April 2017

Jaffna Puts Government On Notice

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

by Santhiyago Sudharshan in Jaffna Traders, businessman and ordinary people in Jaffna told The Sunday Leader that they have not seen the change they much expected since January 2015 The occupation of land by the military is also an issue for the people of Jaffna. Northern based Tamil political parties warned that failure to address this and other key issues could result in the government having to face the consequences For any human being, living in any part of the world, land is too precious for anyone to give up Meeting media heads last week the President said that the resettlement in the North will be completed soon. He said 60 percent of the resettlement has been completed and the rest will be completed soon Jaffna Town […]

Federalism is the most democratic form of power sharing within a single united country

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Republican Constitution in 1972 was also a bad let down for the Tamil people, This compelled Tamils to consider the option of a Separate State. Power Sharing In Sri Lanka By Rajitha Senaratne – Rajith Senaratne When we were political cubs, we knew of Chelvanayakam as one who was the “father” figure of Tamil Nationalism. He was one Tamil political leader who was affectionately called “Thanthai” – meaning ‘Father’ – Chelva. Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam dominated Tamil politics in the first 03 decades in post independent Ceylon. I would say that Chelvanayakam was fortunate. He did not live to see the agony of the Tamil people and of Sri Lanka that got dragged into a long brutal war. He was fortunate that he was not […]

Conservative Sri Lankans are still known to practice virginity testing

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Three Strange Sri Lankan Customs And The Stories Behind Them Sri Lankans had, and still have, some strange traditions that are thought of as indigenous. However, much of these have their origins in other parts of the world, especially in India, and, to a lesser extent, in the Middle East. Here are three such local beliefs and customs with exotic origins: Dola-Duka (Pregnancy Craving) Sri Lankans, and especially the Sinhalese, believe that mothers-to-be experience a longing to eat certain kinds of foods, and that if these cravings are not satisfied, it would harm her health or the child she is carrying. This is known as dola-duka. Rural folk, in particular, believe that if the expectant mother’s dola-duka cravings are not sated, she would become weak […]

Woman hit by falling palm tree while on holiday sunbathing recalls’excruciating pain’

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Telegraph Reporters 26 APRIL 2017 • 7:34PM ABritish holidaymaker has told how she feared she would never walk again after being crushed by a palm tree while sunbathing at a resort in Sri Lanka. Claire Saywell, 42, was relaxing at the four-star Club Hotel Dolphin resort with her husband David when a 50ft tree fell across her sun-bed, shattering her legs. Commercial insurance broker Mrs Saywell, from Sittingbourne, Kent, feared she may have been left disabled as three men struggled to lift the tree off her. She said: “I was dozing in the sun with my eyes closed and the next thing I knew I had this excruciating pain in my legs. “I remember seeing the tree and screaming, ‘Get it off me’, as the […]

International Pressure should be maintained on Government

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

 Outcry of Tamil Diaspora understandable  People need to understand transitional justice process  All allegations against military and LTTE should be investigated   Sudu Nelum movement during CBK’s period changed public opinion on power devolution within a year   Leading Civil Society Activists Dr. Jehan Perera, in an interview with Dailymirror, stresses the need to ensure transitional justice for war victims. Dr. Perera, who is also the Executive Director of the National Peace Council, calls for continued pressure by the international community and civil society on the government to deliver in this regard. He also made representations to Geneva this time. Excerpts: QAs a civil society activist, what is your opinion on the grant of another two more years for the government to implement the provisions of the UNHRC […]

North, East observe shutdown in protest over missing and land

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

All the major towns in the northern and eastern provinces today observed a shutdown after the Tamil and Muslim political parties held a protest demanding the release of military-occupied land, the Press Trust of India reported. Offices, businesses, schools and public transport came to a halt after the two provinces observed a shutdown.  “We hope the Government would respond after looking at this protest action. All Tamil and Muslim political parties in these areas are observing the protest,” MK Shivajilingam, a hardline Tamil provincial councilor from the Tamil-dominated northern province said. In some Muslim-dominated areas in the eastern province, life remained normal with all services operating. The Tamil and Muslim people in the North-East are demanding the Government to release the lands that are still […]

Hon. Sampanthan Meets the High Commissioner of UK

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

A meeting with the UK High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, His Excellency James Dauris and the Leader of the Opposition and the TNA, Hon. R. Sampanthan took place today at the Westminster House in Colombo. At the meeting, the Opposition Leader apprised the High Commissioner of some pressing issues faced by the Tamil people including the lack of progress in relation to the release of lands held by the military in the North and East, concerns of the families of the disappeared and surrendered, and the delay in establishing the Office of the Missing Persons by the government. Moreover, Hon. Sampanthan also briefed the High Commissioner about the constitution-making process. Raghu Balachandran  Media Secretary  Leader of the Opposition Office of the Leader of the Opposition  […]

European parliament votes in favor of granting GSP+ to Sri Lanka

27th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Apr 27, Brussels: The European Parliament Thursday has voted to defeat a resolution tabled to deny granting the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences, Plus known as GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka again. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said that Sri Lanka won the vote in Brussels after 436 MEPs voted against, 119 voted in favor and 22 abstained for the motion to deny GSP plus for Sri Lanka. An European Parliamentary group tabled the resolution in the 751-member European Parliament against granting the GSP+tariff concession to Sri Lanka saying that Sri Lanka’s government’s reform efforts are not adequate to grant the tariff concession. The group, Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) of 52 Members of European […]

Key Suspect In Lasantha’s Killing Given Diplomatic Post By Gota

25th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The chief suspect in Lasantha Wickrematunga’s assassination was given a diplomatic post by the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa but it was withdrawn soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa won the January 2010 election, fresh evidence has revealed, according to the Economy News website. Rajapaksa has denied any involvement in the January 2009 assassination of SundayLeader editor Wickrematunga and a string of other attacks against dissident journalists, but new evidence shows he nominated the main suspect as an intelligence officer at the Sri Lanka embassy in Thailand. The then powerful defence secretary has denied allegations by his army commander and erstwhile friend Sarath Fonseka that he led a killer squad comprising handpicked army commandos attached to a secret killer gang. Rajapaksa has countered the allegation saying that if […]

Racist spat in the face of a Sri Lankan-born shopkeeper in a Bootle off-licence.

25th April 2017 // 0 Comments

THIS is the shocking moment a vile racist spat in the face of a Sri Lankan-born shopkeeper in a Bootle off-licence. CCTV footage shows yob Christopher James Callaghan abusing shop staff and then spitting over the counter in a woman’s face. Callaghan, 30, became angry when staff at Stanley Foods in Bootle told him they did not have the brand of cigarettes that he wanted. After Nilani Nilalarajah opened the counter to prove to him that the cigarettes were out of stock, the ‘aggressive nuisance’ hurled vile abuse at her and then spat in her face. Vile racist yob spat in shopkeeper’s face and called her “you F**ing P**i” Ms Nilalarajah was furious, and threw an object from the counter back at the yob before […]

Rewarding military officials accused of human rights violations with government positions and GSP+

25th April 2017 // 0 Comments

* EU parliamentary group tables resolution against granting GSP+ to Sri Lanka Apr 22, Colombo: An European Parliamentary group has tabled a resolution in the European Parliament against granting the Generalized System of Preferences plus (GSP+) tariff concession to Sri Lanka saying that Sri Lanka’s government’s reform efforts are not adequate to grant the tariff concession. The group, Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) of 52 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in their submission says that the government’s reform efforts, including those that directly relate to the GSP+ criteria, have not yet delivered in their purpose to comply with the international conventions. In the motion for resolution submitted, the GUE/NGL urges the European Parliament to forward the resolution to the European […]

Govt. won’t amend laws according to EU requests – Rajitha

24th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne says the government will not amend laws according to the whims and fancies of the European Union. The Minister said Sri Lanka’s culture opposed to that of the West is drastically different. The European Union has submitted a proposal based on several factors stating Sri Lanka cannot be granted the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus or GSP+ tax concession. Accordingly the relevant debate and voting process will be conducted on Thursday. The proposal states Sri Lanka has not pledged a satisfactory commitment towards obtaining the GSP+. The proposal also includes concern over Sri Lanka’s refusal to annul the Terrorism Prevention Act. However Minister Rajitha Senaratne said an act to prevent an act of terrorism that may arise in the country […]

Elections in US, EU and Britain while Democracy takes a back seat – EDITORIAL

24th April 2017 // 0 Comments

 ince June 2016, and continuing until September 2017, the ‘democratic’ western nations from Britain to the US, from Holland, to France, to Germany have been awash with election mania. Unfortunately the plethora of elections in the ‘democratic’ western countries and in the US has witnessed the rise of open race hatred, Islamophobia and exclusivity. In all these countries political parties challenge the incumbent rulers for the right to force regime change via the ballot. And, after all that is one of the issues democracy is all about. Democracy is about the right to challenge and change without fear of repercussions. Democracy and elections are about the right to freedom and enhancing the rights and freedom of all people in a particular nation or country. They […]

