Muslims In Sri Lanka: A new strategy for engagement

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Scores of Muslim mosques, homes and businesses were destroyed as mobs ran amok for three days in Kandy. Thousands of Muslims are disillusioned and uncertain about their safety and security for the future. Well-meaning majority Buddhists have made fresh pledges and called on the government to investigate the violence. As this is being investigated and persons of interest apprehended, fresh revelations emerge every day. This article is not about what went wrong but about what needs to be done. I was in Sri Lanka when the news of the racial riots in the district of Kandy broke. The magnitude of the attacks came as a shock. Needless to say that this shattered my sense of safety and security. I was in Kandy, miles from Digana […]

Geneva 2018 and its aftermath

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By Neville Ladduwahetty Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana opened his address to the UN Human Rights Council at the 37th Secession by referring to a section from President Sirisena’s 100 Day Programme; he stress, inter alia: “… the government’s firm commitment to the advancement of reconciliation, the rule of law, good governance, human rights, justice, equality, and dignity for all our citizens …” He concluded his address, stating: “Sri Lanka’s judiciary and law enforcement mechanisms are fully capable and committed to the processes of advancing justice to all concerned. It has a long history of integrity and professionalism and since January 2015, steps have been taken to further strengthen its independence. And may I add, Mr. President that all reconciliation mechanisms will be implemented […]

SLFP Party Is Heading For Split With One Faction Wanting To Quit Govt And Another Opposing it

10th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Stormy Session of SLFP Central Committee Meeting Shows Party Is Heading For Split With One Faction Wanting To Quit Govt And Another Opposing it By Rathindra Kuruwita The SLFP Central Committee, following a stormy session last night, resolved that all SLFP ministers boycott today’s Cabinet meeting. It, however, didn’t take a final decision on whether to remain in the unity government or not. President Maithripala chaired the meeting at the President’s House, Colombo 01. Minister Anura Priyadashana Yapa proposed that the SLFP leave the government with Minister S. B. Dissanayake seconding his proposal. Ministers Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene and Chandima Weerakkody also spoke in favour of the proposal. Continue reading ‘Stormy Session of SLFP Central Committee Meeting Shows Party Is Heading For Split With One Faction […]

Vavuniyaa Judge warns SL Attorney General against delaying tactics on TPP cases

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Vavuniya High Court Judge Balendran Sasi Mahendran on Tuesday gave a strong message to SL Attorney General’s Department questioning the absence of its representative at the hearing of the case of three Tamil political prisoners on Tuesday. The case was taken up at Vavuniyaa High Court after it was transferred back following firm pressure from the prisoners and their people against the transfer the case from Vavuniyaa to Anuradhapura last year. Fixing a new date for the hearing the Judge said the AG should not miss representation next time and went to the extent of stating consider a new Judge if there were any hesitation against him hearing the case. But, the hearings should proceed without further postponements, Judge Sasi Mahendran has warned.  Mathiyarasan Sulaxan […]

It was the President who decided to sit on the fence and allow a free vote for his MPs.

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Racism and Hollow Populism Seem to be the Only Ideologies Attractive to the New Breed of Professional Politicians . By Jayaeva Uyangoda Amidst so many stories about the ever – exciting twists and turns in the crisis faced by our Government, we seem to ignore so many other significant political questions. One such question is: what is happening in Sri Lanka’s political parties? As visible from the unfolding power struggles, Sri Lanka’s two main parties – the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) – are in crisis, awaiting a re-invention for their survival. Meanwhile, a new party — Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) – has emerged, posing a serious existential threat to the SLFP and even showing signs of becoming the […]

Another crude bid to capture national political power by Rajapaksha Family

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Crude Attempt of Joint Opposition Disgracefully Aided And Abetted By Sections of Sirisena’s SLFP To Capture Political Power Ends In Failure By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene A crude bid to capture national political power by the so-called Joint Opposition, disgracefully aided and abetted by a section of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) failed this week. Given the political configurations on the floor of the House, perhaps this failure was inevitable but nothing is certain after all, in this dirty, rotten game of scoundrels beating their chests like patriots, as they say. If this plot had succeeded, the consequences for national stability are too catastrophic to contemplate. In the wake of the defeat, the United National Party (UNP) has promised wide ranging reforms, internally as […]

Mahinda’s SLPP Racist party opposes land release to Tamil civilians by military.

