August 2016

We’re Giving Government Our Fullest Support – D. Sidharthan

22nd August 2016 // 0 Comments

by Thushari Nathaniel PLOT leader and TNA MP D. Sidharthan says he has confidence in the current regime that it will deliver justice to the Tamil people. He said that even though the government has good intentions, they implement these mechanisms extremely slow, so the Tamil people are fast losing faith in the government. In an interview with The Sunday Leader he said that the passing of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill was also a good sign that the government is doing its best for the Tamil people. He, however, said that it is far too early to comment on this issue and time will prove the government’s sincerity. Following are excerpts of the interview; Q: OMP bill was passed Thursday without a […]

‘Tamil diaspora can help rebuild Sri Lanka’

22nd August 2016 // 0 Comments

Visiting MPs from the island nation say there is an opportunity to find a permanent solution to the ethnic issue An atmosphere conducive to find a permanent political solution to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is emerging now and it is the moral responsibility of the Tamil diaspora to join in reconstruction efforts, according to a group of Tamil MPs from the island nation. Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Sivagnanam Siritharan, Kilinochi MP, said that with the coming together of two major political parties and the efforts of several nations, including India, pointed to the emergence of an opportunity to find a permanent political solution to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. Tamils living in the North and East of Sri Lanka were not […]

Kilinochchi-Mullaitivu residents demand OMP for North

22nd August 2016 // 0 Comments

Residents of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts staged a protest on Thursday claiming that the setting up of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) in Colombo, will not be beneficial to the people in the North. The protesters demanded the government to set up the Office on Missing Persons in Kilinochchi or Mullaitivu claiming that most of the missing people were from north who went on missing due to the war. They said the families of the missing have to bear huge expenses to come to Colombo to present their grievances or lodge complaints if the OMP is set up in Colombo. They said the presidential commission appointed by the previous government to inquire into the missing persons did not provide any relief to the northern […]

IDPs in Jaffna to be resettled by year-end

22nd August 2016 // 0 Comments

The number of such landless families in Jaffna is 936, according to the Resettlement Ministry The Sri Lanka government will complete the resettlement of landless internally-displaced persons (IDP) in the Jaffna district by year-end. According to an earlier plan, the process was to be completed this month. A release issued by the Resettlement Ministry on Thursday put the number of landless IDP families in Jaffna at 936 whereas, at the time of the Cabinet approval last month for housing, the figure mentioned was 971. With army support One hundred houses, being built in Keerimalai near Kankesanthurai, with the support of the Sri Lanka Army, are expected to be ready in a month. Another 104 housing units are under construction in Palali North under owner-driven concept […]

Lessons From India – Pakistan Partition

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

By Izeth Hussain – Izeth Hussain The approach of the seventieth anniversary of the Partition of India has inspired much writing in both India and Pakistan about its significance. William Dalrymple wrote in the New Yorker of June 29, 2015, that the Hindu-Muslim mutual genocide that accompanied the Partition was as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Between one to two million were killed, fifteen million were uprooted, and all imaginable horrors were committed by both sides. Dalrymple wrote that some British journalists who witnessed the Nazi death camps claimed that Partition’s brutalities were even worse. The Nazi holocaust against the Jews, together with the two world wars of the last century, have been regarded by many analysts as signifying the failure of the Enlightenment project, […]

Who saved Wimal Weerawansa?

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

By Anuradha Herath Politburo member of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, President of the National Trade Union Centre, K. D. Lalkantha questions; also with the budget due in another two months, what is the use of a VAT Bill, now. Excerpts of an interview: ? The VAT Bill which was due to be presented in Parliament this week was postponed. Has the heat regarding the opposition against VAT cooled down? A: We are against imposing of old or new taxes in any way, and anyhow, on imposing taxes on the people. We are completely opposed to the taxes which were imposed on the people from 2 May. ? Are you saying, the new Tax Amendment Bill that is to be presented in Parliament is misleading the […]

Doubtful about OMP Bill -Missing persons didn’t just go missing – Suresh Premachandran

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

BY Mirudhula Thambiah Former Tamil National Alliance(TNA) Parliamentarian and Leader of Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) Suresh Premachandran commenting on the recently passed Office of the Missing Persons Bill said, he was quite doubtful whether this office will fulfil the needs of the families of missing persons. “When former President Chandrika Kumaratunga visited Jaffna recently, some relatives of the missing persons told her that they have handed over their children to the Army and that they should definitely be in their custody and had questioned her whether they would be released or not. She had answered that two years time is needed to reply. Why do they need two years time? If so why have they implemented this office?” Premachandran questioned. Following are excerpts of […]

