November 2015

nt’l experts can counter war crimes accusations – Wimal

4th November 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP yesterday alleged that the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government had failed to defend the Sri Lankan military against war crimes accusations made by the UN on the basis of UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts’ (PoE) findings. Colombo District MP Weerawansa has, in a hard-hitting letter dated Nov. 3 to President Maithripala Sirisena, condemned the new government for co-sponsoring a US sponsored resolution adopted at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Sept. 29. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera indicated Sri Lanka’s readiness to accept some issues contained in the resolution presented on Sept 29 when he addressed the UNHRC on Sept. 14, the NFF leader has said. MP Weerawansa has warned of dire consequences […]

Raviraj killing 6 accused charge sheeted

4th November 2015 // 0 Comments

Five suspects to be released Arrest warrants against Charan, Suresh who left country Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday filed charge sheets in Court against six accused including three Navy personnel and two ex-LTTE cadres affiliated to the Karuna faction for allegedly conspiring to commit the murder of former TNA Jaffna district MP Nadaraja Raviraj. Filing the charge sheets before Colombo Additional Magistrate Nirosha Fernando, the CID informed that the Attorney General had given instructions to conduct a non-summary inquiry in respect of the six accused – Palana Sami Suresh, Hettiarachchilage Prasath Chandana Kumara, Gamini Seneviratne, Pradeep Chaminda, Sivakanthan Vivekanandan alias Charan and Fabian Royston Tusen. However, the CID said the five suspects arrested in connection with the incident would be released from […]

Old Left slams Rajapaksha’s attempts to sabotage reconciliat

4th November 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody Political parties associated with the Old Left movement claim there was no basis for the communal campaign that was presently being carried out by forces which were rejected by the people on 8 January and 17 August. The Majority Group of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and the Alternative Group of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) noted that these forces were attempting to create communal tensions to sabotage the reconciliation process at this crucial juncture. General Secretary of the Majority Group of the LSSP Lal Wijenayake and President of the Alternative Group of the CPSL D.W. Subasinghe said that there were serious allegations of human rights violations, the truth of which should have been determined after a credible […]

JVP calls for pension and voting rights for Sri Lankan expatriate workers

4th November 2015 // 0 Comments

By Chamodi Gunawardana The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) created ‘Ethera Api Organisation’ yesterday, stressing the importance of offering pension plans and voting rights for Sri Lankan expatriates.  Its head and JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti said the JVP requested for a parliamentary committee into this issue. “We urge the Government to provide a pension plan and voting right for all Sri Lankan foreign workers. We have collected signatures of Sri Lankan expatriates to lodge a petition from each middle-east country including Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Petitions will be handed over to each Sri Lankan embassy,” he said.  “Foreign employment is the largest source of foreign exchange to Sri Lanka. These workers have made sacrifices their whole lives to earn money, but get zero respect […]

The Weerawansas’ Patriotic Deeds

3rd November 2015 // 0 Comments

by Nirmala Kannangara Leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF) MP Wimal Weerawansa, who himself portrays an image of a politician and saviour of the masses, was recently exposed himself as an offender. Two weeks earlier, he was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and was later granted bail by the Negombo Magistrate of having two passports. Weerawansa’s wife has, on the other hand, been accused of providing false information to get a passport. The Weerawansas however have been in the midst of much controversy. On October 20 and 21, Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa further exposed Weerawansa in parliament that he had allegedly misused funds of the Housing and Construction Ministry which was to be used to construct houses for low […]

”Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa responsible for many abductions and killings” says Former Minister Mervyn Silva

3rd November 2015 // 0 Comments

I have spoken – Mervyn Silva by Dhaneshi Yatawara Former Minister Mervyn Silva who is known for making controversial statements said he is fully aware of the masterminds behind the abductions and killings during the previous regime. Early this year he alleged that former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa were responsible for many abductions and killings. In an interview the Sunday Observer, the former minister said he has informed the law enforcement authorities of the truth. “I’m waiting for the officials to initiate investigations,” he said. Excerpts: Q: You said you are aware of the masterminds of abductions and killings of the former regime? What are your comments? A: I have already informed the law enforcement authorities. They need to commence […]

