June 2016

Tamils have right to self-determination – Sampanthan

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Opposition and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan recently said, the Tamils were a unique race and had historically been living in the country’s North and East. Sampanthan was speaking at the ITAK office premises, in front of the Athiyadi Pillaiyar Temple, in Vaddukottai, at a meeting organized by TNA parliamentarian E. Saravanabhavan. He said, “We (Tamils) are a unique race. We have been living in this country, historically, in the North- East and have the right to self-determination. Those need to be recognized.” He added that it has been the policy of S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), to have a reasonable political solution with the drafting of a Constitution. “It is well-known and based on this the people voted for […]

At meeting with TNA leaders British officials express concern over resettlements

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Britain’s Permanent Under-Secretary, at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Simon McDonald and Permanent Secretary at the UK Department for International Development, Mark Lowcock yesterday expressed concern over the resettlement process. The two British officials met the TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran in Colombo, where they discussed the progress made in the resettlement process and on the post -war development activities in the North and East . Assuring Britain’s support towards strengthening the reconciliation process, the British officials expressed concern over the resettlement process and other humanitarian issues. Responding to the British officials Sampanthan, while welcoming the initiatives taken by the Government to release the lands in the North and East, pointed out that there was a long way to […]

US Congress committee disappointed Lanka has rejected foreign judges

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

A US Congress committee on foreign relations has expressed disappointment at President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to reject foreign judges in the domestic accountability process on the war. The views were expressed when the Congress Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific met to discuss Sri Lanka. Committee chairman Matt Salmon noted the negative impact the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime had on US-Sri Lanka relations and the progress made in Sri Lanka after January 8 last year. However he noted that there still remains some concerns on Sri Lanka even after January 8 last year, including on the failure to agree to foreign judges to be part of the domestic accountability process in the war. Salmon also raised concerns on Sri Lanka’s […]

Swire discusses progress in Sri Lanka with Zeid and Ravinatha

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire has had talks with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha. The talks focused on the progress in implementing the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year. “Good discussion with @UNHumanRights High Commissioner #Zeid on #SriLanka and UK commitment to resolution 30/1,” Swire tweeted on his meeting with Zeid.  On his meeting with Aryasinha, the UK Minister tweeted “Discussed progress on human rights accountability & reconciliation in #SriLanka w/ Permanent Representative Aryasinha”. The meeting comes as the UN Human Rights Council prepares to meet next week where a report on Sri Lanka will be submitted by the High Commissioner […]

Gota’s entry and Kosgama disaster

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Prior to the arrest of Senior DIG Anura Senanayake over the murder of Thajudeen, a special discussion was held at Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s house with the participation of the lawyers of the Rajapaksas, according to reports. Anura being an officer close to Gotabaya, it is no secret Anura acted on Gotabaya’s orders. The arrest of Anura caused immense anguish and shock to Gotabaya. Last weekend posters were awash across the country that Commission of Bribery and Corruption Director Dilrukshi was looking for a kendara (right time) to arrest Gotabaya. On Saturday, when such posters were being pasted, Minister John Seneviratne made a proposal that Gotabaya shall be made the second leader of the SLFP. Gotabaya also said he is prepared to work with Maitripala Sirisena. It […]

Top British officials hold discussions with PM, Opposition Leader on progress in reconciliation, human rights

8th June 2016 // 0 Comments

June 06, Colombo: Two top officials of the British government arrived in Sri Lanka earlier Monday met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan in Colombo today. Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Simon McDonald and Permanent Under-Secretary at the UK Department for International Development Mark Lowcock met with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and discussed progress on reconciliation, anti-corruption and UK assistance for reconciliation and reform, the British High Commission in Colombo said. The UK government officials also met with Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance MP R. Sampanthan to discuss challenges facing the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, and progress on reconciliation. Meeting with Minister of Law and Order & Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake and Acting […]

Sri Lanka will resettle all war-displaced by year-end: minister

8th June 2016 // 0 Comments

A senior minister said that all the people including Muslims and Sinhalese will be resettled by the year end.  Displaced Sri Lankan Tamil civilians seen at the Kadirgamh camp in Chettikulam, north Sri Lanka. (Photo: AP) Colombo: Sri Lanka will by year-end resettle all people, including the minority Muslims and the Sinhalese, who were displaced during the nearly three-decade-long war against the LTTE, a senior minister said on Sunday. “We have six months to go, we will resettle all in the north by end of the year,” Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganesan said, adding that even the Sinhala and Muslim minority communities who were chased out by the The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) would be given their lands back by inviting them […]

