February 2016

‘Gotabaya gave Rs. 50 million to murder Raviraj’-Constable Abeyaratne of intelligence division giving evidence reveals..!

29th February 2016 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News -28.Feb.2016, 7.00PM) Former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse had given Rs.50 million to Karuna group to murder former Jaffna district M.P. Nadaraja Raviraj , an ex constable of the intelligence information  unit, Liyanarachige Abeyaratne revealed before Colombo additional magistrate Thilina Gamage when giving evidence.  The murder was an outcome  of the conspiratorial actions of the previous government , and this sum was paid through Vasantha of the defense ministry to the Karuna faction . This murder was committed with the knowledge of DIG Keerthi Gajanayake ,SSP Doole(State intelligence division ) and  the Karuna faction, ex constable further revealed.  The non summary trial of Raviraj’s murder was heard before judge Thilina Gamage , and the winess made these disclosures when he was cross examined by the […]

Foreign Minister Samaraweera to be sacked?

29th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Gagani Weerakoon The Head of the State and his Foreign Minister seem to stand poles apart when it comes to getting foreign expertise in the process of investigating war crime allegations. This was evident when Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera clearly stated Sri Lanka is open to international actors in the war crimes probe and zeroed President Maithripala Sirisena’s remarks on the matter as mere personal opinion. Samaraweera made these remarks while participating a Q & A session following his address on “Advancing Reconciliation and Democracy” at a leading think-tank, the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC, on 25 February 2016. Interestingly, Samaraweera was introduced to the audience by Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, who dubbed the Foreign […]

Argument in Jaffna Between Minister Samaraweera – General Gallage and Its Implications

29th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj Our sister paper “Sunday Times”revealed details last week about an incident of friction between a senior cabinet minister and a senior military official that had occurred in Jaffna a few weeks earlier. The Sunday Times Political column scored a scoop by referring to an exchange of words between Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs minister Mangala Samaraweera and the Sri Lankan Army 51 division commander Major-General Chagi Gallage and the subsequent transfer of the military official from the north. Here are the relevant excerpts – “Two weeks ago, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was here (Jaffna) to launch the Government’s website to seek views from the public on the proposed new Constitution. He took the opportunity to address Security Force Commanders and Divisional Commanders at the […]

”Advancing Reconciliation and Development in Sri Lanka” -Mangala address to US Institute of Peace in Washington

29th February 2016 // 0 Comments

”Advancing Reconciliation and Development in Sri Lanka” -Mangala address to US Institute of Peace in Washington (Lanka-e-News- 27.Feb.2016, 11.30PM) This is the Introduction before Mangal’s lecture by Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs ”Thank you, Ambassador Taylor. It’s a real pleasure to be here today at the U.S. Institute for Peace, which has long sought to bring together and give voice to the constituencies for peacebuilding and reconciliation. I also want to thank the Heritage Foundation, and especially Lisa Curtis, for co-sponsoring this discussion and also for the excellent body of work they have put out on Sri Lanka. And I want to thank Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Prasad Kariyawasam and our U.S. Ambassador in Colombo Atul Keshap, for […]

Jaffna University Imposes Code Of Ethics: Bans Beards, Denims, T-shirts

27th February 2016 // 0 Comments

University of Jaffna’s administration and Senate decided to implement a code of ethics for the university students and staff. Accordingly, the following instructions have been given by the university authorities. * Wearing denims and T-shirts are banned during the lectures. * Every Fridays women should wear sari. * Students and Academic staff are not permitted in the class rooms if they have beard. It was not clear if this was applicable to all students, including Muslim males, who usually wear beards, one commentator said on Facebook.  Convener of the Inter Students Union T. Sasidaran said the rights of students would be curtailed due to this code of ethics. Student Unions say that the freedom and privacy of students would be affected by the move and […]

Sri Lanka could accept international actors in war crimes probe

27th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s foreign minister said on Thursday he is willing to consider international participation in investigating possible war crimes during the 26-year Tamil insurgency. “I think it is only fair that the victims of the war would want some form of guarantee that the new courts will deliver justice and accountability in a fair manner, and for that we are willing to consider the participation of international actors,” Mangala Samaraweera, the minister, said at a Washington think tank. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has previously said that foreign participation was not needed for an impartial inquiry. The foreign minister’s comments come after the United Nations said earlier this month that it would not force Sri Lanka to accept a […]

Repeal PTA soon!

