Why Rajapaksa as Sri Lankan PM is bad for India

Will the former president’s return mean having Chinese naval presence within hair’s breadth? There is unprecedented political flux in Sri Lanka with just about three weeks to go for parliamentary elections. By throwing his hat in the ring, former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa has contributed hugely to the churning. Nobody is quite sure what the August 17 play of dice throws up. Moreover, the timing of the elections is significant as the UN report on human rights abuse by the Sinhala army in the last phase of the military campaign against the…

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Not to go Beyond 13A for Ethnic Solution

          COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s opposition UPFA today pledged to limit its quest to find a solution to the island’s ethnic conflict within the India-backed thirteenth amendment (13A) of the Constitution. “We aim to arrive at a solution acceptable to all by strengthening the provincial and local governments by not venturing beyond the 13A,” the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) manifesto for the August 17 parliamentary election released here today said. Previously the UPFA under ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, had pledged for a solution beyond powers of the…

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Youth will defeat Mahinda’s PM aspirations

A large number of youth had voted against Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last presidential Election and more would do so at the August 17 general election, the UNP said on Sunday. Plantation Industries Minister Lakshman Kiriella, addressing a UNP-led UNFGG election campaign meeting at Poojapitiya in Kandy, said that Mahinda Rajapaksa was trying to woo the youth by making bogus promises, but they were now politically mature and would not fall for his tricks once again. “Mahinda’s Prime Ministerial ambitions will be dealt a crippling blow by the youth who…

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UNFGG will not let down 5.7mn voters voted for Mahinda

United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) will take care of the interests of 5.7 million people who voted for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa if elected to office on August 17, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Speaking at an election rally in Galigamuwa, Mr. Wickremesinghe said UNFGG will take care of the interests of 57 million people as they are innocent and cannot be blamed for the wrong doings of those who ran the previous regime. He said the intention of UNFGG is to work for all people and…

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New report notes systematic persecution of Tamils in Lanka

A new international report has found that systematic persecution of the Tamil community still takes place through torture, rape, illegal detention and killings committed by the state authorities. The report by the International Truth & Justice Project,  a project administered by the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa, run by transitional justice expert Yasmin Sooka who was also a member of the UN panel of experts on Sri Lanka after the war, shows how the use of torture and sexual violence is part of a well-coordinated policy, planned at the highest level of the…

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Don’t weaken TNA, Ariyanethran tells Tamils

BY S. Gurunathan Weakening of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the upcoming general election would certainly damage its international reputation in finding a lasting political solution to the six-decade old ethnic problem, said Pakiaselvam Ariyanethran, former TNA parliamentarian and a candidate contesting in the Batticaloa District on the TNA ticket. He appealed to the Tamil voters not to change their political stance in supporting the TNA in the upcoming general election. Tamil candidates contesting the election under the TNA ticket should be elected with a large majority to tell…

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Hakeem regrets remarks against him by TNA leader

BY S. Gurunathan Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem, said recently he felt sorry for the derogatory remarks made by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader against him comparing the late founder leader of the SLMC M.H.M. Ashroff and the current leadership of the SLMC mentioning the founder leader as the true leader of the Muslim community and saying that the present leadership of the SLMC has been working against the political aspirations of the Muslim community. He said the TNA was angry with the current leadership of…

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TNA indirectly helping Govt. says Kajendran

By S. Gurunathan Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been working internationally indirectly to help the government to get rid of human right violations committed in the country by the State armed forces during the final leg of war, accused Selvarajah Kajendran, General Secretary of the Tamil National People’s Front in Batticaloa addressing an event held in connection with the opening of election office at Govindan Road. He further said that very soon Tamils in Batticaloa would lose their voice if their rights are not recognized. The same situation would arise…

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Mixed feelings among displaced Tamils

Robinson, a 19-year-old youth of the Sabapathipillai camp of internally-displaced people (IDP) in Chunnakam near Jaffna, is more keen on playing cricket with his friends than talking about larger issues that affect the Tamil community. Still, he says he will go to polling booth on August 17, and cast his vote. “That is my right,” he says. What would the elections mean for him? This is a question that can be addressed by those who are knowledgeable, he replies. He, however, adds that this is the first time that he’s…

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Rajapaksha used 100+ White Vans in their time to terrorise the Tamils.

