3rd March 2018

STP and NAFSO said SL Military Threatens Livelihood of Tamils & Al Jazeera Reports on Continuing Torture

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

A new report launched by the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) and the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) in Mullaitivu. stated that the Sri Lankan military’s continued occupation of land in the Vanni is threatening traditional livelihoods in local communities. While the people are protesting land-grabs, the military budget is on the rise to finance the militarisation of the Tamil Homeland.http://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka%E2%80%99s-occupation-vanni-threatens-local-communities-%E2%80%93-stp-reportSri Lankan security forces have continued to use torture against Tamils on the island, reports Al Jazeera, which has uncovered allegations and evidence of torture. A support group in London has helped at least 76 Tamils with rehabilitation activities, all of whom say they were tortured within the last three years, since the current Sri Lankan government came into power. This is the good governance our Tamil leaders […]

Global Tamil Forum calls on the international community to use all its leverage to ensure accountability and reconciliation has not reached a dead-end in Sri Lanka

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT  03 March 2018, London  Global Tamil Forum calls on the international community to use all its leverage to ensure accountability and reconciliation has not reached a dead-end in Sri Lanka  The warning signs are all there.  Almost nine years after the end of the war and two and a half years after co-sponsoring a UNHRC resolution calling for comprehensive transitional justice measures, the Government of Sri Lanka has not taken meaningful steps to inspire confidence of its commitments and intentions. The Office of Missing Persons (OMP), the only transitional justice process Sri Lanka has contemplated to-date, has not been operationalised more than a year and a half after it was legislated. The constitutional reform process appeared to be in a standstill. The recent Local […]

UK expects adding further input to UN Interim Report on SL

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

The UK Government said it was anticipating further representations on the UN Interim Report on the implementation of UN Resolution on Sri Lanka, at the ongoing UNHRC Sessions in Geneva. In response to a question by Opposition Whip Vicky Foxcroft in House of Commons on Tuesday, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field said the UK was closely monitoring the delivery of the commitments made by Sri Lanka under UN Resolution 34/1. “In collaboration with the UN, international partners, Sri Lankan Government and civil society, we are closely monitoring the delivery of these commitments. The UK continues to support the Sri Lankan Government in its efforts to promote reconciliation and human rights,” he said. He said the UK is also providing Sri […]

Attacks against Muslims in Sri Lanka

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed deep concerns at the reports of the heavily tense situation after a mosque, several hotels and vehicles belonging to Muslims in Ampara were attacked by mobs leading to major tensions in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. While expressing its concern, the OIC stresses the need to protect the rights of the Muslim minority, foremost of which is the right to observe their religious practices without harassment or any direct or indirect breaches and to earn their livelihoods and conduct their business under full protection of the law. In this context, the OIC Secretary General called on the Government of Sri Lanka to proceed expeditiously with an investigation of such abuses and to ensure the safety and […]

Torture of Tamils continues in Sri Lanka – Al Jazeera

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan security forces have continued to use torture against Tamils on the island, reports Al Jazeera, who has uncovered allegations and evidence of torture. In a piece by Barnaby Phillips, Al Jazeera interviewed Tamils who had been beaten, burnt with cigarettes and raped. A support group in London has helped at least 76 Tamils with rehabilitation activities, all of whom say they were tortured within the last three years, since the current Sri Lankan government came into power. “You see a very systematic pattern of violations across the country,” said Frances Harrison, a human rights activist with the International truth and Justice Project. “Cleary this is very systematic within the security forces, police and army still”, she added. Families of disappeared report increased surveillance […]

UK assures trade agreement with SL post-Brexit

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The UK Government said it intends to provide continuity and stability to Sri Lanka’s current trade agreements with the EU, even after the Brexit comes into affect. Minister of State for Trade and Investment Greg Hands said Sri Lanka’s exports to the UK are made under the EU’s unilateral trade arrangement, the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) at present. “The Government intends to provide continuity and stability whilst leaving the EU, which includes maintaining the effects of our trading relationships as we leave. This includes the EU’s GSP scheme, and our trading terms with Sri Lanka, including human rights. When the UK has left the EU, we can look to improve on those trading agreements,” he said as responding to questions raised in the House […]

Sri Lanka, a cautionary tale about over-reliance on China: OBG

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

Mar 02, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka, perhaps, provides the most cautionary tale from their Asia-Pacific markets about over-reliance on China-backed infrastructure development, a research firm said. In a blog post about Asia-Pacific’s road to economic prosperity, Asia Regional Editor of Oxford Business Group, Patrick Cooke said Chinese acquisitions from other countries make emerging nations in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) crosshairs nervous. At the close of last year, Sri Lanka formally handed over 70 percent control of Hambantota Port to Chinese interests on a 99-year lease. “It is a result of being unable to service the loans from Chinese state-controlled entities it acquired to build the 1.3 billion dollars maritime complex,” Cooke said. “Chinese acquisition of equity in strategic assets from countries unable to […]

