July 2016

No-Faith motion against Mangala

11th July 2016 // 0 Comments

BY SHAAHIDAH RIZA Joint Opposition member and United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Udaya Gammanpila said that a No-confidence motion against the Foreign Minister will be imminent if the President does not take necessary steps. Reports indicate that the Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is still of the view that foreign Judges must be employed for war crimes tribunal, despite the President’s statement last week assuring the public that only local Judges would be employed for this purpose. “The President should remove him or he should resign. If none of those takes place we must bring a No-confidence motion against him which I will discuss with the party leaders of the Joint Opposition, at the next Party Leaders’ meeting,” Gammanpila told Ceylon Today. Fellow member of […]

“Implement fully 13 Amendment”

11th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Northern Province CM fielded S. Thavarajah to place his case on the system before the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. In an attempt by the Northern Province to present a picture of unity on constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has fielded Leader of Opposition in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) S. Thavarajah to place his case on the importance of adopting federal system before the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. Though the Province’s Education Minister, T. Gurukularajah, also took part in the deliberations on Friday, it was Mr. Thavarajah who did most of the talking before the 21-member Committee, which comprises representatives from various parties with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the chairperson. Subsequently, he appeared before a […]

‘War crimes’, duplicity and rhetoric

11th July 2016 // 0 Comments

British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, in his address to Parliament on Sri Lanka’s Human Rights situation on Thursday, reiterated there had to be an international element in the domestic mechanism for accountability. That was necessary, he said, to reassure the communities in Sri Lanka and to show the international community that it was a credible process. Doesn’t Swire think there should be an international probe into the atrocities against civilians during the Iraq war which was illegal according to the recently released Chilcot Report? Anything done during an illegal war is illegal. So, the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians including children amount to heinous war crimes and Tony Blair as well as George […]

Cover up of killing more than 40,000 Tamil civilians by Mangale

6th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today accused the chairman of the Missing Persons Commission, Maxwell Paranagama of trying to be too smart by making a public statement on the alleged use of cluster bombs during the war. He said he was disappointed that a person in the calibre of Maxwell Paranagama made such a statement and added that such a statement will not help the reconciliation process. Paranagama had said in a statement this week that if the army used cluster bombs before 2010 it was not illegal. He noted that the Cluster Munitions Convention (CMC) banning the use of such weapons was not in force at the time of the conflict and only became operational on 1st August 2010. “Therefore, if there had been a need […]

Use of ”Cluster Bomb” was NOT banned during war (SO, THE SRI LANKAN ARMY USED IT!)

6th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has issued a statement appreciating UN human rights chief Prince Al Hussein’s call for meaningful international participation in the proposed judicial mechanism to probe war crimes. The following is the full text of GTF statement: “The GTF welcomes the oral update provided by High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Ra’ad Al Hussein to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 29 June in Geneva. We commend the High Commissioner and his office for their forthright assessment and concur with their observation that the promise of governance reform and transitional justice are yet to be fully delivered, and risks stalling or dissipating. While acknowledging the Sri Lankan Government’s progressive initiatives on constitutional reforms and the ‘symbolic steps’ it has taken […]

Tamil families demonstrate by army camp demanding return of their lands

6th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil residents in Paravipancham, Kilinochchi protested outside an army camp that had encroached their lands with demands for the complete return of all appropriated land. Gathered outside the army camp on Monday, the demonstrators called on the occupying army to respond to a memorandum that they had submitted on the 27th June to demand the release of their land. In response to the Tamil protestors demands, the soldiers said they had communicated the issue to their army officers and district secretary. The residents called on Sri Lanka’s president, who is due to visit Kilinochchi on the 18th of July, to return all appropriated lands to the Tamil people. Sri Lanka aims to demilitarise island by 2018 COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka intends to become completely […]

Russia equips Sri Lanka with modern military hardware

6th July 2016 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar Increasing defence cooperation has resulted in Russia equipping Sri Lanka’s armed forces with some models of its state-of-the –art military hardware. The Russian Ambassador Alexander Karchava, addressing a reception to celebrate his country’s National Day in Colombo recently, said that over the last four years his country had signed a range of important bilateral agreements with Sri Lanka. “It includes providing some models of Russia’s state-of-the-art hardware and launch of the important Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation.” The ceremony was held at the brand new Russian Embassy Complex in Colombo 7.It took over four years to complete, Karchava noted, adding that his wish was that the building would become a landmark and add to the beauty of Colombo […]

