December 2018

Sri Lanka’s crisis clouds fate of 20,000 missing people

12th December 2018 // 0 Comments

After seven months of digging around the old Sathosa Building in Mannar, a city some 250 kilometers north of Colombo in Sri Lanka, the remains of some 266 people have been pulled from the clinging earth. While these bodies remain unidentified – and, in some cases, likely unidentifiable – few doubt that they are witnessing the exhumation of the first of 16,000 to 20,000 people who disappeared here during more than four decades of civil war. The mass grave is one of several sites uncovered around Sri Lanka in recent years, including another one in Mannar. Further sites have been discovered around the east coast town of Batticaloa, and another in the central town of Matale. How many disappeared? However, Saliya Pieris, chairman of the independent Office […]

Forum in Jaffna calls for people-centred democracy

12th December 2018 // 0 Comments

A forum on democracy held in memory of late Somesasunthary Krishnakumar, University of Jaffna Senior Lecturer in History, was held at the Trimmer Hall in Jaffna on 9 December. Activists, students, academics, journalists, artists and others from different parts of the country, including Akkaraipattu, Kilinochchi, Kandy, and Colombo, discussed the ongoing political crisis, its historical origins, and what democracy should look like in the future. Participants agreed the current crisis was not merely a confrontation between political leaders, parties and the three arms of the State, namely the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary. The discussion focused on what democracy in the country has been throughout its history (particularly for groups on the margins such as minority communities, women, oppressed caste communities and workers) and an exploration […]

Monday, December 10th – International Dignitaries Joining TGTE to Commemorate Genocide & Human Rights Day Event in UK Parliament

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

International Dignitaries Joining TGTE to Commemorate Genocide & Human Rights Day Event in UK Parliament TGTE TV will Live Broadcast this event Several international dignitaries are joining Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to commemorate 70 years of World Genocide day and Human Rights Day in London on December 10th, Monday at 6:00 pm. When: Monday, December 10th.  Time: 6:00 pm Where: UK Parliament: Westminster Parliament Main Building:Committee Room 10. What: To commemorate 70 years of World Genocide day and Human Rights Day. Contact: Phone: +44-7869-133-073, Email: Note: TGTE TV will Live Broadcast this event Mr Visuvanathan Rudirakumaran, Prime Minister, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)will join via Skype from New York. SPEAKERS: 1) Mr.Peter Haynes, QC -Peter Haynes QC is a British barrister […]

Daily Mirror Removes Video Of Sirisena’s Controversial Statement From Facebook After Pressure From PMD

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka’s largest selling privately owned daily newspaper, has removed the video of President Maithripala Sirisena’s controversial video from its Facebook page after increasing pressure from the President’s Media Division (PMD), Colombo Telegraph can now reveal. In the video interview that went viral over the weekend, Sirisena was caught on record saying former President Mahinda Rajapaksa could not show a parliamentary majority, as the MPs demanded higher bribes than expected. “Some MPs even asked for Rs.500 million to cross over. I personally know about such situations. It was like calling for tenders. That is why Mahinda Rajapaksa could not show a majority in Parliament,” Sirisena told Daily Mirror. The video of the interview, however, disappeared from Facebook early this morning and was replaced with a […]

Sri Lankan History That is Taught to Children is Extremely Sinhala-centric, with Only a Few Paragraphs Mentioning the Jaffna Kingdom and the Tamil People.

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Sri Lankan History That is Taught to Children is Extremely Sinhala-centric, with Only a Few Paragraphs Mentioning the Jaffna Kingdom and the Tamil People. By Awahnee Mendis In Grade 3, my Social Studies textbook described Sri Lanka as being a multicultural country, where people of all ethnicities lived together in harmony. What is ironic, and what my eight-year-old self didn’t realise, is that this was what I was being taught while the country was in an ethnic civil war. Fast-forward seven years to Grade 10, when I was learning about the history of the country for O/Levels. In the first chapter, we learn that all the information about the country we have is from the Mahavamsa, inscriptions, tablets and ruins. All found in the different […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa failed because MPs demanded over 500 million rupees each to defect says President Maithripala Sirisena

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Did Mahinda offer money to support him? If so why NO legal action has been NOT taken against Mahinda? ECONOMYNEXT – Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to secure a majority in parliament because MPs demanded over 500 million rupees each to defect, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday acknowledging that his power grab had backfired. President Sirisena in a video interview with the Daily Mirror admitted that the man he controversially installed as Prime Minister on October 26 did not have a majority in the 225-member assembly despite confident claims at the time. Sirisena had told a public rally on November 3 near parliament that he had secured over 113 legislators to support Rajapaksa who was made prime minister after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe. “Do not fear. We have […]

The discovery of two pieces of human bones, bound by a cable – Move to send mass grave specimens for carbon dating in US hit by a hitch

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

The discovery of two pieces of human bones, bound by a cable, has caused serious concern to the experts engaged in excavating the Mannar mass grave; they wonder whether some of the people buried there had been tortured. The two pieces of bone were recovered on Friday (7). Mass graves in Mannar point to further war crimes in Sri Lanka – World … The skeletal remains of 136 individuals were unearthed in northern Sri Lanka … Anothermass grave has been uncovered in Sri Lanka, near Mannar, a town in the … A researcher recoveringa skeleton at the Mannar grave site. Nearly 100 Skeletons Including Those of 8 Tamil Children Retrieved … 28 Aug 2018 – More skeletal remains emerge from Mannar mass grave (video) … New recoveryfrom Mannar mass–grave – Hiru News – Srilanka’s Number … By Dinasena Rathugamage Plans […]

Presidential bluff and brinkmanship: Who will blink? Who will collapse?

