July 2016

Everyday Heroes: Untold Stories of Black July

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

July 23. The date has an awful significance for some, and has been blotted out by time for others. On that date, in 1983, a group of LTTE militants killed 13 Army soldiers. The attack brought simmering tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamils bubbling to the surface. The result: mobs of Sinhalese set upon and brutally attacked hundreds of Tamil civilians, and set fire to their property. Groundviews has consistently recorded the deep impact that Black July had on Sri Lankans. While the very phrase conjures up images of burning tyres, smoke and fear, there remains a counter-narrative. Stories of everyday heroes, men and women who risked their lives to save their Tamil neighbours, from giving them sanctuary in their own homes to saving their […]

‘Certain politicians resorting to various gimmicks’

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

Those who fall sick when in remand become very healthy overnight to join protest walks, once they are granted bail, Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. He was speaking in Parliament yesterday in response to a question raised by JVP MP Nalin Jayathissa during the round of questions for oral answers. MP Jayathissa said the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) was under Minister Sagala Rathnayaka. “When politicians are remanded they are admitted to the Prisons Hospital or to the Colombo National Hospital,” Jayathissa said. “Is the FCID arresting only sick people? I think an FCID ward will have to be set up at the National Hospital”,” he said. He said such politicians could die when they walk from Kandy to Colombo. […]

Govt not taking political revenge from Rajapaksas – Samarasinghe

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

? Are you satisfied with the government’s attention on corruption allegations and the action being taken against them? A: Firstly, I have to remind that the current government was elected by the people to implement the law and they also wanted to remove the regime that corrupted the country and brought Sri Lanka to its knees. When the people voted in the new government they expected the new government to satisfy them by probing corruption allegations brought against the previous regime. But today, we can see there is a major delay in taking action against the corrupt, by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). When the government is so keen in arresting individuals like Basil Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa or […]

‘Sparks of communal hatred’ only option for Mahinda and his Group

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

Last weekend’s clashes between two student factions of the Jaffna University send a stark reminder to the nation that although the war against terrorism is over, there are many in this country who would wish to reignite the sparks of communal hatred. The clashes erupted between students of the    Science faculty and the Arts Faculty of the Jaffna University during a welcoming ceremony for freshers and had definite communal undertones: it was reported that Sinhalese students were selectively targeted and attacked. The government has acted swiftly to close the university and evacuate affected students to prevent the issue from escalating further. Now, normalcy has reportedly returned and the campus is due to open shortly. That has however not deterred politicians in the South from trying […]

Premechandran on northern problems and Govt. inaction

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

EPRLF Leader and TNA member Suresh Premechandran Q: What is the latest with regard to the Jaffna University clash? A: I do not know why this much of exposure is given to this drama. Earlier there were three incidents in the Eastern University. There was some misunderstanding and as a result a brawl took place between Tamil and Sinhalese students; they were both assaulted and Tamil students were hospitalised. These things have happened earlier. This is not the first time. The Education Minister or the Higher Education Minister didn’t take much notice. But when it comes to Jaffna University, the matter was blown out of proportion. The Sinhalese students were assaulted, one child was hospitalised and he was later discharged. The Northern Governor went and […]

Task Force Calls On Diaspora To Make Submissions On Reconciliation

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms has invited the Sri Lankan diaspora to make submissions in an effort to advance reconciliation in the country. Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu The Task Force has called for submissions from diaspora organizations as well as individuals on the design of structures, processes and measures for truth, accountability, reparations and non-recurrence. The diaspora can make submissions on 1) An Office of Missing Persons 2) An office of Reparations 3) A Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel 4) A Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-Recurrence Commission 5) Any other mechanisms, processes or measures for advancing reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Submissions can be made to the Task Force until July 28, 2016. Submissions can be sent to Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Consultation Task Force […]

Armed forces were involved in enforced disappearances authorised by Mahinda, so these crimes should not be investigated?

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

Establishing the office of the Missing Persons is a betrayal of the armed forces who killed them? By Basil Fernando – Basil Fernando The statement made by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa the former head of state in Sri Lanka, that ‘establishing the office of the Missing Persons is a betrayal of the armed forces’ is a statement unbecoming of a former head of the state and a prominent political leader in Sri Lanka. What it directly says is that enforced disappearances which is an internationally recognised heinous crime should not be investigated in Sri Lanka because the culprits may involve some members of the armed forces. It is one of the basic norms of a civilised society that crimes must be investigated, irrespective of whoever the […]

Jaffna University Sinhala-Tamil Student Conflict Was Insane!

