Anton Balasingham Predicted A Bloody End For The LTTE

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Pitasanna Shanmugathas – Pitasanna Shanmugathas On March 4th 2017 Anton Balasingham Stanislaus would have been celebrating his 79th birthday. Within the LTTE, Anton Balasingham was the political ideologue—a man who advocated pragmatic solutions. Prabhakaran was the military mastermind. When I interviewed Erik Solheim he described their relationship “as that of a husband and wife,” always needing each other but at the same time always fighting with one another. “Together, when [Balasingham and Prabhakaran] combined their forces, they were a strong team. Separately, neither of them could lead the struggle.” Balasingham, for the latter part of his life, would spend all his energy attempting to convince Prabhakaran that the ethnic conflict can only be solved under a united Sri Lanka. A separate state was not […]

We Welcome Human Rights Boss Zeid’s Report, But Sri Lanka Lacks Credibility: TNA

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has welcomed the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations. Sampanthan Issuing a statement today the TNA said: “The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomes the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution, and its recommendations. While the report acknowledges some areas of progress, such as discussions on constitutional reform, it is critical of the government’s failure to deliver with respect to a number of critical issues. The TNA shares the concerns of the Report that confidence building measures such as land releases, release of prisoners, repeal of the PTA, reform of the Victim […]

Lankan duo in Canada nabbed for multimillion dollar fraud, money laundering operation

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Two Sri Lankans have been arrested as part of an investigation by Canadian police into a multimillion dollar fraud and money laundering operation. Sukanya Panchalingam and Balasubramaniam Shajeefkaran, a husband-and-wife pair between the ages 28 and 36, were taken from a home in Ajax, Ontario, where Toronto police found more than CAD (Canadian dollars) eight million worth of fraudulent cheques and stolen merchandise. The investigation was led by Constable Michael Lane whose press conference on “Project Fellowship”–as it is called–was accessed online by the Sunday Times.  The Toronto police confirmed both were Sri Lankans but refused to divulge their immigration status. The arrest of the couple is believed to be the tip of an investigation that is expected to reel in more members of the […]

GTF And Govt. To Work Together

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The government and the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a powerful Tamil diaspora group based in London, are to work together to address the Tamil issue. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had talks with the President of the Global Tamil Forum, Father S. J. Emmanuel, in Geneva last week. Father Emmanuel told The Sunday Leader that he met Samaraweera and a Sri Lankan delegation for about 45 minutes behind closed doors. “In all my meetings I have openly said that I do it as an act of critical and constructive collaboration by a moderate diaspora organization and me as one of the oldest victims and witnesses of this conflict right from June 1956. Hence our exchanges are about helping one another,” he said. Father Emmanuel also said that while […]

Demonstration Called Off, Sampanthan Praised Sirisena For Resolving Puthukkudiyiruppu Land Issue

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

“Puthukkudiyiruppu land matter has been resolved. The land is to be returned in 3 stages the first stage on 4th March and the second and third stages in a few months. The commitments made should be honoured.” says Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan. Maithripala and Sampanthan | File photo Sending a letter to the President, Samapanthan said: “In view of possession being handed over at Kepepulavu – Pillaikudiyiruppu – The persons who were demonstrating against being kept out of their lands, have called off their demonstration. I am particularly thankful to you and other authorities for the expeditious action taken to hand back this land.” We publish below the letter in full: His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka […]

Need Centre’s help in Sri Lanka issue, says Anbumani Ramadoss

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Anbumani Ramadoss on Saturday asked the Union government to take the issue to the UN security council to ensure justice for Tamils. Chennai: Citing the report of United Nations Human Rights Commissioner  Zeid Raad Al Hussein accusing Sri Lanka of failing to comply with the commission’s resolutions for hybrid mechanism to probe the war crimes and return of army occupied lands to Tamils, PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Saturday asked the Union government to take the issue to the UN security council to ensure justice for Tamils. The high commissioner had stated that the island government is very slow in implementing the UNHCR resolutions and the ministers are speaking in different voices about them. The laws of the Lankan government should be amended […]

Geneva pilgrimage:Over-promising at UNHRC and under-achieving at home

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

by Rajan Philips It is now nine years since Sri Lanka began its pilgrimage to Geneva to attend the annual sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). For the first six years, it was all confrontational with the Rajapaksa government taking aggressive positions against UNHRC resolutions and trying in vain to mobilize votes among the 47 members of the Council to oppose resolutions sponsored by western countries. It has been all conciliatory under the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe government that took office after the defeat of President Rajapaksa in the January 2015 presidential election. Rather than mobilizing opposition, the government co-sponsored a new resolution at the October 2015 UNHRC session. This week, in Geneva, Foreign Minister Mangala Samarweera asked for and is being generously given two […]

