67 Years of Independence, Nation Building and the Future of Tamils in Sri Lanka

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj Sri Lanka will Celebrate its Sixty-seventh Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom this Wednesday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka / has faced many challenges and problems in the past 67 years. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, external military intervention, assassinations of heads of state, terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear apart the country. What Sri Lanka can be proud of…

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Is Sirisena/Wickremesinghe Administration not too Concerned about Devolution of Power and Future of Provincial Councils?

By Sam Samarasinghe and Chandrasiri Seneviratne In the first three weeks of its tenure the Sirisena/Wickremasinghe administration has generally adhered to the principles of good governance in their effort to implement the One-Hundred Day Programme. President Sirisena’s interview on Rupavahini TV last weekend further buttressed his good governance credentials. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minster Ranil Wickremasinghe have, on more than one occasion, urged the public to constructively criticize their action. This article is written in that spirit. It deals with two issues. The first is the allocation of…

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Norway And Other Countries Should Help ‘New Sri Lanka’: Solheim

The “New Sri Lanka” needs political support, aid, tourists and investments, former Norwegian Peace EnvoyErik Solheim said to the Norwegian Public Service Radio and TV broadcaster, NRK. He said Sri Lanka had come out of a long period of authoritative rule and that Sri Lankans should be proud that they showed their country had even deeper democratic roots than most people thought. He said he is happy, as are many of his friends in Sri Lanka, and he sees that Sri Lanka has a golden opportunity. During a recent radio…

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TNA condemns Sampanthan attending Independence Day celebrations

  TNA condemns Sampanthan attending Independence Day … www.colombomirror.com/?p=2331 Sri Lanka’s major Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance vehemently condemned its leader Rajavarodayam Sampanthan and its national list parliamentarian M.A Sumanthiran for attending the government’s 67 Independence Day celebrations at the national Parliament grounds today. This is for the first time since the enactment of Sri Lanka’s1972 constitution that a senior leader from the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) or the Tamil Arasu Katchchi or the Tamil National Alliance attended an Independence Day celebration of Sri Lanka……………………. Rift in TNA…

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Tamil Chief Minister Wigneswaran says he will reject Sri Lanka’s Independence Day until Tamils free

The chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran said he would continue to boycott events for Sri Lanka’s independence day until the Tamil people were free. “I will only take part in such events when the Tamil people get freedom,” Mr Wigneswaran told the Thinakkural newspaper on Tuesday, the day before the state’s 67th anniversary of gaining independence from British colonial rule. “I have not taken part in any Sri Lankan independence day events ever since the Sinhala Only Act was introduced,” he added. According to Ceylon Today,…

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History by TNA at national event

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) created history today by taking part in the national independence day celebrations at Parliament grounds in Kotte, the first time since 1972 when it was decided that Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political parties will boycott independence day celebrations. TNA leader R. Sampanthan, who was among those who agreed in 1972 to boycott national independence day celebrations, attended today’s event. His participation at the national event after 43 years boosted President Maithripala Sirisena’s call for national unity and reconciliation. The TNA had boycotted national independence day celebrations in the past on…

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Sri Lanka: Hope for Minorities?

Any optimism felt by the country’s beleaguered minorities remains tempered. A new president, Maithripala Sirisena, has brought a new wave of hope to Sri Lanka, yet it is still a moment of somewhat tempered optimism for the minorities who constitute almost 30 percent of the population of this post-conflict country. Sirisena, with his election motto of ‘”compassionate governance,” is walking a tightrope of balancing different political parties whilst aiming to fulfill several ambitious objectives, which include addressing war-crimes allegations through an independent domestic mechanism, establishing independent commissions to secure the…

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Tamil Nadu asks envoy in Lanka to expedite release of boats

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has sought the help of the Indian envoy to Sri Lanka to get the boats of Indian fishermen released. In a letter, state fisheries secretary S Vijayakumar has asked high commissioner Y K Sinha to secure the release of the boats without procedural wrangles. “I request you to clarify the procedure by which the owners of the 81 boats can obtain the quick release of their boats. The boats were released earlier along with the fishermen but now the Lankan government wants the owners to…

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Modi may visit Jaffna, Kandy or Anuradhapura too

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN Our Special Correspondent NEW DELHI, February 4: When Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo in mid-March on the first stand-alone bilateral visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime Minister in 28 years, he may utilise the opportunity to visit Jaffna and either Kandy or Anuradhapura as well. A top Indian diplomatic source told The Island today: “It all depends on how much time Mr Modi will get to spend in Sri Lanka.” The Jaffna Peninsula was where the worst destruction took place during the three-decade-long civil…

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UN: Sri Lanka should protect migrants from abuse

UN migrant rights specialist tells Anadolu Agency that Sri Lanka needs to protect its migrant workers “abuse, exploitation and harassment.” By Dilrukshi Handunnetti COLOMBO, Sri Lanka With nearly 2 million of its citizens working abroad and their remittances providing the island’s largest single source of foreign exchange, the protection of Sri Lankan migrants is an urgent issue, according to the U.N.. Abuse of workers abroad and reports about the mistreatment of migrants captured by Australian authorities at sea mean there is a spotlight on the Sri Lankan government’s new “action…

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