TNA: Disgruntled Wijeyadasa trying to scuttle efforts to introduce new Constitution

15th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance lawmaker M.A. Sumanthiran yesterday told The Island that former Justice Minister Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, was making a despicable bid to sabotage the ongoing constitution making process. MP Sumanthiran said so in response to MP Rajapakse’s controversial request to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to rescind a motion passed in Parliament to set up the constitutional assembly to prepare a new Constitution. Having spearheaded the constitution making process on behalf of the UNP as well as the coalition the government since the inception of the new administration, MP Rajapakse had suddenly found the whole exercise to be in violation of the present Constitution, The President’s Counsel faulted the media for not immediately seeking an explanation from the former Justice […]

Prez rattled by denial of visas to Army

15th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Maithripala Sirisena, has explained his position pertaining to post-war accountability issues and alleged attempts made by his opponents to exploit the situation at the expense of political stability. It would be pertinent to mention that the President addressed the Army top brass at the auditorium of the Army Hospital, Narahenpita, last Thursday afternoon, as his Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera delivered the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s third budget. President Sirisena’s absence in parliament during the presentation of the budget raised many an eyebrow as he was present on previous presentations by the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Among the audience were Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva and Director General, Infantry, Maj. Gen. Chagi Gallage, both of the […]

The 13th Amendment on watch

15th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The Thirteenth Amendment has introduced a new conception of a unitary – decentralized State based on a system of Provincial Government at a sub-national level. This description is of extreme importance, since the Constitution specifically provides that the Republic of Sri Lanka is a Unitary State and the majority of the people attach much sentiment to the unitariness of Sri Lanka. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the establishment of Provincial Councils. Basic to the structure of devolution is the competence jurisdiction – the separation of subjects and functions assigned to the Provincial Council and the Centre. This separation is set out in the three lists under the Ninth Schedule to the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution: Provincial Council List (List I), Reserved […]

Minister accused of blocking probes and informing Rajapaksas

15th November 2017 // 0 Comments

Three senior ministers meet Sirisena to express concern over PM being summoned by the Bond Commission Senior civil society activist attacks Government for delaying probes on major corruption President also asks why action was not taken and says he is ready to quit at anytime Arjuna, Dhammika widely blamed for petrol crisis; while minister blames Indian company, President and PM ask Modi for oil A well-known Sinhala adage refers to the plight of those who went to seek solace at a temple but found the roof collapsing on their heads. That in essence appeared to be the dilemma of a high-powered three-member United National Party (UNP) delegation which had a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena just last week. It was brief but had the undesired […]

President reiterates he won’t accept foreign judges to save Rajapaksa!

15th November 2017 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – President Maithripala Sirisena, who had previously maintained that Sri Lankan troops never committed excesses, acknowledged at the weekend that some troops were responsible for crimes at the behest of politicians. Addressing military officers at the army hospital auditorium, the President said no one will be punished for prosecuting the war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, but those who carried out excesses  will be punished. Deviating from his earlier stance that he will not allow a single soldier to be tried for war-time atrocities, the President drew a distinction between battling Tigers and carrying out criminal acts at the instigation of politicians. “There is something that you should accept according to your conscience. There were things outside the control of the military. They were […]

Next SLFP President?

13th November 2017 // 0 Comments

19A IS WHAT STANDS IN THE WAY Few would shed tears for the exit of Geetha Kumarasinghe from Parliament last week, sent home by the Supreme Court which upheld a decision of the Court of Appeal that held that Kumarasinghe was a dual citizen at the time of the last general elections and thus ineligible to be an MP. Sure, Geetha is an accomplished actress and won many awards and admirers for her performances. As a parliamentarian though, her performances were pathetic. Instead of being hysterical and hilarious she could have learnt a lesson or two from her rival United National Party organiser in the Bentara Elpitiya electorate, Gayantha Karunathilaka who is more measured and mature as a politician. Of course, Kumarasinghe’s ticket to fame […]

Sri Lanka President shifts gear on war crimes

12th November 2017 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – President Maithripala Sirisena, who had previously maintained that Sri Lankan troops never committed excesses, acknowledged at the weekend that some troops were responsible for crimes at the behest of politicians. Addressing military officers at the army hospital auditorium, the President said no one will be punished for prosecuting the war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, but those who carried out excesses  will be punished. Deviating from his earlier stance that he will not allow a single soldier to be tried for war-time atrocities, the President drew a distinction between battling Tigers and carrying out criminal acts at the instigation of politicians. “There is something that you should accept according to your conscience. There were things outside the control of the military. They were […]

UN’s Sooka questions Coca Cola, Why did it sponsor War Criminals?

