March 2017

Official Status of Tamil Language Restored in Theory but in Practice no Official Bilingualism in Sri Lanka -The Economist

8th March 2017 // 0 Comments

FROM its gleaming new headquarters, Jaffna’s police force serves around 100,000 people. The vast majority of the local population are Tamils or Tamil-speaking Muslims; fewer than 50 locals are members of Sri Lanka’s biggest ethnic group, the Sinhalese. But the vast majority of the city’s 532 police officers are Sinhalese; only 43 are Tamil, and very few of the rest speak the Tamil language well. This is not just an affront to Tamils, whose complaints about discrimination lay at the root of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. It is also a practical problem. Sripathmananda Bramendra came to the new headquarters one day in December to obtain the paperwork needed to replace a lost licence-plate. He waited for hours to talk to a […]

Sampanthan’s generosity shouldn’t be taken for granted

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw The Leader of the Opposition and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan reiterating his commitment towards strengthening the reconciliation process has said that Sri Lanka should be given time with conditions to fulfil its commitments vis a vis the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution of 2015 which was cosponsored by the island nation. The TNA Leader had not only shown his political maturity, he has also highlighted his commitment towards not toppling the ‘apple cart’ in an arduous effort of reaching a durable solution to the ethnic question by addressing the humanitarian issues in a sensible manner. The TNA, led by Sampanthan, played a significant role in ousting the Rajapaksa regime in the best interests of establishing peace and reconciliation in the country. […]

UK company to invest $150 mn in Kanthale sugar plant revival

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Hiran H.Senewiratne UK investor SLI Developers will invest US$ 150 million in the revival of the defunct Kanthale sugar plant, which was inoperative for mare than 24 years. The feasibility study will be done by a German company, “Bosch”, on behalf of the investor, Board of Investment (BOI) chairman Upul Jayasuriya said. “The company signed the agreement with BOI in 2015 August and will go ahead with its operations once the land is released by the Agriculture Ministry. India’s leading sugar company will collaborate to provide technical assistance, Jayasuriya told the media at the BOI office at the World Trade Center last Friday. “This is going to be a joint venture project that will be formed as MG Sugars Lanka (Pvt) Limited and 51 […]

TNA asks armed forces to vacate land including LTTE runways

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to remove more camps in the North, especially where the LTTE had constructed runways. Full text of Sampanthan’s letter to the President: “I wish to draw your kind attention to two instances of occupation of private lands by the Armed Forces in the Northern Province, which lands I submit should be released to the Civilians entitled to same at the earliest. 1. Land in Valikamam North in Jaffna District, 2. Land in Kepapulavu in Mullaitivu District. These lands are occupied by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The Civilian population entitled to those lands are now staging demonstrations in front of the Lands for the release of same. The Land at (1) above at Valikamam […]

Vaiko writes to PM on Lanka issue

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Monday urged the Indian government to change its position in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in favour of an independent international investigation into the alleged genocide of Tamils by the Sri Lankan armed forces in 2009. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that in the ongoing session of the UNHRC in Geneva, the Indian government should not continue the wrong stance taken by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. “India should not support Sri Lanka on any account. A stand in favour of Sri Lanka would cause unbearable agony to the Tamils across the world,” he said. According to him, since 1955, Sri Lanka unleashed unprecedented attacks on Tamils in North and East […]

Sri Lankan Navy opens fire on Indian fishermen and kill

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan Navy opens fire on Indian fishermen one killed Give nod to attend Church event in Katchatheevu, TN to CentreTamil Nadu fishermen accuse Lankan Navy of pelting stones at them Eight TN fishermen injured in attack by Sri Lankan navy Restore India’s sovereignty on Katchatheevu: TN CM to Modi A group of Indian fishermen, who were fishing between Danushkodi and Katchatheevu off the Tamil Nadu coast, were allegedly fired upon by the Sri Lankan Navy in which one fisherman was killed. The deceased was identified as a 22-year-old man named Pricho and his body was brought to the Rameshwaram Government Hospital at around 12:30 p.m. As per reports, around 500 boats went for fishing on Friday evening from here and around 9 p.m. The Sri […]

Suspect in Keith Noyahr abduction once nominated for diplomatic post by Rajapaksha

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Major Prabath Bulathwatte from military intelligence, who was arrested last month by the CID for his alleged role in the abduction and torture of senior journalist Keith Noyahr, was once nominated for a high-profile diplomatic post by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Chief of National Intelligence Kapila Hendawitharana, the Daily FT learns.The nomination was made in January 2010, shortly before the presidential election where former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was challenged by then General Sarath Fonseka. The news was first revealed by a source connected to efforts to defend the former officials against accusations of involvement in the attack of Noyahr, before being independently corroborated.  According to several sources, Major Bulathwatte and his family, who had already been issued diplomatic passports, visas and air […]

