26th September 2017

Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process is proceeded step by step – President to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena says Sri Lanka is performing for the betterment of its people with much responsibility, in keeping with the charters of UN, as a member of United Nations. He said the government is taking the process to ensure human rights and reconciliation forward step by step. The President made these remarks during his meeting with Prince Zeid al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The president pointed out if the government would take sudden actions regarding these, the extremist groups will take advantages. He said two years are sufficient for Sri Lanka to complete the matters adopted by UNHRC resolution. He invited Prince Hussein to visit Sri Lanka to witness the progress it has been achieved. President Sirisena and the UN […]

Sri Lanka’s Current Federalism Debate: Cause For Indian Concerns – Analysis

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Observer Research Foundation  By N. Sathiya Moorthy In a significant yet unexpected ‘arrival statement of sorts’ on the national scene without notice, Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Tamil Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran called on the Sinhala-Buddhist majority’s high priests in Kandy, and followed it up with a visit to the local prison, where some ex-LTTE militants were being held. At the much-publicised meeting with the Mahanayaka Theros of the Asigiriya and Malwatte Chapters and the Buddhist-clergy Sangha, the retired justice of the nation’s Supreme Court made out a case for ‘federalism’ as against the existing ‘unitary’ State character of the Constitution. Wigneswaran’s current reiteration of his forgotten position in the matter assumes greater significance for more reasons than one. In his immediate surroundings, he is fighting […]

Hopes and fears — On Sri Lanka’s Constitutional reform

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

The interim report on a new constitution should set off an informed debate in Sri Lanka It is only with a great degree of caution and circumspection that the interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka can be welcomed. The panel, chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has done creditably by producing a forward-looking proposal within 18 months of its first sitting. However, there have been several such reports in the past that envisioned far-reaching reforms in the country’s structure. None of them found broad acceptance within Sri Lanka’s polity. It is thus difficult to see the interim report as the beginning of an irreversible process of constitutional reform. There is room for both hope and fear.  There is […]

Minority parties ready to accept unitary status – PM

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that minority parties are ready to consider retention of the unitary status of the country in the proposed Constitution and privileged status to Buddhism in case the two major political parties, the UNP and the SLFP agree to grant maximum possible devolution, create a Senate, protect human rights protection of all communities, ensure judicial independence and resettle of those displaced due to the conflict as mentioned in the first Chapter of the interim report on the New Constitution. The PM said so, addressing a gathering at Wekunagoda, Galle on September 22 after opening newly built police quarters there. He that minority parties had never before reached such an agreement. Wickremesinghe said the minority parties were of the opinion that […]

Response from New York to Geneva

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech, at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly sessions, in New York on Tuesday (20), could be considered more as a response to the comments made by the UNHRC High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein on Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 36th UNHRC session in Geneva last week. Unlike his predecessor Navanethem Pillay, facing a bad experience when she arrived in the Sri Lanka during the previous regime, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein was given a warm welcome when he arrived with the formation of the National Unity Government in 2015. In his lengthy speech in Geneva, this year, the UNHRC High Commissioner had covered several countries on their human rights situation which still remains in a very pathetic […]

We will be intransigent!

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

BY MIRUDHULA THAMBIAH Vanni District Parliamentarian and Leader of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) – constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Selvam Adaikkalanathan said those connected to enforced disappearances should be identified, inquired and punished through the mechanisms of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). “We are of a firm stand that all UNHRC recommendations should be implemented. OMP should be established in our country to examine the cases. Those who are connected to the enforced disappearances should be inquired into and punished,” he said. Following are excerpts of the interview: ? What is your stand on the interim report of the constitutional reforms? A: This interim report cannot be viewed as a complete political solution. We will definitely express our stand over this […]

Lankan lawmakers have a ‘unitary mindset’ -Jayampathy

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shaahidah Riza President’s Counsel and member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), parliamentarian Jayampathy Wickramaratne spoke to Ceylon Today about the salient points pertaining to the Interim report, of the steering committee, which centred on the Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka. Emphasizing on the need to include the word Aekiya Rajya in the English and Sinhalese version of the Constitution, he added that the Sri Lankan lawmakers have a ‘unitary mindset’ and that the proposal by the TNA to include the term Aekiya in English is a good development. Excerpts of the Interview: ?: How did you come to a consensus on the voting system? A: Vast majority of people are against the preferential vote. They want MPs for the electorates. But at […]