May 2017

CBK’s office hails cabinet approval for reconciliation policy

8th May 2017 // 0 Comments

The office of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) today hailed cabinet approval given to Sri Lanka’s first-ever National Reconciliation Policy. President Maithripala Sirisena submitted the National Reconciliation Policy drafted by the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), Chaired by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, for approval by the Cabinet of Ministers this week.  “The decision by the Cabinet of Ministers to approve the policy is historic given that this is the first-ever National Reconciliation Policy to have adopted by Sri Lanka,” ONUR said.  The process of formulating a National Policy on Reconciliation began in September 2015, followed by a series of stakeholder consultations and multiple briefings to related Ministries, under the guidance of former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Chairperson of ONUR. In September 2016, […]

Consensus on contentious issues not included in draft framework-TNA

8th May 2017 // 0 Comments

   COLOMBO GAZETTE – TNA slams draft framework of Counter Terrorism Act < http://colombogazette.com/2017/05/04/tna-slams-draft-framework-of-counter-terrorism-act/  >  ADA DERANA – TNA expresses shock over proposed Counter-Terrorism Act < http://www.adaderana.lk/news/40538/tna-expresses-shock-over-proposed-counter-terrorism-act  >  SUNDAY OBSERVER – Counter Terrorism Act needs to be more HR compliant – Prof. Nihal Jayawickrama < http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2017/05/07/news/counter-terrorism-act-needs-be-more-hr-compliant-prof-nihal-jayawickrama  > Consensus on contentious issues not included in draft framework-TNA < http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=164612  > By Shamindra Ferdinando The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday alleged that those who had been responsible for formulating controversial policy and legal framework relating to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) conveniently ignored consensus reached on some crucial issues at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security. The TNA said that contentious issues had been taken up at the committee following representations made by the party. Jaffna District MP and TNA […]

EU-Lanka discuss implementation of 27 int’l conventions

8th May 2017 // 0 Comments

The European Union mission in Colombo yesterday said that discussions were continuing with the government of Sri Lanka in respect of implementation of 27 International Conventions entered into by Sri Lanka. The EU was responding to a statement issued by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran denouncing proposed policy and legal framework relating to the planned Counter Terrorism Act (CTA). Asked whether EU would take up the issue with the government as it had specifically called for bringing in new legislation in place of PTA ahead of the resumption of GSP plus facility to Sri Lanka, Colombo based Counsellor Paul Godfrey said: “We remain in discussion with the Government of Sri Lanka about the progressive implementation of the 27 international conventions that successive governments have signed […]

“Govt co-sponsorship of UNHRC Resolution tantamount to an innocent man offering a sword to behead him”

4th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Senior Lecturer in Law at the Open University of Sri Lanka Raja Gunaratne, in an interview with Dailymirror, says the OHCHR report entails grave danger for the country. He says it is baffling to see the government co-sponsoring the UNHRC resolution as no responsible state would do so in any part of the world. Mr. Gunaratne, as a legal academic with a nationalist bent, played a key role drafting a report countering the allegations against the military in the OHCHR report. That report was presented to the UNHRC by former MP Sarath Weerasekara. He shared the following:      Q What compelled you to compile this report? The simple reason is that the OHCHR report is very serious. It makes very serious allegations against our […]

My family will rule again – Mahinda

4th May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Revata S. Silva Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the Joint Opposition’s May Day rally at the Galle Face Green, said the mammoth gathering signified that the end of the government had come. “This massive gathering will pave the way for a new government,” an elated former President told tens of thousands of people who had converged at the Galle Green, encompassing about 18 acres. After elaborating on some of the development programmes initiated by his government, Rajapaksa tore into the present administration for bringing the country’s development to a halt. “Talking about a false ‘Rajapaksa debt trap’ they have stopped all the development work.” Members of the Joint Opposition, leaders of parties of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance and various worker organisations addressed the […]

Message from Sri Lanka rallies – Chauvinist forces are threatening to re-emerge

4th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Leaders use May Day platforms to reach out to their support bases One would have thought that political parties here would use this year’s May Day platform to reach out to agitating contractual workers or government doctors. But Tuesday’s rallies turned out be almost entirely about political messaging by leaders to their electorates, preoccupying observers with which leader’s rally drew the largest crowd. Much of this was centred on the rally organised by the Joint Opposition, a faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) that supports former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at Galle Face, Colombo’s iconic seafront. Big crowd Compared to Mr. Rajapaksa’s earlier attempts to gather supporters in a public rally, Tuesday’s meeting saw a far bigger crowd, with people from the southern and […]

Asoka Gunawardana told LLRC : ”Reconciliation must be envisioned within an institutional framework for Democratic Governance”

4th May 2017 // 0 Comments

Tape 1 – 25.08.2010 – Mr. Asoka Gunawardana CHAIRMAN – opening statement Mr. Gunawardana, before we commence I wish to outline the procedure that is adopted by this Commission. Any person could make representations either in public or in camera – the choice is left to the person who is making those representations. At the end of your representations the Commissioners are entitled to ask you questions on anything arising from the representations that you make or in relation to any matter that is relevant in terms of the Warrant. Now, there also you can respond either in public or in camera – the choice is yours. That is the procedure that we adopt in the course of the working of the Commission. So I […]

Horrific past abuses should not be sacrificed on the altar of trade concessions.

