7th February 2016

Probe on e-mails reveal links between Yoshitha and CSN

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Investigations into the e-mails sent from the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) have revealed clear links between the television station and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake said today. He said that the emails revealed that Yoshitha Rajapaksa operated as the chairman of the company and was the main decision maker. Yoshitha Rajapaksa was arrested recently over his links to CSN which is being investigated for money laundering. The Minister also said that the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) had investigated the allegations on CSN based on a complaint filed with the FCID. Ratnayake said that CSN was investigated under existing laws like any other police investigation will be carried out. He said that there was a need […]

Sri Lanka’s Tamil leaders call for UN help on 4,000 missing

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, met with the Chief Minister and Governor of the Northern Province in Jaffna this morning. Following the meetings, High Commissioner visited the Nallur Kovil in Jaffna. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil leaders on Sunday asked the top U.N. human rights official to help determine the fate of more than 4,000 civilians reported missing in the country’s long civil war amid the government’s assertion that most of them are probably dead. Related Stories Sri Lankan security forces must face ‘reckoning’ for war crimes: U.N. Reuters Sri Lankan leader adds rival parties to consensus Cabinet Associated Press Sri Lanka faces up to wartime past after damning UN verdict AFP Sri Lanka says it […]

Tamil Diaspora for Dialogue With New Delhi

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

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 India’s Sri Lanka policy in recent years? Do you see any difference between the approaches by UPA and Modi government? A: Indian foreign policy has course corrected from being subdued […]

Looking for a deal, not truth and justice

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Frances Harrison.                                                                Sri Lanka’s fledging transitional justice process is in trouble already. It’s getting impossible to paper over embarrassing public differences between the country’s President and its Prime Minister on the issue of war crimes. Sceptics of course say neither man really acknowledges the gravity and scale of the atrocities committed. The most immediate crisis is over interviews the President gave to the BBC and Al Jazeera in which he rolled back on the country’s commitments in Geneva regarding international involvement in a special court yet to be set up. Tamil victims don’t […]

A secular federal State with a merged North-East

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

A secular federal State with a merged North-East BY Mirudhula Thambiah Tamil People’s Council (TPC) releasing the full Draft on how a suitable solution should be reached for the national question has continued to highlight that only a Federal type solution in a merged North and East will be suitable. The Draft Political Solution Plan prepared by the TPC Experts Committee was made public in a function held recently at the Weerasingam Hall in Jaffna. The Draft Plan explains its proposed system of the Federal Government. The Central Government should function like Westminster while North and East should be merged as one State. The Council in its Preliminary Draft further pointed out that there should be political reconciliation prior to constitutional reforms and drafting a […]

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa family: Crashing fall from grace

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Much of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, is set in Sri Lanka. But the island has seen something of a modern epic in the past year or so, with the crashing fall from grace of the family which once appeared to run most aspects of life there. Once Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the presidency a year ago, his successor set about unravelling the network of power the Rajapaksas had built. In the latest examples, this week the former president’s wife was questioned over corruption allegations, and one of their sons was arrested over suspected money-laundering, as the BBC’s Charles Haviland reports. Hours after the arrest of his son, Yoshitha, a photographer caught the ex-president with eyes full of tears, attacking the money-laundering charges as acts of […]

No visa; Cardinal cancels visit to Britain

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s visa application to travel to Britain has been turned down due to incomplete information, prompting the cancellation of an event due to take place in a London church. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, was to conduct mass at St. George’s Cathedral at Southwark in London, and address a meeting on February 4, the day of Sri Lanka’s Independence from British colonial rule. A spokesman for the Cardinal declined to give details, but other church sources said the application was turned down as it failed to give details requested in the application form including details of his previous visits to Britain. The British High Commission declined to comment saying, “UK visas and Immigration does not comment on individual visa applications; all visa […]

Forged asylum papers: BASL insists that Britain should reveal names

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has asked the British High Commission to disclose to the Supreme Court and to the BASL the names of persons who, claiming to be attorneys-at-law, have provided false documents or certifications to Sri Lankans seeking asylum in Britain. The BASL has also said the British High Commission had not divulged the particulars of such persons “despite the BASL having previously requesting [sic] the officials of the High Commission to do so”. The Sunday Times last week reported how an officer of the British High Commission wrote to the Home Office in Britain claiming that a vast majority of endorsement documents provided by Sri Lankan attorneys in support of local asylum seekers were “not credible”. This conclusion was drawn after […]

UNP, SLFP agreed on UN resolution

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the UNP and the SLFP were on the same wave length with regard to the Geneva resolution on Sri Lanka. He said the Government was confident that Sri Lanka could convince UNHR High Commissioner Zeid Ra-ad Al Hussein that Sri Lanka was on the right track in addressing the concerns raised by the UNHR on Human Rights violations when he visits Sri Lanka today. He told a news conference that the BBC interview of President Sirisena had raised protests from anti Sri Lanka extremists in the North and in Europe. “The protests show we are on the right track and Sri Lanka can address the concerns raised by the UNHRC with a credible domestic mechanism,” the minister said. “At the interview […]

India will give its fullest support to Sri Lanka’s policies; Assures Indian Foreign Minister

7th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Indian Foreign Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj says the government of India solidly thanks Sri Lanka for its policies behind the reconciliation and the development. She says India admires the speech recently delivered by President Maithripala Sirisena in the Parliament, stating that he would take the country towards development while bringing about the peace and reconciliation among every community. “The Indian government will give its fullest support to implement those policies mentioned in that statement”, she said. Mrs. Swaraj who called on President Sirisena today (Feb. 06) at the Official Residence of the President stated that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government of India are fully satisfied with the program of the new government of Sri Lanka. President Sirisena, who commended the support […]

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 […]