28th July 2017

Tamil villagers demand Release of more Army held lands

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

By Mirudhula Thambiah Despite the release of 110 acres of private lands, by the Army, to the original owners in Keppapilavu, villagers were however, adamant that their 150 day struggle will not be called off until all their private lands are released. Minister of Resettlement D. M. Swaminathan confirmed on Wednesday (26) that his ministry will release Rs 148 million to relocate the Army elsewhere. Sivapragasam Ariyakala, a resident from Kepappilavu said although Minister Swaminathan had taken steps to release the lands from the control of the Army, their struggle will continue until all remaining lands are released. “We have been on a satyagraha, with our children, for the past six months demanding the release of all our private lands. The army had requested a […]

The Gloves Are Off: Reactions to Ben Emmerson’s Statement on Torture, Counterterrorism

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

On July 14, 2017 the Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, Ben Emmerson released a statement at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka, where he met with detainees, activists, and the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and High Court Judges. Following his visit, there was some coverage in the media, with Daily Mirror and Sunday Timesreporting on his statement. However, almost immediately, Minister of Justice and Buddhasasana Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe lashed out in response, saying Emmerson lacked “diplomatic qualities” and displayed an ‘army commander like’ approach. It was this statement that got significantly more coverage. On Tuesday, it was reported that President Sirisena’s main concern was on who had permitted Emmerson to meet LTTE detainees. This statement again received coverage in the mainstream media. However, concerns have continually been raised over ongoing […]

Tamil widow asks Northern Ireland police ombudsman to probe STF massacre

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

A Tamil widow who says ten relatives were massacred by Sri Lanka’s police in 1986 has lodged a complaint with Northern Ireland’s police ombudsman after links to the country’s security forces emerged, the Irish Times reports. The police ombudsman was set up as part of the peace process in Northern Ireland and can investigate historic cases involving the old police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The report says that senior Sri Lankan police officers visited Belfast in 1983 to “see at first hand the roles of the police and army in counter-terrorist operations”, quoting secret British government files. It says that the visit happened months after the Special Support Unit, an elite RUC police commando team, shot dead six Irish men in County Armagh in […]

Rudrakumaran: Man with a Mission in Pursuit of Eelam

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

With Rudrakumaran at the helm there is hope and somehow there is no doubt he will do everything in his power to keep hope alive – and I know the Maveerar are smiling…because of him; they know the non-violent fight for Tamil Eelam is in good hands! by Usha Sriskandarajah, July 26, 2017 Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran’s 60th birthday came and went this month without any fanfare – for a man who declines any and all fuss around him, he wouldn’t have it any other way! Rudrakumaran, the Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has only one mission and one end goal – and that’s an independent and flourishing Tamil Eelam – his work, outside of his law profession, involves constantly exploring and […]

Murder of Nadarajah Raviraj: Court issues arrest warrant for SL Navy Officer

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Ayshwarya Yapa The Court of Appeal has issued a warrant for the arrest of Prasad Hettiarachchi, an officer of the Sri Lanka Navy. Prasad Hettiarachchi has been named as a respondent of the petition submitted by Nadarajah Raviraj’s wife, through which she requested that the murder case of her husband be taken up for hearing again. When the relevant petition was taken up for consideration today (27), the counsel representing the petitioner’s side stated before the Court that summons had already been issued to five of the defendants who have been named as respondents. The counsel then proceeded to request that the Court issue an arrest warrant owing to the fact that Prasad Hettiarachchi, one of the named respondents, had failed to appear in Court. […]

Sri Lankan among Magsaysay award winners

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

Six winners this year of the Asian version of the Nobel Prize Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards, regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize. The other recipients named Thursday are Abdon Nababan, an Indonesian working for the return of large tracts of forest land to indigenous communities, a Singaporean businessman Tony Tay, who leads the cooking of 6,000 meals a day for the destitute, a Philippine theater group which stood up to a dictatorship and Lilia de Lima , a Filipino who oversaw the opening of job-generating export processing […]

NO Political package on site despite popular support for such reforms and pledges made by President and PM to win elections

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

The most significant contribution of the much-maligned Indo-Sri Lanka Accord has been the restructuring of the island nation’s postcolonial state Jayadeva Uyangoda Thirty years have passed, not so quietly, since President J.R. Jayewardene of Sri Lanka and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India signed the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord in July 1987. The accord’s story has become part of history in India as well as Sri Lanka. However, has Sri Lanka’s politics changed since the advent of the accord? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ In Sri Lanka, the most important political change since 1987 has been the total military defeat and demise of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The accord was one of the early attempts to bring Sri Lanka’s ethnic civil […]

Thirty years of soul-searching

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

M.A. Sumanthiran The Accord offered the best chance to resolve the Tamil national questionbut was undermined by successive governments in Colombo July 29, 1987 was a watershed in Sri Lanka’s history. That was the day Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi signed an accord with Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene in Colombo, in which Sri Lanka promised to share power with the Tamil people. One cannot also forget the attack on the Indian Prime Minister later that day by a Naval Rating at a Guard of Honour. If not for his quick reflexes, the rifle butt that was swung at him would most certainly have cracked his skull. The history of Sri Lanka would have been very different had he not survived that assault, as also […]

LTTE to remain on EU’s terrorism list despite ECJ’s ruling

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

The European Union (EU) has taken note of the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ’s) judgement annulling measures against the LTTE, namely the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and the freezing of LTTE funds. The judgment is a legal ruling of the European Court of Justice on the procedure used for listing the LTTE. It does not involve any assessment by the Court of the substantive reasons for the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. The annulled measures cover the period 2011-2015. Designations of the LTTE adopted by the Council later in 2015-2017 are not covered by the present ruling. This means that the LTTE remains listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU, an official statement said. EU institutions systematically […]

EU court keeps Hamas on terrorism list, removes Tamil Tigers

28th July 2017 // 0 Comments

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union’s top court kept Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on the EU terrorism blacklist on Wednesday and removed Sri Lankan separatist rebels, the Tamil Tigers. Judges at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) overruled the General Court’s view of 2014 that the Council of the European Union, the 28-nation grouping, had insufficient evidence to maintain asset freezes and travel bans on Hamas. The lower court had found that the listing was based on media and internet reports rather than decisions by a “competent authority”. But the ECJ said such decisions were not required for groups to stay on the list, only for their initial listing. “The Council may maintain a person or an entity on the list if it concludes that […]