Sri Lanka sets up panel to investigate ‘Panama Papers’

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka announced on Sunday (May 1) it was setting up a special panel to chase after nationals likely to figure in the “Panama Papers,” a trove of leaked documents on global tax evasion. The government, which came to power in January last year on a promise to clean up corruption, has accused former president Mahinda Rajapakse and his family of siphoning off billions of dollars during his decade in power, a charge he has denied.  The new administration has also been weighed down by huge foreign loans taken out by the Rajapakse regime. Colombo last week secured an IMF bailout of US$1.5 billion to head off a balance of payments crisis. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said Colombo would investigate “each and every Sri […]

Mammoth crowds attend May day rallies.! Largest crowd at UNP rally ; SLFP rogues’ challenge to Maithri a damp squib.! (photos and videos)

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

The view hitherto that SLFP majority is with Rajapakses crashes headlong..! (Lanka-e-News- 01.May.2016, 11.45PM) The May day rallies this year which also served to search the popularity and strength of the main political parties concluded this evening. Based on reports of the intelligence divisions , the largest crowd around 60,000 to 75,000 people attended the UNP May day rally at Campbell park . This was in excess of the crowd present at any of the rallies of the other parties. Even when the UNP leader was concluding his address at the rally , the UNP processions heading for the venue had not ended. The most decisive contest was between the May day rallies of the officially acknowledged  SLFP led by president Maithripala Sirisena at Galle […]

May Day: A Litmus Test For Maithri And SLFP

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Message from SLFP to UNP on MR’s move Wimal takes battle against Basil to the public Joint opposition members try to attend both rallies Many heads to roll in the SLFP May Day today will mark a political milestone for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the country’s ever changing political scenario. While all political parties in the country have made grand plans to show their strength in numbers today, the International Workers’ Day celebrated globally will become a political battle in Sri Lanka. The United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has planned to make a grand show at Campbell Park in Borella today while the SLFP led by President Maithripala Sirisena has also planned to bring out numbers in […]

Remembering Sivaram (Taraki)

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Today’s event focuses on one man. Today morning, there was a protest in Colombo, organized by a coalition of media freedom groups and others, demanding accountability for Sivaram’s murder. It is fitting that events to remember Sivaram are held in both North and South, as he had also worked and lived in South and had many friends in the South. Although the events today focuses on one man, we can also reflect on broader issues related to free expression, democracy and human rights. I will share brief thoughts on some of these. The man Much has been said and written about Sivaram. I have never met him or his family, and have read only few of his writings. So I have little to share about […]

‘MS-Ranil govt. on firm ground: time to focus on getting things done’

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

‘MS-Ranil govt. on firm ground: time to focus on getting things done’ By Dinesh Weerakkody To those public servants, businessman and politicians sitting on the fence waiting for the unexpected, President Maithripala Sirisena at the breakfast meeting with the editors on Wednesday fired on all cylinders at certain MPs and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, exposing the latter’s intentions and warned any comeback bid would be a pipe-dream and strongly thwarted. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has expressed similar views publicly many times that the government is here to stay and would complete the full term. President had further observed that there is no room for a parliamentary coup and even if Rajapaksa conspires and secures 50 MPs out of 95, he cannot get the 113 […]

Of taxation, Inland Revenue and Panama Papers

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Court vacation always permits that little bit of extra time to pen something down and the occasion arose when former Dep. Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Wijewardene, Island Editor Shamindra Ferdinando and I were invited by Sirasa TV last Monday for a dialogue on this general theme. Immediately the following evening (Tuesday) our good friend Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. De Silva, an expert in the area of fiscal policy was heard to complain, during a debate on the same channel, of the appallingly low rate of registered tax payers as opposed to our income earning population; thus this discussion is too much of a temptation to just leave it there, hence these thoughts accompany my (belated) wishes to you for a peaceful and relatively […]

”13th amendment should be fully implemented to reach a suitable political solution” says Douglas Devananda

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

BY Mirudhula Thambiah General Secretary of Eelam People’s Democratic Party(EPDP) K.N. Douglas Devananda commenting on the new political stand taken by one of his party hierarchy members Murugesu Chandrakumar said, political decisions in the EPDP were reached with the contribution and involvement of Chandrakumar until recently, thus there cannot be any divergence between the party and Chandrakumar in political stands. “I would say that all decisions and political stands so far have been reached with the consent of Chandrakumar. He had jointly taken decisions with us and we have travelled in that path until today,” he said. Following are excerpts: ? Recently one of the founder leaders of your party, Murugesu Chandrakumar stepped down from the EPDP. As you are the General Secretary of the […]

