UK Home Office publishes new policy on Sri Lanka

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The British Home Office this week published an updated policy guidance and information note on Sri Lanka aimed at decision makers handling the granting of protection and human rights claims for Tamils. The updated policy guidance, which follows the country guidance of GJ & Others in 2013, stated that there had been “positive developments” since the new government led by President Sirisena came to office and “an improved environment for civil society and human rights defenders has also been reported”.  Commenting on the new guidance, Jan Jananayagam of Together Against Genocide (TAG) said, “this home office policy flies in the face of recent events in Sri lanka, including overt surveillance and intimidation of protestors by the navy, police and other security services, the government of […]

NE housing row: Compromise solution for 6,000 prefab units

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has granted approval for the construction of 6,000 prefabricated steel houses in the North and East by ArcelorMittal despite opposition by civil society groups and the Tamil National Alliance. The proposal will now go back to the Cabinet for ratification, authoritative sources told the Sunday Times. The project has been in the pipeline since 2015 amid widespread protests. The TNA said it was “totally opposed to prefabricated steel houses” and called for civilians in the North and East to be provided with brick houses in keeping with their culture and way of life. But the project is backed by Rehabilitation and Resettlement Minister D.M. Swaminathan. The TNA revealed that he had made personal telephone calls to several of […]

WE WILL SET UP OUR OWN DOMESTIC MECHANISM

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Rejecting allegations that the government is dancing to the tune of pro-LTTE diaspora in Geneva and making blueprints to drag the country’s war heroes before a hybrid court, Foreign Affairs Minister, Mangala Samaraweera says, on the contrary, their expectation is to put the country in order so that the domestic call for a hybrid court which led to the UN High Commissioner’s recommendation, could be put to rest within the course of the next two years. Minister Samaraweera was exclusively interviewed by the Sunday Observer upon his return from two important visits, to Geneva and Russia. The excerpts of the full interview: Q. Do you believe the Government can fulfil the main pledges made at UNHRC within the extended two year period? A. These are […]

Power sharing within a united, undivided, indivisible country – Sumanthiran

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

Full implementation of the 13th Amendment and beyond, Resolutions be kept to the letter Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, Attorney-at-Law M.A. Sumanthiran spoke to the Nation regarding the state of affairs within the Party/Alliance, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the question of foreign judges in a hybrid court, issues faced by the Tamils, their dealings with the Government, constitutional reforms, the postponement of the Local Government election, devolution of power, legal reforms, the role of the Diaspora, Tamil Nadu relations, and the country’s economy. Q        In the current political context, where do you place and position yourself? A : I am a member of the TNA. The TNA has chartered a particular course towards seeking a lasting, permanent solution to the […]

TAMILS AWAIT THEIR DAY – SUMANTHIRAN

4th April 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) confirmed that they would guarantee a significant contribution from the Diaspora in terms of investments in the country’s economy, if the new Constitution solved the Tamil issue and restored confidence in Sri Lanka. TNA MP, Attorney-at-Law M.A. Sumanthiran made these statements in an interview given to the Nation. He further added that the Diaspora was keen in doing so. Meanwhile, on the question of the sale of national assets, the Parliamentarian further noted that it had to be resorted as there was no other conceivable way around addressing the issue of the country’s economy. When questioned regarding the TNA keeping mum on the economy and what they perceived as needed to be done in this regard, he added that the […]

Killing Lasantha And Attacking Journos: Was It Gota Or Fonny Or Both?

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

Torture survivor journalist Keith Noyahr informed the Sri Lankan government via Interpol that he would not participate in the ongoing investigations until they arrest the persons who gave the orders for his abduction out of fear for his life, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. The Keith Noyahr abduction in 2008 took a decisive turn when the journalist made a written complaint to the Criminal Investigation Department a few months ago. Noyahr fled the country with his family to Australia no sooner he was released from hospital without making a detailed statement of his abduction and assault. The CID who were thick into the investigations into the murder of Senior Journalist Lasantha Wickremetunge, assault of Editor Upali Tennakoon were poised to make a breakthrough after much painstaking leg work. They had unraveled the hitherto mystery […]

Sri Lankan Muslim Clerics Say Women Are Not Equal To Men, Defend Marriage Before Puberty