12th November 2017 // 0 Comments

UNSG’s Panel of Experts (PoE) Yasmin Sooka called wartime General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the celebrated 58 Division Maj. Gen Shavendra Silva a notorious war criminal. The PoE comprised former Attorney General of Indonesia Marzuki Darusman, Steven Ratner of the US and Sooka. The 58 Division led by General Officer Commanding (GoC)  Maj. Gen Shavendra Silva led the Sri Lankan Army from northwestern Mannar to the final battlegrounds across the Vanni and had killed thousands of Tamil Civilians. The 58 Division is accused of Rape and taucher on the Tamils during this battle which fales under War crime and human rights violations. ITJP questions Coca Cola’s Gajaba Super Cross sponsorship www.srilankamirror.com/…/5721-itjp-questions-coca-cola-s-gajaba-super-cross-spons…  Moreover the media in Sri Lanka has quoted Major General Silva as saying the funds … In addition, Shavendra Silva’s alleged role in war […]

‘Lanka E News’ website ‘blocked’ in Sri Lanka

12th November 2017 // 0 Comments

Access to a dissident website that often publishes articles critical of Sri Lanka’s government has been blocked in the country, the portal’s administrators said Thursday, as activists expressed alarm over deteriorating press freedom on the island. The popular London-based Lanka E News became inaccessible in the country on Thursday, a day after publishing an expose alleging graft within the office of President Maithripala Sirisena in the procurement of state vehicles. A source at a private service provider told AFP that Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has ordered internet service providers “to block Lanka E News” across the island, but requested anonymity for fear of repercussions. The website’s administrators posted on their home page that readers in Sri Lanka had been blocked from accessing their content. “The […]

After the Assembly debate – How do we continue to cheat the Tamils?

12th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Dr. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA The marathon opening session of the Constitutional Assembly was extraordinarily important and successful, most certainly NOT in the political sense, but in the pedagogical and psychological senses. It was an airing, an outpouring, of opinions covering 60 years of our post-Independence history. These cathartic benefits apart, the political exercise is quite badly damaged, almost certainly deadlocked, because the real dynamics of politics are about to crash into and carve through the Constitutional process. The UNP (and most UNF) speakers arrogantly and uniformly argued for a new constitution which abolished the executive presidency. There was no daylight between the UNP and TNA speakers (except perhaps for Ajith P. Perera) and the country saw a UNP-TNA axis, a minoritarian bloc reminiscent of the […]

LG polls: Maithiri to discuss Mahinda’s 7 conditions

9th November 2017 // 0 Comments

Main condition of the JO which has more Sinhala racist political parties and led by Mahinda family members is to stop giving any political powers to Minority, hence they demand UPFA to stand against the current constitutional proposals. The JO which counts on Sinhala extremist votes has always opposed any political proposals to be implemented. During Mahinda regime Tamils, Muslims and Cristians were treated badly to gain Sinha extremists votes. Mahinda who promised to implement 13+ to the constitution went back on his word and refused any political package to give equal rights to the minority thinking that such racists policies will get the Sinhala majority votes and he wanted his son to become the next president of Sri Lanka. Seven conditions laid down by the Joint […]

Society must correct political culture distorted by Mahinda regime: Prof. Wijesooriya

9th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The present society is struggling to correct the political culture distorted by the Rajapaksa regime, Professor Sarath Wijesooriya said yesterday. Wijesooriya made these observations at an event held to commemorate the second death anniversary of Reverend Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, which took place at Ape Gama, Battaramulla. Professor Wijesooriya said that it is important to reflect as to why the majority of the country decided to defeat the Rajapaksa regime. “This is a question we should always go back to. It is equally important to consider the answer to this question. It is but a mere dream to build a proper governance without being sensitive to this answer,” he said. “It is the responsibility of this government to build the world that Ven.Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera anticipated. […]

Speeches by Sampanthan and Sumanthiran In Constitutional Assembly Debate Emphasises Need to Resolve The Tamil National Question.

