January 2017

FOREIGN MINISTER ON FIRST UK VISIT AFTER BREXIT

8th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will undertake an official visit to the United Kingdom on 9-14 January 2017. This is the first high-level visit from Sri Lanka to the UK, since the appointment of the new Government of Prime Minister Theresa May following the Brexit vote in July 2016. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the visit reflects the continuing dialogue between Sri Lanka and the UK since resetting bilateral ties in January 2015. Minister Samaraweera is scheduled to meet with the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson, and other key interlocutors. During the visit, the Minister will also meet with Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland to discuss Sri Lanka’s shared interests and cooperation as an active member of the organization.

Chennai Lawyers To Challenge Sri Lanka At UN

8th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Several high-profile lawyers and leaders of Law Societies are meeting in Chennai tomorrow to join a motion challenging the Sri Lankan government at the United Nations.  This motion will be filed with the UN Human Rights Committee stating that the 6th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is a violation of freedom of speech and conscience guaranteed in Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.   The motion was initiated by Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Justice K.P.Sivasubramaniam (Retd), Former Judge of the High Court of Madras, India and the self proclaimed Prime Minister of The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran.   The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka criminalizes the exercise of the Tamil’s right […]

My Friend, Mahinda?

8th January 2017 // 0 Comments

My Friend, Mahinda Today marks the 8th death anniversary of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge. Recently two telephone conversations between Wickrematunge and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were leaked. The following are chronological extracts of editorials throughout the history of The Sunday Leader, wherein Wickrematunge personally addressed Rajapaksa.   May 3, 1997 When amidst the sweat and toil of the Industrial Revolution the members of Socialist International met in England in 1889 and declared May 1 a holiday of celebration for the workers of the world, they for the first time in the history of mankind flexed a collective muscle not just on behalf of themselves, but on behalf of all the oppressed peoples of the world. Oozing with goodwill and a […]

Authorities accused of attempting to stall Lasantha’s muder probe

8th January 2017 // 0 Comments

The authorities were today accused of attempting to stall investigations into the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickremetunga, eight years after his death. Attorney-at-Law Athula S. Ranagala, who has been appearing in the case, said that much progress was made in the fresh investigations launched after the new Government took office.  However he said investigations have now stalled and he urged the authorities not to pull back the progress made in the case. The eighth death anniversary of Lasantha Wickremetunga was commemorated at his graveside today in the presence of his family members, friends, politicians and others. Meanwhile, Lasantha’s brother Lal, in a statement read by his daughter Raisa as he is overseas, said that Sri Lanka is a better place to practice journalism now yet, the past […]

Minister Mano calls for permanent solution for the national crisis

8th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, Mano Ganesan, has sought Sri Lankan law makers to solve the national crisis through the new constitution without delay. Sending a letter to the leaders of the SLFP, UNP, JVP and Joint Opposition has requested that the problems of the Tamil people should be solved through the new constitution. He said the debate on the draft constitution has been postponed as the parties need more time to study it. He alleged the government intentionally prolong the solution and cheat the Tamil people. – See more at: http://athavaneng.com/?p=265541#sthash.tgDJM34Z.dpuf

2016 G.C.E. A/L exam: Best rankers in the island level

8th January 2017 // 0 Comments

J. Kanakasundaram of Skandavarodaya College, Chunnakam in Jaffna scored the first rank in the stream of Engineering Technology in the 2016 G.C.E Advanced Level Examination. P. Kurupareshan of Manipay Hindu College scored the second rank in Arts stream. 2016 A/L Best Results: Physical Science 1.    Amaya Darmasiri – Maliyadeva Girls’ College, Kurunegala 2.    Chathura Jayasanka – Richmond College, Galle 3.    Sawindu Dimal Thanuka – Royal College, Colombo Biology 1.    R.A. Nisal Punsara – Rahula College, Matara 2.    Roshane Akthar – Kinniya Madya Maha Vidyalaya 3.    Klerin Dilujan – Carmel Fatima College, Kalmunai Commerce 1.    Akalanka Rajapaksa – Ananda College, Colombo 2.    Vindula Perera – St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 3.    Nipuni Rupasinghe – Ananda Balika Vidyalaya, Hingurakgoda Arts 1.    Indeevari Gawarammana – Girls’ High School, Kandy […]

Court requests army again to forward the list of the LTTE cadres who surrendered

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Lanka-e-News -05.Jan.2017, 11.30PM) Mulaitivu district court judge M.S.M.Samsudeen issued an order on 3 rd January to the army to forward to court on  January 30 th  the list of the names of the LTTE members who surrendered to the army during the final phase of the war . The lawyer for the petitioners K.S. Rathnavale said , this court order was made when the case was taken up for trial in which habeas corpus applications have been filed in connection with a group that has gone missing of those who were handed over to the army supported with evidence. Major General S. Gunawardena who was in court on the previous date to give evidence told court that the name list of those who surrendered is […]

