19th March 2018

I will Topple the Current Govt – Mahinda

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

By Meera Srinivasan Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would move a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe next week, and claimed he had the support of some legislators in the PM’s United National Party (UNP). Declaring that he was close to bringing the government down, Mr. Rajapaksa said: “The UNP’s own members are doing that, I don’t have to do [much].” He was speaking to Colombo-based foreign correspondents at his residence on Thursday. In late 2016, about two years after his election defeat, the former President had vowed to topple the successor government. The country’s first national unity government helmed by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe remained stable through 2017 despite tensions. However, the outcome of the local government elections […]

Death threats to Principal of Tamil Girls’ MV, Badulla

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

Principal of Tamil girls’ school who was allegedly made to kneel down by Former Uva Province Chief Minister said that she has received death threats. The Principal made this revelation during a media briefing held at Colombo today (18). Uva Province Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake was accused of making the female Principal kneel before him over the non-admission of a student recommended by him. In response several trade unions and educators came forward to state that all principals and teachers will launch an island wide strike against then the Chief Minsiter Dassanayke. Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena instructed IGP Pujith Jayasundara to launch a comprehensive investigation into the incident involving Uva Province Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake who was accused of making a principal kneel […]

LANKAN DELEGATION HEADS TO GENEVA TOMORROW

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

A high-level Sri Lankan delegation heads to Geneva tomorrow, where it will attempt to show progress on its human rights commitments, amid mounting calls for more political will to implement reconciliation and accountability measures set out in UNHRC Resolution 30/1 that the country co-sponsored in September 2015. In Geneva, Sri Lanka will unveil a host of measures taken over the past year to reckon with a violent past in line with its UN Human Rights Council commitments, including the operationalisation of the Office off Missing Persons, the enactment of the Enforced Disappearances Act, ongoing discussions on the draft counter-terrorism legislation to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act and a bill to set up the Reparations Office recently approved by Cabinet. Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana will […]

Gota Under Oath You Lied, You Lied!

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

It was around 2005 or 2006 when the “MiG Deal” as it was called broke out through The Sunday Times written by it’s Defence Columnist Iqbal Athas bringing the story into focus. This initial article was followed up with The Sunday Leader going into further detail into this “Deal” laying the blame squarely on the then Secretary to Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Several articles followed repeatedly if readers can recall, in The Leader going into details of Belimissa Holdings Ukrinsexport, Ukrinmarsh. Readers may also recall that Gotabaya was quick to file action against the Late Lasantha Wickrematunge and the newspaper for defamation seeking a compensation in an unimaginable sum. The case was heard in Mt Lavinia, in a higher Court for awhile before the Editor of The Sunday Leader was murdered. Readers would also remember the infamous interview of Gotabaya Rajapaksa […]

FAMILIES OF THE MISSING PROTESTS CONTINUE AS OMP STARTS WORK

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

KILINOCHCHI: Inside the makeshift tent by a dusty roadside in Kilinochchi, an elderly woman, Kulasinhan Sagunthalai, says, seeing her daughter again is her only remaining desire. “She is my only child.” Sagunthalai was separated from her daughter in 2009, during the final stages of war, at Mullivaikkal.” Security forces separated the parents and children of displaced families and we were taken to different camps,” she says. Longing to be together with her daughter wherever she was, Sagunthalai says she had requested to be reunited with her child through the authorities. “Everything was working out and she was finally coming to Ananda Kumaraswamy camp to be with me. But, on her way there, she was arrested by the CID,” Sagunthalai says, pain etched between the wrinkles […]

Consensus among political parties to revert to PR system for PC polls

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

The political parties have, by and large, agreed to revert to the old Proportional Representation system for conducting the elections to the provincial councils, a Minister said yesterday. The government has already enacted legislation to conduct the elections to the provincial councils under a mix of the First Past the Post and Proportional Representation systems. City Planning and Water Supply Minister Rauff Hakeem told Daily Mirror yesterday that the complications arose from the same electoral model adopted for the elections to the local authorities concluded on February 10, 2018. In respect of the local authorities, the First Past the Post system returned 60 percent of members and the Proportional Representation 40 percent. However, the formula, proposed for the elections to the provincial councils, will provide […]

War and peace in Sri Lanka, through the eyes of veterans

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

Nine retired officers flew to the island nation they served as a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force Thirty years ago, as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), they found themselves in the thick of action over the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In February, a team of nine retired officers from the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force, some with their wives, returned to the island nation. The officers, all from 37th course of the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, had been posted in the island over 1987-89, when the IPKF was tasked with maintaining peace there. “The main purpose of the visit was to relive our memories of that time,” […]

Congress underlines growing Chinese presence in the region.

