Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Mahinda before fire in the North

Mahinda Rajapaksa's role in establishing opposition PC in the South
Upul Joseph Fernando
When former President D.B. Wijetunga met people at his retirement home in Kandy, he used to say that his engagement with the Southern Provincial Council was a folly. UNP was never strong in the South. The UNP strategy at the Southern Provincial Council election finally paved way for Chandrika to come to power. But Wijetunga did not understand it at that moment. In warfare also it is advised to lure the enemy into a field in which you are strong. It is always foolish to engage with the enemy on the ground where he is strong.

Income of Rajapaksa Intanatioanal Airport in a month: USD 250

UNP MPS attaked at the AirPort

Opposition Lawmaker Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday charged in Parliament that both Mihin Lanka as well as the controversial Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) are failures.  He said that the Government invested over $ 300 million on MRIA but income during the past six months was Rs. 150,779 and this was mainly from Mihin.

‘Equal Rights’ awareness campaign disrupted by Police .

Campaign in Jaffna
Police interrupted a banner-signing campaign held in Borella, which was one of a series of awareness programs held island-wide today (23rd) by the Movement for Equal Rights (MER). The MER had begun the program entitled “no to another black July”, around 9am in the town of Borella, when police officers attached to the Borella police station arrived at the location and informed them to stop the campaign and remove the banner.

EU asks Lanka to guaratee freedom for functioning of NGOs

Activist burned govr circuler
The European Union today asked Sri Lanka to guarantee the freedom for functioning of NGOs, days after the government imposed restrictions on their activities.  A statement from the EU of Sri Lanka said they were very concerned about the recent efforts to restrict legitimate public activities of civil society and non-governmental organisations in Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sri Lanka: President's 23 coor. secretaries cost SLR 2.3 M a month

Kumarasiri Hettige( left), most powerful
Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had 23 coordinating secretaries. Each of the coordinating secretaries was paid Rs. 30,000 as monthly salary, 170 litres of petro [170X162], a transport allowance of Rs. 30,000 and a telephone allowance of Rs. 5,000 monthly, the minister said. Minister Gunawardena responding to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the total cost incurred by the coordinating secretaries for the past three years stood at Rs. 37,798,327.67.

Leader of right-wing Bodu Bala Sena says Tibetan spiritual leader being influenced by 'Muslim extremists'

Sri Lanka hardline monk denounces Dalai Lama
A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk leading an anti-Muslim campaign has accused the Dalai Lama of being influenced by "Muslim extremists" and said the Tibetan spiritual leader could not be accepted as a world Buddhist leader. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the secretary general of the Sri Lankan Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), spoke out on Tuesday after the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader called on monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to end violence towards Muslims in their countries.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sri Lanka: One more restriction on NGOs; No funds without Govt approval

Sri Lanka: NGos protest restrictions
No foreign funds without approval: Ministry
The Finance and Planning Ministry has informed all Non-Governmental Organisations that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry prior to obtaining foreign funds. The notice comes hot on the heels of the Government strongly criticising the foreign aid programme carried out by USAID.  It had planned to provide US$190 million dollars for a programme titled, Election Support Through Voter Education (ESVE)' but later withdrew it following protests.

Minister Weerawansa tells President Rajapaksa to drop International experts at once!

No Intl Experts for probe! - Wimal
Wimal Declares War On International Experts Appointed By President 
The Jathika Nidahas Peramuna led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa has raised objection over the appointments of international experts as consultants to the Sri Lankan Commission inquiring into the cases of missing persons. Writing a letter to the President today, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has said international experts are “puppets” who are serving the international judicial system that is only serving the interests of western imperialists.

Protesting mother exposes Sri Lanks military’s false land grabing propaganda

I was forced to sign a paper in Sinhala
Protesting mother exposes occupying SL military’s false propaganda
“The SL military never bought my lands. They said I need to provide details to obtain land. Then I was forced to sign a paper in Sinhala at the police station. The SL military moved into my land and has now sent notice to seize the lands permanently from me,” said a Tamil mother who protested against the land surveyors who came to her land situated along the A9 Road, at Mirusuvil in Thenmaraadchi of the Jaffna district. While the protest was going on a group of SL military intelligence operatives entered the house of a Tamil councillor, who was supporting the protesting family, threatened his wife at gunpoint and caused damage to his property.

Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator in Colombo couldn't provide a responsible answer - Wigneswaran

Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator
Wigneswaran gets ‘UN Lesson’ on Sri Lankan ‘Unitary State’
The UN Resident Coordinator in the island, who also assumes the role of Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN System, has recently neglected the request by Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran to partner with the Northern Provincial Council ‘Government’ to conduct a comprehensive Need Assessment Report on the requirements of the war-affected population in North and instead entered into an agreement with the Colombo Government Ministry to conduct the same project.

SRI LANKA: Justice denied to two child victims of rape at the hands of the armed forces

Sri Lanka Navy: Stand accused
A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner.  In the first case, the soldiers have been serving at Karainagar Navy base have been deployed to patrol Ureddikulam, Urkatturai, Karainagar city and Kytes. Seven were initially arrested and their names are Ajith Kumara, Rupasinghe Aarachilage Chamara Indika, Nadira Dilshan Ratnayake, Kudabalage Jayaweera, Indika Kumara Vithanarachchi, Ranasinghe Sumith Subash and Vikum Senage Piyasiri Dissanayake, all serving the Karainager Navy base.

