June 2016

TNA briefs UN on Govt. progress

21st June 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and Spokesperson, M A Sumanthiran  met the UN High Commissioner for Human Right Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein last Thursday (16) and briefed him on the progress made by the Government on addressing key issues raised by the UN. The TNA earlier said that it would meet Al-Hussein to brief on the situation before he makes his oral submissions at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had earlier called for an inclusive and meaningful engagement of all Sri Lankans when implementing the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year. Sumanthiran had stated that the Government had made very slow progress on several key issues including the […]

The battle in Geneva

21st June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Against the backdrop of a statement made by former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa that there’s no Tamil problem for a political solution, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a democratically elected political party called as the ‘mirror of Tamil Tigers’, and some others seeking a ‘balanced’ justice for all Sri Lankans killed either by the LTTE or the security forces, the government is in the process of ‘narrowing’ the ‘outsized’ United Nations Human Rights Resolution (UNHRR) passed on Sri Lanka. The list of proposals in the reconciliation mechanism are under microscopic attention despite some of them are at the infant stage requiring parliamentary approval. The sudden release of 65 hectares of State lands in Point Pedro near the KKS cement factory […]

13 Reasons to Stay in Europe

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

REASONS WHY BRITAIN’S FUTURE IS IN THE EU 1. Jobs Around 3.5 million British jobs are directly linked to British membership of the European Union’s single market – 1 in 10 British jobs. 2. Exports & investment The EU buys over 50 per cent of UK exports (54 per cent of goods, 40 per cent of services). Over 300,000 British companies and 74 per cent of British exporters operate in other EU markets. American and Asian EU firms build factories in Britain because it is in the single market. 3. Trade The EU negotiates trade agreements with the rest of the world. Outside the EU Britain would have to renegotiate trade deals alone. While the EU is the world’s largest market, a UK outside the […]

EU referendum polls suggest Remain is taking back the lead after Brexit surge

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

YouGov says it has detected a shift in opinion, with more undecided voters backing Remain The latest polls will be a boost to David Cameron and the Remain campaign Getty Images The first opinion polls on the EU referendum since the killing of the MP Jo Cox have suggested the ‘Remain’ campaign is pulling back into the lead. There has been widespread speculation that the Labour MP’s death could result in a shift in public opinion against the Leave campaign. On Saturday, an exclusive Comres poll for The Independent that was carried out either side of the killing suggested there may have been a swing in support towards the pro-EU camp. Of the 2,046 interviews carried out in the poll, 200 were done after the news of the attack emerged. READ MORE Will […]

Top bosses move to back Remain ahead of EU vote

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue. Media captionPremier League boss Richard Scudamore says he believes the UK should remain in the EU Top bosses including Sir Richard Branson, the Premier League chair and car industry executives have backed Remain ahead of Thursday’s EU vote. Premier League chair Richard Scudamore said the 20 clubs in the top tier wanted to remain and that leaving would be “incongruous” in the context of the league’s commitment to “openness”. Meanwhile, Sir Richard warned a British exit from the EU would be “devastating” for the UK’s long-term prosperity. Vote Leave rejected the comments. Follow the latest updates with BBC EU referendum live Immigration target ‘impossible’ in EU Guide: All you need to know about […]

‘Brexit’ harmful to Tamils’ cause! says GTF spokesperson

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) hadn’t influenced voters of Sri Lankan origin in the run-up to the EU referendum to decide UK’s future in the organisation, the grouping’s spokesperson Suren Surendiran told The Island yesterday. Surendiran said that it would be the prerogative of each individual to vote for or against ‘Brexit’ on Thursday (June 23). Asked whether the GTF had covertly influenced voters, Surendiran said: “Like I always said, GTF is an organization solely about Tamils in Sri Lanka. All Tamils in the UK must use their democratic right of franchise to vote after assessing merits and demerits of leaving and staying in. GTF will not get involved in influencing each individual’s thinking in this regard.” Diaspora Tamils inaugurated GTF in February […]

