January 2016

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM THE PREMIER OF ONTARIO KATHLEEN WYNNE

8th January 2016 // 0 Comments

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM THE PREMIER On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am pleased to extend warm greetings to the members of the Tamil community on the occasion of Tamil Heritage Month. We are blessed to live in Ontario — a welcoming place that has respect for all languages, cultures and beliefs. Occasions such as this one bring us together to pay tribute to the cultural mosaic we have built. Ontario is proud to be home to a large and dynamic Tamil Canadian community. I wish to commend the members of the Tamil community for their dedication towards preserving and promoting your rich and vast culture. Know that your commitment to celebrating your tradition and heritage is helping to build a stronger Tamil […]

Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 06-01-2016

8th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 06-01-2016 Introduction of the ‘Virusara’ privilege card for war heroes (Document No – 09) It has been decided to introduce a privilege card called ‘Virusara’ for benefitting war heroes who have died, disappeared and disabled of the Three forces, police and the Civil Security Department and their dependents, who have sacrificed their lives for the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. It will enable them to enjoy special benefits in purchasing consumer goods and services such as health, education, banking, insurance, leasing etc. As its first step the card will be presented to 50,000 war heroes. The ceremony to award these privilege cards to 5000 war heroes and dependents will be held on 25-01-2016 at […]

‘Council Of Tamils’ – TNA’s Baby

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

By Eelaventhan Manickavasakar – The formation of the ‘Council of Tamils’ a new non-political group consisting of civilians of eminence, religious dignitaries, and members of some political parties did not shock many but caused some ripples among the Tamil leaders. The council is spear headed by NP’s chief minister C.V. Wigneswaran with whom TNA’s leadership is at loggerheads on several issues like genocide, international investigation, relationship with present dilly dallying government, etc. The council appears to be generating wide support among Tamils including diaspora and even from some TNA members of parliament. Wigneswaran’s handling of politics as a judge expressing views forthrightly and frankly surely is an irritant to professional politicians in TNA who are now adopting a humble and pleasing approach to the inactive […]

Costly Legal Consulting From Rajapaksha

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Startling revelations have come to light that Gowers International, also known as NR Associates, a law firm owned by Hambantota District MP Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa, had allegedly earned millions of rupees from government departments and semi-government institutions by providing legal consulting during the former Rajapaksa regime. Namal Rajapaksa took oaths as an Attorney-at-Law in December 2012 after a much controversial law examination and established his own law firm one month after he became a lawyer – in January 2013. Although all junior lawyers gain experience under senior lawyers before commencing their own practice, Namal Rajapaksa has reportedly not worked under any senior lawyer but had immediately established his own law firm to which most of the government institutions and certain private establishments entrusted all their […]

Norway to hold talks with ex-President Chandrika admin By admin

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

The Norwegian Government is to hold talks with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Børge Brende, who will undertake a one-day official visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow, will hold talks with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the Foreign Ministry said. Norway played a key role in Sri Lanka during the war when Kumaratunga was President. The last visit by a Foreign Minister of Norway took place in 2005. The former President currently heads the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). Børge Brende is visiting Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera. Minister Brende will hold bilateral discussions with Minister Samaraweera at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tomorrow, following which the two ministers will address the media. […]

‘War Crime’ accused Gotha Rajapaksha upset on TNA, Blair talks on accountability

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

War Crime accused Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a desperate effort to halt the Sri Lankan military offensive in May 2009 (which killed more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians) and had talked about accountability issues in Sri Lanka this week, whereas the UK was yet to release its own war crimes investigation report that dealt with alleged atrocities committed by British forces during six-year deployment in Iraq. UK quit Iraq in 2009. Gotha Rajapaksa said Blair should request former Whitehall official Sir John Chilcot at least to give a definite date for the publication of Iraq war crimes report. Chilcot launched the investigation in 2009.  The former Defence Secretary was responding to Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan discussing accountability […]

Sooka claims ‘white vans’ still operating in Lanka

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

New evidence has emerged of on-going torture and sexual violence by the Sri Lankan security forces one year after a new government came to power promising a radical clean up. “Sadly Sri Lanka’s notorious ‘white vans’ are still operating; it’s very much business as usual,” the Executive Director of the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) Yasmin Sooka said adding that “this demonstrates there can be no accountability without urgent security sector reform that leads to the dismantling of the state’s machinery of repression”. Sooka was a former member of the panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon to investigate human rights abuses soon after the war in Sri Lanka. ITJP says twenty Tamil survivors in four countries around the world gave detailed testimony […]