Which Party had the most numbers on May Day? – Sri Lanka’s political numbers game at May Day

3rd May 2016 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT, Sri Lanka’s political parties used this year’s May Day rallies to demonstrate their strength in a spirited contest to woo audiences, but the real winner appears to be the state Transport Board (SLTB). Unlike in previous years, the state-run bus giant chartered some 3,800 busses for political rallies and all had to pay up front at commercial rates. “If May Day is celebrated on the first of every month, the SLTB will return to profit within a year,” a news editor who was monitoring all May Day rallies across the country told Economynext. There are no reliable estimates for the number of people at the respective rallies of the rival parties and factions, but unofficial police estimates are about the closest, yet with a […]

MAHINDA predicts his arrest

2nd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday vowed to continue with the ongoing campaign against the government regardless of consequences. The former SLFP leader was addressing the Joint Opposition rally at Kirulapone. In spite of dire warnings by President Maithripla Sirisena, over 46 UPFA members of parliament joined the rally. MPs Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Shalinda Dissanayake were overseas and MP Niroshan Premaratna could not attend the rally due to a family funeral. Addressing the rally before the arrival of former President Rajapaksa, Ven. Murutthetuwe Ananda declared that the government could be defeated if people took to the streets. He said they could adopt tactics used against the Thai government. Former President Rajapaksa claimed that he was facing the threat of arrest. Turning towards […]

TN Congress wants more powers for Lanka’s NPC

2nd May 2016 // 0 Comments

The Tamil Nadu Congress in its State Assembly election manifesto has stated it would emphasize on devolving more powers to the Northern Provincial Council. The election manifesto of the Tamil Nadu Congress led by E.V.K.S. Illankovan was released in Chennai on Wednesday (27). The manifesto, outlining the Tamil Nadu Congress’ stance on solving the Tamil question in Sri Lanka, has pointed out that it was through the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution, which was introduced as a result of the Indo-Lanka Accord, a durable solution can be found for the Tamil crisis. The manifesto pointed out that at present the democracy was established in the Northern parts of Sri Lanka with the formation of the Northern Provincial Council. Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and the […]

Prime Minister sets the record straight – Sambanthan did not enter Army camp!

2nd May 2016 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has set the record straight with regard to the issues such as certain political elements coming hard on the Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, saying that he had forcibly entered an Army camp in Kilinochchi recently, as well as on taking some of the rehabilitated former senior LTTE cadres into custody in recent weeks. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Chief Guest at the 20th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF) on Saturday (30). The Prime Minister also emphasized on the need of media institutions playing a responsible role towards safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country, without rousing racial disharmony. The address made by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe at the SLMMF event was timely and it […]

Ex LTTE Ram, Nagulan and Thalayan were Army informants – Police

30th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Investigations by Police have revealed that three out of the ex-LTTE cadres who were arrested recently had been working with the Army intelligence at the time of arrest. Police Media Spokesman, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera added that the trio, Ram who was arrested in Ampara, Nagulan (Jaffna) and Thalayan (Trincomalee), who were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the detection of suicide jackets in Chavakachcheri, had been working with military intelligence. They were arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID). Gunasekera also pointed out that all three of them had not been rehabilitated for one year, the minimum stipulated period. While the three are presently under TID custody and are detained on detention orders, a fourth suspect, Subramaniam Sivakaran, arrested on April 27 on suspicion of […]

Is it helplessness or stubbornness that endangers the lives of Vinodhani and others at Meeriyabedda?

30th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Text and pix by P. D. De Silva 13-year-old A. Vinodhani a grade six student lives with her family on Meeriyabedda Tea Estate in Koslanda. She saw the devastation that was caused by the landslide that took place a few hundred metres from her home on the morning of 29 October 2014. She also knows that the area where her house is has been recognised as a high risk zone and that her parents have been asked to move to a safer place which they have been unable to do for almost a year! Today, Vinodhani’s family together with 86 neighbouring families live in fear each time it rains hard not knowing at what moment the floor they stand on will slide or sink under […]

Army Spokesman also confirmed that Sampanthan didn’t enter any camp forcibly – Meddling with Sampanthan!

