June 2016

Testing time for govt and TNA relations

25th June 2016 // 0 Comments

BY Manekshaw Prior to 2015 the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was then in the Opposition had joined hands and met several Tamil diaspora organizations abroad to seek their support to overthrow the Mahinda Rajapakse regime. They even succeeded significantly in gaining the support of some of the prominent Tamil diapsora organizations such as the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and British Tamil Forum (BTF) in ‘torpedoing’ the Rajapaksa regime. So with the coalition of the TNA, the new government with the commitment of good governance in the country was formed with the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the new regime in return extended its support in making the TNA the main […]

British Council runs ‘Rivers of the world’ programme in Sri Lanka

25th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Director Thames Festival Trust and Tevinda Thempana Programmes Officer British Council Adrian Evans with students of Asoka College Colombo ‘Rivers of the world’, which is part of the Connecting Classrooms programme and the flagship arts and education project of the Thames Festival Trust delivered in partnership with the British Council. Sri Lanka has been involved in this project for two years and six schools taking part. The project enables young people to explore, celebrate and share their local environment, learn about other cultures and engage with global issues. It also provides fantastic opportunities for pupils to work with talented professional artists to create amazing pieces of art work for public display on the bank of the River Thames for six weeks. As a part of […]

Brexit to hit Lanka hard

25th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The country’s economists and exporters predicted that in the wake of Britain’s exit from the European Union {EU}, Sri Lanka would face negative consequences across the board in many areas. On June 24, the British public in an epoch-making referendum voted in favour of moving out of the EU, prompting speculation fuelled by incumbent Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron himself that he would step down, paving the way for a change of the guard as early as October this year. Head of the Department of Economics of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Colombo, Prof. Ven. W. Wimalaratana said that the Brexit, which he deemed was a divorce of sorts, which would cause an initial shock in the markets in the short term […]

Trust Takes Years To Build, Seconds To Break, Forever To Repair

25th June 2016 // 0 Comments

“Don’t judge us by the broken promises, experiences and U-turns of the past…. My plea to you Ladies and Gentlemen, is trust us and join us to work together and create the momentum required to move forward and take progressive, meaningful and transformative steps to create a new Sri Lanka.” – Yet another remarkable speech by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in September 2015 and speech that all it was, it seems. Barely four months since that speech and Government of Sri Lanka internationally committing by co-sponsoring Resolution A/HRC/30/L.29 in Geneva, the U-turn came in spectacular fashion from the highest authority in the country, the President himself. The President had said foreign judges and prosecutors should not be involved […]

Bringing internationally mandated prosecutions against SriLanka

25th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Click this link to sign the petition “Take the lead in bringing internationally mandated prosecutions against SriLanka” https://petition.parliament.uk/signatures/18992095/verify/EwHPZ3LSD3FnfndQUGyv Thanks, The Petitions team UK Government and Parliament PetitionTake the lead in bringing internationally mandated prosecutions against SriLanka We the undersigned urge the British government to take the lead in bringing internationally mandated prosecutions against former and serving officials of the Sri Lankan state for the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Tamils.         More details         Sign this petition Show on a map 10,000 At 10,000 signatures… At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition At 100,000 signatures… At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament Share this petition Facebook […]

EU Court Of Justice To Take Up Former LTTE Rebel’s Asylum Application

24th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The Court of Justice of the European Union will take up the asylum application of a former member of theLTTE, who sought asylum in 2009 citing that he would face torture if he returned to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Tamil torture victim | File photo At the time the former rebel arrived in UK in January 2005 he was 28, and was allowed to enter UK as a student, after which it was further extended till September 2008. However, when he requested for another extension, his request was denied and then he sought asylum in January 2009 claiming that he was a former member of the LTTE, and if he returned back to his home country, Sri Lanka he will be tortured by security forces. […]

Have top officials protected drug lords?

24th June 2016 // 0 Comments

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) Chairman Prof. Ravindra Fernando yesterday accused his predecessor Dr. Chamira Nilanga Sumathipala of not leaving behind documentary or other evidence of a controversial list of narco-traffickers, which he has claimed to have compiled during his tenure in office. The lack of this information is seriously impeding our investigations, Professor Fernando said. He said at a media briefing yesterday that even without the controversial list of names and other identification details, the NDDCB and the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) are doing their best to crack down on underworld narcotics dealers. During his tenure, Dr. Sumathipala has gone on record as having said that he was prepared to provide information about drug dealers to any political party […]

