March 2018

NO CONFIDENCE MOTION AGAINST PM THE NUMBERS GAME IS ON!

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

It has been reported that the Joint Opposition (JO) and the youngest political party the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramua (SLPP) whose de-facto leader is the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa [MR] has handed over a No Confidence Motion (NCM) against the Prime Minister from the UNP/ UNFGG on Wednesday March 21, 2018 signed by 54 members of the JO /SLPP as well as 3 Junior Ministers of the SLFP/UPFA. It was surprising that the former President who was the prime “mover and shaker” of the NCM had not signed. The reasons given by the JO/SLPP members are very flimsy and does not hold ground. There are some schools of thought the former President will not even participate at the debate on the NCM now fixed by […]

Mangala, Vigneswaran discuss Northern Province development projects

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy met Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran in Jaffna yesterday. They discussed the implementation of projects in the Northern Province as proposed by the 2018 Budget. Senior officials of the Ministry and the Central Bank also participated in the discussions on the best possible manner in which the allocated Rs. 1000 million can be spent in the North. The District Secretaries of five districts in the Northern Province also participated in the discussion. Minister Samaraweera explained that the Budget had also made provisions to help resettle former LTTE cadres, provide them with soft loans for businesses and provide help in livelihood opportunities. Chief Minister Vigneswaran had requested that the government work […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa Must Now Earn the Gratitude of the Tamils and Muslims By Supporting a Political Solution.

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

Mahinda Rajapaksa Having Earned The Gratitude Of The Sinhala People By Ending the War and Establishing Peace Must Now Earn the Gratitude of the Tamils and Muslims By Supporting a Political Solution. By Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan The outcome of the local government elections this year has made one fact evident. Whatever may be the reasons attributed it clearly shows the Peoples’ disappointment with the performance of the present government and the parties in power both in the North and in the South. In the North the TNA lost ground because it was perceived by the voters as not having achieved more in solving the problems of the Tamil people. I would submit that these problems have less to do with the delays in Constitution making […]

TNA may vote against Ranil.

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Sivagnanam Sridharan said, his party has no inclination to safeguard Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe under any circumstances during the no-faith motion that has been brought against him by the Joint Opposition (JO). The MP charged that though his party had extended support to both the President and the Premier to resolve the burning issues of the Tamil people in the North, both Leaders had acted as if they were oblivious to the concerns of the Tamil people.  MP Sridharan alleged that the Government had thus far failed to Resolve issues such as the fate of those detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Issues of those displaced and missing, Land issues, Jobs, among others. He added that the TNA therefore […]

SLFP fully backs no-faith motion against Premier

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday said it would, on April 04, vote for the no-confidence motion, moved by the Joint Opposition (JO) against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The SLFP called upon Wickremesinghe to resign as Prime Minister if he wanted to protect the coalition government formed by the SLFP and the UNP. The SLFP would officially announce its decision to vote for the no-faith motion after the party’s Central Committee meeting, scheduled to be held on April 2 with President Maithripala Sirisena presiding, Science, Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayantha told the media yesterday. Premajayantha assured that the SLFP’s current position on the no-confidence motion would not change and it would be confirmed by the Working Committee. Addressing the media at the SLFP […]

Mahinda winning? President, PM meet to iron out key issues

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

The crucial meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Thursday night at Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne’s official residence had aimed at ironing out some of the contentious issues that have put the unity Government in crisis.  Daily FT learns that to safeguard the coalition there was frank discussion between the two leaders on a host of issues including next week’s no confidence motion on Prime Minister. Sources said the issue of way forward post-no confidence motion also figured during the discussion in addition to best course of action over elections to come . Other matters included restructuring some of the key Ministries and re-alignment of subjects etc. The contentious decision by President Sirisena to transfer some key institutions such as the […]

Sri Lanka asylum seeking applications to UK on the decline

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

The number of applications made by Sri Lankans seeking asylum in the UK has been reduced relatively in the recent years, the British Government said. This was revealed according to data presented by Baroness Williams of Trafford who is the Minister of State, Home Department in response to a question asked by Lord Naseby in Parliament on Thursday as to how many Sri Lankans have sought asylum each year since January 2007; and how many were successful. In 2007, some 988 applications had been made and 124 asylum status had been granted during the same year. 1,473 application had been made in 2008 followed by 1,115, 1,357 and 1,756 in the following years respectively upto 2011. However, the number of total applications had been reduced […]

