UN slams Government over war probe

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday criticized the continuing attacks by the Sri Lankan Government on the integrity of the UN Human Rights Office’s ongoing investigation into alleged grave human rights violations and abuses in Sri Lanka, and condemned the intimidation of human rights defenders and individuals who may wish to cooperate with the investigation. “This continuing campaign of distortion and disinformation about the investigation, as well as the insidious attempts to prevent possible bona fide witnesses from submitting information to the investigating team, is an affront to the United Nations Human Rights Council which mandated* the investigation,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “The Government of Sri Lanka has refused point blank to cooperate with the investigation despite being explicitly […]

Mannar Bishop meets Defence Secy Mullikulam displaced to be resettled soon

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Ananth Palakidnar Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, at a special meeting with Mannar Bishop, Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, has agreed to expedite the resettlement of fisher folk in Mullikulam in the Mannar District. The special meeting between the Mannar Bishop and the Defence Secretary was held at the Defence Secretary’s office in Colombo on Wednesday (5). Bishop Joseph told Ceylon Today, the Naval presence in Mullikulam was not yet removed. and the fisher folk numbering 232 families from the area still live in different locations without proper access to fishing areas. “Since the Defence Secretary is very much aware of the Mullikulam issue I requested him to expedite the process to resettle the fisher folk in their original places and to […]

Initial TNA-SLMC talks successful

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

BY Lakshmi Jayakody The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have reached an agreement to solve ‘minor’ issues cropping up between Tamils and Muslims in the Northern Province, through discussions. Consensus was reached at a meeting held between the two parties at SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem’s official residence on Wednesday (5). The two parties had discussed the political situation prevailing in the country. Pertaining to similar talks taking place between the two parties in the future, TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, said the initial meeting had been successful. When contacted by our sister paper Mawbima, SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali agreed with Sumanthiran’s views. He said, members of the two parties would tour the Northern Province prior to holding discussions again. […]

Fonseka snubbed at Koslanda welfare centres

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By S. Buvaneka, Haputale Corr (Left) Some of the relief materials left by Democratic Party members. (Right) Gen Fonseka speaking to landslide victims. Officials of the Disaster Management Centre providing relief to people affected by Koslanda landslide turned down relief material donated by Democratic Party (DP) Leader Retd Gen. Sarath Fonseka and his supporters yesterday.As the authorities did not accept the dry rations and other food items, Gen. Fonseka ordered his supporters to dump them opposite the entrance to the Sri Ganesha Vidyalaya in Koslanda. Gen. Fonseka and his supporters had met the affected people and spoken to them. Some of the victims of landslide were seen conversing with the DP leader. Gen Fonseka’s supporters asked those in charge of handing disaster relief why they […]

Koslanda tragedy Bahu questions Govt.’s relocation plan

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath  Jayakody How can a government, which, despite repeated pleas from the Koslanda landslide victims to be relocated, made years before the tragedy, now suddenly find alternative land to relocate them after the disaster? NSSP Leader Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne questioned. “These alternative lands offered are lands owned by the government, which they have not given to plantation companies. The people in these areas have been pleading for alternative lands since 2005. They were constantly left stranded. How come these lands are turning up now? This is unacceptable,” he told Ceylon Today. He added that Land and Land Development Ministry has been withholding substantial areas of land, suitable for building houses in Meeriyabedda and Koslanda itself, on areas which are believed to be not […]

India’s Assistant HC says Landslide survivors need long-term solutions

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Assistant High Commissioner of India, A. Natarajan, who visited the landslide hit Meeriyabedda village yesterday said, the survivors of the tragedy need long-term solutions. The Indian diplomat visited the affected areas to assess the assistance required by those affected by landslides. He said that he was informed by District Secretary (DS), Rohana Dissanayake, the government is looking for alternative land in Haldummulla to settle the 56 displaced families. “I visited the area on the request made by Indian High Commissioner, Y.K. Sinha, and I saw the displaced were highly distressed over the calamity they had faced, especially losing their loved ones,” he said adding, that according to the DS, only six children had lost their parents. “I met a brother and […]

Massive security for India-Sri Lanka ODI

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

HYDERABAD: Nearly 1,500 police personnel will be deployed for the upcoming one-day international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal on Sunday. Cyberabad police said 56 cameras would be installed in and around the stadium and a command control room will also be set up to monitor all the CCTV footage. “Spectators will not be allowed to carry bags, banners, cell phones, cameras, binoculars, match boxes, lights, helmets, cigarettes, perfumes, eatables or even water bottles into the stadium,” the police said in a press release. Separate teams will be deployed to check anti-social elements. Apart from that, a Quick Response Team (QRT) and Octopus commandos will be in place to meet any emergency. In view of the […]

