26th February 2016

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rightly pointed out by former Information Minister Imthiaz Bakeer Markar in a television interview this was a totally outdated and unwanted demand irrelevant in the current highly communalized political environment.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 […]

Will Mahinda form a Govt in April 2016?

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Will Mahinda form a Govt in April? Recently Mahinda Rajapaksa had called an astrologer to Abhayaramaya Temple and inquired about the horoscope of Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda is of the view that a bright time would dawn on him by April 2016 to form a government. He has related his future dream to all his friends and members in the joint Opposition. So, all of them are eagerly waiting till Mahinda forms a government in April. Maithri had got wind of Mahinda’s dream about the future. In response Maithri told in public that Mahinda’s camp was planning to form governments by reading his horoscope to be sure about his death. The UNP which was defeated in 1994 waited for ten years dreaming of Chandrika Kumaratunga’s death […]

Maithri and Ranil in fear of military coup by the pro-Mahinda group within the Army?.

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Are Maithri and Ranil in fear of military coup? It was reported that the Commanding Officer in Jaffna, Major General Chagi Gallage, was transferred to Army Headquarters in Colombo last week, following a heated argument with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The Major General was transferred to Colombo following the Foreign Minister’s refusal to include two military officers in the committee proposed by the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The minister’s refusal led to a heated argument between the duo, reports stated. Gallage is an officer who earlier served in the Security Division of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Having won the 2010 presidential election, Mahinda arrested then Gen. Sarath Fonseka and elevated Gallage within the Army. Gallage who headed the Presidential Security Division was also appointed […]

Files held up on January ’15 coup attempt at Temple Trees

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent Investigation report files on the controversial coup attempt launched within the Temple Trees premises on the morning of 9 January 2015 are now held up at Attorney General’s department, the Ministry of Law and Order informed Parliament yesterday. In the absence of the Attorney General’s advice the Government is unable to proceed further, according to the Ministry. “The extracts relating to the investigations have been referred to the Attorney General seeking legal advice under reference number CR1/08/2015 on 16 January 2016. No opinion can be made as the relevant advice from Attorney General has not so far been received,” reported the Ministry in response to a question for Oral Answer raised by opposition lawmaker Dullas Alahapperuma. “Further action […]

Sixteen deported from Australia arrested at BIA

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Sixteen Sri Lankans deported from Australia were arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) by the Crime Investigation Division (CID) in Katunayake when they were returning, Police Media Unit said. “All of them were males,” Police Media Unit sources added. According to the CID they had allegedly gone to Australia by boat in 2012. The suspects are residents of Valachchenai, Udappuwa, Batticaloa, Chillaw, Wennappuwa, Kalawanchikudi, Adimuneyi, Arachchikattuwa and Negambo. They are to be produced before the Negambo Magistrate and the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Katunayake are carrying out further investigations. 

Torture and impunity in Sri Lanka persisted in 2015 – Amnesty International

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including sexual violence, continued in 2015 found Amnesty in international Noting that Tamils continued to be detained, the Sri Lanka section of Amnesty International’s report, added that “suspicious deaths in police custody continued to be reported.” The report further noted that sexual violence may have been used against Tamils, adding that ‘impunity for alleged crimes under international law’ and other rights violations ‘persisted’. See full report here.

Mixed messages: what now for justice in Sri Lanka?

26th February 2016 // 0 Comments

It has been a confusing couple of weeks for those following Sri Lanka’s delicate progress back towards peace. Sri Lanka’s President gave two perplexing interviews in which he made troubling and factually inaccurate statements about how Sri Lanka is intending to deal with the past. His Prime Minister also made public comments, firstly seeming to contradict him, then seeming to support him. In the midst of all this, a visit from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights came and went with surprising smoothness. Now that the dust has settled somewhat, we attempt to pick through what was said and make sense of it all. What emerges is very worrying for Sri Lanka’s future, but not yet unsalvageable. What was said