Khuram Shaikh: Shot residue ‘matches weapons of accused’

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Gunshot residue found on the body of a British man killed in Sri Lanka matches weapons found in the possession of the accused men, a forensics expert told a court. Khuram Shaikh, a Red Cross worker from Rochdale, was found with gunshot and stab wounds on Christmas Day in 2011. The expert, Mr Gunatilleke, told the trial in Colombo the residue was found when he wiped a wound on his forehead. Sampath Vidanapathirana, a town council leader, and five other men deny murder. They also deny raping a woman. Mr Shaikh, 32, had been working in Gaza fitting prosthetic limbs, but was on holiday in the resort of Tangalle when he was killed. Mr Gunatilleke, a witness for the prosecution, said five spent bullets were […]

Darusman To Replace Navi Pillay As UNHRC Chief: Tougher Times Ahead For SL

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka is to face tougher times on the human rights front with Marzuki Darusman, one of the members of the UN Experts Panel who probed into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, is tipped to be appointed as the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights after Navi Pillay’s retirement in August. Navi Pillay succeeded Louise Arbour as the UN Human Rights Chief in Jul, 2008 and has held the for nearly 06 years. Darusman is an Indonesian lawyer and a politician who also has years of experience at the UN, particularly on the human rights front. After fifteen years as a member of the People’s Representative Council with President Suharto’s Golkar party, Darusman served as the country’s prosecutor general from 1999 to 2001. Darusman has served on several national […]

Tamil Canadians convene in Ottawa to call for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Canadians convene in Ottawa to call for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka Ottawa –The National Council of Canadian Tamils calls upon the Canadian government to implement targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka through the implementation of the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). Tamil Canadians convened in Ottawa from Monday May 26-Thursday May 29, 2014, for the first annual Tamil Freedom Lobby Week. Tamil community organizers, activists and student leaders from across the country met with parliamentarians to press for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka, guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. “Sri Lanka operates with complete impunity in both its past and current violations of international humanitarian law. Five years after 2009, Sri Lanka made no meaningful effort to end violence against the island’s […]

ONE STEP FORWARD… Sinhalese Government’s conspiracy to divide the homeland Tamils and diaspora Tamils

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

THE UNHRC RESOLUTION AND ITS REPERCUSSIONS ONE STEP FORWARD…                 The Tamil Eelam liberation struggle and its solidarity movement now face the question: What is to be done?  To find an answer, we have to reckon with certain facts.                 The genocidal war against the people of Tamil Eelam reached its traumatic climax at Mullivaaikkaal on 2009 May 16, 17 and 18. And in this holocaust thousands of Tamils were massacred and the armed struggle for the liberation of the Eelam nation was totally crushed. The military hegemony over the Tamil Eelam areas has, in conjunction with Sri Lanka’s rigidly unitary constitution and the supremacist psyche of the Sinhalese people, brought about a situation where the democratic space for the Tamil Eelam people in their […]

JHU want executive presidency abolished

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Senior Minister D. E.W. Gunasekera yesterday said that the executive presidential system could be abolished through the passage of a simple constitutional amendment in Parliament with a two thirds majority. The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) MP Gunasekera insisted that even if the move to field a common candidate seeking a mandate to do away with the executive presidency succeeded, there was absolutely no guarantee he or she would do it. The winner would never give up executive powers and therefore every effort should be made to avoid another costly election, he said. The CPSL Chief was responding to Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) push for far reaching constitutional reforms including the abolition of the executive presidency. The JHU launched its […]

GOTABAYA’S ENTRY TO ELECTORAL POLITICS

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The news, based on an exclusive interview, that Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa may formally enter mainstream politics by contesting Colombo at the parliamentary election (Deshaya and Daily FT) casts a significant light — some may say shadow— on the character of the regime as it will emerge recomposed after that election which will almost certainly be in the first quarter of 2015. The declaration of willingness by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to toss his hat into the ring is a response to two factors; a challenge and an imperative:secession and succession. It is a combination of intra-clan dynamics, the logical progression of the increasing influence of the security establishment, and above all, an entirely predictable response to perceptions of external and ethnic siege from afar and the ‘near abroad’. We have the […]

