5th October 2015

TNA pledges fullest support for implementing UNHRC resolution

5th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Welcoming the UNHRC resolution calling for a probe into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Saturday pledged its fullest cooperation for implementation of the recommendations therein. Full text of the TNA statement: The Tamil National Alliance welcomes the passage of today’s resolution on Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council. 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 the government’s work in implementing this historic resolution. Thursday’s resolution reflects a difficult consensus, and involved the weakening of […]

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, […]