9th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Manekshaw The speech made by Leader of the Opposition and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan at the Constitutional Assembly debate on the Steering Committee Interim Report in Parliament was more accommodative and inclusive in his approach with a broader outlook than the stance taken by the first Tamil Leader of the Opposition and Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) the late Appapillai Amirthalingam during his parliamentary days. Nothing but a separate Tamil state of Eelam had been the ‘manthra’ of the TULF from the time the Vaddukoddai Resolution was adopted in May 1976. As the only surviving incumbent Tamil parliamentarian of the era of A. Amirthalingam along with his position of national importance as Sampanthan in his speech in Parliament last Wednesday had categorically […]

Federalism is not Separatism: the Supreme Court de-demonizes Federalism

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The Supreme Court determination in the Chandrasoma Vs Senathirajah case (SC Spl 03/2014 -Decided on 04/08/2017), this August, did not receive the public attention it deserved. The silence speaks volumes for a society that chooses to languish in ignorance by choice. The ongoing political debate on a new constitution does not seem to have absorbed the nutrition the judgment offers for a discourse on constitutional making. Yet for a national political psyche hegemonized by Unitarism for decades, the finding is unparalleled. The declaration that Federalism is not the same as separatism marks a paradigm shift in terms of judicial interpretation of what it is. I hardly wish to go into detail to the particulars of the case or the technical points of the judgement as […]

Even new amendments to LG Polls Law are flawed – EC member Prof.Hoole

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

Election Commission’s Member Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, shares his thoughts on the Commission and the upcoming local authorities’ elections     They will make us violate some law somewhere Those who voted for the PC Elections Act do not know what they voted for Our laws are full of mistakes We are always in violation of something It came to a matter of choosing which laws we would violate   Q How is the Election Commission getting ready for the local government elections in the wake of  Government announcing they would be conducted in January?   Your question shows how wrong the general assessment is on this matter. It is not the business of Government to announce the date. Yet, […]

US announces grant to promote religious freedom in Sri Lanka

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The US has announced a grant of nearly USD 5,00,000 for organisations which can come up with ideas and projects to promote religious freedom in India and Sri Lanka. The Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in its notice, said it seeks to “reduce religiously-motivated violence and discrimination in India” through its USD 493,827 programme. And for Sri Lanka, it seeks to ensure that authorities at all levels of government in Sri Lanka effectively implement national laws and policies protecting religious freedom. Recipient of both the India Programme and Sri Lanka – with similar objectives of religious freedom and protection – would be announced after screening of applications in this regard, it said. For India, the state department wants the applying […]

Despite end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, men report rape and torture under new government

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

LONDON – He was barely a teenager when Sri Lanka’s civil war ended, spared by youth from witnessing its horrors. But last year, the brutal conflict caught up with Witness #205. Raped, branded and beaten, he is one of more than 50 men who say they were abducted and tortured under Sri Lanka’s current government. The men’s previously unpublished accounts conjure images of the bloody civil war, which ended in 2009. The men agreed to tell their stories and to have the extensive scars on their legs, chests and backs photographed in July and August. The AP reviewed 30 medical and psychological evaluations and conducted interviews with 20 men. The strangers said they were accused of trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group and were […]

US pledges support despite delay in SL reconciliation efforts

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Uditha Jayasinghe Despite delays in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process the US will “stand by” Sri Lanka to bring “enduring and sustainable” peace, a top official said yesterday, insisting America was ready to engage on wide-ranging issues including regional security. US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, who is the highest ranked official from the Trump administration to visit Sri Lanka, told reporters that the US would work to return American Peace Corps members to teach English in Sri Lankan classrooms, give $ 21 million to develop the dairy industry and provide a second Coast Guard Cutter vessel to the navy. “The whole world is watching Sri Lanka and they want to see Sri Lanka succeed because they understand that it is […]

Partnership Dialogue commences, US reiterates support for implementation of UNHRC resolution

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The second Sri Lanka- US partnership dialogue commenced in Colombo today, with the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon meeting with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, Prasad Kariyawasam. “Sri Lanka and the United States recalled their co-sponsorship of a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2017, reaffirming Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in pursuit of lasting peace and prosperity,” a joint statement released on Monday read. “The United States expressed support to Sri Lanka in the implementation of commitments as agreed in the Human Rights Council resolution, such as truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, that includes providing closure to the families of the missing, and implementing appropriate reforms to enhance the […]

EU : Tamils losing hope in Government

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar The European Union says Sri Lankan Tamils are losing hope in their government due to the slow progress in its reconciliation programme and addressing accountability issues arising from the war with the separatist Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which ended in May 2009. Head of a visiting delegation of the European Parliament Jean Lambert, said in Colombo last week, that Tamil political and civil society leaders in Jaffna had expressed disappointment that the promised change they had voted for in electing Maithripala Sirisena as President on January 8, 2015 was not happening fast enough. Emphasising that the momentum should not be lost, Jean noted that allegations of war crimes against the security forces and the LTTE, the operation of the Office of […]

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