Sri Lanka’s torture machine continues in peacetime

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

PHNOM PENH, 6 January 2016 (IRIN) – Sri Lanka’s new government has been lauded for efforts at reconciliation after a devastating civil war. Yet, civilians are still being abducted, tortured and sexually abused by security forces, according to a report published today. The abuses carry echoes of the not-so-distant past. War erupted in the early 1980s in the island nation when the Tamil Tigers began fighting for an independent homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority, which had suffered discrimination under the Sinhalese majority. The conflict finally ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, but by then more than 100,000 people had been killed, mostly civilians. Thousands more civilians disappeared during the war in a practice that became known as “white vanning”, […]

Eknaligoda Case Reaches Major Breakthrough: Two Suspects Indicate “Authority” Which Ordered Abduction

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

In a major turn of events, two suspects, who have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda, has indicated the ‘authority’ which gave ordered to abduct and kill the journalist because of his close links with former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka who contested against Rajapaksha for the post of President of Sri Lanka.  The CID’s suspicion had been directed at another Rajapaksha a senior figure of the previous administration who played a key role in the country’s defence establishment, but are asked to keep their mouth shut as the current Government of ‘Maithiri and Ranil’ wants to safe guard the Rajapaksha family. This only proves that the current ”Good Governance”  ‘Maithiri and Ranil’ government is bad as the Rajapaksha government which killed […]

‘WIGNESWARAN BEING CAREFULLY WATCHED’

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan slammed at his party stalwart, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran stating that the latter’s conduct was being “carefully watched”. “The unique opportunity the country has been given to solve the national issue should not be spoilt by taking rigid and strident postures,” the Opposition Leader said, in an interview with the Daily News, lashing out at the conduct of the Northern Province Chief Minister. “Unduly, rigid and strident postures are not helpful. Any resolution has to be adopted by a two thirds majority in Parliament; it must be approved by the people at a referendum, which means in a constitutional resolution of the national question we should be able to carry along the majority of the people with us,” Sampanthan […]

Army denies reports of torture camps in Valikamam North

6th January 2016 // 0 Comments

BY S.S.Sakthi The Army has denied reports, on the existence of torture camps, in the areas released a week ago in Valikamam North. 700 acres of land area has been released for the resettlement of IDPs by the security forces in the North. President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to officially hand over the documents confirming the land ownership of their original lands, at a function coinciding with ‘Thai Pongal’ celebration on 15 January, sources said. After the handing over of the 700 acre land to the Jaffna Government Agent last week, IDPs were allowed to see their original places. Some of the IDPs had reported that they saw the rooms and other areas inside their houses were made up in a manner of operating torture […]

Jaffna District crime free

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Jaffna District crime free Jaffna High Court Judge M. Illanchelian has pledged to make Jaffna District a region free of criminal activities. Judge Illanchelian was addressing his staff on 1 January and emphasized the need to work towards building a crime free Jaffna District. On the first day of 2016 the judicial officials of the Jaffna District gathered at the Jaffna Courts along with the Court staff to take their oaths ensuring efficiency and promising to render their service to the judicial service with dedication. Addressing the event Judge Illanchelian said that the previous year had been a challenging year in maintaining law and order in Jaffna. The High Court Judge referred to the incident of the murder of schoolgirl Vithya in Pungudutivu and the […]

Kepapilavu Villagers Demand Return Of Land, Protest Army Occupation

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Mullaitivu villagers protested against militarization and demanded the return of their occupied lands on Monday. Kepapilavu residents demonstrated against the occupation of 475 acres of their land and called out slogans demanding the army get out. Placards saying “we want our land” and “we need our land” were held by the protesters. The protest was led by TNPF’s Mullaitivu co-ordinator Mrs Inthirani Vivekananthan.  Police were seen at the protest photographing demonstrators. Since 2012 Kepapilavu villagers have been living in a so-called model village developed by the Ministry for Resettlement, because according to the ministry they “could not be resettled in their land due to their land in the village being required for the Security Force Headquarters in Mullaitivu.” The model village was inaugurated by LTTE […]

Norway seeks to renew political contact with Sri Lanka

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Norway’s foreign minister will visit Sri Lanka this week in a bid to re-establish political contact, his office said Tuesday, almost 10 years after Oslo failed in a bid to mediate in the island’s civil war. Borge Brende’s visit, which begins Thursday, will be the first by a Norwegian minister to Sri Lanka since 2006, the foreign ministry said in a statement. “The aim of the visit to Colombo is to re-establish political contact with Sri Lanka,” Brende said, adding: “The recent political developments in the country in the past year have made this possible.” In the early 2000s, Norway mediated between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but a 2002 ceasefire didn’t last. Authoritarian president Mahinda Rajapakse, […]

