August 2015

Tamil Tigers change their stripes: Former fighters become politicians as the struggle for self-rule in Sri Lanka goes on

26th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The rebel-turned-politicians once carried heavy weapons, killed civilians as well as soldiers and bombed buses and trains packed with children. They wore cyanide capsules around their necks and lived by a code that required them to lay down their lives at any given moment. Shut inside the hot confines of a house in Jaffna, located in the former northern war zone of Sri Lanka, the nine men are busy drawing the future plans for their defeated party. They are members of “Crusaders for Democracy”, a political party made up of former Tamil Tigers. All of the party members, except for their leader, are former Tiger terrorists who fought the Sri Lankan military in a three-decade bloody war for a separate homeland, demanding almost half of […]

Abductions and Forced Recruitment by the Karuna Group with the support of Government

26th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Abductions in 2006 Sporadic reports of abductions and forced recruitment of boys and young men by the Karuna group began soon after the split from the LTTE in March 2004, but the reports were few until March 2006.13  According to local human rights groups and international agencies active in the eastern districts, around that time armed men from the Karuna group began to invite children to come with them for work in nearby Polonnaruwa district.  Some of the children never returned. June 2006 saw a dramatic jump in Karuna group abductions of boys and young men: families in Batticaloa district reported more than 40 abductions in that month alone, including 23 abductions on one day and 17 on another.14 The 23 abductions on one day […]

Aid workers were Raped and executed by Karuna Group with the blessing of Rajapaksha government

26th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Lists girl raped and killed by Government Minister Karuna Gang rape, executions and a cover up   Tamil Guardian 07 February 2007 One year after seven staff members of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) disappeared after being abducted in Sri Lanka Army – controlled part of the island’s east, there is still no word of their fate.However, an investigative report published this week by Tamilweek.com says the missing aid workers were executed by paramilitaries of the Karuna Group which took them captive. A poster appealing for the release of seven TRO workers abducted by Army-backed paramilitaries. But an investigate news report says they have been killed. Photo TamilNet. The single woman in the group was gang raped by fourteen gunmen before being killed.The report, compiled […]

Karuna went on a rampage of abductions, recruitment of child soldiers, extortions and murders. Rajapaksa turned a blind eye!

26th August 2015 // 0 Comments

By V. Kanthaiya – “The fate of Premini was terrible. The dusky woman with attractive features was taken to another camp and raped first by Sinthujan himself. Thereafter it was a horrible gang rape with TMVP cadres taking turns to sexually assault her. Fourteen cadres raped the poor girl. Premini was heard to shout and cry at the start. Later she merely sobbed and whimpered. Premini was taken out before dawn by TMVP cadres to the jungles. She walked without crying or showing signs of emotion said one ex – TMVP cadre. She was apparently hacked to death and thrown into the bushes.” – First Anniversary: The tragic fate of TRO employees abducted by Karuna cadres, by D.B.S. Jeyaraj, 4 February 2007.[i] I know a mother […]

The Court summons Mervin Silva in connection with white vans

26th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya issued summons on former Minister Mervin Silva to appear in court on November 11th to give evidence in connection with abduction and disappearance of persons involving white vans. The summons was issued today when 3 Habeas Corpus petitions filed by the relatives of three missing persons were taken for hearing. The relatives told the court in their petitions that their beloved ones were abducted in Mutwal area in 2011 and reported missing since then. The IGP, the Army Commander and the OIC of the Mutwal police have been named as respondents of these petitions. Former Minister Mervin Silva gave a statement to the CID that he knew information about the white van related disappearance incidents. Accordingly, Mervin Silva has […]

Sri Lanka briefs U.S. on domestic human rights mechanism

26th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka briefs U.S. on domestic human rights mechanism On measures taken by the government to address the human rights concerns following the over three-decade-long civil war with the LTTE Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday briefed two top visiting U.S. State Department officials about the measures taken by the government to address the human rights concerns following the over three-decade-long civil war with the LTTE. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski met Mr. Samaraweera as they became the first foreign officials to visit Colombo after the recent parliamentary elections………. .READ MORE US hails Sri Lanka Mangala briefs US delegation on domestic accountability mechanism US […]