Lasantha case: Ex-OIC, ex-DIG further remanded

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

Mount Lavinia Magistrate today ordered to re-remanded former Mount Lavinia Crimes OIC Tissa Sugathapala and former DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara till March 15, in connection with the killing of Sunday Leader’s former editor Lasantha Wickramatunga and the concealing of evidence. Anil Silva PC appearing for Mr. Nanayakkara requested bail for his client on the basis the charges filed by the CID was a bailable offense and that his client was suffering from a cardiac ailment. However, Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Mohammed Mihail rejected the bail application. The CID in its report informed Court that Mr. Nanayakkara had planned to destroy and conceal the evidence in the case. “Even though former Mount Lavinia Crimes OIC Tissa Sugathapala wanted to continue the investigations in a proper manner he […]

Army officer arrested over grenade explosion in Diyatalawa bus

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

A Sergeant Major of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has been arrested in connection with the recent grenade explosion inside a bus at Diyatalawa. Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the army officer was ordered remanded until March 15 after being produced at Bandarawela Magistrate’s Court. The Sergeant Major attached to the Sri Lanka Army’s 6th Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Regiment was allegedly responsible for carrying the grenade which exploded inside the bus, in which several Army, Air Force personnel and civilians were seriously injured. Following investigations into the incident, the army officer was arrested while receiving treatment at the Diyatalawa Hospital. The explosion occurred in a private passenger bus travelling from Jaffna to Diyatalawa caused injuries to 19 passengers on February 21 around […]

Twists and turns in the Jaliya Wickramasuriya case

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Wickramasuriya was arrested for misappropriation of public funds while serving as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the USA from 2008 to 2013 Wickramasuriya was residing in the US and engaging in the business of Tea Export, at the time he was appointed as the Consular General to the Sri Lankan mission in Los Angeles in 2005 According to the ‘B’ Report (B 21/2016) submitted to the Fort Magistrate’s Court by the FCID, the former Diplomat is accused of having pocketed US$ 322,027.35 Through the e-mail, a request had been made from Wickramasuriya’s Counsel to treat the sensitive information provided as confidential. However, it has found its way to the Rajapaksas B report page In a new twist in the saga of Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to […]

”70% of Tamil Women don’t know to write or read” says World Bank

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

Northern Province 70% of women don’t write Lack of reading, writing and numeracy skills affect female employment in N&E BY Paneetha Ameresekere Women in the Northern and Eastern Provinces have poorer self reported writing skills, the World Bank (WB), in a recent report, said. “We see that much more women in the Northern and Eastern Provinces (70 and 65 per cent respectively) report to have never used writing skills in the previous 12 months, compared to 42 and 55 per cent of women in the Western Province (WP) and other Provinces, respectively,” it said. Although this percentage is also the same for men in the Eastern Province (EP), writing skills are often critical in many occupations and not having these skills may be an automatic barrier for entry into these occupations, for a […]

MP Rahuman calls on Govt. to root out extremist elements

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UNP Colombo District MP Mujibur Rahuman called on the Yahapalana Government to make good on its promises to root out extremist elements, adding that continuing impunity will pave the way for continued violence. Addressing a press briefing in Colombo, Rahuman added that continuing impunity coupled with the lack of political will serve as incubators for continued violence. “It doesn’t matter if these acts of violence are perpetrated against Muslims, Tamils or Sinhalese, what matters is action being taken on the part of law enforcement authorities, a probe that will see perpetrators being brought to book and political will to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. He added that if there isn’t political will to tackle the root cause of the issues, a regime change […]

Mega mess 19A

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

No shame facing the truth Personalities and individuals don’t provide answers. We need to have an alternate programme to begin anew Urban middle-class is not willing to accept they blundered and messed up not just for them but for the whole country The society is left numbed and those in elected offices have failed to prove there is in fact a Government running the country now. What is thus on the cards is more crises and chaos and not cleaning up the systems for good governance. Law and Order Ministry also becomes important in this battle for dominance over who runs the Government I wish to honestly thank the people of this country who elected me with a clear majority on the basis of our […]

Sri Lanka: The return of Rajapaksa

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Among rural Sinhalas, the belief that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was cheated out of a victory in the last presidential election held in January 2015 resonates strongly. Many even believe that Rajapaksa’s defeat was a conspiracy hatched by the western powers. Apparently, these voters were largely responsible for the victory of the political party backed by Rajapaksa in the local government poll held on February 10. The poll result has in a way put him back in the driving seat and plunged the coalition that ousted him from office into disarray. Rajapaksa’s party won nearly 45 per cent of the total votes cast while the United National Party (UNP) of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the single largest party in parliament, came second, polling around 33 […]

GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT  30 March 2017, London  GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) cautiously welcomes the unanimous adoption of the resolution ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ (34/L.1) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This resolution, in effect, reaffirms the full implementation of the Resolution 30/1 of 2015. The fact that the resolution was sponsored by forty seven   countries and twenty seven countries spoke at the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka is reflective of the strong commitment of the international community to peace, accountability, justice and reconciliation for all the peoples of Sri Lanka. We are grateful to every one […]