SRI LANKA: The Island of mass graves

4th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The following article was published as the editorial of the latest issue of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives by Nilantha Ilangamuwa Sri Lanka is once again on the edge of a political crucible in terms of its international relations as well as in its domestic politics. The country is ignoring calls for an independent and credible investigation into alleged wartime atrocities while at the same time carrying out atrocities against its own people. None of the elected or appointed officials have been able to fulfil even the basic requirements of their offices, but instead put all their efforts into finding loopholes to escape the situation and to justify what they have done. Mass Graves are not a new phenomenon in Sri Lanka as over 30 – 40 […]

Official visit to North Western and North Central provinces

4th June 2014 // 0 Comments

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin, visited the North Western, North Central and Northern Provinces on an official visit from 27-29 May, 2014. All those to whom I spoke made clear their concern about and opposition to religious extremism. The High Commissioner visited Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Mannar and Puttalam. “A major highlight of my visit was paying my respects at different places of worship,” said the High Commissioner. “I visited the sacred Sri Maha Bodhiya and the Ruwanveliseya stupa in Anuradhapura, the historic Madhu church, the Thirukeetheswaram temple in Mannar and the Grand Mosque in Puttalam. At each of these places of worship, I had helpful discussions with faith leaders about inter-faith harmony and community relations. Sri Lanka is lucky to have communities representing […]

Sri Lankan government had intentionally targetted ‘no fire zones’ with cluster bombs.

4th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The British High Commission in Colombo declined to verify whether British lawmakers had consulted it as regards accountability issues in Sri Lanka during Eelam war IV before making statements in the British Parliament. The HC was responding to a query whether Siabhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden-Labour party) had consulted the diplomatic mission in Colombo before alleging in Parliament in September 2011 that the Sri Lankan military killed 60,000 LTTE cadres and 40,000 civilians during January-May 2009. The claim was made during a debate on human rights situation in the Indian sub continent in which British parliamentarians lambasted both India and Sri Lanka for human rights violations. MP McDonagh’s  claimed in parliament on March 25, 2014 that the Sri Lankan government had intentionally targetted ‘no fire […]

SL Minister accompanied by Pakistani officials threatens Tamil villagers in Vavuniyaa

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 June 2014, 21:06 GMT]Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishard Badurdeen, who has been inciting conflicts among the Tamil-speaking people in Mannaar and Mullaiththeevu districts, has now threatened more than 40 Tamil families living in Paarathi-puram village in Vavuniyaa to vacate from their village, news sources in Vavuniyaa told TamilNet. Accompanied with five Pakistani officials and British trained Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF), the SL minister has gone to the village last week claiming that a factory is going to be built at Paarathipuram and that the Indian origin Tamils living there since 1977 should vacate from their settlement. The Upcountry Tamils were settled at Paarathi-puram in 1977 when they faced anti-Tamil pogroms in the South. The living standard of the families […]

Rajapaksha will not honour pledge to Modi

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

Just a week after President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India where the Indian leader reiterated the need for Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and go beyond, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government has said it will not fully implement the 13th Amendment.  The government has said that police powers will not be devolved to the provinces even if the 13th Amendment is fully implemented.Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has told the media at a news conference in Kandy that Cabinet will take the final decision on the implementation of the 13th Amendment. He has added that the government has already decided not to devolve police powers to the provinces and that those powers will remain […]

Tamil Eelam Football Team At “World Football Cup 2014”

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

A football team representing “The Tamil Eelam Football Association” will play their first match of the 2014 ConIFA World Football Cup today against Arameans Suryoye. However, there is no recognized ‘country’ in the world named ‘Tamil Eelam’. FIFA also does not recognize a country by the name of ‘Tamil Eelam’. The players trained for the first time since their arrival from their training camp in Norway on Sunday, with all the players fit for the big match. According to Pro-Eelam website Tamil Guardian, this is the third tournament that the Tamils are taking part in after a respectable 7th place finish in the team’s debut in the VIVA World Cup in Kurdistan 2 years ago, and an incredible 3rd place at a friendly tournament on […]

British Tourist Disappears While Holidaying In Sri Lanka

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

A British tourist, who was holidaying in Mount Lavinia, had disappeared in Sri Lanka, her family told the UK media. Lauren Smith, 26, a British tourist from Colchester, was last seen leaving the Ocean Blue House B&B in Mount Lavinia, Colombo, at 6.30am yesterday morning local time. She left the B&B saying she was going to the shops, but did not return. She left all of her belongings, including her money and passport, at the hotel. Sri Lankan Police are also involved in the search. However, the Police have not yet found any clue of her whereabouts.

