September 2016

My Request To Sinhala Youth

11th September 2016 // 0 Comments

By C.V. Wigneswaran – C.V. Wigneswaran – Northern Chief In recent times complicated political issues and activities made the life of the people of this area precarious. The youth here therefore revolted against the Central Government and its agents due to the repressive measures they resorted to. This in turn led to a long war which took the lives of thousands and thousands unnecessarily. *Translation of the Chief Guest Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s speech at the National Youth Services Council organised 28th National Youth Sports Festival held at Jaffna Central College Playground on 10.09.2016 at 9.00 am: The officials of the National Youth Services Council, sportsmen and sportswomen who have come over from various parts of Sri Lanka to participate in this Sports Festival, other officials, my dear brothers […]

8 Army Int officers to be charged with murder

11th September 2016 // 0 Comments

By Niranjala Ariyawansha The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has concluded the investigation into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda and the final report is expected to be referred to the Attorney General (AG) within two weeks seeking indictment of the suspects. A senior CID source told this reporter that there was adequate evidence to file murder charges against the eight army intelligence officers, who have been remanded on allegations of abducting and killing Ekneligoda. The source said the CID expected the Attorney General to indict these suspects in the High Court. He added that indictment would be on charges of conspiring and carrying out the abduction, holding in illegal custody and committing the murder of Ekneligoda. Meanwhile, when Ekneligoda’s case was taken for inquiry last […]

TAMIL REFUGEES…..A DOG’S LIFE?

11th September 2016 // 0 Comments

A colleague has just returned to work after spending nearly two full days at his loved pet cat’s deathbed. Having lavished his beloved pet with all the love and attention humanly possible, he knew the depths of agony as all of us who are human in the real quintessential sense of the word, experience in life. That word – quintessence – comes from the fifth, and the most vital, of the five elements which make up the universe: earth, water, air and fire are the other four. The fifth, quintessence, comes from the Latin quintus, meaning ‘fifth,’ and essentia, meaning “being.” In simple words, resonating with another’s need for human love. PTI said in a report yesterday that: Jaffna’s Security Forces Commander Major General Mahesh […]

Hirunika makes public photo of father after shooting

11th September 2016 // 0 Comments

Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra today made public a photograph of her father, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, which was taken after he was shot dead in 2011. The photograph which was published on her Facebook page, shows the body of her father with a gun-shot wound on his head. “Everytime I see this picture I don’t think it’s real, because I only remember his handsome face with a smile on. For the first time in my life I am posting this picture.. not for your sympathy but for you to understand this is how ‘shot in the head’ looks like. Its impossible to live even a second after a shot like this… something to think about,” Hirunika Premachandra said in the post on her Facebook page. The Parliamentarian released […]

Tamil Political Prisoners in Sri Lanka: A Road to Nowhere?

11th September 2016 // 0 Comments

By Taylor Dibbert Editor’s Note: Sri Lanka represents that rare turnaround in counterinsurgency, where a beleaguered government fighting one of the world’s most formidable insurgencies – the Tamil Tigers – gained momentum and eventually crushed the rebels. But what happened after victory? Instead of redressing many of the grievances that allowed the insurgency to flourish, the government conducted a broad crackdown on the Tigers’ supporters, imprisoning many on the basis of at most scant evidence. Taylor Dibbert of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs calls on the United States and other countries to demand justice for the political prisoners as part of a broader effort to make transitional justice in Sri Lanka work. *** Sri Lanka’s Tamil political prisoners have been back in the spotlight […]

Racist Rajapaksa A Stumbling Block to peace in Sri Lanka!

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ifham Nizam Leader of the Tamil Ealam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and Deputy Chairman of Committees in Parliament Selvam Adaikalanathan says President Maithripala Sirisena is doing his utmost to put Sri Lanka on the map once again. He stressed that unfortunately former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the joint opposition have become a stumbling block to President Sirisena. “Those who lost their powers are going all out to hamper the efforts of President Sirisena…this is not rosy for the nation,” he added. Following are excerpts of the interview: Q:  Do you think a split within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would affect the country or overall politics in Sri Lanka A: No…not at all. A split within the SLFP will not cause problems for the […]

All must unite to create a strong social opinion against drug consumption

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena says all must unite to create a strong opinion in the society about preventing drug consumption, which destroys the entire society and increases poverty among the people of the country. He made these remarks participating at the Eighth phase of the “Drug Free Country” National Drug Prevention Program, held at the Jaffna Outdoor Stadium, today (09). The President requested all to fulfill their respective duties towards the Motherland and the nation while contributing to the initiatives taken by the Government to build a drug free country. President Sirisena also pointed out that the most serious social menace that prevails in the North today is the drug menace and all should unite to save the people from this danger. In 2015 the people […]

The long wait for help

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

The aftermath of the visit of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has evoked mixed responses from within the Northern political front. The Secretary General visited the country last week and had met with several political figures in the Northern Province, including Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan and Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran. Such visits by a diplomat or a UN high ranking official get mixed views from the Sri Lankan populace. There are those who detest foreign visits of this nature while there are some who welcome these dignitaries with open arms. The final phase of the war, and the sentiments shared by the UN on it had evoked mixed reactions from people and politicians alike. Some are against, […]

President Makes Promises Following Ban’s Visit

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

The issue of civilian land being held by the military in the North and East seems to be heading towards a final solution following the visit to Sri Lanka by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week. President Maithripala Sirisena told a group of newspaper Editors and media heads on Friday that the government’s intention is to return the remaining privately-owned lands in the North to the rightful owners within the next three months. He said that while vast extents of land have been returned to the original owners, State land is to be given to those who are landless and living in welfare centers or with friends and relatives. The President also accused extremist Tamil elements of attempting to prevent the land issue from being resolved. […]

What Ban Ki-moon visit means to us

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

He came, he saw, he concurred, but did it mean anything at all for Sri Lanka? Last week’s visit of United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is being hailed by the powers that be as a great diplomatic victory for Sri Lanka but is it, really? True, there was nothing controversial about moon’s visit this time around, in stark contrast to his previous visit in 2009. That was undertaken barely a fortnight after the war with the Liberation Tigers Eelam (LTTE) had ended, when the world was coming to terms with the enormity of what had just happened. While Sri Lanka was rejoicing–along with a few trusted and tested allies such as China, Russia and Pakistan – at ending a thirty-year war that had […]

Families Of Missing Want Independent Mechanism

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

National Delegates’ Conference of Affected Families Over 200 family members of persons gone missing due to enforced disappearance from different parts of the country, who assembled as the ‘National Delegates’ Conference of Affected Families’ on the International Day of the Disappeared last week, resolved to lobby the government and international community for a better efficient and independent mechanism than the OMP to investigate the missing. They were critical and voiced disappointment in how the OMP Bill was pushed through parliament without any opportunity given to them during the drafting process to present their needs in establishing it. The conference had representation from North, East, Kandy, Passara, and Colombo. Many delegates said, this is the first time in post war Sri Lanka, they attend a conference […]

Road to Nandikadal and ‘Moon walk in Jaffna

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw Major General Kamal Gunaratne, who had been one of the field commanders of the final phase of the battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and made the outfit to meet its ‘waterloo’ at Nandikadal in Mullaitivu, with the death of its illusive leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran, released his autobiography titled ‘Road to Nadikadal’ on his retirement last week. Major General Kamal Gunaratne’s book Road to Nandikadal more than highlighting Sri Lanka Army’s remarkable victory over one of the most deadliest militant outfits in the world, had clearly outlined the impression of a Lankan soldier on the long drawn out separatist war which had lasted for three decades traumatizing the entire country. The author of Road to Nandikadal joined the Army as […]

Sathurukondan massacre: One of the ignored killing fields of Tamil victims

10th September 2016 // 0 Comments

5 INFANTS, 42 CHILDREN UNDER TEN, 85 WOMEN AND 28 OLD PERSONS WERE AMONG THE 184 VILLAGERS WHO WERE MURDERED AND BURNT BY SRI LANKAN ARMY. The 1990 Batticaloa massacre, also known as the Sathurukondan massacre was a massacre of at least 184 minority Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including infants, from three villages in the Batticaloa District by the Sri Lankan Army on September 9, 1990. The village of Sathurukondan is in the northern suburb of Batticaloa. At 5:30 p.m. on September 9, 1990, armed men in uniform and in civilian clothes came into the area and ordered everyone to come on to the road. They were then marched to the army camp in the vicinity after being told that they would be questioned and released. Most of those who were left in the village that day were elderly, […]

The Progress 1000: Prince Charles named ‘Londoner of the Decade’ at Evening Standard event

9th September 2016 // 0 Comments

The Prince of Wales was named “Londoner of the Decade” at the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 party honouring the capital’s innovators. The Prince was given the special award at the Science Museum in recognition of his pioneering campaigning, promoting what is good about London, Britain and its people. The Prince was greeted by London Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev and Editor Sarah Sands. Charles was also recognised for his tireless charity work since setting up the Prince’s Trust 40 years ago to help young people. In the last decade alone The Prince’s Charities has raised more than £1 billion. Influential: Prince Charles is named “Londoner of the Decade” at The Progress 1000 (Jeremy Selwyn) In his speech he said he was “most touched and indeed […]

Death for ex-Parliamentarian Duminda Silva!

9th September 2016 // 0 Comments

The high profile Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder trial came to a dramatic end yesterday, with ex-Parliamentarian Duminda Silva, a close ally of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa being sentenced to death for the murder of the SLFP politico by the Colombo High Court yesterday. A three judge bench of the High Court issued death sentences on Silva and four others when the verdict was delivered on the assassination of Premachandra, a former SLFP parliamentarian who was gunned down in Kolonnawa five years ago. The bench announced a divided verdict in the high profile case with the majority decision in favour of sentencing Silva and four others to death. High Court Judge Pathmini N. Ranawaka delivering the majority verdict before a packed court house yesterday noted […]

Seeman denies instigating attack on Sri Lankan envoy

8th September 2016 // 0 Comments

Naam Tamizhar Katchi founder Seeman has denied instigating the recent attack on the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday told the Sri Lankan Parliament that the attack was carried out not by Sri Lankans but Indian-origin Tamils affiliated to the Naam Tamizhar Katchi. His comments come following news reports of five people being arrested in Malaysia for attacking the Sri Lankan High Commissioner around the visit of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.  While earlier media reports in Sri Lanka said the attackers were from pro-LTTE groups, the Prime Minister on Tuesday said they were supporters of a political group in South India. However, the leader of the fringe Tamil-nationalist party has denied the allegations.  “Mr. Wickremesinghe has […]

Lycamobile No 1 in the telecoms sector – Brand experience survey

8th September 2016 // 0 Comments

Lycamobile has been ranked as No 1 in the telecoms sector in a brand experience survey, coming above competitors Giffgaff, O2, Vodaphone and others. In addition to finishing first in the telecoms sector, Lycamobile were also No 2 in the overall rankings  just behind Singapore airlines beating IKEA, Virgine Artlantic, SKY and many other international companies. People’s direct experience of a brand has a significant impact on customer loyalty, according to the new Brand Experience Index from London-based experiential agency Rufus Leonard.  Among the brands included in the survey, Singapore Airlines (96), Lycamobile (94), and IKEA (91) have the highest Brand Experience Index (BXi) in their relative sectors, based on the BXi score of a maximum 140, with the average score being 80. Rufus Leonard developed the new […]

Death penalty for Duminda,four others on split decision

8th September 2016 // 0 Comments

By Chitra Weeraratne Two Judges out of the three High Court Judges, who comprised the trial-at-bar yesterday convicted former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva and four others of the conspiracy to murder and commit the murder of former Parliamentarian and presidential advisor, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Death penalty was imposed on the convicts for that crime. Eight out of the 13 accused who were indicted were discharged. The death penalty was imposed on Duminda Silva, Anura Thushara de Mel, Chaminda Ravi Jayanath, G. D. Sarath Bandara and Priyantha Janaka Bandara. The High Court Judges who convicted these accused and imposed death penalty were High Court Judges Padmini N. Ranawaka Goonetillake and M.C.B.S. Moraes.High Court Judge Shiran Guneratne (Chairman) acquitted all the accused on grounds of contradictory evidence. Deputy […]

Minister accuses ex-President Rajapaksa of not being consistent

8th September 2016 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has accused former President Mahinda Rajapaksa of not being consistent with his condemnation of violence directed at innocent persons. Addressing the media at the Government Information Department on Tuesday (Sept. 6), Minister Samarasinghe castigated the former President for seeking political mileage in the wake of an unprovoked attack on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar last Sunday (Sept.4). Samarasinghe said  the former President had remained silent when the then Foreign Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena assaulted Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK Dr Chris Nonis in New York in Sept. 2014 though he now called the Kuala Lumpur incident an attack on Sri Lanka. Anti-Rajapaksa activists pounced on Ansar […]

OF UN RESOLUTIONS, LOIN CLOTHS AND FAECES!

8th September 2016 // 0 Comments

What National Freedom Front Leader and former Housing and Construction Minister Wimal Weerawansa is to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is, what the rectum and the faeces is to the loin cloth (Amuday)! Weerawansa who played the self-proclaimed role of Foreign Affairs spokesman of President Rajapaksa while in office, also made an absolute mockery of himself and the former President by touting international conspiracy theories and staging a fast unto death campaign outside the United Nations office at the time Moon arrived in Sri Lanka in May 2009. It was when Weerawansa was almost dying with the bravado of the starvation that the former President had to salvage his life by offering him king coconut water! Then there was also the cantankerous Mervyn Silva (buttressed with […]

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