February 2016

When Can We Celebrate Freedom Day In Sri Lanka?

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Rev. S.J. Emmanuel – What are we celebrating on the 4th Feb – Independence, Inter-dependence or Freedom? Recently when I made an Independence Day appeal to all the religious leaders of the country to come to the fore and help the present Government to achieve peace and reconciliation on the basis of truth, justice accountability, a good friend of mine alerted me to the absence of the theme freedom in my appeal. In the context of our Independence Day Celebrations today and of the way in which we celebrate, there are many questions overlooked largely by our population and our leaders. From Colonialism to Independence On the afternoon of the 4th of Feb. 1948 I stood as a 14years old student of St.Patrick’s College, Jaffna, on […]

TNA Demand for Federalism is Reasonable

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

by Laksiri Fernando ( January 31, 2016, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian) The demand for federalism coming from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is reasonable. The question is how best to accommodate it within the existing realities. In my view, it could best be accommodated within the rubric of devolution. It is not only from the Tamil community that the demand has come from. The first to demand federalism was the Kandyan Association in 1927. The founder of the SLFP, SWRD Bandaranaike was a firm advocate of federalism in the 1930s. There were more specific reasons for the founder of the Federal Party (FP), SJV Chelvanayakam, to demand federalism in 1949. Some Reasons With the deprivation of citizenship and franchise of the plantation Tamil community in […]

Dismal failure of the judiciary ends up with people’s demand for hybrid justice mechanism

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

In the co-sponsored UN Resolution (A/HRC/RES/30/1) adopted on 01st October 2015, the government conceded that that people of Sri Lanka have no trust and confidence in the justice system and was compelled to agree for a hybrid justice system with an international dimension, to try alleged serious crimes committed against humanity. However at a recent BBC interview President Sirisena vehemently refused to set up such a hybrid system and now the former Justice Minster GL Peiris says that the President Sirisena has not been properly briefed on the content of the Geneva Resolution. This is a baseless argument, that effectively undermines President Sirisena’s ‘wisdom and knowledge’ as the executive head of the State. Then Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, in a damage-minimising exercise, conceded to BBC […]

Release the crooks or we resign says Rajapaksha supporters

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Deputy Minister Nishantha Muttuhettigama, who visited remanded Yositha Rajapaksa at the Welikada prison, said yesterday that the FCID had no legal powers and they as Deputy Ministers appointed by the SLFP were ready to resign from their portfolios if political witch hunt by the FCID was not stopped. Deputy Minister Muttuhettigama said they were going to discuss with President Maithiripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over the matter. “We challenge the government to stop the political witch hunt by the FCID which has no legal authority. The entire country is ready to come forward with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa against the FCID decision to remand Yositha Rajapaksa,” he said. Deputy Minister Muttuhettigama said they as true SLFPers wanted to see President Maithiripala Sirisena and […]

Those who oppose FCID have skeletons in their cupboards

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Those who call for the abolition of the Financial Crimes Division (FCID) and most of those who have visited former President’s son Yoshitha in prison are ones who should be behind bars, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a media briefing that the deputy ministers who claimed that the FCID was illegal and should be abolished are ones who have been involved in various corrupt deals.   “These people have got scared after Yoshitha’s arrest because they have skeletons in their cupboards,” he said. Mr. Dissanayake said Yoshitha was arrested on money laundering charges and most of those who oppose his arrest were ones who raised their hands to approve the legislation banning money laundering. “Those who visited Yoshitha […]

Former anti-terror top cop puzzled by fuss over singing national anthem in Tamil

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Former Commandant STF and retired Senior DIG Northern Province Nimal Lewke yesterday said he could not understand why there was opposition in some quarters to the national anthem being sung in Tamil. “It is not something new. Our first Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake appointed a Cabinet Sub Committee headed by late Minister Nissanka Wijeratne’s father Sir Edwin Wijeratne, who was a Cabinet Minister in the Senanayake Cabinet to study and submit a report and it was approved way back in 1951.” “I strongly believe as a person who sacrificed most of my time in the battle front and we have had a rare opportunity to achieve national reconcilation. What I learnt through my association with various Tamil and Muslim people in the North and […]

Former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to give evidence over the disappearance of JVP Activists

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Keheliya Rambukwella Appears At Jaffna Magistrate’s Court Former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella appeared at the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court to give evidence over the disappearance of Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganandan. The two activists, who were members of the breakaway faction of the JVP disappeared on December 9, 2011. Speaking at a press conference, Rambukwella, the then Minister of Media and Information Minister, told reporters that the two activists were in government custody. He was expected to give evidence based on this statement.  However, the court was not able to record evidence of Rambukwella today since there was no translator at the court premises. Therefore, the case was fixed for the next hearing on May 13 and Rambukwella was ordered to appear on that day. Rambukwella […]

Premadasa tells MAHINDA off!