Move To Dilute “Foreign Judges” Clause In Resolution

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam  The government may seek support to dilute a controversial clause in a resolution which was passed in 2015, when a follow-up resolution on Sri Lanka is presented to the UN Human Rights Council during the ongoing session in Geneva. Government sources said that discussions will be held to get the support of UN Human Rights Council members to bring down the pressure to implement the clause in Resolution 30/1 which calls for the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism when investigating the war. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said last week that Sri Lanka will not have foreign judges or a hybrid system in the accountability process but international human rights […]

UK HUNGER STRIKE Continues – DAY 11

5th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Hunger Strike in UK day 11 – ஏழாவது நாளாக தொடரும் அறவழி போராட்டம் 0:23 Hunger Strike in UK day 7 – ஏழாவது நாளாக தொடரும் அறவழி போராட்டம் ** Hunger Strike Protest in front of 10 Downing Street ** In support of our people protests in Tamil Eelam & demand the UN not to extend the time for Sri Lanka on implementation of resolution 30/1 and Justice, Peace and permanent solution (Tamil Eelam) for Tamils. TGTE have organised Hunger Strike Protest in front of 10 Downing Street during the 34th Session of UNHRC. Date: Wednesday 01/03/2017 Time : Continued (No time limit) Location: In front of 10 Downing Street, London, UK, SW1A 2AA Station: Westminster Under Ground Organised & Supported by : TGTE & Other Organisations For further […]

‘We will go the distance’: Mangala tells UN in Geneva

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera addresses the 34th UNHRC sessions in Geneva yesterday  Amid setbacks and realpolitik considerations, the Government remains determined to follow through on its reconciliation and justice commitments, Foreign Minister tells UN in Geneva Mangala tells UNHRC Govt. resolve on transitional justice undiminished Truth-seeking Commission before Cabinet in two months  ‘Even one incident of torture is one too many,’ says Foreign Minister Mangala tells UN: New constitution will ‘unite a people who have been  divided too long   By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva In the face of mounting criticism about the pace of reform and setbacks in the transitional justice process, Sri Lanka told the United Nations yesterday about dilemmas the Government was confronting as it attempted to lead a war-torn and divided country on a journey of […]

UK says give Sri Lanka time to fully implement resolution

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

The British Government told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today to give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution. British Minister for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alok Sharma, told the Council during the high-level segment he welcomes Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s constructive engagement at the UNHRC. “We must give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution and post-conflict measures required to embed stability, reconciliation and justice,” he said. Sharma later had talks with Samaraweera on the sidelines of the 34th session of the UNHRC underway in Geneva. “Discussed the need to embed stability, reconciliation & justice in #SriLanka,” Sharma tweeted on his meeting with  Samaraweera. In his speech to the Council, Sharma said it was a […]

UK parliament debates Sri Lanka’s progress in human rights issues

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

James Berry (Kingston and Surbiton) (Con)   Share this contribution I beg to move, That this House has considered human rights in Sri Lanka and the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gapes, not only because it will be wonderfully fair and impartial but because I know that you take an interest in the issue. It is also a pleasure to be joined by so many members of the all-party parliamentary group for Tamils, in which I have seen, since my election, genuinely cross-party work on an issue of importance to many of our constituents. It is timely that we are holding this debate the day after the opening of the 34th session of […]

Sri Lanka could be let off the hook at UNHRC

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Despite heavy lobbying by human rights groups against giving any reprieve to Sri Lanka, the South Asian island nation is likely to be let off the hook at the current session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) due to exigencies of international politics, diplomats stationed in Colombo believe. The expectation here is that Sri Lanka will be given more time to meet its commitments contained in the UNHRC resolution which it co-sponsored in September 2015. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (R) and President Maithripala Sirisena stand next to each other during cricketer Kumar Sangakkara’s retirement ceremony, August 24, 2015. Reuters The Western nations, which enjoy disproportionate clout in the 47-member body, appear to be keen to see that the “accommodative” Sri Lankan government […]

Student ‘desperate to get back to studies’ after removal from UK is halted

1st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Home Office defers decision to remove Shiromini Satkunarajah to Sri Lanka until she completes her degree at Bangor A talented student who came within hours of being removed from the UK has said she is desperate to get back to her studies to catch up with the work she has missed while being held in police cells and an immigration detention centre. Shiromini Satkunarajah, 20, who was about to be put on a plane to her country of birth, Sri Lanka, told the Guardian she could not wait to get home to Bangor in north Wales, where she is expected to achieve a first-class degree. She thanked the tens of thousands of people who backed her campaign to stay, including fellow students across the UK, […]