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Mahinda’s new Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party today claimed that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had made a deal with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to get its (16 MP’s) support to defeat the no-confidence motion against him. New Sinhala racist party SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said according to the agreement 650 acres of land illegally occupied by the Sinhale Armed forces in the North was to be released to their owners. Appoint officers of Tamil speaking as district secretaries in the North and East where Tamil is used by the majority. This will lead to grave repercussions in the state sector. The Constitution allows any citizen, regardless of their ethnicity, to settle anywhere in the country and to work anywhere SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris told a news briefing. Prof. Peiris […]

Rs 16M to restore 72 Hindu temples

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Hindu places of worship, in the Eastern Province, that were damaged during the separatist war are to be restored after more than 12 years. Funds for the renovation of damaged Hindu temples, in the Batticaloa and Ampara Districts, were distributed to the trustees of the temples at the Navatkuda Cultural Hall in Batticaloa on Saturday (07). At a ceremony presided over by the Director of the Department of Hindu Cultural Affairs, Uma Maheswaran has said every year these allocations are made to temples affected by the conflict for renovation. Rupees 12 million has been set apart  for the renovation of 55 temples in the Batticaloa District, while  Rs 2 million has been earmarked for the reconstruction of 16 temples in the Ampara District. At the […]

NPC member to protest illegal settlements

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Provincial Councillors in the North are set to stage a mass protest, outside the Mullaitivu District Secretariat tomorrow (10), against creating new settlements by bringing outsiders in the Mahaweli development area of the Mullaitivu District. The protest, to create awareness on illegal settlements in the district will commence at 3p.m. tomorrow according to Northern Provincial Councillor T. Raviharan. The Provincial Councillor also said that memorandums urging to stop the illegal settlements in the district would also be handed over to the Mullaitivu District Secretary to be sent to the President and the Prime Minister. He also said that the Northern Provincial Councillors will also visit the areas where the illegal settlements, in the guise of Mahaweli development schemes, are being set up in the Mullaitivu […]

Tamil Pre-school teachers ordered to attend training at Military camp

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

The Civil Security Department has ordered teachers working at its pre-school in the Vanni region to attend 20 days of ‘leadership training’ at the Theravil military camp.  Teachers were given military uniform with instruction to arrive at the camp tomorrow dressed in this attire.  “When we joined the pre-schools to work, they assured us that no military training would take place, but now they are ordering us to attend military training under the name of ‘leadership training’,” a pre-school teacher who has been ordered to attend the training told Tamil Guardian, speaking on condition of anonymity.  “If we do not attend the training we will lose our jobs, that’s why we are going to go,” the teacher added, explaining that many of the teachers had […]

ASP, HQI laughingly watched thugs accosting Opposition MPs

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

State Minister Ajith P. Perera told Court that he witnessed an Assistant Superintendent of Police and the Headquarters Inspector of the Hambantota Police, standing and laughing while thugs accosted a group of United National Party MPs on a visit to the Hambantota port in 2014. The minister was giving evidence in the case filed in the Hambantota High Court (HC) over criminal intimidation of UNP MPs, then in the Opposition, during a field visit. State Minister Perera told Judge Thamara Tennakoon he feared for his life at the time of the incident which was politically motivated. He said he and the other MPs visited the port and the Mattala airport after obtaining permission from project officials.In evidence led by Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris, the […]

JO MP’s blame the TNA for exposing the abductions and killing by former government.

9th April 2018 // 0 Comments

 The Nation Deputy Editor Noyahr was abducted and assaulted in late May 2008, an normal act by the Mahinda government which is accused of abducting and killing any one who opposes the Rajapaksha family members and its government through its famous white van culture. JO calls it as execution of military operations by Rajapapaksha government.  The island nation saw abductions and killings of high-profile journalists and rights defenders during the final months of the war that ended with the defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists in May 2009. The previous government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to probe the crimes despite international pressure. Rights groups have blamed the Rajapaksa government for several abductions, assaults and killings of high-profile journalists or editors who were critical of his government and […]

Livelihood development for Jaffna District under reconciliation initiatives

6th April 2018 // 0 Comments

The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, under the direction of His Excellency the President as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, has initiated  livelihood development programs to support  the conflict-affected community, which covers internally displaced persons, refugee returnees, women headed families, rehabilitated ex-combatants, families of missing persons, and low income families. Under this initiative, Tholakatti Nelli crush production in the Kopay Divisional Secretariat division was supported in order to construct a factory unit with quality standards, including machinery at a cost of Rs. 3.5 million. “This project has been managed by the Christian Mission, and a large number of beneficiaries are benefited,” said Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy. In Chankanai Divisional Secretariat division, the Anthiran leather production centre was […]

EU Parliamentarians meet Sampanthan

6th April 2018 // 0 Comments

A six-member European Union (EU) Parliamentary group met Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan at his office in Parliament yesterday. He, briefing the delegation on the present political situation in the country and pointed out that compared to the previous regime, the present regime was conducive to minorities. However, Sampanthan, urging the support of the International Community from the delegation, mentioned that the present regime has to go a long way to fulfil the political aspirations of Tamils and solve their humanitarian issues in the North and East. He also outlined the delays in implementing the Geneva Resolution which was co-sponsored by the Lankan Government, addressing the issue of Tamil PTA detainees and the issue of missing persons. The investigations into alleged war crimes were also brought […]

