30th August 2016

Defending Building of Buddhist Viharas and Erecting Buddha Statues by the Army/Navy in the North is Bad Politics

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

Hon. Reginald Cooray Governor Governor’s Secretariat Old Park, Kandy Road, Chundukuli, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. (Email: reginoldcooray@gmail.com) Defending Building of Buddhist Viharas and ErectingBuddha Statues by the Army/Navy in the North is Bad Politics His Excellency, We wish to draw your attention to the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council last week condemning the building of a Buddhist vihara by Sri Lankan troops on landbelonging to a Hindu temple in Kilinochchi. The resolution called for the immediate halt of construction work on land within the premises of the historical Kanakambikai Amman Temple at Kilinochchi. It is claimed the military has occupied the house of the temple priest (Gurukkal) located inside the temple premises and approximately 4.5 acres of land. The army is constructing unlawfully a Buddhist Vihara in the courtyard of the house. Thamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian […]

House unites on ‘Missing Persons’ Bill facilitating ‘Certificates of Absence’

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

By Chandani Kirinde- Lobby Correspondent The Government this week moved a step further in its efforts to provide relief to loved ones of thousands of persons reported missing in the country, as a result of the conflict which took place in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, or its aftermath as well, due to subversive activities, political unrest, civil disturbances and enforced disappearances. This relief will come in the way of “Certificates of Absence” issued in lieu of a death certificate, until the circumstances of the disappearances of the persons are investigated and concluded. The Bill that provides for the issue of the certificates titled Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill was approved by Parliament on Thursday. The certificate to be issued to the next-of-kin […]

NO Foreign judges in war crimes probe

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

The Government today asserted that foreign judges have not been considered in the investigation on the war. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a group of journalists today that the judicial process will be domestic with the possibility of obtaining the advise of foreign experts. He said Sri Lanka’s commitment to address issues related to the war had drawn support from the international community, including the US, China and India. Samaraweera said that this was clear from the support Sri Lanka had when it co-sponsored a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last year on Sri Lanka. The resolution calls on Sri Lanka to take several measures to address concerns related to the war, including to investigate complaints on hundreds missing during the war. The Foreign Minister […]

TNA MPs meet PM; discuss N-E issues

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

A team of TNA parliamentarians led by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday to discuss matters pertaining to the people in the North and East, a press communique from the Opposition Leader’s Office stated. During the meeting Sampanthan had drawn the attention of the Prime Minister towards unauthorised constructions and resettlement taking place in the North and East. “The TNA delegation also raised concerns over temples and statues being erected in the area. They pointed out that they were not against the resettlement of Sinhala people in the area, but that some elements were trying to instigate communal tension and unrest over resettlement,” the Opposition Leader’s Media Spokesman said. Meanwhile, Sampanthan toured the Southern Province last weekend. This was his […]

Tamils continue to face racial discrimination in Sri lanka, says UN Committee post review

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

Tamils continue to face discrimination in Sri Lanka, a UN committee stated recently, and questioned the island-country if Indian Tamils were allowed to get back to their homeland – while reviewing a report on the anti-discrimination efforts undertaken by the country. No cases of sexual violence – during the horrific civil war in Sri Lanka – had been submitted, even though this had affected thousands of women, said Jose Francisco Cali Tzay, committee member and country rapporteur for Sri Lanka, during a review of Sri Lanka in the 90th session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Last week, CERD concluded the examination of the combined tenth to seventeenth periodic report of Sri Lanka – on its implementation of provisions […]

A strong NO to ‘Sinhala Only’

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

A strong NO to ‘Sinhala Only’ Menika sat up and watched with great interest a part of Wednesday’s TV news on the channel she favours. There was Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, elegant in an orangy yellow sari, her trim hair distinctively streaked grey. Matching her elegance was her deeply reflective speech in Committee Room A of the BMICH at the soft launch of the website for a bilingual/trilingual resources pool. She was speaking as the Chairperson of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). Who better to grace the stage with the likes of activists like Mano Ganeshan, now Minister of National Languages, Coexistence and Dialogue? Sensibility She said, “Tamil-speaking people had firstly demanded language rights and the continuing refusal to resolve their primary problem […]

Military Intelligence involved in killing of Ekneligoda

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

By Stanley Samarasinghe Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sarath Jayamanne told the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday that he had evidence to prove that Prageeth Ekneligoda was abducted by intelligence officers of the military. He said he would take full responsibility for what he had said. Jayamanne revealed this before Bench comprising Chief Justice Sripavan and Justices Sisira Abrew and Upali Abeyratne, when providing answers to the petition filed by the two intelligence officers now in custody. The petitions had been filed by W.G. N. Upasena and Lance Corporal Rupasena. The petitioners had alleged, in their petition, that they have no connection with the Ekneligoda episode and they had been held in custody without any reason for nearly a year, whereby their fundamental rights had been violated. […]

FCID: Now, a dead duck!

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

Random Notes with Ravi Ladduwahetty “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power, corrupts those who are subject to it.” – Aung San Suu Kyi in ‘Freedom from Fear’ One of the principal planks of the government in Opposition was to root out unprecedented corruption during the last regime. The dictatorial actions of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, also, fanned the flames of corruption in the decade of office of the previous regime. It was with such noble ideals that the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID)was established with the advent of the present regime hoping to not only to bring to book the offenders of the previous regime in this regard but […]

SLFP split at hand;Sirisena holds urgent talks with CBK and party seniors

30th August 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President Rajapaksa says his loyalists unhappy to attend next Sunday’s party convention in Kurunegala, but large crowds to be transported SLFP ministers insist on major changes to VAT, more consultations before finality is reached Cabinet approves Rs 166 million for Secretariat Co-ordinating the Reconciliation Mechanism (SCRM); Tittawella, Dayananda to head it. By Our Political Editor Economic and political issues continue to predominate the Government agenda. Uppermost among them is legislation to give legal effect to the Value Added Tax (VAT) which was raised from 11 to 15 % in March this year. Consultations are under way with the Attorney General’s Department to re-introduce the Bill in Parliament. It was on hold after two Supreme Court rulings – one saying that the way VAT was introduced […]