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

In an alarming submission made to several parliamentarians and other conservative groups with regard to proposed amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU) has said that they agree with the Hadith “No people will ever prosper who appoint a woman in charge of their affairs” and therefore a woman isn’t worthy of being appointed a Qazi (judge). The ACJU is the main body of theologians of Muslims in Sri Lanka. In a brief document dated March 2017 of which the Colombo Telegraph possesses a copy, the clerics have said that therefore they oppose the appointing of female judges (Qazis). The Hadiths, which was compiled at least 230 years after the death of the Prophet quotes Muhammad the Prophet of […]

War Crimes Being Pivot Of Transitional Justice Stalls Progress

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera – Jehan Perera The government achieved its main goal at the UN Human Rights Council at the session just completed in March. It was able to obtain a two year extension to deliver on the promise it made at a previous session of the UNHRC in October 2015. There is a consensus that the government’s performance has been inadequate. The government itself has not denied this. Not one of the four reconciliation mechanisms that the government promised to establish are yet operational. Only one of them, the Office of Missing Persons, has received parliamentary assent, but it is still only on paper. The OMP has yet to be operationalized. In the meantime, the fate of missing persons continues to remain as unknown […]

Sri Lanka’s computer literacy rate is lower in North and Eastern Province

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s computer literacy rate highest in urban sector, lowest in Estates and Eastern Province Mar 30, Colombo: According to a National Survey conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics, the overall Computer Literacy reported in first half of 2016 for Sri Lanka is 27.5 percent. The survey results show an increase of 0.9 percent from 1st half of 2015 to 1st half of 2016. In 2016, at least one computer is available in 22.5 percent of households in the country. That is more than one out of every five households owns either a desktop or a laptop computer, the survey said. This percentage is 35.3 percent in Urban Sector and Rural is 20.7 percent and lowest is  Estate Sector 6.4 percent respectively. The highest […]

Sri Lanka appoints War Crime accused Major General Silva a new Army AG

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

Criticism as Sri Lanka appoints Major General Silva a new Army AG  Sri Lanka’s appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva, who is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Tamils, to the new position of Adjutant General of the army has sparked widespread criticism. Major General Silva, who commanded the army’s 58 division during the final stages of the ethnic conflict in 2009 where tens of thousands of Tamils were massacres by shelling and aerial bombardment of civilian areas, assumed his duties at a ceremony on Thursday at the army’s headquarters. “The appointment of Major-General Shavendra Silva, an alleged war criminal, as the chief administrative officer of the Sri Lankan Army is a slap in the face to tens of thousands of victims still […]

Another ”Fast unto Death?” Drama by MP Wimal will not have any impact on honest people

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

As expected Leader of the National Freedom Front MP Wimal Weerawansa ended his SECOND nine-day ”Fast unto death”  hunger strike yesterday (30), by drinking a glass of milk. National Freedom Front sources said that Weerawansa decided to end his fast after considering requests made by several parties, and former president Mahinda Rajapaksha who realised that the government was not going to cover up the fraud done by Wimal. By Bandara Former Leader of Hong Kong Donald Tsang was found guilty of accusations of corruption against him by the Court of that country. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. The accusation of corruption against the Hong Kong leader was that he could not explain how he managed to obtain on rent a luxury storeyed house […]

Foreign Judges can hear cases – Niran Anketell

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN Attorney-at-Law and Co-Founder of South Asian Centre for Legal Studies Niran Anketell who has litigated human rights, constitutional law, and civil cases in Sri Lankan Courts for over seven years speaks to Ceylon Today on the government co sponsoring the United Nations Human Right Council’s resolution 30/1. Anketell who also pursued a LL.M in International Legal Studies at New York University and worked at the International Co-Prosecutor’s Office at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) as a Fellow of the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice says Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke and C.V. Wigneswaran projected that the constitution does not allow foreign Judges, which is false. “The Constitution does not say we cannot appoint foreign Judges,” the human […]

Tamils for Trump: Hybrid Court for Sri Lankan War Crimes Should Be Held in India or UK, Not in Sri Lanka

1st April 2017 // 0 Comments

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, March 30, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Both Sri Lankan President Srisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wikramasinghe have refused to have a hybrid court in Sri Lanka due to constitutional impediment to the appointment of non-citizens to the highest court exercising criminal jurisdiction; in addition, these Sri Lankans have told the media that having a hybrid court in Sri Lanka might bring the war back in Sri Lanka. It is best to have the hybrid court for Sri Lankan war crimes outside of Sri Lanka. Similar to the hybrid court for Sierra Leone that was held at The Hague, this will assure the safety of the witnesses and the victims and the court will not be restricted by any Sri Lankan constitutional limitations. Rather, it will follow […]

