US Will Not Give Up Its Strategic Objectives In Sri Lanka Despite Leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya The US quit the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday (June 19) with rhetoric intended to assert the moral high-ground, slamming the council and selectively ‘naming and shaming’ council members outside its charmed circle of ‘friends.’ While the statements of US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington reeked of imperial arrogance, the irony of this grandstanding by one of the worst human rights offenders on the planet would not have been lost on many in the global South, who have been…

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Sri Lankan asylum seeker attacked on city housing estate

Sasitharan Letcsumanon has lived through a civil war, endured freezing conditions in a refugee camp and survived a treacherous journey into the UK. But it was only during a late-night walk through a Norwich housing estate that he became the victim of a vicious assault. The 39-year-old was punched in the face and beaten with a stick as he walked home on Foxley Close, off Cadge Road. Norfolk Police is yet to arrest anyone in connection with the incident, but is continuing to appeal for witnesses. Mr Letcsumanon, who arrived…

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President rejects proposal to pay compensation to former Tamil LTTE cadres and their families?

Sirisena refuses to even discuss Swaminathan’s memorandum; compensation issues to be dealt with by designated body –UNP’s damage-control move misfires as Mujibur Rahman MP plays counsel President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday rejected outright a proposal by a United National Party (UNP) Cabinet Minister to pay “compensation” to Tiger guerrilla “ex combatants” and their “next of kin.” “I am not going to allow this to be even discussed,” he told last Tuesday’s weekly ministerial meeting. He was alluding to the Cabinet Memorandum forwarded by Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister…

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UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: PUTTING THE US PULL OUT IN PERSPECTIVE

Last week’s decision by the United States to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council created ripples in Sri Lanka where the parting words of America’s top diplomat that the Council was a “cesspool of political bias” resonated strongly with politicians and bureaucrats aligned with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who waged pitched battles in Geneva from 2009-2014, claiming victimisation and similar partisan bias by member states. For ruling party politicians, the US pull out seemed to indicate that the Government could be ‘off the hook’ with regard to further…

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Both Sampanthan and Wigneswaran seeking unity, but terms clash

Wigneswaran welcoming Sampathan at the Jaffna book launch (pic courtesy TNA) By P.K.Balachandran The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been facing an internal and external crisis for some time now, with the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran rebelling against the party stalwart R.Sampanthan, and with the alliance losing its hold on the electorate to a significant extent. The reasons for the internal rift and the loss of external popular support are many. There are ideological differences between Wigneswaran and Sampanthan. with the former being more radical in his demands and…

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Foreign courts not permitted to try our soldiers – AG

Attorney General, in his sum up on the Bill entitled “Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (Amendment)” submitted that Government of Sri Lanka will not permit any of our soldiers to be tried in foreign jurisdiction on war crimes. The Bill “Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (Amendment) came before the Supreme Court for its Special Determination on its constitutionality. The Bench comprised Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara, Sisira J. De Abrew and Nalin Perera. Three petitions were filed before the Supreme Court for its Special Determination on the Bill. Petitioners are former MP…

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GOTHA ready to renounce US citizenship ONLY if invited to run for Sri Lankan President

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that ONLY if he was nominated to contest the next presidential election, he would renounce his US citizenship and he would be able to do so within two months. If not, than he will stay as a US citizen. A journalist asked if he was after the super power like Mahinda rule before 2015 or was he really interested in helping to develop Sri Lanka? Mahinda who wants his son MP Nimal to be nominated has the next president candidate was unreachable for…

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NO solution to national question more underground claymore mines might come out

Kalai Kathir, published in Jaffna, in its June 23 Saturday issue, reported that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had brought to the attention of Jaffna District TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran the recovery of explosives at Oddusuddan. According to the report, Sumanthiran had received information about the weapons recovery from Rajapaksa and thanked him for alerting and advising him.But the report added that Sumanthiran warned Rajapaksa that if all did not get together to deliver a solution to national question more underground claymore mines might come out. The report claimed conversation took…

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Is Sri Lanka ready for an elected dictator?

By Jayadeva Uyangoda Is Sri Lanka ready for an elected dictator? This is the latest question to enter the country’s current political debate. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s preparations to contest the next presidential election in 2019 have already precipitated a potentially explosive controversy that can last weeks and months. An admirer of Gotabaya Rajapaksa has echoed as a positive political desire, what his detractors have been suggesting indirectly for the past few months. A Buddhist prelate representing Sri Lanka’s most conservative Sangha establishment has said it in a few words: “Let Gotabaya Rajapaksa…

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