Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process is proceeded step by step – President to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

President Maithripala Sirisena says Sri Lanka is performing for the betterment of its people with much responsibility, in keeping with the charters of UN, as a member of United Nations. He said the government is taking the process to ensure human rights and reconciliation forward step by step. The President made these remarks during his meeting with Prince Zeid al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The president pointed out if the government would take sudden actions regarding these, the extremist groups will take advantages. He said two years are sufficient for Sri Lanka to complete the matters adopted by UNHRC resolution. He invited Prince Hussein to visit Sri Lanka to witness the progress it has been achieved. President Sirisena and the UN […]

Sri Lanka’s Current Federalism Debate: Cause For Indian Concerns – Analysis

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Observer Research Foundation  By N. Sathiya Moorthy In a significant yet unexpected ‘arrival statement of sorts’ on the national scene without notice, Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Tamil Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran called on the Sinhala-Buddhist majority’s high priests in Kandy, and followed it up with a visit to the local prison, where some ex-LTTE militants were being held. At the much-publicised meeting with the Mahanayaka Theros of the Asigiriya and Malwatte Chapters and the Buddhist-clergy Sangha, the retired justice of the nation’s Supreme Court made out a case for ‘federalism’ as against the existing ‘unitary’ State character of the Constitution. Wigneswaran’s current reiteration of his forgotten position in the matter assumes greater significance for more reasons than one. In his immediate surroundings, he is fighting […]

Hopes and fears — On Sri Lanka’s Constitutional reform

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

The interim report on a new constitution should set off an informed debate in Sri Lanka It is only with a great degree of caution and circumspection that the interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka can be welcomed. The panel, chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has done creditably by producing a forward-looking proposal within 18 months of its first sitting. However, there have been several such reports in the past that envisioned far-reaching reforms in the country’s structure. None of them found broad acceptance within Sri Lanka’s polity. It is thus difficult to see the interim report as the beginning of an irreversible process of constitutional reform. There is room for both hope and fear.  There is […]

Minority parties ready to accept unitary status – PM

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that minority parties are ready to consider retention of the unitary status of the country in the proposed Constitution and privileged status to Buddhism in case the two major political parties, the UNP and the SLFP agree to grant maximum possible devolution, create a Senate, protect human rights protection of all communities, ensure judicial independence and resettle of those displaced due to the conflict as mentioned in the first Chapter of the interim report on the New Constitution. The PM said so, addressing a gathering at Wekunagoda, Galle on September 22 after opening newly built police quarters there. He that minority parties had never before reached such an agreement. Wickremesinghe said the minority parties were of the opinion that […]

Response from New York to Geneva

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech, at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly sessions, in New York on Tuesday (20), could be considered more as a response to the comments made by the UNHRC High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein on Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 36th UNHRC session in Geneva last week. Unlike his predecessor Navanethem Pillay, facing a bad experience when she arrived in the Sri Lanka during the previous regime, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein was given a warm welcome when he arrived with the formation of the National Unity Government in 2015. In his lengthy speech in Geneva, this year, the UNHRC High Commissioner had covered several countries on their human rights situation which still remains in a very pathetic […]

We will be intransigent!

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

BY MIRUDHULA THAMBIAH Vanni District Parliamentarian and Leader of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) – constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Selvam Adaikkalanathan said those connected to enforced disappearances should be identified, inquired and punished through the mechanisms of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). “We are of a firm stand that all UNHRC recommendations should be implemented. OMP should be established in our country to examine the cases. Those who are connected to the enforced disappearances should be inquired into and punished,” he said. Following are excerpts of the interview: ? What is your stand on the interim report of the constitutional reforms? A: This interim report cannot be viewed as a complete political solution. We will definitely express our stand over this […]

Lankan lawmakers have a ‘unitary mindset’ -Jayampathy

26th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shaahidah Riza President’s Counsel and member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), parliamentarian Jayampathy Wickramaratne spoke to Ceylon Today about the salient points pertaining to the Interim report, of the steering committee, which centred on the Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka. Emphasizing on the need to include the word Aekiya Rajya in the English and Sinhalese version of the Constitution, he added that the Sri Lankan lawmakers have a ‘unitary mindset’ and that the proposal by the TNA to include the term Aekiya in English is a good development. Excerpts of the Interview: ?: How did you come to a consensus on the voting system? A: Vast majority of people are against the preferential vote. They want MPs for the electorates. But at […]

