August 2015

63 New entrants to Parliament and 13 Women legislators

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

There are 63 new entrants to Parliament this year, among whom is Shanthi Sriskandarajah, a knee-down amputee of a leg, a National List MP of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). She, along with an interesting array of new legislators, will on Tuesday (1) be sworn in as Members of the 8th Parliament of Sri Lanka. Ms Sriskandarajah, a government servant, who was Deputy Director -Planning at Turukkali in the Wanni District, lost her leg in a shell blast in February 2009. However, undeterred by the personal tragedy, she was back on her feet with a prosthetic leg and is now determined to be the voice of the thousands of physically disabled victims of war related injuries. “I am the first person disabled by the war […]

Wimal plays Racist card again.

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

In addition to constitutional and electoral proposals, Close associate of Mahinda Rajapaksha and a known man who plays racist card to gain Votes Wimal Weerawansa said that his party the NFF is of the belief that there shouldn’t be negotiations whatsoever with India or any country or ‘non-state actor’ as regards amendments to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution as well as its full implementation. The party also stressed that South Africa or any other external power should not be considered for the role of facilitator in post-war Sri Lanka, It is believed that this call is to keep others away so that the government can continue to cheat the minority as the successive Sinhala governments have continued to cheat the Tamils for the last 60 years. […]

Women in estate TUs not empowered

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody General Secretary of the People’s Workers Union (PWU) said women in the estate and plantation sector trade unions, particularly in the tea industry, were not empowered through proper education and training to take up leadership and participate in policy and decision making. PWU General Secretary Attorney-at-Law Eliyathamby Thambiah said women were the majority force playing the leading role in most aspects of production like tea picking, weighing and measuring. He said even if women were involved they were merely there for the namesake and were made members of trade unions for the subscription fees they provide and ultimately used for the purpose of canvassing during elections. Educated women at staff level who also come from plantation families and backgrounds on the […]

Diplomatic corps briefed on Ekneligoda case FM on MS-RW strategy to change SL’s dierction

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that as much as the government needed invaluable support of the international community in terms of technical expertise in the setting up of domestic mechanisms and assistance for  peacebuilding related efforts such as resettlement, infrastructure development, and providing psycho-social support, the administration was of the opinion the time has now come to focus on strengthening economy. A stronger economy would be key to ensuring long-term peace and stability and preventing the recurrence of conflict, the minister said. Minister Samaraweera was addressing the Colombo-based diplomatic community on Aug 28. The minister discussed national government, political stability, accountability issues and economic plans. The Minister said: “Following the Parliamentary election last week and the victory of the United National Front for Good Governance […]

Australia supports government’s democratic reform

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie, said that Australia supported the government’s democratic reform and good governance agenda and would continue to encourage the Sri Lankan government to maintain its commitment to this agenda, to the improvement of human rights, to meaningful progress on reconciliation, including accountability, and to continued engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including the diaspora. She said this while giving a guest lecture at an event organised by the Sri Lanka Association of Australia Awards Alumni at the Lakshman Kadirgamir Institute, the Australian High Commission said today. High Commissioner Mudie’s lecture focused on the strong and enduring partnership and friendship between Australia and Sri Lanka, and the future direction of that partnership, particularly in relation to development, trade and investment and the Australian […]

Tamil parties turn down U.S. call for internal ‘war crimes’ probe

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

Parties reach consensus that only an international investigation mechanism can deliver justice. Leaders representing three constituents of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Sunday rejected the stand of the U.S., which favoured a domestic investigation mechanism on alleged crimes during the final stages of the Eelam War. The leaders of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), who met for four hours in Colombo, felt that justice would be possible only through an international probe. M.K. Shivajilingam, TELO’s national organiser, said the three parties did not trust in the domestic mechanism in view of past experiences. He recalled that the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons constituted in February 2007 to go into certain instances of human rights […]

US Begins Operation To Defend Sri Lanka

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

First informal meeting on September 17 By Easwaran Rutnam The United States last week set in motion an operation to seek support for Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva and the process will see heightened diplomatic activity as D-day nears for Sri Lanka at the Council. The US Ambassador to Geneva Keith Harper informed the UNHRC at its organisational meeting for the 30th session, that the US, on behalf of a core group, plan to offer a resolution on Sri Lanka to follow up on the new Sri Lankan government’s efforts to promote reconciliation and accountability. He said that the resolution will also be based on the report based on the investigations conducted on the war in Sri Lanka by […]

