Fear of LTTE regrouping unfounded and untrue

29th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Nothing wrong in TNA having close links with Tamil Diasporaby Sulochana Ramiah MohanBharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Global Convener of Overseas Affairs, Vijay Jolly, who is also a member of the BJP Executive Committee, says although India has committed US$ 1.6 billion as development assistance to Sri Lanka, following the end of the war, they are not satisfied with the progress. “The absence of confidence between the government and the people needs to be rectified on an urgency basis,” he told Ceylon Today in an exclusive interview.Excerpts of the interview:Q:Many say India’s foreign policy, of PM Modi’s government, especially with Sri Lanka, is like ‘Old wine in a new bottle’. How will you defend this statement?A: No, this is not true. Foreign Policy of India, under […]

A day of frugal meals and visits by party faithful

29th September 2014 // 0 Comments

For AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, who is known to be an early riser, Sunday at the Parappana Agrahara prison was no different. For AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, who is known to be an early riser, Sunday at the Parappana Agrahara prison was no different. Her first full day in jail began as early as 5.30 am. Prison officials told The Hinduthat the three-time Chief Minister asked the authorities for five newspapers — three Tamil and two English. This was followed by her request to take a walk on the premises, which was allowed. Sources said she refused prison breakfast. Idlis and vadas were brought from outside for her. This is allowed at the discretion of the jail superintendent under the prison manual, sources said. Hectic activity […]

What Jayalalithaa’s Sentence Means for Tamil Nadu

29th September 2014 // 0 Comments

(Siddharth Varadarajan is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, Shiv Nadar University) ‘The king rules the world and justice rules the king’ – Tirukkural By finding Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa guilty of corruption and sending her to prison for four years, a special court in Bangalore has created a political vacuum in Tamil Nadu that will not be quickly or easily filled. The conviction means Jayalalithaa must immediately resign as Chief Minister and as Member of the Legislative Assembly. She will appeal her conviction, no doubt, and perhaps even get a stay on her sentence. But so long as the courts do not stay the conviction itself – as was the case with the former BJP MP […]

High Commissioner Nonis Quits After Assault By MP Sajin Vaas

29th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka High Commissioner in United Kingdom, Chris Nonis has resigned after he was assaulted mercilessly by Sajin Vass Gunawardena, the Monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs at a house in New York. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who returned to Colombo from New York, after attending the UN has ordered the state and private media to blackout the news and not report anything on this matter. He personally spoke to everyone concerned. The incident took place at the house of Dilan Ariyawansa, who is now Director of Sri Lankan Airlines in New York. He has thrown a dinner for many members of Rajapaksa’s team taking part in UN General Assembly. Ariyawansa was originally sent to New York as an employee-manager of Sri Lanka Travel Inc. in 2000 by […]

Overplaying the ‘China Card’?

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Sri Lanka earlier this month was widely seen as heralding a new chapter in bilateral relations between the two nations. During his visit, which was the first to Sri Lanka by a Chinese President in 28 years, Xi pushed for the country’s cooperation on China’s initiative to create a Maritime Silk Road (MSR) for the 21st century. The ambitious project aims to establish a lucrative sea-trade route between China and other countries in the region and beyond. The initiative was first proposed by President Xi during a speech to the Indonesian Parliament in October, last year. The original proposal called for the establishment of such a route to increase maritime cooperation between China and member states of the […]

Govt Rides On Modi now!

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu made a lot of noise on Sri Lanka ahead of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but it seemed Sri Lanka had the last laugh. Last week was a crucial week for Sri Lanka both at the UNGA and the UNHRC. A day after President Mahinda Rajapaksa explained his position on the UNHRC during his speech at the UNGA, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) explained its position on the investigation on Sri Lanka. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansier, on Thursday, presented the oral update related to the investigation on the war in Sri Lanka. Pansier submitted a summary of the oral update and said that while commending […]

Timing of Jayalalithaa case targets Dravidian polity

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK Chief Ms J Jayalalithaa has been sentenced on Saturday to 4 years of imprisonment, Rs. 100 crore fine and has been debarred from contesting elections for six years after the completion of the prison term by a special court of India, in a 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. Last month, New Delhi’s Central Bureau of Investigation filed a new telecommunication corruption case against a former DMK minister and a Malaysian corporate owner of Eezham Tamil origin, in addition to earlier cases on DMK leaders. The New Delhi government stridently opposes and blocks any UN or international scrutiny on crimes committed in the island of Sri Lanka. Ms Jayalalithaa, personally as well as through Tamil Nadu State Assembly, has been demanding […]

Probe To Continue

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam and Waruni Karunarathne The investigations into the war on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will continue despite a split seen at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last Thursday when Sri Lanka was discussed once again, OHCHR officials said. The investigations team of OHCHR is collecting testimonials as part of the investigation and had last week translated the document calling for submissions from English to Sinhalese and Tamil. OHCHR informed the UNHRC last week that the investigation on Sri Lanka is facing a real challenge going to a climate of intimidation and threat. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansier, said the threats undermines the prospects for Sri Lanka’s own domestic […]

Inquest finds Lankan’s death accident

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

A Sri Lankan political refugee died in his London cell accidentally following failures by staff at Pentonville Prison to care for him due to budget cuts, an inquest has heard, the Islington Tribune reported. Inadequate training and lack of communication and information sharing at the Caledonian Road prison contributed to the death of Satheeskumar Mahathevan, a jury at St Pancras Coroner’s Court ruled. The 31-year-old supermarket cashier, who fled Sri Lanka’s civil war as a teenager in 1999 in fear of his life, was found hanged in his cell on April 16 and died three days later. The jury ruled that he had not committed suicide and returned a majority verdict of accidental death. It is the latest in a series of criticisms aimed at […]

Government hails ruling against Jaya

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

The Government hailed the court ruling against the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, which will effectively see her being forced to resign. Ties between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu have been strained over the years, particularly on a long standing conflict between fishermen of both countries, fueled in recent times by accusations raised by Jayalalithaa. Jayalalithaa was today found guilty by an Indian court in a disproportionate assets case which has resulted in her losing her post as Chief Minister and being sentenced to jail. Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the judgment showed how corrupt the Tamil Nadu politician was and is a good lesson both for her and corrupt politicians even in Sri Lanka. Senaratne said that Jayalalithaa, who was often vocal on the […]

How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Secrets How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder By Trevor Grant With a foreword by Geoffrey Robertson QC Author Trevor Grant in conversation with Julian Burnside AO, QC, and official launch of Sri Lanka’s Secrets, 14 August at Readings Bookshop, Carlton, 6 for 6.30pm As the civil war in Sri Lanka drew to its bloody end in 2009 the government of this island nation removed its protection from UN officials and employees, who, along with other international observers, were forced to leave the conflict zone. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his inner circle wanted, it seemed, a war without witness. The end result was the deliberate slaughter of an estimated 70,000 innocent civilians. However, many survivors, and some who died, were able to capture […]

Jayalalithaa Given Prisoner No 7402 and Housed in VVIP Cell No 23 with Bed,Fan and Bathroom Facility in Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara.

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

If Ms Jayalalithaa can get an acquittal in a higher court, she will still have a chance of making a comeback: If she fails, it may prove difficult to remote control the party for 10 years. By Imran Gowhar Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who has been convicted in the disproportionate assets case, has been allotted the VVIP Cell number 23 in the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara. She has been given prisoner number 7402. Sources said the cell is located next to the women’s barrack. Jail authorities said the occupant was entitled to a bed, fan and separate bathroom facility. Ms Jayalalithaa was provided with a white sari as a convict. Her dinner included a Ragi ball, 200 grams of rice and two chapathis. However, […]

Cho. Ramaswamy says Legal Avenues are Available to Jayalalithaa and that she may come out Unscathed in the Future.

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By B. Kolappan & B. Aravind Kumar Every time her political rivals have written her off, Tamil Nadu’s three time Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has made a comeback. And so while AIADMK’s political rivals believe that Saturday’s verdict against Ms Jayalalithaa would be a permanent setback and weaken her hold over the party, political analysts refuse to endorse this assessment. Veteran journalist and political analyst Cho Ramaswamy said though the judgment was a blow to her now, there was a lot of sympathy for Ms Jayalalithaa among the people. “The considered opinion of the legal experts is that legal avenues are available to her and she may come out unscathed in the future,” said Mr Ramaswamy, a long-time friend. Mr Ramaswamy went on to say that […]

Ms.Jayalalithaa Still has Avenues of Appeal Open to her -The Hindu

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

(Text of an Editorial Appearing in “The Hindu”of September 28th 2014 Under the Heading “The Long Road to Justice”) The conviction of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case by a Special Court in Bangalore is a significant vindication of a vital constitutional principle — that the rule of law be upheld for all citizens including persons in high public office. Too often have members of the political class managed to get away with the abuse of power, betraying the trust of the people who voted them to office. Ms. Jayalalithaa is the first serving Chief Minister to be convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act; before her only a handful of political leaders have had to face jail terms in corruption cases. […]

Narendra Modi and Mahinda Rajapaksa Talk in New York “About Various Issues” but 13th Amendment “Issue was not Discussed in the Meeting”.

