October 2015

Sampanthan tells Tamils not to fear investigations based on UNHRC resolution

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dinasena Rathugamage, Vavuniya Corr Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan on Saturday said that Tamils should not harbour any doubts or fears as regards the proposed investigations into alleged war crimes. Addressing a press conference in Jaffna after meeting people there on Saturday, Opposition Leader Sampanthan said that various opinions had been expressed in the media following the release of the UNHRC report and the adoption of a US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka, but Tamil people should not take any of them seriously. Those probes would not threaten the interests of the Tamils, he stressed. If there were any threats to the interests of Tamil people by such investigations, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would counter them without letting the aspirations of Tamils be undermined, the Opposition Leader […]

Post Geneva: Torture Claims And “Historic Win”

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

by Easwaran Rutnam The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) concluded its 30th session last week with the Government scoring, what it claims to be a “historic victory” by being able to win the support of the entire Council for the resolution on Sri Lanka. However, that historic victory got off to a bad start with the police being accused of alleged torture in the Seya Sadewmi rape and murder case. The 17-year-old boy arrested as a suspect in the case had claimed that he was tortured and abused before being released when the CID found that he had no direct links to the rape and murder of the child. The issue of torture also drew the attention of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights […]

I’m Not An Enemy Of The Sinhala People: Wiggie

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

“I am not an enemy of the Sinhala people” Chief Minister of Northern province C.V. Wigneswaran said while speaking in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena at a public function in the Kilinochchi area today. Wigneswaran who has been at loggerheads with both the government and the party which lifted him to the CM’s post (TNA), sounded a conciliatory note at the event. Addressing a gathering in Iranamadu, Kilinochchi where President Sirisena launched programme to encourage the cultivation of local food crops, Wigneswaran said that he hoped Sirisena will deliver lasting peace and prosperity which have so far eluded the nation. Speaking in Sinhala, Wigneswaran said it was important for both Sinhala and Tamil people to work in unison while giving due respect to equality […]

Don’t allow Govt. to use ‘Geneva’ to obscure burning issues

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The government should not be allowed to sweep under  the carpet the burning issues confronted by the masses by bringing up the human rights issue taken up in Geneva and having various dialogues about it says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (4th) to clarify the party’s stand on the resolution adopted at the UNHRC. Speaking further Mr. Tilvin Silva said, “As the resolution regarding Sri Lanka was adopted in UNHRC in Geneva the government defines it as a victory it has achieved. Also, the government states there is no harm to the country as a result of adopting the resolution. On the other hand […]

International scrutiny and involvement will be central

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Six and a half years ago the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted to congratulate the government of Sri Lanka for its commitment to human rights. It was arguably the most shameful moment in the Council’s short history. The government they were praising had allegedly just massacred tens of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians, after encouraging them to gather in government designated “No Fire Zones” at the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009. Those killings were followed by a series of filmed incidents in which bound, naked prisoners were executed and women prisoners systematically violated and murdered by government forces, captured in a series of videos verified by the UN and human rights groups, where Sri Lankan soldiers were apparently operating in […]

Jaya asks Modi to dump Indo-Lankan pacts

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that India nullify the “unconstitutional” Indo-Sri Lankan Agreements of 1974 and 1976. The demand was prompted by recent arrest of seven fishermen from Nagapatttinam by the Sri Lankan navy. The arrested fishermen are in custody at Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka. Jayalalithaa said the belligerent act of the Lankan navy adds to the immense frustration among the fishermen community of Tamil Nadu. “These repeated apprehensions of our innocent fishermen are done with a motive to intimidate and prevent our fishermen from venturing into their traditional fishing waters in the Palk Bay, which has always been a traditional fishing area,” she said. She reiterated that the government of India should not treat the International Maritime Boundary […]

After The UN Resolution What?