Finding the disappeared in Sri Lanka

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

In February, one-and-a-half years after Parliament passed the legislation to do so, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed commissioners to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). The OMP was the first pillar of the unity government’s reconciliation agenda. Official estimates put the number of disappeared people in Sri Lanka at around 20,000. Many went missing during the final stages of the war in 2009 and in the subsequent IDP camps, while families in the South also have memories of white vans and kidnappings during the two JVP insurrections. The OMP’s eight commissioners are tasked with tracking down information for the surviving families on what happened to their lost loved ones. Attorney Saliya Pieris, PC, is the Chairperson of the OMP. He’s a former member of the country’s […]

Families pray for closure, Missing Person’s Office promises trust

31st March 2018 // 0 Comments

The daily routine of Mutthan Theiventhiran, 72, involves first praying at the Kilinochchi Kandaswamy Kovil in the morning where he seeks divine help for the return of his missing son and then joining fellow protesters at a temporary shed near the kovil. This has been his routine for at least a year. Theiventhiran’s forehead bears “Vibhooti,’’ the sacred ash he receives after prayers, reflecting his devotion to the cause of finding out about his son who was injured in the last stages of war in 2009 and admitted to hospital by the military but has been missing since. Theiventhiran is one among thousands of relatives of missing people whose protests have continued in five other places in Vavuniya, Maruthankerni and Mullaithivu, is search of answers […]

JO alleges MPs offered Rs. 100 mn each to vote against no-faith motion

28th March 2018 // 0 Comments

Bribing MPs is nothing new in Sri Lanka.  Mahinda bribed the LTTE – Champika Ranawaka – YouTube  Mahinda Rajapaksa Who Stole 83 Million Rupees Of Tsunami Funds … By Shamindra Ferdinando Members of parliament have been offered as much as Rs. 100 mn each to oppose the no-confidence motion (NCM) moved against Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Joint Opposition (JO) heavyweight MP Dallas Alahapperuma alleges. Matara District MP Alahapperuma said so at a public meeting at Verona, organized by the Sri Lanka Pojujana Peramuna (SLPP) in Italy over the last weekend. Parliament is scheduled to debate and vote on NCM on April 4. The JO handed over NCM signed by 55 members, including four of President Maithripala Sirisena’s group to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya […]

Sampanthan’s alma mater

28th March 2018 // 0 Comments

A large number of family members of the involuntarily disappeared persons staged a protest when President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at St Patrick’s College, Jaffna to declare open the newly built Technology Centre of the school last week. The Old Boys of St Patrick’s College Jaffna who were the students of former Rector Rev. Fr. G. A. Michael Francis Joseph also joined hands with the protestors carrying aloft the portrait of their former Rector who was  among hundreds of people disappeared after surrendering to the Security Forces at the end of the separatist war in May 2009. Rev Fr. G. A. Michael Francis Joseph was the twenty first Rector of St Patrick’s College, which was founded by Catholic Missionaries 168 years ago, in Gurunagar a staunch […]

Accused collapses in ‘Toy pistol case’ to kill UNP MP

28th March 2018 // 0 Comments

There was high drama at the Hambantota High Court yesterday, when the first accused Pemasiri Paranamanna in the case involving the attack on a group of UNP MPs who were on a fact finding visit to the new Airport and Port in Hambanthota in April 17, 2014 fainted and collapsed on the dock when Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne began to give evidence. The case famously dubbed as the “Toy Pistol Case” against five suspects including the former Hambantota Mayor which came up for hearing before Hambantota High Court Judge Thamara Tennakoon yesterday had to be postponed till May 15 after the first accused in the case fainted and collapsed. In this case former Hambantota Mayor Eraj Raveendra, Premasiri Parnamana, Tuan Ramzan, Madusha Nilan and Bindu […]

Reform Resistance in Sri Lankan Politics

28th March 2018 // 0 Comments

One serious political question that emerges from Sri Lanka’s current political impasse is the following: why has a reformist democratic regime, with domestic popular support as well as international backing, begun to run out of its political energies, and political options, so early and is facing disintegration half away? In Sri Lanka’s on-going political debate, there are several explanations being offered. Two stand above others. The lack of political will among government leaders, and their shaky commitment to the electoral mandate, is the first. The second is the ruptured nature of the coalition between the two traditionally rival political parties, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by Sirisena, and United National Party (UNP) led by Wickremesinghe. These are obvious reasons, and there is hardly any […]