Probe Mahindananda’s claim that Lalith, Kugan were murdered- FSP

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

By Dilanka Gunathilaka The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has requested the government to resuscitate the investigations into the alleged disappearance of two of its activists Lalith Kumar Weeraraju and Kugan Muruganandan. The FSP has told the government that UPFA Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage who was a Cabinet Minister of the UPFA regime when the two activists had disappeared on 10 December 2011 had now publicly stated on 2 January that the two activists had been allegedly murdered. “As the Police were unable to get hold of people with knowledge on Lalith and Kugan’s disappearance the inquiries have been stalled. Due to the comment of MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, we request the government to revive the stalled investigations,” an FSP source told Ceylon Today. FSP sources […]

SL to release all Indian fishermen before Thai Pongal

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Will not release Indian trawlers and fishing gear SL Navy refutes allegations of falsely slapping charges on Indian fishermen By Shanika Sriyananda As a good will gesture to strengthen its friendship with India, the government has decided to release all Indian fishermen in custody before Thai Pongal Day on 15 January. Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told the Daily FT that the government has no interest in keeping the Indian fishermen in prison but want to discourage them intruding into Sri Lankan waters. “It has become a menace. The business is operated by some of the Tamil Nadu politicians, who own the trawlers,” he claimed adding that the government wanted to send all the Indian fishermen in custody, home so they could celebrate […]

Jaya Sends Another Letter to PM Over Fishermen Arrest Issue

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: In the wake of the latest instance of arrest of 12 Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today shot off another letter to the Centre, seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter. Jayalalithaa said people of the state were “unhappy with the lack of any concrete measures on behalf of the Government of India on the vexed fishermen issue.” In the letter to the PM seeking his intervention for release of 104 fishermen and 66 boats from Sri Lanka, she said it was “very regrettable” that many of these fishermen remained under Lankan custody for long period, unable to spend the festive season with their families. She wrote to Modi following the arrest of 12 Tamil Nadu […]

Eight Tamil fishermen held by Lankan navy

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Chennai, Jan. 4 (ANI): The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested eight Tamil fishermen from Nagapattinam. The arrest reportedly came following a skirmish in mid-sea with Lankan fishermen. The Tamil fishermen from Akkarapettai in Nagapattinam district were fishing near Mullatheevu when their boat collided with the boat of Lankan fishermen, which sank in the mid sea as a result of the impact. Lankan fishermen cornered the fishermen from Nagai and with ropes dragged the fishing boat to Sri Lanka. The Tamil fishermen were handed over to the Lankan Navy, along with the boat. The Lankan Navy formally arrested the eight Tamil fishermen and took possession of their fishing boats. This incident has created lot of tension in the fishermen hamlets of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. Tamil […]

Crown Witness alleges Navy officials involved in Raviraj killing

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

While giving evidence relating to the inquiry on the killing of former TNA Jaffna District MP Nadaraja Raviraj led by the DSG, the crown witness of the inquiry, Sampath Prithiviraj, revealed that the alleged killing was planned by officials attached to the Navy intelligence office located in the Gangarama, Laundrywatta area at that time. The witness was earlier a suspect in the incident and later turned a witness to the case. He stated that he had served as a motor bike rider for special operations in Batticaloa, where he started connections with the suspect Palana Sami Suresh. In 2006, after he had arrived in Colombo, he once again continued his relationship with ‘Sami’ and through him got to know Prasad Kumara, Charan, Wajira, Gamini Seneviratne, […]

Sirisena has to walk carefully to ensure he loses no support within Sinhala Buddhist ranks

5th January 2016 // 0 Comments

WINSTON DE VALLIERE Political analyst Mahinda Rajapaksa has been circumspect and said nothing about the formation of the Sri Lanka Freedom Front. But it could be worrying for President Sirisena if only because it contains within itself the potential to make SLFP pro-Sirisena hardliners guessing at medium and long-term [ read: general elections] developments. Sirisena’s strengths were essentially ensconced in the UNP and Tamil and Muslim Parties which were obviously, from the very inception, part of the cumulative strategy hatched abroad to oust Rajapaksa. Though, records show that Rajapaksa, as well as the SLFP under his leadership, were beginning to lose ground as was evidenced in the Uva Provincial Council election. The province is home to agricultural and plantation Districts of Moneragala and Badulla, both rated as […]

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