Sri Lanka Tamil leader seeks Indian PM’s intervention for a political solution

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan Tamil leader has written to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to achieve a political solution to the Tamil issue. Former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member M.K. Sivajilingam in a letter to Modi in his letter says the Tamil people in Sri Lanka cannot expect a solution from Sri Lankan governments without the intervention of India. “Having gone through more than 65 years of injustice by successive governments in Sri Lanka, Tamil people are fully aware that no political solution would reach Tamils without the direct and active involvement of India,” the Councilor said in his letter to Modi. He sought the PM’s help in reaching a solution which can, at the minimum, […]

Curfew imposed in Sri Lanka following clash between Sinhala-Buddhists and Muslims in the area.

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Eyewitness accounts tell of Muslims being pulled off local buses and beaten. There are also reports of looting. Witnesses say Muslim homes and a mosque were stoned. Sri Lankan media received “orders from above” not to report the violence. The Sri Lankan authorities have imposed a curfew on two southern towns to quell clashes between a hardline Buddhist group and Muslims. When the Muslims in the area started reacting to the protest, things took a violent turn, a senior police officer said. Several people are reported to have been injured, shops burned and stones thrown at Buddhist marchers there. The clashes are said to have begun after the rally held by the BBS, the Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Brigade supported by Defence Minister Gotha Rajapaksha.  The […]

Challenging Modi In Colombo

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Challenging Modi In Colombo  by Tisaranee Gunasekara “I know what to give and what not to give.” Mahinda Rajapaksa (The Hindu – 5.7.2009)   During an extensive interview with ‘The Hindu’, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was asked about his oft-repeated ‘13th Amendment plus’ promise.  “Even tomorrow I can give that…” President Mahinda  replied promptly. That was July 2009. During the next five years, President Rajapaksa promised 13+ and denied promising 13+, again and again. The Rajapaksas and their acolytes (including the BBS) were elated when Narendra Modi won. They seemed to have believed that Mr. Modi’s Hindu supremacism would make him bond with his ideological blood-brothers in Colombo. Mr. Modi’s non-dependence on Tamilnadu increased Colombo’s elation. The invitation to attend his swearing-in seemed the definitive vindication of this optimistic outlook. “We […]

Never Ending Madness of Rajapaksha

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajasingham Jayadevan – The Extraordinary gazette notification of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka listing of designated persons, groups and entities under paragraph 4(2) of the United Nations Regulations No. 1 of 2012 by the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa dated 20 March 2014 proscribed sixteen overseas Tamil organisations and over 400 Tamils all over the world. Government gazette is an organ to officially advertise the agenda or decisions of the government and its departments. Under the constitution, any statutory decisions have to come through legislative or the executive and must follow the procedural process. Strangely, the decision to proscribe the groups and the individuals appears to be a singular decision of the Defence Secretary who is not even an elected member of the parliament. He only carries out […]

Sri Lankan Govt Will Take Action Against Those Giving Adverse Evidence Against Country at International Probes

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The government will take appropriate action against those who give evidence against it at a future war crimes probe, based on the evidence the adversaries give . “This is a serious situation and we are watching it closely. We shall take appropriate action based on the evidence the detractors give,” Government Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Ceylon Today. He said the government was aware of the Tamil Diaspora and others, both overseas and in Sri Lanka, including the TNA, going all out to discredit the government which defeated the most ruthless guerilla group in the world ,which no other government could do.  Rambukwella also said there was no credibility in the allegations made against Sri Lanka, claiming that the UNHRC report was flawed […]

GTF ready to assist OHCHR probe

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

With the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay confirming that her office has put together a team to investigate allegations over the war in Sri Lanka, the role of the Tamil Diaspora will be also in the spotlight. Suren Surendiran, the spokesman for the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), an influential Tamil lobby group based in London expressed his views on the investigation. By Easwaran Rutnam Q:  Does the GTF has any plans on assisting the OHCHR probe on Sri Lanka by providing information or any form of evidence related to the war?  A:The process of collecting evidences or the operational terms of reference for the investigation haven’t been made public as yet. Just as GTF submitted a whole series of documentary evidences […]

TGTE happy with new HR Chief – Rudrakumar

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

While the investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) begins the U.S. based Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) says it is preparing to file legal action on some of the incident which allegedly took place in Mulalivaikkal. The head of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, in an interview with The Sunday Leader also noted that the appointment of Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will be good for Sri Lanka, in the eyes of the Diaspora. By Easwaran Rutnam Q: What is your opinion on some of the people proposed by OHCHR to be part of the investigation commission? A: It will be difficult to comment, since as […]