“Do Not Give Sri Lanka More Time” – TNA MPs Tell UN

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Some 11 MPs representing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has appealed to the United Nations against granting an extension of time to the Sri Lankan government to implement the 2015 resolutions. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights The MPs have signed the appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), requesting the UNHRC to not give the Sri Lankan government an extension to implement the resolutions, which was to be implemented by this month. The signatories include; S. Sritharan, S. Adaikalanathan, Siva Mohan, Dharmalingam Sitharthan, S. Yogeswaran, Shanthi Kantharaja, Sivasakthi Ananthan, G. Srinesen, Charles Nirmelanathan, S. Viyalanderen, and K. Kodeeswaran have signed the petition. In the appeal, the signatories have pointed out that even though the Sri Lankan […]

“ROLLING OVER” OF UNHRC RESOLUTION IS NOT A GOOD OPTION FOR SRI LANKA

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Should Sri Lanka ‘Roll Over’ in Geneva? The 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC) has a mandate to hold no fewer than three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least ten weeks. These sessions take place in March (four weeks), June (three weeks) and September (three weeks). Further, if one third of the Member States requests, HRC could decide to hold a special session at any time, to address human rights violations and emergencies. That was how the 11th Special Session of the HRC was convened to consider the situation in Sri Lanka in 2009, a week after the conflict came to an end. Noteworthy is the fact that the request for convening the special session was made by the Permanent Representative of […]

Anton Balasingham Predicted A Bloody End For The LTTE

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Pitasanna Shanmugathas – Pitasanna Shanmugathas On March 4th 2017 Anton Balasingham Stanislaus would have been celebrating his 79th birthday. Within the LTTE, Anton Balasingham was the political ideologue—a man who advocated pragmatic solutions. Prabhakaran was the military mastermind. When I interviewed Erik Solheim he described their relationship “as that of a husband and wife,” always needing each other but at the same time always fighting with one another. “Together, when [Balasingham and Prabhakaran] combined their forces, they were a strong team. Separately, neither of them could lead the struggle.” Balasingham, for the latter part of his life, would spend all his energy attempting to convince Prabhakaran that the ethnic conflict can only be solved under a united Sri Lanka. A separate state was not […]

We Welcome Human Rights Boss Zeid’s Report, But Sri Lanka Lacks Credibility: TNA

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has welcomed the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations. Sampanthan Issuing a statement today the TNA said: “The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomes the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations. While the report acknowledges some areas of progress, such as discussions on constitutional reform, it is critical of the government’s failure to deliver with respect to a number of critical issues. The TNA shares the concerns of the Report that confidence building measures such as land releases, release of prisoners, repeal of the PTA, reform of the Victim […]

Lankan duo in Canada nabbed for multimillion dollar fraud, money laundering operation

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Two Sri Lankans have been arrested as part of an investigation by Canadian police into a multimillion dollar fraud and money laundering operation. Sukanya Panchalingam and Balasubramaniam Shajeefkaran, a husband-and-wife pair between the ages 28 and 36, were taken from a home in Ajax, Ontario, where Toronto police found more than CAD (Canadian dollars) eight million worth of fraudulent cheques and stolen merchandise. The investigation was led by Constable Michael Lane whose press conference on “Project Fellowship”–as it is called–was accessed online by the Sunday Times.  The Toronto police confirmed both were Sri Lankans but refused to divulge their immigration status. The arrest of the couple is believed to be the tip of an investigation that is expected to reel in more members of the […]

GTF And Govt. To Work Together

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The government and the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a powerful Tamil diaspora group based in London, are to work together to address the Tamil issue. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had talks with the President of the Global Tamil Forum, Father S. J. Emmanuel, in Geneva last week. Father Emmanuel told The Sunday Leader that he met Samaraweera and a Sri Lankan delegation for about 45 minutes behind closed doors. “In all my meetings I have openly said that I do it as an act of critical and constructive collaboration by a moderate diaspora organization and me as one of the oldest victims and witnesses of this conflict right from June 1956. Hence our exchanges are about helping one another,” he said. Father Emmanuel also said that while […]

Demonstration Called Off, Sampanthan Praised Sirisena For Resolving Puthukkudiyiruppu Land Issue

