12th July 2016

Abductions and Torture in Jaffna: Can Sri Lanka Change?

12th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Guardian has run a really disturbing piece about a British man who was tortured during a recent visit to Sri Lanka. Evidently, Velauthapillai Renukaruban, who had travelled to Sri Lanka to get married, ran into trouble once he arrived in Jaffna, the capital of the Northern province. Here’s part of that Guardian piece: But soon after Renukaruban, who is a Tamil, arrived back at the family home in Jaffna, north Sri Lanka, his family said two men arrived on motorbikes, beat him up in front of his mother and older sister and then bundled him into a van. He was accused of being involved with LTTE, a militant group known as the Tamil Tigers, which fought to break away from the Sinhalese majority in […]

Hybrid Court Fiasco: Local versus International Judges

12th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Last Wednesday (6) Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera revealed that the final framework of the United Nations proposed hybrid court system will most probably be completed by January or February next year. His statements which seemingly contradicted President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement with regard to appointing international Judges into the local justice system, have opened several questions in the public. One is genuinely concerned over the Foreign Minister’s remarks. According to him, the President had merely expressed ‘an opinion’ when he had promised the massive gathering at the Independence Day celebration that he would not allow international Judges to be appointed into the local justice system. However, Foreign Minister Samaraweera went on to say that once the consultation process into designing the framework of the proposed […]

Call For Sri Lankan Army To Release Record Of War ‘Surrendees’ – OpEd

12th July 2016 // 0 Comments

BY TRANSCONFLICT JULY 11, 2016  For the first time the Sri Lankan army has confirmed that a record of individuals moving across the front-line at the end of the war was kept and – whilst the number of individuals accounted for by the record remains unclear – could potentially be a major development in helping to establish the last known whereabouts of many of the disappeared. By the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice* It has been almost 7 years since the conclusion of Sri Lanka’s civil war and there are still many questions that remain unanswered. One of the biggest of those is what happened to the many hundreds of LTTE ‘surrendees’, as well as the thousands of Tamil civilians, who were taken into […]

Blueprint for NEW Constitution

12th July 2016 // 0 Comments

The Committee of Public Representations on the Constitution (CPRC), which has been appointed to gather public opinion on Constitutional amendments completed its task and handed over the report to the President recently. The 24 member Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms headed by veteran legal expert Lal Wijenayake appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, went around the country and gathered public opinion. The committee chaired by Wijenayake included Winston Pathiraja (Secretary), Prof. Gamini Samaranayake, Prof. Navaratne Bandara, Prof. M.L.A Cader, Mr. N. Selvakumaran, S. Thavarasa, Kushan de Alwis PC, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Dr. Kumudu Kusum Kumara, Sunil Jayarathne, Dr. Upul Abeyratne, Themiya Hurulle, Faisz Musthapha PC, Dr. S. Vijesandiran, M.Y.M Faisz, M.K.Nadeeka Damayanthi, Kanthi Ranasinghe, S.C.C. Elankovan and Sirimasiri Hapuarachchi. Starting today the Daily Mirror […]

Another Son of Sri Lanka’s Former President Mahinda Is Arrested

12th July 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The oldest son of Sri Lanka’s former president,Mahinda Rajapaksa, was arrested Monday on charges of money-laundering in the government’s latest effort to prosecute members of the previous administration — many of whom have been under investigation since Mr. Rajapaksa’s election defeat last year. The son, Namal Rajapaksa, 30, who is a member of Parliament representing his father’s home district of Hambantota, was placed in the custody of the police by a magistrate in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on charges of accepting $480,000 from a real estate company. Over the last 18 months, several high-ranking members of the Rajapaksa family have been arrested on corruption charges. Namal Rajapaksa is the third member of the former president’s immediate family to be […]

Black Lives Matter – And So Do Tamil Lives

12th July 2016 // 0 Comments

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole My son Yovahn, a Junior at Rice University, is a Student Counsellor to Freshmen coming in for orientation. Unlike in Sri Lanka, their own racism was something White racists felt compelled by law and custom to hide. However, with the Donald Trump phenomenon, American racists no longer feel that need. The Police in several cities have been killing Blacks, unabashed that bystanders were filming them. So the university has asked student counsellors to push the slogan “Black Lives Matter.” I had a call from Yovahn this morning (11.07.2016), saying that some trainees are responding that the slogan implies that other lives do not matter. He really needed a listener in me and went on […]

International Pressure Must Not Be Seen As Overbearing

12th July 2016 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera – Jehan Perera The EU has downsized its list of conditions for Sri Lanka to regain the GSP Plus benefits that it lost in 2011. At that time the EU set out a list of 15 conditions that the government had to meet if it was to retain the GSP Plus benefits. The previous government flatly refused to move on them citing national security and national sovereignty as the reasons. Ironically when the new government made public its intentions to reapply for the GSP Plus benefits, the EU set out 58 conditions. But now it is reported the country will now only have to fulfill 15 of them. These 15 conditions include provision for independent and impartial appointments to key public positions, […]