OHCHR Probe From Mid-June & Witness and Victim Protection Bill

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Witness protection area of concern in probe By Easwaran Rutnam The investigation into the war in Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will be launched in mid-June, Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the OHCHR said. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will have the option of referring the report to the UN Security Council (UNSC) once it has been received by the UNHRC in March next year. Colville said that initially, the report will be presented to the Human Rights Council and the UNHRC will then decide what to do next, as it has a range of options including referral to higher bodies. “The Security Council can take up any issues it chooses at any time, providing there […]

SLMC To Discuss Probe & We Are Ready To Deal With The Consequences – Government

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Waruni Karunarathne The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is to take a stand tomorrow on the motion submitted to Parliament against the proposed investigation led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The motion that was submitted to Parliament recently will be taken up for debate this week but the SLMC said it will decide its position tomorrow. “The SLMC will meet tomorrow to discuss several matters including the motion against the OHCHR investigation in Sri Lanka. At the meeting tomorrow, we will decide whether to support the motion or not,” SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said. Meanwhile the main opposition United National Party (UNP) had on Friday urged the Government to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) […]

Sri Lanka will NOT Sign Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict?

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

While Britain hosted a summit to end sexual violence in conflict, the British Government said it hopes Sri Lanka will sign the Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. “The Declaration has now been endorsed by over three quarters of the world’s countries. We would welcome it if Sri Lanka was to join them,” a British High Commission spokesperson told The Sunday Leader. Meanwhile speaking at an event at the British High Commission in Colombo to mark the summit against sexual violence in conflict, the British High Commissioner to Colombo John Rankin said that Britain is convinced that rape and sexual violence are not inevitable but a deliberate tactic of war that can be deterred, prevented and punished. He said that no country can say it […]

PM Modi expresses concern over Pakistani terror groups trained in Sri Lanka

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Govt. turns war crimes probe into polls issue Though not publicly known, a subject of importance Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, just hours after being sworn-in, was the issue of Pakistani militant groups gathering in Sri Lanka to plan terrorist acts against India. That was during talks at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on May 27. It came barely a day after Rajapaksa took part in Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. According to a Sri Lankan source present at the talks, the query from Modi citing the alleged involvement of an intelligence agency also in this exercise took Rajapaksa by complete surprise. He undertook to go into the matter when he returned to Colombo. That […]

Cover for dictators who had abused their authority and trampled on the rights and democratic freedoms of the people

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

UN War Crimes Probe : President should stop making a mockery of Parliament – Kiriella Opposition not bound to cover up for stupidity of UPFA Govt. – Ravi zBy Zacki Jabbar  The UNP yesterday called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stop making a mockery of Parliament after having publicly rejected a United Nations Human Rights Council mandated war crimes probe against his government and the LTTE which was scheduled to get underway in Geneva next month.  “If the President really cared for the views of the Opposition, he would have called an All Party Conference prior to March this year to work out a strategy to deal with the impending US led resolution calling for accountability in Sri Lanka, Vice Chairman of the UNP Lakshman […]

”Had we committed NO Crimes and waged the war against the LTTE” international inquiry would arrive at a conclusion so favourable to Sri Lanka

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

From the Floor – Clearing path to take up motion for debate  A special meeting of party leaders was held at the Parliamentary complex on Friday. Summoned at short notice it was so special because the intention of the meeting was to change a previously agreed plan regarding the next sitting week. Going by the previous schedule there were plans to take up for discussion a motion submitted by nine UPFA members, which showed disapproval against a UNHRC investigation to be held against Sri Lanka. Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody chaired the meeting that was attended by Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Ministers DEW Gunasekera, Basil Rajapaksa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Susil Premjayantha, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Chief Opposition Whip John […]

Economic sanctions by the US and EU! If Sri Lanka can survive this, it can survive anything.

