Premier Wickremesinghe government couldn’t immediately grant the Ampara Muslims a District of their own. The SLMC wants predominantly Tamil areas linked up to create an exclusive zone. SLMC Chairman Basheer Segudawood, MP, has written to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting their immediate intervention. In a letter dated June 4 addressed to the President and Prime Minister, the Batticaloa District MP has called for tangible measures to provide legal status for the proposed district before the dissolution of Parliament. Pushing for immediate approval for their […]

Lanka disappearances panel to submit final report in August

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

RELATED NEWS Sri Lanka’s ex-President Rajapaksa vows political return Rajapaksa fears LTTE revival in Sri Lanka 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 A Sri Lankan presidential panel probing the alleged disappearances of thousands of people, including minority Tamils, during the deadly civil war will present its final report in August, an official said today. “We are hoping to be able to release the final report in August,” said H W Gunadasa, secretary to the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons. International experts appointed to advise the Commission are currently assisting in preparation of the report. The three-member Commission headed by retired judge Maxwell Paranagama was appointed […]

Jacques Audiard’s Film “Dheepan” About Three Tamil Refugees in France Wins Golden Palm at Cannes

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By D.B.S. Jeyaraj Cannes is a city on the picturesque French Riviera-Mediterranean coast in South-Eastern France. It is classified as a French commune which is an administrative division roughly equivalent to a municipality. The pride of Cannes in contemporary times has been the annual international film festival held in the city. Known as the Cannes Film Festival in English, it is regarded as the most prestigious film festival in the world. Competing at Cannes, let alone winning an award, is a feather in the cap for a filmmaker. The 68th annual Cannes film festival was held this year from 13 to 24 May. The highest prize awarded for a film at Cannes is the ‘Palme d’Or’ (Golden Palm). The Golden Palm this year was won […]

Supreme Court no more under govt. control – PM

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Unlike the previous regime, the present government under the leadership of Maithripala Sirisena will not intervene with the activities of the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “The Supreme Court is no more under the control of the government,” he said. “We got out of the control of the Supreme Court, since we have freed the Supreme Court from the grip that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had. The present government never controls the Supreme Court,” he said. “The Supreme Court is free to carry out its duties and the government is only facilitating the Supreme Courts for its smooth function,” he said. The Prime Minister made these remarks while opening an International Arbitration Centre in Colombo yesterday. The International Arbitration Centre is housed in […]

AG wants clarification on SC interim order preventing Gota’s arrest

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The Supreme Court on Monday will take up a motion filed by the Attorney General seeking a clarification on the scope of the interim order issued by it last month preventing the arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by the controversial Financial Crimes Investigation Division of the police. The order was issued when a Fundamental Rights petition was filed with the Supreme Court citing an attempt to apprehend him. The court issued the order pending the final conclusion of the FR application. The Island learns that the same bench that issued the interim order will take up the motion filed by the AG seeking clarification. The FR petition was scheduled to be taken up before the bench comprising of justices Sarath De Abrew, Eva […]

Love in the time of Tamil Tigers

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The author, who had the unfortunate experience of watching a Swiss film called Der Koch recently, considers it his duty to warn you against watching it. It was only appropriate that I was recently watching the live telecast of the Cannes award ceremony with a Sri Lankan Tamil friend who is a producer. After a fairly mundane ceremony, largely consisting of the French giving themselves awards, my friend whooped with joy at the finale when Jacques Audiard’s mostly Tamil film, Dheepan (about a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee family in France) won the Palme D’Or. This led to a heated debate about whether the same subject, if handled by an acclaimed Sri Lankan filmmaker as opposed to an acclaimed French filmmaker, would have won the top […]

‘White Flag Surrender and Killing of LTTE Leaders’ took place under Indian facilitation

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The wife of a top LTTE leader in a sensational deposition to the court today has said that her husband was in constant touch with Indian Member of Parliament, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi via satellite telephone and surrendered to the Sri Lankan army based on the Indian assurance during the final days of the war. She has said that the surrendering of the LTTE leaders to the Sri Lankan army took place under the facilitation of the international community, particularly India. Ananthi, the wife of former LTTE’s political commissar for the Eastern Trincomalee district Sinnathurai Sasitharan alias Ezhilan, giving an eye-witness account at a Habeas corpus case, told the Mullaitivu District Court today that she was with her husband when he spoke to Indian MP Kanimozhi. Kanimozhi, […]

WikiLeaks: Gota Publicly Admitted He Called Daily Mirror Editor

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“Defense Secretary Rajapaksa reportedly threatened Daily Mirror Editor Champika Liyanarachchi following the publication of a series of articles on the activities of the LTTE-breakaway Karuna group in the East. After the call from Gothabaya, Liyanarachchi contacted Karuna directly. Karuna assured her that his cadres would not harm her and added that he would complain to Gothabaya in writing about the incident. Gothabaya has since publicly admitted he called Liyanarachchi but denied that he threatened the editor and expressed his concern at the media’s intolerance of constructive criticism. Presidsent Rajapaksa reassured her that the GSL wishes her no harm and expressed regret at the Defense Secretary’s conduct. This most recent example of Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) attempts to suppress unflattering media reports confirms other accounts […]

DPF, NUW, UPF to ally with UNP

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The new alliance named “Tamil Progressive Alliance” (TPA) has decided to contest the elections under the elephant symbol of the UNP. The newly formed alliance of three minor Tamil parties in Sri Lanka has decided to support the government party, United National Party (UNP). The Democratic People’s Front (DPF), a minority party for the Western Province Tamils led by Mano Ganesan, the National Union of Workers (NUW) and Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) recently formed an alliance to represent the Tamils living in areas other than the Tamil-dominated northern and eastern part of the country. The National Union of Workers is led by the Minister of Plantation Infrastructure Development Palani Digambaram and the Upcountry People’s Front is led by State Minister for Education S. Radhakrishnan. In […]