27th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Repeal PTA soon! Last week, the Centre for Human Rights raised concerns about repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), claiming that by dragging their feet on repealing the PTA and taking legal action against those detained under the PTA, the AG’s Department and the Ministry of Justice are harming the credibility of the government. The issue came up again in the backdrop of a hunger strike by 12 PTA detainees demanding release from prison. PTA, in the recent past, was regarded as a controversial law and the existence as well as the need for its existence was questioned by many, particularly human rights organizations. International community had identified PTA as an obstacle to promoting reconciliation during the post-war period and suggested the government to […]

Sirisena To Appoint Presidential Commission To Probe Rajapaksa Era Media Attacks

27th February 2016 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena is to appoint a Presidential Commission to investigate the attacks on journalists and media organizations which were carried out during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rule. The Presidential Commission will be tasked with probing the attacks on several journalists including Poddala Jayantha, as well as the attacks on Sirasa TV and Lankaenews. Meanwhile, speaking at the US Institute of Peace, Washington DC on Friday, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the investigation into the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was moving extremely well. “But for obvious reasons, and until the suspects are rounded, the details are curtailed. But I assure you that the investigations of Lasantha Wickrematunga and Prageeth Ekneligoda are moving forward,” he added. Samaraweera also went on to claim that there […]

Tamils Dispute Government’s Claim About Tamil Buddhists in Lanka

27th February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Tamils are disputing the Sri Lankan government’s claim that there are 22, 254 Tamil Buddhists in the country. Most Tamils feel that this is a gross exaggeration. The Minister of National Dialogue, Mano Ganeshan, told Express, that the claim might have been made “for propaganda purposes”, to show the dominant Sinhalese-Buddhists that significant inroads have already been made into the largely Hindu Tamil minority. But the government’s claim is based on the 2012 census, says Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunartilleke. He told parliament earlier this week, that there are 22,254 Tamil Buddhists in the island, 11 of whom are monks. The Tamil-majority Northern Province itself has 470 Tamil Buddhists. Karunatilleke further said that government plans to reopen a Buddhist religious school in Jaffna which […]

Wigneswaran Opposes Tamil-Sinhalese Marriages

27th February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, touched off a new political controversy when he said in Jaffna on Monday, that he does not favor Sinhalese-Tamil marriages before the Tamils get equal rights in the country. Wigneswaran  was responding to Provincial Governor Reginold Cooray’s suggestion at the 9 th National Scouts Jamboree, that Sinhalese-Tamil marriages be encouraged to bring about national reconciliation. The Governor was only reflecting a general Sinhelese view that ethnic admixture will obliterate the Sinhalese-Tamil ethnic division, and there will be no basis for the  Tamils’ seeking a separate ethnic enclave  in the North and East of the island. Perhaps the Governor, who is a Sinhalese, also thought that Chief Minister Wigneswaran would welcome mixed marriages […]

The Hidden Truth Behind CSN’s Money Laundering

27th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ulapane Sumangala Thero – Is this the result of practicing politics of hate or of politics of revenge? The answer that is required to be sought in this regard in the first place is whether the CSN channel was started in order to fulfill the role of a media organization or for the purposes of money laundering. The shortest answer that can be given in this regard is something that needs to be asked from the heads of the CSN channel, in that for the past year having spent an investment in excess of Rs 200 million to implement the project, where is the profit and loss/income statement pertaining to in this endeavor? What are the rewards afforded to those like Ashan Fernando who […]

Muslims Reject Outright Call For A Muslim Province

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Latheef Farook – “Dismissed with outright contempt”. This was the common response of Muslims all over to Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Chairman Basheer Segu Dawood’s demand for a separate Muslim Province. During a discussion on the proposed constitution in Kattankudy on Saturday 20 February 2016 Segu Dawood had said Muslims cannot give up their demand for a separate Muslim Province. As rightly pointed out by former Information Minister Imthiaz Bakeer Markar in a television interview this was a totally outdated and unwanted demand irrelevant in the current highly communalized political environment. The government is taking numerous measures to bring about some degree of harmony among communities in the country. People in general welcome these measures. At a time like this Segu Dawood who started […]

Lanka based swimming instructor gets UK Empire Medal

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Christina Fonfé was presented with the British Empire Medal in recognition of her work with the Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project (WSP) by the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, James Dauris. WSP is a community drowning reduction program that teaches underprivileged women and teenage girls how to swim, as a basic survival skill and aims to empower them to teach their own children to make them safe near water. The Project specifically addresses the cultural barriers which prevent the majority of Asian women and girls from learning to swim. In 2005, Mrs. Fonfé began the Project on the premises of a dilapidated coconut plantation pool in Weligama. Initially she trained one thousand women to swim and trained six women as qualified teachers. She then […]

