10th April 2019

An Open Letter To The High Commissioner For Human Rights

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

By Brian Senewiratne – Dr. Brian Senewiratne Chaos  in the South I do not need to draw your attention to the chaos in the (Sinhalese) South. I can quote from your report “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” to the Fortieth session, 25 February – 22 March 2019. You say: “On 26 October 2018, President Sirisena removed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe from office and replaced him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr Wickremasinghe argued that President Sirisena had no constitutional power to dismiss him given that he still enjoyed the confidence of parliament. Sri Lanka was left with in an unprecedented situation, with two individuals claiming to be the legitimate Prime Minister. On 9 November 2018, President Sirisena dissolved parliament and called parliamentary elections. On 13 […]

GTF calls for victim-centric approach in Sri Lanka

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

GTF Calls For Victim-Centric Actions In Coordination With UNHRC The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has called for a victim-centric approach in Sri Lanka to address allegations related to the war. In a statement today, the GTF said that comments made by the Sri Lankan delegates at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) 40th session and again within a week after returning from Geneva are highly disappointing.  The GTF finds it disconcerting, considering Sri Lanka has just taken the positive step of co-sponsoring the HRC Resolution 40/1. “The statements dealing exclusively with macho nationalism and inviolable sovereignty; constitutional scapegoats; and even misrepresentation about private meetings with high-ranking OHCHR officials were clearly aimed at pacifying the Sinhala hard-line elements,” GTF said. GTF notes the merits of the […]

President’s formal approval awaited Sampanthan back in CC

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando A recommendation by the Constitutional Council to accommodate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan as a member of the decision making body is subject to formal approval by President Maithripala Sirisena. The CC, on April 05, at a meeting chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya recommended Sampanthan to fill vacancy created by the resignation of Hambantota District MP Chamal Rajapaksa. Trincomalee District MP 86-year-old Sampanthan lost his place in the CC as an ex-officio member when Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, MP, recognized Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Opposition Leader subsequent to the UPFA quitting the government in Oct 2018. Official sources said that the CC was yet to receive approval from the President’s Office. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s Office on April 5 announced the decision on […]

UK reiterates foreign judges as Killing Fields producers crucify Lanka again

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

Army Chief of Staff Major General Shavendra Silva recently received the appointment as the new Colonel of the Commando Regiment at its Ganemulla headquarters. Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, PC, told Geneva sessions that it wouldn’t be fair to deprive security forces commanders of their due rights on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations. Marapana said that as allegations hadn’t been proved officers couldn’t be dealt with on the basis of them. The delegation also pointed out that information supportive of the military had been disregarded. By Shamindra Ferdinando The House of Commons seems far more interested in Sri Lanka’s accountability in respect of war against terrorism than our own parliament. Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Christopher […]

What’s good for Ranil was not good for Gota

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

By N. Sathiya Moorthy At a time when the Rajapaksas are said to be toying with the idea of fielding former Defence Secretary Gotabaya for the presidential polls in December, they could not have asked for a better and more forceful campaigner on their behalf. Addressing a youth congregation in Weerawila recently, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reportedly declared that “Sri Lanka needs discipline which is instilled in people through military training in addition to economic development and social justice.” It is precisely what the Rajapaksas attempted while in power, or claimed to be attempting post-war, with Gotabaya as then Defence Secretary saying it and doing it more forcefully and directly than a Ranil Wickremesinghe could dream of, now or ever. A country needs disciplined people, […]

Chunnakam power station: Compensation £200 per person?

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

BY MANJULA FERNANDO Environmentalists welcomed last week’s landmark judgement on Chunnakam power station in the North, which they deemed was a good eye opener for the rich and the powerful not to undermine the rights of the citizens and destroy the environment for private purposes. Jagath Gunawardena, a leading environmental lawyer said this was a landmark ruling given that it was the highest penalty imposed by the Supreme Court on a fundamental rights case based on environment protection. “And also the case was vital because unlike on previous occasions the court deemed it was important to compensate the people affected by the power station,” he stressed. The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Northern Power Company Ltd., a contractor for Ceylon Electricity Board to pay […]

Will Case Filed Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in California “obstruct” Ex -Defence Secretary From Contesting Sri Lankan Presidential Elections?

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

Will Case Filed Against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in California “obstruct” Ex -Defence Secretary From Contesting Sri Lankan Presidential Elections? Ahimsa Wickrematunge, the daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, has filed a case in the California Court against former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in connection with the assassination of her father in January 2009. She had reportedly stated that Mr. Rajapaksa, who is currently holidaying in California, should be held responsible for the murder of her father. She has demanded compensation. Lasantha Wickrematunge was the Editor of the ‘Sunday Leader’ newspaper. There is a difference of opinion on the strength of the case as there is no evidence yet that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had a hand in the murder of the editor which took place ten years ago. […]

Human Rights Lawyer Scott Gilmore File Civil Damages Case in California Against Sri Lankan Ex-Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

10th April 2019 // 0 Comments

International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) in Partnership With Hausfeld Law Firm and Human Rights Lawyer Scott Gilmore File Civil Damages Case in California Against Sri Lankan Ex-Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (Text of a Press Release Issued on April 9th 2019 by the International Truth and Justice Project) Johannesburg, South Africa: The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), in partnership with the international law firm Hausfeld and human rights lawyer Scott Gilmore, have filed a civil damages case in California against former Sri Lankan defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on behalf of a Tamil torture survivor Roy Samathanam. Roy Samathanam made the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Mr.Rajapaksa, who is a dual US-Sri Lankan citizen. The case was brought […]