Change of government in India Blow to TNA’s aspirations

6th June 2014 // 0 Comments

With Barathiya Janatha Party (BJP) returning to office in India, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) seems to be distraught somewhat. The TNA relies heavily on India to prevail upon the government of Sri Lanka to evolve a political solution acceptable to them. The party, under the leadership of MP R. Sampanthan engaged with the previous government of India led by Dr. Manmohan Singh, in this respect. However, the TNA has to make such engagements under a new government now in that country.True, the TNA leaders know of BJP leaders. But, they need to develop fresh contacts with the new government and engage with them more, to muster their fullest possible support for constitutional changes in Sri Lanka by way of a devolution package. It is […]

On Collision Course With India?

6th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Izeth Hussain – Our Government could be entering into a collision course with India over the ethnic problem. This is a possibility, indeed a probability, but not a certainty, which is why I have placed a question mark in the title of this article. Before dealing with that question I must make some clarifications arising out of my article “BJP and the SL Ethnic Problem“. In that article I argued that we must begin our relations with the BJP Government on the assumption that the fundamentals of Indian policy towards Sri Lanka remain unchanged: Sri Lanka by itself can pose no threat to India, but it could if it gangs up with certain powers against India, and except for that eventuality nothing precludes excellent Indo-Sri Lankan […]

13A not the final solution – TNA

6th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan  The 13th Amendment to the Constitution is not the final solution to the Tamil problem, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) General Secretary, Mavai Senathirajah, told Ceylon Today.  Responding to the government rejecting devolving police powers to the Provinces, the MP said yesterday, “The Government of Sri Lanka has assured the Indian Government several times that it will implement the 13th Amendment in full and make devolution meaningful.  “The 13th Amendment came up after the Indo-Lanka Accord and its implementation should be decided by them,” he said.“We have handed over a proposal setting out the framework to the government on 18 March 2011 and the 13th Amendment does not fully reflect our stance,” he said.He said, “Ask India what to do about the government’s rejection.”  The MP […]

Get rid of 13th Amendment – Asgiriya Chapter

6th June 2014 // 0 Comments

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody  The government should do away with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, without succumbing to the pressures exerted by India, the Asgiriya Chapter said yesterday.  Committee Member of the Asgiriya Chapter, Medagama Dhammananda Thera, calling the 13th Amendment the root cause of the country’s… … international bedlam, said initiatives should be taken to prepare a draft Constitution to be presented to Parliament, whilst simultaneously opening it up for public debate.  “The 13th Amendment has not been able to achieve national unity. It has instead precipitated international pressure, particularly from India, through force applied by South India. It has also given birth to the money guzzling Provincial Council system and caused disharmony among the different ethnic communities. We must, as a country, remain independent. We […]

Sri Lanka Panel Receives over 18,000 Complaints of Missing People

6th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Colombo:  A Sri Lankan panel probing the disappearance of people during the country’s nearly three-decade long civil strife has received nearly 18,600 complaints from the public, a senior official has said.The presidential panel has so far held three sittings in January, February and March this year in Killinochchi, Jaffna in the north and Batticaloa in the east.The fourth round of public sittings is to be held in the Batticaloa district this week.So far 18,590 complaints have been received, inclusive of approximately 5,000 from relatives of missing security forces personnel, panel secretary SW Gunadasa said.The commission had thus far inquired into 462 complaints, which are being analysed for further investigations through an independent investigation team.The commission’s mandate was extended in February this year. They would now function until […]

TNA Seeks Public Support And Diaspora ‘Involvement’ To Make PSC Submissions

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance, Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party in the North, has decided to seek public support and the involvement of Tamil Diaspora to formulate a solution to the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka. The solution, the TNA says, would e submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee as a written submission, although the party will not take part in its proceedings. TNA Media Spokesperson and Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandra said suggestions could be mailed them to tnaproposal@gmail.com . “Or else, one can visit the TNA office and present suggestions,” Premachandra said. However, the party has not announced a ‘deadline’ for presenting solutions. At the meeting between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Sri Lankan President emphasized the need of the Parliamentary Select […]

Minister Mervyn Urges Sinhala Women To Contact him for further assistance If they Have Problems In Having Children

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Public Relations Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva has urged women to contact him if and when they have problem in having children.   “The Sinhala race is rapidly becoming a minority and my only only request to the Sinhalese is to produce children as much as possible to avoid extinction of their race,” the Minister said addressing a function in Wattala, which was organized by his ministry.  “There is no point in lamenting over this problem, We need to act fact. If any woman has a problem in having children, I kindly request her to contact me for further assistance,” the Minister, who also holds a ‘Doctorate’, said. “The United People’s Freedom Alliance, led by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, is one big family. The mother and […]

Jaffna Public Library has been rebuilt but it is still a reminder of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai JAFFNA, Sri Lanka  Jaffna Public Library has a painful history behind its pure white walls. It was burnt down during days of mob violence between May 31, 1981 and June 2.Sri Lankan state-sponsored authorities had been involved in days of violence in the country’s north, against ethnic Tamil political activists who were pushing for better representation in the Sinhala-majority country. Many considered the library one of Asia’s biggest and best at the time of the attack. It housed 97,000 precious volumes of books, and manuscripts that included centuries-old Ola leaf records. All were razed, turned to ashes within a period of mob attacks in Jaffna, under the United National Party regime of the time. Many Tamils who lived in the peninsula witnessed the attack, allegedly carried out by police and Sinhalese gangs, and most are unable to come to terms […]