TULF puts Karuna on waiting list

3rd November 2015 // 0 Comments

No decision had been made to offer TULF membership to former SLFP Vice-President and ex- LTTE Military leader Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, popularly known as Karuna Amman, TULF leader Veerasingham Anandasangaree said yesterday. Confirming that Karuna Amman and the TULF had held discussions on the former joining the TULF, the 82-year–old TULF leader said he had requested Karuna to “wait for some time’. “I’m forming a broad platform of Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim political parties. When all join in Karuna can consider doing so.” The TULF was the only Tamil party which had denounced violence and condemned the undemocratic acts against Sri Lankans in general and the Tamil population in particular, Anandasangaree said. Karuna accepts Northern political leadership Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman who condemned the northern […]

We Are Not Here To Take Revenge From Anybody – Dharmalingam Siddharthan

3rd November 2015 // 0 Comments

Accusations have been levelled against the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman for deceiving the Tamils by taking a different stand before the election to get Tamil votes and another stand after the election in favour of the government especially in terms of the investigation into the alleged war crimes and human rights violation. He accused the TNA of being ‘Yes Men’ of the government. Responding to the claim, TNA MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan denied the accusations. He told The Sunday Leader that the TNA does not intend to block the path for reconciliation by obstructing the government’s process at this point of time where they believe the attempts of the government to be genuine. Following are excerpts of the interview: by Waruni […]

49% of children in Harrow West are in families receiving tax credits!

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

Tax credits Yesterday I voted for the fourth time against the Government’s plans to cut tax credits. These cuts will hit more than 3 million families by an average of £1,300 a year. In Harrow West, 5,200 working families with children receive tax credits, and 49% of all children in Harrow West are in families that receive tax credits. The Government has said that other changes to the minimum wage and income tax will make up for the loss of tax credits, but the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has stated that this is “arithmetically impossible”. These cuts will affect many working families. For example, a single parent working full-time on the minimum wage as a hospital cleaner will find themselves £1,500 worse off, whilst […]

Sri Lanka: Taking Heed of Clear Warning Signals

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

Speedy hearing into cases of Tamil detainees kept for years under anti-terrorism laws without charges being brought is a monstrous injustice that has to be put to right. by Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena Courtesy: The Sunday Times, Colombo ( November 2, 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Certain aspects of the functioning of the Wickremesinghe-Sirisena government raise valid concerns as to whether anti-democratic Rajapaksa policies of the previous era are being continued but in a far craftier and skilful manner. This is a concern that ranges across the spectrum, from the accountability question to basic issues of good governance and the Rule of Law. Failing to heed warning signals As even the most fervent admirers of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa must admit, subtlety was not his strong point, […]

Rajapaksas to complain against Mervyn to bribery commission!

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rajapaksas are going to lodge a complaint to the Bribery or Corruption Investigation Commission against former Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva, say sources close to him. This is in retaliation to his having complained to the commission against Basil and Gotabhaya. In order to drive their point in the complaint, Rajapaksas have traced deeds of several plots of land owned by Mervyn. Their closest associates have sent a copy of one of them to ‘Lanka News Web.’ Among the properties owned by Mervyn are a three-storey building at Nawala Road, Nugegoda and another building (Transwater Engineering) opposite to it. Both were given up by owners who loaned money from him. Mervyn bought a 20-perch business premises at Pittala Junction, Colombo 07 for Rs. 85 […]

London Stock Exchange renews support for Sri Lanka

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

Expresses willingness to offer expertise on strengthening critical market infrastructure  at CSE To facilitate listings for blue chips to raise capital; attract more foreign investments Highlights MillenniumIT as an integral part of LSE with over 700 staff and powering 50 intl. exchanges All smiles: London Stock Exchange Group CEO Xavier Rolet (left), Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka, CSE Director Ray Abeywardena, Securities and Exchange Director General Vajira Wijegunawardane, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and LSE CEO Nikhil Rathi (partly hidden) elated following the market opening at the LSE by Sri Lanka on Friday By Nisthar Cassim Global giant the London Stock Exchange last week expressed keenness to help the new Government in boosting Sri Lanka’s capital market, foreign investments and private […]

How can Sri Lanka Demonstrate its Commitment to Peace?

