TNA strikes a positive note

By Ananth Palakidnar ?: A few days ago TNA met in Colombo and discussed on holding talks with the Government on political issues. Could you brief us on the discussion? A: It was a discussion based mainly on the Constitutional Assembly (CA) to be formed. The TNA has also formed a steering committee to go with the representations from the constituent parties. The Tamil political prisoners’ issue and the TNA’s role in the Constitutional Assembly were also discussed. The TNA has not deviated from the last year’s election manifestos. With…

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Don’t Look At Release of Tamil Detainees As A Legal Issue Only: TNA Tells Government

COLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) wants the Sri Lankan government to look at the question of releasing the Tamil war-time detainees from a political standpoint, as a measure of ethnic reconciliation, and not just as a legal issue. TNA spokesman and MP, M.A. Sumanthiran told Express on Friday, that the alliance leader R.Sampanthan has been asking the government to take a “political decision” in the matter and not go by legalities only. Sumathiran said that the release of the 168 prisoners, 14 of whom are fasting since February 23,…

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TNA proposals will be final – Mavai

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) appointed a committee to draft a set of proposals to solve the ethnic question through the proposed Constitutional reforms. Nation spoke to General Secretary of the TNA and Leader of the Ilankai Thamiz Arasu Katchi (ITAK), MavaiSenathirajah on the progress made by the alliance on drafting the said proposals. In addition, he also spoke on criticisms faced by the Alliance on not being transparent of its approach. Following are excerpts: Q. The TNA recently appointed a nine- member committee to work on proposals to solve…

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Political Prisoner Issue Sees Light At The End Of The Tunnel

by Easwaran Rutnam The political prisoner issue is likely to see an end soon with the Attorney General’s Department set to file charge sheets on those arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) but not charged. At least 14 political prisoners not charged after being arrested under the PTA when the former government was in office, were on hunger strike for several days demanding that they either be charged or be released, suspended the strike last Friday. Earlier the prisoners refused to accept rehabilitation and instead demanded unconditional release.…

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UK ‘firmly committed to full implementation’ of UN resolution on Sri Lanka

Britain reiterated its commitment to the full implementation of a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on accountability for mass atrocities committed during the final phases of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, at a statement delivered in Geneva this week. In a statement at the UN Human Rights Council’s 31st session, the United Kingdom said: “We remain firmly committed to the full implementation of the resolution adopted in September and stand ready to help Sri Lanka”. “We encourage the government to continue in its efforts to help bring lasting…

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HRW ‘concerned’ at Sri Lankan government statements on accountability

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it was concerned at statements made by the Sri Lankan government, which called into question its commitment to fully implement a UN resolution on accountability. Speaking at the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, the human rights organisation said “many have rightly put the emphasis on the need for implementation of existing resolutions, if the Council is to have relevance and impact on the ground”. It went on to add that whilst it welcomed the resolution on accountability for…

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US government should urge Sri Lanka to release political prisoners and repeal PTA – congress committee

The chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs has written to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the US government to press Sri Lanka to release Tamil political detainees, repeal the PTA and return land held by the military. Chairman Edward Royce said he supports the increased diplomatic engagement with the Sri Lankan government and pointed out that the Sirisena-administration had made several promises and continues to make “impressive, positive steps”. “Renewed US diplomatic engagement should continue to support these efforts. To that end, I urge you to continue to…

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While massive swindling was going on, Ministers kept their eyes and ears closed

By Vishwamithra1984 – “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”  ~ Thomas Paine The multiple misdeeds, alleged crimes ranging from abductions, assaults to even murder, acts of corruption and nepotism, providing wrong and deceitful information on the economy etc. belong, as already alleged, in the right domain – the Rajapaksa regime. These were all acts of commission. When one adds the acts of omission to this lot, the list rises nauseatingly high and the scope of investigation into them becomes excruciatingly…

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The Continuing Need For International Presence

By Jehan Perera – The issue of international participation in Sri Lanka’s transition process continues to remain a matter of speculation with different pronouncements being made by different members of the government. However, support for an international role in ascertaining the truth of what happened in the last phase of the war has received a boost due to the maiden speech in parliament made by former army commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. His credentials as a champion of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and unity as a state cannot be denied even…

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