February 2016

India must take action to implement an acceptable political solution

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), led by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, today met with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Colombo and discussed the ‘immediate needs’ of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the TNA leader said that the matter of land issues, the excessive presence of the military particularly in the North, resettlement, rehabilitation, livelihood, housing and so on were extensively discussed. “We also discussed the need for an acceptable political solution and referred to some of the issues that needed to be resolved if there was to be an acceptable, durable and reasonable political solution.” “That matter was discussed at some length,” Sampanthan said. He said that they also discussed with the Indian […]

Another protest by Drama King Wimal Weerawansa fails.

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein arrived in the island this morning on a four-day visit at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government. National Freedom Front organized a protest today against the visit of UN Human Rights Chief Zeid bin Ra’ad Al-Hussein, alleging that he was here to institute a ‘war crimes court.’ The Mahinda Rajapaksha government officials and Army are accused of killing more than 40,000 Tamil civilians in month of May 2009 wants to wipe it under the carpet. Their are evidence the government soldiers were involved in disappearances , Rape and killing of Tamil Civilians. Protesters holding banners that read “Al Hussein hands off – Sri Lanka”, “We condemn your report” and “Don’t send war heroes […]

SL-born CEO to receive $11.1 million in one-time payout

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan-born Alere CEO Namal Nawana would receive about $11.1 million in one-time payouts after the Alere’s acquisition completed by Abbott Laboratories, according to media reports. Nawana took over as CEO when Alere founder and former CEO Ron Zwanzger resigned in 2014, India New England News reported on Thursday. He was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Australia. He holds an Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Medical Science degree from the University of Adelaide in Australia and an MBA from the Henley Business School in the United Kingdom. Quoting financial filings, Boston Business Journal reported that Nawana would receive about $11.1 million in one-time payouts, which includes a continuation of his salary for 18 months, totaling $1.3 million; a $201,000 […]

Dual citizenship for domiciled Sri Lankans

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Home Affairs, North Western Development and Culture Minister S.B. Navinna yesterday, invited all Sri Lankans domiciled overseas to witness for themselves the change and social transformation that has taken place in the country after the new government came into power. Thousands of Sri Lankans have been made permanent residents of foreign countries due to many reasons that included the conditions that prevailed in the country in the past such as education, employment and marriage. He said that these Sri Lankans are eager to return to their motherland and the programme to grant dual citizenship to such Sri Lankans was initiated to provide them a chance to come to their motherland without any obstacle. The minister was speaking at the granting of dual citizenship to over […]

Top UN human rights official begins talks in Sri Lanka

6th February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The top U.N. human rights official began discussions with the Sri Lankan government Saturday on the measures taken by the island nation to investigate alleged atrocities committed during its long civil war, as hundreds of protesters marched against the world body’s involvement. The visit by Zeid Raad al-Hussein follows last year’s resolution at the U.N. human rights body that required foreign judges to assist Sri Lanka in the investigation. Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009, after the government forces crushed the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Both sides were accused of committing grave human rights abuses such as killing civilians and recruiting child soldiers. Since the end of the war, Sri Lanka has faced heavy criticism for failing to properly investigate […]

India Needs to Urgently Engage With Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora Groups: Global Tamil Forum

6th February 2016 // 0 Comments

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/India-Needs-to-Urgently-Engage-With-Sri-Lankan-Tamil-Diaspora-Groups-Global-Tamil-Forum/2016/02/06/article3263073.ece India Needs to Urgently Engage With Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora Groups: Global Tamil Forum By Devirupa Mitra Last Updated: 06th February 2016 12:46 AM             NEW DELHI: India has so far, kept powerful Diaspora groups at an arms length, preferring to deal with the main Tamil political party Tamil National Alliance for engagement with the community. In an interview with The New Indian Express, spokesperson of the London-based Global Tamil Forum, Suren Surendiran said that India should urgently open a formal dialogue with Lankan Tamil diaspora groups to strengthen moderate voices at this critical juncture in the reconciliation process. Full transcript of interview with Suren Surendiran, Spokesperson and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Global Tamil Forum, London Q: What are your views about […]

President Maithiri frightened or getting cold-feet before extremism

6th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Rev. S.J. Emmanuel.                                                       As we commemorate our Independence Day in 2016, I like to make a humble appeal to all the religious leaders of the island to help the political leaders and the people to make their best decisions for the good of all in the island. We are at a decisive phase in our history to move courageously away from the evils of the past and make a reasonable and common sense change for the better. During the last decades we all have gone through bitter experiences of life and death, of conflicts and confrontations and […]

