May 2016

Will Delhi’s nod be necessary for Jaya-Wigneswaran meeting?

31st May 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Will prior permission of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) be necessary for any meeting between the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa and C.V.Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province? Officials sources told Express here on Monday, that if it is going to be an official meeting, the MEA gets involved because foreign relations come under the Central List in the division of power between the Center and the States. The MEA has guidelines for entertaining official requests for meetings with local leaders from visiting foreign dignitaries and the procedure is clearly laid out. However, private meetings might be allowed. In that context, Chief Minister Wigneswaran could go to Chennai on a private visit on his diplomatic passport and meet the […]

Gammanpila’s Signature Scams

31st May 2016 // 0 Comments

by Nirmala Kannangara Yet another Rajapaksa follower is soon to be arrested by the Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for allegedly cheating an Australian national of more than Rs. 1,000 million. The long delay at the Attorney General’s (AG) Department over the past few months has prevented the SIU from arresting the ever-pontificating leader of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya and Colombo District UPFA MP, Udaya Prabath Gammanpila for allegedly using a fraudulent power of attorney to sell 4.1 million shares of Pan Asia Bank and later other assets in Sri Lanka which belonged to Brian Shaddick of Western Australia. The SIU had questioned Gammanpila and those who aided and abetted him in these frauds and also the two parties that purchased Shaddick’s Pan Asia Bank […]

Geneva-sanctioned Office for Missing Persons to succeed Paranagama Commission

31st May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The government has directed the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons to hand over all its files to proposed Office for Missing Persons, thereby terminating the Commission. Chairman of the Commission retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama yesterday told The Island that he had been to told to hand them over before July 15, 2016. Paranagama said that he had requested time till August 30 to finalise the process. The Office of Missing Persons is one of four transitional justice mechanisms Sri Lanka has agreed to establish during the September 2015 Human Rights Council session in Geneva. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa set up the Paranagama Commission during 2013. Responding to a query, the retired High Court judge said that his […]

Since 1948 – Sri Lanka’s Deceptions Continue!

31st May 2016 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan – S. V. Kirubaharan A few days back – the Eelam Tamils, diaspora Tamils and the World Tamils commemorated the 7th anniversary of Mullivaghzhal, in which thousands of innocent lives were lost – massacred in cold blood. I will avoid going into the history of this massacre. There is nothing to hide. It was done with the help of China, Pakistan, India and a few other counties, including the then state government of Tamil Nadu. I know that patriotic Indians will not like to see that I have included India in this list. But who is answerable to the ample evidence available, of Indian involvement in ‘bringing this war to an end’? India may justify its shameful support to Sri Lanka, […]

‘Wigneswaran and Jayalalithaa’ the last hope of the Tamils?

31st May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Vishwamithra1984 – “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow C V Wigneswaran, the Chief Minister of Northern Province, is a retired Supreme Court Judge. As much as his judiciary judgments would one day be called for ultimate arbitration by history, one would also expect his political judgments shall stand the test of time and history. A man who was catapulted into politics on the backs of a defeated people, a scholar of no mean criteria, this Northern pundit seems to have unfortunately bartered his scholarship with the squalor of Tamil Nadu politics. Firstly, Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister (CM) of Tamil Nadu was no ‘political prisoner’.Jayalalitha became the first Chief […]

SLFP backs Executive Presidency, broader power to PCs

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has decided to back powers of an Executive President as with its proposals on Constitutional Reforms. SLFP heavyweights yesterday, said the SLFP Committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to present proposals for Constitutional Reforms has declared its party line opinion would be so. The party will support the Executive Presidency and also a broader delegation of powers to Provincial Councils. SLFP senior and Minister S.B. Dissanayake yesterday said the SLFP presented 10 party-line proposals on Constitutional Reforms to Parliament and they have been accepted. “Our stance has always been that executive powers as such shall be vested in the President so as to keep the country’s unitary state unaffected and safe even as we go for a broader devolution […]

EU to revise its development strategy for Sri Lanka

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

The European Union (EU), in close consultation with the Government, is currently in the process of revising its development strategy for Sri Lanka, a Sri Lanka – EU joint statement said today. The joint statement said that the Working Group on Cooperation under the framework of the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission concluded its meeting in Colombo today. The meeting was held in a positive, open and constructive atmosphere. It was co-chaired by Jorge de la Caballeria, Head of Unit for South Asia and South East Asia – Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission and M.I.M Rafeek, Secretary of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs of Sri Lanka. Senior officials from the European Union and other ministries of Sri Lanka also participated in the meeting. The visiting […]