EU’s Committee on International Trade says ‘Not satisfied’ over Kandy riots

6th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan The visiting European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) said that they are not ‘satisfied’ with the Kandy riots that erupted recently even when there was adequate Police protection being provided to those attacked. They thus urged the Government to ensure that there is no impunity from prosecution of the perpetrators, whoever they may be. At the press conference held yesterday (5) at the European Union Colombo office, Standing Rapporteur, European Conservatives and Reformists Sajjad Karim, from the United Kingdom, said that the only way to reinstate good community relations is to reach out and ensure cohesion between all the communities. “We demand nothing from Sri Lanka as many factions of the people have projected us as being, but want to […]

CBK, Mangala say national reconciliation key to development and democracy

6th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By Shannon Jayawardena Former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday emphasised that national reconciliation was a vital pillar in the development and democracy of Sri Lanka. Speaking at marketing communication firm Bates Strategic Alliance’s Leadership session to mark its 25th anniversary, National Unity and Reconciliation Office Chairperson, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike, said: “We talk about national unity and reconciliation which was a dream and is a dream. I think for the first time in my political life, which extends to about 50 years, three years ago we actually got the chance of attempting to realise that dream because we had a government that was committed to the very purpose. We’ve had governments before that were also committed to it but at […]

UNP Colombo Municipal Councillor Allegedly Led Mob Which Threw Lit Crackers and Stones On the MTV/MBC “Sirasa” head Office

6th April 2018 // 0 Comments

UNP Colombo Municipal Councillor Allegedly Led Mob Which Threw Lit Crackers and Stones On the MTV/MBC “Sirasa” head Office On Braybrooke Street After No Confidence Motion Against Ranil was Defeated. By Rathindra Kuruwita Slave Island Police are investigating some incidents where a group of persons threw firecrackers and stones at the MTV/MBC Head Office in Braybrook Street, following the defeat of the no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday night. The Police Media Unit said: “We have received a complaint regarding the alleged incidents. There is no evidence that an attack was carried out. We have only found out that firecrackers were thrown into the premises.” Continue reading ‘UNP Colombo Municipal Councillor Allegedly Led Mob Which Threw Lit Crackers and Stones On the MTV/MBC […]

Mahinda’s Joint Opposition (JO) suffered a painful Loss

6th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Winners and losers The Joint Opposition (JO) suffered a painful pratfall on Wednesday night, when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe defeated its no-confidence motion. The UNP, however, in spite of its rhetoric and braggadocio, did not expect a comfortable win with a majority of 46. Its desperation knew no bounds. Else, it wouldn’t have gone to the extent of securing the TNA’s support, which has come with strings attached. PM Wickremesinghe has proved that he commands the confidence of the majority of MPs and, therefore, he has a right to remain in his current post. The JO and all those who sought his removal ought to come to terms with reality and act responsibly. It was wrong for President Maithripala Sirisena to sack the UPFA government […]

NCM: ‘SB-Thilanga group defied SLFP decision’

6th April 2018 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday claimed that it had unanimously decided to abstain at the voting on the No Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday (April 4) following its failure to persuade him to quit. The SLFP alleged that a section of its parliamentary group in the UNP-led government, in contravention of a collective decision taken at a meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena, had voted for the Joint Opposition’s NCM against the PM. Seventy six voted for the motion, 122 against and 26 abstained and they included 23 SLFPers loyal to President Sirisena. Irrigation and Water Resources Management MinisterVijith Vijithamuni Zoysa yesterday told a hastily arranged press conference at party office at T. B. Jayah Mawatha […]

Ranil Accepted 10 Proposals Submitted by TNA In Return for Support of 16 MP’s Against No Confidence Motion

5th April 2018 // 0 Comments

Ranil Accepted 10 Proposals Submitted by TNA In Return for Support of 16 MP’s Against No Confidence Motion Vote In Parliament Reveals Mannar MP Selvam Adaikkalanathan. By Dinasena Ratugamage Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Vanni District MP Selvam Addaikalanathan yesterday said that UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had accepted ten of its proposals in return for the group’s backing for him to defeat the No Confidence Motion (NCM) moved by the Joint Opposition. The TELO MP, representing the TNA, said that there had been a heated argument and tension when PM Wickremesinghe at the onset of the meeting between the UNP and the TNA turned down those proposals. Addikalanathan said that they had been able to reach a consensus on ten proposals subsequently. The following […]

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