The scars of Sri Lanka’s civil war

8th June 2016 // 0 Comments

On May 18, 2009, Colombo declared the end of the 26-year civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers. It was presented as the beginning of a new era of peace, national reconciliation and development. But for many of those in the north and east of the country, where the worst of the war was experienced, that harmony cannot materialise when so many scars of war remain. Thaya Malar’s son disappeared without a trace after the war. “During the last battle, the LTTE was desperate and forced all the men in the village to fight with them,” she recalls. “Our 16-year-old son had to leave with them but managed to escape.” When […]

Can’t stay with govt. if Gota comes in: CBK

8th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday said she could not stay in the government if the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was trying to bring Gotabaya into power. “We brought this government in order to wipe out the looting of the country. If the SLFP is trying to bring Goatabayas into power we cannot stay in the government any longer,” the former President said addressing an event in Attanagalle, where she distributed flood relief items to those who affected by the recent floods in the area. She also said she was with her children abroad when the country had to face the flood situation. “I am here now to see what I can do for the affected people. I got a large number of telephone calls […]

EU development strategy aims at ‘implementation of UNHRC Resolution’

8th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The European Union is revising its development strategy for Sri Lanka, in order to assist with the implementation of a UN resolution that calls for trials with foreign judges to prosecute those accused of committing mass atrocities. A statement released following the conclusion of the meeting of the Working Group on Cooperation between the European Union and Sri Lanka last week said the two have “enjoyed diplomatic ties that span more than 40 years”. “Over the last decade, the EU has been one of the leading international donors, providing support for conflict affected people, the reconstruction of houses post-tsunami, and grassroots development, aimed at helping the poorest people in Sri Lankan society,” the statement continued, noting that “the EU has set aside up to EUR […]

British head of diplomatic service discusses political settlement with TNA

8th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The head of the British diplomatic service, Simon McDonald and the secretary at the UK Department for International Development visited Sri Lanka on Wednesday held discussions with the Tamil National Alliance leader R Sampanthan regarding political settlement and the challenges facing Tamils in the North-East. British delegation meets OppLeader & TNA head #Sampanthan & TNA Spokesman @MASumanthiran today @britishhighcomm #lka pic.twitter.com/mgg7S5Eii9 — TNAMedia (@TNAmediaoffice) June 6, 2016 The visiting diplomats also met with the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe and other government officials, discussing the government’s progress on reconciliation and implementation of reforms. Meeting with the minister for prison reforms, rehabilitation, resettlement and Hindu religious affairs, MA Swaminathan, the UK diplomats discussed land-returns and the return of IDPs. A contract to renew UK funding for community […]

Tamil politicians demand military release Myliddy

8th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil politicians this week stepped up calls on the Sri Lankan military to release occupied land in the fishing village of Myliddy. Recalling the Sri Lankan president’s pledge to release all land held by the military in Valikaamam North during a recent visit to the North-East, the chief minister of the Northern province, C V Wigneswaran said the army’s stand that Myliddy would not be released is not acceptable. “Now with the war coming to an end, is not at all acceptable that the army is still citing past incidents to stall release of the land,” Mr Wigneswaran said. Echoing the chief minister’s demands the TNA MP and ITAK leader, Mavai Senathirajah warned “if the army interferes with resettlement of displaced persons, a complaint would […]

Thousands evacuated as explosions rock huge Sri Lankan military armoury

6th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The fire, which completely destroyed one of the main ammunition depots of the Sri Lanka Army at the Kosgama Camp, has been brought under control, the Army said today. Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said that even though the fire has been brought under control, there were smaller explosions. “Those explosions are not harmful and are happening inside the depot,” he said. At least one soldier was killed in the fire and eight others injured. Hospital sources said 39, most civilians, had received treatment mainly for respiratory ailments. Thousands of residents were evacuated soon after the fire started as precautionary measures. Brig. Jayaweera said that those living beyond a radius of one kilometre from the camp could return to their houses. “Those who are living […]

It’s too late for Mahinda Rajapaksa

5th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran says had Mahinda Rajapaksa genuinely worked with them as he promised on 2 January 2014, he would not be in this predicament. “Now it is too late for Mahinda,” he said. He added, “As for my ‘strong Tamil nationalism’, I reflect the minds of the people of the North and East. We must get out of the mindset that a political settlement in Sri Lanka is based on the large heartedness of any particular community. It must come out of the genuine desire of all communities to live in amity and peace. It is true that the year 1833 brought disparate communities under one central administration and the 1948 Constitution gave an edge to the majority community.” By […]

Will Sri Lanka filibuster this time around too?