Fighting corruption is good for Sri Lanka: British HC

24th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Making progress in the fight against corruption is good for Sri Lanka, for Sri Lankans and for Sri Lankan businesses, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris said. Speaking on “Corporate Governance: staying ahead of the risk of corruption,” the High Commissioner said if corruption was tackled properly, it will be easier for Sri Lankan business to proper. “Get it right, at least get it better, and it will be easier for Sri Lankan businesses to prosper, will help companies and country alike to attract investment, and will enhance the country’s international reputation,” he said. He said he is proud of the work the High Commission has been doing, at the invitation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to share experience of tackling financial crime […]

Army Accused Of Turning Blind Eye On Haiti Rape

24th April 2017 // 0 Comments

by Easwaran Rutnam  Military Says Accused Soldiers Dealt With The Army came under fire last week over its alleged failure to deal with the soldiers accused of rape in Haiti. However the military insisted that all those accused and found guilty have been dealt with, including the contingent commander. The Associated Press, in a detailed report revealed several incidents of rape involving Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti. Army spokesman, Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne told The Sunday Leader that while 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers had been accused in the report, investigations conducted at the time the allegations first surfaced, found that only 29 soldiers were involved. “A high level delegation had been sent by the Army to Haiti and an investigation was conducted and those found guilty […]

Germany calls for political will to implement Sri Lanka’s 2015 promises

24th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Germany believes its time for urgent action to implement the changes promised by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in 2015. The government needed more focus and should  invest in political will to move forward with its announced reform agenda, the German Ambassador to Sri Lankan Jorn Rohde told  the “Sunday Island” yesterday.”Its time for urgent action to implement the changes promised in 2015.” Acknowledging that successful steps had been  taken with regard to the Office of Missing Persons, Right  to Information and the Constitutional Assembly, he said that  important issues on constitutional reform pertaining to devolution of power, return of land to the war affected, replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act with legislation in line with international standards  and effectively tackling corruption and impunity remained unresolved. The Ambassador […]

Punish perpetrators of war crimes, atrocities – NGO pack

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Collective of Civil Society Organizations has urged the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to inquire into war crimes allegations in accordance with Geneva Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the government. Addressing the media at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana on Tuesday (April 18), Akalanka Hettiarachchi (Aluth Parapura) emphasized that all those who had perpetrated crimes during the war and post-conflict should be dealt forthwith. The military brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009. Sri Lanka co-sponsored Geneva Resolution in Oct 2015. Last month, Sri Lanka co-sponsored another resolution reiterating her commitment to the 2015 resolution. On the basis of Sri Lanka’s commitment, Geneva granted time till March 2019 to fully implement the 2015 resolution. Hettiarachchi accused National Freedom Front […]

Retired top officers contradict each other in CID cross-examination

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Retired top officers contradict each other in CID cross-examination Use of ‘sharp object’ to kill The Sunday Leader Editor was known soon after assassination by Shamindra Ferdinando Wartime Director Operations, Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH), the then Brigadier Kumara Herath has told the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera had told him that The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga had been killed with a sharp object soon after the incident which occurred on the morning of January 8, 2009 at Attidiya, Dehiwela. Initial media reports said Wickrematunga had been shot dead. Herath, who had retired recently in the rank of Maj. Gen, said that Air Marshal Perera had summoned him to his office after being informed of […]

Accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka demands an independent international investigation.”

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Publicly declining to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that has been tasked by the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa to inquire into war crimes allegations, London headquartered Amnesty International (AI) joined the International Crisis Group (ICG) and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) to flay Sri Lanka.  The LLRC commenced sittings in Aug 2010.  In a joint statement issued on Oct 14, 2010, the three organizations called for a genuine, credible effort to pursue political reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. Declaring that the LLRC had failed to meet what they called minimum international standards for commissions of inquiry, they said: “There is little to be gained by appearing before such a fundamentally flawed commission.”  “Accountability for war crimes in […]

TNA hold talks with military heads on releasing land

20th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had talks with the military today on releasing private land held by the military. The meeting was headed by TNA leader R. Sampanthan.  TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran said that the Defence Secretary, Army Chief and officials from the Navy and Air Force attended the meeting. Sumanthiran said the TNA was informed at the meeting that the Army will follow any order on the land matter issued by the President or Defence Secretary. The TNA was also informed that the Army is prepared to withdraw from any land not required for security reasons.

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