SECOND ‘Fast to Death’ hunger strike called off by MP Wimal

31st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Stunt man MP Wimal Weerawansa called off the ”Sefp Publicity” eight day SECOND ‘Fast to Death’ hunger strike he was engaged in amidst the chanting of pirith a short while ago, National Freedom Front (NFF) sources said. The MP had decided to give up his fast after requests made by fellow politicians, it is learnt. It is understood that the government of Maithiri and Ranil had secretly assured him that no action will be taken against him for misusing 40 state vehicles belonging to the State Engineering Corporation causing a loss of Rs. 90 million  . He ended the fast by drinking a cup of milk. The parliamentarian commenced a hunger strike on March 22 against alleged political revenge perpetrated by the government against him. He was […]

Tamil journalists threatened by Sri Lankan soldiers

31st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Three Tamil journalists were harassed and threatened by Sri Lankan soldiers on the 21st March while reporting on an ongoing protest by families of the disappeared in Maruthankerny. The journalists were photographed en route to the protest, were threatened and made to leave by soldiers from the protest itself and then were followed and harassed on their way home. One of the journalists recounted the incident to Tamil Guardian: “Three of us from Jaffna and Chavakachcheri went to this protest. On the way soldiers took photos of us, but we thought that just happens all the time anyway. We finished our work and when we were going back we saw soldiers engaged in construction work at a site near the protest. So we took photos […]

GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner

30th March 2017 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT 30 March 2017, London GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) cautiously welcomes the unanimous adoption of the resolution ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ (34/L.1) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This resolution, in effect, reaffirms the full implementation of the Resolution 30/1 of 2015. The fact that the resolution was sponsored by forty seven   countries and twenty seven countries spoke at the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka is reflective of the strong commitment of the international community to peace, accountability, justice and reconciliation for all the peoples of Sri Lanka. We are grateful to every one […]

Too Clever By Half: Has Sri Lanka Trapped Itself In Geneva?

29th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka – Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka It’s been 8 years since the war, and Sri Lanka just signed off in Geneva on a resolution that said Zaid al Hussain, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should play a strengthened role in Sri Lanka. He might as well sit in Cabinet!  The new resolution, having praised Sri Lanka for its ‘positive engagement’ with the Office of the High Commissioner, which then should sit back with a sigh of relief and let this cooperative government do its obedient thing, actually adds a paragraph, specifically for the purpose of instructing Zaid to strengthen his advice and technical assistance. Usually when a country is ‘in compliance’ as they say, no further strengthening is included […]

Trump Takes Time, It’s Not UNHRC Is Giving Sri Lanka More Time

29th March 2017 // 0 Comments

by N. Sathiya Moorthy Sampanthan needs to be congratulated and thanked for drawing the Tamils away over that distinction in the post-war, post-LTTE era, and thus proving a point It’s becoming increasingly clear that the entire UNHRC process, or the UNHRC-like institutions are the America-led West’s own way to take issues away from the UN Minister of Defence and State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China, General Chang Wanquan with President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo and Donald Trump Whoever is in power, Sri Lanka could not have asked for more. A non-politician, Donald Trump as the US President needs time to study America and American policies overseas. So, Sri Lanka has got two more years at the UNHRC, as the incumbent Government in Colombo […]

Weerasekera And Tamil Diaspora Go Head To Head

29th March 2017 // 0 Comments

by Easwaran Rutnam Former head of the Civil Defence Force, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and the Tamil diaspora went head to head in Geneva last week Earlier, at a side event, the TGTE called for the arrest of Weerasekara An investigation was later launched into alleged intimidation of members of Sri Lankan civil society in the Palais des Nations in Geneva A member of the TGTE laughs while Sarath Weerasekera delivers a speech at the UNHRC Former head of the Civil Defence Force, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and the Tamil diaspora went head to head in Geneva last week as both sides looked to counter the resolution on Sri Lanka which was eventually adopted at the UN Human Rights Council. The tense feeling between both […]

Anandasangaree demands Sambanthan’s resignation

29th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), V. Anandasangaree in a letter to Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, has asked that Sampanthan submit his letter of resignation from the position of Opposition Leader, if the government fails to deliver on its promises to the Tamil people within a period of two weeks. “The Tamils have reached their limit of tolerance, but not now, it happened long ago. They are now forced to come to a decision to demand your resignation from the office of the Leader of the opposition, which office you had been using to defend the Government, much against the wishes of the people, not only the Tamils but people of all ethnic groups,” stated the letter released to […]

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