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa's internatioanl experts to study Darusman report

Members of the panel,
including Darusman  with UN SG
◾Experts say Govt. asked them to advise ‘local commission probing alleged war crimes by all parties to conflict’
◾‘Coming in with an open mind’: Ex-UN war crimes prosecutor David Crane
◾Foreign advisors to seek clarification on disputed matters from Govt. and Army
Dharisha Bastians

UNP accuses Government on appointing foreign experts to war crime probe

U turn?
UNPThe main opposition United National Party (UNP) today accused the Government of making a U-turn on investigations over the war by expanding the mandate of the missing persons commission and also appointing three foreign experts to oversee the investigation. The UNP noted that a proclamation issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gazetted on July 15, among other matters, calls for an investigation into alleged war crimes.

Sri Lanka: Was It A Genocide? – Analysis

IDPs in Vanni
Dr. Parasaran Rangarajan
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were one of the most advanced militant groups in the world listed as the world’s greatest terrorist threat by the United States (U.S.) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ahead of Al-Qaeda1. A lot has been made out of the destruction of the LTTE and end of the civil war in Sri Lanka ending in a bloody scene for civilians in the early months of 2009. However, the question which lingers in the minds of the international community is was the final stage a “genocide” under the cannons of international law?

Sri Lanka: Police attempts to intimidate leading dissident writer Gamini Viyangoda

Ganimi Viyanggoda ( facebook photo)
A state-sponsored operation is underway to intimidate journalists, civil society activists and politicians who publicly criticize certain actions of the government. Under this operation, neighbours of such activists receive calls, purportedly from the CID, asking them about details of such persons.  UNP leadership council member Mangala Samaraweera said there have been many such instances, adding these activists are being intimidated through their neighbours. According to reports reaching Sri Lanka Mirror, the CID has called neighbours of senior literary figure Gamini Viyangoda too.
- Sri Lanka Mirror

Sri Lanka: JHU objects to apponiment of internationnal experts

The government’s appointment of a committee as an alternative to Navi Pillai’s committee is an infringement by the government of its own policy of opposing outside mediation, says the government affiliate JHU in a statement. The statement by its media spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe says his party has neither been informed nor consulted as a UPFA partner regarding the appointment of the committee. Warning the country about this committe, the JHU says it strongly objects to its appointment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sri Lanka: Living ironies and redefining democracy

Activists  protest a government
order limiting the activities of
civil society groups (
Rukshana Nanayakkara
Since the last Presidential election in 2010 there has been no national challenge to the existence of the government. The traditional common enemy, the main Opposition is a docile entity. So the government is losing its common enemy. At present, the credible and reasoned criticism to the government's existence comes mainly from the media and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) who work within the spheres of democracy, governance and human rights.

Sri Lanka govt. says UN panel’s sittings overseas unjustified

Mass grave, Sri Lanka ( file photo)
The government has strongly opposed the decision by UN panel to initiate investigations into alleged human rights violations and war crimes against the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, in three separate places overseas, terming it as an unjustifiable move. Foreign media reported that the three member committee panel appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on this regard, will be holding hearings in New York, Geneva and Bangkok.

Gang Rape suspects [Navy sailors] , identified by the police get political treatment and bailed out

People in the area protests the gang rape
A coordinating secretary of the President has reportedly ordered the police not to take action against the Navy personnel who had allegedly raped an 11-year old girl for 11 days as well as another 9-year old girl.
The reports further indicate that the particular officer has called the Kytes Police on two occasions after the incidents and said that if they were put under remand custody that will cause the losing of moral among the forces.

Sri Lanka: 'Parliamentary authorities have become puppets of the executive' - UNP

Speaker Rajapaksa: Silent
The United National Party today charged that the administration of the Parliament is deliberately delaying action on privilege issues raised by UNP Parliamentarians.  Speaking to Asian Mirror, UNP Parliamentarian Ajith P Perera said the privilege issue they raised on the clash which took place in Hambanthota has not yet been presented before the privileges committee of Parliament."It is the duty of the administration of Parliament to take measures to bring these matters before the Privileges Committee. Then only the MPs can discuss this matter and present their recommendations to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sri Lanka: Non-auditied Billions, Inflated Chinese contracts and Laundering money

''So we have a High Commission in the Seychelles where there is a population of only around 90,000. We have a branch of the Bank of Ceylon in the Seychelles. And we have Mihin Air flying direct.
Would you say that is a complete supply route?
Exposing the ‘Seychelles Strategy’ - An interview with Dr. Harsha de Silva
Maheen Senanayake

Sri Lanka: Disgusting! Suspect wants water – Police Sgt. urinates in his mouth

On 8 May 2014, Sanjeewa having received a call from his mother on 4 May left his home at 164, Heenagara, Medagama, Panirendawa, with the intention of visiting his father who had been brought home after a stint in hospital. He arrived in Ampara (two kilometres from Priyangala, to Rajiwelathenna) at 6.30 p.m. Then Sunil, the owner of the cycle repair shop at which Sanjeewa works, called him at around 7.30 p.m. and inquired whether eight university friends of his could stay at Sanjeewa's parents house in Ampara for a couple of days from 8 May onwards, to which he agreed and gave him the address when asked.

Sri Lanka: Unidentified Motorcyclists Follow BASL President Again!

Lodging another complaint with Thalangama police BASL president Upul Jayasuriya alleged that two unidentified motorcyclists had also hovered around his house located at Thalangama. According to his complaint, the suspicious behaviour of two motorcyclists had been spotted by his neighbors on July 15 and 17. The complaint in this regard had been registered on July 18 with Thalangama police.

Sri Lanka: Prosecute Gnanasara Thera, BASL tells Attorney General

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called on the Attorney General Palitha Fernando to prosecute the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Galabodaaththe Gnanasara Thera,  for leading violent attacks on the Muslims of Authgama  last month resulting in the loss of life and property.