Sampanthan declared ‘living hero’, funds for Sampur resettlement announced

by Shamindra Ferdinando An influential Canadian Diaspora organization which had been proscribed by the previous Sri Lankan government for being an LTTE front has provided funds for resettlement of the war displaced at Sampur in the Trincomalee district. The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) had recently raised over $ 110,000 for Sampur resettlement project, diaspora sources told The Island. Sources said the CTC had raised nearly $ 300,000 over the six previous years for the benefit of Canadian charities. The influential CTC had been among the eight diaspora groups which were…

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Monsignor Rayappu Joseph: “Controversial” Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Mannar Diocese

A news report from the Vatican Information Service(VIS) datelined January 14th 2016 stated that His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation presented by Bishop Rayappu Joseph upon reaching the age limit, from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mannar, Sri Lanka.The VIS report further said that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai, Bishop emeritus of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, as apostolic administrator of the Mannar diocese. On the same day the Vatican Radio announced that the Holy Father has accepted the resignation presented by Monsignor Rayappu Joseph,…

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Land Grab In Mullaitivu

Spolight On Navy…. by Hafsa Sabry The armed forces occupied many properties in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country during and after the civil war. The former government with its powerful politicians, allegedly encouraged the process of illegally ‘grabbing’ land in the North and East during its tenure. The issue of encroaching into public lands has still not been addressed by the relevant authorities, even after the change of government last year. One of the election pledges by the government of good governance was to release properties forcibly…

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Fishermen decides not to participate in church festival

The fishermen from here today decided to boycott the two-day festival at Anthony’s church to Katchatheevu to protest against Sri Lanka not releasing 67 boats belonging to them. As per an Indo-Sri Lankan agreement, Indian fishermen have right to fish near Katchatheevu, dry their fishing nets there and offer worship at the church, Fishermen’s Association leaders Devadoss and S Emiret said. While the Sri Lankan government was allowing worship, they were harassing the fishermen who put out sea in the Palk strait, they said. The fishermen also decided not to…

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Prez, govt. urged to speak with one voice on accountability process

*Ex-officer alleges contradictory statements cause turmoil   by Shamindra Ferdinando Alleging that President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP-led government had simultaneously issued vastly contradictory statements in respect of accountability issues and the role of the international community in the process, National Front to Protect Security Forces yesterday urged the government to speak with one voice. Addressing the media in Colombo, retired Maj and attorney-at-law Ajith Prasanna convenor of the front said people shouldn’t be deceived as regards the understanding between the government and Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).…

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Why Eelaventhan Should Not Be Deported To Sri Lanka

By Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah – With his application for asylum in Canada denied and all appeals against his deportation order exhausted, except for a pre-removal risk assessment process and possibly an application for a “National Interest” exemption, I share here the major concerns I have why former TNA MP, M K Eelaventhan should not be deported to Sri Lanka. Earlier in April 2014, in an application for judicial review of the findings made by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), the Federal Court agreed with IRB that Mr. Eelaventhan was…

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DO NOT GO TO SRI LANKA – The journalist was Invited and was arrested in Katunayake

The journalist P. Sasikaran who was in self exile and who was arrested last 20th at the Katunayake airport upon his arrival has been released under very strict bail conditions. Following his submission in courts yesterday he was released on Rs. 10,000 bail and two 100,000 surety bails. A court order has been enforced preventing him to leave the country and the courts have possessed his passport. The court order further restricted that Sasikaran should appear in the Katunayake police on the first Sunday of each month. Due to the…

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EU reiterates need to fully implement resolution

The EU trade delegation currently visiting Sri Lanka in a Joint Press Release following the first meeting of the working group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, held on 21 January 2016 reiterated the need for country to fully implement the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution. The staement read: The Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission concluded its first meeting in Colombo on 21 January 2016. The meeting was held…

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President Sirisena Rejects UN Human Rights Council Demand For Foreign Involvement in Mechanism Investigating War Crimes

By P.K.Balachandran Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected the UN Human Rights Council’s demand for foreign involvement in the judicial mechanism to be set up to investigate and try war crimes charges against the Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). “I will never agree to international involvement in this matter. We have more than enough specialists, experts and knowledgeable people in our country to solve our internal issues,” Sirisena told the Sinhalese service of the BBC on Thursday. “This investigation should be internal and…

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Former North and East Chief Minister considers federalism best solution

by Jehan Haniff Federalism is the best solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem, former North-East Chief Minister Vartharaja Perumal says. “Federalism will become a reality when the Tamils trust the Sinhalese and vice versa. It is not possible at present. If the new Constitution provides for a devolution model that will pave the way for federalism in time to come that will be enough.” Political changes of that nature could not happen overnight, Perumal said “It must evolve with even the Sinhalese fighting for federalism. This will come about when…

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