Sri Lanka business chamber says Britain’s EU exit could hit trade, loans

24th June 2016 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports to Britain and the European Union could be affected by Britain’s exit from the EU and the island’s borrowing costs could rise, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. But the full impact on international trade would take time to be felt with negotiations around the terms of Britain’s new engagement with Europe likely to take a couple of years, it said in a statement. “The effect of Britain’s EU referendum results on international financial markets would be a key channel of impact for Sri Lanka, as the external commercial borrowing environment becomes more volatile,” it said. The full statement follows: Impact from the financial markets channel ▪    The effect of Britain’s EU referendum results on international financial markets would be […]

Government defends stand it took on backing UK in EU

24th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The Government today backed the decision it took to support the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union (EU). Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsh de Silva said that the decision was taken in the best interest of Sri Lanka’s economy. He said that Sri Lanka’s future has a dependence on the world economy especially since Sri Lanka is looking to export apparel to the EU under the GSP trade concession scheme to which Britain is also a member. The British public today voted for the UK to leave the EU and as a result Sri Lanka will now need to look at having a separate trade deal with Britain. The opposition, in Parliament today, questioned the decision taken by the Government to send a team to […]

Sirisena in fresh bid to checkmate Mahinda

24th June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando In a desperate bid to thwart the formation of a new party led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa- in the run-up to forthcoming local government polls, the SLFP yesterday assured Rajapaksa loyalists nominations. Vast majority of members of dissolved local government bodies have called for the formation of a new alliance under former President Rajapaksa’s leadership. Urging Rajapaksa loyalists to reach an understanding with President Maithripala Sirisena, Irrigation and Water Management Minister Gamini Vijith Vijithamuni Zoysa yesterday said that those who had challenged the new leadership wouldn’t be deprived of nominations. Minister Zoysa said that even an understanding was possible with those facing disciplinary action over various matters.The Moneragala district MP was responding to a query at the weekly media briefing held […]

We Must Use our Vote – Vote to Remain in the European Union.

22nd June 2016 // 0 Comments

It is very important that we request all our members, family and friends to exercise their vote and take part in the decision in respect of the EU Referendum taking place on Wednesday the 23 June 2016. On balance, I personally believe that we should Vote to Remain in the European Union. Best regards, Satya Satya Minhas Chartered Fellow Internal Auditor Chairperson, Hindu Council UK, Registered Charity Number: 1067682 www.hinducouncil.net The Hindu Council UK has been chosen as the ‘lead’ Hindu Organisation by the Election Commission for their National UK-Wide Campaign. Amid concerns about the number of people who are not currently on the electoral register, campaigning bodies such as Operation Black Vote (OBV) want to highlight the value of the vote and how to register. Those groups […]

I urge the Tamil community to vote Remain in the EU Referendum

22nd June 2016 // 0 Comments

Issued for immediate release                                               21st June 2016 STATEMENT FROM JOAN RYAN MP: I urge the Tamil community to vote Remain in the EU Referendum On Thursday 23rd June, you will have the opportunity to cast your vote on the biggest decision our country has faced for a generation. I urge you to join me in voting for the UK to remain a member of the European Union. Working with our European partners gives us more control, not less; it makes us stronger, not weaker. By being in the EU we have greater power to deal with the issues that matter, whether that be workers’ rights, anti-discrimination, equality, immigration, democracy and human rights. I know the great concerns the Tamil community in the UK has about […]

International Community must continue to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to facilitate faithful implementation of all aspects of the UNHRC resolution – Global Tamil Forum

22nd June 2016 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT 22nd June 2016, London International Community must continue to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to facilitate faithful implementation of all aspects of the UNHRC resolution – Global Tamil Forum As the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meets in Geneva this month and the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein prepares his oral report to be presented later in the session, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) appeals to the International Community to remain fully engaged with Sri Lanka to ensure that all aspects of the UNHRC resolution A/HRC/30/1 are faithfully implemented. The pursuit of truth, justice for victims and accountability are essential elements of the healing process in post-conflict societies that have suffered systematic violations of human rights. The adoption of […]

Vaiko flays naming of stadium after ex-Jaffna mayor

22nd June 2016 // 0 Comments

MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Monday alleged that by naming a renovated stadium in Sri Lanka after Alfred Duraiappah, former mayor of Jaffna, the governments in India and Sri Lanka had sought to deceive the world that normalcy had returned to the country, the Hindu reported today. In a statement, he said when there was no trace of thousands of Tamils who had disappeared during the war and when thousands of them continued to live in camps, PM Narendra Modi had inaugurated the stadium through video conferencing. “This is nothing but an attempt to permanently bury fathom deep over 1.87 lakh Tamils killed by the Sri Lankan Army.” He said Duraiyappah was a traitor and responsible for the death of Tamils in police firing and […]

