January 2016

Country will remain unitary; NE won’t be re-merged – govt.

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando The government has given an assurance that the unitary status of the country wouldn’t be changed under any circumstances. Deputy Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ajith Perera made the pledge during a live debate on Sirasa Saturday night. The Kalutara District MP emphasised that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government wouldn’t renege on assurance that the unitary status would be retained. Attorney-at-law Perera insisted that contrary to what he called lies being propagated by certain vested interests the Eastern Province wouldn’t be re-merged with the Northern Province through constitutional means. The former Deputy Foreign Minister declared that as a member of the team involved in the constitutional making process he was aware that there was absolutely no basis for claims that the government would compromise […]

Tamil People’s Council says it will not restrict membership

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) has said it will not limit its membership to its founder members numbering 35. “The number of the council members will not be limited to thirty five. It will expand further as there are discussions in progress between the Office of the Convening Committee and some political parties as well as civil society organisations.” Full text of the TPC media statement: “The Tamil People’s Council was founded in the presence of religious dignitaries and the Chief Minister for the Northern Province to look into the Tamil people’s wellbeing, safety and integrity. “The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) will be Co-chaired by C. V. Wigneswaran, Dr P Lakshman, Consultant Cardiologist at the Teaching Hospital, Jaffna and T Vasantharajah, the secretary of the […]

Tony Blair and Sampanthan discuss UN resolution

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and opposition leader R Sampanthan today and discussed the UN resolution on Sri Lanka. The TNA media office said that the discussion also included resettlement, accountability, a political solution, the return of Tamil people’s land, and disappeared persons. Blair is in Sri Lanka to attend an economic forum at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government. There is speculation Blair is keen to play the role of peace-maker on the Sri Lankan issue. (Colombo Gazette)

Blame Govt and Muslim politicos – Salley

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Blame Govt and Muslim politicos – Salley By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Leader of the National Unity Front Azath Salley says the government and Muslim politicians should accept total responsible for any Muslim being radicalized and enticed to leave the country secretly to join Islamic State (ISIS) forces. He warned of an uprising along the lines of the LTTE Eelam war if the Muslims are not treated equally and suppressed instead. Salley said he was deeply concerned about the ISIS and feared the creation of an uprising if the Muslims are given step-motherly treatment. He warned that no one would be able to prevent this happening if the Muslim community was constantly ill-treated. Charging that his community had sustained immense sufferings under the last regime he […]

36 Sri Lankans gone to Syria; some to join ISIS: Def. Secy.

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

At least 36 Sri Lankans are reported to have gone to Syria with some of them having joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said today. He said according to reports, several Sri Lankans with their families including several women and children have been among those who had gone to Syria. “They had said they were going on pilgrimage but I believe that some of them had joined the ISIS” he said. Mr. Hettiarachchi said he was not in possession of the details of how or with whom they had left the country. Last year in July, a 37-year-old Sri Lankan, who had joined ISIS was reportedly killed during a bombing raid in Syria. Meanwhile, Mr. Hettiarachchi […]

Pasupathy Rejects Wigneswaran’s Invitation To Join Radical Tamil Outfit

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Former Sri Lankan Attorney General and constitutional expert, Shiva Pasupathy, has “rejected outright” Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran’s invitation to join the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP) as his personal representative on the sub-committee on constitutional reform, sources close to Pasupathy told Express on Monday. Australia-based Pasupathy, who had gone to Jaffna on a private visit last week, was contacted by Wigneswaran over the phone and requested to be his representative on the sub-committee. But Pasupathy told him bluntly that he did not think that forming a separate outfit like the TMP was “appropriate” at a time when serious attempts were being made to find a solution to the Tamil question within Lanka and Tamil unity was the need of the hour. Wigneswaran doggedly persisted, […]

Lankan Tamil refugee sets herself afire in India

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

A 31-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil refugee set herself afire in the Refugee Camp at Kottapattu here in the late hours on Saturday. The woman J. Rohini is undergoing treatment at the Mahatma Gandhi Government Hospital here. Police sources said domestic tiff between the woman and her husband was said to have driven her to resort to the extreme step. The woman poured kerosene on her body and set herself afire in the refugee camp in the late night hours. The sources said the woman had suffered nearly 40 per cent burns.

UK Comedy Hypnotist Alan Bates to perform in Sri Lanka

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

UK Comedy Hypnotist Alan Bates will perform live in Sri Lanka on January 12 at the Ballroom, Hilton Colombo. This charity dinner show is in aid of Sooriyawewa Weliwewa Pradeepa pre-school to help construct a building and provide related school equipment. In addition to Alan Bates’s interactive  stage show, guests will enjoy pre-dinner cocktails and canapes hosted by Wine World and then a formal sit-down dinner paired with Chapoutier wine. The  Senok Ceylon Tea Experience, Illy Coffee and   Irish Coffee are all part of the exciting blend. The evening will also have “A Touch of Glamour” – as designers from Buddhi  Batik, Indi, Koca,  Olive Couture, Ramona Oshini, Aslam of Gee Bees  and Ramzi will present one “Show Stopper” piece which will be displayed during […]

2015 GCE A/L – Poor results in North & East

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

2015 GCE A/L high fliers BY CASSENDRA DOOLE The GCE Advanced Level 2015 results were released yesterday (3), said the Department of Examinations. Results could be promptly obtained via the following: www.doenets.lk. and www.results.exams.gov.lk. Dasun Jayasinghe of Royal College, Colombo has topped the island in the Maths stream according to the 2015 GCE Advanced Level examination results. Second place was obtained by Dananjaya Dissanayake of Maliyadeva College (Boys), Kurunegala, while Sachith Kasthuriarachchi of Ratnapura Seevali Central College obtained third place in the island. Thepuli Umesha from Rathnawali Balika Maha Vidyalaya has obtained the island first ranking in the Bio Science stream. J.M. Mohamed of the President’s Science College, Puttalam obtained second place and Wathsala Siriwardene of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo have obtained third places. Akila Mohammed of Maliyadeva […]

Families seek justice on 10th anniversary of the killing of five Tamil students

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

On the 10th anniversary of the extra judicial killing of five Tamil students in Trincomalee on 2 January 2006, the families of the youth request the Government to bring the culprits to justice. Dr. Kasippillai Manoharan, a father of one of the murdered students, has issued a joint statement with Amnesty International requesting the Government to conduct an unbiased probe into the killing and deliver justice to the victims. The killing of the five Tamil students took place on 2 January 2006 when they were playing in the beach. The students were detained briefly and then shot to death. Four of the students were vying for university entrance while the other had already been selected to the University of Moratuwa. The authorities claimed the students […]

Sri Lanka: A post-colonial tragedy in-the-making

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Ripped apart by civil war, the island nation ‘has forgotten any other way to live’ This Divided Island by Samanth Subramanian.  The Sri Lankan civil war came to an abrupt end on a sandy beach in May 2009. The government army was unrelenting in its shelling of a three-square-kilometre strip in the island’s northeastern part, which sheltered an estimated 100,000 civilians used as human shields by the rebel group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). They eventually killed its megalomaniac leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, whose guerrilla tactics included recruiting child soldiers and suicide bombers. A mere three years later, Subramanian, who writes for The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and the like, travelled throughout the island nation with an ambitious task: to document what the […]

Trincomalee students massacre 10th anniversary

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Today is the 10th anniversary of the well-known massacre of five students on the beach at Trincomalee in 2006. Amnesty International is releasing this video with the father of Ragihar Manoharan, one of the victims. We are seeking the truth about what happened on that day and who was responsible. The families need justice for their lost sons.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwLMEh_gV1k Amnesty is calling for a proper investigation of this incident, one of thousands of unresolved cases over the years.