SLC unhappy with Jayawardene’s England consulting role

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/story/976743.html Sri Lanka Cricket has taken a dim view of Mahela Jayawardene‘s resumption of a consulting role with England for 10 days of the forthcoming World T20. SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala labeled Jayawardene’s temporary job “sad and disappointing”, even while his board rejected the clustered provincial first-class tournament Jayawardene had played a leading role in devising last year. Jayawardene had previously worked with England for two Tests, during their tour to the UAE in 2015. Former Sri Lanka coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace – both of whom are now in the England set-up – had been instrumental in bringing Jayawardene into the fold, and the England players had been complimentary of the expertise Jayawardene offered. But with Sri Lanka now scheduled to play England […]

Land belonging to MAHINDA’s security chief dug-up

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

A block of land in Medamulana belonging to Major Neville Wanniarachchi, who was former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s chief security officer, was dug up using a backhoe in search of buried cash, jewellery and weapons. About 20 STF personnel had been deployed for the digging amid high security to prevent any trespasses. The Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya recently ordered the CID and the FCID to conduct investigations into frauds and corruptions allegedly committed by Major Wanniarachchi. The CID informed court that the Major Wanniarachchi had forcibly acquired barren lands belonging to the state and several houses. (Chandrasena Gamage) – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/106038/Land-belonging-to-MR-s-security-chief-dug-up#sthash.zTNducqR.dpuf

Constitution making in Sri Lanka: Will it go the Nepalese way?

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka does not have as many ethnic groups as Nepal has as their numbers exceed one hundred each in Nepal. There are two ethnic minorities: Tamils and Muslims. Their proportional representation can be secured if not already Sri Lanka had definitely taken an epoch making decision to have a constitution instead of amending the present constitution for President M Sirisena believes that a new nation is born with a new constitution. Sri Lanka seems to have ushered in a new era of reconciliation by starting to have the national song sung in Tamil language too on its Independence Day on the 4th February, 2016 giving due recognition to Tamils. Sri Lanka had started a new journey passing through its sojourn right from its Soulbury […]

Shed party differences, join hands to draft new Constitution, Sampanthan tells MPs

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

by Saman Indrajith Opposition and TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday called upon all MPs to shed their political differences and extend their fullest cooperation to accomplish the task of drafting a new Constitution. The veteran politician made that request in Parliament when an argument broke out between the JVP MPs and Minister W. D. J Seneviratne in the middle of the speech of MP Sunil Handunnetti. The Opposition Leader asked the government members not to disturb and delay the resolution to convert Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly. He said all had agreed that the present Constitution should be done away with. “Everybody in this country has been campaigning for the abandonment of the 1978 Constitution because it contains many features which are unacceptable. […]

Cross party UK delegation meets TNA leader

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Cross party UK delegation meets TNA leader A cross party group of UK politicians met with the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R Sampanthan on Wednesday. Fabian Hamilton MP, a shadow Labour minister, Colin Bloom of the Conservative party and Adele Poskitt, the ‎head of Smaller Parties Office at Westminster Foundation for Democracy met Mr Sampanthan at the Opposition Leaders’ office in the parliamentary complex in Colombo. [more]   Sri Lanka to implement British law in new financial Colombo hub Sri Lanka’s finance minister Ravi Karunanayake announced that a newly proclaimed ‘Colombo International Financial Centre’ will be governed by British law. Speaking at a Business forum in Colombo, Mr Karunayaka said, “We want to position Sri Lanka as a mini-financial centre. This  why […]

North-East Unification Would Be Rejected By Muslims – M.T. Hasen Ali

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Camelia Nathaniel sri Lanka Muslim Congress General Secretary, M.T. Hasen Ali said that when the new government came into power, there was hope of a political settlement  on addressing the problems of power-sharing for the Tamil and Muslim people being reached through a new Constitution. However he said that none of these promises are being fulfilled and petty personal issues and ego issues have shrouded the national issues of the country. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Ali said that although there are calls for the merger of the North and East, a North-East unification would be rejected outright by the Muslims, unless there was consultation and consensus. Following are excerpts of the interview:- Q:   Some SLFP members want MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to […]

Secret behind Fonseka’s re-entry

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Secret behind Fonseka’s re-entry Whenever Sarath Fonseka emerges in politics, those opposed to him appear excited and confused. Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is a sensation in every field he treads because those who envy him view this character as a sensational figure, may be with fear. Fonseka is outspoken and that had been to his disadvantage on many occasions. Be that as it may, when Sarath Fonseka was engaged at Temple Trees signing the agreement with Ranil Wickremesinghe, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was busy meeting the Maha Sangha. Gotabaya chose the occasion to use the media to launch an attack on Fonseka. He claimed it was a shameless effort to bring Fonseka, who was defeated at the last general election, on the National List. Gotabaya challenged those […]

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