Joint Opposition (Mahinda’s Group) has become a laughing stock- Tilvin Silva

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

BY CHARMINDA RODRIGO General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva said in an interview with Ceylon Today, that many corruption inquiries were undertaken by various governments.’UNP and SLFP always conduct such inquiries only within a safe zone favourable to them.’ Excerpts of the interview: ?: JVP issued a statement back in 2015, during the election that Mahinda Stores consists of contraband commodities and at the same time no assurance could be issued on the commodities available at Maithri Stores. How do you assess the validity of this statement when you look back on the past 20 months? A: As we said earlier, it is proven that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s was a corrupt government; this government too acts in a similar fashion. This government obtains unbearable loans […]

Mahinda Group the Joint Opposition is trying to play the communal card.

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

A big step to clear minds, end the agony of wondering: Office of Missing Persons sails through By Manjula Fernando The controversial Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill was passed in Parliament on Thursday amid a pandemonium created by the Joint Opposition members. Their attempts to disrupt the proceedings calling for the withdrawal of the Bill, which they termed an attempt to penalise war heroes and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had a counter effect. The Bill was to be debated for two days but due to the JO hullabaloo the Bill was hurriedly passed without a vote, on the first day that it was taken up for debate. The JVP criticised the action of the JO saying it worked in tandem with the government […]

Government is trying to bring in the 13 Amendment and Mahinda group opposes it.

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shaahidah Riza United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP and member of the Joint Opposition, Lohan Ratwatte, faulted the government for presenting the Office of the Missing Persons Bill, during the absence of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Joint Opposition only requested the debate pertaining to the OMP Bill to be delayed just by one day, he said, and added that the Speaker did not accommodate that request as he is puppeteered by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Excerpts of the interview: ?. You participated in the tour of South Korea with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Do you think the current government would appreciate former President‘s efforts to foster relations between South Korea and Sri Lanka? A. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has a very strong […]

Jaffna Investment Forum May Become An Issue Between Governor and Chief Minister Wigneswaran

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO:  The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, Reginold Cooray, is organizing an international investment forum in Jaffna on August 22, and is planning to set up a One-Stop Shop at the Jaffna Secretariat to help persons wanting to invest in the war-devastated Northern Province. But this move could become an issue between the Governor, representing the Central government in the province, and the elected Chief Minister of the province, C.V.Wigneswaran. By organizing the forum unilaterally, the Governor may be intruding into the domain of the Chief Minister, his Board of Ministers and the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), political observers said. Asked at a press conference here on Thursday, if he had taken the Chief Minister on board, and whether the CM and […]

Sri Lankan govt has done nothing to help Tamil widows, MPs from island nation say

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

MADURAI: The Sri Lankan government has not announced any welfare measures for the widows of men who were killed during the civil war between the armed forces of the island nation and LTTE, according to four members of parliament from that country. Sri Lankan MPs Velukumar of Kandy, Shritharan of Kilinochi, I Charles Nirmalanathan of Mannaar and Seenithambi Yogeswaran of Mattakalappu were in Madurai on Friday to attend a cultural programme The MPs spoke about the lives of the Tamil widows in Sri Lanka. They said they had raised the Tamils‘ issues many times in the Sri Lankan parliament. However, the government had done nothing, the MPs said. Shritharan said, “Sri Lankan Tamils, especially widows, children and aged people, are facing severe challenges due to […]

Chief Minister slams UN Resident Co-ordinator for ignoring war crimes

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran criticised the current UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, accusing her of ignoring the topic of war crimes in a report that was sent to his office. Addressing the Northern Provincial Council earlier this week, Justice Wigneswaran said that whilst topics such as justice, harmony, good governance and reconciliation were mentioned in the report, there was no mention of war crimes. “The damages resulting from the war crimes are the underlying reasons for the need to build peace and reconciliation,” Ceylon News quoted the chief minster say saying. “Therefore, the UN should take action to probe war crimes adequately. The UN Resident Coordinator did not mention anything about the action necessary for war crime probe or […]

The Office on Missing Persons: A New Chapter or Another Empty Promise?

