Tamils hold anti-UN protest in northern Sri Lanka

Colombo (dpa) – Tamil academics, politicians and activists staged an anti-United Nations protest Tuesday in northern Sri Lanka for its decision to delay a report on alleged crimes committed during the civil war, police officials said. The protestors demonstrated in Jaffna town, 390 kilometres north of the capital, demanding the publication of the report by next month. Lecturers from the University of Jaffna said a delay in publishing was an injustice to relatives of victims killed in the final stages of the war that ended in 2009. “We cannot delay a…

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Political Discretion & Sri Lanka’s Genocide Against Tamil

By Braveen Nagendram – “I lived as best I could, and then I died. Be careful where you step: the grave is wide” – Epitaph for a Palestinian Child of the Nakba (“Catastrophe”) by Michael R. Burch Genocide – The necessity to define On the ashes of WWII the world had the moral duty to become conscious of the extent to which human violence and hatred went, so far as committing to eradicate the Jews. Despite the macabre events being so clear to the eyes, no words could fulfil the description of the…

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SLMC – TNA marriage in the East

By Mirudhula Thambiah astern Provincial Council (EPC) Opposition Leader and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member, Singaravelu Thandayuthapani said they have decided to join hands with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) to serve all communities without any difference in the province. “We will not neglect the Tamil people. We have reached this decision through our party leadership. I believe all will understand our motive when we actually function as a part of the EPC Government. But if we cannot serve our people while being in the national administration, we will not…

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Mahinda lost due to India and Western support for his rival

By Gunadasa Amarasekera “The nationalist Rajapaksa, who ruthlessly put down the Tamil Insurgency in Sri Lanka was defeated in the recent election in part due to India and Western support for his rival.”This observation by an outsider Munir Akram, a former Pakistan ambassador to UN (The Wolf and the Fox-The Island 2/4) took me down memory lane. It also made me reflect on the modus operandi used by US and India to support the rival. Thirty years ago in 1977 or so, I brought out a collection of essays to…

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Champika says he helped to topple MR regime to punish crooks

Minister of Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka on Monday said that he had helped to topple the Rajapaksa regime and assumed duties at the Ministry of Power and Energy again because he wanted to punish and take legal action against corrupt individuals at the ministry. Speaking to the media after inspecting the Muthuragawella oil storage complex, Ranawaka said: “One of the reasons for this Government to come to power was the dreadful dictatorship the previous regime maintained in the power and energy sector. Regardless of the many complaints we made…

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Addressing The Complaint That Government Is Going Too Slow

By Jehan Perera The unexpected defeat of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election led to high expectations amongst those who voted against him that an action-oriented government would soon put things right.  However, the actions of the new government up to now have not justified these popular expectations.  Quick and visible action against wrongdoers in the former government are not coming in rapid order even though legal processes have commenced against some of them, and several others are being subjected to police interrogation.  The new government pledged to…

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19A before parliament in March

The National Executive Council which met today, has decided to submit key proposals on constitutional reforms before Parliament next month. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the decision was taken when the National Executive Council met today. He said that the proposals will include amendments to the constitution in order to curb the Presidential powers, which was a key promise given by President Maithripala Sirisena during his Presidential election campaign. The JVP leader said that the 19th amendment to the constitution, which will look at bringing the…

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Govt-SLFP discuss reforms

The National Unity Government which includes the United National Party (UNP) will meet the main opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Thursday to discuss the proposed constitutional reforms, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe informed the Maha Sanga yesterday. He told a large group of prominent Buddhist monks at Temple Trees last afternoon that the Constitutional Reforms Bill will be presented in Parliament as soon as possible. The Prime Minister assured that several other laws pertaining to the safeguarding of Buddhism would also be presented in the House within the one-hundred…

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Two ways to stop Rajapaksa

It is not boredom of retirement, but insecurity that motivates ex-president to make a political comeback. The proxies of the ex-president have fired the first salvo.Over six million Sri Lankans who voted against the kleptocratic regime of Rajapaksa and many others who later realised the full extent of excesses and abuses that took place during his regime have reasons to worry. essrs Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dinesh Gunawardena and Udaya Gammanpila who cannot win at the next Parliamentary Elections without contesting on the SLFP-UPFA ticket, want Mahinda Rajapaksa to make…

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Government dragging feet on human rights – CaFFE

By Rathindra Kuruwita Notwithstanding the assurances those in the government had given about protecting and promoting human rights, during the recent presidential election campaign, those promises had not been kept, Executive Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. The CaFFE head’s reference made at a media conference was about those who had disappeared, political prisoners, custodial deaths and those who had fled the country. “During the election campaign the leaders of the current government gave a lot of promises about upholding human rights.…

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Immigration officer says Wimal gave letter to issue DPL Passport

