December 2015

UK-led foreign coalition in overdrive to help GOSL

19th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Battle against corruption  by Shamindra Ferdinando An international coalition led by Britain is now helping the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government stamp out corruption. Deputy British High Commissioner Laura Davies said that the UK would work closely with the US, Australia and Switzerland to help the new administration. Davies is also accredited to the Maldives. Davies said that the UK was in the process of enhancing Sri Lanka’s capability to handle international cases. In accordance with an understanding with the government of Sri Lanka, the UK provides legal advice, training as well as English language training. Davies said that the event was sponsored by a range of local and international organisations, including the British High Commission. She asserted that the training provided by the British had enhanced investigators’ […]

How Will The TNA Resolve The Problem Posed By Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran?

19th December 2015 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj “How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find the word that means Maria? A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!” “Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her Many a thing she ought to understand But how do you make her stay and listen to all you say How do you keep a wave upon the sand?” “Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?” – Oscar Hammerstein in “Sound of Music”. Veteran Indian Journalist P.K.Balachandran who has been resident in Sri Lanka for many years has over the years acquired a remarkable insight into the politics and […]

Lankan Tamil Leader Determined To Overcome Obstacles To Sending Relief To TN

19th December 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Northern Provincial Council (NPC) C.V.K.Sivagnanam, says that he is determined to overcome obstacles to sending relief to flood-ravaged Tamil Nadu. While Indian diplomats told Sivagnanam that India has a policy of not accepting foreign aid for disaster management, a section of the Jaffna Tamil media, allegedly instigated by his rivals, either ridiculed his plans or said that it is not the NPC’s business to send relief to Tamil Nadu. And the response of the NPC itself to his plea for contributions has been lukewarm. In the first week of December, Sivagnanam had called an informal meeting of the NPC to discuss ways in which the Council could aid relief efforts in Tamil Nadu. An informal meeting was called […]

Jaya seeks PM’s intervention for release of fishermen by Lanka

19th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Following the latest instance of arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaatoday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention for the release of 31 such persons along with their boats. “I urge your personal intervention… And request you to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities at the highest level to secure the immediate release of 31 apprehended fishermen and their 23 fishing boats in Sri Lankan custody, including the 17 fishermen and 2 fishing boats apprehended on June 20,” she said. These arrests “vitiate the congenial atmosphere” in which the state government facilitated three rounds of bilateral fishermen-level talks in Chennai in January and in Colombo in May last year […]

Government to release more land in North after UN Pressure

19th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government has decided to release more civilian land held by the military in the North, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today. He said that President Maithripala Sirisena will have discussions in this regard with the relevant officials. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had recently reiterated a demand to the Government to release civilian land occupied by the military in the North. Speaking in Parliament earlier this week, TNA member Mavai Senathirajah said that while the new Government has freed several acres of land in the North, a lot still remains under military control. Senathirajah took note of the land being used by the military in Palaly, some of which belongs to civilians who fled the area during the war.. He also said the TNA […]

Heated exchange over failure to appoint envoy to UK admin By admin

19th December 2015 // 0 Comments

A heated exchange of words took place in Parliament today over the failure by the Government to appoint a new High Commissioner to the UK. Opposition member Udaya Gammanpila asked the Government if it is not giving importance to Sri Lanka’s relations to the UK and if that is why a new High Commissioner has not yet been appointed to the vacant position. Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva responded by insisting that Sri Lanka does see the UK as an important partner and that a suitable High Commissioner will be appointed soon. He then went on to say that the former High Commissioner was mistreated and was even assaulted by a member of the former Government. “We do no assault over diplomats like the way […]

Sri Lankan woman in UK accused of blackmailing ex boss

17th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Scorned secretary blackmailed her former boss after they had an affair by demanding £200,000 to drop false rape claim she made against him Dilrushi Mendis claimed she was raped by businessman Nihal Seneviratne 40-year-old blackmailed ex-boss after he ended their affair and sacked her She demanded £200,000 from him in return for dropping false rape claims Mother-of-one handed a suspended prison sentence for blackmail charge A scorned secretary blackmailed her former boss after he broke off their affair by demanding £200,000 to drop a false rape claim she made against him. Married Dilrushi Mendis, 40, from Cricklewood, north west London, sought revenge on wealthy businessman Nihal Seneviratne by accusing him of rape after he ended their affair and sacked her. The Sri Lankan mother-of-one claimed […]

