October 2015

Why Has Sri Lanka Never Considered Demobilization?

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. Sivathasan – Aftermath of World War II To consolidate the peace dividend, very high on the agenda of the principal warring nations was demobilization. The end of the War demanded it from early May 1945 and earnest steps were in motion by June, the same year. It would suffice to examine facts and figures of two nations which were allies in war and then partners in the peace process. They were USA & UK. What was the objective? To stop the drain of resources into unproductive channels; to give a fresh lease of life to war weary soldiers; integrate them into civil society and to convert them into productive resources. Demobilization was the formula and it was implemented. Such a step was treated […]

Independent Commissions a Huge Hoax

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The first resignation of a member appointed to an independent commission was reported yesterday (26 October) with Lionel Fernando tendering his resignation within a week, reportedly for “personal” reasons. His name appeared as appointed to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) by the President on 22 October. Yet to go on public record is the information that Justice Salam has allegedly rejected his appointment. He was initially recommended to the Constitutional Council (CC) as one of the 03 members representing civil society, but instead was appointed to the Public Service Commission (PSC). What is happening with independent commissions justifies the claim”…. It was the pledge to have a government that would be transparent and accountable that made the people elect you as President […]

Wrongdoers Should Be Punished

29th October 2015 // 0 Comments

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya The political environment of our country took a different turn since the beginning of this year. Many have called it a ‘transition period’. While all the political statuses remained heated up, the birth of a new political culture have set an example for all in the political arena. However, as the present government came into power, among the promises it had given to the people was the promise of finding and punishing the culprits who are responsible for the misdeeds of the previous government. And having faith on the vows, on January 08 the people in Sri Lanka gave their mandate in favour of creating a new political culture in the country. As soon as the government was formed, charges were filed […]

War crimes probe: Relevance of leaked US cables and UK court case

28th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Foreign experts highlight previous government’s failure By Shamindra Ferdinando The report on the Second Mandate of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances, aka the Paranagama Commission, highlighted the relevance of Wikileaks cables in assessing the accountability issues in Sri Lanka. The Norwegian government underlined the relevance of Wikileaks revelations, pertaining to Sri Lanka, in Sept. 2011. A comprehensive report, titled Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka, stressed the importance of Wikileaks. In fact, the authors of the report deeply regretted their failure to examine the entire set of Wikileaks cables on the wartime situation (2006-2010). The authors said: “As the report was being published, new material of relevance for assessing Norwegian peace efforts in Sri […]

”Sri Lanka security forces committed War Crimes” says Mahinda and Vasu

28th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should reveal to the nation why he had skipped a three-day parliamentary debate on Geneva resolution, Skills Development and Vocational Training State Minister Palitha Range Bandara said. Minister Bandara said that Rajapaksa had skipped the parliamentary debate last Friday (23) as he was speechless on Geneva issue. The Minister was addressing a party meeting in Puttalam. Former President Rajapaksa refrained from participating in the adjournment debate on Geneva UNHRC report that alleged human rights violations during the last phase of the war. But, he, however, delivered a speech at the Abayarama Temple in Colombo on Sunday (25), claiming that the country was faced with a serious threat due to the government’s agreement with the UNHRC recommendations. If Rajapaksa […]

Foreign technical assistance and observers sought

28th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Maxwell Paranagama Retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama, who headed the Presidential Commission to Investigate Into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons yesterday told The Island that in case the government of Sri Lanka established a purely a domestic mechanism without the participation of foreign judges, the proposed tribunal should secure international technical assistance. The Commission also called for the process to be monitored by foreign observers. Paranagama said that he felt an urgent need for clarifying the matter as some of the recommendations made in the Commission’s Second Mandate report had been misinterpreted in some quarters. Many questioned whether the Commission had recommended a domestic or foreign process for accountability, Paranagama said, adding that the paragraph 625 of the report dealt with the issue of accountability. […]

Sri Lanka’s ‘White-flag’ Massacre was ordered by Rajapaksa!

