February 2016

15 Tamil Political Prisoners go on fast?

23rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Haniff Fifteen LTTE suspects detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) are planing to stage a fast unto death. They have requested that their remains be handed over to the Medical Faculties of the University of Jaffna and the University of Peradeniya. Their protest was scheduled to commence yesterday. The detainees have said their organs like kidney and eyes could be used for the benefit of those who may need them. They have said so in statements attributed to them by a section of the Jaffna based media. The detainees have alleged that only fifteen of them are taken to courts on and off only to be informed by the court that it had no power to release them on bail. Meanwhile, […]

Vadamarachchi residents to stage protest on Friday against desalination plant

23rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

by Dasun Edirisinghe Residents of Vadamarachchi East are planning a protest at Maruthankerny in Jaffna against proposed water purification project which, the fear, will pollute groundwater in the area. President of the Vadamarachchi East Undergraduates’ Union S. Sathees told The Island that the protest would be held on Feb. 26 at 9.00am. More than 1,000 villagers to be affected by the project were expected to participate in the protest, he said. The proposed large scale project to desalinate sea water is being implemented by the Northern Provincial Council in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank to supply drinking water to Jaffna town. Sathees said that undergraduates from Vadamaradchi currently studying at universities attached to their union would educate the village people on the adverse impact […]

SL can teach others how to oust dictatorial regimes – Hoole

23rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

by Manjula Fernando Sri Lanka is in a position to teach the world how to stand up to dictatorial regimes and overturn such regimes through peaceful elections, member of the Independent Elections Commission, Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole, said. Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole, Member, Independent Elections Commission In an interview with the Sunday Observer, he said the Commission is currently occupied with the task of absorbing the former Election Department staff, preparing to conduct the upcoming local government elections, where for the first time the 30% quota for women will be accommodated. Excerpts: Q: The Independent Election Commission was a long felt need in Sri Lanka. Can the new body live up to those public expectations? A: I am proud to be working with a team that ushered […]

The Need To Address The Root Of Conflict With Public Participation

23rd February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera – February 22 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002 between the government and LTTE with Norwegian facilitation. This was an unexpected development that brought hope to the country that the war would come to an end and a peaceful solution to the ethnic conflict would be possible. Faced with the prospect of economic collapse, and a protracted war, the government of that time headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe sought to break the stalemate with a bold initiative. The sudden cessation of armed conflict came as a relief to the general population and almost immediately the wounds of war began to heal with people traveling for business and tourism from the north to the south and […]

Not Possible to Return Katchatheevu to India

22nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

RAMESWARAM: Asserting its sovereignty over Katchatheevu, a Sri Lankan Minister today said it was not possible for the island nation to return the islet to India. “Katchatheevu is part of Sri Lanka according to an agreement and hence it was not possible to give it back to India,” Sri Lankan Deputy Minister for Child and Women’s Affairs Vijayakala Maheswaran told reporters. As per the 1974 and 1976 agreements, India had ceded Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka. On the fishing rights of Indian fishermen in Katchatheevu, she said both the nations must work together to resolve the issue. “Governments of both the countries must work together to devise a permanent solution to the fishermen problem,” Maheswaran said. On releasing the seized boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen, who […]

State religion as Buddhism and declaring Sri Lanka a Sinhala State.

22nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

Solution under a unitary system is not viable- TNA MP By S.Gurunathan Constitutional reform within the framework of a unitary form of government and Buddhism as State religion would not help Tamils to get a reasonable political solution, according to Kavindran Kodeeswaran, Ampara District Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian. He further stated that Sinhala politicians in the southern part of the country have been submitting their recommendations based on unitary of government, State religion as Buddhism and declaring Sri Lanka a Sinhala State. This is not a healthy trend. Tamil people have not been agitating for a separate State. Tamils want a place where they are able to rule themselves in their own land within a united Sri Lanka. He stated that Tamil National Alliance would certainly […]

Wickramabahu reminds govt. of its hypocrisy

22nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith The President and Prime Minister went all over the world telling that there were no political prisoners in Sri Lanka but they had forgotten the fact that leader of the Frontline Socialist Party Kumar Gunaratnam had been incarcerated for more than 100 days, NSSP Leader Dr Wickramabahu Karunaratne said yesterday. Addressing the media after joining the FLSP continuous Satyagraha opposite the Fort Railway Station in Colombo yesterday to mark the 100-day completion of the protest to secure the release of Gunaratnam who is being held in Kegalle Remand prison on charges of violating immigration rules, Dr Karunaratne said the government preaching virtues of human rights and democracy had laid bare its true face by detaining the FLSP leader. Wickramabahu said: “We demand […]

