April 2016

Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in Transitional Justice

22nd April 2016 // 0 Comments

On a recent visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera made a revealing series of comments in response to a question at a forum organized by the United States Institute of Peace. When asked about the government’s timeline to introduce what the government calls “reconciliation mechanisms”, his response reflected his view that controversial Transitional Justice (TJ) mechanisms must be initiated quickly, without much delay. Citing Margaret Thatcher, he claimed that the most controversial aspects of a government’s agenda must be implemented within “a year or two” of its assumption of office. He said the government had “set itself a target of one year” to establish the mechanisms, and this was why the consultation process was supposed to take place within “three months”. He […]

The Joint Opposition Is A Bunch Of Asylum Seekers & Debris Of A Rogue Regime

22nd April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Vishwamithra1984 – “There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson They call themselves the Joint Opposition. They are a twice-defeated, once at the Presidential and then at the parliamentary elections, lot of parliamentarians and two or three-time Ministers, who ransacked the country’s economy and its invaluable assets of youth and school children. Instead of taking these avaricious political parasites one by one and decimating them to pieces, the writer would prefer to deposit them into one bunch […]

Bouquets And Brickbats For Sri Lanka In UK’s Annual Human Rights Report

22nd April 2016 // 0 Comments

“There was an improvement in the overall human rights situation in Sri Lanka in 2015, although some concerns remain. Reversing the downward trend of recent years, the government of Sri Lanka took positive steps to improve freedom of expression (including the media) and freedom of movement, reduce inter-community tensions, and restore the independence of institutions such as the Human Rights Commission. The government also signalled its willingness to address long-standing allegations of past human rights abuses and violations, co-sponsoring a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council in October committing it to reconciliation, accountability and the protection of human rights,” the report for 2015 said. However the report highlighted that certain positive changes witnessed in other parts of the country was less prevalent in the […]

European Union Lifts Ban On Fish Imports From Sri Lanka

22nd April 2016 // 0 Comments

The European Union today announced that it has lifted the ban on Sri Lankan fish imports, Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera announced. The EU decision came following a crucial discussion today between officials from the Sri Lankan government and the European Union. Since the ban, Sri Lanka recorded a loss of at least US$ 100 million annually. The EU imposed a ban on importing fish from Sri Lanka to EU countries in January 2015, due to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities carried out in Sri Lanka. The decision to lift the ban comes after a special EU team visited Sri Lanka late last year to evaluate the progress made in ensuring that Sri Lanka complied with the necessary requirements to lift the ban. A […]

Sampanthan to be removed, Wigneswaran to be arrested.

20th April 2016 // 0 Comments

A Sinhala radical Buddhist monk outfit Tuesday urged the government to remove main Opposition leader R. Sampanthan and arrest Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran, accusing them of trying to achieve what the Tamil Tiger rebels could not achieve at gunpoint. Magalkande Sudantha Thera of Sinhala Ravaya demanded the immediate appointment of Sinhala Opposition leader, charging the TNA leader of only representing the interest of the Tamils in the county. “They need to appoint an Opposition leader who can represent the interest of the majority Sinhala community. The incumbent Opposition leader should be removed with immediate effect,” Magalkande Sudantha Thera said at a media conference held at Bodhu Bala Sena office in Colombo. Claiming that the situation is deteriorating, he said it was […]

Union of Christian Churches criticise military intervention in North

20th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The Union of Christian Churches this week criticised the Sri Lankan military’s continued intervention in civilian affairs in the North. Stating there was an urgent need to remove the military from the region, the churches also condemned illegal fishing by Sinhala fishermen from the South, as well as their attack on Tamil officials. “We strongly condemn the growing military involvement in civil administration,” the churches in Mannar, Vavuniya, Vanni and Vadamadchchi said in a joint statement. “Reconciliation and justice will truly come to Sri Lanka when everyone can live without fear and with freedom.”

Sri Lankan police attempt to arrest Tamil protestors

20th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan police officers attempted to arrest Tamil protestors in Jaffna on Monday, after they entered land which has been illegally taken over by the government’s Coconut Development Board. Demonstrators, including Tamil National Alliance MP Sritharan, entered the 51-acre patch of land in Palai, Jaffna on Monday, demanding it be returned to its rightful owners. A decision had been granted in favour of the Tamil villagers by the District Development Committee, yet the Sri Lankan authorities continue their occupation. Sri Lankan policeman then entered the area and threatened to arrest the protestors. The demonstrators agreed to vacate the area, whilst the police pledged they would try and resolve the issue as soon as possible.  

