29th March 2016

PSC to enable expat Sri Lankans to vote

29th March 2016 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith Leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament had given their nod for appointing a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to evolve a mechanism to enable hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan expatriates to vote at future elections to be held here, parliament sources said yesterday. The party leaders had also agreed to approve a motion seeking the appointment of the PSC without debate on April 06, sources said. The JVP has already submitted a no-date motion on the appointment of a PSC to look into and report on the possibility of enabling Sri Lankans employed overseas to exercise their franchise at future elections. The no-date motion has been included in the Addendum to the Order book of Parliament. At the last party […]

Abbott’s Sri Lanka comments ‘excuse war crimes’, Tamil refugee advocates say

29th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Abbott describes former Sri Lankan government’s handling of country’s conflict as ‘unavoidable actions taken to end one of the world’s most vicious civil wars’ The former prime minister Tony Abbott has excused war crimes in comments that the Sri Lankan government’s actions in its civil war were “probably unavoidable”, Tamil refugee advocates have said. In an article in Quadrant magazine Abbott defended his national security recordas prime minister: “I’m sure that the Sri Lankan president was pleased that Australia didn’t join the human rights lobby against the tough but probably unavoidable actions taken to end one of the world’s most vicious civil wars”. The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has rebuked one aspect of his comment, telling Guardian Australia that the government had “consistently raised human […]

Colombo’s cowardice regarding Tamil political prisoners is deeply troubling.

29th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena had promised progress regarding Tamil political prisoners, although we’ve seen little of that. Unfortunately, the president’s dithering project has continued — with no end in sight. More broadly, the Sri Lankan government has made big commitments regarding transitional justice and those changes, if they ever happen, will come incrementally. However, we haven’t seen much in the way of incremental change since Colombo co-sponsored a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka in October 2015. In terms of optics and rhetoric, Mangala Samaraweera, the country’s foreign minister, continues to deliver strong speeches (that are designed primarily for international consumption). The problem is that Samaraweera is not running the country and his view regarding the (expansive) reform agenda doesn’t appear […]

Are Tamils Horrified By Or Tolerant Of Sexual Harassment?

29th March 2016 // 0 Comments

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – The Feminist VC? Prof. Vasanthi Arasaratnam, Vice Chancellor of University of Jaffna, claimed in Uthayan Newspaper head-lines (23.03.2016) to have fired professors following sexual harassment accusations by students. “As a woman, I have done all I can,” she continued. Her remarks were made the previous day at a function by “The Voice of Women” to mark “International Women’s Day” which fell really on 8 March. Speaking further, Arasaratnam said that women are to blame for the increase in sexual harassment and that these episodes could have been avoided had women complained in time. If they had complained at the beginning, she said, action could have been taken. She blamed the parents for not having brought up their daughters to […]

Army intelligence behind killing of Maj. Gen. Lucky Algama and Tamil MP’s!

29th March 2016 // 0 Comments

It has now been established that the Army intelligence is behind the killing of retired Maj. Gen. Lucky Algama at a UNP rally in Ja Ela on 18 December 1999. The confirmation comes in a report submitted to the Security Council by the then CID director Opatha Kankanamage Hemachandra (O.K. Hemachandra), who had investigated the murder.  His report says the then Army intelligence chief, retired Maj. Gen. Sunil Tennakoon was fully responsible for the killing. The suicide bomber who detonated a grenade to kill Algama at the rally was controlled by a close friend of Tennakoon, it has been revealed. Meeting him at a secret location, Tennakoon had given his friend a photograph of Algama and said, “This is the next defence secretary. You know […]