5th June 2016 // 0 Comments

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN Despite one of the UN panel of experts who visited Sri Lanka recently saying, that he was doubtful whether the SL question would be on the agenda in Geneva this month, once again the disturbing topic of alleged human rights violations will be taken up at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) 32nd Session from 30 June to 1 July. A vast number of the Tamil Diaspora from all corners of the world are (supposedly larger in number this time around) gearing up to hold a mass protest in Geneva demanding the UNHRC to move for genuine justice to the SL Tamils. Several print and online newspapers in those countries are advertising to join the group in Geneva if they […]

Tamil Diaspora, TNA MPs to meet Zeid

5th June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Tamil Diaspora representatives and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs will meet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in Geneva, prior to his oral presentation at the 11 to 27 June Sessions of the UNHRC. Sri Lanka faces crucial times in Geneva this month where mammoth Tamil Diaspora-backed rallies alleging delayed justice and prolongation of injustices to the Tamils will come against the Lankan delegation to that meeting. Boosting that demonstration will be members of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) including its Monitoring and Accountability Panel (MAP) – an independent investigative body of eminent war crime prosecutors who will be meeting Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein prior to his oral presentation. Zaid is expected to keep to […]

Ban on chief minister: President rescinds order by military commanders

5th June 2016 // 0 Comments

One of the first tasks for President Maithripala Sirisena, after he returned to Sri Lanka from Japan, was to issue an order to immediately rescind instructions sent out by Commanders of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. They had issued separate instructions that debarred Eastern Province Chief Minister Naseer Ahmed from entering their respective installations. All military personnel were ordered to refrain from attending functions organised by the Chief Minister. The orders from the three commanders came after Chief Minister Naseer Ahmed, casting the dignity of his office aside, insulted a Navy officer at a public ceremony in Sampur (Trincomalee) no sooner he got on the stage. Those on the stage at a Sampur school which came under the Eastern Provincial Council included […]

What is the mission that Maithri gave Ranil?

5th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Last Wednesday (1) President Maithripala Sirisena was enjoying a dance recital at a newly opened resort owned by the Shangri-La Five Star Hotel Company in Mirijjawila, Hambantota when a straw thatched hut built at the dancing zone caught fire during a fireworks event. Stray sparks from a firecrackers display may have ignited the fire after the opening ceremony and the President was just about 50 metres away from the fire. The Fire Brigade killed the fire before it could spread elsewhere and DIG Southern Province D.D. Wickremaratne ordered an immediate probe to verify how a fire engulfed a straw covered hut. DIG Wickremaratne told this Newspaper that DIG Galle W.K. Jayalath went to the resort the day of the incident to investigate and report on […]

Jaffna Press Club remembers murdered Tamil journalist

4th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil Guardian 03 June 2016 Journalists in Jaffna marked the 12 year anniversary of the assassination of journalist Ayuthurai Nadesan who was killed in Batticaloa in 2004. Members of the Jaffna Press Club laid flowers before a memorial statue for murdered journalists in honour of their murdered colleague. Mr Nadesan, commonly known as ‘Nellai Nadesan,’ was shot dead by a paramilitary group when he was on his way to his office in 2004. As a profile journalist and a columnist, he worked for local Tamil dailies and international news agencies.  The event in Jaffna took place alongside a memorial event in the Batticaloa and a protest, demanding the Sri Lankan government reopen the case and find those responsible for the killing. See our earlier posts: […]

Subramanian Swamy blamed for Tamil Nadu set back

4th June 2016 // 0 Comments

MP Subramanian Swamy is blamed for the loss of BJP  in Tamil Nadu election. He is known to behave like a royal family member and he talks and had treated the Tamils as untouchables hence his presence in the BJP party is made to believe that BJP Party as a racist party. He had been a key supporter of Sri Lankan leader Rajapaksha to kill the Tamil community in Sri Lanka in May 2009 and had said that if the UN is allowed to investigate the Sri Lankan government for War crime for killing more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians and LTTE Leaders who surrendered with White Flag after the UN negotiated the surrender,  than India will face the same fate in Kashmere.  He is so […]

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