4th May 2017 // 0 Comments

4th May 2017 Press Release The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is deeply concerned over Cabinet approval for a policy and legal framework relating to the proposed Counter-Terrorism Act. We have not been consulted on the terms of the draft framework, which has recently appeared in the press and appears to be a Cabinet memorandum approved on 25th April 2017. We are shocked by the extent to which the draft framework curtails civil liberties, erodes judicial control over the state security apparatus and the staggering potential for abuse and torture. We are unequivocally committed to supporting a legal framework that would prevent and punish acts of terrorism in a manner that is lawful, in compliance with fundamental rights and the rule of law. To this end, […]

Tamil-Canadians urged to invest and support Sri Lanka

3rd May 2017 // 0 Comments

Tamil-Canadian business owners from Toronto who visited their Sri Lankan homeland have returned urging fellow community members to invest in the island and support its Government, Inside Toronto reported. Their appeal — unthinkable during the three decades of Sri Lanka’s civil war — came after March meetings with Sri Lankan leaders who, the investors say, admit the Government was partly responsibility for the war and the suffering it caused. “They feel the guilt now. They’ve been contributing, and we’ve been contributing,” Kula Sellathurai, co-chairperson of the Canada Sri Lanka Business Convention, told an April 23 news conference in Scarborough.  “They don’t want to see a second generation go through a war.” The 21 potential investors, on a trade mission with Don Valley East MP Yasmin […]

Of the 44 journalists who were killed, 41 are Tamils ! Why no proper probe ?

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

Of the 44 media personnel who died 41 are Tamils ! Why no proper probe ? – C.M. asks at commemoration ceremony of first Web editor Sivaram (Lanka-e-News – 30.April.2017, 9.25PM)  The investigations into the murders of Tamil journalists during the period of the war are progressing at snail’s pace , lamented northern  chief minister C.V. Wigneswaran . The chief minister made this revelation when delivering the speech at the 12 th commemoration ceremony of senior journalist  late Dharmaratnam Sivaram alias ‘Tharaki’ , a Tamil national  who wrote in English . The ceremony was held at Kilinochchi on 29 th April. Like how the investigations  into the deaths of other journalists are being conducted , these murders shall also be probed swiftly and duly,  the […]

Joint opposition May day rally transforms into ‘funeral rally’ ! -Two persons die – virtually killed !

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News -02.May.2017, 9.10AM) An innocent feeble man  and a woman who were among those got down after payment to the Galle Face green for the May day rally ( 1 st May) by the  joint opposition crooks and the corrupt died due to the heat and from dehydration . The victims of the joint opposition ‘crowd gathering’ evil antics and gimmicks  were : Feeble Victor Silva who was  over 80 years of age from Kandy and 60 years old W.Indrani  from Nivitigala . It was very unfortunate these two individuals were fated to die this way  at a meeting organized by the joint opposition crooks and the corrupt who hired crowds to the meeting via payments. These crooks and the corrupt who were only  concerned […]

No mobile service signals for north, east

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

The north and the east of Sri Lanka still look a separate country. Don’t be alarmed. This is not a separatist or racist claim.  But, if you go, either to Jaffna or Vavuniya, you will feel like you are in a separate country. The reason being that in the context of communication, you will be 90 per cent isolated. Especially, if you have a Dialog mobile or data connection, it is certain that you will be cut off from the rest of the world. For someone who is used to the internet, spending a week in the northeast will be suicidal.What is the reason? An investigation revealed that certain mobile service providers are reluctant to build their communication towers in the two provinces. It is […]

Sampanthan expresses hope in new Constitution

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Ananth Palakidnar Leader of the Opposition and the TNA R. Sampanthan expressed hope that the political aspirations of the people of the North and East would be fulfilled through the proposed new Constitution. Sampanthan was addressing at the TNA May Day Rally in Akkaraipattu, in the Eastern Province yesterday. The Opposition Leader pointed out, “Several good opportunities have been missed and the present opportunity we have with this Government shouldn’t be allowed to go abegging. “The Tamils and the Muslims in the North and East should be loyal to each other. They should not disappoint each other in winning their political rights. All people must live in peace with equal opportunities,” Sampanthan said. He also said that the international community was well aware of […]

