September 2017

UNHRC members urged to press Sri Lanka to meet targets

15th September 2017 // 0 Comments

United Nations member countries at the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva should press Sri Lanka to promptly meet the targets of the council’s October 2015 resolution for transitional justice, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today. HRW said Sri Lanka should put forward a time-bound and specific implementation plan on the four transitional justice mechanisms it agreed to establish as pledged in the resolution The UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid al Ra’ad Hussein, in his opening remarks at the council on September 11, 2017, highlighted Sri Lanka’s lack of progress, and called on the Government to realize that its obligations are not a mere “box-ticking exercise to placate the council but as an essential undertaking to address the rights of all its people.” “Governments at the Human Rights […]

Sri Lanka: 2 Years On, Scant Progress on UN Resolution

15th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Human Rights Council Should Seek Timeline for Action (Geneva, September 14, 2017) – United Nations member countries at the Human Rights Council in Geneva should press Sri Lanka to promptly meet the targets of the council’s October 2015 resolution for transitional justice, Human Rights Watch said today. Sri Lanka should put forward a time-bound and specific implementation plan on the four transitional justice mechanisms it agreed to establish as pledged in the resolution. The UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid al Ra’ad Hussein, in his opening remarks at the councilon September 11, 2017, highlighted Sri Lanka’s lack of progress, and called on the government to realize that its obligations are not a mere “box-ticking exercise to placate the council but as an essential undertaking to address […]

Sri Lanka’s OMP welcomed by foreign missions with call for ‘credible commissioners’

15th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s OMP welcomed by foreign missions with call for ‘credible commissioners’  The signing of a gazette to operationalise the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) has been welcomed by the US, EU and Canada on Wednesday, with calls for “credible commissioners” to be swiftly appointed. The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said the move was an “important step forward” for advancing reconciliation. “A well-funded and robust OMP with independent & well qualified commissioners will give hope to families from all communities who seek answers,” he tweeted. The European Union said operationalising the OMP was “an important and welcome development” and that it hopes “credible commissioners can be recruited quickly”. Canada reacted by stating it was an “important & positive step for victims”. The […]

Army Holding about 85,000 Acres in North

13th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Calls for probe into SF’s allegations against Gen. JJ By Cyril Wimalasurendre, ‘The Island,’ Colombo, September 10, 2017 KANDY – Alleging that the army continued to hold about 85,000 acres of land in the North, Northern Province Chief Minister and former Supreme Court judge C.W. Wigneswaran, on Saturday, sought the intervention of most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera of Malwatte Chapter to shift troops out those lands. CM Wigneswaran claimed that only about 5,000 acres had been so far released to their original owners. The Chief Minister placed the strength of the army deployed in the Northern Province at 150,000. Asserting that there was no requirement to maintain such a large force in the Northern Province, Wigneswaran called for their removal.The Mahanayake thera told […]

Sri Lanka freezes Rajapaksa assets exceeding Five Billion

13th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Yoshitha appears before the FCID to make a statement Yoshitha Rajapaksa, son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, appeared before the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) today to make a statement. He was given notice to appear at the FCID to be questioned on a land deal. Sri_Lanka_freezes_Rajapaksa_ assets_exceeding_five_billion_ _FM-3-7611-10.html Sri Lanka freezes Rajapaksa assets exceeding five billion: FM Yoshitha Rajapaksha – A multi-million rupee brand-new house at Mount Lavinia brought from  a bag of gems left by a unknown person. Basil Rajapaksa – Claims that a 208 million river-front house in Malwana that was being built allegedly in his name was not owned by him.  Real estate and bank accounts of former president’s two elder sons and his minister brother Basil, amount to two billion.  […]

Senate Committee rejects Trump’s proposed budget cut for Sri Lanka

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Citing the geographical and strategic location of Sri Lanka, a Senate committee has opposed Trump Administration’s proposal of a drastic 92 per cent cut in American aid to the island nation, the Press Trust of India reported. “Given the geostrategic importance of the country, the Committee does not support the President’s budget request for Sri Lanka, which proposed a 92 per cent reduction in assistance from the prior fiscal year,” the Senate Appropriations Committee said in a report passing the annual State appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2018, beginning October 1. The appropriations bill, which landed on the Senate floor yesterday for consideration, seeks USD 43 million for Sri Lanka. This includes USD 35 million as economic support fund, USD 6.8 million for non-proliferation […]

As Fonseka continues tirade, here are some dramatic revelations

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Former President removed him from post of Army Commander because he was planning to arrest Jagath Jayasuriya Security Forces commander Wanni, Major General Jagath Jayasuriya “was engaged in various crimes.” House leader says Field Marshal’s war crimes claim a personal opinion, but it sparks controversy SLFP insists executive presidency must remain and seeks not to enhance PM’s powers The Sri Lankan who won bouquets and brickbats worldwide for leading troops to military victory against Tiger guerrillas eight years ago and became a national hero now finds himself in a lesser light. General Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka, who successfully negotiated the title of Field Marshal in return for his support for Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8, 2015 presidential election, accused a subordinate senior officer […]

