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 […]

To have a sort of constitutional, legislative and implementable guarantees of fair play – Duraiswamy

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

by Rohan Abeywardena Duraiswamy Kumaran Thangarajah is a Lankan Tamil professional who has returned to Sri Lanka having left the country in the aftermath of the July ’83 riots and after nearly 30 years abroad during which he has rendered service to the world, especially during a stint with the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation. Kumaran is no ordinary person either as he is hailing from a political stock dating prior to the country’s independence. His father and grandfather had easily transcended race barriers and worked closely with all communities and especially with the Sinhalese. He now hopes to uplift the poverty stricken in the former war torn areas, but appears to have run into some invisible barriers. He speaks his mind to The Island […]

”No matter how determined Sri Lanka was, we could not have defeated the LTTE if not for India’s support” Presidential spokesman

3rd June 2014 // 0 Comments

Indian Government on cordial bi-lateral journey with Sri Lanka – Presidential spokesman By Manjula Fernando Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake who is an expert on UN affairs and international relations said Sri Lanka’s diplomatic skills will be put to the test under the new Indian Government which seems to have embarked on a cordial bi-lateral journey with Sri Lanka. Mohan Samaranayake Samaranayake said with Tamil Nadu politicians and the pro LTTE diaspora hell-bent on rocking the boat, retaining the new Prime Minister’s goodwill will prove to be our toughest job in the months to come. Excerpts of the interview Having a strong government at the Centre is a reason for Sri Lanka to celebrate. Without being swayed or pressurized by regional forces, the new Indian government is […]

Sri Lankan gang jailed after tampering with cash machines in Gloucestershire

2nd June 2014 // 0 Comments

A gang of men have been jailed after conspiring to attack cash points across Gloucestershire to steal bank cards and money from members of the public. The Sri Lankans targeted 13 ATMs in Cheltenham and Gloucester, fitting them with card trapping devices, which would see bank cards lost and personal details stolen. Basheer Ebrahim, Ashok Balasubramanian and Thanfavel Vilvanadham all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to defraud and possession of articles for use in connection with fraud between July 25, 2013 and September 24 last year. Gloucester Crown Court heard the Tamils were stopped by police on the M25 in a Nissan Micra belonging to Kusalakumar Sithambarapillai and a search revealed card trapping devices, USB cables and card slots. Prosecutor Anna Midgley told […]

Say ‘No’ To Sri Lanka, And Dilmah Tea

2nd June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Trevor Grant – It was a scene that has been played out many times since the brutal end to the civil war in the Tamil homeland. Last year the Sri Lankan defence secretary and accused war criminal,Gotabaya Rajapaksa, stood alongside one of Sri Lanka’s richest men, Merrill Fernando, cutting a ribbon to open a new war memorial that purports to be about peace and reconciliation but, in reality, glorifies the murderers of at least 70,000 innocent civilians in 2009 and enhances the process of genocide and ethnic-cleansing in traditional Tamil lands. Partly-financed by Fernando, it is yet another triumphalist edifice built by a ruthless regime that is under an official UN investigation for war crimes and crimes against humanity and which, five years after the war, […]

Tea bags for dogs launched in UK

2nd June 2014 // 0 Comments

Man’s best friend may soon want owners to put the kettle on, thanks to a British company, ‘Woof & Brew’  has launched a range of premium teabags for dogs. The herbal tea is available in seven varieties and promises to give your pet better breath, improved digestion and a shinier coat. The tea costs as much as 11.99 pounds for 28 bags and the product is one of the growing range of goods and services traditionally reserved for humans but now being marketed at pets, ‘The Telegraph’ reported. The company Woof & Brew launched its herbal tea for pooches at a dog show last year.  It is now sold in more than 300 outlets across UK, including in several cafes, where dogs can enjoy a […]

Sanath’s thugs attack Ruhuna Uni

2nd June 2014 // 0 Comments

A group of thugs of politicians who stormed into the University of Ruhuna at around 2.00 pm today (June 02) have allegedly attacked a group of students and threatened lecturers. A group of nearly 300 of parliamentarian Sanath Jayasuriya, Provincial Council Minister D.V Upul and Aruna Gunaratne have thus been involved in the attack, reports say. As the thugs chased the students they have hidden in safe locations. Some thugs, who claimed that the students did not allow the Deyata Kirula National Exhibition to be held in the university premises, have possessed clubs and battens. The situation was brought to normalcy with the mediation of Matara police and the protesters have stated that due to the objection of the students their village lost an opportunity […]

