14th October 2015

VVIP son has millions in a Dubai account

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has an offshore account in Dubai with millions of US dollars, a Government Minister has claimed. Health Minister Rajith Senaratne said that information with regards to the account had been passed onto the Government by some officials of the bank. “We were informed by the Sri Lankans working at the bank about the account,” he said. The Minister said that the Attorney General’s department had been notified in order to take legal action to investigate the bank account. Senaratne said that the United States and India are assisting Sri Lanka in the investigations into this account as well as other offshore accounts of the former regime. He said that money had been collected by the former Government saying […]

Sri Lankan Activists Demand Release of Tamil Detainees

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Relatives and civil rights activists demanded Wednesday that the Sri Lankan government release hundreds of ethnic Tamils detained without charges for years on suspicion of links to the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels. They staged a silent protest in front of the main railroad station in the capital Colombo, demanding the immediate release of their family members still detained under anti-terrorism laws even though the civil war ended six years ago. Demonstrators displayed a placard that read: “Free all political prisoners.” The protest was held to support a fast by Tamil detainees in various prisons. Sanjeewa Bandara, a spokesman for the Movement for Equal Rights, said about 300 minority Tamils are being held, “but they are not responsible for the war, they are in fact the victims of the […]

Beyond The Political Spinning Of The Geneva Resolution

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Harini Amarasuriya – The UNHRC Resolution is certainly providing political spin doctors with plenty of material. Largely, the spin has taken on predictably partisan directions. Pro-government groups are portraying this as a major foreign relations coup while anti-government groups are describing the UNHRC resolution as one of the greatest betrayals of the country. While the anti-government spin is predictable and to be expected, the pro-government spin is actually far more worrying. Signs of the directions in which government groups were going to spin this were evident at the welcome planned for the President when he returned from New York. He was lavishly welcomed back as a ‘hero’ who had not simply rebuilt the image of the country internationally, but had also ‘saved’ the armed […]

No Tamil Political Prisoners left In This Country says Government , All were killed by Army?

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

“There are no political prisoners in the country’s prisons” says the Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. Rajapakshe said that around 220 LTTE suspects are being held in prisons while adding that in some cases verdicts have been delivered and in some legal action were pending. “The prisoners are ones who are held for aiding and abetting the activities of LTTE terrorists. They are not political prisoners” Rajapakshe told the media last night. He was referring to the hunger strike launched by a group of Tamil Prisoners, identified by Tamil political parties and others as those who are being held for political reasons. Rajapakshe said that the Justice Ministry cannot take any decisions on the fasting prisoners alone and any decision should be taken with the concurrence […]

Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe says Govt is Awaiting Attorney – General’s Report About Situation of Tamil Political Prisoners

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

(Text of a press release issued by the Tamil National Alliance media office) TNA MP and Spokesperson M.A Sumanthiran visited the Anuradhapura Prison along with Northern Provicial Council members Asmin Yakoob and Sanankiyan Sayandan today and spoke to the Political Prisoners who were observing a token fast demanding their release by the government today . At the Anuradhapura Prison there were 36 prisoners observing the fast of whom two had already been hospitalized. They vowed to continue the fast until the goverment released all Political Prisoners and requested that the public too join their cause. The prisoners in relating their individual stories said that they had already served a much longer term which than their crimes warranted in the event they had been convicted. They […]

”Release All Political Prisoners As agreed” says Sumathiran

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

“As agreed by the government all Political Prisoners must be released” says the TNA MP and its spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran. After visiting to the Anuradhapura Prison, Sumanthiran said; “In the event the government does not respond in the next few days they too would be forced to join the prisoners in their fasting.” TNA MP and Spokesperson M.A Sumanthiran visited the Anuradhapura Prison along with Provincial Council members Asmin Yakoob and Sanankiyan Sayandan yesterday and spoke to the Political Prisoners who were observing a token fast demanding their release by the government yesterday. At the Anuradhapura Prison there were 36 prisoners observing the fast of whom two had already been hospitalized. They vowed to continue the fast until the goverment released all Political Prisoners and requested […]

War crimes: Robert Blake and his colleagues can strengthen Lanka’s defence – Gotabhaya

