12th September 2017

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. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170910/columns/as-fonseka-continues-tirade-here-are-some-dramatic-revelations-258772.html 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 […]