Opposition questions failure by AG to look into over 8000 files

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

The opposition today questioned the failure by the Attorney General ‘s (AG) department to look into over 8000 files piled up at the department. Former Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said the failure to look into over 8000 files means the complaints of the public are not being investigated. He said that some files have been at the AG’s department for years and yet there is no one to raise a voice over this issue. Gunasekera said the President and Parliament have failed to take note of the issue and obtain a solution for the people. He said the Government keeps expressing views about corruption and files on former Government members, yet is silent on the 8000 files containing complaints made by the public. (Colombo Gazette)

Hundreds pay homage to late son of Tamil Leader Prabhakaran in Chennai

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Hundreds of people gathered in Chennai on Sunday to pay homage to late Balachandran, 10 year old son of the late founder of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who was killed after he surrendered after UN negotiated the surrender. He was given biscuits and than killed in cold blood by the Sri Lankan Army. The unanswered question is Did the than President Mahinda Rajapaksha or the Defence secretary Gothapaya Rajapaksha ordered the Army to kill the 14 year old child in cold blood in May 2009. Late Tamil leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his 10-year-old son Balachandran were reportedly killed in the armed conflict that started in 1983, when the LTTE launched insurgent attacks against the government aiming to establish an independent Tamil state in […]

A brief history of political arrogance and Eastern Province CM’s place in it

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

astern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed should now be every chief minister’s envy. They hardly make news even when they try their personal best, perhaps except C.V. Wigneshwaran, the Northern CM  for his own antics. CM Ahamed overnight broke ranks with that obscure lot to place himself at the centre of the news cycle. He is now by far the chief minister with the most YouTube views in his name after a video of him insulting a Naval officer at an official function at a school in Sampur went viral. The defence ministry has now banned him from entering military camps and the security forces would not participate in events he  would attend.  The sensible way to diffuse the situation is, even now, for Nazeer […]

Sri Lanka flood victims highly indebted, livelihoods insecure, survey finds

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – Victims of Sri Lanka’s recent floods and landslides had been repeatedly affected by previous natural disasters and were now highly indebted with insecure livelihoods, a survey by the Ministry of Disaster Management has found. The May 2016 floods and landslide have caused the highest displacements, wide spread damage to productive assets, and losses to livelihoods and agricultural and livestock production, it said in an assessment of Colombo, Gampaha and Kegalle, the worst affected districts. Over 90% of these populations had been hard-hit by the recurrent natural disasters during last five years, the report said, referring especially to floods in 2013 and 2015. “The frequent natural disasters in the same regions had undermined household resilience and the affected populations had built up unsustainable levels […]

Fresh instructions issued in respect of PTA

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando In the wake of a spate of arrests of former senior members of the LTTE, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has issued specific directives in respect of detaining persons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). HRCSL spokesman attorney-at-law Saliya Peiris yesterday told The Island that directives had been issued following concerns expressed by some persons. Responding to a query, Peiris emphasized that their intervention wasn’t in any way meant to impede ongoing investigations. The government has assured Western powers that the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No 48 of 1979 would be repealed with a new law in line with UN approved standards. The HRCSL spokesperson said the latest directives had been issued after having taken into […]

Sirisena defends return of land to Sri Lankan Tamils

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Amid continuing criticism of Sri Lanka’s approach to the implementation of the 2015 Geneva resolution, President Maithirpala Sirisena has defended his government’s policy of returning land in the Northern Province to Tamils. Speaking to the Sri Lankan diaspora in Japan, Mr. Sirisena pointed out that they had been longing for the return of their lands for 27 years. ‘Distrust persists’ He also said that distrust persisted between people of the northern Sri Lanka and those in the south and that cement and bricks alone could not achieve reconciliation. Alluding to the policies of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Sirisena said that the country had failed to carry out tasks that ought to have completed after the civil war. That was the reason the reason it […]

Pains of labour in the Post-Civil War Development in Jaffna

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

The welfare of working people is sine qua non for economic and social development of societies. More than a quarter century of civil war in Jaffna (1983-2009) has destroyed several institutions that are the lifeblood of economic and social well-being of democratic societies. The vanguard institutions of labour such as collective bargaining through labour associations/unions, labour departments (government regulator), and indeed labour standards have been dissipated in the name of ‘national liberation’ and ‘national security’. These institutions have been subsumed into the overarching imperatives of Tamil nationalism, Tamil national liberation struggle, and the national security of the state. Objectives The objectives of this study are to understand and document the legal, livelihood, and social conditions of the working people in Jaffna town six years after […]