“MAHINDA’s comeback affected us” – K.D. Lal Kantha

26th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Former Janatha Vimukti Peramuna (JVP) Provincial Councillor K.D. Lal Kantha in an interview with the Daily Mirror said the party could not achieve the expected results at the General elections as it was as crucial as the Presidential election. Unlike other general elections, people had to decide whether to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister or not. He said although there were issues with regard to the national list within the party, the two members who were appointed through the National list were appointed unanimously. Also he said the JVP took a different line in their campaign this time in order to reach the groups of people whom they could not approach earlier.Furthermore, the former Western Provincial Councillor said he resigned from […]

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair assures to appear on behalf of Sri Lanka

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has assured to appear on behalf of Sri Lanka in eliminating misconceptions in the world. He gave this assurance during a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who is on a private visit to Sri Lanka met President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Office. He appreciated the initiative taken by the President for the conduct of the Parliamentary elections in a free and peaceful environment.  Tony Blair lauded the programme mooted by President Maithripala Sirisena to build democracy and reconciliation within the country giving a proper leadership.  The Former British Prime Minister elaborated on the possibility for Sri Lanka to work within the international programmes of the Tony Blair Foundation. He emphasized to the […]

Nisha Biswal can help or make things worse

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The importance of Assistant Secretary of the USA for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal’s visit to Sri Lanka cannot be over-emphasised. Firstly, this is her second post-election visit to Sri Lanka, having come here immediately after President Maithripala Sirisena took office. Secondly, she is visiting a Sri Lanka, whose foreign policy orientation is starkly different to that which existed during the tenure of Sirisena’s predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa.  It is no secret that there was no love lost between that administration and the US State Department, with the antagonisms finding expression in annual wars of words in Geneva during the UNHRC Sessions, battles which naturally favoured the powerful. When Biswal came early this year, she didn’t mince her words about her country’s determination to […]

Tamil IDPs will be resettled within the next five years

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Governor of the Northern Province H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, a prominent Sri Lankan diplomat and former Foreign Secretary who replaced Major General (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri, in an exclusive interview at his office in Jaffna, told Ceylon Today that the IDPs will be resettled within the next five years leaving no one in camps. He also said that the LLRC was a success but it was a failure in implementing it. A member of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Board, the Governor said, “I think there must be a political consensual decision making culture in the country. You can differ in other matters like on the economy of the country, but on national issue, you must have consensus. As long as you […]

“New Govt. must ensure separation of powers” – AHRC

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

BY RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY The new government must ensure the modernization of the system of governance, the overall framework of democracy and the rule of law along with the effective enforcement of the separation of powers, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) noted. Director of Policy and Programmes at the AHRC and the Asian Legal Resource Centre and Right Livelihood Award/Alternative Nobel Prize Winner, Basil Fernando said that the double defeat suffered by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election of 8 January and in the parliamentary elections concluded on 17 August, hopefully, marks the end of a long period of onslaught on democracy and the rule of law. Now the issue is to place in a democratic apparatus and to practically undo the […]

No legal basis for an int’l investigation

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Asserting that there was no legal basis for an international investigation within Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that there should be a domestic inquiry into the alleged violations of human rights in Sri Lanka. In an interview with India’s The Hindu, the day after he assumed office, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that it should be a domestic inquiry as Sri Lanka wasn’t a signatory to the Statute of Rome. “We have agreed it is domestic for the simple reason that we did not sign the Statute of Rome. The commitment that was given by the Rajapaksa administration to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2009 could be interpreted in many ways. At one stage they were moving towards international investigation. But we always […]

Sir Desmond’s mandate was not extended

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government has not extended the mandate given to the Advisory Council headed by Sir Desmond de Silva which was appointed to give legal advice to the Presidential commission of inquiry on missing persons head by former judge Maxwell Paranagama. Sir Desmond de Silva said that the appointment of the Advisory Council of international lawyers was only until the 15th August and the term has not been extended. “All the required legal advice having been given to the Paranagama Commission by Sir Geoffrey Nice  QC (UK) , Professor David M Crane ( USA) and a host of university professors specialising in the law of armed conflict , and myself, that Advisory Council is no longer in existence,” Sir Desmond de Silva said. He noted that the […]

