Rajapaksa reminds us of Saddam Hussein!

14th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The 5th President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator of Iraq from 1979 until 2003. He ruled Iraq with brutality, using fear and terror to stay in power. Saddam used chemical weapons against Kurds in Iraq, including gassing the Kurdish town of Halabja killing 5,000 in March 1988. Iraqi citizens were not allowed to assemble legally unless it was to express support for the government. Police checkpoints in Iraq prevented ordinary citizens from travelling across the country without government permission.  Rajapaksa was also 5th elected Executive President of Sri Lanka, used chemical weapons in the war, especially during the last stage of the war, killing thousands. Freedom of expression is denied by harassment and many media workers have been killed. Every meeting, assembly […]

UNHCR alarmed as Sri Lanka extends deportation to families outside detention

14th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation. UNHCR is alarmed that recent deportations of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka are growing in size and scope despite international calls to stop sending them back to a place where their lives could be in danger. In all, 88 Pakistanis have been sent home since August 1. Initially, the deportees were men who had been placed into detention. Now, we are seeing whole families being deported. The first case happened on August 3 when a detained man was sent back to Pakistan, followed two days later by his wife and daughter, picked up from their home. A family of six was sent back last Saturday, followed by another couple […]

India is committed to assist Sri Lanka

14th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The Indian Government says it remains committed to assist Sri Lanka in its endeavours of rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation. India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lank Y. K. Sinha today thanked Sri Lanka for the support extended by the Government of Sri Lanka in ensuring the smooth implementation of Indian projects in Sri Lanka. He noted that while India has always extended its hand of friendship and cooperation to Sri Lanka, the nature of India’s assistance has evolved and expanded since the end of the armed conflict in 2009. India and Sri Lanka share a dynamic and multifaceted bilateral relationship that is rooted in close social, economic, cultural, educational, religious ties and people-to-people interactions. “The relationship has now blossomed to encompass all areas of contemporary relevance. As Sri […]

UN wants NGO-Lanka collaboration

13th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The United Nations (UN) says a new report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will serve as a platform for strengthening collaboration between the Government and non-governmental actors. The Sri Lanka National Human Development Report (NHDR) 2014 published by the UNDP was launched this morning at the Bandarnaike Memorial International Conference Hall. Speaking at the event, Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, noted, “We at UNDP firmly believe that this report will serve as a platform for strengthening collaboration between the Government and non-governmental actors, and importantly youth themselves, towards revitalizing and prioritizing the implementation of key existing policies that benefit youth and the country at large. The Report also looks to inform the formulation of strategies and a national […]

Women prisoners stripped naked: Counsel

13th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Counsel appearing for 13 women including two Thai nationals informed Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M. Shabdeen that his clients were stripped naked and checked by non-prison guards in the remand prisons. Counsel Gunartne Wanninayake said massage clinic was operating on a licence issued by the Ayrurvedic Commissioner and functioned under the supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic physician.He said one of those arrested was not an employee but had visited to the clinic to undergo beauty culture therapy.Meanwhile Counsel Susantha De Gunawardena appearing for the Ayurvedic Commissioner said he intervened in the case to assist the proceedings. He said he was not noticed by court but was intervening in the case on a request by the first suspect.Magistrate Shahbdeen asked the woman prison guard who was in charge […]

UNHCR slams Lanka on deportations

13th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Due to the large Military support received from Pakistan to Sri Lankan Army to kill more than 40,000 Tamil Civilians in May 2009, Sri Lanka government is under pressure from Pakistan to corporate with them and deport all Pakistan asylum seekers. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says it is alarmed that recent deportations of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka are growing in size and scope despite international calls to stop sending them back to a place where their lives could be in danger. In all, 88 Pakistanis have been sent home since August 1. Initially, the deportees were men who had been placed into detention but now whole families are being deported. The first case happened on August 3 when a detained man was sent back […]

Lanka’s Geneva envoy, army in talks

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinath Aryasinha had had talks with the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake on issues related to Sri Lanka. The army media unit said that the talks took place at the Army Headquarters today. During the brief meeting they had exchanged views on matters of relevance and various world-wide developments taking place in relation to Sri Lanka. Discussions also centered on the Defence Seminar – 2014 themed ‘Global Challenges’ which is scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka, the army said. Towards the end of the brief meeting both Commander and the visiting Ambassador exchanged mementos as tokens of remembrance and goodwill. Military Secretary, Major General Amal Karunasekara and Director Training, Brigadier Ralph Nugera also took […]

