11th June 2016

British Tamil ‘tortured and detained’ during Sri Lanka wedding trip

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Velauthapillai Renukaruban travelled to Jaffna to get married and was beaten and imprisoned on false charges, his family say   Velauthapillai Renukaruban was located several days after his arrival in Sri Lanka with injuries consistent with torture, lawyers said.  A British man has been detained and tortured in Sri Lanka after travelling to the south Asian country to get married, his family and human rights lawyers have claimed. Velauthapillai Renukaruban, 36, who lives in Ealing, arrived in the country of his birth on 1 June to marry Thajeepa Vinayagamoorthy, 27. The marriage had been arranged by the couple’s families and they had got to know each other by speaking on the phone over a period of months. Sri Lanka accused of allowing continuing human rights abuses […]

Missing persons: Sharp difference in numbers quoted by govt and Presidential Commission Govt claim even higher than NGO’s

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Missing persons: Sharp difference in numbers quoted by govt and Presidential Commission Govt claim even higher than NGO’s Paranagama by Shamindra Ferdinando Retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama, Chairman, Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons yesterday told The Island that the Commission had received approximately 19,000 complaints in respect of disappeared civilians during sittings held in various parts of the country. The Commission dealt with missing persons cases since 1983. Paranagama declined to comment on the sharp discrepancy in data available with his Commission and recent government declaration that various presidential commissions had received over 65,000 complaints regarding missing persons. According to the Foreign Ministry, over 65,000 missing persons cases had been received since 1994. The government acknowledged: “Sri Lanka has one of […]

UK ready to send experts in support of FCID, CIABOC

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando The UK has offered to position a team of experts in Colombo to work with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and specialised police including the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID). The offer has been made during a recent meeting between a British and CIABOC delegations at the latter’s office. Asked whether the UK and GoSL had reached an agreement on ‘deploying’ British investigators here, a spokesperson for the British HC told The Island: “Officers from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK have been training investigators in Sri Lanka for some time. The training included enhancing investigators’ capability to engage in international cases, thorough legal advice, exchanges and English language training.” Responding to another query, the […]

51 MP’s who support Mahinda are wasting their time says MP Gammanpila.

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President did not want to waste his time Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not take part in the vote of No Confidence Motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake because it was not worth his valuable time, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila said. The government is cock-a-hoop about defeating Thursday’s no-faith motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. It mustered 145 votes against the motion while the proponents thereof had to settle for only 51. Twenty eight MPs were absent including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the TNA Parliamentarians. He was responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at the parliamentary complex yesterday. In Parliament Former President Rajapaksa’s vote is only another one vote, but he is a great personality and […]

British citizen beaten and arbitrarily detained in Sri Lanka. What is the British government doing?

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

Reports of the arbitrary detention and beating of a British Tamil citizen that arrived in Sri Lanka to visit his mother have emerged. Mr Velauthapilai Renugaruban was beaten and forcefully arrested by two men who entered his family home in Jaffna on 2nd of June. The men informed the family that they had come to arrest Mr Renugaruban on suspicion of assisting LTTE activities in the UK. Neither an arrest warrant nor identification was provided by the two men, who dragged him out of the house and took him away in a van. Though an official torture plea has not been extracted from Mr Renugaruban, the detainee’s family and representative lawyer in Colombo claim he has been tortured in custody.A day after Mr Renugaruban was […]

TNA demands release of Tamils arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Natioal Alliance (TNA) today reiterated a demand to release Tamils arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Speaking in Parliament today, TNA leader R. Sampanthan said that the new Government had assured that all political prisoners will be set free. However he said only a few were released while many others arrested under the draconian law continue to remain in custody. Sampanthan also said that the Tamils in the North and East are yet to see real reconciliation, seven years after the war ended. “Reconciliation in the proper sense is not yet visible,” he added. Sampanthan also slammed the Government over its failure to release all the civilian owned land still occupied by the military in the North and East. “One cannot understand […]

Salawa catastrophe and military presence in N&E

11th June 2016 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw The huge explosion at one of the major arsenals in the country located at Salawa Army camp in the Kosgama area last Sunday (5) had highlighted the extent of the storage of heavy weaponry and indicating the extensively militarized state the country remained for nearly three decades in the past. All sorts of arms and ammunitions stored in the Salawa arsenal exploded and destroyed all buildings in the campsite which was established in 1994. Following the end of the civil war in the country in 2009, the civilians, directly affected by the civil war in the North and the East, have been agitating constantly to reduce the military presence and withdraw the military installations from the two provinces. However, the last Sunday’s Salawa […]

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 […]