Northern Province Governor Welcomes TN Fishermen at Kachchativu

22nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, Reginold Cooray, welcomed over 3,000 pilgrims from Tamil Nadu who had come to worship at the church of St.Anthony in the island of Kachchativu on Sunday. The Governor was accompanied by his wife and son. The service was conducted by the Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rev. Justin Gnanapragasam. Among the distinguished persons in the gathering were the Consul General of India in Jaffna, A.Natarajan, the Commander of the Sri Lankan navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Central Children’s Affairs State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, the Chief Secretary of the Northern Province and the Government Agent of Jaffna. But no member of the Northern Provincial Council dominated by the Tamil National Alliance, including Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran, was present. The […]

1401 out of 1,447 Local Government members took part in the Mahinda’s meeting in Negambo.

22nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

New party will strengthen the govt. – SB Dissanayake By Suril Kaviratne With a new political party in the making and the country heading for Local Government elections, Sunday Observer sat face to face with the Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare S.B. Dissanayake and former Minister Kumar Welgama to talk about the future of SLFP and the government and the upcoming elections, in the light of the new political party that will be initiated by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Q: What impact do you think the Mahinda Rajapaksa breakaway faction have at the upcoming Local Government elections? SB: They have claimed that 1401 out of 1,447 Local Government members took part in the meeting in Negambo. After the last Local Government election, there are […]

Timely Tribute To Sandya Ekneligoda; A Wake Up Call To Gajan Ponnambalam!!

22nd February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Rajasingham Jayadevan – Disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda on 24th January 2010 has captured the attention of the media and the international Human Rights Organizations to such a scale due to the determined effort of Prageeth’s wife Mrs. Sandya Ekneligoda. For the past six years, she has with relentless determination and in the face of unimaginable pressures, pursued justice over her husband’s disappearance. The now ousted semi-Gestapo regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa in a dastardly manner silenced questions, but could not dissuade Sandya Ekneligoda from pursuing her mission for justice. Despite facing a stream of abuse, insults, intimidation, threats etc., etc., she continued her campaign fearlessly. She battled her way through with sheer determination that even reached the corridors of the United Nations. Armed with steely […]

Racism And Religious Fanaticism: Hope And Prayer Of The Mahinda’s New Party?

21st February 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said last week that a new party was required because those in the Opposition were supporting the government and that there was no real Opposition today. Politicians have short memories. President Rajapaksa would undoubtedly like to forget many of his actions when he was ‘lord and master’ over Sri Lanka for nine years. However hard he tries to forget, he cannot erase from his memory the state of the Opposition during his term as president. Many will question whether there was an Opposition during his heyday. He bought over 17 UNPers by offering ministerial portfolios with many enticing perquisites such as a thumping income, free housing in Colombo’s residential areas, luxury limousines, secretaries, chauffeurs , body guards, furloughs to world […]

Ghosts From The Past Haunt MR And SF

21st February 2016 // 0 Comments

New political party at a standstill following issues over leadership MR announces decision not to leave the SLFP SLFP leadership to carry out discussions in electorates about current issues Fonseka likely to be questioned over Lasantha’s murder The grand plan of the joint opposition led by former President, MP Mahinda Rajapaksa of forming a new political party is currently at a standstill owing to several issues. Although the group during the early part of the week tried to gain some momentum through the meeting of local government representatives held in Negombo last Sunday, the emergence of the true details of the participants at the meeting resulted in the Rajapaksa clan failing to achieve the anticipated mileage from the programme. Key among the issues is the […]

Top Official Of Mahinda Regime Faces Arrest?

21st February 2016 // 0 Comments

Eknaligoda Probe enters final stage Atop defence official of the former regime is facing imminent arrest as the investigations into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda enters its final stage. Several top military officers and soldiers have already been arrested in relation to the case and with the investigations in the final stages, top defence officials of the former regime, who gave orders to detain Eknaligoda, are the only remaining suspects to be arrested. A staff sergeant of the Sri Lanka Army was arrested last Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the disappearance of Eknaligoda. Two Colonels are among the members of the defense establishment arrested so far over the disappearance of Eknaligoda and they have made some key revelations over those who had given […]