13th Amendment Minus The Answer

2nd June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajasingham Jayadevan – Quotes: ·      Earlier, in January 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo reported in a cable (189383: confidential, January 29, 2009) on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit that President Rajapaksa had spoken of a 13th Amendment Plus plan (Hindu-26/3/2011). ·      Following from that on 10 July 2013, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon — who met top Sri Lanka leaders here in the last two days — emphasized the need for Colombo to fulfill its commitment to India and the international community regarding a political settlement that would go beyond the 13th Amendment of the country’s Constitution. Speaking to the Indian media here after a breakfast meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday, Mr. Menon said: “We have made our views clear on how […]

A New Treaty With India An Imperative

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

By K Godage A new treaty with our blood relative India is an imperative, let us clear the way for it. Modi becoming Prime Minister affords us a God given opportunity, let us not let it pass. It has been reported that India’s new Prime Minister  has raised the old issue of the 13th Amendment which they foisted on us and insisted that Land and Police powers not be taken away from the  Provincial Councils, when President Rajapaksa called on him after he was sworn in. This is the old demand which they keep bringing up whenever our Presidents meet their Prime Ministers. To my mind it appears that our leaders have failed to make India understand why we cannot devolve land and Police powers […]

This time I am Not doing a Drama (?) – Minister Wimal Weerawansa

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader and Government Minister Wimal Weerawansa has issued an ultimatum to the Government on several issues and warned in no uncertain terms that he will not hesitate to leave the Government if the concerns of and proposals by the NFF are not taken seriously. By Camelia Nathaniel Q: What was the outcome of the meeting you had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the 12 point proposal the NFF forwarded to him? A: We presented our set of proposals to the President and explained why we had taken this stance. We believe that the government needs to reposition itself according to the current political and social challenges. We see the 12 points in our proposals as a measure to determine the readiness and stand […]

Wimal warns of Modi cannot be fooled as we did with Singh.

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

Government Minister Wimal Weerawansa has warned that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may pose a threat to Sri Lanka’s Government. But the Sri Lankan government is counting on Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India and anti Tamil Subramanium Swamy to help them fool PM Modi as they did with Manmohan singh. The Minister said that Modi and his new Government has pushed for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the constitution and will add pressure on the Sri Lankan Government on the promises made by President Rajapaksha to implement more than 13th amendment to than PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Ganthi in 2009. In May 2009 India made the western leaders to trust the promises made by President Rajapaksha who promised to implement more than 13th amendment […]

TNA gathers public support for probe

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has begun holding public meetings to gather support for the international investigation over alleged human rights abuses said to have been committed during the war. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that meetings are being held in all the districts in order to explain to the Tamils the importance of the investigation which was authorized by the UN Human Rights Council in March. He said that the investigation is expected to begin in around two weeks time and the TNA wants to prepare the public to give evidence to the commission which will conduct the investigation, if required. The UN Human Rights Council had in March adopted a U.S. sponsored resolution which calls for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed between 2002 […]

Same 13A policy but different players – Modi resets the clock to 13A, (when) will it start ticking in Sri Lanka?

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has been in politics long enough to know that after 1983, the internal and the external in Sri Lanka have become inextricable. If anyone is interfering in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs, it is because the Sri Lankan government has externalized its internal affairs. It will not be nice for India to say it, but any Sri Lankan politician with a head on his shoulders must know that India does not need Sri Lanka’s co-operation on anything but it is Sri Lanka who needs India’s co-operation to address its own internal as well as external affairs. The choice for the Sri Lankan government is to either co-operate with India on 13A to mitigate the West’s insistence on war crimes investigation, or […]

”No problem giving Police powers to the Tamils but problem in giving it to Sinhala Leaders” Senior Government Minister

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody  Senior Minister of Human Resources, D.E.W. Gunasekera said yesterday while he had no problem with the government deciding to give Police powers to the Northern Province, he felt giving the same powers to the other Provinces was not advisable due to the ill repute of politicians. Gunasekera added that the 13th Amendment should be implemented with Police powers given to a Central Police Commission and land given to the Land Commission through a land policy.  He opined there were unnecessary, imaginary fears on the part of the people, especially Tamils and Muslims, in that the ethnic balance in areas like Kilinochchi will become completely Sinhalese.  Gunasekera said “I have no problem with the Chief Ministers of the North and East being given Police powers. […]

Positive action called for on Sri Lanka’s national question

1st June 2014 // 0 Comments

India’s newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly indicated that the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution should be “optimally” implemented, according to Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs and chairman of the now-defunct All Party Representative Committee (APRC). Speaking at Thursday’s Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) discussion on the “Indian polls impact on Sri Lanka” at the Cinnamon Lakeside hotel, Prof. Vitharana added that Mr. Modi “wants the Tamil community to be given a solution to the national question which would accord with their sense of dignity and their satisfaction to work within one Sri Lanka”. “I would say that this is something that is very clear from what has transpired so far… And therefore it is up to us in […]

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