Govt Has Not Fulfilled Promises Given To Tamil People – Suresh Premachandran

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

by Thushari Nathaniel Former TNA MP Suresh Premachandran stated that despite the government’s promises to the Tamil people, there are many who are still in camps and are unable to go back to their own lands. Although the government promised to expedite the resettlement process, only a very few were resettled and the majority of them are still in the same predicament. Most of the people want to go back to their own lands as only then can they get on with their livelihood activities whether it is farming or fishing.In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Premachandran pointed out that the President and the Prime Minister are making contradictory statements that are confusing to the people, and this has now become a joke. According […]

Paranagama refutes cluster munition claims

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Chairman of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons (PCICMP), Maxwell Paranagama said that there was no credible evidence to suggest that the Sri Lankan Army used cluster munitions during the war. The UN High Commissioner had called for an independent and impartial investigation to be carried out, in light of recent reports on new evidence that has emerged on the use of cluster munitions towards the end of Sri Lanka’s conflict. This was following similar allegations in the OHCHR report. Citing paragraph 33 of the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Paranagama said, “in fact there is nothing new about these allegations. The Paranagama Commission is dealing with its second mandate report, fully examined the available evidence, and came […]

FM Samaraweera accused of acting contrary to the Constitution

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has accused Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera of reaching agreements and understanding with a section of the international community at the expense of Sri Lanka’s interests. The GSLF has, in a letter to foreign missions of countries represented at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), alleged that Minister Samaraweera’s actions at the UNHRC were inconsistent with Sri Lanka’s Constitution. The GSLF has said that Foreign Minister Samaraweera couldn’t pursue policies contrary to the Extraordinary Gazette No. 1933/13 dated Sept. 21, 2015 governing the powers enjoyed by the Foreign Minister. The GSLF has pointed out that Minister Samaraweera has acted against Sri Lanka’s interests in the following instances: Admitting false assertions such as “that Sri Lanka has not initiated […]

GL alleges Geneva intervention aims to promote separatism

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando  Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris on Sunday alleged that the ongoing high profile Geneva exercise spearheaded by Western powers was clearly meant to divide the country on ethnic lines. Their real objective was to bring in constitutional changes to achieve what Prof. Peiris called despicable objective. The former Law Professor was addressing a group of professionals at Nugegoda on Sunday evening. Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was also present. Arranged by Viyathmaga, an organisation seeking to educate the public regarding contentious issues, the forum discussed ways and means countering the Geneva challenge. Prof. Peiris said a statement made by Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran on behalf of the four party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at a Congressional hearing in […]

Leading Tamil diaspora group backs Zeid’s oral update on Sri Lanka

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a leading Tamil disapora group based in London,  has welcomed the oral update provided by High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Ra’ad Al Hussein to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 29 June in Geneva. “We commend the High Commissioner and his office for their forthright assessment and concur with their observation that the promise of governance reform and transitional justice are yet to be fully delivered, and risks stalling or dissipating,” GTF said. GTF says that while acknowledging the Sri Lankan Government’s progressive initiatives on constitutional reforms and the ‘symbolic steps’ it has taken to promote reconciliation, and its vastly improved cooperation with United Nations, High Commissioner Zeid was categorical that the Government has not moved fast […]

JO says it will contest LG polls separately

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa Leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF), MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara yesterday said the Joint Opposition (JO) would contest the next Local Government elections as a separate political party or front. Addressing a press conference at the Dr N. M. Perera Centre in Borella, Nanayakkara noted that the JO would vie with what he called the UNP-Sirisena government. Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Communist Party D. E. W. Gunasekera observed that there were serious issues between the UNP-SLFP unity government and as well as within the UNP itself. The government could not even implement this year’s budget even after a lapse of seven months, he said. That showed the inefficiency of the government and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake should resign for […]

“Sirisena Gave Me ‘Maha Rajano’ Title”, Claims Rajapaksa (VIDEO)

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that he was elevated to the state of a king for the first time by the current President Maithripala Sirisena, who was the first to use the term “Maha Rajano.” Once senior ministers started using this term, it was natural for others to follow their lead, he added. Speaking at a public meeting in Balangoda, Ratnapura District, Rajapaksa also claimed that he had always asked his supporters not to refer to him as a king since it was a bad omen. He hit out at the government for continuously blaming him to cover their incompetence. The government is only good at blaming him, Rajapaksa said, adding that the government has already proven that it is incompetent to govern the country.