DMK for special session on Sri Lanka

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

India’s DMK party has urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to convene a session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly to discuss important issues, including the death sentence awarded to five fishermen in Sri Lanka, the hike in milk prices and the proposal to hike power tariff. In a statement in Chennai, DMK party treasurer and the party’s Legislature party leader M.K. Stalin said as Tamil Nadu was witnessing one crisis after another, there was a need to discuss these issues in the Assembly. Stalin said that though Mr. Panneerselvam had assumed office as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the session of the House, normally held in October, has not yet been convened. “All political parties have urged the State Government and the Centre to prevail […]

Fresh moves by CBK

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who recently returned to the country from an overseas stay, is playing a ‘pivotal role’ in working out a common agenda to bring forward a candidate acceptable to all the parties in the opposition, Daily Mirror. However, it was not clear whether she would contest proposed snap presidential election as the common candidate or not. The parties in the opposition are busy with preparations for working out a common agenda for the election. It is learnt that the idea for a common candidate is gaining ground at the moment despite differences within some of the parties. Meanwhile, as part of this exercise to bring about common understating in the opposition, Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera who spearheads the National Movement for […]

The Two Bizarre Constitutional Questions!

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – It may appear that Mahinda Percy Rajapaksa has preempted Sarath Nanda Silva. But you never know. The latter may appear before the Supreme Court before the verdict on the 10th. An intriguing constitutional situation has arisen in this serendipity (does it mean strange?) Sri Lanka with two bizarre questions being referred to the Supreme Court by the former in his apparent capacity as the incumbent President. They were buddies few moons ago. Two questions are ordered alphabetically (a) and (b). Logically speaking, (b) should have come first which questions whether there is any ‘impediment’ for him “to be elected for a further term of office.” Rationality, however, does not appear to be of any concern for the existing regime. Both questions […]

Bar wants hearing on Sri Lanka presidential terms

8th November 2014 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s Bar Association on Friday asked the Supreme Court to hold an oral hearing on whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa could seek a third term in office. Rajapaksa on Thursday sought the court’s opinion if he could contest an election two years before his second term ends. The constitution has been changed to allow a third term, but there is debate over whether the change applies to Rajapaksa. The president wants the court to rule by Monday, and the court gave the Bar Association until Friday evening to submit its arguments, only in writing. Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya wrote to the Supreme Court on Friday seeking up to two weeks and an oral hearing. “The incumbent president of the republic has […]

As Sri Lanka Hunts Down Tamils, Kohona’s Landlord Returns to Head UNCA

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Matthew Russell Lee UNITED NATIONS, November 3 — On Sri Lanka at UN headquarters in New York the disinterest and worse continues. In 2009 Secretary General Ban Ki-moon went on the Rajapaksas’ victory tour of the bloodbath on the beach. Inner City Press’ coverage is here. In 2011 Sri Lanka’s denial of war crimes, “Lies Agreed To,” was screened inside the UN, hosted by the then-president of UNCA, become the UN’s Censorship Alliance. On November 3, Inner City Press asked Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric about a new development, transcript here, video here from Minute 29:50 – Inner City Press: In Sri Lanka, a newspaper has reported that the Government is searching people down for having “blank human right complaints forms” to the inquiry of […]

President Barack Obama

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Yesterday, millions of Americans cast their ballots. Republicans had a good night, and I congratulate all the candidates who won. But what stands out to me is that the message Americans sent yesterday is one you’ve sent for several elections in a row now. You expect the people you elect to work as hard as you do. You expect us to focus on your ambitions — not ours — and you want us to get the job done. Period. I plan on spending every moment of the next two years rolling up my sleeves and working as hard as I can for the American people. This country has made real and undeniable progress in the six years since the 2008 economic crisis. But our work […]

Koslanda orphans won’t be handed over to NPC – Govt.

