29th January 2016

PM to make statement on overseas accounts

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will make a statement in Parliament with regard to the revelations made by Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on bank accounts in Dubai belonging to a former VVIP family, an MP and a head of a government institution, which exceeded USD 3 billion. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said the Prime Minister would make a statement on the issue, when a question was raised by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Dissanayake on the matter in Parliament yesterday. Mr. Dissanayake, who quoted Minister Senaratne said the latter had said at a press briefing that a member of a VVIP family had USD 1.08 billion in his bank account in a Dubai bank, while an MP had USD 500 million and a head […]

Local activists, organizations condemn President’s statements

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Local activists and organizations have condemned President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent statements wherein he appears to be indicating a withdrawal from the obligations the Government had committed to in the consensus resolution passed at the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in October 2015. In a joint statement, 144 local activists and organizations said that it is worth recalling that the Government as a co-sponsor of the resolution in Geneva, was in a position to negotiate the exact terms of the resolution. “Owing to the Government’s positions taken at these negotiations, the resolution in itself was a compromise, much to the disappointment of many victims and activists. The Government now appears to be backtracking from even these compromised commitments. The President in these interviews categorically […]

US notes missing in Lanka at informal UNSC meeting

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

The United States discussed the issue of missing persons in Sri Lanka during an informal meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC). During a UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on the Global Challenge of Accounting for Missing Persons, the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, Samantha Power spoke about her visit to Sri Lanka and the missing persons issue. She said that in recent months, she had the opportunity to visit two countries afflicted by huge numbers of missing and disappeared: Sri Lanka and Mexico. Power said that while the history and the causes of the problem in each context, and any other context, is completely distinct, she was struck on these two visits by how many of the same themes emerged in […]

Ranil fumes in Parliament over media and war crimes issue

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremessinghe today in Parliament slammed some media institutions on the manner they had reported the issue over the involvement of foreign judges in the accountability process on the war. He insisted that the government will not agree to an international war crimes tribunal on the Sri Lanka issue. “We have not signed the Rome statute,” he said. The Prime Minister said that he met President Maithripala Sirisena and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday and discussed the issue. He said at the meeting it was agreed that the government position on the investigation on the war is that it will be a domestic process which will be open to international assistance. The Prime Minister said that even the former Government had obtained international assistance when investigating reports […]

Skeletal remains found in secret Navy Prison

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

BY Ishara Ratnakara Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the CID to launch a probe into the discovery of skeletal remains in the underground prison named ‘Gunside’ located within the Ocean Science Faculty premises of the Naval Command in Trincomalee, during the visit there of an overseas monitoring group that was probing disappearances in the East. The CID also told Court that a Dolphin Mitsubishi vehicle bearing number 6021 had also been discovered in the underground prison. Inquiries carried out on the chassis number had revealed that the vehicle had belonged to John Reed of Kotahena from whom it had been stolen. The CID also told Court that its investigations had revealed that 11 persons had been abducted and detained at this underground prison. […]

Geneva Resolution Is A Mutual Agreement: Friday Forum

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

“The resolution co-sponsored by our government at the United Nations Human Rights Council is a mutual agreement entered into by Sri Lanka, as a sovereign member state of the UN, which recognises our responsibility to embark on a process of reconciliation among communities that will foster peace and prosperity.” says the Friday Forum. Issuing a statement last night the Friday Forum said; “This resolution is an opportunity to do what is right, by ourselves and for ourselves, and for our future generations. Over many decades, including the post-war period, there have been assassinations, abductions, torture, and conscription of children and sexual violence perpetrated on women. These realities have often been denied by most politicians who have tried to promote racist and divisive ideologies to achieve […]

Minister rejects ”International aid” in investigating ”War Crime Investigation”.

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

International community should not demand an international process to investigate war crime allegations, pointed out Faiszer Musthapha, Minister of Provincial Council and Local Government.  “Generally you call for an international process when you don’t have faith in the domestic mechanism. President Sirisena has put a very independent judicial mechanism in place. I don’t think the international  community should have any doubt over the judicial system which is in place which was further strengthened by the 19th Amendment,” he said, in an interview with the Daily FT. He made these remarks when asked about the much-discussed interview with President Sirisena by the BBC in which the former said foreign judges and prosecutors should not be involved when investigating alleged war crimes. The Tamil community which lost more than 40,000 civilians lives due to killing […]

This is Sri Lanka : Magistrate To Withdraw From Case Due To Monks’ ‘Hooliganism’

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake today rejected the bail application filed on behalf of Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera and informed that he intended to withdraw from the case. The Magistrate informed the court that he had already sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding the possibility of withdrawal from the case. “I will not change a decision I have taken, even if someone holds a gun to my head and threatens me” the Magistrate said, announcing his rejection of the bail application. “If I am wrong, anyone could complain to the higher officials” he added. The Magistrate said he would receive the opinion of the Attorney General’s Department before the next hearing of the case. A day before he made the announced, the […]

Bail application filed for Gnanasara Thero rejected

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

Bail application filed at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court for the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation, Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, who was arrested and remanded for contempt of court has been rejected. Attorney-at-law Sumudu Hewage had filed the bail application on behalf of the Bodu Bala Sena organization, Ada Derana reporter said. The prisons spokesman said that the Buddhist monk was admitted to the hospital based on a request by the latter regarding his blood pressure. Gnanasara Thero was remanded in custody until February 9 for threatening people, public officials and misbehaving in an open court. He surrendered to the Homagama police on Tuesday (26) after an arrest warrant was issued against him by the court. The monk had allegedly threatened […]

Gnanasara Thera Violates Prison Regulation While In Remand: Officials Turn Blind Eye

29th January 2016 // 0 Comments

In stark violation of prison regulations, the officials of the Welikada prison had allowed more than 50 visitors to meet Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Glaagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera who is currently in remand. According to prison regulations, only three visitors are allowed to visit a suspect in custody, on a daily basis. In addition, any Parliamentarian can visit the prison at any time of the day without prior approval. It is now clear that Prison officials have not followed these standard procedures when it came to the BBS General Secretary who was remanded in connection with charges of contempt of courts and threatening state officials. He was transferred to the Welikada prison hospital last evening citing medical reasons. However, even after he was admitted to […]