Jaffna bishop: India needs to do more in rebuilding Lanka

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

CHENNAI: The resettlement process currently on in Sri Lanka cannot move forward without India’s assistance and the country can do more to help the thousands who have been rendered orphans or widows or have been otherwise victimised, Rt Rev Daniel S Thiagarajah has said.The Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, who was in Chennai for the two-day visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, talking exclusively to TOI on Tuesday, said the people of the island nation had suffered long enough and “careful planning is needed for the resettlement” effort.“India has contributed so much to the rebuilding and being a good neighbour I hope help will keep coming,” said Thiagarajah. He lauded India’s assistance in setting up of the rail network which has proved to a boon to […]

Modi-Fying The Indian Stand On Ethnic Issue

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

N. Sathiya Moorthy If anyone thought that they could fool around with India’s new, ‘inexperienced’ and ‘un-tested’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi on foreign policy issues in particular, news reports about his post-inauguration meetings with visiting Heads of Governments from SAARC nations suggest otherwise. Not only were those meeting more than a courtesy call, PM Modi is also reported to have discussed bilateral issues with each one of them in some detail. It was no different when Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with Prime Minister Modi. Nor would it be any different as and when a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation calls on the new Indian Prime Minister, for which they have already sought an early appointment. The Indian position is a balanced approach – […]

Hold Gotabhaya accountable for war-crimes, writes NYU Professor of Law

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Porf. Goodman states that ‘Gotabaya’ can be charged in the US. It is felt, if he tries to oppose it then, US is entitled to hold onto all his properties and finances unless he agrees to face the charges! Also, GoSL can be pressured to hand over ‘Gotabaya’! Then if the Mahinda tries to interfere then, he could be charged as an associate in the charges! In the first of these two Tamil Net links, Prof Ryan Goodman, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law is of the opinion Gotabhaya as a US citizen could be charged in the US courts for crimes against the Eelam Tamils by ordering the killing of Tamil political leaders and the shelling of the ‘No Fire […]

‘NO 13th Amendment’ GL answers Ranil

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris answers an oral question raised by the United National Party’s national leader and the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in parliament today (June 04) and reiterates that the so called ethnic or national issue should be approached via the Parliamentary Select Committee which was appointed for the purpose. Ruling party stalwart Nimal Siripala de Silva voiced the same three days ago and this the External Affairs Minister said that the Freedom Alliance government’s stance is very clear and it does not provide police powers to any provincial council in the country. The Opposition Leader quoting “media reports” in Parliament said that President discussed over the reconciliation with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their recent meeting in New Delhi. […]

Sri Lanka reacts strongly to Jayalalithaa’s genocide remarks on Tamil issue

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka on Thursday reacted strongly against the genocide remarks made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa against the country over the Tamil issue and said it will make formal objections to India over her comments. “It is very much in keeping with the character of this politician to make wild allegations against Sri Lanka,” the government spokesman and Minister of Information Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. He was reacting to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi which carried word “genocide” on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. She had demanded that India should sponsor a resolution in the United Nations condemning the genocide in Sri Lanka. “I request that India should sponsor a resolution in the United Nations condemning the genocide in Sri […]

Why SL should not antagonize Jayalalithaa

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, has been the target of Sri Lanka’s State and pro-government media since the day the results of the Indian general election were out. They jubilantly reported Jayalalithaa losing the grip she had on the centre due to the outright victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Many cartoonists in Sri Lankan newspapers also mocked Jayalalithaa. Government spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said the non-dependence of the Modi’s Government on Jayalalithaa was a victory for Sri Lanka. The government was elated when President Mahinda Rajapaksa was invited for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony amidst protests of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. The Rajapaksa Government has been criticizing the Tamil Nadu State Government led by Jayalalithaa for a long time. Tamil Nadu once protested a cartoon […]

Jayalalithaa’s wish list

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has, at her very first meeting with Narendra Modi after the latter’s assumption of duties as Prime Minister, submitted a 64-page memorandum containing a long wish list among other things. As regards, Sri Lanka, she has sought the Centre’s intervention to take over Kachchativu and conduct a UN-sponsored referendum on Eelam. These, she has been harping on for a long time without success. What is of interest, in our book, is her request that the new BJP-led government declare Tamil as an official language. One is intrigued. Why hasn’t either she or any of her predecessors like M. G. Ramachandran or even M. Karunanidhi been able to sort out that issue all these years? Has she taken it up […]

Mahinda to Modi ”No devolution of powers to Tamil’s”

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

President Mahinda Rajapakse has informed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that devolving of police powers to the provincial councils was not acceptable by the Sri Lankan government, Minister of External Affairs Professor G. L. Peiris informed Parliament today.Minister Peiris who was responding to a statement made by Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremsinghe who raised a question on the reports which said the Indian Prime Minister had told President Rajapaksa to work towards bringing about national reconciliation in Sri Lanka, by implementing a solution to the national issue by devolving powers, which went beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.Professor Peiris said President Rajapaksa explained the position of the Sri Lankan government during the bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi when the former visited Delhi […]

Revelations On “How Negotiations With The TNA Failed”

5th June 2014 // 0 Comments

By Laksiri Fernando – Those who are concerned with political reconciliation and long term peace in the country must thank Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP (UPFA) for his recent revelations, although those might be construed by the government circles as back stabbing and/or betrayal. Although the revealed documentation, limited to a five point discussion note and three sketchy communications between Wijesinha and Sajin Vas Gunawardane, again a UPFA MP but a monitoring one, does not expose any sensitive information, the narrative as well as the contents amply demonstrate the scant and lackadaisical manner that the most important negotiations with the TNA were conducted after the conclusion of the war in May 2009. It is not clear or revealed that how many rounds of negotiations or discussions were held altogether between the […]

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 […]

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