SRI LANKA, BEYOND THE FACADE

SRI LANKA, BEYOND THE FACADE November 21, 2015 viruben nandakumar The 18th May 2009 marked the end of a horrific civil war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. In Matara and Colombo the end of the war was marked with victory parade and triumphalist celebrations. During a speech Rajapaksa said, ‘We are not celebrating victory in a war, we are celebrating peace’. Yet, is this an accurate depiction of Sri Lanka? Is Sri Lanka at peace? Over half a decade has passed and yet Sri Lanka has continuously failed…

Read More

Mystery surrounds death of ex-LTTE member in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 November 2015, 15:18 GMT] A 40-year-old former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who witnessed a four-member squad attempting to murder a person at Moon’raam-piddi on Friday, was found dead Saturday morning with his neck tightened by a piece of cloth, news sources in Mannaar said. Mystery surrounds his death as the family and those close to him have dismissed suicide as the cause of his death. The deceased was identified as Thanapalasingham Veerasingham, a father of three, who was living at Moon’raam-piddi in…

Read More

Malaysiya urges international community to continue pressure on Sri Lanka

The international community has been urged to continue to put pressure on the Sri Lanka government and the United Nations (UN) to ensure the alleged wrongs endured by Tamils during the civil war are righted. Malaysian MP Lim Kit Siang said no efforts should be spared until the Tamils in that country were restored to their human rights and the truth. He said the reconciliation process as called for by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) investigation into Sri Lanka (OSIL) should be justly and…

Read More

Govt. vows to unearth Rajapaksas’ hidden $ billions

Will take time, not as easy as nabbing common pickpockets – Mangala by Zacki Jabbar The government says it would find the billions of dollars that the Rajapaksas had allegedly hidden in  many foreign countries, no matter how long it took. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera addressing a news conference in Colombo last week said he was speaking with responsibility about “the billions of dollars that the Rajapaksas including the birthday boy had stashed away in foreign lands.” “They know what we are talking about. Catching big time professional crooks who…

Read More

TNA demands answers on Trinco underground cells

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today demanded answers from the authorities on the underground secret cells at the Trincomalee navy camp, in light of an admission by former navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda that those cells were used to detain people. In a highly charged speech in Parliament today during the debate on the 2016 budget, Parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran questioned as to why people like Karannagoda are not being investigated over the cells. Sumanthiran quoted Karannagoda as telling the media yesterday that the cells were part of the British colonial era and…

Read More

10 Navy Officers exposed on Gotha’s Secret Camp in Trincomalee

Sooka’s organisation ready to share details on cells More details have surfaced on the secret cells said to have being in operation at the Trincomalee Navy camp, including the names of the Navy officers alleged to have been involved in taking detainees to the site. The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, which concluded a visit to Sri Lanka last week, said that the detention cells at the Trincomalee Navy camp could not have been in operation without the knowledge of the top officials. Now an organization led by Yasmin…

Read More

Controversy Over Tamil Political Prisoners

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya The controversial issue of Tamil political prisoners has become a key topic in society in relation to reconciliation. With the recent protest demanding the release of  223 Tamil political prisoners, who have been kept behind bars for a long time, a hartal  was held in eight districts of the North and  Eastern provinces of the country. Minister Mano Ganesan had urged the government to release these prisoners immediately as promised by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to give bail to political prisoners according to the due process. After…

Read More

Awaiting Justice ForTrinco Five

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 the beach, five…

Read More

Why No One Complained About the Torture Chambers in Trinco Naval Base to Paranagama?

The Chairman of the Sri Lankan Presidential Commission on Disappearances and War Crimes, Justice Maxwell Paranagama, says that none of the witnesses who appeared before the panel complained about the existence of torture chambers in the Lankan naval base at Trincomalee. He was reacting to the observation of the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances that they had seen a secret underground detention cum torture center in the Trincomalee naval base. “The UN Working Group should have gone to these places un-announced. Given advance notice, witnesses are tutored…

Read More

Samantha Power in SL

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon for a three-day official visit. Ambassador Samantha Power is the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet. She formerly served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council. During her visit, Ambassador Power will highlight the United States’ commitment to strengthening the bilateral partnership, and she will underscore U.S. support for the country’s efforts toward reconciliation, accountability,…

Read More

Major diaspora orgs are de-proscribed, while dozens of Tamils remain on ‘terror’ list

The Sri Lankan government has de-proscribed 8 out of the 16 organisation, while 155 individuals remain proscribed, out of the original 424. In a gazette notification dated November 20, the government amended the list it initially published in March last year. Proscribed De-proscribed LTTE British Tamil Forum Tamil Coordinating Committee Canadian Tamil Congress Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation Australian Tamil Congress World Tamil Movement Global Tamil Forum Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam National Council of Canadian Tamils Tamil Eelam People’s Assembly Tamil National Council World Tamil Relief Fund Tamil Youth Organisation Headquarters…

Read More

Sri Lanka Lifts Ban On GTF, BTF, TYO And Individuals

COLOMBO: By a gazette extraordinary issued on Friday, the Sri Lankan government lifted the ban on several outfits and individuals previously thought to have been working for the LTTE. On March 21, 2014, 16 organizations and 424 individuals were proscribed under the UN Act No: 45 of 1968. But the latest gazette notification bans only eight organizations and 155 individuals.  In a NEW gazette notification dated 20th November 2015, the government amended the list it initially published in 21st of March 2014. The DE-LISTED organizations are: Global Tamil Forum (GTF); British…

Read More