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando Report of UNSG Ban ki-moon’s Panel of Experts (PoE) on Accountability in Sri Lanka accused the then Sri Lankan government of five major human rights violations, committed during eelam war IV (Aug. 2006 to May 2009). Three dealt with the conduct of the Sri Lankan political and military leaderships during the war, while the two remaining allegations dealt with violations committed after the conclusion of the Vanni offensive. The military brought the entire country under government control on the morning of May 19, 2009. The PoE, comprising Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia), Steven R. Ratner (US) and Yasmin Sooka (South Africa), identified the three violations as civilian killings caused by widespread shelling, indiscriminate attacks on hospitals and other humanitarian objects, and denial of humanitarian […]

Jayalalithaa slams Modi on Lankan fishing issue

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Expressing concern over the frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa said India could not continue to be seen as a mute spectator as the rights of the fisherfolk were repeatedly infringed upon, the Times of India reported. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief minister said the issue of harassment and frequent arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen was an abrogation of their rights in their traditional fishing areas. “This is a livelihood issue of thousands of our fisherfolk and is taking on a huge social and political dimension,” she said. On Monday, 24 fishermen who set sail on four boats from Rameswaram fishing base in Ramanathapuram district were arrested and taken to […]

Prince Charles invited to open WTM Lanka Stand

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Prince Charles invited to open WTM Lanka Stand Sri Lanka Tourism has invited Prince Charles to attend the opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka Stand at the World Tourism Market (WTM) exhibition beginning November 2, 10 a.m. in Excel House London. An official from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau said that this is being currently coordinated by a former Ambassador to United Kingdom from Sri Lanka. He said that the 2015 WTM has also created a unique record where 67 travel companies are participating. “This is an all time record number of participants from Sri Lanka for any travel show.” “Sunday Times newspaper in UK has ranked Sri Lanka as the No 1 destination to travel, so we are taking WTM as a major promotion […]

Sumanthiran: Govt. has agreed to set up hybrid court

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran has given an interview to the Virakesari, Sunday edition (Oct 11, 2015) in which he explains that the UN resolution co-sponsored and endorsed by the government will establish a hybrid court and nothing less. MP Sumanthiran has said: “The passed resolution calls for investigation by a hybrid court. There are recommendations in OHCHR report. One of them says it has no faith in Sri Lankan courts and recommends a hybrid court.  The passed resolution has some recommendations for implementation. The first of them asks the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations of the commissioner of OHCHR.”    According to the National List Parliamentarian the first paragraph calls for the implementation of the recommendations of the commissioner of OHCHR. The sixth para […]

Sri Lanka Tamil prisoners held without charge since the 1990s on hunger strike demand release

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka, some held without charge since the 1990s, have gone on hunger strike to press for their release. Some 223 inmates have joined the fast in jails in Colombo, Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Kandy. Most have been imprisoned on suspicion of links with the defeated Tamil Tiger rebel group. Tamil politicians are calling on the authorities to either release them, grant them bail or put them on trial. They are being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which allows the security forces to detain people for up to 18 months without bringing them before a court. But some have been jailed since 1997. The UN’s human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, said in a landmark report last month that the […]

NPC members stage fast backing Tamil prisoners

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members staged a fast in Jaffna today backing the Tamil political prisoners who had launched a hunger strike yesterday. NPC Chairman CVK Sivagnanam as well as Tamil National Alliance and EPDP members of the NPC took part in the fast. Tamil political prisoners at key prisons around the country began a fast unto death on Monday, demanding their release. The Prisons Department said that Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada prison were among those who were taking part in the fast. The prisoners are calling for a Presidential pardon and have refused to suspend the fast till they get an acceptable solution. (Colombo Gazette) TULF notes pathetic plight of fasting prisoners In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) […]

Detainees under PTA disapprove of Vigneswaran’s proposal

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Disna Mudalige The prisoners who have been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) have expressed their disapproval to Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran’s proposal to categorize them according to their offences. It is reported that these prisoners who started a fast unto death have expressed their disapproval to Vigneswaran’s proposal to President Maithripala Sirisena, to categorize the prisoners according to the offences in respect of which they have been taken into custody and provide either a general amnesty or immediate bail to all detainees suspected of committing minor offences. The Chief Minister writing to President Sirisena urged that speedy action be taken on Tamil prisoners languishing in jail for a long period. He noted that Tamil prisoners were holding a fast to […]

Sri Lanka arrests 24 fishermen

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The number of arrested fishermen has gone up to 78 Twenty-four more Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and Navy near Talaimannar on Monday night for allegedly entering territorial waters of Sri Lanka and fishing illegally. Four fishing boats have been impounded. With this, the number of arrested fishermen has gone up to 78 and that of impounded boats to 38. On the eve of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India a month ago, 16 Indian fishermen were released by the Sri Lankan authorities. Debate in Parliament Only on Friday last, the Sri Lankan Parliament debated the alleged poaching by Indian fishermen, and members, cutting across political affiliations, expressed their dismay over the damage being caused by the use of […]

Lankan Refugee Goes On Indefinite Fast in India

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

VELLORE: A 34-year old Sri Lankan Tamil farmer, belonging to the region of Mullavaikal in Sri Lanka, has been appealing to revenue officials and the Q branch police for the past two weeks, to secure the release of his wife from Mandapam Camp prison in Rameswaram.  The spouse has allegedly begun an indefinite fast in the camp. When Q Branch Police were contacted by Express, they gave an assurance that his wife would be released in a day or two and are awaiting official communication. The tale of B Suthakaran, who with his family came to India seeking refuge is a tale that went awry for him at the very outset. Suthakaran, who was a farmer in the island nation of Sri Lanka, arrived in […]

Hitherto unknown ‘war crimes witnesses’ likely to testify before proposed court – Attorney-at-law

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Rajapaksa-Ki-moon agreement reached in May 2009 was the basis for subsequent Geneva actions By Shamindra Ferdinando Attorney-at-law J. C. Weliamuna says some of those who complained regarding accountability issues here to UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts (PoE) on the condition of anonymity are likely to give evidence before the proposed domestic mechanism with foreign participation. The PoE comprised Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia), Steven Ratner (US) and Yasmin Sooka (South Africa). The report was released on March 31, 2011. Stressing the importance of setting up a court acceptable to all, Weliamuna said on Monday that confidentiality of witnesses had to be protected at that time to ensure their security. They could now come forward due to change of situation following the January ‘revolution’. Weliamuna was responding […]

Foreign participation in ‘domestic mechanism’ confirmed

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Foreign participation in ‘domestic mechanism’ confirmed Weliamuna reiterates Lanka lacks expertise to investigate ‘system crimes’ By Shamindra Ferdinando Attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna yesterday confirmed that there would be international participation in the proposed domestic court to inquire into accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Addressing the media at the Information Department, Weliamuna said that Parliament would have to make the required amendments to pave the way for international participation in the process. He said that a hybrid court would have been much better where the addressing of the issues was concerned, but the recently adopted Geneva resolution co-sponsored by the government of Sri Lanka had promised on less intrusive mechanism. The Information Department organised the briefing in collaboration with the state-run Rupavahini………………  read all JVP claims international […]

Certain media took money from Avant Garde

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Police take over probe into Avant Garde The police have taken over investigations into the Avant Garde vessel after the Navy filed a complaint in Galle today. Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that the Navy had filed the complaint with the Galle harbour police. He said that as a result of the complaint the Galle DIG has initiated investigations over the vessel. The vessel was said to have been carrying 816 T-56 weapons and over 200,000 bullets at the time it was seized by the Navy when it entered Sri Lankan waters off Galle. Gunasekera said that according to the Navy complaint, the ship did not have authorization to carry weapons and had three foreigners among the 36 member crew. Earlier, yesterday, the Defence Ministry […]

Lanka Loses Two Outstanding Tamil Leaders

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO:  Within the last two days, Tamils in Sri Lanka have lost two of their outstanding leaders, who had toiled for them tirelessly in a non-militant Gandhian way. Dr. S.A. David, a Gandhian social worker who was known as   “Gandhiyam David” died in Kilinochchi on Sunday, aged 92. On Tuesday, the community lost K.Velayutham, a trade union leader and former Plantation Industries Minister, best known for getting for estate worker families a plot of land which they could call their own. Velayutham died in a hospital in Chennai aged 66. Dr. David left Lanka following enactment of the discriminatory “Sinhala Only Act” in 1956. After working in Australia, UK, Nigeria and Kenya, he returned to the island in 1972 to devote his life to the suffering […]

Demo in France by former detainees: TNA

14th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said today that last Friday’s demonstration in France against a meeting between its MPs and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) provincial councillors, was carried out by some of those who had been harassed while being detained in TELO camps in the 1990s. TNA MPs Selvam Adaikalanathan, A. K. Kodiswaran, Northern Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam and Eastern Provincial Councillor Kovinthan Karunakarum alias ‘Jana’ of TELO had attended the meeting held at a restaurant in La Chapelle, Paris. However, a mob which gathered outside the restaurant had protested shouting slogans against the TELO members attending the meeting. “The protesters are said to be those who are alleged to have been harassed by the TELO and military personnel while being detained at TELO […]

1 2