February 2017

Hon. Sampanthan meets Senators from France: Statement

28th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Press Release The Leader of the Opposition and the TNA, Hon. R. Sampanthan MP met with a delegation of Senators from France at the Opposition Leader’s office in the Parliamentary complex today (27 Feb). At the meeting, Mr. Sampanthan briefed the delegation on the constitutional making process, stating that the new constitution should possess features that will give more powers to the provincial councils concerning matters of socio-economic development. Commenting on the upcoming UN Human Rights Council sessions, Mr. Sampanthan stated that very little had been achieved on the UNHRC 30/1 resolution, which was cosponsored by the Sri Lankan government. Mr. Sampanthan also stated that an extension of time to the government to fulfill its commitment to the resolution should be granted only under strict […]

“We are hopeful of a political solution” – GTF

28th February 2017 // 0 Comments

With the commencement of the UNHRC session featuring Sri Lanka’s case among others, Suren Sirendiran, the spokesperson for Global Tamil Forum, a leading Tamil Diaspora Organisation, articulates the implementation of its resolution, action regarding alleged war crimes and the way forward. The interview conducted by email:  Ahead of the UNHRC session, how do you analyze the progress made by the government in addressing your aspirations? Progress is dead slow and minimal. It is now obvious that Sri Lanka wouldn’t have made any significant progress by March 2017 in implementing the UNHRC resolution that it co-sponsored. Therefore, it is inevitable that Sri Lanka will request an extension to the timeline. It will only be conceivable that the member states will agree to extend, through a new […]

All the crooks and murderers are with Mahinda Rajapaksa

27th February 2017 // 0 Comments

‘Spring-clean SLFP and get rid of the rotten to win polls’ Chandrika’s call for party reform echoes what masses want from all parties: ‘Break free from rogues and come clean’ Mother knows best! The Matriarch of the SLFP, the twice elected former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunge struck a blow for all right thinking members of the party her father SWRD founded when she declared last week that the SLFP must break free from joint opposition crooks and murderers and go it alone with a new set of above board faces. CHANDRIKA: ‘SLFP vote base will increase if we throw out the corrupt MR faction’ “All the crooks and murderers are with Mahinda Rajapaksa, “ she told a group of foreign correspondents in no uncertain terms […]

Mahinda at it again?

27th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has indicated his interest in meeting representatives of the main two minority communities, sources said. Rajapaksa According to sources, Rajapaksa wants a platform to discuss the current political situation in the country with them, and a tentative meeting is scheduled for next month between the representatives of both communities, including leaders of political parties, and Rajapaksa, who has been largely unpopular in the face of both minority communities. Sources said that Rajapaksa is seeking their support in his efforts to further strengthen his position in the political spectrum. “The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna which is indirectly led by Rajapaksa is hoping to contest the local government elections later this year, and it is very likely that during the meetings, this will […]

Many Sinhalese favorable to devolution on the basis of 13th Amendment

27th February 2017 // 0 Comments

By Izeth Hussain – Izeth Hussain Many Sinhalese, possibly even a majority, seem favorable to the idea of solving the Tamil ethnic problem through devolution on the basis of 13th Amendment, though in a truncated form without land and police powers. Many Tamils, possibly even a majority, could be favorable to 13 A with some modifications of land and police powers. So a Sinhalese- Tamil consensus on a modified form of 13 A seems feasible. The consensus among the experts seems to be that appropriate Constitutional modifications to 13 A can be made with a two-thirds Parliamentary majority without recourse to a referendum. So there does seem to be a prospect of our reaching a definitive solution to the ethnic problem at long last. There […]

If the referendum is won by the Sinhalese with a majority of over 95 per cent

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

If the government opts for a Constitutional referendum, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will achieve its objectives regardless of the referendum results, the Joint Opposition Parliamentarian MP Keheliya Rambukwella a Mahinda loyalist said yesterday. Addressing the press, JO Parliamentarian MP Keheliya Rambukwella said the reason behind TNA calling for a referendum was because the TNA would benefit from it even if the referendum was lost. If the referendum is won by the Sinhalese with a majority of over 95 per cent, the TNA would complain to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) while stating that it was the reason why they were unable to live in harmony with the Sinhalese for 65 years TNA could also expose the abuse of power by successive Sinhale governments over […]

Judges was in the habit of giving judgments to suit the previous regime! – President Maithiri