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Dulanjalee Premadasa, the daughter of former president R. Premadasa, in a hard hitting letter addressed to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday, said the latter should not drag her name to a case in which she was not accused of “You are well aware that I am innocent. You seem to think that you have a right to play around with my name when you have run out of excuses. This is unacceptable and dishonourable. If you are a credible lawyer you should know that I am not an accused and that this particular matter is an on-going court case and, as such, legally we cannot discuss it. Even you, now, must adhere to the law of our country.” she said, responding to statement made by […]

JVP, JHU demand action against Emil Kanthan

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

by Dasun Edirisinghe The JVP and JHU yesterday urged the government to enforce the law against LTTE Finance Manager Emil Kanthan on all charges including the alleged deal with then Presidential Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005. JHU Spokesman and Western Provincial Council member Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told The Island that several intelligence officers were being held over Pradeep Ekneligoda disappearance without evidence, but warrants against LTTE members had been dissolved. Emil Kanthan was the LTTE’s representative who liaised with the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) under the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga during the post–tsunami period and he handled financial activities of the LTTE, Warnasinghe said adding that the LTTE activist should be prosecuted according to the law without delay. JVP Propaganda Secretary and Gampaha District […]

Ex – Tiger Operative Emil Kanthan Expected to Expose Details of Alleged Secret Deal Between Mahinda Rajapaksa and LTTE During 2005 Presidential Poll

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

The alleged deal arrived at with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in 2005 by former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win Presidential elections by getting the tigers to enforce a boycott of polls in Tamil areas in return for an enormous amount of money is expected to be exposed in great detail in the near future. A key figure of the LTTE intelligence wing identified by the name Emil Kanthan who allegedly engaged with the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp in this exercise on behalf of the LTTE is now willing to return to Sri Lanka and reveal complete details about the alleged deal to Sri Lankan law enforcement and legal authorities. The person known as Emil Kanthan who is resident in a western country […]

She was concerned about the sexual relationship they had both formed with a teenager

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

Dr Chamari Liyanage and Dinendra Athukorala. Picture: 7 News A Geraldton doctor decided to kill her husband because she was concerned about the sexual relationship they had both formed with a teenager, a court has been told. Chamari Rasika Denuwanthe Gunathilaka Liyanage is on trial in the Supreme Court accused of murdering her doctor husband, Dinendra Athukorala, at their Shenton Street home in June 2014. It is alleged Dr Liyanage fatally injured Dr Athukorala when she repeatedly hit him with a 1.79kg hammer as he lay on their bed. In his opening address, prosecutor Nick Cogin said Dr Athukorala engaged in unusual sexual practices, wanted to have sex with other women and wanted to involve his wife in these activities. He said the Sri Lankan […]

Fonseka’s Democratic Party To Join UNP today

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party will join the United National Party on Wednesday, political sources said. A MoU is expected to be signed between the two parties on Wednesday, formalising the joining of the DP to the UNP.  Fonseka is likely to be appointed as a national list MP in the coming days. He will occupy the seat left vacant by the demise of the former Minister of Lands MKADS Gunawardena.

Deputy Ministers to push President to abolish FCID

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

Several Deputy Ministers from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) have decided to push President Maithripala Sirisena to abolish the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID). The Deputy Ministers visited Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Welikada remand prison today. Later speaking to the media, the Deputy Ministers said that they will demand from the President that he abolish the FCID saying it is illegal. The Deputy Ministers said that if the President fails to agree to their demand they are prepared to resign from their Ministry posts. Sumedha G. Jayasena, Susantha Punchinilame, Nimal Lansa, Anuradha Jayaratne and Nishantha Muttuhettigama are among the Deputy Ministers who visited Yoshitha Rajapaksa today. Yoshitha Rajapaksa was arrested by the FCID and produced in court on Saturday and remanded […]

Tamil council calls for federalism

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

The Tamil People’s Council, a forum of different Tamil political parties and groups, has proposed that Sri Lanka be converted into a federal republic. It has also suggested that a state of emergency be declared in the event of any State seeking to secede itself from the proposed Federation. The Governor of the State concerned would take over executive functions and powers of the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers. These are among the salient features of a proposal worked out by the TPC’s sub-committee on the Tamil question. A document in this regard was released at an event in Jaffna on Sunday. The TPC, headed by C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of the Northern Province and P. Lakshman, a Jaffna-based cardiologist, includes representatives of […]

Racist Mahinda slams decision to sing National anthem in Tamil, must be sung in ‘Sinhala Only’.