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

11 August 2016 was an important day for the victims of past abuses in Sri Lanka. This was when Sri Lanka’s Parliament enacted legislation to establish the first permanent entity to investigate and inquire in enforced and involuntary disappearances and missing persons. For the victims, many who have gone before numerous investigations with no follow up, the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) may finally be able to provide them answers and end the silence. While 11 August was significant for the victims, the events in Parliament demonstrate the immense challenges faced by Sri Lankans in terms of reckoning with the past. Although the OMP bill was gazetted by Parliament in May 2016 and ample time was provided to challenge and move amendments, a few MPs […]

Why is President Maithiri hiding the truth?

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena, warned today that he is ready to expose the truth about members of the former Government who are looking to form a new political alliance.  A Joint opposition member said if he is withholding information about the members of the former Government who had broken the law of the country than President Maithiri is breaking the law of the country too. By withholding the information President Maithri is playing the same game as the previous president Mahinda who black mailed the then MP’s by saying ”I  have files on you”. Speaking at a public event in Matara today, Sirisena said that the cohabitation Government will continue in office for the next five years. He also said that the current government will decide the future of Sri Lanka […]

US Makes Push To Prosecute Perpetrators

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

The United States has made a push to ensure the current government protects religious minorities in the country. This comes in the wake of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) attempting to raise its head and voice once again. A new US State Department report had noted that the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka had urged government leaders at the most senior levels, including President Maithripala Sirisena, to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of crimes against religious minorities and to protect religious freedom for all citizens. The annual State Department report on religious freedom noted that in April last year the US embassy in Colombo cosponsored with the Buddhist and Pali University a two-day International Conference on Religious Tolerance and Harmony, which was attended by more than […]

Global Woman of the year 2016 is ”Lyca Gnanam Foundation & Gnanam Foundation’s Co founder Mrs Gnanambikai Alagarajah”

20th August 2016 // 0 Comments

Lyca Gnanam Foundation & Gnanam Foundation’s Co founder conquered UN Global Official of Dignity Award UK based Sri Lankan Philanthropist Mrs Gnanambikai Allirajah was announced as the ”Global Woman of the year of 2016” by the Global Officials Dignity Award’s team, announced by Princess Maria Amor, founder and president of We Care for Humanity and creator of the G.O.D. Awards. The award ceremony was held on 17th of Aug 2016 at United Nation Headquarters, New York. The Global Officials of Dignity (G.O.D.) Award is a global humanitarian awards institution respecting the “best compassionate people of the world” from the most elevated echelon of diplomacy, royalty, business and economy, medicine, philanthropy, culture and arts and entertainment whose unequivocal commitment to have had noteworthy effect on human rights, global […]

North Sri Lankan Governor defends building Buddhist temples in Tamil area

19th August 2016 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Hindu Tamil-majority Northern Province, Reginold Cooray, has defended the building of Buddhist temples in the province saying that it is only part of a boom in the building of places of worship there. “Big Hindu kovils are being built and many Christian denominations have come up with their buildings. But there are only 13 Buddhist temples in the entire Northern Province,” Cooray said. “We don’t object to the Hindu kovils and Christian churches coming up. We welcome them,” Cooray, a Buddhist ,said wondering why some Tamils should object if the Buddhists built their viharas. The Governor was answering a question at a press conference here on Thursday about the Buddhist temple being built on a Tamil person’s private property […]

LTTE cadres poisoned to death at Sri Lanka rehab centres

19th August 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The US has refrained from making its position clear on Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wignewaran’s request that the visiting American medical personnel examine the rehabilitated LTTE cadres to find out whether they have been injected with poisonous substances while they were being rehabilitated. In answer to several questions The Island posed on the controversy, US embassy has only said: “Operation Pacific Angel is providing assistance based on the specific needs of the local communities. Among the nearly 70 members of this multilateral assistance programme – including some medical staff and engineers from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Maldives, as well as the United States – are over 40 doctors providing basic medical services: dental procedures; physical therapy; general medical assistance; and optometry. […]

Will the OMP find the missing links?

19th August 2016 // 0 Comments

In Sri Lanka, all armed entities, official or unofficial, have abducted people, whether they were opponents or not. Many victims were killed or made simply to disappear. Main among those accused of abductions were the LTTE and the Government security forces, including the Police. All these groups are now denying their involvement in any of these disappearances of people. It is against this backdrop that the Government has adopted a Bill to institute an Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in order to trace those who went missing during the activities of these armed forces and groups. At the same time, in spite of abductions and extra-judicial killings having taken place during all armed conflicts in the country and all armed entities having been accused of […]

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