Consulate in Jaffna not able to receive funds for relief

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Because Centre has not made any appeal for foreign aid India’s Consulate General in Jaffna is not in a position to receive financial assistance directly from the Northern Provincial Council’s Assembly Secretariat, which is mobilising funds for rain-battered Tamil Nadu. This is because the Indian government has not made any appeal for foreign aid in connection with floods in Tamil Nadu, A.Natarajan, Consul General, says. Special case On Monday, Kandiya Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Council, met Mr Natarajan and urged him to relax the Indian authorities’ position as the Northern Provincial Council’s move, according to Mr. Sivagnanam, should be viewed as a special case. The Consul General, who appreciated members of the Council for their gesture, assured him that Mr. Sivagnanam’s request be examined. Under […]

PTA provisions replicated Dangerous room for arbitrary arrests…

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody Lawyers criticize the two Anti-hate Speech Draft Bills presented in Parliament recently which seek to criminalize the instigation of communal violence and disharmony. Chief Government Whip, Minister of Mass Media Gayantha Karunatilake presented two bills titled the ‘Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment)’ and the ‘Penal Code (Amendment)’ which are yet to be taken up for debate. The Bill, seeking to amend the Penal Code, states that “Whoever, by the use of words spoken, written or intended to be read, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, intends to cause or attempts to instigate acts of violence, or to create religious, racial or communal disharmony, or feelings of ill-will or hostility, between communities or different racial or religious groups, shall […]

Political bankruptcy of Joint Opposition

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw Professor G.L. Peiris criticized the manner the present government is dealing with the Tamil diaspora organizations and warned that the government’s attitude towards those organizations would renew the ‘Eelam dream’ of the LTTE locally as well as internationally. The former Minister of External Affairs was addressing a press briefing arranged by the Joint Opposition at the Dr. N.M. Perera Centre last Wednesday. After former Minister of Foreign Affairs tha late A.C.S. Hameed it was Professor G.L. Peiris who closely associated with the LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingam and even had the opportunity of meeting the outfit’s bigwigs abroad including Viswanathan Rudrakumar, the head of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam when the Norwegian facilitation process was in progress. As far as breaking the back […]

We need a political programme that favours justice to all communities, with proper devolution of power.

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

“Entire world was thoroughly disappointed” by the untold suffering caused to the civilians by the armed forces.  We now need to give equal treatment to all citizens, regardless of their culture and ethnicity. We must now take steps to introduce Tamil/Sinhalese to the curriculum as a compulsory subject in schools as well. The 19th and 20th century politicians were dreamers and philanthropists driven by honest and sincere desire to help the fellow human beings to improve their lot with dedication and genuineness. Those leaders in order to gain independent status, whether they be Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burgers or Malays, contributed collectively long before Singapore, Malaysia and several other countries.  Our country was then considered as a ‘model colony’ in the Commonwealth. After gaining Independence, with […]

All nationalities can be resettled in NP – Palihakkara

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

5000 acres of land belonging to civilians are occupied by the Army By Niranjala Ariyawansha Governor of the Northern Province H.M.G.S. Palihakkara told Ceylon Today that the Northern Provincial Council has come to an agreement with the government, opening the way for the settlement of families from all nationalities in the Northern Province. This includes Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims who had lived in the North prior to the commencement of the war. Palihakkara said steps will be taken to restore several acres of land which the Army had been using in Valikamam West, in the Northern Province, to their rightful owners who lived there prior to being displaced by the war. Meanwhile, another 41,000 IDPs, who were displaced by the war, still live in eight camps and […]

Future of politics in the country and the vision of the government

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Q What is happening  today in the country? The country is heading in the correct direction. New government completes its first year on January 8 next year. Rainbow revolution is not yet  one year and only four months  for the consensus government. But within this short period we have completely derouted from dictatorship rule.  The whole world  now recognises Sri Lanka as a country rapidly changing to a democracy. Samantha Power  who is a cabinet minister of the Obama Government  said President Obama calls Sri Lanka “Good News Country”. Only Sri  Lanka and Myanmar introduce good policies while most other countries are  entangled  in  confusion . Q Internationals are happy about our country but  do you see happiness among the people? It is impossible to […]