30th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw Forty years ago unfavourable conditions emerged not only from the South but even from the Tamil militants in the North to the first Tamil Opposition Leader late Appapillai Amirthalingam to discontinue from his representation in the Parliament. Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), emerging as a formidable political force at the Parliamentary polls in 1977, became the main Opposition Party in the United National Party Government led by J.R. Jayewardene. However, following the rise of Tamil militancy in the North and the East as well as with the introduction of the 6th Amendment to the Constitution demanding the TULF Parliamentarians to swear an oath unconditionally denouncing support for a separate state alone had prompted Amirthalingam to relinquish his position as the Leader of the […]

Our Determination To Support President Sirisena’s Goal

30th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Samantha Power
 – Samantha Power On my final day in Colombo last November, I hosted a town hall for local students. They reflected Sri Lanka’s incredible diversity – they hailed from every corner of the country, and represented all of its faith communities. And they asked me tough, probing questions on topics like accountability, human rights, reconciliation, and the role of women in society. These young people were inspiring – in their thoughtfulness, and their fierce determination to improve their country. It was clear that they want what everyone in this room wants for Sri Lanka: a country which is peaceful and democratic, and in which every citizen has a fair chance to build a better life. In just sixteen short months, President Siresena […]

Jaffna University Sexual Harassment: AL Students Demand UGC Inquiry

30th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Ruba Ratnasingam – As has been reported in Colombo Telegraph Dr. S. Dharshanan, Head of the Department of Music and a close relative of Jaffna VC Vasanthi Arasaratnam, was suspended from service without pay following numerous accusations of sexual harassment by his students and staff colleagues at the Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts (RAFA). These accusations had been there from 2011 but the Council inquiries had asked the accusers to cooperate with their accuser. Action was forced only when numerous students complained in writing and were ready to riot, and one student was on the verge of committing suicide. Prof. Vasanthi Arasaratnam The four years of licence to do anything with the women under his authority that the Council effectively gave Dr. Darshanan is […]

Maithri trashes TNA’s ‘federal’ solution -And rubbishes Jayalalithaa’s ‘Eelam’ cry

29th April 2016 // 0 Comments

By Gagani Weerakoon President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday vowed he will not allow, support or even acknowledge any proposal that would jeopardise the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Addressing the heads of media institutions at President’s House in Colombo yesterday (27) he said anybody could pass any resolution, but it is the government that has to endorse them. He made these remarks when journalists asked about the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council calling for a federal solution. “Anybody can pass resolutions. But, the government will never allow Sri Lanka to be divided or jeopardize the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. Apart from the resolutions passed at Provincial Council level, how many Acts have been passed into the Constitution over the […]

Sri Lanka: A Troubling Spate of Arrests Across the Northern and Eastern Provinces

29th April 2016 // 0 Comments

A recent spate of arrests across Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Northern and Eastern Provinces is cause for serious concern. It’s been more than fifteen months since Mahinda Rajapaksa was thrown out of power, yet the island nation’s state security personnel (the vast majority of whom are ethnic Sinhalese) don’t seem to have stopped their discriminatory ways. People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), a non-profit organization, has released a press statement about these arrests. Here’s part of that statement: PEARL is deeply concerned by Sri Lanka’s latest arrest and detention under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) of Subramaniyam Sivakaran, a Tamil activist and journalist from the North-East. Sivakaran was arrested in Mannar by the Terrorism Investigation Department on Wednesday, April 27. The arrest […]

TNA demands probe over ‘illegal occupation’ by Sri Lankan Army

29th April 2016 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked the army to verify the ownership of the land, TNA sources said. Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance on Wednesday called for a probe on the alleged illegal occupation of civilian lands by the military in the Northern Province. The Tamil National Alliance was responding to accusations that on April 16, a group of party legislators led by the main opposition leader R Sampanthan had forcibly entered a military installation at Paravipanjan area in the northern Kilinochchi district. “There is no camp there so there was no illegal entry. The military was occupying civilian lands so we went for an inspection,” MA Sumanthiran, a senior TNA legislator told reporters on Wednesday. He said some 84 families […]

Former Sri Lankan policemen admits organised sexual assault whilst facing trial in UK

29th April 2016 // 0 Comments

A former Sri Lankan police officer who migrated to London and worked as a masseuse was jailed after sexually assaulting a female client. The former Sri Lankan police officer’s defence lawyer, told the British court that “While he was in employment of the military police he was required to deal with opponents of the Sri Lankan government, which involved the organised sexual assaults and humiliation of the opponents of the regime.” See full report here. Massage from hell for 21-year-old woman as convicted bus flasher gets job at parlour and sniffs her The court heard how Kobbekaduwa arrived in the UK from Sri Lanka with his wife in 2011 as an asylum seeker and was a former military police officer in his home country. Daniel […]

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