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

“Puthukkudiyiruppu land matter has been resolved. The land is to be returned in 3 stages the first stage on 4th March and the second and third stages in a few months. The commitments made should be honoured.” says Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan. Maithripala and Sampanthan | File photo Sending a letter to the President, Samapanthan said: “In view of possession being handed over at Kepepulavu – Pillaikudiyiruppu – The persons who were demonstrating against being kept out of their lands, have called off their demonstration. I am particularly thankful to you and other authorities for the expeditious action taken to hand back this land.” We publish below the letter in full: His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka […]

Need Centre’s help in Sri Lanka issue, says Anbumani Ramadoss

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Anbumani Ramadoss on Saturday asked the Union government to take the issue to the UN security council to ensure justice for Tamils. Chennai: Citing the report of United Nations Human Rights Commissioner  Zeid Raad Al Hussein accusing Sri Lanka of failing to comply with the commission’s resolutions for hybrid mechanism to probe the war crimes and return of army occupied lands to Tamils, PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Saturday asked the Union government to take the issue to the UN security council to ensure justice for Tamils. The high commissioner had stated that the island government is very slow in implementing the UNHCR resolutions and the ministers are speaking in different voices about them. The laws of the Lankan government should be amended […]

Geneva pilgrimage:Over-promising at UNHRC and under-achieving at home

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

by Rajan Philips It is now nine years since Sri Lanka began its pilgrimage to Geneva to attend the annual sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). For the first six years, it was all confrontational with the Rajapaksa government taking aggressive positions against UNHRC resolutions and trying in vain to mobilize votes among the 47 members of the Council to oppose resolutions sponsored by western countries. It has been all conciliatory under the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe government that took office after the defeat of President Rajapaksa in the January 2015 presidential election. Rather than mobilizing opposition, the government co-sponsored a new resolution at the October 2015 UNHRC session. This week, in Geneva, Foreign Minister Mangala Samarweera asked for and is being generously given two […]

Move To Dilute “Foreign Judges” Clause In Resolution

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam  The government may seek support to dilute a controversial clause in a resolution which was passed in 2015, when a follow-up resolution on Sri Lanka is presented to the UN Human Rights Council during the ongoing session in Geneva. Government sources said that discussions will be held to get the support of UN Human Rights Council members to bring down the pressure to implement the clause in Resolution 30/1 which calls for the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism when investigating the war. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said last week that Sri Lanka will not have foreign judges or a hybrid system in the accountability process but international human rights […]

UK HUNGER STRIKE Continues – DAY 11

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Hunger Strike in UK day 11 – ஏழாவது நாளாக தொடரும் அறவழி போராட்டம் 0:23 Hunger Strike in UK day 7 – ஏழாவது நாளாக தொடரும் அறவழி போராட்டம் ** Hunger Strike Protest in front of 10 Downing Street ** In support of our people protests in Tamil Eelam & demand the UN not to extend the time for Sri Lanka on implementation of resolution 30/1 and Justice, Peace and permanent solution (Tamil Eelam) for Tamils. TGTE have organised Hunger Strike Protest in front of 10 Downing Street during the 34th Session of UNHRC. Date: Wednesday 01/03/2017 Time : Continued (No time limit) Location: In front of 10 Downing Street, London, UK, SW1A 2AA Station: Westminster Under Ground Organised & Supported by : TGTE & Other Organisations For further […]

‘We will go the distance’: Mangala tells UN in Geneva

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera addresses the 34th UNHRC sessions in Geneva yesterday  Amid setbacks and realpolitik considerations, the Government remains determined to follow through on its reconciliation and justice commitments, Foreign Minister tells UN in Geneva Mangala tells UNHRC Govt. resolve on transitional justice undiminished Truth-seeking Commission before Cabinet in two months  ‘Even one incident of torture is one too many,’ says Foreign Minister Mangala tells UN: New constitution will ‘unite a people who have been  divided too long   By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva In the face of mounting criticism about the pace of reform and setbacks in the transitional justice process, Sri Lanka told the United Nations yesterday about dilemmas the Government was confronting as it attempted to lead a war-torn and divided country on a journey of […]

UK says give Sri Lanka time to fully implement resolution

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

The British Government told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today to give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution. British Minister for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alok Sharma, told the Council during the high-level segment he welcomes Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s constructive engagement at the UNHRC. “We must give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution and post-conflict measures required to embed stability, reconciliation and justice,” he said. Sharma later had talks with Samaraweera on the sidelines of the 34th session of the UNHRC underway in Geneva. “Discussed the need to embed stability, reconciliation & justice in #SriLanka,” Sharma tweeted on his meeting with  Samaraweera. In his speech to the Council, Sharma said it was a […]

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