29th November 2015

Foreign judges for war crimes tribunals:

29th November 2015 // 0 Comments

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday took a non-committal stand on the issue of foreign judges sitting on war crimes tribunals expected to be set up soon. It stated that these must inspire the confidence of “stakeholders” and be within the country’s Constitution, a position the Government has also taken. A statement issued by the BASL admitted that Sri Lanka’s existing judicial and prosecutorial systems have “not met the confidence of many concerned”. Having considered the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, along with the reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Paranagama and Udalagama Commission reports, the BASL states they point to the need for further inquiries into crimes that allegedly occurred during the ‘war years’. The […]

High-powered UN mission due early next year

29th November 2015 // 0 Comments

A definite turn in Sri Lanka – UN ties: by Chathuri Dissanayake A visit by a high-powered UN mission is scheduled for early next year, the Sunday Observer learns. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and UNHRC Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein are scheduled to visit the country in February next year. The visit has been on the cards since August this year. It was originally scheduled to take place before the UNHCR sessions in September but was postponed at the last minute due to various reasons. The visit marks a definite turn in the relationship between Sri Lanka and the UN which was soured during the latter stages of the Rajapaksa government. Efforts by UNHRC team of investigators led by Al Hussein to visit […]

President holds fruitful talks with Premiers of Australia and Canada

29th November 2015 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena met Prime Ministers of Canada and Australia on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta today (November 28). President Sirisena congratulated Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull for their electoral victories in Canada and Australia respectively. During his meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, President Sirisena recalled the excellent bilateral relations that the two countries enjoyed during the tenure of Mr Trudeau’s father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and that they should work together to restore the relationship. During his separate meetings with two Prime Ministers, the President explained in detail the initiatives of the government to bring about reconciliation among the different ethnic communities and said that bringing normalcy to the people of the North and East who […]

A’Power’-ful message

29th November 2015 // 0 Comments

A’Power’-ful message US: Cautious,vigilant but engaged : by Dilrukshi Handunnetti Sri Lanka needs to urgently address several outstanding issues in the North – including demilitarization, release of military-held lands to civilians, end impunity and introduce fast-paced development in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations and US Representative to the UN Security Council, Samantha Power, told the Sunday Observer. Pic: US Embassy Colombo Power who concluded a three- day visit of Sri Lanka last Monday (24) urged the Sri Lankan Government to ‘not be too late’ thereby missing a ‘strategic political opportunity’ to ensure truth, justice and reconciliation. “Sri Lanka deserves this opportunity and the world would like to see that happen,” she said. Listed as the 63rd most […]

Singer Mathangi “M.I.A.” Arulpragasam Releases Self-directed Video “Borders” on Refugee issues in Europe

29th November 2015 // 0 Comments

by Harriet Gibsone Most artists would be incapable of approaching a subject as serious as the refugee crisis in song. Not MIA, however, whose new album is on course to politicise pop once again. “The world I talked about 10 years ago is still the same,” she recently posted on Twitter. “That’s why it’s hard for me to say it again on a new LP.” Today, the British artist of Sri Lankan descent premiered Borders, a track that proves she remains unique in her ability to implement ideas about pop culture and important global topics. With it comes a self-directed video, which makes a compelling statement on the continuing migration crisis, chastising the response of European politicians and lamenting the arrival of border fences to […]

Mystery out as to how Ranil lost presidency in 2005 to Mahinda!

29th November 2015 // 0 Comments

Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake and a group of UNP backbenchers have asked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to immediately investigate as to whether money had been given to the LTTE to change the public opinion in the northern province at the 2005 presidential election, where Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe were involved in a tight contest.  PM Wickremesinghe has agreed to hold an investigation. At that election, Rajapaksa won with a majority of only 186,000 votes. Nearly 300,000 voters in Jaffna, Wanni and the eastern province abstained as a result of the LTTE’s boycott call. This has had a decisive impact on the election outcome, and had the voters been allowed to vote in freedom, the final result would have changed. Sripathi Sooriyarachchi The late MP […]