23rd July 2016 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – Dr. Laksiri Fernando When you come to think of it, the Sinhala-Tamil student conflict at the University of Jaffna last weekend was insane. This was all pretentiously about welcoming new students to a faculty of undergraduate studies. This said faculty is not about ‘performing arts,’ let alone physical prowess, but about Science. But the conflict was ostensibly about ‘drum and music’ (Thavil and Nathasvaram) and ‘cultural dancing’ (the Kandyan type!). As the Vice Chancellor declared last year in the Faculty’s Handbook, “I consider that the new entrants of the Faculty of Science are very fortunate to pursue their undergraduate programme in such a well reputed faculty. Thousands of science graduates passed out through the portal of the Faculty of Science during […]

Is USA planning to loosen its grip on Sri Lanka?

19th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Last week, fans of the Nuga Sevana programme in Rupavahini witnessed US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, preparing a polos embula –local spicy with guidance and tips from none other than Sri Lanka’s celebrity Master Chef Dr. Pubilis Silva of Mount Lavinia Hotel.   Biswal, who arrived in Sri Lanka after visiting Bangladesh, went to the Holey Bakery in Dhaka, and paid respects to the victims of heinous terrorist attack that took place, a few weeks back. Interestingly Biswal’s arrival fell a few days after Chinese Foreign Minister’s low-key yet important visit to the country. Biswal has been a frequent visitor to Sri Lanka since President Maithripala Sirisena was […]

Proposed Constitution: Division On Executive Presidency And 13A

19th July 2016 // 0 Comments

by Easwaran Rutnam Mano Ganeshan Discussions on the proposed amended or new Constitution has resulted in a division with some pushing to maintain the Executive Presidency with reduced powers. President Maithripala Sirisena, in his election manifesto ahead of the Presidential elections last year, had promised to abolish the Executive Presidency. However most political parties engaged in talks to draft a new Constitution or amend the existing Constitution have expressed the opinion that the Executive Presidency must remain. Members of the steering committee discussing the draft Constitution, which includes members of parliament, told The Sunday Leader that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is leading the push to keep the Executive Presidency. Sources also said that the United National Party is also silent on the matter […]

Tamil-Sinhalese clash leads to indefinite closure of Jaffna University

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: A violent clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students of Jaffna University last Saturday has led an indefinite closure of the university, the only institution of higher learning in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province. Four Sinhalese students were injured, one of them seriously, when students belonging to the two communities attacked each other following a sharp difference of opinion over allowing Kandyan dancing in a function to welcome new entrants to the Science Faculty. As per the time-honored tradition, the Tamils in the Science Faculty wanted to welcome freshers with “mela thaalam” (traditional nadaswaram and thavil music). But the Sinhalese students insisted that Kandayan dancing, which is performed in welcoming ceremonies among the Sinhalese in South Sri Lanka, be included. While the Sinhalese students based […]

TNA condemns Jaffna Uni. clash

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance has condemned the clashes that took place at the University of Jaffna on Saturday. The TNA in a statement today said, “We regret that several students have sustained injuries and that the Sinhala students had to be evacuated from the University and Jaffna as a precautionary measure. The TNA appeals to all students not to permit any recurrence of such incidents or anything that will hinder genuine reconciliation amongst communities in our country. Whilst inviting the students who have been evacuated to return to Jaffna, we urge the other students who remain to welcome them and assure them of their safety as they resume their studies. We call upon the students and the authorities to work together in creating the right […]

Sri Lanka’s ex-police, military top brass risk arrest over Lasantha murder

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Police Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara has hinted of high-profile arrests as the authorities close in on the assassins of anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. The latest arrest of a military intelligence officer last week has led the authorities to piece together the individuals involved in ordering the January 8, 2009 assassination as well as the well orchestrated cover up of the murder. The IGP, speaking at a school at Ibbagamuwa, declared he would demonstrate the new found independence of the police by solving some high profiles cases that have dragged on for years without any suspects being brought to justice. Jayasundara did not name names, but top police sources said the Lasantha Wickrematunge assassination was a top priority for the police and at […]

Jaffna university clash: Tough action against those involved

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The students involved in the brawl at the Jaffna University on Saturday, will be dealt firmly under the law, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof. Mohan de Silva said. Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, he said the Police crime inquiry into the incident has been commenced by the Jaffna DIG, while the Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University has been instructed to commence a preliminarily inquiry to take disciplinary action against the students involved in the fight. “We have the video clips of the incident. A fight is a crime despite whether it happens inside or outside the university premises. Action will be taken against those involved in the clash as per the video evidences,” he noted. Prof. de Silva said the President and […]

