12th May 2016

Events to mark remembrance of victims of final war begin

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

Events to mark the remembrance of victims of the final war began today. Northern provincial council members and families of those killed during the final stages of the war attended the event held in the North today. The events which began today will be held for a week at different locations with the final event set to take place at Mullivaikal. Northern Provincial Council member M.K Sivajilingham said earlier that there was an attempt to block the events but yet the events will go ahead as planned.  Sivajilingham said the main event will be staged in Mullivaikal on May 18. In the past the authorities had attempted to prevent the Mullivaikal commemoration events from being held as it was seen as paying respects to LTTE cadres during […]

COPE Chairman says Ministers shielding corrupt officials

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

By Anuradha Herath COPE Chairman and JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti says it has become impossible to take action against corruption and other large-scale vices taking place at ministries as ministers themselves and their henchmen are engaged in such acts. He said that at some ministries those engaged in corruption have been shielded by the ministers themselves. The JVP MP asserted if the ministers are interfering in taking action against those involved in corruption at ministries and other public institutions, then legal powers should be vested in COPE and that a letter to this effect had been submitted to the Speaker in writing. The COPE Chairman identified the CEB as a den of corruption…… among many other such public institutions and departments and stated that reports […]

TNA calls for probe into UN torture claims

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

In today’s News Update: FCID arrests Basil Rajapaksa Cricket: Sangakkara hopes Perera gets recall after doping U-turn TNA calls for probe into UN torture claims Basil Rajapaksa at FCID The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called on the government on Thursday to take immediate action against investigators who were accused of torturing and sexually abusing suspects, seven year’s after the end of the island’s civil war. Leader of the main opposition group, the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan, told Xinhua that recent findings by UN Human Rights Officials who had visited the country were “disturbing” and it was the responsibility of the government to probe their statements and stop such old practices. Juan E. Mendez, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture, who undertook a nine-day […]

MAY 18 – Commemorating victims of war allowed, LTTE not allowed – Govt

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene says that the government has no issue with the commemoration of victims of Sri Lanka’s war but any attempts to commemorate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will not be allowed.  “The LTTE is a terrorist group recognized by the world. We have no problem with the commemoration of those who perished during the war. I think that is a tradition in the world.”  “However, we will not allow any LTTE flags or commemoration of the LTTE organization. That has been banned,” he told reporters in Colombo. “We have notified the police and the armed forces. As a government we will not allow any commemoration of the LTTE.” Replying to a question from a journalist regarding State Minister […]

Can a New President Lead Sri Lanka Into an Era of Peace?

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Leaders of Sri Lanka, an island nation at the foot of India, have repeatedly promised a political solution to the ethnic strife that has caused heartache and bloodshed for much of its nearly 70-year history since independence. Committee after blue-ribbon committee has recommended that the majority Sinhalese, primarily Buddhists who immigrated from India centuries ago, relinquish some political power to the minority Tamils and Muslims, allowing them a measure of local self-governance. And yet one president after another has failed to do so. Now a president elected by an unlikely coalition of moderates from the two main majority-Sinhalese parties, along with the Tamil and Muslim minorities, is trying yet again at what is widely considered the most opportune moment in Sri […]

Sri Lanka police arrest former leader’s brother over land deal

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, May 12 (Reuters) – A brother of former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was arrested on Thursday by the police Financial Crimes Investigation Division over a land deal allegedly involving money laundering, his lawyer and police said. Several members of the Rajapaksa family are facing police investigations for alleged financial crimes. They include Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was president for a decade until January 2015, his brothers Basil and Gotabaya, his wife Shiranthi and sons Namal and Yoshitha. Rajapaksa’s younger brother, Basil, a former economic development minister, is on bail for alleged misappropriation of state funds after serving several months in prison and the court hearing is still taking place. Basil Rajapaksa’s lawyer, Jayantha Weerasinghe, told Reuters his client had been arrested. “He has been […]

Sri Lankan police arrest scores of Tamil youth

12th May 2016 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan government has unleashed a major crackdown against Tamil youth in the country’s war-ravaged north and east. Since March, more than 23 Tamils have been detained under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Most of those arrested were allegedly former members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), which was militarily defeated in 2009. May 18 marks the seventh anniversary of the end of 26-year communalist war, during which hundreds of Tamils were arrested, disappeared and murdered by Sri Lankan security forces and associated paramilitaries. Around 200,000 people were killed during the conflict. The UN estimated that tens of thousands of Tamil civilians perished during the final weeks of military assaults in 2009. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime […]