PM Cameron plays politics in Sri Lanka – NO Political package to Tamils as promised.

British Prime Minister David Cameron held talks with President Maithripala Sirisena  at the Commonwealth Summit in Malta on 27 November 2015, and announced a significant increase in UK support for reconciliation and human rights. The Government will provide £6.6 million to Sri Lanka, spread over 3 years, to support reconciliation, military reform and to help people who were forced from their towns and villages during the civil war to return home. A non-resident defence attaché will also be appointed and access provided to UK military training courses to help support Sri…

Read More

Vasu urges to release all Tamil political prisoners

DLF leader, MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara says he is not against the release of Tamil detainees considered as pro-LTTE. He was speaking at a media briefing this morning (30) organized by several leftist parties. The leftist parties are of the stance that there is nothing wrong in freeing LTTE detainees, said Nanayakkara. However, after their release, they should be closely monitored by the government, he stressed. Answering a question, he admitted leftist parties were having a conflict of opinion with the joint opposition which has been opposing LTTE detainees being given…

Read More

UK to give Military Training to Sri Lankan forces, NO Political package for Tamils.

The British Government has decided to appoint a non-resident defence attaché and access provided to UK military training courses to help support Sri Lankan military reform. The British Government however also said that it is clear that credible investigations into alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war are vital. “We are already playing a key role in encouraging progress on this, including through the UNHRC resolution which set Sri Lanka on a new path towards reconciliation and a more prosperous and inclusive future,” a UK Government statement said. Last week UK Prime Minister…

Read More

Widen Dialogue & Act Faster To Meet Imperatives Of Reconciliation

By Jehan Perera – The last week of November has generally been a difficult time in Sri Lanka for the past two or more decades. During the long period of war, the LTTE used to commemorate its fallen cadre with Martyrs’ Day ceremonies on November 26-27. There was a combination in varying degrees of events meant to mobilize and sustain support for their cause. There were march pasts by LTTE cadre, including the Black Tiger suicide squads. There were also memorial services at the LTTE cemeteries. There were also heightened…

Read More

Northern Issues Threaten Non-Recurrence

The inability to pay back loans, unemployment and the political prisoner issue has gripped the North ahead of the New Year. National Dialogue Minister Mano Ganesan, under who the subject of non-recurrence falls, told The Sunday Leader that the issues in the North could pose a threat to non-recurrence. Among the issues, a serious ‘debt culture’ is beginning to take shape in the North with people borrowing money but unable to pay back. Following the end of the war several banks rushed to the North, particularly to former LTTE controlled…

Read More

Nine Army Generals Meet President Sirisena in Hush Hush Meeting at Negombo Hotel to “Explain Their Role” in Final Phase of War

A top-level meeting President Maithripala Sirisena held with a group of senior Army officers has ruffled feathers in the defence and security establishment. Neither Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiaratchchi nor Army Commander Lt. Gen. Chrisanthe de Silva had prior knowledge of the meeting. Most of the nine senior officers who met President Sirisena at a hotel in Negombo, while he was on a visit there, played a pivotal role in the final stages of the battle to defeat militarily the Tiger guerrillas in May 2009. The officers, some of whom are…

Read More

Transitional Justice: Genuine move or red herring?

J S Tissainayagam.                                                                Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met with civil society organisations (CSOs) on October 29 to discuss public consultations for setting up a transitional justice project to deal with the mass atrocities committed during the country’s civil war. Despite this seemingly democratic practice, questions remain as to whether in its implementation this project is going to…

Read More

Sri Lankan government could account for its own human rights abuses is laughable.

No country that emerges from civil war can truly heal until the dead have been accounted for and steps toward reconciliation have been made. Sri Lanka is no exception. Nearly three decades of civil war ended in 2009, when the Sri Lankan military launched a final offensive against rebels known as the Tamil Tigers, who ruled a separatist enclave for years. Today, the war is over but the peace has yet to begin. More than 146,000 people remain unaccounted for. The Sri Lankan military continues to occupy the land that…

Read More

Avant Garde is an illegal company

Avant Garde company is an illegal company and taking it over by the SL Navy is a correct move says minister of former Rajapaksa government Vasudeva Nanayakkara. He says the SL Navy lost Rs.1000 million annually due to handing over affairs carried out by the Navy to Avant Garde. “Even when we were in the government we said handing over affairs of the Navy to Avant Garde was wrong. Avant Garde was handed over to Rakna Lanka against our advice. The whole affair was carried out secretly,” said Mr. Nanayakkara.…

Read More

Foreign judges for war crimes tribunals:

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday took a non-committal stand on the issue of foreign judges sitting on war crimes tribunals expected to be set up soon. It stated that these must inspire the confidence of “stakeholders” and be within the country’s Constitution, a position the Government has also taken. A statement issued by the BASL admitted that Sri Lanka’s existing judicial and prosecutorial systems have “not met the confidence of many concerned”. Having considered the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, along with the reports…