UNHRC decision will be based on US resolution

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will decide future course of action on Sri Lanka on the basis of a US resolution scheduled to be moved at the 30th sessions next month. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Kolonne told The Island that UNHRC would decide on the recommendations contained in a report submitted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) through the passage of a resolution. Kolonne said: “This is not something new. Resolutions are the means by which decisions in the UNHRC are taken.” The Foreign Ministry spokesperson was responding to a query by The Island regarding Geneva issue in the wake of the US changing its stance on war crimes inquiry. Kolonne said that the US had told organisational session […]

Fonseka Refutes Karuna’s Contention That Prabhakaran Shot Himself

31st August 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the Sri Lanka Army during the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV, has refuted the contention of former Tamil Tiger commander “Col” Karuna Amman, that Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran had shot himself dead and was not killed by Lankan troops as claimed. “He had a head injury in which a part of the skull had come off. If he had shot himself, the bullet would have come out from the other side of the head. But this had not happened. He might have been hit by shrapnel from a mortar bomb or a shell,” Fonseka told Express here on Monday. Asked if a post mortem was done on Prabhakaran’s body, Fonseka said that the police did a post mortem as […]

TNPF For ‘Two-Nations in One Country’: Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

30th August 2015 // 0 Comments

This statement is being released with the intension of clarifying the Tamil National People’s Front’s (TNPF) policies regarding what we consider to be a solution to the Tamil National Question and our position onaccountability regarding international human rights law and international humanitarian law violations that were committed against the Tamil people. As regards the solution to the Tamil National Question, the TNPF stands for a policy based on the notion of ‘Two-Nations in One Country’ – namely that the Sri Lankan State (country) comprises of the numerically larger Sinhala nation and the numerically smaller Tamil nation and other Peoples – a model quite well known to scholars and practitioners of pluri-national/ multi-national constitutional ordering across the world. Examples of a bi-national state (country) include Canada, […]

SLFP was chauvinist from the very inception and Mahinda only expanded it in the recent past.

30th August 2015 // 0 Comments    DAILYNEWS 26 AUG PAGE 8 ARTICLE OF Dr Vickramabahu Inspite of our repeated attempt to classify Mahinda politics as a version of fascism there was much silent opposition. They had many arguments but the basic idea is that SLFP was chauvinist from the very inception and Mahinda only expanded it in the recent past. Yes, it is rue that the SLFP had a Sinhala nationalist tendency and that was responsible for the, 57 racist violence. However at that stage it was mixed with a popular mass upsurge against western comprador capitalism. Leaders were people like Rajaratne and there was no urban intellectual support for the upsurge. At that stage Federal party came out as a twin movement representing the Tamil national upsurge in Tamil homeland […]

Summer Sports Festival 2015 – 31st August 2015

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

We Welcome you all for the TSSA & Its Event Partner Nachiyar Events Presents Summer Sports Festival -2015 Powered by Lebara. 31st August 2015 @ 9am (Bank Holiday) RAYNES PARK SPORTS GROUND Tauton Avenue RAYNES PARK SW20 0BH Cricket, Netball & Many More Tradition Games * MR TSSA & MISS TSSA Competition * Karakaatam & POP Shows* RAP & Banghara Shows                                                                    * Food *Shopping *Auctions*Live updates by eiKard*Circus for Kids Please find the Programme Agenda Below. Program Agenda 7.00 – Ground Open 9.00 – Sports Start 11.00 – Auction-1 – Lebara Play 1 12.00 – Auction-2 – Iyswarya Saree 12.15 – Auction-3 – Lebara Play 2 13.00 – Chief Guest Arrival 13.20 – Rap Song – 10 min 13.30 – MISS TSSA 1st Round […]

PRESS STATEMENT – Opposition party in Parliament

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT At the General Election held on the 17th of August 2015, the United National Party (UNP) emerged as the party with the largest number of seats in Parliament. The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) obtained the second largest number of seats. It has been announced that a National Government has been formed and that Members of Parliament who contested and were elected under both the UNP and the UPFA have accepted cabinet portfolios. Accordingly, both the UNP and the UPFA bear collective cabinet responsibility. As political parties in Parliament, they thus must publicly support all Governmental decisions made in Cabinet. This support includes voting with the Government when sitting in Parliament. There is thus no question whatsoever of the UPFA sitting in opposition […]

