Last Opportunity To Defeat Extremist Forces: Friday Forum

“This may be a last opportunity to defeat divisive and extremist forces in different parts of our country, and work towards a just society and a sustainable environment of peace, security and prosperity for all our people.” says the Friday Forum. Issuing a statment last night the Friday Forum said; “While discussions on a political solution have focused on devolution and power sharing with the provinces, our statement puts forward for our fellow citizens and parliamentarians some principles and ideas that we think are fundamental to address the structural problems…

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Sri Lanka: New Government Makes Significant Progress?

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government, elected in January 2015, ended the pervasive culture of surveillance and censorship and embarked on reforms aimed to undo years of increasingly authoritarian rule, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. While it opened dialogues both domestically and abroad, the government still faces key concerns, including wartime accountability and prolonged detention without trial. EXPAND Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York on September 27, 2015. In the 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition,…

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Lanka Missing Persons Panel Seeks An Year’s Extension

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Missing Persons’ Commission headed by retired Justice Maxwell Paranagama, has requested the government to extend its term by a year from February 15, 2016 as it still has thousands of cases to investigate. Justice Paranagama told Express on Tuesday, that out of the 14,000-odd representations from civilians before it, interviews have been conducted only in 5,000-odd cases so far. “And we haven’t even touched the 5600 representations from the families of disappeared Security Forces personnel,” he pointed out. The commission was set up during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime…

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Six-year-old Tamil boy brutally raped and killed in Sri Lanka by Navy

Six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Tamil lands, particularly in the north of the island, remain under military occupation. The 26-year conflict, which claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, concluded in 2009 when the Sri Lankan armed forces launched a bloody offensive to destroy the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which had led the Tamil national liberation movement for several decades. The final push claimed the lives of tens of thousands, and has been widely-condemned as an act of genocide in which unspeakable acts of…

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UN urged to ensure foreign judges’ participation in war crimes investigation

President’s position on UNHRC resolution By Shamindra Ferdinando Alleging that President Maithripala Sirisena has recently undermined a US-led Geneva Resolution co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has requested foreign governments to pressure the President to fully implement the proposals. In addition to western powers, the European Union, too, endorsed the Resolution. UK based GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran yesterday told The Island that they expected all those who had backed the Resolution 30/1 to ensure that the GoSL fulfilled its obligations. The 47-member United…

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Arrest warrant for Lakmal Cooray terror man behind Facebook.

By Ishara Ratnakara The CID yesterday informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate in Court that the mastermind behind the Facebook racket in which lakhs…… of rupees have been collected after threatening exposure of nude photographs of young males has been led by a man who is abroad. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the Director General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration to arrest the chief suspect in the case, Danuka Lakmal Cooray, a 31-year-old resident of Kalutara on his return to the country. The CID also informed Court that…

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The agony of Sri Lanka’s carapace of peace

The agony of Sri Lanka’s carapace of peace Six years after the Sri Lankan civil war – @jonsnowc4 visits the site of some of its worst horrors. Our return to Sri Lanka’s killing fields has managed to coincide with two major developments – the first is the President’s announcement that there will be no “international component” in any “investigation” of the civil war, or the alleged war crimes committed therein, which seem to be evidenced by the multiple videos sent to this programme in the wake of the war’s aftermath.…

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THE NEW WAVE OF TERROR AND RAJAPAKSHA

Mayhem as monks go on the rampage Pandemonium reigned at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court premises with three Buddhist monks threatening to self-immolate in protest against the arrest of Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera arrested on the charges of contempt of court, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant was yesterday ordered to be remanded till February 9 after being produced before the Homagama Magistrate’s Court. A large group of Buddhists monks surrounded the Homagama Magistrate’s Court, protesting against the…

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The 13th Amendment gave the Provincial Councils rights over Land and police

By Kamalika pieris The 13th Amendment gave the Provincial Councils rights over “Land, land tenure, transfer and alienation of land, land use, land settlement and land improvement.” It specifically says “Land shall be a Provincial Council subject to certain limitations.” Land is not on the concurrent list either. It was therefore assumed that “Land” was the exclusive preserve of the Provincial Councils. If a Provincial Council needed any state land, the government has to hand it over, no questions asked. It was further assumed that central government on the other…

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University College London students withhold £250,000 rent money in accommodation row

