8th December 2015

Jaffna political prisoner declares hunger strike

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

A Tamil political prisoner has declared a hunger-strike to highlight the ongoing delays in the release of Tamil political prisoners. Currently being held at the Jaffna Prison, 36-year-old S. Jeleepan is undertaking the hunger strike, which has already come to the attention of the Commissioner General of Prisons. Jeleepan, originally from Achuveli, was arrested in 2006 while travelling from Mullaitivu to Polannaruwa. He was held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act under charges of plotting to assassinate the current President and then government minister, Maithripala Sirisena; receiving combat training in Jaffna; and carrying out attacks. Jeleepan has been detained without trial for six years, since the Assistant Superintendent that extracted a confession from him, named as Senakumarasinghe, never took the case to the Jaffna High […]

Government defends de-listing diaspora groups admin By admin

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government today defended the de-listing of several diaspora groups and individuals earlier accused of having links to terrorism. State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijeywardena, speaking in Parliament, said that the de-listing was carried out following a comprehensive study conducted out on the groups and individuals by a high level committee. He said that the study concluded that the diaspora groups and individuals who were de-proscribed recently were not involved in terrorism related activities over the past three years. Opposition Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma earlier questioned the basis on which the groups and individuals were cleared of links to terrorism. He said that the even the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) which was de-listed has not publicly denounced separatism and continues to promote ‘Eelam’ on its official website. The Government […]

TNA wants land and police powers for provinces

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today called for land and police powers to be devolved to the provinces. TNA Parliamentarian and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) leader Selvam Adaikalanathan told Parliament today that the 13th Amendment must be fully implemented. He said that as part of the 13th Amendment to the constitution, powers should be fully devolved to the provinces. TNA Parliamentarian Sivashakthi Anand said that past Government’s failed to fully implement the 13th Amendment. He told Parliament today that the former Government even removed some of the clauses in the 13th Amendment through the 18th Amendment to the constitution. (Colombo Gazette)

The Future of US-Sri Lanka Relations

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

As Washington continues to embrace Sri Lanka’s new government, it’s important to remember that America’s next president is unlikely to shake up ties. Sri Lanka’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, will soon complete his first year in office and many promises remain unfulfilled. More recently, we’re now hearing talk about the creation of a special court to handle alleged wartime abuses and the drafting of a new constitution. Would expecting genuine progress on either of the aforementioned fronts be realistic? After all, there remain other, less complicated aspects of reform that the Sirisena administration has yet to address, such as the matter of Tamil political prisoners. Given Colombo’s unwillingness to address some of the more straightforward matters, is it reasonable to believe that more complex changes are […]

Are “War Heroes” Entitled to Immunity From the Consequences of Any Crime That They May Commit?

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dr. Devanesan Nesiah We daily read and often hear of “war heroes”, and of our duty from protect them from any charges of misconduct. This is one of the few issues on which there is virtual consensus among Sinhalese political leaders. Even non-Sinhalese political leaders seem to be reluctant to directly challenge this position. However, there is much debate on related issues such as terrorism, war crimes, human rights violation and transitional justice. There are broad internationally accepted definitions of these terms, subject to much dispute on some of the finer points. But, I have not come across any clear definition of the term “war heroes”. In common usage, this term seems to cover everyone who fought on the winning side of the protracted […]

EU supports building of houses in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa via Euro14 m grant

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

With a financial envelope of Euro 14 million, more than 300,000 people are expected to benefit from the support provided by the European Union to build houses and improve community infrastructure for internally displaced people and returnees. The activities will be implemented from 2016-2018 in nine selected divisions of the Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa districts by Habitat for Humanity. This initiative dovetails on the earlier housing programs for which the European Union contributed with Euro 50 million in the districts of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya and Batticaloa. Speaking during the signing of the project, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, David Daly said: “The project contributes to a sustainable solution for returnee families with the specific objective […]

Sixty eight percent of Sinhalese for devolution – Chandrika

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

I engaged French Company to do the survey by Zacki Jabbar Former President and current Chairperson of the Office For National Unity and Reconciliation, Chandrika Kumaratunga says that a survey carried out by her has revealed that 68 percent of the Sinhalese are for a political solution to the ethnic issue. Kumaratunga revealed, in Colombo last week, that except two others in her office, no one else knew that she had engaged the services of a French Company to ascertain the views of Sri Lankans on her government’s proposals to address the ethnic issue. “At the commencement of the survey only 23 percent of the Sinhalese were for a negotiated solution. But at the end of it, the number had increased to 68 percent,” she […]

Caste & Camp People In Jaffna: Landownership & Landlessness

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

By Thanges Paramsothy – The issues confronting the Tamil IDPs in Jaffna have not been resolved for the last twenty-five years mainly due to the continuing presence of the so-called “High Security Zones” (“HSZs”) created by the Sri Lankan state and its forces. Tamils who were displaced from their lands of origin such as Palaali, Myliddy, Thaiyiddy and Kangesanthurai during the internal armed conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan state have not yet been resettled in their lands even after more than six years from the brutal end of the war. Before going to discuss the caste and land issues of the IDPs living in IDP camps, a brief classification of the displaced people from the northernmost costal […]

Sajith: Former President has no right to claim govt. is ill-treating security forces

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa yesterday said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had no right to claim that the incumbent government was ill-treating and ridiculing the security forces; it was the Rajapaksa government which insulted Field Marshal (then General) Sarath Fonseka and other war heroes. Premadasa said, “Rajapaksas threw war hero, Sarath Fonseka, who was instrumental in defeating terrorism behind bars.” “FM Fonseka provided military leadership to the country’s war against the LTTE and the people of this country are well aware of the sacrifices made by him and his officers and men. But, the Rajapaksas were so ungrateful to a man who had defeated the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world and with the results of the 2010 Presidential election was out, […]

TULF Leader hitches his wagon to Northern Chief Minister

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

By Mohamed Haniff General Secretary of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) , Veerasingham Anandasangaree is of the view that Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran is the only leader capable of solving the issues of the Tamils in the North and East. The TULF leader told The Island yesterday that he could even consider changing the name of his party if CM Vigneshwaran made a request to that effect. “For unity’s sake, I will accommodate any political request of this straight-talking, honest personality,” Sangaree, who passed out of the Law College in 1967 said, adding that Wigneshwaran, a former Law College batchmate, spoke fearlessly against injustice caused by governments to the Tamil people. Asked whether the constituents of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would agree to […]

Sri Lankan shares end at more than 8-month low

8th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Dec 7 Sri Lankan shares closed at their lowest in more than eight months on Monday on worries that the new budget proposals would hit earnings of financial firms. Sri Lankan police detained a former chairman of the country’s stock market regulator on Monday amid an investigation into financial misappropriation, days after detaining another top regulatory official. The International Monetary Fund on Monday said Sri Lanka’s 2016 budget raises questions about its ambitious revenue and capital expenditure targets as the government is falling far short of steps needed to improve the tax system. Investor sentiment was also dented after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s warning last week of lower economic growth in 2016 due to the global slowdown. The main stock index ended 0.16 percent weaker […]