28th October 2015 // 0 Comments

It is taken as a fact that Lakshman Kadirgamar — Foreign Minister from 1994 to 2005 with a three-year break in-between — was Sri Lanka’s best diplomat who played a major role in getting the LTTE banned as a terrorist group in the United States and the European Union. His outstanding diplomatic skills helped Sri Lanka to go through some of the worst years of the war and win international support from the United States and Western Europe, India, Russia and China till he was assassinated on August 12, 2005. In Parliament last Friday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe dropped a bombshell relating to the assassination of former foreign minister Kadirgamar by the LTTE. Speaking during the two-day debate on the Geneva Resolution, the Prime Minister […]

Sri Lanka’s Army Plays by the Old Rules

28th October 2015 // 0 Comments

“Our ancestors lived here,” said the elderly woman. She and a dozen other Muslim inhabitants of the village of Kasankurni spoke to a Sri Lankan activist and me last week from outside makeshift homes where they have struggled to survive for four years. “The army started by taking our maize and other crops.  Then they blocked our children from going to school. They said the land belongs to them.” EXPAND Sri Lankan military base at Kasankerni in eastern Sri Lanka that displaced 69 families in November 2011. Kasankurni lies astride a crocodile-infested river an hour’s drive south of Sri Lanka’s eastern port city of Batticaloa. In November 2011, two years after the end of the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the […]

Geneva-PARANAGAMA-UDALAGAMA RANIL TABLES ALL THREE REPORTS

21st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Gagani Weerakoon & Skandha Gunasekara The Maxwell Paranagama Commission appointed to inquire into abductions and disappearances has rejected the suggestion that civilians were either targeted directly or indiscriminately by the Sri Lanka Army as part of an alleged genocide move and has concluded that it was the LTTE who killed a majority of Tamil civilians during the last 12 hours of the final stage of the war. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled the Maxwell Paranagama Commission report and the Nissanka Udalagama Commission report along with the UNHRC report on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka. “In arriving at its findings about the LTTE, the Commission was cognisant of the fact that every major NGO and many international organisations recognized the parasitic conduct of […]

CHR slams Opposition

21st October 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody and Rathinda Kuruwita MPs, Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Dinesh Gunawardena will carry out an all-out attack on the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Resolution in Parliament on 22 and 23 October, the Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) noted. Talks of reconciliation and transitional justice is pointless without the release of the Udalagama and Paranagama Presidential Commission of Inquiry reports to the public domain, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE ) and the CHR opined, adding that the said reports were the ‘bare minimum’ necessary to begin a new domestic investigation. It is also clear that these two Commissions have interviewed a large number of persons (including family members) who have lost their loved ones and have […]

Lanka gets down to rehabilitate women after long war

21st October 2015 // 0 Comments

ISLAMABAD: As Sri Lanka comes to grips at the end of 26-years-long war between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), the nation now focuses on the status of women and their future rehabilitation, it is also a reminder for Pakistani women displaced because of militancy, ethnic strife and military operations. Shyamala Gomez, Country Director for an NGO Fokus, recently made available to The News several studies pertaining to women and their status as Female Heads of Households( FHHs) and their Access to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(AESCR) in the aftermath of civil war. These studies were carried out in the in Anuradhapura District, Ampara District and the third, a Survey on the Status of Muslim Female Heads of […]

“No Fire Zone – Sri Lanka Killing Fields” was genuine and its allegations merited a judicial investigation, Sri Lanka troops committed war crimes: Rajapaksa’s panel

21st October 2015 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – The war crimes investigation set up by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has made startling revelations that senior military commanders should be hauled up for criminal prosecutions. The Maxell Paranagama commission appointed in 2013 in what many at the time feared was an attempt to white wash the security forces has surprisingly produced a shockingly frank report amounting to an indictment of the former regime. The Paranagama commission was asked to investigate the credibility of the major war crimes allegations that were levelled against government forces after crushing the Tamil Tiger rebels and declaring an end to 37 years of ethnic war in May 2009. The report dated August 2015, eight months after the defeat of Rajapaksa, noted that the allegations of war crimes […]

15 SOUTH ASIAN LIBERAL MP’S ELECTED IN ONTARIO, RATHIKA LOST

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

It’s been raining South Asian MPs as 15 of them from the Liberal Party got elected on Monday. As The VOICE reported back in August, South Asian candidates who ran for the Conservative Party, the NDP and the Liberal Party in Ontario came from diverse backgrounds – and from every corner of the world and included Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Christians. But above all things, they were highly qualified professionally and experience-wise in their respective fields. There were 16 South Asian candidates running as Liberals – and ALL BUT ONE won. There were 12 who ran as New Democrats (they included Martin Singh who is a Caucasian Sikh married to a South Asian Sikh) and 10 as Conservatives. All three South Asian MPs – Conservative Bal Gosal […]

Gary Anandasangaree elected to Canadian Parliament as the Liberal Party MP of Scarborough – Rouge Park