TID arrests another Tamil man on return from abroad

20th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Another Tamil man who returned from a Middle Eastern country early last week has been arrested by the Colombo Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) on Tuesday. Muthulingam Jeyakanthan of Muthaiyankaddu in Mullaitivu was questioned by the TID at the Katunayake International Airport on his return from Doha on April 12, for several hours before being released. “He was asked to come to the TID office at the 2nd Floor in Colombo this morning. Around 2.15 pm, the TID has informed his sister that he has been arrested. But his family has not been given any document with regard to his arrest,” his lawyer Dominic Premanand toldCeylon News on Tuesday. The father of two went to Doha in 2013 to work and returned to the country to […]

Christians in Sri Lanka Violently Persecuted

20th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Christians are facing increasing levels of persecution in the Buddhist country of Sri Lanka, and the pressure has turned violent in several cases. Release International, a ministry that exposes persecution of Christians, has reported the targeting coming from several fronts, perpetrated by Buddhist monks and government officials. Churches and prayer meetings have been forced to close down. In several instances the monks have refused to allow Christians to bury their dead in public cemeteries, or sometimes even on church grounds. A human rights lawyer in the country has documented over 120 cases of persecution against Christians in the past year. “You don’t normally associate Buddhism with violence, but time and again we hear that it is Buddhist monks who are leading the attacks against the churches. And […]

People Getting Impatient Over Political Administration Dragging its Feet In Bringing Corrupt Elements of Past Regime to Justice

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Vishwamithra1984 “There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson They call themselves the Joint Opposition. They are a twice-defeated, once at the Presidential and then at the parliamentary elections, lot of parliamentarians and two or three-time Ministers, who ransacked the country’s economy and its invaluable assets of youth and school children. Instead of taking these avaricious political parasites one by one and decimating them to pieces, the writer would prefer to deposit them into one bunch […]

Search in site… Search in site… Dheepan: Undermined By Disregard For Detail & Talent

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By TU Senan – Dheepan has both collected the Palm d’Or at Cannes and caused controversy among Tamils. This is particularly so among Tamil writers given that the leading actor is a well-known writer in Tamil. From the point of view of the Tamil literary circle, there are many truths that need to be told about this movie. With that aim and perspective this review is written to shed light on few points – so look away now if you expect an ‘objective view’. In a way the real story is about an opportunist but clever director and one extraordinary artist. Shoba Sakthi (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) plays the leading role as an ex-LTTE militant who continues to the fight to ‘protect’ – this time an adopted […]

The Fifty–Fifty Interlude: Communalism Or Nationalism?

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Rajan Hoole – Revisiting Tamil Self-Determination – Part III Communalism has wreaked havoc in Lanka. It is embedded in our prejudices and our backwardness. The Sri Lankan political establishment’s complicity in violence against a minority is a scandal that would impede us for years to come, particularly in view of the lack of will to do away with impunity and hold the armed forces to account. Equally culpable are the Tamil leaders who have inflamed passions where a little sympathy and restraint could have cooled them and hindered communalism putting down institutional roots. The passage of the Donoughmore Bill, which abolished communal representation in December 1929, was received calmly by the Tamils. At the Legislature no Tamil opposed the abolition. With communal representation having […]

EU to lift ban on Lankan fisheries products this month

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The European Union (EU) is expected to lift the ban on Sri Lankan fisheries products this month, the Fisheries Ministry said. The Ministry said that the EU has informed Sri Lanka that the ban will be lifted on April 21. The EU imposed a ban on fisheries products from Sri Lanka as the former Government failed to prevent Sri Lankan fishermen from violating the international fisheries laws.  The new Government had later prepared and implemented an action plan to remove the ban. The EU had in November last year expressed satisfaction with the efforts taken by Sri Lanka to address the concerns which led to the ban on Sri Lankan fisheries exports to EU countries. EU officials also credited Sri Lankan authorities for the progress that […]

State Astrologers reject faulty auspicious times

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

  Rejecting the allegations of following wrong directions and faulty auspicious times during the recent Sinhala and Tamil New Year, State Astrologers’ Committee today(19th April) confirmed the accuracy of customs followed. This committee established in 1983 by then Minister V.J.M Loku Bandara, comprised of 30 prominent senior astrologers and almanac compilers collectively decide auspicious times on an annual basis. During a media conference held today (19th April) at the Department of Government Information committee took the responsibility of the accuracy of the time and the auspicious directions. Regardless of the political changes took place in the country during the last three decades, the committee was functioning and was deciding the auspicious times especially for Sinhala and Tamil New Year. New Year auspicious times are wrong? […]