Judge Ilancheliyan struck terror in the hearts of Jaffna’s criminals

22nd June 2016 // 0 Comments

JAFFINA: The North Sri Lankan Tamil-majority town of Jaffna was traditionally known for its industrious, scholarly, and above all, law abiding citizens. During the armed struggle for an independent Tamil Eelam, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had seen to it that no one (other than they) broke the law or the norms of Tamil society. But armed robberies, house break-ins, internecine gang warfare, rapes, eve teasing, and drug and alcohol abuse began to surface and assume menacing proportions after the war ended with the annihilation of the LTTE in May 2009. Armed with knives and swords, gangs inspired by Tamil action movies, freely moved about Jaffna town, zipping through streets on motorbikes, indulging in turf wars, house break-ins, and chain snatchings. School students […]

Plunkett’s last-ball six secures dramatic tie

22nd June 2016 // 0 Comments

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-sri-lanka-2016/content/story/1028063.html Liam Plunkett thrashed a six from the final ball of an incredible game to secure a tie between England and Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the Royal London series at Trent Bridge. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/video_audio/redirect.html?externalId=cric:5769fa97e4b022c7ed530067 When Plunkett, England’s No. 10, came to the crease, his side still required 52 to win from the last 26 balls. And, in the face of some impressive death bowling, it seemed the equation had become overwhelming when the asking rate rose to 30 from the final two overs. But Plunkett and Chris Woakes both scooped boundaries in a penultimate over that realised 16 and, after the pair scampered seven from the first five balls of the last over, it left England requiring six from the final ball to […]

Sri Lanka’s Long Road to Reform: The Human Rights Council’s continued critical role

21st June 2016 // 0 Comments

As the United Nations Human Rights Council meets in Geneva this month, it’s time to assess how far Sri Lanka has come since last year’s passage of a landmark resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights. By ALAN KEENAN for International Crisis Group. First published by International Crisis Group Resolution 30/1, adopted in October, was a major achievement for the United Nations Human Rights Council – and an important milestone in Sri Lanka’s journey toward lasting peace and a just settlement of its decades-old ethnic conflict. Following years of bitter resistance by the previous Sri Lankan government to international efforts to encourage post-war reconciliation and accountability, the new government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe displayed admirable political courage in […]

EU REFERENDUM:SL MUST BE PREPARED TO FACE POSSIBLE ECONOMIC SHOCKS

21st June 2016 // 0 Comments

On coming Thursday, the UK will vote in a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU. The decision of the majority of the UK citizens at the referendum will be vital in the context of international politics as well as the global economy. With the heat of the referendum starting to be felt, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe too, expressed his ideas over the matter and said that Sri Lanka is very concerned about the probable impact of the referendum. The concerns of the Sri Lankan Premier appeared to be legit as the country has strong economic ties, not only with the UK, but also with the EU. According to the Central Bank Annual Report, 10% of the total exports from […]

Cluster bombs used in Sri Lanka’s civil war, leaked photos suggest

21st June 2016 // 0 Comments

Exclusive: images appear to confirm use of the indiscriminate weapon in a conflict which cost the lives of at least 100,000 Remnants of what appears to be an RBK-500 AO-2.5RT cluster bomb uncovered near Chalai, Sri Lanka. Photograph: Source Images that appear to confirm the use of cluster bombs in the end stages of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war have been uncovered as new testimony emerged suggesting the country’s armed forces may have deployed the munition against civilians. The revelations are likely to prompt serious questions for the current Sri Lankan government, which includes several senior members of the cabinet who oversaw army activity during the last days of the conflict. The photographic evidence provided to the Guardian depicts cluster bombs uncovered by de-mining teams […]

Why the UN Human Rights Council Must Stay Engaged in Sri Lanka

21st June 2016 // 0 Comments

As the United Nations Human Rights Council meets in Geneva this month, it’s time to assess how far Sri Lanka has come since last year’s passage of a landmark resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights. Resolution 30/1, adopted in October, was a major achievement for the Council – and an important milestone in Sri Lanka’s journey toward lasting peace and a just settlement of its decades-old ethnic conflict. Following years of bitter resistance by the previous Sri Lankan government to international efforts to encourage post-war reconciliation and accountability, the new government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe displayed admirable political courage in negotiating a consensus resolution containing many of the elements needed for a sustainable peace. However, Sri Lanka […]

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