October 2015

Sri Lanka and its Tamil political detainees

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The jail system in Sri Lanka and the fate of prisoners who are being held therein have been discussed on several occasions, when major violence occurred within the system. However, the most recent discussion was based on a hunger strike a group of detained political prisoners had launched. According to the information we have received, these detainees have been held without charges for a period much longer than the time they would have been spent, even if they had been convicted for any charges possibly brought against them. Some of them would have been taken into custody much before the end of the armed conflict in 2009. Even under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), pre-trial detention of individuals is limited to a maximum of […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa was Ready to give Self-rule to Tamils and Make Prabhakaran Leader in a Backroom Deal Reveals Erik Solheim

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London Former Norwegian Norwegian Development Minister and peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim claimed last week that the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa was willing to give self-rule to Tamils within the Sri Lankan state without calling for elections in that region. “Rajapaksa wanted to do a backroom deal to make Prabhakaran the leader there. He portrayed himself as the great savior of the Sinhalese, but was ready for any dirty deal for his own survival and if it helped his political fortunes”. Solheim was speaking at the launch of Mark Salter’s book “To End a Civil War – Norway’s Peace Engagement with Sri Lanka” at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the […]

UK based dual citizen Manoj Warnapala as the head of the Consular Division of the Sri Lankan HC in London

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The United National Party, UK Branch as well as British Sri Lanka Forum have strongly protested against the appointment of a UK based dual citizen Manoj Warnapala as the head of the Consular Division of the Sri Lankan HC in London. They alleged that Warnapala being a lawyer and UK qualified solicitor could benefit from the diplomatic appointment at the expense of other Sri Lankan lawyers/law firms. Those campaigning against the appointment asserted that the government favoured Warnapala as he was the son-in-law of Eastern Province Governor and former Polonnaruwa District Government Agent Austin Fernando. They also expressed concern over the appointment of a person outside the Foreign Service and Administrative Service to handle confidential documents at the mission. They have made representations to Foreign […]

Historic Exodus Out Of Jaffna

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel – “This mass exodus of half a million Tamils proclaims to the world that our people are determined to live as free beings with dignity and prepared to face any form of suffering to be independent rather than subjecting themselves to domination by the aggressor’’ – (LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on 27th Nov.1995) The night of Monday October 30, 1995 was a black night in the entire history of the age-old City of Jaffna. Never has history witnessed such an exodus of fear and panic stricken people screaming and squeezing themselves out of the narrow roads and lanes of Jaffna. Nearly half a million population in and around the Town was literally on the roads in pouring rain inching […]

Lankan woman elected Mayor in Australian city

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan born woman whose family fled riots for a better life has been elected the first Greens mayor in Moreland, an Australian city. South Ward councillor Samantha Ratnam won the mayoral vote 6-5 over Labor candidate Cr Lita Gillies, bringing an end to the ALP’s stranglehold on the mayorship, the Herald Sun reported. Cr Ratnam had been unsuccessful in the previous two mayoral votes, but secured the vote of independent councillor Helen Davidson, who had backed Labor candidates in previous mayoral votes. “I was more confident this year than the past two years, when I was pretty sure I did not have the numbers, but until the hands went up I was not sure it was going to happen,” Cr Ratnam said. “The […]

Geneva Resolution & The TNA

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By M.A. Sumanthiran – As I begin, I must put on record and correct certain misapprehensions that some Members seem to be harbouring with regard to our Party’s position in respect of this Resolution. I will read out the statement that we issued on the day the Resolution was adopted. It states, I quote: “The Tamil National Alliance welcomes the passage of today’s resolution on Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council.” We have welcomed it. “We welcome, in particular, Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of the resolution indicating their willingness to implement it in full. The TNA has already welcomed the tabling of the draft last week after consensus was reached, and reiterate those sentiments. We hope that the spirit of cooperation that enabled consensus will animate […]

TNA delivers thundering political slap to Karuna

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

by M. Haniff Former SLFP Vice President and one-time top LTTE member Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, who boasts of mass Tamil support in the North and East would not get the blessings of the Tamil masses even though he joins the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), a Tamil National Alliance politician from Trincomalee said. Kandasamy Selvaraja, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Trincomalee Urban Council from 2006 to 2015, pointed out that the Tamils would not forget Karuna’s leadership for ruining the unity of the Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims. “I do not think the Tamils would be foolish enough to take a risk with Karuna once again. We want to live as Sri Lankans and be better recognised than Singapore,” Selvaraja, popularly known as […]

Tamil Civil Society Forum calls for the Government to be “honest and truthful”

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) took part in a civil society consultation meeting attended by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today (29 October 2015) on the process to be adopted in consulting victims regarding mechanisms for Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka . In the discussion note circulated during the meeting, the TCSF raised concerns regarding the security situation for such a process, calling for a process to “prevent the interference of the armed forces, police and their intelligence”. “The larger questions is as to how a transparent and open VCP (victim consultation process) could be conducted with the overwhelming presence of the military in the North-East?,” asked the discussion note. “If the Government accepts this is a concern how does it hope to tackle this […]

Only 226 Tamils in Jail Relating to “Terrorist”Offences;Of these 48 convicted while 116 and 62 have Cases Against them in High Courts and Magistrates Courts Respectively

30th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By P.K.Balachandran COLOMBO: The Ranil Wickremesinghe government is open to the idea of allowing Tamils held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to get bail, the Minister for National Dialogue on ethnic issues Mano Ganeshan told Express here on Wednesday. Ganeshan said that those under trial and those detained without any charges having been filed against them yet, could be enlarged on bail. But those who had been convicted could be released only by the President of the country. Releasing convicts is a Presidential prerogative, he explained. However, the Commissioner of Prisons, Rohana Pushpakumara told this correspondent that there is no one in detention now without a charge. Forty eight have been convicted and are serving a sentence, 116 have cases against them in […]

Sri Lanka tells UK investors to partner and profit from new resurgence

30th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Nisthar Cassim in London Sri Lanka yesterday urged UK-based investors to partner and profit from new resurgence and opportunity in the country under better governance and supportive policies. The message was conveyed at the Invest Sri Lanka Forum organised in London by the Colombo Stock Exchange in association with the Sri Lanka High Commission in UK and Bloomberg. “We have a new Sri Lanka. Have confidence in the new Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. We deliver on what we promise and we will have consistent and coherent policies. Come and partner and profit from this transformation in Sri Lanka,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told the Forum held at The Savoy Hotel in London. Nearly 150 London-based fund managers, […]

Did Pillayan kill Raviraj?

30th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Did Pillayan kill Raviraj? CID seeks Swiss assistance to arrest main suspect Charan Gun that killed former MP passed on to Charan by Pillayan Ridma Dissanayake The Criminal Investigation Department officials investigating the murder of TNA Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj has linked Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan’s name to the murder. CID sleuths have sought Swiss assistance to arrest the main suspect in the murder named Charan who is said to be a close ally of former Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan also known as Pillayan. Charan is living in Switzerland, the officials said. The CID official said that the weapon used to kill former parliamentarian Raviraj has reached the killer through a Colonel. The sources said that the colonel was arrested on suspicion over the abduction and […]

Plight of Tamils should be remembered – Prof. Yogarajah

30th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Pranavesh Sivakumar Prof. S. Yogarajah from the Eastern Province University’s Tamil Department has urged that the next generation should also be mindful of the plight the Tamil minority people have undergone. “The person behind the establishment of Ampara District’s Tamil Writers’ Union late Kamalaambihai Lohitharajah had enormously served for the society and is really laudable. She always proved and prevailed to bring out the rich history of the district. Every writer should attempt to bring out the history of its distict,” professor hailed the late writer. Prof. S. Yogarajah hailed the late Kamalaambihai the instrument behind Ampara District’s Tamil Writers’ Union at a memorial lecture held at the community centre in Kalmunai recently. “She chiefly made the world aware of the reality. As far […]

A Ray of Hope for those Looking for War Missing

30th October 2015 // 0 Comments

PAVAKODICHENNAI, Sri Lanka, Oct 29 2015 (IPS) – Thavarasa Utharai’s most treasured belongings are stuck inside several plastic bags and tucked within old traveling bags. Inside, wrapped in more plastic sheets, are old fading photographs, scrap books, legal documents and even some old bills. These are the only processions the 36 year old mother of two has to show of her husband. He went missing on March 20, 2009 while returning home after tending to his cattle. No one really knows what happened to him. “They took him, I know they did, I know the person who did it also,” Utharai says of suspected abductors who she says were linked to government military. The abduction took place as a three decade old bloody civil conflict […]

UN engagement in post-conflict Sri Lanka

30th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Neville Ladduwahetty With the co-sponsoring by Sri Lanka of the UNHRC Resolution “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” dated September 29, 2015, a chapter has come to a close. This closure marks the beginnings of a new chapter which is the implementation of the undertakings in the resolution. It is being speculated whether Sri Lanka is obligated to implement the provisions strictly as stated in the resolution on grounds of being a co-sponsor or whether there is room for flexibility in its implementation. For instance, Paragraph 4 of the Resolution states: “Welcomes…the proposal by the Government to establish a commission for truth, justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence, an office of missing persons and an office for reparations, further welcomes the willingness of the […]

Most respected Sri Lankan Tamil living outside Sri Lanka the GTF chief accepts invitation to visit Lanka

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

President of the proscribed Global Tamil Forum Fr. S.J. Emmauel says he has accepted the invitation by the Sri Lanka president and the foreign minister to come to Sri Lanka to assist in the process of reconciliation. He has told Switzerland’s ‘Zeit-Fragen’ newspaper in an interview, “Some young people immediately said: You have to go. But it will take time to see how the country is developing now. In order to contribute to reconciliation I will continue to speak and to write.”   As a religious person – when I travel to Sri Lanka – I want to encourage all Christians towards reconciliation. I am convinced that the whole affair is a big challenge for both sides. For example, the victims, the affected people, who […]

Maithiri or Ranil rules Sri Lanka?

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil political prisoners Called off Hunger Strike Following President Sirisena Pledge of Resolving Issue by November 7th but now PM says NO WAY! The hunger strike by suspected Tamil political prisoners was called off on the 16th October on an assurance given by the President Maithiri to establish a mechanism to look into their grievances and  finish the process between October 31 and November 7. In retaliation  to the announcement of President Maithiri PM Ranil Wickremasinge who wants to show his power announced today that the ‘Sri Lankan Government’ Refused To Grant Amnesty To Tamil Political Prisoners as promised by President Maithiri before 7th of November. The government today ruled out the granting of a general amnesty to nearly 300 Tamil political prisoners (some held for over 15 years without trial) who engaged in a hunger strike recently, […]

Former Sri Lankan minister to stand trial for 1987 murder in Chennai

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: Former Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda is all set to stand trial before a Chennai court through video conferencing from Colombo in 28-year-old murder case. It was in the preceding night of Diwali in 1987 that Douglas and nine other Sri Lankan Tamils were involved in a shootout at Choolaimedu in Chennai. One person was killed in the incident. Though all were arrested, they absconded after being released on bail. Non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against Douglas who later became a minister in Rajapaksa government. At the end of civil war in 2009, he was part of a diplomatic delegation visiting India and calling on the President and Prime Minister. At that time it was TOI which exposed the fact that he was supposed […]

Jaffna varsity keen on pact with Indian universities

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

‘Women among survivors of civil are looking for career growth’ The University of Jaffna is keen on building links with the Indian universities to strengthen the educational and cultural relationship between India and Sri Lanka, according to its Vice-Chancellor Vasanthi Arasaratnam. She told presspersons here on Tuesday on the sidelines of conference on “Women entrepreneurship ecosystem-present and future” organised by the National Institute of Technology-Tiruchi that the University of Jaffna had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Madras. The linkages would bolster the relationship between two countries. Recollecting the financial help rendered by the Indian government on educational sector, Ms. Arasaratnam said it had granted Rs. 600 million for two universities for creating infrastructure for engineering and agricultural engineering. The University of […]

Jayalalithaa seeks Modi’s help to secure release of 34 fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to secure the release of 34 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on Monday night. “I request you to immediately direct the concerned officials in the ministry of external affairs to contact their counterparts in Sri Lanka and ensure that the 34 fishermen arrested on October 26 are released forthwith along with the 86 fishermen who are due to be released on October 28,” said Jayalalithaa in the letter. The chief minister also requested the Prime Minister to take up the issue of releasing 46 boats in Sri Lankan custody. “The arrest and detention of these fishermen who were peacefully engaged in fishing activities […]

Sri Lanka Breaches Agreements & Promises!

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan – The UN Human Rights Council – UN HRC resolution (A/HRC/30/L.29) was successfully passed on 1 October 2015, by so-called “consensus”! It is a victory neither for the government of Sri Lanka nor for the victims, mainly the Tamils. But it is surely a victory for countries which have interests in Sri Lanka – the US and India. Those who attended the 30th session of the UN HRC will be aware that this resolution was not agreed by a true consensus. We listened not only to interventions by China, Pakistan, Russia and Cuba during two informal consultations on the draft resolution, but also to interventions made in the Council. Those informal meetings were fraught with fierce fighting on the part of […]

1 2 3 12