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

With the appointment of the 12-member team by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the encirclement of Sri Lanka is just about complete. The Western steam roller has been set in motion and Narendra Modi is in power in India with a plainly-to-be-seen desire not to alienate Jayayalitha Jeyaram of Tamil Nadu even though he does not need her support to keep the government going. Never before in Sri Lanka’s post-Independence history have we been encircled like this – not even in 1987. In 1987 when Sri Lanka for the first time faced direct intervention by India, we were not really encircled, it was just one country – India – browbeating us. What we are facing now is a real encirclement with […]

Whether Sri Lanka cooperates or not – The UNHCR inquiry

15th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Whether Sri Lanka cooperates or not, the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) mandated investigation into alleged human rights violations here, with a probable focus on the closing stages of the long war, will go forward. The Mahinda Rajapaksa administration will no doubt get parliamentary approval later this week for its non-cooperation strategy. While parties like the TNA, who have made no secret of the fact that they support the UNHRC initiative, inspired in large measure by the Tamil diaspora in North America and Western Europe, will get pilloried by government MPs in the usual fashion. These tub-thumpers are seemingly oblivious to the fact that the notorious KP, the LTTE’s chief arms procurer and Prabhakaran’s self-proclaimed successor, is cocooned in the North with every comfort for […]

Sri Lanka and others ‘need to explain their absence’ from summit – UK Minister Hugo Swire

13th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Drawing attention to Sri Lanka’s refusal to be represented at the the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, taking place in London this week, the British Foreign Office Minister of State, Hugo Swire called on Sri Lanka to explain their absence. “Clearly we would like Sri Lanka to be here, but they are not,” Mr Swire said, speaking to Tamil Guardian just before the ministerial dialogue session this morning.  “I think countries that are not here need to explain to their communities why they are not,” he said, adding, “150 plus countries have signed up to this and its more a case of why aren’t you here than why are you here.” “Obviously we would like all countries to sign up to this,” he […]

UN inquiry team on Sri Lanka war crime named

13th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Panel to probe allegations of atrocities during final stages of civil war between government forces and Tamil rebels. Colombo, Sri Lanka – The UN high commissioner for human rights has appointed a controversial official to coordinate probe into allegations of mass killings in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war. Navi Pillay, the high commissioner for human rights, has appointed Sandra Beidas – who is accused of writing false reports about the conduct of the military in South Sudan – to coordinate the investigation team. Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR), told Al Jazeera via email that Beidas would “coordinate the investigation team”. Sri Lanka has said that it would not co-operate with the investigation that is expected […]

Tamil cricketers seek asylum in Australia

13th June 2014 // 0 Comments

11 June 2014 Last updated at 00:34 BST Padded up and steeled for action in a suburban league in Sydney, Ocean 12 are a sporting team like no other. The team is made up of Tamil asylum seekers, released from immigration detention on temporary visas and competing for a place in the finals of a global cricket competition. But ultimate victory lies beyond the game of cricket, and in the hands of the immigration authorities who will decide if they can stay permanently and build a new life in Australia. Phil Mercer reports. Read more Australia asylum seekers find refuge in cricket

Video: Voices Against Sri Lankan Rape – Last Night At Canadian High Commissioner’s Residence

13th June 2014 // 0 Comments

A number of human rights activist have joined together at an event at the Canadian High Commissioner’s Landon residence last night to give their voices to Sri Lankan rape victims. The event was organised by the The International Truth and Justice Project. This is a project led by the human rights activist and former UN expert panel member on Sri Lanka Yasmin Sooka. They are the authors of the report “Stop Torture“ which documents the case that sexual violence continues to be used systematically in Sri Lanka as a tool of oppression. It documented the cases of 40 Tamil men and women who had been raped by Sri Lankan security forces between 2010 and 2014. Watch the videos; Jenni Murray – Opening https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/video-voices-against-sri-lankan-rape-last-night-at-canadian-high-commissioners-residence/

Sri Lankan student wins award

13th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Saudi Arabian Toastmasters Annual Conference (SATAC) 2014 was held in Riyadh recently. The event also featured the Gaveliers’ International Speech Contest in which Adnan Niyas, a 10th grader at Jeddah’s Sri Lankan International School bagged the first prize. “The main objective of including a Gaveliers’ competition at SATAC 2014 was to enhance and promote the public speaking talents of youngsters for school gavel clubs,” said Mohan Kumar, a toastmaster and a member of SATAC.  “It was a fantastic presentation,” said Kumar, commenting on Adnan’s achievement. “Starting from club level, he managed to pass through division level and successfully reached district level-which is the final stage in the Kingdom and I congratulate him on his success.” “SATAC 2014 has been nothing short of an opportune […]

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