Darker and more dangerous: High Commissioner updates the Human Rights Council on human rights issues in 40 countries

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Human Rights Council 36th session Opening Statement by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 11 September 2017 Distinguished President of the Council, Excellencies, Colleagues, Friends, As I enter the final year of my current mandate – a year which I will discharge with vigour and determination – I wish to begin with a few short reflections drawn from the past three years. First, however, I want to recall all those who were murdered in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania on 11 September 2001. Like many who were living in New York, I will forever remember that huge gaping hole in the side of the building, the billowing smoke, the heroism of the fire-fighters and police, the collapsing towers, the […]

UN human rights chief calls for exercise of universal jurisdiction on Sri Lanka

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein noted frustration over the “slow pace of reforms” in Sri Lanka and said the absence of action on accountability meant exercising universal jurisdiction was “even more necessary”. Speaking at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, the human rights chief called on Sri Lanka to live up to commitments it had made to the international community. “I encourage the Government to act on its commitment in Resolution 30/1 to establish transitional justice mechanisms, and to establish a clear timeline and benchmarks for the implementation of these and other commitments,” he said. “This should not be viewed by the Government as a box-ticking exercise to placate the Council, but as […]

“Eliya”(Light)Is Formed To Oppose the New Constitution by Sinhala only Gotha with the blessing of Mahinda

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s open foray into politics took place last Wednesday in the form of ‘Eliya’ a new organization that was ceremonially launched at the Golden Rose hall in Boraleasgaluwa. Its launch was in the form of a seminar on the proposed new constitution. The panel of speakers included Gota himself who introduced the new organization to the audience and spoke on why it opposes the proposed new constititution. Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera, Dr Dayan Jayatilleke, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, Dr Seetha Arambepola, Rev. Fr. Wimal Tirimanne, Tamara Kunanayagam, Lawyer Rushdi Habib, and Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne were among the speakers at this event. MP Namal Rajapaksha stands outside the main hall and watches the progress as per his father Mahindas advice. A leaflet in […]

Why We Must Neither Go Beyond the 13th Constitutional Amendment Nor Try To Roll It Back.

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka The ‘Sirisena SLFP’ has rejected the abolition of the executive Presidency, more especially in the context of devolution. It has upheld the unitary state, rejected the amalgamation of Provinces and the abolition of the powers of the Governor and/or their transfer to the Chief Minister. The SLFP has agreed with the implementation of the 13th amendment and the proposal of a Second chamber. In short the SLFP proposal is for a constructively modified 13th amendment, which is both 13 Plus (Senate) and 13 Minus (de-merger). These proposals constitute the common ground within the ‘Unity’ government. If they are rejected, the UNP will have to go it with the TNA and the JVP. Ranil’s old wager that Mahinda Rajapaksa will be vulnerable to the temptation […]

Implications of Lalith Weeratunga’s Imprisonment For Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe.

12th September 2017 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s top aide Lalith Weeratunga became the first high-profile official from the former regime to be convicted for corruption, but his jailing could have a political fallout for the current coalition regime too. The Economynext Political Correspondent discusses consequences for President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and their uneasy coalition whose tenure is virtually guaranteed by the constitution. The case against Lalith Weeratunga, a highly respected civil servant, was one of the first to be filed after Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa at the January 8, 2015, election. Weeratunga was convicted of diverting 600 million rupees from the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) to fund Rajapaksa’s unsuccessful re-election bid. He was sentenced to three years in jail and fined 2 million rupees. He was also asked to […]

Mahinda group asks PM Ranil to say that the Field Marshal is a mental patient!

11th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Sinhala racist MP Udaya Gammanpila stated that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka has put the lives of over 300,000 Sinhala soldiers in danger by stating that he will provide evidence against Military personnel who committed war crimes against Tamils during the war. More than 40000 Tamil Civilians were killed in May 2009 alone by the Sri Lankan Sinhala soldiers. More than 1000 LTTE Leaders and their family members were killed after they surrendered with White Flag. The surrender was negotiated by the UN officers. Even 14 year old child of LTTE Leader was killed after he had surrendered with White Flag as per UN officials instruction. Speaking to the Media at a press briefing today, MP Gammanpila stated that the only way to save the lives […]