Lasantha murdered by gang from Tripoly Army camp

23rd September 2017 // 0 Comments

The founding editor of ‘Sunday Leader’ Lasantha Wickrematunge has been murdered by a gang of murderers from Tripoly Army Camp, Maradana, Colombo. 10 say reports. The investigations regarding the murder are being carried out on information received of a senior official of State Intelligence Service who had given the order for the murder with the knowledge of a higher official of the Defense Ministry. Statements have been recorded from a large number of people including members of SL Army while certain media reports that an Army officer who is aware of the murder has been appointed to a very high position in the SL Army. CID officers have recorded a statement from the daughter of Lasantha Wickrematunga. It is learnt that she had told the […]

Federal system will create local governments

23rd September 2017 // 0 Comments

The Constitutional Operations Committee’s Interim Report submitted to Parliament has been prepared to construct a federal system, said Mawbima Janatha Party Leader Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara. He said that the country needs one government and the federal system will create local governments. Therefore, it is sufficient to decentralize the administration instead of devolving it Mr. Nanayakkara said. Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council  Mr.C.V. Vigneshwaran spoke of a right, but  Mr. Hemakumara Nanayakkara   says any citizen  can live anywhere in the country. However, the interim report has been based on  national unity The devolution of power can raise issues among communities, he adds. Ashika Brahmana  

While Sri Lankan President was addressing the UN – a mock Prosecution of Sri Lanka was held outside for War Crimes

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

While the Sri Lankan President was addressing the UN General Assembly, a mock prosecution was held outside the UN against Sri Lanka for committing Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Three judges presided the hearing. Prosecution and defense attorneys presented their arguments. Several UN officials, diplomats and general public observed the proceedings with interest. Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) organized this event. BELOW, PLEASE FIND THE PROCEEDINGS: Bailey: The International Justice and Peace Tribunal is in session now. [3 Judges enter the courtroom] Presiding Judge: We take Case Number – 001-17, International Civil Society v. Sri Lanka The Prosecutor: My name is Logeswaran. I represent the Petitioner in the investigation of the charges against and prosecution of Sri Lanka pursuant to the Genocide […]

Lankan woman feels she is best to lead Maryland

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

As a woman, a Sri Lankan immigrant, one of the chief architects of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative, and wife of the CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, Krishanti Vignarajah is the antithesis of the current administration. But that’s a major part of the reason why she announced her candidacy for governor of Maryland earlier this month. “I am running for Governor because I am worried my daughter and all children in Maryland will not have the same opportunities my parents gave me when they brought our family here when I was a baby girl,” Vignarajah declares on the front page of her website. “The deficit in leadership from our current Governor could not come at a worse time.”  She adds, […]

Top Tamil diaspora leader visits Sri Lanka for talks

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

The most respected Tamil Leader of the Tamil diaspora is in Sri Lanka for the first time since a ban on him and his organisation was lifted. Global Tamil Forum (GTF) President, Father S. J. Emmanuel had talks in Colombo and Jaffna during his visit.  Among those he met was the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap. “Pleased that Father Emmanuel is striving to secure lasting equality, peace, justice, & happiness for all in a united, reconciled #SriLanka,” the US Ambassador tweeted.  Father S. J. Emmanuel was among 400 individuals and organisations listed by the former Government over alleged links to the LTTE.  The current Government lifted the ban and initiated talks to obtain the support of the Tamil diaspora to reconcile and rebuild the […]

Sinhala leaders will never give a political package to Tamils

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka Tamils Must Combine “Idealism” and “Realism” In Their Push For Highest Level of Autonomy. “This is the only deal.” – Colin Farrell as Sonny Crockett in ‘Miami Vice’ At the heart of the Constitutional Question is the crux of the continuing Sri Lankan crisis. And that is what may be variously called the Tamil Question, the Tamil issue, the Tamil problem, the Tamil national question, the Tamil nationalities question, the Tamil ethnic issue etc. I tend to see it as Sri Lanka’s North-South Question. What is the Tamil Question? It is the problem of accommodating the identity and aspirations for irreducible political space of a community with a justifiable sense of pride and achievement, and doing so while not impinging upon the identity and […]

Draft New Constitution Interim Report of Constitutional assembly Steering Committee Presented By Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana Sri Lanka’s future depends on the ability which the UNP and the SLFP possess to reach an agreement on the fundamentals of the new Constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the Constitutional Assembly today. The Prime Minister made this remark while presenting the interim report of the steering committee established under the constitutional assembly. The report was actually presented to the constitutional assembly by him. “It is up to the SLFP and the UNP to reach an agreement on the fundamentals of the new constitution and the future of this country depends on the ability which the two parties have to reach such an agreement” the Prime Minister said. Mr Wickremesinghe said keeping the unitary status of the country and […]