Hon. Sampanthan meets Senators from France: Statement

28th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Press Release The Leader of the Opposition and the TNA, Hon. R. Sampanthan MP met with a delegation of Senators from France at the Opposition Leader’s office in the Parliamentary complex today (27 Feb). At the meeting, Mr. Sampanthan briefed the delegation on the constitutional making process, stating that the new constitution should possess features that will give more powers to the provincial councils concerning matters of socio-economic development. Commenting on the upcoming UN Human Rights Council sessions, Mr. Sampanthan stated that very little had been achieved on the UNHRC 30/1 resolution, which was cosponsored by the Sri Lankan government. Mr. Sampanthan also stated that an extension of time to the government to fulfill its commitment to the resolution should be granted only under strict […]

“We are hopeful of a political solution” – GTF

28th February 2017 // 0 Comments

With the commencement of the UNHRC session featuring Sri Lanka’s case among others, Suren Sirendiran, the spokesperson for Global Tamil Forum, a leading Tamil Diaspora Organisation, articulates the implementation of its resolution, action regarding alleged war crimes and the way forward. The interview conducted by email:  Ahead of the UNHRC session, how do you analyze the progress made by the government in addressing your aspirations? Progress is dead slow and minimal. It is now obvious that Sri Lanka wouldn’t have made any significant progress by March 2017 in implementing the UNHRC resolution that it co-sponsored. Therefore, it is inevitable that Sri Lanka will request an extension to the timeline. It will only be conceivable that the member states will agree to extend, through a new […]

All the crooks and murderers are with Mahinda Rajapaksa

27th February 2017 // 0 Comments

‘Spring-clean SLFP and get rid of the rotten to win polls’ Chandrika’s call for party reform echoes what masses want from all parties: ‘Break free from rogues and come clean’ Mother knows best! The Matriarch of the SLFP, the twice elected former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunge struck a blow for all right thinking members of the party her father SWRD founded when she declared last week that the SLFP must break free from joint opposition crooks and murderers and go it alone with a new set of above board faces. CHANDRIKA: ‘SLFP vote base will increase if we throw out the corrupt MR faction’ “All the crooks and murderers are with Mahinda Rajapaksa, “ she told a group of foreign correspondents in no uncertain terms […]

Mahinda at it again?

27th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has indicated his interest in meeting representatives of the main two minority communities, sources said. Rajapaksa According to sources, Rajapaksa wants a platform to discuss the current political situation in the country with them, and a tentative meeting is scheduled for next month between the representatives of both communities, including leaders of political parties, and Rajapaksa, who has been largely unpopular in the face of both minority communities. Sources said that Rajapaksa is seeking their support in his efforts to further strengthen his position in the political spectrum. “The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna which is indirectly led by Rajapaksa is hoping to contest the local government elections later this year, and it is very likely that during the meetings, this will […]

Many Sinhalese favorable to devolution on the basis of 13th Amendment

27th February 2017 // 0 Comments

By Izeth Hussain – Izeth Hussain Many Sinhalese, possibly even a majority, seem favorable to the idea of solving the Tamil ethnic problem through devolution on the basis of 13th Amendment, though in a truncated form without land and police powers. Many Tamils, possibly even a majority, could be favorable to 13 A with some modifications of land and police powers. So a Sinhalese- Tamil consensus on a modified form of 13 A seems feasible. The consensus among the experts seems to be that appropriate Constitutional modifications to 13 A can be made with a two-thirds Parliamentary majority without recourse to a referendum. So there does seem to be a prospect of our reaching a definitive solution to the ethnic problem at long last. There […]

If the referendum is won by the Sinhalese with a majority of over 95 per cent

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

If the government opts for a Constitutional referendum, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will achieve its objectives regardless of the referendum results, the Joint Opposition Parliamentarian MP Keheliya Rambukwella a Mahinda loyalist said yesterday. Addressing the press, JO Parliamentarian MP Keheliya Rambukwella said the reason behind TNA calling for a referendum was because the TNA would benefit from it even if the referendum was lost. If the referendum is won by the Sinhalese with a majority of over 95 per cent, the TNA would complain to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) while stating that it was the reason why they were unable to live in harmony with the Sinhalese for 65 years TNA could also expose the abuse of power by successive Sinhale governments over […]

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