Colombo frames cases to prolong imprisonment of Tamil political prisoners

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

30-year-old Sulaxan Mathiyarasan, who was detained by the occupying Sinhala military at Mu’l’livaaykkaal on the final day of genocidal onslaught on Vanni on 18 May 2009, and later languished in three prisons for more than 7 years without a valid case, is now facing a newly framed case in which the so-called ‘Terrorist Investigation Division’ has used statements obtained under torture from other inmates, who were former LTTE members. The TID is arguing that for security reasons, the cases where ex-LTTE members’ statements were being used, should be moved to courts in the South for ‘security’ reasons. There are 132 Tamil political prisoners currently detained in the prisons of genocidal Sri Lanka while whereabouts of thousands, subjected to forced disappearance or filtered away from the […]

Snapshots from a murky war zone

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

British photographer Stephen Champion recalls how he captured through reel the deadly war that ruptured a peaceful Sri Lanka Photographer Stephen Champion, a British national, lives and works in Sri Lanka by choice. When he first visited the island in 1986, the Brit observed that the onetime colony was the ideal place for a photographer to explore. After all, he was an avid traveller as well. He was intrigued by the Buddhist culture here, but the ongoing civil war at that time possibly had more pulling power, hence his extensive travels to the North and East. He was arrested by the Sri Lankan Army and IPKF at the time when several rebel terrorist groups were fighting for autonomy in the north. He survived all and […]

Understanding the current regime

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Note: This is the expanded version of an article published on Sri Lanka Brief. Soon it will be two years since the election of President Sirisena. His victory was consolidated in the general election held in August 2015. There was a lot of euphoria when this regime change took place. I was amused to see some even calling it a revolution. After two years the contours of this regime and what to expect from it is becoming clearer. Definitely, it is far from any kind of a revolution. What I am concerned with is whether this regime could at least provide leadership to reforms that can lay the foundation for a society that will be able to negotiate its problems without recourse to violence either from the […]

Are we serious about eradicating corruption?

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Pre-election, January 2015, we heard fierce noises about a revolutionary dispensation that would relentlessly pursue the many fraudsters that a delinquent government had spawned and nurtured. The unaccounted for wealth that they had amassed will be recovered, credited to the exchequer and used for the relief of poverty and the development of our nation who are the rightful owners. Corruption will cease forever. Exemplary punishment will be meted out. Practice has proved to be spectacularly out of step with promise. Just credit this to the account of several other unfulfilled promises. The eloquent accusers have fallen strangely silent. Some of the earlier accused are now in Cabinet and spotted bearing trays of pristine white flowers, almost elbowing each other in holy fervour. As our Prime […]

Mega England Sri Lanka joint beauty pageant to be held in July

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

For the first time in Sri Lanka a former English beauty queen will host a mega joint beauty pageant in Sri Lanka involving beauties from both English and Sri Lanka. Premier Ceylon into High-end Hospitality Sri Lanka will be coordinating this event along with Sri Lanka Tourism and have also partnered with Miss England Limited, United Kingdom. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Paddy Withana said that this would be a major MICE event and the country would get tremendous free destination mileage through it.Miss England Limited, Executive Director, Angie Beasley, told Daily News Business that they will initially hold the event in England and bring in 40 finalists to Sri Lanka. Simultaneously a Sri Lanka pageant too would be held and 40 finalists would […]

Gota was behind Bodu Bala Sena claims Rajitha

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday pooh-poohed an allegation that he was involved in creating the Bodu Bala Sena made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week, counter-alleging that it was his brother former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was the true patron of the extremist Sinhalese movement accused of targeting religious and ethnic minorities in the country. Senaratne told reporters at the Cabinet press briefing yesterday that the former President’s claim was the “joke of the 21st Century.” Asked who was truly behind the creation of the BBS, Senaratne replied: “Gotabaya. I have never minced my words about this.” Minister Senaratne, who also served as Fisheries Minister in the Rajapaksa Cabinet, revealed that he had warned President Rajapaksa several times that his brother’s actions were destroying […]

‘War crimes’ probe mechanism:

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

‘War crimes’ probe mechanism: Task force calls for full foreign participation ‘All perpetrators of atrocities including Indian Army accountable for their actions’ Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike receiving the report prepared by the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms from leader attorney-at-law Manouri Muttetuwegama at the Presidential Secretariat on Jan. 3. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Hindu Affairs Minister Swaminathan and Reconciliation State Minister Fowzie look on. By Shamindra Ferdinando The Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM), headed by attorney-at-law Manouri Muttetuwegama, has called for full participation of foreign judges and other personnel including defence lawyers, prosecutors and investigators in transitional justice mechanism to address accountability issues. The eleven-member committee stressed that foreign participation was required as those who had suffered during the conflict had no […]

High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s position on a hybrid court to prosecute alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war remained unchanged.