Students at a top London university are withholding around £250,000 of rent in a row over spiralling living costs. More than 150 students at University College London (UCL) announced today they would hold off payment until demands for a 40 per cent cut in rents are met. Protesters claim the average rent for a person at UCL has gone up by more than half since 2009, making even the cheapest rooms more expensive than student loan payments. The student union claimed the increases were “tuition fees by stealth” which ratchet up…

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Alarmed at President Sirisena’s recent comments regarding International Involvement on Accountability Mechanism – Global Tamil Forum

Issued for immediate release PRESS STATEMENT 25 January 2016 Alarmed at President Sirisena’s recent Comments regarding International Involvement on Accountability Mechanism – Global Tamil Forum Global Tamil Forum (GTF) is deeply concerned and disappointed by the recent comments of Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena (BBC, January 21, 2016) concerning his opposition to international involvement in ensuring  justice for war crimes and human rights abuses committed by both parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka. President Sirisena downplayed the serious findings of war crimes and Human Rights abuses by the Sri…

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Zeid urged to push Sri Lanka to stick to UN commitment

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has been urged to ensure that Sri Lanka will stick to its promise and fully implements all aspects of the UN Resolution on Sri Lanka without any exceptions. The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a leading Tamil diaspora group, said it was deeply concerned and disappointed by the recent comments of President Maithripala Sirisena (BBC, January 21, 2016) concerning his opposition to international involvement in ensuring justice for war crimes and human rights abuses committed by both parties to the conflict in Sri…

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Lankan man in UK found guilty of assaulting ex wife

A Sri Lankan man in the UK has been found guilty of assaulting his estranged wife and was handed a 12 months’ community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement for up to 40 days and 100 hours of unpaid work. The taxi driver burned his wedding photos after accusing his estranged wife of having an affair, a court heard. Suresh Chaminada De Alwis cast aspersions after looking at Facebook messages on Lisa Fisher’s phone, Bristol Crown Court heard. bristolpost.co.uk reported. He went on to assault her and make threats. Judge Michael Longman told him…

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Sri Lanka: Fulfill Rights Council Call for Justice

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government should fulfill its commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council by ensuring that foreign judges and prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability mechanism for wartime abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 21, 2016, President Maithripala Sirisena told the BBC, contrary to Sri Lanka’s council commitments, that he will “never agree to international involvement,” saying “[w]e have more than enough specialists, experts and knowledgeable people in our country to solve our internal issues.” EXPAND Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena…

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Arrest warrant on Gnanasara Thera

The Homagama Magistrate today issued an arrest warrant on Bodu Bala Sena Secretary General, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara on charges of contempt of court and the disruption of court proceedings. The Thera who was present in Court during the proceedings in the Prageeth  Eknaligoda case is said to have insulted the court, disrupted its proceedings and bad-mouthed court officials. (Muditha Dayananda) – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/104069/arrest-warrant-on-gnanasarathera#sthash.hHmsc8eY.dpuf

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Are you safe to go back to Sri Lanka? Answer ”NO”

Invited back to Sri Lanka to send behind bars ? It is unnecessary to remind again how bad the period of the former Rajapaksa regime had been for journalists. Other than those who had sold their souls for the cutlets, rolls given at the Temple Trees ‘Dansela’ and other gratifications and written according to the wishes of the royal family, journalists who appeared for the truth had to engage in their profession like in a tightrope walk. At a time when white vans came in search of those who had…

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A new narrative for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka

A new narrative for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka by Dr. K. Mukunthan Sri Lanka appears to be a country in transition. Some amongst us question the sincerity of the government or the impact these purported changes will have on the Tamil community. How far and deep these changes are to address the long-standing Tamil national question? Considering the historic trust deficit the Tamil community has on the governments or even the State of Sri Lanka, such questions appear reasonable. But an objective analysis of the present reality in…

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I am called a controversial Bishop because there are ‘controversial’ issues taking place

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj.                                                                    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…

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Find our loved ones – People urge TNA

Find our loved ones – People urge TNA BY Mirudhula Thambiah A statement made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a Thai Pongal event in Jaffna recently, seems to have enraged the relatives and friends of missing persons, and motivated them to agitate more towards pressurizing the government to find their loved ones. The Prime Minister said the majority of the missing persons should be considered deceased. There was widespread condemnation of the remark by the relatives, and they turned their anger towards the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which received…

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