Reveal SLPP MP behind Kandy clashes – Patali

27th March 2018 // 0 Comments

JHU general secretary, minister Patali Champika Ranawaka urges police to reveal the politicians behind the Kandy clashes.   Ranawaka told the media at the party head office yesterday (26) that the SLPP MP who provoked the people at the funeral of the youth Kumarasinghe, and the SLPP activists under arrest should be exposed. Police investigations have confirmed that no JHU activist was connected to the clashes, he added. Ranawaka also said his party had also nothing to do with the past incidents in Beruwala, Mawanella and Nuwara Eliya either. Nishantha Priyadarshana

ATC, BTF & USTPAC Endorse Human Rights Council’s Call for Clear Timeline for Action on Sri Lanka’s Transitional Justice Commitments

27th March 2018 // 0 Comments

GENEVA, March 26, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) ends in Geneva, the US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), and Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) would like to thank Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore for emphasizing the importance of return of land for trust in the government’s good faith, the need for an end to impunity, the worrying attacks on ethnic communities, continued reports of torture of Tamils and surveillance, harassment of human rights defenders and the fact that the Office of Missing Persons is still not actually in operation in her presentation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) written report (A/HRC/37/23) on progress on implementation of HRC Resolution 30/1. We fully concur with the […]

Abduction suspects conspire at Welisara Navy camp party

26th March 2018 // 0 Comments

WHA group, who are suspects in the abduction of 11 persons during 2008-2010 for extortion, organized a party at the Welisara Navy camp on March 23. They were D.K.P. Dassanayake, Mapa Bandara and Ranasinghe. Participants included lawyers in the related court case Asith Siriwardena, Rasika Balasuriya and ‘Divaina’ journalist Saman Gamage. The defendants’ call to remove the CID from the investigation was rejected by the court. At the party, it was discussed how to get that done by transferring CID officers. One participant said the most suitable person would be president Maithripala Sirisena, as PM Ranil Wickremesinghe could not be deceived by ‘patriotic’ plots. However, president Sirisena does not get involved in affairs of the police, so his close associates should be reached, it was […]

The President, has residuary executive powers which every Head of State possesses.

26th March 2018 // 0 Comments

By DR WICKRAMABAHU With the noise of the no confidence motion against the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe the issue of the powers of the president came under debate again. Comrade Jayampathi of course believes that he has put the final nails on the coffin of this issue. Strangely, things happened recently that made the yahapalana democratic movement to demand that presidency, even with the 19th amendment, is an unwanted burden hence it should be removed with a separate amendment for that purpose. However those who want to continue with presidential system, for its shape of Raja perhaps, come forward to defend the constitution now in function. They argue that dictatorial aspect of the constitution has been moderated to make it a powerful democratic constitution. They condemn […]

Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka: From Denial to Delay

26th March 2018 // 0 Comments

The government of Sri Lanka has over promised and under delivered when it comes to transitional justice. At the ongoing 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore reiterated her concerns over the slow progress on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. While presenting the High Commissioner’s report on promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka, Gilmore stated that in absence of willingness by the government to tackle impunity and gross violations of human rights, the High Commissioner’s office calls upon the member states to exercise universal jurisdiction. The report specifically highlights the delays in constituting the long promised transitional justice mechanism on the atrocities and human rights abuses committed by both the Government […]

When the uneducated Sinhala Buddhists are…. Nourished on a diet of myths and ‘infertility pills’

26th March 2018 // 0 Comments

“Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumour; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another’s seeming ability; nor upon the consideration.”  -Gautama Buddha (Kalama Sutta)The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry A group of doctors recently broached the topic and ruled out the existence of such infertility pills anywhere in the world General public doesn’t think logically about certain topics such as the infertility pill scare due to lack of scientific literacy Since the scare regarding the infertility pill stared spreading many myths associated with infertility have been floating around Education is […]

UNHRC presents two tough choices to Sri Lanka

26th March 2018 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan The warning from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is simple and stark. Institute “a special court to check on the alleged war crimes or face universal jurisdiction.” The terse warning issued in Geneva at the periodic review of progress with regard to alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka means that this country has to begin a legal process of trying people who are alleged to have committed war crimes during the separatist war or open the country’s people to arrest and prosecution in other countries. How it works is like this. If a Sri Lankan, who has been involved in the war as a military officer or a politician, can be arrested and tried in a country that […]

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