11th April 2017

White vans roaming again

11th April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Upatissa Perera, Mahesh Wijesuriya and Kumara Dissanayake An unidentified group, disguised as Police officers, who had arrived in a white van, had abducted a 38-year-old father of two from Ipalogama in Punchikulama on Sunday (9) night. This was stated in a complaint lodged at the Ipalogama Police by the abducted individual’s wife. The abducted individual named Loku Ralalage Ajantha Pushpakumara Biyagama, a businessman, had been a private security officer to several parliamentarians from the Anuradhapura District and was a seizing officer attached to leasing companies. He had been abducted from his home, located near the Ipalogama Junction and the abductors had also removed the data from 13 CCTV cameras which had been fixed around his house. This individual had been a powerful supporter as […]

UN Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka, and the Tamil people. March 2017

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Brian Senewiratne MA, MD, FRCP,FRACP Physician, Brisbane, Australia Sri Lanka recently co-sponsored a resolution at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), allowing Sri Lanka two more years to implement the recommendations made in Resolution 30/1 of 2015. The outrageous decision is devastating for the survival of the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka and also calls into question the credibility of the UNHRC. On the very day it was passed in Geneva, President Sirisena in Colombo promoted a war criminal to a senior position in the Armed Forces, sending a clear message to the international community in general and the UNHRC in particular that he had not the slightest intention of doing what Sri Lanka undertook to do […]

Ruling On Raviraj Killing Stirs Tamil Politicians

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The jury deemed the available evidence is insufficient to convict the accused The unanimous decision was reached by the jury after a one month long trial The Court ruling on the murder of former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Nadaraja Raviraj drew strong reactions from Tamil politicians last week. Tamil politicians both in the government and outside expressed shock and disappointment at the decision to set free the five suspects accused of the murder. Minister Mano Ganeshan said that while investigations into the murder had been stalled, it gathered pace under the government of good governance. A special jury acquitted the five accused in the murder, including Navy intelligence officers. The unanimous decision was reached by the jury after a one month long trial. Ganeshan […]

Mullikulam Renewed Struggle To Regain Navy Occupied Village

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by Marisa de Silva,  Nilshan Fonseka and Ruki Fernando  On September 8, 2007 the entire village was unceremoniously evacuated by the Military with the promise of enabling their return within three days. Ten years later, these villagers are yet to be allowed to return to their homes The recent spate of continued protests demanding the return of lands and truth and justice for the disappeared breaking out across the North and East, appeared to have breathed new life to the struggle of the Mullikulam people to return home to their village My father, my father’s father and my father’s grand-father have lived here. Mullikulam has been our home for generations now. Our church was made during my great-grand-father’s time, way before I was even born. There […]

Reforms Without Referendum, Or Referendum Without Reforms?

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by N. Sathiya Moorthy  Thus, no national newspaper (read: English) got to highlight a recent statement of Upcountry Tamil leader and Minister, Mano Ganesan Mano Ganesan indicated that the ‘Big Two’, namely the UNP and the SLFP, were happy to confine the constitutional reforms processes near-exclusively to electoral reforms SLFP representative at the meeting made it abundantly clear that they were prepared neither for wholesale constitutional reforms nor a referendum to make it happen Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera of the UNP said that they could not afford a referendum-centric Constitution, just now M. A. Sumanthiran, Mano Ganesan and Dinesh Gunawardena Whether or not there is a national consensus of some kind for pushing through constitutional reforms, as promised by the present-day rulers, there are already […]

Still No Sign Of A New Constitution

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Lakshman Kiriella, Susil Premajayantha, Ranjith Madduma Bandara by Ashanthi Warunasuriya While many opinions have been expressed regarding the new Constitution, the President had instructed the relevant committees to expedite the reports pertaining to the formulation of the new Constitutional process Another significant issue is that the President had asked his legal advisors to prepare the draft for proposed Constitution that can be passed with a 2/3rd majority without a referendum  President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed several senior ministers to expedite the Constitution drafting process.  Although the topic of formulating a new Constitution has been discussed, there is a concern among many over the delay in the process. Formulating a new Constitution was one of the main election promises of the good governance regime. While many […]

Sri Lankan Battlefield Moves To Geneva UN HRC!

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by S. V. Kirubaharan, France A country’s budget estimates government revenues and expenditures over a specific period of time, whereas an amendment or change to a constitution changes the practices of a country! When there are hundreds of NGOs in the UN, why is the World Muslim Congress taking the lead on Jaffna Muslims? Geneva UN HRC and S. V. Kirubaharan The 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council – UN HRC has just concluded, allowing Sri Lanka another two years to implement the UN HRC resolution 30/1. In every meeting held with VIPs including diplomats, myself and a few others made it very clear that whether it is given 2 years or another 20 years, the present government or any other government in Sri […]

Sri Lanka Tamil party says a new constitution is essential to resolve national problem

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Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance says that the Executive Presidency should be abolished and that a new constitution is needed to resolve the national issue in Sri Lanka. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, TNA parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran said the view that the Executive Presidency is better for the minorities to win their rights is not correct. “Even though minority’s support is needed during the elections, once become president, everyone works for the majority,” he said. “Therefore, the idea to think that justice will be met for minorities through this system is wrong,” he said. Without creating a new constitution with the consent of the Tamil people, there will be no solution to the national problem, the MP stressed. “If we need to […]

THE MUCH DEBATED CONTROVERSY OVER ACCOUNTABILITY:

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‘GOVT HAS NOT AGREED ON HYBRID COURT TO SIT IN JUDGEMENT’ A section of the Opposition vehemently criticized the decision by the Government to co-sponsor the Human Rights Council follow up the resolution, binding itself once again to implement fully the recommendations in 30/1, which calls upon the Government to implement a ‘hybrid transitional justice mechanism’. But, the Government defended its decision saying, on the contrary, it was treading a path that will win the trust of the international community and the victims of war, while being fully aware of the constitutional limitations. A cross section of human rights and foreign affairs experts who have a stake in the Geneva process were interviewed by the Sunday Observer on the recent outcome. The following is their […]

SLMC calls for new Constitution and not amendments

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The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has called for a completely new Constitution and not amendments to the existing Constitution. SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said that a referendum will however be needed to create a new Constitution.  He said that the people were given a promise that a new Constitution will be introduced to the country and that promise must be kept. Hakeem also said that in the new Constitution there needs to be meaningful devolution of powers.

Rajitha promises to reveal all ‘killings, corruption and frauds’ perpetrated during previous govt

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by Shamindra ferdinando Health Minister and Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has warned the Joint Opposition that information pertaining to all killings, corruption and fraud perpetrated by the previous Rajapaksa administration would be revealed within the next couple of months. Dr. Senaratne, who was a Cabinet minister of the Rajapaksa government switched his allegiance to the UNP in Dec. 2014 in the wake of Maithripala Sirisena, who decamped to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential race. Minister Senaratne was responding to the media following the opening up a new facility at the Kebitigollewa government hospital on Saturday afternoon. Dr. Senaratne said that the JO would die a natural death once the revelations were made. Former External Affairs Minister and JO heavyweight Prof. G. L. […]