“More a home-grown model than the TRC”

BY SULOCHANA RAMIAH MOHAN The South African model of Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a sound, but bit more of a home-grown process, where the reconciliation and healing can be addressed, has been proposed and it’s on the agenda of the Maithri Government. Last week, the government announced that South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to visit Sri Lanka with his delegation. The previous UPFA Government which avoided the UN call on war crime probe announced it was backing the South African model on reconciliation (TRC) and thereafter…

Read More

Sri Lanka, India release detained fishing boats

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka and India have decided to release fishing boats taken into custody from both countries ahead of the visit of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to India on Sunday, a government minister said in Colombo. Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Fisheries Dilip Wedaarachchi said that the Sri Lankan government has already taken measures to release 86 Indian boats in its custody. The boats were seized when Indian fishermen were arrested on several occasions in Sri Lankan waters. The fishermen had already been freed and Wedaarachchi said that…

Read More

Sri Lanka must ensure justice, accountability: Amnesty

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s ambitious plans for reform and reconciliation should lay special emphasis on ensuring justice, accountability and the rule of law, Amnesty International India said Sunday. Sirisena arrives here Sunday on a three-day official visit during which he will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bilateral talks. “Sirisena has an extraordinary opportunity to improve relations between communities in Sri Lanka, and usher in an era of true reconciliation based on justice, equality, freedom and dignity,” said Shemeer Babu, Programmes Director at…

Read More

Mangala’s U.S. talks “successful”

The Government says the just concluded visit to the United States by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, was successful. Samaraweera was in the US to brief US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon on the efforts being taken by the new Government to address human rights concerns. The Minister also sought to mend ties with the US, which had been strained after the former Government refused to work with the US on the human rights issue. The External Affairs Ministry said that the visit by Samaraweera,…

Read More

Four former military officials who are Political appointees, have been allowed to stay on!

Thirty six political appointees in Sri Lanka Missions abroad, below the level of Head of Mission, have been informed that their tours of duty end with effect from March 10 this year, and have been instructed to return home. These include relatives of politicians and of public officials closely connected to those in the former regime. However, four former military officials who are also political appointees, have been allowed to stay on till their terms end. Those recalled are First Secretary- Brussels, Dharshie Lokuge, daughter of former Minister Gamini Lokuge,…

Read More

TRC cannot be replicated – SA Envoy

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Sri Lanka should adopt a home-grown solution to the ethnic issue, as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of South Africa cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world,… …South African High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Geoff Doidge, told Ceylon Today. Sri Lanka, in an attempt to restore goodwill of the US, which saw a decline during the Rajapaksa regime, has decided to consider two processes to address the issue of war crimes probe and a reconciliation and healing mechanism. The government has shown interest in…

Read More

New administration hasn’t solved key issues of the Tamil people

New administration hasn’t solved key issues of the Tamil people

Sri Lanka’s minorities especially, TNA and SLMC, have voted for a change in a bid to solve their problems. Has the new government done enough to solve these issues? At present the focus is on how far the government has progressed in the 100 day program. We see and hear news relating to many corruption charges, highlighted by the media. We rarely get to hear news relating to the progress of the 100 day program. It is important that if there are serious corruption charges those culprits should be brought…

Read More

Sri Lanka War Investigation Must Continue Despite The Change: TCSF

The Tamil Civil Society Forum has last night written to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, emphasising that the Sri Lanka investigation process set in motion through the UNHRC resolutions of 2012, 2013 and 2014, has to continue despite the change in Government. “We respectfully insist that your office proceed with the release of the findings of the OISL inquiry and in the event of finding of serious crimes being committed recommend to the relevant UN agencies and member states of the UN to take…

Read More

UNHRC To Follow Sri Lankan Style Of Not Publishing Reports?

By S. V. Kirubaharan – Sri Lanka is neither a rich country nor an arms-producing country. Most of the arms used to kill over 200,000 Tamils were provided by certain deals with countries known as champions of human rights. Mahatma Gandhi of India, the father of non-violent struggle has still not been given a Nobel Peace prize. Then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill made some humiliating remarks about Mahatma Gandhi, saying he may have practiced non-violence but the out-comes of his actions were violent. Knowing such a…

Read More

A Self-Defensive Tamil Nationalism – 11 Points

By Rev. S.J. Emmanuel – 1. Tamils steadfast in preserving their identity Just as the Singhalese have a claim of historical origin on this island, the Tamils too have such a claim. No historian has dared to prove that there were no Tamils on this island before two thousand years. Historically there were Tamils inhabiting the North and East of the island for many centuries and there were Tamil Kings too ruling up to colonial times. The vast opening to the sea enabled all living on the coastal areas to…

Read More

Muslims Want Panel to Probe Hate Campaign

COLOMBO: Faiszer Musthapha, MP of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Azath Sally, Member of the Central Provincial Council, has asked President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a commission to inquire into the “hate campaign and violence” against Muslims in the last four years and take appropriate measures to ensure that all Sri Lankans are protected. “Your Excellency is well aware that the instigators of the pogrom in Aluthgma and Beruwela have not been brought to justice as promised by former President Rajapaksa,” they said in a letter to Sirisena.…

Read More

PM fails to thank us, laments Azath Salley

The National Unity Front leader and Central Province council member Azath Salley is in a lone fight to receive a ‘Thank you’ note from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Calling for a press briefing last Thursday, he appreciated President Maithripala Sirisena for being a charm leader and asked why the Prime Minister failed in at least making a courtesy call for all the parties which worked hard to defeat the Rajapaksa Administration and bring this ‘Good Governance’ regime into power. He also warned the government that a general election is due…

Read More

President to resettle another 1,000 families in HSZs

President Maithripala Sirisena in the capacity of the Minister of Defense has proposed to release another 1,000 acres in the North under a resettlement plan. Cabinet of Ministers have already approved the proposal and accordingly 220 acres in Valalai Grama Niladhari Division of the Valikamam East Divisional Secretariat Division will be released in the first stage. Government sources said that under a pilot project, around 1,022 families displaced by the war will be resettled in the area. Under this project each family will get 20 perches of land, financial assistance…

Read More

What Ranil should learn from Chandrika

At the time the then joint opposition started their campaign last year, the UNP despite being by far the biggest opposition party was regarded only as the first among equals in the opposition line up. But after winning, they have managed to maneuver themselves into a dominant position in the new government. That was something they did well. But where they have not fared too well is in not being able to rein in the lunatic fringe of the opposition coalition they led. If the UNP has any ambitions of…

Read More