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today slammed the decision to sing the National anthem in Tamil during the independence day celebrations on Thursday. Rajapaksa claimed that the Government had decided to sing the National anthem in Tamil to please India. Rajapaksha used China to keep India away from him and cheated the world leaders with the false promise of implementation of 13+  amendment if he is allowed to kill the LTTE Leaders and more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in May 2009. He was in power until 2015 but refused to implement his promised 13+ or even implement the current constitution in full and started to use racist policies to please the majority Sinhala community so that he an stay in power, but failed to win in the 2015 […]

Lankan Tamils seek right to sing national anthem in their language

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The controversial issue of Lankan Tamils singing the Tamil version of the national anthem has cropped up again as Sri Lanka gets ready to celebrate its Independence Day on Feb 4. As both Sinhalese and Tamil are official languages in the country, the Tamils of Sri Lanka have asserted that they would like the Tamil version to be sung at the Independence day function along with the Sinhalese version. Some of those with loyalties to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa contend that singing the anthem in Tamil will be unconstitutional because the constitution mentions only the Sinhalese version. However, the cabinet sub-committee on developing a composite Sri Lankan identity based on the concept of unity in diversity has suggested that people be given the right […]

Special treatment? – Mahinda’s son declines prison meals; now given special ”Mutton Buriyani” from home.

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

Yoshitha Rajapakse today declined to eat from the prison canteen anymore after being informed by the head chef that some of his favourite meals including Quinoa, Avocado and Cous Cous are not available. Four suspects including Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa, who were remanded over alleged financial irregularities at the CSN, had declined the food provided by the Welikada Prison, Prisons Spokesman Thushara Upuldeniya said. He said that permission was given for Yoshitha and four others to get all three meals from their home from yesterday morning. “Declining food provided by the Prisons Department and bringing them from outside is a privilege for any prisoner. As such, the approval was given to bring food from outside for Yoshitha and four others since […]

I have not been invited and I will not attend even if I am invited – Mahinda

3rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that, though the government had finalised arrangements to hold the 68th Independence Day celebrations at the Galle Face Green, he had not yet been invited to the event.  “Even if I am formally invited I will not participate in it,” he said. Speaking to the media at the Abhayaramaya temple in Narahenpita, he also said that the joint opposition had decided to boycott the event. “The revenge taken on me has now gone beyond the limit. The government is trying to get revenge from all the Rajapaksas including my children,” he said. “Today I visited my son Yoshitha Rajapaksa and the five others at the Welikada Prison and I am awaiting the decision of the court,” he said. “As we […]

UN Human Rights chief to visit Sri Lanka this week

2nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

The visit comes as a sequel to the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka adopted in October in 2015, that had prescribed an investigating mechanism with the participation of international judges, prosecutors and investigators. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein will visit Sri Lanka this week amid an uncertainty over foreign judges’ involvement to probe the alleged atrocities committed during civil war with the LTTE. Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva on Tuesday said the UN rights chief will be in Sri Lanka for four days from February 6. He will hold talks with leaders from the government and the opposition, and would also meet civil society members. The visit comes as a sequel to the UN Human Rights […]

Govt. making different statements on UN resolution: GL

2nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena has not been briefed on the contents of the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka and that is why he makes contradictory statements on it, former external affairs minister G.L. Peiris said. He said the resolution co-sponsored by the US and Sri Lanka had clearly laid down the time frame for the investigation of war crimes charges and the involvement of foreign experts in the mechanism. “However, President repeatedly denies the involvement of foreign expertise in a domestic mechanism and says the government can’t rush the investigation. The sixth paragraph of the resolution clearly mentions the involvement of foreign judges,” Mr. Peiris said. He said the 18th paragraph states that a preliminary report of the investigation should be submitted to the UNHRC at […]

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