12th April 2016

Tamils in Jaffna protest against Sri Lankan military land grabs

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Protestors staged a sit in at the Jaffna Government Agent District Secretariat office in Jaffna today, demanding the Sri Lankan military halt ongoing land surveys. The protest began after a reported attempt by the Sri Lankan military to survey 16 acres of land in Anaikottai, in the northern peninsula. Upon hearing news of the surveying taking place, Tamil protestors, including politicians from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), arrived at the scene. TNA Northern Provincial Council member Balachandran Gajatheepan said the military had also attempted to seize land owned by the Sivapoomi Trust, a charity organisation that supports handicapped children. As protestors gathered, the military began videotaping the demonstration. “Our land is our culture,” said M K Shivajilingam Northern Provincial […]

Sri Lanka relaunches controversial Sinhala settlement scheme in North-East

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government has opened a new village in the Tamil North-East of the island, as part of a revival of a controversial Sinhala colonisation program. The ‘Village Reawakening’ program was declared open by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa at Weli Oya today. Houses were constructed on land gifted to villagers by the Sri Lankan government and with loans provided at concessionary rates of interest. The scheme is an apparent relaunch of a program started by Mr Premadasa’s father, former president Ranasinghe Premadasa. Weli Oya has been the site of a Sri Lankan government orchestrated project for decades, where Sinhala farmers from the South were settled to the North-East. Last year the army declared open a community hall, built for […]

From emoluments to Devolution of power

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The practice of enticing MPs by dishing out various favours, may it be Ministerial posts or other similar offers, is no strange phenomenon in our political culture. There is little argument that we need a change to this deep rooted political culture that invites political somersaults. Then again in the face of recent developments, there is little hope for such a change, despite how ugly and unreasonable this practice is. With the three new appointments, Parliament was told last Thursday that the National Government now comprises 47 Cabinet Ministers, 20 Sate Ministers and 25 Deputy Ministers. This was stated by Chief Government Whip and Minister Gayantha Karunathilake in response to a demand by the Joint Opposition to reveal the total number of persons holding ministerial […]

We do not want any political interference and military interference in our life.

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

The survivors of Sri Lanka’s civil war have been ignored for too long. In this report we listened to what they had to say, and turned those demands into this “manifesto for peace”.Please sign our petition to show that you stand with the survivors, and with us, in our belief that Sri Lanka’s fragile peace can only be made sustainable if these demands are met. Those demands are for their missing loved ones to be found, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice before an international court. Please support us Click here The factual establishment of what took place in the final stages of the war, including the publication of a comprehensive list of the dead, with cause of death where possible, and the names […]

Panama Papers: Kith and kin of politicos named

12th 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. […]

‘Steel’ing the homes of IDPs

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Over the past few weeks, the Resettlement Ministry had been embroiled in a controversy over providing 65,000 permanent houses to the war affected people. The controversy was with regard to the tender procedure adopted. Apart from the tender procedure, there was another issue which displeased the people. The reason for their dissatisfaction or unhappiness is quite reasonable. These houses are not made by bricks, cement, sand and the likes. They are made of steel. Arguments and counter arguments have been put across by officials and activists pertaining to the pros and cons of such a construction. The people, on one hand are unhappy over the houses, but, are in two minds since they have a roof above their heads to live under. Officials in the […]

Country Will Be More United Under A Federal System – Mavai Senathirajah

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by Camelia Nathaniel Jaffna District MP and Leader of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) – the main constituent party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) – Mavai Senathirajah says Tamil people are willing to work with the government and the Sinhala people to establish a lasting peace in the country. In an interview with The Sunday Leaderhe said that there are some political forces who are trying to rouse communal hatred. He further said the Tamil people do not want war, but they want a political solution to their issues and the right to live as equal citizens of this country. Following are excerpts of the interview: Q. With the recent discovery of the suicide vest in Chavakachcheri, there are concerns that terrorist activities […]

Rajapaksa Conspiracy To Create A Rift Between RANIL And MAITHIRI

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

RW-MR discuss abolition of executive presidency Rajapaksa making plans to contest for top seat again Basil announces re-entry to party politics An unscheduled meeting that took place last week between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President, MP Mahinda Rajapaksa managed to create ripples in political circles, especially among members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The Rajapaksas have now resorted to the latest conspiracy of trying to drive a wedge between the Prime Minister and President Maithripala Sirisena. Divide and rule has been the policy of the Rajapaksas that was clearly witnessed during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first term in office. Rajapaksa ensured that divisions and political defections plagued the main political parties enabling him to create an environment where he could rule as he […]

Sri Lanka’s Ability To Deliver Transitional Justice Grim

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah – Sri Lanka’s Ability To Deliver Transitional Justice Grim – Without Fundamental Change Experts in the field, expect fundamental change on the ground plus in the state apparatus, systems and laws if Sri Lanka is to move towards delivering transitional justice to adhere to and implement the resolution on, ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ – one that it co-sponsored last October 2015. And more specifically, according to the member of the Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel MAP this would also entail creating “an independent and impartial victim centered accountability mechanism.” Invited to speak at the annual human rights conference on transitional justice convened by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) on Sunday April 3rd, 2016 at […]

From Panama Papers to Child Marriage: Food for Thought, Battles to Wage

12th April 2016 // 0 Comments

“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 scam in the Central […]