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. Sivathasan – For years together, three primary entities; UN, Tamils in Sri Lanka and outside and the Sri Lankan government more reactively than pro-actively were engaged in getting the Resolution passed. For plain sailing, sails were trimmed selectively. Now throwing the trimmings to the waves, vision needs to be riveted on navigation: direction, speed and avoidance of shoals. With UN surveillance, no shipwreck is anticipated. UN High Commissioner Zeid Al Hussein has inspired confidence as an able helmsman. With belief in ourselves and trust in the UN and the HC to be constant like the North Star, we can nurture a positive frame of mind. What is Primary by the Tamils? Recognizing that the phase of post war coldness is over after six […]

British High Commissioner congratulates Informatics Institute of Technology

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The British High Commissioner has congratulated Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) for its contribution to local private higher education in Sri Lanka over the past 25 years. The achievement was recognized at an event held at the High Commissioner’s residence last night, attended by Professor Geoffrey Petts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Westminster, along with key partners from academia and industry who have supported the institute over the years and a selection of their distinguished alumni. Congratulating IIT on 25 years of work in the education sector, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris said, “IIT have been a pioneer provider of British university education in Sri Lanka for 25 years, producing over 3,000 Sri Lankan graduates. UK education standards are highly valued around […]

Missing Persons Presidential Commission starts work in North

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Special Investigative Team appointed by the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons has commenced investigations in the North into cases identified by the Commission during the conducting of Public Sittings. The investigative team is headed by a Senior Retired High Court Judge and consists of five senior ex-police officers specialized in carrying out investigations. A lady investigative officer has also been included in the investigative team, chosen from the areas in which investigations are to be conducted. Subsequent to carrying out in depth investigations into cases identified by the Commission, a report would be submitted by the head of the Investigative Team to the Chairman of the Commission who will, based upon the Report, take steps to recommend to the President […]

Geneva overshadows Lanka’s meetings in New York

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Geneva overshadows Lanka’s meetings in New York NEW YORK – The Sri Lanka delegation — which spent nearly a week at the United Nations participating in the high-level segment of the annual debate, with over 150 world leaders in attendance — remained more focused on the meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva than on the General Assembly session in New York. The two meetings, by coincidence, overlapped taking place during the same week. Clearly, the shadow of Geneva was hanging over the delegation in New York, and pursuing it in most of the bilateral meetings. The interaction between New York and Geneva was punctuated by scores of phone calls and emails aimed at revising and tweaking the text of the resolution – primarily on reconciliation, […]

Raviraj Murderer In Custody

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The murderer of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) parliamentarian Nadaraja Raviraj has been taken into custody along with another individual allegedly connected with the 2006 assassination of the Tamil politician. The Sunday Leader learns that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has taken into custody the individual who had allegedly assassinated Raviraj as well as the individual who had transported the alleged assassin following the murder. The two individuals in custody is a Navy Petty Officer names Senevi and a former police constable named Manamperi. According to the investigation, Senevi has been identified as the individual who had carried out the assassination. Sources from the CID said that the weapon that was used to assassinate Raviraj was initially issued to a former LTTE leader from the […]

Political Will The Key Says Mano

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

by Waruni Karunarathne National dialogue failed not due to lack of mechanisms but due to lack of political will, says Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganesan. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Minster Ganesan said the Department of Official Languages was established as early as 1956 and the Official Languages Commission came to a operation in 1991. “Hence, there has been mechanism established already for national dialogue. But there has not been a political will for that during the previous governments that came to power,” he added. According to Minister Ganesan, there is now a political will in the country unlike in the past, and he will reorganize the existing mechanism in order to successfully build national dialogue.  He said that even though he was appointed […]

Tamil Eelam is the solution: Ramadoss

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

PMK leader S. Ramadoss on Saturday said that if Sri Lanka was ready for an international inquiry into the “war crimes and human rights violations,” the United Nations should hold a referendum among the Sri Lankan Tamils across the world for the creation of a separate Tamil Eelam. “Tamils cannot live in peace and with dignity in a country that refuses to change its attitude and is not allowing an international inquiry,” he said in a statement. India and the U.S. should take steps to conduct an international inquiry as Sri Lanka, in the last half a century, had not fulfilled any of the promises made to the Tamils. “The international community should not allow itself to be short-changed by the Sri Lankan government,” he […]

Karuna Ready To Face Inquiry

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Former minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman denied allegations directed at him by the recent report released by the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Amongst many serious nature of crimes, the report highlighted extensive recruitment and use of children in armed conflict by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and by the paramilitary groups specifically highlighting ‘Karuna group’ in the report. When The Sunday Leader questioned about those allegations, Karuna Amman refused being involved in any such activities. “Soon after I broke away from the LTTE, I fled to India. When I returned to Sri Lanka, I joined the SLFP, thus joining the mainstream politics. I neither formed any group nor was involved in any paramilitary groups after breaking away […]

What happened to Vithya’s DNA evidence?