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

by Rajan Philips President Sirisena is playing a desperate game of bluff and brinkmanship. He is bluffing when he gives deadlines to resolve the current state of legal non-government and the standoff between himself and the legislature. And he is daring the UNP to dump Ranil Wickremesinghe as party leader. Anyone of the 225 legislators other than Ranil Wickremesinghe is acceptable to him as Prime Minister, but not Ranil Wickremesinghe even if he were to demonstrate unanimous support in parliament. The brazenness of this unconstitutional assertion has shocked even those who genuinely want Ranil Wickremesinghe to make way for a new UNP face in national politics. Even among non-UNPers there is a feeling that Sirisena deserves to be impeached. The JVP has said as much. […]

Why didn’t they tell the President?

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Dr Nihal Jayawickrama The President appears to believe that he still possesses the full executive powers he derived from the Constitution when he was elected to his office in January 2015. Three months later, he sat during a tumultuous session in Parliament and witnessed the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, introduced by the Government of which he was the Head. That Amendment removed all his executive powers except three which he still enjoys: the power to appoint ambassadors, the power to appoint ministry secretaries, and the power to appoint provincial governors. Even these cannot be exercised by him unilaterally. For example, the Foreign Minister has to seek the “agreement” of the receiving state before he could name an ambassador. Why didn’t they […]

Six Weeks Since Sri Lanka’s Political Crisis Began: Where Do Things Stand Now?

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

It has now been six weeks since the country was thrown into disarray after President Maithripala Sirisena replaced his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with former nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the weeks that followed, legislators engaged in bitter political warfare, trying to outmanoeuvre each other in support of their candidate for the coveted position of power. But former President Mahinda Rajapaksa faced the toughest obstacle to his political comeback this week, when the Court of Appeal issued an interim order preventing him and his government from functioning. The order, the first of its kind, rendered the country once more effectively government-less, and reinstated the President’s chosen Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as mere parliamentarian. The interim relief was the result of a Writ of Quo Warranto filed […]

President’s logic

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

The UNP and its allies accuse President Maithripala Sirisena of having stabbed ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the back, in October. He twisted the knife again the other day. In 2014, what Sirisena did to his boss, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was likened to Brutus sinking his poniard in Caesar’s back up to the cross-guard. President Sirisena claims that there were conspiracies against him in the yahapalana government. If so, what he did to Ranil on 26 Oct., by way of a preemptive strike, was like Caesar stabbing Brutus, while the latter was lying in ambush. In both cases, much to Sirisena’s dismay, his victims have survived! Painting a black picture of his erstwhile yahapalana chum, Ranil, President Sirisena said, on Saturday, in a televised […]

New US Ambassador opens up to Sri Lanka

10th December 2018 // 0 Comments

In her first interview since assuming duties, Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz shares key insights on her plans, US aspirations on Sri Lanka and US perspectives on some of Sri Lanka’s immediate and medium-term challenges  A career member of the US Senior Foreign Service, the United States’ new Ambassador in Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz describes her job as both “exciting and challenging.” This is because her arrival in Sri Lanka was at a time when the country is at crossroads in terms of democracy and politics, whilst the potential to achieve stability and prosperity is also high. Speaking to the Daily FT in her first ever interview with the local media, Teplitz, who has had extensive experience in Asia, shares key insights to her plans, US aspirations on Sri Lanka, and US perspectives on […]

American and Worldwide Tamil Diaspora Organizations Respond to Sri Lanka Constitutional Crisis

8th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Political reform must include restoration of Tamil rights ensured by international guarantees of implementation WASHINGTON, LONDON, and SYDNEY, Dec. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Responding to the current constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka, leading Tamil diaspora organizations issued a call to the international community to support a permanent political solution to the country’s ethnic problem that goes beyond current or proposed constitutional arrangements and provides international guarantees and safeguards. The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), British Tamils Forum (BTF), Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), and World Thamil Organization (WTO) jointly issued the statement. The collapse of the Sri Lankan government on October 26th, 2018 has exposed the inconsistency and instability of Sri Lanka’s ethnocracy. A blatant disrespect for constitutional law and the failure to preserve promises made toward […]

Real reasons behind Maithri-Mahinda constitutional conspiracy – protecting Mahinda’s civic rights

7th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Former Prime Minister of the illegitimate government, MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, has stated that he denies allegations made by the UNP that he took over the government for fear of facing court cases. Responding to questions raised by journalists at a function held at the Abhayaramaya in Narahenpita yesterday (6), he made this statement. However, that is not the truth. The report issued by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) provides proof in that regard. The Presidential Commission has clearly proposed that the civic rights of Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa – one of the responsible parties of the petition (PCI/95/2015) filed with regard to non-payment of dues to the Independent […]

Ranil is prepared to kneel before any foreign embassy and Mahinda before China.

