9th October 2015

Geneva 2015 was not inevitable

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

As the UK Permanent Representative explicitly stated when addressing the Human Rights Council on Oct 1, the US-UK resolution is firmly founded upon Zeid al Hussein’s report. As Zeid al Hussein made amply clear in his video statement to the Council a day earlier, Sept 30, his report contains at its core, the conclusion that war crimes, system crimes, of such magnitude and extent, were committed during our war that our judicial mechanism does not have the capacity to deal with them! Thus Zeid’s Report damns our war of self-defense, territorial reunification and liberation from terrorism; our contemporary history and our achievement as a society, a people that successfully resisted and prevailed over fascist secessionism. This Report is the foundation of the US resolution which […]

Tame our politicians

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Parliament of Sri Lanka Whatever the form of Government, a monopoly of power in State would be the end of all civilised politics, whether it be the presidential executive or parliamentary executive. Constant experience has shown us that every man/woman invested with power is apt to abuse it to carry his/her authority as far as it will go. The more politicians want power, less it is about principles. As such the existence of a constitution does not mean automatically that there also exists a democratic system to go along with it. At all stages of constitution making in the past, our politicians have acted very rashly towards people. What we hear today is considered with what we remember from yesterday. Democratic essence of a party […]

What’s the Deal with Sri Lanka’s Corruption Investigations?

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s government has been talking big about transitional justice, but are corruption investigations floundering? Are Sri Lanka’s ongoing corruption investigations on a road to nowhere? The new government’s incipient steps towards transitional justice have received significant attention in recent weeks. Yet it’s important to keep in mind that widespread corruption was a serious problem during former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure and a hot topic during the presidential election last January. On the one hand, complex financial fraud investigations may take time. Yet we’re not necessarily talking exclusively about complex cases. A leading Sri Lankan weekly has recently published a strong editorial about the current state of affairs. Here’s an excerpt from that piece: Forget punishment. We are not even seeing indictments! The law enforcement […]

Relationship Between the UK Conservative Party and Lycamobile

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Lebara Mobile Plan to Disrupt the Relationship Between the UK Conservative Party and Lycamobile exposed A plan by Lebara mobile to damage the relationship between the ruling Conservative party in the UK and Lycamobile has been exposed. The purpose of this plan was to gain commercial advantage over Lycamobile through the use of corporate espionage, designed to discredit the company and create a rift between the Conservatives and Lycamobile. Lebara executed their plan by recruiting a law firm called Mischon de Reya to carry out the 5 month campaign of surveillance.  The material generated from the surveillance was then acquired by Buzzfeed, an online news and social media website who then conducted their own surveillance. “Buzz feed” “Lebara has now confirmed that it orchestrated its […]

TNA calls for release of Tamil political prisoners

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today called for the release of all Tamil political prisoners. TNA leader R. Sampanthan raised the issue when Parliament discussed a proposed agreement with China on crime related matters. Sampanthan urged the Government not to look at the issue on political prisoners as a legal issue. He said that the issue had been raised with Justice Minister Wijeydasa Rajapaksha and he urged the Minister to look into it. Sampanthan, the leader of the opposition in Parliament, also questioned the actions the new Government hopes to take to bring down Sri Lankans with a criminal record living overseas. He said that the name of the suspect involved in the murder of late TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham was living overseas and that he […]

U.S. Announces Increased Funding for Demining in Sri Lanka

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap and Minister D.M. Swaminathan discussed efforts for a mine-impact free Sri Lanka by 2020. The United States has contributed over $43 million (over 6 billion LKR) for demining assistance to Sri Lanka since 1993. Sinhala Translation Tamil Translation In a meeting today with Honorable Minister D.M. Swaminathan, U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap announced an additional $1.745 million (245 million LKR) for demining activities of international and domestic partners and the National Mine Action Committee (NMAC) under the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement, and Hindu Religious Affairs.  In total, the United States has dedicated over $43 million (over 6 billion LKR) for demining assistance in Sri Lanka since 1993. “I support Minister Swaminathan’s vision of making Sri Lanka mine-impact free by 2020,” said Ambassador […]

JVP donates books to Jaffna Library burnt by Sinhala police.

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) noted that the burning of the Jaffna Library evoked an empty space in the public’s consciousness, adding also that prominent Ministers of the United National Party (UNP) administration at the time had been complicit in the act of arson. The Party’s Socialist Youth Union in commemoration of late revolutionary, Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara, donated books to the Jaffna Library which JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake and All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union Leader Ramalingam Chandrasekar handed over to Jaffna Librarian Sugandhi Sadhasivammurthi. Ratnayake, citing an eyewitness to the burning of the Jaffna Library on 31 May 1981 and 1 June 1981 who had given evidence to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission regarding the matter and was also a […]

Raviraj and Prageeth killings CID on the hunt for ‘Sharan’ in Zurich

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Niranjala Ariyawansha The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has sought Interpol assistance to take into custody a person named ‘Sharan’, who is said to be the brain behind the planning of the murder of former Member of Parliament of the Jaffna District of the Tamil National Alliance, Nadaraja Raviraj. A high-ranking official of the CID told Ceylon Today that, since Sharan was … taking political refuge in Zurich, Switzerland, the permission of the Court of the country is required in order to hand him over to Sri Lanka. At the same time, since there is no permanent address for Sharan, he said that the assistance of Interpol is required for all matters. The official said further that it has been confirmed in investigations carried out so […]

Military Rape Cases: No Judgement On 2001 Mannar Gang Rape: WAN

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

While welcoming the verdict of the Vishwamadu military rape case delivered by the Jaffna High Court, Women’s Action Network (WAN) says another case that is to date pending the judgment. Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed a special commission to investigate the gang rape of two Tamil mothers on March 19, 2001 in Mannar. Mannar rape case they identified three police officers and nine navy personnel as perpetrators. During the latter part of 2006, the case was taken up at the High Court, Anuradhapura. The Attorney General’s Department decided it would be counterproductive to take up the rape case, and amalgamated the two cases into one and tried it as a torture case. In 2008 the case hearing was stopped on a stay order by the […]

Talks on with Tamil parties: Ranil

9th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government has begun “informal discussions” with the Tamil National Alliance and other parties on a political solution to the ethnic conflict, according to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Though the government’s “political goals” included “a new Constitution, consolidation of human rights and the strengthening of democratic institutions”, the “most important” among them was to find “a political settlement to the outstanding issues relating to national unity, ethnicity and religion”, Mr. Wickremesinghe told Japanese Parliament members in Tokyo on Tuesday. “The language and ethnicity issues, which dominated the country over five decades, and religious discord that were stirred up during the last decade, must be resolved if a strong Sri Lankan identity – based on equality – is to be established,” he said. Mr. […]