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

Congress underlines growing Chinese presence in the region. The Congress on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of exercising a personalised foreign policy which eroded India’s international credibility. Party president Rahul Gandhi, in his speech at the Congress plenary session, underlined the growing Chinese presence in India’s neighbourhood and made a specific mention of the Doklam plateau near Bhutan where China has built military infrastructure. For third alternative “China is present everywhere. China is in Doklam, in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar,” said Mr. Gandhi, highlighting the growing expansion of the Chinese sphere in the Asia-Pacific,, and called for a third alternative apart from the American and the Chinese models in the global order. Mr. Gandhi’s comments came at the end of the two-day […]

No-confidence motion against Prime Minister: Another political killings waiting to happen?

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

No-confidence motion against Prime Minister: Another political crisis waiting to happen Strong undercurrents are once again rocking the shaky relations between the two coalition partners — the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP). This is notwithstanding a deceptive lull and momentary distractions. They were caused first by the ethnic violence in the central hills. Though the violence is now under control, despite solemn pledges to end it in a week, the State of Emergency continues creating confusion in world capitals, spawning in its wake the worst publicity in recent times for Sri Lanka and its rulers. They are also still limping after shooting themselves in the foot over the ill-advised ban on the social media. The same leaders vowed when […]

No Doubt Sri Lanka Is At Crossroads: GTF

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

“Sri Lanka agreeing to a well-defined, time-bound action plan for simultaneous operation of all transitional justice processes should be the top priority for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC),” says the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) “As Sri Lankan issues will be taken up at the UNHRC next week, the GTF would like to highlight the following for the careful considerations of the key countries at the UNHR,” the GTF has said in a statement today. We publish below the statement in full: The confidence level among the Tamil community that Sri Lanka will fully implement its commitments under the resolution 30/1 in a faithful and timely manner is presently at its lowest. The outcomes of the local council elections, the recent anti-Muslim violence, and the fact that the present coalition government […]

British Council empowers Lankan teachers to develop professional educational partnerships

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

British Council’s Schools programme has been designed to help education systems to develop 21st century skills in children. This is by developing capacities of teachers, head teachers and policy makers on effective teaching of 21st century skills in their classrooms and schools for setting up a sustainable platform for children to practice these skills in their schools and in social life. The fast expansion of technology, innovation and globalisation is also shaping its needs. Local economies have become global economies. Entrepreneurs, employers, employees and customers, all should acquire higher order skills to be successful in global economic contexts. Future citizens, today’s children, should acquire skills to work in a globalised economy. Students cannot learn these skills only through conventional educational methodologies. Teachers, head teachers and […]

Quest to implicate Gota in Lasantha’s murder

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

by C.A.Chandraprema Even though there is supposed to be an ongoing police investigation into the 2009 murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga,  what we have been seeing for the most part is a series of investigations and arrests in relation to various matters on the sidelines of the murder. One of the first persons to be arrested in this connection was a bystander who had stolen Lasantha’s phone from the crime scene. This was just a theft and the suspect was soon released. In December 2009, the investigation was handed over to the CID. Then came two much more sensational arrests on February 26, 2010. According to a report published in the Sunday Leader, investigators had zeroed in on five SIM cards which on […]

Doubts over the new TV reconciliation channel because only Tamil can understand it

19th March 2018 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s national television network opens a new channel dedicated to Tamil culture, identity and religion. For some it is “useless” because it cannot be understood in the south; for others it is “a positive effort” because today’s Tamil youth have abandoned their culture in favour of “Western styles”. Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Sri Lankan government has sponsored the opening of the first Tamil-language television channel by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), Sri Lanka’s national television network. For the authorities, the goal is to support national unity and reconciliation in a country marked by 30 years of civil war. But many people who spoke to AsiaNews expressed doubts about it. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Doubts-over-the-new-TV-reconciliation-channel-because-only-Tamil-can-understand-it-43375.html