Hillary and Cameron hold key to Sri Lanka recovery

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – The acrimonious US presidential race and Britain’s referendum on Europe may appear far removed from Sri Lanka, but both events could hold the key to the island’s recovery from a right royal economic mess. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government decided to bite the bullet and raise taxes from next month in a bid to boost state revenue, but the external factors could have a make-or-break impact on Sri Lanka. Sources close to the government said the Premier was closely following the US elections as well as the “brexit” debate where Britain will decide at a referendum in June whether to stay in the European Union or exit. “These two events along with the oil price will have a very direct bearing on us,” […]

Interview: Prospects for Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

An interview with Howard Varney a few weeks ago held in Colombo attempted to demystify transitional justice and map out the challenges around reconciliation in Sri Lanka. As noted on the website of the International Centre for Transitional Justice, Howard Varney is a senior program adviser with ICTJ. His areas of expertise include truth-seeking, national prosecutions, institutional reform, reparations, and public interest litigation. Howard is a practicing advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. His legal practice includes human rights, constitutional, and administrative law. In the early 1990s he was an attorney with the Legal Resources Centre in Durban where he represented victims of political violence in public interest litigation, judicial inquests, and commissions of inquiry. In the mid-1990s he led an independent criminal investigation in South […]

Sri Lanka’s military occupies over 67,000 acres of Tamil land

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s military occupies over 67,427 acres of Tamil land found the British Tamils Fourm in a desk study conducted using field data from sources in the North-East and official government statistics. In a statement released on Monday, the BTF said, Nearly seven years after the end of the war, the Sri Lankan military is still occupying more than 96% of the land belonging to the Tamil people who were driven off their own lands, in the pretext of “national security”. Field data obtained by British Tamils Forum (BTF), in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, indicate that as of 1st March 2016, the military is occupying 67,427 acres of land belonging to the Tamil people. During the previous government of Mahinda Rajapakse, in the North […]

20/04/2009 -Cluster bombs and hospital shelling leave thousands injured in Tamil No Fire Zone

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil Guardian 20 April 2016 As we approach seven years since the end of the armed conflict where Sri Lankan government troops systematically killed tens of thousands of Tamil civilians, the Tamil Guardian is revisiting the events of the final weeks. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in mass atrocities accompanied by a litany of systematic rights abuses that have since been outlined in UN reports. Seven years on, not a single prosecution for these crimes has taken place and the military responsible for the atrocities remains deployed in the Tamil speaking areas. 20 Apr 2009 – Shells, cluster bombs and hospital attacks leave thousands injured The Sri Lankan military in one of the most deadly offensives of the 2009 conflict bombarded the No […]

NPC member highlights Sinhala colonisation of North-East

19th April 2016 // 0 Comments

More than 600 Sinhala fishermen have now settled in 9 different coastal areas across Mullativiu said Northern Provincial Council member T Ravikaran, as he outlined details of state-sponsored colonisation of the Tamil North-East. Mr Ravikaran also stated that at least 9 Buddhist viharas had been constructed in the Mullaitivu district in the last 6 years alone, all of which have been aided by the Sri Lankan armed forces. The councillor detailed the long history of state-sponsored colonisation, recalling that in 1981 12 to 14 fishermen had been granted temporary permits to settle in Kokkilai and fish. Now the number in that village alone is 300. Post-armed conflict colonisation has continued, he added, stating that in 2012 78 fishermen were granted permits to fish in Nayaru […]

Lankans Don’t Need Offshore Banking Facilities

18th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Lankans Don’t Need Offshore Banking Facilities by Gamini Weerakoon Well known tax adviser Double Entry Silva was addressing an ‘urgent’ meeting of the Sri Lanka Tax Avoidance Union. “Some of you in the audience, prior to this meeting, told me that it was a crying shame that so few Sri Lankan names and organisations have appeared in the Panama Papers. We are now supposed to be a middle income country. How come we don’t have enough wheeler-dealers to have secret offshore bank accounts? Don’t we have Camerons, Putins, Porshenkos of Ukraine, or even one like the King of Saudi Arabia,” they asked me. “No International ‘Thathvaya’ no? All these talks of 7 per cent GDP for so many years is hogwash,” one member claimed. “My […]

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