Champika Wants Strictest Action Against Culprits Behind Jaffna Uni Clash, Tells Wiggiy To Condemn Incident

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka has questioned as to why law enforcement authorities have failed to take action against the culprits who assaulted the students at the Jaffna University’s Science Faculty on Saturday. Minister Champika Ranawaka “When seniors at the Kelaniya University ordered their juniors to wear dresses and come to the university, they were arrested and imprisoned because of ragging, but how come no action has been taken against the culprits who assaulted the Sinhala students,” Ranawaka questioned. He said that the Tamil students are not facing any hindrance in conducting their studies or cultural events at any of the universities in the country, so how come the Sinhala students don’t have the freedom to organize a cultural event at the […]

President Sirisena Calls Upon Sinhalese to Acknowledge That the People in the North Have a Problem to Solve.

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday appealed to the Sinhalese-Buddhist majority in the island nation to realize that the minorities have a problem and solve it if they want to live happily. “The Sinhala Buddhist community in this country will be able to live happily only after solving the issues pertaining to other communities in the country and the first step in this regard is to acknowledge that the people in the North (Tamils) have a problem to solve,” Sirisena said in Kilinochchi, while inaugurating a German Training Institute. Referring to the violent clash between Sinhalese and Tamil students in Jaffna University over a cultural function on Saturday, the President said that all the educational institutions, including the universities and vocational training […]

Namal’s arrest not political revenge: here’s the B report!

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The FCID yesterday (11) arrested MP Namal Rajapaksa over allegations of obtaining a Rs. 450 million bribe from India’s Krrish Group for signing an agreement for a 650 million USD hotel project at a plot of land near Transworks House, presently being used as the car park for Hilton Hotel in Colombo Fort, and he was produced before courts and remanded. Three politicians and several leading businessmen are involved in this deal. Krrish Group gets the land from the UDA. The related agreement had been prepared by lawyer Sujani Bogollagama for Namal Rajapaksa Associates law firm, owned by Namal. We have received information as to how Namal directly got involved in the pore jct, which goes as, Namal had sent a SMS message to the […]

13th Amendment not meant only for N&E

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Chief Ministers of all nine provinces have emphasized the need of implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and they also pointed out that when the new Constitution is drafted the 13th Amendment should also be given due consideration.  The Chief Ministers and the representatives of some of them met the Advisory Committee to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the proposed new Constitution at the Parliament building on Friday (8). When the 13th Amendment was annexed to the Constitution following the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord in 1987, there surfaced misunderstanding the majority of people considering it as a remedial measure mainly to overcome the North and East ethnic crisis. Those who opposed the 13th Amendment didn’t have the farsightedness to accept it as […]

Gota gets cold feet and drives himself mad with arrest of sergeant major Premananda Udalagama over Lasantha murder !

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News- 17.July.2016, 11.55PM)  Following the arrest of sergeant major Premananda Udalagama , the leader of the  murder squad suspected of the brutal murders of journalists including  Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickremetunge as well as the attacks launched on media personnel  , the former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse during whose tenure in office these lawless and cruel  criminalities took place has got cold feet and panicked, based on reports  reaching Lanka e news inside information division. Gotabaya in his panic stricken state had phoned the Prime Minister (P.M.) , the defense secretary , the Attorney General (A.G.) and the IGP , and spoken  on behalf of the army sergeant major and sought to rescue him. The P.M. had replied , he does not know anything about […]

Two teams enlisted for Lasantha’s murder: Army sergeant major Premananda Udalagama was with Karuna group

18th July 2016 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News -18.July.2016, 11.30PM) During the interrogation of sergeant major Premananda Udalagama alias Ananda Udalagama  of the army intelligence division in connection with the ghastly ruthless murder of Sunday Leader ex editor Lasantha Wickremetunge , the suspect Udalagama who was a leader of the clandestine  murder squad had revealed two groups that did not know each other were enlisted for  the murder of Lasantha, based on reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division. When  planning the murder ,  a week before it was committed,  5 Dialog SIM cards were purchased , and after the crime was committed , not a single call was taken thereafter until today using those SIM cards. Udalagama who was arrested on 15 th night by the CID was remanded until […]

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