Nothing wrong in 600 million fraud – Mahinda

11th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited his former Presidential Secretariat Lalith Weeratunga and the former TRC Director General Anusha Palpitiya at the Welikada Prison Hospital earlier today (11). The Former President was accompanied by his Former Ministers MP Prof.G.L.Peiris and MP Wimal Weerawansa.  While speaking to the media, the former President stated that unfortunately, Lalith Weeratunga was not physically stale and that his state of health was upsetting. He also mentioned that Lalith Weeratunga was being treated by a team of specialist doctors. Interestingly all the Sri Lankan politicians who are found guilty of fraud by courts are bound to fall ill once the court verdicts are given but with the influence of other senior government politicians they are able to go home or get special treatment […]

Anti-Govt activists are trying to paint Lalith as a martyr – Ven.Uditha Thero

11th September 2017 // 0 Comments Secretary of the National Bhikku Peramuna, Ven. Wakumulla Uditha Thero alleged that a large scale operation has been launched by the parties engaged in the frauds of the past regime, to win a saintly ideology for former President’s secretary Lalith Weerathunga through his imprisonment. “The former government is the most corrupted regime in Sri Lankan history. The offenders of the Rajapakse regime are trying to win a new ideology for those who were imprisoned due to their shortcomings and to mislead the law” stated the Thero  while addressing a media briefing held today(11). “An uncertainty prevails among the public that the punishment given to the verdict might change although he was sentenced to a three-year imprisonment.” “However, the law does not exempt allegations that […]

Bell Pottinger, which worked for Lanka, suspended for five years

11th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Bell Pottinger, a British-based public relations firm which the former Sri Lankan Government hired for work both in that country and in the United States, has been slapped with sanctions. The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), the professional body in Britain has declared that Bell Pottinger breached its charter and two clauses of its code of conduct. This was over the company’s campaign for South Africa’s Gupta family and the PRCA said it was likely to “inflame racial discord.” Bell. Bell Pottinger cannot re-apply for PRCA membership for at least five years. The PRCA’s professional practices committee found Bell Pottinger‘s campaign was “likely to inflame racial discord in South Africa and appears to have done exactly that”. PRCA Director General Francis Ingham was quoted […]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Speech at 3rd Annual Tamil Fest

8th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Nandri! Vanakkam! Thank you, Gary, for your kind introduction and for your incredibly hard work for the Tamil community and for all communities. How about a big round of applause for Gary? And thank you, big round of applause for all our great MP’s who work so hard across the GTA. It’s great to be back in Scarborough for Tamil Fest again this year. I’m happy to report that my Kothu Roti is getting better, which I know you’ll all appreciate. My friends, this event has become a real staple in the community – I’m told we’re expecting over 200,000 people this weekend, which is amazing. I’m sure when Raj, Danton, and David started Tamil Fest 3 years ago, they didn’t expect it to take […]

New Constitution will lead to Tamil Eealm – Gota

7th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Alleging that proposed new Constitution would give separatists what they had failed to achieve through terrorism, wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said, vowing to defeat the project. The proposed constitutional reforms were meant to appease the LTTE rump, pro-LTTE Diaspora and a section of foreign powers, Rajapaksa said, lambasting the ruling UNP-SLFP government for seeking to divide post-war Sri Lanka on ethnic lines. Rajapaksa said so at the launching of ‘Eliya-Illuminating Aspirations’ at the Golden Rose, Borelesgamuwa. The Gajaba Regiment veteran urged the public to resist the government project to appease the separatist lobby. Rajapaksa was the keynote speaker on the topic of ‘Out of the Darkness-the crisis of constitutional change.’ The event attracted a large number of professionals, including artistes, doctors, engineers, lawyers, […]

Action would be taken against MP’s who will expose the War Crimes committed by the country’s security forces

7th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said today that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s statement on former Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya was not the stance of the Government and that it was his personal opinion. Joint Opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane a known anti Tamil and a close associate of Mahinda Rajapaksha questioned whether Field Marshal Fonseka’s statement on Ex General Jayasuriya represented the Government’s policy. Laksman told Parliament that the NEW Government would never imprison Army Commanders (even if they have committed War Crimes?). Gunawardane asked what action would be taken against MP’s who will expose the War Crimes committed  by the country’s security forces. He also asked the Foreign Minister to explain the details of the legal action being taken against General Jayasuriya and any other members […]

Elle Gunawansa Thera is a mad man in robes: SF

7th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday called Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera, who condemned the statement he made with regards to war crime charges, a mad man in robes. “That monk is mad. That’s all I have to say,” he said in response to a question asked by a journalist after the 71st anniversary celebrations of the UNP held at the party headquarters, Sirikotha. Speaking further, Minister Fonseka said the Thera had never visited him or helped him as claimed by certain news reports.”This monk is simply trying to score marks for the things that others did,” he said. Responding to the assurance given by the President that he won’t allow anyone to touch General (retired) Jagath Jayasuriya, the minister said the President meant no international faction […]

1 2 3 4