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

BY CASSENDRA DOOLE AND RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY In May of 2015, an 18 year old Vithya Sivaloganathan’s badly mangled body was discovered in Pungudutivu, Jaffna. She had been gang raped and murdered. The result of the DNA sample taken from her body has not yet been analyzed. Last month, September, four year old Seya Sadewmi’s mutilated little body was discovered, she too had been raped and murdered. Of the three suspects arrested in connection with this murder, two were released after DNA evidence taken from the victim’s body did not match, DNA evidence from the suspects. The Genetech Molecular Diagnostics is a private organization which is Sri Lanka’s only method to pave the way for DNA testing. This organization is currently in charge of analyzing both […]

Probe on Namal’s Companies

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

“Gowers Corporate Services Pvt Ltd has recorded an earning of Rs. 81 million in the 2013/2014 financial year” by Mandana Ismail  Abeywickrema The police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) has last week raided a company operated by former First Son and United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa as part of a probe being carried out under the Money Laundering Act. The FCID is carrying out a probe covering the operations of six companies operated by Rajapaksa – Hello Corp Pvt Ltd, Gowers Corporate Services Pvt Ltd, Gowers Solutions, Gowers Secretariat, Gowers Ceylon Holdings and NR Consultancy. The Sunday Leader learns that FCID officers had commenced a probe on Gowers Corporate Services Pvt Ltd on Friday and is to continue investigating the other companies as […]

I Have Faith In The Current Regime – Dharmalingam Siddharthan

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Leader of the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam  (PLOTE) and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Dharmalingam Siddharthan is of the view that while an international investigation was what the Tamils wanted, their demands have been downplayed by suggestions of a domestic investigation.However  in an interview with The Sunday LeaderSiddharthan said that although he does not have complete faith in a local mechanism, he has faith in the current regime and hopes that with international observers justice will be done. Following are excerpts of the interview: by Camelia Nathaniel Q: The Prime Minister has said that three main offices will be set up namely the Missing Persons Office, Special Counsel’s office and the Truth Commission. What is your take on this? A: In the past […]

People Will Soon Come To Know The Truth – Rajitha Senarathna

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

by Camelia Nathaniel and Dilishia Aberatne The United States of America has commended Sri Lanka’s commitment over the United Nations Human Rights report. Sri Lankan Government’s decision to join as a co-sponsor paved the way for all to work together to deliver the commitments reflected in the resolution. The resolution marks an important step toward a credible transitional justice process, owned by Sri Lankans and with the support and involvement of the international community. However, there are others who feel that a Resolution of this kind, in which we directly join the United States as a co-sponsor, imperils Sri Lanka’s well-being beyond redemption. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said some are trying to give negative responses regarding the […]

USA made sure that Sri Lanka dug its own grave in Geneva in 2015.

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

“I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine…. War is hell’ (Gen William T Sherman the US General who made ‘Georgia howl’ and burned Atlanta in the Civil war) The USA made sure that Sri Lanka dug its own grave in Geneva in 2015. Looks like the GTF, the Policy Alteration boys, and the International Community (read “white eyes only”) had been working overtime on wording the joint submission by USA and good old SL. The so called HR abuses read like a US Army Regimental war diary from its many wars in so many countries (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a hundred others). The term ‘human shield’ which is how the LTTE kept the Sri Lanka army at bay for […]

MR slams resolution, defends ties with Gaddafi

4th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Gaddafi agreed to lend 500 million USD to Sri Lanka in response to a single phone call from me. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says though the passage of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) without a vote last Thursday is being hailed as a diplomatic victory for Sri Lanka, he is unable to share that view. Rajapaksa raised concerns over some clauses in the resolution, including operative paragraph 6 which affirms the importance of the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators in the Sri Lankan judicial mechanism to be set up to investigate alleged human rights abuses during the war. “After its passage, the Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka has now been ‘taken off the agenda in the […]

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