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

by Dasun Edirisinghe Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, MP, has alleged that the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was seeking to exploit the predicament of the children orphaned by the recent landslide at Koslanda to gain political mileage.. Minister Amaraweera was responding to the TNA-run Northern Provincial Council passing a resolution to adopt those children. Contrary to earlier reports, the Disaster Management Centre has now established that only three children lost both parents, while four lost one parent each. Initial reports placed the number of children who had lost both parents at 75. Addressing the media at the SLFP headquarters, Minister Amaraweera said that the government was capable of looking after the orphans and other children affected by the disaster. Commenting on Northern Province Chief […]

TNA points to massive fraud at NPC Alleges Chief Secretary’s involvement

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Our Jaffna Correspondent Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, Suresh K. Premachandran, has requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, to investigate a massive fraud, allegedly involving Chief Secretary of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). He alleged, the Chief Secretary has defrauded millions of rupees allocated to a project titled NELSIP funded by the World Bank. Premachandran told Ceylon Today that he had received several complaints with regard to the mishandling of funds allocated to the project and that he was in possession of ample evidence to prove the alleged involvement of the Chief Secretary of the NPC. He also claimed the fraud involved a group of senior officials and was aimed at discrediting the objectives of the project with the […]

These Are My Humble Requests To Gotabaya

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By R. Sampanthan – We are discussing today the Votes of the Ministry of Defence, the Minister of Defence being His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary to the Ministry being his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who rumour has it will probably be a Member of this House fairly soon. We would welcome that. May I, Sir, in dealing with the Votes of this Ministry, have your indulgence to raise certain issues relating to this Ministry that has an impact on the life of civilians in this country. I do not do this, Sir, in a spirit of confrontation, but I do think that in this House, in particular, we should have the freedom of expression and we should be able to articulate the feelings of the […]

TN fishermen strike to protest Lanka death penalty

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

About 35 lakh fishermen living in more than 10 coastal districts including the State capital of Tamil Nadu on Thursday observed a dawn to dusk agitation to condemn the death penalty awarded to five colleagues from Rameswaram by a Sri Lankan court in a drug trafficking case and demanded their immediate release from Sri Lankan prison. The agitation, launched by various fishing association in the state, included hunger strike, protest demonstrations and rally. The protest was also to put pressure on the ruling AlIADMK in the state and the NDA government at the Centre to take measures for quashing the death penalty and ensure fishermen’s safe release from Colombo. In Chennai, more than 10,000 fishermen associated to Meenavargal Makkal Munnani (Fishermen People’s Front) stayed away […]

Maldivian trio on their way to join Syrian rebel forces, apprehended

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

Three Maldivians who were allegedly on their way to join rebel forces in Syria have been apprehended in Sri Lanka and subsequently deported, the Maldives Police Service (MPS) said on Thursday. According to the MPS, the trio – a 25-year-old man, a 23-year-old man, and an 18-year-old woman – had attempted to enter Syria through Turkey. The three had claimed that they entered Sri Lanka for medical purposes.   “When apprehended the three attempted to deceive the Sri Lankan police and claimed that they were en route to Turkey because they were displeased with the medical services in Sri Lanka” said the MPS “They had entered Sri Lanka on a one-way ticket”.   Further, the MPS claims that the 23-year-old man and the 18-year-old woman […]

Ampara to be run by Muslims – JHU

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

By Ariyaratne Ganegoda The JHU yesterday condemned the SLMC over its suggestion that the districts be divided on ethnic and religious lines. SLMC had suggested to government that they establish a separate Muslim administration in the Ampara District, as the majority in that district are Muslims. Commenting, the JHU said that carrying out such a request would separate the Muslims from the rest of the people in the country, being a separatist and extremist move. Meanwhile, the National Sangha Council’s Rajawatte Wappa Thera, who addressed a meeting in Colombo Tuesday (4) said, “This is a small country and it cannot be divided on the basis of ethnicity or religion, according to the whims and fancies of certain parties. We cannot tear the country to pieces […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot succeed President Rajapaksa

7th November 2014 // 0 Comments

 BASL to move Supreme Court today opposing President’s third term bid I have discussed in these columns some days ago the contention that President Rajapaksa is not qualified to fight an election for a third term by virtue of the operation of Article 31(2) of the Constitution. The repeal of that article by the Eighteenth Amendment does not remove the past operation of anything suffered under the repealed law.Since ex-CJ Sarath Silva first raised this issue, lawyers and non-lawyers have tried to make the case that Sarath Silva is wrong and that President Rajapaksa is not prevented by the Constitution to seek a third term. I have pointed out, and so has Suri Ratnapala, that the relevant section of the Interpretation Ordinance to look at […]

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