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

A 43 year old lawyer Sri Lankan Tamil origin has been elected as a Canadian member of Parliament from the Liberal party at the 42nd Canadian general elections held on October 19th 2015. He is none other than the son of veteran Sri Lankan Tamil politician Veerasingham Anandasangaree leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF) who was formerly MP for Kilinochchi electorate and Jaffna electoral district. Anandasangaree’s second son Sathiyasangaree Anandasangaree known as Gary Anandasangaree was elected from the newly created Scarborough – Rouge park constituency polling 28, 471 votes. The constituency termed “riding” in Canada is in the Ontario province of Canada. Canada’s first ever Federal MP of Sri Lankan Tamil origin Radhika Sitsabaiesan lost her seat in the adjoining Scarborough North constituency. She […]

CA allows to record Army Chief’s, MI’s statements

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Court of Appeal today issued an order directing the Homagama Magistrate to summon Army Commander A.W.J.C. de Silva and the Director of Military Intelligence Corps and other officers to inquire and record evidence in respect of the ongoing inquiry into the disappearance of veteran journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. The Bench comprising Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda (President) and H.C.J. Madawala issued this order pursuant to a motion filed on behalf of Ekneligoda’s wife. Court also granted permission to include these army officers as added respondents in the Habeas Corpus writ application and issued notice on them returnable for October 30. The motion states that the petitioners are reliably informed of several developments in the matter that have a direct bearing and connection to this application. It […]

Govt. hopeful EU will lift ban on SL fish exports before year end

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said that he was hopeful that the European Union (EU) would, before the year end, lift the ban on Sri Lanka fish exports, imposed in January this year. Amaraweera told The Island that the government had taken action to ensure that the fishermen complied with all the conditions laid down by the EU. The government was eagerly awaiting the European Union’s assessment of Lankan crackdown on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, said the minister. The EU had laid down 57 conditions and the Fisheries Ministry had ensured that all of them would be met, he added. “I took up the issue with EU officials during a recent visit to Spain. I also briefed them on how Sri […]

No difference between Sirisena regime and its predecessor

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The incumbent government is moving in the same direction as Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and employing the very same oppressive methods to silence the voice of the people, the Inter University Students’ Federation says. In a statement signed by its Convener Lahiru Weeraskera, the IUSF says that visuals of Rathupaswala people being mercilessly attacked and shot when they took to the streets demanding drinking water were used by Maithripala Sirisena at the last presidential polls and by the UNP at the general elections to gain political mileage. “They promised people that there would be no repetitions of such suppressive measures. However, after coming to power the government has resorted to very same methods. What happened at Bandagiriya in Hambantota last week was a case in point.” […]

Demands for bribes made Sri Lanka lose investments under former regime

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka lost important foreign investments because of demands for bribes by officials linked to senior figures of the former Rajapaksa regime, the head of the investment promotion agency said. “One investor said ‘adios’ when an upfront bribe was demanded for 25 million dollars,” said Upul Jayasuriya, chairman of the Board of Investment. He said a “very respected senior architect” had described the demand for the bribe from the investor who came to Sri Lanka to put up a mixed developed project valued at several hundred million dollars in the Jawatte area of Colombo. “There was the son of a VIP and the son of a VVIP – you have to get through these two officers,” he said. “We have brought an end […]

MYTH AND TRUTH OF GENEVA RESOLUTION

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

MYTH AND TRUTH OF GENEVA RESOLUTION By Udaya P. Gammanpila Ehelepola was Maha Adhikaram (Prime Minister) of Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe who was the last king of Sri Lanka. His seven-year-old son Madduma Bandara, is considered a child hero. He never risked his life in defence of the nation. At least, he has not helped a needy person risking his life. Although liberation struggles of 1818 and 1848 have produced a lot of child heroes, none of them is known as heroes. Madduma Bandara who asked the executioner to cut his head off due to the lack of understanding is considered a hero. Who portrayed Madduma Bandara as a hero? Liberation struggles In response to liberation struggles, the British launched a tactful plan to eradicate liberation […]

Rajapaksa Government Put Country In A Mess – Nalinda Jayatissa

20th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is of the view that the latest UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution is an opening for the US to intervene in the country’s internal affairs and the government should therefore not give them the opportunity to do so by agreeing to their proposals on their terms. During the last parliamentary sessions, the JVP also directed heavy criticism at the judiciary of the country and the Attorney General’s Department for its continued inefficiency and lack of independence even under the new government. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa stressed on the need to appoint independent commissions without further delay. Following are excerpts of the interview: by Waruni Karunarathne Q:  The country is awaiting the debate in parliament […]

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