Fisherman issue, minority Tamil rights in Swaraj’s agenda

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday left for Colombo on a two-day visit during which she is expected to discuss the fishermen’s issue and rights of minority Tamils with the top Sri Lankan leadership. Swaraj and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera will co-chair the 9th Joint Commission meeting to discuss key bilateral and regional issues in Colombo later today. The discussions will cover the entire gamut of relationship pertaining to economic cooperation, trade, power and energy, technical and maritime cooperation, social, cultural and educational matters, science and technology, defence cooperation, health, civil aviation, tourism and people-to-people contact. The joint commission was set up in 1992 as a mechanism to address issues of bilateral cooperation. The last meeting of the Joint Commission was held […]

Criminal charges that are pending is due to a deal that President Maithripala had made with the Rajapaksas.

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Granville Perera – Madame Shiranthi and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa grieved for their son with tears in their eyes when Yoshitha was remanded. He has been incarcerated on financial irregularities, money laundering and other charges of breach of Navy rules during the previous presidency. Yoshitha’s arrest (hopefully) should be just the beginning of the Rajapaksa tears, as the “shit has begun to hit the fan”. Little do the Rajapaksas realize that there was a family and nation who loved Wasim Thajudeen, the St. Thomas’, Havelocks and Sri Lanka rugby player as much as they do, their notorious sons? There has been widespread speculation that Wasim Thajudeen did not meet an accidental death, and that the Police and the investigating officials including the doctors who […]

World Begins To Take Notice Of Lanka’s Indian Origin Tamils: Ganeshan

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: After concentrating for decades on Tamils living in North and East Sri Lanka, also known as “Sri Lankan Tamils”, the international community, including India, has now begun taking notice of the Indian Origin Tamils (IOT), observes Mano Ganeshan, leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) and Cabinet Minister for National Coexistence. Speaking to Express here on Friday, Ganeshan said: “The growing attention is due to the  emergence of the TPA; the way the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is accommodating us; and the constructive way in which the TPA itself is using the new political climate and the opportunities given to us to participate in critical decision making.” The TPA is a coalition of IOT parties other than the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC). It found a place […]

Tamils ready to take ten steps if Sinhalese took one – Vigneswaran

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Vigneswaran, today expressed appreciation of the government’s decision to sing the national anthem in Tamil at the Independence Day ceremony held in Colombo. He stated that although it is a very small action in the name reconciliation it should be appreciated and that now a background has been created to foster unity and brotherhood between communities. Sri Lanka has taken a major step towards reconciliation of the Tamils, by allowing the singing of the Sri Lankan national anthem in Tamil. Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneshwaran voiced his happiness at the development. “I visited Nagaviharaya temple to express my happiness for singing National anthem in Tamil,” he said. “If Sinhala people took one step towards us we Tamil […]

TN parties express concern over Lankan Prez’s stand

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

DMK and MDMK today expressed concern over Sri Lankan President Maithiripala Sirisena’s reported statement that his country’s new constitution will not have the concept of ‘Federation,’ saying it will affect the ethnic Tamils. Seeking India’s intervention in the matter, DMK PresidentM Karunanidhi said Sirisena had in a recent meeting of theSri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ‘categorically’ stated that “there will be no place” for the concept of Federation in the new Constitution that seeks to replace the one adopted in 1978 by the island republic. “If the doors of Federation are not opened and rights not devolved, how can Tamils live with dignity, relief and equality. Sirisena’s announcement that there will be no possibility for federation amounts to rubbing salt to injury,” he said in […]

Many more proposals on new constitution expected

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Lal Wijenayake By Jehan Haniff The Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms expects many more submissions but it has only six Tamil-speaking members to handle the anticipated load today (Friday) and tomorrow at Vavuniya, which has a population of 179,000, a majority of whom are Tamils. “Although we expect many written and oral submissions in Vavuniya, I’m confident we can manage with my six efficient Tamil speaking members,” Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms, Attorney-At-Law Lal Wijenayake said. The Chairman said that more than 400 e-mails containing representations had been received up to last week. “We are cutting down on unnecessary expenses in this exercise and hence the public submissions are received at District Secretariats,” Wijenayake added.  

Sri Lanka and Maldives priorities for human rights for the UK

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka and Maldives are priorities for human rights for the UK, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Laura Davies said. In a blog posting she said that to work on human rights issues in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the High Commission has access to the Magna Carta Fund, a strategic programme fund dedicated to tackling the root causes of human rights violations overseas. Davis said that successful projects will uphold democratic values and the rule of law, support an effective rules-based international order and promote a more stable world by upholding universal rights in tackling conflict and extremism. She said that earlier this week in Colombo, the High Commission gathered together a group of civil society and human rights organisations. […]

Sushma Swaraj calls on Sri Lankan PM

5th February 2016 // 0 Comments

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe here on Friday, the first day of her two-day visit to this island nation. “A warm wlecome by a close neighbour. EAM @SushmaSwaraj calls on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders. Earlier on Friday, she was received on her arrival here by her Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera. She is scheduled to attend the ninth session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission which she co-chairs with Samaraweera. The joint commission was established in 1992 as an effective mechanism to address matters pertaining to bilateral cooperation. Ahead of Swaraj’s visit, Swarup said on Thursday that the […]

Independence of 1948 revived LET’S SING ‘ Namo namo matha’ TOGETHER

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Independence of 1948 revived LET’S SING ‘ Namo namo matha’ TOGETHER WE  remember that the Independence of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then known) was gained on February 4, 1948. The UNP was founded on 6 September 1946 by amalgamating three right-leaning pro-dominion parties from the majority Sinhalese community and minority Tamil and Muslim communities. It was founded by Don Stephen Senanayake, who was in the forefront in the struggle for independence from the United Kingdom, having resigned from the Ceylon National Congress because he disagreed with its revised aim of ‘the achieving of freedom’ from the British Empire. The First Prime Minister of Ceylon Rt. Hon. D.S. Senanayake the Leader of the United National Party was instrumental to obtain independence from British rule through […]

690 prisoners freed in view of freedom day (But non of the Tamil political prisoners released).

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

690 prisoners are freed today under a general amnesty granted by the President. The President has granted this amnesty in view of Sri Lanka’s 68th Independence Day. Expressing views in this regard Prisons Media Spokesman Thushara Upuldeniya said that the President has granted an amnesty for the prisoners marking the 2015 Independence Day. The amnesty has been given to prisoners who have been imprisoned for minor offences. Accordingly he said that 690 prisoners are being released from prisons throughout the country. He revealed that they included 76 inmates from then Welikada Prisons, 80 from the Mahara Prisons and 31 prisoners from the Bogambara Prisons.

Geneva Resolution encapsulates pledge in 100-day programme-FM spokesperson

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Foreign Ministry says the Oct 1 Geneva Resolution encapsulates what was promised by the new administration during its 100-day programme and subsequently stated at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Sept. 14 last year. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne was responding to a query by The Island whether UNHRC or some members of the Geneva-based body had sought clarification from the Foreign Ministry as regards recent contradictory statement pertaining to Geneva Resolution made by President Maithripala Sirisena. The Island also asked whether the Foreign Ministry had briefed or reassured UNHRC regarding Sri Lanka’s commitment to Oct 1, 2015 Geneva Resolution. Spokesperson Colonne said: “No to both. What the government of Sri Lanka has committed to her people already […]

Colombo steps up Sinhala militarisation of Jaffna through ‘development’ camouflage

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 February 2016, 23:19 GMT] Colombo regime of Maithiripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickramasinghe is silently continuing with the agenda of permanently seizing the military-occupied red-soiled fertile lands and the coastal strip with most resourceful fish beds stretching 12 km in Valikaamam region of Jaffna peninsuala. According to the drawings finalised by survey officials of the Sri Lankan State on 18 November, 2015, the lands belonging to 1,475 Eezham Tamils are to be permanently seized under the pretext of ‘development’ of Palaali air base. UNP agents in Jaffna have been deployed to ‘convince’ the organisations through promising compensations, the representatives of uprooted people in Valikaamam North told TamilNet on Tuesday. A survey plan labelled PPA 1579 identifies the private properties of 685 people. Another […]

Sri Lanka constitution: What’s in it for the Tamils? – JS Tissainayagam

4th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s new government, which is taking steps to draw up a new constitution, is likely to cheat Tamils out of a political system that reflects their aspirations. Restrictions imposed by the government on the constitution-making process even before it has begun signal that Tamils will remain under-privileged citizens unless they mount a concerted challenge to the regime’s moves forthwith.  Presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015 resulted in the two loci of power – the presidency and parliament – pass to the two main political rivals, the United National Party (UNP) and United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). Today, Maithripala Sirisena of the UPFA is the country’s directly-elected executive president, while Ranil Wickremesinghe, head of the UNP, is prime minister controlling the country’s legislature. Wickremesinghe’s majority […]

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