9th December 2015

Raviraj killing: case against 7 suspects goes ahead

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The case against seven suspects in the killing of TNA Jaffna District MP Nadaraja Raviraj, was today fixed for January 4 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Nirosha Fernando, including three suspects in absentia, who were under open warrants. Senior State Counsel, Dilan Ratnayake, who appeared for the Attorney General’s Department, sought permission to hear the case in the absence of three suspects, Palana Sami Suresh, Sivakanth Vivekanandan and Fabian Royston Toussaint, under clause 148 Criminal Procedure Code. Meanwhile, after getting the opinion of the Attorney General, the Magistrate discharged two suspects in the case, Nalaka Mathakadeera and Aruna Shantha. Seven suspects, Palana Sami Suresh, Prasad Hettiarachchi, Gamini Seneviratne, Pradeep Chaminda, Sivakanth Vivekanandan, Fabian Royston Toussaint and Sampath Munasinghe were charged on five counts over the killing […]

Vijayakala should go to Higher Court – Douglas

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

BY Mirudhula Thambiah Former Minister and Jaffna District Parliamentarian, Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) Leader, Douglas Devananda said he is ready to face any inquiry relating to any assassination or disappearance. “I cannot be blamed for the disappearance of 3,000 people, this is highly ridiculous. It is a joke!” he said. Following are excerpts from an interview: ? You are continuously demanding for the release of Tamil political prisoners on a general amnesty. However, why couldn’t you release them when you represented the former government? A: I was very much interested and involved in the release of Tamil prisoners since 1997, when I represented the former governments. I was able to get the release of many prisoners with the assistance of human rights lawyer Maheswari; […]

Four women Mahinda was unable to cheat

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

A glance to the past of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidency that spanned nearly a decade would reveal that there were four female names he mostly disliked. The first of that four was Chandrika Kumaratunga. The second was United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. The third was United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.  The fourth was former United States Ambassador to Colombo Michele J.Sisson. Of the four, Mahinda mostly hated or disliked Samantha Power. Whenever Mahinda met with his Cabinet colleagues he used to repeat, “That thin woman in the White House is the person who is creating all these problems for me”. Mahinda incurred heavy expenditure to create a rift between the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Samantha […]

SLMC makes its views known on constitutional reforms

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

SLMC Leader Minister Rauff Hakeem said that his party will oppose even the abolition of the Executive Presidency if the electoral reforms which are proposed to be introduced are not fair. He further said that the existing system gives minorities leverage as votes cast island-wide are taken into consideration. Minister Rauff Hakeem revealed this in a discussion with visiting Norwegian constitutional and global electoral reform expert Kave Vollan held in the Parliament complex on Tuesday (8). KaveVollan explained briefly the election systems prevailing in Scotland, Germany and New Zealand. He also stressed that important aspects found in election systems in different countries should be studied thoroughly before introducing electoral reforms in any country. State Minister V. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Minister Faizal Cassim, Parliamentarians Ali Zahir Moulana, […]

Will India-Maithri and Ranil honeymoon be over?

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The United National Party (UNP) Government that was installed in office in 2001 after toppling the Chandrika Kumaratunga Government was blessed by the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) of India. It’s no secret how the UNP was brought to power. Similarly, it’s an open secret that Chandrika grabbed three ministries of the UNP Government to topple Ranil’s Government a few years later with the help of the Office of the Indian High Commissioner located in Colombo. The base of that blessing was to hand over the reconstruction contract of the Palaly Air Base to India as requested by the Indian High Commission in Colombo. It is clearly embodied in the book ‘My Belly is White’ authored by then Defence Secretary Austin Fernando. The following passage clearly […]

Focus On Reconsilation

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya With the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passing a resolution in September this year on Sri Lanka regarding the alleged violations of human rights in the country during the final phase of the war, the new government now has to submit a report by 2017 to the UNHRC on the progress they made in securing human rights of the people in the country, and on other issues. The government had promised that they would seek the support of civil society organisations towards the government’s accountability and reconciliation effort. However, some claim that the keen interest that the government showed earlier in this regard has now somewhat diminished. In this backdrop, The Sunday Leader sought views of several civil society representatives and […]

Between Accountability And Self-Determination

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

by N Sathiya Moorthy At a recent news conference, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga, or CBK for short, now heading the post-polls Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, has declared that the proposed Special Court on ‘accountability issue’ would investigate the ‘main line of command’ (on the Government side) and not soldiers, who were only carrying out orders. In the same vein, she has also said that the court would also investigate the ‘actions of living ex-LTTE leaders’. It is unclear if the cadres of a non-State player would also be spared likewise, and only their leaders would be probed. It is anybody’s guess if the Government leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, collectively or selectively, shared CBK’s views in public that […]

Chennai floods: With no stairs to climb to roof, rising water swallowed ex-Army officer, wife

9th December 2015 // 0 Comments

At Kotturpuram, a relief worker pacifies people gathered around the vehicle for bed mats. In several parts of the city, relief workers faced violence from desperate people who have excess food supplies but have lost all belongings. (Source: Arun Janardhanan) It was just a matter of 13 hours. On December 1 night, a retired Lieutenant Colonel was taking a walk in his neighbourhood when he noticed the Adyar river rising. By next morning, the water had risen up to their terrace and he had drowned in his home. The last hours of retired Lt Col G Venkatesan, 72, and his wife Geetha were witnessed by their neighbours S Rajagopalan and S P Sanjay, who themselves struggled to survive the deluge in Chennai last week. Around […]