27th January 2016

The only way preventing the country getting divided is from a federal system – TNA

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said that what is expected from a new constitution is only about how the power of the government is devolved.  TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumandiran said “the best method to prevent the country getting divided is the devolving of power based on federal principles” During a media communiqué held in Colombo yesterday the TNA parliamentarian said a permanent majority and permanent minority community exist in the country and according to the current electoral method all the decisions are taken only by the majority community. Sumandiran said that this situation should be changed and amend the constitution where all the community in the country can use the governance. The MP said if we need to find a solution to the national problem […]

Opposition questions contradictory comments on war crimes probe

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Opposition questions contradictory comments on war crimes probe The opposition today questioned the contradictory comments being made by the Government on the war crimes investigation. Joint opposition member and Mahajana Eksath Peramuna leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that while the Foreign Ministry had told the UN international judges will be allowed to assist the probe on the war in Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena had said the opposite in an interview with the BBC. Gunawardena told Parliament today that the contradictory statements by the Government has resulted in the Government being criticized by human rights groups like the New York based Human Rights Watch. President Maithripala Sirisena had told the BBC that foreign judges will not be involved in the domestic process to investigate the war while earlier Foreign […]

Danish parliament tightens rules on asylum seekers.

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

COPENHAGEN, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — The Danish Parliament on Tuesday passed a controversial bill that tightens rules on asylum applications and empowers the authorities to confiscate valuables of asylum seekers to finance their stay in the country. Lawmakers in Copenhagen voted 81-27 in favor of the new austerity measures, aimed to make the country less attractive for refugees and migrants. Under the law, Danish police will now be able to search luggage of asylum seekers and seize cash and any individual items worth over 10,000 Danish kroner, or about 1,452 U.S. dollars. Wedding rings and any other items of sentimental value are exempted. It also favors delaying family reunifications for some refugees by up to three years instead of one year, and making it harder […]

Government to brief Parliament on alleged offshore accounts of MR

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

The Government today said it will brief Parliament on the alleged offshore accounts of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that the Prime Minister will need some time to gather the information related to the accounts in order to brief Parliament. He was responding to a question raised by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on statements made recently by cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on the alleged offshore accounts of Rajapaksa and his family. Dissanayake told Parliament that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe must make a clear statement to Parliament on the offshore accounts. He said that while Senaratne had revealed details of the bank accounts another Government Parliamentarian had claimed he had seen the account details. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne […]

Last Opportunity To Defeat Extremist Forces: Friday Forum

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

“This may be a last opportunity to defeat divisive and extremist forces in different parts of our country, and work towards a just society and a sustainable environment of peace, security and prosperity for all our people.” says the Friday Forum. Issuing a statment last night the Friday Forum said; “While discussions on a political solution have focused on devolution and power sharing with the provinces, our statement puts forward for our fellow citizens and parliamentarians some principles and ideas that we think are fundamental to address the structural problems that have undermined the body politic of our state and society since independence, and have created an environment for conflict and tension among communities.” We publish below the statement in full; PRIORITIES IN WORKING TOWARDS […]

Sri Lanka: New Government Makes Significant Progress?

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government, elected in January 2015, ended the pervasive culture of surveillance and censorship and embarked on reforms aimed to undo years of increasingly authoritarian rule, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. While it opened dialogues both domestically and abroad, the government still faces key concerns, including wartime accountability and prolonged detention without trial. EXPAND Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York on September 27, 2015. In the 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive DirectorKenneth Roth writes that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of […]

Lanka Missing Persons Panel Seeks An Year’s Extension

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Missing Persons’ Commission headed by retired Justice Maxwell Paranagama, has requested the government to extend its term by a year from February 15, 2016 as it still has thousands of cases to investigate. Justice Paranagama told Express on Tuesday, that out of the 14,000-odd representations from civilians before it, interviews have been conducted only in 5,000-odd cases so far. “And we haven’t even touched the 5600 representations from the families of disappeared Security Forces personnel,” he pointed out. The commission was set up during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime on August 15, 2013, and its term has since been extended more than once. In September 2015 the UN human rights chief, Prince Zeid, threw a bombshell by asking the government to wind it up […]