UK says fully committed to UN process, follow-up action War crimes probe

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The British government yesterday said that its position vis-a-vis the investigation undertaken by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) into alleged war crimes accusations hadn’t changed. The British HC in Colombo was responding to a query by The Island whether the US had consulted UK regarding its decision to back Sri Lanka’s domestic investigation into alleged war crimes accusations and whether UK would throw its weight behind the proposed US resolution in Geneva backing the Sri Lankan initiative. The OHCHR ordered an exhaustive external investigation in accordance with a US sponsored resolution at the Geneva based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March 2014. The UK backed the US initiative. The Island also sought UK’s stand on the forthcoming report […]

Bid to verify identities of those in C4 footage causes controversy Probe commenced in 2013– SLA

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Army headquarters yesterday said that the Military Police were in the process of closely checking Channel 4 News video footage in a bid to establish whether those in uniform were actually Sri Lankan troops. Military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera emphasised that the investigation had been launched in 2013 on a directive issued by the previous government. Brigadier Jayaweera said that it was an on-going process. Former UPFA Southern Provincial Councillor Major (retd.) Ajith Prasanna yesterday however said that the government should never recognise the British media outfit bent on humiliating Sri Lanka at the behest of the LTTE rump. Ajith Prasanna, who had served the sixth battalion of the Sinha Regiment (6SR) said that there couldn’t be anything as demeaning as interrogating officers who […]

US Falls in Line With India on Lanka War Crimes Probe

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The United States appears to have fallen in line with India’s consistent position that charges of war crimes and human rights violations relating to Sri Lanka are best investigated by an independent and credible domestic mechanism rather than an intrusive international mechanism, threatening its sovereignty. The US, which had made the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) pass a resolution calling for an international investigation into the charges in the March 2014, has climbed down to accepting a independent and credible domestic investigation. It has also said that it will move a resolution in the September session of the UNHRC, which will be drafted in “collaboration” with the Lankan government and other stake holders. It says that it is doing so after taking into account […]

Tamils Firm on Demand for International Inquiry: TNA

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO:  A senior leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has said that the Tamils will keep pressing for an international probe into charges of war crimes against the Lankan government even though the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, has made it clear that the US will only seek an independent and credible Lankan domestic probe. “Just as the Sri Lankan government has an agenda which it will press, we Tamils also have an agenda, which we will press,” said C V K Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). Biswal had said that the US proposes to present to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in September, a resolution which will have been drafted in “collaboration” with the […]

ITAK wants Opposition Leader post

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) today said that the party’s Parliamentary Group Leader must thus be recognized as the Leader of the Opposition in accordance with Parliamentary practice and convention as they have now emerged as the largest political party in Opposition in Sri Lanka’s Parliament. In a statement issued today, the Tamil party pointed out that following the General Election on August 17 the United National Party (UNP) emerged as the party with the largest number of seats in Parliament while the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) obtained the second largest number of seats. “It has been announced that a National Government has been formed and that Members of Parliament who contested and were elected under both the UNP and the UPFA have […]

Government seeks shift from focus on human rights

29th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government has urged the international community to focus on other issues in Sri lanka and not just the human rights issue. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the diplomatic community based in Sri Lanka that for far too long now, Sri Lanka’s relationship with the international community has been dictated by ‘human rights’. “I can confidently say that the Government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is committed to address human rights and related issues, work on changing the political culture and achieve meaningful reconciliation. In fact the President, in keeping with his constitutionally mandated duty under the 19th amendment of being in-charge of reconciliation and integration, has decided to establish a Ministry under his purview for these important subjects. As much as we would need […]

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is directly involved in the murder of MP Nadaraja Raviraj?

28th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Information that has come to light in the course of the investigation into the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda confirms that former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is directly involved in the murder of MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his two bodyguards in Narahenpita. Making submissions to courts earlier, the CID said the then chief bodyguard of former Navy commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and head of the Navy’s white van gang, Lt. Commander Sampath Munasinghe alias Navy Sampath, had committed these murders. In a confession, Navy Sampath has said that Raviraj was murdered on the orders of the then state intelligence service’s deputy director SSP Maheel Doole, who had told him, “This is an order by the boss (Gotabhaya).” The murder weapon, a T-56, was given Navy Sampath […]

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