Political Settlement Based on the “Federal Idea” in a “New” Sri Lanka

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The new year has dawned on a note of hope and optimism for Sri Lanka! On January 9th 2016 President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to present a resolution in Parliament that proposes to convert Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly. The envisaged Constitutional Assembly is different to the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1972 Republican Constitution. The political vision of the Sirisena –Wickremesinghe Govt is to enact a new Constitution differently. A Consensual approach would be adopted.A steering committee comprising representatives of all political parties would help “guide” the Constitutional assembly in drafting a new Constitution. This would be approved by cabinet and thereafter presented in Parliament. It would be passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and by a majority at an Island wide […]

Over 1 lakh Tamils still living as refugees in India

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

More than six-and-a-half years after the civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended, over 1.22 lakh people from the neighbouring island continue to live as refugees in other countries, while another 50,000 people are internally-displaced, according to the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A total of 1,22,533 persons from Sri Lanka are living as refugees in other countries and 15,504 persons (pending cases) have sought asylum there. A total of 50,268 have been internally displaced within the country, the Mid-Year Trends 2015 released by UNHCR recently stated, according to The Hindu newspaper. While 231 refugees returned to the island in the first half of last year, none of those […]

Swire here next week to extend UK support

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next week, sources told the Colombo Gazette. Swire is scheduled to have talks with the Government and the opposition during the visit. Following the August Parliamentary elections, the British Government had said it looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka. While congratulating Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on his reappointment to the post in August, Hugo Swire had said he looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka on peace and prosperity.(Colombo Gazette)

It was a mere request to Army to repair drains: Wigneswaran

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Allaying misgivings about a request he had made to the army, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran said, he had merely requested the army to look into the possibility of repairing the drainage system in Jaffna, as it was the army that had filled the drains with earth during the war to prevent the LTTE from planting claymore mines in them. He regretted that some people had twisted his request. (Romesh Madushanka) – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/101603/it-was-a-mere-request-to-army-to-repair-drai#sthash.XTZuv5PA.dpuf

Sinhale word written on walls of some Muslim houses in Nugegoda

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Sinhale,   a campaign initiated by an ultra – nationalist Sinhala Buddhist group reached a new height today with an unknown group writing the same word on the walls of some houses belonging to Muslims in the Nugegoda area. People from the area said it could be a well – orchestrated move to provoke the Muslims in the Nugegoda area and push them into a clash of some sort. “The word has been written on the walls and gates of Muslim houses last night. It is clear that their main target has been Muslims,” a resident told Asian Mirror.  They said the residents would lodge Police complaints in connection with the incident. The ‘Sinhale’  campaign was started on social media platforms, such as Facebook, by […]

Sri Lanka president pledges land for 100,000 war victims

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Colombo (AFP) – Up to 100,000 people still living in camps six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal ethnic war will be given land to build homes within six months, President Maithripala Sirisena told AFP Sunday.  The leader, elected last January, has won praise for starting to hand back land after the end of one of South Asia’s longest and bloodiest ethnic wars, which pitted the government against Tamil separatists. But he is also under international pressure to do more to reconcile the ethnically divided nation. “It is an ambitious target, but I will see that all the internally displaced people are given land to build homes,” the president said in an interview with AFP. “I am setting up a mechanism to complete […]

Army probing Captain Tissa links

4th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Army probing Captain Tissa links By Niranjala Ariyawansha Wasim Thajudeen’s murder probe entered a phase with potentially serious political repercussions with the Army opening a probe into Captain Tissa Wimalasena who has been identified by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as a major suspect in the assassination of national rugby player WasimThajudeen, sources said. Investigators claim to have identified links between Captain Tissa Wimalasena and few more killings and other crimes. Last week, the CID also identified Wimalasena’s links to several crimes including assault of the former Secretary to the Judicial Services Commission Manjula Thilakaratne, the sources said. Wimalasena is now detained in an Army camp in Jaffna. He served as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Chief Transport Officer and was under a corruption charge probe […]

Divaina Sinhala Newspaper First Ever Diaspora Interview with English Translation

3rd January 2016 // 0 Comments

Dear All, Attached is Page 5 of Divaina, a Sinhala Newspaper in Sri Lanka. This was the first ever Diaspora interview published by ANY Sinhala newspaper in Sri Lanka. English translation of the Q&A is as below. Best, Suren Q: Is there a deadline for setting up of war crimes court? Yes, there is as far as I know. Hon Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced in September at the UN Human Rights Council that he will consult all stakeholders on setting up of the accountability mechanism by end of February 16. The resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka also calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to give the Council a verbal report on progress at the June 16 session.   Q:Will you (GTF) appear before it? […]

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