Weerawansa’s Party Loses Two More Stalwarts

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

The National Freedom Front, led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, has lost two more stalwarts with Dodangoda PS member K.H. Wickremasinghe and former Western Provincial Councilor Sugath Mathugamage deciding to step down from the party with immediate effect. This development came nearly two weeks after two Provincial Councilors of the National Freedom Front representing the Uva Provincial Council crossed over to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and United National Party. The two stalwarts of the NFF, who have now discarded their party membership, are likely to join the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Both NFF members represent Kalutara District where Minister Wimal Weerawansa started his political career with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. However, according to the agreement signed between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the National […]

Jayalalithaa takes firm stand on Sri Lankan Tamil issue

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has taken a firm stand on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue despite conciliatory gestures by the Island nation in recent times, including release of Indian fishermen from the jails in that country.In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday, the chief minister reiterated her stand. She demanded the Centre sponsor a resolution in the UN condemning the genocide in Sri Lanka and to hold all those responsible for it accountable. She said the resolution should demand a referendum among the Tamils in Sri Lanka for the formation of a separate Tamil Eelam.Jayalalithaa said there were very strong sentiments among people in Tamil Nadu on a range of issues relating to India’s relations […]

Way Forward Can Be Through Revamped PSC

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera – The outcome of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a let down to the Sri Lankan government.  There was a general expectation in Sri Lanka, fueled by the optimism of government leaders that a new era of relations would open up when the President of Sri Lanka met the new Prime Minister of India.  In particular there was the hope that the vexatious international pressure on the government to proceed with a political solution on the basis of the devolution of power to the Tamil-majority areas of the country would subside. But this did not happen.  On the contrary, Prime Minister Modi was uncommonly blunt and precise in calling on his Sri Lankan counterpart to begin delivering on his oft-repeated […]

Sri Lanka: War Remembrance, Reconciliation And Nonviolent Resistance

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Nirmanusan Balasundaram – May 2014 marked the 5th year of the brutal end of the armed conflict in the island of Sri Lanka. The foremost stakeholders of the final phase of the war, the Tamil nation, the Sinhala nation and the international community seem to have different interpretations of the disturbing developments, unfolding since the last phase of the war. In its narrative, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) keeps obstinately insisting that they liberated the Tamil people from the grip of terror. Though, this year marks the 5th year of the cruel end of war, what it actually means for the Tamil people and the reality on the ground totally contradicts the GoSL narrative. While understanding the GoSL’s empty promises and false hopes, a section […]

BJP now demands delivery on the promises made with no delaying tactics – Great expectations over 13 A.

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti  Just hours in to his new job, Narendra Modi, India’s new Prime Minister, placed his cards firmly on the table, during his first bilateral discussion with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in New Delhi.   On 27 May, it was succinctly conveyed to the island’s President Rajapaksa, that when it came to Sri Lanka, the new Indian administration was committed to three things: Expeditious full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, A lasting political solution that would not compromise Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity As well as strong economic and cultural ties – in that order.   The difference here is, unlike in Sri Lanka, where the policy of one government is completely replaced by another and often a matter of politics than policy, […]

Sri Lanka happy that Sushma Swaraj had been handed the External Affairs portfolio in Modi’s government.

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to India to attend the inauguration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attracted much attention this week as both countries made a conscious attempt to mend relations which had been under strain under the previous Congress administration. There were many welcoming gestures – the President telephoning Modi after his victory, Modi’s invitation for the inauguration and the President ordering the release of Indians detained by Sri Lankan authorities not merely for fishing illegally in Sri Lankan waters but also for other offences. There was some political posturing as well. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalilthaa Jeyaram kept away from Modi’s inauguration because President Rajapaksa was invited. The Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Vigneswaran politely refused an invitation to join the […]

Leo Seemanpillai took his own life as he gave up hope of refuge

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

Leo Seemanpillai met his new ”mum”, Cathie Bond, almost a year ago on a cold night in Geelong. Cathie, a retired art teacher and volunteer, was handing out ”welcome packs” to new asylum seekers, distributing food and toiletries, undies and socks, ”to give them some dignity”. Leo was her helper at each house, unloading the car and interpreting. The 29-year-old had been on the Bellarine Peninsula for a few months and although barely settled in his new life, he wanted to help others. Cathie drove him home. Remembrance: Leo’s Australian ”mum” Cathie Bond (centre), Sue Longmore and Veronika Quinton. Photo: Justin McManus ”On the way there – and this was typical of Leo – he rings ahead to his friends, ‘Get the tea ready, get the […]

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