Six-year-old Tamil boy brutally raped and killed in Sri Lanka by Navy

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Tamil lands, particularly in the north of the island, remain under military occupation. The 26-year conflict, which claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, concluded in 2009 when the Sri Lankan armed forces launched a bloody offensive to destroy the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which had led the Tamil national liberation movement for several decades. The final push claimed the lives of tens of thousands, and has been widely-condemned as an act of genocide in which unspeakable acts of cruelty were carried out on a largely defenceless population. According to the government, the end of the war ushered in a new peace across the country and has been pivotal to Sri Lanka uniting as […]

UN urged to ensure foreign judges’ participation in war crimes investigation

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

President’s position on UNHRC resolution By Shamindra Ferdinando Alleging that President Maithripala Sirisena has recently undermined a US-led Geneva Resolution co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has requested foreign governments to pressure the President to fully implement the proposals. In addition to western powers, the European Union, too, endorsed the Resolution. UK based GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran yesterday told The Island that they expected all those who had backed the Resolution 30/1 to ensure that the GoSL fulfilled its obligations. The 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) unanimously adopted the Resolution on Oct. 1, 2015. The GTF spokesman was responding to President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent declaration that the proposed inquiry would be wholly a domestic investigation and […]

Arrest warrant for Lakmal Cooray terror man behind Facebook.

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ishara Ratnakara The CID yesterday informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate in Court that the mastermind behind the Facebook racket in which lakhs…… of rupees have been collected after threatening exposure of nude photographs of young males has been led by a man who is abroad. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the Director General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration to arrest the chief suspect in the case, Danuka Lakmal Cooray, a 31-year-old resident of Kalutara on his return to the country. The CID also informed Court that further investigations had revealed the suspect had masterminded his illegal operation from overseas by way of the internet and that he has also received the support of a group based in Sri Lanka that maintains […]

The agony of Sri Lanka’s carapace of peace

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

The agony of Sri Lanka’s carapace of peace Six years after the Sri Lankan civil war – @jonsnowc4 visits the site of some of its worst horrors. Our return to Sri Lanka’s killing fields has managed to coincide with two major developments – the first is the President’s announcement that there will be no “international component” in any “investigation” of the civil war, or the alleged war crimes committed therein, which seem to be evidenced by the multiple videos sent to this programme in the wake of the war’s aftermath. The second is that the Prime Minister chose a Hindu Festival in Jaffna last week to state bluntly that if people are missing – and there are still so many thousands of them – then […]

THE NEW WAVE OF TERROR AND RAJAPAKSHA

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Mayhem as monks go on the rampage Pandemonium reigned at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court premises with three Buddhist monks threatening to self-immolate in protest against the arrest of Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera arrested on the charges of contempt of court, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant was yesterday ordered to be remanded till February 9 after being produced before the Homagama Magistrate’s Court. A large group of Buddhists monks surrounded the Homagama Magistrate’s Court, protesting against the decision to remand Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. Ven Gnanasara Thera was taken to the prisons at around 5. 30 p.m. from Homagama court premises under the tight security of Special Task Force…………….. read all […]

The 13th Amendment gave the Provincial Councils rights over Land and police

27th January 2016 // 0 Comments

By Kamalika pieris The 13th Amendment gave the Provincial Councils rights over “Land, land tenure, transfer and alienation of land, land use, land settlement and land improvement.” It specifically says “Land shall be a Provincial Council subject to certain limitations.” Land is not on the concurrent list either. It was therefore assumed that “Land” was the exclusive preserve of the Provincial Councils. If a Provincial Council needed any state land, the government has to hand it over, no questions asked. It was further assumed that central government on the other hand, could only use state land with the approval of the Provincial Councils. Cabinet approved the provision of 15,000 acres of state land for a banana cultivation project in Kantale areas to be followed by […]