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Many believe that Mahinda Rajapaksa was dislodged, after a decade in power without serious challenge, by his former health minister Maithripala Sirisena, only in a closely contested presidential race. Though the result evoked surprise and only reluctantly accepted by Mahinda, the writing on the wall was become evident in the course of the campaign. Desperate ruling alliance supporters became increasingly violent towards the end of the campaign. At the end, the common opposition comprising all sections of Lankan ethnic groups won over the ruling United Progressive Freedom Alliance by a margin of more than 300,000 votes. Actually, Rajapaksa decided to go for snap elections to avoid the risk of facing a much stronger anti-incumbency sentiment two years later. Cunningly, Mahinda observed the definitive decline in his […]

Failing the Victims: An Expert Assessment of Sri Lankan Government’s Transitional Justice Efforts – Geneva Press Club

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Geneva Press Club – Club suisse de la Presse, in collaboration with the Monitoring Accountability Panel (MAP). Press conference on the following topic: Failing the Victims: An Expert Assessment of the Sri Lankan Government’s Transitional Justice Efforts With: 1) Mr. Richard J Rogers MAP Member, Lawyer, International criminal law and Human Rights expert 2) Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi MAP Member, Lawyer, International criminal law expert When: Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 2:45 pm Where: The Geneva Press Club – Club suisse de la Presse Contact: Phone: +41 22 546 14 44 ; Email: info@pressclub.ch NOTE: The event will be live streamed at: http://pressclub.ch/failing-the-victims-an-expert-… On 28 February 2017, the Monitoring Accountability Panel (“MAP”) will issue its Second Spot Report, which will coincide with the 34th session of […]

Appeal to UK Prime Minister: Sri Lanka War Crimes – Refer Sri Lanka to UN General Assembly

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

“UK SHOULD NOT SPONSOR OR SUPPORT A ROLL-OVER RESOLUTION WITH AN EXTENSION OF TIME, AS REQUESTED BY THE SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT” LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, February 23, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — PLEASE VISIT THIS LINK TO SIGN THE APPEAL TO UK PRIME MINISTER: https://www.change.org/p/the-right-honorable-theresa-may-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom-enough-is-enough-un-human-rights-council-now-refer-sri-lanka-to-the-un-general-assembly?recruiter=14863130&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink According to UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka around 70 thousand Tamils were killed in six months in 2009 and Tamil women were sexually assaulted and raped by Sri Lankan Security forces and have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. To address these issues, numerous resolutions on Sri Lanka were passed in UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) since the war ended, seven years ago. Time and space in good faith with encouragement were given to Sri Lanka to implement UN Resolutions […]

Lack of willingness on the part of the judiciary over a period of more than sixty-years to uphold the rights of minorities when public security was at stake.

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

By Jayantha de Almeida Guneratne, Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena and Gehan Gunatilleke – When multiethnic and multi-religious societies are confronted with challenges that test the limits of coexistence, governments may be tempted to resort to populism or political expediency. Sri Lanka’s relatively short post-independence history is unfortunately riddled with examples of such compromises. Minorities have been victimised throughout this country’s history. They have had nowhere to turn, except perhaps towards the only institution that is tasked with checking power: the judiciary. Sri Lanka’s judiciary has been called upon time and again to vindicate minority rights in the face of overwhelming oppression by the other organs of government. This study has essentially sought to examine the judiciary’s record in rising to and meeting this enormous challenge. At the […]

TNA warns violence against Tamils an imminent danger

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has warned that ethnic violence against Tamils is an imminent danger until there is a political resolution to the conflict. TNA leader R. Sampanthan told Parliament today that ethnic violence was unleashed against the Tamil people when they made political demands that would enable them to live as equal citizens in the Country.  He said the armed conflict by Tamil youth emerged only after several decades of ethnic violence against the Tamil people. “The Conflict was also internationalized, and the issue has been in the international domain. Several resolutions were adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the resolution adopted in October 2015 comes up for review in February /March 2017. Our Neighbour and parent Country India offered […]

Tamil leaders losing patience?

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

TNA leader says he’s ‘extremely unhappy’ with the way Tamils are treated by govt. After two years of engaging the Sri Lankan government on reconciliation and constitutional reform, the country’s Tamil polity seems to be losing patience, if Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan’s address in Parliament is any indication. On Wednesday, the veteran Tamil leader attacked the government that, he said, was treating the minority Tamils the same way the previous governments did. Pointing to two key issues — land and disappeared persons — the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader said: “Let me be frank. I am extremely unhappy with the way our people are treated by this government with respect to their land.” Over the last three weeks, families in Mullaitivu district — that […]

UN Rapporteur notes mounting frustration in Sri Lanka

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

The UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Rita Izsák-Ndiaye says there is mounting frustration in Sri Lanka with the pace of progress in the accountability process. In a report on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) ahead of its 34thsession in Geneva, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye said that to achieve peaceful coexistence after the long, devastating civil war, a comprehensive, well-planned and well-coordinated truth, reconciliation, healing and accountability process must take place, and it cannot be done overnight.  However, almost two years after the change of Government, the Special Rapporteur notes the mounting frustrations with the pace of progress. “It is important for the Government to put in place some immediate, important and concrete measures to clearly demonstrate its political will and commitment […]

Mahinda Slams CBK For Revealing ”Sri Lanka military held Tamil Girls as sex slaves in Rape camps”.

