19th December 2017

Leaders must promote, protect collective identities: CBK

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

Leaders must recognise, promote, protect the specific collective identities of their nations, but they must open up to the globalised world, former Executive President of Sri Lanka Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said on Saturday. Speaking at the ongoing India Ideas conclave, Kumartunga hailed the leadership qualities of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln, and asserted, “Many of the conflicts which we see around us, in our region, in the world, may not have existed or could be resolved if we have leaders with such an agenda.” “When I say, specific identity of a nation, I do not mean only the identity of one group. The dominant group in a nation. I mean the collective identity of a nation, which is formed on this collective identities […]

British MPs call on Sri Lanka to release list of surrendered Tamils

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

British parliamentarians have called on Sri Lanka to release a list of all those who surrendered or were detained by the security forces during and after the armed conflict, in a message of support with families of the disappeared, as their protest passes 300 days. Noting that 300 days would have passed since the protests began, Paul Scully, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, said “it is a milestone which speaks to the immense bravery and courage of the families, who have continued their struggle despite the challenges of old-age, exposure to the elements and routine intimidation”. “But it is also one which reflects the government of Sri Lanka’s frankly shocking indifference to some of its most vulnerable and traumatised citizens.” “I […]

Sri Lanka’s War: Getting distracted with numbers can distort the truth – British High Commissioner

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar Getting distracted by arguments about the numbers that were killed or went missing during or in the immediate aftermath of the end of a near three decade war between the Sri Lankan security forces and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could easily distort the truth, the British High Commissioner in Colombo James Dauris said yesterday. The High Commissioner in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Island said that “while a single death is a tragedy, a large number of deaths is a statistic. If people allow themselves to lose sight of the tragedy of what happened, reconciliation and the guarantee of future peace will become more elusive. I think we need to be careful not to allow ourselves to get […]

TRADE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HUMAN RIGHTS TO MALAYSIA

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak on Monday defended Sri Lanka on the human rights issue. President Maithripala Sirisena and the visiting Prime Minister of Malaysia agreed to expand existing close cooperation in many fields including trade and investment, agriculture, science and technology including nano and bio technology, e-commerce, e-courts, international forums, military training, diplomatic training and intelligence exchange to curb drugs and human smuggling. Three agreements were signed after the bilateral talks held between the two leaders, in which, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and number of Malaysian and Sri Lankan ministers also participated. The bilateral meeting was held at the Presidential Secretariat. The Prime Minister of Malaysia undertook this official visit to Sri Lanka to mark the 60th anniversary […]

Fear of the Unknown, or what!

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

By N Sathiya Moorthy Independent of what one may think of the UNP and SLFP partners in Government, or their politico-electoral challenge in the Rajapaksas-centric SLPP-JO, one thing is becoming increasingly clear. None of them wants to create a new and untested political space for a new and faceless common opponent to emerge and render one, two or all of them electorally irrelevant, in the short, medium and/or long terms. With that also goes their considered concern, limited or otherwise, for the nation, though not expressed as legibly and clearly as their mutual suspicion and antagonism, to say the least. Nothing explains their common predicament, or the ‘fear of the unknown’, than Basil Rajapaksa’s recent observation on the need for an ‘opposition to the Government’ […]

UN experts accuse Sri Lanka of carrying out arbitrary detention

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has identified significant challenges to the enjoyment of the right to personal liberty in Sri Lanka, resulting in arbitrary detention across the country. The experts recognize positive initiatives, including engagement with UN human rights mechanisms, as well as the recent accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. However, they say further urgent action is required to give effect to Sri Lanka’s obligations under international human rights law, as well as the commitments made by the Government in its Human Rights National Action Plan 2017-2021. “The right to personal liberty has yet to be respected by law enforcement, security forces, judicial and other authorities,” the experts said in a statement, after a three-member delegation carried out […]

Can we invite London Mayor to Sri Lanka? – EDITORIAL

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan during a recent visit to India called on the British Government to apologize for the massacre in Amritsar by the British troops. Reportedly some 379 Sikhs were killed by the troops in a site known as Jallianwalla Bagh in Amritsar in 1919. “It is wrong that successive British governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology to the families of those who were killed” the Mayor who represents opposition Labour party urged the Conservative government. “I am clear that the government should now apologize, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre” he added. While an apology is certainly be welcoming it would be better if Britain could also extend an apology for other crimes in India, […]

Tamil CM Wigneswaran requests to meet Malaysian PM

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

By Manushi Silva Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran had requested for a meeting with visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, from the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry. In his request, the CM had pointed out that if the Malaysian PM pays a visit to the North, he will be able to witness the true status faced by the Northern civilians. Chief Minister Wigneswaran is hoping for a positive response from the Malaysian Foreign Ministry, the CM’s Office reported. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrived in Sri Lanka last morning (17) for a three-day official visit. The Malaysian PM paid a visit to Sri Lanka on the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena as this year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between both countries, […]

TGTE using Lawyers to challenge SL’s 6th amendment

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has filed a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee that the 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is a violation of freedom of speech and conscience, and the right to self-determination guaranteed in Articles 18, 19, and 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Complaint also cited the terminology of “one undivided and indivisible country” “aekiya raajyaya” and “orumiththa nadu” and the safeguards against secession in Article 2.2. of the New Interim Constitutional Report. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka criminalizes the exercise of the Tamil’s right to self-determination in the form of an independent state in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 2625 (1970) which is considered as […]

Sri Lanka trip a test case on human rights for PM, MIC leaders

19th December 2017 // 0 Comments

Even if PM Najib Razak does not address the human rights violations against Tamils during the Sri Lankan civil war, MIC president Subramaniam or former MIC president Samy Vellu should. By P Ramasamy Prime Minister Najib Razak is on a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka with some of his ministers, including Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said and Malaysia’s special envoy to South Asia S Samy Vellu. The trip to Sri Lanka might be important from a diplomatic point of view. However, some sections of Malaysian society expect human rights issues to be raised with Sri Lankan leaders. During his short stay, Najib is expected to meet Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe […]