63 New entrants to Parliament and 13 Women legislators

There are 63 new entrants to Parliament this year, among whom is Shanthi Sriskandarajah, a knee-down amputee of a leg, a National List MP of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). She, along with an interesting array of new legislators, will on Tuesday (1) be sworn in as Members of the 8th Parliament of Sri Lanka. Ms Sriskandarajah, a government servant, who was Deputy Director -Planning at Turukkali in the Wanni District, lost her leg in a shell blast in February 2009. However, undeterred by the personal tragedy, she was back…

Read More

Wimal plays Racist card again.

In addition to constitutional and electoral proposals, Close associate of Mahinda Rajapaksha and a known man who plays racist card to gain Votes Wimal Weerawansa said that his party the NFF is of the belief that there shouldn’t be negotiations whatsoever with India or any country or ‘non-state actor’ as regards amendments to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution as well as its full implementation. The party also stressed that South Africa or any other external power should not be considered for the role of facilitator in post-war Sri Lanka, It is…

Read More

Women in estate TUs not empowered

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody General Secretary of the People’s Workers Union (PWU) said women in the estate and plantation sector trade unions, particularly in the tea industry, were not empowered through proper education and training to take up leadership and participate in policy and decision making. PWU General Secretary Attorney-at-Law Eliyathamby Thambiah said women were the majority force playing the leading role in most aspects of production like tea picking, weighing and measuring. He said even if women were involved they were merely there for the namesake and were made…

Read More

Diplomatic corps briefed on Ekneligoda case FM on MS-RW strategy to change SL’s dierction

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that as much as the government needed invaluable support of the international community in terms of technical expertise in the setting up of domestic mechanisms and assistance for  peacebuilding related efforts such as resettlement, infrastructure development, and providing psycho-social support, the administration was of the opinion the time has now come to focus on strengthening economy. A stronger economy would be key to ensuring long-term peace and stability and preventing the recurrence of conflict, the minister said. Minister Samaraweera was addressing the Colombo-based diplomatic community…

Read More

Australia supports government’s democratic reform

Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie, said that Australia supported the government’s democratic reform and good governance agenda and would continue to encourage the Sri Lankan government to maintain its commitment to this agenda, to the improvement of human rights, to meaningful progress on reconciliation, including accountability, and to continued engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including the diaspora. She said this while giving a guest lecture at an event organised by the Sri Lanka Association of Australia Awards Alumni at the Lakshman Kadirgamir Institute, the Australian High Commission said today. High…

Read More

Tamil parties turn down U.S. call for internal ‘war crimes’ probe

Parties reach consensus that only an international investigation mechanism can deliver justice. Leaders representing three constituents of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Sunday rejected the stand of the U.S., which favoured a domestic investigation mechanism on alleged crimes during the final stages of the Eelam War. The leaders of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), who met for four hours in Colombo, felt that justice would be possible only through an international probe. M.K. Shivajilingam, TELO’s national organiser, said the three…

Read More

US Begins Operation To Defend Sri Lanka

First informal meeting on September 17 By Easwaran Rutnam The United States last week set in motion an operation to seek support for Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva and the process will see heightened diplomatic activity as D-day nears for Sri Lanka at the Council. The US Ambassador to Geneva Keith Harper informed the UNHRC at its organisational meeting for the 30th session, that the US, on behalf of a core group, plan to offer a resolution on Sri Lanka to follow up on…

Read More

UNHRC decision will be based on US resolution

By Shamindra Ferdinando The Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will decide future course of action on Sri Lanka on the basis of a US resolution scheduled to be moved at the 30th sessions next month. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Kolonne told The Island that UNHRC would decide on the recommendations contained in a report submitted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) through the passage of a resolution. Kolonne said: “This is not something new. Resolutions are the means by which decisions in the UNHRC are taken.”…

Read More

Fonseka Refutes Karuna’s Contention That Prabhakaran Shot Himself

COLOMBO: Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the Sri Lanka Army during the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV, has refuted the contention of former Tamil Tiger commander “Col” Karuna Amman, that Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran had shot himself dead and was not killed by Lankan troops as claimed. “He had a head injury in which a part of the skull had come off. If he had shot himself, the bullet would have come out from the other side of the head. But this had not happened. He might have been hit…

Read More