6th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Once this situation settles and a stable government is established, everyone involved for the damages to government property and assaults on MP’s and Policemen within the parliament must be investigated and punished. but knowing Sri Lankan politicians Ranil or Mahinda or Maithiri will NEVER do it. Ranil and Maithiri who promised to take action on Mahinda’s family members and close associates for frauds and unlawful activities were never done in the 3.5 years in power. Ranil and Maithiri accused each other of misusing there powers to safeguard members of Mahinda family who were involved in fraud and criminal activities. UPFA Parliamentarian Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says that a commission will be appointed to inquire into the proceedings of the Parliament during the past couple of days, […]

Disclose UNP-TNA agreement and offers made to MP’s to cross over by Mahinda group.

6th December 2018 // 0 Comments

The United National Party (UNP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) should reveal any agreement between them which had compelled the TNA to back the UNP, Sinhale racist Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) party Leader Udaya Gammanpila said today. It is claimed that the TNA MP’s were offered One to Five Million US Dollars and Minister posts by Mahinda group but the TNA MP’s  refused to take it. During the 2001 Parliamentary election campaign, Mr Gammanpila said, Mangala Samaraweera disclosed a UNP – LTTE agreement. “Although the UNP denied it, they implemented the contents of the agreement after coming to office. Similarly, Tissa Attanayake disclosed an agreement between the UNP and TNA just before the Presidential Election in 2015. “Although the UNP denied it, most of the promises […]

Ranil’s reply to Dinesh ”If Ranil is ready for polls why he opposes dissolution”

6th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Dinesh will NOT come to parliament and present a motion because he knows that Mahinda’s appointment is wrong.  If You Want Elections, Come To Parliament And Present Motion: Ranil Tells UPFA UNP Leader and ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today challenged the UPFA to present a motion in Parliament if they think a General Election is necessary. Speaking to the media from Temple Trees, Wickremesinghe said they were ready to go for an election with the consent of all political parties in Parliament. “We have nothing against holding elections. If all political parties are in favour of an election, how can we oppose?  Wickremesinghe asked. “However, before any election,” the UNP Leader said, “there has to be a legal government in the country.  It is the legislature that […]

Appeal Court issues interim order against MAHINDA, Not Enough Judges To Take Up Appeal says Mahinda

6th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Rajapaksa Hits Fresh Snag: Not Enough Judges To Take Up Appeal: Delay Caused By Sirisena’s Move To Manipulate Judiciary Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa hit a fresh snag yesterday when the Supreme Court did not have enough judges to take up his appeal on the interim order issued by the Cout of Appeal preventing his government from continuing in office. Two vacant positions in the Supreme Court are yet to be filled by President Sirisena. Colombo Telegraph previously revealed that Sirisena is delaying the two appointments in a bid to manipulate the ongoing court case over the dissolution of Parliament. Two judges – namely S. Thurairaja and Gamini Amarasekera – are yet to take oaths as Supreme Court judges despite their names being selected by the Constitutional Council. The Constitutional Council […]

Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Maithripala Sirisena Not to ” Act Like Hitler and Other Dictators” and Take ” Subjective Decisions”Pertaining to the Constitution.

5th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Maithripala Sirisena Not to ” Act Like Hitler and Other Dictators” and Take ” Subjective Decisions”Pertaining to the Constitution. By Meera Srinivasan Observing that President Maithripala Sirisena must not take “subjective decisions” pertaining to the Constitution, Sri Lanka’s deposed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said: “Don’t be like Hitler and other dictators.” “The Prime Minister is decided by parliamentary majority. The President cannot say this is what I want. All we are saying is follow the Constitution,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said, addressing media persons at Temple Trees, the official residence of the Prime Minister, which he continues to occupy since Mr. Sirisena controversially sacked him six weeks ago. Continue reading ‘Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells Maithripala Sirisena Not to ” Act Like Hitler and Other […]

Sri Lanka Has Neither a Prime Minister Nor a Cabinet of Ministers For the First Time in Island Nation’s 70 Year Post -Independence Parliamentary History.

5th December 2018 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka Has Neither a Prime Minister Nor a Cabinet of Ministers For the First Time in Island Nation’s 70 Year Post -Independence Parliamentary History. For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, the country has no Prime Minister or a Council of Ministers. Given the deep seated conflict between President Maithripala Sirisena and ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the stalemate over who should be Prime Minister is not likely to end anytime soon. After the Court of Appeal on Monday stayed the functioning of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and his colleagues as ministers, Rajapaksa and his ministers had stopped attending office. All government work is now being done by President Maithripala Sirisena with the help of the Secretaries of the various […]

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