We need to jettison inherited prejudices and wrong notions – Wigneswaran

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says that an inclusive society cannot be built upon counter-terrorism mindset and state security perspectives and that a heavy military presence in the province lays the foundation for violence. Addressing the National Thaipongal Festival in Jaffna today, he said that the 16th goal of the UN’s 2013 agenda for sustainable development calls for the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective accountable and inclusive institutions to all levels. “This is indeed what we…

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Time for Action on Sri Lanka War Crimes

Just how committed is the Sri Lankan government to implementing the UNHRC resolution? On October 31, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer jointly warned the international community about the impact of current conflicts on civilians, and appealed for urgent and concrete actions, including unhindered access and protection for humanitarian personnel, facilities and supplies, internally displaced people and refugees, and the end of the use of heavy weapons in populated areas. The two also called for condemnation and effective investigations to hold the perpetrators…

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UN supervised referendum for Eelam Tamils sought

A group of diaspora organisations are to seek a UN supervised referendum for Eelam Tamils to express their political aspirations. The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, the International Council of Eelam Tamils and the International Tamil Youth Organisation have in a joint statement noted that Tamils the world over continue to breathe the thoughts and dreams of a free Tamil Eelam. The joint statement said: “We have entered the 40th year since the people of Tamil Eelam proclaimed to the world their deeply held political aspirations through the Vaddukoddai Resolution in 1976,…

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Nandy assures Sri Lanka continued support of UN

Outgoing UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to the Government of Sri Lanka in continuing to progressively work together for the benefit of the Sri Lankan people. In February, Nandy, will take up his new post as Head of Asia-Pacific Division of the Department of Political Affairs in UN New York Headquarters. Nandy, concluded his assignment in Sri Lanka after a 4 year and 8 month term and called on President Maithripala Sirisena for an exit meeting, the UN office in…

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Ex-UNP minister backs TNA’s call for MR’s role in constitution making

By Shamindra Ferdinando Former UNP Minister A.R.M. Munsoor yesterday urged the government as well as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to heed Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan’s call for the former SLFP leader to join the constitution making process. The success of the process would largely depend on the participation of all political parties and groups represented in parliament, Munsoor said, adding that the required consensus could never be achieved unless the former President threw his weight behind the project. The one-time Commerce Minister told The Island that the…

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Several Tamil parties condemn black flag protest against Maithri and Ranil

By Jehan Haniff Several Tamil Political parties strongly condemned the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member M. K. Sivajilingam for staging a Black Flag campaign in Jaffna in protest against President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visiting Jaffna to take part in the National Thai Pongal celebrations today. Although they said the protest was an “utter flop,” Sivajilingam told The Island the protest had been a huge success with several prominent personalities taking part in it. A leader of a Tamil political party, contacted by this newspaper, said though…

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Police Brutality Continues: AHRC

“It is the people’s security that is being threatened by actions such as the one that took place in Embilipitiya. People’s security is also being threatened at almost every police station, every day, when the police brutally assault people under the guise of conducting criminal investigations”, says the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Issuing a statement the AHRC said; “The Government has announced another attempt at constitution making in Sri Lanka which, this time is to begin, with the hope to complete the process, by the end of this year.…

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