31st October 2015

Sri Lanka and its Tamil political detainees

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The jail system in Sri Lanka and the fate of prisoners who are being held therein have been discussed on several occasions, when major violence occurred within the system. However, the most recent discussion was based on a hunger strike a group of detained political prisoners had launched. According to the information we have received, these detainees have been held without charges for a period much longer than the time they would have been spent, even if they had been convicted for any charges possibly brought against them. Some of them would have been taken into custody much before the end of the armed conflict in 2009. Even under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), pre-trial detention of individuals is limited to a maximum of […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa was Ready to give Self-rule to Tamils and Make Prabhakaran Leader in a Backroom Deal Reveals Erik Solheim

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London Former Norwegian Norwegian Development Minister and peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim claimed last week that the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa was willing to give self-rule to Tamils within the Sri Lankan state without calling for elections in that region. “Rajapaksa wanted to do a backroom deal to make Prabhakaran the leader there. He portrayed himself as the great savior of the Sinhalese, but was ready for any dirty deal for his own survival and if it helped his political fortunes”. Solheim was speaking at the launch of Mark Salter’s book “To End a Civil War – Norway’s Peace Engagement with Sri Lanka” at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the […]

UK based dual citizen Manoj Warnapala as the head of the Consular Division of the Sri Lankan HC in London

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The United National Party, UK Branch as well as British Sri Lanka Forum have strongly protested against the appointment of a UK based dual citizen Manoj Warnapala as the head of the Consular Division of the Sri Lankan HC in London. They alleged that Warnapala being a lawyer and UK qualified solicitor could benefit from the diplomatic appointment at the expense of other Sri Lankan lawyers/law firms. Those campaigning against the appointment asserted that the government favoured Warnapala as he was the son-in-law of Eastern Province Governor and former Polonnaruwa District Government Agent Austin Fernando. They also expressed concern over the appointment of a person outside the Foreign Service and Administrative Service to handle confidential documents at the mission. They have made representations to Foreign […]

Historic Exodus Out Of Jaffna

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel – “This mass exodus of half a million Tamils proclaims to the world that our people are determined to live as free beings with dignity and prepared to face any form of suffering to be independent rather than subjecting themselves to domination by the aggressor’’ – (LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on 27th Nov.1995) The night of Monday October 30, 1995 was a black night in the entire history of the age-old City of Jaffna. Never has history witnessed such an exodus of fear and panic stricken people screaming and squeezing themselves out of the narrow roads and lanes of Jaffna. Nearly half a million population in and around the Town was literally on the roads in pouring rain inching […]

Lankan woman elected Mayor in Australian city

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan born woman whose family fled riots for a better life has been elected the first Greens mayor in Moreland, an Australian city. South Ward councillor Samantha Ratnam won the mayoral vote 6-5 over Labor candidate Cr Lita Gillies, bringing an end to the ALP’s stranglehold on the mayorship, the Herald Sun reported. Cr Ratnam had been unsuccessful in the previous two mayoral votes, but secured the vote of independent councillor Helen Davidson, who had backed Labor candidates in previous mayoral votes. “I was more confident this year than the past two years, when I was pretty sure I did not have the numbers, but until the hands went up I was not sure it was going to happen,” Cr Ratnam said. “The […]

Geneva Resolution & The TNA

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By M.A. Sumanthiran – As I begin, I must put on record and correct certain misapprehensions that some Members seem to be harbouring with regard to our Party’s position in respect of this Resolution. I will read out the statement that we issued on the day the Resolution was adopted. It states, I quote: “The Tamil National Alliance welcomes the passage of today’s resolution on Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council.” We have welcomed it. “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 […]

TNA delivers thundering political slap to Karuna

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

by M. Haniff Former SLFP Vice President and one-time top LTTE member Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, who boasts of mass Tamil support in the North and East would not get the blessings of the Tamil masses even though he joins the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), a Tamil National Alliance politician from Trincomalee said. Kandasamy Selvaraja, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Trincomalee Urban Council from 2006 to 2015, pointed out that the Tamils would not forget Karuna’s leadership for ruining the unity of the Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims. “I do not think the Tamils would be foolish enough to take a risk with Karuna once again. We want to live as Sri Lankans and be better recognised than Singapore,” Selvaraja, popularly known as […]

Tamil Civil Society Forum calls for the Government to be “honest and truthful”

31st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) took part in a civil society consultation meeting attended by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today (29 October 2015) on the process to be adopted in consulting victims regarding mechanisms for Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka . In the discussion note circulated during the meeting, the TCSF raised concerns regarding the security situation for such a process, calling for a process to “prevent the interference of the armed forces, police and their intelligence”. “The larger questions is as to how a transparent and open VCP (victim consultation process) could be conducted with the overwhelming presence of the military in the North-East?,” asked the discussion note. “If the Government accepts this is a concern how does it hope to tackle this […]