Beware: Chemical warfare by TNCs – EDITORIAL

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The economics of politics and the politics of economics being connected nationally and internationally, what we see to a large extent in developing countries such as Sri Lanka today is a subtle form of economic neocolonialism with the air power being given by transnational corporations (TNCs). According to most international analysts, the three biggest profit-making TNCs are the sophisticated mafias involved in the multi-billion-dollar arms trade, the agrochemical business and the pharmaceutical trade or Bigpharma. In Sri Lanka the Bigpharma TNCs have not given up their battle, though the new National Unity Government, after a long delay, this year passed the law to appoint the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to work out Prof. Senake Bibile’s essential medicines concept. President Maithripala Sirisena, Health Minister Rajitha […]

TNA Leader Sampanthan, Chief Minister Wigneswaran and the Crisis of Tamil Political Leadership.

16th December 2015 // 0 Comments

y D.B.S.Jeyaraj “For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel.Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov’d him!This was the most unkindest cut of all;For when the noble Caesar saw him stab, Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,Quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart” – William Shakespeare “Julius Caesar”(Act 3 Scene 2) Political tensions prevailing within the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) underwent a dramatic transformation last week. In an unexpected twist , Leader of the opposition and TNA leader , Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, declared in Batticaloa that he was prepared to step down in favour of Northern province chief minister Canagasabapathy Visvalingam Wigneswaran if the “Katchi”(party) and “Makkal”(people) wanted it. By doing so , the veteran Tamil politician from Trincomalee not only brought out the simmering […]

Wigneswaran against proposed “Grama Rajya”

15th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran today expressed opposition to the Government’s plan to introduce “Grama Rajya” as the unit of devolution of power, the New Indian Express reported. Presenting the Northern Provincial Council’s budget for 2016, Wigneswaran said that as per a circular sent by the Central Government, under the proposed “Grama Rajya” scheme of devolution, the Center’s village and provincial level development programs will be implemented by committees which come directly under it. This is tantamount to sidelining the Provincial Administration and the Provincial Council, Wigneswaran pointed out. Although the Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe government has a pleasant visage as compared to the regime it replaced, it is continuing the discredited policy of chipping away even the limited powers devolved to the provinces […]

NO Political package to Tamils – US

15th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The United States says the success in rebuilding Sri Lanka and reconciling the people will be an example to the rest of the world. Visiting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Designate) Thomas Shannon, speaking in Trincomalee today, said that during his visit it was exciting to witness first-hand the important work that communities, civil society organizations, and local authorities across this island are undertaking to improve the living standards of Sri Lankans. “I am impressed by the progress your country has made, both economically and socially. And the United States is so proud to work with you and help support that progress. For nearly 60 years, U.S. development assistance has invested in the people of Sri Lanka, in their communities, and in the relationship between our two nations,” […]

Withdraw Penal Code -TNA

15th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has called for the withdrawal of the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, placed on the Order Paper, citing that its provisions were identical to those of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), it is learnt. The government has decided to criminalize hate speech through the proposed legislation. The Bill seeks to introduce a new provision (Section 291C) to the Penal Code, No. 11 of 1887. A further Bill seeking to amend the Criminal Procedure Code Act, No. 15 of 1979 was also placed on the Order Paper. However, the TNA led by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said the proposed Section 291C was identical to Section 2(1)(h) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No. 48 of 1979 (PTA). “The previous […]

Don’t amend Penal Code: BBS

15th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today objected to the amending of the Criminal Justice Procedure Code and the Penal Code. BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera said it would be bad for the country and the people if that were to happen. “These Acts if amended can be used as weapons to suppress people, politicians and national organisations in the country,” he said. “These two amendments have been published in the Gazette notification on November 6. We have the right to stand against the move to amend the acts and we will not allow them to be passed in Parliament.” The government seeks to amendment the first schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Section 291 C of the Penal Code to make […]

Mangala of giving evasive answer on ”SECRET CAMPS”

15th December 2015 // 0 Comments

EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandran claims that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is not providing the answer to his allegation that secret detention camps did exist in the North and East where hundreds of Tamils were detained. “The Foreign Minister has told the media that the government will take tough action if it can be proved that secret detention camps exist in the country, but this is not the answer to the question raised by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and me,” the former militant turned politician told The Island. “I have revealed the existence of at least two secret detention camps at Varani and Trincomalee but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Law and Order Minister at that time, John Amaratunga denied their […]

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