Hidden from view, Sri Lanka is trampling over the rights of its Tamil population

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The government has been trying its best to silence the country’s remaining Tamils without drawing the world’s attention With all the horrors taking place in Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria, Sri Lanka has understandably fallen off the international radar. However, what you must know is that this suits Sri Lanka’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, just fine. Yet the brutal methods he has used to defeat the Tamil Tigers — which ignore the cost of civilian casualties and frequently trample on human rights — are very similar to the ones used by those currently fighting in the spotlight. They are even being admired from afar: within the last two months army and police officers in Nigeria and Pakistan have expressed interest in learning from Sri Lanka’s example. […]

Govt. actions need to be consistent locally and internationally

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

By Jehan Perera The government has criticised sections of the diplomatic community for getting involved in events targeting a particular region and community which lead to volatile situations and urged the diplomatic community to be more conscious of local sensitivities when attending events of an emotive nature.  This has followed the growing interest that some embassies have been demonstrating in ensuring that civil society space for dissent is not restricted by the government.  When an event organized by a civil society group to give voice to the grievances of family members of those who had gone missing in the war was held in Colombo last week, it was broken up by outsiders.   This led to several embassies issuing an unprecedented joint statement. The embassies of […]

Sri Lanka: Heading Towards Systematic Stratocracy

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

By Kishok Jeyachandran – Five years on from the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, the international community’s patience with the government in investigating gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law is exhausted. It comes almost five years after the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted and bloody civil war—a conflict that saw the death of tens of thousands of civilians and the ‘disappearance’ of thousands more. And it comes because no one has been held accountable for any of the gross human rights abuses and serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by both sides to the conflict. The final phase of the war was a bloodbath. As the brutal, secessionist Tamil Tigers were pushed back into a rapidly shrinking pocket of territory […]

Q&A with British-Sri Lankan Soprano Kishani Jayasinghe

12th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Born and raised in Colombo, Kishani Jayasinghe was planning a career as a lawyer when she radically change course to become an opera singer. The decision was the right one: in 2006, the young soprano made history by becoming the first Sri Lankan opera singer to perform at the Royal Opera House, London, and her career has taken off internationally. Jayasinghe will be performing the Singapore Lyric Opera’s Gala Concert on August 2 at the Esplanade Concert Hall, with Filipino-American tenor, Arthur Espiritu. Their audience can expect a night filled with excerpts from a variety of celebrated operas such as Faust’s The Jewel Song, Lehár’s Vilja Lied, Puccini’s La Bohème, Lehár’s The Merry Widow, and Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. Blouin Artinfor talked to the Soprano about her career and favorite roles. […]

25000 acres of acquired land gone in to Government politicians…………

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

There are no substantial information on over 25,000 acres of land acquired by the government under Land Reform Act No. 1 of 1972 and its amendments, said  a higher official attached to Ministry of Land and Land Development. According to ‘Divaina’ news paper, he has further stated that there are heavy suspicions rising weather they were acquired by the politicians or distributed among their acquaintances. The governments which came into power since 1972 failing to follow a proper method has led to the particular situation, he has said. According to Land Reform Commission reports, 153,442 hectares of land were provided to Janatha Estates Development Board (JEDB), however according to JEDB reports it has been only provided with 140,761.03 hectares of land. In addition, though the […]

Bishop Rayappu rejects Presidential Commission on Missing Persons

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Making a submission to the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons, Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said that he has decided not to make representations before your commission as he has grown to be weary of domestic mechanisms in resolving serious injustices that Tamil people. The Bishop’s submission follows: The Chairman and Commissioners, Presidential Commission on Missing Persons. Dear Commissioners. Submission Regarding My position with regard to appearing before the above Commission in Mannar I am thankful for your very kind visit to me and for your personal invitation to testify before the commission during it’s sittings to be held in Mannar between the 8th and 11th of August 2014. I am writing to inform you that having considered the following I have decided not to make […]