High powered Ratwatte committee meet to discuss Brexit, ETCA

5th July 2016 // 0 Comments

By Saman Indrajith A 12-member prime ministerial sub committee to find ways and means of countering possible ill-effects of Britain’s exit from the European Union and to expedite the signing of the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement with India and a bilateral trade pact with China, met for the first time yesterday. Former Treasury Secretary Charitha Ratwatte acts as the Convenor of the committee appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Its other members are Governor of the Central Bank Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, Secretary to the Treasury R. H. S. Samaratunga, Advisor to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs R. Paskaralingam, Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs Sarath Rajakaruna, Economist Dr. Saman Kelegama, Krishan Dissanayake, Prof Sirimal […]

Justice for crimes committed by both sides vital for reconciliation: TNA

1st July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today reiterated that justice for crimes committed in the past by both the Sri Lanka military forces and the LTTE is a necessary precondition to achieve meaningful reconciliation. Issuing a statement on the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Human Rights Council on the implementation of the Resolution on Sri Lanka, the TNA said the full implementation of operative paragraphs 6 and 7 is vital to ensure trust and credibility. “We are particularly encouraged by the number of countries that continue to urge Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments. Resolution 30/1 represents the solemn commitment of Sri Lanka to its own citizens, and to the Tamil people who we represent, and must be implemented,” […]

Namal pumped billions into listed companies…

1st July 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ishara Ratnakara The FCID yesterday informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris that it has launched a probe into documents belonging to a few firms listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in which UPFA Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa is alleged to have invested billions of rupees earned in the recent past using his official as well as political clout. The FCID informed Court that many other documents, …belonging to MP Namal Rajapaksa’s twin firms NR Consultancy and Gower’s Cooperate Service Private Limited, had been allegedly misplaced or hiddenaway since 8 January 2015. However, the FCID told Court that a detailed probe had been launched to locate the documents pertaining to the case. The FCID added that inquiries conducted thus far into the case had […]

Shivajilingam calls for an OHCHR office in North and East

1st July 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance, Northern Provincial Counmcil member M K Shivajilingam has called for the establishment of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the North and East. In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Shivajilingam said the Tamil people in Sri Lanka have suffered tremendously for the last 70 years, and today more than ever, they are counting on the UN and the international community to give them justice and their political rights, and assure their protection. He said the Tamil people have long history of disappointment and deception by the successive Governments of Sri Lanka. “After numerous reports, resolutions, and investigations by the UN, Sri Lanka finally agreed last year, and co-sponsored a Resolution calling for a […]

US keeps Sri Lanka on watch list in human trafficking report

1st July 2016 // 0 Comments

The United States has kept Sri Lanka on a watch list in the latest human trafficking report released by US Secretary of State John Kerry today. The report states that Sri Lanka is primarily a source and, to a lesser extent, a destination country, for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Some of the Sri Lankan men, women, and children who migrate to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Afghanistan to work in the construction, garment, and domestic service sectors are subjected to forced labor. Before leaving Sri Lanka, many migrant workers go into debt to pay high recruitment fees imposed by unscrupulous labor recruitment agencies—most of them members of Sri Lanka’s Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies—and their unlicensed sub-agents. Migrant laborers […]

Canada tells Sri Lanka to put forward viable political solution

1st July 2016 // 0 Comments

Canada says it continues to encourage the Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to advance reconciliation and accountability in the country as well as present a viable political solution in order to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankan citizens, regardless of language, religion, or ethnicity. The views were expressed by Shelley Whiting, the High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in a message to mark Canada Day which falls today. The High Commissioner said Canada has welcomed the Sri Lankan Government’s commitments to reconciliation and the government’s efforts to mend relations among communities so that all Sri Lankans can live in peace and dignity, free from discrimination based on ethnic, religious or linguistic identities. “We strongly believe that Sri Lanka’s commitments on reconciliation will usher […]

1 2 3 4 5