15th September 2015

Latest NEWS

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

UNWEB TV Mangala Samaraweera Speech (Sri Lanka) – 1st Meeting 30th Regular Session of Human Rights Council < http://webtv.un.org/watch/mangala-samaraweera-sri-lanka-1st-meeting-30th-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4483409659001  > THE ISLAND TNA wants foreign judges for domestic war crimes probe < http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=131758  >   COLOMBO GAZETTE **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Zaid says findings on Lanka of “serious nature” < http://colombogazette.com/2015/09/14/zaid-says-findings-on-lanka-of-serious-nature/  >   REUTERS Sri Lanka plans S.Africa-style commission to confront war crimes < http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/09/14/sri-lanka-warcrimes-idINKCN0RE15Y20150914  >   NEW YORK TIMES Sri Lanka Lays Out Plan for Reconciliation < http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/world/sri-lanka-lays-out-plan-for-reconciliation.html?_r=0  >   COLOMBO GAZETTE **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** US to work with Lanka to address UN report < http://colombogazette.com/2015/09/14/us-to-work-with-lanka-to-address-un-report/  >   COLOMBO GAZETTE **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Swire offers UK support to Sri Lanka < http://colombogazette.com/2015/09/14/swire-offers-uk-support-to-sri-lanka/  >   DAILY FINANCIAL TIMES **COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED** Sri Lanka soothes UN with sincerity < http://www.ft.lk/article/470747/Sri-Lanka-soothes-UN-with-sincerity  > […]

Invitation to GTF meeting – London – Saturday 19th Sep 2015, from 16:00 Hrs

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The Current Context in Sri Lanka: Opportunities & Challenges Ahead Saturday,19 September 2015,  from 16.00 Hrs –  18.00 Hrs at Room MAL B36, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street,  London, WC1E 7HX The nearerst Tube Stations are Russel Square and Goodge Street Father Emmanuel will open the meeting and chair the proceedings with the participation of M.A. Sumanthiran, Member of Parliament for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Suren Surendiran, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Asanga Welikala, Senior Researcher of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) The parliamentary elections in August 2015 confirmed that Sri Lanka is undergoing a process of dramatic changes since the election of President Sirisena in January 2015 and the subsequent formation of a coalition government. This meeting  aims at providing […]

Sri Lanka never has and probably never will prosecute its own officials for atrocities they committed as government functionaries

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

TAMILS FOR OBAMA TO OBAMA: TAMILS’ LIVES MATTER TOO, AND WE NEED YOUR HELP WASHINTON, DC, USA, September 14, 2015 /EINPresswire.com/ — Tamils for Obama wrote a letter to the White House saying that no justice has ever followed a Sri Lankan investigation of its own people for crimes against Tamils, and urged that these investigations be kept in international community. “We know that when the Sri Lankan government investigates its own officials, nothing comes of it,” said the press spokesman for Tamils for Obama. “We had great hopes for the Obama administration, and we hope now that stories that say the admiration is weakening and ready to put matters back in Sri Lankan hands. “We are saddened by these stories. And hope that Obama, […]

Sampoor Resettlement – Providing Temporary shelters

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Further to the appeal made by Assist Resettlement and Renaissance (Assist RR)  for providing temporary shelters to the Internally Displaced People (IDP) of Sampoor, Assist RR has been building 5 shelters using funds donated by individuals. One of these shelters was handed over to the first family in Sampoor today, 15 Sept 2015. The remaining four houses will be handed over on 17 Sept 2015 by Mr Pushpakumara, the Government Agent of Trincomalee.  Photos of the shelter that was built by Assist RR are attached. Although UNHCR was committed to building only 134 families initially, UNHCR has now agreed to build temporary shelters to all 259 families, who were in the list of displaced people in 2006. However, there are 49 families termed as extended families, […]

TNA briefs UK on need for international hand

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has had talks with the British Government and noted the need for full international participation in all mechanisms established to advance transitional justice in Sri Lanka. TNA Spokesperson and Member of Parliament for Jaffna M. A. Sumanthiran met Hugo Swire, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva. Sumanthiran explained the TNA’s position concerning the importance of full international participation in all mechanisms established to advance Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka, the TNA said. He also stressed the need for the full implementation of the recommendations of the forthcoming report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, by the government of […]

