13th June 2015

140,000 Lankan expats risk deportation

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Canadian citizenship laws toughened to confront ‘ever evolving threat of terrorism’ Over 140 000 Sri Lankan citizens in Canada could face the risk of losing their Canadian citizenship or return to Sri Lanka after a new immigration law enacted by the Canadian Government dictates that these ‘second class’ citizens may have their citizenship status stripped at any point. The new immigration bill which was enacted last week states that new Canadian citizens have lesser rights than those born Canadian. Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran told The Nation that the law ‘undoubtedly puts a lot of Sri Lankans irrespective of their ethnicity at risk of losing their citizenship.” “While we acknowledge and respect their government’s laws, if they are allowed to nullify citizenship status at […]

Let’s all cast our votes to Mahinda Rajapaksa who killed more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in May 2009 – Karuna

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

A total of 76 members of parliament (MPs) are attended the public rally supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, currently underway in Matara, according to former Minister Bandula Gunawardena. Anti Tamil parliamentarians were on the front row and it was clear they were trying to gain the Sinhala Buddhists votes. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is accused of War Crime was visibly seen mingling with the crowd at the “Arise with Mahinda” rally held at Sanath Jayasuriya Ground in Matara. In a message read out at yesterday’s mammoth rally held by UPFA rebels at the Sanath Jayasuriya grounds in Matara the former President said that he would surely be on the rebel s’ platform a the next rally. The former President’s message was read by former Minister […]

GTF, TNA, Norway, South Africa, Swiss, Solheim, GoSL London Talks: Mangala Makes A Statement To Parliament – Full Speech

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs has today made a statement in response to the question by Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva pertaining to the meeting of GTF and TNA. We publish below the statement in full; Honourable Speaker, I rise to respond to questions raised by the Honourable Leader of Opposition relating to the discussions that took place between the GTF and the TNA in London, and my presence there. As the House is aware, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 15th of May 2010. The Report of the Commission was handed over to President Rajapaksa on the 15th of November 2011 and it was tabled for the attention of all the Members of this House, on the […]

Mangala alleges Tamara aided LTTE

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith Former Sri Lankan permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Tamara Kunanayagam had acted on the LTTE’s behalf and aided and abetted the LTTE’s interests through her propaganda, it was alleged in parliament yesterday. In a document tabled by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in response to a question raised by Liberal Party leader Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Minister Samaraweera said that he had made such a claim on Rathu Ira programme of the Swarnavahini on the basis of four pieces of evidence. “First in his book, The War or Peace in Sri Lanka and the Agony of Sri Lanka, former Ambassador T. D. S. A. Dissanayake who as a senior diplomat had first-hand knowledge of these issues, refers to Tamara Kunanayagama as a […]

Sri Lanka’s Wounds of War

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The new Sri Lankan government must make reconciliation a top priority in order to move the country past a brutal, decades-long civil war. Amirthalingam, a senior lecturer at the University of Colombo, declares. “The government is trying to correct things.” The cautioned optimism Amirthalingam exudes is shared by many corners of Sri Lankan society. The January presidential elections, resulting in the unanticipated victory of Maithripala Sirisena over former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has greatly altered the mood of the country and has led to, at least temporarily, the reversal of the Rajapaksa government’s numerous authoritarian tendencies, including the strengthening of executive power, undermining of the judiciary, and persecution of government critics. Also altered is the government’s stance towards the minority Sri Lankan Tamil community and the […]

Meeting in London could be rated as diplomacy of high calibre in bringing peace and reconciliation in the Island

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

The previous Rajapaksa regime initiated a plan to interact closely with the Tamil Diaspora soon after the end of the war in 2009. A group of Tamil professionals from various parts of the world arrived in Colombo and they held special meetings with former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapasa, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris and former Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa on their role towards stabilizing the reconciliation process in the Island. It has been estimated that nearly one million Lankan Tamils who had fled the Island’s Northern and Eastern Provinces due to the war are presently domiciled in various developed countries in the West. The majority of them being ordinary civilians with their direct exposure to the war, a significant number […]

US Embassy tight-lipped on Kerry’s call for releasing ‘political prisoners’

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The US embassy in Colombo declined to say whether it had advised Secretary of State John Kerry as regards ‘political prisoners’ in Sri Lanka prompting him to urge the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to release them. The official was responding to a query by The Island in the wake of Justice Minister and President’s Counsel Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stressing that there hadn’t been any political prisoners though there were over 200 convicted LTTE cadres as well as those facing terrorism charges. Kerry made his appeal at the Taj Samudra on May 2 soon after having met President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Embassy spokesperson said the US response to The Island query would be restricted to a statement attributed […]

Mahinda ready to be PM candidate Will join next rally

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Dasun Edirisinghe reporting from Matara Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he would accept the people’s invitation to contest the next general election as the prime ministerial candidate. In a message read out at yesterday’s mammoth rally held by UPFA rebels at the Sanath Jayasuriya grounds in Matara the former President said that he would surely be on the rebel s’ platform a the next rally. The former President’s message was read by former Minister and SLFP Vice President Dullas Alahapperuma. Rajapaksa said his government had defeated the LTTE in 2009, but the present government was paving the way for its revival. He alleged that out of 159 army camps in the Jaffna peninsula 59 had been removed. Now, the government was in the […]

What Sri Lanka MPs are worth?

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Many people will be surprised to know that they are entitled to request and scrutinise their MPs’asset declarations. We have tested the system thoroughly and it works. Here’s all you need to know. Who has to declare their assets? An annual disclosure must be made by the President, MPs, Judges, Board and staff officers of Public Corporations, Provincial Councillors, Local Authority members, newspaper proprietors and Editors amongst others. How can I obtain an MP’s asset declaration? Along with a cheque for Rs 750 send a basic letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, requesting the particular MP’s asset declaration. In our experience, within 2-3 weeks you have the request (tweet us if you want more details on the process @manthrilk). Why does no one know […]

Ex president Mahinda ruined sports – Minister Ranatunga

13th June 2015 // 0 Comments

Minister Arjuna Ranatunga attending a training camp “Save Sports in Sri Lanka” on 12 June said that the former president had to take responsibility for the ruination of sport in the country. He said this when he attended the training camp held at the Bandaranaike MV Veyangoda by the Save Sports in Sri Lanka organization and National Sports Foundation. Senior athletic coaches Sunil Gunawardena and Yogananda Wijesundara also contributed attending the camp. Addressing the camp Arjuna Ranatunga further claimed that it was not unusual not to see anyone there to welcome sports people returning to the country after winning international events. Even this was a debacle faced by sports people today. “Sports became so politicised in the country that politicians used pictures taken of them […]