15th October 2015

Tamil Civil Society Rallies Round Tamil Political Prisoners’ Struggle

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) has extended its support to the hunger strike protest undertaken by Tamil political prisoners demanding their immediate release. Issuing a statement the TCSF said that it would take part in the token strike and protests being planned to be staged by prisoners’ relatives all across the North-East in the forthcoming days. “TCSF adopts the definition of political prisoners that Amnesty International uses in its work. Accordingly it is our opinion that our brethren who took up arms for the sake of the liberation of the Tamil people and those who supported it, despite being criminalized by Sri Lankan laws, did so for a political reason and hence belong to the category of political prisoners. It has been 6 years since […]

Diaspora festival in Colombo postponed

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government has postponed the diaspora festival which was to take place in December, the Foreign Ministry said. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the Daily Leader that the festival is now likely to take place next year. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had told Parliament in June that in order to encourage diaspora members to engage and contribute to efforts in Sri Lanka, the Foreign Ministry is keen to organize a diaspora festival later this year. He said that such an event, depending on how it progresses, could even take the form of a regular annual event, to connect Sri Lanka to its diaspora. Samaraweera said that the event will enable the communities in the country to benefit from the knowledge, capacity, expertise and skills of […]

No one can arrest me

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN Former militant and national list MP of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman says he does not fear ‘arrest’ by the government, following the arrest of former Chief Minister of Eastern Province  Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, popularly known as Pillaiyan, because he has not committed any wrong or crime and there are ‘no allegations’ against him. Karuna also accused the government for arresting Pillaiyan who was the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province during the former government where the present President was in that Cabinet. Karuna told Ceylon Today over the phone that the United National Party encouraged the Tamil Tigers and in the year 1989 it was them who supplied 5,000 T56 rifles to the Tamil Tigers to […]

Sri Lanka & The Politics Of Justice

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mark Salter – Truth and reconciliation is a project that inevitably needs to balance short-term politics against long-term justice. There are signs that Sri Lanka’s new government understands the challenges involved. For Sri Lanka it’s been something of a roller-coaster start to the autumn. First, mid-August parliamentary elections handed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa his second defeat of the year at the polls, confirming that the new political era heralded by Maithripala Sirisena’s surprise victory in January presidential polls really was the genuine article. Then almost before the country had time to draw breath it was catapulted into the international arena, in the shape of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s 30th session that opened in Geneva in mid-September. Ever since Sri Lanka’s 26 year […]

Prisoners Of PTA: An Appeal To The President

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Ratna Bala – His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena,
President of Sri Lanka Your Excellency, You already know the plight of the Tamil prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) held in prisons for many years. They may have had hope that end of war would pave the way for them to be with their families soon. Since then they have made several kind requests for compassionate consideration of their plight. When all their hopes were in vain for last six years as last resort they are now on fast unto death-sathyagraha and praying that your heart will feel their anguish and come to rescue them. Your Excellency, Thirty years of brutal war have done enough damage to our people and the country. Many parents […]

Govt. promises justice to PTA prisoners

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The government hopes to mete out justice to those held in prison under the Prevention of Terrorism ACT (PTA) before the end of the year, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe assured the prisoners who are currently on a hunger strike calling for their release. The Minister who visited the prisoners who were on a hunger strike at the Magazine prison this morning also assured that the government had already begun a process to repeal the PTA and replace it with another legislation to prevent terrorism. Responding to a question as to whether the prisoners accepted the assurance given by him, Mr. Rajapakshe said some had accepted while some were continuing with the hunger strike. More than 150 prisoners are on a hunger strike in Anuradhapura, Bogambara, […]

‘300 million bribe to sweep the floating armoury case under the carpet’ offered to Minister

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

WILL WE NEED A ‘HYBRID COURT’ TO CATCH ROGUES? Twenty two containers with 3,154 firearms and 745,859 rounds of ammunition detected at Galle Port – 8.1.2015 The CID commences investigations on the order of the IGP – 9.1.2015 Court impounds the ship owner’s passport – 23.1.2015 Prohibition on ship owner’s passport lifted and passport released on the recommendation of the Attorney General – 7.7.2015 ‘We have evidence that approval had been granted to release the passport of floating armoury Avant Garde owner’ – Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s statement on 2.3.2015 when the ban on the passport was temporarily lifted ‘They tried to offer me a Rs 300 million bribe to sweep the floating armoury case under the carpet’, – Minister Rajitha Senaratne – 14.5.2015 Attorney General […]

Video: Mano Ganesan meets hunger strikers

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Minister Mano Ganesan visited the ex-LTTE cadres who began a hunger strike on Monday (12) at the Magazine Prison. He said a discussion would be held after a committee meeting on the 20th, regarding the strike. “I asked the prisoners to end their hunger strike. I didn’t go to the prison to force them to stop. I only suggested it. It is up to them to decide,” the minister said. “I have protested in front of the prison calling for justice for the people. My ideas are still the same. Now I have the power and I can do something for them,” he said. This is the first time we can speak freely about our problems in the Cabinet. We couldn’t bring up any question […]

Jayalalithaa Writes Again to PM Modi, Fishers Arrest by Sri Lanka Rises to 87

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI:  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up at the highest political level the arrest of fishermen from the state by Sri Lanka and said the number of those apprehended has now gone up to 87 besides their 39 boats. Close on the heels of the arrest of 24 fishermen from Tamil Nadu with their 4 boats on October 12, nine more fishermen from Nagapattinam have been apprehended today along with their boat by the Sri Lankan Navy, she said in a letter to the Prime Minister. “This is the seventh instance of arrest and remand of innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy within a span of three weeks,” she said expressing […]

President assures to look into Tamil prisoners’ matter

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to look into the issues faced by a group of Tamil prisoners who are currently on a hunger strike, after National Dialogue Minister Mano Ganeshan raised the issue at the cabinet meeting yesterday. Following this the President has said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana and Minister Geneshan should meet the Attorney General and discuss the issue. The President has also requested a report on the matter following discussions with the AG. According to Ganeshan, the President has said that he would arrive at a decision after perusing the report. Meanwhile, Ganeshan had also visited the Magazine Prison in Colombo after the cabinet meeting and had met the fasting prisoners. – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/president-assures-look-tamil-prisoners-matter#sthash.qr7WU50s.dpuf

TNA confident of sweeping victory

15th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Former Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, P. Ariyannethran said at Ampilanthurai that his party would capture all local authorities in the North and East at the forthcoming Local Government election scheduled to be held in next year. He added that all local authorities had been dissolved and defunct. The government is in a mess to decide the procedure of holding local government election. But however, the local government election in the North and East would be in favour of the TNA. He said that TNA is firm in its stand that minority communities should live in the country united and without any division. TNA has shown its willingness by supporting the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress to capture power in the Eastern Provincial Council […]