Rs. 16.3 billion – the reward of obeying EU rules

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The lifting of the European Union (EU) ban on the export of fishing products from Sri Lanka will bring in about 100 million euros – Rs. 16.3 billion – in annual revenue, the Director-General of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Christy Lal Fernando, said. Prior to the ban, the country had earned nearly 78 million euros in revenue from fish exports to the EU. Following the sanction, earnings had plummeted to 19 million euros. “Today we can earn approximately 100 million euros, primarily because the cost of fish is high and also because we can earn more from foreign exchange,” Mr. Perera said. His comments followed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s disclosure that the EU was satisfied with Sri Lanka’s improved compliance with international […]

Lankan ministers in London campaign against Brexit

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s two main ruling parties have joined the chorus of global voices urging British citizens to vote to remain in the European Union at next Thursday’s crucial referendum. As opinion polls indicate that British support for leaving the European Union has surged, Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando told the Sunday Times last night that several ministers and deputies who would be visiting Britain in the next few days on official matters would meet British citizens of Sri Lankan origin to urge them to vote to remain within the union. During visits to London last week, Mr. Fernando, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva and former UNP MP Rosy Senanayake addressed Sri Lankans living in the UK, explaining the implications to Sri Lanka if […]

WORLD REFUGEE DAY: Hang your heads in shame

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

A day, we the people living on this planet, need to hang our collective heads in shame. For even as this editorial is being written, 65.3 million of our fellow-dwellers on this planet have been forced from their homes and forced to flee their cities and countries. Among them are nearly 20 million refugees, over half of whom are under 18 years of age.    According to statistics of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, one in every 122 humans is now a refugee, an internally displaced person, or seeking asylum.  It said the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago. […]

SLGTI established at Kilinochchi with Euro 8.7 million funding from Germany

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and German Ambassador Dr. Juergen Morhard addressing the media in Colombo. by Steve A. Morrell The Sri Lanka German Training Institute (SLGTI) will be opened at Kilinochchi July 18 with Euro 8.7 million funding from the Federal Republic of Germany. Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the establishment of the SLGTI is sequel to bilateral relations between the governments of Sri Lanka and Germany. This Training Institute will be opened by President Maithripala Sirisena. The war ended in 2009 resulting in the development of the North and East. The Kilinochchi Training Institute was clearly an area of integration and normalization to afford opportunities for young people who could be trained in skills subject to their aptitudes and interests, […]

Queen to honour young person from Sri Lanka next week

20th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Queen Elizabeth II will present a Queen’s Young Leaders Award to an exceptional young person from Sri Lanka at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London next week. As the Commonwealth celebrates The Queen’s 90th birthday, this year’s Award winner, 28-year-old Nushelle De Silva, has been recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in her community. As a Queen’s Young Leader, she will be representing Sri Lanka as she joins winners from 45 different Commonwealth countries in London for five days of high-level engagements, all designed to help them further their life-changing work. Before receiving their Queen’s Young Leaders Award at Buckingham Palace, the winners will visit 10 Downing Street and the UK headquarters of […]

Indonesia lets migrants ashore after week on stranded boat

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

LHOKNGA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia allowed a group of Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka to come ashore in Aceh province on Saturday after confining them to their stranded boat for a week, but is insisting they’ll be towed out to sea once the vessel is repaired. Rights groups have criticized Indonesia’s treatment of the 44 men, women and children and the Aceh provincial government’s plan to abandon them in international waters. The migrants were being sheltered in tents after being allowed off their boat Saturday during rough weather. Ahmad Samadan, chief of the local immigration office, said authorities still plan to tow the migrants into international waters once further repairs to the vessel are completed. “They are being sheltered ashore,” he said. “We still have […]

Sumanthiran meets Zeid, discusses concerns raised by Tamils

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member of Parliament M A Sumanthiran met the UN High Commissioner for Human Right Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein today and discussed concerns raised by Tamils. The meeting comes as Zeid prepares to make an oral update on Sri Lanka at the ongoing 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Zeid Ra’ad had said earlier this week that there needs to be inclusive and meaningful engagement of all Sri Lankans when implementing the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year. Speaking during the opening of the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that in Sri Lanka, the Government’s efforts to implement its commitments in Resolution 30/1 will require a comprehensive […]

Jayalalithaa’s memo to PM Modi: From dual citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils to Cauvery, here’s top points