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has exposed shocking details of sexual exploitation by the army against Tamil women in the former war torn areas. The report accused the Sri Lanka military for holding women as sex slaves in rape camps. Former President and Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa has condemned former President Chandrika Kumaratunga over her allegations that there was widespread sexual exploitation by the army against Tamil women in the former war torn areas. Rajapaksa Issuing a statement today Rajapaksa said: “the statement made by Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga to foreign correspondents in Colombo last week to the effect that war widows in Sri Lanka now face ‘widespread’ sexual exploitation by members of the army among others, is a matter of grave concern. The rape and […]

The Whole Country Must Know The Truth

23rd February 2017 // 0 Comments

By R. Sampanthan – R. Sampanthan I would submit with respect that this is a Matter of urgent public importance, and that is the reason for raising this matter today in the House at Adjournment, to enable the whole country to be kept informed of the truth in regard to the processes and everything relating thereto. Hon. Speaker Parliament of Sri Lanka Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. ADJOURNMENT MOTION Question relating to matter of Public importance to be raised on 22nd February 2017 at the conclusion of questions by Mr. R Sampanthan, Member of Parliament, Leader of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and Leader of the Opposition All people who lived in Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or any other difference, whether Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim […]

Keith Noyahr Abduction; Hickory Dickory, Gota In The Dock

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

In a dramatic turn of events the investigation into the abduction of Keith Noyahr, the Criminal Investigation Department has found that the abductors had made phone calls to Gotabaya Rajapaksa just after the abduction. Former secretary to the MOD – Gotabaya Using the newly imported equipment the CID has managed to trace the call log details of the abductors’ and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Keith Noyahr was abducted and mercilessly assaulted in 2008. He fled the country with his family and out of sheer fear did not even make a statement to the Police. The abductors blindfolded him and carried him to the store house situated within a large land in Dompe. His hands and feet were tied and then strung on to a pole akin to hauling a dead carcass. […]

UK Government condemns destruction of Sri Lankan church

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Government has condemned an attack on a church in northwest Sri Lanka, adding that the UK regularly raises concerns about human rights offences against Christians with the country’s Prime Minister. The church building was destroyed by Buddhist militants on 5 January.   Christians claimed they were threatened by the mob, allegedly led by a Buddhist monk. Some 200 witnesses said the mob carried sticks, iron bars and knives before ransacking the building. Despite the monk being identified by name by many of the witnesses, the accused remains free on bail. Christianity in Sri Lanka – 1.9 million Christians live in Sri Lanka – The new Constitution reiterates that Buddhism is the state religion – Buddhist monks have been reported to disrupt Christian worship and […]

Activist found guilty of screening uncensored film

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

KUALA LUMPUR: A local activist was found guilty by the Magistrate’s Court here today of screening a film that had not been approved by the Film Censorship Board. Magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris said the defence failed to cast any reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case against Lena Rasathi Hendry, 32, at the end of its case. The court set March 22 for sentencing and extended her bail. Lena Hendry who had formerly worked as a coordinator at the Community Communication Centre (Kosmas) was found guilty of screening an uncensored version of a movie titled, No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka. She committed the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela here at 9pm on July […]

Sri Lanka: Pledge to End Police Abuse Not Met

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government has not met its pledge to curtail police abuses prior to the March 2017 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said today. Security sector reform was one of 25 undertakings by Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council resolution adopted by consensus in October 2015. Members of the Sri Lankan police march with an elephant during Sri Lanka’s 69th Independence day celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka February 4, 2017. The Sri Lankan government has failed to repeal the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act or take serious measures to reduce torture in custody. “It’s crucial that the Human Rights Council consider closely whether Sri Lanka made progress in the security sector as well as […]

India will not press for merger of north, east Sri Lankan provinces: Jaishankar

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: India will not be pressing Sri Lanka to merge the Northern and Eastern Provinces to form a single Tamil-majority, Tamil-speaking province as envisaged by the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, the Indian Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) here on Monday. He was reacting to a demand made by the leader of the Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) Suresh Premachandran, that India should honor its promise to keep the North and East united. It had even said that it would not allow a referendum to be held on the issue. When the united province was de-merged in 2006 by a Supreme Court order, India did not protest saying that it was for the Sri Lankan government to appeal against the […]

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