Trishaw Connected to Raviraj Killing Found; Murder Weapons belongs to Security Forces

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CID today informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nirosha Fernando that they had recovered the trishaw allegedly used in the killing of TNA Jaffna District MP Nadaraja Raviraj and sought the Magistrate’s approval to take the trishaw into CID custody. Consequently the Magistrate allowed this request and fixed further inquiries for June 19. The CID also told Court that it was continuing with the investigations into the case and the productions recovered including the blood samples and the weapons which were being examined for identification. The CID said that the weapons recovered were found to have been used by the security forces. Four Navy officers including Munasinghe Arachchige Nilantha Sampath Munasinghe alias Navy Sampath reportedly involved in the killing of Mr. Raviraj. Parliamentarian Raviraj was shot dead […]

Rs 20M extortion charges against Devananda

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Mirudhula Thambiah The Jaffna District Lorry Owners’ Association lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Secretariat against Former Minister Douglas Devananda and his Maheswari Foundation yesterday (4) for extortion amounting to Rs 20 million. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran who lodged the complaint at the Anti-Corruption Secretariat on behalf of the lorry owners told Ceylon Today, the Maheswari Foundation belonging to Devananda has taken Rs 5,000 from each lorry owner to out through their registrations and they were compelled to pay Rs 300 for each load carried in the area. “Lorry owners are members of the foundation but about 500 of them have come forward to lodge the complaint now, as they were reluctant to take action during the previous regime,” he said. […]

Northerners fear ‘hidden hand’ at work

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw The Northern Provincial Council is fortunate to have the senior most Civil Servant C.V.K. Sivagnanam, as its chairperson with the vast experience in the day-to-day issues pertaining to the administrative as well as the social issues in the peninsula and Northern Province at large. The administration of the Jaffna Municipal Council from the time Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiyappah was assassinated in 1976, Sivagnanam who was the Commissioner of Jaffna Municipal Council at that time had to handle the administration until his retirement. With his experience as a professional Chartered Secretary, Sivagnanam’s period as Commissioner of Jaffna Municipal Council was challenging and it was noteworthy that he handled Jaffna’s Municipal administration boldly when the city’s landscape was gradually beginning to dilapidate in the early […]

Ranil wants to create UK-type ‘Serious Frauds’ division

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Ranil wants to create UK-type ‘Serious Frauds’ division Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that the government is currently in the process of “cleaning up” the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and that they intend to establish a ‘Serious Frauds and Financial Crimes Division’ for this purpose. “That’s why we have to start a Serious Frauds and Financial Crimes Division with the intention of following the Serious Fraud Office of the UK and legislating for it subsequently.” The SFO is an independent Government department that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud, and corruption in the United Kingdom. Wickremesinghe stated that an Organised Crimes Division will be established next. “You cannot have organized crime. You can’t have commercial crime. You can’t have these frauds,” he said, […]

During previous regime, many families were afraid to come out to inquire about their loved ones who had gone missing

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The Search Continues By Waruni Karunarathne Last Friday, a set of women made another tour to Colombo to meet former President Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga to request her support in the process of seeking justice on those missing. Rajany Chandrasegaram on behalf of the Women’s Action Network representing the affected women told The Sunday Leader that they have been providing various support to affected families under a referral system in Jaffna. “I have been working with 49 families – women headed families and families who need support in terms of livelihood, counselling etc. We also provide guidance when dealing with legal matters. We direct them through the proper channels,” she said. According to Chandrasegaram, there are times that women cannot go to police and lodge a […]

Ghost voters: another blotch in the Rajapaksa regime

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

In Sri Lanka’s 2015 Presidential Election, 15,044,490 voters were on the electoral rolls but the number of citizens who were of legal voting age was only 14,449,000 going by the Census data. This amounts to an unaccounted excess of 4.3% in the electoral rolls. This is alarming since the last Presidential election was decided by a margin of 3.7% and previous elections were decided by half as much. This phenomenon of ‘ghost-voters’ was pointed out soon after the 2015 Elections by Dr. Laksiri Fernando (Colombo Telegraph, January 15, 2015) who has been studying elections in Sri Lanka since 1970. He claimed that there were at least 782,460 names on the Sri Lankan electoral rolls than there were citizens of legal voting age. In the four […]

EU presents Euro 60 m district program including N&E

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The European Union (EU) yesterday presented a Euro 60 million cooperation program to support four districts in the north and east to reduce poverty and improve infrastructure. Titled the European Union Support to District Development Program (EU-SDDP), the project, which was begun in 2012 and will continue till 2017, focuses on three key result areas including poverty reduction, provision of basic infrastructure for vulnerable populations, support for local economic development and strengthening of local governance mechanisms. “This year is designated as the European Union Year of Development. The EU together with its 28 member states gives more than half of all development aid globally and this field is truly important to us. EU assistance to Sri Lanka has evolved from humanitarian aid to traditional developmental […]

Desecrating temples by Mahinda

6th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has drawn heavy flak for using Buddhist temples for what his critics call political work. Politicians who desecrate places of worship by using them for political purpose are doomed to fail, Media Minister Gayantha Karunatileka has said. Rajapaksa has sought to defend himself by claiming that his religious programmes are free from partisan politics. Nobody will buy into the former President’s claim. He is obviously carrying out a grassroots level campaign via temples in a bid to turn the tables on those who brought about his downfall. His is a textbook pincer movement on the political front; he is targeting the incumbent president from the top of the party pyramid as well as the base thereof. Having won over many UPFA […]