26th June 2018

US Will Not Give Up Its Strategic Objectives In Sri Lanka Despite Leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya The US quit the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday (June 19) with rhetoric intended to assert the moral high-ground, slamming the council and selectively ‘naming and shaming’ council members outside its charmed circle of ‘friends.’ While the statements of US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington reeked of imperial arrogance, the irony of this grandstanding by one of the worst human rights offenders on the planet would not have been lost on many in the global South, who have been at the receiving end of its worst depredations over time. Haley accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.” The US’s own glaring lack of even-handedness […]

Sri Lankan asylum seeker attacked on city housing estate

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

Sasitharan Letcsumanon has lived through a civil war, endured freezing conditions in a refugee camp and survived a treacherous journey into the UK. But it was only during a late-night walk through a Norwich housing estate that he became the victim of a vicious assault. The 39-year-old was punched in the face and beaten with a stick as he walked home on Foxley Close, off Cadge Road. Norfolk Police is yet to arrest anyone in connection with the incident, but is continuing to appeal for witnesses. Mr Letcsumanon, who arrived in the UK four years ago from Sri Lanka, was attacked at around 3.50am on April 7 this year. He said he had been unable to sleep that night and had gone out for a […]

President rejects proposal to pay compensation to former Tamil LTTE cadres and their families?

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

Sirisena refuses to even discuss Swaminathan’s memorandum; compensation issues to be dealt with by designated body –UNP’s damage-control move misfires as Mujibur Rahman MP plays counsel President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday rejected outright a proposal by a United National Party (UNP) Cabinet Minister to pay “compensation” to Tiger guerrilla “ex combatants” and their “next of kin.” “I am not going to allow this to be even discussed,” he told last Tuesday’s weekly ministerial meeting. He was alluding to the Cabinet Memorandum forwarded by Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister Deva Manoharan Swaminathan, who recommended the move. The four-page memorandum was titled “Payment of Enhanced Compensation and other Relief Measures for Deaths and Injuries and those whose properties were damaged due to civil conflict and […]

UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: PUTTING THE US PULL OUT IN PERSPECTIVE

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

Last week’s decision by the United States to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council created ripples in Sri Lanka where the parting words of America’s top diplomat that the Council was a “cesspool of political bias” resonated strongly with politicians and bureaucrats aligned with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who waged pitched battles in Geneva from 2009-2014, claiming victimisation and similar partisan bias by member states. For ruling party politicians, the US pull out seemed to indicate that the Government could be ‘off the hook’ with regard to further interventions on its human rights record in Geneva. Claims are being made that Sri Lanka should abandon the resolution it co-sponsored at the UNHRC in 2015 and 2017, since a main sponsor of the resolution […]

Both Sampanthan and Wigneswaran seeking unity, but terms clash

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

Wigneswaran welcoming Sampathan at the Jaffna book launch (pic courtesy TNA) By P.K.Balachandran The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been facing an internal and external crisis for some time now, with the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran rebelling against the party stalwart R.Sampanthan, and with the alliance losing its hold on the electorate to a significant extent. The reasons for the internal rift and the loss of external popular support are many. There are ideological differences between Wigneswaran and Sampanthan. with the former being more radical in his demands and more confrontationist vis-à-vis the Sri Lankan government, and the latter being more moderate and accommodative vis-à-vis the government at the Center. There are also personality clashes between Wigneswaran and Sampanthan. Being a former Supreme Court […]

Foreign courts not permitted to try our soldiers – AG

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

Attorney General, in his sum up on the Bill entitled “Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (Amendment)” submitted that Government of Sri Lanka will not permit any of our soldiers to be tried in foreign jurisdiction on war crimes. The Bill “Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (Amendment) came before the Supreme Court for its Special Determination on its constitutionality. The Bench comprised Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara, Sisira J. De Abrew and Nalin Perera. Three petitions were filed before the Supreme Court for its Special Determination on the Bill. Petitioners are former MP Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, Ven. Maduruoye Dhammissara Thera and Kumarajith Dharmadasa. Petitioners in their petitions complained that Sri Lanka submits itself to the Universal Jurisdiction pertaining to several criminal offences falling under international humanitarian law […]

GOTHA ready to renounce US citizenship ONLY if invited to run for Sri Lankan President

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that ONLY if he was nominated to contest the next presidential election, he would renounce his US citizenship and he would be able to do so within two months. If not, than he will stay as a US citizen. A journalist asked if he was after the super power like Mahinda rule before 2015 or was he really interested in helping to develop Sri Lanka? Mahinda who wants his son MP Nimal to be nominated has the next president candidate was unreachable for comments. It is a known secret that most deniers were not happy about a Rajapakshe family member being nominated for the presidential candidate,  due to the experience of Mahinda rule where they were used as […]

NO solution to national question more underground claymore mines might come out

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

Kalai Kathir, published in Jaffna, in its June 23 Saturday issue, reported that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had brought to the attention of Jaffna District TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran the recovery of explosives at Oddusuddan. According to the report, Sumanthiran had received information about the weapons recovery from Rajapaksa and thanked him for alerting and advising him.But the report added that Sumanthiran warned Rajapaksa that if all did not get together to deliver a solution to national question more underground claymore mines might come out. The report claimed conversation took place early on Friday. Addressing the media in Colombo, Joint Opposition MP Dallas Alahapperuma thanked the government for not trying to blame former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over the latest recovery of weapons.

Is Sri Lanka ready for an elected dictator?

26th June 2018 // 0 Comments

By Jayadeva Uyangoda Is Sri Lanka ready for an elected dictator? This is the latest question to enter the country’s current political debate. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s preparations to contest the next presidential election in 2019 have already precipitated a potentially explosive controversy that can last weeks and months. An admirer of Gotabaya Rajapaksa has echoed as a positive political desire, what his detractors have been suggesting indirectly for the past few months. A Buddhist prelate representing Sri Lanka’s most conservative Sangha establishment has said it in a few words: “Let Gotabaya Rajapaksa prove his critics right by becoming a real Hitler.” Ven. Wendaruwe Upali, deputy chief priest of the Asgiriya Chapter in Kandy, made his rather unusual plea to Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the latter’s birthday alms giving […]