9th May 2016

Panama Papers affair set to widen as database goes online

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Panama Papers affair set to widen as database goes onlineThe Panama Papers affair is set to widen, with a huge database of documents relating to more than 200,000 offshore accounts due to go online. The database will be accessible from 18:00 GMT at offshoreleaks.icij.org. The Panama Papers have shown how some wealthy people use offshore firms to evade tax and avoid sanctions. The papers belonged to Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca and were leaked by a source simply known as “John Doe”. The company denies any wrongdoing. Last week it issued a “cease and desist ” order to prevent the database being made public but the organisation that has the documents, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), appears to be going ahead. The documents […]

Sampanthan calls on Tamil diaspora to participate in development of the North and East

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Leader of the Opposition and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan called on the Tamil diaspora to take part in the development of the North and East. The Opposition Leader made this request while participating in a ceremony to open a community centre in the Thennamarawadi area of Trincomalee District built with the assistance from the Tamil diaspora in Australia, BBC Sinhala Service reported. Sampanthan said large-scale development plans in some areas of the North and East including Trincomalee can provide employment for the youth in the areas. “Experts in Singapore are showing special interest regarding the development plans and preparing the plans,” he said adding that the plans are expected to be put forward before the end of the year. He said the […]

Can’t accept the UN reviews: Government

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Minister Rajitha Senaratna stated that, the views of UN Rapporteur on tortures and detentions in Sri Lanka can’t be accepted. UN experts who visited Sri Lanka last week proposed some contradictory comments about the situation of Sri Lanka. They (UN experts) said that though the number of cases of torture were much less than during the height of the conflict, “torture remains in frequent use in Sri Lanka by CID and TID because of weak provisions in law.” In this regard Minister explained in a media briefing as follows. As soon as the new government came in to power, it strengthened the protection of civil society. And independent operations are strengthened in the North and East.  Criticisms of UN experts’ on tortures and detentions can’t be […]

Going Beyond The 13th A & Towards Cooperative Devolution

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – Dr. Laksiri Fernando Discussions have started on devolution and/or federalism in the context of constitutional reforms and the present is an attempt to clarify some of the important issues in the form of ‘questions and answers.’ The purpose is to deviate from abstract debates and bring concreate substance to the discussions as far as I can contribute. Question: What do you mean by going beyond the 13th Amendment? Answer: I basically mean four things. (1) Reducing the concurrent list (2) eliminating the ambiguities between the national list and the provincial list (3) reducing the powers of the Governor and (4) creating a framework for making sufficient fiscal and administrative resources available to the provinces. Question: Why not completely replace devolution and […]

Witness In Crucial FCID Case Says CCD Officials Assaulted Him

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

An important witness in a crucial FCID case, Sarath Dissanayake, the driver of former Presidential Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath today lodged a complained with the Human Rights Commission in fear of his life, after officials of the Colombo Crimes Division(CCD) allegedly ‘abducted’ him last Thursday and assaulted him severely. Dissanayake, who is an important witness in several FCID cases in relation to monetary fraud carried out during the previous regime, claimed that the CCD officials had insisted that he takes the blame for the alleged frauds amounting to billions of rupees, instead of naming the real culprits behind the fraud. “This is the first time in history that an important witness in a financial crimes case is being attacked by the police,” Rajith Keerthi […]

Australia turns back three asylum-seeker boats

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Sydney (AFP) – Australia has intercepted three asylum-seeker boats so far this year, including one carrying women and children from Sri Lanka, the country’s immigration minister revealed on Monday. Under Canberra’s hardline measures, asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia by boat are either sent back to where they departed or to remote Pacific island camps, where living conditions have been criticised. The government has defended the policy as stopping deaths at sea. Since the start of its “Operation Sovereign Borders” in September 2013, it has managed to halt the flood of boats, and drownings, that characterised previous Labor administrations. In March, Canberra hailed 600 days with no vessels arriving, with 25 boats carrying 698 people turned back and “safely returned to their country of departure”. Immigration […]

Concerns of UN Rapporteurs

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

The United Nations Special Rapporteurs Monica Pinto and Juan E. Mendez have expressed their concerns over the existing legal system in the island and emphasized the need of bringing structural reforms to the key institutions such as the Attorney General’s Department, Armed Forces, Police and the Judiciary. The two UN Special Rapporteurs held a press conference in Colombo last Saturday (7) on their Sri Lankan assignment and briefed on the measures to be taken into consideration by the Sri Lanka Government towards stabilizing its legal system and improving the human rights situation in the island. UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Monica Pinto and the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or […]

Do we need this kind of a May Day ?

9th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Had one compared the enthusiasm on this year’s May Day shown by the two factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) with that of the Cuban Communist Party which is famous for its mammoth rallies on International Workers’ Day every year, he may have seen that the former had outsmarted the latter this time.  But everybody knows that this enthusiasm of the SLFP leaders was not born out of the love for the toiling masses of the country. In fact it is nothing other than the manifestation of a power struggle between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who are fighting for their political survival. Even the workers supportive of these two factions were not concerned about their own rights and plights […]