Ban hopes Lanka works with UN

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes Sri Lanka works with the UN on the investigations over the war despite launching a new domestic investigation. Ban’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that the UN is trying to verify how Sri Lanka will cooperate with the UN on the investigation. The Government had yesterday announced it will launch a domestic investigation into the war and obtain the assistance of foreign experts if required. “We’ve seen those reports.  Obviously, we’re trying to figure out what it means in terms of cooperation with the UN human…

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Sri Lankan military must be removed from North, Wigneswaran tells UK minister

The removal of the Sri Lankan military from the Tamil areas is the most important issue at present, the chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran told the UK’s Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire during a visit to Jaffna on Thursday. Speaking to reporters afterwards about his meeting with Mr Swire, Mr Wigneswaran said he had also warned of the change in the ethnic demography of the Tamil areas due to state sponsored resettlement of Sinhala people. Asked by the visiting UK delegation what…

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Sri Lanka to Free Tamils and Return Their Land

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan government pledged Thursday to free hundreds of minority Tamil detainees and return much of the Tamil land in the north and east that the military seized and continues to hold years after the end of the country’s bitter civil war. The promises represent the most significant efforts yet announced by the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena to heal the still-festering wounds of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. This month, Mr. Sirisena defeated the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in what many…

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TNA has no faith in a local probe

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it has no faith in a domestic probe on the war and wants the outcome of the UN investigations to be made public. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne had said that the Government will look at a domestic mechanism to investigate the war and obtain foreign expertise if required. However TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that past experiences had shown that a domestic probe had not gone far and so the Tamil community will await the outcome of the UN led investigation. Premachandran said that there…

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Tamils have no trust in local inquiry by Sri Lankan govt says TNA spokesperson

The spokesperson of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said the Tamil people have no trust in a local inquiry process by the Sri Lankan government into mass atrocities committed against the Tamils at the end of the armed conflict, rejecting the new government’s pledge to launch another domestic commission to investigate the allegations. Stating that the UN inquiry, which is underway and due to publish its findings at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva next month, was “trustworthy and acceptable to all”, the spokesperson, Suresh Premachandran, said the…

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Way To Prosecute US Citizen Gotabaya

By Ryan Goodman – One Way Sri Lanka Can Shield its ex-Defence Secretary from a U.S. Criminal Prosecution Last week, Sri Lanka’s Justice Deputy Minister responded to an Op-Ed that I published in the New York Times, in which I described reasons that the United States can and should pursue a criminal investigation of U.S. citizen and Sri Lanka’s ex-Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In this post, I respond tothe Deputy Minister’s statement that his administration would protect Mr. Rajapaksa from a criminal trial by the United States, if it ever came to that. Here are the…

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Sri Lanka to re-apply for EU trade concession

COLOMBO – The Sri Lankan government on Friday said it will seek to obtain trade concession from the European Union which was withdrawn under the previous government. The EU Trade concession known as GSP plus was withdrawn as the previous government headed by Mahinda Rajapakse failed to comply with certain human rights related regulations. “We will send a high level delegation for discussions with the EU members but right now we are looking at the various alternatives,” Deputy Economic Development Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva told Xinhua. The EU withdrew…

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