TNA and GTF to attend discussion on Lanka

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) will be attending a discussion in Switzerland on Sri Lanka next week. The discussion, organized by the KOFF Centre for Peacebuilding, is taking place as the UN Human Rights Council meets in Geneva with Sri Lanka also on the agenda. Titled “The Current Context in Sri Lanka:  Opportunities & Challenges Ahead”, the discussion in Bern will see the participation of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, GTF spokesman Suren Surenthiran and also Asanga Welikala, Senior Researcher of the Centre for Policy…

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There Is No Significant Difference Of Opinion Within The TNA – Dharmalingam Siddharthan

Despite securing a key position in parliament as the opposition, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is seen going through a rough patch trying to get their act together. However, PLOTE leader and TNA MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan told The Sunday Leader that there is no significant difference of opinion within the TNA and all four parties of the TNA are in support of an international inquiry. However, he admitted that the all four parties of the TNA coalition have not yet come to one table to discuss the matters recently – therefore…

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Callum Ready To Discuss Evidence

By Easwaran Rutnam The director of a controversial film No Fire Zone says he is ready to discuss the evidence he has with the Sri Lankan government in Geneva. No Fire Zone Director Callum Macrae was in New York and five Latin American countries last week promoting a new film, also on Sri Lanka which seeks support for an international mechanism to address alleged war crimes. “I would be delighted to meet with the new Sri Lankan government in Geneva.  I will be there from September 16 and would welcome the…

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New Sri Lankan envoy in Canada promises ‘all inclusive’ approach (unlike in the past?)

AUDIO – Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner to Canada Ahmed Jawad speaks to lankareporter.com Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner to Canada Ahmed Jawad has promised an ‘all inclusive’ approach to the diaspora living in Canada. Mr. Jawad, a career diplomat presented his credentials to the Governor General of Canada David Johnston in Ottawa. “The new vision of the government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe is to follow an all inclusive approach,” High Commissioner Jawad told Lanka Reporter at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the…

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Sri Lanka’s Geneva Month in a Europe awash with Syrian Refugees

by Rajan Philips September has become Sri Lanka’s Geneva month. The 30th Annual Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which begins tomorrow in Geneva is expected to be congenial to the new Sri Lankan government unlike the previous sessions that were decisively hostile to the now defeated Rajapaksa regime. But the broader European context to the 2015 UNHRC Session in Geneva, Switzerland, is the Syrian refugee crisis that is tearing apart the rest of Europe. Geneva and Switzerland once again stand isolated from yet another periodical European…

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Pistols and 1,000 T56 guns given to paramilitary group by Rajapaksha

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has uncovered information regarding a large number of T56 rifles and pistols given to a paramilitary group by the previous government. CID sources said, a former paramilitary leader who later took to politics has come under CID investigation and surveillance after details of this huge weapons transfer had surfaced. Top officials of the former regime had authorized the transfer of nearly 1,000 T56 rifles in addition to pistols to this paramilitary group, the source added. The CID has commenced investigations to ascertain for what these…

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India for domestic inquiry into accountability

Sri Lanka is undertaking two major initiatives ahead of the presentation of a war crimes report during the ongoing Geneva human rights sessions. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government wants the Geneva-based United Nations. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to back US-led proposal to enable the country to launch a comprehensive domestic inquiry into accountability issues. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s three-day visit to India will commence tomorrow (Sept.14). The government is confident of India throwing its weight behind the US led initiative. On the eve of his departure for Geneva, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera…

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UNHRC report: No names but strong indictments

The biggest international challenge for Sri Lanka will unfold in the coming week as the UN Human Rights Council receives the findings of the probe into alleged war crimes by troops and Tiger guerrillas. A copy of the report, which has already been provided to the Government of Sri Lanka, is being kept a close secret until it is formally placed on the UNHRC’s official website anytime next week. However, diplomatic sources say the probe team has made strong indictments against both the troops and the guerrillas over purported war…

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Abuse of Russian Diplomat Mangala orders tough Police action

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Tuesday (8) ordered tough police action against a man identified as Manjula Wijekoon who has been discovered as being responsible for abusing a Russian diplomat and his family at the Arpico Super Centre car park at Hyde Park Corner in Colombo on 4 September. Police have traced a video posted on Facebook that shows a man, driving a BMW vehicle, blocking the diplomat’s car at the car park of the Arpico Supermarket at Hyde Park Corner in Colombo, and verbally abusing him. The video then shows…

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Strong, small Govt. team for Geneva

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando left for Geneva on Friday night to engage in crucial lobbying and advocacy prior to the UNHRC session that begins tomorrow, September 14 in the Swiss city. In contrast to the small, high capacity team that went on Friday for this year’s sessions, in 2012, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government sent a delegation of 71 members to Geneva ahead of that year’s Human Rights Council session when Sri Lanka faced a US initiative that pushed for…

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Sri Lanka sees the end of international probes

ECONOMYNEXT – The United Nations Human Rights council has finalised its war crimes report formally ending international investigation against Sri Lanka, official sources said today. The UN authorities shared two water-marked copies of the final report with the government of Sri Lanka on Friday on the eve of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s visit to Geneva for the opening of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions. “The government has about five days to respond to the report,” a government source said asking not to be named. “Sri Lanka’s observations will also…

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TNA in turmoil as Vanni protest gathers steam

TNA in turmoil as Vanni protest gathers steam The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) yesterday alleged that the on-going protest campaign in the Vanni demanding an international war crimes probe was aimed at undermining the national reconciliation process. EPDP spokesperson Nelson Edirisinghe said that an influential section of the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was behind the campaign. The grouping comprises the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and three former militant groups namely the TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of complacency,…

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