“Agreement on New Constitution Between UNP and SLFP Will Determine Future of the Country” – Ranil Wickremesinghe

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

By Ashwin Hemmathagama Nearing the delivery of an election promise of the Unity Government, the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Steering Committee (SC) Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled an interim report promising the country to present a better Constitution, which will help develop the nation, keep Sri Lanka intact and cultivate peace and harmony among all citizens. The interim report tabled yesterday at the Constitutional Assembly deals with matters covered by chapters 1 and 2 of the present Constitution, Nature of the State, Sovereignty, Religion, Form of Government, Electoral Reforms, Principles of Devolution and Land along with the formulations that reflect the deliberations of the SC. This interim report also includes the observations and comments by members of the SC on principles and formulations. Delivering […]

Sri Lanka to be “Undivided and Indivisible Country With Maximum Devolution of Power to the Provinces” -Steering Committee Interim Report

22nd September 2017 // 0 Comments

The Steering Committee of Sri Lanka’s “Constitutional Assembly” presented its Interim Report to parliament, which, apart from being the country’ legislature, also functions as the “Constitutional Assembly” charged with the responsibility of drafting a new constitution for Sri Lanka. The Steering Committee consists of the leaders of all political parties represented in parliament and is chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Interim Report is not a prescriptive document, but a rough draft of the issues to be addressed by the Constitutional Assembly. It mentions matters on which there has been consensus as well as those which had elicited conflicting views. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had campaigned hard to give the country a “federal” constitution with a wide measure of inalienable autonomy to the […]

MR ‘s admission : Two opinions emerge against MR over Rs. 600 million Sil cloth racket !

19th September 2017 // 0 Comments

(Lanka-e-News – 15.Sep.2017, 11.55PM) Following the report of   Lanka e news captioned ‘Action can be filed against MR over his open admission ! Then why wait ? Legal fraternity asks,’ two schools of thought have emerged . Minister Rajitha Senaratne  at  the cabinet media briefing on 13 th said, Mahinda Rajapakse can be prosecuted on his statement,  confirming our earlier report. ‘ Mahinda Rajapakse  could have admitted this before and not after the court had delivered its verdict , and the accused were  jailed ,’’Rajitha asserted. Now it has been proved the wrong has been committed. Hence , even if Mahinda denies , it is he who  has committed the wrong. During the  trial that lasted 24 days , surely Mahinda could have come before […]

Backtracking on accountability measures will harm all Sri Lankans: Tamil leader

19th September 2017 // 0 Comments

The whole purpose of the Disappearances Act will be defeated if the past is left out of its ambit In the North, protests by victims indicate their growing frustration over the slow pace of reforms The very reason for the legislation is to inquire into the disappearances during the conflict The Convention will be useful to all except those who had indulged in abductions   Media reports state that, at the suggestion of President Maithripala Sirisena, the parliamentary debate on the Bill to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (CPAPED) will not held as scheduled on September 21. The media also quoted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as saying that the “Disappearances Bill” pertains only to future cases and […]

Dismissed Deputy -Minister Arundika Fernando Who Demanded Millions From Maithripala to Support President Joins the Joint Opposition.

19th September 2017 // 0 Comments

The sacked junior minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs Arundika Fernando joined former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s faction Tuesday, a week after he was told by the government that he will not be reinstated. Fernando, who was called a rock star by his parliamentary colleagues after he rocked the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) faction of President Maithripala Sirisena, made a special statement before crossing the floor of the House. “From today, I will work to ensure the collapse of this government,” he said just before taking a seat on the opposition benches. Last week, Fernando met with President Sirisena Wednesday seeking his ministerial job back, but was told no way and that there may be more sackings of SLFP ministers in the cabinet. Fernando’s Puttalam […]

Buddhists in Sri Lanka support ”Ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslim In Myanmar”.

19th September 2017 // 0 Comments

By P/K.Balachandran Reflecting the sharp communal divide in the country, Sri Lankan Muslims and Buddhists have been holding counter demonstrations in the island nation, opposing each other’s stand point on the Rohingya Muslim issue in Myanmar. Both communities see the tragic events in Myanmar as a Muslim-Buddhist issue and not as a humanitarian or a human rights issue of humongous proportions. It was in the Muslim-majority areas in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province that Muslims began demonstrating against the merciless killing of Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Muslim movement then spread to Jaffna in the Northern Province, where the Muslims had themselves suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Tamil militants in 1990, when 90,000 of them were asked to leave in 24 hours. They trickled […]

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