BY Ishara Rathnakara Former Minister, Wimal Weerawansa’s wife, Shashee Weerawansa, who was arrested for providing false information and presenting forged documents to obtain passports, was banned from travelling abroad by Colombo Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, yesterday (23). It is said that Shashee Weerawansa had obtained a diplomatic passport by providing false documents and CID had told the Court that this diplomatic passport was issued due to a written request by former Minister Wimal Weerawansa to the former Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE), Chulananda Perera. Ranasinghe Randunu…

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EPTTA wants two schools taken over by Navy returned

By Sinniah Gurunathan Two leading schools in the Muttur East, Sampoor Maha Vidiyalayam and Sri Murugan Vidiyalayam, being used as camps of the Sri Lanka Navy since the year 2006, should be handed over to the Ministry of Education to uplift the standard of education of Muttur children, Eastern Provincial Tamil Teachers’ Association (EPTTA) demanded. EPTTA General Secretary, S. Jeyarajah, on Monday met State Minister for Education Radhakrishnan at the latter’s office in Colombo and made the above request. He told the Minister that the above two schools are functioning…

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Probe killings of Tamil political prisoners

Sri Lanka war-crime alleged over killing of LTTE members New evidence leads to war crime committed on LTTE’s Col Ramesh Probe killings of political prisoners Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Eswarapatham Saravanapavan, in a letter to the Minister of Justice and Labour, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, asked that he appoint a commission to investigate the brutal murders of Tamil political prisoners detained in Sri Lankan prisons over the years. In a letter sent to the Minister, the TNA MP asked that justice be established without race or religious differences in order to…

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Army-run hotels may be discontinued

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is unlikely to allow the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) continue its hospitality service running hotels enticing tourists, the government said on Friday. Sports and Tourism Minister Navin Dissanayaka told the Business Times that the PM was “not into the army doing business.” He noted that in terms of an economic model it would not hold well for the SLA to be engaged in business activities. Currently, the SLA is involved in running a number of hotels under the Laya chain of hotels with Laya Beach in…

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‘Expat Tamils returned with funds but left due to red tape’ Many even bought land in the North

‘Expat Tamils returned with funds but left due to red tape’ Many even bought land in the North by Zacki Jabbar recently in Jaffna Some members of the Tamil diaspora had come in their numbers with enough funds to invest in the North, following the end of the war, but the unprecedented red tape had resulted in them making a hasty retreat, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yarlpanam (CCIY) said. Asked by The Island why the Tamil diaspora was not making big investments in the North of Sri…

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Sumanthiran defends NPC’s Genocide Resolution Says war victims should be prepared to give more evidence

By Ananth Palakidnar The Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran, defending the NPC’s genocide resolution as democratic and timely, emphasized on the need for the war victims to prepare themselves to gather more evidence in order to strengthen the OHCRC’s OISL report to be released in September this year. He also added that an internal investigation with the OHCR’s supervision, unlike the local investigations in the past, is essential to ensure a constructive UN investigation into the alleged war crimes in the country. Excerpts from the interview: Q :…

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Army in the North: Contesting the views of Prof. Rohan Gunaratna

This is in response to the views expressed by “International Terrorism Expert” Prof. Rohan Gunaratna to Zahrah Imtiaz in the article titled “Don’t Withdraw Army from North: Prof. Rohan Gunaratna” published in theCeylon Today of Sunday 15 February 2015, page 10. Security I do agree with Prof. Rohan Gunaratna that “Without security there is no freedom and development”, but I would argue that vice versa is true as well; that is, without freedom and development there is no security. While Prof. Rohan Gunaratna opines that “Security is first”, I would…

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‘Australia stayed silent on Sri Lanka killing of 40,000 Tamil Civilians’ in ‘boat people’ deal with Mahinda Rajapaksha : report

Australia stayed silent about human rights abuses in Sri Lanka in exchange for its co-operation in cracking down on people-smuggling, Colombo’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an interview published Monday. Wickremesinghe said former president Mahinda Rajapakse had agreed to help stop boats carrying asylum-seekers leaving for Australia if Canberra kept quiet about alleged abuses by Rajapakse’s regime. In an interview with The Australian newspaper, Wickremesinghe said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s close relationship with Rajapakse, who was voted out of power last month, was “a mystery” to Sri…

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TNA casts doubts on domestic investigations

Inquiries into human rights violations Tamil people of Sri Lanka have no faith in a domestic investigation or in a domestic mechanism into alleged human rights violations and possible war crimes said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran. According to him, the people have lost faith as several commissions organized by earlier governments to investigate the matter never released their reports while some were halted abruptly. “Therefore, as a party we are calling for the timely release of the war crimes report and further UN mandated actions, including referral…

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New replacements for recalled diplomats soon

The government hopes to soon finalize the appointments of a majority of diplomats who would be replacing the recalled ‘political appointees’ as Heads of Mission. Speaking to The Nation, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ajith P. Perera, stated the government hoped to finalize the majority of the appointments of the Heads of Mission within the next two weeks. These appointments need to be ratified by the Parliament’s Committee on High Posts. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has so far recalled 65 non-career diplomats appointed by the previous regime to represent…

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