Read More

High-powered UN mission due early next year

A definite turn in Sri Lanka – UN ties: by Chathuri Dissanayake A visit by a high-powered UN mission is scheduled for early next year, the Sunday Observer learns. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and UNHRC Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein are scheduled to visit the country in February next year. The visit has been on the cards since August this year. It was originally scheduled to take place before the UNHCR sessions in September but was postponed at the last minute due to various reasons. The visit marks…

Read More

President holds fruitful talks with Premiers of Australia and Canada

President Maithripala Sirisena met Prime Ministers of Canada and Australia on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta today (November 28). President Sirisena congratulated Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull for their electoral victories in Canada and Australia respectively. During his meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, President Sirisena recalled the excellent bilateral relations that the two countries enjoyed during the tenure of Mr Trudeau’s father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and that they should work together to restore the relationship. During his separate meetings with two…

Read More

A’Power’-ful message

A’Power’-ful message US: Cautious,vigilant but engaged : by Dilrukshi Handunnetti Sri Lanka needs to urgently address several outstanding issues in the North – including demilitarization, release of military-held lands to civilians, end impunity and introduce fast-paced development in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations and US Representative to the UN Security Council, Samantha Power, told the Sunday Observer. Pic: US Embassy Colombo Power who concluded a three- day visit of Sri Lanka last Monday (24) urged the Sri Lankan Government to ‘not be…

Read More

Singer Mathangi “M.I.A.” Arulpragasam Releases Self-directed Video “Borders” on Refugee issues in Europe

by Harriet Gibsone Most artists would be incapable of approaching a subject as serious as the refugee crisis in song. Not MIA, however, whose new album is on course to politicise pop once again. “The world I talked about 10 years ago is still the same,” she recently posted on Twitter. “That’s why it’s hard for me to say it again on a new LP.” Today, the British artist of Sri Lankan descent premiered Borders, a track that proves she remains unique in her ability to implement ideas about pop…

Read More

Mystery out as to how Ranil lost presidency in 2005 to Mahinda!

Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake and a group of UNP backbenchers have asked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to immediately investigate as to whether money had been given to the LTTE to change the public opinion in the northern province at the 2005 presidential election, where Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe were involved in a tight contest.  PM Wickremesinghe has agreed to hold an investigation. At that election, Rajapaksa won with a majority of only 186,000 votes. Nearly 300,000 voters in Jaffna, Wanni and the eastern province abstained as a result of…

Read More

MDMK, Vaiko celebrate Prabha’s birth anniversary

South Indian regional party Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) celebrated the 61st birth anniversary of slain Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) founder Vellupillai Prabhakaran on Thursday, 26 November. Prabhakaran was born into a middle class family in the coastal town of Velvettiturai in northern Sri Lanka in 1954. The architect of Asia’s longest-running civil war had vowed never to be taken alive, but Sri Lankan army soldiers killed the island’s most wanted and most elusive man in 2009. For 37 years, LTTE Chief Prabhakaran had done one thing better…

Read More

Supreme Court of Canada – Has ruled that federal immigration laws denying entry to human smugglers are unconstitutional.

In two cases involving ships carrying Tamil refugees to Canada’s shores, the Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration laws denying entry to human smugglers are unconstitutional. Those laws could be used to bar from Canada or prosecute anyone who performs a humanitarian act, including passengers helping one another or family members giving aid to their relatives, the court said in unanimous rulings written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. And that is out of step with the laws’ stated purposes and Canada’s international obligations for refugee protection, she said. One…

Read More

Premechandran urges general amnesty for Tamil detainees

“I don’t see any difference between the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – both were armed militants. Both organisations wanted to liberate their people,” stresses Leader of the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Front and member of Tamil National Alliance Suresh Premechandran.  “If a general amnesty was granted to the JVP, why can’t the Government do the same with Tamil detainees? After all both groups were involved in an armed intrusion,” Premechandran pointed out. “How do you separate these two parties?” he queries, adding, “The JVP…

Read More

Awaiting Justice ForTrinco Five

By James Ross The bright white sandy beach in Sri Lankan’s northeastern town of Trincomalee is as beautiful as any urban seafront anywhere. It was midday in October, with the sun too high and hot for tourists and local residents alike. A young Sri Lankan raised in New Zealand told me she had bravedthe undertow for a swim, unaware nor having any reason to be aware of the cold-blooded murders there nearly 10 years ago.  On the evening of January two, 2006, while many people celebrated the New Year on…

Read More

David Cameron meets President Sirisensa at the Commonwealth summit in Malta

Britain will give Sri Lanka £6.6m over three years to help the battle-scarred country continue its recovery from a long civil war. The money will be backed up by a non-resident defence attache and access to British armed forces training to help with military reform. The aid will also help people displaced from their towns and villages during the bloodshed to return home. READ MORE Tamils call for Sri Lankan President to be tried for war crimes Tamil leads Sri Lanka opposition for first time in 32 years Four Sri…

Read More