10th April 2016

Cautiously optimistic about solution, says Sri Lankan MP

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

“Constitutional changes should be ratified by the public and with a two-third majority” As the Sri Lankan Parliament prepares to meet as Constitutional Assembly to draft a new Constitution, Member of Parliament from Vanni district S. Sivamohan of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said that he was cautiously optimistic that the Tamil question would be resolved through the new Constitution. “We are apprehensive that certain Sinhalese majoritarian groups are planning to flare up anti-Tamil sentiments to stop devolution of powers to Tamils in the new Constitution,” he said. Speaking to the media after delivering a talk at Madurai Media and Film Studies Academy (MMFSA) here on Saturday, Mr. Sivamohan said that the constitutional changes should be ratified by the public as well with a two-third majority […]

Over US $ 19,000 Million Pilfered Out Of Sri Lanka In 10 Years

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

A total of US $ 19,967 million has been pilfered out of Sri Lanka from 2004 to 2013. According to the Global Financial Integrity’s ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013’ report, in 2011 alone US $ 4,602 million was moved out of Sri Lanka by various tax evaders including businessmen, and politicians. According to the report, in 2004, US $ 1,487 million was moved out of Sri Lanka, while in 2005 the total amount pilfered was US $ 1,389 million and in 2006 it was US $ 1,554 million and US $ 1,890 million in 2007. The Global Financial Integrity, which is a non-profit, research, advisory, and advocacy organization located in Washington, D.C also disclosed that in 2008 the total amount pilfered out of Sri Lanka was US $ […]

From Panama Papers To………………

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Tisaranee Gunasekara – “To walk our way and keep our eyes fixed on it Is mankind’s first and foremost obligation.” Iphigenia in Tauris (Goethe) It is a lie, beloved by the powerful, the rich, the privileged, that transparency is inimical to national security and public wellbeing. National security and public wellbeing suffer greater harm, where there is no transparency and no right to protest. In Sri Lanka, whistleblowers and media played a critical role in revealing some of the worst Rajapaksa outrages, even during the time of Rajapaksa rule. Since waste, corruption, nepotism and other abuses of power did not end with the Rajapaksas, whistleblowers and media continue to have work to do. The latest round of revelations includes the possibility of another bond […]

No action, talk only: Swaminathan on NPC

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Northern Provincial Council has become a “no action – talk only” scenario depriving the legitimate basic needs of the Tamil Community which elected the provincial political authoritiesto address the pressing requirement, Minister of of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M Swaminathan said in a statement.   Responding to Northern Province Chief Minister C. V Vigneswaran’s letter informing him of the Provincial Councils decision to reject a project to construct 65,000 houses, the Minister wrote that funds provided by the Central Government for the development of the Northern Province was not being spent despite the fact that there was a serious need for development in the Province for housing, livelihood, infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and industrial economic activities.    Full Statement Hon.C.V. Vigneswaran […]

Govt did something good after long time – Mahinda

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Referring to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to China to strengthen ties, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the government has done something good after a long time. He stated China has provided Sri Lanka with immense military assistance to beat the LTTE and to develop the country’s economy and infrastructure and that during his reign he signed agreements with the Asian powerhouse to launch development projects and establish business opportunities.  We had a plan to develop the country but this government stopped them, Rajapaksa said, addressing an event in Angunakolapelessa today (10).  He stated that now the government had to go and seek relief from the China even after severely criticizing the country in the past.  Walk around the country and the work I […]

JVP Accuses Iniya Bharathi Of Taking Land

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The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) accused former paramilitary member Iniya Bharathi of taking land by force in Thirukkovil in Ampara. JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said Iniya Bharathi had assisted the former government during the war against the LTTE and had control over Thirukkovil. He says during the war Iniya Bharathi used weapons to control the people of Thirukkovil, and today he continues to have a hold on the residents in the area. The JVP MP urged the government to intervene in Thirukkovil issue and bring the situation under control.

Gota becomes silent!

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been advised to adopt a silent approach, without getting involved in the prevailing clashes of political opinion, for him to promote his image in order to realize his future political objectives. He is expected to mediate in decisive issues only, as he hopes to contest as the presidential or the prime ministerial candidate at the 2020 elections.   His advisers have pointed out to Gotabhaya that he has the ability to get noticed as the most suitable candidate irrespective of how Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa solve the power struggle within the SLFP. Therefore, he has been advised to have an understanding with both parties. Recently, a proposal came up to appoint Gotabhaya to a top position in the party. But, Mahinda […]

A Few Days In Israel & Palestine

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan – For a long time I dreamed of visiting the Holy Land and observing the Palestinian – Israeli conflict at first hand, a dream which eventually materialized. Recently we visited where Jesus began his ministry, giving birth to the then new religion, Christianity. One can’t by-pass Israel’s formalities – the immigration procedures, Jewish cities, currency, etc. when visiting the Holy places. It was both nerve-wracking and wonderful. Before setting off on our journey, some of our friends said they were concerned asking whether this trip was so important at this critical period in time. After travelling for about four hours we arrived at Tel-Aviv’s airport, named after the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion. In the queue for immigration, some […]

Many Prominent Sri Lankans “Near and Dear” to Past and Present Political Leaders Named in “Panama Papers” but no Politician Directly Involved.

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando Contrary to speculation Sri Lankan politicians are not among those named in Panama Papers (a vast collection of documents pertaining to massive secret investments in far-flung tax havens). However, among those Sri Lankans who had been named in the Panama Papers are in a range of lucrative sectors mainly among captains of private industries including leisure, tourism promotion, travel industry, health care, capital market promotion, power generation for the state sector, state procurement, and major automobile importer and at least one former head of cash-strapped state enterprise. Informed sources identified some of those named as near and dear to politicians, both past and present. Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faizer Musthapha yesterday said that the government would thoroughly investigate the matter. […]

Historic victory for investigative journalism

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The world was shaken up this week with the leaks of the ‘Panama Papers’ exposing the financial shenanigans of world leaders, past and present. They showed how such leaders of men, women and nations and their business side-kicks hid their embezzled wealth in tax havens around the world and thereby avoided paying taxes in their respective countries. They enjoyed the good life with their monies stacked in offshore banks, some using shell companies with front-men as the account holders, while their fellow countrymen and women were asked to pay their taxes. This was an instance of cross-border journalism taken to a new level. A ‘whistleblower’ first providing a German newspaper with the original leak; the newspaper then contacting the New York-based International Consortium of Investigative […]

Indian foreign policy fiasco in Sri Lanka

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The controversy that took centre stage in the run up to the New Year holidays was the leaking of a list of Sri Lankans who had allegedly maintained secret bank accounts in Panama. This was part of a global expose which has already caused the Prime Minister of Iceland to resign with pressure mounting on British PM David Cameron to follow suit. Though people connected to the yahapalana campaign like Dr Wickremabahu Karunaratne said that he expected the Rajapaksas to be on that list, it so turned out that there were no Rajapaksas on it but one of Minister Champika Ranawaka’s closest allies, Vidya Dilruk Amarapala. In putting out the list of Sri Lankans named in the Panama Papers, Colombo Telegraph said cautiously that there […]

Rs. 2.88 trillion spirited out of Sri Lanka in last 10 years

10th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Corrupt individuals including politicians and businessmen, criminals, and tax evaders have moved US$ 19.96 billion in dirty money out of Sri Lanka in the decade up to 2013, an organisation that tracks the movement of shady money has revealed. The equivalent of Rs. 2.88 trillion has been illegally taken out of the country in the 10 years from 2004 to 2013, data reveal. This includes money illegally earned through corruption. The estimate is conservative as cash deals are not easily tracked. Some illegal transfers are not noted in the balance of payments because of wire transfers by banks and shady money changers, a US study reveals. Illicit outflows were highest in 2011, when US$ 4.6 billion had been spirited away. The outflow nearly doubled compared […]