U.N. Human Rights chief says access not a must for Sri Lanka war crimes probe

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The United Nations can conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country, said U.N. Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay, reacting to a government decision to deny investigators entry. Sri Lankan government forces have been accused of widespread human rights violations in the final stages of a 26-year civil war against ethnic Tamil separatists which ended in May 2009. The United Nations estimated in a 2011 report that about 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final weeks of the war, mostly by the army. Sri Lanka has rejected the allegation. In March, the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted to investigate reports of abuses during the war, during which 100,000 people […]

Tamil Girls In Sabaragamuwa University Under Threat of Rape

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Notices containing threats to Tamil students had also been put up in the hostel premises the same night ordering all Tamil students to leave the premises within the next 10 days. The notice states those who dare defy the order would be shot to death and any females will be raped.  Undergraduates of Tamil ethnicity in the Sabaragamuwa University have expressed concerns over the safety of their lives following a brutal attack on one of their colleagues and threats issued against Tamil students over leaflets put up in the hostel premises. Shanthikumar Sudharshan – resident of Kilinochchi and a first year undergraduate of the Sabaragamuwa University had been attacked early Sunday (3) morning by a group of five masked men. Sudharshan’s colleagues had found him […]

Another Rajapaksha governments poor Human Rights act on Minority!

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

TID Further Victimized Assaulted Tamil Student! Sabaragamuwa university students claim attempts are underway by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) to intimidate their colleague a Tamil student Shanthikumar Sudharshan who was assaulted and cut early last week by para military group run by Rajapakshe family member, into admitting the cut injuries are self-inflicted. The Sri Lanka’s  Rajapaksha government forces usually threaten the victims to say that it was Self-inflicted or bribe them with money or threaten to kill the family members and if all fails they will use there ‘White Van’ to abduct and kill the victim and frame them as LTTE member or sympathiser. Meanwhile, the TID had visited the University premises yesterday along with Sudharshan and have claimed to have uncovered several leads, which several Police […]

Pillay denies claims on Lanka probe

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay has denied several claims made with regards to the investigations launched on Sri Lanka through her office, including claims that India had rejected visas for the investigations team. Pillay told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that no one had applied for a visa for Sri Lanka or any other country She said there was a wealth of information outside of Sri Lanka which can be tapped into for the investigation. “The credibility of the report will depend on it reflecting proper standards of corroboration of evidence, whether the team is allowed into the country or not.” Pillay noted that the UN can conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country. She cited Syria and […]

TNA ready to resume direct talks

11th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it is ready to resume direct talks with the Government, provided the Government does not place preconditions. TNA group leader R. Sampanthan told the BBC that the Government must stop making demands ahead of talks. He also said that it is unfair for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to blame the TNA for the stalled talks. The TNA continues to boycott the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the National issue as it feels that process will not bear fruit. The position of the Government has been that the TNA must join the PSC process before one on one talks can resume between the TNA and the Government. The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) had in March this year approved holding talks with President […]

US Urges Its Citizens In Sri Lanka To Exercise Caution Against Rising Anti-Western Sentiments

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

The US has issued a security message for its citizens living in Sri Lanka to be wary of their security against the backdrop of rising anti-western sentiments in the country. Issuing a security message to US expats in Sri Lanka yesterday, the notice has urged all US citizens to practice caution due to the increased protests in the country. The message is circulated just days after a mob of extremist monks and Rajapaksa regime supporters disrupted a meeting held for families of the disappeared in which US and UK diplomats also attended. The security message has noted the increase in protests in Sri Lanka since early this year including the: -anti-western demonstrations against the US, UN and recent escalation in Gaza -increased pressure on NGOS, […]

Tamil student at Sabaragamuwa University arrested by TID

10th August 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) has detained another Tamil student from Sabaragamuwa University, following his discharge from hospital where he was receiving treatment after being attacked.  Santhirakumar Sutharshan from Muhamalai was arrested on his return to the university hostel by Sri Lanka’s TID. The student had been receiving treatment at Balangoda and Ratnapura after he had been attacked on Sunday.  Following Sutharshan’s arrest, his parents were told that he had been sent to the infamous 4th floor of Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department in Colombo. Another Tamil youth, second-year student Yoganathan Nirojan, was arrested on Tuesday and is also being detained at the 4th floor. Earlier this month, a Tamil student was attacked and severely beaten by masked men. He was admitted to hospital […]

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