Sri Lanka to discuss new war crimes probe with UN

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s newly-elected government will next month look to win UN backing for a domestic probe into alleged war crimes under former leader Mahinda Rajapakse, an official said. The investigation, which the new administration had promised after winning January elections, comes after the previous regime resisted a UN inquiry into claims that up to 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed under Rajapakse’s command in the final months of a war that ended in May 2009. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will travel to Geneva next month to meet UN High…

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Credible war crimes investigation will help regain respect – Govt.

By Saman Indrajith A credible internal investigation into the last phase of North East conflict would help regain the lost respect and dignity of the Sri Lankan security forces, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday. The minister said so responding to a series of questions raised by Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva on previous day. Opposition Leader De Silva demanded to know from the government in parliament whether the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had, in a letter to the Head of the United Nations Human Rights Council, promised…

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Achieving National Reconciliation, Peace & The 13A

By Varatharaja Perumal – Removing the impediments in the 13th amendment is imperative to achieve national reconciliation and peace Territorial integration may be achieved by the armed forces, but national unity of communities can be achieved only by the appropriate political process. Absence of war here indicates only the silence of guns and not the attainment of sustainable peace. De-communalized nation, democratized political system and demilitarized State are imperative to rightly put Sri Lankan political economy in a progressive path through which Sri Lanka can achieve true independence and sustainable development.…

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Three Threats To Constitutional Reform In Sri Lanka

“To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind. – Edmund Burke (1790) Reflections on the Revolution in France   With just over a month after the installation of the new government and its commencement of the 100-day reform process, the situation can best be described as mixed.…

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Canadian Tamil girl Jessica who won gold (£25,000) at Super Singer event donats all to orphanage

Yesterday the Vijay TV’s Super Singer Junior Season 4 final event was held in a grand manner at the Thangavelu Engineering College in Perungudi in Chennai. After lot of eliminations for the the final round 6 children Barath, Anushya, Jessica, Spoorthi, Haripriya and Sirisha were selected. According to the people voting and judges the Title winner for the Super Singer was won by Spoorthi. Also she has won a apartment worth 70 lakhs. The second place was won by Sri Lankan Tamils ​​living in Canada Jessica and she recieve the…

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‘Heroin smugglers used diplomatic passports, VIP channel at BIA’

Link between Gampola gang and Canadian Lankan held for smuggling 36 kgs of heroin to be probed by Shamindra Ferdinando Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera yesterday alleged that some of those who had received diplomatic/official passports during the UPFA administration were believed to have exploited the facility to smuggle in narcotics through the Bandaranaike International Airport.  Responding to a query by The Island, Perera claimed that they had used the VIP channel for that purpose for years. The Kalutara District MP emphasised the responsibility on the part of the…

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Sri Lankan Tamils and the International Community

By Izeth Hussain I wonder whether the Sri Lankan Tamils are in a unique position compared to other ethnic groups all over the world. They can be assured of the sympathy and support of their fellow Tamils in Tamil Nadu, though the extent of that sympathy and support can vary greatly over a period of time. That fact could mean that although the SL Tamils are a minority in the national context they are in a majority over the Sinhalese in the regional context. This is said to be one…

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Pranab Mukherjee’s mantra for internal as well as external reconciliation

By Manekshaw What so hard for men to gain as friendship true? What so sure defence ‘gainst all that foe can do? The above excerpt from Dr. Rev G.U. Pope’s English translation of Thirukkural, a Tamil script which dates back to 200-800 AD by Saint Thiruvalluvar, highlights the true meaning of friendship and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee uttered the verses and explained its meaning in detail to Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the reception hosted at the Rashtrapathi Bawan last week. President Mukherjee is a great admirer of late Lankan…

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EPDP to go solo

EPDP leader Douglas Devananda said his Party had taken a decision to contest the forthcoming general election alone. He said that the party realized the reason for receiving less votes in the North, when discussing the issue with the public. It was said to be because the EPDP contested several elections together under an Alliance. Devananda pointed out that he cannot believe that his voter base had dropped so drastically, since he had engaged in providing great service, during the past few years, to the Northern Province. Devananda said taking…

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A Rs 10M CHOGM dinner for journalists

By Gagani Weerakoon and Skandha Gunasekara Rs 1,177,434,333 was spent, by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, on publicity and media coverage, in relation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013. This was revealed in Parliament yesterday. It was also revealed that a colossal sum of Rs 10 million was spent on a dinner for journalists. Accordingly, the funds, allocated through Treasury grants, were spent under nine categories, which were; for the construction and maintenance of the Media Centre, publicity programmes in electronic media, public awareness programmes,…

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Sri Lanka shares more info on Rajapaksa deals

Powerful figures in the previous government had stashed away $5 billion Rajapaksa family in real-estate projects in Dubai, Uganda and Kenya Government was very serious about pursuing corruption charges against the former president NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka has shared more information with India on the billions of dollars that its new government alleges members of the previous regime headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa had stashed abroad, to support the island nation’s request for New Delhi’s help to set up a Financial Intelligence Unit to trace the money. During his India trip…

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JVP warns govt. against delay in taking action

“43 days have gone by since this government has been brought to power. No procedures have been taken within the 50 days of the 100 day programme of the government regarding serious frauds and corruption committed during the previous regime. The JVP would take to the streets with the people if such procedures are intentionally delayed. We have already arranged an agitation opposite fort Railway Station on the 26th.” This was stated by the Information Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath addressing a media conference held at the head office…

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Alliance must get serious, work quickly and meet deadlines: Rajiva Wijesinha

The incident he faced as State Minister of Higher Education regarding the removal of the UGC Head and Faizer Mustapha’s resignation as State Minister of Aviation will not negatively impact the 100-day program but is a wakeup call for the whole alliance to realise that it needs to be more serious, says Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha. In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily FT, he also noted that the alliance gave a specific deadline to the people and there were very important pledges that it had done nothing about. “People are…

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Vijaya dispensed humanity to everyone he met

By Dilanka Gunathilaka The day was exactly 16 February 1988. It was a time the United National Party (UNP) and the youth power of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) were in a bitter clash. The unexpected, shocking assassination was a matter for joy for some who were in sympathy with the youth revolt. The victim was Vijaya Kumarathunga who was enjoying the love of the entire country. The dream star of Sinhala cinema fell dead; his beautiful face shattered while the entire universe was silenced for a moment. We met…

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