10th June 2015

Lanka war used as example to create app

10th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The war in Sri Lanka and footage obtained using mobile phones has been used as an example by a leading legal body to create a new mobile phone app enabling civilians in conflict-torn countries to capture and share verifiable footage of war crimes. Mobile phone footage of human rights abuses, mainly shared on social media in recent years, is often fake, impossible to verify or lacking the information necessary to be used as evidence in court, said the International Bar Association (IBA). The Reuters news agency reported that the “EyeWitness to Atrocities” app records the user’s location, date and time, and nearby Wi-Fi networks to verify that the footage has not been edited or manipulated, before sending it to a database monitored by a team of legal […]

Majority for national government – LMD/TNS nationwide poll

10th June 2015 // 0 Comments

TNS Lanka’s latest survey, for business magazine LMD, sheds light on the political undercurrents and key governance concerns in present-day Sri Lanka. The results of the monthly countrywide poll reveal that a majority of respondents (53%) agree that Sri Lanka should be run by a ‘national government,’ with some going so far as to suggest that the system has delivered a ‘new beginning’ for the country. “Moreover, at least six-in-10 respondents state that a national government should represent all political parties, mainly because it would provide an opportunity to obtain the opinions of a wider segment of politicians,” LMD reports. The magazine adds: “But those who oppose this view (26%) argue that it would mean the lack of an Opposition in the local political sphere. […]

Smugglers paid to turn back boat with Lankans

10th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Australian officials allegedly paid tens of thousands of dollars to people smugglers to turn a boat full of asylum seekers, including several Sri Lankans, back to Indonesia, Australian media reported today. A boat carrying 65 people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, who were seeking asylum in New Zealand, was boarded by Australian custom officers in late May, Fairfax reported on Wednesday. Asylum seekers on board the boat described being kept in “jail-like conditions” on a navy ship as navy and Customs officials intercepted, before the boat was turned around and sent back to the Indonesian island of Rote. There, the local police chief alleges the six crew members were given $US5,000 each by Australian custom officials. The Rota police chief said he saw the money […]

New Tamil alliance opposes electoral system approved by Cabinet

10th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The newly-formed alliance of minor Tamil parties in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), has expressed its opposition to the electoral system agreed upon by the Cabinet yesterday. The leader of the TPA, Mano Ganesan, said his alliance vehemently opposed the system approved by the Cabinet which keeps the number of parliamentarians at 225. The Cabinet yesterday approved the electoral system proposed in the 20th Amendment by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. According to the Prime Minister’s proposal the number of seats in Sri Lanka’s Parliament will remain at 225. Earlier the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) proposed a Parliament with 255 members. The 225-MP Parliament will include 125 MPs elected under the first-past-the-post system, 75 MPs under the District Proportional Representation (PR) system and […]

Is it or isn’t it? Confusion over ground water contamination in Chunnakam

10th June 2015 // 0 Comments

by Dhaneshi Yatawara Two separate investigations were carried out earlier to determine ground water contamination in Chunnakam, which led to confusion. The reports came out in April with one report that ground water was not so badly contaminated and the other claiming the spread of contamination had reduced. However, investigations by the expert committee appointed by the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage revealed that the ground water in the area surrounding the Chunnakam power plant was contaminated with oil and grease and was unsuitable for use. School children drinking water from a water tank provided by the state Now the committee appointed by the Jaffna Municipal Council states that there was no contamination whatsoever. Villagers are in a quandary, because as far […]

Police failed to arrest Vithya’s Rapist

10th June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Vijayakala Maheswaran, said the Police failed to arrest the main suspect of the Punguduthivu rape and murder at the appropriate time. She had made all possible attempts to surrender the suspect but Police failed to take immediate action and come to the scene of the crime. “The Police officer who did the mistake will be identified soon and will be dealt with,” she said. Following are excerpts: ? : There are allegations that you helped the Punguduthivu main suspect to escape from the case. How did he escape to Wellawatte. A: Unregistered media networks are publishing wrong information to tarnish my image. I was present at the spot to hand over the suspect to the Police, but […]

Rape & Child Abuse Tragedy

10th June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mano Ratwatte – It was with great trepidation that a lot of us émigré Sri Lankans read the story on the horrible abduction, rape and murder of an 18 year old in Jaffna. Rape is a heinous crime by itself. Rape and murder is carried out by vile men and it is not about romance, or love or even having sex for pleasure. It is a violent sadistic crime and it is about savage men exercising violent control over women. In the US it is estimated that 300,000 women face sexual assault or rape attacks per year. Attacks against women and children (including against boys) has a chronic ugly pathology and it has nothing to do with how a person dresses. Date rape is […]