‘Modi must press for international probe’ says PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Dharmapuri MP and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stress on his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe for an international judicial probe into the alleged war crimes in the island nation during the final stages of the civil war. Ranil’s visit In a statement here, Mr. Anbumani said the purpose of Mr. Ranil’s visit to India, which begins on Monday, was to seek India’s help to scuttle a multinational probe into the issue. While the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka is set to be tabled on Wednesday and then taken up for discussion on September 30, the island nation was not willing to even accept a watered […]

Sri Lankan Tamils reject wartime truth commission

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Colombo: Sri Lanka`s minority Tamils Tuesday rejected government plans for a truth commission to promote reconciliation after decades of ethnic war, insisting on an international inquiry. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera unveiled a range of reconciliation measures on Monday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, two days before the release of a long-awaited report on Sri Lanka`s alleged war crimes. But Tamil leaders said the new unity government`s plans for a truth commission and an office for war reparations were not enough, amid concerns abuses would not be properly investigated. “The minister tells us to have confidence and trust them. But … he himself acknowledges that their track record is not good,” said Suresh Premachandran from the Eelam People`s Revolutionary Liberation Front. “That is why […]

Brigadier who ordered Weliweriya shooting arrives amidst protest

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan military officer who allegedly ordered troops to open fire on protesters demanding clean water in the Rathupaswala area in Weliweriya two years back, was escorted out of the airport premises under tight security after he arrived in the island today. Brigadier Deshapriya Gunawardena arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake this morning onboard a Qatar Airways flight. He was escorted out of the airport premises under the protection of the intelligence unit, Ada Derana reporter said. Venerable Theripehe Siri Dhamma Thero had engaged in a protest fast near the airport earlier today, demanding the arrest of the military officer upon arrival in the country. Siri Dhamma Thero, who previously launched a fast-unto-death campaign against a glove-making factory in Weliweriya, reportedly ended […]

Move on to an internationally mandated judicial process

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Over 50 eminent citizens from across the world today in a letter asked the UN Human Rights Council to show courage and consistency when it discusses a report this week on human rights in Sri Lanka and help bring justice to the war crime victims of the country.  The letter, signed by 62 eminent pesonalities from diverse fields, reminds the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that just as it was necessary to set up an international inquiry, so it is now necessary to move on to an internationally mandated judicial process. A purely domestic process in Sri Lanka – run by the government which won the war – would inevitably be a “victors court” and would fail to have that fundamental element: the confidence of the […]

Sri Lanka needs to provide answers says Rapporteur

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The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, says any accountability strategy in Sri Lanka needs to provide answers to key basic questions. He also said that Sri Lanka has the potential to constitute an example for the region and for the world of how a sustainable peace ought to be achieved. In a statement made during the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council today, Pablo de Greiff said that one largely untouched aspect in the area of ‘guarantees of non-recurrence’ is the provision of psychosocial support and trauma counselling. He said that this area of work is central for repairing the social contract (the relationship between the State and the individual) and […]

UN official and President Sirisena hold talks

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Subinay Nandy, had talks with President Maithripala Sirisena today. During the meeting Nandi said the UN Secretary General has assured to support the President and the Government of Sri Lanka with the United Nations technical assistance and contributions to advance reconciliation and inclusive development through dialogue for a sustainable solution to the longstanding ethnic grievances. The President meanwhile said that he will be attending the General debate of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 30th September 2015. The President reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment to all international obligations which it has engaged with and will continue to do so in the future. The meeting comes as the UN gets set to release a […]

TNA wants foreign judges for domestic war crimes probe

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Welcomes new Constitution, calls for maximum devolution by Zacki Jabbar The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday called for the inclusion of foreign judges in the proposed independent domestic investigation into allegations of war crimes against Sri Lanka and the LTTE. Deputy General Secretary of the TNA, M. A. Sumanthiran MP, speaking to The Island over the telephone from Geneva, while the 30th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was on, said that only international participation in Sri Lanka’s accountability process would make it truly independent and credible. Asked if the TNA had no confidence in the pledges given by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government, he replied, “Due to experiences with previous administrations, the people doubt if words would be translated into action. The victims of […]