28th September 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapaksa held talks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York yesterday with the two leaders discussing key issues, including bilateral and regional, media reports said. This was the second meeting between the two leaders after Mr. Modi was sworn-in as India’ Prime Minister in May this year. “The meeting was cordial and good. We talked about various issues,” Mr. Rajapaksa told PTI after emerging from the 30 minute-long meeting. Asked about India pushing for expeditious implementation of the 13th Amendment, the President said, “The issue was not discussed in the meeting”. The 13th Amendment introduced provincial councils with specified powers based on the provisions of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. Mr. Rajapaksa had earlier met with PM Modi in New […]

CBK’s comments on creeping militarization

27th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, in office and outside, was never shy of speaking her mind. Her recent remarks on “rampant militarization’’ in an interview with the weekend edition of the Aththa newspaper has predictably drawn the ire of the Defence Ministry. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that the former president has spoken out on a subject that is worrying a number of Lankans, not merely those who are opposed to the present Rajapaksa administration. The President and his brother, the Defence Secretary, have been widely commended across the political spectrum for ending the LTTE menace. Even those inclined to the view that appointing members of a leader’s immediate family to top positions in any administration does not enhance good governance agree that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, […]

Only losers at Uva election

27th September 2014 // 0 Comments

The results sheet of the 2014 Uva Provincial Council polls will indicate that the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won and that the opposition United National Party (UNP) came second but in reality, there were only losers in this election. It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s and the ruling party’s intention to record a rollicking victory in Uva and then carry that momentum in to presidential and general elections called ahead of schedule. Instead, the UPFA was delivered a rude shock by the voters and only just managed to record victory. What would surprise those in power is not that its share of the vote was reduced; that is only to be expected after over ten years in power. The magnitude of the decline is […]

Stop crossovers, bring back by-election system  says Govt. Minister

27th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By Zacki Jabbar A government Minister yesterday dropped a bombshell calling for an end to the sickening  practice of crossovers mid term,which has resulted in the voters being cheated and left humiliated time and again.  Deputy Foreign Minister Neomal Perera when asked if  the need of the hour was to stop unethical defections by reintroducing the by-election system which would ensure that Members of Parliament  and other elected bodies  who wanted  to switch parties mid-term for various perks and privileges, would lose their seats and be forced to  seek the voters consent, replied “I fully agree with you, but it should be a mixture of the first past the post and proportional representation systems”. “This would ensure  a fair deal for the minority parties as […]

UN Human Rights Council Challenged – Witnesses to UN Investigation Threatened by Sri Lankan Government

27th September 2014 // 0 Comments

In what amounts to be a direct challenge to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Sri Lankan Government has taken a hostile attitude toward a UNHRC investigation. The UNHRC in its March 2014 Session created an investigative body on Sri Lanka to inquire into serious crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the war. The Sri Lankan Government has threatened prospective witnesses to this UN investigation of dire consequences, including legal action, for giving evidence and the President of Sri Lanka has categorically denied access to the country to this investigative body. https://news.vice.com/article/sri-lankas-president-doesnt-want-the-uninvestigating-war-crimes-in-his-country The Sri Lankan Cabinet spokesman Mr. Keheliya Rambukwella, threatened legal action against those testifying before the UN inquiry. http://www.ceylontoday.lk/58-70207-news-detailun-inquiry-and-sri-lankas-response.htm l This explicit threat of prosecution coupled with the covert activities of “white van” abductions and “disappearances” place all […]

Sri Lanka Sets Dangerous Trends For The Effective Functioning Of UNHRC

27th September 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rev. S.J. Emmanuel – We are pleased to welcome wholeheartedly the statement of the High Commissioner calling for a – more fundamental and far-reaching accountability process in Sri Lanka, addressing both past and ongoing violations, which are absolutely necessary for Sri Lankans to come to terms with their past, end impunity, achieve reconciliation between communities and strengthen the rule of law. Though the war ended in May 2009, the conflict has in fact been deepened during these last five years by the policies of the present Government. The President of Sri Lanka  made promises at the conclusion of the war – to the General Secretary of the UN as well as to all the countries that helped him with finances and weapons, to win the war, […]

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