Army to probe Capt. Tissa’s role

21st February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Niranjala Ariyawansha A top ranking official of the Army told Ceylon Today that Captain L.M.T. Wimalasena, alias Captain Tissa, was summoned twice by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for questioning in connection with the murder of popular ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen. He said the Army was awaiting information from the CID in order to commence a Military Investigation into Captain Tissa’s alleged connections to the murder. The source added that since the CID is carrying out an investigation into the connection Captain Tissa had with the murder of Wasim Thajudeen, the Army cannot get involved in it simultaneously. However, he also said that the Army has geared itself to provide all available information regarding Captain Tissa to the CID.He confirmed Captain Tissa was still under detention […]

Tamil prisoners reject parole terms

21st February 2016 // 0 Comments

by P. Krishnaswamy The release of Tamil prisoners in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) hit a snag as the prisoners refused to accept the flexible terms of parole the government has offered, Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M. Swaminathan told the Sunday Observer. The government offered a one-month commuted prison term and one year rehabilitation to over 60 of the 108 prisoners, apart from those charged by the court, but they refused the offer in the High Court, pleading not guilty and seeking a general presidential amnesty on the advice of their lawyers, the Minister said. They had earlier agreed to the arrangement of parole during discussions the Minister and other judicial authorities had with them, the Minister said. Leaders […]

Ban on animal sacrifice in the offing

21st February 2016 // 0 Comments

Prevention of Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Shrines Bill being drafted: Minister Swaminathan to present Bill in Parliament: Significant milestone in promoting Hindu religious concepts: by P. Krishnaswamy Animal sacrifice in all Hindu shrines in the island will be banned under a new law that is to be introduced soon, Resettlement, Reconstruction, Hindu Religious Affairs and Prison Reforms Minister D.M. Swaminathan told the Sunday Observer. He said he will present the Bill in Parliament at the end of this month. The ‘Prevention of Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Shrines’“ Bill is now being drafted by the Legal Draftsman’s Department, he said. This would be a significant milestone in promoting Hindu religious concepts, since animals sacrifice in Hindu shrines and temples was a controversial issue, disliked by a […]

Ganja is smuggled by a Sri Lankan living in France and holding dual citizenship & Money for Liquor and Drugs comes from relatives living overseas.

21st February 2016 // 0 Comments

Most of the existing provisions in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution as well as Provincial Councils are to remain. proposed constitution will not contain drastic changes. With rapid development, the evils also come; North a hub for Kerala Ganja, liquor consumption on the rise Div. Commander transferred after exchange with Mangala over Geneva issue Review Group wants Army committee to monitor implementation of the UNHRC resolution amid fears of action against top brass. A diplomatic source then explained “it is those who did so, (gave orders), politicians, officials and military leaders who will become liable and not the hundreds who carried it out. One of the major issues now playing out here is the demand for release of more land that come under the […]

Alleged trafficker and slaves from Sri Lanka

20th February 2016 // 0 Comments

The man arrested yesterday on suspicion of keeping two foreign women as slaves in the town of Vik in Southern Iceland is of Sri Lankan nationality, it has been confirmed. The two alleged female victims are also from Sri Lanka. The man detained was a sub-contractor for the Icewear knitting factory in the town of Vík. The popular Víkurprjón shop in the town has terminated its contract with Icewear in the wake of this arrest. It is believed that the two women in question were kept in the basement of the man’s home, which he shares with his wife. Related article: Man arrested on suspicion of slavery

Wimal, six NFF activists noticed to appear in Court

20th February 2016 // 0 Comments

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader and Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa and six other party activists who staged a protest march against the visit of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein were yesterday noticed to appear before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on March 18 for allegedly providing leadership to a protest which blocks the main roads at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, causing disturbance to the people and the normal flow of traffic. Accordingly, NFF leader and Colombo District MP Wimal Weerawansa, Jayantha Samaraweera, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Piyasiri Wijenayake, Roger Seneviratne, Mohammed Muzammil and Don Lusian were noticed to appear before Court by Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya. Filing a facts report before Court, the Cinnamon Garden police informed Court that on February 6, the NFF […]

‘Tamil areas in Sri Lanka are the pockets of poverty’

20th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Regions with the highest rate of poverty in Sri Lanka are areas inhabited by Tamils, according to a study of the World Bank. The regions come under the districts of Mannar, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi in the Northern Province; Batticaloa in the East and plantations in Badulla district (Uva Province) and Nuwara Eliya (Central Province). One Sinhala-dominated region the study has identified as having a high rate of poverty is the Monaragala district. Mullaitivu, the poorest Going by Sri Lanka’s national poverty line of about $1.50 per day (Purchasing Power Parity in 2005), the poverty headcount rates of Mullaitivu, Mannar and Kilinochchi are 28.8 per cent, 20.1 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively. If one were to apply the international poverty line of $2.5 per […]

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