Tamil Nationalist Groups Met In London To Discuss Their Future

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

Representatives of several Tamil diaspora organisations including Tamil Coordination Committee UK, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, Tamil Youth Organisation and Together Against Genocide met in Harrow to discuss about the current political affairs after the election and to draft a plan of action for the future. The full day meeting which took place on Saturday, 22nd August was conducted as 3 sessions and academics and journalists from all major Tamil media outlets participated in panel discussions. http://www.pathivu.com/news/42527/57//d,article_full.aspx

More Police stations in The north – Governor Palihakkara

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN The Government intends to have more Police Stations posted in the islands in the Northern Province, Governor Northern Province H.M.G.S. Palihakkara told Ceylon Today. When Ceylon Today visited his office in Jaffna, the Governor said there are several projects that have been undertaken to address water and sanitation issues in the North. He said that already land has been allocated for two new Police stations in the Delft Island and in Karainagar. He said already lands have been allocated for the Police Station and the people in the islands also offered them a plot of land for the purpose. “The priority is Police Stations for many areas and the Government is keen in establishing them.” However, the Governor said that there is […]

Getting Back ‘OUR’ Lands In Sampur from the Sinhala Government A Big Achievement: TNA

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R.Sampanthan has described the Maithripala Sirisena government’s decision to ‘RETURN’ 1055 acres of land to the Tamil farmers of Sampur in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, as a “very big achievement” of the struggle to get back lands seized during the war. On Saturday, President Sirisena and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga ceremonially handed over land deeds to 25 of the 1272 families displaced from Sampur in 2006, at the start of Eelam War IV. “The refugees’ ten year struggle would not have borne fruit if the result of the January 8 Presidential election and the August 17 parliamentary elections were  different,” commented Kumarasamy Nakesvaran, President of the Sampur Displaced Persons’ Welfare Association. . “Between the two elections, government officials were […]

Biswal’s Visit Hastens Swearing-In Of Three Key Minister

25th August 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The visit of Nisha Biswal, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia on Tuesday to discuss the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s report on war crimes in Sri Lanka, has hastened the swearing-in of Mangala Samaraweera as Foreign Minister; Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe as Justice Minister;  and D.M.Swaminathan as Resettlement Minister. The trio were inducted by President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday. Though the results of the parliamentary elections came out on August 19, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn-in immediately, the full Council of Ministers is yet to be formed. The delay is due to a conflict between the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) and the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), on how many ministerial berths each should get in the […]

Anandasangaree calls on TNA to join Government

24th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has urged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to join the National Government. TULF Secretary General V. Anandasangaree, in a letter to TNA leader R. Sampanthan, said that the minorities have innumerable problems all of which cannot be sorted out overnight or even in a short period. “A silent revolution had taken place providing an excellent opportunity for all of us to sort out matters that could be sorted out. The minorities have innumerable problems all of which cannot be sorted out overnight or even in a short period. But certainly much can be done during the two year period the UNP and the SLFP have agreed to work as a National Government. The TNA also must take a quick decision […]

UPFA loses its vote share in every district

24th August 2015 // 0 Comments

1. The UPFA has lost its vote share in every district. The only district where it lost less than 10% was Hambantota. In 11 of 22 districts, it lost more than 20% of its 2010 vote. 2. The UNP had its 2nd largest gains (24%) in Polonnaruwa — the home base of President Maithripala Sirisena. 3. The DP and the JVP saw their greatest aggregate loss in support in the Colombo District (-5% from DNA 2010), despite having both their party leaders contesting from the Colombo district. 4. The ITAK or the Tamil National Alliance saw increases in vote share across all five districts it contested. The Jaffna, Vanni and Batticaloa disticts gave the ITAK an increase of more than 15% in each.

Missing Persons Commission holds public sittings in Batticaloa

24th August 2015 // 0 Comments

The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons held Public Sittings in the Batticaloa Distinct today. The Public Sittings will be held in the Kaluwanchikudy Divisional Secretariat tomorrow as well, an official said. The Commission earlier held its previous Public Sittings in Northern and Eastern Provinces covering Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee Districts. To date, over 20,000 complaints have been received by the commission, inclusive of approximately 5,000 complaints from relatives of missing security forces personnel. The three-member committee that comprises Mano Ramanathan, Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratna, and former High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, was appointed by Extraordinary Gazette, No. 1823/42, under the provisions of Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act.

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