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Cabinet Spokesman’s remarks that UN envoy for human rights endorsed Govt. ‘no foreign judges’ stand denied by OHCHR The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) yesterday insisted that High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s position on a hybrid court to prosecute alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war remained unchanged. The OHCHR took to Twitter yesterday to clarify what it called Zeid’s “unchanged” position, after Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne controversially proclaimed to reporters on Wednesday (4), that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had endorsed the Government’s position that foreign judges would not sit on a proposed war crimes tribunal. “Zeid has always supported the creation of a hybrid court in Sri Lanka. See his unchanged position,” the […]

International Involvement Paramount for Delivery of Justice and Creating Lasting Peace in Sri Lanka

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

On this New Year’s Day 2017, the undersigned Tamil diaspora organizations appeal to the International Community, particularly the western and regional powers with influence and involvement in Sri Lanka, to ensure justice and lasting peace in Sri Lanka following up on the consensus UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1. The genocidal war against the Tamils was brought to a violent end in May 2009. Successive UNHRC resolutions, the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts report, and the OISL investigation culminated in the adoption of the consensus Resolution on October 1, 2015. This Resolution called for the establishment of a credible accountability mechanism with strong international participation to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during and after the war that ended in 2009. The […]

Positive signals on land and Police powers – Sithadthan

6th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Positive signals on land and Police powers – Sithadthan BY Mirudhula Thambiah Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian and Leader of People’s Liberation OrganiZation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) Dharmalingam Sithadthan said there are positive signals in obtaining land and Police powers to the provinces. “Police and land powers are very important. There are positive signals on these matters. Power sharing is positive. We are in discussions with the government and hopefully we might be able to reach an agreement,” he said. Following are excerpts of the interview: ?: When the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) obtained the people‘s mandate at the last Parliamentary Elections, your leader Sampanthan promised to obtain a political solution by the end of 2016, however, why do you think the process […]

Help SL Tamils with Two Important Things in 2017, Says Tamils for Trump

2nd January 2017 // 0 Comments

Happy New Year, Mr. President Elect Trump, and Help SL Tamils with Two Important Things in 2017, Says Tamils for Trump Tamils for Thump sent a New Year Message to President-Elect Donald Trump on Friday, December 30, 2016 to wish him and his family well. New York, New York (PRWEB) January 01, 2017 Tamils for Thump sent a New Year Message to President-Elect Donald Trump on Friday, December 30, 2016. The letter started with “May God bless you and your family with the strength to carry on as our New President with the same courage, wisdom and the optimism that you have shown to American people during your presidential campaign.” The letter continues that “It is that spirit that has kept the American Dream alive […]

Unanimous acquittal of all accused in Tamil MP Raviraj murder trial

2nd January 2017 // 0 Comments

Acquitted of all charges, the former Navy intelligence officials express their joy outside court premises. Pic by Amila Gamage The five people on trial for the murder of former Jaffna District MP Nadarajah Raviraj were acquitted of all charges in the early hours of yesterday (24) by a Special Jury at the Colombo High Court, after an extraordinary final day. The seven-member jury’s unanimous verdict was conveyed shortly after midnight on Friday. Accordingly, three former Sri Lanka Navy intelligence personnel and two members of the Karuna faction were acquitted of all charges. High Court (HC) Judge Manilal Waidyathilake then ordered the release of the accused, three of whom were present in court when the verdict was announced. The accused were Prasad Chandana Kumara, Gamini Kumara, […]

Sri Lanka’s bleak political outlook in 2017

2nd January 2017 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister mark two years of their “unity” government in January with their uneasy coalition facing mounting challenges to its stability and cohesion. Our political correspondent examines the possible outcomes in 2017. Best case: President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will sink their differences over the government’s perceived failure to prosecute high profile individuals of the previous regime accused of corruption and murder. Killers of Lasantha Wickramatunga and Wasim Thajudeen will be brought to justice. The rule of law will be strengthened with the Police Commission and the other independent bodies taking a more pro-active role in living up to the expectations of people who voted for change in January 2015. Neither leader will try to undermine […]

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