By Jehan Perera The nascent rejuvenation of institutions since the change of government was demonstrated in an unexpected manner with the apprehension of a white van. These vehicles have obtained a notoriety that peaked during the last years of the war with the LTTE. The circumstances under which this particular white van came to light had all the classic features that made the white van an object of fear and intimidation during the previous decade. It had false number plates. It had army personnel in it. It was being driven…

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New Constitution needed: TNA

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a coalition of Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka, has demanded that the country frame a new Constitution to address a host of issues it’s grappling with, including the Tamil question. Taking time off from his election campaign, R. Sampanthan, the 82-year-old leader of the TNA, told The Hindu in Jaffna on Sunday afternoon that “everybody wants a new Constitution. Even the Sinhalese leadership wants a new Constitution. There are many matters that, to me, [call for] a new Constitution.” Elaborating further, Mr. Sampanthan, who…

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The Last Of A Generation Of Tamil Marxists

By Kumar David – He was my comrade and neighbour and oft would we sit out on my veranda, sipping the stuff that cheers and first talking sensibly, then slinging it out in voices that kept the neighbours, too polite to complain, awake till the late hours, as a bottle of the golden water of life emptied itself gently. He was a Christian, more than a superficial one as his wish that his funeral be both spiritual and secular shows. But this was less potent than the convictions that anchored his political…

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Upcountry To Be Uplifted – Palani Digambaran

By Waruni Karunarathne   The newly formed Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), which comprises of Democratic People’s Front (DPF) led by Mano Ganesan, National Union of Workers (NUW) led by Minister Palani Digambaran and Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) led by V Radhakrishnan, has also joined forces with the UNP led alliance to contest the upcoming election. Minister Digambaran said the TPA is committed to address the issues of the upcountry Tamils and carry forward the mandate given by the people to President Sirisena on the good governance front during the last…

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Sajith complains of mudslinging

Members of the Rajapaksa camp, unable to get votes because of what they had done while in power were slinging mud at the Maithripala-Wickremesinghe administration, UNP Hambantota District candidate and Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa said. Addressing an election rally held at Ranna on Saturday, the minister said: “They cannot talk of what they did and ask the people to elect them again for they only engaged in swindling and misappropriating public funds. They also know that people now know those so-called mega development projects were nothing but sources of income for…

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White Van came for President Maithiri

The white van, in which three army personnel were travelling with a pistol, came for President Maithripala Sirisena, United National Front National List candidate M.K.D.S. Gunawardena said. “We created a country that was free from white vans. We ensured freedom and democracy in the country. Unfortunately, a white van resurfaced again from Mirihana, where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are resident,” Gunawardena said addressing an election meeting in Dambulla. “It is important to understand that their aim is President Maithripala Sirisena. They would stoop to…

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Lanka failed to fully protect victims of trafficking

The Sri Lankan government made limited progress in protecting victims of trafficking, the Unites States said in its 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report released today. The report released by Sarah Sewall, US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, said the government also did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offences. “There were allegations police and other officials accepted bribes to permit brothels to operate; some of the brothels exploited trafficking victims. Many recruitment agencies were alleged to be politically connected. Some sub-agents…

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UNP – MoU with UNFGG Sobhitha Thera & 75 civil society orgs to sign…

BY RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY The Civil Society Collective comprised of 75 organizations including the National Movementfor Social Justice led by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe representing the United National Front for Good Governance. The signing will take place tomorrow (28) at 9:30 a.m. at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. Former National Executive Council Member, Convener of the Lawyers’ Collective and Lawyers’ for Democracy and Convener of the eight-member MoU Drafting Committee Lal Wijenayake said that the MoU was…

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Replies to MR’s letters of demand

Several ministers including Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Ranjan Ramanayake, Nalin Bandara, Anura Kumara Dissanayake and the leader of the Gypsies band, Sunil Perera have been accused of engaging in activities that have defamed ex-President Mahinda Rajapakse during various TV talk shows. As a result of these practices, MAHINDA had sent letters of demand to these five individuals. Moreover, they have been charged one billion rupees each except for Minister Mangala Samaraweera who has been charged Rs.500 million. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, several of them expressed their thoughts on this move…

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Black July vigil in Downing Street

Hundreds of Tamils who hailed from the North and East of Sri Lanka and presently domiciled in the United Kingdom commemorated the 32nd anniversary of Black July communal riots with a vigil outside Downing Street in London on Thursday (23). British Tamils gathered outside the Prime Minister’s residence and lit candles in remembrance of those who died in 1983. P Sathiyaseelan, a long-standing activist and friend of many of those who lost their lives, including political detainees Kuddimani and Thangathurai, who were murdered in Welikada prison, during the violence which…

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Looking forward to prove MAHINDA’s guilt in court

Commenting on the Letter of Demand sent by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka for defaming him, Mr. Ramanayaka said he looked forward to prove Mr. Rajapaksa’s guilt in court. The former President had demanded Rupees one billion from the Deputy Minister in damages over an alleged defamatory statement of him in a TV political programme. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Mr. Ramanayaka said he was responsible for what he said and not scared of anyone to reveal the truth since he possessed the documents as evidence.…

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