12th November 2015

President instructs to give priority to practical issues of resettlement process

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena said that solutions to the matters regarding the resettlement in the North and East must be provided while giving priority to practical issues pertaining to the resettlement process. The President gave these instructions at a special discussion on Northern and Eastern resettlement programme held at the Presidential Secretariat today (11). President Sirisena also gave instructions to schedule the meeting of Resettlement Committee comprising of Governors of Northern and Eastern provinces, within the next two weeks, to look into matters pertaining to each area and the President further instructed the relevant persons to  not to only based on reports of Divisional Secretaries but to discuss matters relating to divisional levels and  suggest proposals at the National Committee headed by the Resettlement Minister and […]

Government accused of violating Geneva deal

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government has been accused of violating the Geneva agreement by failing to secure the release of Tamil political prisoners. Former LTTE member and leader of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam TGTE) Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran said that the continued indeterminate detention of these prisoners constitutes continuing serious breaches of international law. He said that all of the Tamil prisoners have been held because of their alleged involvement in the country’s armed conflict, a conflict that ended on May 18, 2009. The TGTE demands that the government of Sri Lanka fulfill its obligations under international law and immediately release all Tamil prisoners currently being held. The also TGTE calls upon the government of Sri Lanka and the international community to publicly recognize these detainees as persons […]

Sumanthiran holds key talks in Australia

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament Sumanthiran and Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) representatives including Reginald Jeganathan, Chairman of the ATC had a successful meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Canberra this week. The Member of Parliament for Reid Craig Laundy MP also participated. They also had detailed discussions with senior Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials including the First Secretary for South and West Asia Kathy Klugman (former Australian High Commissioner). Further meetings were held with Shadow Ministers and MPs from the opposition Labour Party Michelle Rowland MP- Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism hosted the meeting. Possible Australian participation in the judicial processes to be set up as per the UNHRC resolution and the present crisis regarding the Tamil political prisoner […]

What’s the Deal with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Political Prisoners?

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

What’s the deal with Sri Lanka’s Tamil political prisoners? Due to October hunger strikes in prisons across the country (with prisoners demanding amnesty), President Maithripala Sirisena had given assurances that he would take a decision on this matter by November 7. Some have suggested that this meant prisoners would be released, but the next steps had always been somewhat unclear. There were subsequent reports that 61 prisoners would be released by November 20. Recently, a hunger strike has commenced anew. More disturbingly, today, 31 Tamil political prisoners were granted bail, though they were not officially released. For the time being, these individuals will be allowed to leave prison, but will still be monitored closely by state security personnel. This is not genuine freedom. Why does […]

2,000 to get dual citizenship

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

By Niranjala Ariyawansha Minister of Internal Affairs and Northwestern Development S. B. Nawinna said yesterday that the government has decided to grant dual citizenship to 2,000 persons. He said further that a large number of applications had been received by his ministry seeking dual citizenship and 2,000 of them have been selected on the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. According to the Minister, arrangements have been made to grant these individuals dual citizenship at an official function that will be held under the auspices of President Sirisena on 17 November. More than 90% of those among the 2,000 individuals who have applied for dual citizenship are Sinhalese with only 10% of Tamils and Muslims among them. Minister Nawinna said that […]

Gota’s revelation energises FSP

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith The Frontline Socialist Party yesterday made a request to the police headquarters to resume investigations into the complaint they had lodged three years back with regard to the abduction of their leader Kumar Gunaratnam. Party’s Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda told The Island that three top level members of their party had visited the Police Headquarters and asked the police to resume investigations as there was new evidence in respect of Gunaratnam’s abduction. Jayagoda said: “When Comrade Gunaratnam was abducted on April 07, 2012 our party members lodged three complaints with Piliyandala, Kottawa and Kiribathgoda police stations. Thereafter, we lodged another complaint at the Police headquarters. Following the release of Comrade Gunaratnam by his captors we visited the Police headquarters again on April  […]

Arms issued to police ended up with Avant Garde Rajitha claims:

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Weapons issued to Nikaweratiya and Elpitiya police stations had been found on board Sri Lanka Shipping Company owned Avant Garde tug chartered by the Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS), Health Minister and Cabinet spokesperson Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told a public rally at Warapitiya in the Aluthgama electorate on Tuesday. Dr. Senaratne stressed the need to inquire into the circumstances under which weapons issued to police had ended up with the AGMS. The Minister called for a thorough inquiry to establish the truth. Avant Garde carried over 800 assault rifles. The vessel was returning to Galle at the end of its three-year deployment when the Navy arrested it on Oct. 6. Avant Garde had been based at Port Sudan in the Red Sea. […]

Government was trying to sweep the controversial Avant Garde probe under the carpet – Sobhitha Thera’s wish and Marapana’s fate

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

Sobhitha Thera’s wish and Marapana’s fate Before Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera fell ill he accused the government of not apprehending the culprits involved in corruption. He charged that the government was wasting time while the iron was hot to make use of it. The main charge made by the thera was that the Government was trying to sweep the controversial Avant Garde probe under the carpet. While the thera was breathing his last, Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana was trying to give saline to the Avant Garde issue by trying to protect that company. When Maithri and Ranil requested Marapana to quit the ministerial portfolio, the thera had left this world. Marapana resigned last Monday. Who is this Tilak Marapana? After the 1994 UNP’s […]

President Sirisena’s broken promises: Start with ensuring justice to Wasim Thajudeen and Tamil Political Prisoners.

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

Wasim Thajudeen’s death and lackluster investigations took center stage during the run up to the August 2015 general elections. His body was exhumed, and after further examination was reburied a few days ago. I was a witness to the exhumation at the Dehiwela Mohiyadeen Jummah masjid. The media and civil society who were very vocal about Wasim’s death inquiry have now joined the political vultures and are forgetting Wasim. Was this part of the election agenda of a vested few. Muslim families usually are reluctant to agree to an autopsy, and exhuming a buried person is a whole lot worse. Islam lays down strict directives on the treatment of a dead person. Extreme care needs to be exercised even when the dead body is washed […]

Sri Lanka refuces Releasing of Tamil Political Prisornors

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government is considering a proposal to release the 217 Tamils currently in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), after putting them through a program of rehabilitation, the Minister of National Dialogue, Mano Ganeshan, told Express here on Wednesday. Ganeshan recalled that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had released over 12,000 cadre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), after subjecting them to a rehabilitation program. He said that the Lankan Security Forces have developed expertise in the rehabilitation of militants, and the facilities at the rehabilitation centers are  now of international standard. “They don’t look like torture centers, as they did in the early days,” Ganeshan said. But for the time being, the policy is to release the detainees […]

FRIDAY 13th – Diaspora and Tamil political parties call for Hunger Strike.

12th November 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil politicians and family members of those detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) took part in a public protest on 07 November outside the Mallavi Sivan Temple in Mullaitivvu calling for the immediate release of Tamil political prisoners. It was the date President Maithiri promised to release all the Tamil Prisoners but Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinge  has stopped the release has he wanted to show President Maithiri that Prime Minister was more powerful than the President. The Tamil National Alliance and the Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) have called for hartals in Jaffna, Killinochchi and Vavuniya on Friday November 13 to demand for the release of Tamil political prisoners. The TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam called for the shutting down of all shops, schools, universities […]