BBC draws curtains on show that told horrors of Lanka war

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

The BBC on April 30 finally drew the curtains on Thamizhosai – a popular Tamil show that lasted three quarters of a century. Originally called ‘A news letter from Ceylon’, it was launched on May 3, 1941, as a propaganda machinery of the British to report on the Second World War in Sri Lanka – which was then a British Colony. But the later years saw it metamorphose into a favourite among the Tamil diaspora, not only for introducing Tamil culture to the world, but also for reflecting major predicaments faced by the community including those in Sri Lanka. Thamizhosai was the brainchild of S Sivapadasundaram, a former editor of the Sri Lanka’s popular Tamil periodical Eezha Kesari and a journalist who was equally proficient […]

Another promise? – Rajitha assures N&E residents

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Ananth Palakidnar Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, addressing the May Day Rally in Jaffna, said that the National Unity Government would fulfil all pledges it made to the people of the North and East before next year’s May Day. Dr. Senaratne was addressing a May Day Rally, organized by the Democratic National Front, at the Sankilian Park in Nallur yesterday. He said: “The National Unity Government is determined to solve all humanitarian problems of the people in the North and the East. There can be delays in finding solutions for the problems, but the present government is very much concerned about the expectations of the people in the North and East. It was at this venue during the Presidential polls campaign that the […]

Taming the Chinese dragon, Indian tiger and TUs

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Paneetha Ameresekere Three things came out of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India last week. Those were India’s concerns over the leasing out of the Hambantota Port to the Chinese in a debt swap, India’s interest in the Trincomalee oil tank farm to counter the Chinese threat and Wickremesinghe’s keenness in getting Indian aid to develop certain northern roads linking up with the East and the’South’ of the country in a tourism promotional ‘putsch’. Nonetheless, what figured, vis-à-vis the outcome of these New Delhi talks which Wickremesinghe had with the Indian hierarchy headed by Premier Narendra Modi was that the last thing that India would want, already surrounded by hostile neigbours, such as Pakistan to the North-West, China to the North-East , an uneasy […]

“What’s wrong with federalism? It is NOT Separation”

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

By Dr. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA Rajitha Senaratne was neither the first nor the most important ‘Yahapalana’ political figure to make a pitch for federalism. The first and most significant was ex-President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga two years ago. The second was Mangala Samaraweera, who keeps saying “what’s wrong with federalism? It is not separation”. The fact that Rajitha chose to make an even stronger pitch for federalism two years later when the political situation is changing, is significant. When he endorsed and advocated federalism in his SJV Chelvanayakam memorial lecture this year, Rajitha was not speaking in his capacity as Cabinet spokesperson. But what is important is that we have for the first time, a Cabinet spokesperson who is a federalist, just as we have for the […]

New Constitution to establish reconciliation – Premier

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

The 24th memorial of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa was held near the Premadasa Statue in Hultsdorf, Colombo. Former President Premadasa was assassinated by a suicide bomber during the May Day parade in 1993. The ceremony got underway under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the ceremony said Parliament will establish reconciliation through the approval of a new Constitution. The Prime Minister said discussions are underway with Chief Ministers pertaining to the devolution of power through the protection of unity. The Premier said as a result of the steps taken by the good governance government by March they were able to achieve unity. The Prime Minister added the challenge now is to take unity forward […]

EU letter to PM

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

The following is the text of Christopher Fjellner’s letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe: “We are writing this letter in connection with Sri Lanka’s application to join the EU’s GSP Plus scheme under Regulation 978/2012. The 2010 unilateral preferences under the GSP Plus scheme had been withdrawn from Sri Lanka due to its failure to effectively implement three human rights conventions, namely ICCPR, CRC and CAT. Following the change in the administration in 2015, we were pleased to note the commitment of the new Government of Sri Lanka to introduce substantial reforms and, inter alia, address the issues that had led to the withdrawal of the preferences. As a result, in July 2016, Sri Lanka reapplied for GSP Plus membership, a move evidencing Sri Lanka’s […]

‘I could have captured state power’

2nd May 2017 // 0 Comments

Former war winning army commander and present Minister of Regional Development Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said yesterday he could have captured state power while he was the army commander. But, he said, being a disciplined military officer he had never entertained such an idea. Had he wanted to do so, he could have blocked the four corners of the city of Colombo and formed a government, he said. Minister Fonseka said so, fielding a question a journalist raised after a public event in Peliyagoda. He confirmed that President Maithripala Sirisena had asked him whether he could play a role in ensuring political stability vis-à-vis politically motivated strikes and other labour agitations allegedly aimed at toppling the government. Minister Fonseka said he respected workers’ rights but […]

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