Sampur Incident Highlights Need For Better Governance In North & East

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera – Jehan Perera The immediate cause of the fracas in the east involving the chief minister, governor and naval officer was personal pique. That incident has been sought to be politicized by an opposition that is ever mindful of the power of inter-ethnic mobilization of nationalism. They have warned of the undermining of the security forces of the country by the ethnic and religious minorities. The fact that it was a Muslim chief minister who spoke offensively in public to a naval officer from the predominantly Sinhalese security forces was given full play by the opposition that had once exploited narrow nationalism to win successive elections, and endeavour to continue in the same way. Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa even sought to draw […]

The Struggle To Free The Tamil Political Prisoners & To Answer For The Displaced In Sri Lanka

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ranjan Fernando – Ranjan Fernando We are on the brink of a Fascist takeover, I feel. I cannot ‘prove’ it as one would a scientific hypothesis. Hence it is a collection of feelings based on what one hears, what one sees etc. In particular, I bring as a witness Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya, the successor to Ven. Sobitha whose impressive collection of civil organizations along with the Tamil votes brought about the downfall of the unlamented Rajapaksa regime. In his regular writings to ‘Ravaya’, Prof. Wijesooriya chronicles a litany of lost hopes, betrayals, corruption and spinelessness of the new regime that he with millions of equally fair-minded citizens helped to found. But now he is ready to take up cudgels against them instead of merely […]

Alleged war crimes: PM announces probe will be domestic, no foreign judges

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Decision conveyed to senior Army  officers, details soon, but TNA unhappy Geneva Resolution watered down Armed services to return more private lands to civilians, high-powered Office of Missing Persons to be set up Government to raise funds through international bonds, under interest-free Islamic banking system The United National Front Government’s final position on the UN mandated probe on allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka was spelt out on Thursday by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He told senior Army officers that the judicial mechanism would be made up entirely of Sri Lankan judges, putting to rest months of speculation if foreign judges were to be part of the tribunal. He met some hundred officers including senior Colonels, Brigadiers and Majors General at ‘Temple Trees,’ the Premier’s official residence. […]

NPC unanimously congratulates Jayalalithaa

30th May 2016 // 0 Comments

NPC unanimously congratulates Jayalalithaa COLOMBO: The Provincial Council of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province has unanimously passed a resolution congratulating AIADMK leader J.Jayalalithaa for winning the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections convincingly. Denying a news agency’s report that the Council thwarted Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswran’s bid to introduce a resolution congratulating the Tamil Nadu leader, the Council’s chairman, CVK.Sivagnanam told Express that the resolution was moved by the CM and passed unanimously on May 26, after an issue raised by two members was resolved amicably………….. READ MORE Will continue to persuade Centre for establishing rights of Sri Lankan Tamils: Jayalalithaa The CM replies to Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran, who congratulated her on winning the State Assembly polls. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Saturday […]

WA asylum seeker ordered home to Sri Lanka despite fears for safety

27th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka: Consultations Lacking on Missing Persons’ Office Ratification of Convention Against Enforced Disappearance Important Step (New York) – The Sri Lankan government ratified the Convention against Enforced Disappearance but in the same week created an Office of Missing Persons without promised consultations with families of the “disappeared,” Human Rights Watch said today. The government should honor its pledge to hold meaningful consultations with the affected families and nongovernmental representatives about the missing persons’ office and the other transitional justice mechanisms. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last year, the government had agreed to hold nationwide public consultations on all transitional justice mechanisms. However, on May 24, 2016, Sri Lanka’s cabinet approved the new Office of Missing Persons without talking with the […]

Is Wigneswaran Planning To Break Away From TNA To Form Radical Tamil Party?

27th May 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, appears to be planning to break away from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and form his own radical Tamil party with the support of an influential section of the Tamil Diaspora. And the leadership of the TNA may allow this to happen as he has become an embarrassment and a thorn on their side. Wigneswaran’s politics of confrontation with the provincial Governor Reginold Cooray and the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in Colombo, clashes with the TNA leadership’s policy of cooperation with them. The Northern CM has been giving primacy to the Tamils’ political demands and the provincial administration’s rights vis-à-vis the Centre, to the virtual exclusion of the empirical and more pressing issues relating to […]

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