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

As Sri Lanka deals with its violent past, incremental moves taken right now could lay the groundwork for the genuine peace. Recently, senior figures in the Obama administration have championed another ‘democratic success story’; this time we’re talking about Sri Lanka. This small, strategically important island nation is recovering from a brutal civil war that according to UN estimates, left up to 100,000 dead. The defeat of two-term President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January, and the parliamentary election in August, curbed the country’s slide towards heightened authoritarianism. Still, Sri Lanka’s path to lasting reform, reconciliation, and genuine accountability is only beginning. Moreover Colombo can take certain measures to ensure that this journey starts off with the momentum it needs. As the international community tries to help […]

Return lands to original owners – JVP

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shaahidah Riza The natural forestry in the Central Province which was taken over by the former government must be returned to its original form, said the leader of the Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Chief Opposition Whip, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, adding that he is of the stand that the lands of the displaced must be given back. Dissanayake made these comments last Wednesday (28) at a book launch, in relation to the recent controversy which took place in resettling the internally displaced people due to the three decade war back to their villages in the North of the country. Dissnanayke was the Chief Guest at the book launch, where Professor from the University of Peradeniya, Shahul H. Hasbulla launched his book titled, ‘Denying the […]

Mervyn must study history – Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

by Manjula Ferando Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa dismissed former minister Mervyn Silva’s accusations of being involved in the abductions and killings claiming he had not introduced any white van. In this wide ranging interview, while urging the former minister to study history, he also denied having any contacts with LTTE Leader Pulithevan and defended his decision to create Rakna Lanka Excerpts: Q: It is alleged that the then government wanted to save LTTE leader Pulithevan which led to the white flag incident and war crimes charges being pinned on government forces. Your comments ? A: I don’t know, you should ask that question from those who are making that claim. We did not have any contact with Pulithevan. I can’t understand these allegations. Those […]

President And Premier Committed To Push Reconciliation – D. M. Swaminathan

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on Sri Lanka has welcomed the initial steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to return land to civilians and resettle the internally displaced persons. The report has also stressed the need for the government to accelerate the return of land to its rightful civilian owners, and to undertake further efforts to tackle the considerable work that lies ahead in the areas of land use and ownership.Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M. Swaminathan said that the release of land to the rightful owners, demilitarisation, and a solution to the Tamil political prisoners are a few major areas of concern in the report. According to Swaminathan, the military has now given assurance […]

Tamil Political Prisoners likely to be released before 10th November?

2nd November 2015 // 0 Comments

Police take a long time to complete investigations and to file action against suspects and that cases drag on for more than TEN years. President Maithiri Srisena said that all the Tamil Political Prisoners will be released by the 7th of November. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that NONE of the Tamil Political Prisoners will be released for now. Law and Order and Prison Reforms Minister Tilak Marapana said he hoped that the Tamil Political Prisoners detainees could be released before the Deepavali festival on November 10, 2015. Addressing the opening ceremony of the modernized prison near the Pannai lagoon in Jaffna on Saturday, Minister Tilak Marapana said the country’s prisons had about 18,000 detainees, but most of them were not those who should have […]

Families of political prisoners seek TNA response

1st November 2015 // 0 Comments

The families of Tamil political prisoners have written to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) seeking clarity on their stand on the Tamil prisoners. In a letter to TNA leader R. Sampanthan, the families of 217 Tamil political prisoners who launched a fast recently, have said they want to know the stand the TNA has taken with regards to the issue before November 7. President Maithripala Sirisena had assured a solution to the prisoners before November 7 which resulted in the prisoners suspending their recent fast. There were reports that some of the prisoners can be given bail and the families have urged the TNA to ensure all Tamil political prisoners are given amnesty or freed unconditionally. (Colombo Gazette)

Swaminathan Contradicts Military

1st November 2015 // 0 Comments

by Waruni Karunarathne The Military contradicts the claims made by Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement D. M Swaminathan on the army having business ventures. In an interview with The SundayLeader, Minister D. M Swaminathan said the Sri Lankan Army has given him assurance last week that they are going to demilitarise the commercial ventures they run. “The Army has given me assurance last week that they are going to demilitarise the commercial ventures they run. At the moment, there are only six commercial ventures that the Army run which they will release in due course,” he added. According to the Minister, this action will benefit the people as those business ventures will come back to people. He added that there are so many people including […]

Ex-commander Karuna Now Blames Prabhakaran Sting for Leaving LTTE

1st November 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO:Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, who was Special Commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the eastern Sri Lankan districts of Batticaloa and Ampara, says that the rift between him and LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran took place in December 2002 when the Tiger chieftain accused him of “betrayal” of the kind Mahendrarajah alias Mahatthya was accused of in the early 1990s and executed. Karuna Amman Prabhakaran was livid with Karuna for persuading his chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, to sign the December 5, 2002 “Oslo Declaration” which had committed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to “exploring the possibility of finding a political solution based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka.” At a stormy Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s Central […]

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