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

On her first visit after her second consecutive election victory, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum… On her first visit after her second consecutive election victory, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum demanding among other things formation of Cauvery Management Board and a water regulation committee. During the meeting at the Race Course residence of the prime minister, she presented the memorandum which also demanded the restoration of water level at Mullaperiyar dam to 152 feet. Interlinking of rivers, retrieval of Katchatheevu island and inclusion of fishermen in the Scheduled Tribes list are also listed in the memorandum. Jayalalithaa pressed the Centre for addressing the […]

UNDP encouraged by emphasis on implementation of official languages policy

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says it is encouraged by the continued emphasis placed by the Government of Sri Lanka on the implementation of the Official Languages Policy. A new language laboratory was ceremonially opened by the Minister of National Co-Existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Mano Ganesan together with the UNDP at the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET) in Agalawatte. “The opening of this second laboratory is part of an effort to bridge the existing language gap and support the implementation of the official languages policy which will allow citizens to receive services from any public institution in the language of one’s choice. This can also promote wider dialogue in Sri Lanka, enhance the quality of public service delivery to all citizens, […]

‘Katchatheevu needs a political settlement’

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The Katchatheevu row requires only a political settlement, as there is nothing to be sorted out legally between India and Sri Lanka, according to a senior legal expert, Nirmala Chandrahasan. Ms. Chandrahasan, now a consultant to the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) of the Sri Lanka government, told a high-profile seminar on the India-Sri Lanka relationship here on Thursday that the Indian government did not consider Katchatheevu a “disputed territory” and it had recognised the islet as a part of Sri Lanka. As there was no legal dispute on this issue, the question of taking the matter to international courts did not arise. Calling for greater engagement with Tamil Nadu, she proposed exploitation of marine resources jointly. Only a few days ago, Tamil […]

Unit of devolution

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Neville Ladduwahetty The Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform headed by its Chairman Lal Wijenayake has recommended retaining the Province as the unit of Devolution. The Commission proposes 6 “alternate formulations” based on the Province as the peripheral unit. These formulations vary from retaining the existing 9 Provinces without merger with provision to withdraw devolved power without consent, to merger with minority participation in the Executive and the Legislature and other formulations in between, including the re-demarcation of existing boundaries. Although there is consensus within this Commission on the Province as the unit of Devolution, it should not be accepted as the most suitable unit without question. Therefore, the opportunity now available to explore other options should not be missed. It should be remembered […]

China Sheds Reserve Over Lankan Domestic Issues

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: China, which had a policy of turning a blind eye to Sri Lanka’s domestic issues, whether it was the ethnic issue or that of governance, has now shed its reserve and has started commenting on them. The change has come about following the exit of the pro-China Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2015. While under Rajapaksa, China had a free run of the island nation, it has been facing competition from the West and India which have become the dominant players since the change of regime. Sino-Lankan agreements, signed and sealed during the Rajapaksa regime, have been reviewed and even stalled. The plight of the Chinese-funded projects prompted Chinese commentators to urge Beijing not to be oblivious to political currents in counties in […]

Indonesian police fire warning shot as stranded Sri Lankan women disembark boat

18th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankans plead from stranded boat Indonesian authorities refuse to allow the 44 Sri Lankans to leave a boat which has been stranded off the coast of Aceh for almost one week. Sri Lankan refugees intercepted trying to board boat to Australia Sri Lankans en route to Australia in boat stranded in Indonesia Sri Lankan boat headed for Australia marooned in bad weather Jakarta: Police fired a warning shot into the air after a group of Sri Lankan women who have been stranded off the coast of Aceh since June 11 disembarked from their boat in defiance of orders from Indonesian authorities. An eyewitness told Fairfax Media the five women, who are among 44 Sri Lankans who claimed they were en route to Australia when they […]

How the EU referendum will affect UK defence

15th June 2016 // 0 Comments

What leavers say Brussels is determined to centralise control of defence. The EU – backed by such countries as Germany and Spain – wants to create a European army which would risk undermining Nato. Pressure for closer military ties are set to intensify following the referendum. Meanwhile European judges are claiming jurisdiction over UK forces on active service. The European Union Act of 2011 says British defence powers can only be handed to the bloc with the approval of MPs and a referendum EU bureaucracy has tied up the Ministry of Defence in red tape, leading to delays in building Typhoon aircraft and new aircraft carriers. The EU has proved inept in defence issues. It failed to cope with Yugoslavia’s disintegration in the 1990s and […]

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