17th October 2015

‘The ‘F’ word and the Tamil National Question’

17th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Hope to achieve political settlement through adoption of a new constitution. Don’t judge us by broken promises of past” says Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at UNHRC in Geneva, on 14th September 2015. The statement in September by Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister provided a timely frame of reference to appreciate the ‘Corridors of Power’ exhibition. From the security guards at the venue of the exhibition to international constitution building process experts who gathered in Sri Lanka at the time around a workshop on constitutional reform, from students to academics and activists, ‘Corridors of Power’ even before officially opening to the public generated more interest than any project curated by Groundviews and the Centre for Policy Alternatives previously. Led by the input of Asanga Welikala, in collaboration with Channa […]

All Ceylon Hindu Congress appeals to President

17th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The All Ceylon Hindu Congress has appealed to the President to view the pleas of political prisoners in a spirit of compassion and sympathy. The letter bearing the signatures of ACHC President Kandiah Neelakandan and General Secretary Dr.Muthiah Katirkamanatahn states: “We Appeal to Your Excellency to release the Tamil Political Prisoners and detainees languishing in the jails.We made this same appeal on 10 th January 2015 when we sent Your Excellency the Best Wishes of the Hindus of this country. Now, a Hindu Priest has been sentenced to jail, despite his plea that he was forced to make a confession under duress. In that connection we annex hereto a copy of the report given by J.M.O dated 10th June 2002 which shows how he was […]

Investigations politicised and turned into merry-go-rounds

17th October 2015 // 0 Comments

“The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC), has summoned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for questioning today.” Reported Daily FT (15 October). Almost 03 weeks ago on September 23 too an investigating team visited Rajapaksa’s residence and recorded a statement on a petition the PRECIFAC had received, alleging that ITN had sustained a loss of Rs. 200 million because of non-payment of outstanding dues by former president Rajapaksa for telecasts of his presidential election campaign advertisements. However big or small the person, however large or small the sum, any allegation of misappropriation, fraud or corruption should be investigated into and investigated independently and without bias. That was expected of […]

TMVP Leader “Pillaiyaan” Implicated in Assassinations of TNA Parliamentarians Pararajasingham and Raviraj

17th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Thamil Makkal Viduthalaip Puligal (TMVP) leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias “Pillaiyaan” is currently being detained and interrogated by the Police over his suspected involvement in the twin assassinations of Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Parliamentarians Joseph Pararajasingham and Nadarajah Raviraj in December 2005 and November 2006 respectively. Chandrakanthan who made history in 2008 as the first elected chief minister of the Eastern province is presently a member of the Eastern provincial council. He also contested the August 2015 Parliamentary poll on the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) ticket and lost. Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyaan is reportedly in hot water after two of his erstwhile deputies Edwin Silva Krishnanandaraja alias Pradeep Master and Rangasami Kanaganayagam alias ‘Gajan Maamaa’ were earlier taken into custody over the Pararajasingham assassination. They […]

Church and Religious Leaders Must Move Away From defending war criminals as “war heroes” or “martyrs.”

17th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Ruki Fernando After four contentious resolutions on Sri Lanka, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Oct. 1 adopted a “consensus resolution” for foreign judges and prosecutors to help Sri Lanka try those accused of serious crimes during the decades-long civil war. This resolution came as a response to a report by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which the previous Sri Lankan government had aggressively opposed — going to the extent of threatening, intimidating and arresting Sri Lankans who supported it, including my own detention. There were many Sri Lankans — civil war survivors and their families and activists — both inside and outside the country who braved government threats to testify to the U.N. investigation team. Their […]

MR refuses to budge

17th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Alleges no media freedom under MS govt.  Accuses of censoring his comments Says he never ordered media heads on what and not to publish Confesses he had no involvement in ITN fiasco PRECIFAC recommences public sittings Says President could appoint High Court judges for other duties under the Constitution Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa By Shanika Sriyananda While there was freedom of speech, there was no absolute media freedom under the present government, Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday, while refusing to comment on certain queries raised by journalists. The former president made these comments following a hearing of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC). Rajapaksa criticised the government for allegedly […]

Hunger strike by ‘Tamil Political Prisoners’ called off

17th October 2015 // 0 Comments

The hunger strike launched by suspected Tamil Political Prisoners (some held since 1995) suspected of helping LTTE  has been called off after the assurance given by the President to set up a mechanism to look into their issues. Prisons Commissioner General Rohana Pushpakumara said he and opposition leader R. Sampanthan, TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran visited the prisoners at the Magazine Prison in Colombo this morning and informed them that President Maithripala Sirisena had directed the Justice Minister to formulate a mechanism to look into their issues and finish the process between October 31 and November 07. Mr. Pushpakumara said he would inform the prisoners in Anuradhapura and Bogambara prison too about the decision. Suspected Tamil Political Prisoners (some held since 1995) suspected of helping LTTE […]