The Good, the Bad and the Uncouth

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

There is change, and for the better. The presence of the leader of the SLFP at the UNP Convention was something unimaginable even a year ago. Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest at the annual gathering of the UNP and that was a sign of new times, a movement towards a more tolerant and inclusive political culture, an indication that Sri Lanka has changed positively. A Tamil as the leader of opposition too was unimaginable just a year ago. What is encouraging is not just the appointment of R Sampanthan to that post but the total absence of a backlash from Sinhala society. The UPFA right-wingers (Lankan National-Socialists) were banking on a wave of fearful discontent in the South. It did not happen. That absence […]

The body of Prabhakaran shown on TV was not him

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Chennai based ‘man of many faces’, Prof. Emeritus best known as ‘Kargil’ M. Subramaniam, former Indian Naval Marine Commando involved in covert operations for India, claims that the body of the man exposed as LTTE leader Prabhakaran was in fact not him and that there were more chances that Prabhakaran, his wife and daughter may have been killed in the white van that was ambushed a few days before the final day of the war by the Sri Lankan troops. By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan in tamil nadu In an exclusive interview with Ceylon Today, Prof. Subramaniam who also served as an official of the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) explained the reasons why India was not given a proper death certificate and a DNA test […]

CBK Re-Enters Active Politics

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has re-entered active politics while accepting the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s ( SLFP) Chief Organiser post for the Attanagalle electorate. Kumaratunga’s Chief of Staff Justin Navaratne said today that Kumaratunga will function as the SLFP organizer for Attangalle with immediate effect.

The post of Attanagalle SLFP Chief Organiser had remained vacant during the recent past. Arjuna Ranatunge who was appointed as the SLFP organizer of Attanagalle vacated the post after a brief stint to contest the last parliamentary polls under the UNP ticket. Kumaratunga however has been playing a very active role in politics in the recent past and is considered as the main protagonist in convincing Sirisena to contest the last Presidential polls. Quite alive to the threat posed by […]

Only India can pull Sri Lanka out of trouble

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

There is a lot of convergence in the outlook of the leaderships of the two countries than before. Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is neither a stranger to the inner circle of New Delhi politics nor an unfamiliar personality in the North Block. However, during the last one year, his profile has undergone a welcome makeover. This seasoned political leader, known more for his failures than successes in his repeated forays for power, pulled a political coup of sorts. With the help of current Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena, another political veteran though from the opposition, Wickremesinghe thwarted former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid for power twice! The duo defeated Rajapaksa’s bid for a third term as president in January, and seven months later, they outsmarted Rajapaksa’s […]

NPC Reiterates Its Call For International Probe

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The Northern Provincial Council has reiterated its call for an international probe into alleged acts of genocidecommitted against the Tamils during the war. The Northern PC has reiterated its call to coincide with the UN Human Rights Council 30th session which began in Geneva yesterday. Also the UNHRC office yesterday announced that it will make public the UN report on the investigation into the alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of the war against the LTTE on Wednesday. A senior TNA member of the Northern PC said today that the council will not accept the domestic probe proposed by the government and will insist on an international investigation. He said that the northern and Eastern Tamils who bore the brunt of the war […]

Sambanthan & Crisis Of The Opposition

15th September 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. I. Keethaponcalan – Once, Tamils were more Sri Lankan (or rather Ceylonese) than the Sinhalese. When the Kandyan National Assembly and Bandaranaike were demanding a federal setup in Sri Lanka, resistance came from Tamil leaders. Although, G. G. Ponnampalam’s 50-50 demand entailed an unfair equation it was still a Colombo-centric formula. Even today, Tamil political leadership is extremely Colombo oriented and spends more time in Colombo than in their electorates in the North and East. Lack of power and opportunities in the center immensely contributed to the Tamil demand for separation. Accommodating minorities including the Tamils at the center and at the national level certainly could be one of the ways to promote national integration. Therefore, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sambanthan’s appointment […]